Thursday, May 10, 2012

Master of Finds Art

It turns out that I didn't have to spend three years in school to get an MFA. I could have just sent away or stood in line to get one like the ministers freely and easily ordained by the Universal Life Church. I could have received a certificate that said, "Fat City School of Finds Art," and been awarded the degree of "Master of Finds Art."

The Fat City School is the creation of Dudley Finds, the pseudonym of artist Lowell Darling. I did pick up a certificate at one of my favorite haunts, the Berkeley Art Museum, on Sunday, March 11, 2012. I retrieved it not from a person, however, but from a bin on the wall of the State of Mind: New California Art circa 1970 exhibit, unsigned. I was disappointed Dudley Finds was not there, but happy to hear that Lowell Darling is very much alive.

According to its blog, before SFMoMA moved to its new digs, way back in 1975-1978 there was the Manitoba Museum of Finds Art hidden within the offices there. An empty bookshelf was a starting point for a new museum behind the desk of Alberta Mayo; she has posted her permanent collection in an online gallery here, which includes things like fake butter, Bullwinkle bubble gum (and other mooseum pieces), a burned package, a Shanghai hotel shower cap, box of used erasers, odd works of art by now well-known artists, and this curious photograph. It was her idea to have a graduation ceremony for the people in the office and award them with the MFAs that Dudley Finds was already offering.

The timing is good. The certificate amuses me. I just turned in my thesis/novel for my "real" MFA. Friends have started asking me, "Now what?" I'll be interested to see where my energy goes once all the pressure has lifted. Writing? Or art? Felt or stories? Gardening or cooking? Letterpress or painting? A or B? Like at the eye doctor. What will I see? I don't have an empty bookshelf, but I might be able to start a small museum around here, somewhere…


3 comments:

dinahmow said...

You always amuse me,often inspire me and always give me pause. I do like this sort of lateral thinking.A small museum? Why not!

Lizzie said...

When we were little girls, me and my sister had a "Museum" in the corner of our playroom...
Maybe I need another -I certainly have enough "Finds" to put in it!

Maybe you need a plan for your new spare time, before "life" finds a use for it!

Your post made me smile!

Velma said...

huge congratulations, alisa. and you will do exactly as you should. where/what/however is moves you.