Oona Stern

A few months ago the students of the Fine Arts department at FIT were fortunate enough to hear the guest speaking of Oona Stern. The lecture took place in the center painting studio of the 6th floor in the D building, D626. It was the first guest speaking of the Fall 2009 semester and one of my favorites. Oona really captured my attention the way she spoke about her work. She seemed as though she didn’t normally speak publicly about her art, but then it became clear that she intends for her work to speak for itself.
She mainly spoke about two large projects that meant a lot to her. The first, about her public exhibition called “reSurfacing: Street Structures” where she turned plain everyday structures such as telephone booths, parking garage kiosks and newsstands into something extroadinary. She did this by covering the structures with crude drawings of bricks, shingles and stone that were printed on vinyl material and then applied to the surface of the structures on the street by the artist herself. I admired her for coming up with such an overlooked concept of the alternate uses for these public places and “doing her own dirty work”. She seemed to find it amusing and enjoyable to execute. Speaking very nonchalant about the whole thing, her motto about this series was “A certain number of people might see it and it might make an impact on them. If they don’t see it, oh well.”
Oona Stern assembled a similar project that took place of the usual advertisements in several subway stations. Here she created a wallpaper themed motif that was repeated for about 3-5 panels in a row. With this project, she claimed she had hoped someone would graffiti on the paneling. She then further explained that she intended to bring the panels back to a state of “blankness”. And in this state the viewer can perceive the panel however they would like.
The second half of the lecture Oona Stern discussed her experiences in Alaska. The journey of this endeavor began with Oona applying for a grant to support her trip to Alaska where she would study structures of icebergs and glaciers. Although she did not recieve the grant on the first try, she told us persistence is of much importance in projects as large as this.
Oona’s enthusiasm with hundreds of photos for portraying the trip to the students, easily displayed that she appreciated even the long and tiring traveling it took to arrive, as well as her stay. While spending hours on a small boat in a huge body of freezing water, she studied and drew what she learned about a molecular structure and its enviorment. As well as capture countless photos of landscapes and wildlife. While her watercolors of the glaciers and mountains was my favorite part. Along with her interpretations of the icebergs through sculpture. She commented that her work was done in paper mache and looked like what her 8 year old son would like to do, but she seemed to embrace the raw feeling of her work and gladly presented her story to all of us as we intently listened.

Advertisements

~ by melissuh3 on December 16, 2009.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: