Making Work: In Usdan Gallery with artist Allana Clarke (VA4316.01) (new day/time as of 8/31/2022)

Anne Thompson

In this course, a small group of advanced students in sculpture and film/video will work as production assistants to Allana Clarke for her solo exhibition in Usdan Gallery. A Trinidadian-American artist, Clarke is known for using materials such as sugar, cocoa butter and hair-bonding glue to construct innovative works that confront histories of colonialism and Western standards of beauty. As part of her Usdan exhibit, Clark will be in residence at the College for three weeks to construct a 25-foot-long floor sculpture, her largest artwork to date. This construction will happen inside the gallery during the start of the exhibition. Clarke’s process—as part of the exhibit—will be filmed, and the resulting film will join the Usdan display. Three advanced sculpture students will assist with making the sculpture. Two advanced film/video students will assist with making the film. (Enrollment is 5 students total.)

Course schedule: First 7 weeks of term. Class meets once a week as a group, on Thursdays, 12:30-1:30, in Usdan Gallery.

In our first meeting we will discuss readings related to Allana’s practice and make a schedule for students to work individually or in pairs with Allana during the three weeks she is on campus—September 13-October 5.

Sculpture /3D students will work with Allana to process the glue material, help construct floor supports for the sculpture and assist with other production needs. Film/video students will create footage of the production of the sculpture at different stages, in consultation with the artist.

The work flow will be more demanding during the time Allana is in residence, with students assisting her between 2 and 4 hours a week. Our regular Thursday lunchtime meeting will allow us to touch base about the schedule and discuss the work in progress.

Learning Outcomes:
_complete assigned readings about and related to Allana’s work
_attend weekly group meetings
_work with Allana in Usdan Gallery during her time in residence, specific schedule to be determined by the group given everyone’s individual commitments
_attend Allana’s artist talk on Tuesday, Oct. 27 at 7 pm
_attend the exhibition opening in Usdan Gallery on Tuesday, October 4, 6-8 pm
_write a response paper about your experience working with Allana (about 800 words). This paper is due on the final day of class.

Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Prerequisites: Previous 4000-level coursework in sculpture or film/video. Interested students should contact Usdan Gallery Director and Curator Anne Thompson (
Course Level: 4000-level
Credits: 1
Th, 12:30PM-1:30PM (1st seven weeks)
Maximum Enrollment: 5
Course Frequency: One time only

Categories: All courses , Fully In-Person , Updates , Visual Arts (VA)