Katie Bullock is Fantastic

It is always such a pleasure to meet with Sean Foley and discuss the progression of his new installation, Ruse, at MASS MoCA.

Ball State University professor, Hannah Barnes, arrived at MASS MoCA to assist with Sean’s giant project which will cover our 100-foot long hallway!

Sean Foley & Hannah Barnes

Sean said he’s always wanted to do an installation like this, but he needed the space to do it! (And that’s exactly what MASS MoCA is here for!)

Sean, and his assistants were hard at work when we stopped by. They were taping up stencils when Sean suggested that we take the time out to interview his studio assistant, Katie Bullock.

Katie is a third year painting and drawing student at Ohio State University.

Katie Bullock

Katie is a very genuine and hard-working young woman. She told us she has always loved to draw and be active.

She never considered a career in art until high school, when her teacher suggested that she participate in a summer art school in 2007. She decided to major in painting and drawing at Ohio State University. She still felt very unsure of her position and choices, but after taking one class with Sean- she knew this is what she wanted to do.

“It’s been incredible,” said Katie about her experience at MASS MoCA. “I’ve learned so much by working with Sean.”

We asked her what is the most valuable lesson she has learned since she came to Massachusetts. Katie said this experience has made her dreams seem possible. “If you’re passionate about it, you can do it,” she said. (She also mentioned that she REALLY enjoyed the delicious food from The Hub!)

But the real reason Katie is here is to assist Sean with the installation of the “monster painting”. Sean described the painting as camouflage/amorphous/invisible man art. The 3D mural will resemble camouflage chaos but when viewers stand in the “perfect spot” they will see the hidden face or “invisible man”. It’s-gonna-be-craaazy!!!!

Today the artists were taping on the stencils cut out by lasers and will be working long into the night with loud music.

Hopefully Katie, and other dedicated students, will inspire you to continue to educate yourself everyday. Read a play! Draw a picture! Wikepedia the word- Szczecin!

We’re going to keep you updated on Ruse, which is scheduled to open on January 23!

(Danelle Cheney rocks at taking photos. Thank you!!)

Posted January 18, 2011 by MASS MoCA
Filed under BLOG, Exhibitions, Sean Foley: Ruse, Work-in-progress
Leave a comment »

Digg | | Technorati | Blinklist | Furl | reddit

Quiet Time with Sean Foley

It was getting dark in North Adams when we found Sean Foley, Katie Bullock, and MASS MoCA curator, Denise Markonish in Hunter Hallway – working on a new installation. We asked them if they were tired and Sean shook his head no…then shook his head yes…then shook his head no…and yes.

We began talking logistics about Sean’s new installation, Ruse, at MASS MoCA. Sean seemed a little exhausted when he was talking about work so we decided to ask him, “What advice do you have for a young person who aspires to pursue the arts but lives in an area where art & culture is not easily accessible or accepted?” After that, Sean immediately lit up and showed us why he is a perfect candidate to be an art teacher at Ohio State University.

Sean Foley

Here is some of advice directly from a successful 21st century artist who grew up in Indiana…

1) “Do what you like. You have to care so deeply that you’re not embarrassed when people tell you, you shouldn’t do that.”

2) “Let it be the thing that motivates you.”

3) “You have to constantly develop your intellectual curiosity.”

4) “Make your world,” he said. “Look at art.” He said artists must articulate the experience they have with the piece THEN read about it to develop the secret language and understanding between artists. He explained this language is silent and then compared it to “sniffing like cats.”

Curator, Denise Markonish, and Sean Foley

He spoke very highly of his studio assistant, Katie Bullock, and said she is constantly developing her ideas and ways of thinking.

Katie Bullock

Sean also mentioned the Indie band from Dayton, Ohio; Guided by Voices. They had humble beginnings, recording in a garage for fun. The band started gaining recognition and listeners were amazed by their uniquely developed sound. “You get time in the Midwest to do things wrong and develop your position…Sometimes you think you’re doing it wrong but it could be right. But if it’s right, chances are, it’s been done before,” he said.

We wrapped up the interview by asking him why he chose art for the direction in his life. He explained that he always knew it was what he was going to do, even when he was a kid and fellow classmates teased him for it. “It’s how I make sense of things…I paint to see stuff I’m curious about. It’s the language I speak.”

I hope this particular post inspires young students to develop a relationship with someone they admire. Find a mentor. Stop by your favorite professor’s office. It’s the best way to develop your skills and link them human connections.

Thanks again to Miss Danelle Cheney for the photos!

Make it a good day =]

Posted January 14, 2011 by MASS MoCA
Filed under BLOG, Exhibitions, Sean Foley: Ruse, Work-in-progress
Leave a comment »

Digg | | Technorati | Blinklist | Furl | reddit

Sean Foley/Exchange with Sol LeWitt on the Snow Day

We wanted to track down Sean Foley today for an update on his new project, Ruse, which will appear in the 100-foot long Hunter Hallway at MASS MoCA.

We asked him how he felt about the crazy Massachusetts weather and he said, “I love it! I grew up on the east side of Lake Michigan!” …So he’s pretty used to it. Sean said this weather gives him an excuse to stay inside and work all day!

Sean and his crew were spending time in the shop building, priming, and painting site specific wall-pieces that are made out of MDF (which is basically saw-dust and glue).

They were also cutting brackets for the pop-out pieces of the mural (made out of PVC).

Although Sean is very busy, he is extremely grateful for all the help he is receiving. Studio assistant, Emily Martiny (sadly) had to return to school. Luckily, Sean still has Katie Bullock on his side! “I couldn’t live without Katie,” he said.

Sean is waiting for his former student and current Ball State University Professor, Hannah Barnes, to show up for extra help. She is a painter and “a part of the family” according to Sean.

Sean and the team are planning on knocking out the wall painting and continuing to construct and reposition the pop-out pieces of the 3D mural.

“We’re all very happy. I feel the momentum is behind us today,” said Sean.

…After talking to Sean we went to check out the OTHER exhibition in progressAn Exchange with Sol LeWitt.

LeWitt consistently traded works with admirers and friends. This exhibit is giving artists the opportunity to answer the question, “If you were to exchange a piece of work with Sol LeWitt- what would you do?”

Cabinet and MASS MoCA had an open call for works for the exhibition. The display is scheduled to open on January 23!

Stay updated with the blog and learn more about these AWESOME additions to MASS MoCA!

Special thanks to Danelle Cheney, MASS MoCA’s graphic design intern, for the lovely photos.

Posted January 13, 2011 by MASS MoCA
Filed under An Exchange with Sol LeWitt, BLOG, Exhibitions, Sean Foley: Ruse, Work-in-progress
1 Comment »

Digg | | Technorati | Blinklist | Furl | reddit

Housekeeping with Sean Foley

Hunter Hallway is under renovation as Sean Foley installs his new piece, Ruse…We’re all very excited!!!

Keep in touch with the blog this week as we update you on the new exhibit in our 100-foot long hallway!

Sean was born in Indiana and teaches at Ohio State University. He brought two studio assistants with him, Emily Martiny and Katie Bullock, to help him piece together the “monster painting”.

So what is Foley up to? Yesterday he said they we’re mainly housekeeping and getting the space ready for the 3D mural.

We had the chance to talk to Sean and get an idea of what the piece is going to look like! Sean said most of his works are usually grotesque, however, this one is a little more comic-like and fast-moving.

He is drawing inspiration from camouflage and Looney Tunes.

Sean is using this opportunity to play “Frankenstein” with painting! He says painting is NOT dead! He is attaching colorful pieces to the wall to give the mural more dimensions and LIFE! Mwahahaha!

Sean, who describes himself as a romantic, wants to “privilege your imagination” and allow you to see painting in a new light.

Keep checking the blog for updates!!

Posted January 11, 2011 by MASS MoCA
Filed under BLOG, Exhibitions, Sean Foley: Ruse, Work-in-progress
1 Comment »

Digg | | Technorati | Blinklist | Furl | reddit