Post Art Faculty and MFA show

Benjamin Hoyng’s solo show

MFA student Benjamin Hoyng showed intriguing works in the Hillwood SAL Gallery, March 3-15, 2015.

If you by some (unacceptable) reason managed to miss his two week long exhibition, you will have another chance to experience his art in the MFA Thesis Exhibition, which will be held in the Steinberg Museum of Art between April 6 and May 8.

Reception is on Wednesday April 8, 2015, between 5-8 PM! It is free and all are welcome!

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Juan Lopez’s solo show

Juan C. Lopez Espantaleon filled LIU Post’s Sculpture Gallery with fascinatingly beautiful black and white photographs, from March 24 to 28, 2015. The MFA student showed two series of works, Umbilical and TimeLine.

Photo © Juan Lopez / juanlopezphoto.com

Photo from the Umbilical series / Photo © Juan Lopez, juanlopezphoto.com

In his artist statement, Juan Lopez explained his concept and vision behind Umbilical:

We are born naked from the dark connected with an umbilical cod to another human being. As individuals we spend our lives in a planet floating in the dark, trying to find some sort of connection to something or someone that could fill the doubt of our existence.

I am taking black and white photographs of people hanging from ropes in the dark. Rope symbolizes a metaphorical umbilical cord that is linked to something or someone we do not understand. The arms of the subject are not hanging following the gravity forces, arms are attached to their bodies signifying that they are alive.

In Umbilical I am exploring the self-perception of our existence and the constant fight with our basic nature for finding meaning and sense in our lives, while we still floating in the darkness of a universe that we cannot understand.

Umbilical by Juan Lopez, March 24-28, 2015

Umbilical by Juan Lopez, Sulpture Gallery, March 24-28, 2015

The second part of his show, the TimeLine, consisted of six photographs depicting people’s profiles in a symbolic encountering with each other, representing as Lopez’s statement expressed, “slices of times, collecting not only faces but meaning of our existence.”

The TimeLine series also emphasized the fact that it is our faces that makes us unique and that the human profile is an important universal image of ourselves.

TimeLine by Juan Lopez

TimeLine by Juan Lopez, Sculpture Gallery, March 24-28, 2015

For more information about Juan Lopez and his art, see
Facebook.com/JuanLopezEspantaleon
and Juanlopezphoto.com

Upcoming MFA Thesis shows

Our MFA students have been very busy lately and as the end of the spring semester is approaching, their Thesis Exhibition in the Steinberg Museum of Art is just around the corner!

This year they will also have a Thesis Exhibition in New York City at SIA NY Gallery!

Artist receptions are on Wednesday April 8 (LIU Post) and on Saturday April 16 (SIA NY), 2015.
Show your support and join our talented MFA students for two fun and inspiring evenings!
The events are free and all are welcome!

2015 MFA Thesis Back Postcard

Justin Capalbo’s solo show

Earlier this month, MFA student Justin Capalbo had his solo show up in the Hillwood S.A.L. Gallery.

His enchanting photographs were on display in the gallery from February 3 – 7 and the show was according to the artist himself “the final stepping stone to my thesis show which will be in April.”

Photo by Justin Capalbo

For this solo show, Capalbo’s main inspiration was primarily his desire to redefine sacred space.

The show was about searching for sacred space in an overdeveloped world. The earlier work in the show was focused on finding sacred space in suburbia by tracking down places where humanity has left behind. The new series on the main wall was an attempt to find a space that lacked evidence of man. I found that the landscapes I saw were still pockmarked by urbanity.

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Justin Capalbo describes himself as a photographer at heart. “I live to explore, learn and observe. A camera is the best tool for this, because your source material is everything you have ever known and will ever see.”

Graduating from LIU Post this May, Justin’s plan is to become a professor. “I love working with students, and being able to instill confidence in young artists to follow the passion and creative minds.”

For more information, see JustinCapalbo.com.


The MFA thesis art show will be up in the Steinberg Museum of Art in Hillwood, LIU Post, from April 6 – May 8, 2015. Reception is currently scheduled for April 8, 2015.

Chris Ann Ambery is the Artist of the Month!

Chris Ann Ambery is ArtistNetwork’s February Artist of the Month!

“I was both excited and honored to be chosen as the artist of the month,” says Chris Ann Ambery, who currently pursuits an MFA in printmaking at Post. She entered The Artist’s Magazine‘s Annual Art competition in May last year and was selected as a finalist out of 7200 entries.

See the full article and read Ambery’s interview with ArtistNetwork.com here.

“Joyous Dance” by Chris Ann Ambery (silk screen, 30×22) / artistnetwork.com

 

martynka

On Tuesday 11/18/14 conceptual NYC Artist Martynka Wawrzyniak was our guest in professor Ryan Seslow’s MFA / MA ART 550 Art Criticism for Artists class. Martynka gave a great chronological presentation of her work directly from her well organized website. She discussed how her projects are cultivated, developed and exhibited. A discussion about the presentation followed. Each student was also asked to bring in a current piece of their art. Martynka discussed the works with each student and shared insight on the experience and profession of being an artist.

How to Write Your MFA Thesis in Fine Art (And Beyond)

The-Picasso-Portrait-Remix-smallHow to Write Your MFA Thesis in Fine Art (And Beyond)

11/10/14

By – Professor Ryan Seslow

I really enjoy writing, and I find the process to be fun. Do you? I know that writing takes regular practice and it’s an essential part of my learning process. Writing helps me see and organize my thoughts. This allows me to edit and become clear about what it is I am expressing. Practicing writing helps me identify mistakes as well as further emphasize what I really want to explore and write about. When a topic of interest strikes me the process is effortless. I notice how I feel about the topic and this is a key factor as to how quickly I will get working on as essay, blog post or tutorial. This is something I have identified in myself over time and through repetition, how about you? Writing induces and activates new awareness. In my experiences as a college art professor, I have taken notice of a few consistent patterns when it comes to more formal writing. Especially a final thesis deadline. For some, the thought of generating a final graduate thesis can be a daunting thought in and of itself. Associated with that thought may be an outdated feeling that your body still remembers. This outdated association can be especially frustrating to the point of extreme procrastination. If you are unaware that you are the cause of this feeling then you will continue to perpetuate it. Sound familiar? If you choose to enroll into an MFA program you will be required to write a final thesis. This will be an in depth description of your concepts, process, references, discoveries, reflections and final analysis. The best part of writing a final thesis is that the writer gets to create, format, define and structure the entirety of it. Throw away any pre-conceived and or outdated perceptions of what you think you should do. You must take responsibility for your writing the same way that you discipline yourself in the creation and production of your art work.

Where do you begin?

Your final thesis is an official archival record of what you have completed, explored and accomplished during the duration of your MFA program. Not only will your thesis be written for yourself, but also it will prove and back up your convictions, theories, assessments and statements for other people. It should be known that the content in this tutorial could also be applied to other writing needs that may be similar to the MFA thesis structure. An MA thesis or undergraduate BFA thesis can also easily follow this format. By all means, you can share it and remix it.

A regular writing practice must be established. This means, you will need to create a plan for how and when practice will take place. The calendar on your mobile device or the computer that you use will work just fine to remind you of these dates and times. Thirty minutes of practice twice a week can work wonders in the installation of a new habit. Are you up for that? Perhaps there is a way to make this decision seem effortless, keep reading.

You can get started right away. Technology in this area is very accessible and helpful. With use of a blogging platform such as word press one can privately or publicly begin their writing practice and archiving process. Even setting up a basic default blog will due just fine. You can always customize and personalize it later. If a blog does not interest you (but I do hope it does) a word processing document will due just fine. Either way, choosing to wait until your final semester to get started is a really bad idea and poor planning. Are there exceptions to this statement? Of course, and perhaps you will redefine my outlook, and prove me wring, but until I experience this from someone, lets make some longer-term plans.

I teach an MFA and MA course at LIU Post in NY that puts an emphasis on content and exposure to help students generate their final thesis. The course revolves around several exercises that contribute to the process as a whole broken down into individual isolated parts. Much like your thesis itself, this process is modular, meaning many parts will come and work together to make up the whole. One of the first exercises that I do with this class is identify a thesis template format. This is the basic structure that I have students brainstorm via a series of questions that I ask them. Keep in mind; you most likely already have a default version of this template. This could be the writing format that you learned in high school and had redefined by a professor in college. You may have been forced to use it or suffer the consequences of a poor grade solely on that formatting restriction. This feeling and program may still be running inside of you. So how do we deal with this? Together as a class we discuss and record the answers directly onto a chalkboard (a dry erase board or word document will also due just fine) I ask one of the students to act as the scribe to record the list manually while notes are individually taken also. I later put the information into a re-capped blog post on our class blog. Are you surprised that I use a blog for my class?

The Format-

The format for an MFA thesis in Fine Art (applied arts & digital) will in almost all cases coincide with a final thesis exhibition of completed works. This formats fits accordingly with the thesis exhibition in mind. This is a criteria break down of the structure of the paper. It is a simplified guide. Add or remove what you may for your personal needs.

  1. Description/Abstract: Introduction. A detailed description of the concept and body of work that you will be discussing. Be clear and objective, you need not tell your whole life story here. Fragments of your current artist statement may fit in nicely.
  2. Process, Materials and Methods: Here you will discuss the descriptions of your working processes, techniques learned and applied, and the materials used to generate the art that you create. Why have you selected these specific materials and techniques to communicate your ideas? How do these choices effect how the viewer will receive your work? Have you personalized a technique in a new way? How so? Were their limitations and new discoveries?
  3. Resources and References: Historical and cultural referencing, artists, art movements, databases, and any other form of related influence. How has your research influenced your work, ideas, and decision-making process? What contrasts and contradictions have you discovered about your work and ideas? How has regular research and exposure during your program inspired you? Have you made direct and specific connections to an art movement or a series of artists? Explain your discoveries and how you came to those conclusions.
  4. Exhibition Simulation: You will be mounting a final thesis exhibition of your work. How will you be mounting your exhibition? Why have you selected this particular composition? How did the space itself dictate your choices for installation? How will your installation effect or alter the physical space itself? Will you generate a floor plan sketch to accompany the proposed composition? If so, please explain, if not, also explain why? What kind of help will you need to realize the installation? What materials will you be using to install? Do you have special requirements for ladders, technologies and additional help? Explain in detail.
  5. Reflection: What have you learned over the course of your graduate program? How has the program influenced your work and how you communicate as an artist? What were your greatest successes? What areas do you need to work on? What skills will you apply directly into your continued professional practice? Do you plan to teach after you graduate? If so, what philosophies and theories will you apply into your teaching practice? Where do you see your self professionally as an artist in 3-5 years?

Individual Exercises to Practice-

The following exercises below were created to help practice and expand thinking about the thesis format criteria above. It is my intention to help my students actively contribute to their thesis over the course of the semester. The exercises can be personalized and expanded upon for your individual needs. I feel that weekly exercises performed with a class or one on one with a partner will work well. The weekly meetings in person are effective. Why? Having a classroom or person-to-person(s) platform for discussion allows for the energy of the body to expose itself. You (and most likely your audience) will take notice as to how you feel when you are discussing the ideas, feelings and concepts that you have written. Are you upbeat and positively charged? Or are you just “matter of fact” and lifeless in your verbal assertions? Writing and speaking should be engaging. Especially if it is about your work! The goal is to entice your reader and audience to feel your convictions and transcend those feelings directly. Awareness of this is huge. It will help you make not only edits in your writing but also make changes in your speaking and how you feel about what you have written.

  1. The Artist Interview– Reach out to a classmate or an artist that you admire. This could also be a professor, faculty member, or fellow classmate. It should be one that you feel also admires or has interest in your work if possible. Make appointments to visit each other in their studios or where ever you are creating current work. This can even be done via video chat on Skype, a Google hang out or face-time if an in person visits cannot be made. In advance prepare for each other a series of 15-20 questions that you would like to ask each other. Questions can be about the artist’s concepts, materials, process, resources and references about their works. Questions may be about how they choose to show or sell their work. Personal questions about the artist’s outlook on life, business, and wellbeing may come to mind and may also be considered. Record and exchange each other’s responses in a written format. You will make a copy for yourself to retain. Re-read and study your responses to the questions that the artist asked you. This will be helpful for you to read your spoken words coming from another format of communication. Do you find that speak the same way that you write? Where do these words fit into the thesis criteria format above?
  2. The Artist Statement & Manifesto– Of course this will change and evolve over time but it is a necessary document that you will update each year as you evolve and grow. In one single page generate your artist statement or manifesto. Who are you? What is your work about? What are you communicating with your current work, projects and why? Who is your audience? How is your work affecting your audience, community and culture? Manifestos are usually published and placed into the public so that its creator can live up to its statements. Are you living up to yours? Keeping this public is a good reminder to walk your talk. Where do these words fit into the thesis criteria format above?
  3. Reactive Writing– Create a regular online space, document or journal to generate a chronological folio of reactive writing. Visit museums, galleries, lectures and screenings regularly. If you live outside of a city this may require a bit of research, but if you are in NYC this is all too easy. Bring a sketchbook and take notes! For each experience share your impressions, thoughts, feelings and reactions. Describe what you witness. Be objective down to the smallest details that have stayed with you. Reflect and find similarities and contrasts to what you are working on. Use this exercise as a free writing opportunity. Write with out editing or with out any formatting restrains, just express yourself in the immediacy that you feel about your experiences. At the end of each month (or designate a class for this aspect of the exercise) sit down and re-read your passages. Select the reaction(s) that you resonate with the most. Edit and format this selection into a more formal essay paying proper attention to a formatting style, grammar, punctuation and spelling. Where do these words fit into the thesis criteria format above?
  4. Tutorials & How To Guides– Writing tutorials and how-to guides are great ways to practice getting really clear about what you are doing. It helps you cultivate your vocabulary and describe the actions that you are performing with specific detail. It puts you in a position to list your steps, process, materials, and references and explain what the contributing contextual aspects are. Try this with a specific project or with the art that you are currently creating. Are you painter? Explain how you create a painting from start to finish. This includes the very first spark that inspires the idea for the painting, as well as how it will be installed, packaged, transported and exhibited. Details matter. Are you sculptor working in woodcarving? Explain the process from start to finish. Ask a fellow artist if you can sit in on his or her process and record what you experience. This is a really fantastic and fun exercise. It also contributes greatly to creating lesson plans for teaching. (I’m actually obsessed with this exercise a little bit.) Where do these words fit into the thesis criteria format above?
  5. Reviews & Critiques– Much like the reactive writing exercise above, generating reviews and critiques will foster great ways to find insight into your own work. With regular practice you will find common threads of thought and subject matter. You will discover similar referencing and contrasts. This can easily be done in two ways. You can visit specific museums, galleries, lectures and screenings to write about that excites you. This already puts a positive charge on the act of writing itself. I also suggest that you contrast this with subject matter and content that also does not agree with you. We want to be able to fully express what we do not like as well. Understanding why helps us become clear in our choices. Understanding this helps strengthen our position on what we do want to write about and what we want our audience to understand. It allows us to explore dichotomies. The second way to further exercises in writing reviews and critiques is to speak about them. Speaking about art in person is a great way to further the clarification of you writing. Where do these words fit into the thesis criteria format above?

Further Experimentation-

The spoken word versus the act of writing? I have come across many students and colleagues who find that they write much differently than they speak. I feel that writing needs to have a consistent flow and feel fluid to keep its reader engaged. Speaking well and articulating oneself clearly is also something that takes practice. I have found that sometimes recording my words and thoughts via a voice transcribing application is helpful to get ideas out and into a more accessible form. A lot of transcribing software is free for most mobile devices. Much like voice recording the powerful enhancement is to see you words take form after you have said them. You can simply copy and paste the text and edit what is valuable.

This essay is also a work in progress. It’s a first draft in a published format that I will continue updating with new content and fresh ways to simplify the exercises.

I appreciate your feedback!

short-link to this post :: http://www.ryanseslow.com/YMgUl

11/7/14 LIU Art Dept. Faculty & MFA Student Opening

RIPE Art Gallery Exhibition

Looking forward to seeing you all there!

Street Art & Graffiti at LIU Post, Summer Re-Cap 2014

GraffCourse

illustration by Ryan Seslow

The History & Emergence of Street Art & Graffiti at LIU Post Summer 2014 Re-Cap!

This is a NY State accredited 3 credit course created by artist and professor Ryan Seslow for LIU Post.

The History & Emergence of Street Art & Graffiti is one of the first college level courses in the USA where students earn credits in this specific subject while experiencing and learning hands on studio practice and techniques.

IMG_2191

CAKE & Yoav Litvin pose with the class on the day of their presentations – 7/30/14

Guest Artists & Lecturers for this term:

(click on each artists name for their profile page & student reactions.)

Chris Stain

Leon Reid IV

SEBS

H.Veng Smith

Luna Park 

John Fekner

RJ Rushmore

Gabe Scheonberg / Graff Tours

CAKE

Yoav Litvin

Ryan Seslow

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Schedule 

Day #1 – 7/21/14 – The History & Emergence of Street Art & Graffiti starts with a class overview, learning outcomes and expectations. A historical presentation on early Graffiti in NYC begins with who the early writers were and how styles developed and evolved. Understanding and identifying the difference between legal and illegal works.

SEBS demo

Day #2 – 7/22/14 – The History & Emergence of Street Art & Graffiti starts with a tagging workshop in hand style, letters and creating a name. Followed by a guest lecture and aerosol demo from SEBS. SEBS presented the larger scale letter style building process, fill ins, outline and final accent process.

TAGS

Students collaborated with the guest artists on this group piece of tag names.

An H.Veng Smith Piper bird demo in process.

An H.Veng Smith Piper bird demo in process.

Day #3 – 7/23/14 – The History & Emergence of Street Art & Graffiti starts with a refining tagging workshop in hand style and solidifying a tag name. Students collaborate on a group piece that displays their new identity. Followed by guest presentations and aerosol demos from Herb Smith aka VENG from RWK and photographer, archiver, and historian Katherine Lorimer aka Luna Park.

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Day #4 – 7/24/14  – The class met at 11 AM in New York City for a guided walking street art & graffiti tour of downtown Manhattan with NYC Graff Tours. SOHO, Nolita and the Lower East Side were covered.

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Photo taken by our guide Gabe via the NYC Graffiti Tour taken on 7/24

Day #5 – 7/25/14 – The History & Emergence of Street Art & Graffiti hits the classroom for a continued lecture series of early NYC Graffiti as well as a screening of Style Wars. We discussed the importance of this great documentary and made contrasts to the street discoveries made in NYC the day before.

Chris Stain's stencil demonstration.

Chris Stain’s stencil demonstration.

Day # 6 – 7/28/14 – The History & Emergence of Street Art & Graffiti begins the transition into Street Art. Identifying legal and illegal works, permission based murals versus non commissioned stencils. Beginning with a presentation and series of definitions, Chris Stain will present his work and the history of stencils. Chris will also lead the class in a demonstration on stencil cutting. Students will generate an edition of stencil prints and collaborate on a group piece.

Lee Quiñones • Howard the Duck, 1988 • Oil on canvas • Museum of the City of New York, gift of Martin Wong, 94.114.1

Lee Quiñones • Howard the Duck, 1988 • Oil on canvas • Museum of the City of New York, gift of Martin Wong, 94.114.1

Day #7 – 7/29/14 – The class will meet at 11 am in New York City at the Museum of the City of NY to view the Martin Wong Collection “City as Canvas” Graffiti exhibition. We will be meeting at the Museum at 11 am. Location – 1220 Fifth Avenue (at 103rd Street) New York, NY 10029. Admission fee is $6 with student ID. Further info – http://www.mcny.org/content/city-canvas

Yoav

Day #8 – 7/30/14 – The History & Emergence of Street Art & Graffiti continues with understanding various Street Art styles and techniques. Street art awareness, photography and the Outdoor Gallery book author Yoav Litvin will give a presentation on his work.

CAKE

Identifying wheat pastes and paste up process. Beginning with a presentation and series of definitions, CAKE aka Jennifer Caviola will present her work. CAKE will also lead the class in a demonstration on paste ups. Using stencil prints from the previous day and otherness, students will generate and collaborate on a group piece with CAKE.

Leon

Day #9 – 7/31/14 – The History & Emergence of Street Art & Graffiti welcomes Public Artist Leon Reid IV to give a presentation on his work. Leon will discuss the transition from graffiti writer to public artist. Leon will lead the class in a group activity on developing public works of art.

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Day #10 – 8/1/14 – Final Class – Two final Skype based presentations via remote locations with John Fekner and Viral Art author RJ Rushmore will conclude the course.

BrokenPromises_JohnFekner

Final class assessment, learning outcomes and discussion. Students will present and discuss the works generated in the class. How will the information learned during the class influence each student? How will you apply the information learned through out the course?

Collab

A collaborative ongoing piece from The History & Emergence of Street Art & Graffiti at LIU Post. Working in the campus Printmaking studio, this piece features ongoing works by guest artists Chris Stain, Herb Smith, Nicky Sebs, Ryan Seslow & Susie Kelly on the door. More Artists will add to the piece as they visit during the class duration.

LIU Campus Library Book Resources

1. Scrawl : Dirty graphics & strange characters,
by Blackshaw, Ric., Farrelly, Liz. London : Booth-Clibborn Editions, 1999.

2. Street art, by Schwartzman, Allan. Garden City, N.Y. : Dial Press, 1985.

3. Subway art : 25th Anniversary edition,
by Cooper, Martha., Chalfant, Henry. San Francisco, CA : Chronicle Books, 2009.

4. Trespass : A history of uncommissioned urban art, by McCormick, Carlo, Seno, Ethel, Schiller, Marc., Schiller, Sara, Banksy, Pasternak, Anne, 1964, Serra, J. Tony. Köln : Taschen, c2010.

5. Getting up : subway graffiti in New York,
by Castleman, Craig, Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press, c1982.

6. The History of American Graffiti, by Gastman, Roger , Neelon Caleb, Harper Design , April 5, 2011.

7. Viral Art, by RJ Rushmore, 2013 – download here- http://viralart.vandalog.com/

8. Outdoor Gallery, by Litvin, Yoav, Ginko press, 2014.

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LIU Campus Library IMA Video Resources

1. Exit Through the Gift Shop
by Banksy,  Oscilloscope Laboratories (Firm) [New York] : Oscilloscope Laboratories, 2010.

2. Next: A Primer on Urban Painting
by Aravena, Pablo, by New Video, 2010.

3. Style Wars
by Silver, Tony, Chalfant, Henry, Public Art Films, 1983.

4. Tats Cru: The Mural Kings
by Lia, Jonathan, & Kotlinski, Mark, Anthem NYC (Firm) [New York] : Anthem NYC, 2006.

5. Wild Style
by Ahearn, Charlie, Rhino Home Video [distributor], 2002.

6. Bomb It – by Reiss, Jon, 2007.

7. Graffiti-Post Graffiti – by Tschinkel, Paul, ART/new york, 1984.

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Check out the Class Image gallery here :: http://wp.me/P2SFO-1Qb

Many thanks to everyone who has helped and contributed to the ongoing development of this course! 

short-link to this post :: http://wp.me/p42lVi-9g