On Monday, we were extremely lucky to be joined by Abigail DeVille, a renowned artist from New York City who is currently partaking in a residency at the American Academy in Rome. She works with large-scale sculpture, installation, and performance, focusing on the forgotten stories of marginalized people and places. Having viewed and been blown away by one of her pieces at the Academy a few weeks prior, we greatly anticipated her arrival.
DeVille’s entrance into the room was nothing less than grand. Wearing a fur coat, Chicago Bulls hat, and brightly colored sneakers, she made me question why on earth I choose to wear all black most days. Despite her sensational and slightly intimidating appearance, as soon as she spoke I felt at ease, for she is extremely laid-back and friendly.
Right away, we began critique. It is nerve-wracking to show an acclaimed artist work that is only halfway done, but DeVille gave everyone wonderful advice, raising helpful questions and pushing us to take our work to the next level. She encouraged many of us to experiment with materials and location of exhibition or performance.
It was amazing to receive advice from a professional artist who is also experiencing the change of environment from New York to Rome. A huge thank you to Barry for organizing the critique, and Abigail DeVille for joining us!