Guest Artist Visit Reactions

On Tuesday night 11/7/17 Reem Hussein was our guest artist in ART550. Reem shared her experiences as an MFA student, artist and educator. She is currently the director of the Mannes Center for Art Education at the Nassau County Museum of Art. We followed up her talk with a Q&A from the class. 

Students were asked to bring in one piece of current art work for a critique led by Reem.  A dialog about each student’s work proceeded.

In the comments section below please share your sentiments and reactions about what you learned from the evening as a whole.

What insights, comments or reactions have stuck with you? What do you see or understand now about your piece/work that you may have not seen prior to the critique?

Feel free to also include other thoughts and feelings.




11 thoughts on “Guest Artist Visit Reactions

  1. It was truly an honor and a pleasure to meet Reem Hussein and hear about her incredible journey in the Art world. What most impressed me about her story is the resilience and energy she has possessed to constantly re-invent herself. With each new position in numerous avenues of the art world, she consistently applied her creative core to analyze the production and promotion of art, not only as a means of self-expression but towards educating diverse learners of all ages.

    It impressed me to hear about her time-management skills in balancing career, and family responsibilities while constantly creating artwork that was often simply personal and not intended for public consumption. Her likeable personality and overall positive attitude permeated the discussion about her own life and continued when she critiqued each of our compositions. Despite the time restriction, Reem gave everyone equal attention with an obvious skill at digging deep to locate that aspect of the visual that best reflected the personal concept in our artworks.

    In my digital pieces, Reem immediately recognized and accepted the foundation of classicism without any hint of the socio-political negativity that tainted my experience in the MFA program at Queens College last spring. I was extremely worried since she is obviously aware of the current trends in Fine Arts and I was led to believe at QC that my use of the figure, regardless of the medium, was passé.

    The long-range objective is to exhibit my current artworks as digital installations utilizing extremely large, two-dimensional prints or video projections so as to engulf the viewer in pixels that include their silhouette as part of a multi-media, three-dimensional visual experience. Reem’s supportive comments and suggestions augmented these feelings while offering additional ideas such as using screens of vellum, with varying opacities, or even creating neon sculptural reliefs.

    I plan to continue working in this style, perfecting my evolving pixilated technique as a reflection of our daily existence in the digital age.

    Leonard Antinori
    October 11, 2017

  2. The visit from Reem was insightful and interesting. I enjoyed hearing about her journey navigating through the art world and different careers. Learning about the inner workings of the gallery world was intriguing. I’ve learned a lot about how to showcase yourself as an artist on social media and that it is a useful tool for artists. I will now reconsider my presence on social media as an artist and try my best to maintain it. I will also be changing my website to reflect a gallery interior; showcasing your art as if it were hanging in a gallery highlights the artwork and allows the viewer to focus solely on that. I thought the critique was a nice way for us to get some feedback from an outsider. It was interesting to hear what concepts and points were successfully achieved and what areas we could work on. Reem’s feedback was intuitive and refreshing. Also, I think her suggestions of where we could take our artwork next opened some doors for us to consider. Thank you, Reem!

  3. I am thankful for Reem’s visit and insight. Her journey was full of heart and very inspiring. No matter the bump in the road or mountain in her way, she persevered and kept looking up at her passion and was very determined to do what makes her happy. She is a true working, breathing artist. As she is talking about her experiences in the museum, meeting and working with other artists, she glows with excitement and love.

    When she was critiquing my work, it really took a couple of days to let it set in and digest. I get down a lot about “not having a life” because of work, school and extracurricular activities. But hearing her say that it’s okay to sit, it’s okay to say no to friends during this time, and it’s okay to not be making art right now because there are other priorities that need to be done first made me be able to breathe a little more. I am starting this new journey in art, finding myself in a new way and hearing her feedback reassures me that I just need to keep listening to my gut.

    Nothing like some repetition of voices to help one listen.

  4. I really enjoyed hearing Reem Hussein speak last class. I think it helped to bring a lot of things into perspective for me. I appreciated her advice and her love for life. You could tell from her presentation that whenever she puts her mind to something she puts her whole heart and soul into it. I think that is a very important trait. Being able to stay passionate and motivated towards whatever project you are working on is such a difficult task. I always tell my daughter that no matter what task she takes on, big or small, she needs to put her all into it. She had talked about all the effort she put in different stages of her life such as when she became a mom. She also made a point to talk about how important it is to write down all your ideas. I agree with that idea, inspiration comes in all shapes and sizes and you never when it will hit you. I have definitely lost some ideas because once I got to my canvas I couldn’t remember what I had been inspired by and what I had planned to with that inspiration.

  5. It was a great honor to meet with Reem Hussein, to hear her tell stories about her own artistic path, and her assessment of my work. I have always thought that art needs innovation and constant pursuit, so although my work is not so brilliant. I am constantly trying to find my way to express it. It’s not easy to combine art with life, but she did it. During Reem Hussein also said some change how to highlight their own way, on the network media artist statement how to write a more brilliant, this is a very worth listening to an opinion, we should often do not know how to put the center of gravity, which can lead to something that others see us is not very understand, this is my weaknesses, I may have thousands of words want to say, but couldn’t express them sometimes. Hearing her thoughts is really helpful to me. Secondly, I have always thought that the artist’s evaluation of our own work is very effective. As the saying goes, the bystanders are clear. Only by judging your work with their eyes can you know where you go and where you need to be corrected. I’m a very like drawing through different ways to spend, because I like flowers, this class I bring the first work of my final show, not to let her understand, I hope I can finish as soon as possible, the next time can take a few more, show more comprehensive and hear more Suggestions. Want to thank you, Reem Hussein.

  6. Reem Hussein was an enthusiastic, engaging and interesting speaker. Her life and art world experiences has taught me to become more interactive, persevere, and have confidence in myself. I felt alone in my struggles to pursue a life that incorporates art as a passion. I also have the need to continue to become a better artist; although, with age I have accomplished much. Born in Japan, existing through a war which prohibited my early education, I managed to immigrate to America and become an American Citizen. At times it was quite difficult to self sustain since my husband and I were struggling with language and accommodating the family needs, and just surviving each day. Little by little, I also tell myself to continue and that I am not done yet. Many people do not understand the reason for this passion and feel that it is a foolish dream, including my husband being that he is scientifically minded.
    Art has not only taken up a space of time, but also must invest much cost to continue my education. I was so happy to hear a familiar story, as well as one filled with struggles and successes. She shared her tactics on the importance of balance, and allowances of prioritizing other areas of life. This left me a space to be more forgiving of myself and less pressured to be critical. Thinking on that note, a less stressful artist will be naturally more productive.
    I was filled with apprehension when it was my picture that was to be critiqued by this art specialist. I was unsure, on the usage of resin on my artwork. She gave me encouragement and led me to continue to explore my artwork.

  7. I thought we very lucky to have Reem visit our class. Hearing from an alumni is fantastic because they’ve been in your shoes and it’s a chance to see which direction they go in after completing the same program. Though she prepared a visual presentation, her handling of unforeseen circumstances was commendable. I think we truly benefited from hearing about her exploration of the art world. She was very generous to share details of her life and her experiences. Even if a job wasn’t a good fit for her, it would usually lead to a better opportunity.

    It was interesting to hear about her time between undergraduate and graduate programs. She tried various positions in the art field before going back to school to fulfill her original desire to be an art educator.

    Her gallery experience differed greatly from her museum work in that she had to educate collectors on what art they should buy. The work becomes more of a commodity. At the museum it was more about appreciating the art and teaching others about its importance rather than selling it.

    She was very honest in how to approach a gallery if you are interested in showing your work there. She advised us to become a familiar face by attending openings and talking with artists and staff not only to learn more about the work itself but make your presence known. That way if there’s an opportunity to share your own work, they already know who you are.

    During the critique she pointed out details that I had noticed before. For example, the redness
    around my subject’s eyes made it look as if she was crying. I hadn’t thought about how these minor details can change the viewer’s experience. I was very surprised to hear she was following me on Instagram showing that she still had a genuine interest in the MFA program at LIU and keeps active in the community. After class she gave me further advice to take illustration classes and master Indesign and Illustrator programs.

    I really appreciated having her as a guest to hear her philosophy on being an artist. She stressed the choices you have to make regarding time for your art practice and personal life. With experience you learn how to balance everything and decide what is most important in order to have the most fulfilling life.

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