• Syracuse University Classes

    Fall 2013: New Directions in Social Sculpture: Art, Food and Community

    EDU 300/600 was taught by Instructor Marion Wilson and Guest Co-Instructor Tattfoo Tan. This practice based seminar introduced students to the field of Social Sculpture and various strategies for making site-specific and public art. Through a series of initial progressive creative assignments, students engaged the surrounding community and environment directly in the creation of their work.


    In collaboration with artist Tattfoo Tan and neighboring elementary school, Seymour Dual Language Academy, SU students created a model curriculum bridging nutrition, color theory, and ecology which will culminate in the creation of a public mural, the “Nature Matching System.” This curriculum addressed the phenomena of food deserts, obesity, and malnutrition at both the local and national levels. In a neighborhood where 43% of residents rely on food stamps, the project aims tolink consumers with producers and suppliers so that they can make healthy and affordable choices about the food they eat, and to inform youth of the holistic value of food and the intrinsic connections between their environment and their health.

    Lesson 1 – Third grade students create characters, from outer-space, who need to be rejuvenated from travel with phytonutrients.
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    Lesson 2 – Students energized their superhero characters with phytonutrients from various fruits and vegetables. They also learned about how each color represents certain physiological benefits. Ex. blue=brain; red=heart; green=immune system, etc.
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    Lesson 3 – Smoothie Day! In this lesson, students created their own smoothie recipes representing the phytonutrients that they themselves wanted to embody. They also took home recipe cards to share with friends and family. Yum!
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    Lesson 4 – This lesson involved three parts: storytelling; learning about Tattfoo Tan as an artist and what an artist does on a daily basis; and painting panels for Tattfoo Tan’s Nature Matching System (NMS). The NMS matches colors from fruits and vegetables to panels on the cafeteria wall and serves as a reminder for the students to get their daily dose of color.
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    Garden Workshop – Artist Tattfoo Tan works with the class on how to compost and put the garden to bed for the winter.
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    Spring 2013: New Directions in Social Sculpture with Marion Wilson and Daniel Seiple

    Through critical texts on new genre public art, arts in the social realm, brainstorming with community groups to discuss issues of accessibility and programming, and hands on design and creation, this course will be a practical seminar on aspects of public art and a civic minded art practice. Students will be involved in the creation of a large-scale interactive public art work/ building project of a neighboring border/wall for 601 Tully including: governmental approval, community interaction, fund-raising, design, pre-fabrication, programming and marketing. They will “use” 601 Tully as their site – both for the creation of their own new work; and as collaborators towards the sustainability of 601 as a Center for Engaged Art and Research.


    Daniel Seiple: Daniel Seiple is an American artist based in Berlin. His art reflects the formation and obfuscation of borders, latching onto geographic, political and historical issues of the day, while considering their practical necessity in everyday life. Employing an array of media – drawing, sculpture, performance and video – Seiple develops quixotic schemes to activate public and private space. His work has been exhibited in public space and galleries around the world. He was a resident at the Scottish Sculpture Workshop, Scotland, Ortung, Austria, Arcus, Japan, and the World Views Residency in the World Trade Center, Artist in the Marketplace, Bronx Museum and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in the USA.

    Daniel Sieple is the Watson Visiting Collaborator at Syracuse University sponsored by the Humanities Center. He is also the 601 Tully Artist in Resident sponsored by UPSTATE.


    Marion Wilson: Originally trained as a painter, I moved away from painting for 15 years into sculpture and public projects – only now to once again return to painting. Regardless of the specific medium, a continuous thread in my work is that I seem always to be processing what is around me in the world.

    I see my practice as an artist, even when I am alone in my studio, as a kind of social commitment and engagement.

    This has led me to numerous unlikely partnerships and collaborations and it also guides me in my recent work in looking closely at the land that I inhabit. It has been said that I make “small things” and even when I make something larger it seems to be made up of hundreds of small parts. Small invites you to look more closely, and small keeps my carbon/artist footprint to a minimum.”


    Fall 2012: Arts and Social Profit

    At 601 Tully, Students will develop and implement a sustainable art-entrepreneurial venture that addresses social need rather than desire. These entrepreneurial strategies and forms will be situated within the historical and contemporary precedence of artists in the public realm. New models of arts entrepreneurship have emerged since the 60’s and 70’s with Joseph Beuys, Gordon Matta Clark, Claes Oldenberg and artists like Fred Wilson who have made institutional critique a central part of their work – how collections are formed, displayed, and curated. This course looks at successful artists who have formed a vital and collective resistance to the artworld – in the form of setting up their own cottage industries; seeing themselves as service providers, and the creation of “products” based on need rather than desire.