One day this site will be all cleaned up and organized. But for now, you can scroll down through my blog posts to see some of what I've been up to in my teaching experiences, click on the above menus to view lesson plans, and take a look at these short slides to see some of my more recent personal art work.
Artist statements are an important aspect of the practicing artist's tool box. An artist statement helps to communicate the idea and purpose behind your art work.
There are many different ways to write an artist statement and eventually you will develop your own style. But to begin we should keep things simple and clean.
Most viewers (in a gallery or on a website) do not want to read anything longer than a paragraph or two; no more than a page. I always think that the more concise a statement is, the better.
View this example of an artist statement by University of Montana MFA student Dave Tarullo:
The center of my work is exploration. Each and every piece I create allows me the ability to investigate my world and inner landscape. I create to better understand. Most of what I learn is in the process of making. During my process, I am constantly in conversation with the work and searching for meaning and understanding. At a certain point I find the core. That is when things come together. The search changes from expansion to contraction and I begin to understand what the piece has been telling me all along. Then I distill and refine its message for the audience.
I want the audience's first response to be visceral, to be drawn in through its aesthetic and have a pre-verbal experience that relates to the concept behind the work. Giving them the intrigue to search further for a deeper understanding of the work and how it relates to them.
And here is an example of Dave's 'wall text' for his UC Gallery show 'Un-knowing: The Subtle Mark'
The Subtle Mark
Is there a human presence, or a subtle mark in contemporary digital communication? Did we lose the essence and beauty of the handwritten note; first with the typewriter, then with email, and now with the text-message? Have we flattened language and sacrificed tone? Have we traded true human interaction for immediacy and a false sense of connection, or are we on the cusp of understanding and mastering a new means of being closer?
Are you wondering what the art looks like? Can you guess? (you can check it out in the slideshow below)
Dave is using his text and statement to provoke thought and understanding in his work.
Artist Statements ARE NOT meant to DESCRIBE your work, but instead they should help a viewer derive meaning and interpretation.
The web link below will help you to develop YOUR artist statement.
Write An Artist Statement!!! <-------- CLICK HERE
This past week, I began my student teaching experience at Willard Alternative School. I am really excited to be there. I need to get some pictures posted! It's been a while.
I had a small show at the University Center Gallery for First Night (New Year's Eve) that exhibited work by Willard students as well as some interactive portions created by me.
Check these photos from the show:
On Friday, October 17, I will be teaching a lesson called Power Portraits inspired by the incredible, larger than life paintings by Kehinde Wiley, an artist who places people of ethnic background into traditional portraiture settings
. I'm glad to have this opportunity to share with other teachers and I look forward to their feedback! I hope to post some photographs from the presentation, if I can manage to get some! Below you will find a great article that has helped me understand what my lesson is really about.
Thanks to everyone that helped me develop and prepare for this lesson!
Kehinde Wiley, of course!
On Monday, July 14, I exhibited a collaboration of student work and my own work, as well as the incorporation of interactive sections of the show in the University Center Gallery on the University of Montana Campus. Between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., I had nearly 90 kids between the ages of 2 and 10 visit the gallery. They came in groups on scheduled hours. These groups included Miss Kiddy's Corral, ASUM Childcare, a YMCA Summer Camp, and a group of international grad students from China, as well as individual visitors: Moms, Dads, and their kids.
With the help of three amazing volunteers, Syd Faul, Lindsey Weber, and Brianna McLean, we were able to successfully transition the groups (split into smaller groups of three) through each interactive, educational section. The sections allowed kids to imagine themselves as the insects, touch and smell parts of the natural world, as well as contribute their own touch to the art.
We had the pleasure of hosting special guests, Animal Wonders to Miss Kiddy's. They brought along some very important animals that help to disperse seeds, pollinate plants, and fertilize the soil while also protecting over population of other animals.
During this time, some students got to hold cockroaches, pet a very furry rabbit named Cheeks, and even hold a large female bull snake. We got our spider senses reawakened when they brought out their large tarantula!
The spider lesson had everyone excited, but not nervous. While I did not have a real spider for us to look at, we compared plastic 'bugs' to differentiate between spiders and insects: eight legs vs six legs.
We watched an animated video about the way that a spider uses its web to determine whether or not whatever lands onto its web is prey or a potential mate.
I told a Cherokee creation story about Grandmother Spider, who brought sun to the dark side of the Earth. The students were able to make pinch pots just as Grandmother Spider did in the story.
We made a giant spider web by rolling a ball of colorful yarn back and forth, to and fro, between each other. This provided a great sense of team and community and the students loved it.
We finished by making glow in the dark spider art and later the students were able to paint their very own spider bodies made of clay.
It has been way too long since I have posted anything to this blog and I apologize for that. I have been so busy with school yet accomplishing so much...becoming more and more confident with my teaching and developing a solid outlook and philosophy!
Most importantly, the amazing artists at Miss Kiddy's Corral have been working hard on some great projects, and boy have we learned a LOT! I will be posting the individual lessons as well as photographs of some of the progress that has been made so far.
The art show is scheduled for July 14, which is a Monday. I will be setting up a tour schedule for groups to participate in, however, there will be a reception that evening as well where I will give an artist talk.
Below is a copy of the letter that I will be sending out to parents. There should also be a list of items I need for the art portion of the project.
I feel very scattered and spread thin, but I have high hopes for this project.
Today was the first day of my summer school experience....whewww! It will be a hard month that hopefully moves quickly; I hope I can keep up with it all!
I met with Miss Kitty and Chelsey today in the UC Gallery to give them the scoop on what I plan for the gallery. I also told them about the lessons I would like to teach. We cut a couple of the Saturdays and are now committed to two, one in which Animal Wonders will come to give us a lesson on different kinds of animals that contribute to seed distribution and pollination.
I also got in touch with an awesome women by the name of Lorri Brenneman who gave me a link to some fantastic lesson plans and learning material all about Bees! This will be such a great project.
Hopefully I can lock down some lesson plans by the end of the weekend as well as get started on some of this art. Lots of work ahead...(do you think I can manage a Traffic Signal Box application by Friday as well?)
My name is Abby Sweet. I grew up in Stockett, Montana and I have lived in Missoula, Montana for over 10 years.