MAS Group Show Reception Photos at Walker’s Point Center for the Arts (WPCA)

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Walker’s Point Center for the Arts

839 S. 5th Street

Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53204

March 3 – April 1, 2017

 

On Friday, March 10th, the Walker’s Point Center for the Arts (WPCA) is hosted the first Midwest Artist Studios™ Group Show, opening on Friday, March 3. The Midwest Artist Studios™ (MAS) project is the brainchild of artist, gallerist and art educator Frank Juarez. Marking its third year in 2016, Juarez and a team of professionals including a writer, photographer, and videographer traveled throughout the Midwest, over 5800 miles and 18 cities/towns, visiting artists at their studios to document and learn about their art and process. This research provided the basis for the three volumes of rich curriculum resources and three catalogues.

The project creates a dynamic resource for K-12 students and art educators, drawing from current art practices of participating artists and using those practices to develop curriculum that is relevant, current and innovative. The project answers the criticism in art education of relying on decades-old curriculum, teaching the historic masters of art, e.g. dead artists, and not providing students context on or direct access to contemporary artists who are breaking new ground.

During Juarez’s studio visits, he and his team documented each of the artists’ studio environments, their process, and discussed what it is to be a working artist, including work schedule, work ethic, creative stimulation, what drives them, and much more. The content is published in a yearly volume along with a workbook with curriculum created based on each artist’s practice.

“This project began with a need within my art curriculum. I never imagined the impact that it has on secondary art education, regional artists, and the Midwest,” said Juarez. “What started as an idea developed into a resource that archives talented artists living in our region as well as working along these artists who embrace art education, inspiring the artists of tomorrow, and demonstrating that one can be successful living and working in their own community.”

The MAS Group Show will feature artwork by 15 M.A.S. participating artists between 2014-16. The artists are Jason Ackman, Jessica Anderson, Emmy Lingscheit from Illinois; Joshua Wilichowski from Minnesota; Lori Elliott-Bartle, Jody Boyer, Rachel Mindrup from Nebraska; Karri Dieken from North Dakota, Jenniffer Omaitz from Ohio, Jane Ryder from Iowa, Larry Thomas from Kansas, Todd Mrozinski, Josie Osborne, Paula Schulze, and Suzanne Torres from Wisconsin.

The exhibition is curated and coordinated by Frank Juarez, with assistance from Josie Osborne and WPCA’s Howard Leu.

For more information, visit: midwestartiststudios.com and wpca-milwaukee.org

Walker’s Point Center for the Arts is a nonprofit organization in support of visual and performing arts and youth arts education. The center fosters creativity in children through innovative, hands-on education and encourages audience development and artistic talent with a diverse blend of programming. Our exhibitions, which feature both regional and national talent, encourages thoughtful social dialog and community engagement.

Reception

Photos by MAS photographer, Pat Ryan. 

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A MAS Update: Josie Osborne

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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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JOSIE OSBORNE

2014 MAS artist from Wisconsin

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

JO: I went up for Indefinite status (a tenure-like review process for Teaching Academic Staff) in my job at the University this past year and having the involvement in MAS and the publication exposure was good for me in that regard.

I have also gotten to know some new artists being a part of a cohort of artists who are committed to supporting art education.

I was a nice little shot in the arm for me in terms of my studio work, documenting my process, stepping back to think about what I do (step by step) and how I do it, was opportunity for reflection.

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

JO: My work has grown and my working environment has contracted (due to state budget cuts to higher ed) while the work load has increased intensely. So carving out time to do the work has been more difficult. But MAS involvement has helped me to make that more of a priority.

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?

JO: I think that the MAS interview and project focused more on assemblage and box structures, because of the piece that I was working on at the time. But my work is also really informed and driven by a very basic human collage impulse that is connected to/the visual equivalent to poetry making. I also use printmaking processes as a way to make marks along with other approaches to mark-making.

I believe that poem writing or visual poetic object making will have an increasing relevance in these wild times of confusion, disbelief, change and upheaval.

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

All images copyright of the artist and used with permission.

Walker’s Point Center for the Arts hosts Midwest Artist Studios Group Show

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 6, 2017

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Exhibition Announcement

Walker’s Point Center for the Arts hosts 

Midwest Artist Studios Group Show

March 3 – April 1, 2017

Opening reception: Friday, March 10, 5:00–9:00 pm

 

Milwaukee, WI – Walker’s Point Center for the Arts (WPCA) is proud to host the first Midwest Artist Studios™ Group Show, opening on Friday, March 3. The Midwest Artist Studios™ (MAS) project is the brainchild of artist, gallerist and art educator Frank Juarez. Marking its third year in 2016, Juarez and a team of professionals including a writer, photographer, and videographer traveled throughout the Midwest, over 5800 miles and 18 cities/towns, visiting artists at their studios to document and learn about their art and process. This research provided the basis for the three volumes of rich curriculum resources and three catalogues.

Emmy Lingscheit (IL), Cover the Earth

Emmy Lingscheit (IL), Cover the Earth

The project creates a dynamic resource for K-12 students and art educators, drawing from current art practices of participating artists and using those practices to develop curriculum that is relevant, current and innovative. The project answers the criticism in art education of relying on decades-old curriculum, teaching the historic masters of art, e.g. dead artists, and not providing students context on or direct access to contemporary artists who are breaking new ground.

During Juarez’s studio visits, he and his team documented each of the artists’ studio environments, their process, and discussed what it is to be a working artist, including work schedule, work ethic, creative stimulation, what drives them, and much more. The content is published in a yearly volume along with a workbook with curriculum created based on each artist’s practice.

“This project began with a need within my art curriculum. I never imagined the impact that it has on secondary art education, regional artists, and the Midwest,” said Juarez. “What started as an idea developed into a resource that archives talented artists living in our region as well as working along these artists who embrace art education, inspiring the artists of tomorrow, and demonstrating that one can be successful living and working in their own community.”

Jenniffer Omaitz (OH), Shaping Space

Jenniffer Omaitz (OH), Shaping Space

The MAS Group Show will feature artwork by 15 M.A.S. participating artists between 2014-16. The artists are Jason Ackman, Jessica Anderson, Emmy Lingscheit from Illinois; Joshua Wilichowski from Minnesota; Lori Elliot-Bartle, Jody Boyer, Rachel Mindrup from Nebraska; Karri Dieken from North Dakota, Jenniffer Omaitz from Ohio, Jane Ryder from Iowa, Larry Thomas from Kansas, Suzanne Torres from Madison, Wisconsin; and Todd Mrozinski, Josie Osborne, Paula Schulze from Milwaukee.

The exhibition is curated and coordinated by Frank Juarez, with assistance from Josie Osborne and WPCA’s Howard Leu.

For more information, visit: midwestartiststudios.com and wpca-milwaukee.org

Walker’s Point Center for the Arts is a nonprofit organization in support of visual and performing arts and youth arts education. The center fosters creativity in children through innovative, hands-on education and encourages audience development and artistic talent with a diverse blend of programming. Our exhibitions, which features both regional and national talent, encourages thoughtful social dialog and community engagement.

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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!

_________________________________________________________________

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.

MAS artist, Emmy Lingscheit at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center

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Through her work, Emmy Lingscheit investigates the interdependencies and exchanges between the biological and the man-made, revealing a postnatural world in which the line between synthetic and organic beings, systems, and materials is increasingly blurry. Her work is informed by dystopian fiction, climate disruption, irony, hope, and the current alarming pace of species extinction planet-wide. As a visual artist working primarily in the medium of printmaking, she participates in a long tradition of dialogue between art, science, and cultural rhetoric, via the multiple. 

Emmy is currently an assistant professor and coordinator of printmaking at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She holds a BFA in painting from St. Cloud State University in Minnesota, and an MFA in printmaking from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Emmy has held residencies at the Highpoint Center for Printmaking in Minneapolis, MN, at Zygote Press in Cleveland, OH, at Ucross in Sheridan, WY, and recently at the Kohler plant in Kohler, WI. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including recently at Davidson Galleries in Seattle, WA, Nash Gallery in Minneapolis, MN, and The International Print Center in New York, NY.

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On the Road: Year 2 Midwest Artist Studios Project Summer 2015 Reflection

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Version 2This summer my journey took me to Grand Rapids, Michigan; Ann Arbor, Michigan; Kent, Ohio; Bloomington, Indiana; Jacksonville, Illinois, and Rushville, Illinois. I met Mellissa Redman, Kate Robertson, Jenniffer Omaitz, Ellie Honl, Jessica Anderson, and Jason Ackman, respectively. Each artist brought something special to this project. Along with meeting these talented artists I visited the Ann Arbor Art Center and the Indiana University Art Museum. 

It was a grueling experience traveling from one city to the next each day documenting our featured artists. By Friday one of the artists said, “you look tired”. Every artist had an unique story to share about where their studio practice have taken them, where they are today, and what they have planned for the future. What I find exciting about this project is that we do not know what we will be walking into, what we will hear, or what we will see. The studio visits ranged from a studio apartment to a barn, a house to a printmaking department at Indiana University, and a basement to a defunct book store. Last year one of my Art Foundations 1 student mentioned that a studio can exist anywhere. She is so right!

Today I head back to Wisconsin and begin to go through all of the photographs, videos, and audio.  

Looking Ahead

In late August I will be visiting Emmy Lingscheit at her artist in residency at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin followed by the last two studio visits in late September to visit Krista Svalbonas (Chicag0, Illinois) and Emmy Lingscheit (Urbana, Illinois). Also slated in September is the MAS Project published in the National Art Education Association Instructional Resource Publication. 

On October 22 & 23 I will be presenting on our project at the Wisconsin Art Education Association 2015 Fall Conference in Appleton, Wisconsin as well as being an exhibitor where I will have a trailer for Year 2 MAS featured artists and Year 1 MAS catalog & workbook available for purchase. 

What I like about this project is that it is provides a platform for my students to be introduced to a variety of artistic processes and creating opportunities for them to begin an online dialogue with these artists. 

– Frank Juarez, art educator

Here is a snapshot of the trip from July 26 through July 31, 2015. 

Photo cred: Jonathan Fritsch and Frank Juarez. 

To read about the artists visited during this trip click on their names

Mellissa Redman, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Kate Robertson, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Jenniffer Omaitz, Kent, Ohio

Ellie Honl, Bloomington, Indiana

Jessica Anderson, Jacksonville, Illinois

Jason Ackman, Rushville, Illinois

This project is supported by a grant from the National Art Education Foundation, Kohler Foundation, Inc., and the Wisconsin Art Education Association. 

Jason Ackman – Rushville, Illinois

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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 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.

Where do I begin? Creating art has been one of the most consistent and positive things I encountered in school. My high school art room was my sanctuary. It was in Karen Icenogle’s room that I always felt at home. I was allowed to experiment and try new things. Even if doing so resulted in failure. In middle school I had been working on a drawing that would later be transferred to a scratchboard. I ended up taking far longer than the other students to complete the initial drawing. It was then that my teacher, Nancy Pitlik, told me to skip the scratchboard and keep going with the pen drawing I was working on. I thought that was pretty cool that she was willing to highjack the project and allow me to move in a different direction.

Why is Art Education important today?

Art Education is important because it challenges students to become creative problem solvers. No matter what a student chooses to do with their life after they leave school they will be far more impactful and successful in whatever they choose if they can come up with creative solutions. Whether that be as an artist, educator, factory worker, doctor, custodian, you name it; all require creative problem solving skills. Art Education deeply fosters this type of development in a student.

Jason Ackman

Web: www.jasonackman.org

The symbolic meaning that can be found in the most ordinary, outdated and utilitarian objects intrigues me. These objects are rich with meaning and significance. Many times they have outlived their usefulness or purpose. Their place as forgotten objects allows us to see them re-imagined- we are able to see their metaphorical potential because we are able to distance ourselves from their original intent or purpose. My work explores these alternative or re-imag- ined meanings as they relate to the concepts of transition and discernment. Sculpting and carving these once common and everyday objects out of reclaimed lumber and clay is a sub- tle and transformative process. Through this process I reveal the unrefined qualities of the chosen material. Ultimately, the re-imagining of these seemingly outdated objects and dis- carded materials illuminates the deeper meaning that can be found in forgotten or cast aside items. This illumination, in turn, reflects on the way we view our own human experiences. I choose weathered surfaces and a neutral monochromatic palette to unify each piece and use hand tools and simple construction techniques to enhance the beauty of such materials. In re- gards to using reclaimed materials I embrace the challenge of making something out of a ma- terial that has seemingly lost its purpose or need-the things that others look past, the things that so often don’t fit the standard mold of perfection. I see the material not for what it was, but for what it will become. In my hands it still has worth and a purpose yet to be discovered.

Bio

Jason Ackman is a high school art teacher and sculptor living in west central Illinois with his wife and two daughters. He received his BA from Western Illinois University and for the past 16 years he has been teaching a wide range of studio art classes at Rushville-Industry High School. His studio practice over the past 5 years has been focused on the use of reclaimed lumber as a sculptural medium.

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