Sorry for the lack of posts! February has been a busy month at Fleisher between the Print Love-In and spring registration. In that time, the Dibujo Básico class has advanced quite a bit. Previously we practiced blind contour drawing in order to help train our hand to move at the pace of our eye. We also practiced drawing negative space. When drawing negative space, one focuses on the space around an object rather than the object itself.
Next we practiced giving volume to our drawings by thinking about the structure of each object we drew. Any object can be broken down into simpler forms like squares, rectangles, and circles. By focusing on these structural forms, one can capture the volume and three-dimensionality of an object.
Most recently we worked on one-point perspective drawings. This is a technique to capture depth and volume of a three-dimensional scene on a two-dimensional surface. In a one-point perspective drawing, parallel lines converge at a single vanishing point. Imagine you are looking down railroad tracks. The two parallel tracks seem to eventually meet though they are parallel. This is the illusion that a perspective drawing tries to capture. However, it can be difficult when a composition’s vanishing point isn’t so obvious.
Lo siento por la falta de anuncios! Febrero ha sido un mes muy ajetreado en Fleisher, debido a Print Love-In y el proceso de matricula en primavera. En la sesión previa, la clase de Dibujo Básico avanzó bastante. Previamente habíamos practicado dibujo a contorno ciego para ayudar a educar nuestra mano moverse al ritmo de nuestro ojo. De igual manera practicamos dibujo tomando en consideración el espacio negativo. Al dibujar el espacio negativo, la practica se centra en el espacio alrededor de un objeto en vez del objeto en si mismo.
En estos momentos estamos enfocándonos en la técnica de perspectiva llamada punto de fuga. Por medio de esta técnica se capta el volumen y profundidad de una escena tridimensional para ser transferida a una superficie bidimensional tal como el papel. En esta técnica utilizamos líneas verticales provenientes de un punto en el horizonte, imagínese mirando las vías del tren hacia el horizonte. Esta ilusión de líneas captadas por el ojo el lo que se trata de recrear en el dibujo a perspectiva. De todas maneras puede ser difícil encontrar dicho punto de fuga en ciertas composiciones en las cuales su posición no es obvia.
Giovanni Casadei’s solo exhibition, Light and Dark, Thick and Thin, Warm and Cool will feature the artist’s recent landscapes of North Carolina as well as some Philadelphia landscapes and marines of Ocean City, New Jersey. The exhibition will be on view from February 15 - April 2, 2013 at the Center for Works on Paper at 705 Christian Street.
Fleisher had the chance to interview Giovanni Casadei for the Winter 2013 edition of the Freehand:
Giovanni Casadei will be teaching alla prima painting classes during this winter term. As a recipient of the Fred and Naomi Hazell Award, Fleisher is holding a solo exhibition of Casadei’s work February 15 through April 2, which will include his recent landscapes of North Carolina as well as some Philadelphia landscapes and marines of Ocean City, New Jersey.
What was the first art class you took? When did you decide to pursue art?
I had a much older cousin that was a painter. I remember that when I was 14 years old I went to his house for my first oil painting lesson. I always knew that I wanted to be a painter. When I was 30 years old I had to make a choice. I was unhappy with my life just earning a living, at the time as a house painter. Up to this point I’d been painting seriously on my own but I hadn’t considered the possibility of making art my profession. I realized at that time that the only thing I found fulfilling was painting and I had to give myself the opportunity to paint full-time. So I enrolled at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. The rest is history.
When did you get involved with Fleisher and what classes have you taught?
I started to take evening classes at Fleisher in 1985. In 2005 I started teaching several alla prima classes. Alla prima is the Italian technique of finishing a painting in a single sitting, applying layers of wet paint to previous layers of wet paint.
You recently received the Fred and Naomi Hazell award. What opportunities did this award allow you?
The award financed my trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina to paint and experience a new landscape: the Appalachian Mountains. I was not familiar with painting in this landscape so I found it very instructive and challenging to approach a different subject matter.
As an instructor, what do you believe are your responsibilities to your students?
I believe that as a painting instructor it is my duty to inspire students to learn and grow in what they want to study, to give them the support that they need to discover their own learning process, and to share my experience and the information I’ve collected over many years of being a painter and an artist.
The Fleisher blog has been dormant for quite a while but I’m happy to announce that it is back! First, a quick introduction: my name is Andy and I started working at Fleisher in the summer of 2012 as the Marketing and Communications Coordinator. Currently I am enrolled in Dibujo Básico, Fleisher’s bilingual basic drawing course. I am excited to learn some of the foundational skills of drawing and art-making while honing my Spanish skills. My first series for this blog will be a bilingual journal of my experiences in the Dibujo Básico class.
El blog de Fleisher ha estado inactivo por pocos meses pero me hace feliz anunciar que el blog va a estar activo de nuevo. Primero, una introducción: Me llamo Andy y comencé a trabajar en Fleisher en el verano 2012 como el Coordinador de Comunicaciones y Marketing. Este semestre soy un estudiante de la clase “Dibujo Básico,” que es una clase bilingüe. Estoy muy emocionado aprender las técnicas fundamentales de dibujo y el arte mientras practicando el español. Mi serie primera de este blog será un diario bilingüe de mis experiencias en la clase de dibujo básico.
Fleisher was lucky to have Mastery Charter School Students, Mihki and Angelica, intern at Fleisher. The two started working at Fleisher the first week in February and finished at the end of May ( it was a 4 month internship). They gained experience working in our programming department, and visitor services. They also helped out in the teen lounge, youth workshops and assisted the exhibitions coordinator in the galleries. Here’s a few things to know about them!
Favorite Subject: History and Biology
Goal for the future: To attend a renowned 4 year college and have a successful job as a historian.
Favorite thing about interning at Fleisher: I learned how to become more organized and communicate more efficiently.
Year: 10th grade
Favorite Subject: Reading and Writing
Goal for the future: To attend a renowned 4 year college, get my Ph.D, own a business and write a book of short stories and poetry.
Favorite thing about interning at Fleisher: Working with the kids classes and learning about art.
Art as music, Music as art
Come to Fleisher THIS SATURDAY, June 9 for ARTspiration!!
Crafts, Face Paint, Vendors, Food, Art-Making, Sculpture, Pop-up Performances, Music and SO MUCH MORE! :)
“Bella Vista to see ‘Autumn’ anew" - "David Guinn is currently working on designs for a new fall-themed mural, planned for a wall outside Fleisher on the 700 block of Catharine Street.” - Check it out on PLAN PHILLY’s Eyes On The Street Blog!
Michelle works as an artist, muralist and educator who uses her art to create social change in communities. As a teaching artist, Michelle has taught a number of courses through Fleisher including Dibujo Basico, an introductory bi-lingual drawing course specifically intended for Spanish-speaking students.
1. What is your primary artistic medium? Do you have a favorite style of work?
My primary artistic medium is painting. Over the past ten years, my artistic practice has combined both studio works in figurative painting, printmaking, drawing, and writing, as well as large scale public murals. It is difficult to say what style of work is my favorite, I am interested in creating artwork that tells a story and reveals compelling images that impact the viewer.
2. What types of projects have you been working on outside Fleisher?
I have trained artists in public art and community engagement techniques in different countries. Since 2008, I have created large-scale murals with communities in Fiji, Juarez and Chihuahua City, Mexico and Spain as a Cultural Envoy through the United States Embassy. I have also created murals through independent projects in Costa Rica, Ecuador and Puebla, Mexico. Right now, I am preparing for my next Cultural Envoy artist residency in Buenos Aires, Argentina where I will be working with the community in the creation of a mural utilizing mural and street art techniques.
In August 2012, I will be leading the “Aqui y Alla” (Here and There) project that explores the impact of immigration in the lives of Mexican immigrant youth in South Philadelphia in connection with youth in Chihuahua, Mexico. This project will work simultaneously on both sides of the border, Chihuahua and Philadelphia to join the two cultural worlds through the vision of young people. Four skilled graffiti/ street artists from the Colectivo Rezizte (Juarez) and Colectivo Madroño (Chihuahua City) will work in collaboration with me by guiding the youth (here and there) in the creation of a collaborative permanent mural in South Philadelphia.
I also work part-time as the Program Manager at the Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation where I continue to develop programs and free workshops to support the professional development of teaching artists in Philadelphia.
3. Your work seems to include a political edge to it. What inspires this? What do you consider to be the relationship between Art and the politics of social change?
My early art work started as an investigation of my cultural identity. I created portraits of my family and myself searching for ancestral traces. During this process I realized that I was creating a visual history that reflected my cultural and social experiences within my family. In1999, I began to teach and create murals and mosaics with diverse communities in Philadelphia and New Jersey. I became inspired through the interactions that emerged from conversations with my students and community members and I saw that they were reflections of my family. They all carried with them a lifetime of stories and believed that their realities were unimportant and had no value.
As a child of immigrants, I grew up with feelings of being ‘other, of belonging and not belonging. I struggled with issues of class and race. I come from a tradition with strong oral histories that were not written down or visually represented, and risk being lost. For these reasons, my work as an artist takes place in communities that share these common experiences. My creative practice involves finding value in the stories and histories of marginalized people; creating powerful images and messages as a vehicle to share these stories; claiming and transforming space in ways that affirm or challenge people’s experiences in that space; and providing the opportunity to create a dialogue through art around the most profound personal or community issues.
I suppose that my work can be viewed as a political statement, but that is not the primary intention of my work. I want to represent and honor the people that create the spirit of the space that they inhabit, reveal their faces and keep alive their stories through my images.
4. Your performance collective Las Gallas, recently received a Hispanic Choice Award. Who is Las Gallas? Tell us about your work with Las Gallas.
Definition of a Galla:
GALLA n. (proun. Ga-Ya)- The feminization of the word gallo which means rooster in Spanish (they should never be mistaken as chickens). The name explores female gender roles and labels. The name originated by the displaced roosters that survive in another land, climate and environment. This rare breed of highly creative fierce women can lay eggs, crow at the sun and moon and excel in all fields of the arts.
LAS GALLAS is a Philadelphia-based multi-disciplinary artist collective which incorporate theatre, visual arts, dance, film, poetry, spoken word and literature imbedded in the tradition of community arts. I am one of the members along with Julia Lopez (writer, performance artist, educator) and Magda Martinez (playwright and poet).
As artists involved in the visual, performing and literary arts we create using a “Let’s see what happens when we .” approach to our work. We create with one another sharing our skills that push our boundaries in our creative process. Utilizing our many artistic disciplines, creating with Las Gallas allows me to explore performance and literary arts practices. In return, I share with them visual art techniques and methods. In the end, we create new and original works that can be a theatre performance, literary reading, installation and/ or a visual art exhibit. As we celebrate our 10 years together this year, we continue to create through an organic process that allows for the development of true collaborations.
What inspires you to be an artist by profession?
When I was younger, I was told by others not to become an artist. In knowing the struggles that my family has had to overcome, I believed at an early age that I owe it to them to work hard and use my skills to my full potential. I knew when making the decision to pursue a career in the arts it would require me to work hard and be fully committed to my art.\
My inspiration comes from the moments when a child realizes who they are, when a community sees the power and beauty that they possess, and when strangers breakdown assumptions and stereotypes of one another. Through the creative process I am able to expose others to the arts in an interactive non-traditional way. These moments reinforce the purpose of my work and my role as an artist working in communities.
5. In a society where artists and teachers are not often given the credit they deserve, what tools or resources have you used in order to distinguish yourself as a dedicated creative professional?
Artists and educators play an important role in our society. When I train other artists through my residencies, I encourage them to see and recognize the value of their work, how it impacts the community and find ways to communicate and educate others of the work that they do. I have been able to share my methods and tools to give back to the artist community through my work as the Program Manager at the Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation. Through the Bartol Foundation, I am able to help design and facilitate free professional training for artists working in communities. From building a strong curriculum to knowing how to market yourself as a teaching artists- these are tools that are necessary to know and use to have a sustainable career in the arts.
6. What advice would you offer to young artists?
I always share with young artists that I decided to create my first mural at age 17 when encountered with a racial incident in my high school. I felt powerless and angry and thought that the only power I had was to create a mural that counteracted that negative situation. With the support of my art teacher, I created a mural that celebrated cultural diversity in the school and discovered that I could create positive change through my art. My advice to young artists is to focus on your strengths as individuals and rely on the support of those that believe in you. Follow your path as an artist and continue to learn, discover, travel and create art work that is meaningful to you.
Philly Porch by Anthony C and Karen M