Well, it seems that this project is at its official end.  Since this blog was created for my Online Journalism class and we’re at the end of the semester, I guess this is goodbye.  But only a temporary goodbye.  I will do my best to keep up with ruartistic–after the holiday season of course.  Christmas bells are jinglin’ and this full-time student needs a break from the marathon that is beat blogging.  I’ll be  sipping on eggnog, watching Muppet’s Christmas Carol repeatedly, and trying to slowly recover from the many disappointments   journalism entails.

As a whole, it’s been a great learning experience.  That being said, I don’t ever want to be a journalist.  I never really planned on it, but I always considered myself open to anything.   Journalism, however, is certainly not for me.  I have a new-found respect for the craft and the people who dedicate their lives to it.  Being ignored, sometimes dealing with rude people, and often having to resort to plans C, D, and E are very tiring and rough on the ego.  That’s not to say there aren’t any pros to the job.  When the pieces come together it’s an awesome feeling.

Here are five of my proudest blogging moments:

All in all, it’s been a great ride.  I got to talk to some interesting people, learn about art, and hopefully inspire some readers.  I even built an audience along the way, which is all a blogger can really ask for.  So, Goodbye…for now.

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Rowan Fine Arts Students Create Exhibit in Old Bookstore

It’s freezing out.  I’m coughing up a lung and I wonder if this is what consumption feels like.  Oh, and I’m lost.

You would think with three-and-a-half years at Rowan under my belt I would be able to locate the entrance to the old bookstore—nope.  I try to open the door but it won’t budge.  I peer inside and all I see is empty space and rubble.  “Well,” I think to myself, “they must be going for minimalism.”

After a lap around the parking lot I finally see it—a small television set on a desk in front of a chair in the middle of some grass.  And a big sign with T.H.A.W. draped over it.  I now feel cold and exceptionally stupid.  But I successfully located the mystery-gallery everyone seems to be talking about.  I’m certainly glad I found it.

The lower portion of Winan Hall, Rowan’s old bookstore, looks nothing like the rest of the dusty, abandoned building; it’s spotless, painted a glossy white, and full of original artwork.  The abandoned building is now home to the renegade art gallery, T.H.A.W.

“We did all the work ourselves,” said senior fine arts major, Heather Fessmire. “We sanded the walls, painted, cleaned furniture and turned the building into an art gallery. It was a real challenge, but it was definitely worth it”

At T.H.A.W., the artwork is the exhibit

Nine fine arts students from Professor Tom Bendtsen’s advanced sculpture class were given a seemingly simple assignment:  create an original exhibit.  But there was a catch—the class couldn’t use an existing gallery; they had to create one.

“We originally wanted to use this old, abandoned house but Rowan thought it was too much of an insurance risk, so they let us use the old book store,” said senior fine art major, Martel Thompkins.  “We all got our own space and were free to do whatever we wanted.”

With complete creative freedom, the students were able to create extremely innovative, avante-garde work. The gallery consists of interactive sculptures, video, performance art, and a live tattoo demonstration on a pig’s head.  Sadly, I missed the tattoo demonstration by a day.  According to junior fine art major and professional tattoo artist, Ashley Ammann, attaining a pig’s head is no easy task.

Ashley Ammann tattooing a lucky pig

“I was surprised that people weren’t that grossed out by what I was doing,” said Amman. “They were actually really into it.  It’s fun to incorporate what I do into a performance.  I get a kick out of it.”

The idea of bridging the gap between traditional art and more contemporary methods can be found throughout T.H.A.W.  Senior Fine Arts Major Anthony Algieri combined his backgrounds in metalworks and sculpture to create a robot made of recyclable material he controls with a pedal.  There is no name tag next to his piece, just a hand-written note pondering the nature of consciousness.

Similarly, heather Fessmire’s piece, “Reconceive” mixes sculpture with a video installation shot in black light.  In the piece, a nude woman slowly becomes visible as she rubs white paint and detergent on herself, then recedes from visibility as she wipes it off.

The installation ran from December 6-8, so, sadly, you missed your chance to experience it. And I truly mean ‘experience.’  The nine artists created something completely immersive and surreal with T.H.A.W.  I’m extremely glad I had the chance to witness it.

For those of you who did not attend T.H.A.W., check out this video:

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Meet Art Major and Graphic Designer Josh Carter

Art Major, graphic designer and all-around creative dude, Josh Carter, was born in Arvada Colorado.  He moved to South Jersey at the ripe age of one.  When he’s not in class, with his girlfriend, or “broing out,” The David Lynch-influenced Josh sends free art to people through his website.  Josh was kind enough to answer a few questions for me.  Enjoy!

"The best part about a pencil that's too sharp to put in your pocket is that you get to hold it."-Josh Carter

How would you describe your artistic philosophy?

I would describe my artistic philosophy as a lot of different philosophies combined into one. I think you can find art anywhere.

Why did you initially get into art?

I initially got into art because it was something I loved to do and it didn’t hurt like work did.

Which art courses did you enjoy the most?

I really enjoyed taking the motion courses at Rowan. I had motion one which is animation based, motion two which concentrates on video and an independent study in motion where I concentrated on animation and video. Here’s my main project from that independent study.

What does Rowan’s membership to PAFA mean for art students?

The PAFA membership is great i wish i had more time to go hang out at the museum.

What are your thoughts on the upcoming merger of the Fine and performing arts program into the Communications Department?

At first I wasn’t for it but now I don’t mind because it’s not going to change anything really.

If you could give an aspiring artist one bit of advice what would it be?

I do lots of different art. video and animation are one of my main out lets and then there’s the design side of my art life so lately on the design side I’ve been heavily influenced by Aaron Draplin. He’s a very down to earth designer who started out as a snowboard art designer and  one of his most recent jobs was designing the logo for the stimulus package.

His philosophy: if you’re making art that you love, then its good art.


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New Poll: When do you prefer to make art?

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Meet Public Relations/Journalism Double-Major Darrah Foster

There is a reason Rowan’s Art department will merge into the School of Communications next year.  Both disciplines require a high level of creativity.  Public Relations/Journalism double-Major, Darrah Foster pursues art mainly as a hobby.  When she isn’t perfecting her writing and preparing presentations for her senior Case Studies class, carrying out her many responsibilities as President of Rowan’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), or working at her internship, Darrah enjoys drawing,  painting, and singing.  She was kind enough to take some time out of her busy day to answer some questions and send me some of her work. Enjoy!

16 X 20 acrylic

1.What go you into art?
I started drawing when I was younger (around 7). I used to draw up my own magazines and pictures for my mom and dad. When I got to middle school I began to use art as an outlet. One of my watercolor paints was sold at an art show for $35. I was one happy teenager!

24 X 36 acrylic

2.What is your favorite stlye?
I love to do abstact art in acryllic. Acryllic is my favorite medium because it is very forgiving. Another style is freehand drawing then painting it on a canvas in acryllic.


3.What are some of youre inspirations?
The people in my life are ususally my inspirations. The big painting I am working on right now is inspired by my brother. He wanted something that represented him and his wife and son. So I chose our last name “Foster” and was inspired by their livingroom. Another inspiration is my emotions. I found that my emotions never fail me when I am doing something artistic. I did the Dave and Darrah painting thinking of the greatest love, Dave and I. The whole time I just thought of us as an inspiration. For “my brothers eyes” sketching and the “door to freedom” sketching, I pulled from my emotions of missing him when he went away to the ARMY.

18 x 24 graphite powder sketching

4.Do you plan on pursuing a career in art or maybe the creative?
Well, as you know, I am a PR and Journalism major. I love to design and layout things. I wouldn’t mind working on an internal or external publications for a company. I will always use my creativity, whether I get paid or not. It is something that is in my blood. I come from a very artisticly expressive family. We write, dance, sing and paint.

16 X 12 Charcoal

5.What advice would you give to people who aren’t art majors but still want to pursue it as a hobby?
Follow your heart, first and foremost. Your heart will always want you to perform artisticly. Art is a form of expression, and you should use that as an outlet.

9 x 12 color pencil drawing

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Meet Engineering Major/Graffiti Artist Bob Sheridan

You don’t have to be an Art major to create or appreciate art in its many forms.  Bob Sheridan, currently a Civil and Environmental Engineering major at Rowan University, seems like an unlikely candidate for “budding graffiti artist.”  Calculus Four and Differential Equations don’t exactly translate to street art, but that doesn’t stop bob from pursuing his newfound passion for, as he says, “doodling.”  Check out this video for more on Bob:


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New Poll–Vote For Your Favorite Artist

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