Looks like my sweet gig with Victor Carranza was too good to be true. We had a meeting last Friday where we mostly discussed his forthcoming Monroe project. Despite his previous claims, I learned that his contract for this project was not quite settled. At the end of the meeting I brought up the architecture jewelry project and provided him with a packet of photocopied sketches representing the 40 hours of work we had agreed on. Victor seemed mildly interested in my designs and picked out a few pieces he liked. He alluded to future development of the project, but made it clear that the project was going to take a backseat to the Monroe work. When I asked him for payment he said he was unable to write me a check because he had yet to receive any money from the Monroe project. He then said he was getting paid Monday, and assured me that I would get my money on Tuesday, when I picked up the Monroe pictures. After leaving his office I became increasingly worried about my financial state. I called Victor back and pressured him for a check. He made no concessions. Instead he acted sympathetic and promised to call me on Monday with an update. That call never came and now I am feeling like I am getting ripped off. Victor had seemed mildly unconvinced at first when I said my drawings represented 40 hours of work. Now I am sensing that he is trying to back out of our contract. I wrote him an email yesterday politely demanding my pay. If he doesn’t respond to my invoice then I will not be doing any more work for him. In addition, if he wants to get the architecture images I used, he will need to pay me for my design work thus far. He knows that I desperately need the money. If this job does indeed fall through, then I will not only have lost $1,200 worth of my time, but also two weeks of job searching. Now I am busy applying for gallery assistant and art handling jobs off of the postings on NYFA and Craigslist.
In other news, I am busy getting ready for my Visionary Crosswalks project at Pocket Utopia. Austin is sending out my press release while I am still working on a 4″x6″ card. I still need to do the intersection/street maps and send out my promo stuff. After meeting with my planner friend I decided to add the map element as a way to potentially get feedback from pedestrians. I really enjoyed my discussion with Jen and we may collaborate for Conflux. In addition to the installations and maps I am doing a video night as part of Austin’s “Social Saturdays” event series. I plan on screening various videos, including documentation of my work, potential work by Mary featuring my crosswalks as subject matter, and movie/internet clips dealing with crosswalks in some way. I am doing this in lieu of some sort of panel discussion in an attempt to cut out any unintended pretension or seriousness. I just basically want to have a fun get-together where we talk about the pedestrian experience in Bushwick.
I am getting more and more excited about going to MICA this fall. The US News and World Report just released their annual grad school rankings and MICA’s overall MFA program cam in 4th nationally(!), following Yale, RISD, and SAIC. I knew MICA was good, but I didn’t realize it was 4th in the country! This means that including all the disciplines, MICA is better than Columbia, Hunter, and VCU – my other top picks. The rankings are apparently based off of surveys by all of the MFA deans in the country. I am now feeling a lot better about taking out $50,000 in loans for this program. Plus I am going to have a shit load of fun making art in Baltimore and hanging out with Robby.