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Q&A: Hana Ichikawa begins internship at Stamps Gallery

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Second-year Stamps student Hana Ichikawa has harnessed self-reflection, human connection, and social justice and reform in their artistic practice. Now, they are applying that connection as an intern for the Stamps Gallery this year. Ichikawa will work on curatorial research, public engagement, and exhibition setups for the Gallery. 

In this Q&A, Ichikawa discusses her Stamps experience and the upcoming events at the Stamps Gallery.

Stamps School of Art & Design: How would you describe your artistic practice? What kind of art do you like to create?

Hana Ichikawa: My artistic practice heavily values self-reflection, human connection, and egalitarianism (social justice or reform). I take all sorts of inspiration from the art world but especially outside of it as well. Spirituality is reflected in my art most often because of how rooted it is within my life. I manifest the experiences, conversations, things I’ve learned from people, and dreams, all onto canvas or film. It’s almost like a diary but I want everybody to experience life with me, and we can all grow together as people through this form of expression. I don’t want this to be a niche community. Anybody can participate, anybody can create, and there are many different ways to expel those suppressed thoughts and emotions. This isn’t just about art. I hope everyone finds their peace. It’s to be or not to be. 

This Space Between Us Divine Intervention Possessor of Change Hana Ichikawa
This Space Between Us, Divine Intervention, Possessor of Change, 2022. acrylic on canvas, 30″ x 30

What are you most looking forward to this year at Stamps?

I am looking forward to expanding my field of vision in contemplative art-making, especially through collaboration with students in different disciplines such as music, dance, engineering, and liberal arts. My previous experience with art has mostly been a personal practice, however now I wonder how much more art (or any subject) can be through the act of fusing. I believe it is about time we start learning, understanding, and respecting the original practices in our field of studies and then find ways to push through its restrictions, bend, or create something new to reincarnate and bring a newer understanding to what is considered traditional. 

Why did you want to work at the Gallery? Can you describe this opportunity and what you’ll work on? 

I am working on curatorial research, public engagement, and exhibition setups as a Stamps Gallery intern. I wanted to work at the Gallery because I was curious about the inner workings of exhibitions. I would always ask myself questions that involved the process that led up to the exhibition. It was also a great opportunity for me to introduce myself to the art world, surrounding myself with people within their professional fields. As an art student myself, I can utilize this experience to familiarize myself with the procedure of securing a space for display or what happens after the artwork is sent away. 

Which Gallery exhibition or event are you most excited about? Why?

I am most excited about the faculty exhibition, Untold Stories, Part I, because I will have the opportunity to see my professors’ works. It is grounding and inspiring to physically see what the Stamps faculty is working on as artists themselves. Typically, professors would prioritize helping students gain a better creative perspective within classroom environments, however, this is a chance for students like me who are curious to see what kind of cool stuff our professors are creating within a proper gallery space. It will be a demonstration of how exhibitions play out. 

Why do you think having these kinds of experiences as a student is important?

These kinds of experiences are important in order to familiarize and adapt yourself to the expectations within the careers you aim for. I believe it is also essential to become involved in the scene to network and find opportunities that will guide you to the next steps toward your career path. 

What do you hope to take away from this experience?

From this learning experience, I plan to become more involved in practices outside of art making and focus more on the research and social engagement aspects within the abundant career options linked with art, so I hope to develop the skills necessary to work in a gallery space.

Why should the community check out the gallery events this year?

I encourage students and non-students to look into the gallery events this year, for they may not know what they’ll gain (learning-wise) unless they experience it themselves. The gallery has a lot to offer in terms of opportunities to meet the artists, participate in discussions, and become more involved as a community and in the art world. The Stamps Gallery holds events in spaces where people can exchange their passions for creativity. Curious audiences are even more encouraged to come visit to be in a social space and enjoy the art and the genuine connections that can be made with people there. 

View more of Hana’s work at https://​ichikaha​.myport​fo​lio​.com/work.