During Jason Schwab’s time as a CCAD MFA candidate, he made it apparent that he knew the meaning of hard work. So it comes as no surprise that since graduating in 2014, he has been busier than ever. We asked Jason to write about what he’s been up to, and where we can see his work next –
“I quickly jumped into the “real” world that CCAD had been preparing me for between 2012 and 2014. I walked across the stage during my graduation ceremony and then a half an hour later I grabbed my things and took off to Vermont to partake in the Vermont Studio Center Artist Residency. This experience was incredibly influential and pivotal in my artistic career. I met amazing artists, had important conversations, and made a body of work that I was proud of. That body of work which was later split into two separate projects, Disconnect and In an Attempt to Exist, was featured in an exhibition at ROY G BIV gallery in July 2014. Now for something that is sort of strange to admit but I wish I would have pushed that exhibition further to something I was uncomfortable with. I was uncomfortable with my thesis show at CCAD and that uncomfortable feeling meant I was doing something right.
I was fortunate enough to land adjunct teaching positions at both CCAD and OSU for the Fall 2014 semester. Juggling four classes, some Saturday Morning Art Classes, and a studio practice proved to be as difficult as everyone said it would be. There is always too much to do and not nearly enough time (a conundrum that isn’t going anywhere). During this time, I applied for shows, residencies, fellowships, and jobs, a lot of jobs. Rejected by many and chosen by few. Luckily the ones I was chosen for were amazing opportunities.
One opportunity was being chosen to fill a Full Time Visiting Professor position at Kutztown University, my alma mater. Being chosen to be a sabbatical replacement was an honor. It is still surreal sitting at my former professor’s desk typing this piece. It has been a great experience to work within a full time capacity. It feels like I am a contributor to higher education instead of an employee of higher education. Then to top it off I have more time to make my own work. I am currently taking advantage of that time to prepare for a group show at the Columbus Museum of Art this upcoming summer.
In July of this year I was the recipient of the 2015 Visual Artists Fellowship awarded by the Great Columbus Arts Council. Receiving that phone call was one of those holy shit what is happening moments. It is an amazing honor and will be the largest stage I have had the opportunity to exhibit my work on thus far. The work I have included in this post has been created in the past few months after receiving the fellowship. Untitled is a stand alone piece at the moment but plans for some two-dimensional friends are being processed. Supple Leather Hard Wood is the direction I see myself going for the Visual Artists Fellowship group show. In December I will be attending the Wassaic Artist Residency, which will be a great opportunity to solidify my direction for the Visual Artists Fellowship group show. I intend to heed my own advice from my previous shows and make work that I am uncomfortable with and keep in mind something the graduate program had engrained in me, which is to take risks fearlessly.
Thank you very much to the CCAD Graduate Program for giving me the opportunity to write about what I have been doing lately. It certainly wouldn’t have been possible without the guidance and experiences I had during my time in the program. I am gratefully indebted to this program.”
To see more of Jason’s work please visit http://www.jasonschwabart.com/