Monday, March 28, 2011

a work in progress

I'm in the process of finishing up an installation for this year's Young Contemporaries exhibition at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art. Below are some progress shots....

prepping the mold

Jarod and I are getting ready to pour some aluminum this week. We've been working (practically all semester) to get this mold ready. It's 4-part 1000 lb sodium silicate sand mold... it's a monster. Below you see the core on the left and the top part is on the right.

The interior of the mold gets coated with graphite, so the metal can flow smoothly and won't stick to the sand.

We have to use the forklift because of how ridiculously heavy each piece is.

Just as we were lowering the last piece of our mold in, it broke. We had a mini freak out, but have since figured out how to fix it. We're so close!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

teaching technique with edible materials

My edible materials class at Redux finished up this past week. We had a lot of fun, molding dough, carving melons, casting chocolate and building with pasta! These images are from our last class. The kid's made some pretty neat sculptures with pasta and hot glue!

Kate: 12 years old

Connor: 9 years old

Emily: 12 years old

Zoe: 13 years old

My plaster class starts this coming week. I believe I have 6 students this time, so it should be a blast!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


This past weekend was the big performance of "Collaborations: a dance concert." It turned out to be a really great show all-around. The piece I worked on, "Darkness/light," ended the show with a bang. I was wildly impressed with the lighting, the costuming, the choreography, and especially the dancers! Those girls were fearless! They climbed on and in and through my sculpture with such grace, despite the fact that they had only gotten to practice with the structures a small number of times.

I'm hoping to get some video clips soon, but for now I have some photos to share. These are shown in order of their appearance on stage. As you can see, the stage starts out dark, and the dancers are in silhouette. Next they move behind the screen (or "wave" as they like to call it), and gradually, the light comes up and the audience can see them full light.

Did I mention how incredibly awesome these girls are?!

thanks to Arianna Megaro for the photos!

Monday, March 21, 2011

2011 Young Contemporaries

at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art
Opening Reception on March 31st, 5-7 pm
on view through April 26th

It's that time again! Every spring the Halsey Institute at the College of Charleston hosts the Young Contemporaries exhibition, the school's annual juried student show. The juror this year was Amy Mackie, the Director of Visual Arts at the Contemporary Art Center in New Orleans. She spent all day saturday digging through the 400+ submissions, and finished with a batch of 60 selected works. Two of my sculptures were chosen this year, one of which is a large site-based installation that is yet to be built. The other is a piece I did in the fall called "Objectified." It should be a really interesting show, as a lot of exciting/different work was selected this year.

For more info on how the Young Contemporaries show works...

CofC Magazine

My friend Kristen Gehrman wrote a lovely article/profile on me for the Spring issue of the College of Charleston Magazine. It's wonderfully written and exudes personality. Definitely worth checking out! You can find the online version HERE
photo by Leslie McKellar

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Collaborations: a dance concert

This weekend will be the debut of a project I've been working on for the past few months. For part of this dance performance, centered upon the theme of collaboration, I have been working collaboratively with choreographer and CofC dance faculty, Gretchen McLaine, to develop an interactive sculpture/set for her dancers. The entire set is composed of three pieces... an object on which the dancers will climb (as seen in the image above), a screen behind which the dancers will be making shadows, and an overhead piece that will be flown in (mainly for visual effect).

It's been a truly collaborative process. My design was inspired by Gretchen's concept for the piece, which we've titled Darkness/Light, as well as my own aesthetic and interest in interaction. Gretchen's choreography was built upon the elements that I designed. The choreography is also designed with costuming and lighting in mind. When all the elements come together, it is quite an incredible production. Definitely worth checking out, if I do say so myself...
If you can't make it to the show this weekend, we will be performing an excerpt at Kulture Klash on April 9th... more on that to come!

Monday, March 14, 2011

marina abramović

I recently had the opportunity to hear/see Marina Abramović give a lecture in Savannah, GA. She was the headliner for SCAD's 2011 deFINE art festival, which showcased the work of a number of big-name artists like Andy Goldsworth, Do Ho Suh, and more.

Marina Abramović's lecture was on the topic of performance art, which is particularly fitting, as she describes herself as the "grandmother of performance art." Since the 70's, she's been paving the way for artists to come, exploring the relationship between performer and audience, the limits of the body, and the possibilities of the mind.

I typically don't have much of an attention span for videos, but Marina's performances are so mesmerizing, I could watch them over and over. They're so simple, yet so very profound. My favorites are those she did with her former partner/lover/collaborator, Ulay.

After hearing Marina Abramović speak, I feel as thoguh I've been much more attuned to existing elements of performance in my own work, as well as opportunities to come. As I think about the idea of the "object" in the things I create, I am challenged by Marina's implementation of the artist as object. She is her work.

She opened her lecture with a reading of her own "artist's manifesto," which included many phrases including but not limited to... (in no particular order)
  • an artist must not make himself an idol
  • an artist must not fall in love with another artist
  • an artist must be erotic
  • an artist must suffer
Hearing her manifesto made me feel as though I ought to write one for myself. Something to think about.