Friday, June 17, 2011

Entry #4

Walk through the main drag of Yellow Springs and find an example of each of the following:

Hand craftsmanship (a work of art that falls into the traditional media of craft: glass, metal, clay, fiber, wood, etc.)

Activist / political art

Non-commercial art (art that is not intended to be bought or sold)
  • Identify each work of art in terms of its medium, location (where you viewed it), approximate size, color and shape. Describe each work's appearance in detail.
  • Explain why you believe each work of art is an example of craftsmanship, activism, or non-commercialism.
  • Incorporate some of the terms and concepts you have leaned in class thus far (EX: abstract, non-representational, naturalistic, etc.)
  • Record your thoughts about this experience.
Activist / political art:

My example of activist / political art is a representational mural, painted in vibrant color on a long exterior wall of Yellow Springs Instruments (YSI), a business located on State Route 68, just outside Yellow Springs. It is a very large mural, covering the entire side of the YSI building as seen below:

The mural depicts scientists and students using and investigating a waterway. It was painted by Jason Morgan, a muralist who also happens to be resident of Yellow Springs. I believe this mural is an example of activist/political art because it shows people of all ages engaged in positive activity focused on the environment. Additionally, YSI is an environmental instruments business which develops and manufactures sensors, instruments, software, and data collection platforms for environmental water quality monitoring and testing. The mural is a visible manifestation of the company's commitment to environmental stewardship.

Hand craftsmanship:

I found my example of hand-craftsmanship in "would you, could you" In a Frame on Corry Street. The name of this piece is Scream Quietly Now. I may be wrong but I think this piece is a combination of representational and non-representational art. The piece is approximately 8" X 8", embroidered on muslin with cotton thread using a variety of stitches including couching, french knots, long and short stitch, and satin stitch. The artist is Corrine Bayraktaroglu, a local artist. I chose this as my example of hand-craftsmanship because fiber, thread, and stitch traditional media. I love the way Corrine uses conventional embroidery to express her art.

Non-commercial art:
Knit Knot Tree II

Dayton Street Pole

Thanks to a group of local women artist who call themselves the JA-FA-Girls (JAFA: Just Another F$%#@*g Artist) Yellow Springs is brimming with examples of non-commercial art. This group of women have a special talent for making and promoting community art. They have become known nationally and internationally for their street art. One of their specialties is using fiber to 'bomb' or cover including 'yarn-bombing' - a type of "graffiti" that employs colorful displays of cloth (sewn, knitted, and/or crocheted) rather than paint or chalk.

The first example - Knit Knot Tree II - was located in downtown Yellow Springs, on Xenia Avenue / State Route 68, just outside
Emporium Wines and the Underdog Cafe. Numerous knitters (including myself) knit pieces that were wrapped around the tree and it's branches to create a kind of tree cozy. Additional pieces of fabric art where then sewn to the knit pieces which results in a kind of community art project.

The second example is a pole on Dayton Street which has been covered with panels of black and white fabrics including craft felt and novelty yarn. Some of the panels have been stitched to add additional embellishment which creates additional visual interest.

These pieces are not for sale. Their only purpose is to adorn and enhance 'unseen' everyday objects in an attempt to create visual stimulation and possibly incite and/or promote dialogue or even just thought about art and its place in our everyday lives.

I think this activity - going into Yellow Springs to look for art was fun and a great teaching tool. Too many people think art is only for museums and galleries. Thanks to Yellow Springs artists and community leaders, one only needs to drive or walk through the village of Yellow Springs to see how very wrong that way of thinking is.

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