Week 1 at Ox-Bow

Summer 2011 is off to a running start! All of our full time staff and fellowship students worked hard to open up the cabins and spruce up the grounds for the first week of class. It has been great to see the familiar faces of students and faculty who have been coming to campus for years. It has also been great to meet new students and to witness people falling in love with Ox-Bow for the first time.

Highlights of the week have included our energetic Visiting Artist Siebren Versteeg, seeing busy classrooms full of students, and piloting some new programs like the weekly faculty round table discussions.

This weekly newsletter will often highlight student work, fellowship student profiles, and a sneak peek into this season’s residency program. Each week one of the fellowship students will generate much of the content for the newsletter, to give you a sense of who they are and who they interact with on campus. This week, fellowship student Scott Carter profiles our Visiting Artist, Siebren Versteeg, and fellowship student, Anthony Creeden. You can find a bio for Scott below.

As always please check our Facebook page for photo updates on the week’s activities. If this week in any indicator of the type of season we have ahead of us then I think we are going to have a great one!

Sincerely,

Mike Andrews
Academic Director
Ox-Bow School of Art and Artists’ Residency

Siebren Versteeg - Ox Bow Visiting Artist 2011 Written by Scott Carter

Siebren

Siebren Versteeg’s intricate and often humorous, screen based projects reveal the artists interest in the deconstruction of current media and mass communication methods. In many of his works he uses the re-routing of particular computer codes to, as he describes, "scrape" various bodies of text and images that are buried within the bowels of virtual space (aka the internet).

Seibren cleverly uses this process as a medium in his work. Through the re-routing of computer code the artist is able to create living "real time" works that are constantly changing based on the dispersion of information on the net. Often the strongest part of Versteeg’s compositions are his playful use of language that is already in circulation. Tweets become whimsical, broken fragments of dialogue that are displayed in conjunction with voiceless anchor men and women while photos from social media sites are collected and displayed based on tag lines that have been picked up by Seibren’s ingenious use of code.

To a programmer this work may seem counter-intuitive and potentially unproductive in the overall scope of what the world wide web is about, however, this is what makes Seibren’s investigation relevant, engaging and ultimately a very successful rendition of what is now coined "new media art".

Siebren’s work 100 Years of Google Images (2007) is a visual marker of the catalog of image data available through Google search at the time of its creation. Each specific day in the previous 100 years is looked up individually, and then graphed by quantity of image results. As the measurements advance through history the quantity swells beyond the scope of the print.

Anthony Creeden - Ox Bow Fellow 2011 Written by Scott Carter

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Anthony Creeden is a Chicago based artist who recently received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Creeden's work touches on issues of labor, craft and the everyday. Through the thoughtful use of conduit, breaker boxes and other various building materials Creeden constructs objects and installations that ask the viewer to engage in works that often blend into the environment in which they are installed. While these works are quite and thoughtful reflections on architecture and trade, once noticed the intricate and chaotic nature of the work is revealed. This subversive quality effectively displays the artist interest in highlighting the beauty inherent in the quiet passings of the body through architectural interiors.

Anthony is currently a fellowship student here at Ox Bow and will be spending the next three months investigating his new environment, one that is quite different than Chicago. I am highly interested in seeing what direction his work takes over the course of the summer.

Class Highlight: Blacksmithing with Mike Rossi

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In this course students are introduced to the history and basic techniques of blacksmithing. This year the majority of the students in this class are women which is contrary to some preconceived ideas of this genre. There is a steep learning curve with this process but these students have worked really hard and have learned a lot in a short amount of time.

Scott Carter, SAIC Fellow

Originally from Kentucky, Scott Carter is a Chicago based artist, whose work combines areas of sculpture, installation art and design in order to involve the public on a visual, physical and mental platform. Scott employs a variety of skills technically and conceptually and works with a multitude of materials that generally become employed based on their relevance to specific works and ideals. Scott previously spent six years as an emerging artist and student in Atlanta and is currently pursuing his MFA at SAIC. Upon completion of his studies he plans to build a career developing public and community based projects and installations internationally. His subject matter generally concerns theories surrounding environmental psychology; space in relation to the body, behavior, mental psyche and so on.