Claudia Hershman (BS Design 1964)
Experimentation and a love of color, shape, and geometric pattern are the focus of my process. I paint with acrylics and collage found materials into pieces. I am attracted to the freedom in children's art and seek to capture that spontaneity and joy. The organization of color, pattern, texture, value, space, and shape take precedence over theme or story. Meaning is found in the viewer's interpretation of what he sees. I love pattern and small details, which I use to create rhythm and flow. Using many different size elements, give the viewer an exciting journey through each piece. My love of color is often a starting point. I begin by dripping, smearing, and washing appealing combinations of colors onto the canvas randomly. This approach allows me to be carefree and frees my mind of initial intent. Starting a painting by adding color aimlessly, allows me to enjoy the playful feeling of exploring like a child. Experimentation with different materials creates a dialog between the painting and me. Intuition guides how and what I do. The ideas come as each piece evolves. I start intuitively and then begin to analyze the canvas to find my next step in the process. The excitement of the emerging composition propels me forward. After the initial addition of color, texture and collage elements may be added for visual interest. In evaluating my progress in each piece, I look for dynamism, changes in size and pattern, rhythm, balance, movement, repetition of points of interest, and finally, harmony.
This work is featured as part of Future Former: An Exhibition of Alumni Work. This exhibition honors the creative work and careers of all Stamps School alumni, creates an aspirational connection between generations of U-M artists and designers and current Stamps students, and inspires reflection during the university's Bicentennial year.