Incredible professional guests have donated their time to my Advanced Computer Studio students to discuss their work experiences and answer questions. This blog post is the final installment about the people who visited with us this semester. Read about the others HERE and HERE.
Our fifth guest visited us via Skype– Amie Oliver. (3/23/15) Amie is a painter and professor at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA, teaching painting, drawing, and mixed media. She also works as a lecturer studio practitioner for John Tyler Community College in Richmond, VA. Amie offers art workshops and private studio consultations for students and artists at every age. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Mississippi State University in 1982, and was given the 2013 Distinguished Alumni Fellowship Award, for the College of Architecture, Art & Design. She completed her Master of Fine Arts at Bowling Green State University. Amie’s work has been exhibited in hundreds of solo and group exhibitions around the world, and is in numerous corporate and private collections.
Amie’s body of painting and drawing artwork catalogs the passing of time and the subtle and profound impact of entropy and the elements of the material world. These images explore drawing and painting with permanent ink on water resistant paper, creating dreamlike shapes. Ink is her primary vehicle for her body of work as it can be opaque or transparent and stubborn in its permanence.
See her portfolio website HERE.
Our sixth guest visited us in-person– Anna Chaney. (3/30/15) Anna and I graduated from high school together, and we proceeded to have college classes together at Northeast Mississippi Community College and at Mississippi State University. While I got my degree in graphic design, Anna worked for her degree in interior design. Today she is the Lead Product Designer at Flexsteel Industries in Starkville, MS. Flexsteel’s focus is in hospitality and commercial office solutions. They collaborate with customers and their design teams in the interpretation of design products that embody quality, functionality and fashion of the business environment they represent.
In one word, Anna’s style is eclectic. Inspired by fashion, architecture, trends and her southern heritage she reflects often on the world around her for inspiration. Marrying rich textiles and mixed-media in some of her most recent designs, Anna plays upon the clean lines and overall aesthetic of each piece.
Recently, her “District” Sleep Between the Arms Sleeper Sofa won a Best of BDNY Product Design award. District is the foundational piece in her new Cityscape Collection which debuted this fall in New York.
Anna’s favorite part about her job is bringing creativity to life. “It always amazes me to see something in an instillation that just started as an idea. Seeing how people use furniture and making that connection between design and functionality has always been a rush for me.”
Anna and her husband will be welcoming their baby boy into the world soon!
Our seventh guest visited with us via Skype– Casey Amelia Parkinson. (4/1/15) Casey and I finished our Master of Fine Arts degree together at Louisiana Tech University in May 2014. She attended Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana for her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Casey currently lives in New Orleans, LA making ceramic art in her studio. It’s a dream come true for her to walk to her studio in the morning with her coffee cup in hand. Casey’s award winning artwork has been featured in national and international juried exhibitions.
Casey is talented in different realms of ceramics– functional pottery, sculptures, and installation. In her functional art she aims to achieve a well-balanced design, refined craftsmanship, and an enhanced experience of use through interaction with the piece, and is inspired by nature for her carvings. Her ceramic sculpture and installation art grows out of an exploration of inner and personal states of being as a means to better understand herself and human experience in general.
Casey welcomes the exploration of various techniques or processes with clay, such as wheel throwing, hand building, or photographic transfer. Nontraditional glaze surfaces are often achieved by combing glazes in multiple layers, sandblasting or using found materials to enhance a more thought-provoking surface. She hopes to create a shared experience, eliciting a sense of wonder, including both light and dark elements and human emotions.
Our eighth and final guest of the semester responded to our questions via email– Jaime Johnson. Jaime also graduated with her Master of Fine Arts degree with me and Casey at Louisiana Tech University last spring. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in photography at the University of Mississippi. In graduate school she became highly drawn to the cyanotype process, and has been making a name for herself with her imagery that chronicles the intimate relationship of a feral woman and her surrounding natural environment. She collects the bones, branches, and flora of her world and treads with the animals, both dead and living. The cyanotype process shifts focus from potentially colorful landscapes and figures to patterns, textures, and the relationships of forms within the images. Discovery—both psychological and physical— is present and reveals each of us, whether human or animal, is a part of a shared experience. Untamed ultimately reflects upon the forms, the impermanence, and the interconnectedness of nature’s life.
Jaime was named a finalist for the 2014 Clarence John Laughlin award and her work has been shown nationally in venues such as the Center for Fine Art Photography, The SOHO Photo Gallery in New York, The New Orleans Photo Alliance, and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. Her series Untamed recently won the Grand Prize in the Maine Media Workshops international contest Character: Portraits and Stories that Reveal the Human Condition. She Jaime’s portfolio website HERE.