Saturday, August 24, 2013

Summer Internship Experience Out West

This summer, I was privileged with the opportunity to intern at the Museum of Outdoor Arts located in Englewood, Colorado. I joined a team of 12 "Design & Build" interns and worked under the creative guidance of the artist in residence- Cory Gilstrap (Imagined Creations). I even got to spend 2 days getting paid to explore exhibitions of abstract art in the Denver Art Museum & the Clyfford Still Museum. We spent the summer "designing and building" a show titled "Art Abstracted-Weather Suspended" which opened August 3rd. It was a show consisting of 7 installation pieces that were all weather related. The weather-inspired installations were designed around the abstract environments created by the forces of nature.

I came into the internship with a sponge-like attitude, eager to absorb all the skills and knowledge I could. I have had experience working collaboratively before (in Boris's Impasto painting class) but never on a level like I did. I found the dynamic of the group intriguing because each intern brought a skill to the table that helped to bring the show together. I became an expert paper mache -er and used new gagets, gizmos and tools galore! I even experienced a bizarre allergic skin reaction from a chemical called Styro-1000. I got my hands into everything and played around with various new media and materials. Not only did I get to make art all week long, on the weekends I spent my free time in the Rocky Mountains hiking and exploring the outdoors with family. I made great friendships and was able to network myself as an artist with the privilege of having my own personal piece titled "Monsoon" in the show (pictured below). Here are some process pictures....

 "Monsoon" 2'x8' panel, plaster, acrylic, foam core on canvas

My idea to abstractly represent the weather term "Monsoon" came to me after some in depth research on the word. I discovered that a strange meteorological phenomenon called a sunshower happens in which rain falls while the sun is shining. These strange conditions often lead to an appearance of a rainbow. There is a old folktale that states during this weather phenomenon, there is a marriage between two foxes. I wanted that visual of the two foxes to be hidden from the viewer and not blatantly obvious. I covered the foam core forms with plaster for the added texture and relief making it become a storm itself. The connection of the two foxes made the focal point or eye of the monsoon storm in my mind. My color choice was inspired by the viewing of a TV weather station radar visual or the colored blobs moving across the screen during storm warnings. The radar itself is an abstraction of nature, so why not make my own.

I would like to continue my exploration in my painting independent study course this fall by taking these inspirations that I gained from my summer experience. I see myself experimenting with painting on textured surfaces and digging deeper into a possible theme of abstract representations of folktales or folklore.

1 comment:

Earl Grey said...

I loved looking at your sketches on Monday, Mallory. Now, when I look at Monsoon, I can't help but see two foxes:)

I am encouraged by your idea of working with plaster and pursuing a theme involving folktales or lore or myth. I look forward to hearing more.

An artist I'd recommend —very different from your work, but interested in weather—is Olafur Eliasson whose weather project was at Tate Modern, London in 2003.:)