10 Reenie 10 Adults Reenie HB IMG 8304Reenie is a mixed-media installation artist who joined Nueva this fall to teach art in grades 1–5 and academies in grade 4–8. Originally from Lexington, Massachusetts, she received her BA in communications from Simmons College in Boston and her MFA in studio arts from Maine College of Art in Portland, Maine.

Reenie has received two Foundation for Contemporary Arts grants and a Roderick Dew Travel grant. She has been awarded artist residencies by Draw-International in France, Hannacc Can Borni in Spain, Maine College of Art, the La Napoule Art Foundation in France, SF MOMA, Arts Benicia, and Vermont Studio.

Her work, which has been exhibited internationally as well as all over the United States, addresses environmental issues exposing the beauty of the juxtaposition of natural and synthetic matters, and the consequences of our human endeavors. Before coming to Nueva, she was the art teacher at the Crowden School. In addition to teaching and creating her own art, Reenie loves to dance, hike, and travel with her husband, Maurice. She is thrilled to work with the wonderful students of Nueva.

1. If you close your eyes and visualize the word “art,” what do you see?

If I close my eyes, I imagine the splendor of nature, and the way humankind interrupts nature through architecture, design, etc.

2. How do your past and present artistic explorations inform your approach to teaching art to lower and middle school students?

My explorations rely upon the balance of improvisation and technical proficiency. I present projects that are open-ended, yet develop technical abilities. I am continually delighted by the problem-solving aspect of artmaking. Going along with that are the endless possibilities, resulting in the idea that art may be neat, risk-taking, enigmatic, bold, refined, complex, and temporal.

I also believe that it is important to learn about tools as well as classical and contemporary art practices. The principles of design are always my foundation: balance, proportion, rhythm, emphasis, and unity.

3. You have been awarded artist-in-residencies in several places around the world. What is a lesson or perspective you have taken away from those opportunities that you hope Nueva artists will experience at some point in their lives?

The main thing I have learned is to be open to unexpected possibilities and to follow your dreams — even if they seem so distant or difficult. With that, one must be patient and persistent.

4. Is there one piece of artwork or method of creating art that, for you, captures the essence of artistic expression?

I cannot simply mention one artwork, but I will mention a few works that resonate with me. The Gates by Christo and Jeanne Claude, At Large by Ai Weiwei, The Visitors by Ragnar Kjartansson, and Seven Magic Mountains by Ugo Rondinone. All of these works are immersive installations that invite viewers to be in the works of art.

5. In June, when students reflect back on their time in art this year, what do you hope they learned or experienced?

I hope that they will discover new methods and that they will have confidence in trying out new projects. I hope they will see art class as a way of working alone and in groups, in surprising ways.


 September 29, 2017

 

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