Category Archives: W18-X4 Info Interview/Professional Practices

Adam Grosowsky

Adam Grosowsky

Many of you may know Adam Grosowsky. Adam has been a teacher at LCC for twenty five years instructing various art classes. Today (February 15th), he put his skills on display in Lane’s art gallery (located in Building 11) as well as a few quick-worded anecdotes on the pieces he had slides of. It was incredibly interesting to watch him flip through his art on a piece of technology I hadn’t really seen in action before. Some of the pieces were more than 25 years old and he still had slides of them. While that part of his presentation was old-fashioned, you could say it’s part of his art, and it was clear he uses his methods because they work. If you’re fast enough to keep up with Adam’s pace, you’ll hear some great stories very representative of his early ‘starving-artist’ days.

“…I had a GMC van I retrofitted for windsurfing.”

I was lucky enough to attend this event through another class, if it wasn’t an assignment I wouldn’t have gone as it was during class time. His art though, will be on display through March 22nd, and I highly recommend everyone go take a look while it’s up. If you miss it though, just go say hi to Adam! Or better yet, take one of his classes maybe. The information on his exhibit can be found on the Lane website here https://www.lanecc.edu/artgallery/current-exhibit while it’s up.

His tale began with his job at the Xenon(Zenon?) where he was a waiter for eleven years or as he put it, “A long time.” After struggling to put his art out in the world as all do, he eventually got his art in a gallery or two and it was all up from there. Through his galleries he made numerous beneficial connections in the art community and sold over 1,600 oil paintings. Some of those connections were present in the gallery for the event. He became very succesful as an artist, or as his mom put it, a “…wall decorator for the rich.” The audience enjoyed that piece.

Somehow he left out his wonderful education background (or I might’ve missed that part in my scramble to take notes as fast as his words passed out of my short term memory); Adam Grosowsky got his BA from Evergreen State College and his MA and MFA in Printmaking from University of Iowa, all in the 80’s no-less.

Adam is a cheerful, funny guy. There was never a dull moment in his speech. After he got through a bit of the Waiting and Commissioning stories (ninety seven total, wow!), we were told about how he came to be at Lane. Apparently, he was notified of the opening via newspaper (I told you he was old fashioned). Well, his girlfriend Suzy informed him, but she learned through the paper. As a successful competitive artist with years of experience and a can-do attitude, Adam got the job and has been here ever since.

 

Recapture Reception Featuring Renee Couture

IMG_1048On a freezing, overcast Wednesday, February 21, at 2 p.m, I attended the warm and enjoyable artist talk and reception at the Roger Hall Gallery.

The feature artist Renee Couture had a very large wooden sculpture (titled I am not my great grandfather’s forest) set up in one area of the room, along with a beautifully patterned wallpaper (titled I am not my grandmother’s flower garden) she designed on the wall right behind the chair in which she sat, and different art pieces along the other walls, with one between two walls.

A big inspiration for her was that they don’t have all the nature we have in Oregon at where she’s from, in Wisconsin. Renee shows us the range of the public’s relationship with nature, and how it changes over time. As she says, “We have so many different ways to value this area”. Her mediums consist of drawing, photography, and sculpture. She explained to us the situation in which the Roseburg and Douglas county’s library’s hours were decreasing at a certain time, and they eventually shut down, which was very eye-opening for Renee. She decided to start a seven year odyssey in which she found out the history of the area she now calls home. In that time she became more interested in capitalism, the environment, community, and how it can be changed so easily by public opinion. She is now part of the Gray Space Project, a group of artists formed in 2016 who are located in the Corvallis, Eugene and Roseburg areas, and find their way around institutional structures that need artists to ask permission. They have a portable 6’x6’x6′ cube consisting of steel and plexiglass that they transport their art in and show in particular places that have to do with the art itself.

The pieces she talked the most about were I am not my great grandfather’s forest and I am not my grandmother’s flower garden, which she helpfully explained her process in making them to us. For I am not my great grandfather’s forest, Renee was fascinated be the trails and streets on the map of her town, and she liked to think about how her grandfather could have freely walked wherever he wanted, without being constrained by No trespassing signs and other rules we have now in our modern time. She made graphs much like that map, and used the software Rhino (which she explained as tricky to use) to laser cut each piece of wood she had with the designs. She labeled each piece so they could be set up together correctly, in case she might not be there to help set up the gallery. “With sculpture, you need to consider space, they’re like mini monuments”. She looked at the gallery building before making this piece, because she wanted something that would fit right in the space, and look interesting from all angles, including through the windows.  For I am not my great grandfather’s forest, she went to a local farmer’s market, and there was a flower booth. At the flower booth, she saw that they were throwing away flowers that weren’t fit in the sellers’ mind to be sold. For some reason, she was more fascinated by the discarded flowers than the flowers being sold. This made her think, “what makes us decide that some flowers are better to be sold than others?” She took pictures of the discarded flowers (with permission) and she also took pictures of some trash she found on the ground as she was walking. She put them together in a kaleidoscope pattern on Photoshop to make a unique wallpaper, unlike anything I’ve ever seen.

A very helpful tip Renee left us with was, “You can change up your media, many artists are very generous, and are willing to teach about their media”. It was very inspirational and great advice, because it can be a frightening thought for some artists (myself included) to get out of their comfort zones and ask fellow artists about what they do or for tips.

In conclusion, Renee’s art is meant to open up our minds to thought on our relationship to nature, and what trash is vs. art in our opinion. She used very interesting processes to design her pieces, and I highly recommend checking out her exhibit in building 11, before it closes March 22.

By: Haley

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Artist Report: Renee Couture

My artist interview + report is on an artist named Renee Couture. She works in a variety of mediums, including painting, sculpture, and digital. Her process involves utilizing a variety of materials, and the exploration and use of grids is one of the fundamental aspects of her work.

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She is originally from Wisconsin, and attended Buena Vista University, where she obtained her degree in Spanish Language and Art. Following college, she traveled around for 4 years, both internationally and within the United States. This period is when she began developing her artistic orientation to place, and its existential relationship to art and politics. She worked a variety of jobs during this time, ranging from making cheese to fighting fires.

Upon completing service in the Peace Corps and returning from Bolivia in 2004, Renee settled in Oregon. She earned her Masters Degree from the Vermont College of fine arts, and has been living in Oregon as a working artist since then. She has been featured on Oregon Public Broadcasting’s World Beat, and has been granted multiple artist residencies at various institutions. She lives in Southern Oregon, and works out of a DIY art studio.

She has been featured in exhibitions as a solo artist:

  • Eastern Oregon University
  • Lane Community College
  • Chemeketa Community College
  • The Wood Gallery

Place is a fundamental aspect of Renee’s work. Landscape, and how it intersects with culture, politics, and economic structure forms the core of many of her pieces, and her rural lifestyle provides a constant source of inspiration. The interaction between ecological realities and human systems will become increasingly relevant through the slow death of industrial capitalism, and Renee represents this sensibility being embedded into artistic thought-practice.IMG_20180221_144029218.jpg

One striking aspect of her work I noticed right away was her use of multimedia, and the variety of mediums she utilizes. Rather than specialize in a particular form, she uses whatever material she thinks will be the most effective in exploring her idea. This functions as a critique of capitalism in itself, because the capitalist system favors labor specialization, in contrast to the small-scale handicraft production of the late middle ages. Renee’s work seems to represent an example of how digital technologies, such as the internet, and small-scale manufacturing tools like CNC mills and 3D printers, are reviving some of these precapitalist characteristics.

Another key aspect of her work is her use of grids, both as a conceptual exploration and practical tool. Utilitarian efficiency is employed both for creative and destructive purposes. A grid can provide a basis for an idea, and define the parameters in a way that allows the artist to explore it. However, without critical thinking, a grid can also inform a conformist attitude. Renee’s use of grids clearly demonstrates the application of critical thinking about them as a literal tool for organizing, and a metaphor for how humans try to organize a seemingly chaotic world. The tension comes through in her work, because on the one hand it seems very pattern-based, but retains a very organic, human element.

W18-X4 Info Interview/ Professional Practices

Today on the 28th of February, I have had the honor of meeting with one of my college’s animation teacher, Corral Breeding. Breeding and I first introduced ourselves and shook hands. At first, I was nervous to even ask him my questions. I reminded him about the assignment and that I am also required to write a blog about our discussions. Breeding was very understanding and very polite.

I asked him if it was okay that I record our discussion on my phone so can review and re-listen to the recording. Breeding allowed me to record. Once I started recording, I began to ask him my questions.

“What made you decide to study animation?” I asked.

“I started the 2D drawing, just as a hobby of mine,” Breeding said. “Then, I was later brought into it…”

He then explained that people told him that he would be great at CGI work and not just 2D. Later in his life, Breeding got his degree in animation, and started as a freelancer for almost to years. He also started to do contract work for college. Breeding then explained to me that Lane’s animation teacher asked him if Breeding would like to be a teacher because the animation teacher was retiring. His response to the first question was interesting and made me understand his passion and also his inspirations to become an animator. I then asked him my second question after he was done speaking.

“What did you enjoy about animation?”

“What I do like about animation is bringing things to life.”

As he answered the question, I began to reflect on my interests about animation. I see a lot of similarities between me and Breeding’s. I also like to see animations come to life. It is like seeing a picture come to life, or you are entering a different world. I have always enjoyed animation because it is a fascinating process to me. Knowing that I am not the only person who likes animations coming to life.

I asked him if he did some projects as he studied animations and which ones he enjoyed. He told me that he did a commercial animation he like and said, “it was a lot of fun”. My final question was a little silly. But I asked him what was his favorite animated film, if he had any.

“The stuff I liked for animation was more CGI. I liked: The Matrix, Transformers, all the stuff that were industrial/magic…”

I was very honored to have met Corral Breeding, and I am honored to have asked him a little bit of his passion for animation and teaching animation to college students. But after we talked, he had some questions about my interests in animation. I told Breeding about what I am interested in the animation program. After our interview, we shook hands and I thanked him for taking the time for answering my questions for this assignment. I enjoyed doing this assignment, and this is something I will not forget.

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By: Anthony Worstell

 

“Let’s Learn About Web Design!” by Emmett Crass

 

In my interview I chose to go ask Mr. Thomas Burton some questions about his career in Web Design. I chose him because after he came to talk to our class I realized I still had a lot more questions for him as his class presentation had piqued my interest in Web Design as a way to makMrBurton-e a living. During our conversation I learned that freelancing with Web Design can be like freelancing with any other field of Multimedia as sometimes are better than others and you need to learn to be smart with budgeting. Web Design is a mixture of animation, graphic design, photography, and web graphics/production. Mr. Burton told me that there is normally enough work to go around in the Web Design field which helps with finding jobs and building a good client base is also extremely important. I also learned something very interesting throughout our interview which is that even Web Design can be effected by the seasons and times of the year. If you are working for a retailer than you might have to work more so during the holidays to help display all of the sales and holiday specials. On the flip side you could also not be busy as your clients might be busy celebrating their own respective holidays.

 

 

Here is an excerpt from the interview:

““Why did you decide to go into Web Design?” – Emmett
“Let’s see, I was studying Graphic Design here at L.C.C. and I was introduced to the web and I found that it had the perfect combination of my interests in graphic design, computer graphics, and a little bit of animation and it was an interesting new field and I think I was also kind of drawn to the challenge of doing something different.” – Mr. Burton

“How long have you been working in Web Design?” – Emmett

“A little over twenty one years.” – Mr. Burton

“That has many years. Have you ever gotten bored with the it?” – Emmett

“I’ve had cycles where I’ve kind of started to feel a little burned out. But usually found that some point something came along whether it was an interesting project or some new technological capabilities that that reinvigorated my interest.” – Mr. Burton

“Has it been stable work or is it like “We’ll see how it goes?”” – Emmett

“It’s been pretty stable. At the beginning it was kind of, my former business partner and I were just kind of seeing if we could make a living doing it because we weren’t sure we’d be able to find enough people who needed it and very quickly website became something that any business needed so once I built up a good client base it’s provided pretty steady work and there’s a natural kind of cycle to, you know, busy times of the here and less busy times of the year but if I have enough clients with steady work then it usually works out pretty well for the whole year round.” – Mr. Burton

“Is it like throughout the years or like more busy times or is it just like, is Christmas a high time for you?” – Emmett

“Yeah, like holiday times can be. Back when I had a few on my retail sites that I was managing there was oftentimes things that they needed in preparation for seasonal sales and specials and things like that. What I found is summer is usually pretty slow here and fall, it kind of starts to pick up. Around the end of the year things slow down again because people are busy with holidays and things like that. But usually about the first half of the year is pretty busy and things drop off a little bit during summer.” – Mr. Burton

“What do you do during summer when there’s no work?” – Emmett

“I usually have some work to carry me through or you know when I know the summer is coming up, I might see if there’s, you know, usually there’s some kind of project that comes in. But that’s kind of something that I haven’t had to worry about too much until recently and so kind of re-strategizing.” – Mr. Burton

“That is fair. Because I’ve noticed with a lot of freelancing they’re usually “Well sometimes it’s really good, sometimes you know, you starve for a few weeks but it’s okay.” I wasn’t sure if like Web Design was the same way.” – Emmett

“It can be. I mean it depends on how you do it. You know, I mean if if I were working at a larger business, you know, like a web agency that had somebody involved with sales who was constantly bringing it work and keeping that flow going it would probably be a different kind of a situation. Just say I’m doing it on my own and I’m responsible for all aspects then it can be more of that freelancer kind of ebb and flow.” – Mr. Burton

“Why did you choose freelancing over going into like a company?” – Emmett

“It’s a good question. In the beginning, I always had it in my head that I wanted to have my own studio, my own business. Didn’t really have a real concrete reason for that. A lot of it had to do with I kind of wanted to deal with things my own way; I didn’t want to have to answer to anybody else. I want to I felt kind of like that was attached to the creative freedom and being able to engage in my work in the way that I wanted to. And that it’s continued to be something that’s a strong part of me and I have a hard time thinking of doing things differently.” – Mr. Burton

“So you don’t like working for the man?” – Emmett

“I have had a few jobs. I mean my job here working for L.C.C. but it also, you know, there’s a certain degree of freedom that they allow us in how we approach our classes. But yeah, for web design, I think also it being a new feel was something that kind of made it exciting to do it on my own because it was all being it was a pioneering field.” – Mr. Burton””