Monday, April 7, 2014

Yumiko Glover: Social Commentaries on the Roles of Women

BFA Alum Yumiko Glover's art has captured international attention for the controversial topics she tackles in oil paintings.  Glover's inspiration stems from the real-life situations she witnesses.  Her oil paintings focus mostly on Japanese culture, taking real-life experiences and situations as inspiration for social commentaries.  Glover focuses on the roles of women, especially younger women in Japanese society.  In a recent article featured on Japan Cinema Glover shares some insight into her artwork and it's analysis of the hidden eroticism and sexual elements of current Japanese society.  She explains the role of young girls in her artwork and the event that sparked her inspiration for her BFA thesis and current works in a series of oil paintings titled "Moe" Elements of the Floating World.  In addition to her oil painting, Glover is a regular guest speaker at the University of Hawaii Honolulu Community College.  Students benefit from her expertise in focused courses, The Modern Society of Japan and Womenʻs Studies.  Click the link to read the full article and see more of Gloverʻs talented artwork!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Alum Spotlight: Tonia Moreno

Up-and-coming artist and BFA alum Tonia Moreno is making a name for herself in the Honolulu art community as one of the artists featured in UH Manoa's new art partnership with the Waikiki Parc hotel and Halekulani.  Moreno's current glass art featured in the museum is titled "Aura's Whisper" and "Milk and Metal."  Moreno's passion for glass art began in high school and continued during her time at UH.  In a feature article with Ka Leo, the UH school paper, Moreno was quoted saying:

"I like glass because of the many qualities it can have an the countless ways you can work with it.  It is a material unlike metal or wood or ceramic.  The intensity of the heat and fluidity of the glass in its molten state are what intrigued me."

To see Moreno's art in person, visit her exhibition at Parc Promenade Gallery/ Waikiki Parc Hotel Lobby at 2233 Helumoa Road in Waikiki.  Her artwork will be on display until May 30.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Finding Art in the 'Uncommon Goods'

UH professor of art history, Jaimey Hamilton Faris released her first book Uncommon Goods: Global Dimensions of the Readymade in October 2013.  The Offsetter sat down with Faris to chat about her book and what inspired her to research the impact of common materials in modern art.  Faris delves into the works of Marcel Duchamp to Ai Weiwei, Thomas Hirschhorn, and fellow UH professor, Gaye Chan to explore the concepts of consumerism and the impacts our "common goods" have on society.  As a resident of Hawaii, Faris talks about the importance of understanding the lack of sustainability in our way of life, relying on mostly imported goods for everyday living.  However, an interesting point made is that Hawaii is not alone in its reliance on shipments of goods.  Most products used on the mainland are shipped in from various parts of the world as well.  Click here to read the full article and get Faris' insight into the art of consumerism within modern society.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Why So Serious?

Mark Tansey Action Painting
Some of the greatest artists utilized their talents to delve into deep issues forming dark, thought provoking works.  However, equally talented artists have been able to find the lighter side to art, exploring humor through different mediums.  This semester the University of Hawaii Art Department is offering a new class, Art 400 Humor in Art and Mixed-Media Sculpture.  The title of the class focuses on sculpture but the diverse art backgrounds of the students have drawn in humor from various other forms of art.

The Offsetter recently featured an interview with Lauren Jo, the lecturer for Art 400, where they discuss how the class can study such a subjective topic within art.  Jo insists that this healthy discussion of defining "what is humor in art" has added healthy discussion to the class curriculum.  Also, understanding and exploring different types of humor within art has brought a different dimension to the class that was unexpected in the original curriculum.  The class has a blog where students can share pieces of art they find humorous and discuss with classmates.

Click here for the full interview.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Alum Spotlight: Dana Paresa

Honolulu Magazine recently featured an article on successful Hawaiian artist, and UH alum Dana Paresa.  Paresa was born and raised in Hawaii, after graduation she quickly found success in the local art scene with multiple solo gallery exhibitions and feature articles praising her work.  Despite her local success, Paresa wanted a change so she uprooted her life and moved to Portland, Oregon.  After living in Hawaii for her entire life, Paresa has connections with major art galleries and local magazines.  She wanted to find a place where her art would be critiqued solely on artistic value from someone who doesn't know her personally.  Paresa's daring move comes at the height of her local career, a daring move for an artist who has already found so much success. In James Cave's article Paresa gives an in-depth look into why she left her sunny oasis home to immerse herself in a completely different art scene.

Check out the article here to learn more about Paresa's local success and how she's doing since her big move to the mainland.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Jonathan Swanz is bringing Vibrant Matter to the Public

 Since graduating with his MFA at UH, Jonathan Swanz has taken his glass art on an impressive global stage.  He has worked in various locations across the U.S. with permanent collections in the Headly-Whittney Museum in Lexington, KY and Jewish Hospital and Hilliard Lyons in Louisville, KY.  

After graduation from UH and before taking permanent residence in Louisville, Swanz traveled throughout Europe as an apprentice for esteemed artists Philip Baldwin and Monica Guggisburg.  Since 2005 Swanz has been working independently with his own studio in Louisville while doing installments around the nation.  

The most recent installment is soon to take place in Eugene Oregon.  Lane Community College will be featuring one of Swanz latest glass sculptures titled Right of Passage as part of his Vibrant Matter: Sculptures in glass.  The installation will be open from March 31st- April 24th and will include a lecture on April 2nd and special dance performances.  Stop by Lane Community College if you're in the area and check out Jonathan Swanz incredible craftsmanship!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Lawrence Seward Sets a new Standard for Hawaiian Artists

Lecturer Lawrence Seward was recently featured at SPF Project in Kakaako for his exhibition titled The End of the Rainbow.  Seward's exhibit featured photography, sculpture, and painting to bring humor and serious issues to light in the Hawaiian community.  Liz Miller wrote a complimentary article for The Offsetter in which she said:

"Seward delivers social commentary by interweaving a labyrinth of materials and methodologies. His witty discourse between form, content, and context is both thought-provoking and unpredicted. The End of The Rainbow is an intellectually stimulating show, and it fills a void in Honolulu’s much-too-often homogeneous contemporary art scene. Can the local art market expand enough to support more challenging exhibitions like Seward’s? I certainly hope so."

Click here for the full article.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Alum Spotlight: Kayleen Roberts

Shangri La poolside view
Since spring of 2013 Kayleen Roberts received her BA in art history, gave birth to a son, and began an internship at Shangri La in preparation for applying to a graduate art conservation program.   Shangri La: Center for Islamic Arts and Cultures is a product of the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art.  Built in 1936-1938 Doris Duke worked closely with contractors and decorators to design and construct a gorgeous home overlooking the Pacific near Diamond Head.  Duke spent 60 years collecting various Islamic art.  When she passed away in 1993 she left multiple properties behind.  In 1998 the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art was established to help preserve, educate, and share Islamic culture with the local community, which included opening Doris Duke's home, Shangri La, to the public.

Conservation interns Kat Harada and Kayleen Roberts.
Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, Honolulu, Hawai’i, 2013
In her time interning at Shangri La, Roberts has been busy with multiple tasks, however her tedious work restoring a wooden mirror within the Syria room has been exceptionally demanding.  Roberts recently wrote a post detailing the intricate restoration process which was featured on the Shangri La blog.  Click here to read her post describing the process to restore an ancient Islamic artifact.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Alum Spotlight: Jeff Kurosaki

BFA alulm Jeff Kurosaki has found his place within the New York art scene. After leaving the University of Hawai'i Jeff attained his MFA at Cranbrook Academy of Art. It was at Cranbrook that Jeff met Tara Pelletier which lead to collaborations in many fronts. Their creative duo, the Friendly Falcons, has exhibited and performed at various events around New York as well as a European tour. Jeff and Tara also has a thriving artisanal business called Meow Meow Tweet (named after their bird and 2 cats), a natural apothecary. Based in Brooklyn, they support their work by producing small-batch, natural, vegan apothecary items like soaps, personal care and soy candles, all made by hand with whole ingredients.

Jeff took a minute from his busy schedule to give us a sneak peek into what he's up to now and how his time and UH helped him find his niche.  

What are you doing at the moment professionally?

I'm currently participating in the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Workspace program with Tara. Concurrently, we are preparing for the opening of our show, Urban Heat Island, at Real Art Ways in Hartford, Connecticut, as well as a group show, Art into Music, at BRIC House in Brooklyn. All the while Tara and I do our best to keep up with Meow Meow Tweet.

How has majoring in Art/Art History helped you the most?
In the studio and the business, I am constantly negotiating how best to represent an experience. My art degree enables me with the technical skills and strategies to explore processes for communicating these ephemeral ideas though object based and/or conceptual projects.

If applicable, what internships or extra-curricular activities have you pursued while in college have been the most valuable to you personally and professionally?  Why? Toward the end of my undergraduate experience, I started working as an artist assistant.  It was an amazing opportunity which influenced my perspective on becoming a professional artist in a positive and "unidealized" way. It reinforced the importance of having a good work ethic while remaining true to one's vision.

Are there any “optional” elements of the undergraduate experience that you recommend students explore? I recommend that students take advantage of all the resources the department has to offer. Some of the best dialogue and challenges I encountered came from professors and peers outside of my area of specialization, which was in sculpture. 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Sewing Seams from Korea to Hawaii

Shin Hyo-Lee. Rose and Flying Skull

   Since graduating from UH, Jeeun Kim has been having an impact on Korean art as a professor at Kyungsung University in Busan, Korea.  Kim has recently come back to UH for a brief visit to showcase her students' art at the Hawaii Quilt to Busan Quilt exhibit.  The exhibit features artwork from students in the World Textile course at the Craft Design Department at Kyungsun University.
In preparation for the show, students studied Hawaiian quilts and then applied the artwork to create quilts reflecting personal backgrounds.  As assistant professor of the textile design, Kim has set up an exhibit at the Center for Korean Studies on the UH Manoa campus.

The opening reception was February 4th but the exhibit will continue to run until February 11th in the lobby of the Korean Studies building located on Maile Way.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Janell Nakahara Uses Her Talent to Boost Hawaii's Youth

      From a young age Janell Nakahara found an interest for art and anthropology.  Since discovering her love for art in the third grade, Nakahara found a way to follow her passion to UH Manoa where she graduated with a degree in Art History.  Now Nakahara is sharing her love of art and history with Hawaii's youth through the Honolulu Museum of Art's Art to Go outreach program.

The program titled "Philosophy and Art" is a new project in conjunction with Ala Wai Elementary School.  Kids have the chance to build self confidence and explore their creativity during the 12 week course that runs after school.  In a recent interview featured on the Honolulu Museum of Art's blog Nakahara explains how art helped her emerge from her shy childhood.  Her personal experience helps drive her to spark art interest in Hawaii's youth.  Click here for the full interview about Nakahara and the positive impact she is having on our community!