Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Week 5

I spent the morning painting with chalkboard paint. The paint will be framed and used for announcements about various adult and children's' classes, musical events, and fundraisers like the children's' clothes swap on July 15th.

After, I helped set up for the afternoon children's class, where they learn to make a thick, gooey slime out of shaving cream, borax, and contact solution. The kids have the option to make the slime into different colors and add fun things like beads, glitter, or gems.

Nicole and I discussed using Mail Chimp, and the importance and effectiveness of using mass emails and weekly or monthly news letters to keep in contact with customers and to keep clients updated on current events. 

Week 3

This past week I accompanied Michele on a studio visit with Philadelphia artist Elyce Abrams. It was my first ever studio visit with two professional artists, and I was extremely excited and grateful I could be there. I learned a lot from listening to the both of them communicate, and from the visit itself. Elyce was a painting major at Uarts as well as Michele, and graduated in 2006. The two talked about ways of hanging their pieces, different studios they have rented out, as well as both their practices. For example, Elyce hangs her work in her studio with the use of cleated hanging and keyholes. This process allows her to interchange work so there is no need to continue nailing holes into the wall, which creates a more efficient workspace. It was interesting to see the similarities and differences between them, as well as relating their work to my own. We all are within the realm of abstraction, so I am glad I got a personal look at how they approach making their artwork. I had the chance of asking Elyce a few questions of my own which were, “What inspires you to make this type of work, and have you always worked in this way?” As well as, “What artists or type of art inspires you?” She responded by saying she used to work differently, by incorporating scraping paint across the surface of the panel, which resembled mark making. Rather than painting, spray painting, and sectioning off parts of the piece to create geometric forms and lines as she does now. The linear aspects of her pieces are similar to Michele’s, but unlike Elyce she does not incorporate the use of spray paint. Her lines are more matte, precise, and incorporate the wood panel within the piece itself. Elyce and Michele each have a unique perspective on their subjects, which was great for me as a student to experience.

I continue working on organizing and taking inventory of Michele’s supplies. I also started a new project this week, to create a color wall of paint swatches labeled with their corresponding names. This will not only allow Michele to see her paints quickly if necessary for a piece, but also will make it much easier when she needs to buy that paint again.

Since I started Summer Fellows I’ve been asking Michele questions about her practice, her as an artist, and about the art world in general. She says she has always wanted to be an artist since she can remember, and I can definitely relate. I’m excited to keep getting to know her and learn from her more than I already have.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Communication & Confidence

I feel much more comfortable and confident in the work that I'm doing with the company and am enjoying getting to know the dancers and Eryc more and more with each visit. This week started off with a lot of cleaning up the website and talking over ideas with Nicole and Eryc about the direction they see the company going in over the course of the year. I really appreciate how open and honest they are with each other about the way that things either work or don’t work as far as balancing the company with the outreach program and what they hope to accomplish. Not only do they bring each other back to reality, but they are able to talk to each other in a way that’s not rude or upsetting while also being really honest

This type of communication seems to be really valuable and I hope that it’s something I can pick up on and learn how to do within my own life. I find that when I try to be honest or straightforward with people that they either get offended or don’t really listen or acknowledge what I have to say. Sometimes I'm guilty of being upset or offended by hearing the truth or someone else’s opinion as well and I think that listening and overcoming that could be really beneficial to my own growth. Obviously there are certain situations where boundaries have to be kept in mind, but I appreciate and look up to their general understanding of each other's role in this situation.

Another interesting thing I've noticed about Eryc over the past few weeks is that he presents himself astonishingly well. He knows how to get people interested in the things he’s doing and his accomplishments without being too forward or make it feel like he’s bragging. This has a lot to do with his confidence in himself and in his company and it really works for him. I’ve realized that having your own personal truths can oftentimes turn into reality as long as you firmly believe in your truths. I don’t know if this makes sense, and I certainly know it’s not always true, but I’ve seen this happen to people.

Also, I feel like I'm not able to contribute to the media aspect of the job as much as I would have liked to by now due to the fact that I don’t own an actual camera besides a film camera and my iPhone. I still try and take pictures at every rehearsal, but the quality of photos is just not as good as they would be on a professional camera. I really wanted to use this opportunity to enhance my knowledge of dance photography in a real-life setting and I just feel as if I'm missing that right now. Hopefully I will get a real camera soon.

~More to come

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Two Weeks in!

For the first week Michele and I talked a lot about her work, her process of making, as well as her art career. I learned where she gets her supplies from such as paints, tape, her wood panels, and other necessities to create her pieces. Her studio is in a building with other artists, businesses, and many other people in an amazing old warehouse. There she not only makes her work, but also has studio visits with other artists, curators, and investors. I spent the first few days organizing and cleaning her materials to make room for new ones. She mixes a lot of her own paints, has them made, or buys them as they are. Usually, they are house paints because she says she does not like the paint sold at art stores. I found it interesting looking at all of the different colors she uses, while labeling and organized them. Watching her create pieces was extremely exciting. She is not only very experienced, but also has her own voice and style, which is completely hers.

Michele also invited me to accompany her to a show she was in at Mainline Art Center, as well as an exhibition at Woodmere Art Museum on the Saturday of my first week! It was a great experience to see artist interactions in a professional setting, and how Michele carried herself in that. She spoke with a variety of people, and handed out her business cards networking and making connections. It was amazing to see the artists and their work in a setting other than in Center City Philadelphia. It is so different from the school environment that I am accustomed to, and I’m so glad Michele took me to see it.

In these past two weeks I created an elevator pitch, made business cards, learned how to wire canvases, and created a mailing chimp account to message others about upcoming shows. I learned about different materials, bought my name for my website that will be up by the end of the summer, and so much more. Michele has also been a tremendous help with preparing me for my upcoming show this July at the Gryphon Café in Wayne, PA. Her dedication and level of professionalism is what I strive for, and how I am trying to approach my first show.

Michele has taught me so much about the art world in these past few weeks than I could have ever learned on my own. I am so grateful to be apart of this program, and to be interning with Michele. I can’t wait to see what this week brings!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Week Three

I started off the day making flyers for the classes and events offered at the Eliandarts Center. They offer events such as yoga classes, open mic nights, creative writing classes for adults, and have a summer program for kids.

You can see all of the classes and events offered at http://www.eilandarts.com

I continued to help hang new pieces for June's art show, and made artist and price labels for each one.

I finished off the day playing with paint in Boomerang, working to create an advertisement for the kids' summer program.

Friday, June 9, 2017

We collected Shells and I Got Attacked by Seagulls. It Was Great.

We were beginning the process of solidifying the pieces that would be included in the More Stately Mansions exhibition. A lot of the work that I’ve done while in college has been crappy part-time jobs and internships that have been beneficial, but work, nevertheless. It’s nice to work somewhere that I can be productive in a space that is not confined by ceilings. The air was just above lukewarm and the sun only a little shy. It was as a good day as any to take a quick business trip to Atlantic City. Veronica, Emily. Veronica’s other assistant, and I rode to Jersey where we checked out Jim Dessicino’s at-home studio and artwork for the exhibition.
I would describe his work here, but I refuse to release spoilers. Come to the show. It’ll be worth it. It seemed the theme of heritage and tradition was inescapable for him. The house that he lives in belonged to his grandparents, and his studio was his grandmother’s hair salon. It’s like an art space that evolves. Inside were sculptures, some of faces, and to no surprise, some of naked bodies (I’m convinced that all visual artists are or were at some point obsessed with nudity, but all artists probably are. We want to explore or exhibit what’s beneath the garments we hide ourselves with. Maybe.). What I found most fascinating was his portrait of his grandfather, adorned in what looked like a tailored tuxedo, presented in front of a detailed background featuring ancient symbols of luxury and wealth. Another piece that I found myself thinking about after visiting was of an African “bag-man.” It was about the men who come from countries in Africa and end up in positions where their only source of income comes from selling fake knock-off bags due to citizenship and passport complications.  A few months ago, I was thinking of writing a fiction story about the men who sell oils on sidewalks and on the subway and the el. Now I’m inspired to do homework to discover the reasons that men, typically African-American muslim men, grab people’s wrists and rub fragrances on them instead of doing other things to make money.

Afterward, we went to the beach for a couple of hours. We collected seashells and  I spent fifteen bucks on food that would have costed me, maybe, $7.50 anywhere else that was not on the boardwalk. I almost lost that same food to a flash mob of Seagulls who chased me into the ladies’ restroom. Moral of the story: if you are hungry at the beach, it is safer and more cost efficient to starve. 

Monday, June 5, 2017

#3 Fame is weird, work is hard (ish)

I have to start off by saying that I casually walked by Jesse Eisenberg on the sidewalk Thursday afternoon and nearly died because I love him and NY is magical. Here is a picture of Mr. Eisenberg in case, like my sister ,whom I called seconds later, you know his face and not his name.

This week started off pretty slow with me tying up some projects I had been working on, but quickly sped up as the the days moved forward. The Company had two performances this weekend and a lot of promotional things that still needed to happen to get the word out about it, so I did my best to help out with that. I got to see the piece they were performing in both rehearsal and during their show on Friday evening and it was really helpful to see the notes that Eryc gave and then have that translated to performance. I noticed that each time the work was performed it read a little bit more, and although that seems obvious, I was secretly surprised that it wasn't flawless the first time around. Even though they hadn’t performed that particular work in a year, there was something comforting in the fact that even professional dance companies need to walk through their pieces and set themselves up before getting into a groove.

I think i’m starting to learn a lot about how I work under pressure and what methods of organization work best for me to efficiently get things done. I’m a very plan-ahead kind of person and when I get tasks, I usually want to get them done as quickly and accurately as possible so I don’t wait until the last minute. Now with the projects i’ve recently been assigned, things kind of pop up and we have to do them as they become known to us. Although i’m uncomfortable with this type of real-life pressure, I think it’s good practice for when I don’t get to control every little thing that happens in my life. Right now, i’m trying to sort out the things I can do on my own vs. the things I need extra information about such as social media passwords, contact info, and general knowledge that I couldn't possibly know prior to working with the company. I’m hoping that this week will be much smoother now that the performances are over and I’ll be able to continue working on these projects!

Here is one of the many pictures I took in rehearsal the other day, edited for hours, and then decided I liked the originals better.

More to come~



Hi, my name is Alyssa Willgruber and I am a painting major going into my senior year. I am very excited for the opportunity to be interning and assisting Michele Kishita this summer. Michele is a well-known artist who received her BFA and MFA in painting here at University of the Arts. As well as her individual art career, she is still involved with the school as the director of the Honors Scholars Program for the Provost Office, an academic advisor in the Advising Center, and an adjunct assistant professor in the Division of Liberal Arts and the University Common Curriculum.

Michele is a painter with an active studio practice. Her work is a dialogue between the wooden surfaces on which she paints, and the trees from which those panels were built. She strives to bring out the landscape that is part of each surface, while expressing the visual contrast and harmony where man-made structures and nature intersect. Through her work she investigates correlations between landscapes, especially water, and the wood grain of each panel. Michele uses colors found in nature that are not typically seen as “natural” to create her pieces. Her work is Japanese inspired due to her time of living abroad in Japan. She was self-employed as a Japanese art consultant for galleries and auction houses and associate specialist of Japanese prints at Samuel T. Freeman & Co., where she identified, translated, catalogued and appraised Japanese prints.

Her work is shown frequently in private collections, group shows, exhibitions, and many galleries across the East coast. Michele has been published in multiple magazines as well as literary journals. She is extremely professional and takes her practice, as well as her career very seriously which I greatly admire.

I am extremely grateful and excited to be working and learning from Michele. This summer I will be prepping surfaces for paintings, working on her large-scale installation piece, wrapping work, hanging exhibitions, and organizing her studio space. I will be meeting advisors, gallerists, artists, and interacting with clients. I will also be working on professional packets, promotional strategies, professional practices, and so much more. I know I will grow a lot from this experience and gain a lot of skills that I will take with me in my career moving forward. I can’t wait to see what the summer has in store for me!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Second Week

For my second week at the Eliandarts Center, I spent the day hanging the new show for June. The show consists of a series of paintings by various artists, featuring muted and monochromatic color schemes and abstract shapes and figures.

In addition, I wrapped and packaged the old show's pieces for the artists to pick up, and bagged the purchased art pieces for customers.