Posts Tagged ‘Rob Rutherford’

Friday: Final Day for Student Art Show

Friday, October 28th, 2011

Dean's painting shows color, texture, detail and refection“I think this is the best first Visual Arts show that we’ve had,” exclaimed Peter, a senior art student at Idyllwild Arts. “A lot of new students came to our school, and they were already good.”

Today (Oct. 28) is the last day of the “Parents Weekend Student Art Show” at the Parks Exhibition Center on the Idyllwild Arts campus. The show is free and open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Jane's teapot and cup feature fingers as handles

Jane agreed with Peter about the show.

“Last year, we weren’t ready, and kind of rushed our projects during the last two hours or so,” Jane said. “This year, we all planned ahead, and it shows.”

Jane’s tea pot and cup aren’t your garden variety set. Her green, multi-layered glaze draws you over. At closer inspection, you see that the handles of the cup and pot are made up of human fingers. Even the spout is a finger.

It’s a little unsettling since we’re getting so close to Halloween. But my guess is that Jane was not going for the grotesque, but something deeper about the human condition.

Some of the new students that Peter and Jane might be talking about include: Yixuan known as “Maisie,” a 9th grader; Neil, another 9th grader and Niger and Dean, both 10th graders. Each has shown early mastery of their particular mediums.

Maisie's dinosaur drawing in drag show promise

Maisie’s drawing of a raptor or a large lizard in drag “pops” from the center of the page, while newsprint and a line drawing of a mother and child are in the background.

This was likely a drawing exercise using established media, such as newsprint or magazine cut -outs. Yet, it’s more than the raptor from a book coming to life before them.

Why is the raptor hostile, and wearing a black suit? It could be a commentary on a teacher, parent or other adult figure.

You have to look for subtleties to get the bigger picture of what Niger is trying to say. His black-and-white photo of a young Asian woman is physically appealing. It shows good composition and contrast. However, it’s attached to white paper that’s been crumpled and smoothed over.

Niger's photo may be a commentary on violence against women

And the woman is shown licking a cut on her knee.

Is Niger trying to tell the story of violence in this young woman’s life? Or is he talking about violence against women in general?

Another promising young visual artist is Neil, whose father works in the Transportation department.

Neil’s drawing of Bob Marley, the enduring symbol of anti-culture is also compelling in its composition. It depicts a portrait of the musician’s face and hands, yet it is placed off center.

“I should have trimmed it off,” Neil said later.

Yet, his use of excessive white space is interesting. In any given picture, your eyes automatically go to the light, or the whitest part of the painting. Like looking at a candle in a dark room. However, when you have more white space than dark, your eye is drawn to the dark. Sort of like seeing a bowling ball in the snow.

Neil's drawing of Bob Marley has interesting use of white space

Dean’s painting of an older black woman shows great use of color, texture, detail and reflection. The detail on her gray hair looks nearly like a photograph. And the reflection in her cat-eye glasses show good handling of the paint. Oftentimes, you see reflections in glasses in photographs, but they are omitted in paintings.

It’s hard to say where he got the photo. If he took it himself, or found it online. Yet, the closeness of the taker to the subject shows intimacy. Even the elderly woman’s smile was just starting to form when the photo was taken. It was as if the photographer was young or inexperience in taking photos. Yet, the image is sweet, typical Americana from the 1950s.

Yep, the new visual artists are good, but the seniors still need to be reckoned with, namely Jimmie and Delaney.

Jimmie's nude composition looks like a Michelangelo

Jimmie’s image of a nude woman looking towards the light in the heavens looks like the church paintings from the Old Masters, such as Caravaggio. He was known for emotional depictions of humans using dramatic light.

You can tell that Jimmie spent many hours adding layers of charcoal until it looked like night.

It’s interesting that he used only black and shades of gray to depict this image. If it were the Old Masters, there would be all kinds of colors, and about 40 other people in the picture, including angels.

Later on, Jimmie said that Caravaggio wasn’t so much an inspiration, but the drawing started looking like one of his, so he made the lighting more dramatic.

Yet, the way that Jimmie does it, makes you want to spend a few hours looking it over.

“I like Rei’s painting because it looks simple, but it’s really complex,” said Peter.

Rei’s black-and-white image engulfed in blue looked abstract to me at first. Such as a rock or a crumpled piece of paper.

Yet, at closer inspection, I saw women’s legs in heels, and remembered that Rei is studying fashion. Then it looked like the woman in heels was walking towards the viewer, and was putting on or taking off a large cape. But then attached to the top of the cap was an animal head, such as a Halloween costume.

Knowing that Rei is a deep thinker, I doubt if he did a painting of a woman taking off a Halloween costume. Perhaps his painting is also a commentary on the human condition.

Delaney's drawing depicts turmoil

Delaney’s drawing of two heads in distress was intriguing. How she accurately portrays her subjects looking up and looking down is amazing. If you’ve ever tried to draw them, its difficult to get the perspective, and make it look realistic, yet Delaney makes it look easy.

The final image that I looked at in this show was a headset on a pedestal. Next to the disc player was a list of five student names, including Peter, Jimmie, Jessica, Kevin and Rei.

“It was selections from our ‘New Genre’s’ class,” Peter explained. “We just mixed some music from a software program according to a title, such as ‘summer’ or ‘winter.'”

Rei's fashion image shows a deeper meaning

Most of their music selections included new age music with some sound effects. For example, Kevin’s “summer” selection featured kids laughing, while Jessica’s “winter” had footsteps crunching in the snow.

But how does the music tie into visual art?

“Do you know sometimes there’s a part in a painting that looks like a piece is missing?” Peter said. “Well, you can fill that void with music.”

Student Visual Art Show ends today, Friday, Oct. 28 at the Parks Exhibition Center on the Idyllwild Arts campus. Gallery hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The show is free and open to the public.

Copyright 2011 Idyllwild Me. All rights reserved.

Published on: Oct 28, 2011 @ 12:38

 

‘Cryptozoology,’ a Myriad of Mythical Creatures

Friday, January 28th, 2011

Chloe's "Cryptozoology" painting of what looks like a dying alien in a yellow pool

By Marcia E. Gawecki

Throughout history, people have been fascinated by mythical beasts,  including the Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot, unicorns, fairies, dragons, griffins, and the like. Hollywood has joined on the bandwagon recently, with “Iron Man,” “Avatar” and “Tron.” And all of the creatures from the bar scene of “Star Wars” would fit into this definition.

Chloe's sculpture looked like broken angel's wings with a crab leg extension

Idyllwild has its own mythical creature, called the Idyllbeast, who is hairy and looks like Bigfoot, but not as scary. Maybe more like Chewbacca. Only that the Idyllbeast hosts his own web site, and his own storefront, The Idyllbeast Research Center, on North Circle Drive in Idyllwild.

With all of these mythical beasts in mind, the Idyllwild Arts Visual Arts Department presented its student theme show, “Cryptozoology,” with a Jan. 14 opening at the Parks Exhibition Center on campus. The show ends today, Jan. 28.

“Cryptozoology” is a made up word that refers to animals which are legendary or otherwise nonexistent by mainstream biology.  For their pieces, the students needed to rely on their imagination because these beasts couldn’t be drawn from observation.

Alake's traditional unicorn was sitting down like a human

The 35 pieces in the “Cryptozoology” student art show, includes paintings, sculptures, drawings and mixed media pieces. Their young, fertile imaginations didn’t disappoint the viewers. Some stuck to the traditional lions, tigers and bears hybrids, while others made up their own combinations. One artist even debunked the Santa Claus myth.

Some standout pieces include a sculpture by Chloe, a senior from Korea. The four foot sculpture, laid upon a white pedestal, looks like broken angels wings. The feathers are longer than any birds with a purple and blue glaze.

“Very nice,” said Rob Rutherford, head of the Art Department at Idyllwild Arts. He was inspecting the pieces for the first time before a Master Class on Comics.

At closer inspection, Chloe’s wings also showcased an extension, that looked like a crab leg. What does that mean? Was there a metamorphesis going on from aviary to crustration or visa versa?

Li-An's watercolor boldly debunked the Santa Claus myth

Across the way, was another Cryptozoology piece by Chloe. The bright painting featured what looked like a dying alien in a pool of yellow. What happened? There are no title cards as indications, but one can only guess that the image reflects the artist’s feelings at the time. As a senior, Chloe may be feeling separate, or alien, from her classmates as she faces final exams, college applications and finalizing her portfolio. It could be any number of things, but the benefit is that these art students have an outlet in visual art.

Another standout piece is a ceramic unicorn by Alake, another senior. Instead of showing the unicorn upright and proud, as shown throughout history, Alake has hit sitting down, much like a human would. The general look to the unicorn is not distant  or scary at all, but one you might see on a merry-go-round.

Delaney's painting depicted the moment of discovery

Hidden in the corner of the Parks gallery was a murky watercolor that might’ve been passed over at first glance. But this one, by Li-An, a senior, was worth contemplating over. It depicted an extremely thin, bald man sitting at a vanity, looking into the mirror.

In the mirror’s reflection, you don’t see a bald man, but a full-sized, furry reindeer with antlers (no, it wasn’t Rudolph). And draped around his waist is a red Santa’s suit–with an attached mask!

So, Li-An is debunking the myth of Santa! Not only is Santa not fat and jolly or even real, but he’s not even human!

Another student delved into the murky waters of mythical creatures by documenting the moment before the beast transformation. In Delaney’s painting of a surprised young man looking into the mirror. Instead of happiness at his first chest hair, this teen was appalled to see a growth inside his chest cavity. The growth looked like the concentric rings of a tree stump. The colors she chose were not garish, but more patriotic, red, white, blue and and gray. And there were many layers of them, which begged to be touched.

Dean's large painting showcased an eagle/plane and a man/tree

Other students in the “Cryptozoology” show showcased hybrids that were made up of animals and machine parts.

Ho Jin, a 9th grader from Korea, featured a triptych of three pen-and-ink drawings that he drew freehand (without any preliminary sketches). The first was a dragon/griffin, which used images of an urban landscape, including a city bus and cars at its feet.

The second drawing featured the Statue of Liberty in the space between the large cat’s eyes, and its ears were comprised of rockets and fighter planes.

In the last one, Ho-Jin inserted himself into the picture. He is taking a picture of a bird on a limb, while the top of his head is split to show a large egg.

The painting that caused the most controversy was one done by Dean, which depicted a nude man with a tree limb for an arm. Resting on his limb is an oversized eagle/plane hybrid. In the deep background is a carefree kid surfing a fine wave.

“He’s an awesome artist,” exclaimed Ignacio, who lives near Dean. “He pays close attention to detail.”

A wolf-lion hybrid by Anna, a sophomore

Ignacio said that Dean debated whether or not to put in the genitals, but did so at the end.

“He thought it was important,” Ignacio said.

As far as most people know, it’s OK for students to paint nude paintings. After all, they offer nude models as part of their regular drawing classes. When asked about Dean’s nude painting, Rob Rutherford didn’t answer, but said he was rushed for time. Biology teacher Will Waddell said that nudity in student artwork goes in cycles.

“The art students will do a lot of nude paintings, and then the school will crack down for awhile, and then they slowly crop up again,” Will said.

Helen, a mother and artist, said that she wasn’t opposed to nude paintings in a student show.

Nudes are the best way to study human anatomy, she said.

Copyright 2011 Idyllwild Me. All rights reserved.

Custom Search