Sunny Samuel with students from the Franklin Service Center
Sunny Samuel with students from the Franklin Service Center
Micro to Macro
Residency: October – November 2017
Artist Interns: Clara Lemus and Francesca Towers
In Micro to Macro, participants will gather organic and artificial objects from our surroundings and the classroom. We will explore our collection of found objects through the use of a microscope attachment for computer tablets. This basic microscope, which provides 60x magnification through the use of the tablet’s built-in camera, will allow us to observe in brilliant detail the structures, patterns, and layers inherent in the objects and life forms that exist in our environment. Participants will begin by learning simple drawing techniques for the representation of these forms. Participants will then be encouraged to envision and create drawings from which the forms and patterns of our observations will interact with previous marks, layer upon layer, emerging into larger, imaginative abstract works. Our goal is to explore and celebrate, through seeing and drawing, the visual qualities of a largely-unseen, unbelievably complex yet surprisingly coherent and elegant microscopic world around us. Our drawings will be colorful and loose—an exercise in which the participants are guided to resist the pressures of realism—and instead be inspired to convey both what they see and how they feel—a journey into a new world of forms.
Sunny Samuel was born in India and immigrated to the USA as a child with his family. He is an artist and teacher working in Santa Barbara and Los Angeles. After completing his degree in biology (B.S., 2007) he went on to drop out of medical school, refocus on his interests in drawing, painting, and sculpture, and earn his M.F.A from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2017. This Winter and Spring (2018), Sunny will be teaching drawing, painting, and photography courses in the College of Letters & Science and the College of Creative Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Sunny Samuel’s paintings and sculptures are inspired by the strings and systems which connect landscape and organism. Drawing from his experiences and interests in cellular biology, natural history, and contemporary sci-fi narratives about the possibility of life on other planets, his paintings and objects are laboratorial and explorative. By embracing transparency and light, Samuel invites the viewer to gaze into strange forms and territories: a consideration of spaces beyond our reach and unseen by the naked eye.
Clara Lemus is a third-year transfer student at UCSB majoring in sociology and minoring in art. Her interest in teaching started when she began to volunteer at an after-school program at an elementary school. From there she learned that working with kids is her passion, and she believes that teaching children is a great experience because you have the ability to make a positive impact on a child’s life.
Francesca Towers is a second-year student at UCSB majoring in art in the College of Creative Studies. Throughout her high-school years, her passion for art blossomed as she learned about the place of art in the world and questioned how she might fit in it. Lately, she has been interested in stepping away from realism and venturing into abstraction, which leads her work to have more of a playful, whimsical, and sometimes surreal aesthetic. She loves working in collaborative environments and being challenged by friends, mentors, and artists to break out of her comfort zone and push her art farther, and she aspires to do this for others as well.
Residency: November – December 2017
Using the building blocks of color as it relates to visual thinking, observation, and composition, in a quite broad sense, students will be introduced to fundamental concepts of visual design. Color is perhaps the most primary sensation that all children experience even before their sense of depth and form is cultivated. Can we access this fundamental perceptual experience that infants know through simply being themselves? Color is very easily studied with the medium of paint, and the students will learn foundations of how to set up a paint palette, how to mix colors, and the basics of color scales as an introduction to creating their own compositions. A rudimentary set of color scales and paint mixing will be discussed and learned via practice during the first class. A musician who has labored over scales for years knows that scales are simply tools to help create patterns, compositions that hopefully open up the heart to deeper seeing, deeper experience and signposts to greater knowledge and understanding. The students will complete preliminary scale work then apply the creative process using color as the springboard to collaborate with a friend on a double portrait. The students will work within some very simple limits based on the scales and using a limited number of colors. The students will design the shirt, pants, face, hair, shoes, and a simple background with large flat colors. Since color instead of drawing is the focus, the primary work here is with colors, their emotional values, and their arrangement.
Jimmy Miracle was born in Ohio in 1982, grew up in Florida, and received a B.A. in painting from Belhaven College in 2004 in Jackson, MS. For the past 10 years he has lived and worked in New York, Washington DC, Essen, Germany, and now he currently resides in Santa Barbara, CA, where he is pursuing an MFA in studio art. He has had solo and group shows in New York, Berlin, London, and Washington, DC. He has exhibited with Outlet, HKJB, the Islip Art Museum, Castle Gallery, and Flashpoint Gallery. While in New York, he worked as a studio assistant for Jeff Koons and studied classical drawing at the Art Student’s League of New York. He has received the Cultural DC Creative Communities Fund grant, the Maryland State Art Council Individual Artist’s grant, and has lectured at the Smithsonian Museum of American Art.
Developing Strength/Finding Connection – Mastering Monologues
Residency: October – November 2017
Theater Intern: Wesley Denstaedt
In the Mastering Monologues course, young actors will select, develop, and perform a one-minute contemporary monologue, such as one might use to audition for a play. Participants will develop self-awareness, empathy, and awareness of others. They will learn several acting exercises for their acting styles and needs (warm-ups, focus, attention, building skills, tuning up the instrument), search anthologies and acting sites to find age and style appropriate monologues that complement their talents and abilities, gain an introduction to character analysis, practice memorization, perform in small groups, move beyond self-consciousness and into play and experimentation, and incorporate feedback into performances. Monologues are all about the actor and the audience and so provide wonderful potential for young actors to develop and hone acting, listening, and responding skills. They will leave the course with their very own audition-length monologue they can use in future auditions, opening the door to future theatrical participation!
Breaking Through: Writing the Short Play
Residency: Spring 2018
This course will guide students through the process of drafting and editing a three-to-five-minute play on a topic of their choice. Participants will be exposed to many aspects of writing, including proper play format, incorporating feedback, self-critique, building setting and characters, breaking through “writer’s block,” writing with an eye for social and interpersonal justice, and cultivating one’s voice. The course connects an academic necessity (writing) with an end goal (a three-to-five-minute play) that can then be used to stimulate discussion on a variety of topics relevant to the lives of young playwrights and their communities. Playwriting stimulates participants to consider and interrogate multiple aspects of a socially relevant topic while also giving voice to their individual lived experiences.
Alesha Claveria is a fourth-year Ph.D. student in UCSB’s Department of Theater and Dance and a 2014 Eugene Cota-Robles fellow. She currently holds an M.S. in Public Relations from Montana State University-Billings, and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing-Fiction. Her experience working with the kids and teens of the Isla Vista Teen Center in UCSB’s Nuestra Voz summer theater camp program over the past three summers reflects her belief in the importance of theater education for young people’s sense of self, social development, and community awareness. Her research interest is in Native North American theater and performed culture. Born and raised in the wilds of Montana, Claveria’s interests are influenced by the people and cultures of the Great Plains and Pacific Northwest.
Wesley Denstaedt is a second-year linguistics major at UCSB. He aspires to be an interpreter for both Spanish and Chinese and enjoys guitar, games, music, and conversation.
Fables on Stage
Residency: January – February 2018
In this course K-6 students will learn about and perform theatrical adaptations of different fables using theatrical game-like activities. The course will explore the value of storytelling, the moral lessons of fables, the importance of team work in the construction of a theatrical ensemble, and the expressionist quality of the body to convey artistic images and self-awareness. The methodology of the course is based on game-playing theatre, a method focused on the creation of game-like activities to work with space, attention, team work, corporal expression, composition, voice and storytelling.
Jesus D. Valencia has a BFA in Acting (Universidad del Valle 2008) and MPhil (Universidad del Valle 2016), and is currently a Ph.D. student in the Department of Theatre and Dance at UCSB. He is a professional actor, acting pedagogue, and theatre historian who specializes in game-playing pedagogical strategies based on acting exercises to enhance self-awareness, team work, and critical thinking.
Our Public: Dialogues within the Community
Residency: Winter 2018
Participants will use drawing, reading, painting, photography, performance, and writing to create a book focused on exploring their narrative personal histories. The book will serve as a catalogue of co-authored interviews written by the participants, combined with multi-media interpretations of a series of integrated-plays. The plays are integrated in that they are participatory, and require that participants occupy “roles” and “act” out their responses to the questions. These responses will be in the form of different media (e.g. paint, photographs, drawing, collage, performance, text, speech) and derived from a series of questions that the participants arrive at in their search for their personal narratives. The questions will be created by the students and used in a series of dialogues amongst themselves and with a female role model in each of their lives. These collectively authored tools for inquiry are aimed at illustrating each individual’s “story,” to be compiled and redistributed as a collection of stories. Participants will also have the opportunity to conduct the same interview that they do in groups with someone in their lives outside of school. This person can be any female role model that the student may have.
Robert Huerta is a South L.A. artist working on the issues of identity politics and community organizing. His most recent projects include organizing cryptoparties, new-media workshops for at-risk youth, and collaborative efforts aimed at building useful tools/opportunities for populations at the margins of the dominant culture in the US. Robert is currently pursuing an MFA in art at the University of California, Santa Barbara, with an emphasis in Spatial Studies and Social Practice.
Residency: Spring 2018
The brush painting workshops will introduce the traditional art of brush painting. Participants will learn how to paint images such as fish, bamboo, flowers and animals using sumi ink on rice paper. Participants will also explore eastern concepts of observing and understanding brush art and its related cultural elements. This workshop can be taught for any age group from 5 years-old to adult. At the end of the workshop, the participants will display their work by hanging their scrolls on the wall, and then later they will be able to take home a scroll of their work.
Yumiko Glover is a recent graduate of MFA program, and currently an Artist-in-Residence at UC Santa Barbara for the 2017-2018 academic year. Glover has been teaching brush painting at the University of Hawai’i as a teaching assistant, Honolulu Museum of Art and currently at the UC Santa Barbara, as a workshop instructor.