Well, I just got wind that I’ll be teaching summer school this year and I’m pumped! It’s four days a week for 6 weeks and a mix of beginning and advanced wheel-throwing students. Summer sessions are always great in ceramics. We take over the studio and camp out, so to speak. The concentrated block of time day after day promotes an energy and synergy in the studio that’s unparalleled. It’s actually my favorite semester to teach. So cancel your trip to Hawaii this summer, trade in your beach towel for a pair of dirty jeans and join us in ceramics!
Shout out to old school Will and Jeff.
These two men transformed human’s relationship with clay, one of the oldest and most abundant materials on this planet. They, with the support of countless others, took the material and infiltrated the landscape of contemporary art. Up until these two came along, ceramics in this country were rarely shown in fine art galleries, like almost never. In fact, clay was still viewed (in the west) as a less-than-precious material used for pottery, not art. Artists like Hamada, Leach, Yanagi, Rothko and Pollock gave Peter and Paul the right to do as they wish with clay, and that’s what they did. They are the Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen duo, the Easy-E and NWA combo, the John Coltrane and Miles Davis duet, they are Voulkos and Soldner.
Here’s an interesting article from bigthink.com by Orion Jones about generations of people not being taught how to use tools and what affects it has on society. I think this article parallels some points from the last article I posted on college art degrees. It seems like big business is finding economic reasons to embrace the skilled creative mind and they seem to be looking towards the arts to supply these minds.
Let me first start off by saying that this is a generalization of what I think of the situation. I believe there are many people who share my beliefs and many that don’t.
Our value of art in school is to the point where parents (many of which are not qualified to teach nor teach art) are leading the K12 classrooms as art teachers. Do we do the same with math? Are we bringing in volunteer parents to lead our algebra classes? I question society’s choices in areas they weren’t educated on themselves. Let’s face it, art programs in the US schools are dying and have been for generations. Nowadays when I say I teach 3-D art, everyone assumes I’m talking about computer modeling. No, I don’t teach 2-D applications like Maya, I teach actual three-dimensional art. The concept seems so old and pointless to many young people (and older). People don’t understand why one would need to know these skills, nor how one could make a living with them. We, as a society, are so disconnected to the idea of art. We think of art as something artist’s do, not as something that encompasses everything around us. Art surrounds us all day long. Some may define things as ‘design’ but the origins are art. It’s in your bathroom, your garage, your neighborhood barber shop and your local parks. The fact that there’s a term called ‘art supplies’ should be an indication that there’s a problem with how we think of art. So what does one learn with an Art degree?
Here’s an interesting read from Yahoo Makers by Sophie Forbes, March 5th 2015
When I think of influential artists, I can’t help but think of two architects, Walter Gropius and Mies Van Der Rohe. I suppose I’m showing my bias towards modernism, but I’m ok with that. (One should note that I’m a son of an architect who studied architecture in the 50’s). Nonetheless, these two minds did brilliant things. And despite countless other gifted architects whose contributions to the world are immeasurable (FLW and Corbusier to name a couple), Gropius and Mies are on the top of my list.
I’m starting a new series of blog posts titled ‘Oh Geez’. The posts are meant to pay homage to the artists that have influenced me and my work over the years. Many of the artists are well-known, and quite famous within their communities. All of them have played a significant role in the progression of modern/contemporary art.
But I begin to wonder how much is really known about these great artists and their contributions. This series is not meant to educate or summarize these people’s lives, but merely to shed a little light on a few greats. They are the ‘Oh Geez’.