Reflection: Views from the Road (2014)

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Here is a snapshot from our 2014 Midwest Artist Studios™ (MAS) Project road trip to Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, and Wisconsin. We are so looking forward to our visit to Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois this summer. 

Midwest Map

 

Introducing the Midwest Artist Studios 2015 featured artists

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MAS2015_announcementThe Midwest Artist Studios Project is proud to announce its 2015 featured artists. They are Jason Ackman (IL), Jessica Anderson (IL), Ellie Honl (IN), Emmy Lingscheit (IL), Jenniffer Omaitz (OH), Mellissa Redman (MI), Kate Robertson (MI), and Krista Svalbonas. We were impressed with their perspective on art education today and the work that they are producing. The final interview took place via multiple Skype sessions. Although they were given time to make a decision whether or not they would be interested in participating in this project they all said, “Yes!”, immediately. 

The MAS Team will be traveling through the Midwest later this summer. 

We are looking forward to getting to know these artists better as the summer progresses as well as being invited into their studios. 

Some new additions to the MAS Project will be View from the Road by the MAS Team and a special studio visit with Emmy Lingscheit at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center Arts/Industry Program. 

Check out our featured artists’ work by clicking on their names listed above. 

This 2015 MAS Project is supported by a grant from the National Art Education Foundation, Kohler Foundation, Inc., and the Wisconsin Art Education Association. 

Call for Summer 2015 Artists – Closed

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MAS is happy to announce its call for Summer 2015 artists.

We are seeking submissions from artists living/working inIL, IN, OH, and MI.

To be considered for this project all you have to do is complete the survey below.

Click here to access the 2015 Summer MAS Survey for artists

No longer accepting submissions. 

 

Questions can be directed to Frank Juarez, MAS Founder, at midwestartiststudios(at)gmail.com

Midwest Artist Studios ™ Project at the Wisconsin Art Education Association

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On Friday, October 24th, Frank Juarez, founder of the Midwest Artist Studios ™ Project , and two of our featured MAS artists, Todd Mrozinski and Josie Osborne presented at the 2014 Wisconsin Art Education Association Fall Conference at the Bruce Guadalupe Community School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 

The MAS Project is moving at a steady pace while gaining momentum in the art education field.

The presentation touched upon the following:

  • Increasing Literacy within the Art Room.
  • Lack of Text-based Resources Addressing Literacy in Art Education.
  • Reflecting on Current Teaching Trends. 
  • Research: a survey which was shared prior to further planning of the MAS Project. One question on the survey addressed, “do you use local artists in your curriculum?”. Here is the overall consensus as to why they do not. 1) Lack of funding to recruit artists in the classroom, 2) grants are too competitive. Same pool of money for all, 3) new to teaching, 4) lack of time, 5) too many things on the teacher’s plate, and 6) do not know any artists in my community or region.
  • Purpose of the MAS Project, which focuses on 6-12 art education and curriculum integration. As well as to embrace contemporary art locally and regionally whilst bringing it into the classroom resulting in the design of unit plans concentrating on such as but not limited to: varied art processes, narratives, collaboration, and technology and infuse interaction with the MAS artists into the classroom.
  • Implementation of artist-inspired unit plans to be part of a teacher workbook to accompany the Midwest Artist Studio Catalog, which will consist of such as but not limited to: photographs, interviews, artist statements, artist website(s). Unit plans will focus on such as but not limited to: the use of the Elements and Principles of Design, National Visual Arts Standards, Literacy, differentiated instruction and assessments.

MAS Poster 2014

Click here to download this poster

To be put on our MAS Waiting List for our Catalog and/or Workbook contact Frank Juarez at midwestartiststudios(at)gmail.com.

Type in the Subject Box: MAS Waiting List

This project is made possible through the support of the Kohler Foundation, Inc, Wisconsin Art Education Association and Sheboygan North High School.

 

 

A note from the founder, Frank Juarez

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Photo by Irma Roman

Photo by Irma Roman

It has been a week since the Midwest Artist Studios (MAS) Team arrived back in its home state of Wisconsin. We met a great group of artists, 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). These artists were a pleasure to work with and you will be reading more about them as the project moves into its editing/production phase. Each brings something special to this project.

During our trip we were able to visit the Des Moines Art Center, Red Star Studios, and Belger Arts Center. We were so inspired by the people we met such as Mo Dickens from the Belger Arts Center, the art we saw and the conversations we had with people along our route. We were so inspired that we started to make work of our very own. This is the response that I hope our readers will have when they see our full-color catalog highlighting our MAS artists and read excerpts from our interviews and seeing how we took the works of these artists to develop lesson plans to compliment their studio practice. These lesson plans will be developed to inspire, communicate and challenge students to continue to pursue originality and to foster their creativity.

Visiting Suzanne Torres at  Arts Lofts n Madison, Wisconsin

Visiting Suzanne Torres at Arts Loft in Madison, Wisconsin

The MAS artists are living proof that making art and living in an art-centered life is rewarding; emotionally, mentally, professionally and financially. The next time someone asks the question, “can someone make a living in art?”, think of the people you know that are doing it and say, “yes”.

This project is aimed to create a platform that connects a contemporary art studio practice with art education. As an art educator, I often ask myself if what I am doing in the classroom is enough to broaden my students’ perspective on art, art education and living a well-rounded life. You know that the answer is no. There is so much out there that can benefit students and this project is one way of doing so. The MAS Project was created to give educators, administrators, library specialists, curriculum coordinators, school board members, access to artists who contribute their success to their art education experience. 

The MAS Team is working very hard to bring you the MAS 2014 catalog and workbook by mid-October of 2014. The best way to stay up-to-date on this project is by either subscribing to our blog, Midwest Artist Studios, or by following us on Facebook at facebook.com/midwestartiststudios.

If you like to be added to our MAS Email List all you have to do is email Frank at the address below and type in the subject box: Interested in the MAS Catalog/Workbook.

Visiting Jamie Bates Slone at her studio at Red Star Studios in Kansas City, Missouri.

Visiting Jamie Bates Slone at her studio at Red Star Studios in Kansas City, Missouri

All questions can be directed to Frank Juarez, MAS Founder, at midwestartiststudios@gmail.com.

This trip would be not be possible without the support of the Kohler Foundation, Inc, Wisconsin Art Education Association, Sheboygan North High School and Sheboygan Area School District

Libations Series by Todd Mrozinski: the MAS Team

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On Friday, August 8th, the MAS Team stopped by MAS artist, Todd Mrozinski, to talk about the origins of his shadow paintings before heading to his Riverwest studio at the Nut Factory in Milwaukee. Prior to our visit I knew of Todd’s work focusing on shadows. I found it fascinating how something like a shadow that we create daily can easily be overlooked or under appreciated for its organic shape or exaggerated size. 

In his backyard he pulled out four canvasses and asked if we wanted to be a part of his “Libations” series. How could we say no? 

It was neat to witness how he positioned his canvas to obtain the perfect composition within the 16×20″ canvas. He was very patient as we sat with a drink in our hand (with the exception of our photographer, Pat Ryan). The entire sketching process only lasted a few minutes.

I could not resist posting these paintings for you to see.

The results are fabulous.

MAS TEAM

If you are in Milwaukee today (August 15th) stop by the Gallerie M inside the Intercontinental Hotel for Todd’s closing reception from 6pm-8pm. Gallerie M is located at 139 E Kilbourn Avenue, MilwaukeeWI 53202.

To read about Todd and his solo show, “Shadows” click here.

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

Written by Frank Juarez.

Suzanne Torres – Madison, Wisconsin

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Today we visit our last studio for our Summer 2014 tour with sculptor, Suzanne Torres, at the Art Lofts Building, which houses graduate and professor studios at UW-Madison.

Suzanne Torres

suzannetorres.com

Her work borrows elements from our physical and natural surroundings and reinterprets them through scale and abstraction. It brings to mind natural phenomenon, unearthed relics, built environments, and the act of transformation. She creates large-scale sculpture and installation that have an evocative presence – suspended from the ceiling, traversing wall and floor, or enveloping the viewer – they appear to exist in a realm of time somewhere between birth and collapse, both degrading and emerging before our eyes.

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Constructed from common materials such as clay, rope, wood, cardboard, and cement, her work responds to natural and manmade landscapes, breeding both familiarity and instability. Often exceeding human scale, the work has a physical presence that translates as a spatial experience- it elicits an emotive response from the viewer and explores the body’s interaction with space.

Channeling opposing forces of structure and collapse, her work exists in a state of flux, conjuring notions of transformation and evolution. In utilizing unfired clay there exists a tension between solidity and fragility. The potential for breakdown and ultimate recycling of much of her work signifies its temporal existence.

About

­­Suzanne Torres (b.1982, New Jersey) received her BA in Art from Monmouth University in 2008 and was a Post-Baccalaureate student in sculpture at the San Francisco Art Institute. She participated in additional studies at the Studio Arts Center International in Florence, Italy and the Metáfora International Workshop in Barcelona, Spain as a yearlong resident. Most recently she participated in the Open Studio Residency at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts and received a full fellowship to the Vermont Studio Center for the summer of 2014. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally. Torres is a third-year Ceramics graduate and MFA candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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

Josie Osborne and Paula Schulze from Wisconsin

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Today we visit the studios of Josie Osborne from Milwaukee and Paula Schulze from Shorewood. Josie is an assemblage artist and Paula is a printmaker. 

Josie Osborne

www.josieosborne.net

J_Osborne_Studio_Portrait_1Solace and quiet contemplation provide an antidote to our busy daily lives. We must seek out a balance between our fast-paced exterior lives and maintaining that rich interior life that brings together memory, imagination and a more poetic understanding of our daily experiences.

In Osborne’s assemblage boxes and print collages the elements used and the organization or treatment of space references dreams, poetry, memory, architecture, and a neo-modernist language of color, simplicity, process, materials and mark-making. The works bring together various aspects of my experience (both internal and external) and reflect a pondering of the relationships of those two realities as they place the necessary openness to intangible experiences in parallel to that which we physically and more directly experience in the world.

About

Josie Osborne is an artist and director of the First Year Program in Art and Design at UW-Milwaukee, Peck School of the Arts where she has taught for 6 years. She served for 12 years on the City of Milwaukee Arts Board and has received Mary Nohl Suitcase Fund support for an international studio residency and exhibitions of her work. She has curated and co-curated numerous exhibitions including Quiet at Walkers Point Center for the Arts, Miller and Shellabarger: Hiding in the Light at Inova Gallery and many others. For ten years, while serving as Director of Community Outreach at Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, she co-founded and oversaw various award winning programs including the Creative Educators institute, Future Designers and the MOST Pre-College program. Osborne received her Master of Fine Arts in Graphics (printmaking) from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and her BFA in Painting and Drawing from UW-Milwaukee.

She has exhibited her work regionally and nationally. Select exhibitions include: Texture at Fredericksburg Art Center (VA), Fabulous Women Show and Top Drawer Prints (at Peltz Gallery in Milwaukee), In the Balance, (Walkers Point Center for the Arts), Thread (invitational at UNC-Charlotte); 5IVE (traveling exhibition: Walkers Point Center for the Arts, Milwaukee and Flagler College Carrera Gallery, Florida); Art Chicago (Hotcakes Gallery); Art Basel Miami (Hotcakes Gallery); Things Avian and Architectural (solo exhibition at Sharon Lynn Wilson Center for the Arts); Proscenium (solo exhibition at Wisconsin Academy of Science, Letters and the Arts), Wisconsin Painters and Sculptors Biennial, A Decade of Wisconsin Art (invitational, James Wattrous Gallery, Madison Overture Center), Diabolique (curated by Fred Stonehouse); UWM and MIAD Faculty Exhibitions. Osborne’s work has also been reproduced in literary journals and professional magazines, including The Cream City Review and the Madison Review.

Paula Schulze

www.paulaschulze.com

image_2Schulze explores notions of space and order in my work. She works in a reductive manner, drawing in charcoal or utilizing the printmaking technique of mezzotint. Over the past several years her work has moved from explorations of architectural space towards abstraction and flattened space, with an interest in maps and in pattern, geometry, ornament, and economy of form. She has been inspired by pre- and early-Renaissance art, with its ornamental detail and its elegant use of geometry as a backdrop to a larger narrative or devotional setting, and by traditional Islamic principles of geometry and design. In all of her work, through isolation and examination, she investigates formal elements and their ways of ordering space.  

About

Paula Schulze is a Milwaukee-area artist and printmaker. She has a BA in anthropology and Ibero-American studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a MFA in printmaking from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She has participated in artist residencies at Anchor Graphics in Chicago; Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum in Two Rivers, Wisconsin; Scuola Internazionale di Grafica in Venice, Italy; and Fundación Valparaíso in Mojácar, Spain. She has also collaborated on temporary public art projects with the organization IN:SITE in Milwaukee. Images of these projects and her drawings and mezzotint prints are available online at http://www.paulaschulze.com.

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

Todd Mrozinski – Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Today we head back to our home state to visit Todd Mrozinski at his studio inside the Nut Factory in Milwaukee. Visit toddmrozinski.com to check out his shadows series. 

Working Wall with Collard Green 2013“Butades, a potter of Sicyon, was the first who invented, at Corinth, the art of modeling portraits in the earth which he used in his trade. It was through his daughter that he made the discovery; who, being deeply in love with a young man about to depart on a long journey, traced the profile of his face, as thrown upon the wall by the light of the lamp. Upon seeing this, her father filled in the outline, by compressing clay upon the surface, and so made a face in relief, which he then hardened by fire along with other articles of pottery.”

-Pliny the Elder, in his Natural History (circa 77–79AD)

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.

These are paintings of gratitude, joy and love that I feel for my family, home and loved ones and the light that infuses our lives. Intimate views of contemplation, interaction and everyday life are recorded during a specific time, conveying a universal feeling. He never knows what the next day will bring, it is a constant treasure hunt where the jewels are always right under my nose.

About

Born in Rensselaer, IN in 1974, Todd Mrozinski has loved to paint for as long as he can remember. He acquired his BFA in painting from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design in 1997 and in 1996 attended The New York Studio Program. He has been in solo and group exhibitions nationwide and his work is in various public and private collections. By focusing on two main areas, shadows and clothing, he explores the power of a subject’s presence through its absence. Meditation and contemplation as well as following inspiration and free flowing expression are essential to his working practice. Todd sees and shares the beauty and illumination of light and personality through drips and skeins and piles of paint. He and his wife, Renee Bebeau, have a studio in The Nut Factory, Riverwest, WI, where they offer art classes and workshops. He is currently represented by Woodman/Shimko Gallery, Palm Springs, CA.                                                      

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