Art at the Athenaeum

 The Athenaeum- La Jolla, California

The Athenaeum- La Jolla, California

This past week I flew to La Jolla, California to teach an art course at the Athenaeum Music and Arts Library. http://www.ljathenaeum.org/art-classes

My course was focused on the exploration, design, and execution of collage art. Within this course, my students covered historical references including the art of Picasso, Japanese collages, Romare Bearden, Peter Beard, Hannah Hock, Man Ray, Kurt Schwitters, Joseph Cornell, and Baldassari. We spoke about why they are important and what materials were unique to their collaging. 

I also was sure to introduce my students to the formal elements of photography so that they had guidance on what to look for compositionally while they were creating imagery for their collages. This included line, shape, form, color, value, space, composition, design, texture and pattern.

I encouraged my class to explore a theme for their collage project. I asked them to consider what their art was conveying and suggested topics such as a story they wanted to tell, a feeling that needed to be expressed, or a memory that should be recalled.  I also challenged their aesthetics asking them what was important in their design- for example did they want to do something abstract, literal, or landscape oriented. This was all food for thought prepping my class to considering what their viewers would learn or perceive from the work. 

We wrapped our class up with a critique where we shared theory and execution of each student project. I believe that the constructive criticism that my class explored will continue to help them on their personal journey's with collage art. I had a great experience teaching this class and look forward to returning to the Athenaeum in the Spring of 2018.

In preparation of my doing so I would love to know your feedback on: If you were to take an art course what would you be interested in learning about?

Be sure to check out the Athenaeum upcoming art classes and I hope to see you in my next course!

Nine-Ten Resturaunt

Overview

This installation spans across the main wall in a restaurant. The wall is approximately 35 feet long. The artwork is broken up into 3 sections of 3 panels. Each panel is about 10 feet wide and 7.5 feet tall.

Goals

The goal of this project was to fill the space with fresh artwork in an organic form that refreshes the space and compliments the location of the restaurant (being on the West Coast Oceanfront).

Process

I was given the dimensions and color pallet of the space and was provided full creative range of the final imagery. I also spent time working with various print shops to figure out the best way to mount such large-scale work that would not distort or take away from the piece in the space. The final pieces were delivered to the restaurant where John Stoup from the company "I Hang Art" install the final presentation of the work for their customers.

 

Nine-Ten Resturaunt

2017

La Jolla, CA United States

Project Team

ARTIST

Dana Montlack

CLIENT

Terry Underwood
Nine-Ten Resturaunt

OTHER

Joseph Bellows
Joseph Bellows Gallery

Fine Art Photography vs. Commercial Photography

When exploring the differences between fine art and commercial photography there are a few things to consider:

 

  • F.A. (fine art) is based on communicating an idea, feeling, or emotion. The aesthetics comes second to the concept.  These messages tend to come out in ways that require the viewer to critically engage and invest in interpreting the image.  The imagery also allows viewers to explore how they personally connect with the content. 

 

  • C.A. (commercial art): selling comes first, aesthetics secondary. The goal is to sell the product or idea at hand.   Therefore commercial artists usually have more realistic and literal approaches to how they create images.

 

 

 

When people ask me what I do, I state that I am a fine art photographer. If I simply say photographer, people presume I take pictures of weddings, portraits, or objects for catalogues.  But what I do is nothing like that.  
 
In my work i use various lenses, microscopes, and scanners. They allow me to capture texture and shape in a specific and close-up way.  From these microscopic views, I build a larger image that conveys my ideas and/or tells a story. These stories may be about the natural history of a species of a specific region, or about cellular structure of a jelly fish for example.
 
I explore the beauty of what may not be obvious or accessible to the human eye, and magnify it so that my audience can see a different aspect of our magnificent world.
 
If you are interested in purchasing Fine Art Photography from Dana Montlack, please call (858) 652-0507