Saturday, June 30, 2007

Ratatouille! (finally!)

So after a 100 day countdown starting back during my freshman year at Winthrop, and learning the joys (ha!) of patience, Ratatouille finally came out in theaters! I am so glad that we got to see it in New York City!

Let me just say, the theater was packed! We left the studio at 5:00 just so we could get there early and buy tickets, go have dinner, and be in our seats thirty minutes early.. Luckily we all got to sit together!

I've never really been in a theater so packed and so involved with a movie. People were laughing (loudly!) and clapping and just ... so engaged with the movie! It felt awesome to be with so many people who were excited that Pixar had come out with another movie! And what was even better: I got to see a movie I had been waiting for for MONTHS... in my favorite city, with 13 of my newest favorite friends! Yes, that's right, THIRTEEN of us took time away from the crunch of setting up the gallery to go see Ratatouille! I do wish Erica could have come though. She had to work : /

You know those kinds of books or movies that you think about way after you watched the movie? I think this will be one of those. And though I think some of that has to do with it being a Pixar film and the fact that it is my dream to work there someday, that is not the reason why. Ratatouille spoke so many truths about striving for excellence and also recognizing and creating beauty. I can't even begin to count how may times I made a "mmh" comment (either in my mind or accidentally out loud) agreeing with something said or sighing at something that I thought was artistically ... nothing less than gorgeous.

And the end credits! Wow! That's a joy in itself! They're so incredibly creative and it drives me silly to think about how I want that kind of imagination and craftsmanship to show up in even my regular class assignments. I want to push myself to that standard and dare I say -- even further, but I know it's going to take a lot of time and practicing.

I wish I didn't give up so easily when I was little.

This is the poster I made at about 3 in the morning the night before to let everybody who wanted to, come with us!

I'll put some sketches in here soon. After looking at some blogs of people who are my heroes and don't know it, I've decided to quit taking the wimpy way out and actually push for more illustrations and less photographs.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

damaged masterpieces

I've been working on my "1x1" in the past couple of days... it's a piece of wood that we were given so we can make our own personal 'Conversation with God'. I would have to say, it's proved to be more difficult than I expected it to be. I'm trying to be as honest and open and vulnerable with it as I can be. What is art if you're not?

On one side, there's a huge knot and the wood's other cosmetic flaws render this "blank canvas" an artistic error... The board, despite the the claim the packaging made... "A Perfect place to display art" ... is therefore 'unusable'. I like it though.

I have been staining and scratching and ripping and spilling and tearing at it for a few days now... and it's beginning to bear a slight resemblance.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Busy, Busy, Busy!

I've been learning so much about who God is and who He wants us to be.... I've been trying to have more open eyes to the people around me... I see more and more every day that being misinformed about something is without doubt extremely hindering to personal spiritual growth. For example, Christianity is often seen as being a rule-based and societal "religion" (quotations because the word 'relationship' has been replaced) that has nothing to be desired. Because of this inaccurate reasoning, (which I will admit, isn't unexpected and completely unfounded... man is a fallen race, correct?) many people reject Jesus Christ and his mercy, forgiveness and hope for a Kingdom on earth.

Needless to say, this is heartbreaking.

I've heard Christians call themselves 'Christ-followers.' Not only does this provide information about who we call our Savior and Redeemer, but it is a reminder to us about who we need to place on the throne of our hearts. The word 'Christian' is a word that helps to describe a group of people who believe Jesus came to earth to die for their sins. There is nothing wrong with calling ourselves that, Paul addresses us many times as Christians in the Bible. But lately, I've been thinking more and more about how we are fallen and how we really can't save ourselves and especially how there's nothing we can do to make God love us any more or any less than he already does. I think that's incredible! And no matter how bad (individually and as a whole) we make the name "Christian" look, there's no way to find fault with the name "Christ-follower" because the one to whom we are referencing is absolutely faultless. There's no way for us to mess up the name "Christ-follower" because our place is behind the leader... we aren't the important part of the phrase. The name completely rests on Jesus and we are merely aspiring after Him.

I guess what I'm trying to say in all that is, (and this is just my opinion by the way) that by telling people right off Who we follow, instead of immediately referencing ourselves, we can learn to be a tiny bit more humbled because we are expressing that need and longing for someone who CAN and WILL get us through.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Guggenheim Museum

I can't believe how fast the past two weeks have gone by! We've been incredibly busy! We've been to a few campuses already with the Soulariam Image Surveys and the conversations that stem from those pictures have been so interesting! Today, we went to the Guggenheim Museum for free as part of the Museum Mile.

This part of the museum was a bunch of oval-cut magnifying lenses of plastic stapled together. It was called The Shape of Space by Alyson Shotz. It made me think of a project that our 3d teacher assigned us last semester.. We were told to find something that was easy to get hold of in mass quantity and were really small.. and then to make some kind of huge sculpture or installation piece using only that item and an adhesive if needed. Our inspiration was Tara Donovan. The piece I made for the class was a huge mountain landscape/island formation made from 1,328 tiny paper umbrellas.

Because the Guggenheim was part of the museum mile, there were hundreds and hundreds of people on the inside and lined up outside. It was incredible!

I really enjoyed visiting the Guggenheim Museum. We weren't allowed to have our cameras out in the parts of the gallery with paintings in it like we were at the installations. It was so cool to see the paintings that I saw during art history class... except they were the originals!! I even saw a paintings from my tests... (and one that I completely forgot the title of during the test. Whoops!)

I am so glad that we went! Seeing the paintings in person felt so personal.... more real, I think. I almost felt like I could turn around and see the artist standing there, arms folded, squinting at the painting evaluating it in its new surroundings..

Monday, June 11, 2007

Stand Back- First Week in New York City

It's been almost a week since I've been in NYC..... Things are VERY different up here... Restaurants don’t serve sweet tea (I didn't expect them to, but the reality of it was hard to overcome), the Empire State Building is WAAAAY taller than I thought it would be, there is usually a homeless person on almost every corner.

I am one of 15 artists from around the country who have come to spend 5 weeks in New York City as part of the Arts Track. We are working towards filling a gallery in East Chelsea with art we are making during the time we spend here. Twice a week, we visit college campuses in the city, taking our Soularium Image Surveys with us to help us engage in conversation. From the dialogues, we are going to brainstorm and discuss as a group what kind of art we should make for the gallery.

We are so blessed to be able to worship God in such a personal way as through our art. Our internal expressions of love, thankfulness, frustration, joy and peace in Christ yield external visual and tactile that has the potential to bless others. With this gallery, we want to infuse our art with a different perspective than what the world tells us is true. We want to creatively inspire others in a personal way to take a second look at life and to know the Truth.

We have painters, sculptors, illustrators, photographers, and even two dancers! I’m so excited to see what everyone is going to get together for the gallery!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

literacy is cool

Today we went to Bryant Park.

I think this park is going to be my favorite park.... maybe even more favorite than Central Park. Probably because there is a really cool section specifically for children and there's a carousel and-- get this -- A Reading Area!!!!

We were sitting there.. eating lunch.. and I turn around and find two fully stocked carts of children's books! They're mostly all picture books (and artists love pictures!) So we went to the cart and got a pile of books, brought them back to the table, and had story time along with our sandwiches.

I love New York.

This is Scoops reading a book about an art loving, dancing pig named Olivia.

I read a book called Nighttime Pirates.

Yes, Cameron did open the book!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Top of the Rock!

Here we are, safe and sound in Manhattan, New York City! The flight went well, we were early on both flights, the one from Columbia to Atlanta, and the one from Atlanta to La Guardia. I'm trying to learn lots of names and places... and remember them as well as I can... but with three tracks (Arts, Campus, and Bridges), it's proving to be a huge challenge!!

Today, all of the tracks went to the Top of the Rockefeller building. It was amazing to be able to see for miles and miles and miles...

Here's Kirk explaining to us what parts of NY we were looking at and what was in them. We learned about the five Burroughs and what is in them and I was trying to soak up every piece of information I could get when they were telling us about the city. Sometimes, I wish there was a way to remember everything, but when there's so much being said in such short periods of time, it's not physically possible to remember absolutely everything!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Ny Praint?

What does the word "praint" mean? Well what do YOU think it means? Do you think an artist should be allowed to say or express or draw or paint whatever their little heart desires? What if the thing they make is offensive, or if it challenges what you (yes, YOU)believe? Should they be forced to do what everyone else is doing? Define success. Can art be used as a starting point? A conversation? A dialogue? A prayer? Is it possible, then, to pray and paint at the same time?