TEACHING MATERIALS

benweathers1@gmail.com

VALUES
Art education should be a safe and welcoming place for students to test out ideas, have discussions of their opinions, and to be vulnerable - to be outside their comfort zones. The role of an instructor, is to nurture and tease out the potential within each student, to give them direction, and push them to think in a different mode. More so it is the role of an instructor to be an example of what a working artist can look like and how to make one’s art practice thrive outside of school.

COLOR THEORY
The first thing I ask my students at the beginning of a color theory course is: what is color? Is it a quality of the surface of objects? Is it a quality of light? Is it intrinsic to sight? Or is it something hidden, imbedded in cultural bodies and language that defines our interactions with the world or with each other or with objects? Of course it is all these things. It is the meatiest, most complex of subjects. And throughout history many have tried to define/theorize how we see, interact, and are influenced by color. It is a brilliant, disorienting murky pool of theories, poetics, physicality, tension, and sensation. It is wholly a part of our experience of life: every moment involves color. More than any other aspect of a color theory course, physically looking at colors, seeing a color become shifty and malleable is what I emphasize. To this end, my course relies heavily on hands on, color relation exercises (many from Albers’ Interaction of Color), a daily notebook of observations, and trips to museums/galleries to see how color is used in historical and contemporary artworks. I teach the subject of color from many vantage points and topics: different color systems (Itten, Goethe, Newton, Runge, Ostwald, Munsell, Pantone, etc.), basic vocabulary (i.e. subtractive mixture, additive mixture, the color wheel, hue, intensity, value, etc.), and reading historical and contemporary texts from theoretical to poetic. What I want a student to have learned by the end of my course is how to see and ultimately use color in a more meaningful way. How can a grouping of hues, intensities, and values effect an artworks meaning? Its impact? Its tone? I want a student to be able to go out into the world and not just dismiss a color as a mundane fact but see it as a wonderful, curious occurrence; as a tool that affects us physically and psychologically.

2D DESIGN
This course is focused around fundamental design elements and nurturing the student’s ability to articulate formal and conceptual vocabulary when discussing an artwork. One of the most challenging aspects of this class is showing the student what a practicing artist can be. I want to suss out the ambition and the willingness to take risks that is necessary to be a successful artist. The course concentrates on abstract compositional elements (i.e. line, figure/ground, repetition, etc.) at the beginning of the semester and grows into more complex conceptual discussions (i.e. compositional organization, theme, time and sequence, functionality, etc.) towards the end. What I want the student to have learned by the end of this class is when making or discussing an artwork, they should understand the conceptual weight a simple formal device can have. For example, a line and a material can connote feeling, movement, the body, weight, and cultural/historical meaning. I want them to understand that an artwork is something that must be pulled apart and examined on multiple levels, not just through its pictorial framework but through its formal, cultural, experiential avenues as well.

EDUCATION 2017 Master of Fine Arts, Mason Gross School of Arts (MGSA), Rutgers University (RU), New Brunswick, NJ 2014 Bachelor of Fine Arts - Painting, Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA), Cleveland, OH TEACHING EXPERIENCE 2019 - Present Adjunct Professor, Contemporary Color Theory, William Paterson University, (WPUNJ), Wayne, NJ
2018 - Present Adjunct Professor, 2D Design, WPUNJ, Wayne, NJ 2016 - Present Part Time Lecturer, Visual Thinking A (Design Elements), MGSA, RU, New Brunswick, NJ 2018 Adjunct Instructor, Introduction to Art, Middlesex County College, Edison, NJ 2016 - 2017 Part Time Lecturer, Visual Thinking B, (Color Theory), MGSA, RU, New Brunswick, NJ 2013 Teaching Assistant, Abstraction & Expression Through Drawing, CIA, Cleveland, OH Teaching Assistant, Young Artists Painting Course, CIA, Cleveland, OH PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE 2018 - Present Exhibitions Preparator, Queens Museum, Queens, NY 2016 - Present Gallery Preparator & Installation Assistant, Mason Gross Galleries, MGSA, RU, New Brunswick, NJ 2019 Exhibitions Assistant, Newark Museum, Newark NJ 2018 Exhibitions Preparator, Zimmerli Art Museum, New Brunswick, NJ 2016 - 2017 Wood Shop Monitor, MGSA, RU, New Brunswick, NJ 2016 Design and Editing, Parachute: Mason Gross MFAs in Conversation, MGSA, RU, New Brunswick, NJ 2014 - 2015 Studio Assistant, Corrie Slawson, Cleveland Heights, OH 2011 - 2014 Wood Shop Monitor, CIA, Cleveland, OH 2014 Installation Assistant, Jennifer Omaitz, Red Space, Cleveland, OH Studio Assistant, Lane Cooper, Lakewood, OH
Designer/Contributor, FLUXUS: Arts Advocacy Packet, Zygote Press, Cleveland, OH 2013 Treasurer and Project Secretary, The Shape of Art to Come, Cleveland, OH Studio Assistant, Douglas Sanderson, Cleveland, OH 2012 Curator and Project Head , Blunderbuss, CIA, Cleveland, OH Sign Designer & Fabricator, Wine Spot, Cleveland Heights, OH 2011 Studio Assistant, Barbara Chira, Parma, OH GRANTS/FELLOWSHIPS 2017 Mason Gross Travel Grant, MGSA, RU, New Brunswick, NJ VSC
Artists Grant, Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, VT 2016 Frank P. & Lilly A. Novak Endowed Scholarship, MGSA, RU, New Brunswick, NJ Mason Gross School of the Arts Scholarship Fund, MGSA, RU, New Brunswick, NJ Tepper Family Scholarship in Visual Arts, MGSA, RU, New Brunswick, NJ 2015 Tepper Family Scholarship in Visual Arts, MGSA, RU, New Brunswick, NJ 2013 Provost Scholarship, CIA, Cleveland, OH Liza Noble ’48 Scholarship for Excellence in Painting, CIA, Cleveland, OH 2012 Provost Scholarship, CIA, Cleveland, OH Frances Wise Lang and H. Jack Lang Scholarship for Painting, CIA, Cleveland, OH 2011 Provost Scholarship, CIA, Cleveland, OH 2010 Provost Scholarship, CIA, Cleveland, OH SOLO EXHIBITIONS 2017 Turning, W83, New York, NY 2014 ZEST: BFA Thesis Exhibition, CIA, Cleveland, OH
 TWO PERSON EXHIBITIONS 2015 Blah, Blah, Blah: Ben Weathers and Jamey Hart, Forum Artspace, Lakewood, OH GROUP EXHIBITIONS 2019 Downstairs, Beyond, As of Now Gallery, Brooklyn, NY 2018 JCAST HQ Exhibition, Jersey City Art and Studio Tour, Jersey City, NJ Faculty Exhibition, Ben Shahn Galleries, William Paterson University (WPUNJ), Wayne, NJ Look Both Ways, Mason Gross Galleries, MGSA, RU, New Brunswick, NJ Whatever it is I have Looked For, Marque Projects, Bellport, NY 2017 Stranger Loops: Rutgers MFA in New York, Foley Gallery, New York, NY Action at a Distance: Rutgers MFA Thesis Show, Mason Gross Galleries, MGSA, RU, New Brunswick, NJ 2016 Engagement Party, LIPS, MGSA, RU, New Brunswick, NJ Timbre, Mason Gross Galleries, MGSA, RU, New Brunswick, NJ
Group Show, Robert E. Mortensen Hall, RU, New Brunswick, NJ
Back Wash, Mason Gross Galleries, MGSA, RU, New Brunswick, NJ 2015 Divers: Graduate 1st Year Review, Mason Gross Galleries, MGSA, RU, New Brunswick, NJ Chautauqua 58th Annual Exhibition, Visual Arts at Chautauqua Institution, Chautauqua. NY 2014 Process And Materiality, Beachwood Arts Council, Beachwood, OH Bazaarbeque, Forum Artspace, Lakewood, OH Summer Show, Reinberger Gallery, CIA, Cleveland, OH 68th Annual Student Independent Exhibition, Reinberger Gallery, CIA, Cleveland, OH 2013 Shape of Art to Come, Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland, OH Art Cares, Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH 2012 Color & Form, Art Spot, Cleveland Heights, OH 4u, Zygote Press, Cleveland, OH Blunderbuss, CIA, Cleveland, OH 2011 Five, Art Spot, Cleveland Heights, OH Texture, Art Spot, Cleveland Heights, OH Uncorked, Art Spot, Cleveland Heights, OH 2010 Young Tennessee Artists, Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville, TN VISITING ARTIST AND LECTURES
 2017 Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland, OH RESIDENCIES 2019 Hambidge Center, Raybun Gap, GA (upcoming) 2017 Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, VT 2015 Brush Creek Ranch Foundation for the Arts, Saratoga, WY
 PUBLICATIONS 2016 Parachute: Mason Gross MFAs in Conversation, MGSA, RU, New Brunswick, NJ 2014 FLUXUS: Arts Advocacy Packet , Zygote Press, Cleveland, OH 2013 Albion Review, Albion College, Albion, MI CURATORIAL 2018 - Present Big Toe Gallery, www.bigtoegallery.com (ongoing) 2018 Whatever it is I have Looked For, curated w/Jamey Hart, Marquee Projects, Bellport, NY 2016 Timbre, curated w/ Joshua Aruajo, Mason Gross Galleries, MGSA, RU, New Brunswick, NJ 2012 Blunderbuss, CIA, Cleveland, OH SKILLS - Have experience installing a variety of artworks in gallery exhibition - framed prints, sculpture, media, installation, paintings, ceiling suspended large sculpture, etc. - Can mount flat screen monitors on drywall and projectors to ceiling - Have experience building a variety of temporary walls including curved walls - Have experience working with large scale sculptural and installation artworks - Having experience working with digital media and equipment - Have experience handling/installing fragile works - Lighting artworks - Deinstalling and packing artworks for shipping or storage - Patching, sanding, painting walls - Can build pedestals, benches, shelves, cabinets, tables based on the needs of one’s installation needs - Have knowledge of acrylic mediums and acrylic paint applications - Have knowledge of Golden and Liquitex mediums, their applications, and alternative uses - Have knowledge of developing experimental, homemade paint mediums - Have basic knowledge of Photoshop and Illustrator - Have experience designing posters and postcards for exhibition advertisement - Have experience using website builders such as Squarespace - Paper handling and hanging - made paper hinges and attached them using a PH safe glue to large scale paper works, acrylic paintings on acetate. - Having experience applying vinyl lettering to walls - Knowledge of screen printing techniques

 

COLOR THEORY - STUDENT EXAMPLES

COLOR RELATEDNESS

“To create compositions where color exists for color’s sake and therefore appears autonomous, not merely as accompaniment to form/shape.” (Albers)

COLOR RELATIVITY STUDIES

- Make 1 Color look like 2
- Reverse Grounds
- Subtraction of Color - Make 2 colors look like 1

STRIPE STUDIES

Make 4 vertical stripe studies using the same set of 4 colors: One where no color dominates; and three, where each study creates a different “mood” or each study feels like a different set of colors.

COLOR SCHEME TRANSFORMATION

Find a movie that you feel has a distinct color scheme. Take a screenshot that best represents this color scheme. Using your color-aid - match the most common colors found within this scheme.

With the matched color-aid - Make a grid of these colors that mimics the way the colors are placed in your screenshot.

Using your gouache - make an abstract image using the found colors that attempts to transform the mood or color relationships found within the original color scheme into an opposite mood or feeling. Your image should remain abstract - but can use any type of line, shape, composition.

Consider the strategies you used when making the stripe studies - how can your composition add complexity to this optical illusion? Think about making a composition that has a different overall expressive quality than the film does. Consider your placement of colors - similar to the stripe studies - the placement and quantity of each hue will greatly impact the transformation of the color scheme.

 

2D DESIGN - STUDENT EXAMPLES

GESTALT PRINCIPLES

Using any polygonal or curvilinear shapes, within a square format, illustrate each of the following Gestalt Principles: Grouping, Containment, Closure, Repetition, Proximity, and Continuity.

Project Handout

Lesson Powerpoint Presentation

GESTALT AND THE GRID

Cut 200 two inch squares of black and/or white paper. On the small squares using the opposite color, paint any type of solid shape (simple, complex, geometric, organic). Consider repetition, unity, and variety.

Arrange the different squares together so they form a grid. Observe what happens to the shapes. How do fragments group together to form a larger whole? How do whites and blacks group together to form a pattern which implies a larger shape? How does each unit function for the whole? What does uniform size of a fragment do for the piece? You can use an irregular outside shape (Not a rectangle format) or not. How do inside shapes relate to the outside shape of the page? Is the larger outside shape specific enough in terms of action on the inside?

How you mount or install your squares is up to you. Should they be fastened like a chain? Mounted in a precise and even grid? They could be stacked, installed throughout the room, lay flat on the floor, hang limply on the wall, or be sewn together. The way the grid is constructed and fastened together should heighten the system of repetition in the image.

Project Handout

Lesson Powerpoint Presentation

FIGURE/GROUND

Create the following collages using black paper on white Bristol board:

-1 Figure/Ground Reversal using ONLY simple, rectilinear shapes
-1 Figure/Ground Reversal using ONLY complex, geometric shapes
-1 Figure/Ground Reversal using ONLY simple curvilinear shapes
-1 Figure/Ground Reversal using ONLY complex organic shapes
-1 Figure/Ground Reversal using a VARIETY of simple/complex and geometric/organic shapes

Project Handout

Lesson Powerpoint Presentation

STRATEGIES OF COMPOSITION

Make a list of 30 items with similar characteristics (shape, color, function, etc.) or typology. Using these 30 items (either the real objects, images of the objects, etc.) Make 6 different compositions that illustrate each of the organizational methods (theme, variation, contrast, hierarchy, sequence, structure). Any method/material may be used and should be considered relevant to the context/content of the piece; each piece can explore a different process (or not); all 30 items must stay the “same” i.e.: used for the six examples.

The following images are pieces from one student - her 30 items were different species of fish.

Lesson Powerpoint Presentation

TIME AND SEQUENCE

Using the definition of time (the measured or measurable period during which an action, process, or condition exists or continues; a non-spatial continuum that is measured in terms of events which succeed one another from past through present to future) show through three different processes/methods/means, the same narrative. For instance, in Marcel Duchamp’s “Nude Descending a Staircase” time is illustrated in one image as the figure transitions in a series of overlaps and transparencies. How could that be experienced in actual time? A video? A performance? How could that be experienced in terms of chronology? A flipbook or time-lapse photography? Narrative? A Storyboard? Chronology? An animation? Many of these overlap; it is up to you to decide how/why and to explain your idea(s). Choose three ways of altering the viewer’s experience of time using the same initial concept and using three different methods ie: printmaking, animation, etc.

The following images are pieces from one student - she explored the assignment’s ideas around time through a martial arts practice of meditation. The first piece is a diagram of each move in the exercise. The second piece is a video of the student doing the movements at different locations and different times of the day. The final piece is documentation of a performance during the critique, where she instructed each person in the class on how to do the exercise.