Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What We're Bringing for Breakfast

In the comments, please post what you'll be bringing for breakfast for the final in the comments section.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Our final will be on Thurs, 12/8, from 8am-11am.

Bring breakfast.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011



Year 1

Complete my senior year at sierra Nevada. Make plan about BFA show! Complete my credits.

Year 2

Complete my BFA and my show! Then second semester apply to grad schools and fill out scholarship information. Apply to local galleries. (The Riverside studio in Truckee, I could contact Heather River.)And figure stuff out!

Year 3

MOVE! Start my MFA at Maybe Caifornia College of the Arts, or Hartford Art School. Make alot of really awesome work and submit to galleries In the area. (Galleries depend on where I end up)

Year 4

Finish my MFA! Create work non-stop! Research artist in residency programs

Year 5

Start an artist in residency program who knows where! (anderson ranch)

Jessica 5-Year Plan

Year 1:
BFA in Spring
Continue to work at SNC for the following year
Enter a residency program (Anderson Ranch or other)
Start a new book
Submit to publishing companies and local galleries

Year 2:
Enter MFA program (undecided on where at this point)
Start working towards thesis
Continue work on book/portfolio

Year 3:
Continue MFA/thesis
Continue work on book/portfolio

Year 4:
Finish MFA/thesis
Maybe take a break and go climb some trees or something
Continue submitting to publishing companies/local galleries

Year 5:
Continue making work
Possibly another residency program
If possible, acquire studio space/small press
Continue submissions, etc.

Matt Matt 5 Year Proposed Plan

Year 1

Complete my BFA show at Sierra Nevada College with a better than passing grade and graduate in the spring.

Year 2

Continue working in the 3 dimensional clay or otherwise. Progress my apprenticeship with Matthew Welter and gain more art connections through that.

Year 3

Move out of parents house to somewhere in Tahoe. Keep my apprenticeship with Matthew strong and progress as a wood working artist, but also continue in mixed media and ceramics. Get a job as a ski instructor for a free ski pass.

Year 4

Have several studio art contracts in smaller local galleries and some larger ones.

Progress my skill and craft to a point that will define my art to whoever looks at it.

Side job as ski instructor for free pass still.

Year 5

Keep the current gallery contracts I have and continue to slowly move my art outwards into the surrounding area and larger city centers.

Continue to expand my knowledge of sculpture on any medium and have fun doing it.

brett's plan

5-Year Plan
Year 1:
-Develop website
-Have brettvarga.com up and running
-Pursue teaching MA

Year 2:
-Cont. Pursuing teaching MA
-Try to substitute teach
-Cont. adding onto website
-Try to do a group show with Burdett in Va Beach, VA
-Complete MA in teaching

Year 3:
-Try to get a solo gallery show in the works
-Promote solo gallery show
- Actually pull off the show within the year

Year 4:
-Use gallery show buzz to promote website
-Try to acquire a teaching job, permanent sub, assistant, etc.
-Try to continue making art while teaching

Year 5:
-Hopefully have a teaching position ( ANYWHERE)
-Continue making art
-Continue promoting myself through my website
- Try to get another group show in the works

5 year plan possibilities

Kath McGaughey

  • MFA in 2 D/ mixed media. Australia( 2013?) or USA. (2 year committment)
 School possibilities-
MFA at Australian National University, Canberra, ACT  http://soa.anu.edu.au/postgrad/coursework-degrees
 MFA in 2D/ mixed media at Sierra Nevada College if offered
 MFA in 2D/ mixed media at UNR, Reno http://www.unr.edu/art/
    • Build up portfolio/ continue to build skill set. Course work through Sierra College (life drawing, oil painting and ceramics and PHOTOSHOP).          Summer course work- Sierra Nevada College 2012 wood engraving- Sarah Whorf 
    •  Riverside Studios for short term. Sales and work to cover cost of materials + .          Riverside – artist of the month (joint show- summer, 2012 with Jessica Hayworth)    Provide 2D work for commission sale.
    • Nevada Museum of fine arts- docent program/ interships and jobs available in the Curatorial, Education, Communications, Advancement departments. http://www.nevadaart.org/about/jobs-internships
    • Investigate residencies programs, juried shows 
    • Blue Bird jewelry design collaboration. http://www.bluebirddesigns.com/        Jessica Hall is a metalsmith and jewelry technician whose business is doing well. She is looking to        expand her physical shop space and incorporate local artists and their work.

    Monday, November 21, 2011

    Sam Shear 5 Year Plan

    Sam Shear
    5 Year Plan

    Year 1.
    Achieve my BFA from Sierra Nevada College
    Start creating a resume for myself along with a nice portfolio, full of work
    Continue to pump out work
    Submit work to local galleries

    Year 2.
    Start to work towards a MFA either from Sierra Nevada College or other
    Really start to expand upon my ideas ten folds 
    Continue to work with wax
    Continue to submit work to local galleries 

    Year 3.
    Continue to work with wax and the traveler until i feel i have exhausted the idea
    Once i feel i have a large enough portfolio, start to show in gallery
    The traveler candle is in production mode and selling from off the website
    Continue to submit work to local and nationwide galleries 

    Year 4.
    Start to put my foot in to the artist door
    Continue to sell wax candle figure
    Creating larger and better piece of work 
    Start to work with more materials (wood, metal, ect.)

    Year 5.
    Move out to Galena IL. (second home)
    Create my own workshop
    Set up large kiln
    Work, Work, Work 
    Become famous 

    Sunday, November 20, 2011

    Artist Statement

    My work has been about the possessions we carry with us through life, and what we leave along the way. I enjoy using wax as my foundation material because it mimics the state we are all in when we travel from one place to another. Just as the wax melts into a liquid pool and spills over the fragile edge, it takes on a life of it’s own. I believe that when people travel, they loose the solid foundation of their home, and leave, in search of something new. People have a certain movement to them when they travel, just as the wax does when it falls from the candle on to a new base.
    It’s a material that has proven itself, time and time again, always lending itself to the creative ideas of the artist. I have complete control over the wax as a solid, molding, carving and shaping. As the wax changes from a solid form to liquid, I have less control of the wax, and this is the exciting part. The moment of transition, seeing my art turn from one state of matter to another. 
    I feel that working more in other mediums will help me to expand on my foundation of wax art. I also enjoy working with ceramics, wood and photography. I am able to explore my ideas in a different context, seeing my themes in a new light. Exploring the subject matter in this way excites me and helps me delve deeper into my true medium. There is a freedom in working with wax that lets me explore the 3-D realm. Art will always be with me, in one form or another, for the rest of my life.

    Wednesday, November 16, 2011



    For Thursday's Class (11/17)

    You homework for Tuesday will be to have, printed out, a sketch of your five-year-plan. As in: what are your plans for the next five years – how will you pursue art-making – what is your ultimate goal for your life five years out, and what steps do you think you have to take to get there?

    You can download a copy of the thing I handed out at the beginning of the semester, "Ways of Being a Working Artist" – it might be helpful to use as a jumping-off point for strategies of steps to take. Take a look at the tracks I laid out, and see which one might be most applicable to your ambitions:


    You can have a general outline for now, but I'll expect you to flesh out the details. For instance, if you're planning on getting an MFA, I'll expect a list of three schools you think would be a good fit. If you're wanting to build an exhibition record, I'll want to know what galleries you plan to contact.

    Lexy's website

    That's very plain right now.


    Tuesday, November 15, 2011

    Due Thursday (11/17)

    By Thursday, have a weebly site live, with at least one slideshow and your artist statement posted. Post a link to your site on this class blog.

    Brett Artist Statement

    My art could be described as a chaotic mess. To just call it that would not only be an understatement, it be missing the point. What is the point exactly? It’s to increase my range as an artist. I never want to be stuck in the same place or motif for to long. It gets boring to say the least.
    It all originated near the end of high school. I finally was able to take an art class since middle school. I showed a piece “Gorillaz” in the Contemporary Art Museum of Virginia. From there I moved onto Utah State where I increased my skills drawing, painting, photography, ceramic and in aspects of design. Soon after I transferred to SNC. I learned how to use various digital art programs including Final Cut and Photoshop.
    Since graduating high school, I’ve dabbled in almost every medium of art from printmaking to photography. I’ve always loved painting. A recreation I painting of Van Gogh’s “The Poet” was placed in the 2011 SNC student Art show. The piece “Van Varga” just so happened to win one hundred dollars. I participated in the 2011 Fall JAPR show. The piece I presented “University of Merjersy” was images accompany by an audio tour. It was the first time I used comedy in my art to convey a deeper meaning. The show was a venue that articulated how people propitiate an image of how they want to be perceived.
    Even though I want to incorporate mixed media in many of my works going forward. I think it’s essential to keep humor in most of my work. I feel that comedy is one of the best venues to explore social, political, or economic issues. My art is a direct extension of my ideology. Being kind of a comedian, I feel I connect best to my work when I try to bring some of my humor into it. As an artist it’s important to be able to connect to your art and know where it’s coming from. Hallow art, where there is no clear meaning, isn’t art at all. My art has a soul, or a part of my soul. My art has meaning, it has personality, and it has life.

    Draft of artist's statement

    My work examines the disconnect between the real world and our subjective observations of it. Through sequencing and narrative, I address the way that individuals create states of mind for themselves, and how these layers can color everything that they look at. I tell stories about a world altered by perceptions, emotions, and anxieties. Everyday events are intensified and viewed through a microscopic lens. I am trying to create a world that is affected by our observations of it, that manifests our interpretations of what we see. I’m very interested in what happens when a private thought or feeling is pushed into a public space. My work explores the things that we hide, the thoughts and feelings that we can’t communicate, and the layers between what we see and how we see it.

    Monday, November 14, 2011

    Artist statement ROUGH draft

    Lately I have been very interested in introspection and the female form. My installation work deals with basically getting to know yourself, through your freckles. Exploring your body in ways you have not before searching for these spots of pigmentation. In a way if your body was a night sky it’s freckles are your constellations.

    I am fascinated by water and liquid. What it feels like to be weightless or suspended, or what one thinks about when they are underwater has sparked my curiosity. Large bodies of water represent the deep realms of unconsciousness, which is a theme present in my work.

    I use animals in my ceramic work, because I am attracted to what it means to anthropomorphize. I like how animals can be archetypes for human traits, or what we think of when we contemplate certain animals.

    Artist Statement

    I grew up in Las Vegas and lived there for 20 years before I moved up to the Sierra Nevadas. As a child growing up I can always remember there being a camera of some sort following me. In fact, even to this day my mom still captures every important event in my life. That's most likely why I feel the attachment that I do to the camera...

    I am a photographer. It is how I view the world. My eye constantly captures images of moments in time. It is these moments, and the thoughts and ideas that go along with them that I strive to share...

    I received my Associates Degree of Applied Science with a concentration in Commercial Photography from the College of Southern Nevada and have gone on to pursue my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Sierra Nevada College.

    The Rest:
    Recently I have been interested in how my mind wonders. I found myself getting into my dreams and the dream state. I liked this idea of being able to control what you can’t control, making the subconscious tangible, and layering. Symbols and symbolism also presented itself within my work and became a realm I found myself exploring. As I move on from this body of work I want to continue exploring and looking at thoughts, how these thoughts come to us, and how they can inform us.

    I am also becoming interested in people and their habits and how they are. I have always been interested in observing and watching people. During the process of my Junior Art Portfolio Review I thought a lot about my daily routine and how I “live my life”. This made me start to think about other people. What they do, how they go about their days, and think about.

    I also find surveillance to be a very intriguing thing. Growing up in Las Vegas plays a big role in that for me. When you go downtown you are constantly confronted with these bubble like shapes with these lens-like eyes starring at you, watching your every move, and existing in this environment in which they “should” be hiding.

    Web hosting

    Here's the web site service we'll be using for our portfolios:


    Bio and Statements...

    Ok- so I did two so we can mix and match...

    Statement #1

    I have an interest in the narrative and an aesthetic that is formal and spare and vacilates from color or moments of defining color to the starkness of black and white. 
    I am fascinated by the formal qualities of the old masters and the idea of apprenticeship and an authenticity of technical mastery that is in conflict with today’s art at large- “Art is what you can get away with” (quote from man at Burning Man…) 
    I try to reference or bring attention to the things that we neglect, ignore or pass over everyday. My subjects invariably are animals or something in the natural world, structures and space and the things in or just outside the picture frame.

    Statement #2

    My work is an exploration of formality and aesthetics. The most interesting aspect of my practice is the act of mark making through the application of charcoal, ink and paint; the construction, collaging or reconstruction of physical objects.
    I am drawn to the physicality of objects, the structural elements of the picture plane, zooming in on a feature and the balance of light and shadow.
    By focusing on these elements my work draws attention to the details and narratives that we often ignore or miss in the environment around us.


    I was born and raised on a cattle farm in western New South Wales in Australia. I earned my BA in English Literature, traveled extensively and followed the snow to the United States. I live and work in Truckee, CA and have for 18 years. I am currently working toward my BFA in 2D practices at Sierra Nevada College.

    Sunday, November 13, 2011

    Brett's Interview of Me. By Sam Shear

    1. What inspires you to create art? is that art unique to you or is it mainly inspired by other artist?

    Great question, I would have to say I am more self-inspired then inspired by others. Or at least as far as I know. My ideas always seem to come out of the blue. I find it extremely hard to explain myself and my projects. Especially with this JAPR project coming up. Majority of the time I get interested in an artist after the fact. For example a few days ago, Mary Kenny, showed me an artist by the name of Do-Ho-Suh. He works with wax and multiples, like me. And so this is kinda, how it always works. 

    2. Do you feel you have a firm grasp on your JAPR project? Content/Concept

    Yes… for the most part. I have all my materials and content, now I just need to put it all together. The overall meaning behind the piece isn't really realized yet but i have a great sentence that put it all into perspective for me. My work is about the things we carry with us through life and what we leave along the way. I have 30 something travelers, each with a piece of my grandmothers dollhouse in it.  I plan on having them all displayed on two staggered shelfs and a larger shelve below to catch all the dripping wax.

    3. What differences are achieved when creating a 3D piece over a 2D piece?

    For the most part i've always work in the 3D form. I feel a connection with the piece when I am working with my hands. 3D is a lot more fun to work with. This is not to say i hate 2D, I used to work with photography and digital art, but I just like 3D more. So I do more of it. 
    4. What is the general theme behind your JAPR work?

    My JAPR project will be about the thing we carry with us through life and the things we are forced to leave behind.

    5. What is the most fulfilling part about the art creating process?

    I just like to create things. I feel more myself when i'm working with my hands. and when something is done and over with, that is the fulfilling part, but then its right on to the next. I create because it is what i love to do.

    Thursday, November 10, 2011

    Due Tuesday (11/15)

    1. Have a draft of your artist statement completed and post it to the class blog. We'll have an opportunity to tweak and edit it – but we need to have something to respond to. Remember that you have a lot of raw material to pull from – your student interview, and material you may have written for your JAPR talk.

    2. Bring digital files of your recent work – going back as far as any material you'd want to include in your online portfolio.

    Next week I'll want you to also produce a short statement about a recent body of work – your JAPR or your BFA show, depending on what track you're on.

    Artist Statements


      When I create a painting, I strive for perfection. However, when a mirror-like 
    rendition of reality is no longer the goal, perfection becomes a malleable concept. I like to 
    think of each painting I create as a study in color and light that results in an image that is 
    more sublime than the last. It is a process of trial and error: every painting is a thesis in 
    beauty that will inevitably be disproved by the painting that follows it. 

    I do like the ending of his artist statement... i sort of buy into the BS and don't mind it. i think being able to talk about your work in this way is interesting and job well done.


    good advice??

    Glenn Arthur's facebook page: about me. Artist statement?

    Autodidact artist. Imperfect perfectionist. Art Nouveau and Neo-Victorian enthusiast. Hopeless romantic.



    Fashion Blog, contact them for contributing. link above.


    Conde Nast. Job Opportunities. Production Director NY


    LA models. be discovered. Photographer Open call Thurs 3-4 pm

    Production Director

    Production Director: Click the link provided to see the complete job description.

    Tuesday, November 8, 2011

    Due Thurs (11/10): artists statements and documentation

    For Thursday's class, bring two artists statements you find online – one that strikes you as a good artist statement, and one that strikes you as a terrible one. Make printouts of them. Kath, of course, has a special dispensation for this assignment.

    Also, bring digital documentation of your strongest recent work (including pics of the JAPR work, for those who showed at JAPR).

    BFA Application Download Link

    The application is due wednesday – here's the link if you want to download it:


    Thursday, November 3, 2011

    Interview with Anders Nilsen

    An interview with cartoonist Anders Nilsen, author and illustrator of Big Questions, Dogs and Water, Monologues for the Coming Plague, and other stories. (You can check out his work here.)

    You studied painting and installation in art school. What prompted you to shift into making comics? What is the appeal of the comics medium?

    Sometimes things that make sense in art school make less sense in the real world. Comics allowed me to connect to people more immediately, somehow. It was also the medium I'd been closest to as a kid, and probably had the best intuitive understanding of. When I found it again it was a bit of a revelation.

    I understand that you decided to leave graduate school to make comics independently. What prompted that decision, and how did you survive artistically once you left? What were the challenges in establishing yourself?

    It was a lot of things. Partly, at that time at the Art Institute in Chicago there were no instructors who understood comics, really. So I was paying a lot of money to people who knew significantly less than me about the medium I was engaged in. Art school is also a funny sort of place. It's extremely expensive, and offers very few useful, marketable skills. So of course the people that end up there are, in many cases, people who don't need to worry about making a living. That wasn't me, and I just felt a little out of place. I also had gone there anticipating a serious conversation about art and art making, and found that a bit lacking, too.

    The rhythm and timing of your narratives always feels very natural and spontaneous. How much do you tend to improvise while working?

    Work like the Monologues books place the emphasis on improvisation. Big Questions less so. But it's really a matter of degree. Improvisation only really works when there are thousands of hours of practice behind it. The rhythm and timing that I try to get to in my work definitely comes out of that, but it also comes from re-reading a scene several times at different stages and trying to figure out where it needs more or less space. I'm really interested in the fact that silences, or very small gestures can be every bit as important as giant splash pages.

    In your work, you use language in a very engaging way. Do you consider yourself more an artist or a writer, or are those distinctions unimportant? Do you tend to begin with words or with images?

    Yeah, it's funny, when people say they like the writing in my comics I never really know what they mean. Is that the way I structure my stories, or do they mean the dialogue, the text? I don't really separate them.To me the pictures and the words interact to make a story happen. Sometimes one carries more water, sometimes the other does. I probably start more with images, but certainly not in every case.

    Big Questions must have been a massive undertaking. Can you talk a bit about how it began, and what it became? I’m especially curious about the editing and revising process – with a book of over 600 pages, was it difficult to keep everything in order?

    It started out just as little gag strips in my sketchbooks when I was finishing up my undergrad, working on a giant installation for my thesis show. They were a something of a counterpoint to that stuff. Over time their little conversations turned from gags into something resembling a story and they began to differentiate into distinct characters. And I decided to go with it. For the next twelve years.

    Once the story was done I pretty much immediately turned around and read through the whole thing and started making notes about changes that needed making. And spent about five months making them. Moving word balloons, adding a panel here and there, straightening panel borders, clarifying conversations. I drew one or two entirely new scenes in the middle to flesh out a plot line that hadn't quite gotten its due. The editing process was actually pretty grueling. It's the one time over the last 12 years where I actually started kind of hating it. But it was necessary, and I think made a better book.

    There is a marked difference in style between Monologues for the Coming Plague/Monologues for Calculating the Density of Black Holes and your other projects. How did the stylistic differences in Monologues come about? Was there a change in your process while working on them, as compared to other projects?

    As I got deeper into Big Questions (and eventually Dogs and Water as well) my way of working slowed down and got more concerned with craft, and I started missing the more off the cuff way of working that the work had started with. The Monologues books were a way of getting back to that.

    How does it feel to be finished with Big Questions? Do you think you might undertake such a large project again in the future?

    Well I never meant to undertake such a large project in the past, so my intentions at the moment may not bear too much on the question. I have a few smaller projects to finish up in the next year or so. After that I do intend to start another proper graphic novel. Honestly I hope it doesn't go to 600 pages, but we'll see.

    You’re in the middle of a book tour to promote Big Questions. How is that going? Do you enjoy the promotional aspect of art-making?

    It's totally amazing, gratifying, humbling...and completely exhausting. I just got back from the UK and France, and have been on the road for almost all of the last two months, and I don't think I've ever been this exhausted. A lot of the events,though, have included a little slide show and reading and then some Q&A afterward, and those are always awesome. Comics is pretty solitary, usually. It's great to actually have a conversation with a bunch of readers in real time once in a while.

    You are currently based in Chicago. Does your environment have any influence or effect on your work?

    Not Chicago.I think the upper Midwest, has, though. I grew up in Minneapolis and spent time outside the city as a kid. That landscape looms, I think, pretty large in my work.

    Have you ever had a specific demographic in mind?

    No. Curious, thoughtful people who read.

    One goal of this Advanced Studio class is to gain some understanding of how artists balance their work and their lives. Obviously this is something we will have to learn for ourselves individually, but I’m curious about how you have structured your life in order to do the sort of work that appeals to you. Is art-making a constant aspect of your life, or is there a separation between work and play?

    It's all work, it's all play. The trick is to make it pay.