Alumni News

Posted on Monday, August 13, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Bean Gilsdorf (MFA 2011) never imagined herself as a professional advice columnist. But in a moment of levity at an editorial meeting of the art blog Daily Serving, she tossed out the idea of an art advice column, and the others wouldn't let it drop.

And once she launched the thing, it really took off. She posted her first "Help Desk" column in January 2012, and it was almost immediately picked up by and the Huffington Post.

What have been the most memorable questions? "One was, 'I just discovered that my MFA faculty advisor is an adulterer. I find that morally reprehensible. Should I continue to trust him in our student-advisor relationship?'"

This dilemma can't be reduced to yet another case of people not living up to expectations, Gilsdorf explains, since your advisor is your designated critic-advocate, and the nuances of the trust and the power dynamic are quite specific. In other words, Dear Abby can't deal with this one. You really need the advice of another artist.

What's been the strangest question so far? "'What is the best and most humane way to skin a cat as part of an art piece, in front of an audience'’ I wrote the guy back privately and told him I wasn't qualified to give an answer."

Posted on Tuesday, August 7, 2012 by Allison Byers

In Southern California one finds “amazing, long, slow, sunny days that disintegrate into something totally gorgeous” all year round, notes Los Angeles-based photographer Amanda Marsalis, waxing a bit poetic about the California sunshine she’s become known for utilizing to its utmost potential.

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Posted on Monday, August 6, 2012 by Allison Byers

Mia Christopher is a young San Francisco-based artist fresh out of her BFA at the California College of the Arts. Working in several different mediums, Christopher's works are an amalgamation of colors, shapes, and textures. Different types of paper, amorphous forms of latex, and simple gouache and acrylic color fields come together to form the beautifully abstract collection of images and three-dimensional objects in her portfolio.

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Posted on Monday, August 6, 2012 by Allison Byers

The machines bang to life and a rhythmic thudding echoes off the factory walls.
It sounds like the train outside, it sounds like a whole building shuddering under the effort to create a product. It sounds like industry.
This soundtrack has gone quiet in so many cities throughout upstate New York and America as factory doors continue to close. But in Hudson next week, where empty factories abound, you'll be able to hear the machines again.

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Posted on Monday, August 6, 2012 by Allison Byers

The other week I had the opportunity to visit Slow Burn Glass, the West Oakland studio of artist Bryan Goldenberg. He's been blowing glass since 1995, and after graduating from the California College of the Arts in 2002 and with experience around the country and the world, he created the Slow Burn studio in 2006.

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Posted on Monday, August 6, 2012 by Allison Byers

Tara Tucker is a Bay Area-based visual artists. Tucker studied sculpture at California College of Arts & Crafts in Oakland, receiving both her BFA and MFA from the college.

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Posted on Monday, August 6, 2012 by Allison Byers

Graduate and/or post-graduate photography education gives young photographers many of the creative and business tools they need to pursue a career in the photo industry. However there are some lessons that, for various reasons, student-photographers don’t get in school. While putting together the July Fine-Art issue of PDN, we reached out to 10 photographers who’ve graduated in the past few years to ask, “What lessons didn’t you learn in art school that have been important to your career?”

Posted on Monday, August 6, 2012 by Allison Byers

Predominantly raised in Las Cruces, New Mexico, Estela Hartley, 36, observed early on disparate communities coming together to develop a unique blend of Hispanic and American culture. As a student at The Illinois Institute of Art–Chicago, she combined her public health and design skills to revive VISioN, a student organization providing design students service learning opportunities with nonprofit organizations.

Posted on Monday, August 6, 2012 by Matthew Harrison Tedford

Elizabeth Dorbad and Ann Schnake, "Kunsthalle Fridericianum with Empanadas," 2012

Every five years the art world descends on Kassel, Germany, for Documenta. For 100 days, venues across the city present one of the world's largest and most prestigious art events to hundreds of thousands of visitors. The 2012 edition is curated by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev and features an all-star list of hundreds of international artists, from William Kentridge to Song Dong.

Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

(photo by Zach McCaffree)

A year ago Derek Weisberg (Ceramics 2005) moved to New York to take a full-time job at Greenwich House Pottery, where he is a studio technician and teacher. His art has been included in recent exhibitions at POW WOW Hawaii in Honolulu, the Northern Clay Center in Minneapolis, and Greenwich House Pottery.

Having recently returned from completing the Fountainhead Residency in Miami, he took a moment to give us the scoop on his current projects, life after graduation, and exactly how many jobs you should expect to work when you call yourself a full-time artist!

(Derek Weisberg on Flickr)

What is Greenwich House, and what exactly is your job there?

My job involves teaching a hand-building sculpture class and helping the ceramic studio function smoothly and properly. Greenwich House was founded in 1902 as a settlement house to help New York's immigrant population adjust to life in the U.S. Today they have various programs in social services, arts, and education that are open to the public.

What are you working on now in your personal work?

One current project is a group of canopic jars. The idea comes from ancient Egyptian burial practices and beliefs about the afterlife. I am taking this very old ritual and bringing it into the present by replacing the gods with portraits of rappers who have passed away. This series tests my "chops" as a sculptor, and deals with themes I am interested in such as life, death, the afterlife. It is also about a culture I have been involved in almost my whole life.