Thursday, July 31, 2008

Travis Joseph Meinolf, Action Weaver!

The first of hopefully many installments
of the interviewing artists from around the country, asking them about their grad school, trying to get some information about where they are, whats going on and whats out there for us.

Travis Joseph Meinolf, Action Weaver!, San Francisco Public Textile Artist and Teacher, is an artist that I have come across in my small obsession with the bay area, weaving and California College of Art, formerly California College of Arts and Crafts. He has all of these things in common. He is a recent grad of the CCA grad program, weaves (his loom is on wheels and he takes it out in the city and weaves blankets and things), tie-dyes with the public at local museums and lives in San Francisco. I asked him similar questions to that of local grad programs, if I could ask him more, I would also ask him where and when he learned to weave, but his answers were great for the questions I did ask.

What is your program like?
Seminar classes on theory mainly, very little studio unless you take undergrad courses (like people who expect to gain new art-making
skills here have to work it out themselves, but if you come with a good making background and want to know what the hell you are doing --my situation-- it helps a lot) Studio visits with professors/artists of note, discussing anything you want: pragmatic stuff about art careers, dopey philosophy, relationships...

Where is your school?

Grad Campus is in Potrero Hill, SF. Most workshops (printmaking, ceramics, photo, textiles) are on the Oakland Campus so you have to take the shuttle or BART to do some stuff, but it's okay if you have a practice you can confine to your 10 by 20 foot studio space in SF it's great.

How many grads do you have?
100? check

What are the majors?
regular fine art stuff, plus Social Practice and then there's Visual Criticism (Art Theory) and Writing and stuff. Media Art support is weak, apparently.

How are the studios set up (centrally located, by major, spread out over campus)?
Grad Complex across the street from main SF building, three big metal barns with like 30 studios each, bathrooms, showers, Ping-Pong (popular), grad-dedicated computer lab, back
porch. Integrated all majors except social practice who have their own office space in the administrative building across the street.

Do you feel like there are trends your program/region?
This Socially engaged thing is pretty hot, it seems. Lots of local galleries are
doing mini-marketplace things this summer, and the craft/DIY will be gaining momentum for some time I think, before it all develops into the new rave post-apocalyptic lifestyle.

What are you up to? /shows/current events that are awesome?
I will be giving weaving lessons this thurs-sunday at Triple Base Gallery ( Then a cardboard loom workshop at 18 Reasons gallery (18 next weekend and at the curiosity shop the following weekend.

Travis is also involved in workshops and demos, he linked me to a flag tie-dye workshop/party at the Museum of Craft and Folk Art.

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