December 19, 2007

Betsy - Independant Project

I was a little lost at first with what I would use to make my final project. I knew I wanted to do something that I could use again, so something relevant to me and my life. I came upon the name idea randomly one day out of the blue - but it was perfect. I've always been interested in the power of what a person's name holds. When I say a name, I immediately think of the person I know who's the owner of that name and how they've morphed me as a person. I wanted to incorporate the hundreds of names that I had a connection to, to an object. In our class discussion about our projects, someone gave me the idea of a mirror - and it was a perfect idea. From there my project took off.

I used a black frame around a mirror as the base for my names. I would use mod podge to coat the surface of the frame, and then lay down a name with mod podge on top of it. When dried it gives a clear, glossy sheen. I looked up as many names that I could in magazines I had in my room. The more unique names that wouldn't be found within the pages of a popular magazine were created on my computer. I used different fonts and different colors for each name I typed up to give an overall uniqueness to each name - just like the person it represented. There were two hooks that were on the mirror when I purchased it, and from them hang the aspects of my personality that are shaped by the people on the mirror: Strength, Weakness, Values, Self-Worth, Religion, Character, Drive, Passions, Dreams, Confidence, Abilities, Ideology, Morals, Past, Present, & Future. And tied to both hooks and hanging below the personality labels hangs the word Life.

Overall the project represents to me, myself. I look in the mirror and as I see my reflection, I see the hundreds of names that contributed to the person I see in the mirror. Some impacted me negatively and some positively. The personality labels that hang below remind me of what I believe in and how I act in my daily life. The beauty of the project is that anyone could look in the mirror and see people that impacted THEIR life behind the names they see. The Katie that I know may have impacted me differently than the Katie you know. Etc.

This project for me brought together art, text, symbols and individuals. The art is the overall project, the text is seen in the names of all the people, the symbols are what is represented behind those names, and the individual is needed to physically look in the mirror and bring the project to life.

I enjoyed presenting this to the class, because as people would shout out a name they saw on the frame, I'd have a simple story behind why that name is there - what the impact that person had on me. Every name on this frame bears the significance of something important IN ME. Take a look through the mirror...what do you see????

Michelle Stein - Final Project

For my independent project, I combined the fields of art, more specifically sculpture and sound, and math, more specifically fractals. Initially, I was planning on painting a picture of a fractal. However, I later decided against this because I felt as though this was not a giant leap from the original 2D graphs that fractals are pictured as. Also, I have worked with paint a number of times. Sculpture, on the other hand, is not something I have had much experience with. Also, manipulating sound was completely new for me.
Through sculpture and sound, I mimicked the characteristics of a fractal: “A curve, or geometric figure, each part of which has the same statistical characteristic of the whole� (Oxford Dictionary). In the sculpture, I created a triangular pyramid, each side holding another, and another, and another. Looking at the overall sculpture, you can see that it is made up of smaller versions of the whole. To create this, I made molds for each triangle out of paper, making sure that the length of the sides were halved as they became smaller. Initially, I did not create a solid mold, rather, a bunched up wad of paper and tin foil. This did not work very well because it was not solid and didn’t have precise dimensions. Therefore, I constructed molds for the remaining sculpture.
With the sound, I created a fractal by overlapping the same sound, but at different tempos. This creates a fractal because if you listen closely to only a segment of the overall “song� you can hear a quicker version of the same thing. This was an interesting experience to create this because I had never worked with the program Audacity before. I had to experiment with all the different tools to find out which one did what I wanted to do. I tried changing the speed, but that changed the pitch of the sound. Then, I realized that changing the Tempo worked best. I initially wanted to chop up a real song, but I was unable to import them into the program. I then decided to create sound on my own, singing different pitches. I did not quite like the turn out of that and finally settled for a “speech�. I decided to describe my interests, things that make up who I am as a person, kind of like a fractal. This also fit with my project because it was my interest in art and math that made me choose to combine the two fields.
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December 18, 2007

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Becca's project

For my final project, I combined two aspects of the arts—visual and audio. Because I am a firm believer in the feelings formed by music, I decided to show this interest of mine visually. I had never try to express raw feeling on paper for the sole purpose of its display before, so this was new to me. When viewing the end result and listening to the music it is interesting to see what was going through my mind at the time of each piece’s creation.
The process I took to become satisfied with my project was a long one. First, I planned on developing a systematic way of portraying the musical notes on canvas. When that didn’t work, I thought more abstract and one big piece of paper would be more sufficient. However, that didn’t work either, and I ended up making a different painting for each of Carmina Burana’s twenty-five movements. Each painting was made of random art supplies I had collected next to my desk (watercolor, arcrylic, pastel, marker, and even a highlighter at one point) and limited to the playing time of its corresponding movement. Some were a decent length for me to get what I wanted to convey onto paper while others were unexpectedly abrupt.
Now that I have explored this different aspect of art, I have learned that sometimes it is worth the risk (and the frustration), of trying something new. This project has taught me not only to loosen up my visual style and explore boundaries, but also the importance of visualizing a piece of music and seriously considering what types of messages it is sending to the listener.


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I chose to create magnets for my final project. It was an idea I was excited about and finally had a place to try it out that fit perfectly with two very different realms: mass produced things (magnets) combined with one of a kind pieces of art. I tried to make a collage for my first magnet, using magazine, crayon, prisma colors and various other markers. However when i applied the sealant to the finished collage to make it wterproof, it went crazy and reacted horribly. All the color bled and it completely got all bendy and very weird.

I ended up going another route. I eventually stuck to very flat collages, and no mixed media. I also made a few of my prints into magnets, which was easy since they were just one layer.

All in all though I really enjoyed making them and today I'm going to make a bunch more for Christmas presents. I learned a lot and that was mostly through my errors, having never done this before.

December 17, 2007

Betsy - Independant Project - Photo

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Independent Project - Sarah

The hybrid for my project was art and media's effect on society. For my project I made multiple collages to form one image. The focus of my piece was to show the negative effect the media has on today's children and how it can influence their decisions. The two main things I focused on was the way violence is portrayed in the media as well as body image. In the media, in particular television and movies, violence and gun use is glorified and the portrayal of what a woman should look like is greatly exaggerated. The way I displayed the glory that media shows was through a television. I decided to choose this because in today's world it seems that the television is where most children are exposed to many issues more than almost any other type of media. Inside of the television there are images of beautiful thin supermodels, famous celebrities, and movies in which gun use is glorified such as James Bond. Meanwhile, I displayed the reality of the outcome of media's effect through the silhouettes of two children. In the silhouette of the young boy I made a collage out of the reality of teen violence with pictures from the results of school shootings such as Columbine or Virginia Tech. In the silhouette of the little girl I made a collage out of images of what young girls do in desperate hopes of perfecting their bodies such as plastic surgery, eating disorders, botox, etc. The bottom of my piece consisted of another collage which was black and white articles and magazine covers of more of the realistic outcomes of gun use and perfection of body image. In doing my project I decided to make a collage because it has been many years since I had done so and I thought it would be interesting to try doing it again for my project and seeing how it turned out. I also added to this by using some acrylic paint in adding splatters to the bottom collage as well as painting the television set to make the piece more interesting. Also, to add more depth and interest to my project I decided to make the televison and silhouettes of the children stand up so that way the piece would be far more interesting instead of being a simple 2 dimensional collage.

Independent Project - Kim Heyer

For my independent project I decided to mix biology and art. I created a children's book page of biology. It is painted as a child's interpretation of biology. Originally it was supposed to be a picture of evolution, but my drawing abilities were not that great. Next, I was trying to create an ecosystem, but again that didn't work out because in the end it turned out to be a food chain. As some of us have realized, things that one attempts to do sometimes turn out to be different things than planned. For this project I believe it turned out for the better because it was easier to draw as if I was younger. Doing this project was in a sense harder for me than all the others because coming up with the initial plan was the hardest part. It just made it easier when things went wrong because I didn't go into complete detail.

December 16, 2007

Final Project: Chris Tuominen

My independant project took the two ideas of inspiration and graffiti and mixed them together. My initial thoughts involved finding a series of large canvases that would match the background textures that I would photograph, but I couldn't find any materials that would match what I planned. So I just went back to the initial pictures I took and elaborated the plans that I had made. For the graffiti to be considered inspirational, I figured that I would have to find areas that would be plain, boring, even gloomy and photograph them. Then I would create a mural that would be applied to specific locations. The graffiti would be inspriational to those who found the murals during the day, so it could have an effect on anyone who noticed them. Then my desired effect would be that those who found the murals would either tell others to go searching for the murals or they could gain ideas and go off and create their own masterpiece. So in a certain sense of the term graffiti, I could leave my mark upon the city and the mind of the passerby.