‘Manhattan’ is a new TV show from WGN America premiers tomorrow (Sunday 27 July). The series is set in Los Alamos New Mexico, the home of the Manhattan Project. The dense ensemble drama shows the lives of scientists and their families as they work isolated and in compete secrecy on building the first atomic bomb. Exciting premise set in tense times, about a project that was a secret even to the very people who were working on it in the years leading up to the devastation of Hiroshima ending WWII.
We are excited to share, that Frontier’s partner school the Santa Fe University of Art and Design is heavily involved in this production. The series is actually shot at SFUAD, using the original WWII barracks located on campus. This gives unparalleled opportunity to students and faculty of The Film School who are part of the filming crew as interns, extras and actors.
In 1943, two years into WWII, Santa Fe built semi-permanent barracks for a military hospital on what is today the Santa Fe University of Art and Design campus. The production revitalised these original buildings and transformed 12 acres of the SFUAD campus to bring Los Alamos to life with great accuracy and authenticity. Read more about this unique set on the Jackalope Blog here.
The series is created by ‘Masters of Sex’ writer Sam Shaw and directed by ‘The West Wing’s’ Thomas Schlamme, ‘Manhattan’ premiers this Sunday July 27 at 9pm ET. We are excited to see how the series turns out and will certainly tune in to support the work of Frontier students at SFUAD.
Images: WGN America
It may be summer break in the U.S at the moment, but that hasn’t stop Santa Fe University of Art and Design hosting a range of exciting creative events. Along with ARTFEST, which Frontier always looks forward to, SFAUD have opened up their campus as a free range exhibition space for American modernist James Surls.
Surls is known for his large scale monotone sculptures, drawings and prints. Originally focusing on natural and human images and forms, of recent years his wooden and metal works have adopted a more abstract presence with the recognizable elements being paired back in favour for spiky dangerous forms. His use of natural, twisted wood is what interests me. The last shot from one of his annual studio exhibitions looks like dangerous viewing, large heavy wooden structures are hung precariously above, with the thorny spikes heightening the sculptures menacing aesthetic.
At SFUAD, Surls’ sculptures have been placed around campus like aliens landed in the dry desert landscape. It’s an fantastic juxtaposition. From what I can tell, James Surls’ sculptures are up all summer long, if you’re in the neighbourhood then make sure you stop in for this intriguing free show.
Today we are looking at some talent emerging from Santa Fe University of Art and Design. I came across this elaborate line-work on their Facebook page and got immediately hooked! The intricate illustrations are the work of Pablo Byrne, who is currently studying graphic design at Santa Fe and producing some very nice work. This is not the first time his work has graced Frontier’s digital space, he was one of the finalists for the Draw Black competition we ran a couple of years ago. Always interesting to see how a practitioner’s work evolves and shifts over time!
Byrne, a bit of a whiz in Illustrator, has produced quite an extensive selection of different designs which have been etched onto skateboards to produce some awesome looking decks. I’m impressed by the range of styles he has incorporated into the artwork. There are simple geometric patterns, mind-boggling three-dimensional visual trickery, quirky characters, monsters and a hefty dose of influence from traditional Mexican art. I especially like the pieces that utilize the laser etching technique to create large areas of textural contrast, effectively setting off the more delicate elements of the drawing. The work has recently earned him a Merit Award from HOW Magazine’s Annual Promotion & Marketing Awards, and rightfully so!
If you’re into this, you should check out his Frontier portfolio, or Behance page for more great illustration and some beautiful digital experiments with color and form.
I was really chuffed with myself when I thought of the word alchemy for the title of this article.That’s because when looking at Alexis Labs that’s exactly how I view the work, as alchemy. Yes, it’s graphic design, yes it’s print, but it’s all sorts of other things too. Thoughts, personalities, theories and aesthetic’s jumble together in the work of Alexis Labs into some sort of unusual, visual potion.
As the definition goes, alchemy is a process by which paradoxical results are achieved, or incompatible elements combined with no obvious rational explanation. It was that thought of rationality in graphic design, and the challenge that Alexis Labs have laid out for us with non rational graphic design, that I find really interesting. Challenging, contemplative and very interesting.
Alexis Labs are a graphic design and digital arts community at one our supporting institutions, Santa Fe University of Art and Design. From what I can gather Alexis Labs is student initiated and have been producing work and exhibiting as a collective. Blurring the boundaries between function, abstraction and thought in the realm of design, the group have been producing imagery that for me is on the right side of contemporary graphic design. The above images have been taken from Kindling, a traditional newspaper format that has been hijacked and subverted by young eager designers. As a regular feature at SFUAD, Kindling is a bit grimy with all the perfect imperfections of ink on newsprint and is distributed freely around the area. I just love this concept and really enjoy Alexis Labs’ work in (what I think) is their latest edition.
Other than what I’ve mentioned above, I can’t find out too much out about the group, but I’m determined to bring you more. In the meantime though I recommend checking out their Tumblr page. There’s a lot of good work there, especially their redesigns of the My Own Private Idaho film posters.
I just love it when you discover work that is thought provoking, fascinating and visually engaging all at the same time. Santa Fe University of Art and Design, one of Frontier’s supporting creative institutions, recently opened Everything Comes Broken, an exhibition of Kevin O’Connell’s photography as part of their photography department’s spring exhibition series. And what a goodie it is.
O’Connell’s landscapes were new to me but immediately captured my attention with their gorgeous, spacious and minimalist approach. This is my type of landscape photography. The milkiness of each image, the strong, clear horizon lines, and the cropping, centering and perfect composition of the industrial subjects make for some pretty engaging and visually stunning work. Initially, a clear commentary on environmental energy is the takeout from the photographs, but on delving a bit deeper into O’Connell himself, a fogginess of intention comes into play. Separate to his photography, O’Connell works as an engineering consultant on water projects and is well versed on environmental and engineering issues of the American West. As an engineer, his fascination with the massive machinery of these modern windmills is apparent, but as an environmentalist, a wariness of the implementation of this new modern energy underlies each image. I think that’s what is so engaging with these photographs. There is obvious admiration, but admiration with an underlying sense of apprehension. What unknown outcomes will this new energy bring us? What hidden agenda is there behind this modern icon of optimism? What thought has there been behind it’s intrusion on our horizon lines? All poignant questions and thought-provokingly clear in O’Connell’s clean and beautiful depictions.
Everything Comes Broken is also accompanied by an exhibition of student work from the SFUAD department, which unfortunately I couldn’t find any imagery of. The department however is a top notch and has just refocused it’s degree to incorporate commercial, journalistic and fine art photography as part of their base. We’ve featured work from the department before, check out what’s new here:
Everything Comes Broken runs at SFUAD until May 17 2014
Photographys: Kevin O’Connell