Instructor Spotlight: Sue Willis


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Willis was born in Chicago and received her MFA from The Tyler School of Art. Her work reflects her deep appreciation for animals and the natural world and the importance of biodiversity to the survival of our planet. She’s exhibited widely, and her current installation project will be exhibited at The New York Public Library this year.

 

Professor Willis Teaches:

HFA 097 55A      Basic Sculpture

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FullSizeRender (5)FullSizeRender (6)Current Project: 

Prof. Willis is currently working on an installation entitled “The Upper Worlds” for The New York Public Library, mid-Manhattan. Her concept will be installed in the giant display windows on 5th avenue and 40th street, and throughout the library’s installation space “The Corner Room”. The exhibit will consist of habitats of life-sized wildlife sculptures in porcelain and faux fur, and a few human sculptures. The installation will honor the exquisite beauty of life, and is a testimony to the people’s empowerment as a unified force to protect our world.

Teaching Philosophy:

Making art is one of the true joys of my life. I tell students to immerse themselves in the process without fear, and to experience the clay’s supple plasticity and sheer joyfulness in the process of sculpting. Self expression is one of the keynotes of my class and it’s magical to watch their expressiveness emerge. So many students tell me they didn’t realize how much they would love working with clay or how skilled they would become in modeling form! My students’ opinions are very important to me. Often I ask for their feedback on my own artwork concepts, as I feel it’s important that my work communicates to them, and our discourse teaches them how an artist thinks. I care deeply that they feel happy and fulfilled, and it’s thrilling to share one of the greatest joys of my life with my students.

Publications:
The Dodo
L’Huffington Post Italia
Oubliette Magazine
NHK Tokyo

Blogs and digital archives:
Feminist Art Base: Brooklyn Museum, Elizabeth Sackler Center for Feminist Art
Digital Archive: National 911 Memorial Museum
Artist profile; FIT Art and Design Blog: “White Wolf at Brooklyn Waterfront”

A Glimpse at a Photographer’s Final

Hey Precollegers!

 

The end of the semester is right around the corner–2 weeks left of classes, and finals are due this week! I am currently drowning in prints, negatives, and .jpeg files to organize and hand in. After class on Saturday, I rushed to the FIT Barnes and Noble to pick up a portfolio for my final before I grabbed lunch, and ran to catch my train.Today, I shot with my model for my final project, and we completed the last part of my 3 part series!

I’m freaking out currently, because I will be In Los Angeles from Wednesday to Friday night, and our final is due Saturday morning. I have very limited time to get my digitals printed. I need to narrow down to 2 photos from over 200 taken today to add to my final. My model and good friend Anna agreed to let me cover her entire face in glitter one last time (bless her). I then took a few shots in my backyard due to the silver glitter reflecting beautifully against the deep green color scheme of the budding foliage because of the recent cloudy and drizzly days. She posed on various rocks in a field of lilies of the valley, and the colors really came out breathtaking. After about 20 minutes, we drove to a town next to mine to take photos of her in public, specifically one of my favorite coffee shops. Anna posing in a public location with a face of glitter is meant to represent the face you have to put on for society, even if it is not something that you personally enjoy. In my shots, Anna did a great job of portraying a girl that is uncomfortable in her skin due to the mask that she has to hide behind in order to be deemed “beautiful”. A few odd looks and funny remarks were made regarding her appearance, but overall people were more amused than anything. A few people asked about her face, and once you tell them that it’s for art and you have a camera around your neck, people generally stop with the questions. It was actually satisfying to see some peoples’ faces brighten up when they saw a dazzling glittery girl enter the same room as them. Of course,  few toddlers were afraid on our walk, but that’s not too surprising. After posing with her cafe mocha for about a half an hour in a beautifully lit and aesthetically pleasing environment, we grabbed a quick dinner and ended my final shoot. I’m looking through my pictures right now, and I can easily say that it is going to be hard to choose just 2 to make my 5 photos-based-on-a-theme final for my Introduction to Traditional & Digital Photography    class. I’ll leave a few sneak peaks below of what I shot today, and some of my darkroom rough-draft prints from past classes. How are your guy’s final projects coming along? Let me know in the comments below!

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See you guys next week!

-Francesca

Making Friends at FIT

To be honest, making friends isn’t as hard or scary as it may sound. Saying “hello” to the person right next to you in class can lead to a blossoming friendship! Or, in my case, seeing them on the train. Whatever works for you.

This past weekend, after another class of HAD 109 Adobe Illustrator for Artists and Designers, my friends Sarah, Div, Olivia and I went to the Whitney Museum of American Art around Greenwich Village. It was truly breathtaking!

There’s always a time in your life where you have to try something new. If you go to New York, taking the Subway is inevitable. And it’s not all that bad!

Subway at 28th Street

Subway at 28th Street

Untitled Meatpacking District

A restaurant named ‘Untitled’ at the Whitney

Conveniently enough, there is a subway station on 28th street literally right on campus.

We took the 2 train downtown from 28th street to 14th street. We walked through the Village into the Meatpacking District on Gansevoort St. all the way to the western side.

Upon arrival, I noticed the super trendy-looking restaurant to my right, under the museum. The museum, named Untitled, it struck my eye and basically confirmed that this has to be an insanely cool museum.

And I was totally right! The inside of the museum was huge and wonderfully arranged. I never thought that it would be so interesting to go to a museum.

Well,first we had a brief intermission in the elevator (BTW- the elevator was painted inside and it was like we were inside a giant basket!!! Bonus points, @Whitney) for a group selfie, cause why not?

Whitney Museum Elevator

Div, Sarah, Me, and Olivia, respectively

Once we reached the seventh floor, I was totally obstructed by this painting by Georgia O’Keeffe, titled “Summer Days.”  I admire the vastness of the landscape. It was portrayed as a small desert at the bottom of the piece with storm clouds in the background, totally taken over by the deer skull in the foreground.

Georgia O'Keeffe, Summer Days

Georgia O’Keeffe, Summer Days

Another piece that caught my eye was “Variety” booth, NYC by Nan Goldin. The irony between the title and the piece was astonishing to me. What also made me fall in love was the simplicity of it as well as the ‘vintage’ vibes that it gave off being in a room full of bright pieces.

Nan Goldin, "Varitey" Booth, NYC

Nan Goldin, “Varitey” Booth, NYC

The whole mini field trip was wonderful and helped me become more aware of my surroundings in Manhattan.

If you plan on attending any precollege programs at FIT and you are a quiet, reserved person, I suggest opening up and saying “Hey” to the person next to you! New friendships do anything but hurt, and they open up possibilities that may have not been possible before. There are only two classes left that I will have to see my friends, and I can’t wait to continue exploring the city with them.

Until next time,
Joey Criscione

outFIT’s @ FIT, by Arden

Let’s face it, it’s fun to get dressed on Saturdays and go to class. Mixing and matching texture, design, and color.  A woman’s time is most valued in the morning, getting the wells of creativity turning!

This week I thought it would be fun to create an album of different outfits I wore each week.        

February 27

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In preparation for my first class, my cowgirl boots popped in my head. This gave a good elevation for my flare jeans, also adding some contrast with the pointed toe of the boot. I paired this with a Free People top tucked in and then lightly pulled out. Of course, my knee length cardigan pulled it all together.

 

 

 

 

March 5

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Today was a bad hair day, I needed something to cover up, and quick. I decided to wear my tie dye turban head wrap. Not a better way to wear it with a Ganesh graphic tee and Topshop leather jacket. I love this outfit because of it’s casual and cute feel.

 

March 19

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This week I wore a denim jumpsuit, what a great base. I wanted to demonstrate the bounce of color from the pink and brown. How do you think I did? I threw on my cowgirl boots as a finishing touch before running out the door.

April 2

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When mother nature cries, it’s the universe’s signal to wear my Calvin Klein trench. I layered this piece with a pair of printed pants and a black (material) one piece. And of course a light cashmere sweater, my savior.

 

 

 

 

 

April 9

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Over all, I love overalls. Underneath I wore a J. Crew printed top (because underneath is really what matters). If you are like me and reach for the gold, I highly recommend going to an outlet store. This silk shirt I bought at the Jersey Shore Outlet, there are plenty others but the price in comparison is a steel! Because we were in the studio this week I decided to pair my outfit with comfy Aquatalia booties that are to die for. (Very thankful I fit into my mother’s shoes!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 16

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Now I am starting to see a repetition of denim… But this week I decided to layer my denim dress with a fun beaded belt and warm grey kimono. I threw on a pair of comfortable purple flats from Target and one of  my most comfortable shoes.

 

 

 

 

 

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Shutter Speed Weekend

6:50 am: Woke up

7:00 am: Got ready

7:47 am: Got in the car

7:52 am: Officially left house after getting my two baby cousins strapped into the car and made sure we had everything.

8:11 am: Got my Tall, Caramel Frappe at Starbucks.

8:39 am: Reached Midtown Tunnel. Ugh so much traffic!

9:30 am: Class Time

I know in my previous post I had said that I was taking Jewelry Design; but sadly, a few weeks ago I got a call saying that my class was canceled. So I took another Precollege Workshop that I wanted to take, JSX 006 Basic Photography: Portraits.

I was really excited because I had previously had this teacher for JSX 007 Environmental Photography class last summer. My teacher, Ms. McCabe is extremely funny.

This class was awesome!

I already knew some things about taking photos from my Basic Photography. Things like ISO and shutter speed. Shutter Speed is the time that is taken to take a picture. One example is, when someone is running. You would want a faster shutter speed to get the action, but if someone is standing still, you would want a slower shutter speed.

ISO is how much light gets taken in. The lower the number of your ISO is, the lower your response to light is.

To learn this, my teacher made three students sit on the floor and make shapes with their iPhone flashes. Everyone turned their shutter speed to 5″ (five seconds).
After the camera took the photo you could  see what shape the phone flashes had made.

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We decided to write FIT with our camera flashes because if it wasn’t for us attending FIT we would not have learned this cool shutter speed trick.

Try doing this with your iPhone or Android cellphone.  IMG_7502Comment how your photos come out.  Here is a quick one I just did with my iPhone, I had to download the free app LongExpo Slow Shutter Speed.

Look for my future posts to learn more about me and FIT.

-Livia