Friday, September 30, 2011

Updates From the Pavement

I have had some wonderful art experiences this Summer.  I spent two weeks in an art workshop held by CSU Summer Arts on the CSU Fresno Campus, exploring my artistic voice in oil painting.  I met some amazing young artists, and had the pleasure to study under some extraordinary contemporary painters and art critics.  The lessons learned from this two week workshop are invaluable. 

After returning I participated in an art walk in Canoga Park.  It was very casual and an excellent opportunity to catch up with old artist friends I've met over the years, and make some new ones.

I've also participated in some street painting events.  One was in Palo Alto, which is such a charming area.  The artists were all dedicated and talented, and the community was very appreciative of all the art that we created on their roadways for the duration of the weekend. 
Theresa Knopf Morgan pastel on asphalt, Palo Alto 2011 - Young Italian Girl after Charles Zacharie Landelle
It was lovely to be surrounded by artists and art lovers alike.  The highlight of the festival though, was that my Uncle and cousins from the area, who had never seen me street paint in person, came for a visit.  It was so moving to me to be able to show my family this very specific art form that I am extremely passionate about.

More recently I was commissioned to do a piece at a Fine Art exhibit at Victoria Gardens Cultural Center in Rancho Cucamonga.  As Summer was coming to a close, I chose to interpret a piece that showed a summer scene that was both nostalgic and peaceful. 
Theresa Knopf Morgan pastel on concrete Rancho Cucamonga, 2011 - Two Girls at the Beach after Hermann Seeger
This particular piece was different for me as it moved beyond portraiture and had the figures in a landscape.  It also posed a challenge as there were different concrete textures that caused my pastels to adhere in two different ways.  But when you are drawing on the street, you always have to be prepared for whatever challenges come your way.

Street painting season is not over yet.  In a few weeks I'll be participating with several other artists in recreating the Sistine Chapel in Little Italy, San Diego.  And then I am off to the International Street Painting  festival in Sarasota, Florida to paint alongside some of the best street painters / madonnari / pavement artists in the world.  More updates about that soon!


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Fresno a Day 1 2 3

WiFi on campus has been pretty spotty in the dorms. And considering all the time I am working on art, attending lectures, and eating cafeteria food, I haven't had a moment of plugged in time to do a proper post. Not the best way to start out my Fresno a Day series, but it will have to do.

Day #1

A lovely hand painted banner was displayed across the dorm buildings. Despite the many frustrations of the day (see previous blog post) the staff and students at FSU are friendly and helpful. They are doing a great job!

Day #2

This day we were given three classrooms to occupy each of us was able to pick out our own space and set up shop for the duration of the program. I chose a cozy little corner near a window that looks out onto a grassy hill with trees. Then I spent the rest of the day building and prepping my canvas. It may not look like much, but this canvas was lovingly constructed, wrapped, primed, sanded, primed, and sanded again by hand. It's a long process but always worth it.

In the evening we attended a lecture by the guest artist Lisa Adams. She spoke of her work, 30+ years of experience, and how she found her voice. It was truly inspirational and incredibly informative.

Day #3
This is almost too painful to post, but it is either this or a photo of the desk I sat in for an intense 3.5 hour lecture on the Business of Art...

This is my grisaille, or underpainting. It essentially is acting as a monochromatic sketch for me to build off of. Only the paint knows how this is going to end.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Fresno a Day #1

Today was the first day at CSU Summer Arts at Fresno State. So far the program looks like it is going to be amazing. I'm very excited about everything we are to accomplish over ths 2 week period.

However, my day was not without some setbacks.

When I first arrived, I found the campus easily and check in went fairly smoothly. I was assigned a dorm key and meal pass and given extra forms to fill out for admissions. Once that was complete I met some of my classmates then headed over to the dorm to put my belongings away in the 30 minutes I had before orientation. I found my building, but for some reason my keycard would not unlock the door. I went to the office, they asked me a list of questions to make sure I wasn't an idiot then reissued me a new key. I walked back to the building same thing. I checked every access into my building, the new key didn't work either. I went back to the office and this time one of the staff came with me and tried my key. I am now 5 minutes late for orientation and I still haven't been in my room. He told me to take my key and he would check the door while I finish up orientation and the class introduction session. I thank him and run to orientation, I missed the dean's speech, but no one seemed to notice me sneak in.

After orientation and class introductions there was a student BBQ to get to k ow everyone and my professor had given us all tickets to a performance later in the evening. I was so hungry and really looking forward to all of it. I even let go of my earlier frustration regarding my dorm. That is until I got back to my dorm. My key STILL didn't work. I went to the front desk, third times a charm I finally opened my building went up a couple flights of stairs and found myself in my dorm. Not at all what I expected, but I'm trying to be zen about the whole thing.

I finally unload all of my stuff and get my room organized. Check the time. I've missed the BBQ. Bummer. At least there is still the concert.

I change out of my sweaty traveling clothes and brush out my windswept mane. I'm ready to go. Except my ticket is missing. I tore apart my room, my luggage, my purse. Nowhere. I lost the tickets somewhere on campus. Just my luck.

Tired. Hungry. Frustrated. At this point I decided to treat myself to dinner at the Cheesecake Factory the size of Home Depot that I saw on the way into town. Feeling better, I came back to my room made some tea set up my laptop and armed with the wifi access code I was given at check-in, ready to post my photo a day when I find out wifi doesn't work in my building. (I'm updating from my iPhone )

Sorry folks no photo today. I'm just going to climb up onto my crazy lofted with no guardrail and hole tomorrow is better. Pray I don't fall off my bed tonight and break my neck.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Summer Art Adventure

Being an art student, I have had opportunities to study in different environments and have new experiences to help inform my body of work. Last Summer I went to Paris for 4 weeks and studied the great Art Movements of France as well as visited museums daily and keep a sketchbook / journal of the daily events. Plus I kept you all apprised of my activities with the ever-playful “Picture a Day” posts (which I plan to continue this summer). It was a great honor and exciting adventure for me. This summer I will also be studying art in a faraway land. The exotic locale this year is Fresno.

Yes. Fresno.

It may not seem like much, this healthy sized city smack dab in the center of California, but it is home to the CSU Summer Arts program which offers intensive classes for CSU students and alumni to further their artistic studies. The program offers students one-on-one conversations with successful artists and critics about how to grow their work. There are seminars and studios for everyone to just buckle down and make art, whether that is studio art, music, theater, dance, etc. It is an opportunity to focus on your art form without the daily distractions. A rare luxury.

Fresno is beyond HOT in the summertime. Every correspondence spends at least a paragraph trying to prepare students for this heat. It is also not exactly known to be a hub of excitement, a far cry from my beloved Paris with its monuments, museums, and sidewalk caf├ęs. But there is one thing about Fresno which makes it one of the most important and exciting places for artists.

Fresno State was the home of the Feminist Art Movement and the first Feminist Art studies program. Headed in 1970 by Judy Chicago and pushing the boundaries of the art world. It is an absolute honor to be on the same campus as those brave women who boldly created a new academic program and raised questions about equity in art. Fresno State fostered an environment for women to act creatively and create works that not only were artistically challenging, but socially challenging as well. The program eventually relocated to California Institute of the Arts in 1971 where it attracted national media coverage with their project, WOMANHOUSE. This particular piece stands out as one of the most important works of contemporary art. I am thankful for the groundbreaking work of these brave ladies from Fresno State (and CalArts). Without the work they did in the 1970s there may not have been as many opportunities for me as a female artist.

So upon first glance, my Summer Art Adventure doesn't seem like much… but knowing the history and how that connects to me as an artist has just made Fresno seem a lot more exciting.


**keep an eye out for my picture-a-day posts from Fresno this summer!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Exhibition Of Art Inspired By "The Reach Of Resonance" + Screening

This Sunday, June 19th, an exhibition of artwork inspired by Steve Elkins' award winning feature documentary "The Reach Of Resonance" will open at Origami Vinyl in Los Angeles at 5pm. A screening of the film will follow at 7:30pm at the Echo Park Film Center, a short walk away. We hope you'll come celebrate with us. The art show is free and the screening is $5. Q&A with director Steve Elkins to follow the screening.

"The Reach Of Resonance" is a meditation on the meaning of music, which juxtaposes the creative paths of four musicians who use music to cultivate a deeper understanding of the world around them. Among them are Miya Masaoka, using music to interact with insects and plants; Jon Rose, utilizing a violin bow to turn fences into musical instruments in conflict zones ranging from the Australian outback to Palestine; John Luther Adams translating the geophysical phenomena of Alaska into music; and Bob Ostertag, who explores global socio-political issues through processes as diverse as transcribing a riot into a string quartet, and creating live cinema with garbage. By contrasting the creative paths of these artists, and an unexpected connection between them by the world renowned Kronos Quartet, the film explores music not as a form of entertainment, career, or even self-expression, but as a tool to develop more deeply meaningful relationships with people and the complexities of the world they live in.

Among the amazing artists contributing to this exhibition are: Brook Peterson, Pamela Bjorklund, Nadia Botello, Katie Byron, Becky Calinsky, Christopher Clother, John DeHeras, Shea Gauer, Ghostghostteeth, Kio Griffith, Mike Guzman, Mary MacQueen, Reuben Mahler, Matt Maust, Danny Miller, Theresa Knopf Morgan, Christie Yuri Noh, Charlie Visnic, and Michael Wysong.

Origami Vinyl
1816 West Sunset Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90026-3227
(213) 413-3030

Echo Park Film Center
1200 North Alvarado Street
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(213) 484-8846

R.S.V.P. here

Thursday, May 12, 2011

I Love LA(CMA)

There’s a joke: What is the difference between Los Angeles and Yogurt? Yogurt has culture.

This vast sprawling city has its faults (poor public transportation), but one thing we are not lacking in is culture. We have amazing talent oozing from every corner of our extremely diverse population. I am convinced that you can find ANYTHING in Los Angeles if you try. Our problem is not that we’re vapid and culture-less drones obsessed with fame and glory. Our problem is that we are too unwieldy to navigate.

There is one institution in particular that I would like to highlight as consistently showing that they are committed to providing Los Angeles with premier Art and Cultural experiences: Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Over the years I have watched this institution grow its campus and art collection aggressively and thoughtfully; expanding on contemporary and non-western arts to appeal to its young and diverse community. With its expanding campus and art acquisitions, people around the globe have taken notice. Earlier this year Los Angeles was given the prestigious honor of acquiring the highly coveted Robert Mapplethorpe archive as a joint ownership with The Getty (another secret weapon in the L.A. arts & culture arsenal).

Aside from the expansions, LACMA has remained committed to providing art experiences for the people of Los Angeles by providing many opportunities for free admission. That’s right, I said FREE! Here’s a rundown:

Free Admission with Membership

Members receive unlimited free general admission to the permanent galleries and non-ticketed exhibitions for two adults and for their children under 18.

**Pay attention Parents!** The NexGen program is set up so that all children who sign up are given a free membership to LACMA that lasts until they turn 18. NexGen members receive unlimited free general admission to the permanent galleries and non-ticketed exhibitions PLUS one adult guest. (This is great for families of four. Everyone gets in for free!)

Free Admission Second Tuesdays

On the second Tuesday of each month, general admission to the permanent galleries and non-ticketed exhibitions is free to all.

Free Admission for LA County Residents After 5

After 5 pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday (the museum is closed Wednesdays) general admission to the permanent galleries and non-ticketed exhibitions is free to Los Angeles County residents with proof of residency.

Free Holiday Mondays (sponsored by Target)

Target sponsors several free-admission days throughout the year at LACMA. They feature special programming and free general admission to the permanent galleries and non-ticketed exhibitions.

Whew! And if that weren’t enough, LACMA has tons of free events (music, family days, films, etc.) throughout the year. It’s always a great idea to look at the calendar and see what’s happening. They are very good about communicating via social networking and maintaining a consistent blog rich with the inner-workings of the establishment. Making the whole museum much more accessible, even if you are reading about what’s happening from my home a 30 minute freeway ride away.

I love (almost) every major art museum in L.A., but I hold a special place in my heart for this particular museum. So, thank you LACMA bringing more culture to Los Angeles than any cup of yogurt I’ve ever eaten.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Street Painting in Rancho Cucamonga & Burbank

April 16th I will be painting at the Wignall Museum of Contemporary Art in Rancho Cucamonga for Family Day at the WIG: An Earth Day Celebration!

This event is open to ALL AGES and is meant to introduce families to arts and sciences and features hands-on art activities, live musical and dance performances, public art, face painting, informational booths, free giveaways and much, much more!

April 17th you can find me at the Downtown Burbank for the Downtown Burbank Fine Arts Festival. This year marks the City of Burbank's Centennial. Expect to see some familiar faces and icons from Burbank's 100 year history.

Both events are free and open to the public. Swing on by!