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. 

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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