Friday, May 8, 2009

first fridays : may

MayDay Parade

I went with a group of people to first fridays this May. One of the big attraction of this first friday was the MayDay Parade which started at Gallery 5 and went down Broad Street for a couple of blocks. The parade was called "MayDay! Workers of the World Unite." One of our friends was in the band that led the parade called the No BS! Brass Band. I thought there band did a good job and the poeple in the parade seemed very excited to be a part of it. One of our classmates, Zack Concepcion was in the parade as well (showed in the picture to the left holding the workers unite sign). The parade was entertaining with the papermache hands and float. In addition to the parade, there was a guy who was playing the drums and the bass at the same time. He is at every first fridays I have been to this semester. He is extremely talented and highly entertaining.

The main galleries that we looked at were the Gradstudent and Senior Photography shows. I was slighly disappionted in both. Though I enjoyed some of the pieces in both, I expected the more from both. The gradstudent show seemed more like a senior show and the senior show looked more like the work that my grade is producing now. There were exceptions tho. The Gradstudent show did a good job at mounting and presentation in there show. I enjoyed the images with dirt in them (shown to the left). I liked the idea of putting such a dirty thing in a clean enviroment and making it playful with dirt lines. In addition, in the show, I liked childrens photographs and the long panoramic shot. The childrens photographs were taken by Jessica Stambach. I think the thing I liked the most about her photographs was the composition and chose to not show the children's face. The colors were vibrent and imboded the spirit of a child in my opinion. The panaramic photography was playful and interesting with the same furniture repeated in the shot and the girl climbing. It had a playful element because the girl seemed as if she was trying to avoid touching the ground. The colors in the piece was subdued.

I think that this was one of the better first fridays I have been to since I started attending VCU.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

first friday : april

I walked around First Fridays on the 3rd of April. The Ghostprint Gallery was my favorite and included work from Klutch intitled "invasive species."

"Data Wolf"
"Klutch acquired notoriety on the street as a stencil and graffiti artist and was a prominent figure on the punk and skater scene in the early 80's. Twenty years later he was the Master Mind behind the Vinyl Killers project that took off around the world. Klutch's creativity has since extended to mural paintings, zoomorphic skateboards, a chic hotel room (Hotel des Art , San Francisco) a Nike ad campaign and he has had numerous gallery exhibitions.These are all a means to perpetuate what he views as the most important work -his street art ."
I liked Klutch work because it combines a combination of medias 
in a unique and interesting way. His compositions were well thought out and the images he created on wood were very interesting. I am drown to very detail oriented work, because i use lots of detail in my own work, and I enjoyed his use of line. My favorite piece in the gallery was a series of fish pained on wood (image located on the right). The wall was painted with a light grey on a white wall to simulate motion.  The wood cut outs of the fish were very detailed, as was the paint of each individual fish. However, there is a sense of mystery with the creators because when you look at the painting from far away it looks like fish but close up it looks like a cross of different creators. I really enjoyed Klutch work.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


SameTime 1:04 is a spontaneous photography project taking direct inspiration from SameTime 7:15 (Michael Lease, Kate Macdonnell, Bryan Martin, Jesse Sommerlatt, Brad Walker, and Soung Wiser;

After hearing about SameTime 7:15 from our teacher Michael Lease last semester, a friend of mine approached me and asked me if I wanted to join her and two other people in the SameTime 1:04 project. I was uber excited to join the project. The members of this project, Amber Bender, Ben Hostetter, Rachel Rainer and myself. I saw this project as an opportunity to make an image everyday and work on my creative abilities. I thought it would be useful to force myself to take at least one photo everyday. However, in our project, the text is almost as important as the image. Sometimes the text seems more meaningful than then image and other times it is the other way around. It is challenging to find time to upload the an image everyday, but taking the image has become routine. I like the fact that I have incorporated SameTime 1:04 into my day to day stage. In addition, I like the challenge of taking different images in a familiar place. For instance, I have class two times a week at 1:04 which forces me to be creative with my shot so viewers are not seeing the same image two days a week.

Overall, even though we based this project off someone else, this is a good exercise.  And while we understand that there could be many improvements to the format and style of the project, our group looks forward to the final project and working hard to make this project a success. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Who: Amy Stein
What: Guest Lecture
Where: VCU Commons Theater

Amy Stein is a photographer and teacher based in New York City. Her work explores our evolving isolation from community, culture and the environment. 

Her most popular series is entitled "Domesticated" in which she uses taxidermied animals and places them in everyday communities. Each picture was based off a story from the local community. Therefore, her images are narratives of a small community and its interaction with the local wildlife. Personally, I thought that this series of images was her best work so far. The stories behind each image are interesting and relatable to anyone who has lived in a small community. The compositions are well thought out as well. 

The series she is currently working on is entitled "Stranded." Stein travels around the country taking pictures of people whose cars have broken down on the side of the road. I thought she did a good job of addressing the questions people had about approaching a stranger and asking to take there photograph. I do not think this series is as successful and the previously stated series, but the idea behind it was fascinating. I think there was a gap between the images and the idea. 

Overall, Stein was a good speaker and seemed to have well thought out ideas and concepts to her images. She attempted to send a message with each of her photographs. Even-though she was not always successful, in my opinion, her images are interesting and the ideas are strong.  I enjoyed hearing the stories behind the photographs. 

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Who: Bernard and Patricia Wagner Collection
What: Embodying the Sacred in Yoruba Art & The Breaded Prayer Project
Where: Anderson Gallery
When: February 18, 2009

"This nationally traveling exhibition explores the relationship between art and the spiritual world in Yoruba culture through nearly 70 extraordinary works in diverse media." 
When i first walked into the gallery, the first piece I noticed was the sculpture shown on the left. It is made out of wood and the details on it are amazing. One reason I enjoy looking at sculptures from things like wood or marble or any other medium, is that I appreciate any individual who can take a large chunk of medium and create something so detailed and realistic.  If they mess up once the piece is ruined and I know I wouldn't be able to do it right on the first try. The combinations of these animals interest me. I assume they are the animals that live near the people who created this headdress. 
In addition, I find it interesting how big and heavy the headdresses look. I do not think I would be able to hold a headdress this large on my head. They are all very neat looking with tremendous amounts of detail, but they are very large and look far to heavy to hold on one's head.
In one room on the bottom floor there are panels full of different shaped and styled packets entitled the Beaded Prayers Project.  At first both Rachel and I didn't understand the significants of these packets. However, after reading the provided information, we discovered that they were prayers, wishes, etc. rolled inside each packet. When we looked at them more closely, we were able to see the paper inside in some of the packets. After understanding what the packets were it become much more interesting. Overall, I thought the Yoruba sculptures and headdresses where amazing and well crafted and, though I was not a big fan of the prayers project presentation, I found the idea intriguing. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Who: Paul Shambroom 
What: Guest Lecture
Where: Commons Theater 
When: February 11, 2008

Paul Shambroom is a photographer who explores American power and culture. During his lecture, he showed us his early work on office environments to his current work photographing public weapons around the United States. He also showed us his work photographing American weapons and portraits of weapons specialist in their equipment.  He was a very funny and smart speaker. He was entertaining which was surprising because the subject matter in many of his photographers were dark and heavy. His work is pretty straight forward and I thought his discussion about how to get permission to take photographs of restricted or limited objects was helpful. All of his work was focused and purposeful with a hint of irony in some of them. 

My favorite collection of photographs that he shared with us was his office environment work. I though the progression of this work was well thought out and humorous. I thought the images of the people in their offices was unique to many of the typical office portrait seen in commercial work today. The image to the right was my favorite in this series because the composition is well planned and the expression on the women's face fits the humor of the inflated arms. The progression to local leader and representatives in small communities and environments was very interesting. He photographed ordinary people and made them seem more important and interesting while keeping a hint of humor in the images. The people were the most interesting part of the photographs. All of them were different and had unique characteristics which was nice and added diversity to the photographs. 

In his current project, he travels around the United States and takes photographs of public weapons on monument. I thought the idea of traveling America and taking picture of a specific object or group of object was a brilliant idea. I also found it interesting that he preferred to photograph on cloudy days versus sunny days. In addition, I enjoyed his discussion on flickr and how he uses it as a source for looking at pictures. Looking back on the discussion it is interesting to compare Sharmbroom's opinion of flickr to our sophomore seminar class discussion on how there may be too many images in the world. Overall I thought Paul Shambroom was a very good speaking and a diverse photographer with a central theme or concern. I enjoyed the lecture.  

Sunday, February 1, 2009


Who: Alix Pearlstein
What: Guest Lecture
Where: Commons Theatre
When: January 28, 2008

On Wednesday, I attended the lecture with guest artist Alix Pearlstein. She explained her inspiration as a artist, her concepts and showed us several of her videos. The one that I found most appealing was called Distance (still image shown above). Though I did not like the actions displayed by the actors and actresses, I enjoyed the video camera angels. I found it intriguing that you could observe two angles of the same action and see the camera man or women taking each shot. I found myself spending more time locating and following the camera man or women that paying attention to the actors and actresses. The video seemed really long to have no plot or general objective. The acting made me confused. I soon gave up on following the actors and actresses and focused on the video camera in each screen. In general, I was not a fan of her work. The videos seemed to go too long for her simple plots. Many of the ideas presented in the videos were confusing and hard to follow.  However, I liked the video that did not have hand-held camera work and the background/environment fit her style. 

Sunday, January 25, 2009

stiff lace

Who: Kevin Faison, Jenissa Hamilton, Christina Jeffers
What: Photography Show
Where: Rumors
When January 24, 2009

The top level was by far the most interesting part of the show. The photographer obviously thought a lot about the environment she wanted the photographs to be in.  The uses of boxes to surround the images was a good addition in my opinion and added to the rawness and humor of the photographs. 

The lower level was cluttered with photographs, artwork, cloths, tables, and shoes.  The photographs were of various sizes and styles. There was no cohesiveness and it was hard to tell which photographers created which images.  Many of the images where not well lit, which forced the viewer to look more closely at the photographs.  On two of the walls there were two mirrors surrounded by various images in different frames.  Personally, I disliked the mirrors in the center of the images. As i looked closely at the poorly lit photographs and proceeded to the next image, I found myself looking at my reflection in the mirror. It was surprising and distracting from the images. However, I found the different types of frames used around the mirrors very interesting. With the variety of image content and style, the different frames suited the work.  In addition, the images in the window frames where very interesting.  The backlight in the images worked well with the image content and the frames made the surreal image look more realistic. 

Overall, I thought there could be better lighting of the image and they could have been presented in a more organized manner. I realize it is difficult to present images in an area that already contains artwork, cloths, shoes, etc. but a viewer should be able to tell which photographer created which images and be able to see the images clearly.