Friday, August 11, 2017

University of Nebraska Art Alumni reunion

You were in the same sculpture class I took under Thomas Sheffield.  Duane Grosse
Friday night at the closing reception Duane Grosse remembers me. He has a sculpture, a cylinder of carved marble on a large organic section on tree. The bottom of which is gnarly bumps and twists and the table side up orange polished wood. A lamp crowns the marble tower. It looks solid and heavy and I know immediately Grosse approaches his materials with an engineer's mind. 

I remember doing a bronze in Sheffield's sculpture class. The bronze lady bent over with her hands on her knees and her chest hanging down. I shared with Grosse how it took me more than a dozen fitted section of plaster to make that bronze come out so well. Five inches tall by five inches wide - a bald headed female. These years later I have not ground off the unwanted metal. Not knowing what exactly to do with it. It has not seen the light of day - anywhere. Nude subjects are acceptable in college, but not for elementary grade school art.

The names listed on the wall are not familiar to me. Alumni participants my age, the ones who agreed to submit one work for viewing, mill from room to room in the Eisentrager- Howard Gallery wearing name tags, their graduation from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln some thirty-seven years ago. Conversations revolve around the classes we took in 1978 and 1979. Teachers like: Thomas Sheffield, James Eisentrager, Keith Jacobshagen, Michael Nuschawg, and Gail Butt.  

(photo courtesy of Brad Krieger)

Brad Krieger was a teacher aid to Professor Gail Butt. The instructor who had him paint all the still life bottle white. Reflections on glass bottles were a distraction to the students, Krieger recalled. Later Krieger did the same thing in the art classes he taught. It helped students to focus on the forms.

Bradley W. Krieger work (double click to enlarge)

In 2002 when I drizzled glue and paint over oyster shells for a painting I loved the dispersement of pigments. (See next detail.) This is why I REALLY ENJOYED the surface treatment of Brad Krieger's painting, ABOVE. Nuanced. His patience and careful produced an exquisite variety of patterns. The rinsing off of pigment using mineral spirits. Wow.

 More on 2002 painting here 
 And HERE.

Krieger recalled hearing my father speak once on the second floor of Richards Hall in the auditorium. The art professor from Seward spoke on serendipity, he said. Listening to the story just blew me away. Thanks Brad.

Me and the person I am talking to, we have both had Keith Jacobshagen in Illustration and Design classes. Though he painted he never taught a painting class. The oddness of teachers being older people. Can I call them people? Telling us what to do. Never seeming to "have a life." Now as grownups ourselves, look at the amazing artwork these "teachers' have created out there. I told her how I loved observing the passages of color Jacobshagen used in a skyscape at the O Street Kietchel Gallery. 

One gal who had once modeled for art classes - told how the watercolor teacher was kind and gentle to the younger female students in class. But she had seen him bark at older females, telling them how to watercolor by making a scene about it. She was glad that she remained neutral.  She had no troubles in watercolor class.

Matt was a current second year undergrad. He told me about working with resin epoxy. About the dusty free room and the two filter mask he wore to keep the fumes out.

(photo courtesy of Brad Krieger)

One gal had nine small square canvases. I enjoyed the thin white veil over portions of the red. And the mark making she did that tied the sections together. I learned later her name was Cathy Patterson.

Portions writing on notebook paper created ambiance for one work. Tiny hangers with sewn garments in a doll house closet. Two dozen folded notes with bright-colored ribbons on the spine. The details of the crafter exhibit so much care and precision. The name of which I do not recall.

The seven I listened to made remarks about my painting. Calling it "plein air." Noting that it was spatial. How it was done quickly. Michael Villarreal said that the acrylic work had passages that read like oil. Matthew Sontheimer said it was well observed. Soundbites I that appreciate.
Passages read as oil.  Michael Villarreal, MFA grad student at UN-L.
It is well-observed. Matthew Sontheimer, Associate Professor of Art Painting, UN-L.
This encounter was worth driving up for. Though home for me is in Carrollton, Missouri - I have seen that those who submitted artwork - continue to find satisfaction working with materials in 2017. Many live in Lincoln and have their support communities. I am glad to be counted among all of these artists.

Alumni from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s School of Art, Art History & Design showed their work this summer in the exhibition “Nebraska Alumni Artists 1979-1982” in the Eisentrager-Howard Gallery in Richards Hall.

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