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.