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student work

Added on by Jourdan.
My students have been hard at work on their plaster body/form projects. I'm so proud of what they've come up with! Below are some images of their finished work. Have I mentioned how much I LOVE teaching? It's been so fun to help them along with their projects, to see them discover new formal/material/conceptual possibilities. Did I mention how proud I am?

Mahlet Asrat (front), Monica Peretta (left), and Miyah Taylor (right)

Carly Uhlman

Kaitlyn Schmieser (front), Kathi Ha (back)

Kathi Ha

Rachel Handler

Stephen Baird

Monica Peretta (front), Miyah Taylor (back)

Michael Ekong

Alejandro Valencia

3D Fundamentals

Added on by Jourdan.
Have I even mentioned on here that I'm teaching my own class this semester?! Here are my students working on their plaster projects... We've been working out in the sculpture yard when it's nice out, but yesterday was stormy so we made-do inside. I started having flashbacks to that kid's class I taught at REDUX last year. What a crazy/fun mess!

Here is the prompt I gave my students...
We will be using the human figure as a point of departure for this project. Through the manipulation of your materials, your finished sculpture should somehow reference the human form – but that doesn’t mean it has to be strictly representational. In fact, it shouldn’t be that at all. The form you construct should fall somewhere between representation and abstraction, and should evoke/express a particular emotion (or set of emotions).
 And here are a few of the many examples I gave them...

Henry Moore

De Kooning

Hans Bellmer

Jake & Dinos Chapman

Robert Gober

Janine Antoni

Diana Al-Hadid

David Altmejd

studio freshness

Added on by Jourdan.
Last week I moved back into my super fresh, new and improved studio space. Can't believe what a difference this is from last year... and I thought I was in studio heaven THEN! Can you believe it's the same space?!

Now we're really talking. The walls are a good 2 ft. taller and the floors are all smooth. So much better all around.  Here are some snapshots of some new things I've been working on.
wire, paper, fiberglass insulation, pig intestines, polycrylic, and hair
polyurethane, hair, string, and pig intestines on paper


Added on by Jourdan.

Opening soon at the University of Maryland's Herman Maril Gallery - an exhibition curated by ME! I am so thrilled to have a chance to exhibit all of this work in the same space. Steve, Lily, and Emily share a really unique way of working with the genre of painting and their work just begs to be shown together. It's going to be an incredible show!

check out my curatorial essay...

To be counter-something, at its simplest, is to be in opposition to something. The term suggests a degree of action taken. When one counters something (an idea, a bet, an offer), he does more than disagree, he responds.

This is an exhibition of paintings. And all three of the artists in this exhibition distinctly identify themselves as painters. Their varied approaches to painting, however, may come across as counter-conventional. When they’re taken off the wall, devoid of recognizable imagery, and at times lacking paint altogether… can we even call such objects paintings? In order to answer such a question, one must be able to define what a painting is at its core, at its roots, which is precisely what each of these artists ventures to do.

Stripped to its bare bones, a painting can be seen as merely a sum of its parts: wooden stretcher bars, raw canvas, and paint. Responding to this notion, artist Lily Kuonen combines these primary materials with tools of the studio, equalizing their purposes in attempts to blur categorical and hierarchical distinctions. She explains, “It is no longer how one material is on top of the other, but rather how each is related to the other.” Through the liberation of her materials, Lily has developed a playful and experimental approach to art making. Her “PLAYNTINGS,” as she calls them, are the result of this process.
 In addition to some apparent formal similarities (such as the exposed raw canvases often situated on the floor), artist Emily Rodia’s approach to painting is similar to Kuonen’s in that she too allows her materials to inter-mingle in unexpected ways. Her paintings are striking in that they rarely include any paint at all. A self-proclaimed “home depot minimalist,” Rodia introduces non-art materials, such as concrete bricks and store-bought plants, to other more traditional painting materials, re-assessing their purposes and combining them to create works that address authorship and the evolution of time.
Artist Stephen Evans speaks for all of the artists in this exhibition when he acknowledges that the most exciting aspect of being a painter is in discovering painting’s potential, it’s possible manifestations, what it can be rather than what it is or is not. The objects and images Evans constructs are more than just inquiries into what it means to make art (though they are that as well). Concerned with both the material and the metaphysical, in each work he also inquires what it means to be human, to exist, and to seek revelation.
Though Evans applies paint to his canvases in a seemingly conventional manner (at least compared to Kuonen and Rodia), the type of paint he uses and the tools with which he applies it don’t come from an art supply store. Paint is rolled onto the canvas as house paint is rolled onto walls of a home. Wallpaper swatches, paint chips, and blue painter’s tape become elements for collage. Interestingly enough, Evans’ combination of traditional and non-traditional materials still refers to painting in some broad sense of the term.

References to building and construction are apparent in each of the chosen artists: Evans’ and Kuonen’s use of bright orange and pink, Rodia’s bricks. They all make efforts to break down the conventional material hierarchy and, through the shared language of painting, use their materials as building blocks for new constructs that explore the subject, the act, and the significance of making.

Sure, this is an exhibition of paintings, but these paintings are more than paintings because they are investigations into painting’s potential. They are “counterconstructs”… counter-convention, counter-tradition, but not rebellious in the least. They are optimistic constructs, responses to artistic inquiry. Counterconstructs: Modes of Painting. 

open studios!!

Added on by Jourdan.
The MFA candidates at the University of Maryland are hosting open studios on Wednesday December 14th from 5pm to 8pm.  The grads will be around to discuss their work.  Come and take a look at some exciting and interesting work that’s happening at the University of Maryland.

something's growing in my studio

Added on by Jourdan.
Final critiques are in less than a week and I'm working hard to finish this piece. It's still very much a work in progress, but I'm excited about where it's headed. I like the looks of it standing up, but I think I actually prefer it laying down... that way you can see the interior as well! hmmmmm


Added on by Jourdan.

Here are some images of my most recent undertaking... a site-based installation for Prologue, our 1st-year MFA show. So far this semester, I've been working on a smaller scale in my studio, so this was a great chance for me to go big!

In my work recently, I've been thinking about the similarities between "home" and flesh. Through the use of these re-purposed materials used in building a house (insulation) as well as turning a house into a home (moving boxes), this installation is an exploration of the barriers created by both home and flesh. The form was built with the following juxtapositions in mind: interior/exterior, comfort/discomfort, and attraction/intimidation.

 October 2011
cardboard, hot glue, fiberglass insulation, and polyurethane

the start of something

Added on by Jourdan.
Last week, all the new grad students (there's only 4 of us) met up for an informal orientation of sorts. We got the basic run-down of the program - where to go, what to do, who to talk to, what to expect, etc. Now it's up to us to get to work in the studio. Allow me to introduce you to my fellow incoming grads...

For those of us with assistantships in the department (of art, duh), our contracts began last week as well. We were each assigned duties to help prep the studios for the coming semester. Selin and Michael and I put a fresh coat of gray paint on the floors of painting studios (see below). It was a good way to break into the program and to get to know some new faces. I feel welcomed here and certainly not greeted with the anxiety of feeling like I have to prove myself or find a place to fit in. It feels natural. Perhaps that's due to the size of the program (I believe there are 14 of us total), but irregardless, it feels just right.

I'm lucky enough to be starting off with a Full Graduate Assistantship, which, in exchange for 20 hrs of service to the department, pays for my tuition and provides a not-huge, but not-so-bad stipend that covers most of my living expenses. Contrary to the belief of many... grad school doesn't have to mean mounds of debt! Not all schools have the resources to fully fund their students, but there are lots of programs out there like UMD that offer generous assistantships and fellowships. Thank goodness! For my assistantship this semester, I will be a Teaching Assistant for four different sections (each with a different professor) of ART-100 - 2D Fundamentals. I'm excited about learning, in such a hands-on way, how to be a teacher (at the collegiate level). The program is structured so that, by my 2nd/3rd year, I will be teaching my own classes here at UMD, if I so wish. Let's hope my "students" aren't put off by the fact that I'm practically the same age as they are ;) Perhaps if I act really mature I'll have them fooled... that is... until they see my student ID!


Added on by Jourdan.
The past 2 weeks have been a whirlwind. I drove to Atlanta and back to pick up my mom who graciously drove the 16 ft rental truck crammed with my belongings (who knew one 22 yr old could have so much stuff?!) all the way to Maryland. Steve was my slave for a few days... he packed and shoved and lifted without complaint, stopping only to go to the City Gallery to de-install my portion of the Contemporary Charleston exhibition - while I was at work, hosting a 3 yr old's ballerina birthday party on the day before the big move. We went far too many days on much too little sleep, but thankfully are still here to talk about it.

Taking things out of boxes has proven to be much less stressful (except for the few hours that I couldn't find the coffee grinder). I quickly filled my 2nd floor Silver Spring apartment with room to spare - it's much more spacious than my Race Street abode. After helping unload the rest of my belongings into my (also spacious) UMD studio, Steve headed home to Philadelphia, and after 2 days spent in the North Virginia Mountains at my Uncle Keith's, my mom and I met him there. Our parents met and Steve gave yet another magnificent tour of the city (if you're ever there, call him up!) Mom caught a plane south-bound and I hung around with the Evans' only to sleep through the next 2 afternoons - finally catching up on all the running around and lack of sleep of the previous week.

This week has been spent slowly... getting my apartment set up, little by little. I'm just now starting to learn my way around this place- this place is huge, especially compared to itty bitty Charleston, which has made for lots of wrong turns and missed exits. Yesterday I found my way to the University of Maryland campus again and organized my things in a way that makes me feel much more at home in my studio. I briefly met 2 of the new grad students, Lauren and Jason, who were also getting settled into their new spaces.

Below are 2 shots of my studio so far... much more talk is in store. I want to elaborate on my program, professors, my assistant-ship, etc. But until then...