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Explore the Studio Arts

Each year at It’s Your Show, I’m struck by the beautiful paintings and drawings that our students submit. Many are picking up a paintbrush or pencil for the first time, so it’s truly amazing how much they’re able to accomplish by the end of class. I think it’s a testament to our instructors, but also to the creative spirit and energy that our students, many coming from backgrounds far removed from the art world, are able to bring to class each week.

If you’re looking to start a new hobby, or rediscover those paints and brushes that have been packed away for years, we have summer classes that can help you get started. Check out our workshops below, and some images of student artwork from past shows.

Basic Drawing I and Creative Drawing Workshop with Stephanie Pryor

Mixed Media Painting Techniques with Julie Weitz

Basic Drawing II with Josh Mannis

Basic Watercolor Techniques for Landscape, Figures and Abstraction with Paul Arden

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Interview with instructor Dale Hernsdorf

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We are pleased to announce a new instructor to our program. Dale Hernsdorf will be teaching Handmade Jewelry I this summer, and is looking forward to bringing her personal style and skill set to the classroom.

We spoke with Dale about her background in jewelry design, and her personal aesthetic. To see more samples of her work, visit www.dalehernsdorf.com.

What drew you to jewelry design and how did you get started?
I’ve always had an interest in both the fine and decorative arts. At Wesleyan University I majored in painting, studied photography, and took my first silversmithing class. I worked as a photographer and a graphic designer after graduation, but was always interested in metalworking. I took a couple of classes at The New School in New York City, and then in 1997 I took this very class here at UCLA Extension. I continued studying with Master Goldsmith Ralph Goldstein in his studio, fine tuning the techniques I’ll be teaching here in Handmade Jewelry I.

Tell us about an especially rewarding project you’ve worked on and why you enjoyed it.
I’ve been commissioned to create many different pieces of jewelry, and have always enjoyed the process of working with my clients. But recently the husband of one of my best friends in college contacted me from Charleston, South Carolina, and asked me to create a bracelet for a special occasion. Designing the piece involved solving a number of technical issues, as my friend is a serious athlete and it was important that the piece be substantial, every-day-wearable, and close with a toggle clasp that would under no circumstances come accidentally undone. I crafted an 18kt gold and yellow sapphire triple-chain bracelet joined by a unique X-shaped toggle that relies on bilateral tension as it drapes around the wrist to stay closed. I always love the design process, and solving problems in a beautiful way is richly satisfying. This piece not only suits my client’s personality, aesthetic and life style, but also pushed me creatively.

What can students expect from the Handmade Jewelry class?
We will be working in fine silver, which is more pure than sterling and gleams like platinum. I’ll teach the basic skills of hand fabrication: drilling, sawing, filing and soldering; pulling wire and making tubing; making prong and bezel settings; setting stones; and finishing. A series of projects is designed to build a foundation of these fundamentals, which can be applied, with further practice on one’s own or with more advanced study, to the creation of pieces like those of mine shown here.

Any advice for designers just starting out?
Stay true to your own aesthetic. Take note of what you’re drawn to, and consider why. Notice how things are constructed, proportions, and the relationships between parts. And ALWAYS carry a sketchbook. Inspiration hits in random and surprising moments.

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Winter 2015: About the Catalog Cover Designed by Michael Newman

The 2015 Winter catalog cover was designed by Michael Newman as part of the ongoing Master Graphic Designer Series. In addition to the catalog cover, he designed an interactive installation, titled Thirty-five Pixels, which will be on display at the UCLA Extension 1010 Westwood building through the 2015 Winter Quarter.

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The piece incorporates motion detection, image capture, and real-time socket communication, so participants anywhere in the world can interact with, control and even be part of the experience. You can interact with the piece by going to uclax.pomp.com on your computer or smart phone and you can watch the live camera video feed here.

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Recently, Raspberry Pi wrote an article about the piece. You can read it here. For more technical information, please visit http://pomp.com/2014/11/uclax-master-designer-cover-series/.

 

 

Upcoming Lecture: Practical Legal Knowledge for Photographers and Artists

As you enter the professional world as an artist, legal questions and concerns begin to present themselves. You’ve mainly been photographing friends – will you begin to present them with model releases? How will you protect your work as you try to market it on the web? It can be overwhelming, and difficult to get good information as you build your business.

To address these issues, we are pleased to present a lecture by John Baldrica, MFA, JD, and assistant General Counsel for SAG-AFTRA. Tailored to the concerns of photographers and artists both starting out in the business or deep in their career, this three-hour talk will present a streamlined overview of the laws most relevant to their calling, from contract basics to intellectual property. Participants will discover common misconceptions about the law and glean powerful, practical lessons from other creators’ hard-fought legal battles.

The talk will be held on Thursday, Sept. 25 from 6-9pm. To learn more and enroll, click here.

We spoke to John about his background, and the world of arts and the law. Please note: John Baldrica is Assistant General Counsel for SAG-AFTRA;  the opinions expressed are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of his employer.

John Baldrica

John Baldrica

What are some of the unique legal challenges faced by artists that others might not be aware of?

There are certainly legal issues that artists face more frequently. For example, a lot of the basic rights and obligations related to creative works–things like the ability to use or sell a particular image–turn on who is the legally recognized owner.  This may be addressed by a contract, but might also be affected by the circumstances surrounding a particular work’s creation.  Does an existing contract make it a work for hire, owned by an employer?  Could someone else’s involvement mean they might be considered a co-creator?  Did the people in the photograph give consent?  Consider all of the academic questions that surrounded the Ellen-Oscar-Selfie, and imagine what a mess it would be if a creative business relied on using images like that but didn’t think through those issues ahead of time.

Another challenge–and this is not unique to artists–is that legal disputes can often follow financial success.  One of the intentional features of our court system is that it is designed, in part, to be burdensome and expensive, with the hope that people will try to resolve their disputes and only fight it out when the underlying issues are really worth it.  You can argue whether the system has the intended effect, but as a practical matter it means that if you’ve just made a million dollars selling the Oscar-Selfie, those questions are no longer just academic.

Is there a common mistake or oversight you see artists make that can have serious consequences?

Again, it’s not unique to artists, but one of the most serious risks anyone can take is signing a contract that they don’t fully understand.  This is not to say that artists should avoid formal contracts.  They exist because they are very useful for handling anticipated problems that might not be addressed by the “default” laws in effect.  And artists, by the nature of their work, are often pushing boundaries of technology or expression where the law is not entirely settled.

But the flip side is that, in most cases, the law will treat a contract that two parties have willingly entered as the starting and ending point of the inquiry, even if it gives a clear advantage to one side.  That could mean anything from being obligated to pay the other party’s legal bills in a lawsuit, to giving up all of your rights in your work.  And, because individual artists are often dealing with large companies, there is already an imbalance of negotiating power, so it’s even more important that artists understand all the obligations they are agreeing to.

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Pondering the legal ramifications of displaying work at our student show.

What in your background led you to this area of the law, or why did you chose to focus on issues of law in media?

Before law, one of the things I worked in (and taught) was web and Flash design.   At real risk of dating myself, this was in the Wild-West days of unique, subversive, creative work being done for the Internet, before even the advent of YouTube.  Think “email link to a GeoCities page.”   As a result, I was inevitably fielding questions about the legal ramifications of various projects, to which, at the time, I could basically say just “try not to get sued.”

Now, a decade or so later, I can give basically the same advice, but with lots of Latin words.  I’m (probably) joking, but the exciting and occasionally nerve-wracking thing about the edges of any developing medium is that the law takes time to catch up with the culture.  So often the best you can do is to try to anticipate what might be issues in the future.

What do you hope students will gain from the lecture?

There’s a natural tension between the arts and the law, because, in part, one is focused on taking risks and the other on avoiding them.  But, when they are working best, both the law and the arts are about solving problems and finding balance.  It’s certainly a matter of debate where that balance should be, particularly in terms of allowing creative expression.  But, ideally, we probably want a legal system that is flexible enough to encourage innovation and risk taking, but protective enough that creators can benefit from their innovations.  Through this lecture, I’d hope to chip away at least a little of the perceived complexity surrounding the law and give students concrete ideas of how they can use
it to help themselves.

LACMA’s Four Abstract Classicists

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Frederick Hammersley, Around a round, 1959. Oil on canvas, 28 3/4 x 37 x 1 3/4 in. LACMA.

This two Saturday workshop takes the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s exhibition Four Abstract Classicists as its focus, examining the 2 primary directions that emerged as alternatives to Abstract Expressionism in New York and California in the late 1950s: Assemblage Art on one hand and hard-edge and Post-Painterly abstraction on the other.  It was in the late 50s that Jasper Johns, Red Grooms, Agnes Martin, Wallace Berman, Ed Moses, Robert Irwin, and Billy Al Bengston had their first solo shows, the 4 latter being presented at the historic Ferus Gallery, which was founded in Los Angeles in 1957.

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Frank Stella, Gran Cairo, 1962. Alkyd on canvas, 85 1/2 x 85 1/2 in. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

It was also at this time that Robert Rauschenberg unveiled a large group of Combines, John Chamberlain showed sculptures made of automobile parts, Louise Nevelson exhibited her first environment, and Frank Stella, Kenneth Noland, and Robert Ryman turned their attention to painting stripes, targets, and monochromes, respectively.  This short course examines the various manifestations of these tendencies and traces their evolution into Fluxus, Pop Art, and Minimalism by the early 1960s.

To enroll or learn more, please see here.

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Lorser Feitelson, Hard Edge Line Painting, 1963. 72 x 60in. LACMA.

 

Artist’s Select with Janine Vigus

Our current installment of Artist’s Select comes courtesy of designer Janine Vigus, who writes:

“Many of the works that inspire me are longstanding sources of interest—I find that even when I discover a new artwork/artist/designer, there is often a reference to the artists/designers and movements that I have this history with.  So in a free-associative manner, and in no particular order, I have included here the work of Nouveaux Réalistes Raymond Hains and Jacques de la Villeglé from the late 1940s and early 1950s, works by Arte Povera artists Mario Merz and Guiseppe Penone from the 60s, 70s, and 80s, and work by Robert Smithson from 1971 and by Bruce Nauman from 1965–8.  The themes that draw me to this work include an interest in work that is concerned with public sites, work that explores ideas of entropy and reversal, and work that involves forms of collaboration.”

Thursdays at the Hammer

Thursdays are free admission at the Hammer Museum, which is a great service to students and the community. It’s been a while since we’ve been there, so we dropped by today to see what’s new.

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Maya Hayuk’s murals greet you upon entry – an impressive and colorful introduction to the space.

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There was also a fascinating exhibition of Forrest Bess’ work. An eccentric and visionary artist, it’s definitely worth a close look at his life and work, which is rich with symbolism and myth.

It’s easy to forget about these resources, but we encourage artists and art lovers to visit, and get inspired. The museum also hosts musical events, readings, and discussions with cultural figures.

So stop on by. This guy is waiting for you.

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Chris Rutterford’s Amazing Mural is Complete!

Following up on our post of last monthTEDxUCLA speaker and artist Chris Rutterford recently completed his live mural at the Tron Kirk, as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. He sat in scaffolding for fifteen hours a day FOR A WHOLE MONTH to create the 520-foot work. The results are pretty amazing!

The whole project would be exceptional in and of itself, but Chris was also wearing a top hat the whole time, which takes it to another level.

Check out the time-lapse video of Chris’ work:

TRON KIRK EDINBURGH FRINGE 2013 – ‘Hogmanay at the Tron’ from Chris Rutterford on Vimeo.

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