Sunday, January 31, 2010

ITM: Crafting an Artistic "Self"

3.a: I feel guilty when I go against my conscience or when others hurt because of something I did or said. Making a difference in the lives of others and seeing my hard work pay off makes me feel worthy. Nearly anything can make me laugh, sometimes too many things sometimes at the wrong times. I am embarrassed when my feelings are exposed and not understood. Blatant ignorance and refusal to educate oneself as well as social injustices infuriate me. Roller coasters and haunted houses thrill me, in the wrong way; hearing that I am loved thrills my heart. My faith and family comfort me; along with a good hug. I am sad when those around me are hurting or when I take a risk and fail.

3.b: Words that describe me from the list: assertive, idiosyncratic, playful, joyful, truthful, courageous, variable, daring, progressive, opinionated but open-minded, humorous, maverick, believer, optimist, idealist, forced at times to be a realist, coy, ambitious, stimulating, determined, group-centered, relaxed, confident.

3.c: self-identification:
*family: daughter, sister, grand-daughter etc. very significant in my life
gender: female
*education: will be college graduate. significant in my life
sexual orientation: heterosexual
nationhood: United States citizen; I value my rights...
neighborhood:...? I currently work as a resident assistant in my dorm; I value my community..
race: Caucasian
body type: This is just getting odd.
preferred leisure activity: I would hope talking counts, going for walks, tennis...
political beliefs: everyone has certain unalienable rights that should never be denied to them
*religious affiliation: I believe in the love of God; core part of my identity
state of health: gracias a Dios, I've never had glasses, braces, or a broken bone and I am in good health
economic status: I have what I need, I need what I have
age: 22
generational identity: ? maybe I don't understand my identity?
marital status: single
diet: ...I like food?... especially guacamole.. but I'd never dream of dieting ...
preferred websites: reggaeton radio stations, facebook and gmail, La Estrella...I try not to spend much time online (unsuccessfully)
taste in music: hippie indie acoustic chill music
taste in fashion: I shop at Goodwill and prefer to layer handme downs and buy bargains in earthy tones
taste in art: I really love my students' work, and seeing different print artists' creations.

Artist Identity: From High School to Undergrad

As a high schooler, I was generally known for being an artist, and often called upon for pep rallies/productions/spirit competitions etc. I really enjoyed making things, and really stuck to creating the projects presented in my art classes. Of course, I always continued to paint and create outside of the classroom at home, but I feel as if I clung to familiar methods of art making that I had been exposed to. (Admittedly some projects came from HGTV too.) I feel the greatest shift I have made as an artist in undergrad is a wider perception of possibility. I now see every new material I encounter as a challenge to incorporate into art; I invent methods of art making that while grounded in essential basics, deviate from the typical traditional alleys of art making. My artwork has gradually turned into authentic self expression; rather than dealing with surface level pieces of my personality, I have finally learned to delve in deeper to show things about me not as readily apparent. Honestly, this truly came to full reality just last semester, 3/4 of the way through my undergrad career. I feel it will continue to evolve as my life and passions evolve throughout my life.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Scoping an Audience: Will Schade

Ironically enough, I selected Will Schade from the list because the title made me smile "Instilling Confidence, Inspiring Laughter"; then I read his bio and found out he has an MA in Printmaking from the State University of New York at Albany. Destiny.

Sadly enough, the first article I found in looking a little further for info on him was his obituary from fall 2008. He had been a professor at Sage College and passed away from Parkinson's disease.

In the Making connects him to Robert Arneson (right) as having funk art characteristics. Schade was known for his bizarre humor and twists on important/historical/biblical stories and scenarios in his art. He was also dyslexic and embraced this part of himself, displaying it boldly in order to allow the viewer to get a good guilt-free laugh when looking at his art.

In The Making: Inter-Historical Comparisons:

8a) Satire in art commonly takes the form of social satire, not self-satire. How does the work of self-satirists differ from the work of social satirists like George Grosz? Are Grosz's social critiques humorous?

Part of the answer to the first question lies in the second; Schade's work is meant to make the viewer laugh and he uses his own deficiencies as partial source for this satirical humor. Grosz's artwork comments more on his own life, the society he lived in (much relates to Hitler and the Nazis). His humor is more bitter and is not actually created to cause laughter; rather a way to make viewers think twice about the subject matter.

8b) Compare one work by Schade and one by Arneson to three artworks that are not self-satires but instead were created to convey self-respectability, self-idealization, and self-aggrandizement.

The above two artworks by Schade and Arneson differ from the bottom three in that they are whimsical and aim to produce laughter at the silly and absurd. Schade employs the use of his child-like handwriting and misspellings to boost the viewers ego of being better than that and finding humor while Arneson's subject matter is just plain laughable. Other artists however, create a sense of respect and dignity for the artist. I found a show from the National Gallery in London entitled "Rebels and Martyrs", full of works by artists absorbed in the idea of themselves. Three pieces are shown below that were in the exhibit and demonstrate a different personality and mentality of artists and how they view themselves (embracing imperfections or being blind to any possible weaknesses). I have a great respect for artists who don't take themselves too seriously and acknowledge their personal limitations and enjoy getting a laugh out of the viewer, evoking a playful emotion that runs in opposition to the classical view that artwork is very serious and hung in a gallery and must be pondered from a safe 3 feet distance in complete silence.

Article/Review of Exhibition:

'Eugene Delacoix's mammoth Ovid Among the Scythians shows "the artist in exile, surrounded by barbarian hordes who didn't understand him"...'

Death of Chatterton by Henry Wallis

Pissaro's Portrait of Paul Cezanne

week 2.b: Art Educator + Artist

I have often thought that being an art education major has guided my art-making to more practical, functional, recycled, low-budget art projects. I can't help but think about how to reuse materials that others would throw away or how to try certain printmaking processes in more accessible ways in the absence of important or "essential" tools. Perhaps it's the already present budget fear in my mind, or perhaps that is just part of the thrifty, goodwill shopping artist I am. However I think that my style of art making will (and has already) benefited me a great deal as an art educator because I am constantly looking for more than one way to solve a problem or complete a project and I enjoy the challenge of working with what I have on hand rather that gathering more supplies in to finish a project. Last semester we were required to put aside studio time each week to produce our own art. Initially I grumbled and protested at the absurdity, "I'm a full time student" "I already have hours of homework every day" "I had to work last night".. but then I slowly realized that those excuses are exactly why we were forced to try to start that habit. Soon enough my complaints will turn into "I have to grade projects" "I am exhausted from a long day with my crazy students" and "I have parent teacher conferences tomorrow night". Unless those habits of dedicating time to my personal art making begins now, or it will be impossible to keep up with as a full time teacher. I think it is very powerful to show students your own artwork; to validate the idea of a life long artist. I will never forget the time my senior year when my 2D teacher took myself and another student in independent art to show us his home that he was remodeling. He had constructed his own stained glass windows for the new room, and then showed us his potters wheel and personal studio. To show my students that I too have studied what they are learning and I am continually finding new ways to use those skills in new forms and media is a very special way to reach them. I believe the relationship between teaching art and art making should travel side by side and hand in hand. Continually creating art will continue to present new obstacles to solve, new ideas to try in the classroom, and will serve (as always for me) as a way to express and release emotions I otherwise would bottle up.

week 2: what makes quality art curriculum?

What makes a quality art curriculum? What ideas did you take from the articles and chapter 9 to help you develop it?

The readings together with hands on experience have come to the conclusion that art can miss its mark and target of making an impact in the lives of students if they can not relate. Art curriculum needs to be filled with fresh, relevant, current issues and artists; just as importantly as art history needs to play a foundational role. It is easy to stick to lessons we have done as students, observed in field experience, or taught ourselves before, but teaching the same lessons over and over can lead to more than one problem. First, it fails to incorporate new trends in our society that students may very well be interested in. Second, we fail to continue to push ourselves as art educators, as students ourselves, as life long learners. If we never try anything new, we never expand our own horizons as we so often demand of our students. Lastly, using the same lessons over and over will quite simply become boring. It will bore us as teachers, and our students will sense that boredom in place of the energy and enthusiasm we should bring with new lessons and they in turn will become bored. I personally like the challenge of finding a contemporary artist as well as a historical reference for every lesson I may teach. It's not something I have tested myself with in the past, but I think I will try moving forward now. Art history is important to see where we've come from, and contemporary art shows us where we are. Instead of choosing one or the other, think of how much more interesting the lesson would be if we used both and discussed how we got from history to today. My favorite reminder from chapter 9 was to contextualize the lesson historically, and rationalize why you are teaching it. If you can produce strong answers to both, then you should have a strong lesson to share with your students.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Blog Numero Uno

Think about your experiences in high school, how do you think your past experiences may influence your expectations about high school students? What kind of high school student were you? What fears do you have about working with high school students? What do you think you will learn? What are you most excited about?

My family moved towns during my high school career, between freshman and sophomore years. For me, art was my rock and my constant that helped me transition and find my place in a new school. My art teachers of three years at my second school had high expectations for me. I moved in late as a sophomore and registered late, so ended up in the senior advanced 2D class my first semester. It was in this class I discovered my love for printmaking. I was a responsible, fairly focused high school student. I worked hard to create quality art, was heavily involved in activities and leadership roles in and out of the classroom. By my senior year I had taken so many classes that I had two periods a day for "senior study" in the art room which consisted of sitting in on classes and working independently on my own projects. My biggest fears for teaching secondary art involve dealing with students that sat across from in my drawing class junior year; students who were unmotivated and did not care about their education or future. I wonder how I will combat apathy in the art room; and how I will build a program that dispels the stereotype that art classes are "easy A's". I think I will learn a great deal from my future students, though it is hard to tell just what until I am in the moment working along side them. I am excited to find streams of passion and interests in my students; and to help them dream of the future and how art will play a role in their life. I am excited at the prospect of traveling abroad to teach and continuing to learn about art in other cultures and to spread an appreciation for the power art has.

Artwork above was created fall 2009; examples of my prints and stationary sets. My art currently deals with organic plant-like forms and the print at the bottom is entitled Bitter Beauty; to this day I personally use art to work through everyday emotional,mental,social issues I encounter; as my therapy.