Instructors: Michelle Grabner and John Neff
MFA, 3 credits
Ox-Bow offers currently enrolled MFA students the opportunity to independently study at Ox-Bow over the winter session. Students have their own studios and can work on a project of their design, either in response to the specific environment of Ox-Bow or to prepare for their thesis show.
John Neff produces artworks and curates exhibitions. He currently serves as a curatorial board member at Chicago’s Iceberg Projects and a consulting curator to Alphawood Exhibitions, Chicago. He has exhibited his installation, photographic, and video work at venues including: Randy Alexander Gallery, Golden Gallery, The MCA Chicago, Motherbox Gallery, Night Club, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Renaissance Society, and Donald Young Gallery. Neff is a core faculty member in SAIC's Low-Residency MFA Program and works as a teaching artist in Chicago Public Schools (where he is co-director of the Ravenswood Elementary School Curatorial Practice Program).
Michelle Grabner Born in Oshkosh, Wisconsin (1962) Michelle Grabner is an artist, writer and curator. She is the Crown Family Professor of Painting and Drawing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has also taught at The University of Wisconsin-Madison, Cranbrook Academy of Art; Milton Avery Graduate School of Arts - Bard College; Yale University School of Art; the University of Pennsylvania; and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Maine. Grabner’s work is represented by James Cohan Gallery, NYC; Anne Mosseri-Marlio, Basel; Rocket, London; the Green Gallery, Milwaukee, Gallery 16, San Francisco; bkprojects, Boston,MA She has exhibited her work at Musée d´art Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg; Stadtgalerie, Keil; The Indianapolis Museum of Art, Green Gallery, Milwaukee; Kunsthalle, Bern; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Daimler Contemporary, Berlin; Midway, Minneapolis; Rocket, London; INOVA, Milwaukee; South!rst, Brooklyn; Gallery 16, San Francisco; Minus Space, Brooklyn; Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloom!eld Hills, MI; Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago; The Milwaukee Art Museum; Anne Mosseri-Marlio, Zurich; Bricks and Kicks, Vienna; Turbinehallerne, Copenhagen; Ulrich Museum of Art, Kansas; Leo Koenig Gallery, New York; Harris Lieberman Gallery, New York. Public collections include: The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; RISD Art Museum, Providence; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; MUDAM - Musée d’Art Moderne Luxemburg; IndianapolisMuseum of Art, The Allen Memorial Art Museum at Oberlin College; Milwaukee Art Museum, Wisconsin; Daimler Contemporary, Berlin; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington DC; The Sheldon Museum of Art; the Dallas Museum of Art; Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, among others. Grabner co-curated the 2014 Whitney Biennial and the 2016 Portland Biennial. With Jens Ho#mann she is currently the co-artistic director of Front International: Cleveland Exhibition for Contemporary Art opening in the Summer of 2018. She is a corresponding editor for X-tra. Her reviews are regularly published reviews in Artforum. She has also contributed essays and reviews to Modern Painters, Frieze, X-tra, Art Press, ArtUS and Art-Agenda among others. In 2010, she and Mary Jane Jacob co-edited THE STUDIO READER, published by the University of Chicago Press. Michelle Grabner and Brad Killam founded The Suburban in 1999 in Oak Park, IL hosting a range of international contemporary art. After 16 years in the Chicago vicinity, Starting in 2015 The Suburban began programming exhibitions in a storefront located in Milwaukee’s Riverwest neighborhood and a storefront space in Milwaukee’s Walker’s Point. In 2009 Grabner and Killam opened The Poor Farm in rural Wisconsin. The Poor Farm is dedicated to annual exhibitions and publications.
Instructors: Ben Medansky and Earl Elowsky
CERAMICS, 3 credits
Offered in Ox-Bow's ceramics studio, Design + Anarchy creates an environment for thoughtful construction with irreverent intent. Instructors will guide students through technical ceramic exercises, like throwing and hand building, with the objective to create functional work with rowdy purposes. Experimentation, play and iteration will be dominant strategies. Instructors will also lead discussions about how to practically engage with a design market and how studio thinking and production relate. Previous work with clay is preferred.
Ben Medansky’s desire to make forms was forged by the bright blue skies and soaring mineral formations of his home state of Arizona where, since the age of 14, he served as a glassblower’s apprentice. Medansky’s practice was further informed by his studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where he experimented in a variety of mediums from fibers to furniture design leading up to his work with clay. Upon moving to Los Angeles in 2010, Medansky worked under a number of prominent artists until, at the age of 24, he began Ben Medansky Ceramics. Inspired by brutalist, motifs of technology and space exploration, Medansky’s Sculptural Objects, limited run daily wares and Instruments of Peace are collected worldwide and sought after by such clients as Herman Miller, Kelly Wearstler, and Bergdorf Goodman. Medansky continues investigate aesthetics employed by the mechanical world in his latest body of work.
Earl Elowsky is an artist working in Detroit, Michigan. Utilizing a broad range of media, he makes work heavily influenced by his experience growing up in a small, rural town in Northeast Michigan. He earned a BFA from Alma College (Michigan) in 2009 and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) in 2013. He recently had a solo exhibition with Faber & Faber, Chicago, and participated in the screening mid.east/mid.west at Aspect/Ratio Gallery, Chicago.
Instructors: Jason Dunda and Erin Washington
PAINTING, 3 credits
Responding to the unique time and place of Ox-Bow in the winter, this class will focus on light as subject, object, concept and tool. The class will begin with traditional painting approaches and techniques. As the course evolves students are free to hybridize and cross over into interdisciplinary explorations if they choose. In-class exercises will examine and respond to a range of light qualities from the diffuse to the fleeting winter light. Ideally this is a class of diverse makers who are able to discuss the subtle and highly attentive acts of perception.
Jason Dunda is a Canadian painter living in Chicago. Trained as an oil painter at York University in Toronto (BFA) and The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (MFA), he is currently working on a suite of paintings based upon research of social and political events of the past and present. Outside the studio, he is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where he teaches studio and seminar classes in the Contemporary Practices and Arts Administration and Policy departments. His work is represented in the collections of Todd Oldham, the Agnes Etherington Art Centre and the Doris McCarthy Gallery at the University of Toronto. Recent projects include a solo exhibition at Slow in Chicago, a group drawing survey at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and a four-month research and production residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris funded by the Canada Council for the Arts.
Erin Washington is a Painter, Drawer, and Installation artist currently living and working in Chicago. Using fugitive and symbolic materials (ex. ashes, blackberries, bones, chalk, moss, and spaceblankets), Washington’s works source imagery from the Sciences, Mythology, and Art History that represent ruptures and failures in the search for meaning and truth. Erin is currently a lecturer in the Painting and Drawing Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she received her MFA in 2011. Notable solo exhibitions have been held at such venues as The Riverside Art Center in Riverside Illinois and Zolla/Lieberman Gallery in Chicago. Her work has also been included in group exhibitions at such spaces as Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago; The Hyde Park Art Center; and Columbia University in New York.