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Posts Tagged ‘UTPA MFA’

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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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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Dr. Lorenzo Pace tells us to all “go to 2 or 3 flea markets, buy a few items, and make a sculpture out of them.”

Mary P Williams "Fragility vs. Hardness

Mary P Williams "Fragility vs. Hardness

So here is my piece, five feet tall, using three metal objects, and a blown egg, and tissue paper.  The title is “Fragility vs Hardness”.

Mary P Williams "Fragility vs. Hardness" egg detail

Mary P Williams "Fragility vs. Hardness" egg detail

Hopefully the egg, sandwiched between two metal plates,

Mary P Williams "Fragility vs. Hardness" bottom detail

Mary P Williams "Fragility vs. Hardness" bottom detail

and the tissue paper lying under another heavy metal plate, will convey the concept.  Fragile, ephemeral, momentary,transitory, gauzy, or temporary as opposed to hardness, solidness, lasting, enduring, or heaviness.  It had to be a freestanding sculpture (i.e. a person must be able to walk around it). Does it succeed?

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Erika Balogh

Erika Balogh

Erika is a graduate student with a comprehensive understanding of social issues.  She, and her husband, grew up in Hungary.  The topic her art revolves around is Socialism and Capitalism.  Having experienced both systems she has a unique grasp of the concepts.

Erika Balogh "Altered Book"

Erika Balogh "Altered Book"

The “altered book” above conveys its message by having the viewer look at the selected passages which are still readable …in addition there is the foot on top of one half of the pages … a bit mysterious but it engages the viewer. Sitting next to the book is a shoe with fanciful decorations.  This is Erika’s response to an assignment in 3D class to make an object which will reflect a renaissance woman.

Erika "3-D Robot"

Erika "3-D Robot"

The robot, made from discarded shoe boxes, toy boxes, and food containers is a bow to Erika’s teenage son. It is freestanding, as tall as she is, and made from “indigenous” material.  Every bit of it is indigenous to the room of a teenage male!

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Daniel Flores

Daniel Flores

Daniel Flores is working with the concept of line …

Daniel Flores "Blue String"

Daniel Flores "Blue String"

he has explored line in his studio with blue string, cleverly stretching it to form a shape across his studio, and with crayons …

Daniel Flores "Crayon Lines"

Daniel Flores "Crayon Lines"

he lined the crayons up on a piece of board, glued them on, and then used a heat gun to melt them, thereby producing lines of each color …”I try to produce straight lines”  he said. “It is not easy.”   We all know what a line is … don’t we??  A straight line might be “a mark which lies evenly with points of itself. ” Once we try to define it … it becomes complicated!

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Here is the assignment in 3-D class: Make a free-standing sculpture, as tall as you are, and out of indigenous materials. In this case indigenous includes anything found around the studios.

Mary P Williams "3-D Palms"

Mary P Williams "3-D Palms"

For my person I did a representation of my painting with colorful “painters hands” using a mop, styrofoam, and paint.

Jill Carpenter "3-D Quinceanera"

Jill Carpenter "3-D Quinceanera"

Jill did a Quinceanera, or “Sweet Sixteen” figure, with all the Mexican symbols, as it is done here in the Rio Grande Valley.

Manuel Lince "3-D Torso"

Manuel Lince "3-D Torso"

Manuel surprised us all with a cast of a friend done in ground up corn husks which he mixed with glue, layered on her body, and sand-papered to finish it.(Sand-papered the white cast – not her body!)

Erika "3-D Robot"

Erika "3-D Robot"

Finally, Erika came up with an endearing Robot … out of items discarded by her teenage son … it was made of shoe boxes, cereal boxes, and old toy boxes. Very fanciful !

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Alex Macias

Alex Macias

Here is Alex … He is good!

Macias Paper Sculptures

Macias Paper Sculptures

His paper fox figures are visually arresting … as are his wolf paintings.

Macias Wolf in Sheeps Clothing

Macias "Wolf in Sheep's Clothing"

One is titled “Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing” … a play on words … I asked him if he had ever seen a real wolf and he answered “No!” with a twinkle in his eye.  He was busy texturing the canvas so it had a rough, raised surface which works well conveying the wolf fur he is working on.

Macias Wolf

Macias Wolf

A different way of telling the viewer “this is fur.”

Alex Macias drawing

Alex Macias drawing

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Janett Pena

Janett Pena

Jannett says in her “Artists Statement” that she desires to convey her symbolic interpretation of life by painting on a canvas.  Her explanation is “the usage of wood, plexiglass, nails, wires, and anything else I can obtain can be used within my artwork.  Even found objects can be used to perceive an idea and create.”  Jannett has painted the best frog I have ever seen … see it below!

Janett Pena Frog

Janett Pena Frog

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Thoughts about the Mid-term critique … The students assembled at 8:30 to upload their USB’s into the computer for projection and around 9:30 some of the faculty drifted in and we began.  A timer was set to limit each persons time and an “Artists Statement” was distributed to the faculty to read.  Then they made comments on the art work and asked the artist about their “process.” Each student was to have one or two physical artworks available for the faculty to see and a set of digital images to project on the screen. Richard Phillips, art historian, often named a few artists the student could reference which pertained to the style of work the person was doing. Other faculty chimed in with remarks on style, process, and relevance to contemporary art work being done around the world. Since my painting was 4′ x 10′ I set it up during lunch break.

Drought in Texas - Climate Change

Drought in Texas - Climate Change - Are We Caring for the Planet?

All my time was used on the painting and so none of my digital photos were projected on the screen. It was a tedious process and faculty changed all the time with a few faculty staying the whole time.  We wound it all up after 4:30 and one student told me we would be getting a written evaluation at some time in the future.  Did I learn anything?  A little … and most of that listening to the review of other students. Wonder what the Final Critique in December will be like?

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Ricardo Benevides

Ricardo Benevides

Ricardo is a teacher and father of twin one-year-old babies … Art?  Who has time for that??  However, he does make time for it and here are the works themselves.

Benevides Drawing

Benevides Drawing

He said “My work deals with violence and the flow of people back and forth over the border we live next to … I draw poor people, prostitutes, beggars, and ordinary folks and try to make a statement about how society treats them.  I have been drawing since I was a child and it comes naturally to me … just something I do.”

Benevides Drawing

Benevides Drawing

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