Tuesday, March 31, 2009

SLOSS- Monday

Everyone arrived safely by late morning and the students went right to orientation for the student cupola contest. They were assigned a number of tasks to complete including breaking iron, 300# for each of the 14 groups, making production molds that will be cast during the competition and getting their rigs set up at the assigned location. They were extremely busy all day. James met up with some of his large mold making participants and got working right away on an especially complicated large mold for a lady named Caro, here from England with her husband. She is a very cool person and someone worth keeping in touch with. I met with some of my workshop leaders, and then basically ran around helping James and Caro when needed and anyone else.
There are probably already 100 or so folks here working and soon that will triple as more workshops get going and then the general conference starts up on Wednesday. I have been running into dozens of old friends, we call it the iron pouring family. Many are artists I have worked with, gone to grad school with or even had shows with, some were once my students. There is a vibrant and exciting energy about this place, especially with so many artists working together.
I think our students and James are doing an exceptional job and are doing great at holding USM in it's esteemed place as a leader in iron education in the south. On Friday I have a panel presentation to give on contemporary trends in cast iron art, I still have some prep to do.
The days are long, eating is something you do when you have a minute and sleeping only comes when everything is finished. I left at 8:30 last night, I talked to Taylor and they were just going grocery shopping at 10:00. It's going to be a long week, never mind that Tuesday is starting off with thunder storms. I hope everyone has good tents!

Monday, March 30, 2009


Got to Birmingham at around 5 PM. That 3 hr drive never seemed so long before, but then again I just drove 9 hrs each way to Springfield, MO on Friday and Saturday. I checked into the motel and called on the crew, James, Taylor, Nicole, Dustin and Scarlet (who is coming in today). They were still in Meridian, and had a few hrs more of driving. They plan on camping. Every so often I think about doing that, but considering the possibility of bad weather and that there are no showers I usually opt for a motel. I am glad I did it was 35* last night and I personally, am not too keen on sleeping outside in cold weather. I'll be heading over to SLOSS shortly so I'll check in later to let you all know how the first day goes.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Advising and Registration


Please note that the online SOAR class schedules for many art courses are incorrect. Please make sure that you check back later in the week to confirm times and dates for classes, or better yet talk to the instructor.

Ms. Torres has her fall schedule for ART 351 and upper-level sculpture listed on her door, as well as the summer schedule for ceramics and sculpture.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Power- power will be cut off from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM on Monday March 16.
Heat and Air- will be off all week in the newer (west) side of the building.
Water- will be turned off late on Mrch 21 and will be off for most of Sunday, March 22.

A few images from our most recent crit.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Ken Was Right!

The campus will experience a power outage for the ENTIRE campus from 9 - 11a.m., Monday, March 16 in order for Mississippi Power Company to performinspection/repairs in the USM substation. All departments need to check andshut down appropriate equipment before Monday morning.

Show Opp

Outdoor Sculpture Show

Monroe, LA- The University of Louisiana at Monroe, (ULM) School of Visual and Performing Arts, announces a call for entries for public display of outdoor sculpture. All Work will be on display for one year from date of installation beginning in April-May 2009. A honorarium of up to $1000 is available for qualified artists to assist in covering all cost associated with delivery, set up and take down of work...

More info at www.ulm.edu/art/sculpturegarden/


Congratulations to everyone who got into the student Show!!! Now move your stuff into the museum and clear out the 3D building.

Bases for shows- Don't forget to get with James Davis to help with building, painting bases.

Advisement- is the week after Spring Break, March 23- 27. Sign up with your advisor now or check with the art office about who your advisor is. Ms. Torres will be seeing folks on the 23- 26, she'll be out of town on the 27th.

Images from yesterday, work here is from part one of the upper level crit and from all the student show entries. The Sculpture Area kicks a$$!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Facilities Have Nothing To Do With It

I often hear folks complain about our facilities. Heck even I do sometimes. But it is important to remember that sometimes facilities have nothing to do with it. This photo is of an Afghan potter in the town of Herat. The photo is by journalist and photographer Fraidoon Pooya. Herat has been a hotbed of activity during the war, but in the past had been known for it's artists and cultural treasures.

I love this image mainly because of the impact of its parts; the two huge lugs of raw clay waiting to be thrown, the horrible working conditions, poor lighting, it almost looks like he is working in a cave. Yet in the center of it all is the man working on his pots, a graceful large bowl, spins from his hands. And you know from everything else in the picture that the still has a ton of work to do. He probably doesn't even have much of a choice as he must do this to feed his family. So when ever you feel like complaining, remember this image and be grateful that you can work on your pottery in such a pleasant space without you or your family's lives depending on it.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Recent News

Most Important
2009 Annual Student Show Guidelines!!! Check it out and read carefully! Selection of works is only a week away and we want the 3D area to kick a$$. We usually do anyway, he he.

About the Construction
Well folks, it is what it is. We have lost some and gained some. There will be a great deal of activity on our East side for some time to come, especially so in the next month as a new utility trench is dug right out side the kiln area. We have been assured that when all is said and done that we will get back some of our side yard. Please try and stay away from any construction fences when they go up.

THANKS to everyone who helped out in moving their stuff and ours, it made the effort easier for all of us. Mr. Baggett really, really worked hard for us when it came time to grill the 'higher ups' on what was going on and why we were not notified, and when you have a chance, stop by the Art Office and say thanks, I know he would appreciate it.

Summer Classes
YES. Jen Torres (me) is teaching classes over the summer, specifically the first summer session, which is in the month of June. Right now we have it set up to do Ceramics in the AM and Sculpture in the afternoons. This means you can take 2 classes, one in each area. NOTE: we are doing this in hopes of filling both sections, however, if we do not get 12 - 15 students in each section then it will be combined into one afternoon section and you will have to choose one or the other. So, think about it hard, and get folks motivated to work over the summer!!!