Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Newcomb Pottery exhibition ends with curator lecture

Spread throughout multiple galleries of the Georgia Museum of Art are a variety of hand-crafted and beautifully decorated objects that range from pottery and metalwork to bookbinding and textiles. These objects all have one special thing in common.

They all originate from the Newcomb Pottery, where women were not only able to create these objects to sell and to support themselves financially, but also to make great contributions to American art.

The Newcomb Pottery was a social and artistic experiment from 1895 until 1940 at the H. Sophie Newcomb Memorial College (now part of Tulane University) in New Orleans. The program allowed women to support themselves financially while they trained to become artists.

In addition to producing highly coveted, iconic art, the program helped facilitate the betterment of women as well as the New Orleans community through art education.  

The current exhibition, "Women, Art and Social Change: The Newcomb Pottery Enterprise," is part of a national tour organized by Tulane and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. The exhibition, which is the largest comprehensive showing of the pottery in 25 years, will travel to nine different cities through 2016.

And although the exhibition will close at the Georgia Museum of Art after Sunday (Aug. 31), there is still opportunity to see it and learn about it. The museum will host the lecture “Newcomb’s Designers: A Conscious Revolution” by Sally Main, senior curator at the Newcomb Art Gallery at Tulane University, this Thursday at 5:30 p.m., followed by a reception.

Main will speak about the societal and artistic impact of this revolutionary social experiment. The event is the perfect opportunity to experience this unique exhibition before it continues on its tour.


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Artist uses electricity to make shockingly original works

"Blossom and Moon" by Cory Hunter
Miami artist Cory Hunter has found a new way to integrate science, nature and art with his electrifying artwork.

Hunter uses his background in science and chemical engineering to harness the power of electricity. He uses an insulated electrode as a special brush that interacts with a stationary electrode inserted into the canvas. Hunter uses different levels of voltage to create interesting, branching patterns.

Hunter explains on his website:
"Fractal is derived from the Latin word 'fractious,' defined as broken or shattered glass, and is a mathematical articulation of form, chance, and dimension. A pattern is fractal if it is self-similar on different scales, equally rough from near as as from far, and is difficult to measure. My work explores the spontaneous organic form as it occurs in naturally occurring fractal patterns."

Using his interest in classical and oriental art, Hunter wanted to focus on exemplifying the stroke of the electricity.

He uses electricity on a variety of surfaces including cardboard, wood and corrugate panels and to imitate lightning striking any other non-conductor. The resulting patterns, called Lichtenberg figures, resemble a tree struck by lightning. Hunter's Vine account shows close-up looks at how the fractal patterns are formed. He then paints around the electrified etchings to create interesting, mixed-media works that range from Chinese cherry blossoms to depictions of the burning Twin Towers. 

Hunter’s work has been shown around Miami, but he has been performing live paintings for the public. In the future he plans on studying more about the science behind electricity and experimenting with other mediums such as glass.

"Green Tree" by Cory Hunter
"Stripes" by Cory Hunter
Sources: Studio360, WLRN Miami

Monday, August 04, 2014

Artist uses 3D printing to make museum art "touchable"

Museums serve a very important role in housing, caring for and displaying the world's art. Museums make art accessible to the public and provide resources to learn about the works.

Some people, like Dutch art historian and designer Maaike Roozenburg, believe that displaying art so conservatively removes works from their daily functions, isolating the objects from the lives of visitors. Many believe that not being able to touch and interact with the objects on display limits visitors' ability to appreciate those works.

In an effort to remove the distance between object and viewer, Roozenburg set out to create her Smart Replica project, with touchable 3D replicas of fragile teacups that caught her eye during a trip to the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam, Netherlands. 

Roozenburg partnered with the Delft University of Technology to build 3D printing models of the objects. Because of the fragile nature of the teacups, Roozenburg and TU Delft used non-contact, medical CT scans, which the university students converted into 3D models.

Then, with the help of Wim van Eck of the Augmented Reality Lab of the Royal Academy of Art and the creative agency LikeFriends, Roozenburg added extra layers to the replicas. By using the smartphone or tablet app Junaio, museum visitors can use their devices to access the augmented reality layers of the objects they are touching.

The extra layers give the visitor access to the ornate design of the original object as well as information on the works.

Roozenburg is continuing the project with her partnering organizations to make more works accessible to viewers, and, with the growing use of 3D printing, we may see this trend applied to museums in the U.S. soon enough.

Sources: PSFK, Core77, Dezeen