Department of Art and Art History News

Alumnus Jonas Criscoe selected to participate in The Contemporary Austin's Crit Group

Thu. March 2, 2017

TAGS
image of eight frames of print and collage of figure trying to put on life vest
The Passenger, 14" x 14" x 3", Silkscreen, collage and encaustic on panel


Jonas Criscoe
(B.F.A. in Studio Art, 2006) is a participant in this years Crit Group program at The Contemporary Austin. The program aims to build a network of critical support for artists dedicated to growing their artistic practices and culminates in a satellite group exhibition at Austin's grayDUCK gallery in August 2017. 

Art educators Pam G. Taylor and Christine Ballengee-Morris visit UT Austin to discuss how to make an impact through arts learning

Thu. March 2, 2017

Part call to action, part heart-to-heart and part brass-tacks lesson-planning, the seminar and lecture by art educators and close colleagues Dr. Pam G. Taylor and Dr. Christine Ballengee-Morris at the UT Austin Department of Art and Art History delivered on the promise of sharing how to make a difference as visual arts educators.

two students crafting hybrid stuffed animals look to the right


During the seminar with upper level undergraduate Visual Art Studies students Taylor and Ballengee-Morris came ready to work—or to put the students to work. Believers in kinetic learning, the visiting scholars had students create “Franken-Pets” by assembling new, hybrid creatures from the parts of other stuffed animals they brought into the classroom. As students created their creatures, Taylor and Ballengee-Morris unpacked the art historical, cultural sensitivity and curriculum goals that could be interwoven into the lesson. 

“It’s not always recognized, but we have power in the art world,” said Taylor during the seminar as she made the case for teaching students how to become critical thinkers who can deconstruct our increasingly visually-oriented world. Later in the day, Taylor and Ballengee-Morris’ lecture would stress the same, while also unfolding a long history of friendship and academic collaboration that has sustained their practice as educators. Taylor is Professor of Art Education in the School of the Arts at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA and her research interests include data visualization, hypermediation theory, and curriculum and assessment in art education. Ballengee-Morris is a professor in the Arts Administration, Education, and Policy Department and the American Indian Studies Coordinator for The Ohio State University, and the founding director of The Multicultural Center at OSU. Ballengee-Morris’ research interests include self-determination, identity development, Indigenous arts, and service-learning. Having known each other for 23 years, Taylor and Ballengee-Morris emphasized how their unique professional and personal experiences as researchers have influenced their collaborative endeavors.

student in profile with burnt orange shirt sews stuffed animal together

The two researchers encouraged students to develop their own networks to achieve the kind of change they want to see in the world. “We hope to create change agents that will spread these ideas in the community,” echoed both Taylor and Ballengee-Morris when talking about the goals of inclusivity, multiculturalism and interdisciplinary learning that are organic outcomes of a pedagogy based upon listening, challenging and changing together.  

Michael Smith traces origins of Baby Ikki persona in screening and panel conversation at Museum Brandhorst

Mon. February 27, 2017

A man facing the horizon dressed in diaper stares at desert sun
 
Transmedia professor Michael Smith will be speaking on a panel with art historian Helmut Draxler and artists Peter Wächtler and Jutta Zimmermann at the end of March. Panel discussion will focus on panelist engagement with post-apocalyptic narratives in their work.

The March 31 panel and screenings are among a series hosted by Museum Brandhorst titled “Post-Apocalyptic Realism: It’s After the End of the World. Don’t You Know That?”, which brings together artists who, “[take] the fragile status of mankind in the world as their starting point,” as the museum’s press relates. “Post-apocalyptic stories are also a continuation of one of modernity’s essential narratives: the narrative of the self which has lost its ground and place in a world that has long been out of joint. They are directed at a possible future while at the same time being profoundly anchored in the given reality of the present and past.”

In a description of Smith’s work and contribution to discussion, Museum Brandhorst’s program details,

“For over thirty years, video/performance/installation artist Michael Smith has built an extensive body of work based on two performance personae: Mike, a hopeful innocent who continually falls victim to trends and fashions outside his reach; and Baby Ikki, an ambiguously aged toddler who follows his impulses down unsupervised and often precipitous paths. Both characters are convenient narrative vehicles for Smith to engage the tragicomic aspects of contemporary culture, teasing out facets of loneliness, consumerism, and measures of success and failure. Following the screening of Baby Ikki’s trip to the Burning Man Festival (“A Voyage of Growth and Discovery”, Michael Smith and Mike Kelley, 2010, 87min), Smith will trace the origins of each persona back to the mid-1970s, discussing how feminism, the silent majority, blandness and the media informed their separate and arrested development.”

More details about the series and Michael Smith can be found at e-flux and Museum Brandhorst.  

Dance with flARmingos: Kristin Lucas interviewed by Oregon Public Broadcasting on the latest evolution in her work with virtual reality

Mon. February 27, 2017

“As a December snowstorm raged around OSB’s office in downtown Portland, the artist Kristin Lucas was dreaming of flamingos.”

And so begins the podcast episode “Oregon Virtual Reality Incubator Takes Artists Into New Worlds” from Oregon’s NPR station. The host, Aaron Scott featured the artists and work from an Augmented/Virtual Reality Artist Residency, including Transmedia professor Kristin Lucas.

screen shot of a virtual reality flamingo dance and in the left corner a person
film still from Dance with the flARmingos: Multispecies Dance

Kristin Lucas' virtual reality project, Dance with flARmingos: Multispecies Dance is a poetic proposition that re-imagines kinship between humans and flamingos from the ethical distance of a Mixed Reality experience. However, Dance with flARmingos, has been a long time in the making and functions as the umbrella title for a series of Augmented Reality projects Lucas has produced since 2015. The latest iteration of the project, Multispecies Dance, takes the series in a new direction, utilizing new Augmented and Virtual Reality technologies, including the Microsoft HoloLens and HTC Vive. Lucas' project is inspired by writings on ecology and feminism, and involves partnership with a wetlands reserve organization in the Mediterranean where she recently adopted flamingos as a part of a conservation effort. Production support for Multispecies Dance is being provided through residencies affiliated with Oregon Story Board/Upfor Gallery (Portland), Harvestworks (New York) and Printscreen Festival (Tel Aviv).

To listen to the podcast, visit Oregon Public Broadcasting’s website.
 

Studio Art Professor Troy Brauntuch among 1980s artists highlighted in T Magazine feature on Pictures Generation

Fri. February 24, 2017

dark red drawing of figures close to floorboards
Troy Brauntuch, “Floor Boards,” 1984, pastel and conte on cotton, 108 in. x 144 in., courtesy of the artist and Petzel, New York
 
Troy Brauntuch was featured in New York Times' T magazine for contribution to the Pictures Generation, artists of the 1980s heralded by the publication for their continued significance.