The work created during this residency has been an extension of a few distinct series within my oeuvre. This would include the Eggs of Ancient Birds and the Line Segment series. Both utilize a restricted approach (in materials and methodology) and the basic elements of each series is the same: composition, balance, gesture, movement, contour, texture, contrast, and color. Conceptually, the work draws heavily from my interest in music and sound. A considerable amount of my listening is devoted to homogenized instrumental ensembles, specifically for wind instruments. I attribute my initial experience with hearing a saxophone quartet recording as the spark for a creative philosophy built on expansion through limitation.
I like to consider the parallels of some of my musical activity with that of my visual. Autonomous and indeterminate methods for using ink is connected to some of my improvisational tactics as a musician and the unanticipated events of playing with others, while the line series feels connected to the linear activity of playing alone and with monophonic instruments (such as clarinets and saxophones). Whether it is sonic or optic, the content is dependent on the environment and space and the two interact and exchange information that influences moment-to-moment events. This idea relates to my experience interacting within the scholastic setting and having that exchange with faculty and students, observing how my work was effected and how my involvement affected them.
What could not be displayed was the project with some of the choir students, which furthered my audio/visual hybridization by having them create graphic scores to interpret as music. As of this writing, the piece has not been performed, but will be at the Spring Recital.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Over spring break, Mr. Juarez and 6 art students traveled to New York City to see art and experience the city’s vibrant culture and high energy. Here is a snapshot of what these students experienced. In addition to the art, they also visited Ellis Island, Chinatown, Little Italy, Radio City Music Hall, Rockerfeller Plaza, Top of the Rock, Central Park, saw Miss Saigon, and even met one of the Rockettes!
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.