Fall 2017 ART/ARTH Undergraduate Symposium

Tuesday, December 5, Owen Hall 237

10:15am  Amelia Rosenberg
Folk Art and Ancestry: German Jewish Creation through Time

10:35am Shanna Glawson
Shape of the Heart and the Mystery of Meaning

10:55am Rome Widenhouse
Hypnagogia: Explorations of Sleep Paralysis

11:15am Savannah Adams-Clark
Suppression of the Authorial Hand: The Digital Painting of David Hockney


Abstract Amelia Rosenberg (Megan Wolfe)

Nearly eight decades ago the Wallach brothers, Moritz and Julius, and their families were forced from their homeland due to the anti-Semitism that dictated Nazi Germany. Before their displacement, the brothers made their livelihood by collecting, creating, and reproducing German folk art. The Holocaust scattered the Jewish family and their collection of handmade folk art and craft dispersed. Passion and artistry fueled the Wallach brothers’ success and led them to become two of the most instrumental German folk art collectors and preservationists before World War Two. The traditional art that they collected for their museum, The Wallach House of Folk Art, included textiles, wood blocks, clothing, and decorated furniture. This research and corresponding artwork explores how traditional German folk art and the Wallach history can be represented within contemporary ceramic work. History, patterns, and styles present in German folk art were investigated over a five-week period at historical locations, museum archives, and local art manufacturers throughout Europe. The thorough analysis of the Wallach history was conducted with assistance from local historians and folk art scholars. Artwork created around this research delves into Jewish artistic history, and examines the significance of folk art within Germany. The combination of color, form, and design allow for the exploration of the Wallach enterprise in a contemporary ceramic environment. Utilizing the ceramic medium, the artist incorporates aspects of German artistic history and contemporary technique to highlight the importance of folk art and its transformation throughout the Jewish community and its history.

Abstract Shanna Glawson (Brent Skidmore, Jackson Martin)

The human heart is infinitely more than just a blood-pumping organ. It is the source of all life’s vitality and the institute of feeling, thought, and memory. The iconological symbol of the heart that we use today is necessary for generating rationality for this institution of sentiment. Heart ideograms have been especially vital to religions that use both the imagery and the existence of the physical heart to represent emotional and spiritual qualities. After its origination and development in the late Middle Ages, the “heart shape” was widely used by Renaissance artists, while the intertwining of religious virtuosities and romantic love developed “heart metaphors”. The significant connotation of the heart is to serve as an empty vessel to be filled with love: romantic and spiritual. Through the symbolic nature of the heart, the audience becomes fascinated with a feeling that transcends life and, when depicted properly, it can leave an impression of vicarious grandeur. The artist explores these spiritual and metaphorical qualities by manipulating wood, metal, fiber, and various other materials in order to make unique sculptural pieces. Through the processes of carving and casting, the artist portrays the assorted conditions of the heart with allegories such as the romantic, wounded, broken, inflamed, and winged hearts.

Abstract Rome Widenhouse (Eric Tomberlin. Tamie Beldue)

For thousands of years, Sleep Paralysis has remained a largely inexplicable phenomenon both in the field of dream medicine and modern psychology. Victims often experience auditory, visual, and tactile hallucinations along with sensations of suffocation claustrophobia and paranormal visitations. An analysis of the nightmarish imagery experienced by victims of Sleep Paralysis offers a unique window into our primal and repressed fear as the subject is forced to confront them in an intimate setting. Fear comes from within, and since the victim’s fear is a product of their imagination, they become simultaneously the cause and consequence of their own torment. “Hypnagogia: Explorations of Sleep Paralysis” is a photography series which explores this conflict between the rational mind and the irrational subconscious through depictions of the varied imagery and sensations which accompany a Sleep Paralysis episode. The photograph itself acts as a veil between the viewer and the dream reality depicted. Through the manipulation and degradation of film negatives, the photography is permeated by chaotic texture, emblematic of the tactile and visual hallucinations that occur during a sleep paralysis episode. By utilizing alternative experimental development processes, the series articulates these themes through metaphor, abstraction, and visual paradox combining influence from experimental 1970s photographers and expressionist painterly techniques of post-war surrealist painters.

Abstract: Savannah Adams-Clark (Cynthia Canejo, Laurel Taylor)

The chronological progression of artistic movements has adapted in congruence with the development of human sciences, available resources, and as a reflection of the cultural context in which it pertains. The eclectic and ever-changing techniques presented in the work by artist David Hockney demonstrates the evolution of such inherit changes, predominantly in his use of the IPad, IPhone and the computer to render his recent body of work in the twenty-first century. Although Hockney has continuously experimented with different types of media, his artwork as remained thematically cohesive. His fascination with capturing a fleeting moment, such as a splash in water, a sunset over an East Yorkshire landscape, or the sun’s rays as they creep through the trees at dusk, have remained salient in his oeuvre. However, his digital paintings have not gone without scrutiny, with many critics reviewing them as being an “awkward digital rhapsody” and appearing “lazy” in their brushstrokes and overall composition. The criticism has been predominantly targeted at Hockney’s lack of physically engaging with his paintings and relying on technology to render a majority of the work. However, the use of alternative aids by artist to create their work has been demonstrated in several artistic movements. Contemporary artists working in large scale sculpture rely on computer-aided drawing (CAD) to digitize and enlarge their sculptures; photographers utilize light-capturing devices to archive a distinct moment in time; and Conceptual artist, Sol LeWitt and his system-oriented and serial based installations are seldom, if ever, executed by the artist himself. In the instance of the IPad and computer made paintings of David Hockney, it is the use of these digital devices that are manipulated as an expenditure of his creativity and fascination with capturing a distinct moment in an impromptu and expedited manner.