Saturday, October 30, 2010

I'm having a love affair with this book!

My fabulous friends Jennifer Beattie & Kurt Marsden gave me this book of essays and I have been off & on reading it for the past year & a half. Right now I'm fully in love with it. Here are a couple passages for you to chew on.

Eric Wesselow's stained glass, Humber Valley United Church in Toronto

The Way of the Maker: Eric Wesselow's Life Through Art

p. 33: Making or Breaking: Art as Education

"... I propose the universal model, art, as a catalyst. By 'art' in this context, I think in particular of two areas of human engagement. One is what Maslow calls 'self-actualizing creativity.' It is something he finds a painter or sculptor or pianist may not necessarily have, but a fulfilled housewife and mother may richly possess and display. She may be original, ingenious, unexpected, inventive—her first-rate soup more creative by far than a second-rate painting or poem. There are no minor arts, only minor artists.
... What has not happened to the child will likely happen to the adolescent or adult: the maiming, the atrophy of the creative urge by a world of purpose.
... It [art] stimulates our thought processes by way of productive thinking—the relationship between thinking and making grounded in touching the material, most important in today's industrialized world where our only manual activity seems to be pushing buttons and turning dials. It involves the constant training of all our senses, including the kinesthetic and the enteroceptive both of which help promote empathy. The arts are singularly suited to project understandings which cannot be otherwise known or experienced."

And, one more short one:
p. 22 I Never Know How or Why: Probings into the Processes of Art Work

"When a new skill has been perfected, so to speak, its functions tend to become automatic. This may involve the perceptual, the manual, and the cerebral functions. Skill easily becomes stereotyped and dominates the art work. This can lead to a lazy and shallow mind. ... virtuosity stands in the way of originality. Great mastery of a skill often induces an automatic technique or process. Acquiring steady hapbit can interfere with awareness and discovery..."

MMMMMM! Yum! Love it!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Juror for WSU's "Requires Two Coats" MFA exhibiton

I had the pleasure/daunting task of judging the "Requires Two Coats" MFA exhibition for Wichita State University this week. It was a very fun experience overall! Here is the Juror's Statement I wrote for the show, which is hosting a reception tomorrow night at Shiftspace in Old Town.

The first thing to hit me, upon walking into the exhibition, is a considered sense of craft present in all the works across genres. To choose particular works over others is both an honor and a very daunting task to be certain. I believe the only appropriate way to approach this task is to consider each piece individually, and then use the artist's own statement to enrich and enhance those first impressions. The overall process of "judging" is less about one work vs. another-but rather each piece vs. itself. 

This exhibition presents a satisfying variety of themes and mediums with emphasis on strong forms. Some highlights include: Eriberto Biera's painting, which presents a visual rhythm of bold colors, figures, and shapes humorously and suggestively "vandalized" with text and drawing in marker—both undermining as well as informing the painting below. David Hellman's ceramic pieces feel trickily familiar and overly comfortable until their charmingly clunky cleverness reveals itself. Across the room, Zachary Presley's collaged icons, printed and presented so simply they seem almost irreverent, raise questions of mass culture vs organic bodies (both ours as consumers and the animals visible). Lauren Clay's pieces question and celebrate their medium while remaining visually lyrical. Phillip Baumer's tangled installation confronts the viewer with its presence in 2, 3, and 4 dimensions and suggests our considered participation, its action and space. Nathan Carris Carnes's playful sculptures are physically seductive and seem to ooze their suggestive undertones in a very polished way. Amy Yun-Ping Chen's paintings are puzzles with layers and fragments of visual and cultural reference, cheekily presenting stereotypes as you find both your eyes and brain immersed in her (de)constructed "landscapes."

Overall it is a pleasure to delve into the products of each artist's efforts and deliberations—particularly during such a powerful and transitional time as their graduate study. I would like to thank Shift Space and WSU for the opportunity and all the artists for offering their work for us to chew on. 

-Kate Van Steenhuyse

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Artist's Talk - "i know you..." exhibition

Tomorrow I'm de-installing my show here in Wichita. Thank you to all who came out to see it & support my work!
Below is a video of the talk I gave at the opening, enjoy!