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Archive for November, 2011

Painting by Susan Fitzsimmons

Painting by Susan Fitzsimmons

This engaging painting is combined with text.  The words are:
To become
an old seed
forced to look for warm
earth
When all the garden
is inhabited

by strangers more desirable …

Sculpture by Susan Fitzsimmons

Sculpture by Susan Fitzsimmons

Sculpture by Susan Fitzsimmons

Sculpture by Susan Fitzsimmons

and then the glowing sculptures!!
they speak for themselves …

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Wilma Langhamer grew up in Germany where her high school teacher commented on her report card “she should pursue an artistic career” … and pursue it she has!  When asked what she personally likes in art she replied “I like contemporary art which makes you think.  Art which is honest and expresses emotion, and has a concept appeals to me.”

Wilma Langhamer "Between Clouds"

Wilma Langhamer "Between Clouds"

Her painting “Between Clouds” is about the current foreclosure mess in the United States. “Here is an umbrella over a house … everyone expects it to cover anything which might happen to the house … and of course it cannot do that … foreclosures are not covered by the umbrella.”

Wilma Langhamer "Empress of Spring"

Wilma Langhamer "Empress of Spring"

Another painting titled “Empress of Spring” reflects the emerald-green of the countryside in spring and the refreshing beauty of youth.

Wilma Langhamer "Peace"

Wilma Langhamer "Peace"

The painting titled “Peace” is a comment on the need to achieve peace in Iraq and other countries.  Wilma explains that after living in the U.S. for 40 years she hopes for peaceful solutions and no more wars. She is content to paint and follow her dream.

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In the sculpture class we were told to collaborate in a performance. Our concept was built around young women rejecting marriage with the idea that marriage is restrictive and kills any chance to succeed in a career. Jill wanted to be the bride.

Digging the Grave

Digging the Grave

D.L. dug a shallow grave in hard! hard! Texas soil.  We rushed around to organize a cake, champagne, a bride/groom statuette for the top of the cake … got dressed … shined the truck lights on the night-time scene, rounded up the audience and were OFF!

It was a truly inspiring performance !

Drinking Champagne

Drinking Champagne

After drinking champagne Jill plopped herself into the grave and Manuel, the bridegroom, began to shovel dirt over her gauzy, white, wedding dress.

The Groom Buries the Bride

The Groom Buries the Bride

As he stood there looking sad… a new development!  The audience began to throw dirt on Jill with abandon. So much so that her mask was covered and dirt drifted into her eyes.

Audience Participation

Audience Participation

So … up she jumped and the performance was over …

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Donning Safety Equipment

Donning Safety Equipment

An interesting development in sculpture class … Dr. Pace introduces us to a “graffiti artist” , a young man who is now an undergraduate at South Texas College. His goal in going to art school is to learn to “come off the wall” … this means to leave 2D (painting on a flat surface) and move into the 3D world (painting or constructing objects which have 3 dimensions – called sculpture).  To do this he devised a 3D version of his tagging name made by using wire and papier-mache fixed on a board. He has hung up his graffiti status and is now an “aerosol artist” but still a “tagger” (one who tags locations with his name).

Aerosol Can Tops

Aerosol Can Tops

He showed us his fonts and the different tops he uses on top of the aerosol can. I could not decipher the letters of his tag name but he insists there is an “S” and an “A” on this board … and a “R”. His friends could read it instantly.

Steven Morin

Steven Morin

Donning his safety gear he began a series of sweeping moves, waving his hand steadily back and forth, up and down, to cover the letters with paint from a few angles.

Steven Morin

Steven Morin

He began with yellow spray …

Steven Morin

Steven Morin

then red …

Steven Morin

Steven Morin

and added blue.

Steven Morin and 3D Signature

Steven Morin and 3D Signature

Steven Morin "Sarin"

Steven Morin "Sarin"

He has a “signature” out in the world of graffiti art which is not revealed. None of the guys who do this want to be known … except to other graffiti makers who recognize each other by signature. Steven said “I can go up and down railroad cars left on a side rail and tell you who did this one and who did that one even though they live thousands of miles away.  It is a community and we judge each others work.”

Tagged Railroad Car, Fresno CA, 2099

Tagged Railroad Car, Fresno CA, 2099

Commissioned Wall featuring several Graffiti artists, including Steven Morin

Commissioned Wall featuring several Graffiti artists, including Steven Morin

Steven Morin "A Manifestation of Calligraphy"

Steven Morin "A Manifestation of Calligraphy"

Signature of an artist on commissioned wall

Signature of an artist on commissioned wall

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Robert Codina was hanging his art work in the Art@Clarks’  gallery where I asked him “What do you consider a successful piece of art?”  He ruminated a moment and came up with this: “It is successful if it speaks to the inner self of the viewer.  Also, it must be visually appealing.”  He indicated the photo of an old, derelict building and a massive tree.

Robert Codina

Robert Codina

“The title of this photo, ‘Fading Memories’  explains a lot about my work.  I hope to touch people at a different level and trigger personal thoughts about their life.”

Robert Codina landscape

Robert Codina landscape

We walked over to another work which was a Texas landscape, looked at it, and he added “A successful artist is one who runs with his own vision and does not compromise his spirit.”  Robert uses Photoshop a little but spends most of his creative time outdoors taking pictures of the world around us.

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A visiting performance artist!  From Costa Rica! All the classes in the art dept. are alerted and it is arranged that we, the students, will participate in a performance.  A collaborative performance … there are approx 30 artists (or art students) involved in this project. The artist, Elia Arce, meets with us and we discuss what concepts we wish to convey to our audience.  Loneliness? Time? Death? Displacement?  We decide on Time and Displacement. Then the question of location … where shall we do the performance?  How to document? Our final decision is to go out to a lonely country road, with a group of people (and several babies to indicate generations) and take a photo on an empty field with a wide sky spread above us. We find one and take test shots.Here are photos of our first scouting trip to locate a road.

Lonely Texas Road and Artists

Lonely Texas Road and Artists

Professor Karen Sanders

Professor Karen Sanders

During the week Elia and Prof. Karen Sanders change the location to a Texas ranch where a friend, Betty, will allow us to use her empty field.  After several attempts we locate some babies, set a time, and go to the ranch. It is 5:00 pm so the evening light is excellent, the weather is clear, and the babies are mellow!  Prof. Sanders is a digital photographer and she arranges us all in the field and, with the help of two other photographers, does a triple-person exposure.  This means the three photographers line up, are assigned a section of the group of people to take a picture of, and on the count of “three” all snap the picture. This is going to be one BIG picture … it will be difficult to develop and print … and hard to line up the 3 photos so it appears seamless.  Hats off to Prof. Sanders!

Ranch House and Native Plants

Ranch House and Native Plants

The ranch house has native plants in pots lined up, ready for sale and shipment to various parks and reserves, where they will be used to reconstitute the landscape near the Rio Grande River.

Ranch Bird Houses

Ranch Bird Houses

There are also bird houses and bird feeders scattered around the garden and a chorus of songs, and cackles, and chirps coming from the trees.

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Wendy Gilbert

Wendy Gilbert

In the Art@Clarks  gallery are several whimsical clay sculptures created by Wendy Gilbert.

Wendy Gilbert Sculpture

Wendy Gilbert Sculpture

When I asked her “What do you think is a successful piece of art ?”  she answered “I think it is successful if I enjoyed the creation of it.  I am focused on the process … from idea … to sketch … to a finished piece.  The question is  “does the finished piece match my initial vision?”

Wendy Gilbert Sculpture

Wendy Gilbert Sculpture

When asked “What is a successful artist?”  She replied, “A successful artist is someone who can take an internal idea and externalize it.  I am trying to create a narrative and communicate with my viewer.  I do multiple pieces, a series, trying to reach this goal.”

Wendy Gilbert Sculpture

Wendy Gilbert Sculpture

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