Presenting the 2019-2020 Foundations Year Book. Thank you to everyone who shared their work and their words of reflection and inspiration.
Presenting the 2019-2020 Foundations Year Book. Thank you to everyone who shared their work and their words of reflection and inspiration.
Post your projects this week on the Blog and on Instagram using these hashtags:
Think back over the recent projects posted to your blog. Have you been taking advantage of the photograph? The image? The camera’s point of view (POV)? This weeks’ projects are assigned to you by MakeLAB and we want you to think about the potential of sculpture. We are interested in you using materials to build up and out into three dimensions. Our most important material will be space and activating space. If we are building in three dimensions and working with space, how do we show our work over the internet? A major limitation is given to us by COVID-19. Or an amazing opportunity to practice describing three dimensions and space through images.
As you work through this weeks’ projects, practice photography. We ask you to take dozens of photographs of each project and pull out the best 5-6 images to upload on the blog or Instagram. With your group of images, you want to achieve two things. First, the images should thoroughly describe the project. Show us everything about the project you can think of. Second, the images themselves need to be interesting. The best way to freshen up your photographs is to change your point of view. Read the articles below and watch the embedded videos to help get you started thinking about POV!
Day 1: Can you wear every piece of clothing you own all at one time?
Day 2: Build a fort or shelter that would impress your childhood self.
Consider what types of things you need to have inside the space. These could be your favorite things, or things that you feel are necessary.
Artist Andrea Zittel transforms everything necessary for life—such as eating, sleeping, bathing, and socializing—into artful experiments in living. Zittel’s A-Z West, a thirty-five acre residential and studio complex in the California high desert, is a testing ground for the artist’s innovative sculptures, installations, and design projects.” – Art21, PBS.org
Day 3: Make your own mask/Make your own suit.
You may make a proper mask to use or you can use this as an opportunity to express your creativity as opposed to trying to make a mask/suit you’ll actually use.
Option 1: Take a look at the CDC guidelines for making ‘Sew and No Sew’ cloth face coverings. Use the instructions to make your own face covering
Option 2: Use this opportunity to express your creativity by making a suit or a mask and.documenting yourself in your immediate environment.
Day 4: Build a scene/collage using your clothing as the primary material.
Choose a space in a room where you can build a site-specific sculpture or temporary installation using clothing as the primary material. As you make, respond to the space you have chosen by considering color, light and shadow, textures and patterns, repetition, interior and exterior.
While building, experiment with different ways of creating form by interacting with or acting upon the clothing. Some suggested words and actions to think about:
Draping, Folding, Rolling, Bunching, Weaving, Binding, Stretching, Compressing, Twisting, Braiding, Pleating, Stuffing, Stacking, Piling,…
“The painstakingly folded and architecturally stacked works of Derick Melander form ramparts, coliseums, and rubble in a separate alcove of the exhibition. Melander’s accompanying preparatory drawings suggest plans for structures made of stone and logs. But when his plans are fleshed out, they are tenderly, interdependently built instead from cast-off clothing. For Melander, these building components are amassed surrogates for society.” – Deborah McLeod, Baltimore City Paper, December 13, 2006
Day 5: Research your favorite article of clothing.
Look up the history of that piece of apparel.
What is it made of (What is the history of that textile)? Where did it originate? What form did it used to take? What was its intended use? Write a summary about it. Check out this exhibition from the Fashion Institute of Technology Uniformity
Day 6: Portrait Day!
Search for and choose a portrait from the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery and try to recreate the image using yourself as the subject and the materials you have at hand.
Recruiting help from those you may be in isolation with is highly encouraged!
Post your portrait next to the original on your blog and on social media.
Use this National Portrait Gallery link to refine your search by theme/topic, date or classification: National Portrait Link
Post your projects on the Blog and on Instagram using these hashtags: #foundationsquarantinechallenge #thelongerthehashtagthebetter
Artists Using Clothing and Textiles:
This week you will be meeting with your academic advisors to develop schedules for the Fall 2020 semester. The PDF below outlines general information about studio courses offered, lab fees etc. Please read through carefully and bring your questions to your advisor meetings. Kat, Dale and I are also available via email to answer questions too.
Some of you have asked your faculty this week about the current drawing animation drawing. So here is a note to help clear up confusion.
Lastly — if you still have questions or need more feedback please email Angie and Dale who are in charge of this week’s assignment.
For the past 2 weeks, we have been focused on re-acquatinting ourselves with familiar/unfamiliar surroundings. The field guides gave insights to memories, stories and some of the hidden objects that populate our domestic spaces. Last week’s color theory projects asked you to notice the specific detail of color on surface and how color interacts to animate your space and how artists employ color to explore emotion, narrative, illusion. This week you will be asked to move your attention away from static objects to focus on the people in your environment.
The main project this week asks you to use the body as inspiration for the creation of an animated drawing. This drawing will be achieved through the frame by frame documentation of marks as you layer and erase them.
Before you begin the main project here is an exercise to help you loosen up as you begin to think about movement and how to record it.
Exercise: Gestural movement drawings
Do 10, 2-minute drawings. These can be done on plain copy paper, your sketchbook or whatever you have handy. Best done with pencil, pen, marker; especially one that can vary in width (like a brush tip or bullet tip).
Begin by choosing a subject this can be a member of your family, a passerby or neighbor you see from the window or even your pet. Pick a point on your subject’s continuously moving body and follow it. You are not making a representation of the body but of its movement. Try to keep a central vertical axis for the body near the center of your paper. Changes in speed and other nuances can be interpreted through your sense of touch with the drawing.
This is a good project for including your housemates to participate in. You can observe them while doing chores such as cooking or doing yard work. If you live in a city perhaps your window is a good portal into the everyday movements of commuters and passersby. We have included links to 3 videos of tap dancers and figure skaters if you need some inspiration for bodies in continuous movement.
Some examples of gestural drawings:
In these examples of gesture drawing, notice how each artist has not focused on the outlines of the body. Instead, they try to capture a sense of movement through the body. Gesture allows for TONS of expressive qualities through your own sense of movement and tactility!
Artists top to bottom: Susan Rothenberg, Patricia Hannaway, Eugene Delacroix
Main Project: Draw, Draw, Erase, Draw, Draw
Use the body as inspiration for the creation of an animated drawing. This drawing will be achieved through the frame by frame documentation of marks as you layer and erase them. To prepare please watch the videos below of artists William Kentridge and Matt Bollinger.
Notice how each “scene” is one drawing done on one sheet of paper. We’re not asking you to do more than one “scene” (but you are encouraged to be as ambitious as you wish!). The movement that occurs in each is done by erasing and re-drawing, or with Bollinger’s paintings, smearing, and re-painting. Kentridge uses willow charcoal, which erases relatively easily.
While we are setting this up as a drawing project, we’re open to approaches to this utilizing collage, photo-montage, etc. You are welcome to do this digitally if you prefer, but please keep in mind this is not meant to be multiple-frame or stop-motion animation. It should be one “drawing” or “painting” that changes, and a photo is taken with each change you make.
Expectation: approx. 30+ photos. If done as one drawing that is then modified, the first stage of the drawing might take an hour; each change after that might take 5-20 minutes
**Make particular effort to frame each photo the same and with the same lighting. If you have a camera tripod this will help you to take photos with the same framing and focus each time. A free slideshow APP (such as SlideshowMaker) or stop motion APP ( such as Stop Motion Studio) in your phone will be a convenient way to assemble the images as a sequence; they will need to be shared/exported as a video file. You can also choose to use movie editing software if you’re familiar and have access. Consider making a sequence that will LOOP when played.
Here is an example of student work:
Here are extra reference if you are interested in a broader context of animation, the body, and images:
Here’s another example of working from home under our new normal this time from our intrepid faculty leader Monir Madkour!
Many of you have expressed deep sadness over having to leave the studio spaces in Alfred and the real difficulties of finding time and space to make artwork. These are very real and limiting factors especially when you need facilities such as kilns, glass furnaces, a big table and floor space to create. BUT sometimes the most beautiful works of art come out of adversity. The following video is a piece put together by the Ohio State Dance department, it is comprised of 42 choreographers who are taking the idea of the Exquisite Corps to create movement that morphs and flows from one artist to another.
Welcome to Week 1 of your new on-line Foundations class! Each week you will be presented with videos, a reading, and instructions for written reflection and projects. Your homework is due each week at 11:59 pm on Sunday. Please post all of your homework to your individual WordPress blogs. * if you are unable to post to your blog please contact Angie. Kat has also put together a quick guide for documentation Documentation Tips that will be helpful as you are photographing your work.
For this first week you will be considering and exploring your new physical location. Many of you have traveled away from Alfred to stay with immediate family, relatives or friends. There are also a number of you who have chosen to stay in Alfred for the short term as you weigh options for what to do next. Regardless, we are all in very different circumstances than when we began spring break more than 2 weeks ago.
1. Read this excerpt from author John Berger’s ” And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos.” John Berger Reading
2. Watch the following 4 videos of Artists who either work from home or whose artwork deals with the theme of domesticity. After watching the videos choose one to Write a reflection — “How do you connect to this artist, what correlations do you draw between their perspective on “studio” and your own at this moment?”
Louise Despont Louise Despont
Lucas Blalock Lucas Blalock
Latoya Ruby Frazier Latoya Ruby Frazier
Laleh Khorramian Laleh Khorramian
Bryan Zanisnik Bryan Zanisnik
3. Make a Field Guide to your Environment:
Now that we are no longer in our traditional studio spaces, we must begin to look to our personal spaces as a site for art-making and idea-gathering. For this assignment we want you to make a brief Field Guide. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Field_guide
While a traditional field guide deals with the natural environment – think about what makes your field guide singular to you. Start exploring your new environment/“ecosystem”. This could mean your yard, your bedroom, your closet, your pockets. What do these objects in your environment say about you? How does a collection of objects add up to a narrative or portrait of your space?
A Field Guide of:
All the buttons on your shirts?
The stuff collected from jacket pockets?
Your parent’s medicine cabinet?
All the dust bunnies under your bed?
Be inventive. Avoid cliches! Choose objects that are specific to YOU and your environment!
The traditional and epic Audubon and Peterson Field guides:
Artist Mark Dion’s Field Guide to the HighLine https://www.thehighline.org/art/projects/markdion/
Artist Kate Bingaman-Burt’s Daily Purchase Drawings
Lastly — remember that each week’s activities are meant to help you access your Art Brain. Each week’s activities can be done in any order and it is up to you to decide how much time to devote to the work. You’ve all passed the class and will be receiving an A grade for B block just by participating.
Hello Foundations Class!
Thank you for your patience this week as Kat, Dale and I work with the rest of your Foundations Faculty to re-frame your art classes and move them online.
Firstly – I hope that you are all either in transit or at the places that you plan to be for the rest of the spring semester. There has been a great deal of uncertainty and upheaval over the past 2 weeks and it is the intention of your faculty to maintain a positive connection with you and to bring some art into your daily lives as we all come to terms with the Corona crisis.
Secondly – do not worry about your grades. Everyone will pass Foundations. In fact, each of you will get an A for B Block if you put in a good faith effort to follow along with the new online course.
Thirdly – We are a community of Artists and what that means is that we are resourceful, optimistic and creative people who will find grace in this moment and help those around us by continuing to be keen observers and problem solvers.
Lastly – Kat, Dale and I have decided that instead of continuing with the regular Foundations structure of LAB classes that everyone will be asked to do the same projects so that we are all on the same page and so that the overall structure of Foundations is simplified for our new digital format. From today forward we will be using this blog as our main form of communication with you. ** Please make sure to “follow” this blog so that you receive a notice every time there is an update (there is a “follow” button in the bottom right hand of the blog page). Every Monday at noon we will post a new set of projects, inspiration, readings, and videos. Every Sunday at midnight is the deadline to post documentation of your work. You will be using the WordPress blogs you made in the fall semester Studio: Research class to share your homework with faculty and classmates.
The online Foundations class will require only basic materials that can be easily found in your homes such as pencils, copy paper, tape, and scissors.
Your faculty are also sensitive to the fact that many of you will not have a private space to make your work and that you may only have a small amount of time each day or week to devote to art-making.
In the meantime:
Please take a moment to respond to this survey which will help us to understand what your capacities are relative to technology, space, time, etc… Foundations Survey
Here are some videos of inspiring Artists who work from home or deal with the theme of domesticity in their work. I will be in touch on Monday morning via email with a link to the first blog post with your Week 1 projects.
Dear Students — please review the information below to find out which group you have been assigned to, which LAB class you will be taking and what kinds of materials you need to gather before returning to campus
Dear B Group Students,
Your weekend homework assignment for the Drawing:EX class is to choose 2 of the Sol Lewitt directions ( attached to this message), interpret and draw them. You will make 1 drawing for each direction.
Materials: 2 sheets of 22 x 30 Stonehenge paper ( available in the studio) + dry drawing media of your choice
Due: Monday at the start of class
You have been assigned to 1 of 2 groups. Half of the class will be known as A Group and the other half of class will be known as B Group. You will be in your groups for the entire fall semester.
On Monday morning:
A Group will meet with Professors: Hunter, Peacock, and Cray. Please bring your laptops to class along with notebooks and pens. ** if you do not own a laptop faculty will help you to make adjustments. This class meets in the Brick studio.
B Group will meet with Professors: Riesing and To. Please bring your kits, make sure you have all drawing tools like charcoal, pencils, etc. This class meets in the basement of the Cohen Studio
Have a great weekend!
Due Monday at the beginning of class.
This weekend you will need to find 3 photographs that remind of you of an aspect of home. The photographs can come from any time period of your life, however, each photograph you choose should be distinct from each other in terms of content. For example, do not choose 3 photographs that feature family members. Instead try to find photographs that show architecture, landscape, people, or a specific event in time.
Carefully examine each image and then write a paragraph for each photograph that describes either the events leading up to the photograph or the moments directly afterward. You may handwrite or type your paragraphs. Bring these 3 paragraphs to class on Monday morning.
Hello ! — tomorrow morning is the first day of final reviews. Please double check the schedules that are posted in both the Cohen and Harder Hall studios. Note the fact that reviews start at 8:00 each day not the usual start time of 8:20. ** remember to come early for set up, bring push pins and help your classmates to prepare.
All final reviews are being held in the Cohen studio
Tomorrow you will be beginning your 4th LAB class. The following tells you where to meet your faculty and what to bring for tools.
A Group: Meets with Professor McCarthy at Cohen Studio upstairs. Please bring your kits and make sure that you have all of your painting supplies, brushes, blue tape and a plastic container for washing out brushes.
B Group: Meets with Professors Des and Ferguson at Cohen Studio basement. Please bring a mug, something to write with and an “Open Attitude” towards art making and collaboration.
C Group: Meets with Professor Gill in the Harder Hall studio ( end closest to the Painting Dept. hallway) please bring a notebook + something to write with and clay tools that we on the list for this class.
D Group: Meets with Professors Blood and Calvert in Harder Hall middle studio. Please bring your kits, push pins, and make sure you have a something to write with.
Join us for an African dance master class! Miller 300 1-2:15 on Tuesday, March 19th.
The Alfred University Dance and Music departments in the Division of Performing Arts are honored to co-host Saakumu Dance Troupe for a four-day residency March 18 – 22, 2019. The award winning Saakumu Dance Troupe is one of the leading traditional/contemporary dance and music groups in Ghana, West Africa. Formally led by master musician Bernard Woma who passed away last April, the company continues to honor his legacy with their commitment to introducing audiences to traditional and contemporary African dance and music. Their repertoire features a wide range of West African dance from spiritual, ceremonial, and recreational genres to contemporary African dance forms. As the Director of Saakumu, Woma shared the performance stage with renowned artists such as Maya Angelou, Yo Yo Ma, and Glen Velez. Saakumu, in partnership with Slyboots Music, Art, and Dance School located in Buffalo New York, brings traditional and contemporary African dance and music to the communities in western and central New York.
This residency will include drumming, dance, and song workshops, as well as a full performance in the Miller Performing Arts Center at Alfred University on Friday March 22nd at 7pm. Admission is free. The artists will also conduct a lecture demonstration for middle school students at Alfred-Almond Central School. There are master dance classes that are open to the community on Tuesday March 19th 1 – 2:15 and Thursday March 21 (Miller Performing Arts Center Studio 300) and an open drumming class Wednesday March 20 from 4:00 – 5:00 Miller Performing Arts Center Studio 302). The AU Performing Arts Division will supply the drums. The final performance on March 22nd in the Miller Performing Arts Center will include dance and music performed by the company. In addition, participants in Saakumu workshops will be invited to join the rehearsal on Friday and then to perform alongside the Saakumu Dance Troupe at the Friday night performance.
This project is made possible with funds from the NYS DanceForce, a partnership program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Additional support is provided by The Marlin Miller Dance Residency Program, and The Herrick Gallman Fund at Alfred University.
Now that you have had at least 4 days to sleep in, catch up with family and friends or doing some traveling it is time to start thinking about next week and what to gather for your next 2 LAB classes.
Please replenish your kits of all materials that were depleted during A block. I have attached the LAB schedule for your reference and a list of materials for each Group.
It is not necessary to buy new materials if you already, for example, have clay working tools at home. Bring what you have and supplement with new for the rest.
When you return to campus please make sure to remove all of your finished projects, tools, and materials from the studios. Anything left behind after Monday will be disposed of.