Archive for the ‘HCD Instructor’ Category

Harrington instructor Helen Oh will be featured in a one-person show opening this month at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum exhibition titled, Seashells: Inspired Form. The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum promotes environmental awareness through exhibitions such as last year’s Lawn Nation and Mysteries of the Marsh. At an opening last year, Helen met a curator who suggested she pursue her interest further at the Chicago Academy of Sciences, which houses a 151 year-old malacology (study of seashells) collection. There Helen met a malacologist who introduced her to two newly discovered shell specimens that have yet to be named. Helen’s exhibition includes several large drawings done from the photographs taken from the CAS collection. Read below to learn more about Helen and her work’s inspiration!

What are your favorite subjects to teach at HCD?

“I have been teaching Foundations courses (Art 101, Art 110, Art 111) at the Harrington since 2001. My favorite subjects are perspective and design. As a visual artist, I recognize the importance of these fundamental skills.”


What serves as inspiration for your work?

“I have been collecting and painting seashells for five years. They are objects of primal quality and aesthetic beauty that have inspired humans as ritual objects, artistic symbols and structural forms. Throughout history, seashells have been closely related to cultural expression. In Late Stone Age burial sites shells have been found, sometimes stained with red pigment, arranged around human skeletons. In many cultures, seashells held symbolic power. They were magical objects, promoting fertility and aiding in the afterlife.

Vishnu, the Indian creator god, is often holding a conch shell in one of his four arms. Tribal dancers in Africa wear strand of cowries on headpieces, belts and anklets. Seashells are identified with the female sex in Western paintings. Many European painters incorporated shells to illustrate Aphrodite and the Madonna. Some examples include Botticelli’s Venus, who stands on a floating clamshell and Piero’s Madonna under a clamshell canopy. Aristotle recognized the aesthetic design of the Paper Nautilus; Da Vinci’s double helix staircase design was inspired by the spiral structure of seashell. Even Frank Lloyd Wright was an admirer. He wrote, ‘Here in these shells we see the housing of the life of the sea. It is the housing of a lower order of life, but it is a housing with exactly what we lack—inspired form.’
In an effort to articulate these qualities, I draw and paint shells at a scale much larger than their actual size. Under natural light, the shells are rendered in chiaroscuro manner, and set against a neutral background. The image I create can resemble abstract sculpture and the muted, luminous quality resembles surfaces from marble to human skin.”

Helen’s seashell exhibition runs from November 6, 2009 through January 30, 2010. Interested in visiting?  

Here are the details:
Seashells: Inspired Form, Artist Opening Reception
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
2430 North Cannon Drive, Chicago, Illinois
Friday, November 20, 2009
5:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Open to the Public, RSVP required by Wednesday, November 18 to lgeller@naturemuseum.org or call 773-755-5108.

Seashells: Inspired Form
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
2430 North Cannon Drive, Chicago, Illinois
November 6, 2009 – January 31, 2010
Admission to the Museum, including special exhibitions, is $9/adult, $6/child 3-12, $7/seniors and students. Thursdays are suggested donation.

Also, you can visit Helen’s website at: http://www.ohandconklin.com/

Painting by Helen Oh

Read Full Post »

Sharing their expertise outside of the Harrington classroom is a common practice for many HCD instructors. But have you seen your instructor’s work on the outside?

Recently Communication Design instructor Nadine Nakanishi created a book that provides insight into daily art practice. Through 18 simple instructions, Nadine encourages different creative processes to thrive and helps the reader expand upon a singular idea.

To learn more about Nadine and her book, you can attend the upcoming book release party!

Formal Additive Programs Book Release Party
Book reading by Nadine Nakanishi, also featuring Dakota Brown and Nick Butcher. Brown, who wrote the poetic preface to the book, will be reading from his work. Butcher (www.nickbutcher.net) is to follow with a musical set, interpreting the 18 steps of instruction that make up the books content. The audience is encouraged to draw along with the instructions and the music. No RSVP is required, and all are free to attend.
Thursday, October 29
7:00 pm
Quimby’s Bookstore
1854 W. North Ave., Chicago, IL 60622, 773-342-0910

Book Details:
Formal Additive Programs
Format, 7” x 9.75”
Cover and Interior, 2-pms colors / Interior, 28 pages, offset
Hand-printed silk-screen dust jacket
First printing, limited Edition 250

Graphic courtesy Nadine Nakanishi

Read Full Post »