Posts filed under ‘Visual Art’

Review of Visual Art’s “The End of Year Show”

Final Visual Art show of the year at Parks Exhibition Center

After a year of exciting shows,  Parks Exhibition Center closed with “The End of the Year Show”. The exhibition showcased some of the great projects, works and installations by students of the Visual Art Department.

Parks Exhibition manager Mallory Cremin said “a couple projects really stand out. Jessica Cheng wanted to try an installation which expanded the illusion of broken space she was trying to evoke in her painting. She transformed the gallery corner with black tape, and occasional boards, to make the space look alternately empty and coming out.

Detail of Jessica’s installation

Another exceptional student project was the 13 foot long drawing of an imaginary space by Sofia Villena-Araya. The graphite drawing took dozens if not hundreds of hours to create.”

The past year at Parks included two visiting artist shows – Kim Abeles & an Alumni Visual Art Show.  In the fall, highlights from the career of Kim Abeles were featured in the gallery space. Included in the exhibit were the Smog Collector Series, the Thunder of Waters video wall,  Paper Person and Frankenstein’s Heart.  The last project was expanded in a workshop with the students, where they examined their own identity, creating individual “records” and combining parts of these into a group “heart”.  The workshop was funded by an AEL Grant, giving the students an opportunity for closer dialogue with an established successful Los Angeles artist.


At the beginning of the Spring Semester Parks’ manager Mallory Cremin curated and hosted an exhibition of Visual Art by Idyllwild Arts Alumni. Participating artists ranged from Shepard Fairey ‘88, who exhibited an example of the Obama HOPE poster and other assorted works, a painting by Monica Lundy ‘91, iron sculpture by Hawkeye Glenn ‘87 and works by many other alumni. The exhibition received regional and local media coverage and the school was honored to have Shepard speak. Shepard gave a powerpoint presentation to the community about his experience as a student at Idyllwild Arts and how a field trip he took as a student inspired the entire “OBEY” campaign.

In addition to these shows the Exhibition Center held a faculty show, student theme show, a junior show, and a series of senior shows in the spring. Congratulations to all of the Visual Art students and their fabulous faculty.

June 11, 2012 at 4:53 pm Leave a comment

Question & Answer with Three IAA Graduating Seniors

Three Idyllwild Arts seniors from three different majors took time to respond to a few questions about their experience here at Idyllwild. They are:

Each of these students has had an incredibly productive time at Idyllwld Arts Academy having served as student leaders, good academic students and emerged as serious artists in their own right. Their responses provide insight into each of their experiences and how Idyllwild Arts has affected their growth as artists, individuals and set them up for their future college/conservatory education.

1. Tell me about your experience at IAA? How has it affected you as an artist, dancer, performer or musician?

Lani: Yes, my experience at Idyllwild Arts Academy has affected me as a dancer. I’ve discovered a pathway to a future that I would not have imagined in another environment, such as public schooling. My biggest issue while attending Public school and dancing at a small studio was to find the balance between the two. I could not simply be with friends from school because my routine would be to finish homework and attend afternoon dance classes right when school was let out. Here, I have made extremely close friends, who are interested and passionate about art, like me. The teachers are also very compelling and motivating. With this type of support I am still driven to make dancing a career. My passion and desire for this to happen has only increased in the time I have been here. In public school it seemed like a distant dream, here at IAA a possible reality.

Xiao Fan: This was my first time studying at a boarding school and it took me a period of adjustment to get used to living with my friends and faculty. Today I feel pretty close to school. Before, I went to school from 8-12 in the morning. Here I found myself living at school and that made a huge difference as I could go and talk to the faculty when I had questions or needed additional help. I also developed friendships with classmates & friends. I know everyone on campus. I was open to meeting new students and a new culture. Early on I accepted the opportunity presented by a boarding school and learned to accept everyone for who they are.

As a musician I’ve played in the orchestra and chamber music that has helped build my community and has been beneficial. In the past, I used to play as a soloist and since coming I’ve mellowed and enjoy working with other students. I’ve changed as a person too. Before coming here I was arrogant and after coming here I feel that I’m part of the community. I try to learn from those around me.

Vita: I came to IAA as a freshman in the Visual Art program four years ago. This school contains really different elements and resources that a public school or normal private school lacked. Throughout these four years of studying in IAA, I have realized that the school really has made art more accessible to students. Teachers are willing to extend a student’s potential as an artist and are never reluctant to answer students’ questions. Moreover, the flexibility teachers perform and the diverse assignment teachers composed has always, or constantly, expanded my imagination to a higher level, which I really appreciated.

2. What’s been the most critical lesson that you’ve learned as a student? Is it something in the academics or the arts?

Lani: Being a student here is an experience in itself, to be surrounded by other students with the same or more of a drive and passion. Every student here is unique; they have their own story to tell and background that they come from. What we all have in common is maturity. I am learning how to live on my own as a surviving artist. But, this school has taught me that I am not alone. I’ve got Allison Leggett and Gerard Minaya, also devoted dance majors. We help each other in tougher times and celebrate in worthy times. They are family to me. The Idyllwild Arts community is a family, but with smaller and tightly knit families within. I’ve learned this family and community of artists fuels and sustains my dreams.

Xiao Fan: I’ve learned a lot about time management. At boarding school you have to learn how to use your time efficiently and how to be independent. There are no parents to make you do your homework. You have to learn to take responsibility for yourself. Doing the college process in particular made me more successful since I had to do it on my own.

Vita: Learning to be humble and communicative is the most critical lesson I got after four years at IAA. At first I always had an ego about how outstanding my skills were in art. Therefore there was always conflict between some art teachers and myself when the teachers would disagree with my way of producing works. After repeatedly correcting and redressing my arrogance through teachers’ advice, I find things became easier to process and a new perspective was revealed through that communication.

3. Where have you been accepted and where are you planning to attend college/university/conservatory or art school? How did Idyllwild Arts education prepare you for the college audition/application process?

Lani: I will be attending Dominican University of California. I am joining their Dance BFA program in collaboration with Alonzo King’s Ballet Company, in San Francisco. Jonathan Sharp suggested the school to me last year. I auditioned for the summer program and attend for four weeks. It was a completely new experience to me and my dance history. So I danced to my potential and was invited to the BFA program. This is my next path I choose and that Idyllwild Arts has helped me find. I was accepted into LMU, CSLB, Adelphi, Goucher, and Fordham (on the wait list). IAA has supported my planning and independence skills; college application was an extenuation of this. I always knew there was someone to coach me when needed.

Xiao Fan: I’ve been accepted to New England Conservatory (NEC), Cleveland, Manhattan, Boston Conservatory, and San Francisco Conservatory. I’m going to attend NEC next year. As a string player they have the best string program in the nation and I like the student to teacher ratio. I’ll be studying with Masuko Ushioda who is a very accomplished musician. I have to credit the ESL program which really helped me with my TOEFL score and the work that Todor Pelev, my violin teacher gave me was very instrumental in my gaining a position at NEC. Playing in the orchestra also gave me a lot of inspiration. I’ve played with many wonderful violinists here and they’ve all served as inspiration to me.

Vita: I have honorably been accepted by RPI, MICA, SVA, Pratt Institute, and the Cooper Union. I will be attending the Cooper Union as an architecture undergraduate. During the time when I was arranging my portfolio my art teachers have given me plenty of advice and methods in order to make my work become more effective and distinguished. They also set up several reviews to “push” students to speak up and help students integrate their ideas in preparation of facing real college interviewers.

May 11, 2012 at 11:19 am Leave a comment

Past to Present – Alumni Visual Art Show & Opening Reception

Alumni Visual Art Show
In addition to Shepard Fairey, featured artists include Monica Lundy, who is making waves in Northern California with her inmate portraits on linen. Nate Lowman, currently shredding the gallery scene in NYC, will lend one of his bullet holes. Artists Paul Waddell, Arianna Sikorski, Jiwon Yoon, Youree Jin, Laurel Sparks, Kaelen Green and Richelle Gribble will exhibit, while artist books by Alison Yates, Sung Yun Yang and Erin Latimer invite your hand.

In the field of photography, Jovielle Gers will show a few images from her time working at Naropa, including one of the Dalai Lama. Greg Jensen is an Art Director who documented the fall and aftermath at Ground Zero.

Hawkeye Glenn is using his sculptor skills in metal and design to make functional fixtures. Jonathan Taube and Tada Kono are playing with politics and prickly pears, Krista Peters is creating portraits in brass, and Daniel Gray will make a site-specific installation. CJ Dunn has lettered the gallery with his design.

Past to Present: the Idyllwild Arts Alumni Show opens February 10, 2012, running through March 3, in Parks Exhibition Center on the Idyllwild Arts Campus. For more information see the Facebook Page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Idyllwild-Arts-Parks-Exhibition-Center or call the gallery (951) 659-2171 x2251.

February 6, 2012 at 2:26 pm Leave a comment

Alumnus Shepard Fairey ‘88 Street Artist, Illustrator & Graphic Designer Gives Guest Artist Lecture

(January 30, 2012) Idyllwild Arts is honored to host artist Shepard Fairey, class of 1988; creator of works such as the iconic Obama HOPE poster and OBEY street art, and a featured subject of the acclaimed 2010 documentary “Exit Through the Gift Shop.” Mr. Fairey has distinguished himself as graphic designer, illustrator and street artist, as well as a savvy guerilla marketer. This is Shepard’s first time to speak to students of the school he attended in its earliest years.

Shepard will give an artist lecture on Friday, February 10 at 3:30 pm in the Idyllwild Arts Foundation Theatre on the campus of Idyllwild Arts. The event is free and open to the public, with limited seating. His artwork will also be included in the Visual Art Alumni Show that opens the same evening in Parks Exhibition Center.

When Shepard graduated from Idyllwild Arts Academy in 1988, he was part of only the second graduating class. Carolyn Lowman, wife of Bill Lowman—the founding head of the academy—describes Shepard as “a breath of fresh air.” He brought his skateboard with him to Idyllwild, inspiring the Lowman’s to build a half-pipe in their front yard for him and their young son, Nate. Upon graduation Shepard enrolled at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) where he completed his education.

Bringing alumni back to Idyllwild Arts to share their memories, experiences and perspectives with students is an active part of the academy’s education experience. Idyllwild Arts strives to build a student experience that not only includes a strong arts and academic education, but also gives them tools to excel upon graduation. Sidney Morgan, a senior Visual Art major said “I am excited to see an alumni that is not only making a decent living with his art, but making a life with his art as well. “

Earlier this year, Idyllwild Arts hosted alumnus Liang Wang, principal oboe of the New York Philharmonic. Mr. Wang worked closely with the music students and performed an oboe concerto with the orchestra. More alumni from all areas of the arts will return throughout the Spring Semester to address seniors in their Life Skills class. This program, managed by the Arts Enterprise Laboratory (AEL), recruits alumni to speak about their post-Idyllwild Arts education and careers.

February 1, 2012 at 12:14 pm Leave a comment

What do poultry skin, electron microscopes, cedar logs and silk chamise have in common?

From Mallory Cremin, Parks Exhibition Center Manager

What do poultry skin, electron microscopes, cedar logs and silk chamise have in common?  The current show at Parks Exhibition Center includes a wide range of media, photography, sculpture, video, graphic arts, but the conceptual line is surprisingly tightly woven.  The show is a fifteen year survey of work by Mary Beth Heffernan, a southern California artist, professor at Occidental College.  She had shown at Idyllwild Arts 18 years ago, and then it was photos printed on rabbit skins.  The theme of skin continues.

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As you enter the gallery, to your left is a collection of objects on the wall, directly transported from the artists studio.  This wall of inspiration includes prosthetic teeth, deflated leather punching bag, dolls eyes as well as one of the artists sketch books.  Ms. Heffernan has many sketches of the drapery on Christ from Renaissance paintings in major museums.  These sketches were then carefully reconstructed in poultry skin and meat, photographed in large format Black and White, and enlarged to 20” x 24” Silver Gelatin prints.  The flowing skin-fabric appears blown against the flesh of the man, but the form ends with the ‘fabric’.

The turbulence of motion ends at the wall beyond with a Splat!  Red lines radiate and drip from a tangled center.  Only on close examination does the viewer see that the lines are distorted text.  At a certain angle, you can read ‘smile’.  The anamorphic projection is inspired by Holbein’s secret skull in his painting from 1553.  The yellow smiley face is a more contemporary loaded icon, made darker by nature of the red color and violence.

The  smile radiates, or projects the viewer onward to a series of color photographs of the tattooed arms and torsos of soldiers from Twentynine Palms Military Base.  The freshly tattooed images memorialize the names of comrades who died in combat.  The images are raw and poignant, one is actually weeping blood.

The show gets closer to home here, with a leather chair and its farsed companion.  The second chair has been reconstituted to elongate the legs and add body above.  A cut cedar log has sliced sides onto which the legs are attached.  The living room is coming back to life as a more cultured nature.  Next to the animated log is a suit/dress, more an apparition than actual clothing.  The suit has much of the fabric cut away, keeping substance only where the seams are, and a wispy dress of ethereal silk hangs wear the body would be.  The combination refernces an idea that you still reside within me, loved ones both present and passed away.  The combination also plays with the idea of many other dicotomies, opposites existing inside each other.

Cutting away layers is the subject of the video  installation, where an electron microscope continuously scans closer and closer, magnifying the edge of the artists kitchen knife.  Is this tool of science revealing the truth about the sharp surface?  Or does the close examination just reveal absence.

And then there are the knives.

Parks Exhibition Center hours are Monday to Friday, 10 am to 5 pm, or by appointment.
The Mary Beth Heffernan exhibit continues until March 4th, 2011.

February 8, 2011 at 2:20 pm 1 comment

Parks Exhibition Center of Idyllwild Arts; Faculty Show

Today’s blog is from Parks Exhibition Center Manager Mallory Cremin…

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Currently on display until October 8th at the Parks Gallery is the 2010
Visual Art Faculty Show.  The wide variety of materials and subject matter
makes this show one not to miss.  On display is new artwork by the current
Visual Art Faculty including Rob Rutherford, Eric Metzler, David Reid-Marr, Paul Waddell, Melissa Wilson, Mallory Cremin, Terry Rothrock, Gerald Clarke, Steve Hudson, Youree Jin, and Erich Bollmann.

Entering the gallery, this first work on the left are three delicate wall
sculptures by Eric Metzler.  They are poetic combinations of vulnerable
organic elements like eggshells and flower petals, with industrial waste, a
shredded tire part, or wire numbers.  Eric’s aesthetic for line and balance
in 3-D work ties in with the visual quality also evident in his photographic
work.

The next piece is “Shoe Emporium” by Rob Rutherford, which looks like a shoe
graveyard, with the miscellaneous toes and heels pointing out like
tombstones.  The base is a shelf with stripes of candy colors, into which the shoes disappear.  The surreal effect is a comical cross of shoe store and chainsaw massacre. Rob’s humorous work continues in the other two pieces on display.  “Arch” looks like a column of books, which are falling, starting with larger books at its base, continuing with the ten-foot tall stack curving toward the wall to meet a basketball.  Are the books pressing the basketball against the wall? Was the effort a slam-dunk? The third piece by Rob Rutherford is “Northern Hemisphere”, where the southern half of a globe is full of dirt, out of which is growing live grass.  The grow light suspended above suggests global warming, but the artist talks about how all our lawn seeds are imported from the southern hemisphere.

In the center of the gallery is a large figure of a boar, muscular, moving, with large tusks protruding by its snout like horns, covered with black
thistle seeds.  The beast by David Reid-Marr, has six glowing bulbs for teats under the dormant dark mass of seed. The effect is a fantastic contrast of light and dark, large and small.


Another compelling piece by David Reid-Marr is “Jacob Wrestling the Angel”.  The convoluted forms are jailed in the inviting strands of a monofilament shower.


A new series of hand-thrown ceramics by Terry Rothrock show his exquisite craftsmanship, and his interest  in formal references, first to the shapes of human heads in “Profiles of Tibet”,  secondly in sea creatures, with “the squid and the octopus”.

In the center of the gallery a ridge of sand rises from the floor and supports a series of photos on tiles by Melissa Wilson. The images show her daughter, in the early cycles of life.

The show includes a monumental new painting of a storm cloud over mountains by Steve Hudson. The title “All Our Fallen Have Fallen in Rain” is inspired by many loved ones who have passed on recently, specifically Michael Kabotie and the Hopi traditional belief that spirits of our dead come back as rain to nourish the earth.

There are two large expressive paintings by Paul Waddell, “Things Fall Apart, Twice or More”.  The works pair mundane objects like a laundry basket or bedside table, with organic abstract elements, which seem to threaten the health of the subject. Three small drawings by Erich Bollman reveal an economy of line but not expression.

A new teacher, and alumna, Youree Jin has two works which show her interest in the careful balance of things.

Two new photographs by Mallory Cremin show a large melting mass of water the shape of Greenland, enticing the viewer with beautiful light refractions and juxtapositions of textures.  Finally, the show concludes with two potent modern digital photo ‘Glyphs’ on canvas by Gerald Clark, continuing his
playful theme of juxtaposing historically Native American forms with modern culture.

September 29, 2010 at 1:57 pm Leave a comment


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