In the Studio with Michelle Day

Michelle Day Sculpture

Michelle Day, Afterglow, 2016 (interior view)

Michelle Day is an artist currently based in Canberra, Australia and completing her MFA at Chiang Mai University. Dealing with ideas of interconnection, intimacy, and proximity through material exploration, Day’s work offers unlikely moments of intuitive connection through objects. Taking particular moments and questions, from the feeling of someone’s recent presence in a space to  visceral sensations translated through sight, these flashes of energy are translated into her careful, and often delicate, sculptures. Continue reading

Working in a Sculpture Foundry

Casting Iron at Carrie Furnaces at the 26th International Sculpture Conference in Pittsburgh.

Casting Iron at Carrie Furnaces at the 26th International Sculpture Conference in Pittsburgh.

Cynics like to claim that a studio art degree is training for a life of unemployment, but many graduates of BFA and MFA programs find that they can put their technical skills to use, even if not directly towards their own fine art careers.

For instance, Sheryl Hoffman’s main interest at Cleveland State University (where she earned a BFA) and at Ohio State University in Columbus (where she received an MFA) was her sculpture, but the process of creating her mixed media pieces required her to learn welding and various casting techniques (plaster, sand and wax), which enabled her to find work in sculpture foundries after graduation. “While I was waiting for a teaching job to come along, I took up casting, because I knew how to do this,” she said. For eight years, she worked at several different Ohio-based foundries–Studio Foundry in Cleveland and David R. Kahn in Athens, among others–working with artists in their studios to create rubber molds of their work, then at the foundry making waxes and the investment that resulted in editions of their artwork. During those years, she earned between $20,000 and $30,000, depending upon how many jobs came in. Continue reading

Hello from Studio B55!

Since the beginning of this residency I have been preparing for a solo exhibition at Keystone College in LaPlume, PA. After preparing for this exhibition over the last few months I am happy to report that it has been installed at Keystone College!
The exhibition is called, “Sugar, Spice, Not Very Nice,” this body of work has been an autobiographical reflection on personal experiences of growing up and feeling the need to fit into a mold that represented femininity. The work of this exhibition is a series of drawings, sculptures, and photographs reflecting this experience. Continue reading

Ai Weiwei at Meijer Gardens

Ai Weiwei sculpture

Remains (detail), 2015. Courtesy of Ai Weiwei studio.

“How does he manage to do it?” One wonders.  It’s not just that Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei can work with media as varied as cast iron, steel rebar, porcelain, wood, or Legos, but that somehow the finished works are beautifully crafted and always embedded with carefully considered layers of meaning.  The exhibition Natural State at Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park brings an impressive cross-section of his recent work to the heart of America’s Midwest, and amply demonstrates Ai’s uncanny knack for seamlessly integrating craftsmanship with concept.  Continue reading

High Fidelity

Marc Courtemanche sculpture

Marc Courtemanche, Toolbox of Tools (detail), 2010, stoneware and metal, to scale

There is, as a lot of people might remember from their art history classes, the renowned story related by the Greek writer Pliny the Elder concerning the artist Zeuxis, and of the claim that his painted representation of grapes achieved such fidelity to their subject matter that the birds attempted to eat them. Continue reading

Sugar, Spice, Not Very Nice

Parochial Collar #1, in Sugar, Spice, Not Very Nice exhibition, 2017. Photo by Anna Margush

“What are little girls made of?” Those familiar with the well-known 19th-century nursery rhyme will answer: “Sugar and spice and all things nice. That’s what little girls are made of!” Artist Katie Hovencamp, on the other hand, provides an alternative response in her solo exhibition, Sugar, Spice, Not Very Nice, which is on view in the Linder Art Gallery at Keystone College, from 2/28 through 4/28. Against a backdrop of hand-painted, 19th-century-style wallpaper, the show features Hovencamp’s Parochial Collar series, accompanying photographs of the artist wearing the collars, and a collection of Victorian-style drawings, all of which subvert traditional ideals of femininity. Continue reading