OHHS Art and Design Teacher and Alumni Create “Cultivating Community” with StreetSpark!

OHHS Art and Design teacher Jamie Schorsch, and Taylor Helms (’15), alongside artist Kinsey Downs, recently contributed to the public art legacy of Hamilton, OH this summer through the StreetSpark program. Formed through a partnership between the City of Hamilton and the Fitton Center for Creative Arts, StreetSpark is a program founded to further the art identity in the city through exciting public art projects. This program creates arts engagement by producing high-quality murals, building opportunities for local artists, and enhancing the visual appeal of the city. StreetSpark brings visible murals and artwork into the community with the goal of fueling Hamilton with art.

Schorsch’s design, “Cultivating Community”, added to the stunning murals located throughout Hamilton and is located on the Telhio Credit Union on Park Ave. For 3 weeks, Schorsch led the team of two talented supporting artists in the creation of the mural which spans 2 walls of the Telhio building.

An event celebrating the creation of “Cultivating Community” will take place on July 20th, 2021 at 5:30pm at the mural location site: Telhio Credit Union, 601 Park Ave, Hamilton, Ohio 45013. The event is free and open to the public!

Check out some of the process photos of the creation here:

Learn more about the design of “Cultivating Community” below!

“Cultivating Community” Artist Statement

“The concept for “Cultivating Community”, designed for the Telhio Credit Union, was inspired by the core values embedded in the not-for-profits ideals of caring, commitment and integrity. Compositional elements used in the design are inspired by Art Deco rendering traditions that were prevalent in the artwork of 1930’s, when the Credit Union was founded, as well as the architecture throughout the City of Hamilton. The image is designed to be viewed as a wrap around, but also stand on it’s own as a composition when viewed from one side of the building.

The hands extending into the composition from the roof level are rendered in grisaille to communicate the idea of stone, a strong foundation on which to build. The hands are representative of the Telhio Credit Union redistributing income back to its members and the community. The colored water flowing from the grisaille hands signifies the nurturing nature of the Credit Union that allows for fostering growth and prosperity. Trees, grass, and flowers communicate the idea of a flourishing community while referencing the tree-line neighborhood of Prospect Hill. The expansive field serves as a historical nod to the landscape of the area as it would have existed when Native American groups occupied the site around Fort Hamilton. Daisies, symbolic of innocence and youth, allude to the children attending Wilson Middle School. Tiger Lilies, which are often associated with pride, confidence, wealth, and positivity and Irises, which represent wisdom, hope, and trust, frame the image. The bee serves as an emblem of abundance, persistence, industry, and community. Imagery of beans embedded amongst the flowers calls to mind additional ideas of growth tied to fairy tale imagery and folklore.

Color palettes prevalent in Art Deco traditions inspired the more analogous color scheme, as well as linear emphasis, for the work designed to provide contrast with the sticker-style design to be integrated with the bare brick of the architectural structure. Colors were selected for their symbolism and contrast. The blue waters illustrate tranquility brought to the community through abundance whereas yellow daisy floral disc exudes a sensation of radiating happiness embedded in the purity of the white daisies. Green is utilized to represent the color of life, renewal and growth within an environment.

Design elements and symbolism embedded in “Cultivating Community” are intended to synthesize with the architectural structure of the Telhio Credit Union, provide contemporary and historical nods to the surrounding environment as well as the function on Telhio nurturing the community, while communicating a whimsical uplifting image that communicates tranquility, peace, and prosperity”.

Celebrating Art: Sprint 2021 High Merit Students Announced

Congratulations to the 2 OHHS Art and Design students whose art was selected as a High Merit piece for the Spring 2021 Celebrating Art competition and publication! Having a High Merit award means the art was an exceptional piece. Out of thousands of entries received for the Spring 2021 contest, it stood out as being one of the top 5% submitted. Students who have art selected as High Merit work will receive special recognition in the book as it is displayed as a High Merit piece.

Congratulations to the following students:

From Ms. Schorsch’s Drawing and Printmaking class:

Flynn Koehler
Sarah Young

OHHS Art and Design Teachers Exhibit at “Art at the X”

OHHS Art and Design teachers Bridget Dignan-Cummins and Jamie Schorsch were recently selected to exhibit their work at the 2021 Juried Exhibition for High School art teachers! “Art at the X” will be on display at the Xavier University Art Galleries from August 20th-September 17th, 2021. The artists’ reception will take place on August 27th from 5:00-7:30pm with awards announced at 6:30pm. Check out their works to be exhibited and artist statements below!

Bridget Dignan-Cummins

My art is driven by my relationships; with nature, color, texture, family, and self. Any exchange we have as human beings with the relationship we have with ourselves; determining our perspective, approach, and choices. As an artist, I try to stay conscientious of my decisions in the process and the final product is driven by these correlations. My hope is that each person has a connection with my work unique to themselves and reflective of their relationship with the media, subject matter, and symbolism.

Jamie Schorsch

The birds depicted in my artworks are referenced for their migratory patterns and characteristics; specific birds are selected for their symbolic representation of life events and cycling through processes. Transitioning through life’s events is represented through progressive maturing of the bird or their relationship to other birds- and how those paths are traveled or connect.  Numbers, numerology, and maps are often integrated to symbolize specific locations, dates, and relevant information related to pathways through tribulations. Narrative, symbolism, mythologies, migration, transition and patterns; the resulting repertoire of images created illustrates visual, social, and spiritual explorations in relation to modern societal standards and events that become engrained in your DNA and impact individual development of identity. 

“Routine Education” is a commentary on the human rights issue of gun related violence continually impacting American schools. The vultures depicted in the work were selected for their symbolic representation in relation to life events, specifically as signifiers of death. The numbers, compiled through research, are juxtaposed with the vulture imagery to represent the number of documented shootings, deaths, and injuries that have occurred in American schools from the 18th century until March of 2018.

“Pandemic Nexus” is a commentary on the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic on the development and maintaining of relationships while in fluctuating stages of isolation. Numerological elements embedded in the image relate to dates significant to the impact of the Pandemic and subsequent moments of connection formed during chaotic times as well as representing symbolic elements of individuals. The network of linear intersections alludes to trajectories in life’s path and resulting convergences.

“Migrant Refuge” addresses human rights issues of refugees seeking asylum on a global scale. Millions of individuals, and families attempt to migrate and establish new roots but face deportation and entry refusal on many fronts. The sparrows juxtaposed with countries that have most recently experienced mass exoduses serve as a directive to nurture our fellow humans as they move through life’s tribulations.

Collaged images of maps were embedded in the background on which images of the birds were rendered. Prismacolor pencil, alcohol marker, acrylic paint, and archival ink were utilized to render the image. Stenciling tools were employed for the addition of numerical elements with varying sizes of archival ink pens to create the illusion of space.

OHHS Art and Design and USA Miniprints for Peace and Justice

The 2nd annual challenge and exhibit of Miniprints for Peace and Justice by American Artists and Artists living in the USA, launched by SOS ART is now available for online viewing! It is again being held online due to the persistent COVID-19 pandemic crisis and the resulting social distancing situation. Due to the crisis, participation has also been limited this year. Presented in the online gallery are the works submitted both last year and this year by a total of 36 artists, 9 artists in 2020 and 30 artists in 2021. Works came from all over the USA, including Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Utah, and from British Columbia.

Among the exhibiting artists are 8 Drawing and Printmaking students, along with their teacher Jamie Schorsch, representing OHHS Art and Design. All Miniprints are “6x”6 and for sale with proceeds going to both the artists and SOS Art.

You can view the OHHS Art and Design prints exhibiting below. Be sure to check out the entire USA Miniprints for Peach and Justice gallery at: https://sosartcincinnati.com/usa-miniprints-for-peace-and-justice-2021-exhibit/

The Tolerance of Nature
Drawing and Printmaking students worked to create drypoint etching compositions based on human impact and interaction with nature that demonstrate the concept of Tolerance, and what nature endures at the hand of man.

OHHS Art and Design Teacher: Jamie Schorsch “Impetus”

“Impetus” serves as commentary in response to the murder of African American man George Floyd on May 25th, 2020 in Minneapolis, MN. Following the murder, demonstrators, protestors, politicians, and mourners memorialized of 8 minutes, 46 seconds as a way to respond to the death of George Floyd and years of police brutality suffered by African Americans. Since that day, the time stamp has been challenged and changed from 7 minutes, 46 seconds to 9 minutes, 29 seconds, but that end result of the Officers action, and inaction, remains. 8 minutes, 46 seconds exists as the rallying point that inspired change. The American Eagle and Crow carry varied symbolism intended to be perceived either as:  abuse of power by those in authority in direct reference to the kneeling on the neck of Georgy Floyd, America attempting to suppress transformation in transcending racist ideologies as symbolized by the Crow, or as Americans uniting in defense of their fellow man against the remnants of the Jim Crow laws.

OHHS Art and Design and SOS Art Cincinnati 2021

SOS Art Cincinnati sponsors a yearly SOS ART Show and Event of creative expressions for peace and justice. This year, OHHS Art and Design students from: Art Foundations; Painting and Public Art; Drawing and Printmaking; Digital Art Foundations, and Adobe Photoshop classes will be participating by exhibiting 40 artworks in the event. Students will be exhibiting alongside many established artists, including OHHS Art and Design teacher Jamie Schorsch, all addressing issues related to peace and justice.

The  primary objectives of SOS Art Cincinnati are:
To promote the use of art as a vehicle for peace and justice and for a better world.
To provide art-related educational programs towards peace and justice for all ages.
To help facilitate the creation and development by local artists of literary and artistic works focused on peace and justice.
To help create a community of local artists who use their artistic voice for peace and justice, who connect and collaborate.
To use art, to inform, educate and create a dialogue on issues pertaining to peace and justice.

Information about the students selected to exhibit is provided below. To view the full exhibition visit: https://sosartcincinnati.com/sos-art-2021-exhibit/

Equity and Equality

Painting and Public Art students began by creating a list of things you would like to show about themselves through self-portraits that are related to the concepts of Equity and Equality. These ranged from individual characteristics to stereotype-fighting features with regard to a particular identity group you felt they belonged to.

Icons of Influence
For “Icons of Influence” students selected an individual, an icon of society, to research who has impacted and influenced society in a positive way.  Using a stylus, with a variety of Scratchboard tools, students carefully observed details, textures, highlights, and shadows. A term was selected as a descriptor of the selected icon that was included in the work to summarize the individual’s life or characteristics.

Communicating Social Narratives: “Girl Rising”
Drawing and Printmaking students created a narrative image based upon one of the story vignettes from “Girl Rising” that they selected for inspiration. The compositions demonstrate the unification of notes and sketches taken during the viewing of “Girl Rising”, research related to the stories, and project planning completed previously. The artwork of Kara Walker served as inspiration for the silhouetting of the resulting images that convey the struggles that girls face around the globe in receiving and education.

Social Perspectives Prints (Drawing and Printmaking)

For this assignment, students researched some of today’s greatest socially conscious artists, such as Shepard Fairey, to discover what makes art powerful and life-changing.  The mixed media print, collage-style work of art, communicates to the audience the students’ position on a social issue, a moral stance on a particular incident, or viewpoint on a topic that affects their life.

Art & Civil Rights

Students researched some of history’s most (in)famous events of civil unrest and justice and visually communicated the essence of those events through the relief printmaking format. The goal of the work was to communicate the importance of documenting the power of people who challenge the violation of Civil Rights through a media that can be mass produced. Kathe Kollwitz served as the inspiration for this project for her role in educating the people about the horrors of WWI and WWII through mass produced prints.

Self Portraits

Every artist tells a story through a portrait. Portraits have been an important part of art for countless centuries. No matter the time or culture in which a portrait was created, the shared human experience makes them relatable.

Societal Commentary

One of the most powerful functions of an artist is to improve our society by changing the way people think.  Since the beginning of time, the greatest artists have been the ones who use art to call our attention to something that is going on in the world. The following artworks communicate a viewpoint on a topic, or a moral stance on a particular incident, that communicates personal voice through artistic interpretations.

Comic Heros Face Off Against Global Issues

Students are called to design a PSA poster with a DC or Marvel Comic Hero or Villain Saving or Destroying the World from a Global Issue. Students choose a global issue after researching world news. After comparing and contrasting DC or Marvel Comic Heroes/Villains they choose the best character to represent their issue. Understanding the purpose of PSA in print, students create a poster that communicates awareness using the tools and techniques found in Photoshop to composite images with text.

OHHS Art and Design Teacher: Jamie Schorsch “Divisus”

‘Divisus’ addresses a nation battling against itself resulting in the detrimental impact on its people. Eagles, a representation of our nation, battle against themselves focused on deconstructing each other and their ideals. The inclusion of the Owls contains a dual symbolism. The belief that the nocturnal bird accompanies the dead in their journey to their afterlife aligns with many Native American traditions and they also serves as a representation of a nation seeking wisdom while in a protective mode. Numerological elements embedded in the images relate to dates and numbers significant to the impact of the Pandemic, subsequent moments of connection formed during chaotic times, representation of those impacted by the virus, as well as representing symbolic elements of individuals.