Lindsay Splichal
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BFA in Print Paper Book
2012
Department Assistant, Youth Educator, and Student at Cranbrook Academy of Art

Describe what you do for work and how you feel about it. 

I am a department assistant at Cranbrook Academy of Art. Since the academy does not currently have a shop coordinator, we students are the ones who take on that role. Secondly, I teach summer youth camps at Cranbrook Art Museum. It's a full day of technical-based projects, art history lessons, and team building activities. I've never worked with kids so young; my students range in age from first to sixth grade. All I have to say about that is we don't give moms enough credit—they RULE! I am thankful to have worked with young kids, they always keep me on my toes. Literally. 

How did you choose your major, print paper book?

The first print I pulled was in high school. There was something about the transfer process. I had never seen anything like it. I wanted to explore that place more. 

Best thing you ever got/saw on the free shelf?

There was this beautiful black shoe . . . a pump style from the 80's, patent leather, my size of course. I tried it on, it fit perfectly, but the other shoe was nowhere to be found. It was an eBay kinda situation.

What inspires you/your work?

I would say communication and people's uniqueness. Comprehension has been a weak place for me through language. There is too much diversity for things to be kept in categories. So I'm inspired by making visual work about communication and relationships through materials, structures, and images.  

Current obsession?

Foam, like the pink insulation foam. And grass. 

What advice do you have for current MCAD students?

First of all, recognize this opportunity that is in front of you. Participate. Push yourself as hard as you can, in as many ways as you can. Your sanity can come later. Support your peers. Have arguments in critique. TAKE THE RISKS. A sober mind is a powerful thing. You are powerful, don't forget that. And trust your intuition. Chances are it will take you where you need to go. 

Describe your internship.

It was at Juxtaposition Arts, a youth-based apprenticeship. It ended up turning into a job I had for six-and-a-half years, which was an absolute blessing! This place shaped my life and understanding, all for the better. The short version: I helped to build a textile shop to teach teen youth to produce screenprinted shirts. We worked with local organizations and businesses such as First Ave and Breaking Bread to produce uniforms and gear. Textile apprentices were also in relation to other apprentices in other labs learning different skill sets such as graphic design, tactical urbanism, and contemporary art, alongside learning professional and academic development skills for their future. It's an organization that believes in social justice, equality, and they win HARD!

Your biggest takeaway from MCAD?

The technical skills, absolutely. Also time management. I see now how much I accomplished there in such a small amount of time. That place makes you push yourself. But it feels good to make prints for eight hours at a time, just to reveal the failure.

Who was your favorite teacher and why?

Ohhhhkay. This isn't really a fair question [laughs]. The print staff are all very strong in their own ways. I've never seen a more solid book constructed than by Jody Williams. And when she gives you an A, she means it. Natasha, Natasha! Intellectual, and she knows history and theory! She always pushed that. I really needed that push. And I still do. That language has stayed with me to this day. Dennis Lo: Thank you for helping me trust and nurture my intuition. I've seen its growth over the past years and realized it is a strong characteristic of mine when it comes to informing my work. Amy Sands, she is a great person! Really cares about her students and their needs. Natasha was on sabbatical my senior year and Amy stepped in. We, as students, wanted change within the curriculum Amy had made. She was open to our feedback and changed the curriculum to fit our needs in order to prepare for our senior shows. John Gaunt really had my back. When I was utterly lost to find meaning in my work he took the time and helped me to dig deeper into the core of the work. I can imagine that process being exhausting, but he really believed in me. I can't forget about Jan Jancourt. He supported design that was non-traditonal. I think that was really important for me to have that support, because it subconsciously made me go further down my own rabbit hole. I am now going through a similar thought process in regards to fine art in graduate school. I can trust myself because people like Jan and Dennis have encouraged me to do so. Sincerely thankful for all of these giving instructors and how they helped grow me as an artist. 

How do you feel about the Twin Cities?

I think the Twin Cities are full of culture, really. When I would leave, I'd realize more and more what the Twin Cities have and what other places do not. It surprised me how much the Walker and Minneapolis are mentioned in [national] art conversations. I think what the art scene is doing in Minneapolis and St. Paul is progressive. People are making some really creative spaces. There are a variety of platforms there and it is growing at high speed! I appreciate my nine years in that place, immensely. I met some of the most creative and talented friends in that place. Thankful to say the least. 

How do you network yourself and your art?

Social media is a great way to be in touch with this art world. Distance is no longer an issue. We have the world at our fingertips, so let us participate. You don't have to wait to be published in a magazine, you publish yourself; that's a privilege. Going to shows and seeing what other art spaces and peoples are doing. You cannot exist alone. If MoMA wants you, they will come to you.