Tag Archives: Wells College

“Still” Solo Exhibition

I recently had a solo exhibition at the String Room Gallery in Aurora, NY. The body of work centers around my artist’s book Still. This hand-bound book commemorates the lives (both real and imagined) of nine of the many local animals I encountered who were killed by moving vehicles. The corresponding interdisciplinary exhibition is comprised of handmade paper, screen prints, embroidery, stop-motion animation, and installation. With wit and empathy, I created larger-than-life characters inspired by each victim, resulting in an immersive, creative, non-fiction narrative.  Text was pulled from the String Room Gallery website. If you would like to know a little more about the process of me creating the artist book Still check out Main Street Arts Gallery Blog where I did guest entry about the book. If you would like to watch the animation check it out here on my website!

 

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Abandoned Greenhouse Transformed into a Paper-Making Studio

Last summer/fall I had a wonderful opportunity to transform an abandoned greenhouse attached to the Wells College Book Arts Center into a functional paper-making studio. The space was calling my name the second I arrived on campus 2 years ago. I slowly began to collect material, receive donations, and build equipment. As last spring semester was coming to an end I received a grant from the Edward Family Foundation to complete the entire transformation. The timing could not have been more perfect. I had simultaneously received approval from the curriculum committee that my Intro. to Paper-making Class proposal was approved for the Fall semester. This allowed me to work on summer in order to get the space prepared for the students. Please enjoy the gallery of photos to see the transformation and the projects that took place during the Fall semester.

 

 

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Spring Semester is Here!

We are a few weeks into the spring semester and I realized I never posted anything during the fall semester. I am going to attempt to some up my first semester in this post. If I summed it up in one sentence it would be:

Moving to a new state for a new job was one of the best decisions I have ever made although the first semester was super busy, at times overwhelming, but I was always learning from my students and director while being the happiest ever because I am doing what I love! (I think that might be a run-on sentence and you may be out of breath after reading it but you get my point) hahaha

Wells College is a very special place and I already know from my short time here that it will always have a special spot in heart. I can definitely say this was my first experience of teaching at a college of around 550 students. It is a different experience from a larger college or university and very different from my own college experience. You create a bond and relationship with your students like no other because the max class size is 10 students at least for the Book Arts classes. Teaching with students from all disciplines was a little bit of a change for me. After the first or second class I had to rethinking my entire way of teaching, realizing I only had one student as a studio arts major. I had to incorporate foundations that I thought they would know. This was a challenge but I enjoyed trying to problem solve . I have definitely changed my entire approach for the spring semester and I am already seeing better results with my students.

Learning and problem solving were the two major things that took place in the fall. I was new to the school as well as the Book Arts Director Richard Kegler. We both worked together to make things happen. Every day we found a new interesting object (books, type, prints, presses, etc). It felt like an archaeological dig site for us! Every day we were exploring new parts of the building and trying to put the pieces together from the past predecessors. We have gotten the Wells College Press Store up and running again.  We also have a blog which is where I have been doing most of my posts Wells Book Arts Center Blog. Wells College Press is currently co-publishing a book with Starshapped Press called An Alphabet of Sorts. It will be released in late spring but you can check out the book on either website.

The Book Arts Center has a greenhouse attached to it and has not been put to very good use in the past so Rich and I are in the process of transforming it into a paper making garden and lab. We had April Sheridan from The Center for Book and Paper Arts at Columbia College Chicago come out and give students a lecture about her experience of building a self-sustainable paper making at Columbia. By fall semester we will have the paper making garden up and running and offering our first paper making class in the fall! Lots of exciting things are underway at the Wells Book Arts Center. Stay tuned.

Here are a few images of student work, class projects, and other events from the fall semester

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I’m Sexy And I Know It!

I thought I should share the music video the other interns and I created while at Wells. The printmakers at the University of Kansas created a music video in their printmaking shop and thought we should create a response video in the Wells printmaking shop. We had so much fun doing it and it also shows off the shop. I hope you enjoy. After you watch our video you can watch KU’s and see where we got our inspiration from.

 

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My 4 weeks at Wells!!!

I am going to try and sum up my entire for weeks at Wells in this one post.  We pretty much had the same agenda everyday.  By the end of the four weeks I felt like I was at camp.  We had breakfast from 8-9am, class 9:15am-5:30pm (with breaks and lunch in between), 5:30-6:30pm we usually swam in the lake, 6:30-7:30pm dinner, and then the rest of the night we worked in the studio and sometimes had a few cocktails.  One of the wonderful aspects of this internship was having 24hr access to the studio.

Print Shop

Print Shop

Print Shop

1st Class: I took a class called Tradition Typography/book design with Ron Gordon.  I am not formally trained in graphic design so this was a great/eye opening experience.  I will never be able to look at design or type the same because of this class.

This is how I felt after my first class!!!

2nd Class: I assisted/took the wire binding class with the amazing Daniel Kelm.  This man is a walking encyclopedia at least when it comes to any topic relating to chemistry or bookbinding.  I not only learned how to do wire binding but I walked away with so much other useful tips and information.

Class binding away

Daniel hard at work

Daniel showing us some chemistry!!!

Wire binding!

3rd Class: Learning how to cast lead monotype from the Bixlers.  In the beginning this class was the only reason I had any interest to apply for this internship.  IT WAS AMAZING!  The bixlers are the most generous people ever and taught me so much.  I learned how to cast entire fonts and I also key padded, casted, and printed one of my brother’s poems.  Printing from fresh virgin type is the best!

The casting room!

Key padding my brothers poem

The melted lead!

My virgin type hot off the caster!

Mr. Bixler and I

Basically I ended up having one of the best learning experiences of my life during my internship at Wells.  They have wonderful facilities and even better faculty.

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Wells Summer Institute!

I was in upstate New York for an internship at Wells College Book Art Center with a population of 500 for the month of July. Yes I did say 500!! Aurora is so small it’s called a village not a city, town, or county!  The airport looked more like a store than an airport with only one baggage claim belt. I began to worry more as I am riding down a road heading to Wells college and all I see is farmland and the bars on my cell phone drop more and more the closer I arrive to campus. No service+no wireless+population 500= panic!

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Airport!!!!!!!!

Then I took a minute to pull myself together and realized this could be a wonderful/productive experience if I take advantage of it!  There were a total of four interns who stayed the entire four weeks and then every week we had a new group of students and teachers.

My dorm at Wells

The one road that drives through Aurora. In front is Lake Cayuga. Behind is Well’s campus and then down the road is their “downtown” (post office, ice cream shop, bar/restaurant, and a market.)

Interns: Laura Rowley, Me, Claire Siepser, & Crane Guiamo
They are all studying to receive their MFA in Book and Paper at the University of Alabama.

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