Saturday, November 30, 2013

UK Open Studios

Reynolds building hall critique 

Make sure to drop in on Dec 6th for an annual evening of fun at the UK Open Studios. 
Its in the Reynolds building, which will be the last time to have open studios before moving the art department to their new home. So make sure to swing in and check out what students are making. 

Friday, November 29, 2013

Homemade Paint

This past week, Stephanie Barker & I were lucky to have Leah Castleman come and show us her latest exploration in making paint from scratch. We got to gather up various items to use as our pigment. We collected spices, coffee grounds, butter mints, charcoal, blackberries, leaves, etc.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Modern Art Mad Libs

Compliments of the Modern Art Students. Answers below.

I drop old pots like a pro, I say “screw you” to the Chinese po-po,
They arrest me because they detest me,
But they can’t quiet my word because everyone with Twitter has heard
That my fight against injustice will never give in
And you can be sure as hell I will make a din
Until people have the right to pray
And decide how to go their own way,
My name is _________.*Okay, maybe it's a bit of a rap, rather than a Mad Lib*
Answer #1 (in the center)

Monday, November 25, 2013

Good Ol Rube

These days my daughter Olive is obsessed with this video that I think is fantastic. She always asks to watch the "engeering video, you know the girl one" or she will just start singing "ITS TIME TO CHANGE". I mean how could you go wrong with Beastie Boys and Rube Goldberg. Enjoy.

and one of my favorite Rube Goldberg ones from a little while back.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Opportunities: Graphic Design and Web Intern @ UK

Employer: James W. Stuckert Career Center

Title: Graphic Design Intern

Description: The Graphic Design intern will be responsible for the visual design of brochures, web graphics, advertisements, newsletters, posters, and other publications for the James W. Stuckert Career Center. Projects range from modifying existing artwork to conceptualizing and designing from concept to completion. Must be able to prioritize work requests based on needs, job requirements, etc... The intern will experience the pressure of deadlines, the importance of time management, and the satisfaction completing graphic design work that is visually appealing and supporting valuable services. The intern is encouraged to share ideas and take an active role in the marketing team.

Qualifications include previous scholastic and/or freelance graphic design experience required and a passion and enthusiasm for quality work and continuous improvement, strong written and verbal communication skills. Students with strong desire to learn and grow as well as who have a strong work ethic should apply, if minimum qualifications are lacking. Working knowledge of PowerPoint, Adobe Creative Suite, specifically Adobe Illustrator CS5, InDesign, Photoshop, Flash, and/or Acrobat strongly desired.

Minimum Qualifications:
The successful candidate will have:
* Demonstrated graphic design skills
* Creativity, enthusiasm and excellent problem-solving skills
* An eye for detail
* Strong interpersonal communication skills
* A positive, team-player attitude
* Computers and/or technology savvy
* Ability to effectively manage time and meet project deadlines
* Experience with PowerPoint, Publisher, and Adobe products such as Photoshop, Illustrator, or other design software
* Experience with HTML a plus

All majors considered, but majors related to art or design with knowledge of graphic design software, and individuals with prior related experience preferred. Special attention given to students who have a passion to work in this area.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Object in Focus preview

Coming to the Wilson Building foyer in January 2014. 
This will be our object in focus for the alumni spotlight. 
The painting will be paired with commentary from art history alumni.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Sneak Peek

I've been back in my darkroom working on new photographs for an upcoming solo show in Frankfort, KY. I'll be showing in the Jane Chancellor Moore Gallery through January and February. The space is in a bank, so it's only fitting to exhibit this work. In fact it was my previous Currency portfolio that landed me the invitation.

I believe this will be the last time I'll be in the darkroom during my sabbatical so I made the most of it, creating 38 new prints. Although each photographs is unique, I have run into a bit of an issue because I have a limited number of different source images. For example, I have four Grants, six Jacksons, three Hamiltons, etc. I'll have to do some major editing to find uniquely singular prints.

As with my Botanical Studies, I continued to explored the mordan├žage process, and again faced new challenges and revelations with my results. All in all I'm very happy with what turned out and I'm excited to have an opportunity to put them on display.

Public Art Tragedy

Early Tuesday painters covered the walls of 5Pointz and, as a result, erased the work of hundreds of graffiti artists. This act could be considered meta-vandalism in some senses, as the graffiti artists were, ostensibly, vandalizing the buildings themselves through their work. 

The owner, Jeffrey Wolkoff, purchased the buildings in 1971 and, after leasing the space to a music industry firm, rented studios to artists for a few hundred dollars a month. He was asked, by a person who removes graffiti from walls in the city, if his painters could use these walls as canvases. Wolkoff agreed and, over time, gave them more and more space. In 2002, a graffiti artist named Meres One took the endeavor over, becoming its curator and christening it 5Pointz.

Art alum, Angie, at 5Pointz, this past summer.
Tourists and art enthusiasts from all over the world come to 5Pointz.

This public art tragedy — which was looming over the past year, really—even caused Banksy to come to action.

Banksy's inflatable installation was a call to save a famous 5Pointz. “This is a sideways take on the ubiquitous spray-painted bubble lettering that actually floats...It’s an homage of sorts to the most prevalent form of graffiti in the city that invented it for a modern era . Or it's another Banksy piece that’s full of hot air.” Within hours, the latest piece was in the back of a police van, as captured on Instagram (above).

What's next? Razing the buildings and putting in condominiums.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

What's in a Reflection

A photographer friend of mine shared this on her blog. I think that the images speak for themselves as I believe art should. Take this as an opportunity to think about your own work - does it have an impact, do you need a lot of back story, what is the most important element. Take time to step back from your work.

Here is Tom Hussey's work: Reflection

“I can’t believe I’m going to be 80,” he told Hussey. “I feel like I just came back from the war. I look in the mirror and I see this old guy.”

Reflection gives insight into the former lives of these senior citizens.



Opportunities: Call for Entries due 1/24/14

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Piping Hot

I've always loved different things. I especially love pipes. All pipes. More than the pipes, I love what they are made of whether they are glass, stone, wood, etc. I have been collecting pipes (including water pipes) for almost 5 years now. Sometimes, I use them, sometimes I don't. I always test them to see how they work, though.  I recently bought what I like to call "An Old Man's Pipe". These are the pipes that you're likely to see in old films or with people like John Watson or Sherlock Holmes. I really wanted one.

I didn't know this was going to be my weekly object, so I didn't take a picture of it before I used it, so I'll describe the inside. Since all of my other pipes are either stone or glass, I didn't know that a small screw was needed on the inside of the bowl of the pipe. I'm not entirely sure why it's there, but I suspect it's to hold the two different materials of the pipe together. The pipe is made of a type of wood and some other material. I can't pick up on what it is. The mouthpiece is plastic. It works well.

I'm not sure if I would pick this piece again. There's nothing wrong with it, but I think I just like the feel of the glass and stones pieces more. They're..different. I want to say smooth, but this pipe is smooth as well. I don't know. I just don't like it as much as my other pieces.



My students wanted to take me to this cave in the countryside that all of the older kids go to. Their parents said they were only allowed to go with an adult, namely me. Well, I wasn't going to go inside of the cave. The walls and things were covered with spiders. No.

However, I did decide to observe the graffiti that was all on the outside of the cave. This was interesting to me because graffiti is normally in a more public place. I'm also doing my final paper on graffiti, so I thought this would be a great chance to investigate.

I believe that this place started out as a beginning grounds for whomever the artist is or artists are. The art is very raw and mostly consists of names which I assume to be those of the artist or someone close. I say that because a lot of graffiti is done as a means to express oneself, the society around you, and as a protest of sorts for what's happening in the world around the artist.

These were the largest pieces on the wall, but over them were a lot of small pieces. It's possible that this site is a beginner's place for a lot of the graffiti artists in the area. It would make sense since it's hidden away and none of the older society go to this part of the mountains. At least, that's the vibe I got from the kids and the adults about the location.

If this is the starting ground, then the ultimate piece of graffiti that is the main focus of my final paper would be the finished product.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Save the Date — December 3rd

A big thank you to Lynsey for designing the invitation:)

All art students welcome—majors, minors, everyone!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Little Things

Each semester I take students on a field trip to shoot photos at Keeneland Racecourse in Lexington. As you can imagine I've been there quite a few times. As a result it can become difficult to find inspiration, feeling like I've seen it all before. However, one thing I often find interesting about a "landscape" is the residue of human activity left on a place. Last spring I noticed something that was interesting and fun – a little bit of a game. I've seen this before with chairs that have been placed or left in conspicuous places. But this time it was the cups.

Review: Christopher Saucedo's "Red Cross Blankets"

Christopher Saucedo's talk in the Cochenour Gallery.
His work is on view until November 29.
On November 8, 2013, the latest exhibit at Georgetown College’s Cochenour gallery opened with an art talk by sculptor Christopher Saucedo and his show Red Cross Blankets. The show primarily consists of unorthodox self-portraits composed of mixed mediums. The images used are related to the artist’s measure in fluid volume through familiar liquid containers such as soda cans, coffee mugs, milk cartons, gallon jugs, shot glass, and other glasses. According to the artist, he was inspired the aftermath in his homes in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and in New York following Hurricane Sandy in 2012 when water remained in various containers from the flood water.

Saucedo is known as a sculptor and three-dimensional images, yet this show seemed to be made up mainly of two-dimensional works including two embroidered Red Cross blankets, three wooden canvases that have been branded with images of Saucedo’s container as well as ‘puzzle’ like piece with the container images broken up and rearranged, and a wooden and aluminum mobile that would remind one of a wind chime. These works prove that Saucedo is capable of breaking the rules in the area of traditional portraiture by presenting a different kind of visual representation of an individual.

In the traditional sense, one expects a portrait to be a realistic image to mimic the likeness of the subject and their features. This means it is an image meant to recreate life. However Saucedo takes this idea of a self-portrait being a visual presentation and puts a conceptual spin on it. He represents himself through empirical measure by fluid volume and the containers that hold the amount that equal his mass. So it places Saucedo’s representations on a grander scale through an intellectual perspective and yet a simpler scale through the common images used in his self-depiction.

Overall, it was good talk as Saucedo was very encouraging for questions and comments and the group was able to a good discussion of his works and the sentiment behind them. Also it was interesting to see an artist known for working mainly with 3-D pieces to execute somewhat 2-D works very well. Though on another note, I feel that the show could have been renamed to fit the titles of the works, like Fluid Volume Series instead on Red Cross Blankets, as the blankets only made up two of the pieces present in the show.

--Rebecca Siever, art history major, class of 2014

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Top Six in Art

Vanity Fair December 2013 issue
Vanity Fair polled 100 art-world insiders—mainly artists, professors of art, and curators—to name whom they consider to be the six most important living artists. Dealers and gallerists were not consulted, as they have vested (financial) interests in the livelihood of artists. The project intends to illustrate a moment in time —  What's interesting right now? And, why? Who were the top vote getters? 

VF asked 100 people which means there could have been 600 votes all told. But only 54 returned their ballots. The top vote-getter, Richter, received only 24 votes. Ellsworth Kelly received 10 votes. What does this mean for taste? for teaching? for making? 

The Most-Voted-for Artists

Gerhard Richter: 24 votes
Jasper Johns: 20 votes
Richard Serra: 19 votes
Bruce Nauman: 17 votes
Cindy Sherman: 12 votes
Ellsworth Kelly: 10 votes

Richard Serra's installation in Bilbao

In modern art we have talked about artists who break the rules. And that discussion has included the names of four of these six artists, with conversations yet to come.  Who would you include in your list of the Top Six?

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Field Trip: GSCM

On Wednesday, my Foundations 112 students and I walked up town to the Georgetown & Scott County Museum. We were welcomed by Mr. Rice, former teacher and photographer at Paintsville H.S., who is now the Director of the Museum.

For those of you who have not visited before, or if it's been a while since you have visited, please take the time to walk uptown and take in their exhibits. The Museum focuses on the history of this region with its permanent displays and, also, has temporary installations. One of these exhibits focuses on quilts, with some amazing examples from the Gaines house in Georgetown as well as contemporary works. The other temporary display focuses on the Civil War and features a reconstruction, in miniature, of the Orphan Brigade of Kentucky who fought at the Battle of Chickamauga.

Students looking for a FDN 112 course in the spring, consider taking my FDN 112 Engaging Objects. Come learn about objects, artifacts, and works of art first-hand:)

Dr Decker & Jordan
Takecia and Victoria

Friday, November 8, 2013


Opening today in the Cochenour Gallery at Noon is Christopher Saucedo's Red Cross Blankets. 
This exhibition will be open from November 8th - November 29th; however, I encourage each of you to stop by and chat with Mr. Saucedo. Double bonus is that not only do you get to hear an amazing artist talk about his work but you can receive NEXUS credit. TRIPLE bonus, I made pumpkin hummus, and it's goooood!

Artist Statement:
Before Hurricane Katrina I was playing in our New Orleans backyard with my school-aged children in giant barrels full of water. We calculated each of our displaced volumes by carefully re-filling over-spilled barrels with gallon, quart and cup containers or water. I remember the kids tallying our ‘fluid volume’ on their playhouse chalkboard; we knew how many gallons, and quarts and cups each of us were. We compared results and laughed and stayed cool in the hot Louisiana summer. I measured in at just less than 29 gallons and my 8 and 9-year old children, who repeated the refreshing but non-exact experiment over and over again, were less than 10 gallons apiece. We all knew the empirical measure of gallons, quarts and cups and we had a personal relationship to each. I made sculpture about it and even a comic strip diagram of the experiment.

The August 2005 flood that followed Hurricane Katrina consumed most of New Orleans including my neighborhood, home and studio. When we were allowed back into the city to assess the damage I pried open the water-swollen door to my home and found the residue of a beautiful underwater kingdom of exotic and colorful mold; odor aside my living room looked like an ancient lake bed. Most memorably was a sturdy curio cabinet full of an assortment of seldom-used wine glasses and brandy snifters. Although the floodwaters had gently receded each of these glasses remained full of Katrina water to the tip-top brim. I carefully poured off the water into a big 5-gallon water bottle. I still have that sealed container of Katrina.

To make a long story a little shorter and to jump forward seven years to 2012 and another Hurricane, this time in Rockaway Beach, New York, my home and studio flooded again. Perhaps foolishly but with a real desire to witness it all first hand I didn’t evacuate like we did for before. As my now grown up son and I were shuffling books and drawings upstairs in waist-high water with flashlights in our teeth to light the dark path I realized we were back in that barrel of water and that the experiment continues. A few days later the Red Cross gave us nicely wrapped emergency blankets, which I saved for this project.

All of that said I hope the title of this exhibition: Red Cross Blankets as well as my repeated imagery of “fluid volume” containers, makes better sense for the viewer. I remain preoccupied with the empirical measurement of cups, pints, quarts and gallons as I prefer water in small controllable containers.


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Senior Thesis: A (Final) Weekly Update

A lot of people mentioned they wanted to see the shoes out of the display, here they are! 
Hey everyone,

I have gained so much insight from completing my senior thesis body of work. It all feels a little surreal now that I am done. Things that I plan to work on within the next week or so is photographing some of my 3D pieces for my portfolio, making a couple pairs of shoes for some interested buyers, and working on some freelance work for a local small graphic design shop, and of course applying to lots of jobs. 

Thanks for all your support!

(For those who may be interested in going into graphic design, take a look at some very cut and dry yet extremely helpful advice from graphic designer Tim Garner.)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Its already November! can you believe it? A month from now everyone will be preparing for final exams..ahh! 

Anyways! This post might be my last post for the semester (sad face) so I thought I would talk about something fun, graphic design! Now that senior thesis is over and I am no longer teaching art lessons each week, I have been thinking about working on some graphic design projects. Sometimes I have a hard time getting started on projects, and now I am at the point where I want to further develop my graphic design skills. I was doing a little research and I stumbled into a site that had a list titled "7 Ways to Fine Tune Your Graphic Design Skills" and the tips were actually very helpful, so I thought I would share. 

Enjoy the first week of November! Its almost Thanksgiving (: 


Monday, November 4, 2013

Ann Hamilton at DAAP

NOV 20th 5pm. Make sure to mark your calendars. Ann Hamilton is speaking at DAAP in Cincinnati open to the public and free of charge. Ann Hamliton and her work was one of the reasons I chose to pursue work art. She is a great speaker. Just ask any of the folks from the performace and Installation class a couple of years back. As funny as it is my mother was the one that cut an article about her work at the venice biennale in 1999. I was a sophomore in College and was blown away her use of material and how simple yet profound her interactions are. The work "myein"can be seen HERE. Still to this day she is one of my inspirations.
 Anyhow she is going to talk about her work "The event of a Thread" as well as some other projects in the works. The top short video shares the visuals of the work. The bottom exclusive from ART21 has her talking briefly about it. It will be a wonderful occasion.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Oral History: fall recordings have been posted

It's that time of year—as we edge toward semester's end and the holidays, students in the Curatorial Studies course prepare to listen to someone important to them. That is, they complete an oral history project. This project mirrors, on a smaller scale, the National Day of Listening and the Story Corps project

This past Friday was our class's day of listening (and we will continue on Monday). In addition to hearing a variety of stories from the individuals that the students elected to spend time with, we marked a transition in moving from curating objects, writing wall text and online texts for historical markers, and digging in the dirt to curating non-objects—that is, digital files. 

If you click the link here, you'll be connected to our viral voices page, the home of our oral histories. In the 2013 edition, you'll be able to listen to conversations between students in our class and the following: an alternative hip hop artist from Lexington; a retired Lieutenant Colonel and psychiatrist; the youngest daughter of a Southern Baptist preacher; a Carlisle County couple who share their stories with a kettle of apple butter on the stove; a retired Sergeant Major who played ball against Kareem Abdul-Jabbar; a Kentucky restauranteur-turned-engineer; and a Dry Ridge couple who live on and tend a farm.