This is the second post in a series to introduce the participating printmakers and their collaborators for the 2016 edition of the Intersecting Methods Portfolio. Every two weeks, into mid-December, a new profile of a collaborative pair will be posted. This segment profiles Nicole Geary, adjunct professor at Southwest School of Art and St. Philip’s College and her collaborator, Dr. Mark Sweeney.
Nicole Geary is an artist hailing from the green, swampy lands of north Florida. After earning a BFA in printmaking from the University of Florida, Nicole moved to San Antonio, Texas to pursue a career in the arts. She worked as an assistant in non-toxic printmaking classes at the Southwest School of Art before applying to graduate school. Nicole recently completed her MFA in printmaking at the University of South Dakota.
She has exhibited in juried shows nationally at venues including the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Spudnik Press Cooperative, and Washington Printmaker’s Gallery. Her prints are included in several collections, both national and international, including the Proyectóace Print Collection in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Nicole presented her thesis work on a panel at the Impact8 printmaking conference in Scotland in 2013 and on a panel at the SGCI – Knoxville conference in 2015. She is a current resident of ArtistLab, hosted by the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center and funded by the Surdna Foundation. Nicole lives and works in San Antonio, teaching printmaking at the Southwest School of Art and at St. Philip’s College.
Here are three examples of Nicole’s printmaking work.
Mark Sweeney is an associate professor of Earth Science at the University of South Dakota. He has a Ph.D. in geology from Washington State University and M.S. and B.S. degrees from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He was a post-doctoral researcher at the Desert Research Institute in Reno, NV before becoming a professor at the University of South Dakota. He teaches a variety of college courses about the Earth, its history, and how and why landscapes change over time. His research focuses on the formation, transport, and deposition of dust, and he specializes in the geomorphology of desert landscapes. Dust is a visibility and health hazard, impacts climate change, and fertilizes soils and the ocean. Thick deposits of dust, called loess, provide valuable information about past climates on Earth. To learn about dust in the environment, Sweeney conducts research in the field and lab to determine the characteristics needed for certain landscapes to produce dust. He uses a small wind-tunnel-like device, called the PI-SWERL (Portable In Situ Wind Erosion Laboratory) to simulate the wind and assess the potential for certain surfaces to emit dust.
In addition to dust, Sweeney also studies other windblown deposits, including sand dunes, and desert features such as dry lake beds, alluvial fans and ephemeral streams. He applies age dating techniques to help determine the age of geologic events related to these landforms, which then helps him to interpret past wet or arid intervals going back about 20,000 years or more in Earth’s very recent past. He also collects a variety of other data that ultimately reveal sediment source areas and other paleoenvironmental information.
Sweeney was born and raised in the desert southwest and has worked in the eastern Mojave Desert and the Salton Sea of southern California, in the Channeled Scabland and Palouse region of the Pacific Northwest, the Nebraska Sand Hills and the surrounding area, along the Missouri River in southeast South Dakota, and in the deserts of northern China. He appreciates the role that artists play in relating scientific issues to the public.
Sweeney is married, and he and his wife, Kelly, also a geology professor, enjoy exploring new landscapes together.