2013 Matches

2013 Matches:

Studio Artist Veronica Cianfrano & Tori Adamo, Painting/Drawing '15

Jennifer Schick of PHAIR & Sydney Andrews, Multidisciplinary '14

Studio Artist Kay Healy & Tim Martin, Animation '15

Kay Healy & Monica Morris, Sculpture '15

Studio Artist Michele Kishita, & Alexandra Coultas, Painting/Drawing '14

Michele Kishita & Phillip Mastrippolito, Painting/Drawing '15

Nicolette Marinos of Sandbox Studios & Morgan Beye, Photography '15

Sunday, June 30, 2013

TMNT Prints

The final versions of each print on fabric Kay has been making pillows out of each to be used in the final installation that is due in the Free Library next year. These TMNT prints are being put in because her husband remembers having action figures when he was small that were thrown away by his mother at some point. Kay interviews different people and is interested in any nostalgic pieces of furniture or special items that people remember. Her installation is an exploration of that sense of nostalgia and association that people present with objects that have any sort of significance to them! 

after the first month...

Summer has been pretty crazy so far for me, but one of the most relaxing commitments I have as I'm off from school, I can attribute to the time that I've spent helping Kay Healy out in her studio. She has an amazing space that she shares with her equally talented and awesome HUSBAND (just married on the 20th) Greg Pizzoli. Both are fantastic artists and it's great being able to join them in their space as they both work on stuff together. Kay has a very relaxing atmosphere to all of her work, and I think it comes directly from her process and interest. There are two areas where I feel that I have been growing the most when it comes to helping kay out with her work. But the most fantastic feeling is knowing that I'm being influenced myself as an artist in ways that I have even yet to notice :)

One is sewing. I haven't ever used it in a process to apply to my own work, but after spending time with Kay I can totally get a sense of how it can be a cathartic but productive process. Kay has a very soft sense that comes both literally through in her trapunto-pillow process and in the atmosphere of a very homey, nostalgic sense of her work.

The other is screen printing. A process I had never before been familiar with, I had only dreamed about being comfortable with the process. But after working with Kay I have discovered many things about the process that I both had anticipated, and some things that were surprising to me indeed. One surprise was just the simple fact of how much of a process it really is! I quickly came to realize the expense and need for a specific space to do effective screen printing at all.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Setting up a Show, Day 5:

Today’s job was to help Michele and her other assistant Allie set up a show in Gallery 817 in the Anderson building at Uarts. I walked over there on that cloudy just in time before the storm started, and my first task was to unwrap the artworks that from their packaging. I was very cautious unraveling these oddities. Then we were to arrange how they would be displayed according to size. I often obsess over orderliness and size when hanging up my own work, or other such arrangements such as books or furniture, so I had a good sense of where things were to be placed.
Then there was the measuring. This is where it got difficult. Four the four similar pieces we were to make sure that they were both equally distant from the corners and each other. After the extreme experience with Jay Walker I still had that super-precise mindset in making measurements. Of course I had to re-measure a couple of times so the pieces would all be of the same height. Then there was the setting up of the pieces on the next wall over. They had to match what was on the opposite side of the room, which led to more measuring. Thankfully I got it right after the second try and it was satisfying to see the work hung up well in place. If there’s one thing about setting up a gallery, it’s that things have to be PERFECT. Since I'm extremely obsessive compulsive in everyday life, this shouldn't be too hard for me to translate this into the fine arts.

I decided to go the show the following day. I ate a meal’s worth of crackers and basically walked in circles speaking to no one. I got a chance to look at the artwork from a viewer’s standpoint. Learning the titles and the fact that the artists in the show were collaborations with children. I scrawled down my own interpretations of what I could interpret in a sketchbook. This is what I came up with:
Fascinating, isn't it?

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Alexandra Coultas- Summer Fellows Post 1

I have been working for Michele Kishita since March, 2013. The knowledge I have gained so far has been nothing short of an incredible learning experience. Not only has Michele been teaching me different techniques a painter MUST know, but also she has been an incredible mentor. Michele has invited me to partake in countless art shows, as well as inviting many of my classmates, this is important to students my age because it seems rare to know someone that truly goes out of their way to help young artists the way Michele does. 
So far this summer, I have been helping Michele with stretching canvas and also preparing  wood panels. Her goal at the moment seems to be creating a variety of different works that she can have ready for a new show, while also creating specific works for an upcoming show in August and also in December. 

Michele had invited me to participate in a very interesting show that took place on June 7th, a "BackPack Gallery Show" that took place at "The Porch" at 30th Street Station Philadelphia. When Michele explained this show to me I was immediately very interested. All of the artists participating in the show were to wear these "backpacks," in which they would display their work in a convenient and comical way. I have been creating large cardboard collages/paintings recently so Michele thought "why not try making them much smaller?" 
My idea for my backpack was to create an organized gallery in which I could show as many paintings as possible, since they are very small. I had lined one side of my gallery with foam core, so I could glue large dividers to the top and bottom of the right side of my gallery. 

Although it was pouring the day of the show, we still had a relatively good turn out. People walking in and out of 30th Street Station seemed to be very intrigued as to why there were a bunch of women (coincidentally there were only women in this backpack gallery!) standing around with large, white, wooden boxes strapped to our backs. When many people came up and took a closer look they were all very interested, loving the idea of "bringing contemporary art to the general public." 

The curator, Heloisa, thought of a great idea while all of us were waiting in the rain. She thought of coming back to Philadelphia again for a "BackPack Gallery Show" however we would be standing in front of Vox on a First Friday. I got very excited by this idea, because I would imagine the turnout would definitely be greater than the one we had! However I am very grateful that I was a part of this show, the whole idea of bringing art to the public is a wonderful one, and the public definitely loved it! 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Beginning the NewCourtland Project

In addition to helping Kay with her studio work this summer, we will also be assisting her with the NewCourtland Project. The project is held at NewCourtland's Germantown Home, a community for senior citizens. It allows us to work with the residents twice a week and help them with artistic projects. 

As a student working on earning a concentration in Art Therapy, this experience is going to be extremely valuable for me. This will be my first hands-on experience with something related to the field of Art Therapy, so I am very excited to work with the residents!!

Today, we went to the Germantown Home for "Sensitivity Training." The training was one-hour and reviewed proper conduct when working with the senior residents. It involved a Power Point presentation and some role playing to better understand some of the disabilities that the residents may have.

So, I put on some glasses with masking tape on them (to make vision difficult), grabbed a quad cane, and was instructed to try to walk down the hall and back. It was challenging and gave me a good perspective on what a lot of the residents are coping with.

Assisting Jay Walker, Days 2-4:

Michele had sent me an email about another local artist in the area looking for assistance in building his installation for three days. It counted as Summer Fellows hours so I went for it. Because this was work for someone I didn’t know, I was more anxious than my usual level of anxiety. Just the name alone was intimidating: Jay Walker. Doesn’t that put images in your head of a super professional no-mistakes-tolerated sort of artist? Looking at his work, which mostly consist of installation images made of tape,that called for extreme precision. I easily found the Pentimenti Gallery when walking to Old City and in fact arrived ten minutes early (in an email Jay said his pet peeve was people who didn’t show up on time). I was very anxious, quivering with anticipation of what this guy was to be like. When I saw that the artist I would be assisting for the next two days was a bearded guy in his thirties with glasses, I was relieved. And he turned out to be a very cool guy.
With an awesome beard.
His nice friend Alison and I made measurements of the wall both vertical and horizontal to determine the center of the piece. I was so nervous of how complicated it would get I could hardly hold the measuring tape still.  To map out the placement of the tape and strips of wallpaper (with wood appearance) We had to make a mark of every six inches.  While Jay and Alison put up the first few strips of wood grain onto the wall I cut thin slices of black tape that would later form the outline of the Theotokos (for those who don’t remember their art history, the Virgin Mary). 

Then the rest of the day was spent adding strips of masking tape and colored duct tape along the pattern forming a mesmerizing grid. While doing this Jay asked me various questions on what it was like going to Uarts (he went to PAFA) and my future plans. He then gave me some valuable advice: keep doing internships, find a good mentor, and learn how the business works. He said that being an artist is like a lawyer, that the school teaches you the practice of art, but not the business of it. It makes perfect sense, since I joined this internship for that experience

His original design on his iPad. Taken with permission from Jay of  course.

End of the first day.
The second day, though I was much more comfortable working with Jay, was much slower. We set up more lines of colored tape this time in thinner strands, so it got very complicated when trying to place another design onto the grid. 
Also some trimming.

The design was supposed to be a protein grid or something of hemoglobin, or blood. When the initial stencil Jay made wasn’t big enough we had to *gasp* USE MATH!!! Oh the horror! Jay handled that while another assistant, Nora, and I put the strips of tape in place. It was very interesting to witness Jay’s problem solving process and satisfying to see such a complicated design come to fruition.  

For the third and final day I started out by cutting strips of black tape to add to the Theotokos’s outline. Then it was time to cover certain lines within the hemoglobin design with copper tape, as well as aluminum tape, brass tape, and fabricated tape.  

Then there was the application of vinyl flower designs that Jay had specially prepared trimming. All we had to do was place it, and trim away anything in the pink tape or copper. There was a lot of careful trimming to do which got very exhausting on the senses. 

Trim, trim, trim.

Jay then made a decision to go for a different approach from the original concept he created on his iPad. This called for strips of black tape to be overlaid in diagonals that gave the design a real hypnotic aura.  As strenuous as it was, it was a great privilege to take part in bringing Jay Walker’s vision to life. Hopefully there will be a time when I could help him out in another installation again.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

A Glamourous Day of Shooting a Milly Look Book

Day five at Sandbox Studios was a day full of glamour. I arrived in New York City and traveled over to Dune Studios, where Sandbox Studios often shoots. I had been there previously for a CK shoot. The shoot this week was a Look Book shoot for Milly, a woman's fashion line. They were shooting ready to wear looks for their resort collection. The clothing, I must add, were beautiful; the textiles and designs were so fresh, bright, and fun. 

I walked in while hair and makeup was taking place with the model. She was getting a very fresh faced look with light makeup and a ponytail that took way longer than I ever expected, but it was a truly perfect pony tail when it was finally completed. Ari, Nicolette's contact at Milly was there sending images of the model to her boss, who joined us soon afterwards. She needed to approve the hair and makeup before we began. 

While hair and makeup was taking place, Milly's interns prepared all the clothing and accessories. There was 40 total looks to shoot in the 9 hour day. It was no surprise when I left I saw that they were going into overtime. 
I learned the first shot always takes the longest, which makes sense. The photographer, tech, and photography assistant work together to make sure the lighting is correct and matches what the client is looking for. The client was there, along with 2 other employees at Milly, two Milly interns, a Sandbox studio stylist, hair, and makeup, Nicolette on production, there to make sure it all ran smoothly, and to answer all the questions about re-touching and getting the images to them when they needed them. So while the first few shots

 were managed by a group of 5 people, soon it was down to a couple of them making sure the style was sitting on the model properly. I also learned they were changing up their look, going from a basic grey background to a white background with a visible horizon line and a shadow casted on one side of the model. I learned that the white floor was bouncing back into the shadow on the bottom, so instead of adding a black card to fill it back in, they decided to fix it during retouching. 

Each shot was looked at by the photographer, the assistant, the tech, and the client. Once her overall style was approved, the photographer took about 30 images per look, then the client would choose 15 images, to ultimately choose 1 final image for the Look Book.
I watched the photographer problem solve for different issues like straightening out the horizon line. Another issue i've realized each photographer has had is shoot white on the white backdrop. 

They have the photography assistant change the strobe power a few times to find which power shows the shadows in the white properly, without completely blowing it out. 

While  the shooting was taking place I got to sit with Nicolette and observe the shoot while also observing what she was taking care of. She had various items on her to do list, that involved figuring out a wardrobe drop off for CK and finding a stylist assistant for a shoot the following day. I learned without a full crew, they cannot shoot. I've found I really enjoy watching the production aspect of the whole shoot. 
After a morning of shooting, and still many looks to go, a photographer from Women's Wear Daily, WWD.com, came in to shoot an editorial. The photographer set up a set adjacent to the Look Book set and got quickly to work with a one light set up and set up a diffusion board, placed the model in the center. I learned from experience this is a great set up for a one light portrait, seeing that the surrounding white walls will bounce the light back onto the model, lighting her evenly. 

After a long, fun, and very educational day, I was ultimately excited to eat and pass out on the way back to Philly. Can't wait to see what next week has in store! 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Week 4!

It's been a busy three weeks since my last post!

If you had asked me (before starting the fellows program) how to screen print, I would have replied with "...........?"

But after just a few weeks of working with Kay, I've learned the whole process! Woot!
In my last post, I talked about Kay's printing process and how to reclaim screens. And recently, over the last couple weeks, I have learned the remaining steps: coating screens with emulsion, burning images onto screens, and I was able to try my hand at actually pulling some prints.

That being said, we have been working on a four-layer CMYK print of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Since the prints have four layers and lots of detail, it takes a lot of fussing to get them to line up correctly.

Hence, a very serious me attempting to align the prints.

And, the prints in progress. Oh, they're blue in this layer. These are the first two layers, the Cyan and Magenta, printed by Tim (nice job!) We printed the Yellow layer today, which turned them green, as well as the Black layer, which included the line work and detail. 

I was also able to put some of my sculpture model-making skills to use and helped build a box for Kay! Kay wanted a cardboard box, designed like a house, that people can submit stories into for her to use for her project. She drew me a sketch of her idea, and I got to work!

Planning out the box- I measured and marked which lines would be scored and which would be cut. Kay wanted a slot on the top of the box where people could submit their stories, and a spot on the front that could hold a notepad.

Assembly- The box just folds together, and can be taped or glued from the inside, so the glue won't be visible. 

Painting the box- After putting a few coats of paint onto the box, my work was done!

And here is the finished box! Kay did the decorating and turned this little yellow box into a lovely home!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Blue Skies and Flashing Lights

My fourth day at Sandbox Studios was a beautiful day, once the heat wave had finally broke. It was much more enjoyable to travel from Philly to NYC in these conditions.

I usually sit with Nicolette as she works within one of the studios. I think I may finally be getting used to the constant firing of strobe lights going on. This day there was a stills shoot for Calvin Klein going on. Every so often one of the stylists would approach Nicolette with a question like how a certain belt needs to be shot, and Nicolette either answers their question, or contacts her contact at CK since they obviously know their own products much better. I got to sit with Nicolette and watch as she completed various lines off her to-do list. I've found listing is a very useful tool for her, as it is for me as well. I've found through watching it's a really great tool for professionals who have a lot on their plates to stay very organized. 

Nicolette completed various tasks like sending out call sheets and invoices, and I watched her as she booked cast and studio space for upcoming shoots. It was all very interesting to watch, this whole production aspect of a photo shoot. She really is the brains behind gathering and organizing the whole production so it runs smoothly. 

After lunch it was time for me to complete a task I worked on last week, updating the Target model binders. Through brief lessons and working on excel so much the past 3 times I've been in, i'm finally growing comfortable with excel, a program I have never used before. But I think knowing this program will prove to be very helpful in the professional world. It was finally time to print the worksheets I had worked on and put together a new binder. 

After much confusion on how to print from excel, I felt accomplished when I finally figured it out- slightly harder than you'd imagine. Once I finished up I even had some time to watch what the IT was doing on set. For a still life shoot there's a photographer and a tech. I found myself very curious as to what the tech did, and was excited to look on and learn a bit. Can't wait to see what next week has in store!