Monday, May 5, 2008

In the Studio

Meet Jeremy Plunkett. Also a painting graduate student at Ohio University, Plunkett has worked since last spring on his thesis show. In the spring of their second year, graduate students working toward an MFA propose a thesis to a selected group of art faculty - their committee. (Committees are made up of two faculty members from the students’ department and one faculty member from another area). When Plunkett proposed his initial thesis idea it was rejected, and eventually had to be reevaluated two times. However, as Plunkett noted, his show has definitely changed since the original proposal. Although he is earning his MFA in painting, he has decided to create large, wall-sized drawings for his show. The idea behind his thesis is to create drawings that "question fleeting moments to transcend time, history and place," a theme apparent in much of his work and reflected in his artist statement.

I met with him in his studio up at the Ridges as he began work on the last piece for his show, almost an entire year later. The graduate art studios are housed in the old mental health hospital, but despite the general creepiness, no one seems to mind. In fact, Plunkett’s studio looks more lived-in than my bedroom, probably because he and his fellow artists spend almost every waking moment up there- when not teaching, TA-ing, lab monitoring or working on projects at Seigfred that is.

Plunkett’s show opens on Tuesday, May 6 in the Ohio University Art Gallery in Seigfred, and work on his drawings (all approximately 7 x 9 ft.) began in the fall. “With about 5-6 hours of work a day, I can probably finish one in two and a half weeks,” said Plunkett of his drawings, of which he will display six. “But maybe that’s an understatement…”

However, it isn’t as simple as grabbing a stick of charcoal and getting down to work; “It takes so much longer to prep than to draw,” said Plunkett. Included in preparation of his canvases is an intense sanding and priming (called gessoing) process that takes about 30 hours.

Plunkett's studio- there's no place like home.

Reppin' the School of Art- show cards for fellow MFA candidates, including Andrea Canalito. Also on the wall are the original room shots that Plunkett bases his drawings on, but he was against having those photographed; "Showing the photograph is an instant comparison," he said. "The viewer's mind just sticks on that. The photo is really just about the map."

Plunkett's musical taste is decidedly rock- The Matrix soundtrack, Korn, Disturbed and Rob Zombie.


The finished drawings waiting for installation day.

The final drawing, began 4/16 (approximately 7 x 9 ft).

Blending the charcoal with his hands...
... and the aftermath.

For installation day, Plunkett hopes to have each drawing finished, trimmed and with Velcro attached. “I may make changes with drawing placement,” said Plunkett. “I’ll probably draw more on them in the gallery… it’s too large to see them all together, so I can’t know for sure what I’ll do just yet.”


Anonymous said...

I love the way you explored his studio. How was his thesis changed?

Shari Stuerenberg said...

The photos for this blog are amazing! I love the one of his hands ... it's a very cool shot that I never would have thought of taking.