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Don’t miss The Wild and Scenic Film Festival!

April 23, 2014

If you’re looking for some fun this Friday night, the Cape Fear River Basin Studies Program is hosting The Wild and Scenic Film Festival at the historic Carolina Theatre in downtown Greensboro!

Doors open at 7, show starts at 7:30. 

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Register here!
($10 general admission tickets are available at the door!)

 

Three Way|the Center for Visual Arts, Spring 2014

April 22, 2014

It’s a beautiful spring morning in April. My semester is winding down, and I don’t have class until 4pm, so naturally, I hop in my car and head downtown to one of my most visited local art spots, the Greensboro Cultural Center. I come by the GCC as often as I can. The small galleries are the perfect size to inject some art love into your day with their small-in-stature but big-in-talent exhibitions. The building holds some of Hand/Eye’s most beloved local galleries such as the Greenhill (which Emily covered last week) and the CVA, my personal favorite and my destination for the morning.

Up right now for only two more days is Three Way, featuring Raleigh-based artists Shaun RichardsDerek Toomes and Lincoln Hancock, long time collaborators and friends. This is their second official show together, following NCMA’s 2012 exhibition Word Up: the Intersection of Text and Image, where the curator asked them all individually to participate, not knowing of their already existing friendship. The CVA took their collaboration to the next level, bringing them together intentionally in a thoughtfully composed show. Three Way acts as an artistic braid, weaving together the visual and conceptual tresses of these similar artists. Starting at the front of the space, visibly similar pieces rotate from artists to artist, providing a comfortably unstructured composition.

As a visitor, I am first introduced to Shaun Richards. Most of his pieces are large scale oil paintings that feel like mixed media due to the combination of different formal elements. In every painting, he uses large text, one major subject, and smaller, stylistic detailing, as seen in the far left image above. His work is like contemporary pop art, showing bold and recognizable symbols and forcing the viewer to rethink chosen words, like “safety” or “standard”. His section of the wall ends seamlessly, moving into Lincoln Hancock’s small and clearly mixed media canvases, exemplified in the center picture. His work is colorful and chaotic, but the organization somehow makes sense next to Richard’s classic compositional riffs.

Hancock and Toomes have the least in common visually, mimicked in the spacial separation of their work. Toomes presents mostly sketches in this show, mixing together graphite and charcoal and throwing in pops of acrylic color, as you can see in the far right picture. He, like Richards, shows large single subjects but evokes meaning in the smaller surrounding details on the paper. He often breaks up the frame, causing you to slow down, look carefully, and decode the message he is trying to send you.

At the back of the gallery on the single orange painted wall hang three unique pieces. At this point, I was playing a game with myself, trying to guess which artist created what piece, but these left me stumped. It turns out, the artists collaborated to make three new multi media works specifically for the show, even titled Three Way, numbers 1, 2, and 3. They pull together some of the most thought provoking elements from each of their styles; Richard’s realistic figure drawing, Hancock’s frenzied pops of color, and Toome’s delicately crafted typography. Even more than the style, these works solidify their messages of consumption, concepts of normalcy, iconography, and isolation. I don’t see it as coincidence that their work sits just across the hall from that of Romare Bearden and Noe Katz (a super-talented Greensboro-based painter) who also comment on the unique and challenging aspects of the American social experience. Within the GCC lies the ultimate Three Way, three unique and inspiring exhibitions and galleries, bringing us small pieces of beauty and understanding every day.

Be sure to check out the artists websites, as well as the gallery websites, all linked above. Three Way comes down on April 25th, so hurry over and don’t miss this very special exhibition.

 

 

Adele Wayman Retirement Celebration

April 18, 2014

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If you can remember a few months ago,

I wove words together to make rhythm show.

A poem was such a good way to display

All the things my painting class learned that day.

 

Adele’s been at Guilford for four decades now,

She’s impacted us all and I hope this says how.

So as a tie in to that one, here which I’ve linked,

A bittersweet wrap-up will do nicely, I think…

 

This past weekend a merry get-together was had -

And absolutely nothing anyone said was bad.

I brought my Nana – yes, Adele, she was there!

We listened intently to what everyone shared.

 

I was later than most but still got to hear

Other art teachers share stories from their years.

Up came Roy – whom we were all glad to see -

Telling Adele’s part in how his Guilford life came to be.

 

Former students were there too, only saying nice things,

With Adele, good stories are the only ones to bring,

Because even when times get rough in her class,

Everything only happens to get us on track fast.

 

Three faculty were students, (Terry, Charlie, and Mark in fact).

Their methods were molded from watching Adele’s tact.

She can get what she wants and show what you need,

Never sacrificing a student’s own way to succeed.

 

Maia came in and spoke completely unscripted,

She truthfully described Adele as “flexible but rigid.”

So many of us laughed and nodded to agree

Whispering to others, “If you’d been in her class, you’d see!”

 

Adele has this way of always working with you,

Compromising if, like me, you’re stubborn too.

Helping us along in the correct direction,

And allowing us to keep our own affections.

 

At some point during this, we heard from a very special two,

They thanked us for coming and – wait, do you need a clue?

They got us a little choked up by the time they were done…

They were none other than a certain husband and son.

 

I wasn’t able to stay past this part in the day,

And, while there, I was too shy to stand up and say

Before I took a painting class with Adele last semester,

I would’ve said I found painting to be quite the pester.

 

So thanks for showing this control-freak drawing major

That I really didn’t need to be such a painting-process hater.

Letting go and learning to paint with those oils

Is no longer a part of my character foil.

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Revisting Narratives with Romare Bearden

April 16, 2014

When I think about where I come from I return to the first house I ever lived in. It was a pale pink, or peach as my dad liked to argue, with olive green shutters. The inside was reminiscent of the 70′s with green tiled floors and wood paneled walls. My room was all the same shade of light purple from carpet to ceiling and had a large window that faced the back yard. The living room was where I spent most of my time sitting on our white, spongy couch watching Free Willy with my older sister, Alice. She was my role model. I would do everything with her, even if it annoyed her. This is where I come from; the place where I identify, where my personal history and experience reside.

In my opinion, there is no better artist that creates a sense of history, personal identity and experience than Romare Bearden. At the Greenhill until June 22nd is Select Collection: Romare Bearden from Mr. Lou Milano containing 87 lithographs, etchings and screenprints by Bearden from different parts of his career — Mecklenburg County, Pittsburgh and Harlem. A North Carolina native, Bearden makes work that have memories of personal history embedded in them. He was an active member of the Civil Rights art group, The Spiral, during the 60s and 70s. It was in this group that he began (re)constructing experiences by using collage and one of the first artists to start a dialogue about life as an African American in the United States.

The collection is truly incredible. It includes some of my favorite prints including The Train and Morning (Carolina Morning), but also images from his time during the Harlem Renaissance such as Out Chorus and Bopping at Birdland (Walking Bass). I really enjoyed seeing variety in Bearden’s work, ranging from photo collage to mixed media collage to color blocking collage. Each artwork comes to life with its captured/reconstructed action, vibrant color use, and texture.

I feel like Romare Bearden is telling me a story when I look at his work. It is one that on many levels I cannot relate to, but I don’t think relating to it is the point. He made his art to tell his story about his life as an African American living in the south during the Civil Rights movement. He owns that story in every way possible because it is his experience.

In Modern Art History, taught by Kathryn Shields during the spring of 2012, Kathryn asked us to do research on an artist from this period and create an artwork inspired by our chosen artist. I chose, you guessed it, Romare Bearden. I thought about how I would tell my story and what images, textures, colors and people I would use to own my story.

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So I went back to the idea of showing where I came from. I chose an image of Alice and myself reading books with each other, sitting on that spongy couch that sat in front of our wood paneled wall. While creating this, I felt myself returning to this space. I felt the couch again, the blankets, my attachment to my sister and how it felt to be in this moment again.

To get an idea of the collection of Bearden prints at the Greenhill Gallery, located at the Greensboro Cultural Arts Center, check out the online catalog.

Alumni Spotlight| Nicole Lane ’13

April 11, 2014

Right now, a slowly shrinking number seems to be on my mind all the time. Today it is 35. Tomorrow, 34. As I inch closer and closer to graduation day, plans for the future seem to be calling my name, louder and louder as that number disappears. I am finding there are many ways to face graduation fearlessly, and my current tactic is networking. I am talking to everyone I can, getting advice and my name out there. This week, I turned to recent graduate and former Hand/Eye writer Nicole Lane. What started out as two friends catching up turned into poignant comments on topics that we as a blog have been wrestling with all semester. She gave me some amazing advice and it would be a crime by me to not share it with all of you.

During her time at Guilford, Nicole was a photo major with a deep passion for writing. Through classes with Kathryn Shields and writing for Hand/Eye, her former dream of being a writer and her artistic passion collided. Now that the North Carolina native has picked up and moved to Chicago, she is able to write and photograph in a community where art, as she says “basically falls at your feet.” As a young artist and writer, she considers her new home to be a dream, filled with opportunities to explore and find inspiration, particularly with her writing. For the moment, Nicole is a contributing writer for two art-based webzines, Parallel Planets and Gapers Block, as well as resident “social media extraordinaire” for arts center Corks and Brushes. That’s where word of advice #1 comes in: “Try to apply to something new everyday.” She admits, “The internet might not be the greatest thing in the world but take it, run with it, use it as an advantage.” Whether it is applying for jobs or submitting art to studios, we are in a time where sending an email or two can go a long way.

Nicole is following this first piece of advice in her artistic practice as well. In post-grad land, her work has only continued to flourish. Her subjects are looked at from a voyeuristic perspective and every piece feels a bit like a found object. She shoots with both color and black and white film, but her continued passion is alternative processing. Up on her website she has a few different methods on display, but her work with painted caffenol is special. By revealing the exposed image through brush strokes, this method embraces her voyeuristic point of view both visually and conceptually (one example shown below). Nicole has found post-grad to allow for a lot more experimentation with her work. School was not the best place for her to explore her sexuality and self-portraits, particularly when it came to critque. “The whole ‘selfie’ bullshit really dampened some of my experience because there was always someone who commented on the fact that I took a picture of myself (AND exposed my boob, oh no!) Now, I don’t have to worry about that anymore and I have the ability to explore my own body and my own identity freely.” What’s really exciting is her slow acceptance into galleries in Chicago. A little risk taking, both in her practice and by putting herself out there, is getting her far. That is her piece of advice #2: take risks in your practice, be bold, and get out there!

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Nicole is making strides out in the big scary “real world” and she knows how exceptional that is only one year after graduation. “I know that some art students find it difficult to adapt to the outside world once they graduate due to the lack of critiques, an artistic family and a Maia Dery shaking her finger in your face telling you to be more ‘assertive’.” Diving head first and taking risks has been her motto and most of the reason for her success, but she recognizes that Guilford missed out on some big ways to prepare her and she had some catching up to do the summer after graduation. “Guilford didn’t teach me how to make a website, how to get my art out in the world or tell me that I should get business cards. I didn’t really even know how to write an artist statement.” These elements are where many of our art students struggle post-Guilford, but when it comes to social necessities, like fitting in to a community and embracing independence, we thrive. So you heard it here, Guilford student, advice #3: get yourself out there, especially as an artist. Buy business cards, create a web presence, and make yourself and your art seen.

While she is a huge advocate of getting yourself out there when it comes to jobs in post-grad life, Nicole would say it’s even more important for students to do that NOW. “Y’all need to get OUT of Guilford and out and around IN Greensboro. Take a step outside of the campus and explore North Carolina before you graduate. I don’t care if you have a test tomorrow. I REALLY don’t care whose having a party tonight. If you don’t have a car, ask a friend who does.” Take the time while you still can to take the adventures you want to take, make the mistakes you need to make, and create memories and experiences that will shape you. Plunge in head first, and maybe one day pass along these words of advice to another nervous and excited pre-graduate.

To see all of her work, visit Nicole’s website at www.snicolelane.com.

 

 

First-Year Perspective on Guilford’s Art Requirement

April 7, 2014

Since Guilford College has been tweeting and sending out congratulations to all the incoming First-Years for fall 2014, I thought I might play up a bit of why the arts requirement is important to take and then share it with all these fresh, new faces via social media. The brick wall I hit was realizing this meant I would have to interview multiple current first-year students.

Interviews are weird and awkward. I’ll be the first to admit it. So a self-assigned article in which I must interview not one, but five people…I was a little daunted. What if my recorder breaks? (It did, *groan.*) What if I misquote someone? (I might! *Gasp!*) What if Google Drive crashes and all my interview questions and answers are lost and I have to frantically find the backup, praying it’s still intact? (Yeah, that happened, too.) The horrible possibilities are endless. So, as an antidote to any possible screw-ups or mishaps with today’s article, I devised an absolutely fool-proof plan (rubbing my hands together, chuckling, no less)…I would interview the five first-years I needed feedback from – drumroll, please – short essay style!

That’s a great plan, Hannah! Nothing could be weird or awkward there, Hannah!

Except it completely threw off what I was going to write about in the first place.

But isn’t that why interviewing people is so beautiful anyway? And this article is now, arguably, much better for it. You see, these awesome First-Years who graciously answered my questions and allowed me to photograph them, had some truly powerful and positive things to say about why they believe the arts requirement is, indeed, important to them personally.

But one of my questions received basically the same answer each time – How might the things you’ve learned in an art class be used in other areas of your academic study?

“I don’t know…”

 “My major doesn’t have anything to do with art…”

 “…it doesn’t contribute to my career.”

You see where my brilliant, Q&A style interview technique backfired now, don’t you? So did I. They answered truthfully to a question I presented to them without any preconceived notions about how they actually are being impacted in the rest of their academic and social lives. This was my downfall. I had expected their answers to confirm for me what I already believed, but instead it caused me to have to prove it.

With the help of some research* I dug up from my Arts in Education class I took back when I was a First-Year, I’m compiled a short list that I hope is proof-worthy,  intriguing, thought-provoking, and most importantly, relatable to whatever your major may be.

  • Creating art helps maintain creativity and discover untapped creative potential. The possibilities discovered are helpful and sometimes unexpected.

  • “Art teaches critical thinking rather than getting the right answer.”

  • The arts embrace all perspectives and allow students to do the same in other fields. This means we can use the skills found through art when working in groups and listening. Sitting in on an art critique just once will help anyone see what cooperation and helpful criticism is. Critical thinking skills and patience  are relevant in all academic studies.

  • The arts opens up doors to learning about other cultures. Many Guilford arts classes also fulfill the Diversity in the U.S. requirement. Learning about and embracing diversity is key to any career.

This is a very broad-spectrum list, trying to cover lots of outlets, so I encourage you to think about how you might utilize skills you learned through making or performing art and then let everyone know about it in the comments!

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To the students I interviewed – I hope this doesn’t seem like I’m trying to get back at you for not knowing what to write for that question. My written interview style was a bad idea, but what came of it gave me something much more interesting to think and write about, so thanks!

To future students of Guilford – the arts requirement is tons of fun and can benefit you in more ways than probably everyone can fathom. Go forth and be creative in fine art, theatre, dance, music…whatever keeps the creativity boat afloat.

To the future President of Guilford – please keep the arts in mind during your administration. We might seem a little eccentric (okay, we’re a wacky bunch) but we are also highly dedicated and motivated student-creatives who found our calling doing what we love – keeping the world entertaining, friendly, open-minded, and beautiful.

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*(This is the link I found in my research notes)

Let’s Get Real: Photo II/III

April 4, 2014

Last Tuesday afternoon I decided to visit the photo studio, except on my way there I realized, “Wait…where exactly is it?”. That’s right, I’m a senior art student and I am embarrassed to admit that I didn’t know where to find the photo studio in Hege- Cox until last week. It’s a tough place to find and while seemingly hidden away in the basement of the building, this space is by no means discrete.

Over the past week I had the opportunity to hang out with fellow art students and Maia Dery for Photo II/III. The class is composed of students at various places in their photography exploration. Everyone is given the option to either follow a provided syllabus or create a production plan, a DIY syllabus in which students are responsible for setting personal deadlines, creating projects and finding an area of focus. The in-class experience is highly collaborative; everyone is in constant conversation with one another, discussing theories and concepts of photography, workshopping or critiquing work.

Julia Breskin, ’14, is apart of Photo II and chose to create her own syllabus: “My intention is to take my semester’s body of work and transform it into a cookbook composed of Spanish-Jewish fusion food, based on my family heritage.  Along with taking pictures I am writing my own annotated recipes. These pictures are part of a series of food portraits and process shots of Israeli Gazpacho.”

Now I must admit that I am not a photographer and furthermore know very little about photography. In fact, I would even go as far to say that I’m afraid of the camera — it gets a little too real for me.

Realness is unavoidable in photography. Photographs disclose, expose, acknowledge and tell the truth of our reality. At the same time though, they create beauty. This is exactly what we discussed on Tuesday from Susan Sontag’s On Photography, one of the most influential and referential photographic criticisms of our century.

According to Sontag, photography transforms reality, whether harsh or ordinary, into something beautiful. It takes the tough, everyday reality and create an unexpected or sometimes shocking beauty. By the Thursday critique I better understood my fear. The camera scares me because in a way, that is what it’s suppose to do. It approaches the unapproachable, acknowledges and exposes beauty from the ordinary and makes us look closer at what we easily pass by. Looking at students work I began to realize more and more that photography captures parts of life that I so often miss out on, even though I may interact with it everyday.

For example, James Escobedo, ’14, takes a look at identity and representation in his photography by exposing notions of racial hierarchy and gender identity: “This concept is important for me because I live in-between the borderlands of race, gender, sexual orientation and class. I never have the chance to explore what kind of impact this has on my out look on life and how I interact with the world. In collaboration with my models I want to discover what effect that living on boarders has on personal relationships. The focus of this project, in a visual sense, is the use negative spaces and how they impact relationships.”

Needless to say, big things are happening in the photo lab. Photographers are making photos of the everyday as it is relevant to their lives. These photographs are beautiful. They make you want to talk and ask questions. I encourage everyone to go to the studio and ask the people there what they are making photos of and why. You’ll leave knowing more than you did when you first arrived.

 

 

 

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