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Richard 's Story > Chapters > Tempe Arizona...The MFA Days and Beyond

Tempe...The Arrival from New York 1986, The First Year 

Date Range: 08/15/1986 To 06/20/1996   Comments: 0 Views: 11608
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I arrived back at my studio in New York after the summer at Chautauqua. It was hot and muggy late August, this I remember. My studio was already re-leased for the coming months by Grayson Hearst, an operatic baritone who was coming into New York. My days were well spent packing all my studio and making preparations to leave New York. In the next month my studio was downsized and things were packed and sent out Profit-By-Air a cargo company that gave me the best bid for the project of delivering my studio to Arizona. I said goodby to New York and promised that I would be back later. As I saw the last of my parcel leaving my studio it looked so vacant and lost with all the memories gone...the studio at 808 West End 1008, now collapsed and on its way west. There were not too many sorry or tearful moments at that time, I do remember. I was tired of New York and the aggrivation and was looking forward to living in the west again, this time in Tempe Arizona where I purchased a condominium at 5th and Hardy in Tempe, the college town of Arizona State University.
It seemed like a nice town then, rather quaint and slow for the pace of New York which I had become accustomed to.
Gone were the New York Streets and heavy traffic. Gone too were the good art exhibits that I had been part of and that kept me going as a matter of some sort of cultural life spent in the city. Yes, I thought to myself, I would miss New York afterall. The last days saying good by to my friends at the Art Students League were touching, but I somehow knew that school would be the greatest training that I could ever have, and somehow knew too that I had outgrown the League but would forever keep that great school in my hear wherever I was as an artist.
Tempe Arizona
I had been given the opportunity to exhibit in Scottsdale the next year by a sponsor/patron of mine, Ms. Helen Temple Logan who had spoken highly of Scottsdale and had invited me for a showing of my work. I had also made contacts at ASU Arizona State University for possibilities to gain access to thier MFA Program or somewhat slowly to move that direction.
I met Prof. Art Hahn, then a very influential member of the faculty who  had recognized me for candidacy in the program. Of course it was a long proceedure as well as process to draw my credits from New York's Columbia University as well as the Art Students League and attempt to get equivilent credits towards application for the ASU MFA Program. Anyone in accademia knows of the long processes. Sometimes I felt myself in a foreign land because both the Art Students League and Columbias Art Program seemed a little less rigorous in the vetting of paper and credentials. In New York either you had it or you didnt, it was a process more of the artwork, a personality and ones own personal conviction then....paper work. But as in Rome (as they say...)
The good news was that I could start immediately takeing a few classes to get my feet wet so to speak, the bad news was that the credit inquiry pf my prior graduate credits had to be made by group decision as to thier appropriateness to the program at ASU and this would take 6 months. I felt impatient. Hec why cant this inquiry  be done in a week or a month...but took an entire semester to quantify a review. Well one has to be easy with accademia as the process is often slow and methodical.

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