Interview Process February 23, 2013Posted by Kaleena Tucker in : Uncategorized , comments closed
Just wanted to update everyone on my experience so far. At the top of my list for potential interview candidates was the head of the Art Dept. at Tennessee State University, Carlyle Johnson. He agreed to do the interview with me and shared enthusiasm for the subject matter. The only problem was getting him to agree on a specific time. He is in and out of his office all day and the best way to go about things was to try to catch him during his down time. I was hoping that would happen throughout the week, but it has not.
Primary Source Hunt: Matisse February 17, 2013Posted by Kaleena Tucker in : Uncategorized , comments closed
Instructions: Seek a librarian’s assistance to find all relevant and contemporary writing concerning the assigned topic. The topic for this assignment is “Henri Matisse, early exhibition of Modernist art in New York City, 1911.” Find reviews from that era about this exhibition or any other concurrent writing that relates to this topic. Only writing that dates from the years 1911 – 1913 will be considered. (*Edited to include the years 1908 – 1911.)
I began my search by asking a Librarian at the Nashville Public Library’s Main Branch for assistance. After hearing the topic, he pointed me toward the Fine Arts section of the Library with 4 books in mind. That search led me to the fifth book on my list (Matisse: Painter as Sculptor). This was the first book to mention Alfred Stieglitz’s role as a curator for Matisse’s work. That information proved to be a golden nugget within my search for Matisse’s early shows in New York.
1. Klein, John. Matisse Portraits. New Haven: Yale UP, 2001. Print.
2. Watkins, Nicholas, and Henri Matisse. Matisse. New York: Oxford UP, 1985. Print.
3. Spurling, Hilary, Henri Matisse, and Hilary Spurling. Matisse the Master: A Life of Henri Matisse, the Conquest of Colour, 1909-1954. New York: A.A. Knopf, 2005. Print.
4. Spurling, Hilary. The Unknown Matisse: A Life of Henri Matisse, the Early Years, 1869-1908. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1998. Print.
5. Kosinski, Dorothy M., Jay McKean Fisher, Steven A. Nash, and Henri Matisse. Matisse: Painter as Sculptor. Baltimore, MD: Baltimore Museum of Art, 2007. Print.
When I entered the library on Day 2 of my search, I began with a sharpened focus. I used the library’s digital database to search for the keywords “Stieglitz” and “New York” and “291.” Though “291” did not yield results, the following three books proved to have the most potential, with the last one on the list being a perfect match.
6. Homer, William Innes., and Catherine Johnson. Stieglitz and the Photo-Secession, 1902. New York: Viking Studio, 2002. Print.
7. Stieglitz, Alfred, and Bonnie Yochelson. Alfred Stieglitz: New York. New York, NY: Skira Rizzoli, 2010. Print.
8. Greenough, Sarah. Modern Art and America: Alfred Stieglitz and His New York Galleries. Washington [D.C.: National Gallery of Art, n.d. Print.
Speaking directly about the exhibitions at 291 (1908)
“On 1 April Stieglitz sent out the following invitation: “An Exhibition of Drawings, Lithographs, Watercolors, and Etchings by M. Henri Matisse, of Paris, will be held at the Little Galleries of the Photo-Secession opening on April sixth and closing April twenty-fifth… Matisse is the leading spirit of a modern group of French artists dubbed ‘Les Fauves.’ The work of this group has been the center of discussion in the art-world of Paris during the past two to three years. It is the good fortune of the Photo-Secesson to have the honor of thus introducing Matisse to the American public and to the American art-critics.”
Bad Reviews from critics were mainly in response to this “new” art:
1. Speaking of Matisse’s show, a critic for American Art News referenced the artist’s inability “to form or pass even fair judgment upon the remarkable productions of this bizarre artist or artisan.” He continued to describe the, “spots of paint daubed on here and there… not at first recognizable.”
- Exhibitions Now-On: Work by Henri Matisse, “American Art News 6 (11 April 1908)
2. Joseph E. Chamberlin from the Evening Mail said the work would “go over the head of the ordinary observer.”
- Chamberlin, New York Evening Mail
3. A critic for the Craftsman thought that Matisse was a “poseur”. He describes Matisse as “the leading spirit of a group of ultra-modern Frenchmen, many of whom have great gift with tragically decadent souls.”
- “Notes and Reviews,” The Craftsmen 14 (June 1908)
4. “female figures that are of an ugliness that is most appalling and haunting.”
- Chamberlin, New York Evening Mail
Good Reviews were mainly focused on technique:
5. “A great master of technique–and a great artist, if estimated from the brilliant stroke, the subtle elimination and the interesting composition revealed.”
- “Notes and Reviews,” The Craftsmen (1908)
6. “Strangely beautiful” and “virile and masterly strokes”
- Huneker, “Exhibitions Now On: Work by Henri Matisse, “ American Art News 6 (11 April 1908)
Reviews from other artists:
7. “They had no meaning to me as Art as I then knew Art, but the feeling I got from them still clings to me and always will. It was the feeling of a bigger, deeper, more simple and archaic world… I left feeling I had seen something living, something that would live with me, and that has lived with me.”
- William Zorach, “291,” Camera Work
Reviews from Camera Work:
8. Speaking of Matisse’s organization in his drawings, Caffin (a correspondent for Camera Work) says “He shows me a series of drawings from the nude. In the first, he explains that he has drawn ‘what exists’; and the drawing shows the knowledge and skill, characteristic of French academic art. Then others follow in which he has sought for further and further ‘simplification,’ until finally the figure, as he expressed it, was organisé.”
- “Camera Work,” Caffin (1909)
Overall, this was an interesting experience. I’m ashamed to say that it’s been years since I have physically visited a library. For that reason, I was a bit resistant to the idea and wondered what I would gain from the visit. After it’s all said and done, I can honestly say that it wasn’t so bad after all. I felt more connected to the material I was reading vs. simply reading material that shows up from google links.
Unit 5: Interview Questions February 6, 2013Posted by Kaleena Tucker in : Uncategorized , comments closed
1.What do you consider to be the most important aspect of developing a strong graphic design program?
2. Is the physical environment (computer labs/work space) important to student learning? If so, what alternatives do you inact in the classroom when facilities aren’t up to par?
3. When hiring new graphic design faculty, what do you look for?
4. In many high-profile graphic design programs, selective acceptance creates a sense of high expections. How do you create that sense of purpose to students in a large university setting with open enrollment into the graphic design program?
5. Do you find that faculty experience in the design field has a direct impact on student success?
6. If you could re-create your graphic design curriculum from scratch, what would you change/add?
7. How do you inspire good students to work hard in an environment where their peers are lax?
8. It seems that students who attend HBCU’s, and other low-profile art programs are having a difficult time competing with students coming out of high-profile, big budget art schools. Why do you think that is? What can be done to level the playing field?
9. With technology changing so quickly, it’s almost impossible to keep up with current design software. How important is it for your design students to know the latest version of Adobe’s creative suite?
10. Do you think it’s possible to teach creativity?
11. Which is more important for students coming out of graphic design programs… conceptual thinking or technical know-how?
Digging Deeper: Unit 4 February 2, 2013Posted by Kaleena Tucker in : Uncategorized , comments closed
Bibliography Citation Programs:
The idea of conducting research feels like a daunting task, especially for those of us who tend to work in disorganized fashions. For myself, my computer’s desktop is a great indication for the level of chaos I incur while managing multiple projects at the same time. I tend to grab images, create screen shots, and save files in multiple locations, and scramble in the end to create some sort of organization. With that said, I like the idea of using an online program that makes managing research materials easier.
Citation programs like RefWorks, EndNote, and Mendeley are pretty similar in the sense that they provide a place to get bibliography assistance, and management for research files. The best thing about these programs is that they allow for quick assistance with things that could normally take hours to complete. Zotero is a similar program as the ones previously mentioned, however, I was impressed with this site the most. This site feels like it was made for a variety of academic disciplines in mind. In addition to maintaining pdf and various text files, this site makes it easy to save images, screenshots, audio, and video files. This seems to be the site that will work best for graphic design students working on a thesis.
Initial Thesis Ideas
Now… these are not yet right. But, they are rough ideas for where I think I’d like to go.
1. Students in low-profile art schools and universities struggle to keep up with those graduating from highly-reputable design programs. How can design faculty foster/infuse an attitude of success when creative morale is low? The purpose of my thesis is to examine the way students learn to be creative and try to find the common denominator between successful design programs.
This one is very rough…
2. Graphic design is a creative profession that is difficult to teach due to the subjective nature of creativity. Given the varied approaches to solving design problems, how do we “teach” someone to be creative? The purpose of my thesis is to examine the way students learn to be creative and try to find the common denominator between successful design programs.
Thanks in advance for your feedback.
Rhetorical Précis: Originality in Creativity January 27, 2013Posted by Kaleena Tucker in : Uncategorized , comments closed
The source material for my rhetorical précis is Ausin Kleon’s book “Steal Like an Artist.” I am attaching it here for your review! Thanks in advance for any feedback.
The Pitch! January 23, 2013Posted by Kaleena Tucker in : Uncategorized , comments closed
Our strict adherence to design “rules” may block our chances of creating fresh and authentic design that truly celebrates our individual voices and instincts. The purpose of my thesis is to explore the balance between teaching unchanging, objective design principles while still encouraging a freedom of expression that may yield unconventional design discoveries.
Blog Entry #2 – Dissecting Clark’s maps January 16, 2013Posted by Kaleena Tucker in : Uncategorized , comments closed
From Writing the Successful Thesis and Dissertation by Irene Clark:
The strategies for navigating or “mapping” a text can be summarized as follows:
1. Get an overview of its topography.
2. Examine the text for its central “moves.”
3. Consider the text in a rhetorical context.
4. Situate the text within your discipline.
5. Locate the “sea of former texts”–areas of “intertextuality.”
6. Compare this text to other texts you have read.
7. Consider why you are reading this text.
8. Create signposts that will enable you to see the path more clearly
9. Keep track of your own location as you proceed.
10. Evaluate your presence within text.
I really like the idea of mapping text. From Clark’s book, I like suggestion #8 & #9 most. #9 mentions keeping track of our location in order to take pauses to question what we’ve learned. I often find myself needing to take such pauses. Sometimes, it’s frustrating to keep stopping, but I do find that I grasp the content better if I stop and evaluate what I’ve read. I also really like #8 from the list. In addition to breaking while reading, the text suggests to write and highlight text when we discover something interesting that we’d like to remember. I don’t do this often enough, and it’s something that I can see having strong benefits. Oftentimes, I forget things that I found interesting and enlightening.
In terms of keeping track of research… For me, because I am interested in a thesis topic that involves graphic design education and curriculum, I will be using my working environment as a source for research and learning. I teach undergraduate courses in graphic design and would love to speak with other faculty members at my university and other universities to gain insights into student leaning habits. I also plan to attend conferences and will use those trips as an opportunity to prepare for my thesis. I find that speaking with others (informal interviews) is a great way to conduct research. Maybe I can create video, or audio footage as I go along. This might offer an alternative to the traditional written logs. I also plan to keep digital folders on my computer to help organize various thoughts, writings, photos, and screen shots. In terms of research from books or journals, I think I’ll have to begin scanning content immediately and then placing the files into the appropriate folders.
Overall, I found the information in Clark’s writings very helpful as I begin this process and attempt what I’m sure can be a daunting task.
Freewriting! A new experience January 16, 2013Posted by Kaleena Tucker in : Uncategorized , comments closed
- This has been an interesting assignment, to say the least. I realized about 5 minutes in that I haven’t actually written this much by hand in a really long time. I could tell by the way my fingers were cramping. Eeek! I’m not sure that this writing makes much sense to anyone other than myself. However, I do feel that it was successful in bringing up several questions that I’d like to take time to address.
Thesis Explorations – Entry 1 January 14, 2013Posted by Kaleena Tucker in : Uncategorized, Unit 1 , comments closed
Although it’s still very early in the process, I was originally thinking of topics involving branding and identity design. After visiting the SCAD online library, I was impressed with the diversity of topics and was quickly reminded of my interests in graphic design curriculum. I am currently teaching intro level design courses and can see the importance of a structured, and extensive curriculum. I see first-hand how lack of order, outdated software, and obsolete industry standards can make a huge negative impact on students. I think I’d like to dive into this a bit more as I continue to research this area.
Here is a list of Thesis files that I found interesting in the library:
- Sustainable graphic design education: building value and meaning in student learning by fostering citizenship (2010), by: Venancio A. Luz
- Speak of the devil: discussing self-taught culture’s role in graphic design (2010), by Lynn Ann Schneider
- Changing graphic design pedagogy: educator objectives, student realities, and professional expectations for twenty-first century workplace (2010), by Nicole R. Roberts
- The consummate curriculum for the undergraduate graphic design student in the United States (2011), by David Short
- Culturemarks: brand imagery as an American visual language (2011), by Elizabeth S. Heywood
- Style for the sake of substance (2012), by Judson Prescott Hermans
- Spontaneus: leveraging ubiquitous computing to create dialog in public space (2012), by Phillip Mark
These are a few (very rough) areas that I’d like to explore (so-far):
- The design educator’s challenge to stay ahead in an ever-changing field.
- How important is graphic design curriculum?
- Can enthusiasm and passion be taught in graphic design?
- Developing a curriculum for an ever-changing field.
- Technology vs. Conceptual thinking. Which is more important to teach young designers?
- How to teach problem solving to design students?
Designing by Hand – Blog Entry 5 November 7, 2011Posted by Kaleena Tucker in : unit 8 , comments closed
Graphic Designers often feel at a loss when not able to produce design work with the aid of a computer. I’m certainly not exempt from having struggled with that feeling many times in the past. So, I find it refreshing to learn of designers who confidently approach the use of hand generated processes in their design work. This week, I ran across the work of Mike Perry, a New York based designer who works in a variety of mediums, and has almost abandoned the use of computers in his work. Check out this poster design.
(Image source: www.mikeperrystudio.com)
Perry has even created a book about the use of hand-generated design. According to his website www.mikeperrystudio.com/about , “His first book, Hand Job, published by Princeton Architectural Press in 2006, focuses specifically on the relevance and beauty of hand-drawn type in the digital age.”
In a second example, I found a wonderful interview at www.willemvanlancker.com/writing/paula-scher-interview that contained an article with designer, Paula Scher. Most people in the design world are familiar with Scher and know that she’s become known for her hand-crafted approach to typography. What I liked most about this article is her honesty and thoughtfulness regarding the craft of design. I’d recommend reading it in full at the link above.
In considering both of these designers, I’d say that the benefits of avoiding mainstream technology would be that the work I create becomes a truly original design that is the result of my own ideas and artistic ability. In other words, I’m not reliant upon what the computer can do. I’m not thinking of ideas based on tools I’ve learned how to use in Photoshop or Illustrator. I’m designing based on ideas. As I may have mentioned before, much of my past work has felt cold and emotionless (even when using textured backgrounds, warm colors, and script fonts). Those results prove that many times, there’s no substitute for creating work by hand.
In terms of craft, both artists found ways to create extremely successful designs. But what I loved about the Paula Scher interview was that she surprisingly defended the use of mainstream technology. She says,
“I mean I think that craft is there because as long as you can see and as long as you can make value judgements about things, that’s what craft is. Craft isn’t just you know cutting something with an X-acto knife and pulling it together, I mean I’m sitting with my team all the time making them craft the typography appropriately by closing up spaces and taking care that positioning is right and scale is right and the proportions of things are right. All of that matters because craft is at the heart of everything. So if you think well but you don’t craft it appropriately its going to look like crap-ola. What always happens with technology, traditionally, and what will continue to happen is that the first guys on it are the technological geeks and they have bad design skills so everything looks like holy hell until the designers get out of their fear of the thing and they get on it and all of a sudden its craft again. So craft does not go away.”
I love that. No matter what the tool is, craft is how closely we pay attention to details. How much we care about our art.
As for my experiences, particularly as I worked on my last project for class, I’d say that Scher’s words certainly ring true. For me, the example would be reversed as I moved away from the computer (my comfort zone) to a hand-crafted approach. As I tasked myself with creating type by hand, I had to think about spaces and positioning and scale.
So, whether it’s using the kerning tools available in InDesign’s character panel, or working with string, craft is about care and concern for minute details. It’s about aesthetics.
After reading the articles mentioned above, I’m more inspired than ever to seek out opportunities to create unconventional designs. Perry and Scher’s work has an energy and personality to it that much of my previous work has lacked. As I move ahead as a designer, I anticipate my work growing as I embrace a new way of working and thinking.