I came up with my lede
Like clay, we are molded by our culture and fired by passion to become lustrous members of a community.
Michael Jacobs, who has a bachelors in psychology and masters in anthropology, defines culture as “the sum total of all learned knowledge and behavior that is passed on from generation to generation in a given society. That includes everything except for those hard-wired instincts and processes that are part of our genetic makeup, such as, the way our brains process visual or auditory images, the way we smile, and other human universals.” Cultures of specific communities are all unique in their own ways, whether it be technology, cuisine, economy, religion, politics, clothing, music, art, and more. This essay explores the way public art impacts the community, both locally and widespread.
(more of my draft will come when I get the responses from my interviews)
I realized that my interviews weren’t set up successfully to make a strong article. I backtracked and refocused my questions to find new artists to interview, both sculpture and mural.
The first is Tony Matelli, a sculpture artist in New York and MIAD grad, explores art and the community in his own way. His work often involves food on classical greek and roman sculpture form, and extremely lifelike sleepwalkers. I have reached out to Tony for my additional interview and am waiting on his response to the following:
1. Can you talk specifically about the reason for creating a few of the series you do and their meaning? Does the placement of the sculptures play into the meaning?2. How is your work received by the public?
3. Is there a certain reaction you hope to see in people as they visually process your art?
4. Who/what inspires you?
5. What is your favorite medium to work with?
6. Can you describe two or three important projects that you have completed? Why were they significant?
7. How do you think art shapes a community?
8. how do you believe putting your art into the world has shaped communities within art?
9. How do you think art can connect people?
10. Do you create for yourself, for an audience, or for people with a background in art?
I rethought my questions on the Couto brothers, but ultimately decided it wasn’t as good of a choice to use their responses, because their work is not featured in the city anymore, which I did not know while doing prior research. However, I will still be recording their responses to the following to include for added perspective in my article:
Additionally, Emma Daisy Gertel, who did the Westown in Bloom mural is a good source for an interview because the mural was created specifically for that location and I know it positively affected a lot of people, as I was at the ribbon cutting.
Questions for Emma:
I wanted to focus on art that strays a little bit farther away from Milwaukee as well as something more recent. I found the 500 Main Murals in Lacrosse were finished just this September. There were 8 artists working on the collaboration and in my personal opinion I like the murals there better than Black Cat Alley.
One news website that reported on it lists contact info from the coordinator, so I have reached out to her to get names of the artists so that I can ask them what their experience was like, how the public have reacted, why they chose to make the work they made, how the pieces work in conjunction to each other and the surrounding area, and how they feel culture shapes a community specifically talking about art. The published photography of the murals in nothing special and it is hard to see, so I am hoping to go drive to Lacrosse and source the photos myself.
I wanted to focus on murals that were not too deep in meaning, as well as murals I was drawn to, because I think it will allow for the artists to talk more about their inspirations, and focus on the main question about the culture of the art community with local communities. The more digging I do, the more potential for a strong article I see coming along.
How does culture shape a community? Michael Jacobs, who has a bachelors in psychology and masters in anthropology, defines culture as “meaning the sum total of all learned knowledge and behavior that is passed on from generation to generation in a given society. That includes everything except for those hard-wired instincts and processes that are part of our genetic makeup, such as, the way our brains process visual or auditory images, the way we smile, and other human universals.” Cultures of specific communities are all unique in their own ways, whether it be technology, cuisine, economy, religion, politics, clothing, music, art, and more. Through my writing I will be exploring the way physical art shapes a community, through artist both local and distant.
The first artist I settled on for an interview is a traveling duo who resided in Milwaukee for 2 years and created the "Milwaukee Monster Mural" near the third ward that many Milwaukeeans are familiar with. The mural on 1st St. and Pittsburgh Ave near Colectivo is influenced by indigenous masks from around the world, not specifically referencing any particular culture. Open for interpretation from person to person, the primary intent of the piece is to flood viewers with positive emotions. Done by the Couto brothers, their portfolio of work is based on pattern play and cultural references that spark joy in the eyes of the viewers. Although they are not local to Milwaukee, their work resides there permanently and affects the people who pass it everyday. I have reached out to the brothers via instagram for an interview either skype or written, and am waiting to hear back. I am going to ask them how they think art shapes a community, how they believe putting their art into the world shapes communities, art that inspires them, and how art can connect people.
Since the last post, I've done more ruminating on my topic and decided that I'd stick with the topic of looking at the way artistic culture shapes a community, but change my focus. I want to instead explore the way it shapes a community, through events like Sculpture Milwaukee and murals. Through this development, I realized it would be beneficial for my piece to include an interview with an individual who had created a highly visible public work in Milwaukee. My street art class met with Mauricio Ramirez when he talked about his work. In addition, Emma Daisy created the Westown in Bloom mural on Wisconsin Ave, and I got to photograph her at the opening for the Shepherd. I could potentially connect with her via instagram, so I'm starting to form leads. Other ideas might include the way the addition of the Black Holocaust Museum has shaped our community.
The discussion with Todd helped me ideate the way I want to go about my project. I like to always have a plan or roadmap and stick to that, but his suggestions on following our own gut for inspiration and research to lead you down paths, and to keep exploring ideas and topics within that realm until they lead you to the next area of investigation were a helpful way to suggest a new approach to my plan.
For my ideation process, I think I want to talk most about where fashion and art intermix. Some topics I want to explore are self representation through style; specifically how one’s outward appearance dictates other’s perspectives of them
This isn’t only focusing on looks, it focuses on everything that a person puts out into the world to be seen by the public. It can be their website, their paintings, their hair, tattoos, accessories, and how they all work together to inform the public about the individual.
I will delve into the way artistic culture shapes a community, because that will be the driving force for my article to relate to the series and to the description we have come up with - https://www.quora.com/How-does-culture-shape-a-community- is a good jumping off point.
I’m not completely sure who to interview for this piece but I think that after starting to find solid research it will come to me.
Becca Kacanda, MKE
Has a portfolio of physical work with high quality pictures of grottos that she creates all over the midwest. The pictures in scroll over states list the title, dimensions, and the media used, which is good for viewers because they might be curious. She also has links to social media prevalent at bottom of every screen, encouraging site visitors to follow her facebook and instagram for more fine art and updates. One smart thing she has listed on her site is a whole page containing her cv listed with qualifications. The about page for Becca is pretty vague so I feel like by looking at the cv it is easier to find out information about her. She has a link to her blog listed with posts every few months about her current works along with some interviews. Overall the site is pretty basic and a little impersonal but it has touches of character to it with font choice and color.
Neil Stevens, UK
Neil Stevens website is eye catching. There is a bright graphic as the landing page, and if you scroll down the landing page becomes a portfolio. He has rollover states on his small square images that give the subject. Once visitors click on one of the squares he has details about the project and the client he worked with as well as a wide variety of pictures. He seems very established in the way he presents his work. The descriptions don’t come off as braggy but he explains why he made the design decisions he did. The bottom of his site has a back to top feature that is really handy for how long you have to scroll when viewing all his work. His socials are at the top, making it easy to find. His socials are unusual tho, with Twitter, Behance, instagram, and Tumblr listed. His about page doesn’t include a photo and has a big long list of the companies he’s worked with. With such a vibrant site, I feel like he could include their logos or at least put the companies in a list form so they're easier to read. One thing I like about his site is the link to the print shop within it where you can buy his event posters.
notes on Milwaukee news sites
Principles for Interpreting Art
Dog·mat·ic- adj. inclined to lay down principles as incontrovertibly true.
Interpreting- telling what you think it means
Judging- telling how good you think it is
theorizing- telling what counts as art
Analyzing- telling formal characteristics about the art
Coherence-does it make sense in itself and apart from the work?
Correspondence- does it interpretation match with what is being seen?
Inclusiveness-does it account for what is in the work and the environment that the work is in?
I'm taking this class because I write best when talking about something that interests me and connects to my personal life. I also love research and delving into topics i'm passionate about. I'm not sure what I want to focus on and have my essay be about, but I think I want to talk about either creative outlets or something on design. I need some clarification on specifics for this assignment but from what I understood it sounded like we could write about anything? Before I stress myself out, its probably best not to overthink it and just pick something i'm interested in.
Anna- student writer