Monday, January 30, 2012

PSU Professor exhibits work in the Windy City

Pittsburg State University Professor Rhona Shand flew out to Chicago last week to attend the opening night of the MoCP's Limits of Photography exhibition. Shand had several pieces chosen by the Museum of Contemporary Photography's curator Rod Slemmons for the show.

Limits of Photography explores the area where the viewer loses faith in the veracity of photography. We have been confident since the beginning of widely published photographic images in the late 1920s that photographs are telling us something very truthful about the world. When publisher Henry Luce launched Life Magazine in 1936 he wrote a promotional ad:
To see life; to see the world; to eyewitness great events; to watch the faces of the poor and the gestures of the proud; to see strange things….to see and take pleasure in seeing; to see and be amazed; to see and be instructed; thus to see and be shown is now the will and new expectancy of half mankind.
In the entire ad he uses the words “see,” or “watch,” or “eyewitness” 14 times. He does not use the word “photograph” when, in fact he means “see in photographs.” This confusion of sight and photography would become very useful to news magazines and to advertisers in them.
This confusion can be challenged when the photograph is manipulated to the point of where we lose our trust both in its identity as a photograph, and subsequently in its veracity as a document. A subtext of this exhibition is how long we can still identify a photograph as photograph, and the realization of how good we are at confusing photography with reality.
The exhibition contains a wide variety of contemporary mixed media, video, and technical alteration and manipulation. Some of these departures from photographic purity result in very minimal imagery and some in dense, intricate detail. Taken as a whole this work results in something more akin to a series of partially remembered dreams—reports as to what was behind rather than in front of the camera. Each artist, however, has their own purpose and goal. The limits of their medium is a tool rather than an agenda.

The exhibition title exploits a double meaning. The first is that many of the artists in the show push photography to the limits of recognizing it as photography. The second refers to the limitations encountered when we trust photography as if it were perception—as if it were a window rather than a flat, constructed surface. These two obviously play off against each other and provide good metaphoric possibilities for making art as well as for viewing. —Rod Slemmons, Curator at Large, Museum of Contemporary Photography

Friday, January 20, 2012

A New Welcome in the Art Office

Marty White

The Department of Art is pleased to announce that a new face will be greeting everyone who comes to Porter Hall. Marty has been appointed the new Administrative Specialist for the department. She will be filling the position left vacant since the retirement of Jolene Robinson last October. 
"We are excited to welcome Marty to the Department of Art family. Her prior work experiences in OIS and Financial Aid will be a great boon to both faculty and students. Marty has already done an excellent job transitioning into her new role. " - Rhona Shand, Department of Art Chair

Students use iPads in Art 434 Life Drawing Course

This spring the Office of the Provost provided funding for an iPad pilot project. Small classes that could demonstrate a unique way of impacting student learning were selected to use the iPads for the semester.  Department of Art faculty member, James Oliver's Life Drawing students were shocked to find out they would be receiving the iPad's to use for the semester.

" I was stunned that we would receive the opportunity to used them in an art class. My favorite reaction when we learned about it was from another student 'I must be dreaming'. The student then asked Jamie (James Oliver) to repeat the news."  - Carol Longman, student

Life Drawing student John Mesplay gets comfortable while learning how to drawing on the iPad.

First Day in Ceramics

Thursday, January 19, 2012

You are employable with an Arts degree!!

Arts degree graduates are really in high demand in the jobs market with well-paying positions. Lets take a look at the most commons myths about getting a degree in Art...

Myth 1: A Bachelor of Arts degree is not enough to find a well-paying, interesting job. You need to go to Law School, the Faculty of Education, or a technical training institute to be competitive for professional employment.
Fact 1: Based salary survey conducted, average salary for bachelor's arts degree graduates in various job fields at United States are ranging from $32,000 to $55,000 annually, without having any further college or university study.

Myth 2: A Bachelor of Arts degree will get you a job of flipping burgers.
Fact 2: Based recent job survey conducted by a well-known survey company, arts graduates are often employed in a professional or managerial capacity (50 - 81%). This compared favorably with those in Commerce (60%) and those with technical or vocational diplomas from colleges and technical institutes (24 - 35%).

Myth 3: A Bachelor of Arts degree is a waste of time and money and does not earn as much money as a bachelor degree in science and technology.

Fact 3: According to a job survey report from "Express News" of University Alberta, Those with a general arts degree do well in the long term, although initially they may not make as much as graduates of professional faculties, what's really striking is the gains they make over five years, the gap starts to close. This is because Arts graduates emerge with highly developed research, communication, creative problem-solving and critical thinking skills that are in high demand because they are difficult to teach in the workplace. Many employers want this type of well-rounded employee, who can be trained for more specific skills.

How much do arts graduates earn?         Where do artists reside?          How satisfied are arts alumni with their education?          How many arts alumni have graduate degrees?           More questions about Art degrees?

The Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP) has created a unique website to frame a clearer picture of arts alumni in America. This is just the beginning. Each year more and more survey respondents provide priceless information for the next generation of arts students.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Department of Art students are back to school!

 After a quiet winter break, Porter Hall is filling up with students and the rumblings of future art works. Classes started yesterday, Tuesday January 17th.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Congratulations to James Oliver!!

James Oliver (on right), Painting faculty
As the new year starts, we have one more bit of news from 2011. Congratulations again to James Oliver. James was one of the two recipients of the 2011 PSU Arts and Sciences Excellence in Teaching Award. 
" James Oliver has been on the faculty of Pittsburg State University’s Department of Art since 2000. His time at Pittsburg State University has shown him to be an educator of exceptional ability and character. James’ excellence in teaching goes far beyond the confines of the classroom.  He provides thoughtful academic advisement and mentoring, strong long-term planning related to his duties as an Undergraduate Advisor and as Graduate Student Coordinator, and a personable approach to students, his fellow faculty and contemporaries.
He is the perfect model for a faculty in the College of Arts & Sciences. He is a highly dedicated and dynamic communicator who knows how to motivate his students to strive for excellence. James is committed to making art and always conveys an excitement about being able to share his extensive knowledge of the subject with others, his students in particular. The student comments often describe him as an outstanding teacher with the ability to grab their undivided attention and leave them with the satisfaction of, in the words of one student, “having truly learned and understood the material thanks to the accessibility of his lectures”.
Innovative teaching and mentoring requires continuous advancement of a faculty’s current discipline specific knowledge and also investigating new methods of teaching and learning. From the use of smart media in his studio courses to taking additional coursework that expand his knowledge of advisement; James is always seeking new ways to grow as an educator
I do hope that the foregoing will give you and your committee some indication of the pure excellence, which James Oliver brings to our University. He is most worthy of the award for which he is being awarded."
- Rhona Shand, Department of Art Chair