Again, we ask: Is There Life After Art School?

Listen to the episode

Today: An encore episode of Open Studio. Last January, I interviewed five artists about whether there is life after art school. I’m rerunning that show now so that, when I check in with them again for the Feb. 13th episode, you’ll have a sense of what’s changed. In our first Zoom chat, artist Lori Fogg, who’d suggested the episode,  wondered – given that she was in so much student debt – whether the American Dream forever will be inaccessible to her. The full freight of tuition, room, board, and other fees at Hartford Art School hovers around $60,000. When Lori contemplated her future, she started to rethink what she thought she wants. She asked herself, is the American Dream even really her dream or just an idea she’s been sold? Among all five artists’ other questions were: should they continue to paint out of their personal histories, or choose more marketable subjects? Is Instagram all it’s cracked up to be or32222 are the old-timey methods of finding community better? What does it mean to be an artist apart from competing for blue-chip gallery representation and eventual fame? What do they do when they’re creatively stuck? These are just some of the topics our alums will plumb in this freeform conversation. Not all of the featured alums knew one another when we recorded the episode, and yet, as you’ll hear, in the brief space of our hour together, they formed a lovely bond. I’m sure you’ll agree: the kids will be all right.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank those of you who contributed to WESU’s successful fall/winter pledge drive. It was a nail biter but we got there. If you helped, I place my palms together and bow in gratitude. You understand how this crazy set-up works: that it’s you who put the community in community radio. Thank you for getting that. With its mission to air music and views that are rarely heard anywhere else, WESU is a healthy antidote to commercial media and needed now more than ever. Again, thank you.

 Finally, I’d like to raise a belated toast to your health and happiness in this long-anticipated fresh New Year. Please, let’s continue to take care of ourselves and one another by wearing masks, washing our hands frequently, and social distancing. Here’s to life – and vaccinations!

As life continues to unfold in its crazy way, I intend to paint, go for long walks, vent with friends, and remind myself that better days are coming. Keep breathing, folks. Together, we’ll get through this.

Back after this message with our encore broadcast of a visit with artists Julian Allen, Trae Brooks, Lori Fogg, Caroline Hehir, and Ethan Newman.









NEXT SHOW, FEB. 13 We check back in with our five artists!

Creative freedom and wisdom accompany…

Listen to the episode

Today, in our first episode of 2022, a reminder that it’s never too late to start something new, including art-making! My two guests, Nancy Jensen, 76, and Rosemary Molloy, 83, tell how, though their interest in art was thwarted in their youth, that interest has lately been bearing fruit in their senior years as they draw, paint, make collages, and generally express themselves creatively however they darn well please! I know you’ll find them as inspiring as I did. And speaking of inspirations, I’d like to thank those of you who donated to WESU’s recent pledge drive. We made our goal with dollars to spare! Clearly you get it – that it’s listeners like you who put the community in community radio! If you didn’t get around to giving and want to show the station some love for creating a space for this kind of unusual programming, you still can. Just go to Thanks! Now let’s hear my Zoom chat with Nan and Ro, whose artwork can be seen below.

Rosemary Molloy’s art

Nancy Jensen’s art