Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Project #5/Field Trip #6: You're the Curator!

Due: 12/04

For your final project/field trip, you will take-on the role of curator. We have gone to a number of art institutions this semester. Every exhibition that we have seen represents the work of an individual curator. The curator selects which artists will be exhibited, which of their artworks will be shown, and where the work will be installed within the layout of the exhibition space. 

The premise of this exercise is that you have just been hired as a new curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Since we live in a digital age, (and this is your first job) you have been assigned to curate an online exhibition of work from the Met’s collection. You may choose from their 5,000+ years of art objects. To find your images, you will go to the museum’s website and browse their collection. Their entire collection of objects (!) is available online at http://www.metmuseum.org/works_of_art/collection_database/  You may browse by Department (Modern Art, European Paintings, etc…) or by Keywords (artist’s name, titles of work, description, etc…). Begin a folder on your hard drive to collect and sort any images that peak your interest. It is better to start with too-many images than with not-enough!

First, you will need to create a descriptive theme for your exhibit. Since this project is connected to your Field Trip #6 Reaction, this will be the same theme as your writing. Your theme can be medium-specific, like, “Oil Paintings from the Collection of the Metropolitan”, or it can be content-specific, like, “Depictions of Pets Throughout the History of Art”.

From here, you need to select ten works of art. It is best to accumulate more than the ten images, though, so that you have more to choose from. Part of the curator’s job is that of quality control. The works that you choose need to best represent your ideas, and also represent what you believe to be the interests of the museum. As with your reaction paper, these images must represent at least 3 additional sections of the museum.

To present your Curatorial Project, you will need to create a new post in Blogger.You can include both your writing and your project in one blog entry. Here is the layout order for your blog content, as well as the formatting requirements:

1)                  The title of your new blog needs to be the descriptive theme of your exhibit.
2)                  Next, include your curatorial statement/Field Trip #6 Reaction.
3)                  After your statement, insert the 10 images in the order that you want them to be viewed. Each of these images should be upload to Blogger as “Medium Sized”
4)                  Finally, underneath each image, you must include a line of info in this order:
Artist’s Name, “Title of Work” (in quotations), year completed, and section of museum.

*You will be required to give a brief presentation of your project in class (3-5mins). This will be worth a small portion of your project grade.

Field Trip #6 Reaction/Curatorial Statement
DUE: 12/04 (same as above)

Your final field trip will be to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Met has been New York’s premier historical art museum since its founding in 1870. The Met has a collection that showcases 5,000 years of art from cultures around the world. Admission to the Met is a suggested donation of $10 for students (however, you can get in for $5, $1, 50¢, etc…). This time, your reaction paper will be tied into your fifth project. You will present it as the curatorial statement for your online exhibition.

Rather than discussing the works of one artist, your paper will compare the works of many artists, spanning the globe and the centuries. You will scour the museum’s collection in search of works of art that relate to the theme of your exhibition. The only guideline is that your work must represent at least three different sections of the museum (Modern Art, Egyptian Art, Greek Art, etc…). The different sections of the museum are highlighted on the museum’s floor plan. Maps are available in the museum’s lobby. I strongly recommend that you outline what you plan to see beforehand…the museum can be overwhelming in scale!

In your writing, discuss the theme of your exhibit. Why did you choose this theme and what do you expect your viewers to take from your exhibit? Discuss at least three works from your exhibit and how they relate to your theme. Consider these questions: How do my selections relate formally…what similarities do they share in appearance? How do my selections relate conceptually…what similarities do they seem to share in purpose or meaning?  Do these pieces evoke any common feelings or memories for me? What other similarities can I draw between the pieces? Is my analysis affected by knowing where or when the work was created? As usual, do not include lengthy, biographical information about the artist, and, of course, do not plagiarize any descriptions or opinions from another source.

Your writing needs to be at least 250 words. Submit your writing in the format described in your Project #5 Guidelines.

Met Museum floor plan:

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Field Trip #5: Performance Art at the Whitney Museum

DUE: 11/20

Performance art began gaining popularity in the U.S. in the early 1970s. This vein of fine arts incorporates different temporal arts traditions ranging from acting, to music, to spoken word to dance. Performances in this tradition are also called "happenings." These time-based performances are ephemeral because once a happening is finished it continues to exist only in documentation. Documentation from happenings (also referred to as "ephemera") may include printed materials, photographs, videos or even props from the performance.

For this field trip we will visit the Whitney Museum of American Art to view the exhibit, "Rituals of Rented Island." This is a historical show that features artists who participated in the New York performance art scene from 1970-1980. Many of these artists made work that referenced important social, political and cultural forces of the time. These issues ranged from American imperialism and the war in Vietnam, to sexual and gender inequality, to American pop culture and its commercialization. For your reaction, select any three happenings that are documented in the show. Describe briefly in your own words what appears to be physically taking place during the performance. What social, political or cultural references might you identify in the piece? In what ways does the presented ephemera increase or detract from your understanding of the piece? How might attending the original happening have changed your understanding of the piece. 

Your finished writing needs to be at least 350 words. It should have an introduction, three body paragraphs and a conclusion. Post the writing on your Blogger page under the title, “Performance Art at the Whitney Museum,” and label the post “Field Trip 5”.

At the end of your post, cite the three artworks that you chose in the following format. This information is generally available on the wall near the artwork:
Artist’s Full Name
“ Title of Work” written in quotations*
Year Completed
*When referencing the work in the body of your writing, also be sure to write the titles in quotations.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Field Trip #4: Lower East Side Galleries

DUE: 11/06

The Lower East Side (LES) is one of the most quickly-expanding gallery districts in New York, stretching from Canal St. to E. Houston, and from Centre St. to Clinton St. Like the galleries we visited in Chelsea, these are commercial spaces. Unlike the established artists in Chelsea, however, the LES galleries tend to feature work by emerging artists. These artists are often younger and more experimental than their Chelsea counterparts. Because the artists' names are less recognizable, their work tends to be more affordable than what is found in Chelsea. All of these factors create a unique energy that sets the LES galleries apart.

For this writing, compare your impressions of the Lower East Side galleries to those in Chelsea. Identify three separate galleries, and consider the following questions: Do they seem to show a different kind of work than the galleries in Chelsea? Do you think that they cater to the same type of collectors? Do the spaces themselves resemble the "White Cube" spaces in Chelsea? Does the surrounding area of the LES affect how you view the work in these galleries? Did the area of Chelsea affect how you viewed the work there?
Your writing should be at least 350 words and posted to your blog under the heading “LES Galleries Reaction” with the label “Field Trip 4”. Make sure to cite the three galleries within the body of your writing.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Project #4: Culinary Design Blog

Due: 11/13

For your fourth project you will take-on the role of culinary designers! Whether you consider yourself a true foodie, or your meals are just a means to survival, food is a topic that is central to our daily lives. There is a long history of fine artists who have worked with the subject of food in their own work. Review the blog “Food Art (A Brief History)” to whet your appetites:

For this project you will use Blogger to contribute to a community recipe book. You will be made an author on the site http://art-food-yum.blogspot.com/ . This means that you have permission to post directly to the site.

To begin, pick a recipe that you feel defines your culinary life. This may be a family recipe that has been passed down through the generations, it may be a selection from your favorite cookbook, or it may be a recipe that you invented yourself. Write a paragraph describing the recipe & how it relates to you. You may discuss the occasions that you have used this recipe (holidays, entertaining guests, Monday’s lunch, etc…), as well as potential food or beverage pairings that you would suggest. If you have chosen a recipe from a cookbook, you must still come up with your own description…do not copy one from the book. Along with the descriptive paragraph, you will also include an ingredients list and cooking instructions. These need to be clear, concise and easy to follow.

The next step is to prepare and document your recipe. What fun is a recipe if it doesn’t get made? This is when you will need your digital camera handy. As you prepare the dish, I want you to take a series of 4-5 photographs. The first 3-4 should document the cooking process (what you consider crucial moments in the recipe), and the final image should be a documentation of the finished dish. You can either take the photos yourself, as you prepare the food, or you may ask someone else to help. Try to make an appealing presentation for your final image. As the designer, you don’t want to just document the dish…you want to make it look good! Things to consider: Where is the best light in your home for the image? Should you present it on certain dishware or with certain place settings? Should you use any garnish or table props?

If you do not have access to a good quality digital camera, you may take your images with a film camera, and have the photo-lab make you a digital image cd. You may also scan your printed photos on campus using a scanner in the library or in the B-333 lab. As with the written description, your images must be original.

Finally, name your blog with the name of your recipe, and add any labels that relate to your post (i.e. pasta, family recipe, Cuban cuisine, etc…) .

Layout Order: First, your written statement, next, the ingredients list and cooking instructions, then the 4-5 images. When you upload your images, set the image size to “medium.”

-camera (digital or otherwise)
-favorite recipes
-food for cooking
-access to our Blogger site, http://art-food-yum.blogspot.com

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Field Trip #3: “Design in Our Lives”; The Museum of Modern Art

DUE: 10/23

Whether or not we are aware of it, the design arts infiltrates our lives on a daily basis. Design influences everything around us from the products we use, to the clothes we wear, to the food we eat, to the spaces we inhabit. The Museum of Modern Art has a special interest in the field of design. They have an entire floor of their museum and a stand-alone design store to prove it!

For our third field trip, we will go to the various design exhibits at the MoMA. The design galleries feature an eclectic sampling of artists and designers who blur the lines between the two fields. Some of the objects are made for real world utility, and some of the objects are…well…less practical. The study of functionality in design is called Ergonomics. It may help to research this topic before writing your response.

For your paper, you must write about four different works from this exhibit. Two of the works must have “high functionality” and two works must have “low functionality.” Since there is no such thing as perfect design, your opinion about functionality will be somewhat subjective. In your writing, compare and contrast the varying degrees of utility that you assign to the works you choose. Consider the following questions: How do you define these categories? What do your “high functionality” objects have in common? What makes them so ergonomic? What do your “low functionality” objects have in common? How could you alter these objects to make them more ergonomic? Does an object need to be highly functional to be good design? Are art and design always two separate ideas? If not, where do they meet?

Your finished writing needs to be at least 350 words. It should have an introduction, three body paragraphs and a conclusion. Post the writing on your Blogger page under the title, “Design in Our Lives,” and label the post “Field Trip 3”.
At the end of your post, cite the four artworks that you chose in the following format. This information is generally available on the wall near the artwork:
Artist’s Full Name
“ Title of Work” written in quotations*
Year Completed
*When referencing the work in the body of your writing, also be sure to write the titles in quotations.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Project #3: Illustrate a Story

DUE: 10/16
For your third project, you will take on the role of an illustrator. An illustrator is a commercial artist who brings somebody else’s story or idea into the visual world. For this scenario, you have been hired by the non-profit organization StoryCorps to illustrate one of their archived stories. Since its founding in 2003, StoryCorps has worked with the Library of Congress to record and catalog more than 35,000 oral stories. The participants in this project are Americans from all walks of life. The stories that they tell run the gamut of human emotions and experience. To begin, start listening to some stories at the StoryCorps website: http://storycorps.org/ . Click “Listen to Stories” from the left-hand menu, and you can browse by category.
Select any one story to illustrate. Your illustration may be created by hand (drawing, collage, etc…) or you may create a digital collage using Adobe Photoshop. Either way, your illustration must convey the essential nature of the story. I expect a minimum of four hours invested in this project. As with your digital collage project, do not include text in your illustration. Instead, use your understanding of formal analysis to tell the story with visual language alone.
When you are finished, upload a digital image (.JPG) of your illustration to your blog under the title, “Illustrate a Story”, with the label “Project 3”. Include a brief description about what you found interesting about this particular story, and what elements of the story are represented in your illustration. You will also need to include a link to the original the original StoryCorps recording into your post. 
Remember that Adobe Photoshop is available to you on any Mac computers in the library or in the lab B-333. Scanners are available in both locations too.


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Field Trip #2: Chelsea Galleries

DUE: 10/09

The galleries in Chelsea represent the art marketplace. Unlike the museums and other non-profit art spaces that we have visited, the majority of these galleries are commercial spaces. This means that their primary function is to make money. They do so by selling artwork. Galleries generally have a list of artists whose work they represent. The galleries regularly change their shows to display work by each of their represented artists. 
For this reaction, you will assume the role of an art collector. Collectors are part-art lovers, part-investors. Their big-money purchases help keep commercial galleries in business, and by proxy, help keep their favorite artists making work. However, the art market is a fickle beast…an artist whose work is fashionable today may be all but forgotten in ten years. This is why the best advice for any collector is to buy what you like. Even if your investment doesn’t make any returns, at least you have something that you like to look at!
For your writing, select exhibitions from two galleries: one artist whose work you would like to collect, and one artist whose work you would not like to collect. For each show, consider these questions: What do you like/dislike about this artist’s work? Why do you think that this artist’s work is/isn’t a good investment? Would you want to display the artwork, or keep it in storage?  Describe two examples of artwork from each exhibition to back-up your decisions. Also, make sure to reference the gallery names as well as the artists’ names in the body of your writing.
Your writing should be at least 350 words and posted to your blog under the heading “Chelsea Galleries Reaction” with the label “Field Trip 5”. At the end of your post, cite your four artworks in the following format:
Artist’ s Full Name
“ Title of Work” (written in quotations)
Year Completed
*At most galleries, this information is available at the reception desk.

There are literally hundreds of galleries to see in Chelsea, so here is a short list of galleries that I recommend. However, you are free to explore and find galleries on your own. A list of galleries and exhibitions in Chelsea can be perused online at: http://www.timeout.com/newyork/art

Gallery: Hauser & Wirth
Location: 511 West 18th St. 
Artist(s) on Display: Matthew Day Jackson
Description: Dark collage-paintings that deal with issues of the body, mortality and the sublime. 
Gallery: David Zwirner Gallery
Location: 519 West 19th St. 
Artist(s) on Display: Raymond Pettibon
Description: Illustrative artist rooted in West Coast punk rock culture.
Gallery: David Zwirner Gallery
Location: 525 West 19th St.
Artist(s) on Display: Philip Lorca diCorcia
Description: Photographer who deals with issues of gender politics and sex trafficking.

Gallery: Anton Kearn Gallery
Location: 532 West 20th St.
Artist(s) on Display: Jonas Wood
Description: Wonky paintings of sports cards and other quirky subjects.

Gallery: Tanya Bonakdar
Location: 521 West 21st St.
Artist(s) on Display: Phil Collins
Description: Interactive installation of campers, and private listening booths with record collection.

Gallery: Paula Cooper Gallery
Location: 534 West 21st St.
Artist(s) on Display: Sol Lewitt
Description: Wall paintings and an architectural sculptor by one of the seminal American Minimalist artists. 

Gallery: Matthew Marks Gallery
Location(s): 522 West 22nd St. 
Artist(s) on Display: Anne Truitt
Description: Colorful but austere minimalist sculpture from the 70's.

Gallery: Kent Fine Art
Location: 210 11th Ave., 2nd Floor (Between 24th & 25th St.)
Artist(s) on Display: Pablo Helguera
Description: Pop-up Spanish language used bookstore created by a Mexican born Conceptual Artist. 
Gallery: Susan Inglett Gallery
Location: 522 West 24th St.
Artist(s) on Display: Allison Miller
Description: Playful, colorful abstract paintings. 

Gallery: Pace Gallery
Location: 534 West 25th St.
Artist(s) on Display: Zhang Huan
Description: Colorfully layered, psychedelic paintings based on Buddhist masks.

Gallery: Greene Naftali Gallery
Location: 508 West 26th St. 
Artist(s) on Display: Group Exhibition, "Some Dreamers of the Golden Dream"
Description: Cross-generational exhibition of West Coast artists. 
Gallery: Mitchell-Innes & Nash
Location: 534 West 26th St. 
Artist(s) on Display: William Pope L. 
Description: Provocative African American artist dealing with issues of race and media culture.  

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Field Trip #1: Art & Identity- The Museum of Modern Art

DUE: 10/02

For our first field trip, we will be visiting the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). The MoMA is one of the world’s premier institutions for exhibiting Modern and Contemporary Art. They boast an impressive permanent collection, as well as rotating list of special exhibitions.

For your first field trip reaction, you will consider the topic of identity in art. Art making is a personal endeavor that communicates the experiences of the artist. The best kind of art has the ability to transcend an artist’s individual experience, and communicate to the experiences of a broader audience. An artwork can relate to the identity of an individual (the artist, or his/her subject), it can relate to a specific cultural identity (nationality, ethnicity, gender, special interest group, etc…), and it most certainly relates to the identity of the time during which it was created (historical). At the museum, we will concentrate on the exhibition “Contemporary Galleries: 1980-Now,” but you can find work from anywhere in the museum. 

For your writing you will need to discuss three works of art. One work should embody the idea of individual identity, on work should embody the idea of cultural identity, and one work should embody the identity of a historical time or place. Here are some questions to consider in your writing: How does each work of art embody its classification of identity (personal, cultural or historical)? How do these notions of identity differ between the works of art that you chose? In what ways do they overlap?

Your finished writing needs to be at least 350 words. It should have an introduction, three body paragraphs and a conclusion. Post the writing on your Blogger page under the title, “Art and Identity: The Museum of Modern Art”, and label the post “Field Trip 1”.

At the end of your post, cite the three artworks that you chose in the following format. This information is generally available on the wall near the artwork:

Artist’ s Full Name
“ Title of Work” written in quotations*
Year Completed
 *When referencing the work in the body of your writing, also be sure to write the titles in quotations.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Project #2: Narrative Digital Collage

Due: 9-25 (before the start of class) 

A visual narrative is a work of art that tells a story. Narratives can consist of anything from simple, visual motifs (elements that repeat) to complex systems of signs and symbols. For this project, you will use photo editing software to create a narrative digital collage. This collage will pay special attention to the visual element of space.

The general theme of this project is “That Reminds Me of the Time When…” I would like this collage to tell a narrative about yourself. The narrative can illustrate a real event from your life, or it can be a pure fantasy. You may use images of yourself and familiar people & places, or you may find images of other people & places as stand-ins. One of the only parameters is that I don’t want you to include text in your collage. Instead of placing the word “Happy” in the center of your project, for example, try to make a scene that conveys a visual sense of happiness. Because this collage explores how things visually appear in space, you will use the principles of overlap, diminishing size and vertical placement. Consult the diagram “Cues to spatial depth” for ways to establish this illusion.

To make this digital collage, you will need to utilize the professional photo editing program Adobe Photoshop. Photoshop is available for you to use on any Mac computer on campus (including those in our classroom, the library and the B-333 computer lab). I have filmed a brief tutorial about using Adobe Photoshop for this project. The tutorial is available to watch in the Project #1 folder under the Assignments tab.

You will need to create an 800 x 600 pixel Photoshop PSD file (as outlined in the tutorial), and save it as (your) lastname_firstname_collage. I want to see at least 10 separate layers in your collage. This includes the background, extra landscape elements, individual figures, etc… You will use the Lasso tool to cut-out images that need to be cut-out, and you will use the Edit->Transform functions to resize the scale of images that need to be resized. Save the file often to ensure that nothing gets lost.

To submit, convert your document into a .jpg file (as outlined in the tutorial), and save the .jpg as (your) lastname_firstname_collage. You will then create a new post on your blog entitled “Narrative Digital Collage”. Upload the .jpg image to this new post and write a brief paragraph describing the scene that you have created. Label the post “Digital collage” along with any other relevant labels.

-Access to a computer with Adobe Photoshop
-Digital image files
-Flash drive for saving files

Photoshop tutorial:

"Clues to Spatial Depth" diagram:

Student work examples: