interview With Kelly Walters, Artist, Educator, Designer

Revision Path


All right so tell us who you are and what you do. My name is kelly walters. I am a artist educator designer. I teach at parsons school of design. And he i make. I make a bunch of different things print and digital and everything in between nice. How are you feeling so far about twenty twenty one. Twenty twenty one you know. I was really curious to see how the inauguration was actually going to play out at the end of december just anxious about all the various things that have been happening and i think the beginning of twenty twenty one felt really rocky just for me in trying to understand like how the end of one presidency the beginning of a next the middle of a pandemic and sort of just a lot of uncertainty so it felt a little overwhelming. I think but it feels like it's getting potentially better as best as better can be yes. I don't know if that's a thing. But yeah i mean i can certainly see how it sort of feels a bit like. We're starting to see the light at the end of this long pandemic size tunnel so i know what you mean especially that we have new leadership. There's vaccines that are out there. People are getting vaccinated. It feels like things are starting to go into a different direction Yeah i just. I feel like i. I'm just anxious for everyone and making sure that we can safely make it through the second year. I guess of this like new world that we're in and i'm also really curious to see kind of patterns or observations are made in this time that will affect us longer than this time. I guess longer than the year in change it's been. I'm really curious to see what it looks like. And like being able to reflect back maybe even in ten years or five years like what i remember of this era. So i don't know like reflexive i think in that way like looking forward and back if i can at the same time as funny. That's that's kind of january. Is after the the greek i think. Greek god or demi-god janice has one face looking for one face looking back so that's kind of apt comparison. There are things different for you now than they were last year. Trying to think at this point last year we were. Maybe like a week out before everything shut down. If i recall. I think the last time i was in new york was like march eleventh. When we were told like two days later everyone had to sort of stay at home. And i think like things were more sort of uncertain in some ways at the very beginning of that last year as i reflect on where i am now. I don't know. I feel like they're still unknowns. But i'm i'm living to sit inside of the uncertainty. It's very uncomfortable to do that. But i i don't know i think more than last year i feel like this year. You have to sit with the uncertainty in a way that i don't know i don't know how to really describe that exactly. I just feel like i'm navigating what it means to not know even more than before and not take for granted what was thought to be stable or when was thought to be certain. If that makes sense yeah. So what is a regular day like for you now. What my home is my office is. My classroom is my social space. So you know it's it's the all purpose room for many things. I think it was. I think it was weird to navigate that last year of like finding what the delineation is between all of those kind of spaces. But i think depending on who you're talking to in meetings whether it's co workers or your friends or your family kind of figuring out a way to feel as though at your own environment home environment that in a separate area or Time of the day that it can feel as though you can feel the shifts in it. sometimes it's about just getting up and walking outside and coming back and feeling like you've gone into a new room or changing the lighting or opening the blinds or turning on the light. I think it's like these like small actions to make it feel like you're in a different space. Sometimes so i think that that's what my that's what my days like more and more now of just like what are the subtleties that i can adjust in my home environment to you know feel like i'm in a different space. I guess has there been sort of a change in how you've been teaching or anything like that. Uh yeah definitely i think. Now it'll be a full year of teaching remotely online. And i think that for my program in the communication design program at parsons i think we had transitioned to an online teaching format and i think what was really challenging in the beginning with like trying to figure out what does it mean to do a critique in this environment what does it mean to build up student report and morale and all of those in community or around like students that you are working with that previously. You were seeing physically in a particular space. And i think the difference between kind of what i've learned in that kind of crisis moving in a somewhat of a crisis mode to teach remotely versus starting the year teaching remotely just like i've been working with students all year that i probably won't ever get to meet in person. And so there's this difference in trying to figure out how to get to know someone as much as one can an online format through smaller group conversations or having slack channels or things where people can sort of commune in a digital sphere. But it's definitely been different than previous years

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