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How to Develop Your Profound Voice

Weems in talkArtist and alum Carrie Mae Weems ’84 meets with students across campus, giving a ‘great challenge’ to be engaged for the future

UC San Diego welcomed the return of celebrated artist Carrie Mae Weems Nov. 6-7, a distinguished alum who received her MFA from the Department of Visual Arts in 1984. Considered one of the most influential contemporary artists, Weems encouraged curiosity, finding purpose and deep engagement.

“One of the things I really love about being at a university is in hearing what people are up to and thinking about,” Weems said to open her public talk at the Price Center Theater: a full house of students, faculty members and community. “I’m really grateful to be back.”

Graduate studentsWeems—whose last public appearance at UC San Diego was in 2015—also sat in small, private conversation with students across campus. She was inquisitive, spending less time discussing her own practice and more time listening to the concerns and research of undergraduate and graduate students from the Department of Visual Arts, as well as students in the university’s Black Studies Project.

“I’m interested in the scope of work that you’re doing, and the questions that you’re asking in this moment. What are you really interrogating?” she said. “Sometimes trying to answer that question is the most difficult thing you can do over the course of, not only your student life, but your life. You have to follow every single instinct you have.”

Weems posing with studentsWeems said exploring these questions does not come quickly nor easily, but the university can be an “enormous resource” where students find purpose and meaning. She encouraged them to ask how they could use the system to get what they needed while here.

“Being able to talk through your ideas with somebody, whether it’s with you in your journal or you and your professor—because they’re there for you—is so important. If you can process and begin to articulate [these questions], you can … get to where you need to go quicker. You have to keep working.”

Read the full story on the UC San Diego News Center.


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