Senior Scheduling?!

Another busy, chilly week! I am so ready for spring to start. On Monday, I got my Ideas of Western Art midterm back and I’m feeling good about it! I also got my Women, Art, and Society midterm back last week. In Ideas of Western Art, we’re getting into lectures on the next art era: Impressionism! It’s neat because I’ve taken quite a few art history classes but none have really focused on anything later than Renaissance and Baroque art. So, I’m learning a lot of brand new and interesting things! The same thing is happening in Women, Art, and Society- we’ve started a new unit after the midterm and we were also assigned our final paper- 10 pages on the woman artist of our choice. I have to get to work on that soon!

Besides art history, there’s been a lot of sculpture going on. In figure studio 3D, I’ve moved past sculpting in model magic and onto a plaster mixture. I still make the metal armature of the figure, but instead of covering it with glued paper and then model magic, I make a mixture of water, wood glue, and plaster and cover the armature in patches. The result so far has been a big plaster head shape with a lot of cool texture! I’m still trying to decide if I want to leave the texture or sand it down, and if I want to add more specific facial features because right now it’s pretty vague. I also have been considering putting acrylic paint into my water/glue/plaster mixture to give my head some color. In sculpture class, we’ve been continuously working on our suitcase projects as well as a few new ones.

In seminar, we’ve been working on creating a catalogue of work from the first assignment, Vulnerability. Each fine arts major student has a different assignment to help put the catalogue together. Some people are in charge of the aesthetics of the actual catalogue, or collecting artist statements and dimensions. I’m in charge of taking the photographs of the actual work. It’s been fun to have a mini photo job! The fine arts department recently splurged on some amazing lights to shoot work with, so all of the photos are coming out pretty sweet. We are also working on our next project, titled Paradox. I’m thinking of continuing working with mirrors, since I don’t feel like I’ve exhausted what I want to do with them yet.

Another big part of this week has been registering for the fall semester; my SENIOR YEAR OF COLLEGE. I am not totally set on a schedule, but I’m pretty sure I’m taking:

Fine Arts Seminar
Advanced Seminar Projects(to take the place of a foundation class I missed)
Environmental Science
Advanced Drawing Issues

It would be especially cool to take Photojournalism because it might give me access to Suffolk’s dark room! There is one on the main campus, but I’ve never even seen it and art students don’t have direct access to it, don’t ask me why. Hopefully taking this class will allow me to get some film photography going again! Also another plus of this potential schedule will be only having classes THREE days a week!

This weekend has been awesome- one of my best friends from home in Chicago came to Boston for the weekend for her birthday! We’ve been celebrating her birthday and exploring Boston and it’s been great to have her around and hanging out with my friends here. I’ve also been working on my resume for the first time ever, which is pretty nerve wracking. I want to get one together soon to start applying for summer internships in Boston and Chicago- wish me luck!

Spring, sort of..

fireworks at Cinderalla's castle!
fireworks at Cinderalla’s castle!

All we need for spring to start is for the weather to cooperate! Luckily, I had a week of warmth in Florida for spring break. A few of my friends and I went down to stay with my grandparents near Orlando. It was sunny and warm all week, and on one of the days we went to Disney World. We did what’s called the Disney Grand Slam, which is squeezing in all 4 theme parks into 1 day! Mission Accomplished; we got to Hollywood Studios by 9 am, then Animal Kingdom, then Epcot, then stayed at Magic Kingdom until it closed at 1 am!

They Are Hanging Out Without You
They Are Hanging Out Without You

Before spring break, we wrapped up our first seminar project. I’m really happy with how my final product turned out, and I’ve been getting a lot of good feedback! I knew that wanted to work with text, so I came up with a few possible phrases. The general feeling I was getting from brainstorming was that my phrases instilled a sense of self-consciousness in me, and when I showed them to other people they felt that way as well. I didn’t want the viewer to feel attacked or insulted, I wanted them to become suddenly introspective. Each person I showed my phrases to had a different experience or memory connected with them. I was originally going to paint theses phrases on large canvases, but when I discussed the idea of medium with my professor, mirrors came up. since looking into a mirror is looking at oneself and I wanted the viewer to mentally look at themselves. I thought about painting directly on a mirror, so that when the viewer read the phrase, their reflection would be partially obscured by the words. My professor then told me that in the case of most mirrors, it is a piece of glass with multiple layers of thin metal and paint on the back that can be scraped away. What I ended up doing was stenciling my phrase on the back of a large round mirror and scraping the mirror away where there were letters. This made it so that when the viewer looks into the mirror, they can only see themselves where the words are not, and they’re forced to read the words and in turn be introspective.

"This Is Not You", my mirror alongside some other art from the art show!
“This Is Not You”, my mirror alongside some other art from the art show!

Since this mirror was so large, I only had time to do one of the phrases that I came up with for this particular project- over 24 hours of scraping with an exacto-knife was needed for just that one mirror! This meant that I still had a couple of phrases that I wanted to put on mirrors. This worked out, because a friend of a friend who goes to Berklee College of Music had asked me if I wanted to put together a pop up art/music show at some point! We knew that we wanted to show our own work as well as some of my NESAD friends’ work, and include some of his friends’ music performance. We hosted the show at a friend’s apartment right before spring break and I think it was a big success! I had made flyers that I put up around NESAD, and that combined with all the different crowds mixed together got us an awesome turn out. It felt great to organize something on our own and put our own work out there instead of waiting for someone else to do so.

Audrey Goldstein with her show, Issues of Trust II
Audrey Goldstein with her show, Issues of Trust II

This week in in Seminar, we took a field trip to the south end galleries, specifically Gallery Kayafas where my professor Audrey Goldstein has a show up! We looked at her work and talked about her studio process and her physical process through each piece. It was great to have an inside scoop to a gallery show, especially to such an awesome show!

Busy Busy February

The past couple weeks have been super busy! In 3D figure studio we’ve been working from a live model still. I’m starting to get the hang of working in 3 dimensions from a model, which means rotating around the model instead of staying in the same spot. We’ve still been using the wire mesh, trace paper, and model magic, but we’re getting more in depth with the model magic now. We’ve had a few separate poses that have 3 or 4 sessions each. For the most recent one, we got to a point where the figures all started looking pretty similar to the model, since we started sanding down the dry model magic like smooth skin.

On Tuesday mornings, we’ve been wrapping up our first seminar project on Vulnerability. I’m done with mine, and I’ll post a photo as soon as I finish hanging it. Last weekend, I spent about 22 hours total working on it! I started with a mirror, which I projected text onto the back of. I traced and exacto-d the text onto the mirror backing, then scraped away the backing wherever there was text. When you look at the front of the piece, you’re looking into a mirror but where there is text you can see through the mirror to the wall.

On Tuesday afternoons we’ve been going on field trips and getting into creating artist portfolio websites! A couple weeks ago we went to the ICA to see some new stuff, which was great. The two shows that we saw were completely different from each other but I loved them both- Nick Cave had large colorful found-object sculptures, and William Kentridge had a beautiful installation and film about the destruction of time. I definitely recommend seeing both of them!


Nick Cave
Nick Cave
William Kentridge- The Refusal of Time
William Kentridge- The Refusal of Time












In my art history classes, things are moving right along. In Ideas of Western Art II, we had our first test last week on Early and High Italian Renaissance and Italian Baroque art. In Women, Art & Society, we had our first paper due on Wednesday. Our assignment was to visit the Museum of Fine Arts and write on three pieces by women artists in a few select sections of the museum. Among others, I wrote on artist Lorna Simpson and fell in love with her work. She explores ideas of gender and race through photography and text with extremely powerful imagery.

Lorna Simpson
Lorna Simpson










On Thursdays, my all day sculpture class is doing a LOT. We have two projects going on right now- one of them is a suitcase project, where we have to create a suitcase that is sort of an autobiography sculpture. For the other project, we each picked an object from a particular room in the Harvard Natural History museum. Now we’re recreating that object with a material that isn’t typically sculptural, for example a food or an article of clothing. For my suitcase, I’ve been thinking of creating sort of old fashioned film slides to put words and images on, but I’m still in the early stages. For the museum project, the object I picked is a water dipper made from a palm leaf, which I think I’ll recreate with a water soluble material to render the water dipper aspect useless.

Start of the Spring Semester!

A new semester is upon us! I’ve been so busy getting settled with everything that I haven’t had a spare minute to sit down and blog. We’ve had a couple weeks of school so far and things are really picking up.

On Mondays, I have Figure Studio 3D, which uses a live model to sculpt from. For the first class, we practiced drawing the model from different spots in the room, since unlike painting, sculpture needs information from all sides of the model. Since that class, we’ve been working on a wire mesh armature of a figure, then covered that with wood glue and tracing paper for a hard exterior. Then during last class, we started to actually cover the figure with clay to build up the different surfaces. Instead of clay however, we’re using Model Magic, children’s sculpting putty which is super light weight and easy to mold.

On Monday nights, I have Ideas of Western Art II, which is a survey course of Western Art pieces and artists. So far we’ve covered the Italian High Renaissance and some Baroque art. High Renaissance is the art history that I focused on while I studied in Florence, so I’ve been pretty comfortable with the material in this class so far!

On Tuesdays, I have Seminar class. In the mornings, we meet with Audrey to discuss our long term projects. Our first prompt is about exhibiting Vulnerability. I’ve been over a few ideas and taken some photographs, but I think I’m going to take a new direction this week; I’ll keep you updated. 🙂 In the afternoons, we’ve been taking field trips with Randal. Last week, we went to Gallery Naga on Newbury St. to see work by NESAD Alum Benjamin Evan and photographer Lana Caplan. This week, a few of us presented a sort of artist talk to the class. We put together presentations with some of our work, work that inspires us, and what kind of work we want to make in the future. It’s really interesting to hear how my classmates and friends feel about their own art, and it’s been really good practice to talk about my own work.

On Wednesdays, I have Figure Studio 3D in the early afternoon and then Women, Art and Society for my night class. This class has been sweet, I obviously love the subject matter being a fine art major and a women’s studies minor. We haven’t had too many classes though, since the Wednesday before last was a snow day!

On Thursdays, I have an all day sculpture class. For the first hour, our professor does a little overview of some art history that she wants us to think about, and then we move to the studio. So far we’ve done two sculptures. The first was using a found object and changing the contour. I took a small desk fan and attached a bunch of plastic knives to it, to make it look like the fan is spitting out something scary and violent, but still white plastic similar to that of the fan. For the second project, we had to use one piece of paper and fold it to make a sculpture. I tried to work with the requirements of the prompt in a new way and decided on using toilet paper- I knotted a roll of toilet paper (for 5 hours!) and created a pile type shape with a spiraled roll at the end.

I lucked out again this semester with a four day week. I’m also working a whole lot at NESAD, and this past weekend I took a trip to Vermont. My cousin just moved to Burlington, and we had a great weekend thrift shopping, art looking, and pizza eating!

Finished with Fall

The semester has officially ended! As I type, I am curled up with my puppies and a yummy hot beverage in Chicago without any final responsibilities on my mind, which is a FANTASTIC feeling, especially considering the week I just had. Let’s start from the beginning.

Monday: My final critique for Figure Studio 2D was on Monday for 3-4 hours. Each of us put up all of our work to be critiqued by the class and our professor. It was great to see all of my work up from the semester, especially because I feel like I’ve come a long way since the beginning of my figure paintings. Also on Monday, I finished up getting ready for the big final critique on Tuesday!


Tuesday: The Big Day: Fine Art Seminar Review! Every fine arts major hung their pieces from throughout the semester (three projects, three pieces) in the fine arts exhibition hallway, and critiques took place all day. We had all of the fine arts students and 2 main professors as well as a few guest critics. The critique included our final pieces, which was the piece I was most excited about. I took photographs of some of my friends with very intense imagery: neutral/serious faces with (fake) blood splatter and drips. A lot of narrative can be pulled from these images, and while I could have definitely picked a direction for them to go, I thought that the images should speak for themselves since they are so intense, and the viewer should have full responsibility for the narrative. My critique was the last of the day, and probably the best and most intense one I’ve had. It went over time, and there was a lot of discussion on not only the aesthetics and hanging of the photographs, but the ambiguity and message that comes across. The discussion was lively and thought-provoking; exactly what I want to happen with my art! It was intense and emotional for me, but I’m so happy that my piece provoked such a response.

_MG_8911   _MG_8976   _MG_8765

Midway through the day, we were treated to lunch on break from our critiques, but I couldn’t stay; I had to run across town to take my math final then run back for the rest of the critiques!

Wednesday: This day I got to play catch up and prepare for my last critique. I also finished up my science final, which was a take home multiple choice exam. At NESAD on Wednesday, I created my final piece for Contemporary Trends, and since it was the only thing I had left to do, I got to focus all my energy on it all day!

Thursday: This day was my last critique- Contemporary Trends. The critique, unlike Seminar, was not for all of our pieces from over the semester, but rather just for our final piece. The assignment was to take a previous prompt from the semester and reevaluate it; either create an entirely new piece or explore an idea that you didn’t have time for with a previous piece. I chose to revisit my Ephemeral Memory project, the first of which I wrote out “Remember” in sugar in the hallway, which disappeared throughout the day. I wanted to continue using food as a sculptural medium, since I’ve done a few things with it this semester and I like how temporary and relatable it is. I chose to create small sculptures representing my five senses from negative spaces on my body: the inside of my hand, my eye socket, my ear, my nose, and my lips. The sculptures were made of homemade “moon sand”- a mixture of flour and oil. The piece itself was its destruction; I made plexiglass boxes to hold the sculptures and filled these boxes with the same oil I used to make them, and they slowly disintegrated. With this piece, I wanted to show the relationship between senses and memory, and how both can fade but sometimes sensory memories remain.


This semester has been great and crazy and flew by. I feel like I’ve reached a turning point as an artist, and it’s very exciting. I’m looking forward to my classes next semester; there will be a lot of sculpture and a lot of art history! For now though, I’m going to do absolutely nothing for a while, and prepare myself for my trip to sunny South America in a week!!!

Finals Craziness!

Women of Gaza Tanya Habjouqa
Women of Gaza Tanya Habjouqa

Hey all! These past few weeks have been super crazy, I apologize for not posting last week for Thanksgiving! The week before that in seminar, we went to the MFA and I FINALLY got to see the show I’ve been wanting to, She Who Tells A Story. It’s a beautiful photography show of women photographers from the Middle East. I could’ve spent all day there. One of my favorite photographers shown was Tanya Habjouqa, who had beautiful simple photos of small good things in the lives of Middle Eastern women, to try to counter the assumption that life is always horrible for them. The photos drew me in with their color, simplicity, and especially light, and the concept had me seated staring at them for some time.

My big head painting- it's three feet tall!
My big head painting- it’s three feet tall!

Over Thanksgiving break, I had a ton of delicious food, participated in the madness that is Black Friday shopping (new photo goodies and gifts!), and saw some great friends! Since I’ve been back though, things have shifted in high gear. I’ve had a math test and have a final exam on Tuesday and two take home finals in science. Also in painting, I finished up two different paintings that I’ve been working on simultaneously, so that feels great! One is a big giant head and the other is a female nude. In Seminar, we’re wrapping up our final projects and getting ready for our final critiques on Tuesday, which will include all three of our big projects from the semester (my orange sculpture, my t shirts, and my final project). In contemporary trends, we’re in the middle of our final project as well, which is due Thursday for our final crit.


From Paper to Pixels

This week in painting, we started a painting from a new model and did things a little differently. Instead of doing a full body painting of the model nude, we focused on just the model’s head. (so he kept his clothes on!) Audrey got some really big old pieces of doors to paint on so a few of us are using those, and painting something on such a different scale is really refreshing. I haven’t been able to focus on one aspect of a painting this semester, so I feel like the structure of my painting is already better than others. We started in on Monday, kept working on it on Wednesday, and have more session to work on it this Monday. After that, we’ll have the model back from our last painting, so we can work on that one more or start a new one. Then, the semester will be done, yeesh.

In seminar, we got a new project, since we just wrapped up our last one, called Zoom. The prompt has to do with taking a piece that we’ve worked on this semester, either in class or otherwise, and alter the scale of it. We can alter more than the scale, like the material and concept, but we have to change the original scale of the piece. For example, my friend Taylor is taking a painting that she did for the last project, which is huge, and making tiny watercolor sketches to experiment with different colors. I like her idea a lot, since not only will it make a nice piece on its own, but it will help her make decisions about color for her larger painting. I’m not too sure of an idea so far, but I’m leaning toward working with photographs. I take a lot of photographs, and I love working with them, but I haven’t had the chance to do a piece with any this semester.

As I type at NESAD, the gallery is full of people enjoying our current show, From Paper to Pixels!

Suffolk University Gallery is pleased to present the exhibit From Paper to Pixels, and to be collaborating with Infrared5 CEO Rebecca Smith Allen, who first organized the exhibit. This exhibition creates the opportunity for collaboration between traditional and new media artists.

From Paper to Pixels pairs creative people together, to be inspired and invent new masterpieces. The results of these pairings are smart, funny, delightful. The exhibit invites the viewer to participate – to play with art, dance with characters, touch paintings to make music, interact with sculptures and make the art come alive.

The opening is tonight until 7pm and the show is up until January 17th. It is a combination of physical art pieces with technology driven additions, and each piece is interactive. It’s such a fun show to see and experience, and I think it’s perfect for an art school, where everyone is curious and wants to touch everything anyways!

Women in Bloom

Last weekend, I hung out with friends and worked hard to get my seminar project finished, which was due on Tuesday. The prompt for the project had to do with wish fulfillment, and I immediately thought of my wishes for the world. There are several women that I’ve been researching lately that have done some amazing things for their communities and my wish for the project was to show other people these women and their beliefs and accomplishments. Originally, my plan was to create a band of superhero women and create a comic book, but that turned out to already be a thing! (It’s called Female Force. It’s awesome.) I decided to change my idea totally and make t shirts.

Malala Yousafzai Print
Malala Yousafzai Print

I started out with line drawings of a few women’s faces: Malala Yousafzai and Sempat Pal Devi. Malala is a Pakistani 16 year old student and education activist. She has been shot by the Taliban because of her activism for girls’ education in Pakistan and continues to speak out for what she believes. Sempat Pal Devi is the leader of the Gulabi Gang, which is a group of women in Northern India who wear all pink, carry big bamboo sticks, and stand up for the rights of women and victims of domestic abuse. I decided to combine these images with something that would connect the two women. I researched the official flowers of each of their provinces to put silhouetted behind the women’s faces. I decided on flowers because I think that they symbolize these women well: they can grow anywhere, they can flourish under difficult and seemingly impossibly conditions, and are beautiful all the while. I made a screen for each flower and each line drawing, then screenprinted the images onto t shirts. I’m happy with how my shirts turned out, and I’m hoping to start making them for my friends and anyone who wants one! I want to get the message of these women out and help their faces become well known, so I’m not going to charge for these shirts, I’m just asking that whoever wants one brings me a shirt to print on. If you’re interested in a shirt, comment on this post!

Malala and Sempat Pal Devi  shirts!
Malala and Sempat Pal Devi shirts!

Other than my shirts, I started a new painting this week and had a different project due in Contemporary Trends. We’ve been working with a concept called Augmented Reality, which can be accessed with a few different smart phone apps (Like Augment or Aurasma). The basic idea of it is that when you point your phone camera (with the app open) at a certain image or in a certain location, a new image or 3D animation will appear on your phone in the environment. This presents infinite opportunities for art; like sculptures, new architecture, and really anything that we could want to change in public places that wouldn’t be possible in reality. Last week, we brought in a few different ideas with our groups to present to the class. Then this week, we came to class with a presentation on how we would install our object into Augmented Reality. My group and I decided to edit the Irish Famine Memorial in downtown Boston, since there are issues and strange parts about it. We made a 3d model of the sculpture and multiplied part of it to accurately depict the ratio of people negatively affected by the famine. Doing a project in Augmented Reality was really challenging but very interesting, and I can definitely see the medium becoming really big in the future!

First Friday

my finished painting, partly from memory

On Monday in painting, we finished our painting without a model, which was difficult but it turned out pretty well. I’m happy with how my painting turned out, it was definitely a challenge to work from memory and also interesting to work from a few works by other painters. On Wednesday, we had a new model come in and started a new painting.

Celine Browning: Portrait of CB & ATS
Celine Browning: Portrait of CB & ATS

On Friday, a few friends and I went to First Friday at the Thayer st. Galleries in the south end. There were a lot of awesome shows up, including work at Kingston gallery by my contemporary trends professor, Celine Browning! Her show, Skinned, is about repurposing common objects to show their functions and how they reflect their owners. I really enjoyed her sculptures pictured here, which are made of a female and male model skeleton set. The piece is titled Portrait of CB and ATS, and Celine talked to us about how the piece shows the fragility of a domestic partnership, and is actually the two heights of her and her husband! I also liked the work of Karl Stevens, who has portraits, sketches and comics up at Carroll & Sons.

Other than painting, this week has been relatively low key art wise. We went over our ideas for the upcoming project due dates in both Seminar and Contemporary Trends. On the non art front though, however, I had my second math test on Wednesday and a big presentation in science, which will count for 25% of my grade! Luckily, I think both went pretty well.
This week was also registration week, and my classes for next semester are:
Fine Arts Seminar
3D Figure Studio
Sculpture Studio
Ideas of Western Art II
Women, Art, & Society
I’m so excited to have all art classes and finally be taking another Women’s studies course! It’ll be another busy semester, and all of the 3D work will definitely be a challenge, but I’m ready for lots of studio time and lots of art history studying. 🙂

Lots of Art Lookin’

Alyse and I dressed as Audrey and Randal!
Alyse and I dressed as Audrey and Randal!

On Tuesday in the morning, we went over our concepts for our next project. My friend and I were a little late to class, however, because we had to get properly dressed.. as our professors! We dressed up like our two fine arts professors, Audrey Goldstein and Randal Thurston, for an early Halloween costume, since we have both of their classes on Tuesday. They were totally surprised and they loved the costumes, hopefully enough to get us some extra credit. 🙂

Julian Opie
Julian Opie

Later that day, we went with Randal to a bunch of galleries right nearby on Newbury Street. Some had art that interested us more than others, and some was really great. I enjoyed Julian Opie’s work at Barbara Krakow Gallery. There was sculpture, digital work, and mosaic work on display. The sculptures (like the one in this picture, which was as tall as me!) were hand painted! The mosaics were also meticulously done. I really like the graphic nature  of the work combined with the serious skill and craft. The digital pieces we portraits similar to this on a screen, that just looked like paintings until you stared at them for a while, and they would move just a tiny bit, like blink or shift! It was neat. I also enjoyed Scott Prior’s work, which we saw at Alpha Gallery.

For Contemporary Trends this week, our assignment was to go out and look at public art in Boston. Compared to other cities (New York especially), Boston has very little public art, and the art we do have is usually a bronze memorial from 100 years ago! However, there are in fact some current pieces up and around Boston, and we found them! I went to the Convergence show at the Christian Science Center by Boston Sculptors, which was really cool. There were all kinds and sizes of sculptures that were site-specific, meaning they are purposefully placed and integrated into their environment. I got there just in time too, the show was taken down at the end of this week!