Artist Tremain Smith is in the first cohort of students in the new Teaching Artist Certificate program. Smith earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and has also studied at Carnegie-Mellon University, Tyler School of Art and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. An artist all her life, Smith took some time away from art and worked as a community organizer in West Philadelphia for over 10 years. Then, realizing she couldn’t abandon her first love, she went back to art and began her professional career as an artist. “After 15 plus years in the studio, I have come full circle again to the point where I want my art practice and my social and community concerns to converge,” she said.
Archive for May, 2010
Diane Koss is a 2008 graduate of the Continuing Education Print + Web Design Dual Certificate program. Also a graduate of the College of New Jersey, she majored in Fine Arts with concentrations in Photography and Jewelry.
In 2007, Koss became the owner, designer and creator behind the plush toy company, Cutesy but not Cutesy. Her Heartfelt Monsters have their own individual personalities and stories that come with them. Each monster also has a plush heart sewn into the interior of its body. Since the heart is slightly firmer than the rest of the body, it can actually be felt when the monster’s body is squeezed.
At the age of nine Simeone received a darkroom kit for Christmas. He immediately became fascinated with the process. However, it was his later interest in music that really inspired his career in photography. “I was fascinated in watching other photographers taking photos at rock concerts, and I started doing the same,” he said.
Graduating with a BFA in Painting from Boston University, Granwell then earned an MFA in Fine Arts from the University of Pennsylvania. Recently, Granwell has been most interested in working somewhere between painting and sculpture. She is inspired by urban decay and intrigued by the cyclical aspect of structures falling apart and being rebuilt. “I study and collect arrangements of trash and weathered objects that fill the surrounding neighborhood by my studio,” she said. “These eroded items fit together to create their own language of strength and fragility.”
Born in Reading, Pa., Nicole Tranquillo fell in love with music, poetry and dance when she was very young. In junior high, Tranquillo had already been classically trained in piano for nine years when she picked up the acoustic guitar. When she then started writing and performing her own music, she realized she wanted to pursue music professionally. “I had always written poetry from a young age,” Tranquillo said, “but once I realized I could combine my words with melodies, everything clicked.”
Lucía Farías Villarreal loved art classes as a child and in high school took private art lessons in her hometown of Monterrey, Mexico. But it wasn’t until after she took some time off to study painting and printmaking for a semester at Glassell School of Art in Houston that she decided to make art her career.
Introduced to the book as an art form at Glassell, Farías Villarreal made her first simple book in one of her painting classes at the Universidad de Monterrey in Mexico. “After this day I went home and made a variety of blank books with the little information I had,” she said. “Then and now the book arts field in Mexico is very, very limited.”
In college Rosenthal’s interests lead her to graphic design. She thought the field was the perfect combination of marketability and creativity. However, she majored in Illustration so she could study drawing and at the same time learn graphics software. Rosenthal graduated with a BFA from Parsons School of Design and then worked in New York City as a graphic designer for six years.
Studying English literature at Millersville University, Greg Pizzoli minored in Fine Art and first took a screen printing class the last semester of his senior year. He immediately fell in love with the process and has been constructing his life around making work ever since.
After graduating, Pizzoli became an AmeriCORPS VISTA Volunteer and served first as Program Director at Island Arts Center, a non-profit community art center in Newport, RI, and then a second year at the Center for Intergenerational Learning at Temple University.
Amanda Elizabeth teaches Jewelry in Continuing Education and the Pre-College Summer Institute. A graduate of the University of the Arts with a BFA in Metals/Crafts, Elizabeth has also studied at Penland School of Crafts in Penland, NC and Peter’s Valley Craft Education Center in Layton, NJ.
Currently working out of her studio in an old lead factory, Amanda Elizabeth Jewelry started in 2004. While Elizabeth dreams of one day hiring a staff and owning a larger studio to see more of her visions come to life, she has spent the last few years developing her jewelry line and finding her voice. “The simplicity of form and subtle movements that occur within nature drive my work,” she said. “I work for my jewelry to interpret the nature that surrounds us; I am inspired by the intricate structure of plants which I then abstract into broader shapes and simple lines.”
Located just 10 blocks from the Allegheny Avenue exit off I-95, Staack Woodworking is a huge, professionally-equipped facility with multiple workstations. Free on-street parking is available, Home Depot is within walking distance and a production studio outfitted with modern tools and equipment is on-site.
James Moore earned his BA from Temple University with a concentration in Arts. While at Temple he worked as a finisher for Maxwell and Kelly, a small company that specialized in solid cherry furnishings. There, he met John Staack. When Mike Maxwell relocated to Virginia, Moore began a nearly five-year working apprenticeship with Michael Hurwitz.