Monday, May 5, 2014

Field Paper

   I have always enjoyed visiting the Nevada Museum of Art, but I found that I was uncomfortable on the day that we went on the class trip. I am usually the quite wanderer when it comes to museums and galleries, however during this trip I was quiet with a purpose. I wanted to observe my fellow patrons and how they interacted with the space, keeping in mind that it was a free day at the museum with a Maurice Sendak exhibit. I found that while the displays were well rounded, with elements that could interest a wide range of people, the overall installation design sent mixed signals and created some confusion with the guests.
   One of the first discontinuities was within the Maurice Sendak display involving the beautiful boat in the middle of the mini gallery. It seemed to be incredibly child friendly and built to withstand a playground like setting, and yet it looked to be untouched by the large group of children. I understand that the parents impressions of a display within a gallery could result in ushering the children away from possibly "messing it up," but then where were the docents or the signs to let the guests know what was allowed.
   I also don't understand why a museum would schedule a child-aimed display at the same time as a brightly colored collaged room with explicit content, so closely spaced together within the building. I feel that if you need to post signs, and station a docent within the space to "warn" parents to read a sign, then the locations of the installation should be re-evaluated. I also don't appreciate the way that the docents hovered over the guests, especially within the collaged installation.
   Overall, a visit to the NMA is educational and provides an access point to some wonderful collections. My critique is that the day to day execution of operations could use some improvements. Better planning of the layout within the gallery, and better directional clues via docents or signs. I would still recommend the NMA to others, and return again myself.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Lorena's Field Papers

First Review:
When visiting the Nevada Discovery Museum in Reno, I made many observations regarding the layout as well as the structure. Through an unfortunate leadership conflict the museum did not get off on the right foot and now the new director as well as the staff are trying to correct these past mistakes as well as redirect the intentions of the museum. The original intent for the museum was to be as a children museum for young people as well as their families to enjoy and that is what it was fundraised for. However now the board is trying to convert it to attract all ages. For me this is an unrealistic goal for not for a single moment during my visit did I feel like I was not in a children’s museum. I feel like the intention of converting it into something it is clearly not is very misguiding and I feel like it would be more beneficial to embrace the state of the museum as it is. Instead of investing money and effort into changing branding for example, which really doesn't make much of a difference considering the targeted age of all the exhibitions, I feel like all the money and effort should go toward improving and expanding the exhibition especially with the large amount of empty space. Besides the misleading plans for the future, I observed a poor layout, which the director pointed out, however kept pointing out changes that will take place in the future without touching upon immediate changes that could take place to improve the aesthetics of the gallery spaces. He would complain about certain aspects such as having a tree in the middle of an open space when it would be fairly easy to resituate. This made him seen like he has a lack of incentive and his cursing in a children’s environment made him seem to not suit the environment very well. Once the foundations for the museum are set correctly I believe the museum will strive.  

Second review for extra credit:
I was disappointed in the gallery at the University of Nevada because for me it represents nearly all the bad qualities a gallery space can have. This has nothing to do with the artwork, for I found the artwork was quite good, it was the gallery space that wasn't doing the artwork justice. My first concern was the location, for the location was nearly impossible to find. There were nearly no indications to where it was and the students there didn't even have a clue. I find that the exhibition space has so much potential and it is a great advantage to have a gallery space on campus, however I feel like the potential is being wasted and instead of drawing people out it is giving them a skewed idea of the realm of exhibitions. Once you do find the space you are greeted by an employee who looks bored out of her mind and doesn't seem to be very passionate about art for not even she could answer questions concerning the art. The gallery space was not very traditional. The lighting was very dim and the walls and flooring seemed to match the rest of the school’s interior which did not enhance the artworks whatsoever. The next issue was that because there were no labels or any indication of an artist of the intentions of the artist it was just left open for interpretation. I feel like this defeats the purpose for the artist since she can’t receive any recognition as well as the visitors who are left in the dark regarding the purpose of the artworks. I also felt like there was no consistency. For example, there was a movie playing that I felt was in no way coherent to anything else. I hope the exhibition improves for I do believe it has potential. 

Hailey's Field Paper

I recently had the oppertunity to see the Maurice Sendak exhibit at the Nevada Museum of Art and I really really enjoyed seeing it.  Maurice Sendak was the creator behind the book Where the Wild Things Are.  It was so nice to see the original drawings of a book that I read and looked at so much as a kid.

The exhibit was set up wonderfully, giving the viewer room to walk around, not only the images hung on the wall, but plenty of room to walk around the pieces in the center of the room.  There was a replica boat of what was in the book and a bronze statue that set in the middle of the space as  well as a place for kids to hang out and read some of Sendak's books.  All of the images on the wall were hung at a height that kids to see them as well.

Throughout my visit there, I saw and heard at least 3 tours where kids were walking thought the space with an audio tour from someone at the museum.  I wanted to join the tour, it seemed really informative and I really liked that kids were very interested in it.

I was happy to see people actually interacting and talking in what is normally a quiet space.  It felt very comfortable to be in the gallery.  I feel as if they left enough space in the exhibit to wander freely through it.  Both kids and adults were happy, it was not generated to just one age group.  I even liked the colors that were on the wall, all in all felt like a very well put together space.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Flor's Field Paper

This exhibit was very good, the paintings from Sendak’s books were hung at eyelevel for kids.  There was a reading corner that was good environment for the kids to listen to Sendak’s stories.  Even the pedestals where lower so the kids could get to see the art up close.

As an adult it felt like you where a giant, but the work was intended for kids, and it was important to make them have the same experience that an adult has in a full sized exhibit.  

The one thing that I didn’t like was the boat in the middle of the room.  It looked like something that you would see a park or jungle gym.  Its structure looked sturdy and well crafted; there were no sharp nail or screws that made it dangers to clime on.  When we went in the gallery there were no kids playing on the boat.  There was not a sign that said “NO CLIMBING” but there was also not a sign that said kids could climb.  If I was a kid I would defiantly want to be able to pretend to sail on the boat. 

It makes no logic to put a perfectly good boat for kids to clime on in the middle of a children’s exhibit and than not let them climb on it.  This was almost as bad as putting a chocolate cake in front of a kid and then not letting them eat it. I felt that this was the big downfall to the exhibit.

Over the exhibit was good except for this big temptation in the middle of the room.  It was sad to see, and if I was a kid I would have tears in my eyes from not being able to play on it. If your going to have an exhibit for kids and have it be interactive you cant have the big center of attraction be a big wooden boat and have it be a disappointment that you cant clime it. I believe the exhibit would have worked better if the boat could be climbed on, or if it was gone altogether, or if it was suspended in the air.  

Field Paper: Truckee Connects

Truckee Connects: A Review
As soon as you enter the main room at the Discovery Museum in Reno, Nevada you find yourself staring at a colossal three-story cloud themed climbing structure.  But the exhibit that really interested me was at the base of the structure.  Truckee Connects was a water hydrology exhibit molded after the Truckee River.  At the beginning of the river was a representation of Lake Tahoe, at the end was Pyramid Lake.
 The exhibit allowed the exhibit allowed the viewers to interact in a variety of different ways.  The viewer could: Sail boats across Lake Tahoe using fans, divert water to a working power plant, float a miniature tube down the river, open and close a dam, operate a working fish ladder, and participate in a variety of activities at the end on Pyramid Lake.  The river requires a full swimming pool filtration system, and a certified technician for clean water operation. 
I felt that this exhibit was extremely successful as a learning too that allowed the viewers to relate scientific principals to a local landmark.  The level of interaction required by the viewer was high, without their participation, it would not be possible to fully understand the lessons intended.  However, once there are a dozen or so kids operating the river, other patrons can view the piece from a variety of different angles. 

Overall, I thought this was a well-rounded exhibit that balanced education, engagement, and entertainment.  If I were to change an aspect of the exhibit, I would have added a panel or two discussing lake Tahoe, its depths, and the conservation efforts involved with keeping Tahoe blue.  It is just as important or more to instill a sense of conservation at a young age as it is to learn about hydrology. 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Kyle and Kelly Demo: Ian

Kyle and kelly were doing a demo during the whole NCECA Conference. I would sit in and watch them work for an hour or so each day. I really had nothing else to do and I was not feeling like walking around the conference early in the morning. Sitting and watching them work and listening to them talk about their work is actually a lot more interesting than you would think. So Kyle and Kelly are identical twins. They dress the exact same! Everything is matching all the way down to their matching tattoos. I bet they even had the same socks on, but I never asked to see if I'm right, but I bet I am. They work completely differently than anyone else. They work on the same piece at the same time. It's so cool!!! One will be working on the cloths of the person and the other will be working on the face and than they will switch! it's crazy! and sometimes they will each have their own project to work on and then they will just switch projects and start working on that. They also did a lot of small talking back and forth. I can't blame them to run out of things to talk about if their on stage for a week straight. They talked all about their processes of building which I found to be super helpful because I am a sculpture artist myself and any insight helps me out. I also found out that they use acrylic paint instead of glazing their work. This comes from their background of painting their whole lives. They find that switching from painting on ceramics instead of canvas is a lille easier because painting a sculpture is just painting in the lines, so it goes a little quicker. Rather than painting a 3D image on canvas. Kyle and Kelly are also coming to Sierra Nevada College to do a workshop this summer and I'm already signed up to take their workshop. I am so excited to have them teach me their techniques. It's always cool to get an outside perspective on ceramics. It brings in a new way of thinking. I look forward to being challenged in new ways.

Monuments Men by Flor

Monuments Men

I think that the moment in history that Monuments Men is about is very interesting.  To get to see the kind of attitude the Monuments Men had towards art and the fact that they really want to defend it even if they had put their own lives at risk to do so.  To see so many famous actors taking on the roles of artists shows that this was a serious subject. 

The Hollywood aspect of it was not too realistic.  If you where in that era and circumstances you could not be as clean-cut as the actors were shown to be.  We never saw them super dirty which I'm sure they did not have time to take showers and shave.
To see George Clooney always so clean-cut and handsome took away from the dangers of war.

The Hollywood take on it was a bit cheesy. There were parts that were too dramatized.  I didn’t like the scene when they got packages and got to play music on the intercom with the on man taking a shower.  It seemed to be super cliché from so many other war movies and they could have used that time to show more important things. 

I would have like to seen more of the ashen side of it. More of the way of how they retrieved the work and how they knew how important the art was.  The monuments Men did a lot of work to restore and save the art works.  The movie ended before they show how much work they all did after the war.  This move was short on all of these topics.  It was more of a hero story and no background on it. 

The one thing that was crazy to see and think about was the part that showed the train station with all the Jews property.  It was just stuff stacked on more stuff and seeing Matt Damon act so disturbed and sad about it was my favorite part of the whole movie. 

I was good to see that Rosa Valiant cared so much about what she did and how patient she was about the work that she tagged and documented.  She knew where all the work ended up. By the end of the movie she was a big help to finding all the art works and it would have been impassible to find if it without her. I don’t think that they gave here enough credit for this!! 

I would like to know more about why George Clooney wanted to get the art and what he did as a job in America.  It could hava also shown how he became interested in going to rescue the art and more about what he stood for. It was barley touched on and I think this is important to the story to know his intent and where it came from.

Over all I don’t think this was a good film because the story was not that precise and was missing some important facts but moves can only be so long as well so I understand that they couldn’t put everything in. It is Nice to see that people did not let this art be destroyed and that they defended it and studied up and did something to save it so future generations will get to know and see it 

Monuments Men Critique

Monuments Men Review
The film Monuments Men, staring and directed by George Clooney was based on the true events surrounding the men responsible for protecting the artwork at risk in Europe during World War 2.  The Monuments Men consisted of a seven-man team of hand picked art experts.  These men were not trained soldiers, yet they often found themselves fighting on the frontline as the sole defenders of cultural property.  While the film did use a fair amount of artistic license to spice up the drama, the overall message of the movie was in alignment with what we learned about in class, and in the documentary: The Rape of Europa. 
The struggles to find funds, as well as the passion that the Monuments Men demonstrated for their love of art was clearly present in the film.  There were historical elements packed in with all of the edge-of-your-seat-action, and drama.  An example would be the plotline that followed Cate Blanchett’s character Rose Valland.  In reality, she did exist, and her book that documented the transport of the paintings really did play a major roll in the recovery and discovery of the Nazi mines.  Her character was spruced up by scenes like the one showing her secretly spitting into a Nazi general’s Champaign glass. 
The intimate relationship that director George Clooney built between the audience and the each of the characters gave us a look into the true severity of the situation.  Their mission became of upmost importance as the falling Nazi regime threatened to destroy their plundered collection in a final stand.  This was occurring simultaneously with the uprising of the Russian Trophy Brigade (an elite team of Russian Soldiers whose goal was to keep the art for themselves.)  Monuments Men did an excellent job of showing the European citizens distrust of the monuments men due to the actions of the Trophy Brigade.  There was a strong belief across much of Europe that the American Army was deploying men to steal the artwork for their own collections in the US.  In reality, this was a serious problem that the men did have to overcome in order to find the storage facilities of the Nazis before they were burned. 
There was a scene in the movie that showed one of the mines full of paintings being burned.  They showed Nazi soldiers igniting countless numbers of paintings with flamethrowers.  As the camera paned out to show how vast the collection truly was, it paused on a particular painting.   The frame began to smolder, as the oil paint slowly bubbled away to ash.  The painting was: Portrait of a Young Man by Raphael.  The actual location and fate of this masterpiece remains unknown to this day.  The documentary The Rape of Europa took a more optimistic approach, stating that they are still hopeful that the painting will resurface. 

Overall, the film Monuments Men did a great job balancing history with theatrical drama and action.  I left the theater with an understanding of the risks that the seven Monuments Men were prepared to take in order to preserve not only the artwork of Europe, but also the cultures and histories of thousands of families, villages and the overall spirits of a trampled continent. 

Field Paper: Ian

Beth Cavener's Snake and Rabbit Sculpture

The link above takes you to a website with many detailed photos of Beth sculpture. At first glance of Beth's sculpture of the snake and rabbit called, "Tangled Up in You," I thought that the snake was eating the rabbit. I love shark week and watching National Geographic episodes where animals attack their pray, so right away I thought this was the sickest! The first time I saw Beth's work was in class, and now that I got to see it at the Milwaukee Museum of Art, was unreal! I was star struck! I was shocked at the sheer size of this Sculpture. It's probably a 5 foot by 4 foot sculpture suspended above the ground by about 4 feet. Just the construction of this piece makes me wonder, "how the hell did she build this thing?" When I look at sculptures first I wonder the process on how the artist constructed the piece. If I can't tell right away than I'm impressed. Beth built this sculpture out of solid clay and than cut it into pieces and hollowed it out. Than fired it in those pieces. Next I think about their glazing techniques. What glazes did they use? What temperature was the piece fired to? Beth had Alessandro Gallo paint the snake. The snake has reminiscent of traditional Japanese tattoo art on it. I really like that she collaborated on this piece. The tattoos on the snake complements the texture of the rabbits fur. I love Beth's fur texture. It is her own style that I haven't seen it done as good as she does. She has other pieces with the same texture, and I want to touch it so bad to see what it feels like! I bet it's amazing. Once I think about all the sculptural and constructional details, I start to break down the piece and think about it conceptually. I look for clues to see what kind of message Beth is getting across. Looking at the label and the title of the piece is the first clue. I feel that not too many people look at the labels of the pieces. "Tangled Up in You" makes me think that the piece is about embrace and nurturing. The rabbit is not struggling, the rabbit looks relaxed and content. The rabbit is in the process of stuffing his face into his stomach to get into the feudal position and curl up. Even though the snake is biting the rabbit, I think that it is one of those love bites. Ya know like a cute little nibble. Some would think that it's an actual bit that supports the fact that the snake is gonna eat the rabbit, but bitting the shoulder isn't an aggressive move for the snake. The snake most likely would be rapped around the rabbit more than it is. The snake is in more of a cradling position. I really like what Beth Cavener is doing and her piece, "Tangled Up in You" is still my favorite ceramic piece of all time.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Alexa Field Paper

I have always enjoyed the Nevada Museum of Art. They always have exhibits that are memorable, bright, or historically interesting. I was especially pleased last time I went and I got the chance to view a whole lot of Phyllis Shafer’s art work. I had briefly read about her prior because she is planning on teaching a workshop over summer at Sierra Nevada College. Seeing her work in person was really quite an experience for me. Each of her paintings radiates excitement and appreciation for the local environment. Her style is very unique and something that I have never seen before. I think that is part of the reason I was so captivated. The way the museum set up her exhibit worked very well with my curious mind. It was in a very open space where I didn’t feel pressured to rush through because there were people next to me trying to look at the same painting. I liked the alternating sizes. It gave me a sense of variety even though it was all from the same body of work. I also found the glass case with her sketch books to be a wonderful treat. I already felt a connection to the artist because she is a local, but being able to see her very detailed sketchbooks makes for an even better experience. I also thought that the addition of a short informational film was a good addition to the exhibit. It was only a few minutes long, had a nice comfy bench to sit on, and wasn’t too distracting from the rest of the pieces. I do think that it may have worked better if it was in the beginning rather than tucked away in the back corner only because I would have liked to hear the interview with Phyllis before I looked at all of her work. However, I do think there was some thought that went into the location of the video because when I walked in I heard the audio of that before I even got a chance to view any of her art. So, in a way I think it may have drawn me in with curiosity. I loved this exhibit and I would like to see it again before it moves on!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Field Study: Nevada Museum of Art, Phyllis Shaffer Exhibition by Stephanie

Stephanie Campbell
ARTH 480
Field Study: Nevada Museum of Art, Phyllis Shaffer Exhibition
            I recall hearing about Shaffer’s summer workshop here at Sierra Nevada College, and was interested to see her exhibition. Because I’m a two-dimensional fine arts major, I highly anticipated to take her course over the summer, and so was excited to get a chance to view her work beforehand and gain a sense of her style.
            As I approached the floor in which her exhibition was on display, the echoes of a crowd of children grew louder. Just adjacent to Shaffer’s open-entranced exhibit, was a show angled for children, encompassing the “Where the Wild Things Are” story and drawings and such. In the center of this exhibition space was a wooden boat with the waves cut out around it on the floor. There was also a reading occurring just around the corner, with many children and families attending. The images on the walls were at an average child’s height, which was noticeable.
            Just outside, however, was Shaffer’s work, of which large abstract works could be seen, as well as many paintings of presumably local landscapes. This exhibition space has always bothered me, due to the fact that the far right wall, which runs all the way to the back of the room, is angled to face down towards the viewer, and the sensation that it causes which upsets me, is that the wall is weighing down on the viewer. The works that are hung on this wall also feel strange and slightly disorienting.
            Shaffer has painted many landscapes. This large exhibition hall was very full. I have a feeling that she has many more, and this may have been difficult to pick out all of the works she wanted to display. To keep the room less overwhelming and more segmented, there were three impermanent walls throughout the room, one of which had a looped video of Shaffer explaining her work and process. The information provided for her work included an artist statement or summation of her progression and this biography-like video. I think this helped me as much as I could be helped, into understanding her work.
            The space was definitely defined by types of climates in a collected area, her graduate work in the entrance way, and her process and elements revolving that aspect towards the back half of the room. The size of her works varied – her graduate work was predominately on very large canvasses, and featured very abstract forms in a range of colors and textures. The few different kinds of landscapes that were grouped together were of small lakes, rivers, creeks, meadows, and deserts.
            The subtle changes Shaffer makes to her perspectives in each painting had a fish-eye lens affect, and the palette she used had a slightly muted and simplified feeling. With this aspect in mind, her more current works, which were now more approximately the same size, shared a blurred sense of an abundantly explored concept of viewing landscapes.

            The exhibition was set up in a manner that made chronological and categorical sense. Perhaps because Shaffer’s work shares too much of a commonality within itself, I did not get the sense that this gallery space stuck out to me.  I would have been interested to see various types of landscapes mixed with her Graduate work, to truly see the differences and progression she has taken in her work.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Extra Credit Response: Monuments Men, by Stephanie Campbell

Stephanie Campbell
ARTH 480
Extra Credit Response: Monuments Men
            The story of the Monuments Men was very simplified in terms of the small group of men that committed to the cause, but also very vague in conveying the passing of time. The group of men was very select and few, and that surprised me.
             I was frustrated at the lack of progress they were having in the beginning of their excursion, waiting around, it almost appeared, and pointing to maps a lot. They were in or near the frontlines, but didn’t seem to come across problems with Germans which was interesting. They did have several instances where they were very close to the enemy, and those were just moments that I felt like they did not plan ahead very well.
             For instance when a pair of them were lost, they ventured into unknown territory and, being the artists and aesthetic appreciators they were, one was shot and killed because of his distraction to a horse. The other, named Donald, did try to plan ahead, but the American forces would not join him. I was upset that he did not plan out his defense against the thief-Nazis of the Madonna and Child, and he appeared to have been shot, easily.
            Little loses like this really bothered me, because I felt as though there is a comparison being made between those who are brave in war movies as soldiers and as art-recoverers, and the level of “skill” in war is portrayed as being much more successful in one than the other. But, when evaluating the works recovered by such a small band and fairly last-minute effort, the monuments men did do a fine job.
            The need to publicize this success, which in the film, led the Nazis to destroying some of their loot because they became aware of the monuments men, really troubled me in the sense of true short-sightedness. I really did not enjoy watching them torch a room full of paintings; it was a painful thing to watch.
             I can’t imagine what we might not have, had these people not come together to sacrifice their lives and time to finding all the work. I think the whole concept of art-rescuers is so significant and culturally profound, it almost passes as something that should just be expected. That was what put this story in perspective for me – our priorities in our civilizations are still under-worked in terms of efficiency in protecting what in this world we do know.
            When having researched the true story, I discovered that 345 men and women from across 13 countries were involved in the monuments men cause, however referred to as the MFAA (Monuments, Fine Arts, & Archives). Until Robert Edsel began questioning how all the art in Europe survived the war, this cause and these people were not really recognized and honored for their world-wide efforts. This information is essential in the ways we view art today.

            There is a respect to practice in any point of time, and how it is inexplicably paramount to our current understanding of this world we make for ourselves. Respecting the masters, the past, and the sacrifices in the lives of these artists and the legacy of their work is what we strive to branch from today. This film touched on a subject that can expand into everyone’s lives, and I truly honor those brave enough to be part of MFAA.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Weekly Article Review by Jennifer Hart

Jennifer has been experiencing some computer issues...she has sent me her article review and I'm posting it on her behalf. Thanks Jennifer! - Hannah

Art, community spirit merge in project under a freeway
Sam Whiting
Updated 4:40 pm, Friday, April 18, 2014

Since I have spent close to four years commuting from my home in Palo Alto to my job in downtown San Francisco, this article grabbed my attention right away. My daily drive on highway 280 and 101 was filled with angry drivers, stagnant traffic and ugly cement covered medians. I was thrilled to learn that The Alemany Island Project, coordinated by the Portola Neighborhood Association and financed through a Community Challenge Grant, collaborated with the public to beautify San Francisco's commuter landscape.  This three-part installation began with a teenage painter named Cory Ferris.  His inked flora design painted on a highway 101 support pillar inspired community members, commuters and college students of all ages and backgrounds. There was so much positive feedback from Cory's audience that the second part of the installation enlisted the help of a City College Horticulture class.  These students designed and planted a native garden in the island around Cory's painted pillar.  The third part of the installation gave Portola community members an opportunity to enhance their cultural surroundings by painting their own scenes across the entire Cal Trains fence.  Some of the participants were professional artists and some of the participants had little to no art experience at all.  Regardless of skill level, participants had a lot of fun working together to create something beautiful and aesthetically pleasing. Thanks to public art projects like this one, the sound of honking horns and angry drivers can be drowned out and replaced with vibrant colors and beautifully painted scenery. I just wish they started this project years ago, it would have made my commute a lot more calming and enjoyable! 

smARThistory: Tangled up in You

A review of Beth Cavener Stichter's sculpture: Tangled up in You, currently on display at the Milwaukee Museum of Art.  By students Flor Widmar, and Erik Burns.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Weekly Review-Colorado Public Art

ln the past year I've visiting Colorado quite often, and every time I go I see amazing public art almost everywhere I go.  I just figured it was just in the downtown area, until my parents who just moved to Denver told me that business had to give a percentage to "public art." After doing my research I found out that the state of Colorado has the Art in Public Places Act.  This Act makes one precent of capital construction for new or renovated state buildings to be used to purchase or make art for the specific building.
There seems to be a bit of controversy over the art placed and the rules about the art staying no matter what the community says.  I think its awesome that Colorado puts so much money, time, and effort into the art's and the community that surrounds it.  A lot of work that Colorado owns are pieces we have looked at in this Art History class. It's nice to know why the works are there in Colorado and who paid for them.  I hope you all find this article interesting!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

CANstruction: Weekly Article Review


“CANstrution” is a great artistic charity organization that is held annually in over 150 cities around the world. On March 26 -30 2014 in Medowood Mall in Reno there was an exhibition and all the food will go to feed the hungry in our area and to the food bank of northern Nevada.
             They host competitions from K through 12th grade, Universities, and Corporations like Disney and John Deer to create structures out of canned foods that are displayed as an art exhibition. There are designers and engineer that collaborate to do these “CANstructions” and they go to great creative extents to make the cans of food mach or relate to what there making. Like for instance, a giant seahorse out of cans of tuna.  All structures are made almost entirely out of cans of food.
After all of the exhibitions are over, all of the can foods are donated to food banks thru out local hunger relief organizations. This origination have raised over 21 million pounds of food since 1992
             I belief that this is a great article about a great organization that is hosted in a public space to bring awareness about hunger to the public through art, and how to be creative with things that you have in your kitchen, or at home that is inexpensive and that can use to help someone that is in more need than you or I.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Weekly Article: Ian

Obama vs. Art History

Sorry this took so long, I had trouble finding a good article. This article is one that we can all relate to because Obama bashes on our majors and something that we all love. Obama is saying that going to college to study Humanities or Art History is pretty much a waste of time and money because you aren't going to make a lot of money once you graduate and go into the real world. He made this comment casually while on a trip to Wisconsin. It seems like he didn't realize what he said until it was too late. I think that it is a very powerful statement to make when you say that studying Art History is not the route that people should take, they should take the skilled worker route because they will make more money, and they will help America look good. I think that is a load of crap. It is a good suggestion that hey if you wanna make a lot of money do this job, but Obama's statement seemed more like being told what to do not really a suggestion. One can make a lot of money doing anything now a days. you just got to put time and effort into it. Art is a big business. Paintings are being bought and sold for millions of dollars weekly. I don't know how you can say that there is no money in that. Also I'm a big believer that art and exercise keeps a person sane. They are good outlets from our society. It gets the brain thinking differently. Our brains need to be challenged, looking at art and studying art causes the brain to work outside it's comfort zone. Being multi talented in different fields is going to further a person better than if they are just another person standing in a assembly line.

The Greatest Museum that You Have Never Heard Of: The Art of the Steal Film Review by Carly

The Art of the Steal is a wonderful film to watch while learning about how art acts in a public sphere. Albert Barnes had a vision of how art is to be viewed, and I agree with his belief in how the basic meaning of a piece of art can be lost when a dollar sign has been attached to it. This film highlights on how people in power positions can get in the way of the basic intent of a man’s legacy. It was appalling to see how Barnes’s Trust was systematically torn apart by the people who were greedily seeking for their own interests. I feel that the educational aspect was lost through the process and wish that Lincoln University had attempted to continue the classes at the Barnes Foundation. This would have kept Barnes alive in the collection and helped the school to recover from the under funding.

I feel that the film was created to highlight on the fact of how common the wants of one man is overpowered by the group efforts of the greedy. To gain perspective after I watched the film, I looked into what the Barnes Foundation is doing today. Through the film a quote from Barnes stuck with me, “the main function of the museum has been to serve as a pedestal upon which a clique of socialites pose as patrons of the art.” The Art of the Steal reinforced this idea. However, I feel that the Barnes Foundation is currently upholding many of the ideals that Barnes had in the beginning. Granted they are really trying to make money off of the patrons that visit the collection, which can be seen in the website, but to play devils advocate they are also offering many opportunities for education. The Barnes Foundation is a type of college on it’s own, offering weekend, monthly and year long educational classes based on the art in the collection, and Barnes’s beliefs of how the display changes the interpretation of the collection. I feel that this aligns with many of the ideas that we have been discussing in class. It is the idea that the art needs to made available for the public in an interactive manner in order for our community to learn and grow from the experience. As a side note, I do wonder on the validity of the United States involvement in protecting other cultures national treasures, when they cannot protect our own patron’s private property.      

Film review by Lorena

This documentary did a marvelous job exposing the greed of the corporate. Barnes is an inspiration, he attained his wealth through hard work and then chose to spend this wealth on art and not just one piece of art but the largest collection of art that museums could only dream of. The distinction between public and private collection was made clear as well as how private collections are manipulated. By purchasing art, especially art of the master, complete control is supposed to be given with a certain insurance. Barnes had a simple and reasonable wish which was to keep his collection in the foundation he worked so hard to establish intact. He strongly disliked the idea of the museum collection and the several aspects of life in Philadelphia and of course those are the main parties who worked so hard to disable his will piece by piece, disrespecting him as well as his art in every way. Barnes original intent was to have his art open for educational purpose and wasn't meant to be visible to the masses encouraging tourism. He had created a beautiful and unique way of displaying his art in a way which was strikingly different from the typical gallery feel. The collection had an aesthetic home feel with the colored wall, structured layout of the paintings and the addition of home furniture. Every object had reason and purpose and represented Barnes, when this art is placed elsewhere against the wish in his will it no longer has the same aesthetic. The whole fate of the collection is very sad especially how the ones who gained control of the multibillion dollar collection didn't even have an eye for art and continued to disgrace Barnes as well as his collection. I’d like to see more collections like this in the future; they are very unique and are a nice change to the typical gallery exhibition. Overall the documentary was very informative and provoked thought regarding public and private art. 

Artist's Social Role: Enrique Martinez Celaya

Enrique Martinez Celaya is an Intellectual artist, having interests in both physics and fine arts, and having earned the highest degrees possible in both subjects. He writes journals and notes on various concepts, such as thoughts about other artists, poets, and occurrences of his daily life that confuse or interest him.

I feel like Martinez Celaya's work and his personal interests are very significant, in that it all aims to identify one's self, as well as discover a purpose in one's life. His journal entries reveal the grounds in which his interests and questions are recognized, and his drawings, paintings, sculptures and even installations are extensions of the idea in it's most simple form.

"The Art Of The Steal" Film Review, By Stephanie Campbell

Stephanie Campbell
ARTH 480
Film Review: The Art of the Steal
            However unfortunate and sad this documentary revealed to be, I think it was really well made and organized. The intro was a bit confusing, just because the summarizing clips of the various interviews of those involved were so brief and intense, that I was lost in what they were all talking about. For the first half hour of the film, I was waiting for the story to change from Dr. Barnes and the Barnes Foundation to something else, until I finally realized that this was the main subject of the film. Perhaps that was my own problem, not having looked into what the film was about before-hand.
            The Barnes Foundation was a fascinating institution, and for a short while, I was approaching the Barnes’ implementation of art through education from the commercial/gallery perspective, and was faintly appalled. It finally clicked; the commercial/gallery perspective, as well as museum’s practices, had a new-found tinge of greed and bottom line finances that I had definitely been aware of previously, however not to the degree that I was now seeing it. I think this is due to the fact that I had never been aware of and witnessed an example of the opposite of a museum or commercially run gallery institution. This contrast was exciting and eye-opening to me about the entire concept of showing art to the public versus educating viewers about the work. I really respected Dr. Barnes’ overwhelming dedication to educating the art that was considered more or less contemporary to the students had taught in his classes. His defiance of the loaning or selling of any of his own private collection was something that as a human inter-connected society, they could not take without being offended. The natural inclination to be told off for your beliefs and/or practices, such as being a museum curator or an auctioneer, would definitely damage someone’s sense of what is normal, but also be taken personally. The reactions that stewed between the art world in Philadelphia and the Barnes, was just a case in point of a pure opposite purpose, and communication and judgments of both parties were not taken with respect at all. Unfortunately, the need to survive always surfaces. Had Dr. Barnes never run out of money, the issues may not have arisen as soon as they did.
            The issues most definitely lied in the lack of planning for the chain of command following Barnes’ passing. His successor, Viollete de Mazia, did put in all the effort she could have, but the transfer of authority to Lincoln University was a poorly planned maneuver. I never did understand why Barnes did not consider his own students as potential successors to the institution. Who better to understand it’s legacy and purpose? I feel that had that happened, the entire thing would be different, and most likely better off.
            I was stunned at how many lawsuits surrounded the Barnes Foundation. It was very frustrating to witness the Presidential changes and the slow but steady additions to the seats of the trustees. The dramatic scratching off of the points Barnes left in his will to the Foundation was very upsetting. The film did an excellent job at perceiving the art world of Philadelphia and all of those who were politically involved as sly crooks.
            I would like to see more institutions like this in the future, however the odds of someone such as Alfred Barnes, being ready to invest in the best art for the near future and beyond is a rare circumstance that I think may take many more attempts before something of this magnitude and potential shows up. When something like this comes into existence again, which it will, those who run it will have hopefully done their homework to be prepared for self-sustaining principles and line of authority to stay within a trusted lineation. I don’t know if the Barnes Foundation has much hope to return to the original values, at least not any time soon, considering the “vultures” have already captured it in Philadelphia.