Reflections from Traveling School alumnae Becca Baruc.
I went on The Traveling School ten years ago. Ten. Years. Ago. I’m now in Chicago as a visual artist, teacher, curator and my Traveling School semester still defines my journey today.
When I arrived to Chicago, I independently curated and produced DIN AT THE DEN, a monthly music series that elevated emerging Chicago musicians and brought together audiences from Chicago’s historically segregated neighborhoods. I went on to become the Music Program Curator at Uncommon Ground where I booked and managed the live music program that ran every night at two locations. I built an internship program from scratch and mentored 13 college level, all female interns. Admittedly, my favorite was teaching them that I’m not that far ahead of them, and that if you don’t have confidence in yourself to go for something, just fake it till you make it.
My visual art revolves around themes of sexuality and perception. I exhibited paintings at Candyland, an immersive, inclusive party for femme-identifying artists and visionaries in Chicago. I exhibited paintings at The Museum of Surgical Science and engaged over 100 adults in dialogue about female sexuality and anatomy. I then invited them to participate in a drawing exercise in response to the work. See here! This past October, I had a month long residency at the WNDR museum where I shared my live pastel portraiture work.
From Spring 2017 to Summer 2019, I was followed as a subject for the documentary “The Dilemma of Desire” which is premiering at SXSW this March. This documentary looks at the fallacies that women and young girls are told about their own sexual desire and their bodies, and how that impacts our social and political lives.
Ten years ago, my Traveling School semester fostered curiosity and passion for the world around me.
At every professional and personal turn, I am looking for opportunities to elevate other women, spark their joy for life, and build community with those who radiate passion for what they do.
I remember how in awe I was of my Traveling School instructors. They were real, live super heroes; they were brilliant, athletic, worldly, kind, hilarious and humble. Whether we we’re jogging along the beach or crying-laughing in a circle check in, I always felt motivated to bring my best to impress these superwomen. I wanted to become them. I often told my all female interns at Uncommon Ground, “Fake it ’til you make it!” and I’m proud to be part of the nexus of that can-do attitude.
You may see my work at www.beccabaruc.com or keep in touch on Instagram @rebaruc
— Rebecca Baruc, Spring, 2010 in Central America