Albrink and Arnold’s art of matchmaking

No one knows what a couple might be thinking in a classical painting. But we sure know what their artful counterparts are thinking in Lynn Albrink and Laura Arnold’s modern replicas for their Match.com ad campaign. It’s something like “I really like this girl. How do I get her to the altar?” Or, “He’s hot. I’m so lucky I could pinch myself.”

Jan van Eyck "The Arnolfini Portrait"
Ad based on Jan van Eyck “The Arnolfini Portrait”

“It’s about finding your perfect match to show that dating and even the experience of finding ‘the one’ can be fun,” says graphic design student Lynn Albrink.

The project grew from a Fine Art’s-related assignment: go to a museum, find an artwork you like, and create an ad.

When Albrink and Arnold saw René Magritte’s surrealist painting of raining men, they had an idea. It could be reworked to represent a single woman watching men pour out of the sky. Such easy picking! And a perfect metaphor for an abundance of eligible men one might hope to find on match.com

Ad based on Belgian surrealist painter René Magritte’s “Raining Men”
Ad based on Belgian surrealist painter René Magritte’s “Golconda”

Albrink and Arnold continued with their match.com theme for the next assignment in Professor Frank Csoka’s Foundation in Advertising Design class. “We used the same idea to create an entire campaign for match.com,” says Advertising Design student Arnold.

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Ad based on Jean Honoré Fragonard’s “Girl on the Swing”

They weren’t the only ones enjoying themselves. “It was an amazing and interesting experience working with Lynn and Laura on the ‘Girl on the Swing’ ad,” says Annie Yang who modeled for the ad. “It’s funny when I picture how I had to sit on a cooler while holding one chopstick in each hand. They even threaded a string through my black dress and pulled it back to give it the effect of movement.”

Professor Csoka oversaw the ad campaign with great enthusiasm.”There are so many works of art with couples, the thought was that this campaign could go on forever.”

Ad based on Jack Vettriano's "Singing Butler"
Ad based on Jack Vettriano’s “Singing Butler”

The complete project, with photos and details of how the project was completed, is in the 5th floor hallway between the D and E buildings.

Albrink and Arnold from  Rheine, Germany and Innsbruck, Austria respectively, met in class last semester. They are currently working on another project together and talking about starting a business after a few years of industry experience.

To see photos of the progression of the match.com campaign and other works they created together go to: lala design on Behance

 

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Reach for the sun with Professor V

Arriving at the topsy-turvy carnival spin and colors for her “Solar Spin” photograph is part of a process Prof. Vanessa Velez DeGarcia has tested for years. “The technique is called digital solarization and I do it in Adobe Lightroom,” says the photography professor whose work was in the “New Views” Art & Design faculty exhibit.

Solar Spin by Vanessa Velez DeGarcia
“Solar Spin” by Vanessa Velez DeGarcia

Solarization was popularized by surrealist photographer Man Ray. According to Practical Photoshop Magazine, Ray’s “darkroom assistant Lee Miller accidentally turned the light on while a print was in the developer. The quirky results saw a partial reversal of the tones in the image.”

Professor V, as her students call her, now applies solarization digitally. What’s better, it’s incorporated into her Digital Darkroom course, offered in the Photography Certificate program. “I usually teach it when we begin to explore the tonal curves panel in the software,” she says.

Velez DeGarcia is a native New Yorker. “Solar Spin,” taken at Coney Island’s Luna Park, is part of a series.

“Yes, I was born in New York City. My mom and I lived in Washington Heights until I was nine years old. After graduating college I moved back and now live in Brooklyn. I love New York City. I just wish my parents were here too.”

Professor V has also taught Photography Basics and Saturday portrait photography and Photoshop courses.  To see her portrait photography go to: VeesVision.com

 

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To Russia with Love

Most preoccupations FIT students have with snow and ice have to do with deciding how many layers to wear or blankets to pile on at night. But three Visual Presentation & Exhibition Design students found a way to send their support to the Olympic community. Here are three of their windows on Sochi with rainbow motifs.

Audrey Guadagnoli
Audrey Guadagnoli

A three-member Sochi window team formed in Prof. Peter-Tolin Baker’s freshmen exhibition design class. It included: Audrey Guadagnoli, Lilli Risler and Madelaine Auble.

“The assignment was to create three window designs central to a holiday pop theme,” says Prof. Baker. Each model is 15″ x 29″. “The challenge was blending a popular culture reference into a holiday winter-themed window,” he said.

“We had a hard time at first coming up with a pop culture reference,” says Audrey.

“We didn’t want to take it too literally. We also didn’t want to do anything too ‘holiday’ because everyone would be doing that,” says Lilli.

Sochi SMcopy
“Passing it on to you…Equality is in Your Hands”  Lilli Risler

One night Audrey saw a commercial for the Winter Olympics. “It’s celebrated around the world. It stood out. We talked about it in class and our teacher mentioned the gay rights controversy. It added another layer to our window theme,” says Audrey.

“It turned it into a pop culture theme,” says Lilli. “We chose MAC Cosmetics because we thought they were likely to be sympathetic toward the cause.”

“Social commentary is a big feature in effective window display,” says VPED Chair Craig Berger. “It draws you into a current story that expands into a broader commentary. The Winter Olympics is such a great current story.”

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Madelaine Auble

Prof. Berger says that this project is the first opportunity that students have in their courses to develop an individual display.

“Given the confines of the space, successful projects have to have a ‘wow’ factor,” says Berger. “Yet they also have to be executed with a great deal of craft to be seen up close. These windows achieve that.”

Audrey agrees that “Everything has to be perfect. You make mistakes every project and you get critiques and apply it to your next window.”

Says Lilli “You have to pay close attention to detail working at this size. It helped us learn to plan ahead.”

After a long day of classes, both Audrey and Lilli sneak in a recap of the Olympic games.

“Curling is my favorite,” says Audrey. “My parents love it!”

“I really like the snowboarding half pipe,” says Lilli.

The Sochi-themed windows from Prof. Peter-Tolin Baker exhibition design class are on the 4th floor of the Marvin Feldman Center, or C-building. They will remain up until early April.

photos: Peter-Tolin Baker

 

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Packaging design students hit the sweet spot!

Capturing 3rd place in Paperboard Packaging Alliance’s Design Challenge 

How can a candy bar compete these days, especially at the movies? Concession stands are a dazzle of popcorn, candy, half-gallon sodas, hot dogs, “cheez”-drenched nachos, and ice cream. Indie theaters sell fresh-baked goods, specialty coffee, beer and wine.

1But good packaging design can appeal to the palate. To that aim, PPA instructed contestants to design the packaging for a colorful candy line. A larger version was to appeal to moviegoers, and a smaller version targeted retail stores.  No easy feat when you must appeal to different ages and audiences, adhere to strict measurements and devise a way to prevent spills and include other conveniences.
2PPA_FIT_Presentation_Vegas (2)_Page_03FIT’s five-student team devised a one-handed, easy sharing, two-flavors-within-one-structure. They called it Wonka’s Tootifruitichocolicious. It’s playful and smart, with multiple uses to be discovered. After gobbling up the contents, one isn’t left with an empty carton alone.
3-PPA_FIT_Presentation_Vegas (2)_Page_09“The biggest challenge was to attract moviegoers with little predilection for sweets–the type who experience concession stand candy as a blur of Milk Duds, Sno Caps, Raisinets and Twizzlers,” Packaging Design Prof. Sandra Krasovec.

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“This year’s Challenge was indeed challenging!” says Krasovec. “The typical objectives of form and function, coupled with fun and innovation, were tough, especially while keeping sustainability in mind. Our students came out winners with a package that has shelf-appeal and second-life play value built in.”

recyclePPA_FIT_Presentation_Vegas (2)_Page_12

And when the candy runs out, there’s no lamenting an empty carton. It can be used to make chains, periscopes and creative designs. “Diverting packaging material from the waste stream is a win-win for marketers and consumers,” says Krasovec.  Or we might just see it as creating fun memories. And that it did.

 

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In Jessica Wynne’s photography class, illustration students “step back, loosen up and drop the pencils”

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.

Photo by Enrique Page

(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.”

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Holly Jo’s Staged Reality

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.

Currently on exhibit “Staged Reality,” by Holly Jo Schnaudigel

“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.

“Long Distance” self-portrait by Holly Jo Schnaudigel

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.”

“Stocking Stuffers” by Holly Jo Schnaudigel
 “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.”

“Damsel in Undress” self-portrait by Holly Jo Schnaudigel
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.”

“Simply Marvelous” self-portrait by Holly Jo Schnaudigel
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.

“Boudoir” by Holly Jo Schnaudigel

 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

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Holiday Bizarre: VPED pop-up nets $15K for cancer funding

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 Holiday Bizarre received full-page coverage the New York Daily News.

VPED students conceived & designed a pop-up shop to help raise cancer funds

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!”

Photo: Rachel Ellner

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A visit to Angel Falls in poetry and landscapes

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.

Maia Nero’s “Angel Falls”

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. 

Maia Nero’s “Tropical Jungle”
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.”
Maia Nero’s “Memories Caress Canaima”

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.”

Maia Nero’s “Caressing Dreams”

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.

Maia Nero’s “Cliffside” 

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.” 

Maia Nero’s “Mother’s Wings”

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.”

 

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The sign of great jewelry

When Cole Lopez  lifts 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.

Cole Lopez’s astrological cuff with a labradorite crystal

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.”

Cole Lopez’s pyramid cuff

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.

Cole Lopez’s astrological bangle

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.”

Cole Lopez astrological cuff fitted to the cosmos

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.”

 

Photos by Jonathan Jary

 

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Blue plate special

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.

The MGM kitty roars

“A lot of people are doing pets or portraits,” said club member Carly Fitzsimons. We got asked for a goat. A goat O.K.”

“Did you hear about the Blue Plate Special?”

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.

Alison Schmadtke, Brett Sutherland, Carly Fitzsimons

“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.”

Fine Arts Chair Stephanie DeManuelle imagining winning the sushi plate.

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.

 

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