Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Art of Hatch Show Print Posters

If you get a chance to catch the The Marty Stuart Show, which airs Saturdays at 7 p.m. CT on RFD-TV you’ll get to see some classic Hatch Show Print letterpress posters as part of the set design. The Marty Stuart Show is produced in Nashville, Tennessee.

As the show opens, announcer Eddie Stubbs stands in front of a WSM Grand Ole Opry poster. The montage of photographs shown above is from the TV show and from a YouTube video that shows Jim Sherradan printing a color variation of the same poster that’s used as the background for Mr. Stubbs.

Many people seem to appreciate the look and feel of letterpress printing — especially the letters, images, and throwback appearance of music and art posters produced by Hatch Show Print of Nashville. Letterpress is old-style printing with press pressure that impresses type and images into the paper. In the last several years Jim Sherradan and his team at Hatch Show Print have received acclaim through AIGA presentations along with a traveling exhibition showcasing their work. Sherradan interestingly refers to the work of Hatch Show Print as “preservation through production.”

“Advertising without posters is like fishing without worms.”
— The Hatch Brothers

Read More......

Friday, October 29, 2010

Dordt Alumni in Design: Janna Rohde (Hofmeyer)

From posters (above) to selected examples of various print work by Janna Rohde. These pieces indicate, nicely, the diversity of her portfolio.

I graduated from Dordt in 1996 (hard to believe it has been that long!) as an Art major with an emphasis in Graphic Design. In college, I began as an intern at Demco Printing in Boyden, Iowa, and I am still here 14 years later. In those 14 years the graphics field has changed considerably. It is hard to imagine Adobe Photoshop started without layers, we didn’t have the internet, and we worked on computers that were so incredibly slow.

The best part about my job is the variety of work I get to do. We have five of us that work in Pre-press, each contributing a different specialty. Mine is doing most of the design-work. Our print shop is very diverse and therefore brings in many different kinds of jobs. I get to work on anything from 800 page catalogs to wedding announcements. The fast-paced work environment makes everyday a challenge and interesting.

Some of the jobs I receive are basically ready-to-go. For these jobs the important part is making sure it is set up correctly for the press and for bindery. Everyone works together to make the jobs run smoothly. I am fortunate to work in a print shop that keeps up on the latest technology. We are continually being trained on upgrades in equipment. It is fun to look back and see how the technology has changed in many ways such as from film to direct-to-plate.

Other jobs need designing from start to finish. I have designed several posters for high school teams, many brochures for businesses, business cards, posters, postcards, catalogs, many covers, product labels, calendars, invitations — a large variety.

Some days I travel with our salesman to customers if they need consulting on jobs or are ready to start a larger project. Last year I spoke at a conference, in Sioux Falls, for the design and marketing departments of several area colleges about “sending jobs to pre-press”.

Graphic design is a very rewarding career. Customers really appreciate your work and it is personally satisfying when they are happy with their end product. Each day there is striving to do better than the last piece you designed.

Read More......

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Promising Land / Project by René Clement

René Clement is a good friend and has been a guest presenter for the AIGA Dordt College Student Group. Thus, we're giving him and his book project a “shout-out”. The photographs — all of which are shot on location in Sioux County, Iowa are make-ready and now all that’s needed is funding. You may check on his project, which is a combination of fondness, curiosity, and parody at Kickstarter.

Read More......

Monday, October 25, 2010

Quotations on creativity — E. Paul Torrance

Photograph of E. Paul Torrance is from the blog Thriving Too in a piece posted by Tessy titled “The Power of Creativity,” May 15, 2010.

“They found a large number of significant correlations between the non-aptitude traits and the measures of ideational fluency and originality. Ideational fluency appears to be related to impulsiveness, self-confidence, ascendance, greater appreciation of originality and inclination away from neuroticism. Those having higher originality scores tend to be more interested in aesthetic expression, in meditative or reflective thinking, and appear to be more tolerant of ambiguity, and to feel less need for discipline and orderliness.” —E. Paul Torrance

Read More......

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The tension between making art that depends on familiar devices and being honest to an artistic vision.

David Versluis
Spirit Lake, Iowa: Fish with Brush
Digital / Giclèe Print, Framed 31'' x 40''
2005 and printed in 2007

This piece responds allusively to tension between the technical aspects of digital images and the intention of the artist who makes them. Thinking of the fish image as metaphor was the primary goal with these digitally produced pieces. However, the inclusion of the brush image in the composition is a simile that senses the intrinsic tension between the computer as artistic medium and the tradition of the artist’s brush as the painter’s handcrafted tool.

My work is produced through digital photography, digital collage techniques, and eight-color giclée printing. Digital collage is a medium, in the structure of binary data that can shape and express highly personal artistic work.

Read More......

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Joe Sparano, graphic designer for Oxide Design Co., will be at Dordt Wednesday October 27

Good design is obvious. Great design is transparent. —Joe Sparano

The AIGA Dordt College student group is proud to present Joe Sparano a graphic designer for Oxide Design Co. of Omaha, Nebraska. Sparano, an active member of AIGA Nebraska, will be here Wednesday October 27 from 4 to 5 p.m. in the Ribbens Academic Complex room CL1223. All are invited to join us.

Joe doesn’t exactly enjoy writing about himself. Truth be told, he’s kind of embarrassed about it — because it implies that he's done something especially important with his life.

Until that happens (and he’s confident that it will), Joe is proud to have had his work recognized by Communication Arts, AIGA 365, and One Show.

Joe believes in the power of design to make the world a less convoluted, more breathable place. In fact, New York State’s voter registration form (which was designed by Joe and the rest of the Oxide team) has been printed 2.5 million times. Joe hopes (sincerely) that his work has simplified the lives of as many people.

Joe is also the inventor of The Sparano System™, an uncomplicated method for evaluating everything. You can read all about it at (In case you were wondering, he’d give the quality of writing in this bio a “Not Great”.)

Read More......

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

collage and assemblage invitational exhibition at Dordt 5

Daniel Weiss
Visitation Nighthawk, c.2001
photograph of the artwork by Doug Burg © 2010

In the past week we’ve been featuring artists who are participating in the Dordt Collage and Assemblage Invitational Exhibition (see previous four posts). The show opens today October 13 in the Campus Center Art Gallery and will be on display until November 30, 2010. In this last installment we feature Daniel Weiss of Des Moines, Iowa. Daniel’s work, in the show, is on loan from the Roy Behrens and Mary Synder Behrens collection.

Daniel Weiss contributes his work in exhibitions throughout the United States, most recently in an installation of objects and assemblages at the Des Moines Art Center. His assembled paintings have been included in the publication New American Paintings. Years of drawings, collage, cutouts and now the restoring and renovating of houses have led him to the assembled paintings displayed in the exhibition. “I am a student of a form’s surface and of the psychological natures of its layers and configurations.” Weiss has an AA degree from North Iowa Area Community College, a BA in Art Education from Iowa State University in Ames, and has recently completed an MFA in Visual Arts from Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier. He is a sculptor, a consultant and mentor at Innovative Learning Professionals in Des Moines, and teaches visual studies at Johnston Senior High School and Des Moines Area Community College in Des Moines.

Read More......

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

collage and assemblage invitational exhibition at Dordt 4

David Kamm
Stick Series
6 inches width x 25 inches height
Collage and Assemblage
photograph of the artwork by Doug Burg © 2010

We’re featuring artists who are participating in the Dordt Collage and Assemblage Invitational Exhibition (see previous three posts). The show is scheduled to open on October 13 in the Campus Center Art Gallery. In this installment we recognize David Robert Kamm from Decorah, Iowa.

David Kamm is trained as a printmaker and his work reflects aesthetic concerns such as image transfer, serial imagery, and multiple image manipulations that leave a visual record of the creative process. His “stick assemblages” are intimate pieces made from his own prints, cut into pieces, and recombined with wooden sticks to make a new artwork. Also being displayed will be selected works from a series of text-based collages entitled, Transformations. Kamm earned his MA and MFA in printmaking from the University of Iowa, and he is currently an Assistant Professor of Art and the Gallery Coordinator at Luther College. His work is included in collections such as The International Museum of Collage, Assemblage and Construction in Cuernavaca; the Vatican Collection of Modern Art; the Print Consortium of Kansas City, and the Popular Culture Library at Bowling Green State University.

Read More......

Monday, October 11, 2010

collage and assemblage invitational exhibition at Dordt 3

John Washington
Smallfinds (Number Five)
Digital Collage 2009
photograph of the artwork by Doug Burg © 2010

We’re featuring artists who are participating in the Dordt Collage and Assemblage Invitational Exhibition (see previous two posts). The show is scheduled to open on October 13 in the Campus Center Art Gallery. In this installment we recognize John Washington from the UK. A nice piece about John’s print series Smallfinds was published by Professor Roy Behrens in The Poetry of Sight, December 2009.

John Washington finds digital collage is a medium that lends itself to the creation of highly personal artistic outcomes. His series, Smallfinds, is about remembrance, memory and mortality, and was completed following the death of his father. He is a senior lecturer in graphic design at the University of Bolton, UK, where he also teaches digital media and e-learning strategies. He has a Master’s Degree in Digital Image and Media.

Read More......

Saturday, October 9, 2010

collage and assemblage invitational exhibition at Dordt 2

Mary Snyder Behrens
Judges 3
Collage 2009
photograph of the artwork by Doug Burg © 2010

We’re featuring artists who are participating in the Dordt Collage and Assemblage Invitational Exhibition (see previous post). The show is scheduled to open on October 13 in the Campus Center Art Gallery. In this installment we recognize Mary Snyder Behrens of Dysart, Iowa. Mary’s series titled Judges relies on her keen sensitivity with layered materials for impact.

Mary says her work offers many visual emblems that are metaphors of memory, both wonderful and horrible. “They are inextricably tangled up with the experiences of my waking life and become for me, the larger universal paradigm within which we all struggle to coexist.” She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in painting and drawing from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and studied at Mount Mary College (Milwaukee), and at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

Read More......

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

collage and assemblage invitational exhibition at Dordt

Roy R. Behrens
Nautilus Bridge
Digital Collage 2004
photograph of the artwork by Doug Burg © 2010

SIOUX CENTER, IA — Some art commentators have pointed to collage as the most significant development in the visual arts between the camera (nineteenth century) and the computer (twentieth century). That is the basis for a Collage and Assemblage Invitational Exhibition, to be presented at the Dordt College Campus Center Art Gallery October 13 through December 1.

The blend and cohabitation of traditional and new media techniques will be demonstrated in the work of five artists: John Washington, Preston, Lancashire, UK; Mary Snyder Behrens and Roy R. Behrens, Dysart, Iowa; David Kamm, Decorah, Iowa; and Daniel Weiss, Des Moines, Iowa.

We plan to do installment posts for each artist — today we feature Roy R. Behrens.

Roy R. Behrens has taught at art schools and universities for over 35 years, and says, “As a person who delights in teaching, I purposely make no distinction between my classroom teaching and my studio work.” In Behrens’ case, that work is an amalgamation of research, writing, exhibiting and designing. “I learn from students every day, and then use what I gain from them to inform and strengthen whatever I do.” He teaches graphic design, illustration and design history at the University of Northern Iowa, and was nominated for a National Design Award sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution. He is the author of Camoupedia: A Compendium of Research on Art, Architecture and Camouflage; False Colors: Art, Design and Modern Camouflage; and Cookbook: Gertrude Stein, William Cook and Le Corbusier.

Read More......

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Alfred Hahn, Abraham Kuyper and Common Grace

Albert Pieter Hahn (1877-1918), Self Portrait, 1915. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Dordt College has named its newest residence hall on campus the Kuyper Apartments.

In honor of Abraham Kuyper it’s interesting to see how artist Albert Hahn portrayed him when Kuyper served as prime minister of The Netherlands in the early twentieth century. Hahn was a very versatile artist, graphic designer, illustrator, political cartoonist, and satirist. Pictured above are various Kuyper caricatures by Hahn, which were published in c.1905 and ironically have become endearing symbols of Kuyper’s indomitable spirit and oratorical exuberance.

While John Calvin developed the foundation and basic concept of the doctrine of common grace, Kuyper worked to expand the idea. The following passage by Kuyper biographer Frank Vanden Berg adequately summarizes the doctrine of common grace:

“In the September 1, 1895, [De Heraut] issue he [Kuyper] began a series on Common Grace, on which he was writing in 1899, which would run to July 14, 1901, a period of nearly six years, and which would appear in three volumes from 1902 to 1905.

What is common grace? Let us describe rather than define it. ‘God’s common grace must be sharply distinguished from His saving grace, inasmuch as it is of an essentially entirely different nature. It does not save unto eternal life. God has made His common grace the portion of all individuals, mankind as a whole, and the cosmos. Even the evil and the reprobate are included. By His common grace God bridles the evil of fallen human nature, restrains the ruin which sin has produced and spread, and enables even unregenerated men to do good, the true, and the beautiful which remain, in spite of sin, in human life which has not been regenerated. It operates in the family and the State, in science and art, in education, society-at-large, in fact in every area, even in the life of men and humanity who have not been renewed by regeneration, although human nature has been corrupted by sin and although nature outside of man lies under the curse. It will endure to the end of time. In the future eternity there will be no common grace of God.’ (This explanation is taken from the Christelyke Encyclopedie, published in The Netherlands.)”
Vanden Berg, Frank. Abraham Kuyper. First ed. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1960. 206-07. Print.

Read More......