Thursday, July 24, 2008

"Other Voices, Other Rooms"

Hello from Cleveland!

Though certainly not thesis show related, this exhibit at the Wexner Center in Columbus should be pretty phenomenal.

The show, which opens on Sept. 13, features over 700 of Andy Warhol's prints, photographs, drawings, archival materials, objects etc., and will be exhibited in four of the museum's galleries.

And for those of you who think Columbus is lame, the Wex is the only U.S. museum to get the show- previously it was in Stockholm and Amsterdam, and while it's in Columbus there will be a simultaneous exhibit in London.

"I really believe that every generation has looked to Warhol and interpreted him in a different way depending upon the social, political and economic concerns of that particular moment. What’s amazing is that he has remained so influential over multiple decades. And, in some ways, he was so prescient about 21st century life..."
- Sherri Geldin, Director of the Wexner Center

Must-sees (in my opinion): Silver Clouds, the Factory Diaries and Robert Forster plays the Velvet Underground on Sept. 13. (8 pm in the Wexner Center Performance Space, tickets are $14).

For all the info go here.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Update: More on Call's artwork

I received feedback regarding Diane Call's thesis work and how she came to focus on religion as a brand. I got in touch with her through email this past week and she's provided some additional insight into her artistic thought process:

"I was initially drawn to religious icons in Mexico while shopping for a friend who has an obsession for what she dubs 'tacky Jesus stuff,'" Call said.

Call bought a bracelet for herself while shopping, and the daughter of the woman in charge of the program then pointed to each saint on the bracelet and named it. "I was so impressed that I tried to learn a few - the history of the roles of these icons in Mexico (namely the Virgin of Guadalupe) was very fascinating to me."

The artist also notes the influence of Mexico's history in her process; "The conquest (of Mexico) was funded by the church, so in order to continue it was necessary for Spaniards to convert the native Mexicas. (The Virgin of) Guadalupe essentially functioned as a selling point for the church to relate to the natives, so I wanted to discuss these icons in today's term of brands," Call said.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

As the quarter winds down and many of us (including all of the artists I've interviewed) prepare to move on from this wonderful place called Athens, schedules have become hectic and many seem to be filled with that "oh my god I still have so much left to do here before I leave" feeling (myself included).

With that said, it's been tough to schedule follow-up interviews in order to answer the questions that have been so kindly posted. However, I plan on continuing this posting fun even after the quarter has ended, perhaps exploring the artworld of Cleveland this summer as I serve in my internship there.

Please check back soon for more on Call and the rest, and photos of the tear down process. As for what happens to the art when it's all said and done... I smell an art sale. I'll keep everyone posted on when and where there will be sales in Athens and the surrounding area.

Update: According to Call, some of the artists have destroyed their pieces, especially in cases where the art consisted of small-scale "rooms" and stages. However, most have simply taken the pieces down "are trying to figure out what to do with them."

It's more uncommon for undergraduates to sell their work, according to Call, but if a viewer is intersted, some will put their work up for sale.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The BFA Show: Instant Messaging

The undergraduate graphic design BFA exhibition opening reception was held on Tuesday, May 20 in the Ohio University Art Gallery. The show, titled Instant Messaging, featured 17 artists from the graphic design program. Though each work was unique in its own right, many of the pieces seem to focus on the relationship we as people have with the earth.

Call managed to complete her third piece after all; her artwork consisted of three boxes, constructed using poplar and birch. Her digital prints, on wet media acetate, were then stretched, glued to the poplar squares and inserted into the frames. Florescent lights were mounted directly to the boxes, lighting them from behind. The prints, as mentioned before, were made primarily with Adobe Photoshop.

The card next to Call’s work read: “This piece strives to visually explore the nature of religious branding. Religious imagery has been used to target specific audiences, functioning as the continuous process of branding. This work is a deconstruction of the messages used by the church to proliferate certain markets to appeal to a larger demographic.”

Photos of other pieces in Instant Messaging:

You Already Knew, Bridget Litzinger

Paper with a Conscious, Robin Bundi

Inside the Box, Laura Biel

Biel's work with Pattern as Identity (Shelley Stansbery) in the background

My First Virtue, Michael Bosyj

Update: A description of each of the 17 artists' works can be found on the Instant Messaging Web site

Monday, May 26, 2008

I’m back! Due to a little technical problem (apparently a broken fan takes over two weeks to fix), my laptop has been M.I.A. for a bit, and with that some of my notes and photos. However, the laptop made a triumphant return home yesterday, and I’m ready to get this going again. My next artist of interest is Diane Call, a senior graphic design major at OU. I met with her awhile back to talk about the artistic process, at a point that she candidly dubbed “panic mode.”

For Call, the entire undergraduate period has been a bit tense; she’s jumped around from advisor to advisor and hasn’t had the same one since sophomore year. She also noted the difficulty to truly prepare for a thesis show from the beginning, as art students don’t apply to their actual majors until the end of their second year. When I asked her if art students were even aware of the thesis show requirement, she stated that many were probably not; “you’re so focused on just getting into your program and then passing junior year… up to that point they can still kick you out.”

BFA students propose a thesis idea in the spring of junior year. However, as I have seen with several of the MFA students, this idea will continue to evolve up until the end. Call’s piece, which she presented in the fall, began as a look into identity design and branding- she sees “brand worship” as a kind of new religion. After spending her winter quarter in a religious iconography-drenched Mexico, though, the piece took on a new emphasis; now, a week before installation, her work is about religious icons working as brands.

The whole process was made more difficult because of the time she spent in Mexico; “It helped to change my thesis, yes, but then I realized that I only had 6 or 7 weeks (left). My biggest challenge so far has been trying to get this done on time. Right now I’m in panic mode, but you really just have to get past that… just get it done,” Call said.

Her work, which starts off on paper but is now being created using Photoshop and Illustrator, is done mainly at home. “I have color printing at home, which you can’t get at the @ Lab,” Call said before alluding to much of the tension I’ve witnessed thus far. “And there’s just such a negative atmosphere at Seigfred. There’s a lot of stress there.”

At this time, with a week left before the pieces need to be installed into the Ohio University Art Gallery, Call has two pieces finished. “I would like to finish three, but I won’t put it in if it isn’t as good as the others,” Call said.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Local Galleries

There are three galleries in and around Athens that are used for thesis exhibits: the Ohio University Art Gallery in Seigfred, Trisolini Gallery in OU's Baker Center and the Majestic galleries in Nelsonville. Below is a schedule of upcoming shows for each gallery.

Ohio University Art Gallery (Fifth floor of Seigfred Hall, Athens, Ohio)

  • May 20 - May 31: BFA Thesis Graphic Design Exhibition featuring Laura Biel, Erin Blanda, Michael Bosyj, Robin Bundi, Diane Call, Jodie Coyne, Emily DiFiore, Laura Drapac, Kyle Hanna, Abigail Hanson, Aaron Harden, Jonathan Lee, Jonggil Lee, Bridget Litzinger, Joshua Reith, Mallori Stone and Shelley Stansbery

  • June 3 - June 7: BFA Thesis Printmaking Exhibition featuring Joe Czalkiewicz, Alison Hohler, Josh Leather, Courtney Badgley, Samantha Gregory and Laura Drapac
    Reception: Tuesday, June 3, 6 - 9 pm

  • June 10-June 14: BFA Thesis Photography Exhibition featuring Paul Eselgroth, Sergey Kahn, Clinton Mansell, Crystal Marquardt, Lauren McMichael, Matthew Padgett, Mark Reamy, John Seyal and Lacie Turcott

Gallery hours: Monday-Saturday, 10-4 (free)

Trisolini Gallery (Fourth floor of Baker Center, Athens, Ohio)

  • May 13 - May 24: MFA Thesis Ceramics Exhibition featuring Hiroe Hanazono

  • May 27- May 31: BFA Thesis Painting Exhibition featuring Avery Blair-Wilson, Audrey Evans and Keith Skogstrom

  • June 3 - June 7: BFA Thesis Sculpture Exhibition featuring Monica Renner and Clint Mansell

  • June 10 - June 14: BFA Thesis Sculpture Exhibition featuring Troy Newell

Gallery Hours: Monday- Saturday, 10-4 (free)

Majestic Galleries (20 Public Square, Nelsonville, Ohio)

  • May 16 - May 24: MFA Thesis Printmaking, Photography and Sculpture Exhibition featuring Matthew Krueger, Minsook Park and Amber Walden

  • May 30 - June 28: MFA Thesis Painting Exhibition featuring William Sooter

Gallery Hours: Thursday-Saturday, 12-7, Sunday 1-5

The Finished Product

The opening reception

After a year of hard work, Jeremy Plunkett graduate student is now Jeremy Plunkett, master of the fine arts. He passed his thesis defense just hours after completing the gallery installation in Seigfred, and though happy to be finished, it was clear from his attitude later in the evening that the defense had been stressful if not a little frustrating. In fact, I have found that this is often the case post-defense. Many of the other artists expressed frustration with the process, which involves intense questioning about things deemed by many as either extraneous or even nit-picky.

However, the end result was impressive- it made me, as an undergrad not completing a thesis, a bit envious; dozens of people turned out to support Plunkett and Liz Zacher (who shared the gallery with him), and the opportunity to display the outcome of their hard work was clearly a proud moment for both.

Plunkett’s show, titled “Pause,” will be open in the Ohio University Art Gallery until May 17.

Opening reception for Pause, Tuesday May 6

Dad’s Living Room
Charcoal on Canvas

After speaking to Assistant Director John Sabraw, Plunkett decided to move some of his drawings from their original placement. For example, this drawing was initially a focal point in the show, but was shifted toward the back of the gallery.

"Dirty Deeds Laundromat"
Charcoal on Canvas

Plunkett's grandparents' kitchen, his most recent drawing.

Nui Chaveesuk, who earned his MFA last spring, served bottle after bottle of Charles Shaw.

Update: Plunkett has recently started the process of updating his website and is considering title changes for many of his pieces. The new titles can be found on his site, as can additioanl images of his work.