Introduction to Photography 1

Post your comments, reviews and critiques below. As stated in the course syllabus, reviews should be at least one paragraph in length (approx 250 words) and follow the general guidelines presented in course handouts, including: Talking and Writing about Art.

Again, this format is informal and the comments should be brief and concise. This is not a space for lengthy discourse or academic writing. I expect you to write as you would speak in class and elaborate beyond “I like…” or “, (the work) is awesome”. Be descriptive and specific in response to both the formal and conceptual elements of the work(s).



33 Responses to Introduction to Photography 1

  1. Jessica Trout says:

    “Harsh Realities: The Art of Stop Motion”, the first Rowan gallery which I attended, drew me in with it’s arrangement of stop motion videos. It included various elements of clay puppets and toys. Though the idea of dolls, toys, and puppets normally comes off as child-like and enchanting, the images in these videos often came across as somewhat creepy and mysterious. I found Allison Schulnik’s “Mound” to be exceptionally creepy, yet I couldn’t help but continue to watch. The way in which the characters, which were at times similar to clowns and gnomes, melted away and became something new was incredibly interesting. I found the ending with the dancing girls with their heads pointed towards the ground to be strange, and yet it also seemed to draw me in. The way which it was put together with the song “It’s Raining Today” fit well. Overall, I found this piece to be the most visually pleasing of all the videos in the gallery.

  2. Jessica Trout says:

    “Constructs”, the faculty show at the Rowan University gallery brought together works created by the faculty members which were all very different from one another. It is interesting to see how they were able to bring together such different pieces in a way which allowed each to work well together without clashing. The placement of the ceramic pottery seemed to pull me towards to back section of the gallery. The color scheme of the pottery also went well with the paintings they were placed in front of. I found Daniel Chard’s “Feeding Shed” to be beautifully painted. His use of color as well as the intricate details of the landscape scene appealed to me. The presentation of Carol Schottenfeld’s “Wretched Soul” could have been improved. The way in which the book was displayed didn’t allow her hard work to be properly shown. The pages which were very close to one another hid the great details in which she used on each of the pages through the book.

  3. Jessica Trout says:

    The “Movility: Movis Moves Meaning” exhibition at Rowan University included works of art which put a new spin on various concepts. I found the theme of the exhibition interesting as it tied all of the pieces together. John Goodyear’s triptych of acrylic paintings on canvas stood out to me as he mixed together well known pieces from various times in history. For example, in “Composition in Light Blue and Green (after Delacroix and Manet”, Goodyear layers one well known Delacroix painting with one by Manet. I found it interesting how by layering both images you are able to see two different perspectives of two individuals from the same period. However, the overlapping of the paintings in solid colors caused the actual images to be somewhat challenging to decipher. I found Eve Ingall’s “A New Chiaroscuro” to be the most visually pleasing of all of the pieces in the gallery. The combination of different mediums overlapping pulled me in. Though from afar it is somewhat difficult to realize what is being depicted in the piece, after reading the description, the pelicans from the Gulf of Mexico are easily spotted.

  4. helen says:

    Prom: Photographs by Mary Ellen Mark
    July 1, 2012 – October 28, 2012
    I thought this show at the Perleman Building was amazing! Approximately 60 black and white prints were included in this exhibit that covered 13 high schools from various states during the years of 2006-2009. As we discussed in class Mary Ellen Mark uses the rare 20×24″ Poloroid Land camera. I’m not sure how many of you have seen an actual picture of this camera but Im sure you can guesstimate by the size of the prints how large this camera actually is. If not its HUGE,bigger than the photographer herself. The layout was clean, simple and well lit. I enjoyed taking my time looking at each photo ,seeing the diffrences between each person,the simularities and making up my own stories.Seeing this show brought back the memories of my own proms and where my mind set was during those years. I laugh now, thinking I was 17 years old,young and excited about my life and the interesting prospects of the night at hand. I wasnt thinking about college or saving the world I was just having fun like most of the people caught in the flash of Mark’s camera. I feel the video by her husband was a great asset to the exhibit because after looking at all those stills it was touching to see the people and their stores come to life.

  5. Jessica Trout says:

    I found that the Mary Ellen Mark “Prom” exhibition was well organized and put together. The lighting as well as the simple white and gray paint on the walls allowed your eyes to be pulled towards the pictures without any distractions. The photos themselves are 24 by 20 inch black and white prints which were taken using a Polaroid land camera. I found her use of this large style Polaroid to be very intriguing. As she most likely had a limited number of shots she could take of each student, her technique must have been very precise. This makes me appreciate her photos even more as it can sometimes be challenging to get a perfect shot each and every time. Each of the photos were taken between 2006 and 2009 at one of 13 different high school proms across the country. In each of the photos, the students are shown either alone or in a group. While most of the students are staring towards the viewer with a serious disposition, some are shown smiling and showing a bit more of their personality. It appears that Mark chose specific schools with varying backgrounds, ethnicities, and lifestyles as to show the differences of each of the students throughout the country. It seems that Mark appreciates and accentuates these differences. Though I enjoyed Mark’s images, I enjoyed Martin Bell’s video interviews even more. After looking at Marks’ prints, watching the video gave more of an incite of the students’ personalities and character. Overall, I found the “Prom” exhibition to be aesthetically pleasing, unique, and intriguing.

  6. helen says:

    Constructs: Rowan University Studio Faculty 2012
    November 17 – December 20, 2012

    I sadly missed the opening reception of this exhibit,and although I caught it rather late I couldnt get over how interesting it was to see the variations of peices submitted. During my time here at Rowan I have had the oppourtunity to work alongside many of the professors and adjuncts represented in the show and seeing their personal works helps me remember that our faculty are artists too. My initial impression was that the layout and lights were very complimentary of the works diplayed. I loved seeing Skeff’s giant ceramic peice front and center. I could just be biased due to my 3 classes spent covered in clay, but I have watched him tedeously construct these huge vase like sculptures with their hidden caverns and wonderous texturized glazing techniques.I just find them amazing! After walking around the exhibit I found that once behind that inital main wall of the exhibt I felt like I was in a tight maze . Work seemed crammed in some spaces and not in others,I would have liked to see more flow to the exhibit. I wished I had written more extensive notes because I wanted to write about Nancy’s illustrations. I had her for figure drawing, so Im used to seeing black and white,charcoal against grey paper not bright colors and witty sarcasm that I found when looking at her peices. I can’t get over the talent that was on display in gallery ,made me feel better to see anothe side of the people who grade us.

  7. helen says:

    Harsh Realities
    September 4 – October 6, 2012
    When I was a kid I wanted to create my own stop animation movie so I was looking forward to seeing this exhibit. I cant say that I overly enjoyed what I saw as far as set up and display of particular features,but after a lengthy background discussion I came to understand why it had to be the way it was presented. After learning more I realised that currating shows is not all about just sticking a picture on a wall and calling it finished. Sometimes space limitations, variations of peices or an artist’s vision can dictate the composition of the exhibition. Most peices had such drastic diffrences in concept, design and content that it was necessary to hang these heavy cloth partitians from the ceilings creating small enclosed spaces which also helped to encapsulate what would be competing sound tracks. I enjoy seeing the process involved no matter how tedious so displaying individual stills was quite a fascinating feature.The most intensive film for me had to be Allison Schulnik’s “Mound”. Being exactly what the title suggests ,she molds these macabe images that fold into one another and dance in a very timed rythmn. I found it very creepy when watched along with the soundtrack filled with weird disembodied sounds and haunting beats.

  8. helen says:

    Movility: Movis Moves Meaning
    October 23 – November 17, 2012
    MOVIS, is a collaborative group of professional artists that were challanged with the task of creating an exhibition that responded to the concepts of motion and movement. I found this exhibit to be an interesting transition from the previous exhibit Harsh Realities that ran in September and focused on stop animation. My first thoughts when entering the exhibit were regarding the nature of The space itself. I found the room to be much less oppressive without all the black draping and small veiwing “rooms” giving you the sense of a welcoming invitation to move about the work. There were a few peices that were just hanging layers of cloth with either cut outs or sprayed inks which I really see how they related to the theme of the show. However, meeting some of the artists during the opening reception and listening to them decribe their take on mobility or movement helped me see the concepts behind their work and in essence allowed me a greater understanding and appreciation.Being a crafter and spending many a hour crocheting away I really enjoyed,Marsha Levin-Rojer’s “Clouds”,which was knitted fishing wire with attached black beads in the shape of an looming cloud.

  9. Stephanie Gerhard says:

    The “Constructs” gallery exhibition was my first time viewing work from the faculty of the Art Department at Rowan University. The quality of the work seen from the faculty members was simply stunning. The first piece I noticed was the beautiful glass sculpture created by adjunct Professor Efrein. This sculpture was a smart starting piece for this exhibition, because it captured the beauty of other works to come. However, I do wish that this easily breakable sculpture piece was more protected, instead of just laid out on the floor.
    I felt that the show was extremely beautiful overall, but the layout needed some work. Most of the work was crammed into a tight space, and I felt as if I couldn’t enjoy viewing one piece by itself without having he influence of others around it. Professor Thwing’s video installation was thrust to fit in with the other works on the walls, which didn’t quite fit. The wall space is better suited for people to keep moving along the walls, instead of stopping to view the video. I felt as if the video installation would have fit better if it were placed in the back of the room, perhaps with a chair for viewing.
    It was difficult to view the bookwork done by Professor Schottenfeld because of the glass protection case covering it. There were many small details to be seen, but our views were limited because of the glass case. I also found a similar challenge while viewing Professor Jill Gower’s metal pieces, because the three cases were very close to the wall, and it was hard to get a full look at all sides of the metals. I also felt as if all of the ceramic pieces should have been grouped together in the back of the room, to fit more of the theme. The work was beautiful, but given the space of the gallery, it seemed like a difficult challenge to accommodate each of the works.

  10. Stephanie Gerhard says:

    At first, I did not think much about Mary Ellen Mark’s exhibition, “Prom”. It wasn’t until after looking at her work that I thought about the deeper meaning behind it. When I walked into the gallery, I immediately saw an elegant collection of black and white photographs of young prom goers, collected from multiple years of documentation. I saw a narrow view of about 25 shots of high school children. Each photograph tells its own unique narrative. Some photographs depict couples in standard, traditional poses, while others are more carefree. Most are contrived or stylized.
    It was very easy to just look at the photographs for what they were; pictures of kids posing at the prom. I had to think about the fact that Mark had a bigger vision for her work. She chose to incorporate the hard edge of exploitation. Some could argue that these children, who have put themselves out for the world to see including some of their names and location, are exploiting themselves to the world. Others could argue that they are just kids, posing for any other prom picture. However, she also managed to capture them in the most climatic moment of their high school life: prom. It captures their beauty, youthfulness, naivety, and unknown priorities.
    To me, photography always conveys a bigger picture than what is portrays. I think that Mark intentionally sought out the most interesting spectrum of students that she could find, and exploited them to the public. Many of the photographs also conformed to standard stereotypes, but the types that were represented were the only types that Mark would have wanted to show. The public will judge, which in turn creates these students to become vulnerable. Different emotions and different perceptions of what beauty is are also contrived. Some of these kids might not even realize that they are putting themselves out there. Others might argue that “exploit” might be too harsh of a word for this specific show.
    In contrast to the pristine, crisp photographs, a video is shown interviewing the young prom kids in the photographs. The video seems to be unprofessional, and pixilated. I think that the video gives the viewer a background story about the prom people in the photograph. The tonal quality of the photos are sharp, while the video is colored and pixilated. I am uncertain whether this was intentional or not. However, I do find these two differences to give a nice contrast to the show. In case you were wondering more about the people in the photograph, the 30-minute clip fleshes out the personalities of the characters.
    The theme of nostalgia could also definitely be a major theme of the show. Seeing pictures of kids at their prom could make one think of their own prom, and reminisce about those days. Others who have yet to experience prom could be reminded of the important event in their upcoming future. For some reason, I did not think of my prom when I saw this exhibition, most likely because I could not relate to most of the people in the pictures.
    I think that Mark did a good job trying to capture special parts of life that could be interesting to most of the population. She managed to capture beauty in each photograph, and the beauty of their relationships. I think that she tackled the subject of “prom” because the subject has an edge and she can give viewers a different perspective about the actual event of prom. She manages to successfully refute the idea of beauty, and questions the way society views beauty.

  11. Stephanie Gerhard says:

    “Harsh Realities” is an exhibit showcasing the talents of contemporary animators and their stop motion works. One of the works that intrigued me the most was the animation by Allison Schulnik, named “Mound.” She takes old school animation to the next level with her brilliant clay work. Upon entering the gallery, I was instantly drawn to the wide screen display of the animation. The mood, mysterious yet calming, grabbed my attention. At first I was confused when I saw morphing clay figures, and witch-like creatures animated to a cheerful song. I had to watch the film several times before I could make sense of what was occurring. This short 4 minute 20 second film depicts these blobby, clay forms swirling with colors, dancing, gesturing, and constantly changing into other bulbous bodies. I appreciated the fact that Schulnik perfectly crafted these figures to be imperfect, because I could see the fingerprints and the looseness of the figure in the work. I loved the variation in the forms of the characters. Some of the clay bodies have gaunt, grotesque faces and deep holes for eyes; others are clown-like. Mostly every creature is quite ghoulish looking, which gives the film an eerie quality. Contrasting to this eeriness, the music played throughout the film, “It’s Raining Today” gives the animated characters a sort of innocence, and allows the viewer to interpret the story any way that they wish. I was lost in the lush, action-filled swirling and morphing of the clay characters, and it can be hard to understand the overall mysterious theme of the work. By designing the background of the film to be uninteresting and mostly pale and white in color, all I could focus on was the changing clay. Schulnik suggests, through the actions of the figures, that they are primarily encompassed with the theme of change, and how they relate to it. Most of the forms morphed into sad, almost melancholy faces, then squished into a smile in the next frame. The figures interacted with each other, touching, holding hands, and even melting into each other. Overall, this was an extremely interesting stop motion, and I have never seen anything like it.

  12. Stephanie Gerhard says:

    The core review show was an exhibition of all of the best student works submitted through the Core Review process, at the beginning of the semester. One of the works that was interesting to view was student Christine Sorokac’s representational drawing of a building scene, done with black and gray marker. I felt drawn to this work because it was beautifully and simplistically rendered. Using only a few tones, she was able to successfully create the illusion of space and accurately represent the scene she was looking at. I enjoyed the push and pull of the black and whites in the drawing, and how she was able to play the two mid-tone colors off of one another. She uses bold, consistent strokes to enhance the rigid, clean structure of the building and street. I also love how the view of the scene is on an angle, which in turn makes the composition more interesting, and it allows our eyes to flow through the entire composition from beginning to end. I also enjoy the fact that she worked the entire picture plane, utilizing every aspect of it to get the final result that she wanted.

  13. Tyler Cheli says:

    The exhibit “Constructs” will definitely be one of the shows this year I will never forget. Not only did I get to see some of my professors amazing work, but I also got to experience a piece of art work shattering. Sadly enough this was one of my favorite pieces, so I am glad I got to see it. This piece was entitled, “Strain, Fractured, Cracked,” by Jenna H. Efrein. It was one of the first pieces that you see when walking in to the exhibit and it complimented the introduction on the wall telling about the show. The light created a shadow that made the figure look like it was melting away, giving it a very ominous sad look. The water droplet shapes on the floor reflected the light and overall I don’t think the piece could have been placed in any other area. Also, I liked that this piece was in the front because it gave good advertisment for the new glass working studio class. Being fairly new, I did not know much about it and seeing this piece made me want to take the class. My eye was then drawn to the Gower’s work. While Jill Gower’s jewelry is always beautifully executed my eye quickly went to “Bear Sconce” by Jill’s husband Joseph Gower. This piece was so modern and masculine looking I believe it was cleverly thought out that it was put together with something as feminine as jewelry. I found myself saying multiple times that I could see this sculpture in my own house. It was such an original take on the typical mounting of an animal head on a wall that it made me laugh. Collectively throughout the exhibit room, I would have to say that the Gower’s corner was my favorite area of the museum. Next I moved to one of my favorite professors works, Herb Appelson. His works, “hand threaded embossments,” which was his attempt to combine papers and threads into a creative art medium, was full of beautiful detail. Although all three pieces were amazing to see up close, because you could see all the work that was put into them, when I stood back I got a whole other view of the piece. The strings created nice overtones of colors and collectively I found these three pieces as the most impressive pieces in the show. The last three professors’ works that caught my eye all had something in common, form. Whether in was in Adams photography where he exhibited strong lines and shapes or Conradi’s three-dimensional text boxes and “Catalogue for International Trumpet Guild,” the simple compositions as a whole gave a sense a true beauty within negative and positive space. The third artist also exhibits form but in a completely different way, through ceramics. In Skeffington Thomas’ ceramics, there is a true beauty in the structures he can create through clay. His piece that impressed me the most was his untitled piece near the entrance of the gallery. It is such a majestic piece and utilizes negative and positive space in a much different way than Conradi and Adams. In conclusion, this show was a great show filled with all different mediums and more impressively the works of the professors we are surrounded by on a daily basis. After seeing this show, I am honored to be surrounded by such great painters, sculptors, designers and whatever other medium they may work in.

  14. Tyler Cheli says:

    I found the exhibition “Prom,” to be beautifully rendered, however not as personally compelling as some of the other shows I have seen this year. Being one of the most distinguished photographers working today, Mary Ellen Mark really shows her talent through this show. I have to admit I absolutely loved her concept behind “Prom” and the show all together; it was well organized and enjoyable. It was not until we discussed the show in class where I realized that I did not have that strong of a connection to the show or view it like many of my other classmates did. The show interested me, but it did not take me back to when I went to prom. I did not feel like I could relate to any of the people she portrayed and I found this sad, because Marks traveled all over between the years 2006 and 2009 to capture a wide range of people. After viewing the pieces, I sat down to watch the film composed by Martin Bell, Mark’s husband, which was filmed at the same time Mary Ellen Mark photographed them. In this film there was a wide range of answers as to what their hopes and dreams are, and we encounter optimism as they each talk about their friendships, romances and plans for the future. This video is a big reason in what made me realize that I could not relate to many of these people. I found myself entertained and wanting to know more about each person as they came alive right in front of my face from simple black and white picture and although it did not bring me back to memories of my prom, it brought me to theirs.
    The photograph and person that stood out to me the most was, “Ashley Conrad, New York, NY, 2009.” In this photo, Ashley has no hair and later on in the film you come to find out she is fighting cancer. Unlike any of the other people portrayed in this show, with lavish gowns and material wishes, she is dressed simple and hopes to just get well. Her hopeful and humble personality we come to know in the film is brilliantly captured in her photograph. She stands boldly and alone with her hands together in front of her. She looks directly into the eyes of the viewer and you cannot help but to smile at simply how grateful and peaceful she looks in that moment. If there was one overall quality of the show that I enjoyed the most, it would have to be how well Mark captures specific personalities, qualities and traits within her subjects all with a 24 by 20 black and white print. I think if anything that is one of the most difficult things to do when shooting portraits for photography.

    • Thanks Tyler for an insightful response. I remember talking about this in class and find your deeper explanation of it here well stated and informative. I can certainly see your points and do agree as well. I did not attend a Prom and have little or no connection to these characters. Your ability to find one image that resonated is applauded. It illustrates that despite your overall response, you were able to find an image that you found compelling and important among the rest.

      Well done,

  15. Elisabeth Giovene says:

    Although changes could have been made within the organization of the faculty’s artwork, i thought the overall appearance was ascetically pleasing. My favorite piece was Kate Pollard’s “Francisco”; it made me shiver. The combination of the artwork with the artist’s statement struck an emotional chord within me, and I couldn’t help byt appreciate the context surrounding her art. I also enjoyed Carol Shottenfeld’s artwork. I only wished her pieces were displayed outside of the glass, so I could closely observe and analyze them, because it looked like a lot of work and detail were involved.

    • Thanks Elizabeth, your description of how the Pollard piece struck you was insightful and I can certainly appreciate your response. On a related note, the Gallery Director must have heard your (and your classmate’s) suggestions, because Carol’s Piece was displayed differently at the Reception and presumably for the rest of the exhibition.


  16. Elisabeth Giovene says:

    I enjoyed the gallery opening “Movility: Movis Moves Meaning.” It was quite different from the first gallery opening I attended because it seemed more centered round realistic information and thought, whereas the first gallery opening was focused more on animation. My favorite piece from the gallery opening was “A New Chiaroscuro.” I found this piece to be the most visually stimulating for me; I only wished there was more than one gull in the background.I also liked the “Still in Motion” photographic prints. I could definitely see a change in the image from the first photographic to the second; I observed a change in the subjects’ confidence.

  17. Elisabeth Giovene says:

    I thought Martin Bell’s film was a beautiful accent that embellished Mary Ellen Mark’s polaroids. Mark’s photos were beautiful, but the impression I received from the characters in her photos, changed upon my viewing of Bell’s film. The film revealed just how different the prom experience was for each individual, what it meant to them personally, and it captured their individual personalities; that was more than I saw portrayed in Mark’s photos alone.

  18. Elisabeth Giovene says:

    Upon entering the Rowan gallery, I was immediately overwhelmed by the ambiance created by the lights, black curtains and stop motion video. The video impacted me a lot; it reminded me of the 1960’s Rudolf The Red Nose Reindeer- with clay animation. I also enjoyed the doll house stationed at the end of the exhibit. It bought me back to my childhood, but upon looking inside and discovering the creepy qualities, I decided otherwise.

    • Make sure you include the title of the exhibition. Of course, I know which one you speak of, but these are not just for me. 🙂

      In this case, I also would like to have more information, especially what about the creepiness of the Dollhouse piece repelled you. What did you think of the others?


  19. Jessica P says:

    Recently, a photography show called Interconnected by the artist Lisa Skala was in the Westby student art gallery. I had the opportunity prior to the opening reception to help the artist set up her BFA show. It gave me a more intimate and personal insight of the show. Lisa’s show focused on the relationship between the sitter of the portrait and the artist. She explained it all started with her black and white images when she began taking pictures of close family members holding a mirror that had smaller photographs of their relationship to her. It was an extremely beautiful show especially the large photograph of her feet and her horse’s hooves in a stable. The angle and height of the image gave the feeling the viewer was lying down on the wooden floor observing the bond between the horse and rider. Lisa truly created a personal intimacy with the sitters in her photographs. The only photograph that seemed out of place was of a covered pool table in a dim light setting. It had an arm emerging from the shadows outstretched on top of its surface.

  20. Jessica P says:

    The show Motivility: Movis Moves Meaning was for me actually quite boring. The art work that was assembled in the gallery space was crafted well but did not really speak to me about anything. The only piece I found slightly humorous is the Still in Motion photographs. The artist focused on documenting small physical changes of a person before and after an hour of intense physical exercise. The photographs are large in size, possibly a little over 22 by 30 inches. The set of photographs that I found humorous was of a middle aged woman which was shot similar in appearance to a mug shot. The photograph is cropped tight so your focus is on the detail of the person’s face. In the before image of the woman, she appears slightly uncomfortable and possibly cranky but in the second photograph after an hour of exercise she looks happy. I found it funny because she probably doesn’t exercise a lot due to her physical size and by being active for a short amount of time must have released a large amount of endorphins to make her feel happy. In comparison to the other two set of photographs next to this one in particular I could not find any difference between the figures before and after shot except for the fact they were extremely sweaty after exercising. Although I am sure endorphins are surging through their bodies as well.

  21. Jessica Padilla says:

    In the exhibition “Prom ,” the American photographer Mary Ellen Mark explores portraits of high school students at their coming-of-age ritual, prom. She used a Polaroid Land Camera and traveled to thirteen different high schools across the country with distinct economic and ethic makeups. What makes Mary Ellen Mark’s photographs interesting is the honest, simplicity of the photographs.
    The photograph that stood out to me the most was, “Ashley Conrad, New York, NY, 2009.” The photograph was of a young girl whose empty head of hair suggested she has or is dealing with chemo therapy in fighting off cancer. We get to share a momentous and intimate moment in her life of attending prom. She stands solo but tall, and strong looking past the camera with her hands laced together in the front of her dress. Her eyebrows penciled with a slight smile on her lips. It was quite touching not only to see the photograph but to have the ability to have a glimpse of the girl’s life through the thirty-three minute video Mary Ellen Mark’s husband created. The video placed more emphasis on the intimacy of the photograph, and the connection of the sitter with the artist. As you watched the video you noticed most of the students talked about their future but when Ashley came on camera we a saw a totally different perspective of someone who has experienced a hardship. I think what spoke to me the most as Ashley was interviewed was that she smiled almost the whole time. I never attended prom only a small formal dance at my school so it was fun to experience and have a small insight on what it might have been like if I had gone.

    • Well said Jessica, your description and insight into the Ashley Conrad image is very well stated. Your discussion of the relationship between the still photographs and the video, illustrate the power of each and the strength of the two together.

  22. Well stated Tyler, that show was particularly compelling due to the subject matter and the media.

  23. Tyler Cheli says:

    I found the exhibit Harsh Realities to be really interactive. When I visited the exhibit during the class cancellation I honestly did not expect myself to get caught up in the art as much as I did. I ended up staying for hours and looking at many of the captivating pieces. The work I was most drawn to was the first piece I saw when I walked in, Mound by Allison Schulnik (animator), and I watched it over and over. It is a stop motion animation that uses multi-media including blobby clay figures and other cloth materials, combined with the old-time song “Its Raining Today” by Scott Walker (1969). It had such a unique attraction that when I began to watch it everything around me seemed absent. The music fits the animation beautifully and compliments the happy and sad elements. I felt that the animation was open to various interpretations, however, I interpreted that the piece was about going through changes. This can be seen through the alterations in emotion from happy to sad and change itself overtime. What also was captivating about this stop motion animation and many of the others is how long it took to make them. This piece in particular took eight months, but there is also another piece that took years to make. I found it amazing that, especially in Mound, that everything was absolutely smooth and has a beautiful flow about it. There was no jaggedness to any of the motions and how the clay practically molds and melts into each other is beautiful. For such a melancholy piece, I for one could not help but to smile at how beautiful the overall composition was.

  24. Tyler Cheli says:

    I found the Fall 2012 Core Review show to be very incisive, however, I thought the work was placed too close together so that the ideas and styles began to clash. The sizes of the individual works suited the compositions well. For example, I thought the bigger ranged figure drawings, like Stephanie Gerhard’s figure drawing of a woman’s back, suited that style well, whereas the smaller representational drawings, like Olivia Calicoat’s representational cross-hatched portrait, commended the meticulous fine detailed strokes. The compositions of the overall works clashed due to all the different styles, mediums and lack of a specific theme to the show. I found many of the compositions to be individually beautiful, but it was hard to appreciate all the work separately when they were placed so close together. The overall idea and work in the show I found to be very professional and impressive. Although the work did not really relate too well to each other, I appreciated the concept of the show and thought that it was quite astounding to be able to see some of the best works of those students that we sit in class with everyday.

    • You are right that a show such as this can be challenging to present. Without a unifying “theme”, it may be difficult to relate works to each other and, in this case, appreciate them individually – mainly due to their closeness in proximity. All that said, if you think of the “theme” as representing a level of skill or expertise, or that it is predominantly freshman work, it might be easier to group it together. I do agree that many of the works stand out as very strong in their craftspersonship and ideas. Thanks!

  25. Jessica Padilla says:

    Starting off the fall 2012 semester at the Rowan University Art Gallery was the stop motion art show “Harsh Realities.” One of the installations that sparked my imagination and drew me in was the work, Night Hunter, by the artist Stacey Steers. She takes imagery from four silent-era films combined with engravings to create a rich and timeless environment. The three-dimensional Victorian dollhouse was intricately designed with each individual room compiled with furniture and a cutout animation using watercolor, and collage. The outside of the house was dark and wrapped with a forest scene from the film the artist used. The surrounding darkness created an eerie yet imaginative environment welcoming the viewer to explore its ominous surrounding. The individual rooms showed a small portion of the film at different intervals from its storyline creating a whole new narrative for the viewer to discover. I really enjoyed this installation because of the artist’s way of capturing the viewer and causing them to interact with the piece. I also found the empty robin eggs and furniture to add a homey touch by bringing the viewer to the era of the miniature films played in each room. The artist does a wonderful job in capturing the essence of her theme, transitions, because as you walk around the house you find yourself shifting into each uniquely built room observing the fate of the main character.

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