Monthly Archives: April 2012

Annual Student Exhibition: With Guest Juror David Horvitz

It is time again for the annual student show here at SNC, and this year our guest juror is David Horvitz. David is a Brooklyn-based water color painter, photographer, and performance artist. He is known for his DIY instructional projects, including some work on the Wikipedia website.

Along with the student work displayed in the gallery, David has been working on his own project to collaborate with those works.  A piece from each artist had been taken around the Lake Tahoe area and photographed somewhere. The coordinates of the location in which the photo was taken had been noted and are plotted on a map of the lake. You can view this on the Flickr page where they have been geo-tagged here.

When walking into the gallery one would easily notice that it’s not in any sort of a “typical” set-up. There are images hanging from the ceiling, ceramic pieces on the floor, and even a photograph displayed outside the gallery itself. The reason for this being that the work was placed in a similar way to the location in which the work was taken to be photographed. Almost as if the map of Tahoe were super-imposed onto the gallery floor.

During the talk David was asked how he went about jurying the show and if his choices of letting some pieces in affected other pieces that got in. David was also asked about his own work and how social media can play into it. A lot of his projects happen online and this is also how he does his advertising and spreads the word about his work.

To view some of the projects he shared with us click here: Pinocchio video, Bas Jan Ader film241543903.

To see David’s website click here and Wikipedia page click here.

Make sure to stop by and see the work in, and around, the gallery! Work will be up through graduation.

Glen Cheriton- BFA presentation images

I’m posting Glen’s presentation images in conjunction with the other great pictures that are in the previous post.

Much of Glen’s work and presentation was a discussion of the fine line between art and science. The meticulous documentation of his work is as much apart of the show, as the show itself. So much of science is the documentation of process. So much of Glen’s art is the experimentation of process- mutual dependence, action and influence- reciprocity, the title of Glen’s blog.

I think I was most caught up in the discussion of time. I have always had a strictly linear view of time- like many, I imagine. Our society and relationships and experiences operate on the premise of past, present and future. However, recently I have come to view time, or emotions in time as being something far more fluid and cyclical in nature. The idea of a linear quality to time is perhaps a construct to deal with the emotional nature of existence.  
Glen’s time lapse photo of the stars (below) gives time an orbit. The images of stars that exist now to us, are potentially long gone. The 16mm film reel loops, no beginning, no end. The cup exists always as matter is exists infinitely. 
In the words of Carl Sagan, a humbling and character-building experience’.

Glen Cheriton BFA

Glen’s show, Aggregate: of all our joys and sufferings, displays many different photographic processes that work out his interests in both space and time. A flickering 16 mm movie reel, star-like pin holes of light coming from the window and wrapping around the body, negative strips of warped sequences, and a very large image of stars in their orbit were all a part of the gallery space. The title of his show comes from a quote by Carl Sagan, about an image of earth from taken by the Voyager space probe when it reached Saturn, in which Earth is just a mere blue pixel.

“If you look at [the picture], you see a dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever lived, lived out their lives. The aggregate of all our joys and sufferings, thousands of confident religions, ideologies and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilizations, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every hopeful child, every mother and father, every inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every superstar, every supreme leader, every saint and sinner in the history of our species, lived there on a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam.”

Glen spoke about how he believes time to not be a linear and how photography does not just capture a moment in time – every photograph is of a duration of time. He showed how it can encompass a whole event. One idea that came up during his talk is how art and science can mix with one another. One of the reasons Glen enjoys photography is that it uses an instrument – the camera – which has been used for both artistic and scientific ends.

Art is often used to display scientific processes, or to simply illustrate an organism. Film and photography have been integrated into many scientific explorations to obtain footage for research, and to share with the public. Since we began exploring the moon – some sort of photographic process went along with us. Photography helps to connect us to the world we live in- but Glen wants to see it even farther, connecting us to our entire universe.

JAPR Spring 2012

 A partial list of topics broached:
The sound rain makes on a tin roof
How to weave baskets out of clay
How a kid from Vermont connects to hip hop
Edible architecture
Getting to a silhouette’s essence 
Post apocalyptic map-making
Mountains and memory
Making clothes in two dimensions 
The hidden stories in found objects  

Jessica Hayworth BFA – Every Night a New Ghost

  “I’m interested in what happens to a prominent thought when it’s not in use, because thoughts never seem to leave us or go anywhere; they tend to rise up from somewhere and then sink back to somewhere. And that got me wondering about the subterranean mental space that thoughts could occupy.” Jessica -opening reception for Every Night a New Ghost

Jessica’s multiple images and simple line quality of the voice from the depth of the hole  reference her long interest in graphic novels and story telling. While we (desperately) want to know who or what is in the hole, it is not important – it is more an indefinable space. These images are in contrast with the rich, velvety drawings that seem to explore and grasp at memory,perception and interpretation- those things that become faulty over time.  Two large, neutral colored paintings oscillate between graphic simplicity and the unanchored, ghostly quality of the graphite, echoing our need to understand and resolve the occupant of the hole. 
All the imagery speaks to trying to peek into those places we can’t fully know about- our anxieties, fear, death, the soul- ultimately with a sense of humor….

Beyond the BFA

When giving your thesis talk the question is invariably asked, “what are you going to do now that you’re graduated?”

Like many, I do plan on applying to a Masters program… like many, it may be in a year or two.

I did and do want to keep momentum and find work within the art community.
One of the last classes an art student from SNC will take is Advanced Studio. Among other things we delved into, we explored and developed the tools for practicing as an artist outside of academia.  It can be daunting. It is daunting! Today you have to be diverse and innovative to create and find your niche.
Several years ago, prior to starting my degree, I would not have equated my ski town with having and supporting an art community. I have come to find that the artistic community is surprisingly large, diverse, tenacious, and in places thriving!
I have begun working with  Riverside Studios in Truckee, CA. They are a co-op of women artists and artisans who have created a business from the necessity of needing an outlet for their work.
The co-op was started in 2002 with three people, in a dilapidated house on the Truckee River. Due to zoning restrictions, it was essentially a studio. The space could not be a ‘store’ but could have shows, which they had up to four times a year. Alanna, one of the original members, commented,  “you made a lot of product”, but lacked sales.
In order to have more of a commercial presence, the co-op moved to Brickeltown, a historic area of downtown Truckee, hoping to create a more fiscal outlet. While they still were not able to generate the commerce they had hoped for they did develop a presence and community happenings such as First Fridays. First Fridays was a community gathering for artists to promote themselves and their work. Any artist was encouraged to turn up, bring work and network.
In the summer of 2010, five artists joined together and moved to commercial row in Truckee, again trying to find a better commercial location.

Commercial row storefront

commercial row, Truckee
The studio is presently a co-op of four women who have created a store that showcases their work and that of mainly local artists. The work is primarily handmade and hand crafted. There are two bench jewelers, Sondrea Larson and Mary Guerra, a self described ‘leather lady’, Kahlil Johnson, and a potter, Alanna Hughes. Various 2D artists (painters, printmakers, photographers) sculptors, woodworkers, fabric artists and cottage industry products are sold under consignment.
Heather River, who was a student at SNC, was with the co-op when they moved down town but has recently departed the co-op to open her own store called Bespoke. She hopes to open in early May. She has described herself as a curator, finding ‘one of a kind goods from independent artisans’.
First Fridays is now an established event that is hosted by the Truckee Downtown Merchants Association with multiple business involved.
Riverside Studios now takes the opportunity with First Fridays to showcase an ‘Artist of the Month’. Established and/ or emerging artists are given space to exhibit work. Mary Kenny has participated (and will be ‘artist of the month’ this May!) as well as graduate student Jonah Harjer. Jessica Hayworth will be showing work in early 2013.
Mary Kenny
Jonah Harjer
Jessica Hayworth

I have joined Riverside as shop manager and a contributing artist. I get to delve into the operation of a small business and interact  with a diverse group of artists. I am also learning to create and maintain a studio practice routine and balance new work and production.

I am also this month’s artist. Come down!

Instagram photos of the week!

Here are some of our favorite images that have popped up on our Instagram this week.

Here is Jessica setting up and giving her talk for her BFA show this past Thursday

Glen was also captured getting ready for his BFA show, to be held in the Tahoe Gallery, this Thursday.

And lastly, we have Keith as a horse- one of his New Genres projects.

If you’re looking for more pictures of what’s going on in the art department, follow “sncfa” on Instagram.

SNC Goes to NCECA to Create Proposed Installation

Photo by Karl Schwiesow

On March 23, 2012, nine students and two faculty headed up north to Seattle, WA to the National Council on the Education for the Ceramic Arts. One student in particular, Karl Schwiesow, proposed a clay installation to Seattle’s juried exhibition for public display entitled “Weather or Not?’ It was based on NCECA’s annual theme, this one entitled: “On the Edge.”

The installation brought together ‘contrasting elements of the industrial cityscape and organic nature’ and focused on the environmental impacts and issues of sustainability.

“The relationship between the clay and refuse from which the effigies are constructed and their industrial counterpart, mankind, becomes apparent through the degradation by the erosive weathering processes of nature. Through erosion, the structural framework of the installation is revealed to create subtle tension between mediums. Raw clay bodies show the fragility and vulnerability of species under the pressure of mankind; rigid sub-structures that supported the species also allude to a darker corner of human bi-products’ impact. In this way the effigies stand in a gesture of submission to the surrounding metropolis.”

An excerpt from Karl’s proposal explaining the intricate details of the process

Interview with Karl Schwiesow

Tell us about the installation.
It was a collaborative project, ‘Weather or Not’ was the title of the show. We extrapolated a formula to create these figures that would deteriorate over time. So we put together a proposal and we sent it off and got it accepted . . . and we were like ‘great,’ it’s actually going to happen, so let’s do it. Basically we came up with a list of endangered species indigenous to the area, we used those as our statement through the weathering and deterioration of these sculptures. The sculptures were unfired clay that we had sourced locally, and the deterioration symbolized the impact of humans on that specific species. On our trip up we sourced many materials locally and assembled them inside the large cityscape. It was a cool contrast and unique to see when they weathered. When we got there and installed, it sat there for the week of the conference. Then we took it down when we left.

Photo by Karl Schwiesow

Elaborate on the locally sourced materials
Well, we searched on these fire roads and we found a spot that was off the road aways; next to this refuse heap of yard waste we found hypodermic needles and stuff in this one corner. Then we had to hike through the blackberry bushes and up this bog, then up a slope and collected buckets of clay and took them back to the truck. Afterwords, we loaded them into burlap bags.

Photo by Karl Schwiesow
Photo by Karl Schwiesow

We also took fallen trees and other kind of elements
When we built these figures, we wrapped them with chicken wire and stuffed them full of trash. We covered them with clay and formed them into these sculptures of endangered species.

Q: What did spectators think of the installation?
Many people were walking by and they were like, “What the hell are you doing?”

Q: What was going on at the conference?
NCECA is a big meeting place for clay nerds. Basically, we had a booth and met people that were walking around and talked to them about our programs. It is an annual nation wide conference, any school can come and represent themselves. Various east coast schools to Kansas to New York to Florida, Michigan, Texas, California were represented. There were several practicing professional artists and professors. It’s pretty cool to meet all of those people outside of the studio, and just be like, ‘oh they’re just real people’ and go and tap them on the shoulder.

Photo by Karl Schwiesow
Q: How was the food and weather at the conference?
There was a burrito window that was good. We had great weather setting up. The weather was nice, it was too not hot and the sun was out. If it was raining or windy, everything would’ve fallen apart.

Interview by Chelsea Christoph & Rachael Robertson