Advanced Individual Studies class displays their work

May 18, 2012 § Leave a comment

Steve Rose’s group of artists displayed their incredible pieces in the Great Hall yesterday afternoon. We were able to snap a couple of quick pics to share online…

Attention Readers!

May 2, 2012 § Leave a comment

The HSTA blog has been growing in leaps and bounds over the last few months, and we want to keep growing!

Typically, we like to write articles about what’s going on at the school, job opportunities and artist residencies, offering unique insight into the world of an artist – and their often humble beginnings, as well as local things to do and try!

But is there something we’re missing? We’d love to hear some suggestions!

If you like what you see, why not recommend us to a friend?

Thanks so much for Following!

Artist of the Week – Ashley Kirby

February 28, 2012 § Leave a comment

Ashley Kirby

Her jewellery journey began in 6th grade when she purchased a Fimo bead and hemp bracelet how-to book. By tenth grade, she was already selling her jewellery at a flea market just outside of Parry Sound. Before the end of high school, she’d “tried it all” – as much as any eighteen year-old can delve into… Hemp, gimp, beading, weaving… She even took a drawing and painting class here and there.

Now, a two-time graduate of HSTA’s Certificate programs, she’s begun to bring it all together: years slaving away making knotted jewellery trained her for the complex wire knots and beaded masses that she calls rings. “Almost all of the rings are one single piece of wire, woven in and out with beads, pearls, and crystal. Each ring tends to take on a life of its own. I generally let the beads and the wire dictate to me how the ring will be shaped. It makes every single one unique.”

And indeed they are. From cocktail parties to everyday fun, the bright colours and one-of-a-kind construction certainly make for a great piece. “I started off with the idea of having a ‘Champagne Collection’; you know, mostly bridal and black-tie bijoux. But, I just couldn’t resist the colours… Whether I wear it with jeans or a fancy dress, just wearing one of the rings brightens my mood.” Not that her mood needs much brightening, when she attended HSTA she was always caught with a smile on her face. Best of all, this young woman is proof positive that a particular area of study, does not dictate what medium an artist works in. Her areas of study? Blacksmithing and Photo Arts…

“Well, when I took the blacksmithing program,” she explains, “mostly it was because I’ve always been drawn to history prior to about 1900. I’m the sort of person that still seals envelopes with wax when I send letters to my friends.” She sends letters? Like in the actual mail with stamps? “As for the photography… well, I’d always wanted to take photography in high school and simply never had the chance… So I came here to remedy that.”

Today, she blends (very) small-scale metalwork with various beads into delightfully colourful, fun, fresh, and elegant jewellery. And her camera is there to document it.

Ashley can create custom jewellery to match any occasion or taste, as well as size. Each piece is individually made. She can be reached at 226-929-6871 or visit her website at www.ank-designs.com where she can be reached via email.

Artist of the Week

January 28, 2012 § 1 Comment

Ian Turner

“There’s a photograph of my sister and I, taken when we were still quite young, as we painted watercolour masterpieces along the shoreline of our family cottage on Georgian Bay. The photograph, as well as the painting that I made that day, have been perpetually preserved, laminated side-by-side into a placemat. On the underside is another watercolour I made around the same age:  a copy of a Tom Thomson waterfall from the McMichael Canadian Collection. The placemat is sort of faded now; bits of dry macaroni and cheese give it a rough texture. It doesn’t look like much, but thinking of it now, it represents the foundation of my artistic life.”  Ian Turner

I graduated from high school a year after my classmates, following a botched attempt at becoming a professional cyclist. A fresh start and new direction were required: I jumped the first freight train headed for Vancouver, intent on studying science at Simon Fraser University. Perhaps not quite so intent after all, as alas! I spent too much time on sketching trips in the mountains and not enough time studying chemical formulae… They sent me packing, needless to say, precipitating my return home to Toronto, now somewhat rankled and directionless. What seems like an obvious conclusion to my apathetic state was much less clear at the time, when I hesitantly – to put it mildly – signed up for a few art courses in the city. I was lucky and had good teachers; I met with positive feedback and encouragement.

I came to the Haliburton School of The Arts – Fleming College last fall with a desire for a thorough grounding in drawing and painting: to be beat over the head with the fundamentals, like an apprentice in Michelangelo’s studio. What I greatly appreciated about the school was the friendly intimacy and lack of pretension that might have turned me away from a larger institution, much like a young Claude Monet turning a cold shoulder to the Académie.

I don’t imagine any artist can ever ignore or escape from the influences of their childhood, even if they wanted to. The work of men such as Tom Thomson, Lawren Harris, and J.E.H. MacDonald, will always hold a special place in my heart, and rightly so. But, as I have grown and my creative vision and personal awareness have widened, I have felt the need to stretch. My inspiration as an artist comes from a wide appreciation of artists throughout history and in my current practice I am exploring styles from the Renaissance to the Abstract Expressionists, in order to develop a more intimate relationship with art history. With so much information available to us, with the evolution of the Internet, our shrinking world, and the greater availability of books and publications, we, as artists, have access to more knowledge and inspiration within our field than ever before.

Presently working out of a studio in Toronto which, in a former life, was best known as my sister’s bedroom – one of the perks to having a sibling studying out-of-province – I am applying myself with my characteristic conscientious enthusiasm, haunting the halls of the Art Gallery of Ontario, and slowly laying waste to my bank account with open studio life drawing/painting sessions across the city.

This coming Fall, I will begin my studies in Art History at the University of Toronto, questing ambitiously after my Muse. Though in all due modesty, I find myself less and less prone to chancing upon a book touching on art or an artist that I have yet to read.

Look out for me at Exhibitions in the near future. In addition, I, like many of my illustrious apotheosized forbears, am always grateful for commissions.

A handshake in thought,                                                                                                                                                                                      Ian Turner

Interested parties may contact Mr. Turner by phone at 416 423 5526 

Fibre Arts Grad awarded and featured in 9th Annual Rural & Northern Art Show

December 16, 2011 § Leave a comment

Fibre Arts graduate Hilary Omichinski’s corset was included in the 9th Annual Rural & Northern Art Show (Sept. 6 -Oct. 2nd 2011)as it was the winner of the Fibre Arts category at the Eastman Judged Art Exhibition held in Niverville, Manitoba.

Hilary studied Apparel Technolgy at Olds College in Olds, Alberta and Fibre Arts at the Haliburton School of The Arts, and she noted “the corset was a great way to amalgamate the two areas of study and bring them back to my home province.”

Hilary has since taught fibre dyeing classes at her former high school and used the corset as an example of how textile design and garment design may be combined.

Here is a link to the show.

Christmas Preview for 2012

December 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

Christmas Preview HSTA 2012

Jewellery Essentials at HSTA

December 9, 2011 § Leave a comment

A piece of jewellery is evidence of the creative process. It embodies the technology, the medium, and the artist’s message in a work that can be pinpointed in time and place. As for the craft, one simply has to visit  shows such as the One of a Kind, or check out a local studio tour to recognize that artisanal jewellery is one of the most successful and growing areas in craft today!

HSTA offers the Jewellery Essentials Certificate in the winter semester, where students are encouraged to explore personal style in conjunction with developing the skills and techniques to design, fabricate, and finish basic jewellery forms. The 15-week program is delivered in an intensive format, and is the equivalent to two semesters of full-time studies. Studies in design, drawing, and history for jewellers provide a strong foundation for exploring fabrication, chain making, surface decoration, casting, forming and stone setting. In this certificate, students will be exposed to, and analyze jewellery from different eras and cultures, and encouraged allow these influences to integrate into their own original studio work. Design principles will be integrated into course activity in order to help students explore the challenges of form and function.

Students will learn to use hand tools competently in order to design and construct basic jewellery forms. Through technical and exploratory exercises and practice students will develop skills in the use of the polishing machine, flex shaft, drill press and oxygen / propane torch system with which they will anneal, solder, decorate and finish their forms. There will be a special emphasis on the appropriate use of shop equipment and the health and safety procedures essential to work practices in the jewellery studio. Special attention will be paid to the appropriate use, handling, storage and disposal of chemicals.

This course will further develop and strengthen techniques used in Jewellery Fabrication I & II as well as introduce advanced techniques requiring greater skill and accuracy. Specifically, these include the use and function of hinges and skill in making tubing from sheet metal. Students will develop further understanding of metal and its working properties to apply to assignments and or projects.

Students in the Jewellery Essentials Certificate will work with sterling silver, copper and brass. The chemistry of metals will be addressed while learning about various methods and techniques. Development of technique, personal style and expression will be facilitated by individual and group critiques and keeping a studio journal.

For more information on the Glassblowing certificate and how you can apply for 2012, contact program coordinator Jennifer Bain , jbain@flemingc.on.ca or by calling 705-457-1680 or visiting here (hsta.ca – jewellery essentials) for more information.

THRESHOLD – Student Show and Sale on Dec. 17th 2011

December 2, 2011 § Leave a comment

“Food for Thought” – HSTA Faculty and Dean participate in new Exhibition

November 18, 2011 § Leave a comment

Dean of the Haliburton School of the Arts, Sandra Dupret, and Photo Arts Faculty, Andrzej Maciejewski, both participated in a new food-themed exhibition for the Gallery Project in Ann Arbor. The following is a review of the Show by Jennifer Eberach for annarbor.com.

Gallery Project offers some ‘Food for Thought’

Tue, Nov 15, 2011

Part of James Reynolds’ “Last Supper Series” in “Food For Thought.”

Gallery Project investigates our relationship with food from every angle in “Food for Thought.” 38 artworks of all sorts created by about 30 contributors reveal how food touches every aspect of the human experience—from personal reflections, to cultural critiques, social or political statements, to thoughts on health, and beyond.

Gallery co-director Gloria Pritschet, who co-curated the exhibition with co-director Rocco DePietro and Plymouth artist Kevin Ewing, thinks it is the perfect time to do an exhibition about food. “Food is really up for people right now,” she says.

“The White House addressed food issues and obesity, and people are talking about issues of class and availability of healthy food. Many people have been scared by different food poisonings. I think more people are reading labels and realizing what’s in their food. And the local food movement, which is represented in the show, is gaining strength. It’s a sign that people are waking up to what they are putting in their mouths,” she says.

Some of the artworks draw awareness to where food comes from, how it is farmed, and what goes into it before it hits our plates. Joshua and Sarah Smith, who live on a ranch in Rawlins, Wyoming, raise grass-fed beef. Their hanging sculpture and poem “Poaceae” gives visual form to the old saying, ‘you are what you eat.’ Wire mesh shaped like a slab of beef is filled with grass and hung from a meat hook. The accompanying poem and the artwork draws attention to our place in the food chain and how “we feast on these beings/ which sup on these grasses,” as the poem reads.

Nearby, a series of documentaries of lectures by famous autistic animal behavior pioneer Temple Grandin play. Many have seen actress Claire Dane’s portrayal of Grandin in the recent award-winning biopic. She is famous for designing farm animal handling techniques with the perspective of the livestock in mind.

Local cake artist Heather Anne Leavitt only uses local ingredients to make her Sweet Heather Anne cakes. Her six-level Mile High Cake is a Styrofoam version decorated with real icing. The decorations on the cake diagram where each of the cake’s ingredients came from before reaching her kitchen—all local places like Tantre’ Farm and Sunrise Poultry.

A number of the artworks in “Food for Thought” examine topics like consumer culture and the food choices we make. Artist Sandra Dupret of Haliburton, Ontario charts her own eating habits over her lifetime in a series of felt artworks on 15 small canvases, “A Personal Food Evaluation, 1969-2011: The Early Years, The Middle Years, Recent Years.” Over time, she went from eating highly processed foods to more natural food. For example, she ate Cheez Whiz when she was young, cheese-flavored crackers when she was a bit older, and now she eats just plain old cheese.

Artist Andrzej Maciejewski of Yarker, Ontario contributed three still-life photographs of fruits from his “Garden of Eden” series. The pieces play off the way classic still life paintings from art history celebrate the beauty of nature and fertility. However, in Maciejewski’s version, all of the labels are left on the fruit, uglying up the composition and distracting the eye. His artist statement hints at how the work shows how people are “slowly destroying nature.”

A few pieces employ a survey in one way or another. One of the artworks Pritschet contributed to the show, “Where did you eat lately?,” polls gallery visitors on where they were when they ate recent meals. People ‘vote’ by putting marbles into different types of cups labeled with phrases like “watching TV,” “in my car,” “at my desk at work,” or at the “dining table,” which are popular choices.

James Reynolds, an artist from London, England, documents what prisoners on death row ate for their last meal in his “Last Supper Series,” photographs of orange food trays. Long Beach, Calif. artist Rebecca Sittler weighed meat patties served at independent restaurants in her area for her work “The Weight of Non-Franchise Meat.” She documented each with a photograph, paying homage to Robert Cumming’s 1971 artist book “The Weight of Franchise Meat.” In her artist statement, she explains that the work documents “an imaginary ‘burger war’ between independent restaurants the exists in the shadows of larger franchised establishments.”

Ann Arbor artist Tom Nighswander’s photographs, “Dumpster Diving,” document one Saturday night’s worth of trashed food in Ann Arbor trash bins. “I try to show the carnage and beauty that can be found in everyday trash,” he says in his artist statement.

There are also highly personal accounts of food in the exhibition. Ann Arbor artist Julie Renfro mounted some of her mother’s recipe cards in frames and decorated them with beads and small objects. All together they resemble a patchwork quilt of a personal history.

And Rocco DePietro describes his pastel and pencil drawing “I’m Staying for Dinner” as a scene from a dream he had about being served a soup full of animal parts amongst figures he describes as “zombies.”

Near the back of the gallery, two pieces present disturbing views of meat. Bloomington, Indiana artist Lauren Duffy’s “Reaching, Falling, Crawling” ceramic sculptures depict featherless chickens with huge seemingly genetically-modified chests. They look as if they are almost ready to go to market, save the fact they appear to still be alive, struggling on the floor.

A more disturbing and transgressive look at the topic of food is Thomas McMillen-Oakley’s “White Meat,” a photograph showing a nude man from the back, chained up with his different sections marked off with a black marker, as another man gets ready to butcher him like a farm animal.

The exhibition contains many thought-provoking works that ask you to consider your own relationship and feelings about food. More artists in the show include Jason DeMarte of Ypsilanti, Brenda Oelbaum of Ann Arbor, Hilary Dana Williams of Des Moines, Iowa, Erin Garber-Pearson of Toledo, Ohio, Melanie Manos of Ann Arbor, Cayla Skillin-Brauchle of Athens, Ohio, Amy Feigley-Lee of Detroit, Teresa Peterson of Detroit, Jamie Fales of East Islip, New York, Rob Todd of Ypsilanti, Katie Halton of Ann Arbor, Joel Panozzo of Ann Arbor, as well as an installation of photographs, a video, and pamphlets about threatened foods from Slow Food Huron Valley and Slowfood International (care of Kim Bayer, an annarbor.com community contributor who wrote about the exhibition).

In the end, choices about what we eat and how we feel about food and the natural world are highly personal. Instead of telling us what to think, “Food for Thought” asks the viewers to be conscious of their own feelings and opinions. “Each decision is right for each different person depending on your own value system and your own context. The exhibition represents a lot of different people’s contexts,” Pritschet explains.

“Food For Thought” is on display through Dec. 11 at Gallery Project, 215 S. Fourth Ave, Ann Arbor, USA.

Walkabout at HSTA – July 28 2011

July 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

This week at Walkabout, we encountered musical instruments – ready for playing!-, chainsaw sculptures, printmaking, monoprints, bangles, bracelets and arm armour…it is truly incredible to see what a week can do, and what years can do – some projects have been built over years of attending HSTA courses – now that is artistic commitment!

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