Thursday, September 29, 2011

ABSTRKT @ Manifest, Cincinnati

September 30 - October 28

Opening Reception Tonight
Friday Sept. 30
6-9 p.m.

more from "Ground Up"

Ghost Story Tellers Jim and Mary McCormick
"Ground Up" students with Jim McCormick and Dr. Decker

Opportunity: Position in Berea

The Berea Arts Council (BAC) is seeking a part-time administrative assistant to perform administrative duties, assist the Executive Director, and provide support to the BAC board. Required qualifications include a good working knowledge of QuickBooks, Microsoft Word, Excel, and Access and a minimum of 3 years work as administrative support. Good people skills and a background in non-profit work are desirable. An appreciation of and experience in the arts would be especially helpful.Please send requests for the full job description to, with the subject line: Job Description. Resumes must be received no later than October 14th.

From the Ground Up: GC Spaces and Places opening

As blog readers are well aware, last week, students in the curatorial studies course opened their exhibition "From the Ground Up: GC Spaces and Places." The photos attached show the students in costume during the event. Each student in the course contributed to the planning and execution of the exhibition and its opening, particularly through their interpretation of persons from GC’s past. See photos 2-4 above. In the second photo, visitors are looking closely at the historic portrait of Rockwood Giddings and the print after Esteria Butler Farnam's painting of the college. In the third photo, Shawn McPeek carried forth as Professor J. E. Farnam, professor of natural history. In the last photo, we see Ms. Jane Hope Oldham Fields seated on the couch and chatting with current and former GC students, including from the left: Shelby Riddell, Ryley Graden, Janet Mann (mom of Katie) and Katie Mann in costume as Janet Sanders (class of ’65); Portia Watson in costume as Katherine Pettus, one of 66 seniors in the class of 1930; and Dana Sabato in costume as a current student awaiting the opening of Rucker Village. Thanks to all who attended the event.

This past week's celebrations connect history with its people. These connections may be broad and shared -- such as the Homecoming exhibition and the tradition of the football game. But, they can also be very personal. For example, Earl Grey enjoyed a special treat over the weekend. First, she met Dr. Jim Heizer, who recorded the oral histories for the college's sesquicentennial over the years 1978-1980. See the photo above of Dr. Decker and Dr. Heizer at the Homecoming game. Also, Dr Decker met Bob, Dixie, and Barbara Mills -- children of former President Robert L. Mills. Dr. Mills was a courageous man who instilled confidence and hope in the college and brought compassion and humane care to the position of the presidency.

On Wednesday of this past week, the exhibition's theme of spaces and places was emphasized further with a second Fireside Chat withProfessor Jim McCormick, emeritus faculty of art, and his wife, Mary. GC alums and long-time supporters of the department, they shared ghost stories and GC mysteries on Wednesday afternoon. We're grateful for Prof. McCormick's time and for coming back to campus to talk with us about some of GC's mysteries and, most especially, for solving the mystery of the Pawling Puppy we've named Issy!

Indeed, Homecoming is a time of getting together on campus -- coming back to the spaces and places that foster our educational and professional growth. Just as students in my course work together to curate an exhibition devoted to the college's history, alums, faculty, and friends of the college visit and together look back on their histories. They return to campus and return to their "Belle of the Blue." It's an exciting time that we share as a community. I look forward to seeing everyone next year -- same time, same place!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Guest Post from Italy: Evy Fuson

Greetings from Florence Italy! Or as the Italians call this bustling art capital, Firenze. I’ve been here for almost a month now and I’ve already learned a lot about myself and about the world in which we live.

As I walked to my classes today, I thought about how different life in Georgetown is. In Georgetown you’re surrounded by a few buildings complemented by large patches of grass and pieces of the natural world. When you walk to class you pass familiar faces and places in which you have memories. In Florence, you must walk a decent amount to get from class to class as the classrooms are spread out throughout the city. You weave through throngs of people from all different nationalities, passing carts full of merchandise and postcards for tourists, storefronts littered with advertising and sales, you catch sights of the rounded top of Brunelleschi’s Duomo (which is always a good reference for figuring out where you are) and meander past tall buildings that have gracefully stood the test of time watching the streets and people change.

Visitors beware: Florence, a lovely woman with so many gifts to give those visiting, enjoys taking her time. Whether you’re traveling to a museum or desire to taste the world-renown gelateria “Grom” you’re going to wait in a line, but those who have spent time with her will tell you that she’s worth the wait.

That’s something that I’ve learned to enjoy about Florence… the process of slowing. So often, the students here get frustrated by the tourists who clog the sidewalks and stop abruptly… just as if we were back at home shaking our fists at drivers who slow us down. It’s frustrating to feel as though our time is being wasted. I think it’s human to always want to get to our destination because that’s where we have been taught the reward is. Would it be an interesting theory to consider that we are a little off in our perception of our reward?

Here’s what I’ve learned: If you embrace the dilemma with open arms and realize that there is something you can gain from the experience as well as the destination, your time is never wasted. I take a lot more time here to recognize small beauties because I am more patient with this foreign place. It’s new and full of new things to discover. I find myself ashamed to realize that I’ve missed so much at home by not being more patient with the dilemmas that I have found myself in.

I encourage you to consider studying abroad not only for the new horizons that you can discover but also because it puts where you’ve been and where you call home into a brand new frame of reference. Expand your mind. Slow down today and recognize something that you hadn’t before.

For more insights and discoveries of mine you can read my blog HERE.

To the seniors who have October Review coming up, work hard and put your heart into what you’re doing… you’ll do great!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Homecoming Memories

From Dr. Decker's Art 302 students' role-playing Chat and Reception for From the Ground Up: Georgetown College Spaces and Places in the Cochenour Gallery to the Kidz Arts & Craft Zone, here are some of last week's most memorable Homecoming art moments.
Jen Stephenson in costume.
Shawn McPeek and Dr. Decker prepare to "break a leg".
Chatty GC students past and present enjoying the conversations.
Fun Face Photo-grapher Wesley Folsom shows off his Tiger spirit.
Silkscreen tattoo artist extraordinaire a.k.a. Professor Daniel Graham at work.
Maddy Fritz Tiger-izing Shelby Riddell with Laura Hatton and Kayleigh Riddell looking on.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Podcasts and Mission Statements

Frank Sinatra (by Phil Stern)
    Recently I listened to a great talk by apologist Ravi Zacharias called Faith Under Fire: Christian Ethics in the Workplace (Part 2 of 4).  I have always enjoyed the challenges that Ravi Zacharias puts forth.  (I listen to a number of podcasts regularly if you are interested in hearing some fun and challenging things in art and theology let me know and I will elaborate.) He makes the comment that "Anything that refreshes you, without distracting you from, diminishing, or destroying your final goal is a legitimate pleasure in your life. Which means ladies and gentlemen the first most important principle for you to set in your life and for me to set in my life  is what is the purpose of my existence. When we set that purpose everything else becomes defined."
Ravi goes on to talk about the Ritz Carlton Hotel owners mission statement and attributing the success of the company to it. Their mission statement was "Ladies and Gentlemen serving Ladies and Gentlemen". The owner said it was drilled into the staff that they were ladies and gentlemen and anyone who came in the door was a lady or gentlemen.
      In his talk he makes a point that if you have worked for any company you most likely know their, and worked within their mission statement but have you ever taken the time to make a mission statement for yourself.  This simple point has really given me some clarity.  Often times we are reaching for things that maybe we shouldn't be. Or representing ourselves in ways that we actually don't want to. It made a lot of sense to me to have a standard to check my actions and goals against. So have started to pen a statement I have found it funny how many things that I thought I wanted in life that are absent from it and how many things that I feel a draw to that really don't line up with the direction I want to be heading in.  I have found this to be a interesting investigation and experience thus far.  Especially for artists and designers branding has increasing become a big deal. It is interesting to think of not only your professional life as a brand but also your personal life as one. What would your logo be? Your mission statement? What would you be recognized as?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Who do you think you are?

The title for this post comes from the NBC tv show (a spin-off from the BBC one program of the same name). I am using this reference to incite answers to questions about GC's archives. Who do you think we are, as an institution? To begin, let's look at object we have collected over the past two hundred years, as a college and, essentially, a network of scholars and scholars-in-training.

The two images above are photographs of objects in the Archives and Special Collections at Georgetown College. In the case of the illustration, we see a page from a 1913 Belle of the Blue (college annual) featuring a rather whimsical Oscar Wilde-like drawing of an athletics fan. Ever the dandy, he is well-dressed and carries a pennant and hat while gesturing toward the words, "Belle of the Blue Kentuck Kentuck." These words, and their fuller four lines, were the college cheer that dates to the nineteenth century. They are, indeed, a blast from the past and words that we may not, as 21st-century Georgetonians, recognize as familiar and pervasive, as they were a century ago. But, in some ways, the anthem -- knowingly or not -- is a part of our shared past.

The other image is taken of a small object in the Archives. This stuffed white puppy bears a badge with "Pawling Hall 1956" affixed to his collar. I first encountered this item over five years ago. It has become something of interest however, over the past three years, in the Curatorial Studies course. In this class each fall, students have searched the Belle of the Blue as well as the Georgetonian newspaper to find out this puppy's significance. Was he a mascot for the hall, which formerly served as a men's dormitory? Was he simply a token of affection from one person to another? Or, was he something more than this? Our searches of primary documents have yielded nothing. Interviews with alums have yielded far. If YOU have information about the Pawling puppy that this year's class has affectionately named "Issy", as in Issachar Pawling (the namesake of this hall) please let us know.

reminder: Friday from 12-2 the exhibition "From the Ground Up: Georgetown College Spaces and Places" opens. A Fireside chat begins at 1 pm in the LRC. Please join us.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

As Good as It Gets

Working in the area of digital media is both exciting and frustrating when it comes to the machines/devices, software and technology. It can be great when something new comes along and revolutionizes the way we work or the potential for what we can create/do moving ahead. And in today's world those transformations are happening continuously on a regular basis. But there can be a downside to all this progress: modern technology (on the consumer front) has the most incredibly short lifespan that produces obsolete equipment (eWaste) and outdated processes that can no longer function. In fact, I have to assume that there is a certain degree of planned obsolescence due to business strategies and corporate profits.

I was reminded of this contradiction by a quote from Jonathan Ive, Apple's head designer. I fully respect Jony; in fact I have a crush on him as a designer. None the less, he was talking about how he liked the stainless steel used in iPods/iPhones and how it ages nicely, revealing this rich textural/visual quality. The irony is that these devices seem to have a lifespan of about a year (two or three if you're generous) before they're replaced by the next generation. (The iPhone 5 is rumored to be available soon.)

So this brings me to my thesis: are there things, ideas, etc., etc. that have already reached their peak? Are there things that will never get better? Are there things that have already been the best and we're now living on the backside of that mountain peak?

I've thought of a few examples when pondering this idea. One might be the grand piano. From my basic knowledge the grand piano hasn't changed much since the mid to late 1800's. Newer technology hasn't improved much on its design. The gold standard in most concert halls around the world is a Steinway. Steinways are still made by hand and tuned by ear. And just in general, how many new classical instruments are being created these days?

Fashion is a curious subject. It would appear that fashion is always turning back in on itself, recreating the style of previous eras. Right now it appears that we've moved from the bell-bottomed 70's and are in the middle of 80's neon colors. I suppose flannel and the Seattle grange scene will be back soon. So are there only three decades of basic clothing options for mass consumption?

What got me thinking about this has been a series of podcasts that I've been listening to on the history of photography by Jeff Curto. He brings up Chuck Close's Daguerreotypes, utilizing one of the earliest forms of photography to create his contemporary portraits. Basically Close was quoted as saying that photography has never gotten any better, that the Daguerreotype was and still is the best method for creating a photograph. Now certainly that could be heavily debated, but it does cause me to pause and consider what I create as an artist and the methods that I teach in the classroom. You, as students, have been affected by this thesis rolling around my head.

I could go on and on about this issue, but I'd like to hear some of your feedback (if you're still reading at this point). Comment on this thesis and bring to the table something that you may think of as the ultimate expression of a thing, idea, etc., etc. that has already been as good as it will ever get.


PS—Sorry for the Max Mouth ads; it was the only place I could find the SNL Jobs spoof.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Get in the Zone!

Lest we forget, Homecoming is this Saturday, and the Kidz Zone Arts & Crafts area is going to rock!  Thanks to ALL who have signed up to help.  There's still time to join in the fun:  we're meeting in the Wilson Gallery on Wednesday, September 21, at 4pm to prepare and EAT PIZZA--see you there!!
Gifted Garth Elementary 5th graders at the Jacobs Gallery, Spring 2011

Risk within a technological framework

Last week I talked about risk, and recently I came across this video that gave me some real hope and excitement about a different kind of risk and play existing within current culture. It looks like these guys had a ton of fun.

Friday, September 16, 2011


Thanks to all who helped make fallen hemlock stand tall!
Wrapping duo Mark Terrell Taylor and Meghan Pate at work.

Devon Stivers and friends learn more about fallen hemlock from artist Allison Warren.
Mallory Meisner contemplates the installation.
Photo by Stephanie Barker.

ABSTRKT coming 9/30

Cincinnati, OH -- Manifest will open its 8th Season with ABSTRKT, see below:

Thursday, September 15, 2011

From the Ground Up: GC Spaces and Places

Photo 1 (above) Earl Grey begins class with an overview of today's mission. From left, Katie, Devon, and Jen discuss their team's progress.
Photo 2 (above) Sarah and Terrell locate information in issues of the Belle of the Blue and the flat files.
Photo 3 (above, from left) Dana and Portia listen in as Katie and Terrell discuss how to develop a context for each of the buildings. Jordan, in the background, is writing object labels.
Photo 4 (above) To locate info on the Cralle Student Center, Earl Grey looks in a copy of the GC College Catalogue from 1964-65.

Students in the Curatorial Studies class have been working on an exhibition devoted to some of GC's buildings. Entitled "From the Ground Up: Georgetown College's Spaces and Places," this show takes a look at the college's buildings and structures -- those that stand and others that have withered away. Items from the college's archives and other primary sources that tell the story of our campus and some of its buildings will be on view. "From the Ground Up" offers a glimpse into the past and aims to connect campus buildings and structures with cherished memories of these spaces and places. Special attention will be given to Rucker Hall (destroyed 1971) and the new Rucker Village (built 2011).

The following art and history majors are involved in the preparation of this exhibition: Jordan Gill, Katie Mann, Sarah McIntosh, Shawn McPeek, Dana Sabato, Jen Stephenson, Devon Stivers, Terrell Taylor, and Portia Watson.

Please join us next Friday, September 23 from 12-2 for a reception in the LRC. Everyone is welcome to attend the 1:00 p.m. Fireside Chat as well. The events are free and open to the public. Photos courtesy of Shawn McPeek (thank you, Birthday Boy!)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

environmentally conscious

Check out artist Allison Warren installing one of Kentucky's natural beauties in the Anne Wright Wilson Fine Arts Gallery on Wednesday.  Then, on Thursday, join Allison and Alice Mandt of Save Kentucky's Hemlocks for a talk at 5:30pm (GC NEXUS Event) during the opening reception for fallen hemlock by allison warren from 5-8pm, also in the Wilson Gallery. 

Mill and the cross

 Great trailer sent to me by Ed Smith in the Theatre and Film Department.

The Mill and the Cross is inspired by Pieter Bruegel the Elder's 1564 painting The Way to Calvary, and based on Michael Francis Gibson's book The Mill and the Cross. T
he film focuses on a dozen of the 500 characters depicted in Breugel's painting.  (wikipedia exerpt)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Job Opportunity: Graphic Designer @ the KAC

Graphic Designer Coordinator at the Kentucky Arts Council
Please visit the state’s personnel website to fill out an application. The position will be posted tomorrow and will remain up for 10 days.


The Kentucky Arts Council (KAC) seeks a creative and motivated individual to serve as Graphic Designer. The position coordinates and oversees graphic design projects and performs professional graphic design functions in the creation, development and production of printed, display and web-based materials or products used in agency programs, marketing and promotional efforts or similar purposes.


Graduate of a college or university with a bachelor's degree in graphic design, commercial art, studio art or a closely related field. Must have two years of experience in graphic design. Additional experience in graphic design, commercial art, studio art or a closely related field will substitute for the required education on a year-for-year basis.

You may email me for the job description.

If you have any questions, please email Heidi Caudill

Job Opportunity: Photographer

LEX 18 News, Cordillera Communications' NBC affiliate in Lexington, KY seeks a full-time news photographer. Qualified applicant should have at least one-year shooting experience in a news environment. Applicant should possess strong compositional skills and the ability to tell a visually compelling story. Live microwave experience will be considered a plus.

LEX 18 is an equal opportunity employer. Minorities and females are encouraged to apply. Please send resume with cover letter and tape to: Human Resources, WLEX-TV, P O Box 1457, Lexington, KY 40588, or e-mail to

Risk and attic fans

"There are very few risk takers 
left these days, mainly there are 
just risk managers."  -Jim Graham

       My father was in the Navy for most of his life, and through which has had a full gamut of experiences including being on every continent, being thrown out of helicopters, being in wars, having a lung collapse while at sea, spying on Russia, being spied on by Russia, point being he has had to take lots of risks.  This is the home I grew up in.  That being said I was really sad the other day when I asked my freshman seminar students if they had any good injury stories (ice breaker). I was sad since they had none. I realized that they had not done many physical things, and within those they had not taken many risks.
      My father was in town last week and I told him this and his reply was "There are very few risk takers left these days, mainly there are just risk managers.  It was that way when I was leaving the Navy, its a sad state of affairs."  My dad and I have a long history of working together. We enjoy tackling projects that we know nothing about. It started when I was a kid and has continued till this day. A couple of summers ago my dad and I deconstructed the suspension and brake system of my truck.

Most recently we installed an attic fan in my house. It was a fun job and a lot less involved than we had planned for, or maybe because we planned so much it seemed easy.  There is nothing like cutting a huge hole in your house when you kinda dont 100% know what you are doing. I always like the line by artist Janine Antoni when talking about her tight rope walking work Touch. She said it was not learning to be balanced on a tightrope but more learning to be comfortable out of balance. 

 I always remember my dad and I trying to fix things that broke because you "couldn't brake them again".  It is this curiosity and risk that I am scared is leaving our current culture. I know some of it has to do with the complexity of objects, example: I would never try to fix a cell phone, but i would try to fix a rotary phone.  I know it also has to do with a generation that has trouble doing some things independently of others initiatives. Why don't people take risk these days? Is it because of heightened consequence? Fear? Discomfort? Whatever the reason I am becoming convinced this must change. 

Friday, September 9, 2011

Past 2 Art Weeks in Brief Review

Some photo smiles for the weekend!
Dr. Decker and Shelby Riddell with artist Greg Mueller in front of the Ensor LRC
Prof. Kincer and students during the closing reception for (Un) Realized Visions: Works by Greg Mueller
Prof. Zakic and students listening to graphic designer Scott Bruno

One more exciting thing about Study Abroad

Greece KIIS 2011, at the Portara of the temple to Delian Apollo, Naxos

Studying, teaching and understanding classical art in Greece and Italy presents many challenges. Just consider the latest economic news out of Athens as one of many adverse effects on international travel. Within the distractions, political, touristy or otherwise, distilling the “source” that is ancient Greece is all that more convoluted.

For five weeks in the summer, I join a team of tight-knit professors – if not staunch classicists than specialists from a related field, like the arts, literature or history – trying to navigate through a flurry of misinformation and engender the most appropriate educational model. The “touristy” distractions are often embraced. With proper guidance, there is much reinforcement to be gained from the knock-off-statuary at Athenian Plaka, the legion-clad mimes of the Colosseum, even from the beach-life and dance clubs at Mykonos. The diverging agendas of other travelers and paddlers along the way are of great use, too. Consider, for instance, all the similarities, in both purpose and form, between Pliny’s account of ancient painters and the latest gift shop catalogue found at any of the sites from Delphi to Naples. Pausanias’s “Guide to Ancient Greece” from the 2nd century CE still serves as a quasi-itinerary for the study of the ancient sites today, and after all, for a very good reason.

You will also, unavoidably, examine the very issues of experiencing the classical world in its own setting. How is embracing the role of a traveler helping or hurting the experience? What is there (and then) for an art student to gain from the experience of ancient culture? Actually, it is only when you get there, that you begin to "enjoy" its answers.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Why Study Abroad?

The Art Department at Georgetown College encourages students to study abroad for a short-term or longer stay. Studying abroad is a fantastic way to learn about another culture and experience art, museums, and so much more. Our faculty travel to and lead classes in Europe every year. For example, Boris taught drawing in Greece this past summer (see his post here) through KIIS. Darrell taught a course on photography in London and Dublin. I have taught study abroad courses in London and London/Dublin and I'll be returning this winter (December 26-January 8) with a course on the history of museums. See my earlier post here and the link to the course here. This is an opportunity to take a class with a GC faculty member and to earn academic credit in the Spring. This course is open to ANY GC student, regardless of major. Fantastic! (NOTE: photo above from a site visit in 2009-10 to the Natural History Museum in London)

The U.K. and Greece are not the only places where GC art students and faculty travel. Currently, we have two art majors who are studying in Florence, Italy. Elizabeth and Evelyn are studying at the Lorenzo de Medici School. They are joined by two other GC students. Elizabeth has a tumblr blog. To follow her and live vicariously through her posts, click on the tab to the right "FA 11 Elizabeth in Florence." Evelyn has a blogspot site where you can read about her experiences. To view, click on the tab to the right "FA 11 Evelyn in Florence." Art majors have enjoyed this program over the last several years, and I am certain that E&E will enjoy their stay as well. Beyond the undergraduate experience, I am pleased to announce that Cortney has undertaken her MA in Art History & Visual Culture at Richmond University's program in London. To follow her, click on the tab to the right "FA 11 and beyond: Cortney's MA in London."

Clearly, studying abroad has educational benefits in allowing you to learn on site in galleries and museums as well as historic locations. Students are also provided learning opportunities that differ from the GC offerings. Consider that the LdM program offers an entire course on Marble Sculpture, something that GC does not offer. And, what's fantastic is that students in that course travel to Carrara, a town nestled off the coast of the Ligurian Sea, to select their own marble to carve. Carrara is the town where Michelangelo selected some of his finest stones.

There are other, personal reasons to study abroad. As a student you have the opportunity to travel and learn in a way that may enable you to increase your self-understanding and confidence. I'll never forget the time that I used the Tube in London all by myself while researching abroad. I was so proud; it didn't matter that my destination was closer than I thought and that, truthfully, I could have walked to my destination quicker than the time it took to Tube it. But, I learned how to ride the Tube and to this day, I can still read a Tube Map and distinguish between open and closed circles on it. Studying abroad also broadens your world view while (potentially, depending on the program) increasing your foreign language skills. Finally, studying abroad can help you to appreciate both worlds: your home (family, friends, and all) as well as your new home-away-from-home.

If you have questions about studying abroad with art faculty, please contact any of us! If you have more general questions, contact the Office of International Programs. Also, feel free to check out their student blogs from previous semesters (but still enjoyable!)

UPDATE 9/29/11: check out Evelyn's post to the GCVA page here.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Graphic Designer by Design

Last spring, several students in Jessica Shields' publishing class reviewed 100 posters designed for art exhibitions at Cincinnati's Weston Art GallerySee several of the works they chose for Georgetown College's own show and meet graphic designer Scott Bruno during a reception on Thursday, September 8 from 4:30-6:30PM in the Cochenour GalleryScott will be speaking at 5:30 (NEXUS event)The exhibition 16/100 by Scott Bruno is on view through September 15--check it out! 

Gallery Hop Next Friday

The first Gallery Hop of the semester is coming up next Friday, September 16. Grab some friends and head to downtown Lexington to view a wide variety of shows, eat some food and make some new art friends. Click here to download a map of participating galleries and venues.

And while you're there, consider making your way of to Transy to visit their new show Unveiling the Painted Curtain: 21st Century Interactive Art. Click here to find out more.

Hope to see you there!