Artist & North High alumnus, Cooper Diers ends his semester long residency at Sheboygan North High School in a couple of weeks. As part of our exit interview process we’ve spent a few minutes with him to see how his experience was this spring semester. We’ll miss ya!!!
My name is Cooper. I was brought into existence by two people (like most of us), who both possess considerable imaginations. My father creates through carpentry, specializing in cabinetry, and is an exceptional chef, while my mother designs works in several mediums of visual art. Both have had an interest, appreciation, and intrinsic ability in a number of creative fields from early on and I would like to consider myself fortunate enough to have been predisposed to a lot of creativity, relying on it as a constant throughout my life. Though the approach to my work is predominantly self-taught, the influence and encouragement of several teachers during my academic career has helped the continuation of my work from a practical perspective. Music and sound are the deepest source of affect on my psyche.
About the Sheboygan North High School Art Department
The mission of the Sheboygan North High Art Department is to create a safe and nurturing learning environment that will stimulate risk-taking, originality, and collaboration through the use of 21st Century skills in both communication and a rigorous studio practice.
Drawing/Painting II students spent a couple weeks learning about Abstract Expressionism and the works by MAS artist, Joe Bussell. As a result of their research they were to create three (3) large scale paintings using non-traditional tools such as a putty knife. Below is a snapshot of their work. In addition, students had the opportunity to Skype with the artist.
A Reflection by Allison N
I just sort of went for it. When I started the first painting, I had no clear idea in mind, I just sort of started putting paint on the paper and it went from there. The only thing I had planned was the colors, each of the paintings have a color scheme, they aren’t just random colors thrown on the page, they all have something in common. The first painting was different shades of a lavender-purple sort of color and the last two were three pastel colors, pink, blue, and yellow. I think my paintings in particular are unique because of the colors I;ve chose, I think it gives off a more ‘playful’ and ‘lightness’ sort of feel.
I actually really enjoyed using the palette knife, it was surprisingly satisfying, the way the paint glided. I think it created a nice blend when you used multiple colors, and sometimes layered the colors with just a single stroke.
I think I created a overall feel pretty well. Each painting, to me anyway, gives off a certain feeling, for example, the first one I did gives off a feeling of motion, two things responding together as I’d put it. I think I used the color element of this project to my advantage, I wanted to used colors that would go well with each other, that I knew wouldn’t give an ugly color if I mixed them together enough. I used geometric shapes for my third painting, which was a technique that was suggested.
I knew right away that I wanted one of the paintings to look as if two different ‘forces’ were responding to each other in some way, so the first painting I did was planned. The second painting was sort of on a whim, I put a line going through the entire thing and kind of went from there. The third painting was also sort of spontaneous, though I wanted it to have clean, straight lines, which I did achieve.
I only used one, and that was a pencil. I didn’t use it a big way, I mainly used both ends to make large circles and well as smaller circles and then I made small groupings of them scattered in particular places that I’d picked. Since the painting I had used this tool for was so geometric and clean, I wanted to use to circles and dots to create contrast between the two opposite shapes.
Hello all! My time at North High has ended. I finished my last week next week and pass the baton to Cooper Diers.
I had such an amazing time and loved engaging with students learning about their multiple creative individual expressions. There are a few projects that are continuing into the second semester. However, for now here are the last pieces that I worked on with students and that I finished myself. Thank you to all of the staff and teachers for their interest and connections and I look forward to seeing you all again.
This is a winter mural project that the students and staff helped to create which is now hanging in the basement hallway. Please take a look at the mural. They worked on it in 3 stages: drawing, painting, collage. This last step of 3-D materials are to reference, snow and wind blowing, ice over a beautiful expressive landscape. It is 5 feet by 24 feet. The students moved their bodies, laughed, focused together and shared a collective creative experience. They seem very proud of their work so don’t be shy stopping into Beth’s room to respond to their mural and just say a quick hello! I’m sure it would mean a lot.
Below are some of the ceramic pieces that I had finished my last day at school. They were originally created thinking about water and the seas however after glazing them and putting them into the firey kiln…they appear much more rock like and less fluid. I made 28 of these small ceramic pieces sized 2.5″x 2.5″x 1.5″. Below are just a few of the finished ones.
There are larger wall hangings that were finished at this time shown below. These are all being added to my ceramic painting cache.
My exhibition of 16 of 48 wooden paintings was great. I loved making them and working with the scrap wood, the teachers and the students that assisted. Here is an image of the show:
Thank you for letting me walk the halls and connect with you. You work so hard to make this the amazing and inspiring place I found North High School to be. Hope 2nd semester goes well for all.
Lastly, thank you to Frank Juarez for all you do.
Erica Jane Huntzinger www.ericahuntzinger.com
Happy New Year 2017 all! My residency is winding down and there is still so much to do and create. It has been an incredibly rich and wonderful time being here. Posted below are some of the current things going on…
This is an image of the large mural we have been working on with Beth and her students. They have finished stage 2, watercolor painting over their drawing. This will be their creation of a winter scene for their large bulletin board in the basement. Stage 3 to come next week….snow.
The clay work done by several students in now finally out of the kiln and ready to be glazed for their final firing. You are able to see the detail and objects they impressed into the clay. Stay tuned
Updates on some of the other projects: the postcard project didn’t get off the ground but it is a good idea for possibilities in the future. The elevator proved to be too difficult and late in beginning to tackle. However, there is a very special project connecting 2 of the classes with students who have extra needs with some of the engineering students. Photos and explanations to come soon… very exciting. The Honors Humanities class with Mr. Soik are working on ArtPlosion final visual art piece to tie together some of the big ideas they discovered in reading and talking with each other. There will be an end of the year book that documents some of their creations, documentations and finds.
My exhibition in up in the NHSARTifacts Gallery on the 2nd floor. There are 18 wooden paintings with an artist statement about the work. There will be a reception this Thursday from 3:45 – 5:00p. Please join us.
This week a group of middle/high school art students will be creating a 4 foot by 8 foot painting welcoming visitors to the Sheboygan Area School District. This mural will be installed on the 3rd floor stairwell inside the administration building, 803 Virginia Avenue in Sheboygan.
Here are images of their creative process. This process involved designing, selecting, finalizing, and painting their contributions to to the mural. Also, part of the process was to edit the painting to reach the desired result of this collaborative project. Students worked independently as well as in pairs and/or groups.
Marty is our fourth artist in residence at Sheboygan North High School. A reception is a great way to celebrate the success of the artist’s accomplishment during our Spring semester. Although his time was dedicated to connecting with NHS students and staff he also created several paintings. Receptions are always unpredictable. It is probably one of the most nerve racking parts of being an artist because you never know who is going to show up.
In this case, Marty had a fab turnout. It was great to see our administration present, aspiring poets, fellow colleagues, former artists in residence, and friends. For the third time, Ms. Cavanaugh’s poetry students wrote poems based on a painting from the artist they liked and read them to the people present. The poetry readings are starting to become a tradition that has found a home at NHS. Marty shared how his paintings were influenced by ecology. Mr. Soik, Honors Humanities teacher, shared how having Marty weekly made a difference in how his students interacted with the artist resulting in a beautiful assemblage.
This program has presented many wonderful opportunities to strengthen our bond as a North High community as well as to welcome unexpected events and embracing them whilst letting things flow where they may.
This school year, 2015-2016, two NHS art students worked on their AP Studio Art portfolios. Both students communicated their intent through varied media such as collage, markers, paint, and artistic vision. These works are on display in the Lower Level from May 18 – June 1, 2016.
The students arrive in AP Studio Art with a solid foundation in the arts and with breadth pieces of art completed from which to choose. Since AP students have had substantial experience in direct formal art making instruction, the AP class instruction is structured more like a college-level, independent study course where the student and instructor confer to identify an area of concentration for further development based on the student’s strengths, skills, and interests, for example, portraiture, landscapes, abstractions, illustration, and so forth.
I am a senior at North High School. I am currently in AP Studio Art and my studio works consists of photographs I captured in the past few years that have a special meaning to me. My artwork tends to focus on nature, and with each body of work, I strive to communicate a variety of emotions to put together a unique portfolio. I used a method called Zentangle to focus specifically on the movement in each piece. I emphasized this element through the use of vibrant lines and the use of value and contrast. Through the different shades and textures, I wanted to tell a different story of my life through the emotions each piece portrayed. Each artwork is a building block that represents a part of my life and what makes me unique as a person.
The inspiration for most of the pieces comes from fairytales. My intention was to take a happy fairytale and distort it in a way that gives it a different or darker meaning. The overall feeling of each piece leaves the viewer to feel uneasy and a sense of mystery and also a desire to figure out what each piece means. These pieces all hold a story behind them, creating an even deeper meaning. I experimented with acrylics and collage and even a combination of the two. I feel as though collage creates a deeper contrast and help the viewer form a more solid idea of the work. I also included one piece that does not fit the fairytale theme, “Even The Mountains Have a Song,” for fun and to display that in the midst of creating one theme, random pieces art can create themselves without any intention of them being there.
The UW-Sheboygan Art Exhibition runs until May 27, 2016.
UW-Sheboygan is located at One University Drive in Sheboygan.
Congratulations to the following art students. They have earned a placement award. They are: