Arts & Culture / Featured / Mosaic / May 29, 2013

Spring term art shows talent, reflection

Seniors Daniel Johnson and Laura Castanos talk about their work for the senior art show “In Space and Color” Wednesday, May 29. (Jason Deschamps/TKS)

Seniors Daniel Johnson and Laura Castanos talk about their work for the senior art show “In Space and Color” Wednesday, May 29. (Jason Deschamps/TKS)

The exterior of CFA’s Round Room is covered in new art, compliments of seniors Dan Johnson and Laura Castaños’s Spring Term Art Show, a weeklong culmination of the Studio Art major.

The paintings the artists chose to display were mainly made during Open Studio, an intensive period during Winter Term devoted to one’s art and the preparation of the Spring Term Art Show. The term includes 40 hours weekly in the studio, six hours of critique weekly and faculty mentorship. The experience is based on a graduate school model.

Open Studio also provides an opportunity for artists to reflect on their work and learn more about themselves as artists.

“There was a point in Open Studio when I felt drained and pressured to make work, and I looked to the things that inspired me the most: my family, friends and frat brothers, so I started painting them … and I was more invested in my painting,” Johnson said.

At the culmination of the week-long display of art, the artists gave a joint Artist Talk, a reflection and presentation of their work.

Paintings by senior Laura Castanos hang in the CFA gallery. (Jason Deschamps/TKS)

Paintings by senior Laura Castanos hang in the CFA gallery. (Jason Deschamps/TKS)

“This is our debut as artists, because Open Studio and Artist Talk is all about the transition between student to artist and professional,” Castaños said.

At the talk, Johnson categorized his work under “Portraits and Perspective,” and talked about his transition from someone interested in graffiti and graphic design to figure painting.

“I’m now inspired by Vincent Van Gogh. I’m attracted to the way he uses color,” he said.

Castaños, meanwhile, discussed her work, “Space and Color” as a perpetual landscape painter, and a personal transition from linear paintings to more dynamic ones.

“I’ve been constantly encouraged to focus not only on the figure but what was surrounding it,” she said.

Both artists reflected on their work in detail and discussed the way they see their own area of interest.

“Landscape painting is a concentration that I’ve really chosen to pursue in depth … I’m not sure that I’d be doing landscapes for the rest of my life, but it’s a motif that gives me a chance to explore artistic principles,” Castaños said. “I come out of perceptual drawing, which is to draw from seeing and to abstract from seeing. I get to play with these ideas of space by using so many principles and color that just, through history, make space in different ways, and light, tone, color, line, all of those different things really play with the idea of expansive and reductive space.”

 “In Space and Color,” a collection of artwork by seniors Laura Castanos and Daniel Johnson, is showcased in the CFA Gallery. (Jason Deschamps/TKS)

“In Space and Color,” a collection of artwork by seniors Laura Castanos and Daniel Johnson, is showcased in the CFA Gallery. (Jason Deschamps/TKS)

Both artists expressed excitement about completing their shows and talks. Despite the completion of their major, both discussed the continuing challenge of artistry.

“I still struggle with what it means to be a landscape painter,” Castaños said. “After all, landscape painting has a lengthy and rich history which looms over me … Getting out there isn’t easy, but what in art making is?”

Kate Mishkin
Kate Mishkin is a senior majoring in English literature and minoring in journalism. She started working for TKS as a freshman and subsequently served as managing editor, co-news editor and co-mosaic editor. Kate is the recipient of four awards from the Illinois College Press Association for news and feature stories and one award from the Associated Collegiate Press. She won the Theodore Hazen Kimble Prize in 2015 and 2014 and the Ida M. Tarbell Prize in Investigate Journalism in 2014. She has interned at FILTER Magazine, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and WGIL radio and the Virginian-Pilot.

Twitter: @KateMishkin

Tags:  art art show artist talk daniel johnson figure painting ford center for fine arts graffiti graphic design in space and color landscape laura castanos open studio paint perceptual drawing portraits and perspective vincent van gogh

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Kate Mishkin
Kate Mishkin is a senior majoring in English literature and minoring in journalism. She started working for TKS as a freshman and subsequently served as managing editor, co-news editor and co-mosaic editor. Kate is the recipient of four awards from the Illinois College Press Association for news and feature stories and one award from the Associated Collegiate Press. She won the Theodore Hazen Kimble Prize in 2015 and 2014 and the Ida M. Tarbell Prize in Investigate Journalism in 2014. She has interned at FILTER Magazine, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and WGIL radio and the Virginian-Pilot. Twitter: @KateMishkin




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