Tyler Students Curate “Charles Searles: In Motion”

June 6, 2013

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Tyler’s atrium is currently the backdrop for the “Charles Searles: In Motion” exhibit, a show curated by Tyler students.

The curators included Rachel McCay, Louise Feder, James Short, Nicole Restaino, Will Schwaller, Alicia Bonilla-Puig, Elise Houck, and Alex Cohn.

“It was interesting for me to participate in this project because I have never been a part of curating a small show, let alone a show that would be exhibited in a place like Tyler, with an artist like Charles Searles,” Cohn said. “I’m happy to have it as part of my Tyler experience. Everyone brought something different to the curation.”

Charles Searles (1937-2004) was an African American artist from West Philadelphia. He studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and then taught at Philadelphia College of Art, now the University of the Arts. The exhibit features Searles’ later sculptures and large-scale paintings.

The show was developed by undergraduate and graduate students who took Professor Susanna Gold’s exhibition studies/curatorial seminar course last fall. As a first year Master’s student in the art history department, this course was very appealing to Bonilla-Puig.

“[Professor Gold] explained that the students in her class would be organizing a show of the work of Charles Searles. As an aspiring museum professional, I knew this would be a great opportunity. I also thought this would be a nice change of pace from a traditional lecture class,” Bonilla-Puig said.

To create a successful exhibit, each student was given a specific role in curating the show.

“I created a 3D model of the Tyler Atrium and the artwork we selected for the show, so that we as a class could move things around virtually rather than actually when installing. It was nice to be able to see the show before it was even installed,” Cohn said.

Being able to participate in the curation of the show was very rewarding for the students involved.

“It was exactly the ‘hands-on’ experience that future curators need so that we can understand all of the facets of exhibition preparation and the range of curatorial responsibilities,” McCay said.

For Bonilla-Puig, the opening of the show was one of her favorite parts of the experience.

“Seeing the project fully realized was amazing and we’ve since received so many positive comments/reviews. In the end, both the show and the catalog came together very well,” Bonilla-Puig said. “I don’t think I could choose a favorite piece. They are all so fun and colorful, which is why I think so many people have said they enjoy seeing our show.”

“Charles Searles: In Motion” can be seen at the Tyler School of Art through June 16. Hours are 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.


Dana Mulranen Designs Poster to Raise Awareness

May 20, 2013

A poster, designed by Dana Mulranen (BFA GAID ’13), that raises awareness to the dangers of horse racing is now being displayed on PETA’s website.

“This project was initially an entry for the One Club Young Ones Competition last year. The task was to create a poster campaign for PETA about the horrors of the thoroughbred horseracing industry,” Mulranen said. “In May 2012, I was awarded a Bronze Pencil for my poster series at the awards ceremony in New York City and shortly after, the Senior Vice President of PETA reached out to me and asked if they could use my horseracing poster series for their company.”

PETA currently has the ad posted on their website and plans to use it in print as well. A mobile billboard with the poster was shown at the Kentucky Derby and there will be more printed publications of it before Preakness.

“Overall, I want the message to relay the serious problems caused by the horseracing industry. When I was envisioning the design for these posters, I was thinking of what could grab the viewer’s attention to make them stop and react to the poster and the issue at hand,” Mulranen said. “By isolating just the faces of the horses, I wanted to force the viewer to look at these beautiful animals and feel compassion for them and to take action against these wrongdoings.”

Mulranen’s poster was also a winning entry for the latest issue of Creative Quarterly. Receiving this kind of recognition is very exciting for Mulranen.

“The project was a fresh campaign for PETA and was also good press for myself,” Mulranen said. “Being a young designer, it’s great to get a chance to have my name known and recognized.”


Architecture Students Create Spatial Experiences

May 9, 2013

Professor Robert Trempe’s capstone course Architectural Design VI gives students the opportunity to take on a special topic in architectural design.

“The students are expected to learn about new techniques in full-scale architectural manufacturing including the translation of complex computational geometries and physical production employing CNC [Computer Numerical Control] technologies,” Trempe said.

For this studio, students are required to complete two installations, “Patterned Porosity” and “Sequential Conversations.”

For “Patterned Porosity,” students used Styrofoam insulation to design a group installation in the window bay of the corridor between the Tyler Cafe and the Architecture building.

“The installation was meant to adjust condition of light through a sequence of transformative patterns milled into the Styrofoam, one pattern per window bay/student,” Trempe said. “So this installation served (pragmatically) as a method by which students could examine the usage of computational technology towards the articulation of a building facade.”

The second installation, “Sequential Conversations” will consist of character studies inspired by the 2003 Jim Jarmusch film “Coffee and Cigarettes.”

“Each student graphically mapped the movements of the characters in space to determine how their bodies are used in the articulation of a conversation,” Trempe said. “These drawings are now serving as the logic towards a sequence of physical installations that attempt to shape users who sit within each installation to act out moments of the conversation. In this way, students learn about the intimacy of architecture and the fact that small operations can have a massive effect.”

When the students are working on these projects, Trempe meets with them three days a week for three and a half hours per sessions.

“At every meeting graphical work is expected…the graphic is our language, and the best means for us to communicate. I help the students by challenging them to pay attention to their own internal design processes through graphical explorations while enabling them to understand the connections between design process and physical product,” Trempe said.

Having the students complete these projects helps them learn how to design something as a group and to understand the true potential of installations.

“I want the students to learn the power of full-scale constructions and the methods by which they can navigate what I have coined as a ‘computational design pipeline.’ This pipeline is the system by which they employ various computational toolsets as part of a design process. Physical constructions have an immediate and important part in this pipeline as they are moments where a digital process translates to a built form,” Trempe said.

While the students learn a lot from these installations, the audience is also able to see the amount of work that goes into large projects like these.

“I’d love people to realize that architecture can be (and is) an allied art with other disciplines at Tyler and that there are many ways in which out disciplines can ‘cross-pollinate.’ I’d like people to know that the role of an architect is much larger than simply following building code…that architects are passionate in the crafting of space and spatial experience,” Trempe said.


Two GAID Students Awarded Prestigious Fellowship

May 3, 2013
A spread from a Rome guide book that Emily Colburn designed and illustrated.

A spread from a Rome guide book that Emily Colburn designed and illustrated.

Two GAID graduating MFA students, Emily Colburn and Lydia Nichols, have been awarded a prestigious fellowship from Chronicle Books in San Francisco.

“I applied for this fellowship because working for Chronicle Books would be a dream of mine,” Colburn said. “They create beautiful, contemporary and playful books/products.”

Nichols will be their Children’s Design Fellow, while Colburn will be their Marketing Design Fellow. At first, Colburn applied to be in the Food & Drink department because of her love for food.

“They saw my application and recommended me for the Marketing position, which I’m thrilled about!” Colburn said.

There were only five total fellow positions available this year, so they had to be very competitive.

“I had to submit a printed profile, a statement and a resume,” Colburn said. “I created a book with all my recent graduate work.”

However, all of the work was worth it when she received the email awarding her the fellowship.

“I was overjoyed! I didn’t even finish reading the email before I called my mom, who proceeded to yell and cry,” Colburn said.

For the fellowship positions, both Nichols and Colburn will be traveling to San Francisco for 5 months.

“I’m most looking forward to working for a company I admire and to be surrounded by talented like-minded people,” Colburn said.

Colburn believes that the skills she has gained from being at Tyler have aided her in getting to where she is today.

“These past two years at Tyler have been extraordinary. I have grown vastly in my design abilities and aesthetics,” Colburn said. “Also through working with the other grads, undergrads, and professors, I feel that I have become a better communicator and collaborator.

This opportunity will most likely lead to job offers and book publishing opportunities for Nichols and Colburn.


2013 Diamond Research Scholars Announced

April 18, 2013

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The 2013 Diamond Research Scholars have been announced. The program, funded by the Provost’s Office, will give 25 undergraduate students the opportunity to engage in a faculty mentored research/creative project during the summer and fall semester.

Tyler’s Painting and Drawing junior Olivia Menta and Metals/Jewelry/CAD-CAM junior Corinne Bishop will be given this opportunity.

“I’ve actually applied for the scholarship every year that I’ve been at Temple and this was the first time I’ve received it, so getting the acceptance letter was absolutely amazing,” Menta said. “It was difficult to not be able to talk to my Mom (she edits my writing, always and is probably my toughest critic) and directly talk to my mentor, Mark Shetabi, because I’m studying in Rome right now, but somehow we made it all work during the application process.”

During her sophomore year, Menta took a painting and drawing class and knew that it was what she wanted to do. She draws inspiration for her work from everything around her.

“I’ve been watching a ton of slasher films while in Rome, and some of Goddard’s films from the library. I like to listen to Death Grips’ last album, NO LOVE DEEP WEB, when I paint,” Menta said. “My brother bought me “JUST KIDS” the Patti Smith book, and it’s been nice reading that out loud, I had an English teacher who once said books are supposed to be read like that.”

Menta’s Diamond Scholar project will be titled “Human Perspective in Relation to the Universe: An Exploration of the Human Condition.”

“My interests as a painter definitely inspired my idea for the project. I am fascinated how humans throughout history, have dealt with their place in the world and how that affects their behavior,” Menta said. “Think of it like, ‘Have you ever laid in bed at night, and thought to yourself how tiny of a speck you are amongst the great vastness of the universe? How does this impact our response to our lives? Our ability to be alive.’ That idea has played a significant role in my art making.”

For ten weeks during the summer, the recipients will focus on their project. They will then complete their project during the fall semester while registered for an independent study/research course.

“The project is going to include a good amount of interview, probably structured more like a discussion, a lot of writing, and definitely a lot of painting. This is the first time I’ll have a studio to work in during the summer, and I’m already ready to just paint A LOT in there,” Menta said. “Mark will be in Philadelphia so there will definitely be a conversation going on, he’s kind of been a mentor of mine since freshman year. Some professors you just keep on taking.”

For Bishop, her project “Material Lineage” will involve researching and analyzing jewelry collections from the past.

“My project is researching my family lineage and jewelry pieces associated with each respective generation. From the data I collect I plan to make 5 or 6 jewelry pieces, each one creating a modern take on the aesthetics that have been valued in the past by the varying socioeconomic classes and cultures,” Bishop said.

After applying twice for the grant, Menta is excited to get started and thankful that Temple has given her this opportunity.

“Man, this opportunity is so important. Temple has so many great opportunities available,” Menta said. “If you have an idea you’re passionate about…just GO for it. Start writing it out and talking to your friends about it, anything. It’s silly to not even try.”

Other Center for the Arts recipients include:

Nicole Beck, Film and Media Arts & Art History majors, TFMA, Project Title: “Heavenly Machines: Activating Memory in Sacred Space,” Faculty Mentor: Elizabeth Bolman, Art History.

Jay Oatis, Dance major, Boyer, Project Title: “Parasitic Politic: AIDS in New York City, 1980-1985,” Faculty Mentor: Merian Soto, Dance.

Christopher Schelb, Flute Performance major, Boyer, Project Title: “Confronting Silence: Toru Takemitsu and Postmodern Music,” Faculty Mentor: Cynthia Folio, Music Theory.

Andie Taylor, Music Composition major, Boyer, Project Title: “sad boy: Exploring Queer Identity through Music,” Faculty Mentor: Matthew Greenbaum, Music Composition.


Founder’s Garden Installation Approved

April 15, 2013

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Junior Fibers and Materials Studies major Lauren Koch was recently approved to install a piece in The Founder’s Garden. To get her installation approved, Koch went through an extensive application process.

“I filled out an installation control form, which is basically a description of the work, date and time of the installation, and a drawing of the piece itself,” Koch said. “After getting the signature of my professor, Pazia Mannella, I returned it to be reviewed by Tyler’s Assistant Dean, Carmina Cianciulli. Because I chose to install it on Temple’s campus, it also needed to be reviewed by the Director of Student Center Operations, Jason Levy, and the Superintendent of Grounds, Glenn Eck. After their review it was approved!”

Getting an installation approved to be placed on campus can sometimes be difficult, but Koch was unaware of this when she chose The Founder’s Garden as the location for her installation.

“I walk through The Founder’s Garden every day, and I had been admiring the spot where I installed my piece for a week or two. I chose to install my piece there because it is generally quiet and not as hectic as other places on campus. I also really love all of the daffodils in the gardens there and wanted them as a back drop for my piece,” Koch said. “I wasn’t told that it would be tough for it to be approved, but I still wasn’t so sure that it would be because in the control form it states that installations cannot be placed where plants can be harmed. I assured Carmina that I would not step on any daffodils.”

For her piece, Koch was inspired by artist Ted Hallman and his piece “Tree Form.”

“I always work with a specific palette so I chose my colors based on that. I also researched banyan trees, which I feel my piece is reminiscent of,” Koch said. “I was interested in the belief that they represent immortality because of their ever descending roots. I tend to produce my work though repetitive techniques. Having recently learned knitting, I chose this repetitive technique to produce my branch/root forms.”


GAID Students Win Posterclash Competition

April 11, 2013

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Two of Tyler’s current GAID students have placed in the 4th annual juried Posterclash competition.

16 poster designs made it into the public vote. On March 29, the winners were chosen.

Sophomore Korina Dabundo won 1st place in the competition, her prize includes an HP Photosmart Estation Printer, one 12 month subscription to Creative Cloud, a Dick Blick gift certificate, and a trophy.

“It was actually a required assignment for my Graphic Design class with Paul Sheriff. I think it was mandatory for another class too, so there ended up being a lot of Tyler posters in the finals,” Dabundo said.

For her design, Dabundo drew inspiration from other artists.

“I had been looking at a lot of Saul Bass’s and Luba Lukova’s posters, which I think probably shows through a lot. I tried to go for the same sort of simple cut out look that they use on their posters, as well as Saul Bass’ hand lettering,” Dabundo said.

Junior Lauren West placed 3rd in the contest, for her prize she also gets a Dick Blick gift certificate and a trophy. West also entered the contest as an assignment for Paul Sheriff’s class.

“AIGA chooses one topic for Posterclash and this year’s was ‘wisdom.’ For me, I see wisdom as something you obtain through experience or adventure (hence the ‘take your brain on an adventure everyday’ concept),” West said.

Having this opportunity as an assignment for their class has been very beneficial for both Dabundo and West.

“Apart from it being a way to potentially get your work out in the public eye, in our case it was useful as a design exercise as well since we got helpful crits in class along the way,” Dabundo said. “Plus they’re good to put on your resume!”

This semester, West has entered three contests already. Something that she normally would not do.

“When entering contests I always do more than asked. That way, you can hope that at least one of your many concepts gets accepted,” West said. “But also, try and enter as many contests as you can. They’re fun, and it builds your portfolio, and heck, if you win you get PRIZES, and everyone likes prizes.”


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