Showing posts from 2011

Discussion of excellence in the arts.

This blog post is a repost from the Herron School of Art FB page. I found this discussion of excellence in the arts interesting and thought provoking. I also found that it helped me to read it at least twice! I haven't been able to react to the comments yet.
What are your thoughts about the subject?

My "Start with Art"

What is the germ of a life in the arts? Lots of us love art, love making art, love owning original art, but really very few of us decide that we will choose art-making for our career. Everyone who does has a unique story. Exposure to making art that I can remember started in grade school. Every Friday, we had an art lesson taught by Mr. Wilcox, a small, antiseptic man of about 45, with an Errol Flynn-like moustache, who lived with his mother in a house with a big wrap-around porch catty-cornered from the Catholic Church. He also had a small, antiseptic voice. Mr. Wilcox would come bursting into our classroom, tape the example of the art that we would all make to the blackboard and begin passing out materials. I always loved the class in spite of the big obstacles I had to overcome. First, my last name was Zollman, so I sat in the last seat in the last row of the class of about 30 kids. Second, I was near-sighted, but nobody had discovered that yet, and I certainly did not kno…

From my sketchbook: Cambodian atrocities

I have been catching some of the news of the Khmer Rouge tribunal taking place now in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Last winter, we visited a museum there commemorating the atrocities carried out in the 1970's by the Pol Pot regime. Nearly 1/4 of the population was wiped out. The museum is a somber place with signs throughout the building that say "No Laughing". Schoolchildren are forbidden to laugh or run on the grounds when they visit.
From the museum, our guide took us to the nearby "killing fields". He described what we would see and gave us the history, but refrained from entering the area, as it is still too upsetting after all these years.

Stutz Holiday Show time again

A busy week getting ready for the Annual Stutz Artists Holiday Show. Bigger and better! More fun, more art, more music, more art, more food, more art. Come down.
The Stutz, 212 W. 10th Street, 2nd floor, Indianapolis (enter from 10th Street on Bearcat Alley)
Various shapes, sizes, price points for all of your shopping (you do shop for yourself, too, don't you?) This year, a few items will be on display in the big room on 2D Hall, and, we can take guests to our studios for a little tour of the art that didn't fit into the big room allotted space!
It's a Mini-Stutz Show! See you there.

Painting My Mother

“I Have Loved Every Decade”Painting byJulia Zollman Wickes2011
I feel pretty lucky to be a painter. I feel lucky to follow in the footsteps of artists Alice Neel and David Hockney, who painted their friends and family members.
For the second year, I am an exhibitor in the StutzARTspace Gallery’s October show, “Women of a Certain Age”. This year, with the show’s theme being “The Skin We’re In”, I decided to respond to that theme by painting a portrait of the woman who has shown me, by example, how to be very comfortable “in the skin that I am in”--my mother, Maxine Zollman.
I like painting because it is a pretty slow process for me. First I have to get the concept in my head. Then I have to loosely plan the work. Often this involves sketches--of the subject, of the composition ideas, and after talking with my subject, a story begins to form. Painting my mother provided me the opportunity to do all of the preliminaries and to think a lot about her as I attempted to bring my imag…

9/11-An Artistic Response, the next step

After spending a few days looking at pastel squares hanging all around my Senior Studio, I noticed that I had a few empty bottles in a box in a corner. I decided to just paint those. It wouldn't take much effort or thinking and I would be painting again. As I did these paintings in a box, I realized that I was forming a landscape for them to sit in and that the bottles themselves had taken on a figurative look. It even struck me later that I was giving viewers a glimpse of a scene and that there was more in there than we were seeing. Each painting was taking me up to 3 hours to complete even though there wasn't really much to the image itself. Making decisions was almost impossible. Colors? Which bottles? Where to place them? Why did this need to be so difficult? In the end, just doing these paintings helped me get my energy to create things back again. There is a feeling of isolation there. I called the series "Beyond the Edge".

9/11-An Artistic Response, continued

A few days after 9/11, I returned to classes and my senior studio at Herron School of Art. I spent most of the day sitting around or walking around looking at what others were working on. I felt empty and unable to paint as it all seemed irrelevant. Finally, I got started and painted 20 squares of 20x20 inch papers--one each day for 20 days. I tacked them up all over the walls of my studio and called them the "Hotel Paintings". (???) I am not sure whether I had nothing to say or too much to say.

9/11-An artistic response

On the morning of September 11, 2001, I was just getting to my studio space in the senior painting room at Herron School of Art in Indianapolis, Indiana, when I received a phone call from my husband. He said he had just had a call from our daughter, Katie, who lived and worked in Manhattan. She said that a plane had just hit one of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center and that she was ok. Katie's office was 14 blocks from the WTC. At that point, we had heard nothing about this incident. I called her immediately and her words to me were, "Mom, Mom, go home. Turn on the TV. Mom, this is big. Mom, people are running through the streets." There was a TV in someone's studio so we all gathered around and were unable to leave the spot. The teacher came by and told us to turn off the TV and get back to work. (I always wondered if she realized what she did that morning--but who could have known....) Students started leaving and I headed to the bookstore downs…

Cairo on My Mind

There is no doubt where my thoughts are today and where the thoughts of much of the world are today. Cairo. How could you miss what is happening there? Life changing for Egyptians. Life changing for the middle east, no doubt. This painting came from my sketchbook. As we drove through Cairo, I made drawings of all of the mosque domes I could. Such interesting designs and no two alike.
This painting, "Cairo Rooftops" was entered in the annual IDADA (Indianapolis Downtown Artists' and Dealers' Association) show. It was featured in the Indianapolis Star, our local newspaper. It won first place in the show and also was purchased at the show. High quality archival prints are still available.

Danza #4: Singin' in the Rain

This painting, "Singin' in the Rain" has been finished for a few months, but my interest in the the Haitian misfortunes continues. Will Hatians ever get a break! The music, Danza #4, by LaMothe, continues to provide the inspiration for my reactions to the regularly-unfolding dramas that plague everyday life on the island. This painting talks about the mudslides that are expected on the stripped-bare mountains. Not a result of the earthquake, but just something to compound the difficulties for people who have been left homeless by the earthquake. The series, except for the first painting, is on display in my studio at The Stutz-B-335. High quality prints are available for all the works, as well.

Food for Thought-Eating Sushi

One painting had to speak for me at the Food for Thought show in November 2010. The exhibit was held in the StutzARTSpace Gallery in the Stutz Building and a venue for the annual Sprit and Place program. The show centered around artists who use sketchbooks and who would be willing to display their sketchbooks. For some artists this proved to be a too personal territory. The focus of my sketchbook was "Food as Memoir", a subject that I frequently return to in my work. So many memories of so many people in my life center around food! Grandmothers, the old great-aunts, my mother, the children--great stories about all of them and they have stories about me, too! But this piece was different. The subject is still painful. This painting is a tribute to my friend, Lynn, who died suddenly this past year. Lynn was of Japanese heritage and our friendship had grown for over 25 years. We both loved food, exchanged recipes and were crazy about sushi!! Lynn was my sushi-eating…