Sue Doeksen

Another new artist

Emily Skaer graduated from A&D in 2009, and currently works as a freelance animator in Portland, OR.

Here's a new artist who I have grown a new found obsession for. Sue Doeksen's work is colorful, dynamic and each portion seems to evolve into something new. Click on the image below to see more of her fantastic work!


Sculpt Weekly 2.22.10

Workin' It!

Zack Jacobson-Weaver is the Materials Fabrication Studio Coordinator at A&D.

I relish in the moments to admit I was wrong.  It means that my workload may be reduced due to lack of faith in my ability, judgement, etc.  And I can start doing the work of one gorilla, rather than 10 gorillas.  This week I was proven wrong in thinking that, on average, our students can be tremendous SLACKERS!  Not true.  I was wrong, again.  Know how I know?  Because I feel like I got hit by a bus load of Spring Breakers heading for some warm watering hole.

This week was actually TOO BUSY TO DOCUMENT!  So if you're reading this, know you can help by sending in pictures, videos, etc.  Uh...I think that's the point of these bloggy, hopey, changey things.  Send MONEY!  So to speak.

Here are some highlights, with a notable addition: I'm posting images of DRAWINGS!  Why?  Because these particular drawings kick A.  And drawing, as you well know, is the cornerstone of any nutritious Art/Des eductation.

Headline: After Courageous Battle, Penguin Loses Both Wings: Dr Levester's Promise:  "Son, you get me what I need and I'll see to it you get your wings back.  Your real wings!"  Or, Levester works on a multi-piece rubber mold.  You decide.


Oleg finds a creepy new way to skip lecture: "Newleg" The Other Sleeping-at-Lecture Oleg!  This life cast was made with Alginate, and cast in plaster for about $35 and is an excellent hair removal system.  Just in time to hit the beach!


J.D. burns the candle at both ends in the TCAUP Fab Lab.  Working through the night with his assistant, Obi Wan Kenobi, J.D. runs a 3-axis waterjet while Obi cuts wood block prints with the 3-axis router.  Sweeeet!  


Shout out has to go to Joyce Brienza's figure drawing class.  Not sculpture, but well-done, dramatic, finely rendered self-portraits.  Shout out to the students for showing up.  And what's up the blue dude's nose?


Next week: Spring Break with visiting artist William Dennisuk from Finland, and luckily not on the Olympic hockey team.  Ouch!


davis and the hot dog

arting and eating at CAA 2010

Stephen Schudlich is the Director of Exhibitions for Work • Detroit, A&D's exhibition space in the 313.

I had the privilege of attending College Art Association (CAA) conference  in Chicago last weekend. Got to sit on a panel at a table on a platform and talk into a microphone and show images on a big screen. I spoke about A&D Exhibitions particularly those channeled through our Detroit space. Neato. When it comes to our committment to our urban presence and engagement, we are looked to by many as a model "that works."

We set the bar, and we set it high.

Sure, there were many interesting sessions that one could attend ( I was only there for one day ) but, I find that that the most valuable information is often exchanged and shared over the informal breaking of bread. I had the opportunity to talk to several graduating MFA students many of whom were in attendance to either interview, or to seek connections for potential employment down the road. As a rule, the tone was positive. Guarded, but positive.

One such student was Davis. Friday afternoon, we escaped the grid briefly to indulge in one of of the Windy City's greatest culinary treasures. The iconic chicago style hot dog. Davis told me that although he realized that full time gigs were hard to come by, he had faith in his talent and his ability to serve as mentor. He also had a fabulous handlebar moustache. Watching him eat a hot dog was both wonderous and a little bit disturbing.


By the way, as far as Chicago deep dish pizza goes, Giordano's is the best. I am not willing to debate this. I attended undergraduate school in Northwest Indiana (Valparaiso University) and I've had 'em all. You are entitled to your opinion of course but, those of you who are Uno fans may also be the same folks who are wary of driving off the edge of the earth.


That’s not funny. No, Wait

Stephen Schudlich is the Director of Exhibitions for Work • Detroit, A&D's exhibition space in the 313.

The current work • detroit housed show, FUNNY (not funny) contains a  body of illustrative narrative created by some great dark humorists. Many of these artists have achieved, at the least, a very high cult status. You may laugh and, well, that might make you feel bad.

Michigan Public Radio did a great story on the show, check it out.

This one comes down Friday. Pity if you miss it!



the birth of a diverse exhibition

Ashley is a 22-year-old A&D alum who is drawing her way through a post-grad life.

A little over one year ago, a fellow IP-er, Eryn Campbell, came to me with an idea she had for an art exhibition.  With her love for visual illusions and my experience of curating a show the year before, we quickly pieced our proposal together.  Out came Disillusion.



With this show, we welcomed a range of interpretations on the theme of illusion and disillusion.  Rather than illusions being solely visual, we asked for consideration of this topic as the concept or idea behind the work.  Artists were pushed to determine how to create a new reality or how to destroy a previously constructed one.

Work • Ann Arbor owns a central spot on State Street, an intersection between UM’s central campus and the city's downtown, which makes for a desirable location for any artist to show work.  Eryn and I felt strongly about collecting work for Disillusion that was both university affiliated and not, finding submissions locally from Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, and also from Chicago and New York.

Disillusion showcases not only artists from diverse locales and backgrounds, but also a variety of artwork from woven etchings to explosive installations.

Two Minute Crime Scene by Stephanie Tisza




Sweet Light by Jeremy Daly and Jack Doehring (photo courtesy of Dmytri Hryciw)



photography by Peter Baker


salamanders by Jack Carder


Eyeball Mountain #1 by Ben Bertin


The exhibit opened on Friday, February 12th with a special performance by Jeremy Daly and Kevin McKay. (photo courtesy of Dmytri Hryciw)


 Make sure you see Disillusion before it’s gone on March 12th.  This is only small a selection of the amazing work on display at Work • Ann Arbor (306 South State Street).



Digital Ceramics!

Zack Jacobson-Weaver is the Materials Fabrication Studio Coordinator at A&D.

We've recently been experimenting with how to combine our RP and SRP technologies with ceramics.  What's the draw? For starters, the amazing material properties of ceramics combined with freeform and rapid fabrication tech has potential too grand and various to innumerate.  How about a custom suit of fireproof dragon scales?  Rock!  Here's some of what we're up to now...

These lovely nugs were printed with the help of Shawn at the UM 3D Lab, right across the street from A&D.  This is a mixture of terra cotta, PVA and sugar; a recipe we got through a virtual collaboration with ME researchers at U-Dub, the University of Washington, Seattle. You can read about their work and get the recipe for yourself here:  

The pieces were printed in a Zcorp 3D printer with Zb60 binder.  The future? Firing tests this spring break: tank tops and Mojitos in the kiln room, anyone?

We're gonna need a bigger kiln!  This lovely catch was made by taking a 3D scan of a fish, again credit to 3dLab.  The .stl file was then prepared for CNC milling on A&D's Roland MDX-540 "desktop" wizzard and RhinoCam software, a plug-in for the ubiquitous CAD software.  

This piece is cut into molding plaster and is half of a slip cast mold.  We didn't think it was a really big deal until American Craft Maganzine wrote an article talking about the "new craft".  See page 4 of this article for some insight on the role of these hot technologies in the future of ceramics.

For an amazing example of the potential, check out artist Geoffrey Mann's "Crossfire" series.  The teapot and flatware here is made by slip cast from digitally designed molds.  This is awesome!




Sculpture Student Weekly

Getting Busy!

Zack Jacobson-Weaver is the Materials Fabrication Studio Coordinator at A&D.

  One week before spring break!  The pace is seriously picking up.  Here's some crazy highlights:


Professor Lou Marinaro, looking very Blue Steel,  goes Jack Sparrow style for this week's bronze pour.

3rd year MFA J.D. sparks one up with three thin fellows. His favorite part of this day: the incredible talent of his assistants (sound right, John?)  Big feature story to follow!

Oleg, A&D's only enrolled vampire, works on his new formula for SPF 6000...OR...breathes through two Bic pens for an hour while me and Captain Leyland make a body cast.  What's the deal?

Let's just say, "The Iceman Cometh!"

Emily (a.k.a. Boba Fett)  explores alternative Spring Break: tanning a'la TIG welder while slaying a bronze dragon!

Meghan decides to resurrect the Dodo bird with something a bit more durable than Dodo bird, i.e. BRONZE!  Extinct this Mutha Naycha!  Here she's working on a laminated rubber mold and a                                                                         caffeine buzz.

Headline:  Penguine receives two arm casts after rescuing BBC filmmakers from seal clubbers.  Attending physician, Dr. Levester, not pictured.

Stay tuned...






Self-Healing Sculpture

Zack Jacobson-Weaver is the Materials Fabrication Studio Coordinator at A&D.

 This bronze statue known as "The Dancing Girl of Mohenjo-Daro" is about 4500 years old.  Bronze has been used in sculpture for it's balance of  workability and durability.  Workability being relative.  Today we can cast a full size human figure in bronze in a matter of months.  It is known that bronze statues from antiquity (on a LARGE scale) took as many as  25 YEARS  to complete.  That's like a 124-credit class or something.  

HOWEVER, students from TU Delft ( ) in the Design/Engineering program may have beaten bronze with concrete!  Yea, concrete, the stuff that rips the tie-rods out of your car while bouncing through potholes in (ahem....sorry Mr. Steve) some place like Detroit.  How is that possible?  Self-healing concrete, duh!  Self-Healing sculpture: that's what I'm talkin' about.


Sounds like all of us will be outlived by bacteria!  All of us except for one man: Senator Robert C. Byrd of the best state ever, West Virginia!  Senator Byrd, who was given Abe Lincoln's ABE LINCOLN, is 146 years old this month and still kickin' A!
Change?!  Not this year Mr. President.


Yes, No, Maybe: First Year MFA Student Show

Adaptation, awareness, abandonment and karaoke.

John Kannenberg is a first year MFA candidate in the School of Art and Design.

Photos from the Yes No Maybe opening reception.

The first year MFA cohort recently finished installing a group show to exhibit work made during our first few months in the program here at UM. By far one of our best experiences yet as a class, the show came together organically and culminated with a well-attended opening reception on February 12.

Getting ten artists in a room together to show off their work isn't always easy (at one point someone made a reference to herding cats, which wasn't too far from the truth!), but we somehow managed to elegantly cram a lot of work into that space.

Transmogrification from Emilia Javanica on Vimeo.

Looking around the show during the reception, it was really impressive that our class has such diverse interests and works in such a wide variety of media. We've got Lea's painting, James' photo triptychs, and Amanda's and my prints covering the 2-D field, with Meghan's sculptures and Reed's interactive drawing and cutting installation working the third dimension. You want time-based work? We've got that too: Jessica and Yuan both installed video installations, while Emilia, Collin and I are showing video pieces on small screens. I've got a short, in-progress sound piece.

But most of the action at the opening involved Emilia's performance/installation, which included a karaoke machine that was open for everyone's use, and still is.

Make sure to catch the "Yes No Maybe" show before it closes at the end of the month, and feel free to put the karaoke machine through its paces.

Following the Huron from Collin McRae on Vimeo.


Update from Germany No.2

Michael Rodemer is spending much of the Summer of 2011 doing a collaborative art project in Berlin with Berlin artist (and former A&D Witt Resident) Franz John as part of Über-Lebenskunst, a symposium devoted to exploring sustainability, sponsored by the House of World Cultures and the Federal Cultural Foundation.

The work on the bridges in Aachen is going slowly, but steadily, forward. Peter Schneider, the German artist with whom I’m doing the exhibition, is making a construction out of “Riesen-Bärenklau” (“giant bear claw” -- heracleum mantegazzianum) that you can see in some of the photos below. (This picture gives no idea of the size of these things – the stalk is as thick as your wrist in parts! The flower is nearly a foot across! And it feels lighter than styrofoam.) He’s building the arc of a bridge from each side: from one side with (very aggressive!) blackberry brambles, from the other with feathers that seem to float in air. (for more photos, see: and click on the dates at left to see pix.) 
photo by Peter Schneider
I’ve made a couple of meter-long bridges out of 5x5mm wooden sticks, triangulating them like the bridges I went over as a child in central Illinois, on my way to go fishing with my grandfather in the Sangamon River or Salt Creek. Those were creepy, though beautiful, bridges: beautiful for their form and dark, rusty color, but creepy for the fact that the roadbed was made of wood planks which rose and fell beneath our truck’s wheels – crack! kaWhomp! creaaaaaak! – in such a way that made the swirling waters beneath seem like an imminent destination. (You could, in fact, look down through a hole in the truck floorboard, and see, through the gaps left by missing planks, the voracious brown water below, with tufts of foam of mysterious origin spinning in unexplainable vortices.)
So I made these zigzag frames for each side of the bridge and was trying to hold them parallel to one another to gauge what size board I’d want to get for the roadbed, when they slipped together at the far end, making a bridge that went from broad to narrow! Bing! This was MUCH better than what I’d intended to do! Change of plans! 
Then I considered what the metaphorical implications of this change could be, liked what I thought of, and proceeded to design another bridge. This one goes from wide to narrow in both the horizontal and vertical dimensions; I’ve built it also. Will dip both bridges into grey paint tomorrow, then see how I like the addition of tiny human figures. Companies here make a huge variety of little people that are meant to enliven model railroad scenery. Some of them are predictable (train personnel), but others are more lively, like people kissing, kids on bikes, old ladies with a cane, people at the beach, a painter with easel and model, someone in an outhouse, babies in strollers, ad infinitum. ( This may be corny, or it may put the interpretive spin on these constructions that I’m after. I hope the effect will be understated, something one has to look closely at to see.
On another front, I picked up the circuit boards on Monday that the Elektrotechniker at the University of Siegen made from my design; these will enable me to control the direction and speed of two DC motors or one stepper motor. (And yes, it does look a little like a face...)  
The black chip on the left is the motor controller, and it’s being driven by electrical signals from the right chip, a microcontroller (tiny computer) that I can program to do what I want. So, the chip serves as a surrogate for the artist. It works – now I just have to get the behavior I want by orchestrating a combination of electrical and mechanical factors that usually turn out to be more complicated than they at first appear.
Finally, the answer to the question at the end of the last blog (in case you’ve not seen it already in the press release): Article 5 of the German constitution guarantees freedom of speech.
Here’s the article, followed by a translation:
Artikel 5

(1) Jeder hat das Recht, seine Meinung in Wort, Schrift und Bild frei zu äußern und zu verbreiten und sich aus allgemein zugänglichen Quellen ungehindert zu unterrichten. Die Pressefreiheit und die Freiheit der Berichterstattung durch Rundfunk und Film werden gewährleistet. Eine Zensur findet nicht statt.

(2) Diese Rechte finden ihre Schranken in den Vorschriften der allgemeinen Gesetze, den gesetzlichen Bestimmungen zum Schutze der Jugend und in dem Recht der persönlichen Ehre.

(3) Kunst und Wissenschaft, Forschung und Lehre sind frei. Die Freiheit der Lehre entbindet nicht von der Treue zur Verfassung.
(1) Every person has the right to freely express and make public their opinions in spoken word, written form, and images, and to inform themselves, unhindered, from publicly available sources. The freedom of the press and of reporting in broadcast media and film are guaranteed. There shall be no censorship.
(2) These rights are limited by the requirements of general laws, by the laws protecting youth, and by the right to personal dignity.
(3) Art and science, research and teaching are free. Academic freedom does not relieve one of the obligation to remain true to the constitution.