CALL Legacy Apprentices Aliana Prior (née Ramdass)

Aliana Prior (née Ramdass)

City College of New York, BFA Electronic Design and Multimedia
New York, New York

Can you share what you and your CALL Artist were able to accomplish through the CALL program?
While I was working with Emmett Wigglesworth I was able to upload and document details about his artwork in the CALL database and an online portfolio. In the description of each series works I would list all the works in the series; if anyone was going through his database they would know when the works were a part of a series of prints or thematic drawings, paintings, prints or mixed media works. I entered all the information Emmett Wigglesworth and David Bratton (the Legacy Specialist) could provide about each work related to their condition, location, name, descriptions, significant details and series numbers. There were instances when I would have to minimally retouch and crop some of the photographs before entering them into the database. David would take pictures of the artworks and provide information on the categorization method he and Emmett worked on prior to my apprenticeship with them.

While I waited for more photographs to be taken of the artworks, I worked on researching and designing Emmett’s website. I researched possible hosting sites and designed a simple gallery for his works on Emmett provided details for what he would ideally want on the site and David and I would work on accomplishing them to the best of our abilities.

Can you give us a sense of how the CALL experience may have influenced you and your work as an artist?
The CALL program taught me the importance of documenting and preserving my artworks. My experience working with Emmett and David also helped me understand that sometimes it is worth documenting the sketches of my process works, even if they aren’t fully realized. Documenting my works in the earlier stages of my artistic career saves me a lot of time in the long run, when it comes to locating, documenting and preserving the quality of my works and files. My experience with the CALL program also helped me understand the importance of having an online presence. Having an online presence or digital files of my works is especially helpful when one is applying to jobs and internships, as I’ve learned through Emmett’s application process to an arts opportunity.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of this work?
The most rewarding aspect of the apprenticeship is knowing that I helped another artist create a living legacy. I helped someone document their life’s work and learned the history behind some of the creations and its creator.

What has been most difficult?
Hearing about an artist’s journey is extremely interesting and rewarding. However, there is a limit to the amount of time you can dedicate to getting to know the artist without impeding on the ultimate goal of documenting their life’s work. The hardest part about the process is knowing when and how to get back on track. David Bratton, the Legacy Specialist I worked with, knew how to guide the conversation back to the work we had to accomplish for the day.

What do you recommend to anyone assisting an artist in the career documentation process?
Always have a realistic goal for the day. Make a checklist of the major things that need to be done to accomplish the main objective. Then break down those major goals to identify each step that needs to be taken. Use these steps as a guide to your day. Whatever you don’t accomplish today, can be accomplished next week. As you start the documentation process, you’ll find that the steps for each goal may be more than you initially thought. Adjust your goals as you learn more and restructure your day around this new process. Some artists have a deadline for certain things, such as an application or website submission, so you’ll have to learn how to adjust your documentation goals to also meet the artist’s weekly or monthly goals.

All works are copyright of the artist or artist’s estate.