Friday, November 21, 2008

Art History DMA Late Night Olaf Eliasson Art Adventure

Okay - so for those who don't know, some of my Art History students and their friends met me at the Dallas Museum of Art Late Night (let me give a major shout out about that fabulous experience) to have a "learning lab" about art. We go to check out different parts of the museum (the permanent collection and special exhibits) at the once a month event in order to expand our study of art, but most importantly to see the art up close and personal.

Sooooooo......I asked my students to come to the blog and comment on their Friday night art experience. Guys - PLEASE DON"T make a comment until you go to his website and check out more of his work (it's linked in the post headline)! It is an INCREDIBLE body of work!!! (Oh, and a word about Eliasson's website - it is SUPER simple - a grey screen with links in white text. No visuals appear on the homepage - you have to go to images and continue clicking on the white text links until you got to the image list. The spareness of his website is a big contrast between the visual saturation of his work.) AND, check out the video that features an interview with the artist on his exhibit "Take Your Time" at the DMA.

How does seeing a larger selection of his work affect your opinion? Can you imagine being "in" those other pieces after your experience?

Here's my response to his work and the experience - I really loved it! Being bathed in colored light is a magical experience. Isn't it cosmic that we are studying Gothic stained glass windows and the Divine Light they produced? How did the light make you feel? Could the light Eliasson creates be considered "divine"? Our guide, Ms. Marvel, spoke about how his work reaches across Art History - can you make any other connections to work or cultures we have seen previously? I have a penchant for shiny things, so the glass and mirror installations caught my eye. I had no prior knowledge of Eliasson's work, so the experience was new and fresh for me as well.

We ended on the note of whether his work (or other work of the same ilk) is art or not. How is his work art (or not)? And, if you don't think it is art (which is a legitimate response by the way), why would a museum consider it to be art? How is conceptual art differenct from representational art? It was an awesome night, thanks again for taking time to come to the museum with me - I can't wait to hear what you have to say about it!?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Student Work - AP 2D Studio Art

I'm so excited about the student's work from this project, I decided to make a collage of some of their self portraits! From top left clockwise is Emily, Lauren, Erin and Mary Rachel. We took digital pictures, converted them to grayscale and they reproduced their image into a picture plane of 4 quadrants. They treated each quadrant with separate color relationships. Mary Rachel's is digital, the others were created with multi media. Great work, girls!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Design of the Flag

Tomorrow is Veteran's Day - a time to celebrate the important job our Military does to preserve our freedoms. Flags fly everywhere as we reflect. This site is dedicated to the United States Flag. Our flag is an artistic expression of this country - each color, shape and arrangement symbolic of this great land.

(From the website:) 50-Star Flag: Executive Order of President Eisenhower dated August 21, 1959 - provided for the arrangement of the stars in nine rows of stars staggered horizon tally and eleven rows of stars staggered vertically. This is the current flag of the United States. Hawaii was admitted as the 50th state on August 21st, 1959. The 27th flag of the United States became the official flag on July 4th, 1960. Nine presidents have served under this flag; Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953-1961), John F. Kennedy (1961-1963), Lyndon B. Johnson (1963-1969), Richard M. Nixon (1969-1974), Gerald R. Ford (1974-1977), Jimmy Carter (1977-1981), Ronald W. Reagan (1981-1989), George Bush (1989-1993), William J. Clinton (1993-2001) and George W. Bush (2001-present)*.

So check out the beginnings of our flag and notice flags of other countries. States and even cities have flags! Why not design a personal flag for yourself?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Obama's Logo Design

Watch this video narrated by Mark Scheffler from Chicago: A Crain's Chicago Business video profile about the firm that developed Barack Obama's logo.

Logos are incredibly powerful visual symbols used in society. We see clear designs that are simple and direct represent complex groups of people throughout society. They play a very important role in Visual Culture by communicating quickly and efficiently. Obama's logo is new and exciting. Don't be surprised to see it in lots of places - even AFTER he's been elected president! What other people, places and companies can you think of that have similar "brands" or logos? Post a comment and let us know what comes to your mind!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Political Cartoons

Election day is close at hand. It got me thinking about the Political Cartoon and it's power. These cartoons allow the artist to communicate a complex situation in a quick and direct way. The site I have linked to this post title is a page from Dr. Paul Parker's university website. He teaches political science at Truman State University in Missouri. This webpage is a wonderful little history of the political cartoon. He outlines the 4 things an effective political cartoon need to have: 1) good artistry, 2) genuine sentiment, 3) uncomplicated imagery and 4) the subject must be of lasting nature.

I teach Art I and Speech Communication (one semester credit of each). I mix the two disciplines up all year to make it more fun and interesting for both student and teacher. Art and Speech are both about communication! It is a wonderful interdisciplinary combination. A persuasive speech is typically on the list for the year and political cartoons are perfect for the speech's visual aid. This gives my students a chance to try their hand at political cartooning.