Spangler Presents at Utilitarian Clay Symposium

Teapot, Shawn Spangler

Pitcher, Shawn Spangler

Shawn Spangler will be attending Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, TN September 19-22.

Held every four years since 1992, Arrowmont’s Utilitarian Clay Symposium enjoys an international audience in celebrating and demonstrating the limitless interpretations of the utilitarian clay object. The symposium attracts those who are interested in not only the practical concerns with making functional objects, but also in the more theoretical issues related to the field.

The Symposium, limited to only 200 attendees, provides an intimate atmosphere for meaningful dialogue, discussion and social activities.

Spangler will be one of 17 presenter this year at Utilitarian Clay Symposium VI. Each presenter will be lecturing and giving demonstrations throughout the Symposium while participating in numerous panel discussions. Spangler along with the 17 other presenters have been invited to show in the Utilitarian Clay exhibition.

Spangler says, “It’s was a wonderful surprise to be selected as a presenting artist for this symposium.  Just four years back at the last Symposium it was a few of my professors who were there as presenters so I feel very humbled and a bit nervous.”

Walters’ Art in Plain Sight~Lost Quad Cities: Removed, Relocated, and Recovered Public Art

Bruce Walters’ most recent Art in Plain Sight, Lost Quad Cities: Removed, Relocated, and Recovered Public Art, is the cover story for the River Cities Reader.

'Davenport Blues.' Courtesy Loren Shaw Hellige.

'Davenport Blues.' Courtesy Loren Shaw Hellige.

I recently came across a photograph of downtown Davenport taken from the corner of Second and Harrison streets and facing north. The photo has a 1907 copyright date but appears to have been taken before 1892, when the Redstone Building was built. As I looked at the image carefully, I was struck by the realization that nothing in this photo – not one building or object – still exists.

I also saw a set of century-old photos of a roller coaster, merry-go-round, music pavilion, bowling alley, tunnel of love, and steep water ride – proclaimed as the largest amusement park west of Chicago – at the present-day location of the Black Hawk State Historic Site. It is so strange to see old photos that are identified as places we know well, yet little in them is familiar.

From one year to the next, the Quad Cities seem to change little. Over the course of decades, however, the differences are dramatic.

The same is true of public artworks. Many dozens of artworks have been painted over, removed, or relocated. Not surprisingly, aging materials account for the disappearance of many of these artworks; the cumulative effects of sunlight and temperature extremes take their toll on paint and materials such as wood.

The decision to move an artwork to another site, on the other hand, usually stems from remodeling or changes in ownership of the property where the artwork was originally situated.

The following are some of the best-known artworks in the Quad Cities that have been removed or relocated. Some were painted on walls; some stood prominently in front of buildings; and some lived in parks and cemeteries. Some were created by renowned artists, others by area students. What they have in common is that they are no longer at their original sites.

The article looks at several murals, sculptures and fountains in the QC area.

Jackson Shows at Buchanan Center

Thomas Jackson, BA 1972, has had 3 photographs and one oil painting accepted into Arts 64 Arts National Juried Exhibition at the Buchanan Center for the Arts in Monmouth, IL. The show will run from August 31 to October 13, 2012.

Internationally acclaimed American figurative painter and sculptor Eric Fischl selected American Slice 26, American Cipher 48 and 52, and Take Our Picture Food Court to be shown in the Buchanan Center for the Arts 64 Arts National Juried Exhibition.

The prospectus for this show stated:

As the founder of America: Now and Here, Fischl has launched a growing national conversation and experience through which art (visual art, poetry, plays, film, music) brings people together for timely and civil conversations about America. Beginning with the work of more than 150 celebrated artists, America: Now and Here grows through partnerships with artists and communities across the country including selected works and program documentation from 64 Arts. The Buchanan Center for the Arts is honored to be a program partner with America: Now and Here.

The Buchanan Center for the Arts is a program partner with America: Now and Here, launched by Fischl.

American Cipher 48

American Cipher 48

American Cipher 52

American Cipher 52

American Slice 26

American Slice 26

Take Our Picture Food Court

Take Our Picture Food Court

All of these and more can be seen on Thomas C. Jackson’s website.

Bernhardt’s PBR Art

Jesse Bernhardt, PBRart, St. Paul Street, Milwaukee

Jesse Bernhardt, PBRart, St. Paul Street, Milwaukee

Susan Czechowski reports that Jesse Bernhardt, BA 2012, history major and art minor, has created prints for the PBR Art Gallery.

Jesse studied printmaking this past year with both Bill Howard and Susan.  This spring Jesse found a passion combining silkscreen and Pabst Blue Ribbon.  He entered work in the online PBR Art competition and PBR has bought several of his pieces! His work can be seen on the PBR Art Gallery website.

Recently his artwork is being put on billboards in Milwaukee.

Walters’ Awarded Iowa Artist’s Grant, Adds Videos to Exploring NASA, and Celebrates the 4th

Bruce Walters has received a Major Artist Grant from the Iowa Arts Council for the Exploring NASA project.  He was awarded the maximum amount of $10,000.  Congratulations Bruce!

He has uploaded two HD quality sections of Exploring NASA to youtube.  Check out the Exploring NASA website and don’t forget to “like” the Exploring NASA Facebook page.

Bruce Walters, Exploring Nasa, Research

Bruce Walters, Exploring Nasa, Research

Exploring NASA–Research:  The video centers on the radio telescope research by Dr. Esteban Araya, astrophysicist and assistant professor at Western Illinois University. Editing and soundtrack by Bruce Walters.

Bruce Walters, Exploring Nasa--The Golden Universe

Bruce Walters, Exploring Nasa--The Golden Universe

Exploring NASA–The Golden Universe:  This section of Exploring NASA includes more than 200 children’s drawings and paintings primarily from Garfield Elementary, but also from Eisenhower, Grant Wood, Hopewell, Jefferson, Mark Twain, McKinley Elementary Schools in Bettendorf, Davenport and Pleasant Valley, IA. Editing and soundtrack by Bruce Walters.

You can also see a video of the Exploring NASA project that was projected on the Figge Art Museum in Davenport, Iowa on the 4th of July.  Don’t miss this spectacular video of the fireworks and NASA images.

Kerrn Does Design for Whole Foods

Whole Foods store front

Whole Foods store front

Abby Kerrn, BA Art 2003, reports that she has just accepted a position as a Graphic Designer for Whole Foods in Plano, Texas.  Way to go Abby.

Exploring Nasa

Exploring Nasa

Exploring Nasa

Bruce Walters is asking everyone to ‘Like’ the Exploring NASA facebook page. Spread the word! Walters intends to post information about the project several times a week, so it will be an active page.

He is also updating and would appreciate any suggestion or comments.

Exploring NASA is the collaboartive effort of artists, musicians, scientists and administrators who are collectively working on an installation artwork that will explore aspects of NASA -from the exploration of the universe and development of technology to its societal impact. The artwork incorporates Hubble Telescope images, children’s drawings of astronauts and rockets; launch sequences and radio telescope images and research. The project -including this website- is in its early stages.

The intent of Exploring NASA is to communicate a sense of optimism about the future and to convey a sense of collective effort and pursuit of knowledge. NASA represents, to me, the collective will to expand human understanding through a synthesis of technology, vision and courage.

Bruce Walters

Walters thanks Esteban, Fred, Deb, Mark, Ashley, Kevin, Tom, Vickie, A-Cupid, Jason and Jesse for taking the time to be videotaped for Exploring NASA at the UTV studio on Tuesday and Wednesday. Photos by Kevin and Bruce are posted on the FB page. Walters is grateful for the continued participation and collaboration. A particular thanks to Vickie for bringing A-Cupid to the studio. He was amazing.

Alum Jackson Shows in New York, Oregon, and Texas

Thomas Jackson, BA art 1972, had three photographs selected for a national juried exhibition in New York.

Susan Thompson, Curatorial Assistant at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, NYC selected American Cipher 52, 53, and 41 to be shown in the Dutchess County Art Association’s Barrett Art Center’s 25th Annual National Juried Photography Exhibition.

Thomas Jackson, American Cipher 52

Thomas Jackson, American Cipher 52

Thomas Jackson, American Cipher 53

Thomas Jackson, American Cipher 53

Thomas Jackson, American Cipher 41

Thomas Jackson, American Cipher 41

The show runs from May 12 to July 7, 2012 at the Barrett Art Center Main Galleries, Poughkeepsie, NY.

As the prospectus noted, “The spirit of the show is a juxtaposition of traditional styles and cutting edge images. The show celebrates the photograph both as FINE ART and as SOCIAL COMMENTARY.”  Jackson’s three images were chosen from close to 1000 images for the 80 piece show.

Earlier this year two of his figure drawings were selected for other juried exhibitions.

Bonnie Laing-Malcolmson, The Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Curator of Northwest Art at the Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR selected Man 45 for the Sixth Annual Au Naturel International Juried Exhibition at the Clatsop Community College Art Center Gallery, Emporia, OR.

Thomas Jackson, Woman 907

Thomas Jackson, Woman 907

Woman 907 was selected for inclusion in the 7th Annual Human Rights Exhibition (a national exhibition), South Texas College, McAllen, TX.

View more of Jackson’s drawings or visit his website.

Walters’ Art in Plain Sight

Bruce Waters published another Art in Plain Sight article in the River City Reader.

He also received a very nice note from Karoly Veress, the artist he featured in March.

Dear Bruce,
Thank you very much for your article about “Freedom.” You presented my thoughts and feelings in a magnificent way and at the same time encouraged the freedom for others to interpret it in a different way.
I congratulate and thank you for the article.

In April, Walters featured the Charles J. Wright Transit Center.

Irish Memorial.  Photo by Bruce Walters.

Irish Memorial. Photo by Bruce Walters.

The Charles J. Wright Transit Center at 300 West River Drive in downtown Davenport has two very different works of art related to travel. One is a sculpture of an impoverished Irish family traveling by foot. It is traditionally figurative and meant to draw you in emotionally. The other – modern and emotionally cool – evokes a sense of speed on a highway.

The Irish memorial is located on the center’s north lawn, near the corner of Second and Harrison streets. It’s a life-sized bronze statue of a family forced by famine and political oppression to leave Ireland. This story played out many times, as a quarter of Ireland’s population either died of starvation or emigrated between 1845 and 1852. Before the end of 1850s, more than 2,000 Irish immigrants lived in Davenport.

Created in 2011 by Moline native Lou Quaintance, the sculpture depicts a young man with his possessions in a sack on his shoulder, followed by a young woman and a small child. Each conveys a different emotion. The man’s face and body language are resolutely directed forward. The woman holds a hand to her face as if overcome with grief. The child looks back with a tear running down its face. A deep sense of past – and future – hardship is conveyed. Behind them are two large stone blocks from Donegal, Ireland. The four-ton stones, reminiscent of the standing stones from ancient Ireland, symbolize the homeland, family, and friends left behind.

The other work is Neons for the Transit Center.

Neons for the Transit Center.  Photo by Bruce Walters.

Neons for the Transit Center. Photo by Bruce Walters.

The curved and angular forms of the neon tubes mirror the lobby’s modern design and semicircular shape. Perhaps because of its setting, the geometric lines feel like routes drawn with vivid color on an expansive highway map stretching across the ceiling. The luminous reddish-orange light is also reminiscent of the passing streaks of taillights on a highway at night.

The transit center’s location on River Drive isn’t especially relevant – unless we are inspired by the artworks’ connection with travel over both time and distance. River Drive is also U.S. Route 61, one of most culturally significant roads in America. Stretching from northern Minnesota to downtown New Orleans, Route 61 is designated as the Great River Road for much of its 1,400-mile length; it is also known as the Blues Highway. The legendary Robert Johnson was said to have sold his soul to the devil at a crossroads, and one of the roads was Route 61. Bob Dylan’s “Highway 61 Revisited” is just one of the many songs about the highway. The route was also one of the main roads taken by African Americans to escape Jim Crow laws and seek employment opportunities in the northern industrial cities.

Pierce is Spring Visiting Artist

Brett Eberhardt reported the following:

Stephanie Pierce, Visiting Artist, poster

Stephanie Pierce, Visiting Artist, poster

The Western Illinois University Art Department Visiting Lectures Committee hosted Visiting Artist Stephanie Pierce on Western’s campus at the end of March.

Sourcing common objects such as a bed, window, plant, and radio, Stephanie Pierce’s perceptually based paintings reveal passages of change in search of shifts, connections, and uprisings where the everyday resides in a state of unhinging fragmentation, flux and possibility.

Stephanie received her MFA from the University of Washington in Seattle, BFA from The Art Institute of Boston, and attended the Yale Norfolk Summer School of Art.

Her work has been shown nationally including a solo show at Alpha Gallery, Boston, and in group exhibitions including The Henry Art Gallery, Seattle; Asheville Art Museum, NC; Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects, NY; Space Gallery, Portland; Wynn Bone Gallery, Annapolis; and Argazzi Art, CT. Currently Stephanie lives and works in Arkansas where she teaches at the University of Arkansas.

Stephanie gave a presentation on her work, a drawing demonstration, and led a mixed media drawing workshop in rendering interior space.

This event is also made possible by a generous gift from Patti Hutinger in honor of Scott Hutinger.