Sunday, April 26, 2009

Experiment at 1816 degrees

orange glaze

ibc root beer

red glaze with clear maple syrup glass

Monday, April 20, 2009


Winthrop's Undergraduate Juried Exhibition and student awards ceremony was held last Friday in the University Galleries. I mentioned Logan and Katie in the previous post and both of them raked in several deserving awards. Lots of my other former students won purchase awards or "best student in..." awards. Again, this has nothing to do with having once been in my class, it's simply a reason to feel pride on their behalf. I also got to meet Austin and Chris which was a pleasant surprise although I was terribly distracted by my son desperately needing to climb up and down the stairs right that very second.

One of the things that struck me at the exhibition was the connection that is being made between the role of the artist as a community servant. This year's exhibition was built around the theme of raising awareness about homelessness. Many of the students interacted with homeless people and organizations designed to help the homeless in order to compose and create their works of art. Several groups of students volunteered their time to this cause in various ways. And certainly the artwork itself pointed to the need for the viewer to also get involved. In a time when many artists and art organizations can be found looking for ways for the community or the government to serve them, it was refreshing to see these artists looking for ways to give instead of receive.

In a completely unrelated note, I have been working on a collaborative linoleum block print design for weeks now with the infamous Molly. We're doing this to participate in Josh Drews' printmaking Extravaganza at Spring Valley High School in Columbia. Josh has invited people to come out with ready to print blocks and he's going to have some steam rollers in the parking lot to run them over. Neither of us had worked in collaboration with another artist before and had very little idea how to go about it. I had not cut linoleum since being in Mr. Martyka's printmaking class about 15 years ago. But somehow in a matter of weeks, we came up with some ideas, images, and some linoleum and we have about half the block cut now. That's an image of it up there at the top as of about 30 minutes ago. Tomorrow I'll hand it all over to Molly for her to finish it up. I've learned a lot from this experience already and my dogs have learned that linoleum shavings are not food.

Oh, and speaking of Molly...she has two really great sculptural furniture pieces in a show called "Delicious" in downtown Rock Hill (125 Caldwell St.). She also curated the show and pulled it off without a hitch (except for leaving poor Lila off of the info sheet).


Wednesday, April 15, 2009


collaboration with the molly in progress

strange customs

strategic biting

Friday, April 10, 2009

a good crop

Four years ago this guy entered my 3D-1 class as a freshman. This month he had his senior show to display some of his best recent work just before he heads north for Grad school. He shared the show with Katie Poterala - also a former student and also on her way to Grad school. The show was very well thought out and there was a seamless transition between the two bodies of work. The artwork was good. Really good.

As I walked the gallery (going over their craftsmanship with a fine toothed comb) I thought back about that year and realized how many of the students in my classes back then have gone on to do some really respectable things at Winthrop. Of course many of them will slip my mind as I type this, but Nora, BenJack, Justin, Amanda, Daniel, Leslee/Killa, and Casey all come to mind along with Logan and Katie. Nora's won stuff and is doing well in the gems and shiny things. BenJack, though still a bit of a slacker, is designing and doing photos for the school. Justin is making waves with his sculptures, drawings, and videos. Amanda made a name for herself in ceramics. Daniel is producing sleek designs and illustrations. Leslee took off for another (lesser) school, and Casey....well at least she's still organizing gallery events while she works on her evil business plan. Eventually she'll see that I was right and she'll end her art vacation and begin producing creative work again.

If you'd like to think that being in one or two of my classes helped set these young professionals on the path to their eventual success....well, just go ahead and think that. But the truth is, I had little or nothing to do with it. It was just a good crop of students. A very good crop and I'm proud of what they've accomplished.

Thus ends our trip down memory lane.

(If I left someone out, forgive me. It was four whole years ago. And it's late. And I'm old)