“Those who can’t do, teach.”
This is a ridiculous idiom. It seems silly to anyone who actually knows a teacher and even sillier to anyone considering teaching as a profession. Northwestern professors provide a constant barrage of proof that teachers both “teach” and “do” decidedly well. Art professors Yun Shin, Phil Scorza and Emily Stokes supply their own evidence for this in their professional art careers.
Yun Shin works with objects that have meaning to her and her family members.
“I find something that has meaning,” she said, “and I think, ‘How can I preserve this object? How can I transform it into something else?’”
Her current project, titled Reconstructive-Memory Process, explores those items that seem irrelevant but actually carry much meaning in a relationship — such as a father’s favorite tank top.
“My mom was going to throw (my father’s shirt) out, but my dad wanted to keep it,” Shin said. “So I asked, ‘Why does my father want to wear it even though my mother hates it?’ Questions like that help us think about relationship and memory differently.”
Shin said she is inspired by these kinds of objects. She collects them from her family and is always looking for anything that might speak to the close relationships she currently has or the others she wants to better.
For Phil Scorza, the world around him serves as inspiration for his photographic work.
“I have learned over the years to be an observer to all that is around me,” he said. “I try to soak it all in wherever I am, and that’s why I generally travel with a camera. I never know what I will experience.”
With his camera, Scorza seeks to capture the beauty of the common, the unsophisticated and the natural. He said he attempts to provide alternative ways of viewing commonly-viewed objects and locations.
“The places I photograph are not popular … people do not go out of their way to see (them),” he said.
Traditional photography is just one of the ways Scorza uses his camera to capture these images. He also transfers some of his images onto paper and applies other media to them. To see the variety of types of work that Scorza does, visit the triptych on display in the Learning Commons.
The rural surroundings of northwest Iowa serve to inspire a collection of work Emily Stokes is producing.
“A lot of what I’m doing right now is printmaking,” she said. “But there’s also a lot of drawing and painting involved.”
Although her area of expertise is printmaking, Stokes is currently working with the sculptural book form; she is designing what is technically a box with various images on the “cover.”
Because she is originally from the suburbs of Ann Arbor, Mich., Stokes said that the rural settings she now finds herself in are a huge influence on her work.
“I’ve always been interested in place,” she said. “It’s a chance to reflect on what’s around us.”
For Stokes, art is about doing what she loves.
“I get really excited about it,” she said. “When you find something you’re really excited about, it doesn’t feel like work. You can invest yourself in it.”