Episode 520

In this episode of ARTEFFECTS, see how artists have responded to COVID-19, experience a unique art installation, meet a potter, and learn how antique shoe styles are recreated.

AIRED: July 02, 2020 | 0:26:46

- Hello, I'm Beth Macmillan and this is AREFFECTS.

As many of you may know,

I am also the executive director of Artown.

And right now we are very busy getting ready

for this year's unique festival,

so I am not able to make it into the PBS Reno studios.

Let me introduce you to the producers,

Guinivere, Martin and Rebecca,

as they will be taking over as hosts

for this episode, enjoy.

(exhilarating music)

- [Man] Funding for ARTEFFECTS is made possible

by the Bentley Foundation, Sandy Raffealli,

The June S. Wisham Estate,

Kate and Richard Kenny, the Nell J. Redfield Foundation,

the annual contributions of PBS Reno members and by..

(soft music)

- Welcome to ARTEFFECTS.

The COVID-19 pandemic affected many different businesses,

communities and individuals.

Our local artists were hit hard during this time.

With many galleries, shows and events being canceled

or closed, many of their incomes disappeared.

But their desire to create remains strong.

Let's learn how artists continue to create art,

not only for themselves,

but for their community as well.

(soft music)

- I am a professional artist,

and I'm quarantining at home

and my home is full of paintings

because the art shows I had scheduled were cancelled.

- There's something so valuable about having the live space,

the face-to-face interaction, the kinesthetic empathy.

That's really important

and I really miss all of these places in Reno

like Acro Enso and the Loft

and Flux Movement Lab where we can dance together

and create together.

And I think people really need that and miss that.

- It's in the silence and it's within that time

to meditate that you actually become more creative.

So I've had a lot more ideas over the past two months,

I've written a lot more

and my passion to actually create something

has definitely grown over the short amount of time

that we've been forced to be alone.


- Art is really a historic trail of the stories

that are gonna be told about this time.

I mean, art comes out of situations like this,

and tragedies and hard times,

and I believe that the arts will tell a story

of what is happening right now for people in the future.

- I have seen lots of artists respond to this

in different ways.

I have seen artists hold raffles or sell art,

to fundraise for relief funds

and give back to those in need in the community.

I think through sharing their art,

artists are helping connect and uplift.

For example, the Drakulich Foundation For Freedom

Of Expression has turned from making paper

out of old military uniforms

and they've hired veterans to make masks,

some from those recycled military uniforms.

- We have produced over 1700 masks so far

and are excited to say that many of those

have been donated to underserved communities.

We also make orders for businesses

to help them get back to work.

It's really special to take the military uniforms

and use them to protect citizens.

And this is what they look like.

And they're very handsome and well made.

As you can see, they're easy,

they're comfortable, they're light.

You can try them as tight as you want

or hang them like so of airring.

And then they just slip right down over your ears

and you can go about your business till you need it again.

And it is wonderful for veterans

and myself to remain engaged

and productive during this difficult time

of social distancing.

It helps us to keep our art resources alive

and well so they're ready when we can get back

to making art as a community again.

(soft music)

- Covidance-19 is a way for dancers to create something

in their own home with a roommate, a pet,

you don't even have to be a dancer,

just movement and then create something,

send it in via a smartphone

and release one dance every 19 days.

And of course the quarantine's lasted longer

than even 14 days,

but it was just really awesome

to see what people came up with.

People were dancing with inanimate objects,

tweety bird had a moment, there were contact improv parties,

there was dancing with themselves or walls or floors.

And in light, it was just really lovely to see

what people came up with and how they tied,

oftentimes what they were dancing with or to,

with what they were going through

and how they were dealing with the quarantine

and everything that's going on right now,

which is highly volatile

and extremely changing, and inconsistent.

And there's a lot of gray area.

None of us really know what's going on.

(soft music)

- During this time, quarantine has just really been,

I guess, more creative, I think, working on new projects.

Me and my family,

we had the opportunity to go up the role

of Milton elementary school

and paint a mural for all the kids in school.

A lot of the kids probably haven't seen it yet,

but hopefully it's something

that really brightens their day

and gives them a smile

when we're finally able to go back to school.

(soft music)

- Okay, so since some of my art shows were canceled,

I've decided to sell my artwork online,

in an auction format.

And all of that money is going to local charities.

Something else that I've done,

since we've been quarantined,

is make a coloring book about the quarantine

using animal puns and color-your-own postcard set.

And these whales say,

well, it looks like we'll be together for a while,

that was one of the puns.

- I think something that I've really learned

during this period of time, is how capable I am.


Film is something that takes an army to create.

And I think that when you're forced to create

something on your own, or you want to create something

and you only have your roommate there,

you become more creative in how you're gonna go

about making that happen.

So I think that it's definitely been encouraging for myself.

To be like, oh look, you actually know

how to do all these elements

and you can do 'em pretty well.

And that shouldn't restrict you in the future

to create something if you've only got one or two people.

(soft music)

- Art is a connector,

whether it connects people to each other,

or makes us feel less alone when we see something,

or read something or listen to something

that speaks to us.

It's an expression of the human experience,

an interpretation of the world around us.

We need that connection now.

Public art has always served this purpose,

and it's still accessible during this time.

Unlike galleries and museums, which are closed,

there's still access to our public spaces.

So the public art collection is available

to anyone at any time.

It serves to create a sense of place and community,

to connect, inspire and transform.

(soft music)

- This quarantine period, and this period of isolation,

has definitely shown people the importance of art.

Because we are now forced to get down to the core

of who we are because we're alone with ourselves.

- It brings out the creative side.

When you're stuck in home,

there's something you can do.

You can always pull out pencils and pens and markers

and paint and create some.

And so it just gives you an outlet

to always be able to create.

- But you need art in every form.

People express themselves through dance,

through drawing and making pictures

and telling stories and art is the one thing

that is gonna bring us all together.

(soft music)

- We are resilient and creative, all of us.

And it's been super inspiring

and wonderful to see how people are figuring out

new ways to connect, often through art.

The arts will be a large part of rebuilding

and finding our new normal as we move forward.

(soft music)

- Up next, we traveled to Englewood, Colorado

to get an inside look at Natura Obscura

and engaging nature focus arts experience

that encourages exploration and discovery.

(soft music)

- Immersive art to me is an experience

that completely envelops the viewer.

It's multi-layered, there's visual,

obviously there could be audio that could be sent.

(soft music)

Working with Prismajic,

we knew we wanted to do an immersive project.

We knew we wanted to be around nature,

so we partnered with them,

in addition to about 30 other artists in total.

- Prismajic is immersive artists company

whose mission is to harness the power of art

to transform how people look at themselves and the world.

Natura Obscura is big, it's about 6000 square feet.

You wanna manage the space above.

So we have paid as much attention as possible

to installing art above, as well as on the floor.

So now you're sort of physically completely surrounded.

And then we'll layer other sensory inputs on top of that.

(soft music)

- We had to use a variety of techniques,

a lot of projection mapping.

There's also Arduino technology,

it's sensor-based technology.

So if you move in front of the sensor,

it'll trigger a reaction.

- The augmented reality application

that complements the exhibit,

it had to be quick to understand, it had to be intuitive.

Because in all honesty,

we don't want people searching through menus

when they should be taking in the space.

(soft music)

So augmented reality gave us an awesome opportunity

to allow these characters,

that otherwise couldn't have a dialogue

with the visitor, to be able to speak.

- [Eric] And since most great journeys

are performed inwards, that's where we focus our attention.

(soft music)

- What makes this exhibit so compelling,

is it allows you and it facilitates exploration.

There's a certain beauty that their relationship

with the pieces, their own choice in the exploration.

So some people will find certain things

that others won't.

(soft music)

It brings that sense of play back.

(exhilarating music)

- Technology will really play a monster role

in the future of the arts.

When it's done, right..

- It's going to surprise a lot of people.

- They'll feel a sense of wonder

that they didn't have before.

(exhilarating music)

- And now let's take a look at this week's art quiz.

Which legendary guitarist is also an astrophysicist

with a PhD?

(classical music playing)

Is the answer A, Brian May, B, Keith Richards,

C, Eric Clapton or D, Carlos Santana.

(classical music playing)

Stay tuned for the answer.

(classical music playing)

After serving in the United States Navy,

artist Arthur Kettner decided to go to school

to study and create art,

and he hasn't looked back since.

Here's his story.

(piano playing)

- My artwork is based around structure.

I like taking multiple elements in my artwork

and repeat those forms or design elements

and apply them in different ways.

(piano playing)

Some of my artwork, like my back Bacteria Series,

I'm using organic forms

and I'm tumble stacking them together in this chaotic way

and they're chopped up and reassembled into ways

that suggest a mechanical miss to them,

but yet have an organic feel.

Clay wants to go natural.

So working against clay's own predisposition,

it's been a really interesting challenge.

After my service at the United States Navy,

participating in Desert Shield/ Desert Storm

and becoming a veteran,

I moved back to Ohio and I completed my bachelor's degree

at Bowling Green State University in ceramics,

glass and computer art.

(relaxing music)

I taught for two years at Sinclair Community College

and it really set me up

for wanting to go to grad school that I understood

that there was more to ceramics that I wanted to know.

(relaxing music)

I was accepted to Tyler School of Art

at Temple University in Philadelphia.

So my wife and I moved to Philadelphia

so I could become a grad student.

During that time, my first child was born.

And I knew when I graduated that I needed to get a job.

After finishing my masters of Fine Arts degree,

I started to work for industry.

For an artist to work in industry,

is an interesting proposition.

So I received a typical job

like color-matching at a glass enamel place.

And so somebody would say, "I want you to make this color."

So I would use the chemicals and then we'd make a color.

During that time working in the industry,

I learned how to be more formulaic,

how I could use scientific method

to understand the materials I was working with.

A lot of these places,

I did work under chemical engineers

and I was a sponge.

They would start talking

and I would just sit there and listen.

So I really grew as a technical artist,

if that makes sense,

in the way that I could understand my materials better

and how to apply them in more effective ways.

(soft music)

During the past 14 years of working in industry,

it's always been a challenge to make art.

Family obligations, work obligations,

and there's so many hours in a day,

but somehow I always found time to make things.

Being the inaugural artist in residence

at the Rosewood Arts Center is very special to me.

I feel very fortunate

that this opportunity had presented itself.

(soft music)

To be able to come into this wonderful, community asset

and work with other artists, of all levels,

is just a wonderful opportunity.

A clear glaze on porcelain,

it's not gonna necessarily look the same

as clear glaze on a stoneware body.

I think that the Rosewood Arts Center

is such a gem in this town.

There are so many opportunities here for children

and for adults to really explore themselves in their art.

Because back in the day, before sodium silicate,

anytime somebody had to make a cup,

or a bowl, or anything like that,

they had to throw it on the wheel.

It's given me, an artist, a great opportunity

to come in and make work.

I have a little studio space

and really make the work I'm making today.

(soft music)

This is pushing my skill limit to the very edge

of what my ability is.

I've been doing ceramics for around 20 years now.

And I love the medium,

but I wanna explore some more things.

I've got more ideas that don't lend themselves to ceramics.

So going forward, it's gonna be interesting

because I have this great chance

after this residency program, to really evolve as an artist

and really take things up to more of a sculptural level.

I wanna be more of a sculptor,

instead of just considered a clay artist.

(soft music)

- To see more of his work,

check out his website,

And now let's review this week's art quiz.

Which legendary guitarist is also an astrophysicist

with a PhD?

(classical music playing)

Is the answer A, Brian May, B, Keith Richards,

C, Eric Clapton or D, Carlos Santana?

(classical music playing)

And the answer is A, Brian May.

(classic music playing)

- Based in Reno, American Dutchess is a company

that creates historically accurate shoes.

From the 1700s, the 1940s, a multitude of past styles

and designs come to life in the modern day.

Here's the story.

(exhilarating music)

- America Duchess is a small company

that makes new, old shoes.

We take a really old design,

something you see in a painting or in a museum

and we make it work for modern wear,

in comfort expectations.

Everything from the 18th century,

19th century and 1920s, 30s and 40s as well.

(playful music)

American Duchess started as my personal blog

on historic costuming.

I liked to make things.

I just made those things for myself

and wear them to an event, a picnic or a dance.

It's just what I did for fun.

And I thought, I'll blog about my experiences,

so that other people who have no idea how to make a wig

or how to do this dress,

can learn from my mistakes.

And it's always been about sharing my mistakes

and learning that way.

You don't wanna put all this time and effort

and sometimes a lot of money into your beautiful dress

and then have no shoes to wear with it

because it crushes the illusion.

(exhilarating music)

- When you're creating these gowns,

they are art pieces.

And if you don't have the right shoes, it just kills it.

And when you take those photos of yourself

or someone's taking photos of you,

and you look at those later, you wanna be able to say,

"I look like I walked out of a portrait."

- You're not gonna achieve that with tennis shoes

under your dress.

Believe me, I've seen it.

(playful music)

Historic shoes are not like shoes today.

They have strange closures,

they have specific toe shapes or lack of toeboxes.

They're very, very different.

So nobody was really making that kind of thing

and I thought well, okay, maybe I'll have a go

and make some shoes,

not by hand, we couldn't make enough off them

to make a living doing that.

So I found a manufacturer

and we developed a prototype.

I put it on the internet,

and did a pre-order to the crowdfunding campaign.

And it funded overnight.

Like overnight, we had enough money

to do the production, run and it's like, oh my God.

I woke up in the morning like,

oh, oh, this is the thing.

Okay, I'm gonna do this.

This is what I'm gonna do.

Our first design was Georgiana,

named after the Duchess of Devonshire.

It was made out of diable satin.

It was our first go, people were excited about it.

I was excited about it, and it worked.

(playful music)

We just kept producing like the next one,

the next one, the next one.

(playful music)

A typical 18th-century shoe,

the most characteristic hallmark

that you might see on those are latches with buckles.

So this is the way that 18th-century shoes closed.

You have these two straps.

You put one strap through here,

you stick the prongs through the other one,

you can make them as tight as you want,

you can keep tightening them.

And it makes your shoes look very pretty.

Historical accuracy is very, very, very important.

(playful music)

- So the basic process starts

with looking at original shoes,

whether it's through photographs, it's brainstorming.

So we just kind of all get together

and go, what sounds cool,

what are we not made before?

What are the trends in the community?

(playful music)

A lot of it is research, looking at old magazine ads,

catalogs, original shoes in our collections.

I've gone to a number of different museums

and studied things hands-on,

so that way, I have an understanding

of how they're constructed

and what goes into the internals of them

and things of that nature.

All of that research gets done gradually,

as we find inspirations,

say we need a boot for this time period.

And we go and find lots of different examples,

and pick what ones really speak to us,

what we think would translate well to a modern design.

And from there, we do a lot of sketches,

a lot of ideations and then actually come up

with the formal line drawing

and put little tiny details of the sole,

should be this many millimeters,

this eyelid should be this many millimeters wide,

all the little tiny details in there.

So that way, the first sample that we get back,

is as close as we can get to right.

- There is nobody who knows about historic shoes

and how to make them, better than Nicole Rudolph.

- When I was at Colonial Williamsburg.

I ended up learning how to do women's shoe making

in the proper 18th-century style, all by hand,

no machines, all hand-stitched and assembled.

(playful music)

- We're based here in Reno,

and this is where we do all of the design.

All the marketing and advertising happens here as well.

We also pack-ship and do logistics out of here,

so there's a great big warehouse attached

to this little tiny office.

We do everything,

except the actual manufacture of our footwear.

(playful music)

95% of the world's shoes are made in Huizhou.

It is in South China.

There are billions of people in Huizhou,

and it's a city that is built for shoe production.

Factories, components, markets, leather producers,

just everything you need.

So that's where we also manufacture our shoes.

The people that we work with there are amazing.

We produce fantastic shoes in China,

because I get on a plane and I go over there

and I make sure our quality processes are in place

and that our materials are good

and that our relationship with our manufacturer is good.

(exciting music)

- They really are into themselves, the sculptural,

interesting piece of artwork,

and they should stand on their own

before you even put them on your feet.

And then to add that in, to add the whole costume

and to add the clothes, the dresses, everything,

it just ends up completing the whole thing.

(exciting music)

- There are so many people in the world

that are into historic costuming

or their movie costumers or stage costumers.

That's a whole market I never even thought about

when we started.

I was just making shoes for people like me.

It's about helping other members

of the costuming community be their best selves

in the 18th century or the 19th century

to make their most beautiful dress

and impression or character.

We wanna create a fun environment

to help people have a good time playing dress up.

(orchestral music)

- To see more designs head to

And that wraps it up for this edition of ARTEFFECTS.

For more arts and culture or to watch past episodes,


We will see you next week, thank you for watching.

- [Man] Funding for ARTEFFECTS is made possible,

by the Bentley Foundation, Sandy Raffealli,

The June S. Wisham Estate,

Kate and Richard Kenny,

the Nell J. Redfield Foundation,

the annual contributions of PBS Reno members and by..

(soft music)

(exhilarating music)


  • ios
  • apple_tv
  • android
  • roku
  • firetv