Jenniffer Omaitz – Kent, Ohio

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I am extremely excited to be heading into Year 2 of the 3 year project, the Midwest Artist Studios™ (MAS) Project. I will be traveling from July 26 through August 1, 2015 to the following artists/cities/states – Mellissa Redman, Grand Rapids, Michigan; Kate Robertson, Ann Arbor, Michigan; Jenniffer Omaitz, Kent, Ohio; Ellie Honl, Bloomington, Indiana; Jessica Anderson, Jacksonville, Illinois; and Jason Ackman, Rushville, Illinois. In mid-August I will be visiting the John Michael Kohler Arts Center’s Arts/Industry to document Emmy Lingscheit, who is one of our featured 2015 MAS artists and a current artist in resident. In late September, I will finish our documentation/research by visiting Krista Svalbonas, Chicago, Illinois and Emmy Lingscheit, Urbana, Illinois. 

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

Throughout our visits I will be introducing you to 8 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. 

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

– Frank Juarez

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Here is one of the questions asked on our survey and the artist’s response.

Why is Art Education today?

Art allows young students and students in general to be versatile in multifaceted and have an understanding for cultural experiences. It incorporates cognitive skills with hands-on applications. The way art is taught now occurs in both 2-D and 3-D and virtual environments. This range of experiences along with cultural connections is imperative for young students high school and college age students to become more sensitive and responsive to social and environmental shifts.

 

Jenniffer Omaitz

Web: www.omaitz.com

Our urban and geographic environment is in a constant state of transformation. My work explores states of change between order and chaos that relate to this experience of environmental shift. Painting and Installation Art are modes of communicating the sensitivity to environmental factors; these practices provide me with a cadence and context through which to communicate utopian elegance, or dystopian plight. Installation explores this order/chaos in theory by invoking parts of abstraction, architecture, landscape, natural disaster, and a tactile response image making. Paintings are a meditation on movement, permutation, gesture, boundary, space and color.

In 2014, I started a series of work titled, Solid Movement. Solid Movement is an investigation into gesture and its ability to encapsulate time and psyche, fuse internal and external, and record conceptual state changes in solidified form. This series struggles to define beauty, exploring abstraction as incident and artifact of the process in which paint is applied. There is a constant struggle between surface and ground; between paint and the boundaries within the painting. This series of work attempts to unify my sculptural endeavors with my interests in painting.

Over the past six years I have explored site-specific installation. The installations built encompass three-dimensional landscapes frozen in the midst of a chaotic event. This “event” is reminiscent of a landscape that has been caught in a fictitious disaster. By incorporating drawing and painting with objects and found materials, this ignites play between the structure of the gallery and the theatrics of the painterly gesture and their united associations. This sense of theater is a formal extension of the shadows cast by gallery lights, the configuration of the wall, ceiling, and the intrinsic architectural nature of the given space.

Overall, my work explores space; both physical and psychological space. This refers to “Space” as it is applied to a two dimensional surface, or a three dimensional location.

Bio

Jenniffer Omaitz (1979, Cleveland, OH) lives in Kent, OH and works in Kent and Cleveland. She holds an MFA in painting from Kent State University and a BFA in painting from the Cleveland Institute of Art. Solo exhibitions of her work have been held at The Sculpture Center, Cleveland; Sandy Carson Gallery, Denver; and Kent State University, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland. Her work was featured at the 2010 Biennial of the Americas in Denver. Omaitz is a part-time faculty member at Kent State University, and the University of Akron. She is represented by 1point618 Gallery in Cleveland.

 

All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission. 

 

Kate Robertson – Ann Arbor, Michigan

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I am extremely excited to be heading into Year 2 of the 3 year project, the Midwest Artist Studios™ (MAS) Project. I will be traveling from July 26 through August 1, 2015 to the following artists/cities/states – Mellissa Redman, Grand Rapids, Michigan; Kate Robertson, Ann Arbor, Michigan; Jenniffer Omaitz, Kent, Ohio; Ellie Honl, Bloomington, Indiana; Jessica Anderson, Jacksonville, Illinois; and Jason Ackman, Rushville, Illinois. In mid-August I will be visiting the John Michael Kohler Arts Center’s Arts/Industry to document Emmy Lingscheit, who is one of our featured 2015 MAS artists and a current artist in resident. In late September, I will finish our documentation/research by visiting Krista Svalbonas, Chicago, Illinois and Emmy Lingscheit, Urbana, Illinois. 

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

Throughout our visits I will be introducing you to 8 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. 

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

– Frank Juarez

________________________________________________________________________

Here are two of the 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 think my artistic path has been aided in countless ways by instructors and individuals with a desire to share their excitement and knowledge on how to be a maker. Without these wonderful mentors at all stages of my life I would not have found such a fulfilling career in the arts. I hope to be a leader in passing that energy on to others.

Why is Art Education today?

As a part of a non-profit art center I continual see not only the need but the desire within my community for quality Art Education. As these programs continue to be cut from schools the need and desire for them does not go away. We are also collaborating and working to provide a place where individuals of all ages can have the ability to incorporate technology into their art practice.

Kate Robertson

Webwww.k8robertson.com

Kate Robertson creates objects that establish an intimate viewing experience and question the ways we interpret incomplete information. By exploring the dichotomy between interior and exterior spaces her  intention is for the viewer to be engaged in a space separate from their body. The inability to simultaneously see the exterior and interior allows her to broach notions of fragmentation, cropping and collage. She likes to approach the interior spaces with a sense of exploration and a connection the venue in which they are to be displayed.

Bio

Kate received her BFA from Minnesota State University in Moorhead Minnesota with an emphasis in sculpture as well as a minor in Art History. She is currently the Director of Education at the Ann Arbor Art Center and is preparing for a large contemporary outdoor art exhibition taking place in downtown Ann Arbor this October.

Gallery

All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission. 

MAS Founder and Writer presents at MOWA’s Coffee Talk on January 13, 2015

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Museum of Wisconsin Art

205 Veterans Avenue

West Bend, Wisconsin 53095

January 13, 2015

10:30am-11:30am

Click here:  http://www.wisconsinart.org/education/lifelong-learning.aspx

Coffee Talk with Frank Juarez, founder of the Midwest Artist Studios™ (MAS) Project and Erika Block, MAS writer and editor.

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Frank Juarez, founder/art educator, and Erika Block, writer/editor, will share the journey they took with photographer, Pat Ryan, and assistant, Jonathan Fritsch last summer. They visited the studios of Josh Wilichowski (MN), Vincenzio Donatelle (MN), Jane Ryder (IA), Jamie Bates Slone (MO), Catie Miller (MO), Todd Mrozinski (WI), Paula Schulze (WI), Josie Osborne (WI), and Suzanne Torres (WI). The result of these visits were two-fold; to create a catalog introducing these 9 artists and creating a curriculum workbook, which contains 9 artist-inspired lesson for grades 6-12 in public, private, or homeschool setting. This curriculum workbook is also beneficial to student teachers, first year teachers, and art education students. 

On December 23, we made a quick stop to Todd’s studio at the Nut Factory in Milwaukee to catch up with him and get a few thoughts about his participation in the MAS Project. 

Click here to view our presentation.

© 2014-2017 Midwest Artist Studios Project. All rights reserved.

Midwest Artist Studios™ Lesson Plans Released January 2015

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A limited run of our Midwest Artist Studios™ Lesson Plan Workbook will be printed later this month with our release date being early January 2015. These lesson plans come with the National Visual Art Standards, Literacy, differentiated instruction, technology, artist-Skype critiques, and so much more. These lesson plans are inspired by our studio visits with our MAS artists.  

We will also be printing a limited run of our Midwest Artist Studios™ Catalog featuring Josh Wilichowski (MN), Vincenzio Donatelle (MN), Jane Ryder (IA), Jamie Bates Slone (MO), Catie Miller (MO), Todd Mrozinski (WI), Paula Schulze (WI), Josie Osborne (WI), and Suzanne Torres (WI). 

Below is a snapshot of our 2014 lesson plans. 

MAS LPs 2014