Altered Object


This week we began the Altered Object project in earnest.  Students are working with a range of objects from books, legos, bottle caps, buttons and straws.  One of the main challenges is how to join/balance such pieces, but students are showing inventiveness.  We looked at the artist Rhonda Wheatley’s work.  She works with minerals, old appliances, plants and other objects to create surreal inspired works that mix pop psychology with whimsy.  One of her pieces is shown above.

Homework due Monday, 4/3/17

Choose one of the following:

  1.  What does Uni mean to me?  Enter the contest by creating a 2D piece of art (any media) that speaks to the topic.  Maximum size is 8.5 x 11 inches.   A 100 word typed description about your art also needs to be included.
  2. Re-imagine (by reworking with new media) a found image.  This image could be one of your own from your sketchbook, a drawing from a friend, or an image found in a magazine.  The change should be radical, not incremental.




Sister Cities Art Contest

Yet another contest…here are all the details I know from the email I just received today:

Hello!  Our Urbana Sister Cities group is sponsoring an art contest that may be of interest to your students.
Visual art pieces can be of any medium and up to 24 by 36 inches in size.  Poetry up to 200 words and essays up to 500 words are also invited.  The theme is Going Places, emphasizing the importance of international friendship and exchange in achieving peace.
Locally, we will choose three winners giving a $100 and two $50 prizes.  There will be an art show, perhaps at the Urbana City Building, of chosen pieces.   The winner will be submitted to the International Sister Cities competition.
Our deadline is soon – April 1 in coordination with the ACT SO art show  – and we can come to you to look at work or whatever is most convenient.
Thanks for considering this!
meg miller <>

Finishing the Portrait Bust

This week students worked on adding the necessary bulk and refining the shape of their portrait busts, as well as hollowing out.  In preparation for next week, here are some videos you should review to help you with making a realistic eyes, nose and mouth.


Homework due 3/13: 

Part 1:  Watch Videos (short)


Joanna Mozden

Carter Jones**highly rec.


Rick Casali


Part 2:  Sketch an idea for an animated functional object that uses your subject’s features.  The ones below from cartoon a day might give you an idea, but I think you could do something that personally suits your subject’s personality.

Art Exhibition Announcement

Hi 3D students!

The following exhibition opportunity might be of interest to you.  I am attaching the information about it, as developed by the Department of Asian American Studies at U of I.  Please let me know if you have questions about this.

Ms. Evans

In honor of our 20th anniversary as a part of the University of Illinois, the Department of Asian American Studies would like to invite all interested University Laboratory High School students to submit works of art for display in our building.  This art should reflect the Asian American experience and/or Asian American history. A variety of media are acceptable. Art can be 2D or small 3D pieces.  The AAS Department and Ms. Evans will decide which works to display based on a variety of factors including suitability, fragility, creativity and craftsmanship.  

Entries are due to Ms. Evans on, or before April 1st.  Selected art will be on display in the front lounge of the Asian American Studies Center until May 5th.  All art works will be returned to Uni for pick up by May 12th.

A Few Suggested Resources for Inspiration:

  • AsiaLens Film Series (all screenings are free of charge and shown at the Spurlock Museum, 600 S. Gregory)

Upcoming Films: “Punch,” February 14 and “Playing with Fire: Women Actors of Afghanistan,” Tuesday, March 14, both at 7:00

  • Excerpt from “Dreams of My Father” by Barack Obama:

  • Letters to San Diego Librarian Clara Breed from children interned in California during WWII:

  • Article: “Why We Celebrate Filipino American History Month” with brief embedded video:

  • Laotian American Magazine:


  • New York Times Op-Doc (brief documentary) about Asian Americans on race:

  • Yo Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble video:

  • Author Gish Jen talking about the interdependent and independent self:

  • Poetry of Suheir Hammad, Palestinian American poet:

  • Our faculty have published a number of books based on various facets of Asian American experiences. You might read passages from these as well. They are listed on this page of our website:

Beginning the Portrait Bust

Now that Agora week is behind us, we are beginning a large ceramics project, namely a portrait bust.  After learning a bit about human facial proportions, we are applying this knowledge three dimensionally.  This week students roughed out the skull, neck and shoulders of their figure.  The portrait bust genre has been con temporized by Ah Xian as shown below.


Homework due Monday, March 6

Draw one or several sketches of your subject.  If you want to do close ups of especially challenging features, you may do close ups of those features.  You should use these sketches to really familiarize yourself with the specificities of their head.  Notice Leonardo DaVinci’s drawings below where he really explores anatomy and annotates his drawings.  (You may do the same.)




Artist Pavilions

This week students put finishing touches on their artist pavilions that will be critiqued on Friday.  Models are a lot of work, but the results are always astounding, and I can hardly wait to see the finished projects.




Homework due Monday 2/13:  Altered image collage

Using one or more of the mechanical drawings in class, transform the original image into something completely different.  You may collage, add things, re-orient, draw on top or otherwise creatively alter the original image(s).

Alternative homework assignments:

1.Create a piece of art (less than 11″ x 14″) for the Insect Fear Film Festival Art Contest.  This year’s theme celebrates U of I alumni in entomology and the U of I campus.  You must  include an insect.

2.  Enter the Cooper Hewitt food justice contest.  Bring in your drawing for critique.