Good Reads

As a library, I think it is important to advertise avenues for book lovers. If you like books and you like libraries then you have probably already heard of good reads. In case you haven’t, this is our Christmas gift to you. Enjoy!

Good Reads is an online social platform for people to share and build book lists. It is one of the worlds largest sites for book recommendations and book lists. The site allows you to build book wish lists and reading lists, as well as keep tabs on books you’re in the process of reading. You can look at specific genres you are interested in reading, collaborate in book clubs. You can even choose to judge a book by its cover if you wish and search one of the many image based lists (including “Best cover of all time”, “Breathtaking book covers” or “Horrible covers”). Good Reads even has a focus for academic life or the art world. Here is a book list for some of OCAC’s craft departments. Check them out. If you find a book you really like, please come into the library and we will try to track it down for you.

Book Arts: Not represented, create one!

Ceramics:
https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/1211.Best_books_on_Ceramic_Arts

Drawing:
https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/42202.Art_Books_for_Serious_Students
https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/22555.The_Art_of_Animation

Fibers:
https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/9483.Fiction_for_the_Fiber_Artist
https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/2369.Garment_and_Textile
https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/16346.Best_Practical_Historic_Costuming_Books

General:
https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/28962.Books_for_Wildlife_Artists
https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/13574.Artist_Biographies
https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/27517.Art_themed_novels

Metals:
https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/24918.Best_Jewelry_and_Metalsmithing_Books

Painting:
https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/7620.In_a_Painter_s_Studio

Photo:
https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/15034.Photo_Comics
https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/9316.Photographer_s_Education

Wood: Not represented, make your own list!

57. “The Eccentric Teapot: four hundred years of invention” by Garth Clark.

This Friday, May 18 OCAC Metals Department will be hosting their Annual Tea Party featuring teapots handcrafted by the 3rd year students from the Metals Department. In the 3rd Year Teapot Class, students design and create – through raising and forming, large scale soldering and fitting processes – a functional, sterling silver teapot in this intensive course. They make decisions about construction methods and design, choose materials for handles, and study historical and contemporary examples of teapots and other hollowware. The course, essential to the vocabulary of a metalsmith, has traditions dating back to ancient history that are still practiced today. Techniques associated with creating a hand-made teapot give students the opportunity to leave OCAC and make a living through creation of utilitarian objects.  They also come away understanding design and function and how to balance these two components.

image: Lizzy Gladstone, 2011

To celebrate this annual event and possibly entice readers interested in the subject to explore more about teapots and teapot making, the library has selected Garth Clark’s amazing book on the subject, The Eccentric Teapot: four hundred years of invention. As the stated in the book cover, this book “introduces us to some of the most sublime, outrageous, and exotic teapots ever to grace a Mad Hatter’s tea party”! There are portrait teapots of Oscar Wilde, Brooke Shields, and Queen Elizabeth. Teapots that resemble lions, tigers, and bears–Oh My! And teapots that are “so far removed from the concerns of function that they resemble nothing so much as drawings of teapots”! The result is a fun and exhilarating romp through a colorful gallery of idiosyncratic designs that begin to boggle the imagination and stretch one’s notion of the relationship between form and function! Also the concept of beauty – or what is beautiful – since many (at least IMHO) of the results are profoundly ugly but always always always provocative and thought-provoking!

 

Check it out!

Andre Woodward Quote: “My work is definitely time-based. There are about three different…”

Michael Amy: Your work is also about time.

Andre Woodward: My work is definitely time-based. There are about three different timelines going on in each piece. The tree grows. In the sound pieces, you need to consider the duration of the soundtrack, and in the pieces that incorporate lighting systems, you have that time going on as well. And then you have the time during which you are interacting with the work. I produce sculptural work because, with sculpture, there is you and the piece. There is not a flat divide—you and the piece occupy the same space. Once you realize that the sculpture is alive, something happens. You start to be sympathetic to the life-force. It isn’t merely an object. It’s a living thing. (29)

Amy, Michael. “A Living Thing Shouldn’t Be There: a Conversation with Andre Woodward.” Sculpture. Vol. 31, No. 4, May, 2012. pgs 26- 33.

Glenn Adamson Quote: “Of course, big corporations are just as adept…”

“Of course, big corporations are just as adept at manipulating the rhetoric of sustainability as young makers. But craft does have a special advantage. In the effort to promote more self-aware ways of living, the simple act of making by hand signifies direct engagement with an object, and therefore a degree of personal responsibility. Certainly, not every craft object is made sustainably; we have to get real about that. But the lesson of postmodernism is that the power of the image is not to be denied. It’s not enough to make things responsibly; we need to call on mass media to constantly remind the public of what responsibility might look like.” (023)

An excerpt from Glenn Adamson’s response to the questions: Is there a sustainability aesthetic? If so, how would you describe it, and which artists exemplify it?

“The Big Questions with Glenn Adamson: What Responsibility Might Look Like.” American Craft. Vol. 72, No. 02, April/May 2012. pg 023.

55. “The Everyday” edited by Stephen Johnstone.

There will be a First Thursday opening reception this Thursday, May 3rd, from 6-8:30pm, for Heidi Schwegler‘s new body of work, The Known World–a suite of objects, images, and videos–at the Chambers@916 gallery. Here’s a little background for the show from her Artist Statement:

“For the past two years, Heidi Schwegler positioned herself as a tourist in China, Iceland, Argentinaand Southern California. In exploring each environment, she became sensitive to the notion of perceptual blindness, a phenomenon which makes it difficult to understand what one sees in an environment that is very disconnected from the familiar, which can feel very alienating. To ground herself, she sought patterns in the unnoticed and discarded objects that exist on the periphery, rather than the spectacle of tourist attractions. Objects and situations that are normally overlooked, like a discarded mattress or duct tape holding down a mannequin, became instantly evocative. These experiences ultimately became the springboard for this body of work, which speaks of what is known but no longer seen.” From (here)

We are extremely excited to see this show! Last October, Heidi Schwegler started off OCAC’s lunch-time talk series with an amazing presentation about her sabbatical and artist residencies.  Most of her presentation covered her explorations and revelations about art and the everyday, and, while we did see some of the objects that she had made (which again were amazing!), there wasn’t enough time to talk about her whole body of work that came out of this period. Fortunately, we have that opportunity starting this Thursday! Don’t miss it!

The show will run through June 23, 2012.

Staying on this theme of the “everyday,” the library pick for this week is The Everyday edited by Stephen Johnstone. It would be an excellent book to check out to prepare for Schwegler’s show in order contextualize her work with respect to the ongoing collective discussion around the concept of the everyday that has been going on for well over half a century. Or, perhaps your interest might be peaked about it upon seeing The Known World.

According to the Publisher, this collection of essays, excerpts, and other writings tracks the “range of contemporary art engaged with the everyday and its antecedents in the work of Surrealists, Situationists, the Fluxus group, and conceptual and feminist artists of the 1960s and 1970s. This art shows a recognition of ordinary dignity or the accidentally miraculous, an engagement with a new kind of anthropology, an immersion in the pleasures of popular culture, or a meditation on what happens when nothing happens. The celebration of the everyday has oppositional and dissident overtones, offering a voice to the silenced and proposing possibilities for change “(from here).

Check it out!

Peter Shelton quote: “This whole figurative versus abstract stuff comes from faulty thinking …”

“Marlena Doktorczyk-Donohue: Would you concede that you create zany correlates of the body that maneuver between the abstract and the figurative?

Peter Shelton: This whole figurative versus abstract stuff comes from faulty thinking after World War II, suggesting that Modernism was fundamentally a battle between representation and abstraction. I don’t see it as one leading to the other or exceeding the other. It comes down to achieving some core expression, and the “hows” of getting there follow from that.

MDD: Do you mean that idea trumps process?

PS: Nothing is that simple. I mean that it’s inaccurate to see my work as growing linearly from abstract to real or simple to complex, or the reverse. Unlike many of my formalist predecessors, I don’t work linearly, evolving from project and situation to the next project and situation–ideas continue to circulate […]” (41)

Doktorczyk-Donohue, Marlena. “Simple Simply Isn’t.” Sculpture. April 2012. pgs. 38-45.

54. “Extra/Ordinary: Craft and Contemporary Art” by Maria Elena Buszek

This Wednesday, April 25 @ 6:30pm, Maria Elena Buszek will be giving a guest lecture for the the MFA in Applied Craft and Design Program. The event is co-sponsored with Museum of Contemporary Craft  at will be held their location at 724 NW Davis Street.

Maria Elena Buszek is a scholar, critic, curator, and Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Colorado Denver, where she teaches courses on Modern and contemporary art. Her recent publications include the books, Pin-Up Grrrls: Feminism, Sexuality, Popular Culture and Extra/ordinary: Craft and contemporary art; contributions to the anthologies It’s Time for Action (There’s No Option): About Feminism, Blaze: Discourse on Art, Women, and Feminism and Contemporary Artists; catalogue essays for numerous national and international exhibitions; and articles and criticism in such journals as Art in America; Art Journal; Photography Quarterly; and TDR: The Journal of Performance Studies. She has also been a regular contributor to the popular feminist magazine BUST since 1999. www.mariabuszek.com

The MFA in Applied Craft and Design is a joint degree program offered by Oregon College of Art and Craft  and Pacific Northwest College of Art.  

For this week’s library pick, we’ve selected Buszek’s extraordinary publication, Extra/ordinary: Craft and contemporary art! It is a must read for anyone interested in making and issues in the contemporary art scene today.

Here is a brief description of the work from the publisher: “Contemporary artists such as Ghada Amer and Clare Twomey have gained international reputations for work that transforms ordinary craft media and processes into extraordinary conceptual art, from Amer’s monumental stitched paintings to Twomey’s large, ceramics-based installations. Despite the amount of attention that curators and gallery owners have paid to these and many other conceptual artists who incorporate craft into their work, few art critics or scholars have explored the historical or conceptual significance of craft in contemporary art. Extra/Ordinary takes up that task. Reflecting on what craft has come to mean in recent decades, artists, critics, curators, and scholars develop theories of craft in relation to art, chronicle how fine-art institutions understand and exhibit craft media, and offer accounts of activist crafting, or craftivism. Some contributors describe generational and institutional changes under way, while others signal new directions for scholarship, considering craft in relation to queer theory, masculinity, and science. Encompassing quilts, ceramics, letterpress books, wallpaper, and textiles, and moving from well known museums to home workshops and political protests, Extra/Ordinary is an eclectic introduction to the “craft culture” referenced and celebrated by artists promoting new ways of thinking about the role of craft in contemporary art.” (found here)

Contributors include: Elissa Auther, Anthea Black, Betty Bright, Nicole Burisch, Maria Elena Buszek, Jo Dahn, M. Anna Fariello, Betsy Greer, Andrew Jackson, Janis Jefferies, Louise Mazanti, Paula Owen, Karin E. Peterson, Lacey Jane Roberts, Kirsty Robertson, Dennis Stevens, and Margaret Wertheim.

If you haven’t come across this book already, it’s time you do so now! Especially for anyone working the fields of Art and Craft today.

Also, don’t miss her lecture at the Museum of Contemporary Craft this Wednesday!