Sneak Peek: June 4 – July 30 Exhibitions


Please join us for the opening reception of exhibitions by Brian D. Smith, Leandra Spangler, and Adam West on June 4th, 6 – 8pm. Shows are open through July 30th.

Brian D. Smith: Passage and Occurrence
Paintings that process memory through the metaphorical arrangement of color, texture, and shape

Brian D. Smith's "Evora" (detail)

Brian D. Smith’s “Evora” (detail)

Statement:
The act of painting is a vital experience. I create from an intuitive base to develop a particular logic that will make a painting whole.

I see my paintings as a document of memory and the painting process that produces a view into an imagined space. Their meaning is derived from specific feelings I have about nature as well as my reactions to the art that inspires me.

The resulting arrangements of colors, marks, textures, and shapes are fundamental characteristics of my art that should be understood metaphorically. They are integrated to convey a dazzling optical effect and a spirited emotional quality. The sensuous qualities of paint make these aspects conspicuous and the images themselves abstract.

To learn more about Brian and his work, visit briandavidsmith.com.

Leandra Spangler: Voyage
Paper sculptural forms inspired by the rich tones, textures, and forms of the natural world

Leandra Spangler's "Tanit" (detail)

Leandra Spangler’s “Tanit” (detail)

Statement:
Deeply rooted in the Midwest, my world is rolling hills, woodlands, creeks, and fields where beauty is found, not in grand vistas but within arm’s reach. My inspiration comes from the rich tones, textures, and forms of the natural world.  Although I admire and appreciate the garden in its entirety, I treasure the seed pod and pebble found on the path. Observing at arm’s length or even closer, I focus on detail, connections, striations, patterns, and the play of light and shadow.

In the same way, I enjoy creating sculptural forms, but find creating the tactile surface with highly textured handmade paper most gratifying. Enhancing the play of light and shadow of the surface with layers of color is magical.

My earliest art work using handmade paper explored textured papers and their edges, investigating with the way light and shadow identifies the raised, indented, and wrinkled surface. Twenty-five years later, I am still creating surfaces, which allow light to dance over impressed textures creating highlights and shadows.  Recognizing a subtle shift in my thinking – from “sculptural basketry” to “sculptural forms with openings”— this change in approach opened new opportunities, as the forms were no longer “required” to have an opening at the top or to stand up straight.

To learn more about Leandra and her work, visit bearcreekpaperworks.com.

Adam West: Fauxtographs
Photographs of fabricated scenes that create a playful conversation about reality and imagination

Adam West's "Lunar Fog" (detail)

Adam West’s “Lunar Fog” (detail)

Statement:
This body of work is made up of two halves. The imagery consists of small fabricated scenes using toys, found objects, and things I build. I complement those images with landscapes that are photographed in a way so they appear miniature to create a playful conversation about reality and the imagination.

To learn more about Adam and his artwork, visit awestcreative.com.

Schmidt Art Center Student Workers Interview #2


Hannah Bernardini, one of the Schmidt’s current student workers and all-around cool cat, was kind enough to answer my questions. See her award-winning piece up now at the SWIC Student Art Show.

Hannah in front of her award-winning piece, "A Tasty Treat"

Hannah in front of her award-winning piece, “A Tasty Treat”

1) How long have you been working at the Schmidt?
HB: A little over two years – simultaneously too long to be a student worker at a two year college and not nearly long enough.

2) What is the strangest question you’ve been asked while working at the Schmidt?
HB: Someone once came into the Schmidt for the sole purpose of having his friend record him singing a cappella (we have great acoustics). Then, he asked me if I knew how to play simple chords on the piano so he could have musical accompaniment. I do, but I politely declined, promising to play music with him in the future. It never happened.

3) What is your go-to media?
HB: Soft pastel.

4) You’re put in charge for a week, who do you hire and why?
HB: I’d hire Neil Gaiman because he could tell us stories and, frankly, him being obligated to be in the same room as me would be awesome. But, in all seriousness, I would assemble a team of everyone who’s ever been a part of the Schmidt family, because they are the greatest people I’ve ever worked with, and probably ever will.

5) What has been your favorite exhibition?
HB: Dan Rule, Tammie Rubin, and Terri Shay. No competition.

6) What’s your favorite media to exhibit?
HB: I like installing anything that’s unconventional. Installing a bunch of 2-D work on the walls can get tedious after a while.

7) If you could demand to have one artist show at the Schmidt, who would it be and why?
HB: Can the artist be dead? Because I would choose to have an exhibition of Jean-Honoré Fragonard’s artwork just so I could stare at it for weeks. I think “The Swing” would look quite nice in the Marsh Gallery.

8) Where do you hope to go with your art?
HB: For myself, I just want to keep making it. I want to keep growing as an artist and keep being inspired no matter where I am or what I’m doing. But, even more than that, I want to constantly facilitate other people’s art making in whatever way I can.

9) Possibly the most important question: What music do you listen to when you’re working on your art?
HB: Oh, lord. It depends. Most of the time I prefer music that’s soft, melodic, and a little unpredictable. When I’m making work, though, I prefer to listen to something upbeat that I can dance and/or sing along to. Most of my artwork is born out of snappy, jazzy tunes with smoky female vocals. I don’t read too much into that, though.

Schmidt Art Center Student Workers Interview #1


The SWIC Student Show is currently up at the Schmidt, so  what better way to celebrate than to force our student interns into answering our interview questions?

We start out with Lorraine Cange.

Lorraine Cange_Human Rituals

Lorraine in front of her award-winning photograph triptych, “Human Rituals,” now on view in the SWIC Student Show.

1) How long have you been working at the Schmidt?
LC: Since fall 2014.

2) What is the strangest question you’ve been asked while working at the Schmidt?
LC:  Where’s the bathroom?

3) What is your go-to media?
LC: PHOTOGRAPHY…3D ART…decisions…decisions!!!

4) You’re put in charge for a week, who do you hire and why?
LC: My Drawing II classmates!!!

5) What has been your favorite exhibition?
LC: The SWIC Student Show!

6) What’s your favorite media to exhibit?
LC: That’s a tough call!  I enjoy exhibiting anything I can produce successfully!

7) If you could demand to have one artist show at the Schmidt, who would it be and why?
LC: WOW!  Good question.  Wassily Kandinsky would have to be close to the top of my list.  The incorporation of hard and soft imagery in his work is inspirational to me.

8) Where do you hope to go with your art?
LC:  I hope to be a successful working artist.  But [I] may also like to teach at the high school or university level.

9) Possibly the most important question: What music do you listen
to when you’re working on your art?
LC: I have close to 10,000 songs in my iTunes collection.  Somedays it’s Motown.  Other days it’s Radiohead.

2015 SWIC Student Show


Caleb Berg's "Kevin"

Caleb Berg’s “Kevin”

The 2015 SWIC Student Show is now open through May 14th.

View the award winners on our Google+ page.

2015 High School Student Show & Congressional Competition


20150312_104701

Lauren Simoneaux’s “A Mother’s Love” (detail)

The Schmidt Art Center’s 13th annual High School Student Show and Congressional Competition is now open, March 26 – April 9.

Over 140 works of art are featured by talented area high school students.

Participating High Schools:

Althoff Catholic High School
Belleville Township High School East
Belleville Township High School West
Carbondale Community High School
Carterville High School
Cobden High School
Collinsville High School
Columbia High School
Dongola Unit School
Gibault Catholic High School
Highland High School
Lebanon High School
Marion High School
Marissa High School
Mascoutah High School
O’Fallon Township High School
Steeleville High School
Triad High School
Valmeyer High School

 

 

2015 SWIC Art Faculty Show – Interview #7


Our exhibition of artwork by the art faculty of Southwestern Illinois College is now open through February 26th. Sculpture, painting, ceramics, drawing, digital images, photography, and mixed media all show the diversity and talent of the faculty artists. 

The faculty is not spared from our intern Kailey’s interviews. Below, Don Bevirt answers her questions.

Don Bevirt's "Technological Singularity", digital drawing

Don Bevirt’s “Technological Singularity”, digital drawing

When did you know the arts were what you wanted to do, long-term?
I have always wanted to create images, even as a very young man I made photographs.

What inspires you the most?
I really enjoy the act of photography that is the capture of the image and the translation to paper. I try very hard to “see” with different eyes.

What is your current favorite medium?
I have been using my iPhone and really am intrigued by the spontaneity!

When you’re working, what do you listen to, if anything?
Usually Classic Rock or Cool Jazz

What piece are you most proud of?
I am not finished yet, so I like various aspects of most of my images.

Not to be morbid, but what would you like to be remembered for?
Being the best I can be. Artist, husband, father, friend…

Have you ever regretted making something and showing it?
No! If I show it I like it!

Don Bevirt's "Clearing Storm, Lake Carlyle,"  photographic digital print

Don Bevirt’s
“Clearing Storm, Lake Carlyle,”
photographic digital print

What is the best comment you’ve ever received?
That some appreciate my art!

The worst?
For someone to make no comment at all.

What would you like to accomplish within the next five years?
Extend my vision and grow as an artist!

What’s your go-to snack when you’re working?
Coffee!

If you could be anyone (Seriously, anyone. Past/present/future/nonexistent/existent. You get the idea.) who would you be and why?
Edward Weston! He had a singular purpose to his life and work.

Thanks again to Don for answering our questions!

Posted by Jessica Mannisi, assistant curator

2015 SWIC Art Faculty Show – Interview #6


Our exhibition of artwork by the art faculty of Southwestern Illinois College is now open through February 26th. Sculpture, painting, ceramics, drawing, digital images, photography, and mixed media all show the diversity and talent of the faculty artists. 

The faculty is not spared from our intern Kailey’s interviews. Below, Shawn Niebruegge answers her questions.

Shawn Niebruegge's "Cup of Water", pastel

Shawn Niebruegge’s “Cup of Water”, pastel

When did you know the arts were what you wanted to do, long-term?
I started falling in love with art in high school.  In college, I was pursuing psychology for the first couple years before I decided to dive completely into art.

What inspires you the most?
Fear.

What is your current favorite medium?
Oil paint with copal medium.

When you’re working, what do you listen to, if anything?
I have a huge collection of music; I put on what suits my mood. Often it is something that makes me move: grunge, thrash, punk, techno, etc. My all time favorite for the darkroom is Aphex Twin’s “Selected Ambient Works, Volume II”, and for painting/drawing it’s Mystery Machine’s “Glazed”.

What piece are you most proud of? 
My graduate thesis work remains a strong body of work after all these years. It was shown originally in 2000.

Not to be morbid, but what would you like to be remembered for?
I have no idea. Most of the time I prefer not to be noticed.

Have you ever regretted making something and showing it?
All the time. I experiment a lot; what seems good at the moment has more to do with the experience of making it than does it mean the work is actually good.  I prefer to live with a piece for a bit before I show it; it gives me time to figure out if it’s worth showing.  I don’t always get that opportunity.

What is the best comment you’ve ever received?
“People are going to want to kill you for what you do.”

The worst?
Silence.

Shawn Niebruegge's "Pillar of Fire", colored pencil

Shawn Niebruegge’s “Pillar of Fire”, colored pencil

What would you like to accomplish within the next five years?
Mainly, more art works.  I have recently been revisiting the work that made up my graduate thesis show and hope to show an expanded version of it.  There was a lot of work that was made in the run up to it, and a lot that was made in the years after.  So little of it has ever been seen.  It is a body of work that spans 20+ years.

What’s your go-to snack when you’re working?
Does tea count? There’s always tea!

If you could be anyone (Seriously, anyone. Past/present/future/nonexistent/existent. You get the idea.) who would you be and why?
A better version of myself. I don’t know who else to be.  I like who I am, but I’ve certainly done many things I wish I hadn’t.

Thanks again to Shawn for answering our questions!