Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Monday, April 26, 2010

Final Fantasy...

I love everything about this man. He is witty, intelligent, creative, musical, Canadian--the list could go on and on. And tonight I fell in love with him and his music all over again thanks to the lovely CW treating me to an early birthday present. Two years ago I had the pleasure to road trip to Philly with CW, Liz Jr., and Kim to see him play at the same venue (but in the lower level basement); this time he had the whole main level sanctuary in the First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia. It was inspiring... huge stain glass windows, lightning flashing from outside, and the entire place filled to the brim completely silent except for the amazingly beautiful sounds of the violin. I think what makes me love Owen so much is that every time I see him or listen to him on my I-pod I'm immediately taken back to these great memories with great friends. Seriously great night.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Cassowaries...

In the Studio...
Tonight I was in the studio working on some color prints that utilized stencil work. Here are a few of the variations I ran...
I used anywhere from 3-7 colors in these prints. And started by creating a stencil for each area out of mylar.
The majority of colors were run through the press individually and placed on the drying rack where they dried before I could print the next color. It took longer than I had expected.
These pictures don't really do it justice... (the colors are darkened/weird on here) but I think I may have gotten my scanner to work now. So hopefully I'll be able to scan prints from now on.
Luckily I have Natalie to keep me sane while I'm printing. I am beyond excited she's going to be in Rome at the same time as me!!!
And this is Nat's beautiful Peacock monoprint. She used etching inks mixed with linseed oil to paint on the plate and then run it through the press.

Friday, April 23, 2010

My Letter...


I recently had an assignment in my Education in Society class to write to someone involved in education about an issue I am passionate about. Little did I know, that I would end up emailing my letter to my entire high school school board, school district school board, and the superintendent as requested by my former art teacher. I've already heard back, and while some of the responses may have been vague, they were all relatively (and in some instances overwhelmingly) positive... which makes me feel like in my own little way, maybe I did make a difference. And at the very least, I put some ideas into their heads. Below is a copy of the letter:

To Whom It May Concern;

My name is James Dunn and I am currently a sophomore Printmaking major with teaching certification at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art. I am also a recent graduate of Central Dauphin high school, having graduated in 2008 as part of the National Honor Society, captain of the varsity boys tennis team, Vice president of the art club, and sports editor for the yearbook. I am writing in connection to the proposed budget cuts that are currently being discussed all around the school district, many of which would result in huge cutbacks to the art and music programs. As a future educator, and more importantly someone who not too long ago was still in high school, I urge you to possibly reconsider alternative options or other potential areas in terms of cut backs. I’m currently enrolled in an education class at Temple that is focusing on schooling as an institution in society and the power it has on shaping who a person can become over time. Ever since I was little art has been a huge part of my life, whether it be doodling on the walls with crayon when I was three or sitting in my intro to psych class last week drawing out models of psychological theories because I’m a more visual learner. Art has been an outlet for me to convey things that I otherwise may not have felt comfortable enough expressing. It has unlocked a passion for teaching that I would not have found if not for the art program at Central Dauphin and the opportunity to study film and video my senior year at the Capital Area School for the Arts. But more importantly I felt like the art room was the one place in high school that I could go to and feel safe; feel understood.

Freshman year I had the opportunity to apply for a certification program here at Temple regarding arts in healthcare and community-based settings. I submitted a portfolio of mostly work completed in my senior year of high school and CASA and watched, as I was the only freshman admitted into a program where the majority of my peers were either in their third or final year of undergraduate studies. I strongly believe that the concepts I learned through my time in Central Dauphin’s art program allowed me to compete and learn with people three or four years older than myself. Not to mention the motivational push that I as a student felt after realizing that people had responded so positively to my work; and how that motivation carried on not only in terms of my art, but also in how I perceived my other academic subjects. I began utilizing art in math with geometry and proportioning, illustrating my short stories and essays for English, and even creating projects that centered around the history of art and society when it came to geography or human studies classes. I couldn’t and still can’t get enough of it, and ever since adopting this philosophy of utilizing art in other forms of academia my grades have continued to flourish.

I’ve spoken with educators in both Philadelphia and Harrisburg regarding arts and music in schools and the overwhelming response across the board is that they all view art as a means to enrich and reinforce what is taught in every other class. Art can be a vehicle to gain a deeper understanding of a certain period in history and the actual process of figuring out how to make or create helps students develop problem-solving skills that can be used in other classes as well as every day life.

The school district of Philadelphia has been participating in a test program for the past 4 years called the Philadelphia Arts in Education Partnership or PAEP that utilizes the philosophy I just mentioned above in my own experience, but rather than rely on the student figuring it out on their own, they recognize this need for alternative learning methods and the power that art can have on unlocking a child’s preconceived notions of school and learning as a negative thing. They have begun working with teachers in all subjects and seeing how simple things like writing a short story in English and then illustrating it later in art class can increase class discussion and student comprehension remarkably. The program also utilizes teaching artists, colleges and universities around the city, as well as arts and cultural organizations throughout the region to foster this excellence in arts-in-education practice as well as create a sense of community building. It’s a program that brings arts-based learning experiences into students’ lives, while encouraging this newfound love for education as a whole.

It is this new love for education and this passion to learn based off of art-based learning that I believe could have a monumental affect on the students in our district. I urge you to strongly reconsider the budget cuts to art and music programs across the Central Dauphin school district; looking into alternative measures to save money rather than sacrifice the critical need for departments such as these, that foster creative and academic pursuits both inside and out of the classroom.

Sincerely,

J.D.

Monday, April 19, 2010

My Ticket Outta Here...

It's official! Got my passport in the mail!!!
And as strange as it sounds...
I still don't think the idea of Rome has really sunk in yet.
In other news:
Studio finals are all next week.
So im busy busy busy.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Handyman...

So I had a really good crit today in ceramics. We put all the dining sets on a table out in the courtyard and had our critique outside which was a nice change in pace. My classmates had some really nice things to say about my set, so that was pretty sweet. I didn't get to take pictures yet because Matt still needs to grade them, but when I get it back I'll update the blog. In the meantime here are some in progress shots of my final.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Pie Day...

So here's a recap of Spring Fling this year.
-Dee pied Charlotte in the face for pediatric aides research.
-Painting was cancelled.
-I hung out with friends all day.
-I did no school work... and now I'm regretting it.
-It rained a lot.
But all in all.... it was a pretty sweet day.

"Somethings"...


So this past Saturday Brielle had her art show opening, "Somethings", at South Philly Comics.
Our friend Emily's brother owns the store and has started showing art there as part of the "Second Saturday" campaign.
And even though B was stressed out, I'm proud of her. (As was her dad!)
Afterwards Keiran and I took a tour of South Philly via her life saving I-phone's gps. And stopped to get some pizza for dinner and have a lovely catch up session.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Tea For Two...

Assignment: Create a Dining Set for Two.
Two Tea cups.
Two sushi plates.
2 Sake Cups.
4 Cups.
(Today I find out if anything blew up in the kiln... wish me luck!)

Another Sunny Day....

So earlier this week I had a lovely impromptu lunch out on the beach by the bell tower with Mercedes, Kelsey, Corrie, Dee, Keiran, and Julie.
They were even nice enough to find a place that was half in the shade so I wouldn't get too burned. (They're good friends!) The weather has been sooooo nice lately.
It seems like all of Philadelphia has been outside this week.
Photos Courtesy of my Cell Phone...

Monday, April 5, 2010

Senegalese Soup: Heaven in a Cup...


Sweet Christ Almighty! Caitlin was not lying... last week I tried this soup for the first time and I am hooked! It is absolutely wonderful! And to be honest, I sort of fell in love with it even before even trying it. Read Cait's own blog post about this cup of heaven and you'll see what I mean.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Identity...


So we had a class crit on the 6 portraits we were to do for painting class. I'm still not sure as to how my paintings were perceived, because out of the entire class mine weren't really discussed. I guess I'm a little frustrated with that because while they seem like rather straightforward paintings, they each actually have a pretty particular reason as to why I chose them. Frank's going to talk with us individually on Tuesday though, so hopefully that yields better results.
My particular series focused on perceptions and how what you see isn't always necessarily what you get. I related them all back to me directly in terms of what society dictates as the social "norm" and how I and most people I know don't actually fit into these unachievable molds; as well as made sure they were all Pennsylvanians.
Celebrity: Bill Cosby
-Challenging the idea of Bill as the archetype for American fathers and a success story,
but downplaying the recent scandals about cheating and sexism.
Seduction: Pink
-Challenging the societal view that women are seductive and can increase that seduction by showing cleavage, despite the fact that I (and many others) have no attraction whatsoever to this archetype.
Stranger: Calley
-Challenging the idea that while Calley and I share the same last name we are not, at least to either of our knowledge, related at all. I also wanted to explore the idea that you could have an entire relationship over the internet with someone without ever actually meeting them in public.
Familiar: Lauren
-I chose my sister to represent the idea of a unconditional love relationship. We often fight and disagree, but when push comes to shove, she probably knows more about me than any other person in my life.
Critical Comment: Self Portrait
-This is a critical comment on society's perception of me as an individual. I am a firm believer that a person is made up of a multitude of different attributes that contribute to their identity, but society is constantly defining people by one aspect of their life.
All works are Acrylic on paper.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Last Week...


So last Saturday was National Passport Day. Meaning that post offices around the country were making it easier to apply for your passport. Seeing as how I have never been outside the country, and upon the recent mind boggling news about study abroad, I was in need of said identification. So I headed back to the lovely 717 where I had a really relaxing and fun weekend.
Laur and Ash picked me up from the train station with Trey in tow and we headed over to Wildwood to catch up and get Trey to blow off some of his energy.
I made them pose next to flowers just like my mom used to makes us do when we were younger. Looking back on it, a lot of my childhood was spent walking the trails and boardwalks of this park.
After getting my passport, Laur and I headed into town to see a sculpture that had been accepted into the Susquehanna Art Museum's Central PA H.S. show.
I am beyond proud of my little sister. I couldn't believe how nonchalantly she mentioned it to me at home... I made sure to tell her a thousand times how much of a big deal it was. And how I never got to show anything there when I was in H.S. And then after we headed over to Neato to split a burrito and celebrate. We got the Cowboy Crunch and Laur was way more impressed with the food this time around that she said she could finally see what I've been talking about all this time...
I took Laur into Midtown to explore and see if we could find Chickey's new gallery. We couldn't, but ran into Mr. Smith in the newly renovated and absolutely beautiful bookstore/cafe: Midtown Scholar. Seriously, Laur and I were talking about it, and if we ever decided to open up a store together this would be it.
Mr Smith and Moviate were hosting a concert there later that night and told us to check it out, which we did and it was soooo sweet. The main band had actually opened up for Sigur Rosa few times before. And we ran into Val and Chickey, who showed us the new space forMANTIS, which is actually next door to the bookstore.
Other activities included:
Dinner in Hummelstown.
Jimmy Buffet family Sing-a-longs in the car.
The Dreaded Girl Scout Mass.
Spontaneously sitting next to Terry on the train back to Philly.

Poster design courtesy Moviate and Tara Chickey.