Illustration major Enrique Page tells of a special experience studying photography this semester:
“Photography is one of the most interesting classes an illustrator can take. We can relax and take a step back, loosen up, drop the pencils, and just think of how we want the subject to look.
(Although untitled, Page refers to his photograph above as “The First Self Portrait.” It was part of a class project on self-portraits.)
“Photography is all about telling a story through composition and through the details. During the semester, I focused on experimenting. Prof. Wynne showed inspiring artwork for each different assignment, which often had a strong impact in the corresponding homework assignments. She was always very kind to me, and willing to help me when I needed it. I’m very glad I was taught by someone with such a sharp eye.
“I learned a lot and I loved the class. It might have just been my favorite class this semester. I hope we can still be in contact cause she’s the most awesome professor I’ve had.”
On a day leading up to the BFA photography exhibit, Holly Jo Schnaudigel was looking over her “Staged Reality” photo printed on crêpe georgette and backed with chiffon. The cinematic portrait shows a rapt t.v. viewer wearing negligee and curlers. She’s a gal whose glamour doesn’t fade. She’s not the least bit interested in the camera. But she looks like she’d be easy to get to know, and to like. Just like Holly Jo. The piece is currently part of the “Departures” exhibit in the Feldman Center lobby on view until December 13.
“I think ‘Staged Reality’ is a visual enigma. It isn’t until you get close that you see multiple layers of the fabric. You almost have to work through them. The imagery, the look, is simple to how she creates it.” - photography professor Curtis Willocks
We chatted with Holly Jo about “Staged Reality,” her “lingerie-inspired” piece, and about the techniques and experimentation she began in her teens:
“What I experimented with in Lakeland High School Westchester, NY), I was able to do on a bigger scale at FIT,” she says.
Holly Jo began a disciplined study of darkroom techniques before coming to FIT. “There are more tangible materials when you’re in the darkroom that I wanted to extend to the digital world,” she says.
“Holly’s choice of a soft fabric print blends seamlessly with the satin fabrics in the (“Staged Reality”) photograph. You almost can’t tell which you are looking at since the subject and the print have folds and reflections that are really the same. It was a great choice of a surface that enhances the experience of the image.” -photography professor Doug Mulaire
She now uses an “arsenal of arts and crafts techniques” to combine recognizable styles from different time periods. “I take aesthetics from the 50s and 60s and add modern elements, like digital hand coloring and gluing glitter to photos and then scan them.”
“I was hands-on in the darkroom. Now I’m hands-on in choosing fabrics, which are also about touch and feel. Applying glitter, and digitally hand coloring are extensions of darkroom techniques I learned,” she says.
“Think Fast” by Holly Jo Schnaudigel
“The way I dress and present myself is reflected in my photos,” says Holly Jo. Even her manner, she says, is a lot of 50s kitschy humor and old Hollywood aesthetics.
“She’s almost a period piece,” says Willocks. “She reminds me of the 40s and 50s especially when you talk to her.”
Of another project “jump started” by images of pictures shown in a class taught by Professor Doug Mulaire. “They were drawn on, and in others a filter was used with a shape in front of the lens. I tried ‘drawing’ with glitter! The ‘comic book’ photographs were inspired by my interest in Roy Lichtenstein prints,” said Holly Jo.
“Combining her 50′s glamour photos with Roy Lichtenstein’s graphic style is great direction that Holly came up with. It gives her work another component that is full of possibilities!” – Prof. Mulaire
“I like combining story-making elements in an old Hollywood glamour style. The comic book effect is something I am trying in order to achieve this combined look.”
Double negative exposures, hand coloring, and sepia and cyan toning, were techniques that Holly Jo carried over from high school.
“I did projects that included hand coloring darkroom prints, which led to digitally hand coloring my pictures now,” she says.
“One of my finals was all in-darkroom double negatives, a method I used in Prof. Max Hilaire’s class. “My private study final project were darkroom prints painted over with glow-in-the-dark paint.” Holly Jo’s “light painting” method on pictures led to her current glitter project.
Says Photography Department Chair Ron Amato, “Some students have a proclivity toward experimentation and investigation. It could be a part of a natural investigation, or personality or environment.”
For Holly Jo, it’s all three.
The “Departures” exhibit in the Feldman Center lobby until December 13. To see more of Holly Jo Schnaudigel’s work go to Holly Jo Photo
In cooperation with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, third-year Visual Presentation and Exhibition Design students raised over $15,000 with their Holiday Bizarre pop-up shop that closed this weekend at FIT.
“This project shows how unique FIT is in the way we collaborate with industry, launching real world projects,” says Craig Berger, chair of VPED.
The theme of the Holiday Bizarre was surrealism. But nothing was surreal about the big named fashions involved.
“Brimming with chic designs from big names such as Prada, Burberry and Diane von Furstenberg, the project was 100% student-designed, from initial sketches to last-minute touches like music, shopping bags and holiday decor,” said Rheana Murray in the Daily News.
“It was beautifully done,” said Berger “It took an adventurous, non-traditionally holiday theme and skillfully executed with stunning graphics and beautiful fixtures. Congratulations to third semester VPED class!”
Maia Nero’s trip to Angel Falls in the summer of 2012 ignited a productive period of landscapes and poetry. Nero recalls the spectacular Venezuelan landscape and the works it inspired. “It was an eight-day trip through an area called Kavac. I stayed with the Pemon Indians in their villages,” says Nero, an administrative assistant in Communication Design.
Nero hiked through the jungle to the highest visitor’s point at Angel Falls. At 2,212 feet, nearly 20 times higher than Niagara Falls, Angel Falls is the world’s tallest waterfall. “There isn’t anything more spectacular than seeing the longest dropping waterfalls in the world,” she says.
As Nero entered the hiking path into the tropical jungle, sunlight burst through the trees. She captured the sight in a photo. “I worked from my photographs to maintain the integrity of what I was journeying through.”
Nero’s favorite from among her landscapes of Angel Falls is “Memories Caress Canaima.” “It’s of the second tier of Angel Falls, where the mist creates a canyon of water. If you look at it, you’ll see the water meandering between the trees.”
Hiking to a camp village, Nero saw cloud formations that inspired her “Caressing Dreams” landscape. “It was a difficult hike because the blades of grass were parched, very dry and tall — the mountains and clouds, the entire vision was so captivating you didn’t care that you were hiking in a difficult environment,” says Nero.
The painting “Cliffside” shows the Tepui Mountains. Tepui in the Pemon language means “house of the gods. ” Says Nero, “I shot that image while in a canoe heading for Angel Falls. It was incredible.”
The final painting, “Mothers Wings” represents for Nero “a light of hope.” The artist’s mother, who loved butterflies, had recently passed away. Nero “found” her mother in the jungle.
“A butterfly arrived on my wet hiking shoes and left before I found my camera. When I returned, the butterfly had disappeared. I stomped my feet and cried, ‘Please Mom, I’m here, come back!’ Within seconds the butterfly landed on my shoes, where everyone else’s belongings were drying from a canoe trip. The butterfly went inside my shoes, never touching anyone else’s belongings.”
When Cole Lopezlifts up her sleeve, she reveals a hand-forged “cuff,” which shows the astrological positions on the day she was born. “It’s a snapshot of the cosmos at that exact moment,” says the jewelry design alumna. The effect is timeless, mysterious and evocative.
“It’s a lovely use of graphic, lore and craftsmanship,” says Jewelry Design Professor Wendy Yothers.
Lopez’s cuffs are often made of brass, which, Lopez says, has an association with strength and protection. Her process includes heating, forging, smoothing, oxidizing and cooling, before being fitted for wear. Lopez incorporates largely recycled metals. “Earth preservation is absolutely paramount to me,” she says.
“What’s so wonderful, private and intimate is that it’s a person’s astrological information,” says Michael Coan, Chair of Jewelry Design. “That’s why it’s innately personal and permanent.”
In the astrological cuff above, Cole embedded a corked vial of liquid into a resin pyramid. As the wearer moves, bubbles form inside the vial.
Each cuff is made “specifically for the empowerment of it’s owner,” says Lopez. It’s a reminder “of the seat you hold in the sacred rotation of the cosmos.”
Lopez is apparently the first student to win two awards at the student jewelry show at the FIT Museum, taking second place in both costume and fine jewelry.
This astrological bangle was created by combining acrylic sheets. The magnification globe is placed over her “12th house,” which, astrologers say, governs collective consciousness and spirituality.
“Many times a piece of paper can be lost,” says Coan. “This is permanent and may be shown to astrologers around the globe for immediate consultation. They don’t have to make a new one. All the trines and vectors are immediately displayed.”
Finally, each cuff is “blessed” with flower essences and Lopez performs a ritual “with the aid of lunar energies.” It is packaged in organic herbs as a final gesture.
“It’s celebrating the uniqueness of astrology and your life — It’s like celebrating a birthright,” says Prof. Coan, “And P.S. you can ask Cole for an appropriate customized gem stone for the center of your personal natal chart cuff.”
To learn more of Ms. Lopez’s creations go to her websiste: HouseofMagickNY.com or go to: www.facebook.com/HouseofMagicNYC to read Lopez’s herbal suggestions “to use the lunar energies of each month’s new moon phase.”
Did you want your Blue Plate Special with a line of hamsters? A hockey player skating with fishes or a baseball batter swinging at birds? Kitties are popular this year. So are squirrels, bears, giraffes and chipmunks. There’s also a new play on “Waiter, there’s a fly in my soup,” or on my plate. All was served up by the Fine Art Collective in the Pomerantz lobby on Thursday. Don’t worry. There are still plates, bowls, cups and platters left.
The sale was one in a series of fundraising events to help cover costs to Art Basel, the international art show in Miami.
“A lot of people are doing pets or portraits,” said club member Carly Fitzsimons. We got asked for a goat. A goat O.K.”
All plates are recycled from Good Will or donated. The images are painted, overglazed and then fired to make them permanent and food safe. They are also dishwasher and microwave safe.
“You can email us and ask for a plate we have in inventory, a custom design, an image transfer or a painting of the image. We love to do this,” said Fitzsimons, a third year fine arts major.
“Someone is going to have us doing plates of his portrait to give out for Christmas. I thought that was a good idea,” said Fitzsimons.
Tote bags were also incredibly popular. Perfect for carrying home your dish, bowl or creamer with pin-up girl.
Or for stockings.
Art Collective is open to any student. “Our mission is to see art and make connections in the art world,” says club advisor Prof. Julia Jacquette.
“We will see art and they’ll do mini internships,” says Prof. Jacquette about Art Basel. “Our members will help some of the art galleries with booths at Art Basel.”
Even a plate of sushi was being raffled. (Edible sushi not included.)
Wait, there is a fly on my plate!
You may still purchase a piece of beautiful, usable art work, tote or raffle tickets by contacting: Carly_Fitzsimons@fitnyc.edu.
*The FIT Art Collective is a fine arts club that gives student artists from all majors opportunities to learn and experience art beyond the classroom, through student exhibitions, volunteering for arts organizations, lectures and visits to museums and galleries.
Jordan Tiberio faces a type of conundrum not unfamiliar to students who fully explore their craft: “I won a fashion shooting contest, but I’m a fine arts photographer,” says the recent winner of the Western Digital (WD) Fashion Walk. “I’m used to taking things from memories and my past and recreating them in an artistic manner. I’m more into fine arts than fashion. But the contest sounded like a cool concept,” she said.
The Fashion Walk competition took place along the High Line and was overseen and judged by WD’s “creative master,” photographer Bruce Dorn. The setup consisted of four groups, with two photographers, a fashion designer and model in each.
“It was this big FIT collaboration,” said Tiberio. “FIT makes you try everything and pushes your comfort zone. It gave me more confidence. I like staging stuff and making things up. You don’t know if you like something until you try it.”
Within a 40 minute time frame and a four block radius, participants worked on their creative concepts. “I used a lot of special affects filters on my lens. I cover my lens with scarves or crystals to create ethereal images. I picked up the techniques on my own,” said Tiberio. “We found an area wrapped in mesh material. I had [the model] crawl underneath the mesh and then stand up behind it.”
“We like to create challenges that require students to think outside their discipline,” says Associate Dean Sass Brown, who with photography professor Curtis Willocks, helped organize the competition.
“People have different approaches. I threw Jordan in there to mix things up,” said Willocks. “She used filters that people haven’t used for 10 to 15 years. She took an old process and did something different with it. She created [the image] in camera–She didn’t have to use any post production. There it was in the camera. Bang!”
Tiberio grew up in Rochester, NY, an area steeped both in photography history and in fine arts. “We went to the George Eastman (founder of Kodak) House every year in elementary school. We have the Memorial Art Gallery. My mom’s mother was an art teacher and my grandmother was a really good artist.”
“I tried to not make my work look like the High Line or the city. I used a lot of special affect filters on my lens. I just picked the techniques on my own. So that’s what I brought. It was the one that won the contest. ”
A day with Bruce Dorn, the “relentless pursuer of beauty,” and Curtis Willocks the “teacher’s teacher,” Jordan’s the winner.
Rafael Nadal, Maria Sharapova, and Billie Jean King made their reputations there, but they weren’t studying fashion design, fashion merchandising or jewelry design at the same time. FIT women, competing at the national Division 3 championship, have scored second in the nation. The tournament, held at the National Tennis Center on October 22, also awarded its first sportsmanship trophy to an FIT student.
“The fact is, you can combine intellectuality with athletics,” says proud coach and communications design instructor Lynn Cabot-Puro.
Members of the Division 3 tennis team became National All-Americans and one, “Kiki” Keerthana Sivaramakrishnan, received the National Coaches’ Sportsmanship Award, given for the first time.
“They’re a dream team. They’re good at sports, they have a passion for the game and they play to win,” said Puro, FIT’s consecutive three-time Coach of the Year.
Says Puro, “There were many exciting moments for the players — to play at the same venue that Sharapova, Federer and Nadal played on — not to mention Billie Jean King.” Of the seven players on the team, two are studying jewelry design, another fashion design, and three are fashion merchandising and marketing majors.
What about Serena Williams and her fashion line? Bet that the FIT players would win that competition too.
“By the way,” says Puro “we’re going for number one next time.”
Illustration students went loud, bold and beautiful on the FIT campus today. Students from the senior illustration workshop recreated their classwork in chalk images on the concrete canvas of FIT itself. “The art is beautiful. I am so proud of this extension of the classroom,” says Joanne Arbuckle, Dean of the School of Art and Design, who was out viewing the work.
A large-toothed bird morphing into a fish shares space with a dreamy-eyed boy beset with beaked creatures of his own.
“There is tremendous interest from the public. You can’t get through 7th Avenue. It’s so crowded with people stopping and speaking to the artists,” said Dean Arbuckle.
Prof. Dan Shefelman pondered how to amass images and video of the project that began flooding the internet. “The project is blowing up the blogosphere and I have no idea how to aggregate it all,” said Shefelman standing admid photographers and videographers filming student work.
Dispelled were notions that illustration belongs only in comic books and books for children.