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Monday, December 3, 2012

Smell Like You Mean It

Here are some images from Karl Schwiesow's BFA show reception last week:

Karl himself, in piscatorial attire:

He walked up to one of his pieces, attached a small bellows, and began pumping with his foot.

Along the way to inflation, a few adjustments were made.

The crowd watched the emergence of a green silhouette.

Once the green silhouette was raised to its full stature, Karl produced a poem from his slicker, and read it (the title of this blog post is taken from the poem's concluding line).

The poem was returned to its pocket.

The performance's devolution was diligently recorded.

The bellows was used to deflate the inflatable.

Or perhaps the inflatable should simply be called the "deflatable" at this point.

And I'll leave you with a few more images from the show, both populated an abandoned.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Tim O'Brien at Sierra Nevada College

The book "The Things They Carried," by author and Vietnam Veteran Tim O'Brien, was chosen as a community read at Sierra Nevada College. This short video documents O'Brien's visit to the university, and nearby Incline High School. The video includes excerpts from an interview conducted by Jason Paladino, a student writer for "The Eagle's Eye," the college newspaper, and a story told by O'Brien after a public lecture and conversation with author and Iraq Veteran Brian Turner, director of Sierra Nevada College's MFA Writing Program. The video was shot and edited by SNC students Nick Cahill and Trevor Jackson, in collaboration with Associate Professor of Digital Art Chris Lanier.

Here's the full Eagle's Eye Interview as a streaming audio file:

The full audio of O'Brien's lecture:

And the conversation between O'Brien and Brian Turner:

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Video Practices:Assignment-2
From sound to image: Conjuring from music

Pick one song from the songs played.

Create a 3 to 4 minute video for the song that you choose.
a. create a storyboard (transitions-physical or FCP)
b. shot video footage
c. focus on lighting and camera distortion

Things to think about!! What or how is the viewer suppose to feel? Is this film narrative, abstract or conceptual.
The class' top picks!!
Diva Helmy
"Fix Up Look Sharp" Dizzee Rascal
Jake Divine "Bernie Days"
"Any Dub You Like" Easy Star All-Stars

Monday, October 15, 2012

"In the Valley of the Shadow of Death"

This is an interesting RadioLab interview with Errol Morris, "legendary fact hunting documentary sleuth."  Errol has investigated tirelessly at an attempt to uncover the truth about this famous Roger Fenton photograph.  In the end, does the truth matter?

Monday, October 8, 2012

Imagining a picture and its contents as a single point, Heath uses multiples to create an environment where we can see a single point grow. In this stop motion video, the images develop and build, all while the commentary keeps us grounded in our places.  We have to allow our minds to travel out on to the playa, but as we listen, introspection of what we are in this world, where we are in this world, and why we are in this world is brought into question.  These are our choices, this is Overlook.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Student Nick Cahill has shot and edited a couple travel videos worth sharing. Together, they make for a nice contrast in climates – the top video was shot in Nicaragua, the bottom in Alaska.

Nick has a video production company with fellow SNC student Trevor Jackson – MHMM Productions. Click the link to see more of their work.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Project Overlook Interview

Savannah Hoover of the Eagle's Eye posted an audio interview/slideshow with Russell Dudley and Logan Lape about their Overlook Project at Burning Man. It's very well put together, and can be found here:

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Tahoe gallery: Katie Lewis

Here's a short interview with Katie Lewis – her artist's talk is tomorrow night (9/6) at the Tahoe Gallery. Come by to see the finished work – the reception is 5-7.

Babs talks RAW: reno

This was posted on our facebook feed, but I didn't want the blog to miss out – a short interview with Alumni Babs Laukat about her work in a recent show in Reno, through RAW: Reno:

I was glad to hear her talk up the Prelinger Archive, a great resource for public domain footage, which I've used in tandem with a number of video and animation class projects.

A little promotion

Last semester, I ran a class that worked with students to create promotional materials for the art department - among them were some videos explaining what we do. Here's one, and I'll roll out more in the weeks to come. If you know any students who would make a good fit for the SNC art department, pass this along. I think it shows a good cross-section of the impressive work our students have been producing.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

48 hrs to go for Logan and Russell's Burning Man Kickstarter Project

Just two days (and as of this writing, about 50 bucks) to go for the Overlook Burning Man Project to reach its kickstarter goal. Here's some info on the project: Kickstarter link here: From the Kickstarter page: Conceptually the piece revolves around a simple idea. If you raise your feet at or past your original eye level then look into a periscope that is oriented down such that your view is identical to its original, you have dematerialized your body. Thus you have become a point. Once you have realized this perspective, your view is then activated with the sense that you could simultaneously be in the landscape you are viewing. (This makes a little more sense once you've watched the embedded video).

Thursday, June 14, 2012

A New Inhabitant of the Parking Lot

A 1958 Streamline trailer has made its home behind the art building recently. A joint purchase between the department, Tahoe Gallery and Student Gallery Club, the trailer is destined to become a mobile gallery. Work has already begun on the project and if you are in the area this summer and interested in lending a hand you can find us on Tuesday/Thursday afternoons out in the parking lot. The interior had previously been gutted, but there is a bit of cleaning to be done on the interior walls, buffing and polishing on the exterior, flooring to be laid and other little fun projects.

No new project is complete without a fiasco though, right? Luckily we got that one checked off the list early on. In transporting the trailer up from Reno, we had a small issue with some door hinges that sent a decently sized hunk of aluminum (yes, the door) flying through the air alongside Hwy 395. We were able to toss it into my car and to the amazement of all there was nearly no damage at all. Above is a nice shot of the doorless trailer parked in the meadows alongside Mt. Rose. Classy huh?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Green Man

Danny Kern directed a video that won honorable mention in Herman Miller's 2012 student video contest. The theme for the contest was "What Makes Your Campus Green?" Below, the green man will let you know:

Congrats to Glen's First Place Award

Congrats to Glen Cheriton, who won first place in Sierra Nevada College's second annual student symposium (and congrats to art major Jessica Hayworth too, who got third place – and to Troy Mott as well, who placed second). Here's a short interview with Glen:

Maurice Sendak 1928- 2012

Sadly Maurice Sendak died- best known probably for his book, 'Where the Wild Things Are'. He  has written and/or illustrated more than 100 books during his career. He was also a very charismatic and articulate when talking about his life and work. Posted are two interviews that played on National Public Radio. The first was in 2003 and delves into his younger memories which inform a lot of his writing for children. He has been described as transforming children's literature as he addressed the 'psychological intensity of growing up'. (2003 interview)
The second interview is from 2011. The interview initially sets out to talk about his latest and last book, Bumble-ardy but ends up in reverie. Just a warning, it's a tear jerker but worth while listening to. (2011 interview)

(Thanks Chris for introducing us to his interviews)

Oz blog

Bermagui is a small town (population 1500) on the south coast...that is, south of Sydney, Australia.  Seven hours south of Sydney, eight hours north of Melbourne, three hours east of Canberra. It is reasonably remote (it's my family's home). There is art. Surprisingly there is a small art community that is fighting to be thriving.

One of the places I have visited is Narek Galleries. The building was originally a church built in 1899 (that is old for Australian history) and is now a gallery that supports and displays established and emerging artists. Karen O'Cleary, the owner and curator, moved to the area, already established in the gallery world, with connections and an established clientele. She wanted to prove you can run a high quality gallery in a remote area.


She bought the space saying you need to own your space if you're going to make it as a gallery/ studio. Also, the road was about to be paved- travelling to the area was made easier. Tourists from Melbourne and Sydney were starting to make the trek. There was a group of artists practicing in the area. Reasons, she believed, that would support the venture.
Like all small towns keeping talent in the area is a problem. People typically are heading off into the wild blue yonder in search of opportunity. Karen, along with five or six interested art entrepreneurs got together and wanted to do something to lift the game of arts in the area- they created created the Living Artist Award.
The Living Artist Scholarship was set up to provide on going support for talented artists from the Far South Coast. The major objective of Living Artist is to provide opportunities for visual artists to develop excellence in their practices by providing mentorship, education, and financial and marketing support in a bid to retain them in the region whilst they work towards supporting themselves from their own art practice!
Approximately $30,000 is raised in the local community every two years. This is not done with grants or government assistance- it is purely with the assistance of other artists, donors, sponsors and volunteers.
The artist has 12-18 months of assistance and then has an 'outcome' event or show.
The artists who have received the award are ceramicist Poppy Benton, print maker Tanja Riese and painter Matt Jones.

Poppy Benton

Matt Jones
Tanja Reise
I'm inspired by the art community creating their own opportunities- worldwide.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Thomas Kinkade 1958-2012

Thomas Kinkade died in early April at age 54. 
You may know his work? 'Sentimental scenes of country gardens and pastoral landscapes in dewy morning light that were beloved by many but criticized by the art establishment.’
Reviled by the art establishment,  a kitschster without rival,  mall-art.... 

I don’t like Kinkade’s work- at all. However, I almost didn’t like it before I had even seen a single image due to classroom joke’s and derogatory references.( I also didn’t understand the references to Bob Ross either ). I would usually snort and nod in agreement and then write the name down so that I could look the person up that night on the internet. I hate the idea of disliking someone and their work intensely without, in Aussie terminology, giving them a fair go. Like a good critique. 
So I looked him up on the internet....
He was practically a local, born and raised in Placerville, CA. He studied at the University of California at Berkeley and the Art Centre College of Design in PasadenaWhen he was young he traveled by boxcar from California to New York with fellow artist, James Gurney, sketching the landscape along the way which they had published in 1982- “The Artist Guide to Sketching”. I looked it up and it seems it has become a bit of a collectible since his death. Amazon has it ranging from $499 to $950! 

The sketch book helped him land him a job creating background art for the animated film, ‘Fire and Ice' by by Ralph Bakshi and and Frank Frazetta. Bakshi wrote ‘Thomas Kinkade was for me at his very young age already a brilliant painter…. I gave him the job of painting backgrounds for my movie. He nailed it, which really was impossible for anyone else with no experience – but not for him.’  

283 Ralph Bakshi remembers Thomas Kinkade and his work on FIRE AND ICE

Kinkade left, Gurney right
Paul Chadwick, an old roommate from the Art Centre College also wrote recently “His frontier scenes, in the manner of John Stobart and his Bierstadt  influenced Yosemite paintings, were great.  Anybody repelled by his shining, cute cottages should reserve final judgment until they’ve seen these…the guy could paint....”.

I can’t find images of these paintings. However, he did paint under the ‘brush’ name of Robert Girrard (1984- 1989) for awhile, in order to to experiment with impressionism.

River Seine
Robert Girrard piece
Robert Girrard 
early self portrait

early work called 'Two Cats'
In the 1980s  Kinkade became a born-again Christian. The change coincided with a shift in his career path- he moved his focus to retail, not on the  traditional gallery system. He sold his work through a franchise of galleries, cable television home shopping networks, and eventually online. He made no apologies for commercializing the art.
Apparently a Kinkade picture hangs in one out of 20 American homes. His images are reproduced in books, on posters, canvas prints, hand-signed lithographs, collector’s plates, postcards, calendars, coffee mugs, puzzles, snoglobes, home furnishings and, the pièce de résistance,  a gated community in Vallejo!
Sales for his works and associated products were reported to have reached $100 million annually.


So why was (and is) he so popular?????
Perhaps the most succinct summation I have found was from the Daily Beast- 'He captures, with chilling accuracy, a strangely American combination of blinkered nostalgia, blind complacency, and a ferocious resistance to change. And then he packages and sells that vision within a no-holds-barred consumerist culture that you wouldn’t think compatible with pictures of commerce-free townships twinkling by snow light.'
In the past couple of years Kinkade has had dubious business dealings, galleries have declared bankruptcy and people have gone unpaid. 
Knowing more does not change the fact that I find his work insipid....I do wonder though, if I hit upon a 'winning formula' would I pursue it so formidably?

Monday, April 30, 2012

Annual Student Exhibition: With Guest Juror David Horvitz

It is time again for the annual student show here at SNC, and this year our guest juror is David Horvitz. David is a Brooklyn-based water color painter, photographer, and performance artist. He is known for his DIY instructional projects, including some work on the Wikipedia website.

Along with the student work displayed in the gallery, David has been working on his own project to collaborate with those works.  A piece from each artist had been taken around the Lake Tahoe area and photographed somewhere. The coordinates of the location in which the photo was taken had been noted and are plotted on a map of the lake. You can view this on the Flickr page where they have been geo-tagged here.

When walking into the gallery one would easily notice that it's not in any sort of a "typical" set-up. There are images hanging from the ceiling, ceramic pieces on the floor, and even a photograph displayed outside the gallery itself. The reason for this being that the work was placed in a similar way to the location in which the work was taken to be photographed. Almost as if the map of Tahoe were super-imposed onto the gallery floor.

During the talk David was asked how he went about jurying the show and if his choices of letting some pieces in affected other pieces that got in. David was also asked about his own work and how social media can play into it. A lot of his projects happen online and this is also how he does his advertising and spreads the word about his work.

To view some of the projects he shared with us click here: Pinocchio video, Bas Jan Ader film241543903.

To see David's website click here and Wikipedia page click here.

Make sure to stop by and see the work in, and around, the gallery! Work will be up through graduation.