Thursday, December 14, 2017

Dordt College: A Gun Violence Project—Small Gallery Installation

Dordt College | Graphic Design 2 | Spring 2017
L-R: Jenna Stephens, Henry Meurs, Ellen Inggrid Dengah,
Prof. David Versluis, Kaitlyn Frye, Jonathan Fictorie,
Tessa DeJong, and Adri Van Groningen
missing: Christina “Crissy” Chahyadinata, and Sarah Dykstra

Adapting Loyola University’s artist-in-residence Rick Valicenti’s syllabus, Dordt’s graphic design students produced their own work by contextualizing gun violence in the heartland. In one component, students responded by developing “zines & banners” to generate campus community awareness/sensitivity. The project became more poignant for students when they featured Donald Trump’s infamous quote, “I could shoot somebody on Fifth Ave.…”, a statement made on Dordt's campus early in 2016. The project has generated discussion and interest, both positive and negative.

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Sunday, November 12, 2017

David Versluis—New work: Fulgurite

© David Marc Versluis
Fulgurite (vitrified silica caused by lightening striking sand or soil)
Aluminum, powder-coated
13h x 7w x 7d inches (33 x 18 x 18 cm)

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Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Dordt Hosts Art Reception on the Mathematical Art of Yeohyun Ahn, Nov. 13

Image: ©Yeohyun Ahn, all rights reserved

South Korean artist combines code, typography, and mathematics with calligraphy.

Sioux Center, Iowa: Beginning November 2, a new art exhibition will be on display in Dordt’s Campus Center Gallery. The artwork is by Yeohyun Ahn, South Korean artist and graphic designer.

Ahn is an award-winning typographer and visual designer. She is also an assistant professor of communication at Valparaiso University in Indiana. Previously, she taught at Chicago State University, the School of Art Institute of Chicago, and did freelance graphic art for the New York Times. Her artwork has been featured in the Washington Post and the New York Times, as well as in art galleries in South Korea, Japan, and the United States.

Growing up in South Korea, Ahn was first drawn to typography by learning calligraphy from her grandparents. While her parents encouraged her to study computer science, Ahn eventually decided to pursue an MFA in graphic design.

Her artwork is a representation of “cybernetic ecology”: the harmonization of the human and the machine.  Ahn uses computer coding and mathematical algorithms to create abstract representations of letters and words, which simultaneously evoke cutting-edge technology and the natural or religious. To create her works, Ahn utilizes a variety of computer software, including Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and “Processing” – a more recent program that integrates coding and artwork.

“[My pieces] convey diversified visual messages inspired by nature,” says Ahn, “addressing environmental issues such as green design, healing through art, and exploring philosophical and religious interpretations regarding life, death and love.”

Two of Ahn’s collections: “The Bible + Code” and “O Antiphones + Code” will be exhibited in the Campus Center Gallery at Dordt from November 2 until the end of December. “The Bible + Code” is inspired by Scriptural imagery, and “O Antiphones + Code” was created for the 2016 Advent Vespers booklet for the Chapel of the Resurrection at Valparaiso University.

A reception will be held at Dordt’s Campus Center Gallery on November 13, from 6:45-8:00 p.m., with a discussion at 7:00 p.m.

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Thursday, September 7, 2017

33 Contemporary Gallery, Chicago: SKETCHBOOK show

33 Contemporary Gallery, Chicago: 
The show will open on September 15 and run to October 14, 2017.
These are the artists who are participating in the SKETCHBOOK show:

Juarez Hawkins, 
Cesar Conde, 
Charlene Moy, 
Leisa Shannon Corbett, 
InJung Oh
, Sarvin Haghighi, 
Victoria Szilagyi
, Janet Glazar, 
Joanna Partyka, 
Sally Ko, 
Laleh Motlagh, 
Carrie Baxter,
Bojana Ilic-Bojitt, 
Amy Hassan, 
Gillian Kennedy Wright, 
Marilyn Walter, 
Victoria Fuller, 
Yvonne Beckway,
Sergio Gomez, 
Romana Brunnauer, 
Elisa Boughner, 
Michael Coakes, 
Anke Korioth
, Beth Lowell,
Victoria Clarke, 
Peggy Shearn, 
David Versluis, 
Lynn Garwood
, Melynda Van Zee, 
N Masani Landfair, 
Kelly Mathews.

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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Dordt College Campus Center Gallery through September 30: Dan Addington — Monumental Heart: Encaustic and Mixed Media Paintings

Dan Addington Artist statement

In the last ten years, travels in Europe and Ireland have had a profound visual effect on my work. Upon returning from that first trip through Ireland, I began a series of paintings initially inspired by feelings and imagery experienced there. These influences were coupled with my own already established love of medieval and gothic forms, historical European religious subject matter, and Irish history. At this time I also began to aggressively explore the use of alternative, often organic materials like wax, tar, wood, and fabric to achieve a more elemental and tactile connection with the work. The exploration of ideas about memory, history, and the passage of time have become an important part of this process.

My paintings often include combinations of anatomical imagery, memorial sculpture, romantic symbolism, and religious iconography. The works are created using deep supports, like boxes, that stand out from the wall and assert themselves in the viewer’s space. In many cases, the physical qualities of the work are meant to suggest the physical weightiness associated with monuments and memorial sculpture. Collaged materials, including heavy fabrics and printed matter, contribute to the initial surface of the work. After this weathered, heavily worked, abstract surface is established, it is sealed in a layer of beeswax, and the more figurative elements of the imagery are rendered in tar and varnish. The organic qualities of the wood, wax, and tar communicate a feeling of timelessness. I believe that the processes of building, weathering, eroding and layering are important to the work’s identity — it creates a history that can be traced, investigated, and experienced by the viewer. The materials and processes used emphasize the paintings as visceral objects with an evocative physical presence. Often, these materials are meant to recall and engage the physical body, and with the accompanying image, evoke a meditational response from the viewer. Through a mixed use of painterly languages, these works explore the nature of mortality, express a sense of loss, and address mankind’s desire to locate spiritual meaning.

About Dan Addington 

Dan Addington is an artist and gallery owner who has been working with wax since 1989 and exhibiting encaustic work professionally since 1992. Dan is the owner and director of Addington Gallery, located in Chicago’s historic River North art district.

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Saturday, June 17, 2017

The systematic formation of circles and the structure of the conceptual line

Alden Dow, principal architect: Midland Center for the Arts, Midland, Michigan.
The encounter of circles: Dow groups together five circles and systematically overlaps them to produce what Wucius Wong calls a super-unit form.

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Sunday, June 4, 2017

The Wall of Respect: Vestiges, Shards and the Legacy of Black Power—Chicago Cultural Center
Darryl Cowherd
Portrait of Amiri Baraka, 1967
Gelatin silver print on board
Anonymous loan, Chicago Cultural Center
below: The Wall of Respect, 1967–71.  Public Artistry at 43rd & Langley, Chicago—mural destroyed in 1971.

Roy Lewis
High Priestess of Soul Sunday Morning Visit to the Wall of Respect, 1968
Digital Print
Courtesy of Roy Lewis

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Monday, May 15, 2017

new work: David Versluis's powder-coated steel sculpture “Rungs to Rings” for Public Art Edina 2017-18

Rungs to Rings, 2017
David Versluis sculptor (Versluis is dusting and polishing the piece)
Powder-coated, welded steel, laser-cut circles
8'H x 27"W x 27"D

Artist Statement: Rungs and Rings 
This sculpture suggests a pillar or column that combines bi-dimensional planes, ornamented with a repeating circle motif. Of interest are the circular cut-outs that let observers see through the piece and frame background views, allowing the piece to interact with the location and activating a multi-dimensional experience for the viewer. 
Two thick steel plates, with laser cut-out circles, stand upright at a 90-degree angle. All the parts are welded together perpendicular to a circular base—the weld is a seamless bond that’s solid and weather tight. The sculpture produces a shadow, casting a delightful pattern within the piece and on the ground. Depending on the intensity of sunshine, the shadows can be diffused or hard-edged. 
The proposed color is a powder-coated bright red which is meant to accent the area in which the piece is displayed.
On May 11, 2017 we installed the powder-coated steel sculpture “Rungs to Rings” at 50th and France in Edina, Minnesota. The piece was selected by Public Art Edina and the City of Edina for 2017-18. I’m grateful to Michael Frey, Edina Art Center and assistance from Cory Shubert. The piece stands 10 ft. high including the pedestal and 350 lbs.

Versluis is checking the installation and touching-up the painted anchor bolts.

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Friday, May 5, 2017

Dordt College student work in printmaking—Shelby Zomermaand: “Early Morning Rehoboth”

Early Morning Rehoboth
Shelby Zomermaand
4-color linocut on Hosho paper
9 x 12 inches

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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Geometric Complexions, a group exhibition curated by Sergio Gomez: The Zhou B Art Center / Chicago, April 28 - June 9, 2017

Geometric Complexions: Curated by Sergio Gomez. Picture in the background are paintings by Enrico Magnani, Italy. In the foreground is David Versluis’s “Tectonic Tower” at the Zhou B Art Center, Chicago. All photographs courtesy of Sergio Gomez, © 2017.

David Versluis talks about his work during the Artists Talk on April 28. A public reception will be held on May 19.

Geometric Complexions: Curated by Sergio Gomez. Pictured above are works by Ruben Aguirre and David Versluis’s sculpture titled “Boundless Spirit: A Steady Flame” at the Zhou B Art Center, Chicago.

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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

David Versluis | new work: Public Art Edina, Minnesota—Sculpture Exhibit 2017–18

This piece, titled “Rungs to Rings” was selected by the Edina Art Center, city of Edina (Minneapolis metro) for the 2017–18 outdoor public sculpture exhibition. The eight foot high (325 lbs), welded, all-steel and powder-coated sculpture will be rented for a year starting in May. The piece will be placed on a twenty-inches high pedestal and elevated to a total height of almost ten feet.

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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Geometric Complexions exhibition at Zhou B Art Center, Chicago

Geometric Complexions. Curated by Sergio Gomez
April 28 – June 9, 2017
Zhou B Art Center, 1029 W 35th St., Chicago

David Versluis will be one of thirteen artists participating in the upcoming exhibition Geometric Complexions at the Zhou B Art Center. This exhibit features the wide variety of visual expressions within this artistic tradition. 

The exhibition prospectus states, “The exhibition explores the visual language of geometric abstraction in the context of contemporary art. Traced as far back as 1908 with the birth of cubism, geometric abstraction continues to evolve in studios of many contemporary artists today.”

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Sunday, April 2, 2017

New work—David Versluis: Sioux County Oratorio Poster for 2017

David Versluis, designer and photographer
12x18 inches

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Sunday, March 12, 2017

Abstract Experiments: Latin American Art on Paper after 1950—Art Institute of Chicago

Hélio Oiticica. GFR 022, 1955. Collection of Donna and Howard Stone.
All images courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago

The following is from the AIC gallery didactics:
“The Neoconcrete movement emerged in Rio de Janeiro as a reaction to the perceived rigidity of the Brazilian Concrete art movement as it was practiced in São Paulo. The Neoconcretists, among them Lygia Clark, Lygia Pape, and Hélio Oiticica rejected the commodification of the art object and embraced a poetic, participatory and multi-sensory experience. In their two-dimensional work the artists of the Neoconcrete movement replaced the strict geometry of concrete art with softened more organic forms. Moving into the three-dimensional realm, they turned spectators into participants in order to challenge to traditional relationship of the viewer to the work of art.” 

Hélio Oiticica. Metaesquema, 1958–59. Collection of Diane and Bruce Halle. In 1959 the two-dimensional geometric forms of Oiticica’s early paintings on cardboard began to transition into his Bilateral and Spatial Reliefs, which were suspended from the ceiling.

Manuel Espinoza. Celestial Theme, from 21 Estampadores de Colombia, Mexico y Venuzuela, 1972. Gift of the Container Corporation of America. This piece exemplifies the genre of Venezuelan kineticism.

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Saturday, March 11, 2017

Hélio Oiticica: a retrospective exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago—

Hélio Oiticica, (Brazilian, 1937–1980)
NC1 Small Nucleus (foreground), (NC1 Núcleo pequeno 1)
Oil on wood, mirror
photograph by versluis 2017

Hélio Oiticica: To Organize Delirium is on display at the AIC, Regenstein Hall, through May 7, 2017. In the late 1950s, Oiticica’s painterly and suspended constructions that are pulled from the gallery wall to interact/engage with the space of the viewer. The gallery label for the piece pictured above states:

Like the Bilaterals and Spatial Reliefs, Oiticica’s Nuclei are made up of forms suspended from the ceiling. Clustered together, so that viewers have to walk around to pieces to fully experience them—they represent an early exploration of architectural space for the artist. Oiticica’s aspiration to integrate the viewer into the work itself is made literal here through he reflection provided by the mirror. Oiticica’s goal was to give color an independent physical presence apart form the form on which it appeared.

From the collection of César and Claudio Oiticica, Rio de Janeiro

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Friday, March 10, 2017

Lygia Clark: “Bicho—monumento a todas as situações”—the inherent creatureliness of all things

Lygia Clark (Brazilian, 1920-1988)
Bicho—Monument to All Situations (Bicho—monumento a todas as situações), 1960
65.4 x 53.5 x 40.6 cm (25 3/4 x 21 x 16 in.)
From the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago
photographs by versluis 2017

The following information is from the AIC label:

Clark began producing bichos, Portuguese for “critters,” in 1959. The articulated aluminum sculptures are small enough to be held. Clark designed each piece to be manipulated by the viewer. The artist understood the bichos as living creatures able to move and occupy space. The variability inherent in the works in this series creates a unique experience by stimulating both physical and visual sensations, activating the object and the viewer in the process. Through their titles and shapes, certain of the bichos suggest a wider, even utopian context (as well as content), and this work bears a strongly architectural sensibility appearing in a number of its configurations like a dynamic skyscraper or winged creature.

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Silke Otto-Knapp: painting the illusion of space, but draws you back to the flatness of the canvas

Silke Otto-Knapp
Stage (after Kurt Schwitters), 2017
Watercolor on canvas
Five free standing panels, 68 x 47 inches each
Front and back photographs by versluis 2017

The Graham Foundation (Chicago) is currently showing Spaces without drama or surface is an illusion, but so is depth, which examines, as the curators state: “... the recent proliferation of collage in architectural representation in relationship to scenography and theatrical set design.”

The exhibition curated by Wonne Ickx and Ruth Estévez: LIGA, Space for Architecture, “Spaces without drama or surface is an illusion, but so is depth”. The exhibition runs to  July 01, 2017.

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John Massey, graphic designer (b. 1931): Carton de Venezuela, 1964 Calendar Posters— On display at the Art Institute of Chicago

John Massey Carton de Venezuela
photographs by versluis 2017
The following text is taken form the Art Institute of Chicago gallery didactics:

One of Chicago’s great design stories emerged from the Container Corporation of America (CCA) in the middle of the 20th century. The CCA’s founder, Walter Paepcke, was an influential patron of the arts and was integral in bringing the New Bauhaus, later folded into the Illinois Institute of Technology, to the city. At CCA he enlisted exceptionally talented graphic designers such as the Austrian Herbert Bayer and the Chicagoan John Massey, whose work for CCA is featured here.

Massey began working at CCA in 1957, and upon his appointment as head of design in 1964 he formed a research arm, the Center for Advanced Research in Design(CARD). The work of CARD extended beyond the traditional work of CCA to projects such as the Chicago Civic Poster campaign. Supported fully by Paepcke, this unusual arrangement enabled great creativity and innovation within a corporate structure. The portfolio of Massey’s work recently acquired by the Art Institute of Chicago demonstrates the designer’s ingenuity across a range of projects.

John Massey (American, born 1931)
John Massey designed this set of posters for the CCA’s subsidiary Carton de Venezuela. The set was intended as a calendar for clients, with each poster representing a different month of the year. The strong, clean lines and bold colors reflect one of Massey’s primary influences, the Swiss school of design. Each poster advertises a line of paper products sold by the company. The poster Febrero, for example, is_an abstracted view of the ends of paper set up 1in an S curve. Throughout the series, Massey favored design over corporate promotion, including only a small logo for Carton de Venezuela in the bottom left corner. These posters represent an overall approach to design by Massey and illustrate the important body of work he deve1oped while the director of CARD.

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Saturday, February 25, 2017

Press Release: David Versluis (click image for larger view)

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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Dordt College Art Collection was recently featured in SEEN Journal

The Dordt College Art Collection was recently featured in SEEN Journal, the large format, color magazine published by CIVA (Christians in the Visual Arts). The theme of the issue is “Collect” and focuses on Christian individuals and institutions that collect works of art. In one article, “Bringing Out Treasures Old and New,” the first page of text overlays a full-page photo of Professor David Versluis’s 18 foot high sculpture, “Enlaced: A Burning Bush, Psalm 19.” The article, written by John Kohan, a former associate editor and correspondent for Time magazine who now curates church art exhibitions, briefly highlights the Dordt College Art Collection and the fact that nearly all of the art in its permanent collection is on display for students, campus community, and visitors to see daily.

In 2014, Kohan came to Dordt’s campus to talk about the Sadao Watanabe Collection show he had curated and that was on display in Dordt’s gallery.

“He was impressed with our collection,” says Versluis, who is the campus art curator. When Kohan was later asked to write a piece focusing on institutional art collections for this issue of SEEN, he contacted Versluis for an interview and for photos of some of Dordt’s major works. Versluis sent them. He was pleased and surprised to see the “Enlaced” photo featured prominently. He is also pleased that others are able to see a bit of the collection that he has helped build and care for and that includes a range of significant art works by respected Christian artists.

For more about the Dordt College art collection here’s a link.

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Thursday, January 12, 2017

BRIGHT & BEAUTIFUL—Corita Kent exhibition at Dordt College

BRIGHT & BEAUTIFUL: Dordt College is currently displaying a selection of original screen prints by Corita Kent from the collection of the Corita Art Center, Los Angeles. The exhibition of 26 prints will be on display from January 6 to February 12.  In 2016 Corita Kent received the AIGA Medalist Award.

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Friday, January 6, 2017

Layered: curated by Sergio Gomez (33 Contemporay Gallery, Chicago)—David Versluis is one of the featured artists

David Versluis is recognized with this piece in the Layered international group exhibition at the 33 Contemporary Gallery, Chicago. “about to break apart”—title is from a line from a poem (see below), These Photos Now by Cynthia Nibbelink Worley. Medium: Digital Montage—Archival Pigment Print; Size: 18 x 27 inches. 2015. (gif animation indicates the Photoshop® layers used to comprise the image)

These Photos Now by Cynthia Nibbelink Worley
Looking at the photos now
They tell a different story –
The small frame house stands cold, alone
Its sagging porch, two elms I thought of once
as wondrous arms
seem weak – wasted limbs
about to break apart
My father’s work shed too, lonely – a patch
of winter’s snow
frozen on the roof
The barn, fat and warm inside I’m sure –
In these old sepia tones Phil sent upon Aunt Effie’s death, I
feel the great sadness, emptiness –
everything simple, flat, so plain
Without these pictures I idealize –
Fresh bread baking in my mother’s heavenly kitchen
The homemade Christmas tree glowing through a tiny window
Heat from a wood—burning stove –
The photos quiver with a certain reality
Wind howling through a hollow core
the heartache, precious pain
of that barren landscape
How hard we worked to make it seem more
than what it was
Cynthia (Cindy) Nibbelink Worley was born in northwestern, Iowa and is a graduate of Dordt College and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Nibbelink Worley has authored two collections, Gypsies, Animals, and Wild Wild Roses. She has made New York City home for over thirty years.

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