Art series to explore artisitic ‘process’

Series premieres Tuesday on NUCAT

Staff photo by Clay Schuldt Jason Jaspersen’s (left) studio is full of unique works of art. NUCAT staff Mike McMahon (center) and Steven Sherman (right) discuss and plan the filming of future episodes of “The Process” based on items the see in the studio.

NEW ULM — This summer local artist Jason Jaspersen and New Ulm Cable Access Television (NUCAT) partnered to create an art education program called “The Process.”

The show will air on New Ulm’s cable access channels starting Tuesday, Sept. 26 at 7:30 p.m. The show will run regularly at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday and Friday and 3 p.m. on Saturday.

The title of the show comes from Jaspersen. He started making videos on his own and releasing them on Youtube or on his blog. These videos were called “The Process” because their purpose was to show an artist’s creative process. “The Process” is a phrase repeated many times by Jaspersen as well as the NUCAT staff while putting together the series.

NUCAT staff Steven Sherman and Mike McMahon agreed the phrase “The Process” could be applied to many creative endeavors, including the shooting and editing of videos.

NUCAT became involved with Jaspersen after a chance encounter. Jaspersen was walking downtown and stopped near the Wanda Gag statue he created, installed in front of the New Ulm Public Library. Sherman was leaving the library, where his offices are, and spotted Jaspersen next to the statue and approached him to talk about creating a video for NUCAT.

NUCAT image from video Jason Jaspersen works on clay mold of Julius Berndt in this still shot from the second episode of the Process. The acorn print in the background was created in the first episode.

“My goal is to highlight unique people in the community,” Sherman said. “I thought Jason would be good for that.”

Jaspersen agreed to restarting the video process. Due to a busy work load Jaspersen was unable to continue producing video content and working with professionals helped to polish the videos.

“Video editing is not my language,” Jaspersen said.

The agreement is that Sherman and McMahon would take the lead in creating the video and shoot around Jaspersen’s schedule, though Jaspersen does continue to shoot backup footage for them. Now through a collaboration with NUCAT “The Process” will have new life.

The idea behind the series is to show the process of a professional artist. Each episode focuses on single one of Jaspersen’s projects. The show is described as a how-to-guide for artists.

“I think it is important to show people how these things are made and create interest for arts by word of mouth,” Jaspersen said. As an art teacher at Minnesota Valley Lutheran, Jaspersen often finds himself falling back into the role of an educator, even in his off time.

The focus of the show is on the world of art, but the ideas translate to other real world scenarios.

“It is high level artistic stuff, but the teaching element is there,” McMahon said.

In each episode Jaspersen speaks directly to the camera as he invites you into his studio giving the show a “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood” feel.

NUCAT staff admitted this was a goal. Sherman and McMahon expressed a deep affection for the work of Fred Rogers and Jaspersen was delighted by the comparison.

NUCAT has completed shooting the first three episodes of the series with additional episodes to follow. The first episode focuses on Jaspersen efforts to create a block press for a memorial print honoring a Lutheran School principal in Wisconsin.

The first episode of “The Process” focuses on the creation of a tool to make the print rather than the print itself. In order to create the large scale print, Jaspersen needed access to a printing press. Originally he thought about purchasing his own printing press, but instead decided to build one from scratch.

The second episodes centers around the bust Jaspersen made of Julius Berndt. Jaspersen collaborated with outside groups in order to complete the final statue, which expands the scope of the show, including more people in the artistic community.

The third episode dives into the creation of a children book. More episodes will follow as Jaspersen’s schedule will allow.

Having seen the footage of the first few episodes, Jaspersen was impressed.

“I thought it was so beautifully made,” he said. “I was so proud. It is a professional-made video.

Some of Jaspersen’s earlier shorter videos have already run on NUCAT but the new episodes start this Tuesday. In addition to airing on NUCAT the new videos will be uploaded to NUCAT’s official Youtube channel.

The videos may go beyond New Ulm. NUCAT frequently shares programing with other communities like Mankato and Hutchinson.

“The series does have a New Ulm presence, but ‘The Process’ has value outside of New Ulm,” Sherman said.