The halls are once again filled with energy, campus is reawakened with bustling students, and spring semester has officially begun. But as we open up new textbooks and enter another exciting season of events and activities, let's not forget that it is still a time for the arts.
Why? We asked a few of our students to share their take. Here's what they had to say:
Each fall, the Western Michigan University College of Fine Arts recognizes four alumni who have put their stamp on their field. 2017 Frostic School of Art Distinguished Alumna Mary Brodbeck has done just that. Mary's artwork, which employs traditional Japanese woodblock printmaking methods to transfer ink to paper, has received critical acclaim in both Japan and the United States. With a portfolio of celebrated work, a series of prints housed in the Detroit Institute of Arts' permanent collection, and an extensive career of teaching, visual storytelling and printmaking, Mary continues to share her art and expertise with the world. Today, Mary's sharing even more with us.
Read Mary's essay below to learn about not only the time-honored art of woodblock printing, but also about the turning points in Mary's career and the traits that allowed her to succeed.
Next weekend, Audiotree Music Festival will return to Arcadia Creek Festival Place, once again bringing "music and community together" in downtown Kalamazoo. But this year, the artists on stage aren't the only ones sharing their talent with audiences; the work of Gwen Frostic School of Art students will also be on display for concertgoers to enjoy.
The College of Fine Arts is beginning the 2017-18 academic year with a simple message: Now is a time for the arts.
The arts have long been a vital part of the human experience. Whether watching the Kabuki of Japan or classic ballet of France, taking in works showcased at MoMA, or absorbing the distinctive sounds of jazz, the act of engaging with the arts provides us an opportunity to examine our lived experiences and encourages us to be more creative, more observant and more aware.
He is often a newcomer's first point of contact with the Gwen Frostic School of Art as they tour the facilities and register for their first semester of classes. He's also a key resource for graduating seniors as they check off their degree requirements and transition into the "real world." From start to finsh, academic advisor Nick Gauthier is invaluable in a Frostic School of Art student's journey.
Learn more about Nick - including the best part of his job and his love of theatre - in his responses below.
For the past month, together with 10 other students and 1 professor, I have traveled to 4 countries, 6 cities, 7 hotels and hostels, and 17 art galleries and museums, and I have walked more miles than I can count. This group is made up of some of the hardest working and generally wonderful people. This trip is called Book Arts in Europe because it's focused on the art of book-making. We have visited different studios in Switzerland, Italy, and now in Amsterdam. Being able to experience and work in these studios was inspiring, and being in these countries and different cities was even more so. After traveling for a month, here is some advice I have for new travelers:
Industrial design is about building products and systems. But even more so, industrial design is about people. After all, this discipline is rooted in understanding the way people live and interact with their surroundings in order to create solutions that improve and enhance the human experience.
Given design's emphasis on people, we decided to explore the field by focusing on people too.
For sophomore BFA student Sidney Anderson, no two days are alike. While some days he's up on a scissor lift carefully lighting a new exhibition at the Richmond Center for Visual Arts, other days he's tucked away in his studio space in Kohrman Hall finishing up a project. But no matter the time or day, you can always find Sidney creating.
Artist, professor emeritus, Western Michigan University photography pioneer and long-time supporter, Jack Carney is truly a living legend. We sat down with him to hear his story and learn more about his role in the creation of WMU’s photography program.
Fifty years ago right now, Carney was in his second semester of teaching at Western Michigan University. Just a twenty-five-year-old “hot shot kid full of energy,” he was brought in as a member of WMU’s largest hire class, a group tasked with widening the curricular offerings at an institution known only at the time as a college for teachers.
“We newbies were given the charge by the president and provost to create a university,” Carney remembered. “The students needed more major alternatives than education.”
Carney and his peers in the Department of Art eagerly took the reins in fulfilling this lofty assignment. But no one at the time could ever have imagined just how much Carney would actually contribute. In fact, his work would ultimately earn him the moniker “founding father” of Western’s photography program.