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SBCC sculpting instructor returns from artist residency in Rome

Dallas%2C+Texas+native+Armando+Ramos+stands+with+student+sculptures+on+Monday%2C+Oct.+3%2C+2016%2C+in+his+lab+in+the+Humanities+building+at+City+College.+City+College+Professor+Ramos+specializes+in+3D+sculptures+made+from+all+different+types+of+material%2C+such+as+wood+and+cardboard.++
Dallas, Texas native Armando Ramos stands with student sculptures on Monday, Oct. 3, 2016, in his lab in the Humanities building at City College. City College Professor Ramos specializes in 3D sculptures made from all different types of material, such as wood and cardboard.

Dallas, Texas native Armando Ramos stands with student sculptures on Monday, Oct. 3, 2016, in his lab in the Humanities building at City College. City College Professor Ramos specializes in 3D sculptures made from all different types of material, such as wood and cardboard.

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Dallas, Texas native Armando Ramos stands with student sculptures on Monday, Oct. 3, 2016, in his lab in the Humanities building at City College. City College Professor Ramos specializes in 3D sculptures made from all different types of material, such as wood and cardboard.

TORI PIERSON, Channels Staff

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Courtesy art from Armando Ramos of a sculpture he made during his artist residency in Rome this summer. Ramos’ art practice is intended as a playful counterpoint to the darker images and ideas that inundate people through mass culture.

Armando Ramos
Courtesy art from Armando Ramos of a sculpture he made during his artist residency in Rome this summer. Ramos’ art practice is intended as a playful counterpoint to the darker images and ideas that inundate people through mass culture.

Sculpting instructor Armando Ramos wants to use his experience from his artists residency this summer in Rome to inspire his students to challenge themselves and experiment with their artistry.

“One thing I learned [in Rome] was being okay with the unexpected, being adaptable, being in the moment,” said Ramos. “That is what I try to bring to my students.”

He described the artist residency as a place “to go, think, and make work” without deadlines, distractions, or demands.

“When you teach, you spend a lot of time helping people to elevate how they think or encourage them to edit or develop their sense of observations and creativity. You don’t spend a lot of time cultivating your own,” Ramos said.

The contrasting environment encouraged Ramos to try materials, and follow ideas he normally wouldn’t be able to back in the U.S..

Before Ramos’ residency he knew he wanted to experiment with new materials. He decided to make sculptures wrapped in thread to signify tension and fragility.

“When you think about thread you think about sewing or grandmas making sweaters, but I think of the thread as a very strong material, and it’s intuitive,” said Ramos.

Ramos always knew he wanted to be an artist, but when he was younger he thought “to be an artist was to be a painter.”  It wasn’t until he took a ceramics class in high school that he discovered he liked to build and create 3D sculptures.  He went on to major in sculpting at the Kansas City Art Institute.

Ramos said that it didn’t occur to him that he could use other elements of art to become an artist, but now tries to encourage students to explore different ideas, techniques, and materials.

“He inspires us to use different materials, to explore, to experiment,” said art student Morgan Corbitt. “He talks to you like you are one of his peers.”

Ramos describes his general art style as a “playful counterpoint” to the dark topics provided to us through mass culture.  He tries to “evoke a sense of parody” in his work, but did not take this mindset to Italy.

Art student Ricardo Zavala said that Ramos has a very eccentric teaching style, and that he tries to connect with all of his students.

“When I am doing a project, I try to think of the kind of mindset he has,” said Zavala.

Ramos said he tries to inspire his students to be persistent, to challenge themselves, and to have fun.

“Nothing is going to happen, unless you keep working,” he said. “A big thing about making art is you want to expose yourself, and make yourself open to new ideas.”

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SBCC sculpting instructor returns from artist residency in Rome