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More and more Art Appreciation classes are embracing the hands-on experience when it comes to the in-class experience.  Gone are the days of lecture and unengaged students.  I have never considered myself a “lecturer.” I teach this class more like a studio class and it makes it more interesting for all of us. My class is at 8am and you bet there are plenty of students that don’t want to be there, so every week we conquer a new hands-on assignment.  I think its a great way to engage the student’s creativity. Many professors have embraced this since my first sharing of hand-on exercises back in 2010 and the interest has grown.  Now, there have been listings in the school catalog for Art Appreciation classes that say “hands-on.”  It is nice to think that I had a hand in this trend.

These images are from the Printmaking week. Political Art, stencils and spray paint. Oct, 2016 I believe. Posters made and put up around campus.

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144 Instagrams, September 2010, 30×30″, giclee’ print on enhanced matte paper

My wife and I joke that “if you didn’t Instagram it, It didn’t happen”.  This printed work catalogs about  a years worth of Instagrams.  Not everthing was used, but in this piece you can make out my love of type, movie screen captures, pottery, and common icons/architecture/fixtures that go unnoticed daily.  Instagram captures images in a square format.  I wonder why they decided that.  Maybe it is nod to the instamatic…the Polaroid.  Either way, its difficult to capture things visually within this format as we have become accustomed to a wider format and even wide-screen.  Squares remind me of grids and grids remind me of architecture.  My first introduction to drawing was in a Drafting class so many years ago in high school.  I still remember how I “got it”.  So much so that I won the award for that year.  It wouldn’t be until 10 years later that I would pursue an art education in college.  I get the square, but it’s tough to be square all the time.

Four Walls Poster: November 2013

Simple and to the point.  I could have skewed the type in program (either Illustrator or Photoshop), but the romantic notion of “hands-on” tempted my heart.  Four Walls is a concept for an exhibition whereby 4 student artists are chosen to create a work of art on one of our four gallery walls.  Lakeview gallery, Tarrant County College Northwest.

Though simple, this is probably the poster I am most proud of.  Yes, it is up there.  I think because it is an elegant solution to what could be a complex problem if you were to use software only.  As you can see, there were a number of configurations for the foam-core walls.  I chose to a configuration that honored the same placement in the gallery.  After importing the photo in computer, I had to sell the type as transparent.  So, the foam-core became like a maquette of sorts–guiding type I would create in program (Illustrator).

I was loads of fun to do and I am so pleased with the outcome.

Mandala Project: November 2015

I teach Art Appreciation from a studio perspective. I believe it makes what might be a boring class into a class that is exciting and interactive.  In this, we cover artists and materials artists use.  This is one of those projects that you have in your head, but haven’t road tested it in class.  The students are guinea pigs in essence.  I get excited in these situations and even more excited when the projects turn out better than expected.  Students handed in designs on folded paper (pic 1). Then I used Illustrator and Photoshop to help crop(pic 2) and clean up/finalize(pic3). As we also covered basic color theory in the same class, we will color the mandalas next time.  Looking forward to it.


 

Here are some examples of student work:

cortiar jennifer jessica