Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Photo Gallery

I've got this new friend named Vince. He saw me dancing that one day, said hi to me in the hall the next day, and we've been running into each other all over the place ever since. We ran into each other again yesterday and started talking, and since we're both art fanatics he invited me to go to this photography presentation tonight. I thought it sounded pretty fun, so I went.

I didn't think I'd ever heard of this photographer before, so I didn't know what to expect. I didn't even remember his name until I got into the room for the presentation and it was projected onto a screen. The photographer we went to see was Stephen Wilkes. In case you didn't know, Stephen Wilkes is the guy who took that Verizon network photo with the tons of people in it. Yeah, him.

He showed us some pictures he took in China many years ago, then some very nice photos he took in Ellis Island, and some more recent ones in China, and many, many more. He even had some portraits of horses. And with all of the photos he showed us, he told us the story of when and why he took them. How his assistant thought he saw a ghost in the measles ward in Ellis Island, and his guerilla tactic of snapping shots in China because the government there didn't want pictures being taken. When he got to his advertising work, he pointed to a box-like thing toward the back of one of the photos he took for IBM and said, "You see that little cart there? There's a funny story about that. It was the police, and they were coming to arrest me for taking pictures." Most of the things he showed us are on his website, but there were a few he said that he hadn't published anywhere yet.

Photography became about five times more interesting. That isn't the only presentation that will be there, either. Annie Leibovitz is coming to give one next week, and Vince and I are planning to go to that one too. Hopefully we can get there early enough to get seats.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


This is gonna be a long one because I have a lot to catch up on. There's been a lot going on, but I've been busy, and lazy, and procrastinating. The stuff that's been happening has been happening since it was sunny, so I'm going to go all the way back to about...

-April Fool's Day (Told you there was a lot) - It was the second day that week that it had been nice, and sunny, and warm out. I had to go draw a landscape for my drawing class, and figured what better place was there to draw a landscape than outside? So I went walking around campus in the glorious sunlight with my sketchbooks. I had just gotten past the first building when I started to hear drums. I went to go investigate and found four guys playing some bongo drums between the Whitney building and the student center. People were gathered all around the area watching them and talking, and some people had actually gotten out into the middle and started dancing. It looked like lots of fun. So I got out my pencils and started to sketch them (not as easy as it sounds, since everybody was moving). As I was drawing, the idea of getting up there with them seemed more and more fun. The last bit of my sketch was drawn in kind of a hurry, and when I was done I put everything on some steps where I could keep an eye on it, took off my shoes, and started dancing.

To bongo drums.

On concrete.

In front of total strangers.

Go me?

When I started dancing, the others who had sat down to catch their breath got back up. I knew people were watching, but it really didn't seem to matter. A few minutes later, this cute little girl joined in and she said my skirt was pretty. :D
I'm not sure when the drummers finally stopped, but when they did I sat down on the steps pretty well worn out, and only then did I realize that dancing barefoot on concrete was maybe not the best idea. Why? Huge blisters had formed all over my feet. D:

Needless to say, the walk back across campus to my dorm was pretty interesting, with an emphasis on "interesting" and not so much on "pretty".

-That Friday (I shall title thee, "Adorable Little Kids".) - I woke up at 7 and debated for a good, long time whether or not I should go to my drawing class because the blisters on my feet still hurt like crazy. In the end, I did go because I didn't want to miss class just for being a wimp. Although, for the record I will say that I am not a wimp and those blisters hurt REALLY BAD.

Class was pretty normal, except that my professor decided that since it was sunny out, we could all go outside and draw random things, and that this would be our assignment for the week. I hobbled out and found a nice patch of flowers. There were some bees, but they seemed to be ignoring me, so I returned the favor. I had gotten to about the fourth flower when this group of little kids (with some chaperones) came walking around to look at all the wonderful outdoor-ness that the quad had to offer. On their way back to the building, they stopped to look at the flowers and, since I was there, me.

"Hey, what's she doing? Is she drawing?"

"Can we go see?"

"Not over here, there are bees."

*gasp* "Bees?"

I smiled and kept on sketching while they went around the scary bees and came up behind me to watch. My fold-up kit of art supplies was unfolded so that all of my pencils, and micron pens, and other such things were visible and they stared at it like it was the most amazing thing they'd seen all week.

*glances over my shoulder* "How does she do that?"

"Those are pretty flowers."

"Why do you have so many pencils?"

"What are the pens for?"

"Can you draw a bee?"

"Can you draw one on a flower?"

So. Flipping. Cute. I gave them a demonstration of what all the pencils and pens did, and why they were different, and then I drew some bees for them, and they all looked happy. By the time their chaperones (teachers? Babysitters? No idea.) took them back inside, they were all talking about drawing things. If I made them all enthusiastic about art, then I can consider that my good deed for the month.

-Easter - I had planned on sitting around doing nothing for Easter, since I really don't know anybody here, and the people I do know are either my roommates or friends that aren't close enough to do things with on Easter. Fortunately, one of my roommates (Kishma) knows a very nice person (Anita) who invited us to her family Easter thingy.

We left at two, then went around Anita's yard hiding plastic eggs for...


More cute kids!

And then we went around with the family and watched them scamper all over the place looking for them. Once they found the last of the elusive eggs, everybody went inside to chat idly and snack on cheese. Yay, cheese! There was gorgonzola, and camembert, and brie, and three other types that I don't quite remember. And of course, they put the cheese platter right in front of me and I was a very happy camper.

After the cheese, we played Life. We didn't get very far because dinner was ready soon after that. Dinner was ham with a tasty raisin sauce, sweet potatoes, salad, and surprisingly nothing that I didn't like. We ate, and talked, and then talked for a while after that. And after the talking, there was cake. Yay, cake! Two cakes, actually. One was regular white cake shaped like a rabbit's head, and the other was a blackberry clove cake with buttercream frosting. I had the second one. I'm still kicking myself because I didn't ask for the recipe. That was an awesome cake.

After the cake, there was more talking, mostly with one of the kids, whose name I cannot remember because I'm bad at that. We learned that she's going through regular middle school frustrations with annoying boys and twits who think they know it all. We also learned that she doesn't like Disney movies/shows except for the older ones that I grew up with, and she is also not a fan of Twilight. I commend this.

It was her parents who took us home, and I was glad that they did when they did. Otherwise, I may have been tempted to eat more cake, and at that point I really should not have had room for more food.

-Last Friday - My ever-entertaining drawing professor wanted us to try drawing figures again and was about to get up on the little platform in the middle of the room when he decided that I would be fun to draw. So I perched on a stool in the center of class with my legs up to my chest for twenty minutes while people drew me. Some of the drawings turned out really well, and I kind of wish that I could have copies of them.

-Today!- The art club has a bake sale today! One of my friends in my design class made some goodies for it, and after we left class, she bought one for me. :D We parted ways and as I walked across the bridge, I noticed something else: a hot dog stand for another club! Well hey, there's lunch! So I went back to my dorm to get some money. Leslie wanted to come with me, so she did and she bought as much as her arms could carry. I got two scones and a hot dog. I'm pretty happy. And while this hasn't been the whole day yet, I think it's safe to say that any day that starts out with cookies cannot be a bad day.