Do you regularly find yourself coveting the paintings, sculptures, and jewels found in the city’s many art galleries? If you answered “yes” then you should get down to the Corcoran Gallery of Art this weekend for the Corcoran College of Art + Design’s annual art sale, Off the Walls. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, the North Atrium will be filled with students, faculty, and staff selling their works of art. Read more →
By: Caroline Space, Contemporary Art Curatorial Intern at Corcoran Gallery of Art and Student at the Corcoran College of Art + Design
Skating in a museum? It didn’t seem possible. I first learned of Mia Feuer’s current NOW at the Corcoran show An Unkindness from an e-mail sent by my advisor, calling for interns to work with Mia over the summer. Mia needed help making her sculptures. My initial I thought was, “I’m definitely not a craftsman,” but I was drawn to her work and realized that this could lead to more opportunities. I was still curious about how skating in a museum was going to happen and didn’t realize that the answers would come in part from me. Read more →
By Sophia Hume (MA Interior Design student at the Corcoran College of Art + Design)
Just in time for holiday shopping, the Corcoran has launched an online pop-up shop with gifts for everyone on your list. I checked it out (just opened yesterday!) and already know my go to spot for holiday shopping this year. Here are some favorites: Read more →
The Corcoran opened its doors on Saturday, November 2nd for its annual Community Day extravaganza. Throughout the afternoon, visitors toured the galleries, attended artists’ talks, and tried their hands at printmaking and pottery, making bowls for So Others Might Eat. One of the many highlights of the day was a pop-up biergarten in the atrium with tastings from the wonderful Goose Island brewery. Read more →
Corcoran Uncorked relaunches on Wednesday, November 20 with Eye On Design, a themed evening of tours, creative art making activities, games and tastings at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. In anticipation of the event, we chatted with Corcoran College of Art + Design alum Katie Macyshyn, who will be leading Fashion Illustration Workshops all night in the Corcoran’s atrium. Inspired by everything from Nylon Magazine to Andy Warhol, Katie’s own work is as vibrant and electric as her influences might suggest.
How did you become interested/get into the field of fashion illustration?
When I first started really developing a personal style in high school I was obsessed with Nylon Magazine. Growing up in a town where most of the teens wear Hollister made it important for me to stand out. I loved, and still love, looking at magazines and then going to thrift stores to try and recreate styles using cheap vintage clothes. Fashion illustration may seem like a dying art as more magazines opt for the commercial look of airbrushed models to show off clothes, but they always had great illustrations in Nylon magazine. There’s a section where readers’ fan postcards are featured and many of them were these beautiful fashion collages. These DIY postcards still influence my work and how I view fashion illustration.
What are some of the most important fundamentals for learning fashion illustration?
I think the most important thing when starting any art venture is confidence. Just the act of starting can sometimes be the biggest hurdle in terms of art-making. To get their feet wet, I’d like the fashion illustration participants to focus on gesture, and that means quick confident lines. In terms of drawing the figure it’s all about the angles. I like to think about the angle of the shoulders in relation to the angle of the hip, then just fill in the blanks. I’d like people to keep in mind that an illustration is not an accurate anatomical representation (The typical fashion illustration figure is 2 1/2 heads taller than an anatomically correct drawing.) Once you’ve moved on to the clothes just continue with the gestural lines and have fun with it. A thick straight line may signify a woolen pleat while a thin squiggly line the fluff of tulle. Accuracy is not nearly as important as suggestion.
What are you hoping participants in the Uncorked program walk away with?
I’d love for the participants to walk away inspired to make something! D.C. fashion can seem a little jaded when so many people have to put on a suit and sensible shoes for work. If just a few people felt compelled to try their hand at crafting some fashionable clothes and accessories after seeing the Cosmo Couture show it would make D.C.’s fashion a little less stuffy and who doesn’t want that?
Anything else you want to mention?
There are so many great fashion illustrators who’ve really paved the way such as Antonio Lopez, Tony Viramonte, and David Downton. Their work encapsulates some of the standard rules of fashion illustration such as gestural lines and controlled color. Nowadays, the field is so diverse that CGI and alternative photography processes make for interesting fashion illustrations. The possibilities are endless. Personally, I am a huge Andy Warhol fan. He began his career as a commercial illustrator which often included clothing and accessories. His early illustrations are adorable and seem to offer a snapshot of a sentimental side of Warhol that would be played down later in his career, something I find really interesting.
To participate in Katie’s workshop, register for Uncorked: Eye On Design now! Corcoran Members get in FREE, and Uncorked is open to the public for $12.
We took time to speak to someone with very little of it to spare: Brian Sentman, Chief Preparator at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. Along with Mia Feuer–the artist behind An Unkindness–and a team of curators, the registrar, and contractors, Brian was chiefly responsible for getting the show’s massive artwork into place. While a painting gets hung on the wall with wire and a mount, there are no instructions for ascending seven trees, steel mesh, aluminum and hundreds of feathers two and a half stories high into the rotunda of a 125 year-old historic building. Check out the short answer up above or the longer talk with Brian below:
You’re a preparator. What’s a preparator?
A museum technician, installer, museum specialist, art handler or preparator are all names for the same job. A person who’s tasked with planning and executing installations of various types of art. This includes finding out what infrastructure the show demands, designing the how-to’s of implementation, and then carrying out the installation of the show. It requires knowledge of different types of artwork, building materials, manufacturing, rigging, and physics. Engineering comes into play, so I’ll make a plan, then get a contractor to sign off on how I see the installation happening–calculating weight, designing an armature grid to hold the work (in this case), then seeing actual weights.
Art is different than installing other types of things, a blue glove (nitrile fabric) or white glove (cotton, which we formerly used) situation in which the environment is more controlled. Handling and installing art-work without damaging it or endangering it in anyway is critical. We work closely with the museum registrars and curators to ensure art is handled in a safe manner.
What are you installing in this timelapse?
The total rigging plus the artwork: a total weight of maybe 600-700 pounds. Mia Feuer’s work is being held by a hanging grid made of aluminum adapted from a previous design by Steve Brown (former Senior Director of Operations). I worked with three contractors to reinforce the back brace of the grid which was initially designed to go into the skylight and disappear when it wasn’t being used. We salvaged the core grid from the 70% that remained of the initial design, then calculated what additional parts we would need to add in order for the grid to hold the significantly more weighty Feuer work.
After a 3D model was made using Sketchup, the grid was then fabricated on-site in the rotunda and raised into the cupola of the rotunda ( the attic space between the skylight and room). This process took two complete days. After the rig was secured 28 feet off the ground with aviation cable, we set up two sets of scaffolding, a lift, and two ladders to place Feuer’s work on the grid. The trees were 30 to 50 pounds with steel armatures, chicken wire and roofing paper. A lanyard pulley carried a cable attached to each tree secured with a carabiner. A man in the lift would assist up top in the hanging grid. It got tricky when one tree would have to be hung above another tree. There were a total of seven trees, it was very complex.
After the trees, we placed the foam girders, parts of a large oil rig and tank structure, and then completed the loose appearance with tie-wire. Through the entire process, Mia would direct from below, adjusting everything through us. The feathers came last–there were a lot, maybe three-hundred. Then the piping came in. There was a point when we had piping going in on the left and feathers on the right. It was a big collaboration between teams— but we did it, and it looks great.
NOW at the Corcoran – Mia Feuer: An Unkindness is on exhibit through February 23, 2014.
With so much photography going on in DC right now, it can be quite difficult deciding what to see! So here are our picks. Be sure to catch FotoWeekDC before it closes this Sunday, plus here are a few other exhibitions around the DC area that feature the talent of our very own Corcoran College of Art + Design Photography department.
Chandi Kelley, BFA Photo 2004- Her first solo show Unnatural Stories on view at Hillyer Art Space (November 1-27, 2013).
Dawn Whitmore, BFA Photo 2005- Barrow, Alaska: A Portrait is currently on exhibit at the Cafritz Foundation Arts Center – Montgomery College (CLOSING SOON! September 20- November 8, 2013).
John Edmonds, BFA Photo 2012- One of the discovered artists in Uncover/Discover at the National Geographic/FotoWeekDC exhibition (November 1-10, 2013).
Aline Shkurovich, BFA Photo 2002- Curated Urban Perspectives for the now annual FotoWeekDC Iberoamerican Cultural Attachés showcase of Iberoamerican photography, at the Former Residence of the Ambassador of Spain (November 1-24, 2013).
Margaret Adams, Gabriela Bulisova, Muriel Hasbun, Corcoran faculty- InterVivos, a Gallery 31 exhibition at the Corcoran College of Art + Design (October 20- November 17, 2013).
And while unfortunately this show has already closed, one final shout out to:
Mia Feuer: An Unkindness- Essay excerpt by Sarah Newman, Curator of Contemporary Art
Hanging directly above Feuer’s Rink is a sculpture entitled An Unkindness, a massive black and grey tangle of what appears to be tree trunks, metal bars, and bird wings. Made of tar paper, foam, feathers, and paint, the sculpture—and the exhibition as a whole—takes its name from a gathering of ravens. The birds are a central element in the work, and figure prominently in the story of the massive transformation of the Canadian ecosystem witnessed by Feuer during her trips to the tar sands in 2011 and 2012. Read more →
Fall is dealing her full deck of colors, and with that comes frosty breath, the season’s first shivers, winds of change, and shorter days. Cravings for warm & hearty comfort foods begin to influence menu choices just as cozy sweaters and wool socks make their way back to our drawers.
October marks the beginning of the chestnut harvest which reaches its peak in December. My husband, a professional chef, knows that fall is on for sure when he gets his annual phone call from John Harry & Dianne Pitfick of Cornucopia Farms in Purcellville telling him that the chestnuts are ready to go. He usually buys a few hundred pounds throughout the season. All of them will be blanched, hand split and peeled and then used in everything, from soups to pastas and desserts. Read more →
One of the best things about having a space like the Corcoran is the opportunity to bring together area artists, art-lovers, and culture seekers. This Saturday, November 2, the Corcoran will do just that with its annual Community Day art fair.
This FREE celebration of art and creativity invites community members to engage with the best of what the Corcoran has to offer, with a variety of activities and events throughout the day: Read more →