I told you last week that my first art school critique is tomorrow. Thanks to all who wished me luck! I took it then and I’ll take it now, especially because the crit happens is bright and early tomorrow morning and a few days ago, I got some weird news about it.
There was a panelist added to the group of people who will be critiquing me. She’s a multidisciplinary artist who has done work at/with the School of the Art Institute (SAIC) before, though I’m not sure what. I didn’t dig too deeply but I know she has some connection to the Writing Department and was part of an event in the spring.
She emailed me to ask me if I was related to John Fons, if that might be my dad. Apparently, she knows my dad.
This email stopped me cold. Not many people ask me about my dad — and never by name. His world and my world exist in galaxies far, far apart from the other. Finally, after years of trying to close the space between us, I have come to understand that it’s better like it is. To get an email from a (female) stranger asking me about my father made my stomach lurch. I thought, “Oh, great. One of Dad’s ex-girlfriends is going to be reading and critiquing my writing. That’s super. That’s just great.”
The email so shocked me that I spent a day trying to figure out how to answer it. I finally sent my reply (I wrote: “It’s possible. Looking forward to meeting you!”) and then I thought about it some more. By the time I stopped brooding and mentioned this to someone, it was really too late to ask to be moved to another panel or to not have this person on the panel. Because the more I think about it, the more I’m not so sure about this. Am I being too sensitive?
Because what was their relationship? How long ago did it occur? I’d like to think they were just colleagues, but then why didn’t she say so? She didn’t say, “Hey, I knew your dad from [this]!” It was so vague, like, “I knew your dad…” and I pictured her like, staring into space and getting…wistful.
Can I barf during a crit? I know some of you brilliant PaperGirl readers said you were art school graduates. Any pointers on barfing during the actual critique session? Should I bring my own fancy barf bag? Perhaps something I’ve collaged?
We know the world is small. I think we forget — I certainly forget — that the world is smaller than a matchbox. Or a match. After burning.