Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The art of motivation: what inspires IUS artists to create?

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Kathleen Meredith, graphic design senior, said she has wanted to be an artist since the early years of her childhood. Her interest in art began as soon as she “could pick up a pencil” and has continued to develop.

“You know you want to be an artist when in every single class, you’re doodling something.” Meredith said. “I guess at that point it just makes you want to go after it.”

Meredith said that while all of her work holds special meaning to her, she is most proud of a comic book she is currently working on.

Alyssa Hubbard, fine arts senior, adds gesso layers to a painting canvas to prevent damage from paint oils.

Alyssa Hubbard, fine arts senior, adds gesso layers to a painting canvas to prevent damage from paint oils.

“It is my pride and joy right now,” Meredith said.

She has not had much time to work on her comic book due to studies, but said she is appreciative of what she learns at IU Southeast. She said most techniques taught in her art classes inspire the work she does, helping her become a better artist.

Brian Jones, professor of fine arts and one of Meredith’s instructors, said he fell in love with art as an undergraduate at Indiana University. Jones initially wanted to pursue a major in journalism, but was fascinated when he began taking art courses. He said he was overwhelmed with “the thrill of creating, making, and exploring self-expression.”

Jones said he has always enjoyed the challenges of working and learning in an academic environment. As a graduate student at the University of Cincinnati, Jones decided to continue his academic experience after college and began looking for job offerings for teachers.

Jones has been teaching printmaking at IU Southeast for 34 years. He described his classes as having a welcoming, collaborative and productive atmosphere. He enjoys that his students learn from each other by sharing ideas and discussing their thoughts.

“In my discipline, what I want students to take away is the ability to solve creative problems,” Jones said.
He said his experience as an art professor has shown that students who take printmaking are confident, critical thinkers.

Jones said he believes the medium used in printmaking compels students to use “both the right and left side of the brain.”

Most art begins as a thought that flourishes with patience and creative insight, Jones said.

The most noticeable art displays on campus are the 3D cardboard sculptures. Giant telephones, musical instruments and surveillance cameras are just some of the figures that can be seen around the art department.

Donna Stallard, senior lecturer, teaches and coordinates foundation-level classes at IU Southeast. Stallard typically assigns the cardboard projects to students in her 3D – fundamental studio classes every semester.

“That’s a standard project for the 3D design class,” Stallard said. “It teaches students to work with plane and volume.”

One student in particular really enjoyed the cardboard designs she made in class. Ashley Williams, painting senior, deemed a 3D sculpture she created in Stallard’s class the most exciting piece she has completed at IU Southeast.

“We had to make something with a box,” Williams said. “I built a box that was really big and made two family trees and put photos of my husband’s family and my family in it.”

Williams admitted that much hard work was required to create her “box project.” However, she is proud of her creation and keeps it at a place where it will never go unnoticed.

“It hangs up in my house and it means a lot to me,” Williams said.

Alyssa Hubbard, fine arts senior, said she is considering a major in drawing. Though she has not decided, she expresses a passion for art that began in elementary school. Today, most of her creative ideas come from the dreams she has.

“Since I was a child I’ve always had really bad nightmares, and that hasn’t gone away,” Hubbard said. “I’m just learning how to take what’s in my mind and get it out into art.”

Hubbard said she believes that she is her toughest critic. During the crafting stages of her creative process, she said perfection is very important. However, Hubbard’s strife for excellence ultimately brings out the best in her artwork.

She also believes that every student, no matter what they choose as a major, should take an art class.
“It will change the way you view the world,” Hubbard said.

Students’ work can also be seen in the Ogle Center’s Ronald Barr Gallery, which is free and open to the public.

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