Artist Lecture Series kicks off in October with artist, Cristian Andersson

CRISTIAN ANDERSSON, ARTIST (APPLETON)

October 11, 2018

Period 6

Room 221

(not open to the public)

click image to enlarge

BIO

Cristian Andersson is an artist working in Appleton, Wisconsin. While much of his work tends towards abstract painting, he believes that the medium must fit the message and will experiment with installation and performance based mechanisms to craft what is necessary to deliver his thoughts to the audience. His years at Columbia College in Chicago studying painting and performance, and then later graduating from the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay with a number of photography and printmaking courses, allowed him the platform to begin his multi-disciplinary approach.

It is through this work that he wants the audience to assess the passage of time. Question our collective past, what is remembered and forgotten, and, ultimately, how we use our history to reconcile new opportunities afforded to us through modernity. With every sea-change  in our society, Andersson asks for us to consider what it does to our humanity.

SCRIPTORIUM STATEMENT

The contemporary nature of “breaking news” is that it is pervasive. It is invasive. It is an onslaught. And, it can be addictive.

Newspapers and network television have always been sources of insight, but now with the infiltration of the news into social media and alerts presented by mobile devices, I have become constantly aware of the next social or political concern that I “have to deal with.” Maybe you feel this also. Thankfully, there is the ability to lightly skim through social media. Multi-task while the television is on, and temporarily push the storylines into the background. And yet, it is hard to completely shut out.

This work asks what happens when I do the opposite of tuning out and instead completely submerse myself into the unpredictable current of my Twitter feed and news alerts. I ask myself what are the opinions, and what are facts? I question the mechanisms of deliverance. And then, ultimately, wonder how unpredictable any of this really is. This work is the product of six months of forced inundation, and it hopes to answer what the weight of all this information looks like, and possibly hints what the impact has been upon me – and perhaps you too.

Welcome to the “Scriptorium.”


Gallery

Images courtesy of the artist.

Artist Melanie Ariens visits Sheboygan North High Art Department

image courtesy of the artist

Melanie Ariens is a multi media artist with a passion for the Great Lakes and freshwater issues.  Her work is her advocacy, communicating about and celebrating our shared water resources.  As Artist-in-Residence for Milwaukee Water Commons,  she plans and facilitates creative, water inspired art experiences for local water leaders and community groups believing art has the power to inspire and engage the community in social and environmental issues.

Melanie received her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1992, specializing in painting, drawing and printmaking, but has always enjoyed mixing it up, collaborating and experimenting, allowing the concept determine the media.

Why JustLoveNOH8?

Since childhood, I have always found hate strong and scary, and have felt downright terrified if I ever felt close to feeling it. Many years back, when I was fearful I was feeling true hatred, my father said that when we feel that way, we needed to recognize that we were in a place that required more compassion. Nothing productive comes from a place of hate and no healing can happen unless there is civil discourse and an effort to understand each other. This might sound funny, but a few years after that incident, I don’t know where he found them, but he gave me some No Hate running socks – just the word HATE on the cuff with that red circle with the slash through it. I still have those socks and my teenage daughter has swiped them from me, but I am glad that message is still running around my house.

I was exhausted and distressed after 2016 campaigning season and election, and still am, and you may be, too. My way of dealing with this has been to design this iconic image and promote the very basic, but often difficult, idea of not hating. Others have promoted NOH8 in the LGBTQ community and beyond. I had a deep desire to contribute to that effort and expand on it to an even broader concept of inclusion and love, for Immigrants, Blacks, Veterans, Disabled, Women, and any other group that feels marginalized, including people that don’t think like me.  

This has been a rich and healing endeavor, with friends joining me in the studio to print, people taking the posters to marches, hanging them in their windows, and gifting them to friends. I have been generous with the design and have allowed other organizations to print the design to spread this positive message in their community. At this point, I estimate 2000+ posters have been printed. I hope this story along with these prints & stickers, is healing for you, too! And if you have read this far, I am so deeply appreciative of your time and attention in thinking about this with me. Join me in the NOH8 community.

 

Gallery 

Artist Spotlight – Doug Arthur

This month we had fellow NHS teacher and artist, Doug Arthur share his art, influences, process, and love for illustrations with our students during our Artist Lecture Series. The questions below were provided by the Advanced 3D Design students. 

North High Art Dept: Do you make any of your art specifically to sell it?

Doug Arthur: At the moment I don’t primarily produce art to sell unless commissioned.

NHAD: Would you consider teaching for an illustration job?

DA:  It is definitely a consideration of mine. I’ve always enjoyed teaching and art

NHAD: Where is your favorite place to draw?

DA:  I usually like to find some place that is relaxing yet has a lot of interesting things going on. This means you’ll find me frequenting places like the Weather Center in Sheboygan fairly often.

NHAD: What college did you go to?

DA:  I went to UW-Stevens Point and graduated with a teaching degree in Broad Field Social Studies and History.

NHAD: What got you into illustration?

DA:  That’s a potentially very long story. I always enjoyed art from a young age. Somewhat of a start was when I got involved in making comic strips for my high school paper. It wasn’t until after college that I got more involved in illustration. I had a roommate that got me into comic books and asked me to do some illustrations for him. From there, I got more interested and continued to learn more about the craft and spend more time doing it for my enjoyment as well.

NHAD: Why didn’t you become an art teacher?

DA:  Well, to be honest, when I was in college, I came in completely undecided. My path lead me more toward history. At the time I didn’t really have an understanding of career options in art and wasn’t necessarily planning on being a teacher yet. Would I be an art teacher if possible? Definitely. But I enjoy teaching in general, so I have no regrets in that area.

NHAD: What is your favorite drawing?

DA:  I’m not sure I ever have one favorite. There is a sketchbook illustration I did recently where I tried to work on using negative space effectively, and I really enjoyed the outcome of it.

NHAD: When did you start drawing?

DA:  I started drawing when I was fairly young, but I don’t think it matters as much when you start as what you put into it. People who put time and effort into their work are more likely to create something they’ll be proud of.

Gallery

Arthur’s Portfolio

 

Interview with artist, Rafael Francisco Salas

This month we had art professor and artist, Rafael Francisco Salas visit North High to share his art, influences, and process with our students. 

Rafael Francisco Salas, Untitled Portrait (Houses), oil on canvas, 22 x 42 inches, 2010

Rafael Francisco Salas, Untitled Portrait (Houses), oil on canvas, 22 x 42 inches, 2010

North High Art Department: What/who is your biggest inspiration?

Rafael Francisco Salas: I mentioned a few influential artists – Isa Genzken, Cy Twombly,  and Byzantine artwork

In addition, old country music as it relates the landscape, and then of course the landscape of rural Wisconsin itself.

NHAD: What is your favorite medium to work with?

RFS: Oil paint and charcoal

NHAD: When did you start painting?

RFS: I always was interested in making art, but didn’t begin oil painting until I was about 23 years old.

NHAD: At what age did you start being an artist?

RFS: Pretty much my whole life.

NHAD: Why did you choose to do abstract painting?

RFS: Great question. Abstract art (to me) is able to communicate beyond language. If a painting has a human figure, a viewer responds with the knowledge that the painting has a person in it. But abstraction requires a different reading, that is more personal and emotional. It comes from the gut.

NHAD: How long does it take to finish a painting?

RFS: Sometimes they move along quite quickly, like two or three weeks. Other times a couple of months.

NHAD: Do you enjoy changing your media & materials?

RFS: It’s exciting and very challenging to work with new materials. Sometimes it’s a disaster!

NHAD: Is all of your work based on your experiences?

RFS: Yes, most of it is pretty autobiographical. It’s what I know.

NHAD: What made you want to go into art/study art?

RFS: I always enjoyed it and was inspired to make art. Plus I was never good at anything else!

Artist Statement: 

My current artistic project begins by describing the landscape and its moods that I have observed in Wisconsin.  They include natural occurrences as well as man-made events and architecture which complement and conflict. Our creations and habits rub up against what is native or wild. Those interactions describe our new selves.

The use of non-representational and still life elements in my artwork creates a dichotomy between figure and ground, between the perceived and the felt. Like the nature of the landscapes I observe, the artwork aspires toward a certain nobility, but often illuminates a poignant contrast to that aspiration.

Country music is the appropriate soundtrack.

About The Artist Lecture Series

The Artist Lecture Series is an in-school program at Sheboygan North High School that invites local and regional visual artists to share their journey as artists with the beginning, intermediate, and advanced art classes. Visiting artists present and expose art students to such as but not limited to: a digital portfolio, actual artworks, talk about about careers, and the opportunity to interact with the artists. This program is organized by the Sheboygan North High Art Department. 

Artist Spotlight: Megan Woodard Johnson, mixed media

newnhslogo_copyOn November 15, mixed-media artist, Megan Woodard Johnson visited period 7 Drawing Intensive artists. She talked about her work, her process, ideas, and inspiration. During her presentation they came up with a list of questions. Due to length of time allocated these questions were emailed to Megan for her responses. 

Art Student: How long do you usually take to get your artwork done?

Megan Johnson: I can usually finish a piece in 4-5 days. There is a lot of waiting in my process- for glue to dry, for paint to dry between layers, etc. But once I’m rolling, the image tends to evolve really quickly.

I also frame all of my own work- which can take as many days as the painting itself. I save a lot of money this way, and have control over the details- but it’s time consuming.

AS: How do you sell work? Where do you find buyers?

MJ: The first thing to know is that I sell work by being patient and persistent: I start by having it out in as many different venues as possible: group juried exhibitions and art fairs; art guilds and art center events; art-making demos, open studio tours, and giving workshops. People do not always buy work right away- but they become engaged with me and stay connected via email updates or following me on social media. If they like my work enough to follow me, eventually there is a piece they like enough to buy.

I currently have work in the two John Kohler Arts Center gallery shops and a gallery in Cedarburg. Both opportunities came about because the owner/buyer had seen my work in other venues, and I had struck up a friendly relationship with them, so was easy to find when they had space for new work.

I participate in a few summer art fairs- and have had to do a lot of research to find fairs in places where I think the customers will be interested in actually buying my work. So far for me, that means people in more urban areas, with an appreciation for art and the income for purchasing art for their homes. (For me, large, well advertised shows in Chicago have been great – but I didn’t figure that out until I suffered through some very quiet, local, non-juried art and craft fairs).

I post new work routinely on Instagram and Facebook, and keep my website up to date with work and prices, so have made a few sales through those channels (followers DM me or email me and we take it from there).

AS: Where do you get your inspiration from?

MJ: I find a lot of great art on instagram and even pinterest that inspire my color palettes and sometimes my mark-making and technique.

As for my content, I’m inspired by how intricately humans are linked together, across the globe and across time. I’m also inspired by the things that humans make for practical use- especially old things that show the impact of time.

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AS: Any doubts about your current career?

MJ: No. But that wasn’t true until 2 years ago- and I’ve been at this a long time: I graduated from college 20 years ago.

When I decided to stop doubting my work, I stopped doubting whether I was really deserving of the title ‘artist’. When I stopped doubting that, I stopped doubting whether I should put my work out into the world more, and take more chances with shows etc. When I stopped doubting that, my work began to find its audience.

AS: What is your favorite medium to work with?

MJ: There is no one favorite medium for me, and there is no working in one single medium for me- I love them all, but need to work with them all together to say what I want to say. I have found that I do not connect with photography or digital arts as a maker- I need messy hands and direct contact with my art. (But as an art appreciator and consumer- I love them!)

AS: Are you always proud of your work?

MJ: No way!!! I have made some ugly, awkward, awful and totally un-successful pieces – LOTS of them! I don’t resent them- but I also don’t frame them up and show or try to sell them.

AS: Do you feel that there are colors that you gravitate towards?

MJ: There does seem to be a pallette I pull toward- colors that have a faded, warmed-up quality. I love color in general, and have a very strong foundational knowledge of color theory. (Study color theory very seriously- I really believe it’s the underlying subtle element that will make your art work or not work.)

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AS: You already found your ‘art style’. Do you ever think about starting or trying to find a completely new style?

MJ: I’m 42 years old, and have been making art seriously in one way or another for 25 years. I have a style that in some ways has always been a part of how I make art. Look at college and High School work of mine you will see a combination of clean, almost architectural style drawing with very loose, gestural painting and scribbling. It’s a yin and yang for me- both qualities feel equally important in all parts of my life.

The series of work I’m currently working on- with the layers of collage, the house-shapes, etc. is what is happening naturally in my studio- but I know it will change and evolve. My approach in my own art is to follow a path or a series until it no longer feels comfortable. When I’m restless with what I’m currently doing, I know it’s time to let something new develop.

AS: Do you get nervous to present in front of classes?

MJ: Yes. For sure. I’m very happy talking one-on-one about my work, but a room full of people is a little daunting! You guys were a great audience 🙂

AS: What techniques do you use when making your art?

MJ: Basically, I start by gluing small pieces of vintage paper all over the paper to create a textural background. I slea that with clear acrylic matte medium, and then start painting. I paint with acrylics, then sometimes remove that paint with rubbing alcohol to get a washy effect. I’ll coat over the whole piece with matte medium several times throughout the piece- sealing down layers, and allowing me to then add different mediums on top of the paint: graphite, pastel, oil pastel, colored pencil, gold leaf. I’ll glue down more collage elements to help create the lines of the houses.

AS: What is the best part about sharing what you love?

MJ: I always love chatting with people about what they find interesting. When they find something that I’ve painted interesting, and want to know more about it- or tell me what they’re drawn to, it’s incredibly validating and heart-warming.

AS: How do you price your artwork?

MJ: I have a basic awareness of my material expenses, so I want to cover those for sure. And I want to be realistic not only about the hours that it takes me to finish one painting- but the years of experiences and training I have in this field, so I try to value my work in a way that respects that.

I look to work done that feels similar to mine in size, medium and the audience it might appeal to, to get a feel for how pricing is going in the world right now. I’ve also had good feedback from the galleries I’m with- in terms of letting me know if they think my prices are appropriate. And now, with 2 years of solid sales in this current series, I feel confident that my pricing is solid.

I very much want my work to be priced in a way that allows it to be attainable to buyers, but attainable does not mean cheap. Buyers in my target audience will spend $100 on a massage, a dinner out, a nice pair of shoes or a concert ticket and not bat an eye. Art for your home is something you purchase because it moves you, and it will be in your home for a lot longer than an hour or an evening or a fashion season, so I’ve tried to keep that in mind as I’ve priced my work.

About Megan 

img_2145Early in her art career, she fell in love with printmaking because she was enchanted by the way an image would evolve and build with each new layer of ink. Gradually work, family life, and relocations made access to printmaking equipment more difficult. Experimenting with new materials, she discovered that physically layering actual papers and bits of collected ephemera into paintings and drawings allowed me to make images with a depth that she had never reached with standard printmaking.

Her mixed media approach illustrates how a variety of moments define a total experience. The materials she uses carry the stories of learning, recording, and processing: vintage school books, ledgers, hand- written correspondence. The materials themselves each have a life and history, which is then woven into the stories she tells by adding expressive layers of paint and drawing media.

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The notion of the meeting place between private moments and shared or universal experiences is her constant inspiration. She loves watching the wide range of personal responses as viewers uncover layers in her work, recognizing book pages or documents from their youth, or finding memories pulled to the surface by familiar patterns and colors. These very personal connections for each individual actually turn out to be common shared experiences, as viewer after viewer recalls similar memories and responses.

Megan’s recent work examines the notion of creating private spaces: places, both literal and imagined, that provide a sense of refuge. She is interested in how the creation of a personal space must be unique to each individual, while at the same time the experience of having or claiming these spaces is almost completely universal.

 

About the Artist Lecture Series

The Artist Lecture Series is an in-school program at Sheboygan North High School that invites local and regional visual artists to share their journey as artists with the beginning, intermediate, and advanced art classes. Visiting artists present and expose art students to such as but not limited to: a digital portfolio, actual artworks, talk about about careers, and the opportunity to interact with the artists. This program is organized by the Sheboygan North High Art Department. 

 

NHS Artist Lecture Series welcomes Megan Woodard Johnson, mixed media artist

The North High Art Department is happy to announce its November visiting artist, Megan Woodard Johnson. 

Megan is a mixed media artist living in West Bend, WI. By layering vintage ephemera with paint, various drawing media and found objects she tells evocative stories which speak to universal experiences as well as personal memories. 

She studied Graphic Design and Printmaking at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, WV. She is a member of the Cedarburg Artists Guild and the League of Milwaukee Artists. She has exhibited her work in numerous shows and galleries in Southeast Wisconsin and Northern Illinois. 

megan-als-2016

A Qualitative Research Study of Arts Education and its’ Impact on Post-Secondary Success. Written by Jenny Sturchio.

This past school year I had the opportunity to work with Jenny Sturchio. She is a grad student at Wisconsin Lutheran College in Milwaukee. Her ideas for her Capstone Final was to research how secondary art education impacts post-secondary success. The Sheboygan North High Art Department was one of her subjects for this research. I found it interesting to read her perspective on secondary art education and her correlations to post-secondary education. It is always neat to read what others think about the arts programming, activities, and relationships that exist within a public high school art program.

Feel free to download this PDF. Courtesy of Jenny Sturchio. 

Here are some excerpts from her research. 

“I find we are presented with material in a very linear way and are expected to understand it in that way as well. By participating in the arts, it has given me the chance to explore ideas and come to the conclusions in a more fluid manner. Having space to work through things abstractly has been beneficial for someone with a right brain way of thinking” (Answer from survey participant, 2016.)

“By being involved in the arts, I was able to find my passion. Being exposed to and given the chance to dabble in artistic curriculum, it opened up doors that would not have been possible otherwise. In a society where math and science are deemed the only suitably successful careers, including arts is a more holistic approach at education. Art has given me more ways to problem solve, and overall another perspective to walk through the world with. I think it is important to keep the arts in secondary education because that is how we keep it in post-secondary, which is important in creating innovators of the world” (Answer from survey participant, 2016.)

“When dealing with a struggling student they refer to creative teaching techniques to create a platform for the student to find success”.

“Not only do they [teachers] consult with the art department for their own classroom integration, but it is observed that arts-active students are more deeply engaged in classroom activities than those who are not”.

“My recommendation would be for high schools to provide professional development for their teachers that covers arts-integrated education”. – Jenny Sturchio

About

J.Sturchio. A Qualitative Research Study of Arts Education and its’ Impact on Post-Secondary Success: This narrative research project was completed in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a Master of Arts in Education degree for the College of Adult and Graduate Studies at Wisconsin Lutheran College, Milwaukee, WI. 50pps.

Feel free to download this PDF. Courtesy of Jenny Sturchio. 

Midwest artist, Jessica Anderson, visits Sheboygan North High art students

On March 14, MAS artist, Jessica Anderson, spent the day at Sheboygan North High School connecting with students through her project, Meditation Walking, as the basis for her meditation drawings that she facilitated with Drawing/Painting II, AP Studio Art, and Senior Art 2 students. Jessica is one of our Year 2 MAS artists. 

Jessica’s artist statement states:

Part research, part design, part invention – my work navigates the boundary between mind and body through a re-contextualized lens of science, medicine, and biologic phenomena. Reminiscent of laboratory investigations, my invented scenarios answer questions with questions and provoke participatory explorations of the individual self.  

Taking the position as neither a skeptic nor a promoter, my research examines the role of holistic healing practices in contemporary culture. I am interested in individual relationships within these mechanisms of health and provide viewers with opportunities to test their own boundaries of belief. Reframing practices such as a detoxifying footbath, a chi activation machine, and phenomenological exercises, my re-contextualization of existing treatments heightens the tension of purpose, and provides viewers with neutral environments of investigation. 

Merging factual information with reinvented application allows me to expand the dialogue of cognitive occurrences. For instance, EMDR therapy asks patients to lean their head to the left to access thoughts and to lean their head to the right to access feelings and emotions. Redirecting this information, I then ask: Is there a discernible difference between these two cerebral directions when drawing a line? 

It is a question that can only be answered through experience, observation, and communally applied analytics. 

In my work, invitations for experience occur through demonstrative videos, interactive objects/devices, evocative statements of research, and performative exercises. Together, each of these installation elements create a multi-dimensional environment of investigative viewing, biologic questioning, and experiential answering. By repositioning scientifically grounded phenomena into the context of a gallery, information begins to transcend ratiocination and calls upon a physical conversation between mind, body, and personal experience. 

Katie, drawing/painting II student, writes, “the meditation drawing experience was very different from what I was expecting going into it. My mind works in a very mechanical fashion so I thought that I would not be able to relax and have my hand wander for a period of time. I found myself having completely letting go. Tracking time was impossible. When just sitting and doing nothing, 10 minutes felt like an eternity. Time was called when I thought we were only half way through. After completing the session, I felt more relaxed, more confident in my decisions, and more sensitive to my surroundings. I would gladly doing this again and recommend it to anyone. 

Abrille, drawing/painting II student, writes, “I felt that with this meditation drawing it was weird. At First, it was different because I never done it before. I learned that basically letting your mind take over your hand. You do not exactly create something recognizable. I thought this idea was cool because I never thought you could meditate through art. I was pretty excited with trying something new. In the end Id did get comfortable with doing this. By the time we were finished I was really relaxed, but when I opened my eyes to see what I drew it was unexpected.

Brittany, drawing/painting II student, writes, “Jessica did an amazing job! It was a great experience. I would do it all of the time. I felt refreshed. My mind was at peace. 

Mikayla, AP Studio Art student, writes, my experience during the meditation drawing was calming. I wasn’t thinking about what I was drawing, but more what I was feeling. This process taught me that to create art, I do not need to always necessarily think it through, but express how I’m feeling. I also learned that meditation drawing is the releasing of one’s mind. The thoughts and expressions in our minds flow directly into our hand and create an image on paper. When introduced to this process I was very interested. It seemed very stress free and enjoyable. After it was all done, the meditation drawing session made me feel very relaxed. I was also quite surprised by how my drawing looked. It pretty much was a bunch of scribbles, but nonetheless very enjoyable. 

Running Time: 14:17 with a 6:21 introduction by Jessica. 

Gallery

Artist Reception for NHS Resident Artist, Sara Willadsen

Join us as we celebrate Sara & her art. Her reception is scheduled for Friday, May 29th from 3:45 – 5:00pm at the 2nd Floor Gallery at Sheboygan North High School.

Sara has worked with several NHS teachers, staff, and students throughout her 2nd semester residency. 

To learn about Sara visit:

https://nhsartdept.wordpress.com/artist-in-residence-program-2/

or

sarawilladsen.com

Open to the public. 

SaraWilladsenEPC

 

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