Friday, October 28, 2011

Re-Post — Unnatural History

Check out the latest blog by American Craft Magazine. Written by Gussie Fauntleroy, this post explores the work of Geoffrey Gorman. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Art and Education

By Sam Braga, Education Intern 

As an education intern at SCC, I’m here to familiarize students that come for tours with our exhibitions.  But often times, it is a mutual experience! To allow open ended conversations about the artworks, we use a teaching method called Visual Thinking Strategies. This means we ask the students what they see, what it makes them think and why. Last Friday was my first time giving a tour not only at SCC, but in my life, and right as the high school students filed in, butterflies filled my stomach.  Immediately my mind started running; what if they don’t like these works at all, or worse yet, what if they don’t have anything at all to say! But, due to the prepping of the rest of the education staff, I knew I was ready. And, high school students always have something to say.

My experience taught me that in these situations, it’s okay to say what you’re thinking and in fact, that’s what the Visual Thinking Strategy teaches you. As the high school students warmed up to me, their conversations about the art became richer and more fulfilling. My nerves melted and the students started to have fun. Anne Drew Potter’s piece influenced a compelling discussion that high school students were able to relate to easily. Both groups I had associated one meaning of the piece with cliques in high school and both even mentioned the movie Mean Girls. Because of its relevance, The Captains Congress provided the most interesting conversation. It also allowed some funny insights. Why were some figures fit with pot bellies and some were not? “Well, this one is pregnant. That one isn’t.” And why, perhaps, are the figures in the circle arguing? Simply, “They’re fighting over a candy bar.”  The students also came to realize on their own how all three artists in our exhibition were connected in a theme.

After the tour the high school students then participated in our Drop-in Studio, focusing around Lia Cook’s work which they also viewed upstairs. Students were able to incorporate their own black and white photographs in our workshop, which involved paper weaving. Cook’s work depicts actual black and white weavings of portraits that balances between abstract and recognizable. There’s one more chance to participate in our workshop relating to the current exhibit, taking place this Sunday (10/23). Don’t miss the exhibition closing along with our workshop featuring metalsmith Mariko Kusumoto! 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Twice in One Year?!

Handmade Arcade is BACK for the holidays!

Pittsburgh's largest indie craft fair will return to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Downtown Pittsburgh on Saturday, November 12, 2012, from 11am till 7pm.

Early Bird tickets are now available. These are great and I highly recommend them, even though the fair has free admission. Why? Because you get in at 10am, before the crowds and before your favorite, one-of-a-kind thing is snatched up! Also, you get a fancy bag full of goodies, and who doesn't like goodies? The Early Bird tickets are $15 and can be purchased on the HA website or at WildCard in Lawrenceville.

What is so great about this event?

  • Free from 11am - 7pm.
  • Easy to get to.
  • Over 150 Vendors!!
  • Hands-on activities for kids and grown-ups ( I made a giant Jackalope print for free last year!)
  • They have food so you could spend the whole day there!

Wanna get more involved? HA needs volunteers to make these events successful. YOU could be one of them. Jobs include being a greeter, running the welcome table, assisting vendors, helping with hands-on activities and more. Shifts are only 2 hours. Visit their website for more info and to sign up.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Ceramic Artist of the Year!

Ayumi Horie is. Awesome.

I first got turned onto her work at NCECA, I can't remember which one, but I want to say Baltimore. Her work is unselfconscious and delicate. It draws on imagery that is both historic and contemporary. In addition to her ceramic work, Ayumi is a pioneer in utilizing the web for marketing her work, something that the ceramics world has been very resistant to. For these reasons and more, Ayumi was named Ceramic Artist of the Year by Ceramics Monthly!

Ayumi is a studio potter in upstate New York. She creates well-crafted, simplistic functional pottery that comes alive with curious illustrations featuring animals and letters. Her subject matter is sweet and her execution is very well developed. 

I am fascinated by the "Dry" throwing technique she uses and can not wait to try it! Check out this video she made which demonstrates the technique.

And, perhaps most impressive, is her commitment to humanitarianism. The day after the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan in 2011, Ayumi co-founded Handmade for Japan. This amazing project has raised almost $100,000  GlobalGiving’s Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund.
Read all about Ayumi and her Ceramic Artist of the Year award here.