ARTSPEAK RADIO live with Midwest Artist Studios Project founder, Frank Juarez, MAS artists Joe Bussell and Larry Thomas

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Text and audio courtesy of Artspeak Radio. 

This interview was aired on August 17 at noon. 

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MAS artists, Larry Thomas and Joe Bussell — Photo courtesy of Maria Vasquez Boyd

Founder of Midwest Artist Studio (MAS) Frank Juarez joins Maria by phone with artsts/educators Joe Bussell, and Larry Thomas. 

Frank Juarez-Art Educator + Founder Midwest Artist Studios-MAS, “The project I designed is called the Midwest Artist Studios (MAS) Project. This project connects two areas-contemporary art and art education. The thought of traveling the Midwest and the idea of visiting studios was overwhelming. I knew I would not be able to do it alone so I was able to put together a team of art enthusiasts, Erika Block, writer, photographer Pat Ryan, and Jonathan Fritsch assistant.”

The Midwest Artist Studios™ Project is a three summer project established by a Wisconsin high school art educator, Frank Juarez. A team consisting of a photographer, writer, and assistant will travel the Midwest visiting contemporary visual artists who embrace the importance of Art Education, believe that their art experience was influenced or shaped by their K-12 Art Education and are following their artistic dream of art making. These visits will encompass a close and personal approach into the studio life of an artist. Artists will not only talk about their engagement in their art processes, but also discuss their rigorous work schedule, daily commitments, work ethic, artistic vision; to name a few.

After each summer the MAS Team will be creating a catalog and a curriculum workbook, which will contain lesson plans that compliment and reinforce the artists’ contemporary art practices. These lesson plans can be used to reinforce, supplement, or become an art curriculum for grades 6-12. A blog will house the MAS Team’s journey, behind the scenes footage, reflections, and photographs.

Our audience is very diverse just like this project. The Midwest Artist Studios™ Project will benefit anyone interested in Contemporary Art, Art Education, technology, social media, National Visual Arts Standards, and Literacy. We envision public, private art educators, home schools, core educators, IMC specialists, administration, districts, artists, professors and students utilizing this resource.

Artsts/educators from Kansas Joe Bussell and Larry Thomas, Karrie Dieken (North Dakota), Sharon Grey (South Dakota), Judy Boyer, Rachel Mindrup and Lori Elliott-Bartle (Nebraska), participated in the current MAS project.

Click the image to access interview

Click the image to access interview

Click here to hear the interview with Frank, Joe, and Larry. 

Final Thoughts from Frank Juarez: Year 3 MAS Project

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Photo taken in North St. Paul, MN during our first day of road trippin’ in 2014.

My last road trip through the Midwest concluded on July 17, 2016 at approximately 6:00pm (CST). This one was one of the best road trips I’ve had with quite a few challenges during the 2,800+ mile journey. To date I have traveled to 18 cities/towns in 12 states driving 5,000+ miles in the span of a one-week increment during the month of July in 2014, 2015, and 2016.

When the idea of the Midwest Artist Studios Project came about inside my art classroom at Sheboygan North High School back in February of 2014 I never imagined where this would take me as an art educator and how it would change my personal/professional life. I knew that this journey was ambitious so I was fortunate to have worked with such an amazing and dedicated team; Erika Block (writer/editor), Pat Ryan (photographer), and Jonathan Fritsch (assistant). They were there from the beginning to the end no matter how crazy this idea was. This is an experience that I will cherish for a lifetime. I am truly blessed to have them in my life.

The MAS Project aims to connect art education with Midwest contemporary artists through studio visits, curriculum development, and opportunities for educator outreach. 

I still have a lot of work ahead of me, but I wanted to take this opportunity to thank the following artists and arts professionals I met since 2014. 

  • MAS artist, Josh Wilichowski, North St. Paul, MN
  • MAS artist, Vincenzio Donatelle, Minneapolis, MN
  • MAS artist, Jane Ryder, Oskaloosa, IA
  • MAS artist, Jamie Bates Slone, Kansas City, MO
  • MAS artist, Catie Miller, Kansas City, MO
  • MAS artist, Todd Mrozinski, Milwaukee, WI
  • MAS artist, Josie Osborne, Milwaukee, WI
  • MAS artist, Paula Schulze, Shorewood, WI
  • MAS artist, Suzanne Torres, Madison, WI
  • MAS artist, Mellissa Redman, Grand Rapids, MI
  • MAS artist, Kate Robertson, Ann Arbor, MI
  • MAS artist, Jenniffer Omaitz, Kent, OH
  • MAS artist, Ellie Honl, Bloomington, IN
  • MAS artist, Jessica Anderson, Jacksonville, IL
  • MAS artist, Jason Ackman, Rushville, IL
  • MAS artist, Krista Svalbonas, Chicago, IL
  • MAS artist, Emmy Lingscheit, Urbana, IL
  • MAS artist, Karri Dieken, Valley City, ND
  • MAS artist, Sharon Grey, Rapid City, SD
  • MAS artist, Jody Boyer, Omaha, NE
  • MAS artist, Lori Elliott-Bartle, Omaha, NE
  • MAS artist, Rachel Mindrup, Omaha, NE
  • MAS artist, Joe Bussell, Kansas City, KS
  • MAS artist, Larry Thomas, Kansas City, KS
  • Consuelo Cruz, Belger Arts Center, Kansas City, MO
  • Maria Vasquez Boyd, Artspeak Radio, Kansas City, MO
  • Marissa Starke, Kansas City Artists Coalition, Kansas City, MO
  • Beverly Ahern, H & R Block Artspace, Kansas City, MO

This project was supported by a grant from the Kohler Foundation, Inc (2014-2016).

 

This video is about MAS 2016 artists sharing their thoughts on being our featured artists. Running time: 10:55.

 

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L to R: Frank Juarez, Jonathan Fritsch, MAS artists Karri Dieken, and Ellie Honl in Omaha, NE (2016)

 

MAS 2016 Gallery

 

Click here to view our photos from the road. 

You can now follow us on instagram.com/midwestartiststudios or like us on facebook at facebook.com/midwestartiststudios.

Get your copy today of the 2014 & 2015 MAS Catalog/Workbook by clicking here

Day 4: View from the Road

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Follow the Midwest Artist Studios on Instagram

Follow the Midwest Artist Studios on Instagram

We are about half way through our last road trip to North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas. This has been such a great experience thus far. One of the things we enjoy about this project is that we have no idea what the artists’ studios look like. We sure have seen quite a range from a studio housed in garage, basement, art center, warehouse, university, attic, barn, former bookstore, house, and a one-bedroom studio apartment from the past two years. Regardless, these are magical places in which artists create their vision. 

“A studio can be anywhere” – Emma Anderson, freshman

Our first day started with a visit with MAS artist, Karri Dieken in her studio at Valley City State University to driving to Rapid City, SD where we visited MAS artist, Sharon Grey at her home studio the following day. In Rapid City we stumbled upon Art Alley, where the alley was covered in graffiti. We have never seen this in my life. It felt as if we were part of the artwork. Such a neat experience. Today we visited two studios in Omaha. In the early AM we drove to MAS artist, Jody Boyer‘s home studio and then to the studio of MAS artist, Lori Bartle Elliott at Hot Shops

During our 1800+ miles to our destinations we were able to take detours to see some amazing sights such as the Badlands in Interior, South Dakota to the Old Market Business District in Omaha, Nebraska. We still have three more studio visits with MAS artists, Rachel Mindrup, Joe Bussell, and Larry Thomas to do before we head back to Wisconsin. 

Listen to what MAS artist, Karri Dieken has to say about being part of the Midwest Artist Studios Project.

Here is a snapshot of what we experienced to date. 

This project is supported by a grant from the Kohler Foundation, Inc. 

Introducing the 2016 MAS featured artists

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I am extremely excited to be heading into Year 3 of the 3 year project, the Midwest Artist Studios™ (MAS) Project. I will be traveling this summer to the following states to visit the 2016 MAS featured artists; Karri Dieken (ND), Sharon Grey (SD), Jody Boyer (NE), Lori Elliott-Bartle (NE), Rachel Mindrup (NE), Joe Bussell (KS), and Larry Thomas (KS).

These artists were selected based on their responses to an online survey focusing on Art Education, body of work, and a Skype interview.

Throughout the studio visits I will be introducing you to 7 amazing and talented artists from the Midwest working in printmaking to painting, sculpture to mixed media and collage to installation art.

Click here to read a collaborative reflection from this past school year’s MAS Project. 

This project is supported by a grant from the Kohler Foundation, Inc. 

Join me on this MAS adventure via facebook.com/midwestartiststudios or subscribe to the blog, midwestartiststudios.com.

– Frank Juarez, art educator and founder

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portrait2014.5_thumbKarri Dieken

Web: www.karriadieken.com

Here are two questions asked on our survey and the artist’s response.

Please share one positive Art Education experience that you had in middle school, high school or college.

I have always known I was going to be a teacher, how I was going to get there and the full time line. Up until my final year of college, it was then, that I met a professor who changed the way I will forever look at teaching. Rita Cihlar Hermann was a professor of photography, she engaged all students in the course dialogue, creation or work, and developed a safe work space. I never, thought college would be a place with bullying, I found out during my final year of school that there were so many students who didn’t quite fit in. This is where Rita, helped them see they had a full potential, and a place in art, where they could share their stories and belong. She incorporated interdisciplinary curriculum, innovative uses of technology, and group work where all the members actually participated. It was as if she had some magical power over the students, where everyone wanted to participate and create to the best of their ability. Her magical power was positivity, and using positive feedback during critiques, she modeled behavior on acceptance and free speech without hurting another person. During this last year I was exposed to new forms of art and photography and how they could be created to make one piece of work or a body of work. That we as a class were a team and once we worked together we were un-stoppable. Today, I use many of the teaching methods facilitated my Rita. It is through kindness and positive feedback that we see the greatest gains, building strength through confidence and trust, this is what allows for the opportunities to take risks and not fear art. Its with this that I share art in my classroom, exposing students to a world they shouldn’t fear. The biggest gain has been seeing so many students share their creative voice!

Why is Art Education important today?

Art is a way to pair our thoughts and ideas in multiple forms, mediums, methods. Its something that everyone can do! Through art education we will open doors for future scientist, mathematicians, doctors, accountants, and so much more. With out art education in schools, children loose the opportunity to express themselves through visual images and creative solutions. We can look at Adult coloring books and see that art is essential in balancing our everyday lives. Art is a necessary part of our lives, and is essential in our K-12 and college schools. Art is the butter to our dry toast!

Artist Statement

As a mixed media artist, she is interested in fibers and polymers as mediums for documenting moments in time, considerations for collecting data, re-creating patterns, and engaging in community based performances and installations.

Relying on the repetition of imagery found in relationship to domesticity of common place and nostalgia. With the use of various techniques within handmade art making practices. Her work is about making marks via material exploration. She works with both traditional fibers, to cast porcelain, to found material sculpture. Resulting products range from cross stitched food, domestic interior installations, prints and paintings about “home.” Dieken, references outdated technological use of communication with everyday objects and repeated patterns.  Type writers, telephones, sewing machines, and bicycles become surrogate objects within each narrative space. Much of the work is instigated by a collection of narratives informed by life experiences growing up in the Midwest to current daily interactions. The labor intensive repetitive work is an act of meditation, remembrance and homage to her Grandmother and Father.

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Bio

Dieken grew up in the badlands region of the Midwest, inspired by the landscape, heritage, craft and the hand-made. She earned an MFA from Washington State University in 2010, and a BSED in Art from Black Hills State University in 2007. She has studied printmaking, sculpture, photography, and ceramics throughout her education.

Since 2007, her work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions across the United States, New Zealand, Germany, and the Netherlands. Her work has been included in exhibits at the Plains Art Museum, Museum of Art WSU, Boise Art Museum, Essex Art Center, Dahl Fine Art Center, and the South Dakota State Museum of Art. A selection of her prints have been acquisition into the permanent collections at the Museum of Art WSU, Boise Art Museum, Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, and the Missoula Art Museum. She continues to participate in select print exchanges and sculpture based installations exploring narratives of nuclear family, midwestern heritage, and childhood in rural America.

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Announcement: 2016 Featured Artists for the Midwest Artist Studios Project

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I am happy to announce our 7 featured artists for our last year of the Midwest Artist Studios Project. They are Karri Dieken (ND), Sharon Grey (SD), Lori Elliott-Bartle (NE), Rachel Mindrup (NE), Jody Boyer (NE), Larry Thomas (KS), and Joe Bussell (KS). Soon I will be providing more information on these artists via this site. Stay tuned.

Congratulations, Karri, Sharon, Lori, Rachel, Jody, Larry, and Joe!

Frank Juarez, art educator and founder

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Impressions on the Midwest Artist Studios Project

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IMG_4418Here are the thoughts of a high school freshman on the Midwest Artist Studios Project. This project has a bigger impact on students who have been exposed to this project that I would have ever imagined. I was impressed on how this student was engaged in this process. – Frank Juarez, founder.
 
I was fortunate to get a chance to work with him during our freshmen art class. I thought that the program that he has created at home is a great way to get high school kids involved with the arts. Usually when I think of art and artists, as I’m sure is common with most people, I think of two types of people. I think of the tortured artists, like Van Gogh. The other type of artist would be the classic painter, who always seems to have died before appreciation for their art developed.
 
Previous to the discussion with Mr. Juarez, I would not really think of being an accomplished artist as something attainable for people today. It seems as though we see accomplishment for artists as something that can only be attained after death. Mr. Juarez helped me see that success in art is not limited to past generations, but there are actually many successful artists who create masterpieces in my own community.—Ursula, class of 2019