Friday, June 7, 2013

Paul Moscatt Studio





 



In the fall of 2012 my drawing teacher, Raphael Sassi told me of a former MICA painting chair and professor who was on the lookout for an intern. I was encouraged to visit this one time chair, Paul Moscatt, at his studio in the Cork factory up in Station North, the arts and entertainment district of Baltimore. Paul was holding an open house showcasing some of his more recent paintings. After successfully snaring his attention from a throng visitors, mostly friends and fellow artists, we discussed my intentions and his needs around the studio. 
 Reflecting on what I consider to be my main three tasks at Paul Moscatt's studio, it would be impossible for me to decide which was the most rewarding. Each of these duties soared above and beyond my expectations, pushing me to learn more about each topic than I had previously thought possible. From this experience at the studio I feel confident that I'll be leaving with a veritable arsenal of knowledge equipping me with a solid foundation from which I will one day base my own studio. To have my private studio, just like Mr. Moscatt's is my dream, and now I know just how I will go about operating my very own. I would strongly recommend that any other undergrad who shares this dream with me will also spend a semester interning here, as the experience I have decided, is priceless.

Over cheese and crackers we hammered out the details about the work he was planning to get done. We concluded that I'd help out with his weekly model session - a class he holds in house, taking inventory of his hundreds of paintings, and restoring the original factory windows, one at a time. My goal coming in was to learn how an artist's studio is run and maintained, so I was eager to take on whatever tasks were thrown at me.

For the weekly classes, a model arrived every Saturday morning for a six-hour pose which Paul, myself and whoever else attended would paint and subsequently critique. While this experience is not that different from one which I may experience in a MICA classroom, what was unique for me was that my role was also one of a teacher's assistant- aiding in the lead of the critique. This required me to consistently be analytical and critical of the pieces in discussion, and to offer advice and help while also being the youngest person in the room. The challenge was substantial, and surmounting it did not come easily at first yet ·with a learning curve I certainly came out of the experience with a positive attitude. The second duty I helped Mr. Moscatt with was taking inventory of his massive stockpile of paintings. This was also a serious undertaking, yet with painstaking perseverance and organizational skills we emerged from the task with a dear system, documenting, dating, cataloguing and recording each piece in a database at the studio. Thirdly was the task of refurbishing the over a century old windows. Moscatt explained that each person who has a studio in the building technically owns the space in conjunction with the general manager, and through their agreement each tenant is responsible to undergo the same procedure with the windows. This required me to learn how to strip, fill, prime, paint, glaze and caulk each window we worked on. While I at first found the task a little irrelevant to owning a studio, I soon realized that when I one day have my own studio I will have this new and somewhat rare skill set at my disposal.


- Antoine C. Blanton, Painting, Spring 2013