Non-Traditional Materials: Working from Imagination and Observation
In this course we will investigate the uses of non-traditional media in two and three-dimensional works of art. Contemporary art practice embraces a vast range of techniques and materials, and unusual materials are used both for their specific connotations and visual impact. We will look at examples of this type of work and explore the possibilities presented by the rich natural environment of the Cumberland Plateau.
We will incorporate new techniques and materials in the context of drawings, painting, and three-dimensional objects. Artists will be encouraged to expand their material vocabulary - we will make pigments from natural and artificial materials, use found objects and assemblage, and produce experimental and finished works of art.
We will work in the field and in the studio - collecting materials and working from direct observation of the landscape and organisms and artifacts found there, and from photographs. This course is intended for people at all levels of experience.
Ben Potter was born in 1970 and grew up in Sewanee, Tennessee. He majored in Art and Biology at Williams College, where he was awarded a Mellon Grant for experimental work in the arts, as well as a Hutchinson fellowship, which funded a year of art making after graduation. He received his M.F.A. in Painting and Drawing from the California College of Arts in 1998. He taught classes in sculpture, design, photography, drawing, and painting at several Vermont colleges and Ripon College in Wisconsin before moving to Unity College in Maine, where he is a professor of art. His art practice stems from his interdisciplinary background. He has exhibited widely in the United States and Europe.
I am interested in the oscillation between representation and abstraction. My pieces are derived from patterns found in the landscape. I work with the connotations of materials and the nuance they lend to the work. Materials such as plywood, milk, soot, and pollen have meaning beyond their mark-making qualities: construction, destruction, growth. Simple forms can have many layers.
Website: Ben Potter
- x-acto knives
- Elmers glue
- spray glue