2 min read

The Benefits of Learning and Making Art in a Community

By Elysia Michaelsen, Director of Education on 05/17/2019


Dating back centuries, artists have traveled from their home studios to rural artist communities in search of the time, space, and exchange needed to incubate new ideas and nurture their creative practice. PenArt is no stranger to this tradition. For over 50 years, beginning each June, hundreds of artists from across the country pack up their materials, travel to Door County, and join a group of similarly-minded creatives in one of our workshops. While many may cite building new technical or conceptual skills with the help of one of our established faculty members as their primary goal, there are many other benefits to joining and working in such a setting.

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2 min read

The Value of an Art Filled Summer for Children and Teens

By Elysia Michaelsen, Director of Education on 03/29/2019


Maybe we're biased, but we believe a summer filled with art making is a summer well spent. While our youth and teen curriculum encourages students to enjoy the creative process from start to finish, our lessons run deeper than that. Instructor-led group discussions, technical exercises, and innovative projects introduce the principles of art and design and how to use them successfully, tools and techniques specific to a variety of media, as well as a creative toolkit that serves students far beyond the art classroom. Below are just a few of the transferable skills walk away with from our workshops. 

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2 min read

Summer Studios for Young Artists: A Day in the Life

By Elysia Michaelsen, Director of Education on 03/08/2019


PenArt provides a range of summer workshops designed for the youngest of artists to unleash their creativity, develop their skills, and pursue new ideas. From drawing to printmaking to ceramics, there's an experience for everyone! But aside from the materials used and techniques learned, what does a typical workshop day look like at PenArt?

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7 min read

Meet (10 of) Our New Faculty Members

By Elysia Michaelsen, Director of Education on 02/22/2019

Each workshop season, we aim to strike a balance between returning instructors and instructors joining us for the first time. This makes for tough decisions in the planning process, but ultimately brings new and varied perspectives to our program; pushing the boundaries of our facilities, encouraging students to look at materials in new ways; and broadening the network of our growing community. This year, 46 of our adult workshops will be taught by new instructors.

Introducing each and every one of them and their workshops would make for a blog post nearly as long as our catalog, so we will begin with a selection of ten instructors from a variety of media. To see the full list of new 2019 faculty members, click here. 

2D | Drawing, Painting, Printmaking, Paper, and Book Arts

Kyle McKenzie
Kyle joins us from Joplin, MO to teach not one, not two, but three workshops this coming July! His thoughtful proposals were impossible to pass up. First Gouache: The Painting Medium You Didn't Know You Needed, followed by Art and Optics, and finally Using Gouache Color Studies to Improve Your Paintings. The common thread through all of these workshops? Kyle's expertise in translating classical painting techniques and theories into contemporary possibilities.
Artist website.

   Jessica Caponigro
An interdisciplinary artist with extensive experience in print media, Jessica's practice is the embodiment of Experimental Printmaking. In fact, her response when I first asked her about the topic was, "I absolutely love teaching experimental printmaking!" Her workshop will encourage you to explore paper lithography, image transfers, monoprinting, screen printing, and alternative materials within the confines of your own artistic goals and practice. It's sure to be fast and furious, but with an instructor with such enthusiasm for the process, you can't go wrong. Artist website

Liz Miller
While Liz never set out to be an installation artist, her drawings and paintings slowly evolved into collage-based works on paper, architecture-dependent experiments, and eventually full-fledged installation works. Since making her first site-specific work in 2004, she has been hooked on not only how an installation can change the viewer's experience and movement through a space, but also the exhilaration and on-site problem-solving in the making of it. Dive in and make a collaborative work alongside other artists and Liz in her Introduction to Installation workshop this August. Artist website


3D | Ceramics and Metals
Jennifer Wells
Whether she's teaching workshops, continuing her own education, or producing new work, Jennifer has made a home out of the studio. Since earning her MFA in Metalsmithing and Jewelry nearly ten years ago, she has completed residencies at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Pocosin Arts, and Jentel Foundation, taught semester-long courses with several universities, and led workshops across the country and abroad. Jennifer has a wealth of knowledge and experience to share. Discover just a slice of it in her workshop Put a Lid On It: Container Fabrication. Artist website

Lindsay Locatelli
Lindsay's education and career in design are multifaceted, including training in graphic design, a degree in furniture design, and a successful studio practice focused on wearable pieces made from polymer clay, metal, wood, and found materials. Inspired by the colors and textures of the landscape, her work pushes the boundaries of what many (including myself) thought capable of polymer clay. Learn just how versatile this medium is in her workshop Polymer Clay: Making Molds, Studs, and Pendants next fall. Artist website

 Kate Maury
Since a young age, Kate has been interested in surface and embellishment; from admiring her mother's stash of rhinestone jewelry to researching craft and artistic expression throughout other parts of the world post-grad. However, it wasn't until she assumed a full-time teaching position at UW-Stout and was gifted a set of commercial craft molds from a local business that her side-passion finally found a voice in her studio work. Explore the visual vocabulary of sprigs and molds to create complex motifs and surfaces in her workshop Ornate Surface: How to Creatively Embellish Forms Creatively with Commercial Sprigs and One-Part MoldsArtist website 


Digital | Photography, Video, and Digital Media

Allen Morris
To say Allen raised the bar on our collaboration is an understatement. I approached him about leading a digital photography workshop focused on creating a sense of place, and he responded with a workshop that combined digital captures of the landscape and the antique process of anthotypes, which uses photosensitive material from plants, to create photographic prints. If that process doesn't create a sense of place, I don't know what does! To learn more about this alternative method, join him for his workshop Place from Place: Anthotypes and Gum Bichromate Processes in July. Artist website

  Emily Scheider Berens
Having coined her work as tra-digital, Emily's practice blends tangible media, such as painting, printmaking, and fibers, with digital processes. Her work is first designed by hand, then digitally imported into Adobe Photoshop and/or Illustrator for further refining, and finally printed on textiles or paper. Emily's workflow moves from handcrafted to digital, ending with a fusion of both processes. Find out how digital tools can expand your fine art practice in Introduction to Adobe Photoshop or Introduction to Adobe Illustrator: Incorporating Digital Tools into Your Studio Practice.
Artist website

Barbara Diener
I first came across Barbara and her practice in her solo exhibition Phantom Power at UW-GB's Lawton Gallery last year. This body of images was presented on the wall in an engaging installation, as well as in a book with essays written by curators Allison Grant and Gregory Harris. While the scale of each format was completely different, they were equally impactful. Grab that collection of images you've been saving on your computer and discover not only how to technically assemble them into a book, but also how to apply conceptual thinking in the design and sequencing process in Barbara's The Photographic Book workshop. Artist website


Professional Development

 Stephen Anderson Story
A fine art photographer in his own right, Stephen also uses his technical and conceptual skills to capture professional portraits, weddings, design projects, and the work of fellow artists. Documenting artwork is often one of the most challenging aspects of an artist's professional practice. Join Stephen in his workshop Photographing Your Artwork with a Smartphone and learn how to create an easy at-home setup, edit for proper lighting and color, and size final images for submissions to juried exhibitions and other opportunities. Artist website

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1 min read

Selecting the Right Workshop for You: A How-To

By Elysia Michaelsen, Director of Education on 02/08/2019

Over 100 instructors will pass through PenArt’s studios this summer; each one bringing a different approach to and perspective on art making. While this diversity creates an exciting and comprehensive curriculum, it can make answering the burning question of “Which workshop should I invest in this year?” even more challenging. We’re here to help!

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2 min read

Distracted in the Studio? Five Tips for Gaining Focus

By Elysia Michaelsen, Director of Education on 01/18/2019

There is a saying that 80% of success is showing up. How difficult could that final push across the finish line be? Yet, inspiration and drive vanish upon entering the studio. You're showing up! Why isn't the work following? While each and every artist has their own unique way of working and setting up a studio, here are a few quick and easy adjustments that may make all the difference in your productivity, or at least 20%.

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4 min read

Five New Year's Resolutions for a Creative 2019

By Catherine Hoke, Executive Director on 12/26/2018

Feel like you start the new year ready to reinvent your life, only to find that, a month later, those aspirational resolutions have gone by the wayside?

Maybe the problem isn’t you. Maybe you’re just tired of making and breaking the same resolutions over and over again. You know the drill: lose weight; eat better; work less; exercise more. It’s no wonder you’re uninspired to keep them going past January.

So why not break the rut this year? Try a new resolution. Do something fun, creative, interesting.

1. SEE REAL ART

Looking at art not only elevates your mood, but it can boost cognitive growth as well. Make a habit out of getting up close and personal with art (not just on the screen).

  • Make a resolution to visit a different gallery or museum each month.
  • Find a listing of public art and galleries near you and take a year-long art tour. Reference the list often, spend a few moments investigating new parts of your community and look a little more closely at those places that you know well.
  • Go to gallery openings (there’s often music and free food — yay, date night is covered and you can share the experience with your loved one!)
  • Make it a family affair. Museums and many galleries are kid-friendly and offer activities and Family Art Days for the littlest creatives.
2. CONNECT WITH OTHER ASPIRING ARTISTS & CREATIVES

There’s a trap that a lot of creatives fall into, and it’s that you have to succeed and do things on your own. While that’s possible, a great resolution for those who want to branch out is to meet and network with other creatives. Connecting with other artists allows you to learn through others – this could be technical skills, or simply learning about a material, or piece of equipment that improves your creative process. It can also provide critical feedback on your own work, helping to move your work in new directions or get you “unstuck.”

With technology and the growth of maker spaces and shared studios in many communities, there are lots of places to network and make connections, including:

Make it a goal this year to meet or connect with other creatives once a month.

3. LEARN SOMETHING NEW

Learning fuels our creativity. Ideas can come from making connections between seemingly unrelated things, so learning something new in one area of our lives can trigger ideas in another. Curiosity and creative thinking go hand-in-hand.

Maybe you have always had an interest in printmaking, handmade pasta, pottery, or history. Why not take your interest further by learning more about it? Your resolution could be to:

4. KEEP AN ART JOURNAL OR SKETCHBOOK

It was artist Paul Klee who said, “a drawing is simply a line going for a walk.” His quote aptly captures the simplicity of sketching — an art form so beautifully uncomplicated it requires only a piece of paper and a writing utensil. You don’t have to be a successful early 20th century painter to excel at the technique.

A sketchbook is a great place to keep track of creative ideas and get in the habit of regular drawing. Not every drawing you do needs to be a finished work of art. You can use a sketchbook for rough notes, thumbnails and “lightbulb moments.”

So much of our lives are spent rushing from one thing to the next, plugged into some sort of technology. In the new year, disconnect and reconnect with the world around you. Put a sketchbook in your pocket instead of your phone on the next walk you take, and instead of taking snapshots to post on social media, take out that pencil and paper and draw what you see.

If you like to collage, try filling a box with inspiring paper scraps that you keep in a space that you like to create in. Find some good paper glue and fill the sketchbook pages with paper creations.

Do you need a deadline-based project to motivate you to create? For a small fee, The Sketchbook Project will put your sketchbook in the Brooklyn Art Library, where anyone can read it.

5. BE OPEN TO THE UNFAMILIAR OR UNCOMFORTABLE

Being receptive to different ways of doing things can open your mind to new possibilities. If you normally believe that your way is the right way, then you may never realize that there is a better option.

Once you become more accepting of new ideas, you’ll find yourself exploring other ways to solve problems. The phrase “think outside the box” may just become a part of your life. You might try to come up with different methods rather than what you are used to doing.

Open-mindedness adds to your creativity and allows you to discover something out of your ordinary. Make a resolution to:

  • Talk to a stranger every week
  • Say yes to everything for a day, week or even a month
  • Throw a dart at the map and take an impromptu road trip
  • Host a dinner party once a month and cook or share a new cuisine

While New Year’ resolutions may not be a magic bullet, consider creativity is a journey. It's a way of seeing, a way of approaching the world around you with curiosity, and looking for the connections between seemingly disparate ideas. Here’s to a creative 2019!

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2 min read

Feedback, Feedback, Feedback

By Elysia Michaelsen, Director of Education on 11/30/2018

Critiques are an indispensable component of every artist's education, growth, and individual path. Unfortunately, far too many see it as a setting to be feared. Rather, look at it as a rest stop along your studio practice's ongoing journey; a place to stop, check your direction, clear the trash out of the car, and refresh yourself for the next leg. Filled with practical information from a variety of perspectives, critiques provide you with the means to reflect on the purpose and progress of your artistic journey.

Peninsula School of Art's Critique Group aims to do just that! Made up of artists of all backgrounds and each a rich source of information, monthly critiques will provide feedback and dialogue specific to your goals and needs. One participant may help you to solve a technical issue; another may provide references of other artists tackling similar topics in their practices; and another may almost seem psychic, sharing thoughts about your work that you immediately resonate with, but are not yet sure why. See? Indispensable!

If you're still not sure if this experience is right for you, here are answers to a few commonly asked questions that might just convince you.

  • How does PenArt's Critique Group work?
    Our first convening on Friday, December 7th will serve as an introduction to each other and our work. Each artist will bring one piece, in-progress or finished, to share with the group. One-by-one artists will give a brief overview of their practice and chosen piece - a few sentences - and feedback will be delivered in written form using a fan favorite critique method called The Triple Threat. Artists will take their individualized feedback home and review at their own pace.
    The following meetings will each focus on a select number of artists - approximately 4 - 6. Artists will reserve a 20-minute block to show and discuss their work with the group. The number of pieces and focus of the conversation are the artist's choice. Elysia Michaelsen, Director of Education, will act as a moderator to keep the discussion on track and on time. 
  • When and where do we meet?
    Critique Group meets on the first Friday of every month from 3 to 5pm in the painting studio at Peninsula School of Art year-round.
  • Who can participate?
    Everyone! This program is designed as a safe space for artists to share their work and start a dialogue with peers. Everyone is welcome who is interested in participating in a constructive and creative community.
  • How do I reserve a spot to share my work?
    Email Elysia at workshop@PeninsulaSchoolofArt.org with your desired date. The only prerequisite for sharing your work is that you have attended once before. If you're visiting from out of town or have another reason you cannot attend a meeting before your critique, email Elysia.

We hope to see you and your work on Friday, December 7th! If you have any questions, call or email Elysia at 920.868.3455 or workshop@PeninsulaSchoolofArt.org.

 

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1 min read

Everyday Gifts

By Kay McKinley, Director of Public Programs on 12/13/2017

Time and again I am amazed to find how accessible and giving the artists in the Door County community are. Peninsula School of Art is located in the heart of Door County, its location a metaphor for the regard these artists have for the organization.

This devotion became evident recently while I prepared for the upcoming SOUP! project, which benefits both our outreach programming and the needs of a partnering nonprofit. Using a clay project as a vehicle for the community to create saleable objects, this year we created tiles instead of bowls. It seemed a simple transition. I soon discovered that although we were utilizing the same medium, tiles and bowls are two very different "animals." I came to rely heavily on the help of the members of the Door County Potters' Guild.

What could be different? For one, the inherent warping of a flat tile if the clay is not handled correctly. Other issues included a specific method of glazing and the preparation of the tile before both the bisque and glaze firings. Another particularly trying problem for me was to get air bubbles out of the clay through the wedging technique. I couldn't do it, but Ellison Bay Pottery's John Dietrich volunteered to help me out -- wedging over 100 pounds.

Reneé Schwaller, of Off the Wheel Pottery, and Jeanne Aurelius, of Clay Bay Pottery, instructed me in the decorative techniques of sgraffito and knife-and-slip, respectively. Schwaller and Aurelius, as well as Tony Staroska from Juddville Clay Studio, shared with me their techniques on how to keep a tile flat as it dries. I also sought the advice of "Thor" Thoreson from Gills Rock Stoneware regarding successful handling of the tiles.

It has always taken a village to make the SOUP! project a success. But, I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude for the sharing of the Guild in this year's project. It truly could not have been accomplished without them.

When thanking Thor for his help, his reply was typical of those of the other Guild members, graciously calling to mind the late mentor of the group, Abe Cohn, whose example promotes a pay it forward attitude of giving.

"We are more than happy to help, just as Abe Cohn gave to us," he said.

 

 

 

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1 min read

Tiles are Hip to Be Square

By Kay McKinley, Director of Public Programs on 11/10/2017

When a tradition is in place for a dozen years, any change might be met with trepidation. Such is the case with the humble, handmade ceramic bowls associated with our SOUP! benefit. For the past 12 years, PenArt has hosted SOUP! on the first Saturday in February to raise funds for both our outreach program and the needs of a partnering nonprofit. Up until now, each year, the Door County community, including school groups, has created 500 ceramic bowls to be sold at SOUP!. The event includes a complimentary and bountiful soup-and-bread buffet for those who purchase a ceramic piece.

This year, we took the risk of replacing the popular bowls with 6" square ceramic tiles. School groups only have 45 minutes to complete their project and the tiles seemed a great way to make the best use of the kids' time. Freed from forming a bowl, the design of the tile, as well as learning new surface techniques, takes center stage.

To gauge the results of our new project, informal polls were taken with each classroom we've visited so far. The result? The kids were engaged in the process and created some very fun designs. You could have heard a pin drop.

The art teachers were only too happy to prepare the students with information on decorating/carving techniques and had the kids sketch their designs on 6"x6" squares of paper in a previous art class. This year, we are partnering with the Northern Door Children's Center in Sister Bay. The theme for the tile making is Nature's Toys and Joys. The idea is for tile makers to think of the ways that nature is our playground.

Tomorrow night's Hip to Be Square tile making event for adults will help to solidify if our new project has the support of the community for future years. Check out our tile slide show. What do you think?

All adults 21-years-old and older are invited to attend Hip to Be Square on Wednesday, November 15, from 6-9pm. The event includes materials for tile making, as well as food and libations. A $5 goodwill donation is encouraged.

 

 

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1 min read

The "Quiet" Season

By Elysia Michaelsen, Director of Education on 11/09/2017

Fall is here and winter is coming. For many artists along the peninsula, it is the most prolific time of the year. The busy days of the tourist season are fewer and farther between, allowing time to hunker down in the studio to experiment, determine a new direction, and produce a body of work. For Peninsula School of Art, the quiet season brings community partners into our studios through outreach programming, as well as artists interested in pursuing longer-term and more self-defined projects; complementing our summer workshop offerings.

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1 min read

Artists' Best Friend?

By Kay McKinley, Director of Public Programs on 10/12/2017

Silly, protective, patient, loyal, cuddly−how would you infuse these canine characteristics into a piece of clay or the stroke of a brush? That's the job of the seven invited Featured Artists in the exhibition Man's Best Friend, on view October 20- December 30.

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2 min read

Fire Fuels the Art of Celebration

By Kay McKinley, Director of Public Programs on 09/28/2017

The climax of our annual Iron Pour benefit is the spectacle of the pouring of molten iron; glowing red-hot as it cascades into tile molds from a cupola, tossing fiery sparks in the air. It got me thinking about the correlation between fire and celebrations.

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2 min read

A Conversation with Painting Instructor Mark Daniel Nelson

By Elysia Michaelsen, Director of Education on 09/21/2017

I read in a statement about your practice that you create work in pursuit of the "contemporary sublime". How would you define that?
It's kind of a yin-yang idea in relation to the nineteenth century idea of sublime. I feel there's always a strong urge to get kitschy when trying to do something that communicates awe and wonder, but there's a unique contemporary language we can maniuplate to that end.

Have you achieved it yet?

Occasionally, I think, yes. I have a series called Arcadia that sometimes gets close. It's a mash-up of minimalist abstraction and twentieth century regionalism or american realism. However others like them simply because they are paintings of houses, which I'm fine with too.

What are you working on in the studio?
I'm coming off of a massive, many months-long failed abstract project. I was inspired by some great shows last fall in Denver to work in a new mode. I gave it a try on a larger scale, and...catastrophe. I'm now getting sketches ready for my next round of work. It will likely be a more conservative body of work, so I can get back to my comfort zone for a few months.
 
How does your practice impact your teaching philosophy? And vice versa?
For me, they are one and the same. I teach a kind of detached-attention to making work, so as not to occupy the judgemental side of the experience too closely. Working on quick projects, multiple ideas, and looking at works by other artists is common to both my teaching and painting practice.
 
What are you most looking forward to during your time teaching at PenArt?
With every workshop I look forward to being around curious, intelligent people talking about interesting things and trying to solve the puzzle what makes good art.
 
How can we find you and your work on social media and the web?
www.markdanielnelson.com, Pinterest, and Instagram @markdanielnelson.

Topics: Faculty Painting
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1 min read

Exhibit is Entrée to SOUP!

By Kay McKinley, Director of Public Programs on 09/14/2017

With a focus on ceramic decorative techniques, Beyond Scratching the Surface: Today's Ceramic Decoration exhibition provides a fitting segway into our annual SOUP! project.

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2 min read

A Conversation with Painting Instructor Susan Ploughe

By Elysia Michaelsen, Director of Education on 08/24/2017

In your statement, you discuss avoiding formulaic approaches to making work. When working on a series of paintings that address a similar subject matter, how do you combat that?
There has to be something unique that is drawing me to paint the subject each and every time. If there isn't, I shouldn't be painting it; I think this is why commissioned work can be difficult. Similar subject matter doesn't mean similar intent or focus; I could paint the same scene fives times, but in one I am interested in the sky, in another the light on the buildings, in another the moody atmosphere. My intent drives my decisions - the size of the work, the composition, color choices, the quality of the brushwork - every choice is new every time! I love to learn and I also want to continually improve my work, and I can't do either of those things if I am mindlessly repeating myself.
 
What are you working on in the studio?
As usual, a variety of things: landscapes, figurative pieces, portrait and animal commissions, florals, Chinese subjects - whatever strikes my fancy. Some are quick, alla prima works and others are large, carefully planned compositions. I have some works-in-progress in one corner of my studio and they reveal that I am in a blue - but happy - period!
 
How does your practice impact your teaching philosophy? And vice versa?
I like to balance the theoretical and the practical. While I love learning principles of design, color, light, atmosphere, brushwork, and so on, I have found that they are best understood with paintbrush in hand! I almost always have teaching in the back of my mind when I am painting. As a result, I take a lot of in-progress photos that I can share with my students, and as I discover techniques or principles, I am generally thinking about how I can best communicate them to others. And because I paint a variety of subjects, I am able to bring practical experience to whatever my students are working on.

On the flip side, teaching has made me a better painter. During class, I have to be able to quickly come up with suggestions for each student's painting dilemmas. No time for dithering, just decide and do! This has made me more decisive in my own work.
 
What are you most looking forward to during your time teaching at PenArt?
Do I have to pick one thing? The students, staff, facilities, and location all add up to a wonderful time! What I always look forward to in my workshops are the "aha" moments, when students experience growth and gain more confidence in their abilities.
 
How can we find you and your work on social media and the web?
Visit my website www.SusanPloughe.com. You can sign up for my newsletter there. Or, send me a friend request on Facebook.

Topics: Faculty Painting
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1 min read

It's All About the Base

By Kay McKinley, Director of Public Programs on 08/21/2017

Although the current exhibition, Beyond Scratching the Surface: Today's Ceramic Decoration, focuses on how potters choose to embellish their work, I believe these marks must be secondary to the quality and design of a work's form. Case in point: a lovingly made ashtray by a 5-year-old as opposed to a professionally wheel-thrown porcelain jardeniere.

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2 min read

A Conversation with Mixed Media Instructor Sarah Rehmer

By Elysia Michaelsen, Director of Education on 08/10/2017

How does the medium of encaustic contribute to your work, technically and conceptually, in ways that other paint media does not?
Encaustic is an incredibly versatile medium that I can use for anything from painting applications to adhering collage to  casting three-dimensional elements for the surfaces of my wall-based work. When I graduated from college, I was making mixed media works with acrylic mediums. Shortly after, I discovered encaustic. The transformative power the material has on paper, which acrylic doesn't, has allowed me to push my work in new directions over the years. The biggest leap being when I began using it as a stiffner for paper-based sculptural elements, without the need for armatures.

From a conceptual standpoint, my work has always tied into the theme of memory in various ways. The antique books I work with have had these lives prior to ever entering my studio. Dipping the paper in encaustic medium makes it take on almost a skin-like quality, with all the marks of time and age. There is a preservative quality, yet it retains its lightness and vulnerability.
 
What are you working on in the studio?
I've been working more and more with mixing photography and encaustic. I have spent a number of work days in the darkroom at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts in Michigan learning to make cyanotypes from scratch to incorporate into my works.

I also have been experimenting with other materials to bring into my practice, such as encaustic on clay, and even learning how to use a laser cutter.
 
How does your practice impact your teaching philosophy? And vice versa?
I always come home from a workshop having learned a new technical aspect of working in encaustic. There tends to be a cross-section of students from varying disciplines in the class, and sometimes questions come up for things I have never tried before. So I usually say, "I'm not sure how this will work, but let's think through it and try it out so we can see what the outcome is." My goal for a workshop is to have the students leave with a working knowledge of the materials. So when they are working in their home studio, they can apply that same thought process and be confident that they are working in a both a safe and archival way. But, still feel free to experiment!
 
What are you most looking forward to during your time teaching at PenArt?
I think this is my fifth year teaching at PenArt, and it is always such a pleasure to head up to Door County. I always look forward to meeting new students - and seeing returning ones - because everyone brings their unique voice and studio experience to the workshop. It makes for a great collaborative environment of information sharing.
 
How can we find you and your work on social media and the web?
My work can be seen on my website at http://rehmer-studio.com/

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2 min read

A Conversation with Metals Instructor Julie Sanford

By Elysia Michaelsen, Director of Education on 07/13/2017

When did you begin working in metals? How did you find this path?
I began working in metals in high school, but my interest in making jewelry came from my dad. He was a lapidary and silversmith hobbyist. He passed away when I was sixteen. While I didn't have a chance to learn from him, I was fortunate to receive his rock collection and tools. My high school art teacher helped to identify my potential and taught me the basics of fabrication and casting. At that time, I knew I wanted to work with stone and metal. After a few years, and several classes at a local art center, I started my own business. 
 
What are you currently working on in the studio?
I just finished restyling some family jewelry for a local client. Together we designed a ring that incorporated several pieces of diamond and gold jewelry. It was inspired by a ring I had in the gallery and was a fun project.

It's also art show season and I am working on fresh new collections for show inventory. I purchased some great material in Tucson this year that I am working through this summer.
 
How does your practice impact your teaching philosophy? And vice versa?
My teaching perspective follows my professional background in the jewelry industry; both as a fine jewelry maker and retailer. I think having that history adds value to the student who wishes to make an income as a jewelry artist. I not only teach how, but also why, and from a few different points of view. Being an instructor also challenges me as a maker. Students look at my work more critically and use my work as an example of standard. I take that very seriously and, as such, am personally challenged to push creative and technical boundaries.
 
What are you most looking forward to during your time teaching at PenArt?
I am looking forward to meeting new metals students and helping them on their creative journey. The amazing environment of PenArt is certainly a huge draw as well. I'm really excited for my first visit!
 
How can we find you and your work on social media and the web?
My website is JulieSanfordDesigns.com I am also on Facebook at Julie Sanford Designs, Twitter @JulieSanford, and Instagram @Julie_Sanford

Topics: Faculty Metals
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1 min read

Like Watching Paint Dry?

By Kay McKinley, Director of Public Programs on 07/06/2017

The saying "it's like watching paint dry" generally describes the most boring of experiences. With an event that entails the act of witnessing paint do its thing, it would be easy to dismiss a plein air festival as having little to no appeal to those who aren't festival artists.

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3 min read

A Conversation with Drawing Instructor Liz Miller

By Elysia Michaelsen, Director of Education on 06/29/2017

Your practice is rooted in painting. In what ways does that sensibility translate to your collage-like drawings and large-scale installations?
I have undergraduate and graduate degrees in painting, but it's been years since I've painted in any traditional sense. That being said, my works are always concerned with some of the very basic concepts of painting - edge, color, illusionistic space vs sculptural space. I think I approach my works on paper and installations in a very painterly way - nothing is permanent. I work from a place of intuition, but calculated intuition. I try to have a plan... but in the middle of the process, I might deviate from it wildly; the same way that one might start a painting anew by painting over 95% of it. I think a strong painting background has allowed me to be spontaneous in my work, in ways that those with more formal training in areas like sculpture or installation might struggle with. Sometimes I wish I had more of the technical background in 3D that some of my peers have, but I try to embrace my limitations and use them to my best advantage.  
 
What are you currently working on in the studio?
I'm currently working on three separate installations for solo exhibitions this fall in Colorado, Wisconsin, and Maine. I tend to alternate between works on paper and installations. I imagine that when I finish the trio of exhibitions this fall, I'll return to works on paper for a bit. The installations and works on paper tend to feed off of one another, but I have a difficult time working on them simultaneously.

My current installations are incorporating a much wider range of materials - I just came back from a fabric shopping expedition with some awesome textured vinyls and patterned upholstery fabrics. I am interested to see how these play out in the forthcoming installations, and how they show up in the works on paper.

Although my work often explores tensions between imagery that has its roots in beauty and imagery that has its roots in violence or destruction, lately the forms have become far more ambiguous. At this point in time, I'm less interested in specific sets of imagery and more interested in calculated ambiguity that creates a strong psychological or emotional response. It's a difficult shift. For so long, I relied on the works being tied to specific source material. I am letting much of that go. I am now interested in elaborate fictions that can be conveyed in a very non-objective way.
 
How does your practice impact your teaching philosophy? And vice versa?
My studio practice leaves a lot of room for deviating from the plan - I like to be able to respond to something exciting in my work and not worry about the plan! Of course, improvisation requires a ton of practice. It's harder to do in my teaching, because I have an audience full of expectations and I don't want to let them down! That being said, now that I've taught college for over a decade, and taught in quite a few other settings, I feel that one of the most important aspects of teaching is knowing when to steer away from a set plan to explore something else. Often, the experience and the results are even better than I anticipated.
 
What are you most looking forward to during your time teaching at PenArt?
I am thrilled to finally visit Door County! Although we live in Minnesota, I've never been to that part of the Midwest and I've heard rave reviews. I'm also excited about the short and focused format that the workshop will offer. There's something so terrific about having that kind of intensive time, both as an instructor and as a student. Life often forces us to bounce from one thing to another without really being able to become engrossed in the task at hand. This is an opportunity for everyone to really immerse themselves in the experience without the usual distractions.
 
How can we find you and your work on social media and the web?
My website, www.lizmiller.com, is currently undergoing a big transition, so I don't know if it will be up to date by the time of the workshop. It shows examples of past works, but not as many current works. The best place to follow me in real-time is on Instagram @lizlenoremiller. I post often about art...and if you follow me, you'll also have to tolerate a few posts about poodles and making juice. 

Topics: Faculty Drawing
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1 min read

Back to the Future En Plein Air

By Kay McKinley, Director of Public Programs on 06/22/2017

The introduction of plein air painting in the late 1800s was possible due to the invention of two items we take for granted today: the French easel and paint in tubes. Imagine the delight of Monet and his comrades during their first experiences painting out of doors. Unchained from their studios, they could respond to the spectacle of sparkling sunlight or the touch of a breeze on their skin.

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2 min read

A Conversation with Photography Instructor Travis Roozee

By Elysia Michaelsen, Director of Education on 06/15/2017

When did you start working in photography? How did you find this path?
When I was about eight years old, I used my parents' Kodak to make snapshots of race cars, our cat, and my friends. Recognizing my interest, my grandfather bought me an advanced camera and took me on camping-photography trips in Door County. He explained lighting, composition, and introduced me to printing in a darkroom. My grandfather's lessons continue to have an impact - they influence my teaching and guide my practice. 
 
What are you currently working on in the studio?
I recently learned how to screen print, which is a departure from working exclusively with lens based media. It's exciting to be working with an unfamiliar process. I've made bold patterns that riff on color, scale, and basic shapes. Additionally, I've been creating computer-rendered vignettes that are then printed with 19th century techniques. This hybrid workflow allows me to design with precision while the final piece is an object that is lush and a little magical.
 
How does your practice impact your teaching philosophy? And vice versa?
Laszlo Moholy-Nagy described the constant flow of learning and self-improvement as "restless experimentation". His philosophy is a framework for my practice and my teaching. In the classroom, I challenge students to create a path for themselves, to dialogue with peers, and accept successes and mistakes as part of the learning process. The advice I give to my students is similar to my own evolving philosophy.
 
What are you most looking forward to during your time teaching at PenArt?
This is my first workshop at PenArt, though I have been visiting the peninsula for many years. I look forward to merging my longstanding appreciation for Door County with new experiences at PenArt.
 
How can we find you and your work on social media and the web?
Via my website www.travisroozee.com and Instagram @travisroozee

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1 min read

The Gallery as Meeting Place

By Kay McKinley, Director of Public Programs on 06/08/2017

Situated in our main building, our Guenzel Gallery provides a point of entry to the 2-D studios in the east wing and the 3-D studios to the west. Whether you are a casual visitor or a student, the necessity of passing through the space is an intentional design feature.

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2 min read

A Conversation with Painting Instructor Gregory Euclide

By Elysia Michaelsen, Director of Education on 06/01/2017

Much of your work combines a variety of media. Can you provide some insight into how your practice evolved from more traditional painting/drawing to the relief work you have been making the last several years?
Landscape is a selective process. Many hold dear the type of landscape that might be found on a postcard or seen from a scenic turnout. What I noticed, is that the scenic turnout, most of the time, allows you to only look at nature that is very far away. When I would walk out to one of those distant places from the turnout, the space would frequently be littered with waste. Even the most pristine spaces, when looked at closely, were full of human waste. To make my traditional landscape drawings more "real", I wanted to include that.
 
What are you currently working on in the studio?
Currently, I am working on a series of relief works that have traditional paintings built into twisted plastic substrates.
 
How does your practice impact your teaching philosophy? And vice versa?
Everything I do in the studio and classroom is based on exploration; I learn and teach through doing. 
 
What are you most looking forward to during your time teaching at PenArt?
I'm looking forward to exploring the unique landscape of Door County and creating some great examples of land based works.
 
How can we find you and your work on social media and the web?
You can find me on Instagram @gregory_euclide, on Twitter @gregoryeuclide, and on my website. 

Topics: Faculty Painting
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1 min read

Kicking Off the Summer Season: Tablescapes Luncheon

By Ginny Sowinski, Development & Events Coordinator on 05/26/2017

Just as the leaves start to pop, and the cherry trees blossom in Door County, I know our summer season kick off event - Tablescapes - is right around the corner.  PenArt has been hosting a luncheon each June for over 15 years, and each winter we ask ourselves "how can we make it better?"

Topics: Insider Events
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2 min read

A Conversation with Sculpture Instructor Amy Brier

By Elysia Michaelsen, Director of Education on 05/18/2017

When did you first begin working in stone? What does stone offer, both technically and conceptually, that other sculpting media don't?

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1 min read

Hip to Be Square?

By Kay McKinley, Director of Public Programs on 05/11/2017

Painting with Pixels Exhibition

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2 min read

A Conversation with Printmaking Instructor Melissa Wagner-Lawler

By Elysia Michaelsen, Director of Education on 05/04/2017

Your work investigates the destruction of language and communication. How do printmaking techniques and book forms promote those concepts?

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1 min read

All I Really Need to Know ...

By Kay McKinley, Director of Public Programs on 04/27/2017

 
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2 min read

A Conversation with Drawing Instructor Kate Borcherding

By Elysia Michaelsen, Director of Education on 04/20/2017

Your practice explores the human figure and related narratives through a range of materials and scales, from large ceramic sculptures to intimate drawings. Can you give us some insight into how you select the medium and/or scale for each work?

Topics: Faculty Drawing
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1 min read

The Power of a Story

By Kay McKinley, Director of Public Programs on 04/13/2017

One of my favorite childhood memories is being read to. My mother, an English major in college, would end a busy day of raising eight children by passing on her enthusiasm for literature.

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2 min read

A Conversation with Sculpture Instructor Teresa Lind

By Elysia Michaelsen, Director of Education on 04/06/2017

Your work utilizes metal casting processes. When did you begin working in metal? What interested you most about these intensive methods and materials?

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1 min read

Wedding Waylaid for Door County Plein Air Festival

By Kay McKinley, Director of Public Programs on 03/30/2017

Participating as a Featured Artist in the Door County Plein Air Festival typically involves some sacrifices. To begin with, there’s the long distance travel, shipping of gear, and being away from loved ones. But, when 2017 Featured Artist Nyle Gordon called, I assumed his sacrifice would be too great.

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3 min read

A Conversation with Photography Instructor Hannah Foslien

By Elysia Michaelsen, Director of Education on 03/23/2017

You work in the field of documentary photography with a focus on sports. How did you come to combine these two interests?

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1 min read

Make a Cave in Half a Day

By Kay McKinley, Director of Public Programs on 03/16/2017

Topics: Exhibitions
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2 min read

A Conversation with Ceramics Instructor Megan Mitchell

By Elysia Michaelsen, Director of Education on 03/09/2017

Your practice merges ceramic vessels with printmaking methods. From where do you draw inspiration for your printed patterns and imagery?

Topics: Faculty Ceramics
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2 min read

A Conversation with Mixed Media Instructor Holly Roberts

By Elysia Michaelsen, Director of Education on 02/23/2017

Your practice combines photography and painting. What role does intuition play in the layering of these media, image selection, and the development of each composition?

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3 min read

A Conversation with Metals Instructor Jessica Calderwood

By Elysia Michaelsen, Director of Education on 02/09/2017

Your work explores personal narratives, including gender, relationships, and identity. How do wearable forms and the medium of enamel promote those ideas?

Topics: Faculty Metals
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3 min read

Where’d You Get the Idea?

By Catherine Hoke, Executive Director on 07/01/2016

While Door County is known for its art galleries, the round barn of Peninsula School of Art’s (PenArt) Guenzel Gallery is off the beaten path and just a little different. It’s a hybrid. Like other galleries, most works are generally for sale, but like a museum, the mission of the gallery is to provide an educational experience for visitors to PenArt. 

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2 min read

Q&A with 2016 PenArt Instructor David Kessler

By Elysia Michaelsen, Director of Education on 04/01/2016

Your paintings are abstract, perhaps even non-objective, from where do you draw inspiration for your color palette and use of gesture?

When I begin a painting, or a series of paintings, I try to determine what type of color palette to use to communicate the mood or feeling of the piece or the series. Most of my paintings are done as part of a series. For me the series is generally color related and generated from a word, phrase, or idea for the title of the series. For example, “Midnight in the Garden” is one of my series. The “Midnight” mood was one of darkness utilizing dark blues and violets for rich values. The lighter values are those of yellow-oranges and greens that are the “Garden” portion of the painting and act as the centers of interest.

Topics: Faculty Painting
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