Anatomical Dissemblance #3, Omar Wiseman
The work of Hannah Richter and Omar Wiseman seems to ask all of us to pause, for just a moment, and appreciate the world around us. These artists want to touch others with their work and for people to walk away with the memory of their drawings and words saved for another day. They use twists of phrases and shifting lines to turn the simple pleasures of life into something much more poignant. Read More
Feel the Burn by Max Johnson via Alliance for Young Artists & Writers on Vimeo.
Comedy is a difficult medium. What’s funny to one person can be a bore to another. This week’s Gold Medal Portfolio recipients, Max Johnson and Ron Anahaw, took a chance with using humor in their art and writing, and it really paid off. What’s really impressive about Max’s work is his distinctive animation style–as soon as you see the title card, you know it’s from Max. Ron infuses his writing with a lightheartedness that makes his characters feel like someone you already know, or want to know. Both of these students know a good joke when they hear it, and are experts at using humor to enhance their work. Read More
Black and White Condention 2, Tanner Rhines
For week two in our series profiling the 2015 Gold Medal Portfolio recipients, we’re taking a look at Monique Taylor and Tanner Rhines. Monique and Tanner use their art and writing to understand the way people, our cities, and our societies fit together and come apart. Their works compact expansive feelings, human histories, and settings into packages that make you delve deeper into fascinating spaces and thoughts you normally would have overlooked.
Benjamin Bear, Black
Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer. —Barbara Kingsolver
Knowing what you want to say before you put your pen to the paper, click the camera shutter, or dip your brush in paint takes time to figure out, but it is well worth the effort. One of the criteria the Scholastic Awards jurors look for is a personal vision or voice, and this year’s Gold Medal Portfolio recipients’ works are speaking loudly and clearly. These works are personal and public; they focus on the small things in life and the big ideas. Over the next few weeks, we’re going to explore these works, and the artists and writers behind them, in their own words. Benjamin Bear and Edil Hassan will kick off our series on the 2015 Scholastic Awards’ Gold Medal Portfolio recipients.
Elevated Place by Brandon Brooks, 2014 Gold Medal Art Portfolio
Nathan Cummings and Brandon Brooks rely on the natural world for inspiration and to create, dazzle, and amaze their audiences. Movement—whether it’s the unexpected flow of bent wood or the harmony of sound, tongue and teeth to pronounce a single word—also plays a central role.
Explains Nathan: “I am a devotee of the arcane and bizarre: my writing includes pieces on phantom fish, conjoined twins, and the sheer improbability of the word syzygy (SIZZ-uh-GEE). This is my “normal,” the gear at which I’m used to operating.”
In astronomy, syzygy– the alignment of four planets– is a rare and fascinating occurrence. But for this poet, the process of saying the word and envisioning its reality stirred his imagination. Can you see it as the planets spin below? Read More
Again and Again and Again (detail), 168” x 72” Adobe Photoshop, Digital Print, Polaroid / Emulsion Transfer
Country, family, community, beliefs, race, cultural norms and accepted behaviors: we are born into this world with many of these factors pre-determined for us. So what’s a teenager to do? As Portfolio Medalists Patrick Zapien and Jackson Trice see it, there’s just one choice: to rebel.
For Jackson, a born-and-bred Southerner, “I Should Be Leaving” deals with how she feel s about her place in the world, coming of age, and the natural urge to revolt that comes with it.
“It goes back to this central question I’ve posed for myself which is: what makes me want to rebel?” she reflects. “Perhaps it is in my blood. And perhaps, I dare to say, I am okay with it.” Read More