How has your perspective about art changed throughout the process of organizing your own exhibition?
My perspective of art has changed drastically throughout the process of organizing my own exhibition. I've realized that it is not only about making art but also about sharing my ideas with others. I will admit that while getting ready for a show it is hard to keep your mind solely focused on your art because there are so many other things to do such as publicizing the show and ordering food. After the show however, I realized that those little things are not important. What is important is that I was given the chance to open up and show the public my art. I was able to share my ideas and techniques with others.

What would you do differently if you had the opportunity to do it over?
 If I was given the opportunity to do my show over again I would not have done it the week after spring break.. or any break for that matter. The week after a break is always a transition week to get back to your normal routine. I felt like because of this I was extremely pressed for time mostly in trying to inform everyone about the show. I also would have made sure that the people before my show took down their show and painted the walls back to white sooner than the week of my show. That definitely did not help my stress level.

If you had unlimited time and resources, what else would you have done to complete your show?
If given unlimited time and resources I would have painted all of my gallery walls black and I would have painted on my artist statement. Sammi Weiss painted on her artist statement for her show and I loved that idea but just did not have the time to make it happen. I also would have used different lighting that was dimmer because I feel like that would have gone well with my wax pieces.

What was the value of this experience for you?
I definitely think this was a valuable experience for me and I learned a lot through this process. I was the art 4 kid who didn't even know I was going to go on to art 5 and then I was the art 5 kid that didn't even want to have an art show. Now looking back I cannot believe that I thought that. I have loved art 5 and I loved doing a senior show. My advice for anyone even considering doing a show to DO IT. It was an amazing experience, especially because I did my show with two of my best friends!

How could this process be enhanced for future Art 5 students?
Make it a requirement for the people who did a show to clean up after themselves before the next show. It is common courtesy and helps out the next people a lot. I also think that this blog Honestly everything else about the show and process went smoothly and I do not think anything drastic should be changed.

What do you wish you knew before your show now that you've gone through the process?
I wish I would have known not to do it right after a break. I feel like I wouldn't have been as stressed out and pressed for time had I chose a different date. I also wish I knew how long it would take and how painful it would be to paint my name that high on the wall would be. I'm scared of heights so the ladder was no fun and it took forever! I definitely should have found a different way (used paper cutouts like Nicole Fryling) to get my name on the wall. I also wish I would have tried not to stress out so much over it and to come to the realization that it is possible to get everything done. I definitely can admit that my mean side came out because I was so stressed and thought it was impossible at times. I wanted to kill Guyer at one point but I honestly would not have been able to do it without his support. He is a great teacher and motivator. He convinced me to have a show and told me it was going to be a success and it was so I am very thankful for that. 

What is the best advice you can give those who will have shows in the future?
To all future students having a show: ADVERTISEMENT IS KEY. Do everything you can! Make creative posters and go on the announcements! People like matching names with faces so do what we did and actually make an appearance on the morning announcements. Also, thing of a risky and creative name for your show! Ours was sexwax and trust met that got people interested. It also never hurts to advertise free food and pick a show date when there is already an event going on. The bigger crowd the better!

Kelsie Plusch

Senior Year Work

Process: These two pieces were made with more of a similar process to the ones I made over the summer. However, with these pieces I painted the background color pink and blue. That way the colors I wanted would be more prominent and match well with the candle wax I was using. 

Materials: poplar wood, masonite, paint, candle wax, sex wax

Feedback: Everyone definitely liked the fact that I used an actual color for the background paint instead of just using black or white. They felt it was more interesting to look at and said I should continue to do more color schemes.

Next Project: My next plan is to build a structure similar to these and use the same poplar wood but instead of the masonite I'm going to use plexi glass. This will be a trial run and it will be interesting to see whether or not wax will stick to plexi glass but the main purpose of having a clear front is so that I can attempt to install some sort light behind it so that the light will shine through, hopefully it will turn out as planned. 

Process: This was my first piece I did this school year so I decided to try something different. In this piece I used beeswax as well as sex wax and candle wax. I also changed the way I painted the box before adding the wax. This time I did not put any paint on the sides of the box and on the front of the box I put white paint on top of the masonite and then scratched some of it off. After that I put a layer of beeswax over the entire box and then continued to use my regular process of melting the candle wax and sex wax on the box with a torch.

Materials: poplar wood, masonite, acrylic paint, beeswax, sex wax, and candle wax 

Feedback: I got mixed feedback with this piece. The beeswax actually masked the smell of the regular candles so this piece doesn't smell like the others do. However, this piece was different from the others because of how prominent the beeswax is and the way parts of it allow the background of the paint to show through and make a figure.

Next Project: My plan is to continue with the technique I used when I made my summer pieces and not use the beeswax. Although it was good to use a different media and see how it works I do not like the way it smells so I would rather just use candle wax and sex wax. 

Summer Work

        Wax on wood
         11 ½ in x 11 ½ in
     Summer 2012

        Wax on wood
        11 ½ in x 11 ½ in
       Summer 2012

Artist’s Statement

A New Definition to Art

My process is one of combining paint and wax; sight and smell. Why should art be limited to one sense? The use of candle wax allows me to explore the sense of smell, which in turn adds more character to my work. I am constantly melting and rearranging the wax in order to give me the desired result. The pieces I make are never permanent, just as nothing in life is ever permanent. They are pieces I can continue and reflect back on as I continue with my life; forever changing as I further my exploration through different senses. 

Art 45
Summer Work Self-Evaluation

This year’s summer work and last year’s summer work could not have been more different. Last year I had no plan whatsoever and didn’t care much about it at all. This year I had come up with an idea before the summer had even started. I also had my objects made before summer because I knew exactly what I wanted them to look like, I just knew that I would not be able to make them on my own. I also knew that I wanted each one to have a specific color scheme I just hadn’t figured out exactly what colors I would use. With all of that being said, this summer work was definitely idea-driven and it really gave me a chance to practice my technique on a different type of surface.

I spent  a lot  more  time  on this project than I have on previous projects.  I found it  to  be  very challenging  to work on an  object with five  sides instead of  just working with one side. I  had to   be really careful  when working on each side so that I wouldn’t mess up the other sides in the  process. I did not do each piece in one sitting, I worked on all three at the same time for a little under six weeks.  However, I do not think that they are complete. I haven’t figured out how I would display them yet and the one picked to hang in the show could use some  finishing touches.

The  most difficult thing about this summer work was the fact that the object had five sides. Because the torch is so hot, every time I would be working on one side another side would start to  melt and I would have to try and fix it. This was definitely frustrating at times but in the end I was really pleased with the way it turned out. I liked challenging myself and I would definitely be doing that again. I think it is important to challenge yourself because otherwise you’ll never be learning something new. I also like the new idea of the object and hopefully I would be able to come up with even better new ideas for my future works.

Self Assessment
For this particular project I would give myself an A. I know that I worked harder on this project than others in the past because I was more excited about it which motivated me to work on it more. I think the idea of using an object with more than one side was creative and it ended up working well. After doing this summer work I have learned that the more time, thought, and creativity I put into my work the more proud I am to show it off to others. I can actually say that I am proud of my summer work and in my opinion that means I must have done A level work.    

First Work

These were the first pieces with candle wax and wood that I created. These were made in the beginning of my junior year before I had mastered the technique. These have more texture because this was before I knew how to blend the wax correctly. 

Cindy Neuschwander

Cindy Neuschwander started having her works featured in magazines in the late 1980's. However these pictures are from her more successful 2011 and 2012 works. She passed away recently but her most recent works are her best works in my opinion. She is an abstract artist that creates paintings and drawings. She combines beeswax with paint to create these designs. Her process consists of drawing on a panel and then brushing wax to different areas of the panel. After she has painted over the wax, she incises it and then rubs off the paint. The last thing she does is she paints gesso on the whole thing and starts the entire process over again until she feels that it is finished. 
The reason why I found Neuschwander to be so interesting is because her process and works are very similar to mine. She creates a structure and then uses a combination of wax and paint. She likes using beeswax because of how malleable the material is and that is why I decided to try beeswax as well. I really like the way the scratched off technique looks and it inspired me to try to use that type of technique. She is a very intelligent artist and I loved reading her artist statement and looking at her work because it really helped me with my own. 

Tanya Rogish

Tanya Rogish currently lives in Richmond, VA and is a high school art teacher. She does a combination of paintings, installations, and sculptures but I believe her talent shows through in her paintings. Her paintings are a combination of paint and wax which is interesting to me because that is what I use in my pieces.