Tyler Alum Showcased in Crossing the Line Exhibition

August 21, 2013

CrossingLineMixed Greens Gallery in New York City hosted “Crossing the Line: Contemporary Drawing and Artistic Process,” a show curated by Dexter Wimberly and Larry Ossei-Mensah that showcased the importance of drawing as a foundation to making art.

Ruby Amanze (Fibers/Photography BFA ’04) is one of the artists featured in this show.

“‘Crossing the Line’ is a small survey of five women who have very different drawing practices. It’s also exciting because none of the artists have  Western cultural background. We’re from Iran, Korea, Nigeria, Haiti/Dominican Republic and Mexico. Drawing has, and always will be universal and I think this exhibition touches on the idea,” Amanze said.

Although Amanze had a British upbringing, she was born in Nigeria. Recently, she was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to travel to Nigeria and create a new body of work. Four drawings she created while in Nigeria are featured in the show.

“For me, drawing is very much about process. Sometimes my drawings are very detail-oriented and even obsessive compulsive. I enjoy that way of working, but at the same time I enjoy the freedom of making quicker, smaller drawings that I never intend to show,” Amanze said. “It’s a new, and slightly scary, idea for me to give these drawings their respect, so to speak. They are as much a part of my practice as the more polished ones, and I think the conversation they have alongside each other is an interesting one.”

Amanze admits that drawing is something that truly consumes and fascinates her.

“If I think back I remember that drawing was always my first love as an artist, as perhaps it is for many people. I think along the way, someone decides for us whether or not we ‘can draw,’ and unfortunately that deters some from continuing the practice. Everyone can draw and there are so many different ways to approach it,” Amanze said.

“When I sit down to draw, there are so many components that play a part in what happens on the page. I am open to that and look forward to how my ideas will evolve the more I allow things to happen. I think there is a certain vulnerability to drawing that I appreciate. It often doesn’t have this grand polished veneer…it just is,” Amanze said.

For inspiration, Amanze draws from architecture and remembered spaces, migration, cultural hybridity, textiles, and patterning.

“I’ve also spent time researching various nomadic groups, bridges as a physical and metaphorical symbol of connection, ethnic markings/tattoos or gender politics as they relate to culture. These are just a few things that have inspired me over the years. But I can’t neglect the ever changing influence of time and location as they relate to the above. Just being somewhere, anywhere can play a direct role on one’s vision of the world. The lens through which we process our bodies in space an in relation to others in constantly changing,” Amanze said.

Amanze appreciates that Tyler gave her a formal art education while also encouraging her to experiment and challenge the “rules.”

“Tyler was a nice balance of that. I remember drawing with silver point on gesso, learning Vandyke printing in Photography and weaving on a floor loom…but I also remember having freedom later to disregard all of those things and really begin to discover my own visual language,” Amanze said.

Coming up, Amanze is curating and exhibiting in an exhibition called “Six Draughtsmen” that will open at the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts in Brooklyn in October. She is also preparing for a two person exhibition in Lagos, Nigeria with Wura-Natasha Ogunji. Outside of studio practice, Amanze is also teaching.

“Crossing the Line: Contemporary Drawing and Artistic Process” will be at Mixed Greens until August 16.

To learn more about Ruby Amanze and her work, visit http://rubyamanze.com/home

Tyler Alum Takes On Two Year Sculpting Project

July 1, 2013
Photo Credit: Myers Creative Images.

Photo Credit: Myers Creative Images.

Tyler alum Albert Paley (BFA ’66, MFA ’69) has prepared 13 sculptures that will be displayed at New York City’s Park Avenue.

As an undergrad, Paley studied sculpture and then went on to do his Master’s work in the metal department. After graduating, he taught in the university system for 25 years and is now a well-known metal sculptor based in Rochester.

Paley was invited to do this project by the Fund for Park Avenue Sculpture Committee almost 2 1/2 years ago. Since then, PBS from New York City has been filming a one hour documentary on the Paley on Park Avenue project which will be broadcast this fall.

“You could either apply or be invited,” Paley said. “I was invited because of the work I do with public sculpture. ”

Paley’s 15 person staff have working on massive sculptures for the show. Several of them are more than 20 feet high and one is 50 feet long.

“Public sculpture, especially large scale sculpture, creates a dialogue between architecture and public display,” Paley said. “Most of the work that I do is large scale.”

The sculptures, installed June 14, will stay up through November 8 between 52nd street and 67th street.

After being a practicing artist for 40 years, Paley no longer worries about how his work will be seen by the audience.

“All the artist can do is deal with the integrity of his or her vision,” Paley said. “People will respond with whatever their own background is.”

Coming up, Paley will be featured in many exhibitions. In September, the Gerald Peters Gallery in New York will be showing Paley’s conceptual drawings and will then publish a major book about the work. Then, in 2014, the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C. will be hosting a 50 year retrospective of Paley’s work.

To learn more about Albert Paley and his work, visit http://www.albertpaley.com

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.”

Mark Shetabi, Assistant Professor, Has Upcoming Exhibition

May 6, 2013

Assistant Professor of Painting and Drawing at Tyler, Mark Shetabi, has an upcoming exhibition in New York City.

The Grand Tour will be Shetabi’s fourth solo show presented by the Jeff Bailey Gallery. It will feature new sculptures and paintings that explore ideas about travel, transition and escape.

Many of the pieces depict places or technology of the past that have now become obsolete.

The sculptures that serve as points of departure, Campers, and the painting Girl on a Bicycle feature styles that could be old or new.

The exhibit also features the sculpture Arcade and the painting Caspian Sea Hyatt. Both portray a certain technology or style from another time that are now outdated

Shetabi depicted objects and images in a way that invites further consideration. By using painting and sculpture, he creates a permanent place that resists the eventual disappearance of the things from the past.

The exhibition will open on Friday, May 10 and run until June 22.

For more information, visit http://baileygallery.com/exhibition_01.cfm?exh=948

Tinicum High School Students Display Art

April 26, 2013

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The Tinicum Art and Science High School currently has an exhibition in the Underground Gallery at Tyler.

The exhibition, Thick and Sassy, was installed by Barbara Bjerring and her high school students. It will remain in the Underground Gallery until April 29.

“The entire Thick and Sassy exhibition was based on one lesson plan targeted to help the students find individual themes based on their personal concerns that would drive art making. We talk a lot about contemporary art, pop culture, and visual literacy in reference to symbolism,” Bjerring said. “After the students found themes that interested them, we worked pretty hard to realize symbolism that they felt truly fit with what they were trying to express.”

The students found that they were able to fit more symbols into their pieces by working in three dimensions.

“Quite a few of the students were apprehensive to work this way, even from the start when we were looking for themes. They pushed back a lot which created a lot of procrastination and then hurried work just before the show went up,” Bjerring said. “Now that they’ve seen their work hanging in an organized, clean environment, they are proud of their efforts. Many of the students can see themselves as artists. They also see a need to change their work ethics away from procrastination and to relax and trust the process.”

Bjerring is currently student teaching at Tinicum for her art education certification candidacy.

“I never saw myself as a teacher and ten years ago if you told me I would be teaching I would seriously doubt that idea. Then at some point after I gave birth to my son, I suddenly felt that being in my studio, focusing on myself and my personal expression was a bit selfish. I thought that I was not really putting myself fully out into the world and living as big as I could,” Bjerring said. “Now that I am teaching, I see the rewards of having these wonderful relationships with the students. Helping them is so much more rewarding than I could have imagined before.”

To open up her students to art, Bjerring teaches them that art is not solely about craftmanship, but also about having an idea.

“Many of the students are terrified to create because they don’t want to be judged on their drawing or painting skills. I point out to them their beautiful ideas and feelings; all the wonderful accomplishments they’ve acquired,” Bjerring said. “I love contemporary art so I’m able to show them how others have made art about being alive and just living. The students are able to see how being an artist is and has always been open to them. I hope they feel invited and welcomed into the art world.”

A mix of Bjerring’s students’ paintings, drawings, prints, a book, and sculptures will also be shown at The Art of Student Teaching exhibition, along with works from students under the direction of 26 other Tyler student teachers, in the Stella Elkins Tyler Gallery from May 1-5.

“My art has always been message heavy and still is but now I think about the message an object conjures and how that can intensify the message in the art,” Bjerring said. “My go to artistic inspirations are the likes of Barbara Kruger, David Wojnarowicz, Banksy, Tracy Emin, Marcel Duchamp, Grayson Perry, Ai Wei Wei, and about a million other amazing artists and their generosity. I’m immensely inspired by my students.”

Tyler Alum Participates In Holiday Shopping Fete

December 1, 2012

winner's circle

Tyler alum Gina Johnson will be a part of the Holiday Shopping Fete this year in Oldwick.

The event will be held at Elaine Anderocci Interior on Saturday, December 1 from noon to 5 p.m. There will also be a raffle to raise funds for the Red Cross Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief Fund.

“For the past year, I have had the pleasure of collaborating with Le Fash horse show shirt designer, Arianna Anderocci Vastino. My jewelry has appeared in her photo shoots and we have traveled to horse shows up and down the East Coast. We wanted to offer an enjoyable and relaxing holiday-shopping experience where our customers can speak directly with us, the designers,” Johnson said.

Gina Johnson Designs features original, handcrafted jewelry with an equestrian touch.

“After selling my jewelry at a local horse show and receiving a great response, I decided to pursue my dream of having my own business,” Johnson said. “I have come a long way since then, having been surrounded by people who have encouraged or challenged me along the way.”

When Johnson began making jewelry, she wanted to find a way to connect her love for horses with her interest in art.

“Over the past nineteen years, I have developed a strong friendship with my horse, Cody. As Cody and I grow older, I find myself trying to hold on to the time we have shared,” Johnson said. “While at Tyler, I started to develop a very unique line of jewelry by incorporating horsehair into my designs.”

Johnson’s pieces are crafted with sterling silver and 14K gold jewelry to showcase her client’s horse hair.

“The overall appearance of my work embraces an equestrian fashion that is timeless. I draw inspiration from riding equipment and shapes found in the local environment as well as the way my jewelry moves and fits on its wearer. Most of my ideas come from those things around me, which then grow and transform into something else,” Johnson said.

Each designer will contribute one of their original designs to the raffle.

“I will be raffling off a pair of Leg Up earrings, simple, yet elegant, sterling silver stirrup earrings from my Ardfuar Farm Collection,” Johnson said. “I think it is important to give back to those who were less fortunate in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Every little bit helps. Sometimes we can’t be completely prepared for these kinds of occurrences, but it is nice to know people are out there to help.”

The event will be held at 44 Main St. in Oldwick.

For more about Gina Johnson Designs, visit http://ginajohnsondesigns.com/

leg up earrings

BAX Space Grant Showcase Features Kim Brandt

November 14, 2012

Photo by Ian Douglas. Pictured: Kim Brandt and Jen Rosenblit performing in Brandt’s “Staircase Crop-Dust.”

From November 30 until December 1, the Space Grant Showcase will feature work created by residents of the Brooklyn Art Exchange, including Tyler alum Kim Brandt.

“During my time at BAX I’m creating a dance with Maggie Cloud, Caitlin Marz, Gillian Walsh and Emily Wexler. Emily and I have danced in each other’s work and together for other artists for the past seven years; Maggie and Gillian performed in other works I made earlier this year, and this is the first time Caitlin and I have worked together. We started the residency in September, and are currently deeply immersed in the process,” Brandt said.

As part of the Space Grant Program, Brandt was given free rehearsal space to perfect her technique.

“Having a space grant at BAX has been a gift. We have 85 hours of free rehearsal space in their studios this fall, and then there is a showing at the end of the residency. We experiment, we talk, I try a lot of things and then let them go, we have time to refine what’s interesting, and I don’t feel rushed. We’ve had time to get to know each other and work together in ways I have trouble articulating with words, but I will say it has been extremely special,” Brandt said.

For inspiration, Brandt looks for choreography in everything.

“In nature, in pedestrian movement, in moving objects, in paintings, in films, in dances,” Brandt said, “Organizing movement in time and space happens in front of me and with me. Sometimes I am the organizer, sometimes I am the organized. Often I’m unsure of my role and this is the most interesting place to be.”

Brandt received her MFA from Tyler in 2008.

“My time at Tyler was also a gift,” Brandt said, “I spent a lot of time experimenting there, and it completely opened up how I look, what I make and how I make. I received observations, feedback, and critiques on my work from artists of all other media, which has continued since leaving Tyler and is integral to everything I do.”

Tickets for the event are $15 for general admission.

For more about the Space Grant Showcase, visit http://bax.org/artist-services/space-grant/ and to learn more and Kim’s work visit her website http://www.kimbrandt.net/

Emily Cobb Uses Fantasy To Create Art

November 2, 2012

The Philadelphia Art Alliance is currently featuring a collection of sculptural jewelry designed by Tyler Graduate Emily Cobb.

“I began making jewelry my sophomore year at Tyler when I took a jewelry class as an elective. Before that course, I had no experience making jewelry,” Cobb said.

After receiving her MFA from Tyler, Cobb began focusing on designing jewelry with a story behind each piece.

“I am really inspired by fairy tales and fables. Especially those with a dark undertone or moral to the story, like the original versions of Grimm’s Fairy Tales or Aesop’s fables. Overall, stories are an important part of my creative process,” Cobb said.

These stories inspire Cobb to come up with her own imaginations for her designs.

“I imagine plots and characters that inspire the jewelry’s composition and form, ” Cobb said, “Then I think about material choice, how the work will interact with the body, etc. At this point, the story and the piece are not definitive. The appearance of the characters, or the direction of the plot, may change as the jewelry piece is designed and made.”

Cobb’s jewelry is cast in colored nylon and photopolymers from molds generated by three-dimensional, computer-ailed design (CAD).

“I first design the jewelry pieces on the computer using a 3D modeling program called Rhinoceros, which I learned as an undergraduate at Tyler. When I finish building the digital 3D model, I send the file to a 3D printer,” Cobb said, “Finally, once I receive my 3D printed parts, I dye and assemble the pieces.”

Cobb credits Tyler with allowing her to be creative with her designs.

“My time at Tyler continues to help me immensely when designing and creating my work. The ability to work closely with 3D printers in the Metal/Jewelry/CAD-CAM really helped me understand the process. In addition, the professors teach and encourage innovative approaches to making jewelry, which continues to push me to explore new mechanisms, forms, and materials when designing my work, ” Cobb said.

Her designs will be on display until December 10. Viewers of her show can also write their own stories and captions for her pieces in books at stations in the exhibition.

“The pieces in my show are all narrative-based, and a book accompanies each piece with a descriptive title and caption on the cover. Within the book are black pages where the viewers are encouraged to write their own interpretations of stories behind each piece, ” Cobb said.

Every week, Cobb will photograph and upload the viewer’s submissions to her Tumblr website.

To view these submissions visit http://legendsjewelryexhibition.tumblr.com/ and to learn more about Emily Cobb’s work visit http://www.emily-cobb.com/

Stella Elkins Tyler Dedicated Her Life to Art

October 17, 2012

If you have ever wandered into the Stella Elkins Tyler Gallery, maybe you wondered where the name comes from. Stella Elkins Tyler was a sculptor who was extremely dedicated to arts education. Due to her commitment, she established the Tyler School of Art at Temple University, as well as the Bucks County Community College.

Tyler was nearly fifty years old by the time she became a professional and serious sculptor. Throughout her life, she created 150 different sculptural designs. Most of which started out as plaster models before they were cast into bronze. Her work represents the positive strides that were made by women sculptors in the early twentieth century.

Stella Elkins Tyler was born in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, in an area owned and named after her paternal grandfather, William Lukens Elkins. He was an original partner of Standard Oil, and a shareholder in Philadelphia’s street railroads. However, Elkins is most notable for his collection of European paintings, now owned by the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Growing up, Tyler received her education through tutors. She focused her studies on humanities, but put an emphasis on painting, sculpture, history, drama, and music. She spent one year at the Ogontz School in Philadelphia before traveling to France in 1901. At Dicudonne, a private school on the outskirts of Paris, Tyler became fluent in the French culture and language. In 1905, she married a Philadelphia banker named George Frederick Tyler.

Her mentor, Boris Blai was a former student of Auguste Rodin. With his help, she became an even better sculptor. Tyler had her first solo exhibition of sculpture in 1935 at the Grand Central Art Galleries in New York City. Her third, and final, show took place in 1959 at the Woodmere Art Gallery in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia.

Today, a majority of Stella Elkins Tyler’s work resides at the Bucks Community College. Their collection includes 29 bronze sculptures, two plaster models, and several plaster fragments that have survived since her death in 1963. She is remembered for her establishment of Tyler School of Art and her commitment to the arts.

Information about Stella Elkins Tyler gathered from

Want to know more about Boris Blai, the founding professor at Tyler School of Art?

Visit the Art Market at Tyler, October 12-13

October 10, 2012

This Friday and Saturday, October 12-13, the Tyler School of Art Alumni Association will be hosting the Art Market at Tyler. It is a featured event during DesignPhiladelphia 2012. The event will showcase works of art created by 28 students, alumni, and other local artists. Their works include ceramics, fiber art, glass, jewelry, paintings, photography, and sculptures, with prices ranging from $5 to $3,000. The event will take place in the entire first floor of Tyler’s building, from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m.

For more information about the Art Market at Tyler, visit http://news.temple.edu/news/2012-10-09/art-market-tyler
To learn more about DesignPhiladelphia 2012 and it’s events, visit http://events.designphiladelphia.org/