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ART 285: Introduction to New Genres

Submitted on January 9, 2023 - 3:36pm
Class project made of textiles and found objects by Hayden Stern
Class project for ART 285 made of textiles and found objects by Hayden Stern

Background

Every year, the School welcomes a large cohort of new transfer students to the University of Washington who bring prior college coursework as well as professional and life experiences, all of which contribute significantly to our dynamic undergraduate student population and community. Hayden Stern is one of those students. They joined the UW as a new transfer student in Art at the start of autumn quarter 2022 and hit the ground running with multiple studio classes in their first quarter. Stern's experience in ART 285 (Introduction to New Genres), taught by Interdisciplinary Visual Art Assistant Professor Rob Rhee, was a particularly transformative introduction to the School that has set the tone for their future at the University. Stern kindly shared information about their experience.

Interview

Would you introduce yourself and tell us why you're studying Art at UW?

I am a junior transfer student in the Interdisciplinary Visual Art (IVA) concentration. I originally transferred to the UW School of Art + Art History + Design because I am a working figurative painter and felt that I could benefit from connecting with other artists, skill building, and learning techniques outside my primary discipline.

Tell us a bit about your ART 285 class with Professor Rob Rhee?

I initially decided to take this class to help me decide between the IVA and Painting + Drawing concentrations. ART 285 made me fall in love with conceptual art! Professor Rhee helped us structure projects around conceptual themes and ways of working, and gave us a ton of freedom around choice of materials and the form of each piece. Student projects ranged from comics to wearable garments to performance art to audio experiences. We learned to create work based on rigorous, intellectual processes, and how to integrate research into a studio arts practice.

What kinds of projects were you working on over the quarter?

I decided early on in the quarter to complete the class projects using textile-based media. Our first project was focused on making processes that were time bound and/or ritualized, and I created a mixed media textile object that I added to every hour, sewing on objects I found within an arm's length of me. The object forms a calendar of disabled embodiment and relationship to labor and resource. For another project, I created a video of me weaving a part of my own genome, featuring a soundtrack also composed from that genome (I transformed DNA nucleobases into yarn colors and musical notes). We also learned to use the laser cutter and the screenprinting library.

What did you enjoy most about the course and how has it impacted your progress in Art?

This class completely changed the trajectory of my art career. Because of ART 285, I’ve realized I want to work with experimental, textile-based 3D art. Professor Rhee has such a gift for seeing ways each student might push themselves, and for creating a space where real collaboration and critique happen. I left the class with a new way of working, new friends, and a deep sense that the School supports my ambitions as an artist.

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