Alexis Kandra

Life in the Studio

As every art student knows, one of the challenges of art school is balancing your art-making with activities like eating, sleeping, and being outside the studio.  Life at Temple Rome has the same issues, but with the added component of being in Rome.  I feel obligated to make the most of my time here, but there are so many ways to do that.  It’s difficult to balance the different ways of making the most of my time here: from making artwork and growing that way, to spending time exploring the city.

The school building here at Temple Rome does not operate like Tyler does back in Philly.  In Philly, students can be in the building 24/7 .  People frequently pull all-nighters in the studio.  Here in Rome, the building closes at midnight, and closes at 10 pm on the weekends.  Students have to be outside of the building by then.  There is no 24 hour tech center or library until 2 am.  This means that students often can’t work on their art homework late at night and into the morning.

Another difficult thing to balance is food.  Luckily, there are ways of making food in the studio (though it is discouraged, there are hot plates that work well for heating up some pasta or cooking vegetables if you bring your own pot).  Stores near campus sell lunch items like sandwiches and pizza.  If students live in The Residence, which is a 30 min walk away from school, it’s too difficult to travel back and forth unless you have a lot of time between classes.  So most people pack food in Tupperware, purchase some pizza, or boil something for meals.

You would think that with the studio closing early, students would get more sleep.  However, sleep is another difficult thing to balance here in Rome.  There is so much happening all the time.  There is also so many things to do, see, and experience.  I can speak from experience; it’s difficult to get enough sleep here.  I always have another bit of writing, talking, or exploring that I could be doing.

This brings me to the photos included in this post.  These are my friends Kyle, Christina, and Charlene resting in the studio.  Charlene and I carry our travel alarms with us.  That way, we know what time it is and can take short naps.  The studio floor is the place to take a nap.  Kyle constructed a fort out of paintings to sleep in, and used a piece of canvas for a blanket.  Some students sleep regularly in the studio.  We’ve talked about how wonderful it would be to have a couch in the studio, but so far the studio floor has been acting as a mattress very well.  When you are tired, the floor feels heavenly.

Of course, we don’t spend all our time napping in the studio.  The naps are required because we spend so much time doing other things.  Life is so active here.  A day feels like a week; so many things happen to a person in one day here.  You can see why a quick nap would really help out.

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