Category Archives: Uncategorized

Jessica and the Glow-Cloud

Welcome to NightvaleAlum Jessica Hayworth has created artwork for Welcome to Nightvale, a terrific podcast “in the style of community updates for the small desert town of Night Vale, featuring local weather, news, announcements from the Sheriff’s Secret Police, mysterious lights in the night sky, dark hooded figures with unknowable powers, and cultural events.” Above is her image from a limited-edition postcard series, which can be ordered here. And below is a T-Shirt design, only available through the month of September, available for order here.


“Welcome to Night Vale” was the #1 podcast on iTunes this June – there’s an excellent article on The Awl about Nightvale and its popularity: “America’s Most Popular Podcast: What The Internet Did To “Welcome to Night Vale.” Here’s a teaser quote:

In a pinch, fans tend to describe “Welcome to Night Vale” as a Lovecraftian love-child: “A Prairie Home Companion” as narrated by Rod Serling, and so on—comparisons which Fink has called “reductive” without saying they are wrong. (In the same interview, he said that fans from Texas assume, without much evidence, that the show is set in their state.)

Starting around July 5th, Sebela said they began seeing the fandom “spiral out of control” on Tumblr: During the seven days before we spoke, there were 20,000-plus posts about “Night Vale,” with 183,000-plus individual blogs participating in the conversation, and 680,000-plus notes. A common tag appears in all-caps, like, “15 eps in 2 days WHERE AM I.” Sebela described another common refrain: “I just marathoned. I know I’m going to finish it tomorrow morning on the subway.”

Jessica runs her own, highly entertaining tumblr at

JAPR Show: Spring 2013


This semester, seven students participated in the Junior Art Portfolio Review. This midway exhibition is required for all students pursuing a major in art. Students have roughly ten minutes to defend their work, followed by a Q & A from the art faculty and audience. The work is critiqued heavily by the art faculty and each student gets extensive feedback on their exhibition. The JAPR is held once in the fall semester and once in the spring semester. Here are some photos of students who participated this semester:

Tim Sweeney





Carly Petrie








Stephanie CampbellIMG_0046






Holly Marie BethersIMG_0089



IMG_0010Shannon O’LearyIMG_0068



IMG_0003Hailey KreisIMG_0064IMG_9996

IMG_9994IMG_0001Henrik MikkelsgärdIMG_0079


Aaron Moulton and the Ghost of the Spiral Jetty

Aaron Moulton, curator for the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, gave a lecture to students at SNC on February 20th. The event was sponsored by the Capital City Arts Initiative. Moulton moved to Utah in early 2012 to take the position of curator after 10 years in London, describing himself as an “art-world anthropologist” (a full interview from The Salt Lake Tribune is here).


(Pic of Moulton from

Moulton had a three-part lecture that touched on the topics: The Politics of Value,The Politics of Spectatorship, and The Politics of Storytelling.

Moulton shared elements of an exhibit he curated that revolved around language, titled “Cantastoria.” One piece in that show was Archive of Dead and Dying Languages by Mexican artist Pablo Helguera. Helguera referenced Thomas Edison’s wax phonographs, making phonograph recordings of a poem, song, or joke in an endangered language. One particular piece possessed a recording of Mary Smith Jones, the last living speaker of Yaqi, a native Alaskan dialect. Helguera used the phonograph to symbolize the frailty and silence of a dead or dying language.

Screen shot 2013-03-25 at 3.14.06 PM

Another piece in the exhibit was 50,000 lb. wall of books created by Adam Bateman. Considering himself a minimalist, Adam views “art as language,” and the way he speaks is with books. He doesn’t read these books, though – he utilizes them to build a unified structure. In a profile for, he’s quoted as saying: “The primary structure of my sculptures is the text of the books, the secondary structure is the form made of books. In that way, the books actually work as signifiers (like words) and so the structured arrangement I make with them is analogous to writing.”


In a nutshell, Adam stacks these books on one another to create a larger structure. The weight of the books keeps the structure from falling apart. The only type of adhesive he uses are liquid nails, which attach the top to the rest of the piece.

Moulton also spoke of his interest in the iconic piece of “land art,” the Spiral Jetty, near Salt Lake City. He talked about bringing artists to the site to experience its beauty. Many visiting artists see it as a sort of pilgrimage – encountering this famous artwork on its real turf, instead of through Google image searches or art books. Since it only can be seen above the water line for part of the year, most visits happen when it’s submerged. Moulton says of the artists he chaperones to the site: “They have to project their Google image onto the water.” He describes each trip as both exciting and wildly disappointing.

Here’s your own Google image view:


The final exhibit he talked about was staged at an abandoned house in an unknown location. Titled Each Memory Recalled Must Do Some To Its Origins, Aaron Moulton brings the viewer into a haunted and mysterious environment through a video tour. Aaron described his piece as a digital gallery. He dreams of some unsuspecting victim entering the gallery, not knowing the horrors inside. As we watch the video, sounds of babies crying and ominous voices tickle our ears. The audience is forced though an incredibly uncomfortable space – it looks like a building that was once inhabited by some strange cult. After the tour, the natural space outside of the house is like a breath of fresh air, free from the psychosis of society. Video below:

This post was written and edited by the “Fine Art Marketing” class.

Clay Club attends NCECA 2013 – Houston, TX

Here's the "Welcome NCECA" banner.

The “Welcome NCECA” banner at the Houston Airport. Clay Club President, Flor Widmaris excited about the conference!

Yep, we're definitely in Texas! Karl Schwiesow tries it on, while Heath Pierson shops for a little bit of TX.

Yep, we’re definitely in Texas! Karl Schwiesow  found out he was accepted to CCA for grad school while at NCECA! Congrats, Karl! Heath Pierson shops for a little bit of TX.

All the cars looked like this!

All the cars looked like this in Texas!

Molly Allen won the Ceramic Store of Houston  - Purchase Award at the 2013 NCECA Juried Student Exhibition. Way to go, Molly! Congrats!

Molly Allen won the Ceramic Store of Houston – Purchase Award at the 2013 NCECA Juried Student Exhibition.
Way to go, Molly! Congrats!

NCECA's web site. Kristen Kieffer's piece is on the lower right. She was THE demonstrator at the conference. She'll be teaching a workshop this summer at SNC in July.

NCECA’s web site. Kristen Kieffer’s piece is on the lower right. She was THE demonstrator at the conference. She’ll be teaching a workshop this summer at SNC in July.


Tom Coleman, who will teach at SNC, summer 2014, with Polly Beach, Clay Times editor, and others. The Soldner logo lives on!

Tom Coleman, who will teach at SNC, summer 2014, with Polly Beach, Clay Times editor, and others. The Soldner logo lives on!


Another visiting artist, Randy Brodnax did a demo, and it was so packed  they should have put him on a stage! He'll be co-teaching with Don Ellis at SNC in June.

Another visiting artist, Randy Brodnax did a demo, and it was so packed they should have put him on a stage! He’ll be co-teaching with Don Ellis at SNC in June.

Former Workshop Instructor,  Juror of SNC's "New Decade of Clay: 2010" exhibition, Richard Shaw, (right) with Clayton Bailey, who delivered the closing lecture "Whither the Pot?"

SNC Workshop Instructor 2009, and Juror of SNC’s “New Decade of Clay: 2010″ exhibition, Richard Shaw, (right) with Clayton Bailey, who delivered NCECA’s closing lecture “Whither the Pot?”.

This was one of my favorites!  It's ceramic!

This was one of my favorites!
It’s ceramic!

It's also huge.  Yes, I enjoy art that references humor.

And it’s huge!
Yes, I enjoy art that references humor.

Nick Geankoplis, BFA from SNC/FA 2011, has now almost completed his MFA at Alfred University. He was also in the NCECA student exhibition, and was in it when he attended SNC.

Nick Geankoplis, BFA from SNC/FA 2011, has now almost completed his MFA at Alfred University. He was also in the NCECA student exhibition, and was in it when he attended SNC. This was in the show with Molly’s piece.

NCECA was amazing this year, as usual. SNC had a table in the non-profit area of the exhibition hall. We received a lot of interest in our program and summer workshops.

7 students attended: Molly Allen, Bianca DelCioppo, Amanda Dabel, Flor Widmar, Austin Ford, Karl Schwiesow, and Heath Pierson.

Our SNC/FA students continue to attend top MFA programs all over the country. It was great to see alumni Nick Geankoplis, who is at Alfred University, Victoria Buck, who is at the University of Tennessee, and Andrew Hoeppner who is at the University of Washington, Seattle. They inspired our current students to follow their educational path to pursue an MFA. The alums offered great advice for our students.

This conference is a great place to “shop” for grad schools, with most of the top ceramic programs having an information distributing table like SNC does. Rick Parsons and I also have many friends that are teaching, and we introduced them to our students. Several of them reported that they had great conversations.

Can’t wait for Milwaukee next year!

JAPR Fall 2012

Guest post by Chelsea Cunningham:

In fall semester of 2012, nine Juniors (including myself) participated in the Junior Art Portfolio Review. The program is required for all art students for graduation and allows for the artist to display their work in a gallery-like setting. All of the art faculty facilitate the event and the general public is free to attend. Each student presents their work from conception to completion and engage in a Q & A from the faculty, students and the public. Each presentation spans about 10 minutes, including the Q & A. The JAPR is held each semester during the school year and goes from about 10am to 2pm on the selected presentation day.

You can get an overview of the JAPR process through the first video on the art department’s home page, here.



Art Thought

There was a very interesting interview a couple weeks ago on Science Friday, with the data visualization pioneer, statistician and sculptor Edward Tufte. As you could guess by that collection of descriptions – from statistician to sculptor, Tufte has thought a lot about crossing boundaries and disciplines. One of the benefits of Arts Education is that it helps students to see connections between disciplines more clearly, a very useful skill in our modern climate of technical specializations, where the idea of “interdisciplinary” studies is on the ascendance.

Tufte specifically speaks to some commonalities between the disciplines of science and art:

“…science and art, at least at a high level, have in common intense seeing, bright-eyed observing and deep curiosity.”

Beyond theory, he mentions a project of his that brings science and art into direct contact, a series of sculptures of physicist Richard Feynman’s diagrams of quantum electrodynamics.

Tufte also talks about a current project of his called “The Thinking Eye,” (a title borrowed from a collection of Paul Klee’s teaching notebooks, with material drawn from his lectures at the Bauhaus). To me, this title speaks to art-making as a cognitive process. One of the reasons art programs get cut in times of lean budgets is that the arts are seen as less “academic” – they are sometimes viewed as breaks from the “real work” of school.

Of course, if art is taught with integrity, it’s not a form of “mental recess,” and not in contrast to “real thinking” – the arts are modes of thinking unto themselves. Tufte talks about trying out a sort of “seeing exercise,” where he deliberately tries to allocate space in his brain to see more clearly. When he’s asked whether seeing better is related to thinking more clearly, he says:

“Well, I sure think so… In some ways, seeing is thinking. The light comes in through the lens and is focused on the retina. And the retina is doing – is pretty much working like brain cells. It’s processing. And then the two optic nerves are sending what we now know are 20 megabits a second of information back to the brain… 

And so the seeing right then is being transformed into information, into thinking, right as that step from the retina to the brain. And the brain is really busy, and it likes to economize. And so it’s quick to be active and jump to conclusions. So if you’re told what to look for, you can’t see anything else. So one thing is to see, in a way, without words.”

As an expert in data visualization, of course it’s Tufte’s job to tell the viewer “what to look for” – but this speaks to his integrity as a designer. You have to be able to see what’s really there in order to abstract it in a meaningful way, to make sure you’re genuinely visualizing reality, and not some figment of your biases.

Our world has become more and more data-driven, from the way sports teams acquire players, to the way complicated financial instruments function (or fail to function, as the case may be), to the way weather data is compiled to create models of climate change, to the way companies harvest the information we leave like breadcrumbs on social networking sites. Visualizing and interpreting that data has become a crucial component of navigating our world – doing it well has both utilitarian and ethical ramifications. Tufte implies that artists have an important part to play in that process. Towards the end, he’s asked “Is there data that can’t be visualized well?” He replies:

“Not if you allow artists into the arena.”

The full interview is well worth listening to – you can stream it by clicking here.

First Exhibition of the New Year: Landscape Mythologies

David Semeniuk, Landscape Permutation 2 (2010)

Featuring FIELD, Oscar Lhermitte, Christine Nguyen, Mike Ruiz, David Semeniuk

Landscape Mythologies explores the interpretation of landscape by methods of fabrication and narration. It investigates if our view of the world can be unfolded through translations of physical, virtual and imagined spaces. Riddled with half-truths, the interpretations on display hold a fluid footing between imaginary or unverifiable existence and the real thing.

Exhibition Dates: January 17 – February 15

Reception: January 31, 5-7pm
Lecture by David Semeniuk: 5:45pm

Watch online:

David Semeniuk currently lives and works in Vancouver B.C., Canada. He is a formally trained scientist, and an autodidactic artist. David’s art practice is an aesthetic extension of his scientific exploration, in which he uses the medium of photography to experiment with how we experience everyday spaces.

Facebook Event

Tahoe Gallery at Sierra Nevada College
Prim Library, 3rd Floor
999 Tahoe Boulevard
Incline Village, NV 89451

Gallery hours: 9am-5pm

Smell Like You Mean It

Here are some images from Karl Schwiesow’s BFA show reception last week:

Karl himself, in piscatorial attire:

He walked up to one of his pieces, attached a small bellows, and began pumping with his foot.

Along the way to inflation, a few adjustments were made.

The crowd watched the emergence of a green silhouette.

Once the green silhouette was raised to its full stature, Karl produced a poem from his slicker, and read it (the title of this blog post is taken from the poem’s concluding line).

The poem was returned to its pocket.

The performance’s devolution was diligently recorded.

The bellows was used to deflate the inflatable.

Or perhaps the inflatable should simply be called the “deflatable” at this point.

And I’ll leave you with a few more images from the show, both populated an abandoned.