Friday, November 19, 2010

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Color Scheme Designer

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Assistantships for Frogman's Summer Printmaking Workshop Available

This photo of my Relief Printing class from the summer of 2005 stands as concrete evidence of the joys of learning all things xylographical in beautiful Vermillion, South Dakota. (That's Christina Kaufmann, my lovely shop assistant, standing next to me in the blue T-shirt adorned with a white woodcut skull.) Truth be told, a panoply of printmaking classes are offered there, from notable practitioners in the field during the months of June and July. These classes can be transferred to work as credit towards your CSULB degree, but there is an extra fee that has to be paid to the University of South Dakota.

At any rate, an email notice popped into my 'puter this AM from Jeremy Menard who manages to well, manage the logistics of the beast. He wanted to let me know that the deadline to apply for an assistantship is less than one short week away!

Here's the skinny on the deal: Students must be enrolled for both weeks of classes to be eligible for an assistantship. Assistants will be needed in Vermillion, SD, from Wednesday, June 29, 2011 through Tuesday, July 19, 2011. Assistants will be responsible for set-up and tear-down of the workshops in addition to assisting the faculty. Frogman's will waive one week's fees ($675) and it will pay for assistants three week's stay in a single University dorm room ($369.60). Assistants are responsible for all of their own meals and travel. Applicants must register for a first choice and a second choice for each class session.

As for the part that made me groan - to apply, students must have two letters of recommendation. You must also send also five digital images (.jpg format) and a cover letter along with your registration form. Participants must be enrolled and deposits paid to qualify for Workshop Assistantships. Half of your deposit ($325) is due no later than November 15, 2010. The other half of your deposit ($325) is due no later than February 15, 2011. Assistants will not receive the popular "Early Bird" Discounts. Applications are due no later than November 15, 2010. A maximum of 12 assistantships are available and preference will be given to past participants.

For more information, go to or

Feel free to contact Jeremy with any questions.

Jeremy Menard, Executive Director
Frogman's Print & Paper Workshops
105 North Third Street, PO Box 142
Beresford, SD 57004
(605) 763-5082 / (605) 310-6548 (Cell)

Also – The deadline to apply for Frogman’s Graduate Student Scholarship is also approaching - December 15, 2010. Our own Tyler Ferreira won this honor last year and it included having a solo exhibition of his work.

Channeling Barbara Kruger, Part the First

An Art History 365 Student's Review of the Visiting Artist Lecture from 10/6/2010

Rob Swainston: AH 365 Lecture Review, 10/6/2010, CSULB University Theatre

Rob Swainston is a co-founder and master printer at the printmaking studio Prints of Darkness in New York City.

Swainston’s own work is largely based on improvisation and revolves around print media although he does not stick to the traditional limits of the media. He “expanded the matrix” to the field of sculpture and installation by creating three dimensional pieces mainly constructed out of paper with the addition of various other materials. Swainston also likes to recycle his artwork by combining old and new elements. For example his Till Tomorrow On was first conceived as a large print titled Triumphal Arch, inspired by the woodcut The Triumphal Arch of Maximilian by Albrecht Dürer. In each subsequent gallery display of Swainston’s work, he would change some detail so that the resulting piece never looked identical to the original form. Swainston also said that he likes to photograph his installations and then create collages incorporating prints and photographs.

Rob Swainston explained that he largely operates on chance which might be the reason why his work lacks content. Swainston also said that he feels more challenged to work on pieces that he does not like by constantly reworking them without getting too preoccupied with the final meaning. This approach in art making is interesting although the lack of meaning does not seem fitting for reinterpretation of Dürer’s work.

In his lecture, the artist also explained that when he runs out of inspiration he uses a formula that he learned from his teacher: Use something found, combine it with the piece of a previous project and an action word. He explained that his decisions are made along the way. In Swainston’s opinion , art means creating something for the viewer and not yourself and, in his opinion, this approach distinguishes art from hobby. I wonder what other artists think about this definition, but I personally disagree.

I think that Swainston’s work has a certain visual appeal although it is difficult to judge prints by viewing them on the screen. The scale of his artwork is certainly impressive, but it lacks content. Also, the installations do not have the same appeal when shown as photographs.

Image: Centennial, from 2009, Woodblock print on paper installation, 10' tall, length variable

Thursday, November 4, 2010


On October 29th, Camilla Taylor, one of the co-teachers for the print survey class wore a spider costume to teach. It greatly reduced any ability to be effectively stern.