Thursday, April 30, 2015

Hey guys! So this year as a senior has been very busy. Very, very busy. I have been able to handle everything thrown at me, though.

To start off I have been working on a collaboration for Senior Production. I am directing a live performance piece titled "The Cycle of Breath". It is a very personal piece about the soul going through a dance of life. It has been awesome working with talented musicians and dancers. The only thing is that they are busy too.

Along with working on Senior Production stuff I have also had to work on AP Art, MOCA Teen Apprenticeship Program, and filming for a documentary, and figuring out what the future will be for me. Every emotion has bombarded me, but I have learned more about myself and my surroundings this year than I have ver before.

Here is a list of what I have learned thus far:

Senior Production
  • Make " Plan B" the better option when deciding things in a group collaboration
  • Don't rely on someone who is taking five AP classes and has work everyday
  • Guitars can sound just as graceful as a violin
  • When life gets tough, create art
AP Art
  • I create my best art when I feel like the end product serves a real purpose. Art to me right now encourages others to realize how every being is interconnected
  • Don't work on paper that was tucked away in the back of the class. It was tucked back there for a reason.
MOCA Teen Apprenticeship Program
ps. this is my completed piece from Senior Seminar. I recieved 1st place in 2D at the VPAA Juried Art show because of this. YAY!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

A Day In The Life of Another Strander

Hey Everyone!

Recently, the visual art seniors had two days devoted to learning about the other strands of the Salem Arts Academy. The academy consists of 5 strands- visual, dance, instrumental, vocal, and theater. I have always felt like the visual arts strand is the most seperate from the other strands especially because we don't do performance art. For senior switch day, all of the strands got to experience a day in the life of other strands.

Since we are the weirdos from the visual arts strand we had an awesome time of learning how to move our bodies in unfamiliar ways, pretend to master a very complex song sung in German, tap randomly on the steel drums, and act like it was not akward to stare at each other for long periods of time. Of course we experienced and learned more than what I just said. It helped us as art stranders to gain more of an appreciation for the other strands artistic talents.

I originally thought I would be amazing at dance since I did gymnastics for many years. Once we got into learning two eight counts to a routine, I became very disoriented. I had trouble remembering which arm was which and where to put it during certain times. My classmates were just as confused as me and once we presented our dance we resembled akward chickens performing an interpretive dance of us crossing the symbolic road. It other words, we had no idea what we were doing.

We all had the best time embracing our weak areas in the arts and learning how hard the other strands work. Claps to the other hard working talented artists.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Some Progress for my Passing Project

Hello Everyone!
I just wanted to update you guys on how my project is coming along for Senior Seminar! As you probably already know, my piece deals with the departure of the soul. I have realized that as I move farther along ino this project that it has not only represented the passing of my mom, but the stages of releasing the grief after her death.

Below is an image of my progress. I was able to paint the skeleton on one of the bodies and I painted the boarder on all of the bodies.

As I have been working people have come up to me saying that they look like they are dancing
! Their soul is dancing.

I have more work that needs to be done still. I need to paint the skeletons, add collaging, and add bead work. 
There are other things too, that are side surprises. Soon it will be done

Friday, December 5, 2014

Passing Project- I'm Getting There

Hi everyone!

For my senior seminar class I have been working on an art piece titled "Passing". For a little debriefing, the artwork exemplifies the process of the human soul being expelled from the physical body and it shows how death can be viewed as an enriching experience.

The piece I am in the process of constructing is 2/3 life-size and constructed out of birchwood. There are four large components to it; and in the end they are suppost to hang on the wall in a triangular formation. Here are the initial paper stencils in the right layout!

I have gotton as far as constructing the basic forms of the pieces from the wood. It is taking a long time to carve and sand the shapes. But it has been pretty cool to use the hand saw. I feel like a genuine hard-core artist! Once I am done carving I can smoothly go into layering and my progress will increase greatly. So far I have accomplished a good amount, given the time I have.

I plan to create dawings while incorperating a light yellow painted boarder along with layering beads, natural designs, paper and other cool stuff thats a surprise! I will have to cram time in after school and at home to make this come together. But it will get done and turn out beautifully!

If you have any comments or want to know more comment on it!
Bye guys!

Monday, December 1, 2014

A Trip to Virginia MOCA!

Hello artists!

Just the other day my art class took a trip to the VA MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art). While there we met with the people who worked behind the scenes to the amazing exhibits shown. The curators gave us tips about how to showcase work and how to present ourselves as professional artists.

As I was listening to the curators, they emphasized the importance of presenting myself in a mature manner. They showed me past examples of applications that were sent in by artists with the aim of having their work showcased in the museum. As part of the application the artists have to fill out their basic contact information, provide a summary of their work, and send in samples of their work. One artist filled out part of the application, provided no viewable images, and decided to add in a page-long poem on the theory of color!

Another thing they shared with me was to have effective images of my work on hand and to think about how others will be viewing me for the first time without actually seeing you. Little things, like emailing back at the last minute or sending in crinkled papers say a lot about your character. Every little interaction counts in other persons mind because they are investing in your work.

The most important piece of advice I took away from this experience was to be very conscious of how I interact with museums that I am interested in showcasing my work. They are ultimately the ones who will get my name recognized.

Thank you so much Mrs. Byrn and the other presenters behind the great museum visit! I have one last question, though. How many applicants come through MOCA and how many are accepted or even considered for showcasing work?

Virginia MOCA does a great job of showcasing world famous artists, and by far they are my favorite museum to visit! I encourage everyone to vist sometime!!!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Semior Seminar Final Plans for Project

Hello fantabulous people,

I settled on a topic for my senior seminar piece and it is "Passing"! What? "Passing" as in "death", but I did not choose "death" because it sounds way too depressing. I am interested in this for my topic, because of the experience I had with loosing my mom. (It's about to get sappy.) A handful of years ago, my mom's cervical cancer overtook her and she was left to rest in peace. It was not some quick event where she was gone in the blink of an eye. Her cancer dragged on for years and her deathbed awaited her for months. Leading up to the time she died, she was bony, her hair was frail, her skin was crusty, and her eyes were shriveled. All she was able to do was breathe. It was traumatizing to see the very person who gave you life, suffering and awaiting death. After her death I mourned for several years and today I still struggle with holding back tears. But as I have had time to process this detrimental event, I realized that I no longer wanted to see "death" as a negative, gory thing. Instead, I wanted to see "death" as an eye-opening, magical experience. After my mom's death I realized that there are more important things in life such as happiness and curiosity, and cherishing what you have. So for my thesis project, I plan to bring a new perspective to the viewers eyes, where they see "death" as a surreal and beautiful form.

Not only did I look into this topic from a personal standpoint, but also a cultural viewpoint. I looked at how different cultures interpreted death and if they viewed death as a beautiful departing of the soul. One culture that I was really fascinated by were the Ancient Egyptians. They called the essence of human life the "Ka" and they interpreted it as a hawk that departed the body when dead. They considered the departure of the "Ka" as what declared the death of a human being. The Ancient Egyptians were pretty spiffy.

So I was able to compile all of feelings, thoughts, research, and inspirations to come up with a sketch for what I want my project to look like.
The piece will take on it's own shape, where it is not painted on a canvas or any other rectangular surface. The figure will be arching and facing upwards and will have a bony, yet organic look to it to mimic the image I remember with my mom. Below the body will be wire and beaded details fizzling down to show the decay of the body. Above the figure will be the soul being drawn out and creating a new form for itself. Overall I want it to have light pastel colors and have a very delicate and organic feel to it.

I still am having trouble with pushing this sketch even further. I know I have the ability to step further outside the box, I am just having trouble on where to place my foot. Suggestions, feedback, and criticism are welcomed.

Alright, Bye Fantabulous People!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Senior Seminar Ideas

Hello beautiful people,

For my Senior Seminar project this year I plan to challenge myself and explore topics relating to human interaction and the essence presented in living forms.

 I am very interested in the characteristics of living things. What constitutes as a living thing? Are there any characteristics that extend beyond that, such as an aura? I started to delve further into what an aura actually is and I came across bioelectromagnetism which is the study of the interaction between electromagnetic fields and biological entities. I found this to be very intriguing and I wondered if every action people do is impacted or translated, even in the most diminutive way, to our outer natural living environment. I had the idea to create an environment where the viewer felt intimacy in a space but could also interact with certain elements within it.

I also wanted to explore interactions and similarities between humans and plants. I have come across many studies that indicate that plants share the same characteristics as humans. There is science to back up that plants have their own communities, they help each other in dangerous situations, they fight for territory, and they can even feel human presence. Wait, do plants have a mind of their own? Do plants have an energy presented in them too? How can people interact with plants? Just the thought of plants doing something else, besides growing, opened my eyes to the abilities our environment presents to people, and we do not even realize it.

An artist with a similar idea captivated me; her name is Kate MacDowell. She creates porcelain sculptures of natural elementsR merged together with people. She likes to take body parts and transform them to where they are a part of nature.

Another sculpture artist has a similar concept too behind his work. Willy Verginer is a wood sculptor who works with the whole human figure, and creates gestures and certain connotations through body language. He also adds surreal, natural elements to certain body parts showing a deeper meaning.

Lastly, I wanted to do a topic that was very close and personal to me. I have always drawn to the idea of people having an aura. I believe it is because when I witnessed my mom passing on I saw something beyond her decaying, lifeless body. At the brink of her death she was struggling to breathe, every bone could be seen, her eyes were shriveled, her skin was green and dry, and I felt like if I touched her she would crumble. But as I was sitting next to her, I witnessed a very tiny smile that took all of her energy to fall upon her face. Immediately, I was overwhelmed with this giant flow of energy passing through my body. Minutes later she was officially dead, her body cold, purple and her energy completely gone. I want to be able to share the beauty of witnessing something so phenomenal. How can I give someone this experience? I want them to contemplate about where this energy goes. Is it transferred from person to person? If so is it in small increments or in one life changing event?

I have all of these good ideas and the direction I want to lean towards, but I am having trouble with creating an intimate, phenomenal experience with the viewer. I want the audience to interact or become part of the art.

 One artist I have found very inspiring is Swoon, she does wheat paste street art and is interested in the interactions between people along with their background stories. She has a very raw style that emphasizes lines and she likes to incorperate delicate patterns too.

Here are my sketches for my ideas behind my project.
My brain is still scattered. I know
I want to either merge these ideas into a simpler form or narrow them down. I would really like some feedback on this.

Bye beautiful people!!!!!!!!!!!