Tag Archives: Merced

Tech: Cyborg Artist

Neil Harbisson is a cyborg.

Here, dressed in C-major, he talks about how using adaptive technology opened up his world, and allowed him to explore new paths of artistic expression.

As we approach the 1-year mark of our exploration of new technology for artmaking, research, and interacting with amazing people, communities,  and resources, via the world wide web, this TED talk seemed super-appropriate.

Becoming a cyborg is so totally human.

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Monday Funday

In The Studio

What better way to cruise into a new week than working on projects in the studio.  Yesterday was Monday– a studio day, when the EC artists are working on personal visual and performing arts projects.

Studio 1:

Studio 2:

Studio 2 is pretty big, making room for Jose Miguel Castaneda to work on his literary-turned-theatrical project with his leading lady Maria Chavez and Jim... while EC artists Sue Thao, Oscar Onsurez, and Ivan Hernandez work on music projects with Lulu

Studio 2 is pretty big, making room for Jose Miguel Castaneda to work on his literary-turned-theatrical project with his leading lady Maria Chavez and Jim… while EC artists Sue Thao, Oscar Onsurez, and Ivan Hernandez work on music projects with Lulu

 

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Yadira’s Dance Project

In The Studio:  Yadira Prado

EC artist Yadira Prado has been with the Enrichment Center for over ten years.  She loves music she can dance to, and has been working on this dance project performed to Shakira’s song Ojos Asi for several months.  With the help of her backup dancers, EC artists Marlen Hernandez and Jose Salgado, and the EC’s Music History/Performance Teacher Lulu Gamez, Yadira put the dance on video.

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The Right Way

Ask ten artists, trained or untrained, for input on a particular medium or technique, and you’ll get ten different suggestions about the right way.  The ways may differ slightly or drastically.  The artists may be hardcore insistent, defensively indignant, or “whatevs” ambivalent about their way.  Get those ten artists together, and they’ll discuss and debate for an hour (which is great).

At the EC, this happened most recently while five of my staff asked me for input as they discussed the right way to apply an acrylic wash.  My response was derived from a video I found after a similar conversation about the right way a few years ago.

I was surprised to discover that we each had a different way. Discussion among the six of us revealed that some use water to thin the acrylic. Others use a medium.  Some apply the wash very thin.  Others apply it rather opaquely.  Some use a tone which matches the overall color temperature of the palette being used. Others use a contrasting tone.  One prefers a gray.  Some cannot abide brush strokes, and others tolerate or even like them.  … and…  Some don’t use a wash at all.

The truth is that there is no right way.  None of these artists is so oblivious that they set themselves up for failure every time they paint.  Each of these artists is using a way that works for them.  Yes, yes, yes. It is possible that there may be more efficient, productive ways—ways they may not care for or know about.  But right now, their way is the right way for them.

The Internet Knows

As the director, I will eventually be expected to make a decision about the right way for the program.  How will the artists on staff mentor the EC artists?  Which way will be the right way?

Too lazy to consult the shelves of art books behind me, I turned to the internet.  (Send me answers, internet.  I need to know the right way to apply an acrylic wash.) But the internet knows that everyone has a different way, and there is no one right way.  (Hence, a million results instead of, like, five.) Fortunately, among the million, the internet sent me a video which, in addition to the video above, sort of sums up a few different ways, lending options to the EC artists (and staff) and a sense of legitimacy to my decision.

As usual, the EC’s approach is that art is not about right ways and wrong ways.  There is always a way.  Be creative.  Find the way that works for you, and get to work.

Thank you, internet.

DIRECTOR'S ESPRESSO is a bi-monthly post from Shannon-- Director and fanatic of coffee, chocolate, economics, and expression through the arts.

DIRECTOR’S ESPRESSO is a bi-monthly post from Shannon– Director and fanatic of coffee, chocolate, economics, and expression through the arts.

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In The Studio: Anna At Work

Dear friends… This is the 2nd post of this video. I had to delete the first post, because I realized that I had uploaded the wrong video to YouTube.  (What?!!) There were no titles and no sound!  After some panic, a couple of stressed out tears, some research, and backtracking, I think I got it right. I apologize for the confusion.  –Shannon

Filmed Feb 17, 2016:  EC artist Anna Reyna at work in the studio…

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February Prints

Prints and note cards being released in February.  The artworks are themed with love, romance, and relationships.

PRINTS
5″ x 7″ matted to 8″ x 10″ —  $12 each
8″ x 10″ matted to 11″ x 14″ — $20 each
Discount:  $2 off each print, when you buy more than one.

NOTE CARDS (blank inside, w/ envelopes)
5.5″ x 4.25″ — $2.50 each
Boxed sets of 8 are $12 each
February’s boxed set of 8 is called COUPLES and features 2 each of the 4 featured images by ANNE MARSH

Anne Marsh

Denise Saelee

Shirley Brizendine

Continue reading

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In (And Out Of) The Studio

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Break Time!

Every artist needs to get out of the studio from time to time.  To get out into the fresh air, stretch the legs, take a moment to reflect, or just have a snack.

The EC artists are no exception.  We are in the studio 5 hours a day, 5 days a week, 12 months of the year … getting out of the studio a few times a month is a well-deserved break.

Outing days are limited to destinations within walking distance, so being downtown is great, as there are lots of interesting destinations.

One of our monthly outings is called Sweet Treat Tuesday. We venture out in search of a vendor selling sweet treats… on a Tuesday.  We have a few other outings, too.  Wired Wednesday– one Wednesday a month we go for a walk to get coffee (or cocoa or whatever).  The Downtown Lowdown outing is new for 2016. We’ll be visiting cool businesses, learning about what they do, meeting the people who work there, and reporting back in a bi-monthly blog.

Be A Good Customer… And A Smart One, Too

The EC artists are good customers and smart consumers.  We know that if 12 to 15 of us suddenly descend upon a business, it can be overwhelming… so we’re patient.  We stand in line and wait our turn.  We are friendly and polite.  We’re pretty easy to please, but if someone is not sure what they want, we will let other customers go ahead of us.

We like going to places where we can get good food, good service, and a good price.  We like going places where we feel comfortable– where the people are cool, relaxed, and Continue reading

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In The Studio: New Projects

Business As Usual

January 2016 may be a new beginning, but it’s business as usual for the EC artists.  Our first post for 2016 is the first in a monthly series called IN THE STUDIO.  Today’s post is a slideshow of snapshots of EC artists working on new projects.

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Robert Garcia is working on a poster for Disney Infinity 3.0. And this is just the sketch!

From snakes to sharks to birds of prey, Oscar Onsurez is drawn to powerful animals.  He’s starting  2016 with a new eagle portrait.  He doesn’t need a reference photo. He just needs to take off his hat!

Luiz Gomez is starting a new canvas from one of his fantastic sketches. (He’s always sketching!)  He’s got his music, Continue reading

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New Year’s Resolutions

We all have them, whether boldly stated, quietly muttered, or secretly pondered– resolutions for what we will (or will not) do or accomplish in the New Year.  Resolutions are easy to make, but not so easy to keep.  Still, recognizing that a change is desired or necessary, and being open to that change, is a great start.

Thoughts from the EC artists

Be reasonable

The two big resolutions are “I’m going to lose weight,” and “I’m going to quit smoking”.  Both of these are really hard to keep, because they rely on you changing habits and combating addictions.  Being really hard to keep doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make the resolution, but you should keep in mind what you’re dealing with.

One artist suggested that somebody might decide to stop burping.  But EC artist Sofia pointed out, “It’s gas. Just gas. Everyone gets gas.”  Hilda agreed, “Yeah. That would be like saying you’re never going to fart.”  So, rather than trying to fight your natural body functions, it may be more reasonable to say that you will be more polite when you burp—remembering to cover your mouth and say “excuse me”.

Instead of making a resolution really broad, like “I’m going to get healthy,” try to be more specific.  Maybe you want to eat healthier.  Maybe you want to get stronger, physically.  Maybe you want to feel better about yourself, emotionally.

Don’t give up

Sometimes, we quit when we have setbacks.  Everyone will slide a little bit when they’re climbing up a hill.  The steeper it is, the harder it will be, and the more you may slide back.  It’s okay.  Give yourself permission to forget about your setbacks.  Just keep climbing.

Shirley suggested "Drink more water... You could drink water instead of soda."

Shirley suggested “Drink more water… You could drink water instead of soda… I drink a lot of water, but I drink soda, too… I drink both.”

A resolution is a promise you make to yourself; not others.

Setbacks might be even more difficult to deal with if your resolution wasn’t really your goal.  Continue reading

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Digital Arts with Paul Longo

There is a slideshow of art and artists at end of post.

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You can’t see his face, but that’s Paul in the mirror, just right of center at the very tippy top of the frame, cutting off his own head as he photographs his class at work. From left to right, we also see (heads intact) Sue T, Anna R, Visual Arts Teaching Intern Ashlee Chan, Marlen H, Yesenia V, Martha R, and Oscar O.

What’s this? How do you– Ooooh, I get it. Cool!

New technology inspires apprehension in some people, but not in the EC artists.  They’re explorers.  They are used to learning and exploring new ways of artmaking.  The iPad screen is just a new surface, like paper or canvas.  A stylus is just a new tool, like a paintbrush, pencil, or pastel stick.

The Enrichment Center introduced a new Media Arts component this summer. Twice-weekly classes introduced media devices, such as Apple iPads, Apple TV, Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus (styli?), Continue reading

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