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.
Download file
Download file

December 18, 2007

final art project 001.JPG

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.


Photo 118.jpg

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

College Fun 046.jpg


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.

December 14, 2007

Final- Jessica

For my final project I chose to combine math, art and a little design. I really wasn't sure to do (I don't really have a specific area of art that I excel at), so I chose to do something purposeful. I knew someone who wanted something done and I thought it would be interesting to see what it was like doing art for someone else. I wanted to know if it would be easier or more challenging if you had to meet someone's expectations.
A lot of lessons came from my experience and that's why I chose to present my endeavor as a fairytale/ storybook. fairytales always have a moral and I feel like I left this experience with new morals to keep in mind.

(there was a good effort put into posting pictures, but it just didn't work.)






NiCk DeCkEr


Independent Project - NiCk DeCkEr

For my project the hybrid zone that i tried to focus around was art and architecture. I am really interested in that subject so i wanted that to be a major part of my installation. In one of my classes we had to create a collage out of photographic paper and found that really boring and absolutely hated it. So i thought i should give it another shot and see if i could use that type of idea for this project. I am very interested in frank lloyd wrights work and wanted to have that be the emphasis of my project. So i picked fallingwater because it is probably one of his most famous structures to this day. It was so ahead of its time i wanted to make a collage of the house with other famous architectural buildings. i picked ones that were shown in our arch class this semester that would relate to this project. Salk institute, dancing house, and alvar aalto's municipal town center are just a few. I had an idea of what i wanted to achieve but soon found out that it went terribly wrong. I wanted to use another media i was absolutely horrible and i definetly found out i suck at them. So i cut the collaged house from the first try and put it on a new piece of paper and retried; succesful at last. Hopefully my pictures will load so you can see the process. thanks again for an awesome year guys and Diane!!!!!

December 13, 2007

Julia: Art and Architecture

My hybrid area is architecture, in which I am concentrating on the zone of interaction between art and architecture.

I choose to compile the floor plans of St. Mary’s hospital in Madison, WI by tracing them onto one sheet of trace paper. Then I scanned that image and enlarged the image, in which I tried to transfer the image to canvas by penciling the back side and tracing the image.

I chose this hospital in particular because I was born there, my grandma as put over 10,000 hours of volunteer service there and my aunt was the head of the architectural addition.

When I started, I was not so sure what risk I was taking. But as I was tracing the image originally, I lined the separate floor plans up with the same spot on the trace paper, but the trace paper moved slightly so lines were not exactly matched. I liked it, so I kept going! And when I tried to transfer the image, not everything transferred. So I decided to go with the flow, what lines did I see and what lines could I follow. I felt like my family had their own ways of interacting with the hospital and this was my way.

So originally, I planned to keep the lines as closely matched up. However, as the artist, I took it into my hands to do with it what I wanted… interpret it in my own way.

This painting is actually a Christmas gift for my cousin. We gave him this canvas a few years ago, but it sat in his closet. He said paint me something, so in this way, the same building will continue in my family. And as another thought, since his house is crappy, I thought when we hang it on his wall, I could continue the lines of the floor plan on the wall, blending from paint to marker to wall. This way the building, an important symbol for our family’s values and accomplishments, becomes part of his home.


Allison Prange- Media's Effect on Opinions

-I wanted to start by saying that my piece was not meant to be a political statement of any kind. It was meant to be a commentary on the ability of the media to obscure our views of other, distant cultures. These cultures are not close enough for us to develop our own opinions of them, so we simply take what is most convenient and run with it. Particularly in the middle east, we see the cultures of the region as vicious and untamed. While that may be true in some cases, we overlook the deep cultural history of the area. We see the people as headlines, numbers and articles.

-In the painting, the background picture is of a peaceful religious group in Pakistan performing a religious dance. Though originally the picture was meant to be completely peaceful looking and almost whimsical, the dancers took on a taunting quality, which is ironic in that we see their whole culture in that way. The newspaper headlines on the painting are an abstraction of how the media obscures our view of other cultures. All the headlines refer to topics of debate in the middle east. Though some headlines are more relevant than others, they all contribute to the greater message behind the piece. There are about 5 cut outs which are from a series which appears daily in the U of M newspaper. The series is called "Deaths in Iraq." It lists the body count of American soldiers and Iraqui civilians up to that point. Though the numbers are startling, on th Iraqui civilian side, these headlines were not meant to evoke a feeling of pity or disgust, they are meant to display the fact that we see "the opposing side" in wars as only numbers all too often. The interesting part, for me, was how difficult it was for me to find articles applying to our situation in the middle east. It almost seemed like old news, everyone is sick of hearing about it. This is probably one of the least addressed wars in the history of our country. Sure there are political debates and mentionings of it etc. However, there are few public actions being taken either for or against the war. This piece is a reminder of our situation.

-When making the painting, originally, I was planning to put some sort of clear covering over the painting, that was removable, which would hold the newspaper clippings. The best I could find, however, was "do it yourself" laminating strips which I would stick together to create the clear covering. But this ended up looking a little cheap so I decided against it. I ended up putting the newspaper clippings right on the painting. After I was done putting them on the painting they were a little too disconnected from it, so I decided to put some paint strokes over, and around them. This incorporated them much better into the piece. You almost have an option of whether or not too look at them, which again sends home the message that this can be fixed.

December 12, 2007

Nellie Brau- "Land of the Free"

View image

-For my independant project I decided to capture the "essence" of how young, American adults view their country. I spoke with many of my friends and in collaboration with my own thoughts developed an idea of America that I chose to display through a combination of media and paint mediums. Unfortunatly, the disscusions I had with my friends about America and our lifestyles were mostly negative. Sex, violence, fast food, pills, and more pills were the general topics when speaking of American culture.

-After I had a general sense of what 'type' of America I was going to portray I went about clipping ads, and newspaper tid bits that I thought might be useful for the project. I then went get supplies for the project and being that I wanted this project to be sort of 'in-your-face' I chose to buy a large, 36x48'' canvas. I started by outlining the canvas in the shape of the United States and then I preceeded to fill the inside of 'America' with a Red Carpet, the word "Consume, " and the word "$uccess," (yes with a dollar sign) signify that America is centered on these three things instead of other important things we could be focusing on. I then collaged over this background with the specifically chosen clippings. To bring the whole piece together I then used brightly colored paint to fill-in white spots and I gave the whole canvas a gloss coat.

-I am very happy with the end result. Though the large canvas was overwhelming at times, and I started this project not even knowing the difference between acryllic and oil paints, I did persevre and come out with a finished product that I am proud of. I think the piece deffinitly gets my message across and the 'type' of America I was trying to get at was revealed.

-I tryed to add pictures to the blog but I couldn't get the pixels to reduce in size, so sorry they are so large!

December 3, 2007

Independent Project Description

The Independent Project is focused on a hybrid area that is most interesting to you.

It may be the zone of interaction occupied by art and architecture, geography and visual art, art and medicine, etc.

It may be an interdisciplinary area within the arts - visual art and dance, sound art and visual art for example.

Probing this hybrid zone is key. In the process encourage yourself to take some risks with the content and/or media that you explore.

You may use media that is new to you or one that is familiar. You may use one medium or multiple media.

We will present 15 Independent Projects over the course of 3 hours, which is 5 presentations per hour.

In order for us to flow from one project critique to another, all projects will need to be ready to present by the beginning of the scheduled class presentation time.

One of the benefits of the critique is the opportunity for you to learn how other people respond to your work, to hear how they make sense of it, how they construct meaning with it.

We will begin each critique by asking 3 people to be primary respondents and then opening up to comments by all, culminating with comments and/or questions by the person presenting their Independent project. Each person will present their project and be a primary respondent for 5 other project presentations.