This course will present a variety of oil and water-based monotype techniques, including chine-collé, multiple plate printing, image transfers, and over-printing. We will also discuss proper paper choice for each process, printing on alternate substrates (cloth, wood, glass, metal), and the incorporation of ink modifiers and unconventional tools to develop new means of mark making. In addition to pursuing individualized experiments, we will also look at examples of contemporary artists’ use of the medium for reference and inspiration.
This all level course concentrates on drawing and painting techniques. Specimens, birds, mammals, and insects from the Chicago Field Museum are provided so that students can draw from life and learn the layering watercolor technique. Field studies are encouraged so students can juxtapose animal life with suitable habitat. Modeling, measuring, building greys and browns, color theory is taught and demonstrated. Watercolor is a versatile medium and explorations of its many possibilities are encouraged.
Metamorphosis is an entity's transformation from its original structure into another form. In this one week course, we will develop an understanding of paper fiber, in tandem with surface modifications, to create handmade papers that look and feel like other objects and substances. With paper fiber and few other tricks, we will create the illusion of entirely new surfaces. The transformed papers will be soft, rigid, textured, stained, dyed, marbled, waxed, etc. Handmade papers are strong, durable and lightweight and can handle several alterations--allowing them to reference elements including stone, metal, leather, water, concrete, or something entirely new.
In this course, students will use the traditional iron-based developing-out process of platinum palladium. They will work in one of the most stable and time-honoured photographic processes. Students will bring their own digital cameras to capture images and then digitally print negatives to be used in this unique tactile process. In studio process training will be augmented by self-directed image capturing using Ox-Bow’s landscape and community as possible subject matter.
Inspired by the rigor of Lars von Trier’s documentary “The Five Obstructions,” students in this course will challenge current trends of intuitive and provisional uses of clay. Through exercises, design challenges, and limitations, students will discover new technical and conceptual possibilities and will experience a range of ceramic material processes. Students at all levels working at the intersections of fine art and design are encouraged to enroll. Demonstrations and exercises will include fundamental hand building strategies, experiments in slip modification, post-firing assembly, and alternative finishing.
Participants in this class will make artworks based in reality, yet bent according to screwball plans, imagery, and subjective but considered logic. Studio assignments will engage the printmaking studio – specifically silkscreen, which lends itself nicely to the cartoon aspect of the program – as well as more sculptural or performative prompts. Silkscreen in this case will be used as a means to an end, with printing on alternative materials considered. We will use the print studios to develop and produce custom materials or stock imagery, which will be engaged in the service of multifaceted and involved panels and objects. Demonstrations will include fabric silkscreen, open screen monoprint, repeating pattern, and the basics of using printmaking as an integral part of object-making. Previous printmaking experience encouraged, but not required.
This course for beginning to advanced students will include extensive experimentation with materials and techniques through individual painting problems. Students will pursue various interests in figure, landscape, abstract, imaginary, and still-life painting and drawing. Students may choose to work with oil-based media. Demonstrations and critiques are included.
It has been 36 years since Rosalind Krauss published Sculpture in the Expanded Field. This class unites her groundbreaking essay with Aisthesis, beginning with axiomatic structure and then moving into the landscape as a series of constructed and marked sites for corporeal, lived experiences. Students will study what it means to make art with the immediacy and presence of the body, while working on sculpture and installation. On location, in the landscape, they will produce collective experiences for human practices that have not yet been established in space and with an emphasis on performative misuse.
Paper is an exciting and elusive art medium. Paper pulp can be transformed into sculptural works, drawings with pulp and unusual surface textures. It can allude to skin, metal, rock, or represent something entirely unique. In class, we will explore these possibilities as we examine other artists’ using pulp as a contemporary medium. Traditional and non-traditional processes, tailored to the capabilities of each fiber, will be explored. Stretch your artistic and technical skills to create unusual works of art.
This course focuses on the use of autobiography as material for making works of performance, video art, and portraiture. Students will be guided in considering their life experiences as catalysts for creating insightful and articulate artworks. Utilizing the surrounding natural landscape of Ox-Bow, and a spirit of directness in production, participants will create their own short form projects for in-class discussion and a final public presentation. During the course we will look at precedents for this strategy in the histories of still and moving images, performance, and writing from the 1960s to the present.
This course offers hands-on glassblowing experience to the beginner. Participants learn a variety of techniques for manipulating molten “hot glass” into vessel or sculptural forms. Lectures, videos, demonstrations, and critiques will augment studio instruction.
We are all under the sway of many collaborators—some are acknowledged, but most are not. In this two-week course, we will attempt to identify the ways in which we have been influenced by our ghost collaborators and how we can take more accountability for those collaborations. Studio assignments will focus on extracting influences from the work you have produced in the past. Once apprehended, you will be asked to minimize or amplify those influences in new work. The course will also include readings, discussions, and short technical demonstrations—including open-form building with coils using fiber clay, fabricating models for splash molds from simple materials, and using casting slip in combination with press-molding techniques.
This two-week course will focus on creating glass sculpture utilizing a variety of moldmaking techniques for hot glass. We will work with multipart blow molds, lost wax processes, and hot glass ladle casting. Refinement of our hot glass products may be done in the cold shop with sawing, grinding, engraving, polishing, gluing, and surface treatments. Students will develop an understanding of each of these techniques and how best to adapt them for their sculptural work. Group and individual discussions will fuel the development of concepts and creation of pieces. A collaborative, team-based approach to working will be encouraged.
This class will be offered in a two-week sequence and give the beginner and/or more advanced artist the chance to learn the traditional lithographic technique in week one. Week two we will introduce the photo plate using analog methods or digitally manipulated photo positives. Emphasis will be placed on understanding how to make a lithograph both in editions and as unique variants. Demonstrations will be given for the preparation of matrices, color mixing and modifying inks as necessary, as well as more advanced drawing techniques as required by participants’ needs and interests. Historical examples from the collection of The Art Institute of Chicago will be discussed in presentations aimed at enhancing participants’ aesthetic point of view.
This interdisciplinary course introduces students to ritual theories and practices across a wide range of contexts. Students will consider how ritual relates to their own art making, whether supplying subject matter, framing processes, or otherwise informing studio practice. Blending theory and practice, students will devise and critically reflect upon rituals for generating their own art. This course encourages multidisciplinary approaches, though writing and drawing will be emphasized as means of reflection and experimentation. Readings will range across theory, historical studies, art writing, and literary works. Major concepts include: body, belief, taboo, transgression, repetition, sacred time and space, power, the occult, pain, transformation, discipline, limits, structure, inversion, violence, desire.
In this two-week course, students will explore the making and meaning of pattern-based imagery and forms. Technical instruction will include drawing, block-printing, sewing machine piecing, and crochet. Students will practice and experiment with various generative exercises, and then synthesize ideas and techniques to create culminating installation projects sited around the Ox-Bow campus. Since “pattern” is discussed in so many different contexts (for example, art, craft, design, music, mathematics, physics, ecology, biology, sociology), slide lectures will approach the abstract concept of infinity from multiple perspectives, while discussions and class activities will foreground the potentials of the finite material world.
The natural world is dynamic, with changes taking place across an immense spectrum of space and time. As people, our perspectives can be limited to what we see in our immediate surroundings and over our life spans. This course will use the Ox-Bow School of Art Field Campus as a natural laboratory to explore the application of methods in landscape evolution and vegetation dynamics. Students will gain a deeper comprehension of the campus’ current natural environment, how its landscape has changed over recent centuries and millennia, and how it may change in the future. This course will provide students a unique opportunity to combine classroom, field, and studio perspectives with scientific principles to create an environmental narrative of the Ox-Bow School of Art and its surroundings.
Students will be introduced to various methods used in making intaglio prints. Demonstrated techniques will include etching, drypoint, and engraving, as well as a variety of experimental approaches to plate making and printing. Discussion and critique of work will be included with equal emphasis on technique and concept.
Water-based paint and dry material will be used separately and together to open up possibilities for artists wishing to pursue new ways to expand a familiar medium. Technical demos will focus on portraiture, rendering the figure, observational studies, and invented forms. Students are invited to explore a range of genres such as abstraction, figuration, still life, and landscape. In class demos will be complimented by individual instruction as well as group discussions.
Indigo is the most utilized dyestuff on the planet. Both in its natural and its synthetic form, Indigo blue has a mysterious and contentious history: from the mystery cults of Indigo in Southeast Asia to the slave trade in the New World. This course will cover fundamental techniques in preparing both natural and synthetic indigo dye-vats, and we will use those vats to explore traditional Japanese tie-dye (Shibori) as well as traditional Indonesian resist dying (Batik). Furthermore, we will also utilize the metaphoric notion of "blueness" and "bluing," in relationship to the natural landscape. While surface design and the production of textiles will be emphasized, students will be challenged to consider how the production of color and cloth can manifest itself in performance, installation, and other alternative forms. This course is open to all levels of experience.
This multi-level ceramics course will incorporate wheel thrown and hand built vessels and objects to be fired in both a high temperature stoneware gas kiln and in Ox-Bow’s single chambered catenary style wood kiln that was built in 2005. The first part of the course will be making individual work and firing the gas kiln with the second part being a collaborative effort in loading, firing, and unloading the work in the wood kiln. Discussions, critiques, and slide lectures will be included.
A hands-on studio workshop for those with some glassblowing experience. Students will learn a variety of techniques for manipulating molten “hot glass” into vessel or sculptural forms. Lectures, demonstrations, videos, and critiques will augment studio instruction.
Students enrolled in Image and Word explore several woodcut, hand printing, typesetting and letterpress techniques. The class emphasizes the sequential and narrative properties of the relief printing process. Through presentations and critiques, the course of study examine how the physical qualities of the paper, image, text and binding can influence narration, pacing, rhythm, and meaning. The class also investigates the role of traditional printing in contemporary image making. Studio projects may include the creation and editioning of broadsides, sets of prints, or pamphlets.
Drawing upon the natural terrain of Ox-Bow, students explore drawing, design, composition and creativity. A wide variety of drawing materials are used. Slide lectures, critiques, and meetings with visiting artists are included each evening.
Pop-up and flap books were originally created to illustrate ideas about astronomy, fortune telling, navigation, anatomy of the body and other scientific principles. Complex and engaging pop-up structures are created from a combination of basic mechanisms enhanced by play and imagination. In this course, students will learn the basic elements of pop-up paper engineering to more complex mechanisms including multilevel platforms and pull-tabs. Workshop participants will learn how to effectively incorporate their own art into these structures to create unique pop-up books, cards, and works of art.
This course will incorporate field observations in the natural environment surrounding Saugatuck, Michigan into the study of animal behavior. Students will formulate and test hypotheses through the acquisition of data in the field. Topics covered include: classical learning and instinct, reproductive behaviors, and interactions between and within species. SAIC Students must have already taken English 1001 & 1005 in order to enroll in this course.
This experimental course offers students an opportunity to explore appropriation as a strategy for art making. Students will discuss and transform everyday printed matter and literature in the development of poetry and art works. A range of poetic forms will be introduced in relation to various printmaking techniques including: monoprint, pronto plate and transfer/copier methods. Magazines, books and other printed matter will serve as source material. This 1-week course is a workshop for different types of making which accesses the interconnectedness of image and language. Students will tap into the generative nature of studio practice cultivated from everyday resources.
In this course students will fabricate visual languages and material structures to embody building and form. A range of introductory techniques and technologies will be presented, applicable to both ceramic sculpture and functional pottery. Core techniques of wheel throwing, hand building, and basic mold making will be introduced, along with rudimentary computer modeling and parametric design. Emphasis will be placed on thinking through volume, geometry, proportion, composition, and context. Daily exercises will include technical demonstrations, sketching, form development, and surface design.
This class will explore the material properties of glass as a substrate for light, investigating how light can define, demarcate and inform site. Students will work with both artificial and natural light sources including LEDs and video projection. Demos will take place in the glass studio, focusing on simple techniques for manipulation, diffusion, and transmission of light. The class will draw on both traditional and experimental techniques for creating solid and hollow forms, bit work and color applications, and mold blowing.
This print course focuses on text as it relates to the print image and vice versa. Students will work between sessions of woodcut printmaking and sessions of writing that speak to the images they are carving. We will look at the work of artists such as Glen Ligon, Lesley Dill, and Christopher Wool, who use the relationship between text and image in their work. Group technical demonstrations and individual guidance will be part of each session. Within the span of the course, all participants will have combinations of prints and texts in both large and small formats.