Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Studio Visits with the Grads

Anderson showing off the parking pass for the rental car (which incidentally was another snazzy speed demon of a vehicle that managed to avoid cops at all costs though we almost received a parking ticket by Clemson's finest).

Studio visits began at the crack of 10:10 AM (I know everyone in Indiana is shocked I was up and speaking about artwork at this hour - and so was I).

I was THRILLED to talk about something other than photographs and Nancy said my excitement permeated the art building. First up, Todd Stewart (Sculpture). Nancy and I loved Todd's drawings AKA his "mug shots" for styrofoam models. He is graduating this semester and working on the concept of perception (building contraptions framed by lenses). Todd introduced us to the term "junt" which was used sporadically throughout the next 36 hours.

One of the most fascinating things about Andrew Daly (Printmaking) is that he is a 17th generation North Carolinian and comes from a family of saddle makers. He can tell "the story" like no one's business but in his studio we discussed the role of objects and environment, commenting on methods of display and transferring the workspace to the gallery.

I feel like we could have talked to Zane Logan (Photography) for hours (and probably did = sorry Sarah!) about his two radically different series featuring skateboarders stripped of most of their identifying paraphenalia and his most recent work body of work that is far more personal and exhibits far less control than his large format portraits (below).

Sarah Butler (Painting) is in her first semester at Clemson and Nancy and I were intrigued with her Hiroshi Sugimoto-esque painting of a projection screen. She also had the most fascinating found (?) photograph of a family in front of a similarly blank television that I can't stop associating with this painting.

We broke for lunch at a taco/burrito joint but not before Anderson appeared to climb walls documenting Sarah's studio visit.

Matt Brantley (Printmaking) is also in his first semester and is working with symbolism to describe his connection to place (Kentucky bordering the Mississippi River). He and Andrew are roommates and Nancy and I were fascinated by "Kentucky vs. North Carolina" - a continual boast as to why one state is infinitely better than the other.

Todd Schram (Sculpture) knocked our socks off with his video documentation of projected images on sculptures (while Nancy used the word "crucial" on a regular basis I managed to say "forest fire" about two dozen times in Todd's studio). Working with multiples (and video) are recurring themes.

Owen Riley (Photography) recently learned the collodion process and creates surreal portraits of his family and fellow graduate students. Ralph Gibson, a far less gory Joel-Peter Witkin, and Minor White come to mind.

David Hill (Ceramics) is graduating in a couple months and is in the midst of building a small army of ceramic busts and bodies incorporated with pedestals and is toying with the idea of illuminating them with natural and artificial light.

We were excited about Jen Miller's work (Printmaking) that featured humanity encroaching on animal territory based on her experiences living in Scottdale, Arizona.

I never found out Kara's last name but she is another graduating sculpture student this semester interested in pursuing performance with her handmade boat for her MFA thesis project in a few weeks.

Apparently it is late and I become far less articulate the longer this post gets. Next up... the WORKSHOP!

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