COLLEGE OF VISUAL AND PERFORMING ARTS
WILL MAC EDITOR-IN-CHIEF GR A PHIC DE SIGN 14 BFA
FROM THE EDITOR
FRO M TH E E DI TO R
TOR I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT MY TIME HERE AT UMASS DARTMOUTH AS AN UNDERGRAD IS NOW COMPLETE. FOUR YEARS AGO, I FILED INTO THE AMPHITHEATER WITH THE REST OF THE INCOMING FRESHMEN, FOR WHAT WOULD BECOME A NEW CHAPTER IN MY LIFE.
At the time, I was a young, seemingly confident 18-year old; however, I was absolutely petrified of what the road ahead held for me. I had heard the criticism that “it is impossible for an ar tist to make a living,” and I was enrolling as a graphic design major without a lick of experience in how to create any form of ar t on a computer. Early in my time at UMassD, I began to take great pride in my decision to enroll in the CVPA. UMass Dar tmouth’s College of Visual and Per forming Ar t s consistently receives high rankings for it s academic programs, and we live in an area that is a hotbed of creativit y. Behind these towering concrete wall s are some of the most upbeat, imaginative and mind-driven individual s, including the committed group of facult y who help guide student s with unwavering faith that ar tist s can indeed succeed.
Although I may not have had much design experience prior to arriving, CVPA created oppor tunities for me. Therefore, when choosing what my senior thesis project should be, it was only right to demonstrate my appreciation and gratitude for this program. This magazine, ARTMOUTH, showcases the people, work, passion and energy that exist within this tight-knit communit y – a communit y I consider family. ARTMOUTH not only fulfilled my design requirement s for graduation, but al so it created a student-centered view of CVPA. It is a visual stor y that connect s CVPA grads, undergrads and alumni, and encourages current young ar tist s who seek to create a profound aesthetic. I hope it reassures prospective student s to distinguish themselves in the College of Visual and Per forming Arts. A s I close this letter, I would like to personally thank ever yone involved, including CVPA Dean Adrian Tio and former A ssociate Dean Heather Bentz, who helped make this vision of mine possible. I look for ward to the exponential grow th of CVPA in years to come and I wish the best of luck to my classmates in their endeavors. I finally would like to thank you for taking time to review the new, of ficial publication of ARTMOUTH. Allow me now to showcase a handful of the ambitious ar tist s and creative work that comes from the College of Visual and Per forming Ar t s.
TABL E O F CO NTE NTS
WORK 04 STUDENTS 12 SWAIN / CVPA HISTORY
ARTMOUTH 2014 UMASSD.EDU 01
MADELEINE EICHE Graphic Design 02
CV PA WO RK
BRUCE GRAY Graphic Design 83
MARK PARSONS Sculpture 92
ARTMOUTH 2014 UMASSD.EDU 05
STEPHEN GAUL Sculpture 95
LIZA GIZARA Painting 82
DENA HADEN Painting / Illustration 06
CV PA WO RK
JAMES CARPENTER Photography / Graphic Design 18 ARTMOUTH 2014 UMASSD.EDU 07
BRANDON FREITAS Graphic Design 12
CV PA WO RK
NICK FRANCIS Graphic Design 02
CHRISTINE HANNON Illustration 90
DAVID S. BOGUS Ceramics 99
ARTMOUTH 2014 UMASSD.EDU 09
ERIN KINNANE Graphic Design 15
CV PA WO RK
MATT DEAN Illustration 13 ARTMOUTH 2014 UMASSD.EDU 11
STUDE NTS TO WATCH
I DRAW UPON IDEAS OF PLAY, EXPERIENTAL LEARNING, AND MANUAL INVESTIGATION.
AARON BADHAM MASTER’S:
SCULP T URE MFA
Having worked on cars and motorcycles throughout my childhood, I draw upon ideas of play, experiential learning, and manual investigation. Combining brightly colored inflated steel forms and rubber coated MDF constructions, my sculptures present themselves as toy-like abstractions of mechanical parts and tools. By inflating steel, I am able to change the sensibility of the material. The once rigid and stoic fabrications now appear soft, becoming play ful and approachable. My interest lies in an optimistic attitude held towards the dif ficulties and peculiarities of working on machines. By balancing the idiosyncratic reflexes of the artistic process with diligent craftsmanship, my immersion with these systems is now examined through a playful lens. FAVORITE COLOR Lego blue FAVORITE ARTIST Richard Deacon TALENT YOU WISH YOU POSSESSED To play the ukulele ONE THING YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT Peanut butter DREAM JOB Full-time artist THING TO DO BEFORE YOU DIE To be tattooed in Japan BOOKMARKED WEBSITE DP Custom Motorcycles STRENGTH Preparedness WEAKNESS Ice cream ADVICE FOR YOURSELF You can always work harder
above: CREATED FOR Visual Thesis
ARTMOUTH 2014 UMASSD.EDU 13
STUDE NTS TO WATCH
TO SAY THAT YOU HAVE MASTERED ANYTHING,
ESPECIALLY ART, IS TO
DIGITAL MEDIA BFA
SAY YOU HAVE GIVEN UP
AS AN ARTIST.
3d Art is a realm that many traditional artists either do not understand, or dismiss due to its relatively short existence in terms of medium. It is something that transcends, and combines all forms of traditional media to form its own categor y in the world of design and art. I have been working on 3d Art for almost a decade and was first introduced to it in the 8th grade when I was playing a video game—I believe the original Guild Wars. Over the last two years, I have been working as a freelance 3d Artist in the Boston area, and in that time I have grown as an artist. My skills, both with my proficiency at art, and with my ability to produce work on a set schedule have become cornerstones for my success as an artist. As the years go by and my time at UMass Dartmouth comes to a close, I only see growth in my future. To say that you have mastered anything, especially art, is to say you have given up on growing as an artist. This is something I hope to never do. FAVORITE COLOR Purple FAVORITE ARTIST Kurt Papstein TALENT YOU WISH YOU POSSESSED P yromancy ONE THING YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT Coffee DREAM JOB CEO of my own gaming company THING TO DO BEFORE YOU DIE Base-jumping
above: CREATED FOR 3D Modeling and Creature Design
BOOKMARKED WEBSITE Zbrush Central STRENGTH Workaholic WEAKNESS Just a strength in disguise ADVICE FOR YOURSELF Breathe
ARTMOUTH 2014 UMASSD.EDU 15
STUDE NTS TO WATCH
I FOCUS ON PROCESS AND PURPOSE BEHIND
CREATION, THOUGH I CAN
ART EDUC ATION BFA
NEVER BE SURE HOW IT
I was born and raised in Central Mass, where I spent a great deal of time working in the garden with my mother. I learned a lot from her, especially with design and color. In my own work, I focus on process and purpose behind creation, though I can never be sure how it will manifest. I do not work exclusively in any media and I tend to draw concepts from personal experiences. Some topics I am currently exploring include abstracting flowers, capturing sensations from my trip to Italy, and por traiture through cubism. My ar t ser ves as research material that will aid in making me more ef fective as a teacher. FAVORITE COLOR French ultramarine FAVORITE ARTIST Caravaggio TALENT YOU WISH YOU POSSESSED I wish I could swim ONE THING YOU CANâ€™T LIVE WITHOUT Small hot latte with whole milk & a sugar cookie DREAM JOB Well-fed artist THING TO DO BEFORE YOU DIE Learn to sail BOOKMARKED WEBSITE Modernvinyl STRENGTH Willingness to fail WEAKNESS I fail...often ADVICE FOR YOURSELF Trust yourself...because you still like puns!
above: CREATED FOR Cultivating Creativity an Art-based Research
ARTMOUTH 2014 UMASSD.EDU 17
STUDE NTS TO WATCH
I CREATE METICULOUS COMPOSITIONS TO
COMMUNICATE A MESSAGE
PHOTOGR APHY BFA
TO THE VIEWER.
I have always been interested in the manner and processes of making photographs, but being a student of fine arts has allowed me to develop a conceptual way of thinking about my work. My senior thesis project questions the rituals and obsessions we have in our lives; through regular meals, sleep cycles, commutes, etc. We as humans, strive for order in a world spiraling into disorder. I create meticulous compositions to communicate a message to the viewer. The message varies scene-to-scene but stems from obsession, an unstoppable fixation with an object, a color, texture, shape, or pattern. My use of certain objects within a particular setting simulates and reflects the ways we interact with each other and ourselves in the real world. I choose settings like backyards, beaches, and forests to reinforce the viewer’s trust that this is rooted in reality. My alterations confront the viewer and force a reevaluation. The relationship between the spectator and the conductor of these per formances clash in confusion, yet are familiar; there is anxiety as well as beauty. FAVORITE COLOR Light orange/peach FAVORITE ARTIST Meatyard TALENT YOU WISH YOU POSSESSED To turn into a plate of warm butter y waffles above: CREATED FOR Photography 6
ONE THING YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT Photos DREAM JOB Waffle taste tester THING TO DO BEFORE YOU DIE Swim in ever y ocean BOOKMARKED WEBSITE Foodgawker STRENGTH Eating a whole box of waffles WEAKNESS Not eating food ADVICE FOR YOURSELF Work even harder
ARTMOUTH 2014 UMASSD.EDU 19
STUDE NTS TO WATCH
MY NAME...EXUDES AN AIR OF HARMONY, A CONCEPT
THAT ALSO INFORMS
DIGITAL MEDIA BFA
MY ARTISTIC PRACTICES.
My name is Bing Lin, which literally means ice and forest in Chinese. This name exudes an air of harmony, a concept that also informs my artistic practices. The rather coincidental overlap of the meaning of my name and my ar tistic st yle has al so shaped my world view. During my undergraduate education, I gained knowledge of my strengths and weaknesses in various types of digital media and technologies via hands-on experimentation and studio classes. These skills and practices enable me to seek a way of combining diverse media and embrace new technology. Another impor tant skill I have gained is to see, evaluate, and create harmony. Apar t from my academic studies, I have always had a strong interest in music. In fact, this back and for th exchange of skills and information from music to design is what I have in mind for the future expansion of my work as an artist. FAVORITE COLOR Grey FAVORITE ARTIST Paul Renner TALENT YOU WISH YOU POSSESSED Invisibility ONE THING YOU CANâ€™T LIVE WITHOUT Sunshine DREAM JOB Art Galler y/Museum curator THING TO DO BEFORE YOU DIE Roaming outer space BOOKMARKED WEBSITE Screenvader above: CREATED FOR Art of the Book
STRENGTH Persistance WEAKNESS Fear of swimming ADVICE FOR YOURSELF Plant more trees
ARTMOUTH 2014 UMASSD.EDU 21
STUDE NTS TO WATCH
WE ROAMED THE STREETS AND MADE IT OUR
SKETCHBOOK. STREET ART
ILLUS TR ATION BFA
INSPIRES ME, IT’S WHAT I DO.
Growing up outside of Boston, I was always big into the graffiti scene. I rolled with some friends, we had a small crew; it was nothing really, but we loved it because we made the rules. Working in that environment gave us, as artists, ultimate freedom. We roamed the streets and made it our sketchbook. Street art inspires me, it’s what I do and it is who I am. I always tr y to carr y that sense of freedom with me in my work. I like messy ar t. I like things that look like they’ve been walked on, ripped up, and plastered to the wall of a subway for about six years. Why? I couldn’t tell you, I think it’s beautiful. It’s freedom to create, to take something, literally anything, and make something out of it. I like to use milk crates as stencils, I use credit cards as paint brushes, I make faces out of tape and letters out of toilet paper. Why? Because I make art for myself, whether it is from my head or from my heart, it’s mine. FAVORITE COLOR Black FAVORITE ARTIST D*Face TALENT YOU WISH YOU POSSESSED Is patience a talent? ONE THING YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT BBQ pulled pork DREAM JOB Being my own boss THING TO DO BEFORE YOU DIE Design a billboard & cover of a magazine BOOKMARKED WEBSITE 12ozprophet & Friends of Type STRENGTH Experimenting WEAKNESS Failing...a lot ADVICE FOR YOURSELF Listen to your mother above: CREATED FOR Media Techniques 4
ARTMOUTH 2014 UMASSD.EDU 23
STUDE NTS TO WATCH
I DIP MY HANDS IN WATER OVER AND OVER WHILE MAKING EACH SHEET OF PAPER TO CLEANSE MY SOUL.
MAUREEN PATRICK MASTER’S:
FIBER ARTS MFA
I grew up in rural settings and spent many hours outside collecting natural objects such as leaves, shells and pinecones. Today these childhood sojourns inform the structure of my forms and installations of my work. The context of my art explores the layers of emotional stories that we carr y within us. I make handmade paper and write my personal stories on it as a way of rewriting a stor y to give it a new life. Using the paper as the skin on which to write the wounds and then the stitching as the healing component. Using a process of repetition and ritual to process the past, I dip my hands in water over and over while making each sheet of paper to cleanse my soul. I soothe the pain by releasing the stories onto the fresh sheet of paper. I carefully rip the paper into small pieces allowing the stories to change into a new form. These pieces create a new whole, a new stor y, safely contained and protected within the vessel with multiple layers of stitching over the words mending the wounds of my childhood. FAVORITE COLOR Blue or green FAVORITE ARTIST Andy Goldsworthy TALENT YOU WISH YOU POSSESSED Playing the guitar
above: CREATED FOR Visual Thesis
ONE THING YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT Toothbrush DREAM JOB Fabric buyer THING TO DO BEFORE YOU DIE Travel to Ireland BOOKMARKED WEBSITE Postsecret STRENGTH Time management WEAKNESS Take on lots of things ADVICE FOR YOURSELF Save more money
ARTMOUTH 2014 UMASSD.EDU 25
STUDE NTS TO WATCH
I AM VERY HAPPY WITH THE MOODS I HAVE CREATED
AND I LOOK FORWARD TO
ILLUS TR ATION BFA
MAKING MORE DISCOVERIES.
My illustration degree project investigates the post industrial city of New Bedford—its past, present, and future successes, as well as its failures and obstacles. Editorial ar t has long been my favorite area of illustration. It s traditional black and white nature and emphasis on concept is what drew me in and what I have come to appreciate the most. I chose to illustrate a range of local issues, from environmental to educational, in this traditional approach, employing a sense of humor when fitting. Aside from my pen and ink work in illustration, I have begun to use various printmaking techniques to tackle this same topic in more experimental ways. In my most recent printmaking work that addresses these issues, I have started to merge notes of humor and unease through the juxtaposition of subject matter by presenting unlikely scenarios, combining dif ferent rendering styles, as well as using a less tentative handling of color. I am ver y happy with the moods I have created and I look for ward to making more discoveries when I attend graduate school next fall for Printmaking. FAVORITE COLOR Green FAVORITE ARTIST Edward Gorey TALENT YOU WISH YOU POSSESSED Rendering from memor y ONE THING YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT Coffee DREAM JOB Working for The New Yorker THING TO DO BEFORE YOU DIE Go scuba diving BOOKMARKED WEBSITE Out of Print Clothing STRENGTH Linework above: CREATED FOR Advanced Lithography
WEAKNESS Realistic rendering or anatomy ADVICE FOR YOURSELF Study abroad at least one more time
ARTMOUTH 2014 UMASSD.EDU 27
STUDE NTS TO WATCH
I AM NOT A LOUD PERSON, BUT I HAVE CREATED SOMEONE WHO IS.
LAUREN ROBICHAUD MAJOR:
GR APHIC DE SIGN DIGITAL MEDIA BFA
I came to UMass Dartmouth because I wanted to start something. I wanted to be better and I wanted to prove something, not just to others but to myself. I am not a loud person, but I have created someone who is. Through my work, I can design whatever I want. Not only have I learned what I need to be a killer designer, but I have established a better way of thinking. Leaving here, my reach spans far beyond any place I could have imagined before receiving this education. As a kid, I didn’t know where I would end up, and I still don’t, but wherever that is, I look for ward to being there because my options are limitless. FAVORITE COLOR Mint FAVORITE ARTIST No such thing TALENT YOU WISH YOU POSSESSED Ability to do my own hair ONE THING YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT Music—Coffee is a given DREAM JOB Designing in a small studio with friends THING TO DO BEFORE YOU DIE Find my own style & be recognized for it BOOKMARKED WEBSITE FFFFOUND STRENGTH Ability to multi-task WEAKNESS Lack of energy ADVICE FOR YOURSELF You know more than you think you do above-left: CREATED FOR Graphic Design 5 Senior Design Exhibition partnered with Lauren Sullivan
ARTMOUTH 2014 UMASSD.EDU 29
STUDE NTS TO WATCH
MY ARTWORK DOESN’T HAVE TO BE PRETTY AND
PERFECT, AND IT CAN BE
ART EDUC ATION MAE
A MESS OF EMOTIONS AND
FULL OF INTENT.
I have just recently considered myself an artist-educator with the help of continuing my education at the CVPA and through working with the community and in my field of study. I feel invigorated with the tools I have learned to aid to my artwork. As an art educator, my goal is for children to feel that they can express themselves in a safe way. On a personal level I have an intrinsic connection with my art and more importantly with my creative process. I love the physicalit y of working large scale and tr ying to build up and break down boundaries. My epiphany as an ar tist is my ar t work doesn’t have to be prett y and per fect, and it can be a mess of emotions and full of intent. FAVORITE COLOR Black FAVORITE ARTIST Judy Pfaff & Amy Sillman TALENT YOU WISH YOU POSSESSED Sing—Opera ONE THING YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT Bobby Pins DREAM JOB Professor at a university THING TO DO BEFORE YOU DIE Get that MAE & Doctorates! Make tons of Art! BOOKMARKED WEBSITE Society Six & AFRUSSELL STRENGTH Work Ethic WEAKNESS I don’t really forgive & forget ADVICE FOR YOURSELF Keep your eye on the big idea above: CREATED FOR Visual Thesis
ARTMOUTH 2014 UMASSD.EDU 31
STUDE NTS TO WATCH
BY HIGH SCHOOL, I REALIZED THAT I WAS HAVING MORE
FUN PLAYING MUSIC THAN
I first picked up the trombone when I was ten. It didn’t mean a whole lot back then because it was just something to do that seemed like it might be fun. By high school, I realized that I was having more fun playing music in the band than anything else. It wasn’t just the music that I enjoyed though, it was al so the friends that I had made in the band. Some of those friends are still playing music with me as fellow music majors today. My life would be ver y different if my teachers hadn’t been there to provide the oppor tunit y for me to play music. So that’s when I decided what I wanted to do with my life. I want to become a music teacher, so that I may provide the same opportunity that was provided for me. If I can help just one student play music, learn something new, make a few friends along the way and most importantly have fun, then that will make my job wor th it. That is why I became a music major and why I constantly push myself to become a better musician. FAVORITE COLOR Blue or green FAVORITE ARTIST Hiromi Uhehara above: PERFORMED IN CONCERT On campus
TALENT YOU WISH YOU POSSESSED I wish I was a better drummer ONE THING YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT My trombone DREAM JOB Teacher THING TO DO BEFORE YOU DIE Visit more countries BOOKMARKED WEBSITE YouTube STRENGTH The ability to help others learn WEAKNESS Lack of confidence ADVICE FOR YOURSELF To be less afraid—more confident
ARTMOUTH 2014 UMASSD.EDU 33
STUDE NTS TO WATCH
I LOVE THE ARTS AND COULD NOT IMAGINE A DAY WITHOUT THEM.
ALEX THOMSON MAJOR:
GR APHIC DE SIGN BFA
I became interested in visual design before entering high school. Throughout high school, I tried to grasp the ideas behind visual communication and what makes design as amazing as it is. I love the arts and could not imagine a day without them. A day without my computer, camera or Communication Arts magazine is a day wasted. FAVORITE COLOR Pantone 137C FAVORITE ARTIST Ty Mattson TALENT YOU WISH YOU POSSESSED To be limitless ONE THING YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT My truck DREAM JOB Graphic Designer/Photographer THING TO DO BEFORE YOU DIE Skydive, travel & wakeboard BOOKMARKED WEBSITE Behance STRENGTH Determined WEAKNESS Time management ADVICE FOR YOURSELF Don’t get tunnel vision
above: CREATED FOR Graphic Design 3
ARTMOUTH 2014 UMASSD.EDU 35
STUDE NTS TO WATCH
I ERASE THE TEMPORAL QUALITIES OF MY SUBJECT
AND ALLOW THE VIEWER TO
PHOTOGR APHY BFA
HAVE A UNIQUE EXPERIENCE.
As a technologically sav v y culture, we interact with one if not multiple screens nearly ever y day. Due to our familiarity with various platforms and formats displayed on screens we have learned how to ‘see’ a screen. This learned way of seeing allows us to put the visual and physical information about a screen into our peripheral. Using digital technologies, I record light as well as compress time and space. Usually a photographic image has indicators such as time, place, format, style, and narrative that allow the viewer to create temporality or time and space relationships, within the image. By compressing time, space, and light onto a 2D photographic plane, I erase the temporal qualities of my subject and allow the viewer to have a unique experience with the photograph. I utilize digital processes of making a photograph and determine the exposure by manipulating the shutter to stay open for extended periods of time. For my subjects, I chose high contrast cinematic imager y that allows for an abundance of visual information to be flattened on to a singular plane. FAVORITE COLOR Black, grey & sometimes pink FAVORITE ARTIST Hiroshi Sugimoto & Uta TALENT YOU WISH YOU POSSESSED Better public speaker above: CREATED FOR Photography 6
ONE THING YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT Coffee & my camera DREAM JOB Documenting the tradition of tattooing in Japan THING TO DO BEFORE YOU DIE To travel—especially Japan BOOKMARKED WEBSITE Redditt is my go-to time waster STRENGTH Creative problem solving & tenacity WEAKNESS Writing ADVICE FOR YOURSELF Take more painting classes—learn design & type
ARTMOUTH 2014 UMASSD.EDU 37
THE STAR STORE IS HOME TO UNDERGRADUATE AND GRADUATE PROGRAMS IN PRINTMAKING, SCULPTURE, CERAMICS, PAINTING, TEXTILE DESIGN/FIBER ARTS, JEWELRY/METALS, AND WOOD AND FURNITURE DESIGN.
U M A S S D AR TMO U TH ’ CO LLEG E OF VISUA L A N D PERF ORM IN G ARTS (CVPA) boasts a long, proud history. S WA I N S C H O O L O F D ESIG N
The Swain Free School was established in 1881 by William W. Swain, a New Bedford philanthropist, in his last will & testament. The School offered courses in language, literature, history, education, art, and chemistry to those who could otherwise not afford a college education. For a deposit of $10 per semester and no other tuition or fees, students earned an education.
CO L L E GE O F V I SUAL AND PE RFO RMI NG ARTS (CVPA) In 1988, Swain merged with the SMU College of Visual and Performing Arts. Several of Swain’s faculty members taught at SMU following the merger and some still teach at UMass Dartmouth today. In 1991, when SMU became part of the University of Massachusetts, it was renamed UMass Dartmouth and the CVPA continued to flourish.
In 1903, Swain’s mission and curriculum were redefined because of New Bedford’s booming textile industry. It provided a “more complete and thorough course of instruction in the fundamental principles of design than has ever been given in this city and to provide also instruction in the practical application of these principles in all branches of decorative art.” Thus, its name was also officially changed to the “Swain School of Design.”
The Star Store arts campus, located on 71 Purchase Street in downtown New Bedford, is currently a stateof-the-art facility for UMass Dartmouth’s CVPA that had originally ser ved as a department store. The Star Store is home to undergraduate and graduate programs in ceramics, painting, printmaking, sculpture, jewelry/metals, textile design/fiber arts, and wood and furniture design.
Throughout the years, the school’s curriculum underwent a number of changes in order to meet the needs of its students and respond to larger societal trends. Although the Swain School of Design no longer exists as an independent art college, the school left behind a tangible legacy. Swain alumni and faculty have helped to catalyze and reinforce New Bedford’s economic revitalization. C O L L E G E O F F IN E AN D APPLIED A RT S
Up until 1834, Purchase Street was known as “4th Street.” The surrounding area was primarily composed of 18th centur y residences and businesses. The first three streets—1st, 2nd, and 3rd— ser viced the booming whaling industr y, and were lined with chandler, candle, and ship supply shops. With the addition of 4th Street, residents in the area were able to make personal purchases for the first time—hence the street’s eventual renaming.
The state legislature voted to merge the New Bedford Institute of Technology and the Bradford Durfee College of Technology to create the Southeastern Massachusetts Technological Institute (SMTI) in 1960, and they built a new campus in Dartmouth. The SMTI College of Fine and Applied Arts offered a Bachelor of Fine Arts for three majors – visual design, textile design and painting. SMTI became Southeastern Massachusetts University (SMU) in 1969 and the art and music programs continued to expand, including a graduate program in visual design. The college grew and developed, ultimately becoming the College of Visual and Performing Arts in 1981-82.
ARTMOUTH 2014 UMASSD.EDU 39
ILLUSTRATION FACULTY FORMER FOUNDATIONS PROFESSOR
If you ever had Colloqium with Bruce, you knew that once he pulled up a chair and crossed his legs, it was all eyes and ears.
FACULTY SPO TL I GH T
PART OF WHAT MAKES THE COLLEGE OF VISUAL AND PERFORMING ARTS SO SPECIAL, IS THE FACULTY WHO CONTINUOUSLY LOOK TO INSPIRE AND MOTIVATE THE STUDENTS TO BECOME BETTER ARTISTS. BRUCE MADDOCKS IS A PRIME EXAMPLE.
DESCRIBE YOUR PATH TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW. What I’m doing now—it’s a pretty crooked path. I was a freelance illustrator roughly between the years of 1985 and 1998 exclusively, that’s the way I earned my living. Most people know that I never intended to become a professor; it was just something that I lucked into. It suited my circumstances, and I was invited down as an emergency hire. I liked it a lot more than I thought I’d like it and I just stuck around. It’s really not more complex than that, even though in saying this, I’ve been extraordinarily lucky because there are many people who gear their careers towards academia and ﬁght, and sweat, and claw their way in and then up—this was just part of my luck. WHAT IS IT ABOUT TEACHING YOU LIKE MORE THAN FREELANCING? Well, for one thing, freelancing and illustration is a ver y solitar y business and I’ve always understood myself to be an introverted, consolator y person, so I thought that suited me ver y well. I didn’t really anticipate that there was a kind of note of growth inside my psychology that would expand and blossom the moment I was with other people. I thought I was doing just ﬁne, until I realized I enjoyed being with other people more than I thought I would. That I wasn’t quite the introver t that I always expected and supposed. So that was a major surprise. That was par t of it. The other par t of it was that one of the reasons I became an illustrator was because I always liked reading, and illustration is the visual artist discipline that is most tightly linked with literature. There’s also an aspect of teaching which is almost rawly about communication in words. You demonstrate, you show tons of examples, and all is well and good, but essentially with critiques we talk. I’ve always liked language obviously, but I didn’t realize how much I enjoyed using language, which was another pleasure with teaching that was unexpected.
WOULD YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF CREATIVELY SATISFIED? (Laughs) In many respects, I am creatively over-saturated. If you take creativity in its broadest sense, ever y single day of the week, I am confronted by things I don’t know how to solve and some of them are pedagogical, some of them are personal and some of them are artistic. So yeah, I’m ﬂooded with a little panic mode of tr ying to ﬁnd my way through each day. In a way, I am almost over-washed with situations that demand creativity. I almost wish my life was more robotic, but it deﬁnitely won’t be that way. It’s all I bargain for. YOU KIND OF TOUCHED UP ON IT BRIEFLY, BU T COULD YOU SAY THAT YOU E XPERIENCED SOME SOR T OF AN AHA MOMENT TOWARDS ILLUS TR ATION OR TE ACHING? Well, for illustration it was easy. I loved to draw and I loved to read, and if you put them together, that’s what you get. So it seemed like a ver y simple formula. I didn’t fuss over that one because I enjoyed it the way I expected to enjoy it. So there was not that same surprise I got from teaching.
DURING YOUR YE ARS INVOLVED WITH THE CVPA , M ANY S TUDENTS FELT THAT YOU WERE A BIG INFLUENCE TO THEM BECAUSE YOU HELPED SE T THE FOUNDATION FOR THE NE X T FOUR OR FIVE YE ARS. HOWE VER, WOULD YOU SAY THAT AT SOME P OINT, THERE HA S BEEN A MOMENT WHEN A S TUDENT INFLUENCED YOU? Well, of course! Not a week goes by that I don’t see a piece of artwork from a student that will make me say quietly to myself, “I couldn’t have done that when I was their age.” That’s easy.
ARTMOUTH 2014 UMASSD.EDU 45
PROBABLY ONCE OR TWICE A SEMESTER AT THE VERY LEAST, I WILL SEE A PIECE THAT I REALIZE TO THIS DAY I COULD NOT DO.
FACULTY SPO TL I GH T
It’s not a question of skills necessarily, but I just wouldn’t have thought of it; I wouldn’t have imagined it. Particularly, on the lower levels, like the sophomore level, where poor students are stuck with one assignment purpose, one concept that they have to be obedient to. When that happens, you get somewhere between 16–18 individual responses to exactly the same problem and it radically expands your personal scope as to what is possible. And weirdly, I don’t remember that when I was a student. I don’t remember saying, “Well gee, we have a class and ever yone found their own way to the end, isn’t that wonder ful?” But as a teacher, it smacks you right between the eyes. There are so many ways to skin ever y cat—pardon that metaphor, but it’s really awesome! I almost come home stoned with delight that our species can be so incredibly varied in a way that we approach the same problem. SO WOULD YOU SAY THAT IT IS IMP OR TANT FOR YOU TO BE PAR T OF A CRE ATIVE COMMUNIT Y? Yeah, much more so than I thought, even more so today than when I began working because illustrators are fairly isolated beasts. It’s not like dentists where they have these massive conventions and ever yone pig piles in Denver, people get drunk, hang out in hotels and live it up. There’s nothing like that. Illustration has these groups, like concept artists, and they’ll gather together for exhibitions and things like that, but other wise we are freelance partly because we like to be a little bit ragtag and you don’t really feel like you belong to a community. You have your friends who are illustrators too, who are partially competitors, and that’s another surprise I got when I began teaching. All of a sudden, I had people I could call colleagues—I consider my students colleagues, and I never really had that sense before. I wish ever yone lived in Boston within walking distance of my apartment. I think that would be lovely. BE T WEEN ILLUS TR ATION AND TE ACHING, ARE YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS SUPP OR TIVE OF WHAT YOU DO? Yeah, absolutely! My parents were extremely supportive. My father was a journalist and my older brother is a journalist. He was grateful that I did not also follow in my fathers’ footsteps. From my family, I had nothing but support and I never felt anyone tr ying to undermine me. I only felt people tr ying to encourage me.
DO YOU FEEL THE SUPP OR T YOU HAD IMPROVED YOU A S AN AR TIS T, OR DO YOU FEEL THAT IF YOU FACED ADVERSIT Y, YOU WOULD HAVE THRIVED MORE? That’s a good question. I could even link it back to what I call my great good for tune in even in being here in the ﬁrst place. I can’t prove a counter factual. I can’t say that I would have felt different about illustration if it was something I had to ﬁght for, but I can tell you that I did not have to ﬁght for it and I think it’s just grand. I don’t lament the fact that ever yone encouraged me. DO YOU THINK THAT THE CONNEC TION YOU HAD WITH YOUR PROFE S SORS HELPED YOU IN A WAY IN BECOMING THE EDUCATOR YOU ARE TODAY? Oh absolutely! Absolutely. I could describe it almost as an underground linkage. If you don’t think about teaching after you cease being a student, it kind of goes into the background because lots of other things come into the foreground of your life and you just don’t think about it. At least I didn’t think about it for a long, long time. The moment I began teaching however, it’s almost like a ﬂash; memories returning and ever y teacher will tell you roughly the same thing. There are two examples, there are professors who are awful and then there are professors who are great. The professors who are awful are constantly reminding you what you must never do. Ever. If you ever inﬂict this on someone else the way you were inﬂicted, you will hate yourself forever. There were a number of professors, who I will not name, that I had along the way who I thought were trash and I never want to do that to anybody else. I also had a number of professors who I thought were great. And the moment I began teaching—I’m not going to go mystic on you and tell you that I felt that I was channeling them or in any weird way like that, but yeah—I was well aware of their inﬂuence on me at the moment I began teaching. WHAT KIND OF LEGACY DO YOU HOPE TO LE AVE? I’d like to give my wife my coffee maker. I don’t know (laughter). I don’t think about legac y. Maybe I’m not quite old enough and maybe I’m too ner vous. But I don’t feel comfortable with that. If you are tr ying to make it through the week, if you are even tr ying to make it through the day—there’s an aspect of that in my life—you don’t think about months, you don’t think about years, you don’t think about decades, you don’t think about the tomb. So I’m not thinking about my legacy. I’ll leave that to you.
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PROFE S SIONALLY, IS THERE ANY THING YOU’RE INTERE S TED IN E XPLORING IN THE COMING YE ARS? Ah yes, absolutely. If you want to be grim about it, and you have the right to be grim, I have the right to be grim too. Sure, I probably have about 15, maximum 20 productive years left in my life and I don’t want to take out the garbage. There’s other things I want to do with my time. WOULD IT CONSIS T OF CONTINUING ILLUS TR ATION, OR PERHAP S TAKING A BRE AK FROM AR T? Uh, no. It would be what would seem to my poor brain to be a continuation of illustration, but it has something to do with what Colloquium taught me as well. I entered the course with the improvable assumption that so many of the things that I loved, including visual art and tr ying to discover intellectual understandings of aesthetic experience and broader aspects of what makes life worth living, could be found there and that these things are related. I guess, I would say, humbly, I would like to look into that more. (Laughs) Yeah, I’m not done looking at that just because Colloquium is over and I’m not teaching it anymore. I’m wondering about this, worr ying about that and probing into that; pushing all of those little red buttons. I just don’t know whats going to happen when I push them.
IF YOU COULD GO BACK , WHAT SOR T OF ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUR YOUNGER SELF? You see, this is tough because if I look back from my perch, and ask, “What would the t went y-year-old Bruce be thinking of?”, I’ll warp that a little bit because I’m not twenty anymore. But even with that premise, if I said, “Dear twenty-year-old Bruce, don’t worr y so much. It will all work out.” Were I to confront my twenty-year-old self, I might take note that the idea that there’s a whole world of people out there who are really stupendously good. People who have amassed an experience and knowledge that little twenty-year-old Bruce would probably never achieve. There is this kind of master race of superb illustrators and artists out there. It’s like the big leagues and I’d never have the cur ve ball that I could break, I’d never have that fastball that I could rise or I’d never be able to make it. That was blasphemous. The longer I got into illustration, the more carefully I looked, the more I realized that there aren’t many practitioners that I really respected and that there was a ton of room at the top. There was
a moment maybe in my mid-twenties when I realized, “ Oh yeah, I can contribute to illustration. I can do things that other people are not doing, things I know are beautiful and ef fective as communication.” There was a moment when that whole understanding as a child, that adults had it all ﬁgured out, when it crumpled in all sorts of ways, and I realized adults didn’t know what they were doing, and now that I’m an adult I know it is per fectly true! We don’t know what we are doing. But children, the twenty year-olds, often ﬁgure that, “Oh yes, the grownups know what they are doing!” (Laughs) They do not! You go in there with your vision, with what you know is good, and the doors will open. People will back away, and all of those graphic designers, illustrators, musicians and ﬁne artists who are just tr ying to make a living will kind of clear out when the real talent enter in. There is a ton of room at the top and if you have the skills, oh yeah can you make a living. WHAT OTHER ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE A YOUNG AR TIS T S TAR TING OU T? Beyond that, the more you know what’s good without anyone telling you what’s good, the more sure you are about what’s right and what’s wrong within your ﬁeld, the easier you can handle rejection. That’s important, too, because you will get rejected. Most importantly, when somebody likes what you do—when they look at your portfolio and they smile—they’ll be smiling for the right reasons. It’s almost like you ﬁnd a visual friend. For an illustrator, that is an ar t director who want s to work with you and work with you again and again and again. For a designer, well it may be the studio that you enter, the Creative Director, but you have to know what you like. You really have to be the chef of your own kitchen. From my experience, that came kind of quickly when I left school. All of a sudden, people weren’t telling me what I was suppose to like, what was suppose to be grand, I kind of knew, and I found it to be a ver y refreshing experience. I wish the same for all of the students that come through UMass Dartmouth’s CVPA. When professors go away and you’re lef t on your own, all of a sudden (snaps his ﬁngers)—”Yeah, I always knew that was good, really good.”
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above: Chapter-head illustrations produced for the Illustration III course.
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