Monday, March 16, 2015

The Annual Student Exhibition [My MFA Thesis show]

In two months my cohort and I will have completed our MFA degrees and our thesis work will be seen in the Annual Student Exhibition (ASE) at PAFA. Now that my proposal has been officially accepted, I'm so excited to talk about the work as it will be rather than in terms of "if". 

I proposed to create a large installation in the stairwell of the gallery from the first floor up to the second floor. The diagrams below are what I submitted to outline my proposal; the colors shown are purely to identify the structure and layering.

The stairwell is 15' across at the widest point, and our security manager advised me to allow for an 8' height clearance above guests' heads. All the anchor points (red dots) are at the same level- along the second floor railing. The segments will hang with monofilament attached to toggles, which fit in the grommets placed along the material.

Below is the lowest layer while it was in progress:

Here is a quick test run for the logistics in hanging the material. The piece got a little twisted when we put it in place, and should also be spread out taut. The finished material is a few feet larger in length and width to fill the space a bit more.

Here is the second layer while it was in progress:

I'm officially half-way finished! It may actually come together after all... (ha!)

Friday, November 21, 2014

How to Make A Chair for Douglas Adams

Here is a series of pieces I created in response to a published text: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy trilogy by Douglas Adams. As one of my favorite books/series of all time, I had enormous fun making these pieces. I used typography and color as key aspects to create a visual equivalent of the source material.

"It is said that despite its many glaring (and occasionally fatal) inaccuracies, the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy itself has outsold the Encyclopedia Galactica because it is slightly cheaper, and because it has the words "DON'T PANIC" in large, friendly letters on the cover."


Interplanetary Guest Basket

Interplanetary Guest Basket detail

Interplanetary Guest Basket back


Architekt detail

Architekt detail

Friday, September 5, 2014

Residuum I [an Installation]

At the end of last semester I created an installation called Residuum I in which each surface of the space is completely covered in plastic bags. Melting recycled/found/reused bags together into tapestries I wrapped each wall, floor, ceiling, and door creating a 17'x10'x7' room made of plastic. Each surface was an exploration of technique, color, and material. The majority of the surfaces were constructed entirely from plastic bags and tape. One surface held discarded prints on acetate and another featured reused aluminum flashing.

More/Less long wall

Yellow end wall
Floor detail at More/Less and Yellow walls

Green long wall

White end wall

White wall, Door, More/Less wall

Door detail with Ceiling

Ceiling and White end wall

Ceiling detail

The space became warmer, darker, and felt smaller with the plastic coverings. The floor remained sticky from spray adhesive so that when my class was in the space for the duration of my 30 minute critique, we became very aware of the sounds our feet made as they stuck and re-stuck to parts of the floor. Having lowered the ceiling to 7' (from it's actual height of about 12') we could look through holes in my plastic ceiling and see the building behind it as well as the light cast from above.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Squirrelly Animation

A fun little gif I made about a squirrel:

Monday, February 24, 2014


Here's a new drawing I just finished of a weird little squirrel.

I saw this silhouette of a squirrel in a Pennsylvania Dutch painting at the Barnes Foundation. Since photography and sketching aren't allowed, I went straight back to my studio and drew what I saw as quickly as possible. The features turned into my own derpy version of the squirrel's face and claws.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Let's Play!

Yesterday was PAFA's Open Studio night and it was a blast. I got to speak with local artists, families, K-12 students and gallery folk. They gave me a lot of helpful feedback on my work, and I felt less like a hermit collecting weird things and more like an artist.

I rustled up a quick interactive piece for the lobby of our floor, and since I was in my studio all night I didn't get to see people react to the work. I did however, get to see that by the time I left last night all of the objects had been moved from where I placed them initially. I consider that a success.

The piece included two deconstructed robotic toys, my old set of Pogs, and my View Master with two image wheels: Superman and Sesame Street- all placed around a child's play mat.

Here is a short clip from the piece "Let's Play!"

Sunday, September 15, 2013

I'm A Student Again

I've survived the first few weeks of grad school, but it's still pretty surreal at times. I keep feeling as though I have to go back to work at any moment--don't get me wrong, I usually enjoy my jobs but they aren't my passion. I have to remind myself that this IS my job now: to study, research, learn and grow as much as I can in two years.

I live in a new state and a big new city. I used to drive myself up to an hour to work but now I walk or ride the subway. I go out to bars and clubs (from which there are plenty to choose) and I don't have to call ahead for a cab! I absolutely love living in Philly and have found the adjustment very easy. The main rough patch I've had has been financial. I received scholarships and loans, but the financial aid refund check is coming a full month after I stopped working, so I'm seriously broke.

Broad Street Subway entrance at Ellsworth-Federal

City Hall, View from the rooftop terrace at PAFA

The curriculum structure is not quite what I expected, but it has turned out to be a pleasant surprise. Classes are held just once a week and I'm only in three classes, even though I'm considered a full-time student. Between classes I am expected to work in my private studio or the workshops, meet with faculty critics, and do research. The more I learn about my program, the more excited and proud I am to be attending PAFA

View from the 9th floor, where my studio is located

Unlike undergrad, research comes far more easily since it's for things I intentionally choose. I have already spent a few full days in the library, surpassing my total time spent in the library during my undergrad-HA! I find myself able to think more clearly and ideas for work come more naturally.

I do however find myself struggling at times in my drawing class because 1) it's been three years since I took a drawing class, 2) I only took one figurative course prior to this, and 3) my professor is great. Number 3 might not make sense at first, but in the past few weeks I've been reminded that the people that push you the most will foster the most growth. My old band director used to say "Practice the parts you're the worst at", which seems simple enough but is really quite difficult at times.

Having taken a few classes as an eager "adult student" after I earned my BFA, I have a renewed drive and self-discipline for academia. I'm sure had I actually been admitted into grad school immediately following undergrad, I would have quickly realized how burnt out I had gotten and that I lacked focus. I also needed to grow up some more by supporting myself financially. Real world problems are good to learn earlier than later.

Alls I'm sayin' is the timing is perfect.