Talent Scout

Archive for April 2010


Bronze Casting Event At MCAD

This month’s installment of In The Loop featured a bronze pour with Don Myhre, MCAD faculty member and director of the 3-D Shop. Participants got to create their own molds and witness the pour in the College’s foundry.  I thought this was a wonderful event that was well worth the $35 value.  I loved that you were able to get a glimpse at new and interesting processes without committing to a 6-8 week class.

IN THE LOOP offers a behind-the-scenes look at the art and design process at MCAD. Featuring presentations by faculty members in the College’s premiere studio facilities, these intimate events include wine, hors d’oeuvres, hands-on participation, and stimulating conversation.

An accomplished sculptor, Myhre received his MFA from Rutgers University. He is a recipient of a Jerome Artists Fellowship and has exhibited his work at Franconia Sculpture Park, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and other venues.

Highly recommended.

Happy Earth Day

15 Creative Tools That I Can’t Live Without

These are the tools and materials I just couldn’t function without in my art making.  Some are like an addiction.  I tell myself I’m not going to use them this time and all of sudden, like a drink they are back in my hand.  I would love to hear about the materials or tools you can’t live without.  By the way these aren’t in order of importance, Zac!

Letters of any kind--stencils, stamps, metal letters--they just have to show up in my work

Metals--this particular metal is from and old arm cast from the late 1800's

My mother in law's 1950's mail order fashion design book--priceless

Mix this with paint and you get a nice thin translucent layer of color

Needle and hand-dyed thread--it's my signature mark

Graphite--it's the frosting, the lipstick and the finishing touch

Pins, pins --my entire studio has work pinned to the wall and often I recommend them for framing a piece

Scissors--Don't you dare use them for anything other than fabric

A good assortment of papers are always on hand

Glue--the best I've found to replace my addiction to spray mount

Poems by my friend Zac--they inspire and complete my work

Books--you can never have enough

Pattern paper--vintage only, I love the quality, it's translucency and graphics

Coveted hand-dyed and printed fabrics from my travels around the world

Alice Neel, She Went Her Own Way

When I started my art practice at the age of 35, I did portraits.  I was inspired by Modigliani and others but one of my very favorites was the work of Alice Neel. I liked her story.  She lived in Greenwich Village in the 30’s and was part of a generation of bohemian artists and writers. During the 40’s and 50’s she worked outside of the mainstream in Spanish Harlem, where she developed a uniquely individual approach to portraiture in a time dominated by abstraction.   Neel’s outspoken personality and her daringly honest portraits made her a cult figure in the art community. I had the rare chance to see her work in person at the Walker Art Center.

Neel’s estate maintains a website for her, with a bio on its home page that labels her a pioneer, an apt description — for she was a brave painter.  She went her own way, no matter what the rest of the art world did and no matter what the world said.

1970 Andy Warhol Oil on Canvas 60 x 40 inches, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Gift of Timothy Collins

Marlene Dumas, a South African artist and painter  describes how Neel painted modern portraits, locating her subjects. Dumas writes:

…She painted people.

Most figurative painting is not about people and seldom about “characters.” Philip Guston painted cartoons. Warhol painted public images. Chuck Close uses portraiture to paint about painting; Alex Katz paints the cool; and Elizabeth Peyton paints dreams…

Dumas also notes that “the unflattering criticism she received about her nude self-portrait at age eighty [below] is unforgivably stupid.”


1980 Self Portrait Oil on Canvas 54 x 40 inches, National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.

I have this book on Alice Neel and recommend it highly.

Alice Neel

Toni Morrison: Art Is Not A Mirror

Toni Morrison is a Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize-winning American author, editor, and professor. Her novels are known for their epic themes, vivid dialogue, and richly detailed black characters. Among her best known novels are The Bluest Eye, Song of Solomon and Beloved.  I haven’t read any of Toni’s books but this interview with Annie Lebowitz has inspired me to do so.

Much of what she says about her readers is how I often feel about viewers of my art.  While she is sometimes disappointed that readers want a quick and happy ending, I too feel viewers want to quickly like something based on the colors, a pleasing image or how it will look in their room.  She goes on to say that she would like each book to create a willingness to surrender, to be in the landscape and make it theirs.  This, in my mind, is where all of the magic happens.

If the Shoe Fits, Wear It?

I’ll have admit that my art has a fashion sensibility about it.  And it’s known by many that I have a penchant for nice shoes. I hadn’t really considered combining my art and love for shoes until I saw Design Booms latest feature.  Some are just plain hysterical and most of them would bring me to my knees in short order.

images: style.com

The latest fall winter collection by the Paris fashion house Balenciaga features footwear that takes an architectural approach, mixing block heels with a collage of materials. The collection was designed by Pierre Hardy whose shoes are made from a full range of materials that includes leather, wood, plastic, metal and a few newer high tech materials.

Keds bacon shoes seen at allee willis’ kitsch of the day blog (via neatorama)  Bacon happens to be one of my favorite indulgences.

‘Vegas Girl’ by German artist Iris Schieferstein, 2009, (materials: toy pistol, cow hooves and zipper) My cattle buyer brother might like this idea. He may actually be able to make money.

image courtesy froschmann gallery

Alexander McQueen’s ‘Titantic Ballerina’ pumps from his spring/summer 2010 shoe collection.  Ballerina?

image courtesy obsessed with shoes

Redmacheshoe (stainless steel and leather, using the marloestenbhomer leather-mache technique)

This shoe is the work of designer Marloes Ten Bhomer who uses a combination of artistic creativity and technological experimentation re imagining shoes in a completely new way. Ok,  there is something I like about these shoes.


2010 Women’s Art Institute Summer Studio Intensive

What happens when artists, teachers, visiting artists, and historians gather to make art and discuss the questions of women’s art that are so important in today’s society?

You’ll have to take the course to really find out the answer to this question.  This course was a turning point in my art. It opened my eyes to a whole new way of making art as well as developing life long friendships.  Elizabeth Erickson, Institute director has continued to be my mentor and guiding force.  I highly recommend this to any artist trying to push through a new phase of their work.

This intensive three-week summer program is designed for individuals who have mastered basic skills and now want to move to deeper levels of understanding and expression in their work. Disciplines explored include painting, drawing, collage, mixed media, installation, and more.

The visiting artist this year is Sheila Pepe who makes sculpture and drawings that are installations using crochet and other techniques.

The 2010 Summer Studio Intensive will be held at the Minneapolis College of Art & Design, Monday, June 7 through Friday, June 25.

Sheila Pepe. Mind the gap, 2005

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