Project 10 a success!

April 15, 2009

Well, it was a blast at the Senior Exhibition. I must say there was a moment when everyone was engaged and looking at the books. There wasn’t a book left on the shelf. That is when the work becomes the most exciting, when people are enjoying it and you can see the fruit of the labor. There was a good number that came out to see everything. This show aesthetically was really strong. All the pieces seemed to be destined to go together.

I want to give a shout out to Ruth Grover who is the curator for the Cress Gallery here at the university. She did an amazing job of making eleven artists fit within this space and live comfortably. She has a true talent.

Here’s a little tease.



Cindy sat down with the Graphic Design Workshop 2 Class for a portfolio review. The physical portfolio is what Cindy took a look at. The constructive criticism was welcomed and appreciated. She had a word of advice for everyone. It must have seemed daunting to her but I would never have known if it was. I was able to see immediately the things I needed to correct and improve before our professional evening April 23, 2008 at CreateHere.

One of my main concerns was including images taken of the packages of design pieces vs. the actual piece pressed to the board. It is difficult to see how both could live together and the portfolio still seem fluid. She had some clever ways to remedy this. It is nice to see my work presented in a professional manner. I enjoy experimenting with ways in which my work can live for people to see. Simple, clean and mildly accentuated.

Lunch with Cindy Li

April 15, 2009

I had the recent privilege of meeting and lunching with Cindy Li, graphic/web designer. Cindy Li loves lunch, well, food, and she probably won’t mind me saying so. She is a self professed food lover. But beyond all the wine and dine, she spends many of her days traveling the countryside, telling as many as she can, the effective ways in which social networking can benefit people in the design profession and any other profession for that matter. She explained the ways in which social network systems like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and many others are providing opportunities to tune into people, that typically, you would not be connected with. The system opens up the possibilities to do business out of country and keep in close touch with individuals. I can see where this is a huge tool to collaborate with people who share your visions and passions.

She also made us aware of some of the risks involved with having these networks. Sort of reiterating what she spoke about in the a.m. It is important to be aware of the individuals who begin to have access to information about you, and how you want that to be controlled. She gave us sound advice on how to set account restrictions and how to lock certain information or photographs so that they are not exposed to just everyone.

We ate lunch at Easy Bistro & Bar, thank you to Medium, formally known as Coptix. It was a great lunch and lucky for me, I sat across from Cindy Li who had great advice about planning financially for retirement while we are young and just starting. Saving when you get started is the way to go. Luckily I already had good advisers helping me get retirement started, but it was good to be reinforced.

The lunch was yummy and the company was a insightful.

Artist Statement

April 14, 2009

As part of the curriculum and requirement for senior exhibition, artists, of course, have to write an artist statement. Since Michael Mahaffey and I have been collaborating on everything, the artist’s statement is no different. We each spent time sending it back and forth as part of our process of writing until we said it the way we wanted to be said. Please review below. The statement will give you a good sense of what we did and why we did what we did.



A conversation is a negotiation, each person involved analyzes the information received and chooses how to respond. We respond differently depending on the source. When confronted with a visual image the viewer instantly becomes involved in this same negotiation. Small parts of the whole begin new thoughts and ideas creating new venues in which the thought process travels. The effect of semiotics; the sign, the signifier creating the signified. In this body of work, we have attempted to engage the viewer in such a conversation while having a conversation ourselves.

When approaching the senior thesis project, we wanted to develop a system in which we could engage in this visual conversation. We each contributed five items in ten containers. These containers include appropriated image, appropriated text, found objects, self work, song lyrics, information systems, social symbols, typefaces, color palette, and any graphic elements; that is 100 items per container which quickly snowballs into 1,000 items to design with for each book/panel. Also for this thesis, the catalyst for discussion had to be created. The Ten Commandments were chosen because they represent a set of rules. Also, being from the rural south (the bible belt) we both have been inundated with these rules since childhood. They have a cultural meaning and inflect upon people from any faith. This is our conversation about the Ten Commandments through cultural mediums.

We have individually explored aspects of page layout, book making, and three dimensional works including furniture design and mixed media. To further explore this conversation we decided on two formats of viewing. The book form is the intimate conversation and the large format transfers are the loud shout, the confrontational statement. Within the space we wanted to exaggerate this constant negotiation.


Senior Thesis Exhibition

April 14, 2009

Tonight is my senior exhibition in the Cress Gallery in the Fine Arts Center on the campus of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. The reception begins at 5:30. Before the reception and opening Michael Mahaffey and I will give a presentation on the work we have done for this exhibition.

Michael and I have worked through a process on the work we titled 10. You can read about our process in my blog titled, Artist Statement. We have had such a great time working together and hopefully have begun a long term working arrangement. We are planning on collaborating in the future and possibly starting up our own gig.

The exhibition is really like graduation for me. It is the sum of my experience in learning here at the University so I am really excited to be at this point in the game. Hopefully future employers will get a sense of our work, how we work, and out of  this opportunity will come many others. I would love to begin free-lance work.

I will be posting some images of the gallery space and my exhibition as soon as we document it.

The written word

March 16, 2009

I’ve been looking at all sorts of ways people explore the written word. I found images of the work of Aoyama Hina. She cuts her work with just a pair of scissors and the works, well, just look at them……


The art of paper cutting is something Aoyama Hina has no doubt mastered. She says of her work, “They are super fine lacy-paper-cuttings done by a simple pair of scissors. My passion is to create a finest cutoff beyond the level of the very time-consuming needle lace making. I don’t follow traditional but I am trying to create a mixture of the traditional and modern styles and to produce my own world through this super fine lacy-paper-cuttings technique.

Aoyama Hina is Japanese born and lives in France. I wish I had just an ounce of the patience it must take to cut and capture the delicacy and beauty of these works.



Environmental Art

February 19, 2009

picture-3With everyone jumping on the green wagon, it’s no surprise the artists have already been doing it for quite a while, going green that is. Sustainable art, site-specific art, or land art is the use of materials found in nature or material that are organic and can decompose in nature and leave no footprint. It is associated mostly with sculpture.  This became popular back in the 60’s. Landscape artist Alan Sonfist did a project in New York called Time Landscape. He was one of the first to bring awareness to urban forests and their necessity.

There are many environmental artists out there. All you got to do is google it. It has certainly began to make me aware of the long term effects of work that I make now. Many chemicals, wood and other materials that use up a lot of trees. It might be just the challenge to take on; to see how many beautiful things could be created for a period of time but then discipate or biodegrade.

There are some excellent examples of this right here in Chattanooga, companies who have thought of ways to make art and design that is environmentally conscious like Tricycle Inc. and Green | Spaces.

Food for thought. And pretty pictures……