Walters’ Exploring Nasa Project

Exploring Nasa website image

Exploring Nasa website image

Bruce Walters reports that the Exploring Nasa project is moving right along.

He has met with the Figge interim director, development staff, education curator and staff and the building manager. In addition to the huge projection on the outside of the building and a commitment to partial funding, the Figge has also requested the projection and soundtrack in the lobby on two 20′ walls.

The Figge loved the website’s artwork.  They are considering selling a poster in the museum story. The curator talked about having kids make some of the drawings/paintings in the Figge studio for the projection.

Smith is Graduate Jeweler

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith

According to Kat Myers, alum Sarah Smith, BA Art 2008, attended the Gemological Institute of America at the GIA Headquarters in Carlsbad, CA. She completed the 26 week Graduate Jeweler Program and earned her Graduate Jeweler Diploma.

She is currently working for Sturhahn Jewelers who have been in business in Quincy, IL since 1911.

Sarah Smith ring

Sarah Smith ring

Eberhardt Shows in Chicago

Brett Eberhardt, Plain Sight opening

Brett Eberhardt, Plain Sight opening

Brett Eberhardt’s show “Plain Sight” is at the Packer Schopf Gallery in Chicago from April 13 to May 26.

Brett Eberhardt: Blue Table, oil on panel, 2011, 62" x 41"

Brett Eberhardt: Blue Table, oil on panel, 2011, 62" x 41"

According to the Packer Schopf website:

The imagery in Eberhardt’s paintings invite the type of reflection that occurs when one slowly observes one’s surroundings and realizes the human activity, both intentional and unintentional, that led to the current physical state of an interior space and the objects within it. It can be a beautiful thing, this combination of intentional and unintentional actions accumulated over time. The result of use and wear can be unpredictable, even mysterious, making what was once a plain white wall an abundantly rich surface and subject. This change that occurs over time and activity have a lot in common with the sequence of events that take place when building a painting. His painting process starts as a very controlled deliberate act, but over time becomes an embrace of all that painting has to offer, including those unexpected occurrences that can be so crucial to the life of a painting. Although he is after a convincing rendering of the subject, Eberhardt is not interested in creating a slick artificial surface or a hyper realistic image. The construction of the image with paint comes at the forefront and serves as a compelling record of his activity and process, a combination of intention, accident, deconstruction and reconstruction. It is important that these images are constructed with this material, not simply to elevate the subject, but for the discovery and possibilities of the medium used to construct the image.

Holz to Present in Berlin

Conference Montage

Conference Montage

Keith Holz, Associate Professor, Art History, Department of Art, will be speaking in the international conference “The Post War Moment: Historical Futures in Visual Culture” taking place on June 15, 2012 at the John F. Kennedy Institute of the Free University of Berlin, Germany.

His talk is entitled: “Postwar reckonings with Nazi Art in the writings of Lincoln Kirstein, Hellmut Lehmann-Haupt, and Hildegard Brenner.” The conference is a collaboration between the Terra Foundation for American Art and the John F. Kennedy Institute Alumni Association.

Maker-Made: Students Quene and Racky Exhibit

Maker-Made poster featuring Quene and Racky covered in clay

Maker-Made poster featuring Quene and Racky covered in clay

From Shawn Spangler, Assistant Professor of Art, Ceramics

With Maker Made, Matthew Racky and Belinda Quene share with us the traditionally private world of the creative process.

Their exhibition in the Student Arts Gallery puts both art and process on display, as it will be part working studio, part gallery space.

Quene says “We are placing emphasis on the stages of process that go into the production of a ceramic object.”

Throughout the exhibition’s opening, Racky and Quene will give viewers an intimate look into how they approach their art as they make work in the gallery space. Their work will be presented in various phases, from freshly thrown greenware forms to completely finished vessels. Racky and Quene are allowing viewers to see the multiple stages of creating work, the choices made, and the challenges artists face in the “making” process.

The exhibition will not only exhibit finished sellable products but also challenge the public’s perception of ceramics and artistic practice.

Racky and Quene are young developing artists with great potential. Their skills on and off the potters wheel allow them to create exceptional forms, tailored to their individual artistic visions. Viewing these processes will give the audience the unique experience of watching art as it is being conceived. Oftentimes viewing artistic techniques informs one’s understanding of a maker’s work.

Similar to the Fluxus artists of the 1970’s Racky and Quene’s exhibition is a performance that highlights the connection between objects and the practice of making them. In this instance, they offer viewers insight into the full spectrum of their process, seeing a lump of clay turned into a realized object.

Holz Presents at CAA

Dr. Keith Holz, WIU Professor of Art History

Dr. Keith Holz, WIU Professor of Art History

Keith Holz, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Art History, Department of Art, presented the paper Beyond modernism’s other: Nazi art international, in the session The Challenge of Nazi Art, College Art Association Annual Conference, Los Angeles, February 22-25, 2012.

Holz Publishes

Keith Holz article appears in this publication.

Keith Holz article appears in this publication.

Keith Holz, Associate Professor, Department of Art, has published the article: “Recasting exiled artists groups as transnational diasporic communities,”in _Netzwerke des Exils: Künstlerische Verflechtungen, Austausch und Patronage nach 1933_. Burcu Dogramaci and Karin Wimmer, eds. Berlin: Gebrüder Mann Verlag, 2011 [November], 279-296.

Walters has Two Art in Plain Sight Postings

In the past two months, Bruce Walters has published articles about the the Palmer Busts at the Palmer College of Chiropractic and the Freedom sculpture on the campus of Augustana College.

From the February 9 Art in Plain Sight:

Heritage Court, Palmer College of Chiropractic, busts.  Photo by Bruce Walters.

Heritage Court, Palmer College of Chiropractic, busts. Photo by Bruce Walters.

In the Heritage Court on the Palmer College of Chiropractic campus (at 1000 Brady Street in Davenport) are four large bronze busts. Sculptures of D.D. Palmer, his son B.J. Palmer, and his grandson David Palmer are placed symmetrically on a curved brick and stone wall with the incised words “The Foundation of Chiropractic.” These men collectively presided over the Palmer College of Chiropractic for its first 81 years, beginning with its founding in 1897.

Slightly to the north is a bust of Mabel Heath Palmer, who is recognized as the “First Lady of Chiropractic” and was B.J.’s wife and David’s mother.

Created by three different artists over a period of nearly 70 years, the sculptures are stylistically distinct. They are unified, however, by their consistency in height. Each bust is approximately five feet tall. Positioned on the two walls, they each reach a total height of about 12 feet. They also work together because of the consistent use of materials and conformity to a sculptural form from antiquity – the bust. During the Roman Empire, important families celebrated their achievements and honored their deceased relatives by displaying these sculpted portraits prominently and publicly.

Read more.

On March 7, Walters wrote about the Freedom sculpture at Augustana College for Art in Plain Sight.

"Freedom" by Karoly Veress, photo by Bruce Walters

"Freedom" by Karoly Veress, photo by Bruce Walters

Karoly Veress’ sculpture Freedom is paradoxical: Its wing-like forms are ascending and graceful from some vantage points, yet they look like ax blades from others. Delving into the lives of the artist and the humanitarian who inspired this work, though, we can begin to understand that these elements aren’t as contradictory as they first seem.

Dedicated in 2000, Freedom is located on the Augustana College campus, near the Denkmann Memorial Building at 3520 Seventh Avenue in Rock Island. Cast in bronze from a plaster model, it rises from a cylindrical concrete base to an overall height of about 10 feet.

The dynamic upper portion of the sculpture unfurls boldly into two fluid forms – giving the work its sense of motion. Veress explained: “In this design I symbolize freedom in wings, partly protecting, and sheltering, but foremost enabling us to rise above the daily confusions. These wings sometimes lift us up out of the monstrous historic context into a state where all that remains is just one commitment: to human values, to the dignity of all human beings.”

Veress’ words stem, in part, from his own experiences. The artist was a student at the University of Budapest while the city was still in postwar ruins and under Soviet occupation. When the 1956 Hungarian Revolution failed, he fled to safety in the Netherlands, where he would discover his love for sculpting.

Read more.

New Art Department Website Launched

New WIU Art Department website

New WIU Art Department website

From Charles Wright, art chair:

The new Department of Art web page has gone live!

Khaing Saw, COFAC Dean’s Office Instructional Technology Systems Manager, has been working with me for nearly a year. Please thank Khaing for her long and excellent work in building the site from start to finish. Thanks to Bruce Walters and Terry Rathje as well for providing images and content for the site. This will be the Department’s main information site.

My hope is that Navigating the site is easy. The Art Homepage link is found on each page. There are also navigation links to the right of most pages. Also, in a pinch, the gray bar that appears at the top of the Art section of each page shows a hierarchy of links that can be used for navigation.

My thought behind designing the official Art web site has been to do so within the parameters of WIU’s website guidelines, and to put together a site that is clear to navigate for someone seeking specific information about aspects of the department. As our “face” to the world, it was important to give as much information as possible, and to post images that reflect current activities.

Charles Wright elected to CAA Board

Charles Wright

Congratulations to Charles Wright, chair of art, who was elected to the Board of Directors of the College Art Association at their annual meeting in Los Angeles in February. Wright along with colleagues from Harvard, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Getty Research Center join the CAA Board.

The CAA Board “. . . is charged with CAA’s long-term financial stability and strategic direction; it is also the association’s governing body. The board sets policy regarding all aspects of CAA’s activities, including publishing, the Annual Conference, awards and fellowships, advocacy, and committee procedures.”

Wright has been elected to the College Art Association’s board of directors for 2012-2016. Wright joined CAA when he was an MFA student at Washington University and has remained active with the association ever since, chairing its Professional Practices Committee for the past three years.

He was named chair of Western Illinois University’s Department of Art in July 2007, having previously served as chair of the Department of Art at Coastal Carolina University. At both universities, he guided the art program through national accreditation.

For the past seventeen years, he has worked with arts organizations locally and nationally, and is a member of the American Association of Museums, the National Council of Arts Administrators, Tri State Sculptors, and the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.

A widely exhibited artist, Wright produces large-scale sculptures with steel, wood, Plexiglas, and stone, and his work is included in private and public collections in the Midwest and on the East Coast.