Stacey Lee

Gifted

Class of: 2024

Major: Communication Design BFA

Medium: Sculpture

Faculty: Aviva Shulem

Prompt: Students will develop a 3D object/artifact which demonstrates its connection to the community you identify with or defines you, your belief, your personality, etc. The item can be a sculpture, a functional object/tool, a body “extension” (accessory, garment, prosthesis, etc.).

Everyone is part of a community since birth and our entire lives, we — consciously or unconsciously — try to figure out our place in these communities, how we fit in, and how they can help us grow. Humans always strive for connection, it’s in our nature. Community is an idea, a feeling. You find a community that fits best with your identity. Manufactured communities do the opposite, and force you to change in order to fit them.

The GATE program does this — you get in based off a spark of potential, but all sorts of expectations and pressure is imposed on you: perfection, a culture of overworking, and competitiveness. To reflect this “community” I was once a part of and still feel the lingering effects of, I made the overlay to a set of royal robes out of plaster cloth, wire, and gold flakes. The idea of royal robes is to display the spotlight put on me and the way I was treated as if I were something special and divine and thus became pressured to act that way. The white overlay rests entirely on my shoulders, creating a literal “weight on my shoulders.” This, combined with the long purple robes, drag me down as I tire under expectations. Out of the overlay stand gold blades to reflect upon the competitive nature of being a part of the GATE program. The blades not only trap me in, but stick outwards to hit or scare away others.