Posts Tagged ‘tin art

15
Mar
16

Making Moondog

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Robert Villamagna and “Moondog” at thr Crosscurrents Exhibition, Stifel Fine Arts Center, Wheeling, WV.

My newest work is a portrait of “Moondog”, described by the residents of Wheeling, WV as an icon, a mascot, a protector, a cyclist extraordinaire, a legend, and keeper of all flags waving. The portrait is 36″x36″ and made of repurposed lithographed metal, highway signs, license plates, nails and screws on wood panel. Here are a few images to show how my portrait of Moondog came together.

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To view more of my work, please visit my website!

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13
Apr
15

The Altoids Project: MADFEST 2015

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The 2015 West Virginia MAD (Media Arts and Design) Festival took place on the Campus of West Liberty University on Friday, April 10. MADFEST 2015 was a day filled with 28 workshop sessions, professional presentations, and a student media arts awards competition and ceremony. Each year, Prof. James Haizlett asks art faculty members to present a 50 minute workshop (or two) for the visiting high school students.

I change my workshop presentation each year just in case a student might be attending for a second year. I was having difficulty coming up with a new workshop idea when I remembered I had several boxes of Altoids containers stored away. About fifty of the tins came from an employee where my wife works, and several hundred more were sent to me by gentleman in Maryland after he had visited my studio. I felt these containers could prove to be perfect supports upon which the visiting students could create collage or small assemblage works.

I began preparing the cans a few days before my two workshops. Using mat board samples that were headed to the dumpster (Thanks Amanda!), I cut pieces to fit the inside and outside each Altoids can. Other cans I primed and painted flat white. Since we only had 50 minutes for each workshop, I wanted the cans ready to accept most of the materials that we had available. I also punched two 1/8″ holes in the top of each tin in order to insert a cord for wearing the finished work.

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In addition to the Altoids tins, each table had craft knives, glue, assorted Sharpies, and scissors. On a nearby counter was colored papers, wallpaper books, color mat board samples, wood shapes, glass beads, etc. Another table served as a hot glue station with several hot glue guns at the ready.

The night before the workshops, I created seven examples to show the students. My hope that these might jump start their creative juices. I photographed each example and presented a brief Keynote presentation at the beginning of the workshop. Here are my examples, front and inside:

I feel that the workshop was successful for the most part. Should I try something similar in the future, I will plan to have more small found objects on the materials table (most of our materials were 2D). Here is a slide show of the students working and some of them showing their work:

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25
Jan
15

6 X 6 X 6

P1020487 - Version 2    Last week was the opening of the Art Faculty Exhibition at West Liberty University’s Nutting Gallery. This annual event, which  takes place every January, has a different theme each year. For example, last year was The Dog Show, and in 2013 it was The Meat Show. This year the exhibition was titled “6 X 6 X 6”. Work entered in the show could be any subject or media, but each piece could be no larger than six inches in any direction.

Members of the art faculty vote on the next exhibition theme about eight months in advance, so we have plenty of time to consider the theme and build a new body of work. Last September I began thinking about how I might address the theme, but I did not actually begin work until our winter break in mid-December. Since size (limit of six inches in any direction) was our only controlling factor, I felt this was a time I could playful and and just have fun with it.

I purchased a sheet of 4’x8′ finished 3/4″ plywood that was primed on one side. From this sheet I cut forty 6″x6’squares. A few days into this project I increased the number of wood squares to sixty. As I began covering the wood squares with metal, paper, paint, and other media, the process reminded me of the pages of a sketchbook

A sketchbook is a book or pad with blank pages for sketching, and is frequently used by artists for drawing or painting as a part of their creative process. The content of sketchbooks usually falls within two broad categories: Observation and Invention. Observation focuses on documentation of the external world of the artist, while invention follows the artists’ internal journeys as they develop compositional ideas.

The sketchbook I created is made up of sixty wood “pages”. Each 6”x 6” page contains images in a variety of media. Like a traditional sketchbook, many of these pages are a documentation of the world as I see it or have lived it. These pages include such things as my childhood heroes, or various stories from my life. Other pages explore the creative process, and are nothing more than rough sketches of an idea that may be developed into a larger, more refined work down the road. Here, as in any sketchbook, they all mingle into one big visual salad.

 

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25
Jun
14

Wheeling Arts Fest 2014

Chris speaking with our friend, Robert Peterson, shortly after the morning rain stopped.

Chris Villamagna speaking with our friend, painter Robert Peterson, at our booth shortly after the morning rain stopped. Five of my pieces went to new homes by the end of the day. Robert Peterson has been working on a painting series of the urban landscape of Wheeling. In 2012 Robert and I had a joint exhibition titled “Growing Up in Black and White”.

The fourth annual Wheeling Arts Fest was held Saturday, June 21 on and around the campus of West Virginia Northern Community College in downtown Wheeling, WV. This event is presented by the City of Wheeling Arts and Cultural Commission,of which my wife Chris, and I, are part of. The Arts Fest is an admission-free event that offers a wide variety of arts and cultural programs, including live music, artist market, theatre, dance, spoken word, culinary demos, free artist workshops in a variety of media, and much more.

These guys are now the proud owners of a Villamagna.

These guys are now the proud owners of a Villamagna.

Artist Bob Sako was my neighbor at Arts Fest.

Artist Bob Sako was my neighbor at Arts Fest.

Artist Liz Neuman shows off a pastel painting that she purchased from Bob Sako.

Artist Liz Neuman shows off a pastel painting that she purchased from Bob Sako.

Shortly after getting our booth up the rain came! It rained hard and steady for about 30 minutes, keeping away only the hardiest of visitors. Luckily, the rest of the day was cloudy yet dry, permitting Pittsburgh’s Squonk Opera, one of the headline acts of Arts Fest, to draw a big crowd at each of their three performances.

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Squonk Opera!

Arts Fest visitors enjoy Squonk Opera.

Arts Fest visitors enjoy Squonk Opera.

Sqonk Opera continued to amaze and delight!

Sqonk Opera continued to amaze and delight!

Another big hit at Arts Fest was the high energy Cello Fury.

Another big hit at Arts Fest was the high energy Cello Fury.

In addition to these performers, Arts Fest visitors enjoyed Gallowglass, vocalist Linda Cowan, the Tunnel Green Duo, New Age Adenas, Allegro Dance Company, Paie o’Docs, the National Pike Pickers, and more.

Thats me on the left, ceramic artist Lambros Tsuhlares center, and the amazing Roy on the right.

Thats me on the left, ceramic artist Lambros Tsuhlares center, and the amazing Roy on the right. As our dear late friend Paul Padgett used to say, “If you want to get noticed, make it big, and if you can’t make it big, make it red!”

West Virginia Poet Laureate Marc Harshman in the Literary Arts tent.

West Virginia Poet Laureate Marc Harshman in the Literary Arts tent.

No Arts Fest is complete without a visit from Stewie!

No Arts Fest is complete without a visit from Stewie!

Sculptor Eric price checks out paintings by artist Victoria Lavorini.

Sculptor Eric Price checks out paintings by artist Victoria Lavorini.

At the end of the day, the 4th annual Wheeling Arts Fest could be labeled a huge success! Many thanks to the Wheeling Arts and Cultural Commission, it’s volunteers, sponsors and all the artists and performers who helped make it happen!

 

 

27
Jan
14

The Dog Show

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This past week the Nutting Gallery at West Liberty University opened the annual Art Faculty Exhibition. This exhibition is one I have always felt privileged to be a part of ever since I began teaching at WLU. This year’s exhibition runs January 22 through February 13, 2014. Art faculty members exhibiting are Sarah Davis, Brian Fencl, James Haizlett, Martyna Matusiak, Moon Jung Kang, Nancy Tirone, Lambros Tsuhlares, Neal Warren, and myself, Robert Villamagna.
Each year the Art Faculty Exhibition features a theme and this year the art faculty selected the theme of “dogs”. The dictionary defines dog as a domesticated carnivorous mammal that typically has a long snout, an acute sense of smell, and a barking, howling, or whining voice. The works in The Dog Show cover a wide range of media including drawing, painting, mixed media, digital, construction, printmaking, photography, and installation. The art faculty worked their fingers to the bone in preparing for this exhibition, and it has proven to be a doggone good show that is worth barking about.
Having a new theme for the exhibition each year does a number of things. It brings a freshness to the annual exhibition, it challenges the members of the art faculty, and it shows students how a diverse group of artists each approach a single problem or idea, each in their own unique way and in a variety of media. Below, I have attached a series of photographs of the exhibition and opening reception. For additional information about The Dog Show or other exhibitions at the Nutting Gallery, you may contact me, Robert Villamagna at 304-336-8370 or at rvillama@westliberty.edu

02
Nov
12

Frankenstein! The Exhibition

The Nutting Gallery at West Liberty University opened the exhibition Frankenstein! on Halloween, October 31, 2012. The exhibition consists of work by 38 artists, each work being based on Mary Shelly’s novel, Frankenstein.

The artists in this exhibition include Betsy Cox, Patricia Croft, Ron Donoghue, Brian Fencl, Jenny Filius, Dan Gerdeman, Jim Haizlett, Kyle Hallum, Cheryl Harshman, Gary Henzler, Darcy Huffman, Mark Janicko, Moon Jung Kang, George Kocar, Victoria Lavorini, David Lesako, Mitch Lyons, Angela Mascolino, Steve McCallum, Laura McLaughlan, Paul Padgett, Eric Pardue, Susan Phillips, Eric Price, Shawn Quinlan, Cecy Rose, Bob Sako, Paul Schifino, Theresa Cress Sharp, Melanie Steffl, Nancy Tirone, Robert Villamagna, Neal Warren, Ken Westfall, and Jonathan Walsh.

I work on the exhibition schedule a year or more in advance. While I was planning the 2012-13 exhibition schedule, I realized that the third show of the fall semester would begin on October 31. Halloween! This was too good to pass up, and thus the Frankenstein theme was born.

Of the thirty-eight artists participated in the exhibition, sixteen of the artists in the Frankenstein exhibition come from WV, seven from Ohio, fourteen from Pennsylvania, and one from Seattle. Seven of the artists are WLU art faculty, and nine are WLU alumni. There is a wide range of media being represented, including painting, drawing, sculpture, clay, fiber, and mixed-media. Here is a slide show of the exhibition:

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20
Sep
12

Another visit to Bull Creek

If you know me, or have at least visited this blog before, you know that I am all about flea markets. There is the stuff, the people, the element of surprise, and of course there is that creative spark that I also get from the flea market. And since I use found objects and lithographed metal in my art, the flea market also becomes my palette!

One of my favorite markets is the Bull Creek Flea-tique near Tarentum, PA. This monthly flea market is located on a grass and tree-covered stretch of land that was once the site of a working coal mine. I love the fact that there is no asphalt on the grounds, and just a gravel road that winds it’s way back to this outdoor market.

On my most recent trip I picked up a doll house, a 50 pound red lard can, one end wall of a Coca-Cola cooler, and a flattened out piece of tin that was once a Prestone anti-freeze can. Those items are now in the studio waiting to play a role in an upcoming piece of Villamagna art. I also picked up a great old litho of the Battleship Maine. A great wall piece, even if the frame is a bit rough. Here is a slide show from my visit there last Sunday morning:

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