CE faculty member, Tiernan Alexander – Spoils of the Ottoman Empire

Tiernan Alexander
Spoils of the Ottoman Empire

Chris White Gallery

701 Shipley Street
Wilmington, DE 19801

October 7 – 27, 2011

Opening reception – Friday, October 7, 6-9 pm
Closing reception – Thursday, October 27, 6-9 pm

The Spoils of the Ottoman Empire is a series of sculptures created during my residency at the Winterthur Museum and Gardens. I blended some of the elements that H.F. Dupont used in the layout of his extensive collection—wallpaper, fabrics, furniture—into structural environments for my abstract ceramic sculptures. These oddly organic figurines act as inhabitants of a refined world, an empire of material wonder.

This show is presented by the New Wilmington Art Association and Winterthur Museum and Gardens.

Please visit Tiernan’s other work at: www.tiernanalexander.com

a Holga + a Hurricane – a Love Story

Just offered for sale is a curiously beguiling photographic book that shows the dramatic realities of a family as they move from New Orleans, six years ago, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. What is most beautiful about this work is the images, photographic recreations made with a Holga and a few toys.
Six years ago, Jennifer Shaw (photographer) had no other choice but run away with her family from New Orleans. The impending arrival of Hurricane Katrina made ​​them live a truly dramatic experience. Now, Jennifer has decided to recreate those intense moments, using her Holga. The tunnel effect, blur and genuine ended of the Holga images, gives a special sensitivity and dramatic addition to the snapshots. A book full of intense sensations (includes the birth of a son the day that Katrina made ​​landfall). Undoubtedly, an idea as creative as great.
Please visit the Official Website of Jennifer Shaw to see all the images in this series as well as the range of her amazing photographic talents.

Tremain Smith Announces Open Studio

Information System 2, 2011, Oil, wax & collage on panel, 30" x 24"

Artist and Teaching Artist Certificate Program graduate, Tremain Smith announced today that she will open her studio to the public on October 1 + 2, 12 noon until 6 pm.

Tremain’s studio is located at 520 South 59th Street (between Larchwood & Cedar in West Philadelphia). The studio is open along with 30 other artists in West Philly + hundreds across the city as part of POST www.philaopenstudios.org

Check out more of Tremain’s work by visiting her website at www.tremainsmith.com

DesignPhiladelphia Posters

DesignPhiladelphia is just around the corner and I noticed the elegant and clever posters popping up around town.  I found a post from the designer, who speaks about how he approached the project in terms of balancing the client needs with his own style, letting the mission guide him as well as noting other artists who have influenced him.  His insight might give you some inspiration in terms of concept, process and execution.

Image from Nom Now

As you may know,  DesignPhiladelphia is now presented in partnership with the University of the Arts:  during this multi-day festival of all things design, students, professionals and the public have the opportunity to consider issues like sustainability, transportation and the future of preserving historic spaces — through the design perspective.  Talks and tours from national and international design visionaries are offered around the city.   Philadelphia itself becomes a part of the design, as public spaces are transformed into stages and playgrounds, with innovative performances, scavenger hunts and large-scale interactive public art.

Here are some selected events – here are a few that feature folks  from the UArts community:

Kick-Off Party: Loft District
October 13
Philadelphia’s Loft District was recently highlighted in a New York Times article on the design opportunities presented by abandoned elevated railway lines à la New York’s High Line. Shadowed by the old Reading Viaduct, the Loft District is home to some of Philly’s most cutting-edge galleries and innovative design potential, and a natural setting for the outrageous party to kick off 10 days of design celebration. On opening night, the festival will present the first annual Design Champion Award.

“Making It: Alumni Works ’01-’11”
October 20 – 30
Opening Reception: October 22
Recent University of the Arts alumni were invited to submit work for “Making It: Alumni Works ’01-’11,” a juried exhibition that will coincide with DesignPhiladelphia as well as the University’s Family and Alumni Weekend. The jury for “Making It” included distinguished members of the Philadelphia arts community, as well as notable University of the Arts and alumni. There will be a reception at the exhibition at CBS Auditorium and Solmssen Court, both in Hamilton Hall, on Saturday, October 22 from 5 – 7 p.m.

“Not a Vacant Lot,” 313 S. Broad Street
October 18 – 23
A vacant lot on the Avenue of the Arts is transformed by a five-day exhibition of performance, projections and landscape design, in partnership with independent curator Marianne Bernstein.

“Dialogues on Design,” sponsored by DuPont Corian
October 14, 17, 18 & 20
Talks at the Center for Architecture and the Marketplace Design Center feature contemporary design topics and include UArts alumnus Jaime Salm BS ’01 (Industrial Design) sharing his journey in building MIO, a nationally recognized design and consulting company that defines best practices in sustainability.

View full DesignPhiladelphia event calendar

New Resource for Teaching Artists Announced

I’m pleased to announce the launch of ALT/space, an on-line project of the Teaching Artist Journal!

In ALT/space Teaching Artist correspondents from around the U.S. and the world bring stories of their work at the crossroads of art and learning. Initially developed by Laura Reeder as a rethinking of the TAJ’s former `Newsbreak’ section, ALT/space has now moved online as an edited blog, written by a small group of TAs correspondents who readers can follow over time. Portions of the blog are excerpted to the print journal every quarter.

The stories that these correspondents bring to ALT/space are born inside the practice of teaching and art making in all artistic and expressive mediums: visual arts, dance, traditional arts, outsider art, music, theater, storytelling, writing and…? There is room here for the broadest definition of art *and* where it can happen. These are stories of doing, making, thinking, resolving, expanding, learning and expressing; stories that share celebrations and dismay, struggle and success, or simply a moment in time.

Ultimately, ALT/space hopes that the aggregate of these narratives will provide a comprehensive picture of TA work and practice. They also hope that teaching artists will consider contributing their stories.

On that note, I hope you will take a moment to visit the new space at www.tajaltspace.com and take a look around. You can subscribe to the blog by hitting the RSS feed symbol at the top of your browser so you’ll never miss a post!

Getting To Know Holga- This Is Not Your Average Photography Course

So many students long for the days of chemical photography and even more desire to be unfettered by technology and allow their creativity to flow as they experience photography in a purely spontaneous and creative way. This fall, on Tuesday nights, we are offering a new course that allows students to abandon technology and get back to photography’s roots. Black + White Film Photography with the Holga 120N, taught by consummate pro, Sandra Davis, promises to allow students an opportunity to embrace the fundamentals of film photography while exploring the expressive qualities of black and white fine art photo. But why the Holga?


The Holga is an inexpensive, 120 film plastic camera made in China. It has a problem producing quality photos which has attracted many photographers to add this camera to their array of equipment and many of the photographs produced have received lots of attention for their distorted look. There are many variations of the Holga camera from the 120S with it’s fixed shutter speed and plastic lens to the 120GFCN with it’s color flash and glass lens. Once you see some of the photos people have produced with this plastic gem, you will be convinced to buy one and start playing seriously with it, because the Holga proves that even a small plastic camera in the right hands can produce quality photographs.

10 things you NEED to know about Holga

1. It has several charming characteristics unmatched by any other photographic device.

2. The plastic lens and a moderate amount of light leaks and vignetting produce strangely dreamy, retro quality pictures.

3. Medium format negatives, considerably larger than 35mm ones, can store a lot of fine detail.

4. It’s the cheapest way to get into medium format photography.

5. You can produce square images, which is a refreshing change from the traditional oblong photos of 2 x 3 or 3 x 4 proportions.

6. It’s so simple that it allows you to concentrate on composition rather than technology.

7. It allows you to try tricks such as multiple exposures effortlessly

8. It’s light, reasonably sturdy, and easily replaced, so you can take it everywhere and never have to miss a shot anymore.

9. It’s very inexpensive, so you’ll never break the bank equipping it- we’re letting you use one all semester FREE of charge.

10. Because it’s so inexpensive and so easily replaced, you can experiment, modify, and tinker without worry.

So you’ve never used a Holga before, but you vaguely heard about this toy camera or you just saw it at the local photo store and were charmed by the sheer bubble-gum quality of it.  Maybe you’ve worked with 35mm or digital photo before, but you’ve never shot anything like this plastic box.  Heck, you don’t even know how to load 120 film, though you’ll figure it out with a few minutes of fumbling.  This is for you.

Where to Find More Info

Frank Van Riper – shooting panorama photos with your Holga

Andreas Wolkerstorfer– amazing Holga panorama photos

Toycamera.com– great site with tons of Holga + toy camera resources

Argonauta Productions :Holga Cameras – Good tips on how to use and modify a Holga

Holgamods – Get your Holga all tricked out!  This site also has lots of excellent Holga links.

Life Through A Plastic Lens Written by Paul Williamson

Holga Photos Rock

The History of Holga

The Authoritative Guild to Holga Tune-up and Modifications – By Mark Hahn

Some great Holga add-ons!





DesignPhiladelphia Event List: Oct 13 – 23

DesignPhiladelphia Event List 2011

Hmmm, so can I…

…Ride my bike past some highlights of Philadelphia design: magnificent interiors, odd vistas, the city’s smallest and grandest squares, and more? Plus DesignPhiladelphia receptions along the way?   Yep, bike tour on Oct 16.

…Check out a  Community Arts Festival with live music, the most innovative food trucks,  performances, art and design?  Oh, and see a bonus costume parade, all for free?  Head to the  CAFé.

…Hear that guy speak whose job makes me utterly jealous?  You know, that Man Shops Globe TV host Keith who travels the world buying great unique art pieces for Anthropologie?  See him and decide if TV is reality on Oct 14.

I can’t even begin to go over all the cool stuff here now… installations, design panel discussions, openings, receptions, demos, and more… look for future blog posts on some of the individual selected events that I plan to attend plus other highlights that I think look particularly great.

Like the amazing Philly Live Arts + Fringe Festival, there is almost too much great stuff in this city.  An embarressment of cultural riches!

DesignPhiladelphia Event List 2011

All Type Considered: Font Talk on NPR + New Font History Book

Listening to my beloved live stream of WHYY on a recent lazy Sunday (those are few and far between), I was amused to hear familiar NPR journalists talk about their favorite fonts and why they use them.  Sure it was a light human interest radio story, but the discussion was centered around how important these fonts choices are to our society – and this is discussed in a newly published US edition of the book Just My Type by Simon Garfield that received great praise in the UK.  As I am always looking for the best design books to recommend, I was happy to read the many outstanding reviews from type-geeks and graphic designers…in addition to just those mildly curious.  It  is good to know that the author can please both kinds of readers on this subject.

From the author’s website:

Just My Type is a book of stories about fonts. It examines how Helvetica and Comic Sans took over the world. It explains why we are still influenced by type choices made more than 500 years ago, and why the “T” in the Beatles logo is longer than the other letters. It profiles the great originators of type, from Baskerville to Zapf, as well as people like Neville Brody who threw out the rulebook. The book is about that pivotal moment when fonts left the world of Letraset and were loaded onto computers, and typefaces became something we realized we all have an opinion about. And beyond all this, the book reveals what may be the very best and worst fonts in the world – and what your choice of font says about you.

One of my favorite illustrators offered this quote in review of the book: ” Did I love this book? My daughter’s middle name is Bodoni. Enough said.”  –Maira Kalman

Or check out other reviews at the LA Times Review or the NPR Book Review.

And for a little Comic Sans bashing, this article from the BBC News:   What’s so Wrong with Comic Sans and the website Bancomicsans.

Enjoy the font discussion and let me know your review of this book!

Great FREE Photo Workshop Announced!

A photography workshop is a great place to observe and learn, not to mention an opportunity to exchange ideas with other photographers. The experience and knowledge gathered from a good workshop is simply something that cannot be acquired from books or online training websites.

One of the greatest pleasures of going to a photography workshop is that you get to meet people who are just as much in love with photography as you are, or perhaps even more. A non-professional photographer may have a hard time finding people who are equally serious about photography, and to them, a photography workshop is a perfect place to contribute to ideas and gain knowledge from people who share the same passion. Apart from fellow photographers, the experts who are leading the workshop would be around to help all the attendants of the workshop with their experience and knowledge. It is a great place to learn something new or to brush up on the old amidst the company of like minded individuals, sometimes even for the professionals.

This fall, CE is offering a two-day, FREE, Abobe Photoshop LIGHTROOM Weekend Workshop. Space is limited to the first 15 students so students are encouraged to register early in order to secure a seat in this workshop.

Adobe Photoshop LIGHTROOM Weekend Workshop
Limited to 15 Participants
CE 1730 Non-credit FREE, Fee $35 / Saturday + Sunday , 10 am – 4 pm, Nov 12 + 13

Instructor : Haris Fogel

Workshop Description
The next-generation tool for digital photographers is Adobe Photoshop LIGHTROOM. Created for serious photographers who would rather spend their time shooting and not sitting in front of a computer, Lightroom brings file import, editing, organizing, processing and sharing into one integrated work environment. Also, Lightroom is non-destructive to original image files. You will be amazed at the speed at which you can change white balance, optimize exposure, create slideshows or web galleries, and prepare images for print.