Students in the courses are from a variety of majors, and the “3-D Foundations” course culminated in a suspended installation in the window gallery of the Emerick Art Studio.
“This is a great space for exposure of art to the community,” said Nansen. “The students were tasked with creating an art piece as a group, so that they could all create something individually and then come together to create the end result.”
Each member of the course created 10 non-representational papier-mâché objects that were then painted white to encourage the viewer to focus on the form of the objects. As part of the hands-on project, artistic principles including scale, repetition, and balance were explored.
The students in the course also had the opportunity to decide how to hang the papier-mâché objects from the ceiling of the display. Several options including rope and wire were considered, but the students suggested using bailing twine. The twine also added an element of color to the installation, which provided a layer of interesting contrast to the white shapes.
“Many of the students were familiar with the material, so it provided a way for them to bring their own knowledge into the work,” Nansen said.
Nansen also recently invited guest ceramic artist Chris Pickett to the University of Montana Western campus for a presentation and hands-on demonstration for students, faculty and the community.
Pickett received his BFA from the University of Tennessee and his MFA from the University of Florida. He served as a long-term Resident Fellow at the Archie Bray Foundation from 2012 to 2014, and was the Barbara Rittenberg Fellow at the Clay Art Center in Port Chester, NY from 2015-2016.
Pickett currently resides in Pocatello, Idaho, and serves as an Assistant Professor of Art at Idaho State University. He hand-sculpts the clay used in his art pieces, rather than throwing them on a potter’s wheel. His unique process, which also utilizes molding methods, results in multi-layered ceramic designs.