The MAS Project featured at ArtsECO Teacher Meet Up

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Lindsey Ballo, UWM School of Education wins the MAS Bundle.

Last night the MAS Project’s founder, Frank Juarez, presented on this project with a room full of art educators and pre-service students. He talked about how the project started, the intent behind it, the preliminary work, the selection process, studio visits, curriculum development, and  the dedicated people that helped make this project possible. It is hard to believe that this 3-year project is now finished. Over 5800+ miles were driven, 24 Midwest artists were interviewed, and 18 towns/cities were explored. 

A big shout out to the MAS team (Erika Block, Pat Ryan, and Jonathan Fritsch) for their commitment and hard work, Howard Leu (Walker’s Point Center for the Arts) and Josie Osborne (UW-Milwaukee/MAS artist) for their support, Joelle Worm (ArtsECO Program) for having this project featured in their teacher meet up, the Kohler Foundation, Inc for supporting this project financially, and Kris Bakke (NASCO) for her support for Year 2 & 3 MAS Publications printing. 

Photos by Cate Elsbernd


Courtesy of ArtsECO.

Check them out!


The MAS Publications is now being offered as a bundle package (Year 1 – 3) or each publication can be purchased separately. 

Click here to get your copy. 

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A MAS Update: Karri Dieken

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The Midwest Artist Studios Project has spent the past three years traveling the Midwest interviewing 24 artists from 18 cities/towns. This project has been such a joy to create and to see how these artists have touched the lives of art students through online interactions, emails, and social media.

One of the areas we pride ourselves in is staying in touch with these artists and hearing what they are up to these days? For the next two-months the MAS Project will be spotlighting one of our 24 artists by sharing with you what they are doing in their studio as well as in their communities. 

All three of our MAS publications are now available online.

Click here to buy your copy today!

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Karri Dieken

2016 MAS artist from North Dakota

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MAS: In what ways have you benefitted from your participation in MAS?

KD: Built a larger art community, sharing art and artist from the project with students at VCSU. The projected has had a way of keeping me connected to the practice of making. Current roles in art education, tend to take away from studio time, the MAS project has inspired daily mini projects, to larger more intricate pieces. 

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MAS: In what ways has your work and/or working environment changed since your MAS interview?

KD: In the past year much of the work was focused on the absence of colour, using only white on white in its variations. The new series of work focuses more on photorealism, representation through photographic truths, and emphasis on colour as memory. 

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MAS: What is one thing you wish you’d said in your original interview, or what is the one thing that you hope the MAS audience remembers about your and your work?

KD: There is plenty to be said when it comes to advocating for the arts, I could go on for days about the small steps to larger steps to take to raise awareness and creating a community for the arts. However, its limited to action from these words. I hope that people take away a sense of opportunity from the work, see the mistakes and embrace them, and become motivated to find their creative voice in the act of making. 

Photos courtesy of Brenna Winter, VCSU Art Major

Looking Ahead

Karri will be participating in the following:

February 5-12: North Dakota Museum of Art “This Week Only” digital cross stitch print “Kadoka” Grand Forks ND

March 4: Plains Art Museum, 2017 Scholastic Art and Writing Exhibition and Educator Pin Award, for student Megan Tichy scholastic achievement. Fargo, ND.

March 10:  MAS exhibition, reception: 5-9pm at Walker’s Point Center for the Arts. 

May 20: Barnes County Museum Artist Lecture Series “The Last Bite” Valley Cit, ND

Visit Karri’s website to see more of her work.

All images copyright of the artist and used with permission.

 

A MAS Update: Jason Ackman

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The Midwest Artist Studios Project has spent the past three years traveling the Midwest interviewing 24 artists from 18 cities/towns. This project has been such a joy to create and to see how these artists have touched the lives of art students through online interactions, emails, and social media.

One of the areas we pride ourselves in is staying in touch with these artists and hearing what they are up to these days? For the next two-months the MAS Project will be spotlighting one of our 24 artists by sharing with you what they are doing in their studio as well as in their communities. 

All three of our MAS publications are now available online.

Click here to buy your copy today!

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Jason Ackman

2015 MAS artist from Illinois

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MAS: In what ways have you benefitted from your participation in MAS?

JA: I have personally benefited from my involvement with MAS in a variety of ways.  The project has introduced and connected me with a bunch of artists in my region of the US.  Artists that I would most likely not known about had I not been involved with the work of MAS (Thank you!).  

It has given me more opportunities to not only talk and share info about the work I do but the work of other outstanding and fascinating artists in the Midwest.  This is a welcomed change since often times it seems that “real artists” are located in the major cities in the US, specifically out west and east.  

I also believe it has given me a boost of confidence and encouragement knowing that a project like MAS is interested in telling some of my story as an artist.  Not only as an artist, but an artist from the part of our nation that is often times overlooked when it comes artists making meaningful, significant work. 

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MAS: In what ways has your work and/or working environment changed since your MAS interview?

JA: My studio work has drastically changed over the past year.  Shortly after the MAS team visited my studio I held my first solo exhibit.  Once that exhibit closed my studio practice took a major shift.  My practice has now become more about the social and community interaction with the arts.  I have spent very little time making work or objects that would be seen in an exhibit.  Instead, I have been focusing my energies on developing a local arts and cultural center as well as renovating a historic brick mansion (in a rural town of 150 people) into a future artist residency program. Although I have not been making work in the traditional sense, this new “work” has evolved into a practice of sorts.  The communal aspect of creating has become more of a focus for me. 

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MAS: What is one thing you wish you’d said in your original interview, or what is the one thing that you hope the MAS audience remembers about your and your work?

JA: There are so many things I would have liked to have said 🙂  I don’t even know where to begin. 

Visit Jason’s website to see more of his work. 

All images copyright of the artist and used with permission.

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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Midwest Artist Studios Project in Ojai, California

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This spring break MAS founder and art educator, Frank Juarez, is participating in a visiting artist program at The Thacher School in Ojai, California. He will be working with Mrs. Liz Mahoney’s beginning to advanced art students. He will be introducing students to the Midwest Artist Studios Project through a series of art lessons, which highlights artists living in the Midwest. In addition, he will be Skyping the artists into the classroom so that they can have the opportunity to interact with them via a critique and/or Q & A.

Some of the artists introduced are Year 1: Todd Mrozinski (WI) and Jane Ryder (IA) as well as Year 2: Jessica Anderson (IL) and Jenniffer Omaitz (OH). 

Timeline:

Please note – images will be added each day of the residency. 

On March 25th, he spent the day getting to know the art students. Mrs. Mahoney’s students are fabulous, talented, and eager to learn more about art.

Day 1

On March 28th Advanced Art students and Intro Art students were  introduced their respective artists, process, and media. Artists discussed were MAS artists, Jenniffer Omaitz (OH) and Todd Mrozinski (WI). After the presentation, students began to either set up their still life for Folded Gestures: Playing with Form and Space lesson or deciding what the subject matter would be for their Shadows: Enter the Light lesson, respectively.

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Day 2

On March 29th, Studio Art students were introduced to the work of MAS artist, Jane Ryder (IA) followed by planning out their composition on paper. They are asked to create their own ecosystem based on observation, personal ideas, and using technology. The Intro Art students began working on their shadow paintings. Colors chosen consisted of a limited color palette with a dark tone, mid tone, and highlight of their choosing. 

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Day 3

On March 30th students continued to work on their assigned projects. Some students used today to catch up while others began to add color to their projects. It is interesting to see how they take the information presented and make the work their very own with their own ideas and interpretation. 

 

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Day 4

On March 31st, the art students had its first Skype session. Intro art students had the opportunity to talk to MAS artist, Todd Mrozinski (WI) about his work, process, and a brief critique/ Q&A with the students. Below is an excerpt from their session. 

 

About Todd’s work

The shadow series started on the one year anniversary of my father’s death. Wanting to connect with him, Mrozinski started to paint his portrait based off of a black and white photo from when he was a young priest. He had not painted a traditional portrait in years and soon was frustrated. Disgruntled, he laid on the couch until his wife entered the studio. She saw the large amount of dark acrylic paint mixed on the palette and asked if she could cover the canvas so it would not go to waste. He agreed and took a nap. When he woke up, he noticed the warm light coming in through the front door. He looked out at the tree shadows and realized, in that instant, what he needed to paint. He took the dark canvas off the working wall, laid it on the ground, knelt down and traced the tree shadow directly onto the canvas. He realized as life is to light, death is to shadows, one cannot be without the other. His dad was showing himself in a different form and he felt his presence profoundly. The shadow series began.

Mrozinski’s work is a record of what is going on around him in the present moment. His subject matter is his family, friends, house and yard which he records and adorse on a daily basis. The beauty and power of shadows, the mysterious and ever changing light that creates them and their ambiguity and implied meaning continue to inspire me and infuse my work. Each painting begins by tracing the object’s cast shadow directly onto the canvas and is an actual size record of time and space. He is constantly amazed how a single outline can capture a gesture, mood and personality and how color and edge can create space, focus and mood. Each painting becomes a light infused container that preserves a moment, painted directly though the malleable and flowing medium of oil paint. Through drips, skeins and piles of paint, the surface becomes activated and glows with a light from within.

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Day 5 (Final Day)

On April 1st, the week concluded with Studio Art students skyping with MAS artist, Jane Ryder (IA). Students asked about the artist’s approach to her chosen medium (gouache), ways to stay motivated, artist’s current work, a brief critique between students and artist and a Q & A. The Advanced Art students kept working on their project, “Folded Gestures: Playing with Form and Space”.  I can’t wait to see the final outcome from the Intro Art, Studio Art, and Advanced Studio art students. I would like to end this post with a huge thanks to Mrs. Mahoney (art teacher) and The Thacher School for having me and for their hospitality. This experience was fabulous and memorable. 

About Jane’s work

Jane’s paintings are a right-brained approach to observing, dissecting, and recording the objective subject matter found in the lakes, rivers, prairies, and forests of south central Iowa. As her intimacy with the land surrounding her evolves, so does her approaches for depicting the complexities of varying terrains and the plants and animals that occupy them.

Each of her gouache paintings is a fictitious ecosystem that has been broken down into a series of vignettes. Each vignette describes the decay, growth, and interaction between the flora and fauna of that imagined place. Although bold colors, re- peating patterns, and flattened space make the paintings appear fantastic in nature, each scene is based off an observation.

She is constantly inspired by the complexities of the natural world. Her work is an ever evolving narrative about the interconnectedness of all things and the functions of an organism in a community of plants and animals.

MAS founder, Frank Juarez, visits The Thacher School in Ojai, California

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MAS founder and art educator, Frank Juarez, will be participating in a visiting artist program at The Thacher School in Ojai, California. This residency will focus on integrating art into other content areas as well as exposing, educating, and engaging students on regional contemporary art from the Midwest. In addition, create opportunities for students to interact with MAS artists via Skype for a 1-to-1 online critique and Q&A.

Click the link or image to see video of The Thacher School.  

Courtesy of The Thacher School

Courtesy of The Thacher School

http://www.thacher.org/Page/Site-Entry-Full-Video