Kirsten Lepore is an artist and filmmaker who works with different animation techniques, including stop-motion animation and claymation. Creating personal short films and animated segments for clients such as Yo Gabba Gabba, Whole Foods, and MTV, Lepore is known for her hand-fabricated film sets and characters made from an eclectic mix of materials including clay, food, sand and snow. Her wildly popular food-themed film, Sweet Dreams, stars a butternut squash who shows a cupcake the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. The award-winning film is remarkable in its production design, art direction, and wordless storytelling style. We visited Lepore at her Los Angeles studio to learn more about the intentions behind her food-focused film, the unusual materials she works with to create her animations, and why she loves the laborious process of stop-motion animation.
Kirsten Lepore also gave us a hands-on demonstration of her preferred techniques for creating claymation. Lepore's technical set-up is sophisticated, but the animation process is simple and can be recreated using digital cameras and editing programs like iMovie and iStopMotion. Even flipbooks are a form of animation.
If you could create art on the street to spread a message, what would it be?
Find or create an image and/or text that symbolizes something (or someone) you believe in. Then visit the Stencil Graffiti Creator to generate a virtual stenciled version of your image. Send it to us via Twitter with a message about what your image represents. You can even stencil a meme! We'll post selections here on Edspace.
Stencil art makes use of a paper, cardboard, or other media to create an image or text that is easily reproducible. The desired design is cut out of the selected medium and then the image is transferred to a surface using spray paint. The process of stenciling involves applying paint over a stencil to form an image on a surface below. Sometimes multiple layers of stencils are used on the same image to add colors or create the illusion of depth.
Those who make and apply stencils have many motivations. For some, it is an easy method to produce a political message. Many artists appreciate the publicity that their artwork can receive, and some just want their work to be seen in an accessible venue. Since the stencil stays uniform throughout its use, it is easier for an artist to quickly replicate what could be a complicated piece at a very quick rate, when compared to other conventional street art methods.
Mike Shine is a Bay Area artist who uses stencils to contribute to his ongoing narrative about carnival characters. Recently, he has used his large-scale stencils to create permanent murals in San Francisco. In the video below, Making Stencils with Mike Shine, you will see his son create an image of a flying pig. This video will help you create your own paper stencils so that you can start spreading your message or homage all over town. Remember to be respectful and only use your stencils in permitted places, such as on your own notebooks and t-shirts.
For the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge, Spark-featured artist Stephanie Syjuco created an expansive shop of souvenirs produced in a monochrome palette: the memorable orange hue of the Golden Gate Bridge. Working with the same paint used to keep the bridge looking fresh, Syjuco's installation features all things reddish-orange: teacups, jewelry, postcards and tchotchkes that are surprisingly not for sale, but presented together as a conceptual art installation. This project contributes to the artist's oeuvre, which instigates dialogue about consumerism and our natural desire for objects and mementos.
Mary Cassatt, Little Girl in a Blue Armchair, 1878. National Gallery of Art.
Please welcome arts educator Anna Efanova to EdSpace. She recently participated in a KQED Education workshop where we spent a day at MoAD learning about historical representation through art and film, and later created short films at KQED about missing voices or stories in history. Anna created a film about some important female artists that she wanted to introduce to her students.
From Anna Efanova: We often hear and talk about bringing technology into the classroom. KQED does exactly that by offering workshops for educators that inspire and teach them how to enhance their lessons with technology. I have been looking for other possibilities to present visuals about the artists, and here was an opportunity to learn how to use iMovie.
The workshop began with an inspirational and thought provoking tour of the MOAD museum and their exhibition, COLLECTED: Stories of Acquisition and Reclamation. We explored highlights from personal collections of books, posters and other memorabilia about the culture and history of African Americans.
On the second day of the workshop, we were introduced to the iMovie software and started to create our presentations. It was a first experience for me, but I found the software quite intuitive and easy to operate with the help of Matthew Williams. The whole experience of putting the images, voice and music together made me think of the relative elements of the presentation that make it interesting. I have also added text to make sure that the attention is kept in focus. With the abundance of the media around us and our students, it is to start daydreaming if there is not enough stimulation.
By the end of the third day we got to see the other teachers' projects. I was delighted to see that everyone has taken their own route to present what is closer to their teaching and student's needs. My presentation was about Women artists. I often use images and then talk while showing the work to the students. Making a movie made me think more deeply about the structure and the overall cohesiveness of the presentation. Now, when I introduce a lesson I can use my own video as a starting point and then use the questions and conversations to explore the subject deeper.
Here is how I will follow up with a lesson plan for upper middle school students, or younger high school students:
Introduce women artists through their work.
Explore how the social status of women has changed over the years and influenced the work they created.
Compare mediums used to create artwork and discuss the effect of the presentation of each medium.
Students will choose an artist as an inspiration to create their own work.
Why has the artists chosen their particular medium?
What social/political/biographical facts have influenced the artist's work?
Thanks to Anna Efanova for her wonderful video about notable female artists throughout history and today. It is a perfect film for March, which is Women's History month.
In your opinion, is graffiti art? Why or why not? Optional: Add a photo of graffiti or street art you've seen in your neighborhood.
Graffiti is a controversial form of self-expression. There are many conflicting viewpoints about its value (or detriment) to society, but one thing is for sure: Graffiti has many forms, and the dynamic genre of street art has been recognized by educators, art students, museums, galleries, and art appreciators worldwide for more than three decades.
The Bay Area is home to many artists who have painted the town with their words and characters, and the Mission District was an original hotspot for street-based public art projects. Clarion and Balmy Alleys both have a long history of being dedicated to graffiti, murals, and street art.
Local luminary Barry McGee is one of the most well-known contemporary American artists, and a retrospective of his work is coming to the Berkeley Art Museum in 2012. An installation of his work is also currently on view at SFMOMA. Influenced by skate/surf subcultures and the Do-It-Yourself aesthetic that San Francisco is famous for, he was among the first street artists to cross over into museum territory, though he stays true to his graffiti roots. KQED's Gallery Crawl interviewed the influential artist in 2008 when he was working under the pseudonym, Lydia Fong.
Art's main job is to ask questions, and the graffiti/street art genre does exactly that. Here are some more questions to consider: When graffiti or street art is on view in a gallery or museum, how is it perceived differently? Are sanctioned murals more acceptable than spontaneous, "illegal" acts of art-making? If it's not art, what is it? What are your personal experiences with graffiti? Dive into KQED archives for more examples of local street artists in San Francisco.
To respond to the Do Now, you can comment below or tweet your response. Be sure to begin your tweet with @KQEDedspace and end it with #KQEDDoNow
In San Francisco, you can’t trip and fall without landing on a talented artist. In fact, KQED’s headquarters are located across the street from a three-story building full of working artists in their studios. This is where we found contemporary painter Jeremy Sutton hard at work on a portrait of local musician, Danny Armstrong. We spent an afternoon in Jeremy’s studio watching him draw and paint, and discovering his art historical influences.
If you don’t already know Jeremy Sutton and his work, you’re sure to be charmed by his passion and dedication. This short, lively interview will inspire writing and painting projects in your classroom, as well as art history research projects. Find specific lesson plan ideas and additional resources in our related Educator Guide.
This video will be screened for thousands of Bay Area students after they tour the de Young Museum’s newest exhibition, Masters of Venice, which includes works by 16th century master artists, “Titian, Giorgione, Veronese, Tintoretto, Mantegna, and more.”
Museum educators will use the video to inspire students’ own drawing and painting practices, and help them recognize how centuries-old artworks continue to inspire the artists of today. For information about arranging a free tour of the exhibition for your class, visit the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco’s Web site.
To see more vibrant portraiture by Jeremy Sutton, visit his Web site. Jeremy is also an educator and offers painting classes in his studio.