Saturday, December 31, 2011

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

sad day...Helen Frankenthaler

The artist Helen Frankenthaler in her studio on Contentment Island in Darien, Conn., in 2003, with her work, "Blue Lady," acrylic on paper. Photo by Suzanne DeChillo/The New York Times
Many students in art classes at Georgetown College come to know the work of Helen Frankenthaler because we are fortunate to have a work by her housed in the Dr. Donald L. and Dorothy Jacobs Gallery in the Ensor Learning Resource Center on campus. Personally, I discuss her work and development as an artist, sometimes briefly and other times in depth, in art history courses. Frankenthaler offers so much to art's history and, in my view, a means of critiquing the push toward abstraction in the mid-20th century. It was sad to learn that she'd passed away this week. In her honor, I've pulled some words about and images of her and her work. Enjoy.

From The New York Times...Helen Frankenthaler, the lyrically abstract painter whose technique of staining pigment into raw canvas helped shape an influential art movement in the mid-20th century, and who became one of the most admired artists of her generation, died on Tuesday at her home in Darien, Conn. She was 83. Read the full notice here.
GC's first art history major, Ashley Gabbard Darland (GC art history '07), addressed the artist briefly in her art history thesis that year. Darland discussed each work in the Donald L. and Dorothy Jacobs Collection, housed in the Ensor LRC on the GC campus. This collection includes Bilbao, a 13-color screen print from 1998, shown immediately below.
In commenting on the artist's place in art history, Darland notes: "Helen Frankenthaler’s works are often classified as stain paintings for their thin washes of pigment that are reminiscent of watercolors. She paints directly on to non-painted canvases so the pigments stain and absorb into the canvas. She began this technique in the early 1950s after being inspired by a large exhibition of Jackson Pollock’s works. Her techniques have influenced many artists over the years, most notably those who are color-fieldists. Other than painting, Frankenthaler also welds steel sculptures, creates ceramics, and illustrates books. In 1985, she had the unique opportunity of designing the sets and costumes for a production of England’s royal ballet. She has also taught art in several universities include Harvard, Princeton, and Yale. Frankenthaler was married to the late artist Robert Motherwell, whose work is also featured in the [Jacobs] gallery."

In the image above, from the original installation of the Jacobs Collection on the GC campus, Bilbao (the orange and yellow "picture" -- here, invoking Frankenthaler in my own use of language) is shown on the second wall at right.

For two thorough posts about Frankenthaler's work and her turn to prints, as well as the source site for two of the photos of Frankenthaler used above, click here and here. A screen capture of one of the blog posts, related to her work Mulberry, is inserted above.

Feel free to leave a comment below.

Friday, December 23, 2011

shout out to...Angelina

who's joining the Cincinnati Art Museum's visitor services team.
CONGRATS on your new job:)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

holiday cure

Everyone's a curator, or so say some as outlined in the recent article "Ain't Miscuratin'" by Cat Kron.  While I don't know if it qualifies, I do take a certain pride in the "art" of arranging ornaments on the tree and the presents beneath it.  So, in the midst of department store displays of stuff and store windows dressed up to the hilt (even the table set for a holiday feast), I encourage you to consider the visual elements and principles of design present.  Just trying to keep your art skills sharp during the break!  Seriously,
Tree at Rockefeller Center in NYC
Peace, Joy and Happy Holidays to All! 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Merry Christmas from The Swedish Legal System

        John Kieltyka was part of the duo that taught my first class in college and had a huge life changing influence on me. If it were not for him and Monika Lidman I would be who knows where. But more importantly he is part of a band called The Swedish Legal System and they would like to wish you a merry Christmas with their version of Silent Night. Enjoy! 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Opportunity: Sell it @ Berea

BEREA, Ky. – The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea invites Kentucky artisans to apply to have their work selected to be offered for sale at the center. Deadline 12/31/2011

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Found Object Gift Exchange 2011

Thanks to everyone who came over tonight for the Get Together & Found Object Gift Exchange. We have another great photo to add to the album.

Hope you enjoyed the cookies, cider, coffee, and other treats. Good luck on final exams, papers, and critiques. And, we'll look forward to seeing you in the Art Department in the Spring 2012! (PS to Danielle & Rylery: we know Shawn will be around in the Spring. Know that you're also welcome to come by for a visit or to serve as guest-crit.)

Rebranding @ Matchstic

Earlier in the semester, ART 338 Intermediate Graphic Design had a Skype conversation with the Matchstic branding house in Atlanta. Craig Johnson and John Bowles sat down to talk with us about the company, their projects and insights into graphic design and branding. In particular, we talked about evolution and revolution when it comes to logo design and brand identity (a topic for one of our projects in ART 338).

As it turns out, they have been working on their own redesign over the past year and posted the results of their hard work and innovation on their blog yesterday. It's a great study of fantastic design that you can read HERE. Check it out!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Fall semester is winding down but check out the activity in the Art Galleries! Art Tigers Interactive Meeting at Noon on Tuesday, December 13 in the Jacobs Gallery and then on Thursday:

Of Liberty, copyright 2011 Marjorie Guyon
Cochenour Gallery, Ensor Learning Resource Center
Thursday, December 15
Opening Reception, 5:00-8:00 PM with
Artist Talk at 5:30 PM with Special Guests, The Glendover Nation:
children from the YMCA of Central Kentucky's after-school program
Part of Georgetown's Antiques & ArtWalk

Artist Marjorie Guyon has created a public art project examining the question, "how do we form a more perfect union?"  Nation of Nations is by definition a local, regional, national and finally an international endeavor.  Guyon has selected Georgetown College as the first venue to host the traveling exhibition of her project. 

The ten panels printed on canvas in this exhibition echo the original works on view at the University of Kentucky's William T. Young Library through May 2012.  Guyon's mixed-media work features life-sized figures and provocative text.  Across the top of each panel the phrase "Have Mercy on Us" appears in the actual handwriting of our country's global citizens.   Intended to move people to consider how "we, the people" can create a more perfect union,
Nation of Nations poses a powerful question for our time. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

To what end?

Just the other day our Art Department Faculty had a great discussion about the intention and audience of the GCVA blog. Who should be writing? who should and is listening? Is it is being used to the best of its capabilities? And a whole host of other questions.  One question was brought up that I thought needed to be posted. This is what do you think? You as the viewer and our audience should let us know what you think. What changes if any do you want to see on the blog?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Holiday Fun at Dr. Decker's: Weds. December 14, 4-6 pm

It's that time of year -- cider, coffee, cookies, and, yes, the found object gift exchange. I am serving as host this year. All students enrolled in art classes are invited...come on over this Weds (Reading Day) from 4-6 pm. The only thing you need to bring is something for the gift exchange (wrapped however you wish!). Do the Duchamp thing: bring an assisted readymade, rectified readymade, corrected readymade, or reciprocal readymade.
[Note for those of you who have not had "modern art" a readymade may be defined as commonplace, prefabricated objects, isolated from their function and context with or without alteration, elevated to the status of fine art by a the act of declaration, and perhaps, also mere selection.]

Here's a photo from what I believe was the inaugural event, held at my place, back in 2004 or 2005.
Address: 125 Hemingway Place in Georgetown.
Map on this link. NOTE: Google Maps is outdated, there are no large trees in the lawn.

Take a study break and come over on Wednesday! All art students are invited!

Show Art

The International Education Committee (IEC) at WKU is pleased to formally request submissions from undergraduate and graduate students from any post-secondary institution in Kentucky for presentation at the WKU Statewide Study Abroad Symposium in the Media/Art categories.

Deadline for submission in the Media/Art categories is Friday, February 3rd, 2012.

In order to submit, the student must be enrolled during the 2010 - 2011 academic year, and studied abroad during any semester from the 2009 Fall Semester through the 2011 Summer Term.

Media/Art Categories:

1. Photo Essay

2. Art

3. Poster

4. Creative Interpretation

More details can be found at WKU's Statewide Study Abroad Symposium website:

Again, we are working on some wonderful awards/scholarships for participants at the event!

The Student Media Art Submission Form is attached for your convenience.

Proposal submissions and any questions can be directed to me ( and/or Dr. David Keeling (

Thank you,

Erin Greunke

Western Kentucky University
Adjunct Faculty and Doctoral Student of Educational Leadership

Dept of Geography and Geology
1906 College Heights #31066
Bowling Green, KY 42101-1066

Friday, December 9, 2011

Zakic @ 30 Open Doors (Los Angeles)

Friday, December 16, 5-10 pm


Bergamot Station Art Center

for directions or more info see:
or contact the venue directly here

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Modern Art Presentations

Students in the Modern Art course have been giving presentations on art movements and sub-movements, approaches, and media of the past half century. Topics this week have included assemblage, photography, architecture, pop art, minimalism, feminism, and earthworks. Despite the cold and, yes, snow flurries! students left the art building, under Katie's direction, and went across the street to create an earthwork first hand. The task: to engage and make work with the earth or the living environment.

As readers of the blog may know, my personal and professional interest in public art extends to land art as well. While there are multiple definitions of this movement (and, as Katie pointed out today, Stokstad only gives us two paragraphs of information about this movement), I see earthworks and land art as one of the defining shifts in modern art. The premise of this sub field (pun intended) is straightforward and two-fold. Land art and earth art/earthworks, a movement and classification of public art that emerged in the 1960s and continues today, makes the earth both a canvas and the pedestal for works. Such artworks are intended primarily as permanent, large-scale forms in wide-open spaces and in particularized natural environments, such as along a river, within a lake, amidst a field, or in an urban setting. Examples include Claes Oldenburg's Placid Civic Monument (1967), Michael Heizer's Double Negative (1969-1970), Walter de Maria's The Lightning Field (1974-1977), James Turrell's Roden Crater (1977-present), Christo and Jeanne-Claude's Valley Curtain (1970-72), and Nancy Holt's Sun Tunnels (1973-76).

Our earthwork was conceived in the space across from the Art Building -- the grassy area that Allison Warren once took up for her public art piece, Crossing (after Whitman). As a class, we chose to create one work rather than single works individually. Aptly titled A Pile of Sticks (We're Very Literal), the installation/earthwork was created with natural materials only and without the aid of any connective materials or alterations of the form in order to join elements. See top photo for the completed work. While A Pile of Sticks (We're Very Literal) may not withstand the semester or, even the day, we hope that you enjoy this ephemeral earthwork.

Our next project is the Modern Art Game Day. Join us on Monday, December 12 in the Wilson Gallery around 12:30 (giving us time to set up the games at noon). All are welcome to join us!

PS to TJ: Thanks for taking our photos.
PPS: as a way to link this post with the previous one by Darrell, see this information on a new exhibition in Paris on anamorphosis, that is, an image that needs to be seen from a special angle to be seen without distortion. Story here.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Picture of A Picture Call for Entries

The 930 Art Center in Louisville has a coll for entries – online submission with no entry fees. Quoted from their site:

DEADLINE TO ENTER: Sunday December 20, 2011 at midnight

ON VIEW: January 6 - February 12, 2012

Inspired by the fantastic website, Dear Photograph, we’re asking you to photograph a picture from the past in the present.

Submit the digital file below and we’ll print and frame our favorite 24 entries. At the opening reception we’ll let everyone vote for their favorite and we’ll give some sort of prize.

Make sure the resolution is high enough to print an 8×10″ print.
File type must be .jpg.
Feel free to submit more than one too.

Click HERE to submit your entries or find out more.

Photo above: Michael and Owen Winters (via 930's web page)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

art cent$

Having worked in art museums and galleries for the past decade or so, I am no longer surprised when the first question many visitors ask pertains to value.  Not artistic value, mind you, but cold, hard, cash value.  Instead of inquiring about how a work of art was made, how long it took to make, who made it and why, I estimate seven out of ten gallery-visiting folks will come out and say something along the lines of:  "Which one of these is worth the most?" 
"The Pig That Therefore I Am" by Miru Kim
It's a difficult question to answer.  Like the economy, the art market is complicated and fickle.  I read an excellent article that addresses the subject based in part on the author's impressions of the big art fair, Art Basel, Miami.  Titled "Why is art so damned expensive?", Blake Gopnik has some amusing--and real world--commentary to share.  His explanation as to why contemporary art prices are soaring (despite the horrible economy) include "the prestige factor", the fact that "dollars are easier to measure than beauty", the notion that some wealthy people are turned on by "the thrill of the hunt", and that increased competition between collectors (and artists) "skews the market".  

Gopnik concludes with a nod at the price of appearances:  "Top art collectors aren’t shoppers like anyone else. If they spend right, they can purchase the status of cultural patron. No one looks up to you for buying a fleet of Bentleys, but own a flock of Richard Serras, and you become a supporter of culture."  Hmmm, I wonder if Santa would entertain the timely idea of adding Eli Broad to my list? 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Invention Say WHAT?

When I was a guest in my mothers fourth grade classroom she asked them what was the best invention of all time. The answers were of course amazing. No cars, computers, etc. The answers included, paper, paint, shoes, pockets (one of my all time favorites), telescopes, and bikes. Well I would have to add one more to that list after what I came across today... Conductive Velcro! The possiblilites are endless. This would allow for some of the craziest applications. Some that we have never even thought of. And this is not the future this is now. It is on sale for 22 dollars. HERE. For those who do not think this way, lets look at it like this. Imagine that you no longer have to have earbud wires because the wires are the velcro that already exist in your jacket. One of the proposed usages is

"a shared workbench that uses conductive hook and loop (velcro) to hold tools. Tools that have conductive loops on them can be attached to the wall of the work bench containing conductive hooks. In combination with a computer system, it would now be possible to see when exactly the tools were checked out, and by which worker."

 Wow! What would you do with it? What is your favorite/ most important invention you can think of?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Opportunity: Internship LVAA

Louisville Visual Art Association Internship Program
Deadline: December 16, 2011 for the Winter/Spring term (January-May)
Internships are available in the following departments:
1. Art Education
2. Arts Administration
3. Community Arts
4. Curatorial/Event Planning
5. Executive Assistant

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Guest Post by Catherine Shelburne

Drawing Exhibition Comes to Georgetown College: Experts’ Theories on Drawings, Methods, and Artist Selection

By: Catherine Shelburne, freshman, intended art major

All that attended Tuesday’s “State of Drawing” found the gallery show to be impressive. The Anne Wright Wilson Fine Arts Gallery currently holds drawing samples that represent art faculty from almost every college in Kentucky. Many of the artists whose work is shown said they enjoyed the range of pieces, and one artist, Russel Weedman of the University of the Cumberlands, described the show as “beautiful and diverse.” It goes without saying that everyone enjoyed themselves and the artwork, but I found myself enraptured not just by the breathtaking artwork but also by the round table panel discussion. Moderated by our own Professor Boris Zakic, the panel consisted of gallery directors Andrea Fisher of Transylvania University, Ester Randall of Eastern Kentucky University, Kristina Arnold of Western Kentucky University, and Jason Franz director of Manifest Creative Research Gallery and Drawing Center in Cincinnati.

The panel generally agreed upon the resurgence in drawing due to economic and technological changes in the past century, and the shift in the hierarchy of artistic media. They also all generally believed that a drawing needed energy and je ne sais quoi to please them, but what made the discussion so interesting was not the agreement, but the disagreement. The contrasting views gave everybody something to think about. Is that not the best part of academic discussion?

Most exciting were the varied teaching methods. While Fisher declared a more liberating drawing class with mixed media and less attention to technical skill best, Franz found that the rules imposed upon students while learning the foundational skills of drawing encouraged creativity within a structured setting and fostered free expression in more advanced levels of studio classes. Arnold looked for a happy balance because she often starts drawing classes traditionally but grows tired of what seems to her that repetitive teaching style. Abandoning the structure mid semester, she branches out into other media forms. These teachers, all from different schools and backgrounds, have such different ideas about the best methods of instruction. I look forward to the crop of new artists Kentucky will soon have under the tutelage of these fine people.

The panel also discussed the selection of works. Fisher once again wanted to see more popular modern drawing styles such as anime and cartooning. She found this exhibition traditional in its selection, and assumed the cause was the generation of the artists selected to contribute. She suggested a gallery show filled with the drawings of the students instead of the professors. This statement most likely got almost every student artist in the room thinking about what they would like to see or present to the public. Franz disagreed about the generational gap, and Randall found it interesting that the works selected by the artists did possess some traditional thinking. It gave rise to many other unanswered questions about the cause of the traditionalism, the affects of the age gap between professor and student, and how they played a role in the works selected.

So many questions, so many ideas, so much to think about! I could not imagine a better way to spend my Tuesday evening, and if you haven’t seen the show yet you should definitely look, observe, see what I am talking about for yourself. The exhibition “State of Drawing” is on view until December 15th. The works will only make you think about all the wonderful possibilities the art world has in Kentucky.