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Meet Jessica Olah & Hilary Lorenz: Our Newest Art School Instructors

By Manny Cantor Center | In Archive, Art & Culture, Meet MCC | on January 9, 2017

The Educational Alliance Art School has been around since 1905 and we’ve been lucky to have some pretty incredible students and teachers walk through our studios: Chaim Gross, Mark Rothko and Louise Nevelson just to name a few. This semester, we welcome two new teachers to the fold, Jessica Olah and Hilary Lorenz who will be teaching our brand new Winter 2017 Workshops. We asked them a couple of questions so you could get to know them.

 


Jessica Olah: Instructor, Observational Drawing Workshop & Papier Mache Sculpture Workshop
Jessica is a Brooklyn-based artist and illustrator. She has pursued creative expression through a variety of mediums at UC Berkeley and FIT, and professionally at Vice Media, Taste of Williamsburg, and Sixty Hotels.

Jessica Olah

MCC: Please describe your work and process.

JO: My work process varies depending on whether I am doing an illustration or an art project. My art projects are usuallyinspired by a question or experience that I want to explore further, while with my illustration work, I am usually trying to tell a story with my drawings.

MCC: Tell us about your class at the EA art school this semester.

JO: The observational drawing class will be an opportunity to slow down, and really learn to observe what we are seeing, and translate that to paper using a variety of skill-strengthening exercises. The papier mache class is a great introduction to learning how to turn every day household items into works of art.

MCC: What is your teaching style like and what do you most look forward to imparting on your students this semester?

JO: While teaching, I like to gauge where each of my students is at with experience and comfort, and try to relate what we’re doing to something that is already familiar. I am looking forward to teaching students that everyone is creative, whether you know it already or not, and that mistakes can always be turned into something beautiful.


Hilary Lorenz: Instructor, Relief Printmaking Workshops
Hilary is an interdisciplinary multimedia artist working with printmaking, photography, installation, book arts and any combination thereof. She has been commissioned by Brooklyn Bridge Park, and has exhibited at Wave Hill, Resnick Gallery, and many more. You can find reviews of her work in The New York Times, L.A Times, Philadelphia Inquirer and other publications.

MCC: Please describe your work and process.

hilarylorenz_birding_061

Hilary at her Brooklyn Bridge Park exhibit. Photo by Da Ping Luo.

HL: My art practice revolves around my exploration of how running, endurance activities, nature and solitude can intersect. When I am carving a linoleum block, I relive each step I have walked or ran with a single knife cut. Instilled in every carved stroke of my block is the direct translation of a particular journey. The resulting artwork is floor to ceiling layers of linoleum block printed and cut paper mountains, rivers, rocks, birds, animals, trees, plants, and more. These are items found in nature, intrinsically imbued with energy, that usher viewers into a rich world of wilderness fantasy.

MCC: Tell us something you’d like the MCC community to know about you that they may not already know

HL: In 1993 fresh out of graduate school  I moved to the Lower East Side, just five blocks from MCC. It was the only  NYC neighborhood I lived in,  until I moved to  Red Hook in 2015.  My most informative years and growth of my artwork all happened right there.          

MCC: What is your teaching style like and what do you most look forward to imparting on your students this semester?

Hilary at her Brooklyn Bridge park exhibit. Photo by Da Ping Luo.

Hilary at her Brooklyn Bridge park exhibit. Photo by Da Ping Luo.

HL: If you ask my university students they will tell you I am  demanding, but you might not want to print that. I’m very straight foreword in that I do a hands-on demonstration and provide examples. Sometimes people are shy and don’t want to ask questions in front of the class. But if someone doesn’t understand something there is a good chance they are not alone. I encourage people to take risks. I would far rather have someone ruin their block by taking risks and over carver, rather than have them stop short of what it could be. Risk is good. Art is about practicing over and over and over again. So the more someone works, the better the results. But I also think I am pretty fun. I love teaching, especially people who have never done something before. 

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