ISU College of Design students recognized with Focus Grants, APEX Juried Exhibit awards

04/15/15

AMES, Iowa — Iowa State University College of Design students were honored with awards and showcased their work at the April 8 combined reception for the annual Focus Grant and APEX student juried exhibitions at the Iowa State Memorial Union.

Each year, Iowa State students in the visual, literary and performing arts are invited to apply for grants of up to $600 to support creative projects completed outside the classroom. Three College of Design students are among the eight Focus Grant recipients whose work is on display in the Memorial Union Pioneer Room through Monday, April 20.

Josianne Ishikawa's "Encaustic Prairie."

Encaustic Prairie
Integrated visual arts graduate student Josianne Ishikawa of Ames created a mixed-media installation called "Encaustic Prairie" (cyanotype, textile, encaustic). She created 28 11-inch-square encaustic paintings on wood panels as well as a video essay recorded at Ada Hayden Heritage Park and in the encaustic studio in the ISU Food Sciences Building.

The installation includes an altar composed of prairie grass and a wax bowl of prairie-plant seeds placed at the base of the wall-hung painting assembly.

Ishikawa said she wanted to show her appreciation and bring attention to the importance of Ada Hayden's work to save the prairie. The first woman to earn a doctorate from Iowa State, Hayden was an assistant professor of botany for 30 years and curator of the ISU Herbarium (now the Ada Hayden Herbarium) from 1934 until her death in 1950. She is known for her conservation work to preserve Iowa’s tallgrass prairie.

In developing her project, "I wanted to combine the symbolism of an ancient land (Iowa’s prairie) with an ancient art form (encaustic)," Ishikawa said.

"The Source of the Problem" by Kara Hoegh.

The Source of the Problem
Kara Hoegh's "The Source of the Problem" consists of two chairs, two 6-foot-by-5-foot photographs of the chairs on canvas mounted on barn board, and a collection of items like crushed beer cans.

Hoegh, a junior in graphic design from Hampton, was compelled to create the work by "the honest and vulnerable pain that people keep trapped inside them," she said.

"I hope that my project could inspire college students to talk about depression and the negative effects that can result," Hoegh said. "My work is intended to help others to self-reflect and find inner peace."

Clark Colby's "Spherical Wonders Capturing Space."

Spherical Wonders Capturing Space
For his "Spherical Wonders Capturing Space," Clark Colby, a graduate student in architecture from Urbandale, built two pinhole cameras—"Dode Cam" of ABS plastic ad "Rhombi Cam" of oak, cherry and plywood. He also built a tripod that allows the camera to shoot directly downward without the legs appearing in the photograph.

"I was trying to find a way to create 360-degree work on a 3-D object using traditional black-and-white photography techniques," Colby explained. "That required learning the basics and building a camera from scratch."

The cameras photograph onto porcelain spheres coated with a black-and-white photographic emulsion, he said. Two resulting images, "Watertower" and "Seed Storage Bins," also are part of his installation at the Memorial Union.

Anndrea Joiner won Best in Show for "Casual Racism."

APEX Juried Exhibit
Twenty-three of the 24 students whose work was accepted into the APEX show are College of Design students. The exhibition runs through May 3 in the Memorial Union Gallery.

Tim Dooley, associate professor of art at the University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, and co-founder of the printmaking shop Midwest Pressed, served as selection and awards juror for the exhibition.

In judging the artwork, Dooley said he was looking for someone who was willing to take a risk, to be vulnerable and have ambition.

Anndrea Joiner, a senior in architecture from Tulsa, Okla., was awarded Best in Show for "Casual Racism," a series of three panels comprising burlap, gesso, acrylic and spray paint.

"I thought this work was not only risky but also constrained," Dooley said. "To deal with social and political things with that sense of restraint was really elegantly and emphatically stated."

Joiner said people need to go see the piece in person to really understand the subtlety of it. "This is a way of expressing my experiences as a student and throughout my life," she said.

The piece really doesn't fit into her body of work, she said. "I took a huge turn and decided to take a risk."

Alexis Dwyer received a Merit Award and Purchase Award for "Natural Bridges."

Integrated visual arts graduate student Alexis Dwyer, Columbia, Mo., received a Merit Award for her relief print on fabric titled "Natural Bridges."

"It's ambitious, the way it wobbles around between abstraction and figuration," Dooley said. "The choice to do it in a wood block print—which allows for that sort of shimmer—I appreciate that."

Other students receiving Merit Awards were Mitzi Alexander, a sophomore in design from Nevada, for "Identity" (mixed media), and Reed Siems, a senior in integrated studio arts from Granger, for "Three & Then Some" (relief print with hand coloring).

Honorable Mentions went to biological/pre-medical illustration senior Elisabeth Oeverli, Tranby, Norway, for "Fish Still Life" and Richard Auchus, a senior in design from Cedar Rapids, for his digital photographs titled "The Veil," "The Void" and "Passage."

"I really like invisible things that are made visible," Dooley said about Auchus' project.

"These photos show a kind of incidental thing that you would do on your way to do the important thing. As an artist, finding a way to amplify that and share it with normal people, I really like that," he said.

Auchus said he finds inspiration in mundane things and trying to capture that moment for as long as he can.

"The first two images were taken in unison, just playing around with shutter speed and throwing water in the air, but the last one was actually from a kayaking trip where I became really obsessed with this calm water," he said.

In addition to the juror's awards, the Student Union Board also presented Dwyer with its annual Purchase Award for "Natural Bridges." The piece will become a part of the Memorial Union’s permanent art collection.

Other ISU College of Design students with work in the exhibition are: graphic design majors Bo Chen, graduate student, Changsha, Hunan, China; Meriesa Elliott, graduate student, Boone; Ann Kennedy, junior, Lakeville, Minn.; Emerald Klauer, senior, Davenport; Jieun Youn, junior, Yongin, Gyeonggi-Do, South Korea; industrial design majors Gerardo Garcia, graduate student, Sioux City; Cara Jacobsen, graduate student, Council Bluffs; integrated studio arts majors Samantha Bedford, senior, Carroll; Abigail Eoratti, senior, Ankeny; Rachel Fort, senior, Pleasantville; Caroline Freese, senior, Indianola; Bailey Goodwin, senior, Sioux City; Madison Haws, senior, Ankeny; Kat Schmidt, senior, Van Meter; Claire Smith, junior, Belmond; interior design major Mengyi Chen, senior, Shanghai, China; and landscape architecture major Victoria DeWitt, junior, Waukee.

Sponsored by the Student Union Board, the APEX Juried Exhibit is the final annual student exhibition held at the Memorial Union each academic year. For viewing hours and other information, contact Letitia Kenemer, Memorial Union fine arts coordinator, (515) 294-0971, letitia@iastate.edu.

Contacts:
Letitia Kenemer, Memorial Union, (515) 294-0971, letitia@iastate.edu
Anndrea Joiner, Architecture, (918) 299-2869, avjoiner@iastate.edu
Jaden Urbi, Design Communications, jurbi@iastate.edu
Heather Sauer, Design Communications, (515) 294-9289, hsauer@iastate.edu

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