|Scene One: College. We’re sitting on the kitchen floor, leaning against the cabinets, when my boyfriend, a sociology major says, “What I really want to be is an artist.” The yearning and commitment in his voice captivates and excites me. I, on the other hand, have no clue where I’m headed. Later, we both transfer to UC Santa Barbara, he to the College of Creative Studies, run like a graduate program. On many an evening, we settle into the couch in the living room of Paul Wonner, his advisor, and Bill Brown, pouring over their collection of art books and original artwork. Occasionally, Paul sends us to San Francisco to see a particular exhibitnever mind missing school. So unlike my classes, this utterly absorbing and pleasurable exploration of artwith no pressure and no gradesmust be my leisure, or so I assume.
Scene Two: We’re both graduate students, married now, at UC San Diego. In my department, Philosophy, we grad students refer to our realm as “the morgue”it’s that bleak. Visual Arts, his domain, buzzes with discussion, life, art, art as life and life as art. I spend more time at Vis Arts than Philosophy, wandering through studio spaces and sitting in on seminars. Exploration of the art world remains exciting, enjoyable, effortless. Still, I turn in other directions.