Posts Tagged ‘Design foundations’

What’s our story? Tweet a 3 word story about Harrington to #HarringtonCollege of #Design in #Chicago on Twitter! 

This feature is continued from yesterday.
Ryan Kapp, Harrington College of Design Foundations instructor, has been teaching at our college for 8 years.  When I asked Ryan to describe his inspiration for his work, Ryan commented, “I am inspired by my everyday surroundings, mid-century modern design, surf/skate culture, my Midwestern roots, the Chicago silk screen community and creativity in general. There are a whole slew of painters that have influenced me as well, but two whose influence is evident in my recent work would have to be Fairfield Porter and Alex Katz. I enjoy depicting figures in space, often surrounded by flat colors and sometimes shown engaged in some kind of activity like surfing, swimming, playing music, sunbathing at the park etc. I usually depict these figures in a small scale so that they appear as part of a bigger whole. Painting small people reminds me of playing with Star Wars action figures as a kid. I use large areas of areas of flat color to serve a decorative purpose, but also to leave room for the viewer to fill in their own story and complete the painting. I paint because it is a playful and creative way to spend my time. it is important to me to retain that sense of play in my everyday life and I hope that comes through in my artwork.”

See more of Ryan’s work, including new images of recent his recent paintings, prints and illustrations at his site: ryankapp.com.
Coming up in September, Ryan will be participating in the Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago. Keep reading tomorrow to learn more about the Fair!

About Ryan Kapp: 
Ryan Kapp grew up in Columbus, Ohio where he spent his formative days drawing and skateboarding with his twin brother and friends. He studied studio art at both Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and the Columbus College of Art & Design. In 2000, he moved to Chicago to attend graduate school at Northwestern University. In his recent work, Ryan draws upon imagery from his native Midwestern surroundings and mixes it with a graphic sensibility. His paintings explore ideas of reduction and stylistic juxtaposition that work together to create an environment driven by mood. Ryan currently resides in Chicago where he divides his time between teaching and painting.

Painting and print courtesy Ryan Kapp

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What’s our story? Tweet a 3 word story about Harrington to #HarringtonCollege of #Design in #Chicago on Twitter! 

As Harrington prepares for the exciting fall semester, I wanted to keep sharing some backgrounds of our outstanding faculty members. Last week, I shared with you Duffy O’Connor, a Harrington College of Design Foundations instructor who has been with us for 10 years. You can check out his feature here and here. Today, I’d like to introduce Ryan Kapp, another Foundations instructor that has been with our college for 8 years.

Ryan teaches Foundations courses at Harrington, including Drawing, 2D Design, Color, Perspective & Rendering and Computer Illustration. Originally from Columbus, OH, Ryan came to Chicago to attend Graduate school at Northwestern University in 2000. There, he studied in the Department of Art Theory and Practice at Northwestern and received his MFA in 2002. Once he graduated, Ryan learned of Harrington from one of his peers in the graduate program at Northwestern. Knowing that he was interested in teaching, he applied, and soon began instructing part-time in the Fall of 2002.

Speaking of his first years at the Harrington College of Design, Ryan said, “When I first started teaching at Harrington it was located in the Fine Arts Building on S. Michigan Ave. I taught part-time for couple years and then was hired on full-time. After one year as a full-timer, I was promoted to Program Coordinator of Foundations. During that time we revamped the Foundations curriculum to accommodate a broader range of design disciplines. I also won a teacher of the year award from Career Education Company in 2006-07 while serving as the Foundations Coordinator. After two years as the Program Coordinator, I decided to take a step back to focus on my art career. I stepped down as the Coordinator and returned to part-time teaching where I continue to teach two to three classes per semester at Harrington year round. I split my time between teaching and working in my studio just west of downtown in the Fulton Market area.”

Keep reading tomorrow when I will share Ryan’s inspiration behind his work!
Paintings courtesy Ryan Kapp

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What’s our story? Tweet a 3 word story about Harrington to #HarringtonCollege of #Design in #Chicago on Twitter! 

This feature is continued from yesterday…

Over the years, Harrington Foundations instructor Duffy O’Connor practices what he preaches: in learning as much as possible. From learning a new foreign language, teaching woodworking, to travelling, camping and yoga, he believes new experiences enhance your life and provide a richness that has made him better at drawing, painting, printmaking and teaching.

Duffy is also an active member and teacher at the Chicago Printmakers Collaborative, where he has been teaching etching and relief classes since early 2003. “When I need to print, I print at the CPC, an organization that has become my home in the Chicago art scene and has brought many exhibition opportunities.  I keep a private studio where much of my work takes place,” he said.

You can see a great short video on the Chicago Printmakers Collaborative and printmaking process in the video below:

On his work, Duffy commented, “I enjoy the directness of painting and the illusion of reality, especially since I paint things the viewer is unlikely to see in the world.” See more of Duffy’s work on his website at www.duffyoconnor.com.

About Duffy O’Connor: 
Duffy O’Connor received his B.A. in History from Grand Valley State University in western Michigan and attended graduate school at The University of Iowa, receiving M.A. and M.F.A. degrees in Printmaking.  His focus as a printmaker has been etchings and woodcuts, often merging printing with painting and drawing.  Duffy’s career as an artist is continually reinforced and enriched by his teaching, an occupation he loves.

Duffy has lived in Chicago since 1999 and has taught at the Harrington College of Design since the fall of 2000.  Before coming to Chicago, he taught at the University of Iowa, Grand Valley State University and at the University of Michigan’s New England Literature Program as a visiting artist.  Duffy has also taught oil painting at The Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago.

Drawing courtesy Duffy O’Connor

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What’s our story? Tweet a 3 word story about Harrington to #HarringtonCollege of #Design in #Chicago on Twitter! 

I always enjoy presenting a Harrington College of Design faculty member and sharing what brought them to the college and what they do outside of their work at Harrington. Today I’d like to present Harrington Foundations instructor, Duffy O’Connor. Here is what I found out!


Duffy O’Connor first started printmaking in his second year of undergraduate studies, in January of 1985, upon the recommendation of his professor who believed his approach to drawing would fit well with etching. Since then, his artwork production has been prolific; check out his piece “Chicken” below.  Commenting on this piece, Duffy said, “While this is not my favorite piece, I like it quite a bit – it is a painting on plywood using gouache, gesso and pencil. The central form is vague by design, and the jets playing chicken at the bottom recall drawings I loved to make when I was about eight years old.”

Duffy O’Connor came to the Harrington College of Design in 2000, based on a professional reference from a friend. At Harrington, he is a full-time faculty member and teaches Foundations courses, which features a curriculum that is continually developing. Duffy said, “It has been interesting to see how returning to design fundamentals through teaching has influenced my work in many subtle ways and overtly in some others, a welcome addition to how I approach my work in general.  As a printmaker I have always had to negotiate a course between technical precision and intuitive decisions and the renewed focus on fundamentals that comes from my teaching adds another layer of development.”

Keep reading tomorrow!

Painting and photo courtesy Duffy O’Connor

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