Category: Arts

Mia’s Musings – Oct. 5, 2012

October 5th, 2012 in Arts, Mia Cross, Visual Arts 0 comments

by Mia Cross (CFA ’14)

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On Friday October 5th, renowned Brazilian artist Vik Muniz will visit BU as part of the College of Fine Arts Lecture Series. Some of his most noteworthy work includes large-scale portraits of workers from Jardim Gramacho, the largest landfill in the world, which he created from trash and recyclable materials. Check out his inspiring documentary.

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How many times have you passed by this artwork outside of Marsh and wondered what it is? On May 16, 1975 this piece entitled Free At Last was unveiled in memory of BU alumni Dr. Martin Luther King Junior. The sculptors name is Sergio Castillo. The fifty doves represent the fifty states soaring in peace and unison.

roxys

Did you know you can follow all of the food trucks on twitter? That way you can check out their hours and menu so you’ll never be left hungry. Take a look.

Books 4ever: A Slightly Haunting Declaration

December 13th, 2011 in @brembles, Arts 0 comments

Over Thanksgiving break, I noticed just how many people were traveling were glued to their Kindles, Nooks, and iPads. I just don’t get it. I’m a huge bibliophile and generally never leave home without a book in my bag, but I just don’t see what all the hype for eReaders is all about.

So I have a few questions for you guys out there who swear by your eReaders:

1. I know for me, books have sparked some interesting conversations in transit, whether on the T or at the airport. They generally start with, “Oh! Great author!” or “Excuse me, is that nay good? It’s been on my list for ages.” Having a book in front of you is arguably the only socially acceptable time where you are allowed to talk to strangers without seeming creepy. Are you intentionally staring into the screen in front of you to avoid human contact?

2. So, what happens when your battery dies and the plot suddenly thickened, the heroine is about to make her choice, or the protagonist just made a shocking discovery?

3. When your friends come over and your topic of conversation turns to literature, then they ask you for a suggestion or a book to borrow, instead of turning to your impressive library, what do you do? (#ThatAwkwardMomentWhen)

Proof that the Beast’s castle is real. Your argument is no longer valud.

Proof that the Beast’s castle is real. Your argument is no longer valud.

4. How does it feel when the flight attendant informs you that the cabin door has been closed and all electronic devices must be turned off? I’m sure it bothers you to watch me sit there, happily engaged in my real book, printed on real paper with real ink. How about when I bask in the glow of superiority as you’re forced to flip through your water stained SkyMall?

5. Don’t you miss that that physical sense of gratification when you finish a book, close it ever so slowly, put it down, and reflect?

So eReader aficionados, what’s it all about? I’m tempted to apologize for this rather contemptuous post, but I’ll revisit that idea when one day in the not to distant future, I’m swinging through my massive home library on a ladder like Belle in Beauty of the Beast.

 

 

 

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Arielle (CFA ’12) has two simple missions in life: paint and create. She is a self-proclaimed tea snob, an avid people watcher, a critic, and the keeper of useless movie trivia. Want her to check out your event? Don’t be shy! Contact her via Twitter — @brembles

In Defense of Trashy Television

December 13th, 2011 in @beinglizbreen, Arts 0 comments

 

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Yup! I’m doing this. Because finals time is upon us. And because a new season of Teen Mom 2 starts this week.

For those of you rolling your eyes saying, “Wow. I can’t believe you know that,” STOP IT! For those of you that say, “Dear, you’re too smart for television like that,” STOP IT!

I love trashy TV. I really, really do. Yes, often these shows show the worst of humanity, glamorize the immoral and exploit their stars. And I can know that and still appreciate the shows for what they are, a momentary release from the stresses of reality, a chance to perhaps put your own life into perspective because, at the end of the day, at least you’re not Snooki.

As a film and television major, I am obligated to explain that I love great television. I love Mad Men, The Walking Dead and Modern Family. And I hate Two and Half Men. So, I am doing (most) things that a good little film and TV major should do and think. But trashy TV is definitely my release.

Jersey Shore, True Life. Teen Mom, Hoarders, anything on TLC or anything Kardashain-related… those are my go-to shows after a long day. College teaches us to dedicate ourselves to a lifetime of learning. But… what if I don’t want to think? About anything! Just for an hour.

That’s where these shows come in. Sometimes, I’m just so stressed that I can’t imagine watching the characters I love be miserable (or eaten by zombies), but I would love to watch reality stars that I can’t stand be miserable (or eaten by zombies). And I can’t be alone in this, people! I KNOW I CAN’T!

So… I guess this is one post on this blog in support of things that aren’t artful, things that might give a certain art form a bad name. Because these things serve a purpose. Because sometimes, we want to be entertained. And just that. A purely visceral experience, not a cerebral one. Art is all around us, if you look for it. But sometimes, you just can’t take it.  (Slight American Beauty reference, anyone?)

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A post brought to you by Liz Breen, BU senior, film and television major, lover/aspiring connoisseur of the offbeat. Post/event suggestions welcome via Twitter – @beinglizbreen!

 

Three Cannibals and a Demonic Baby Walk into a Bar…

December 8th, 2011 in @mchadoaboutryan, Arts, Performances 0 comments

Or, in the case of Stage Troupe’s Fall 2011 One-Acts Festival, walk on stage. At the end of each semester, after Stage Troupe presents its four mainstages, the group presents a series of one-act plays. After not having been able to attend for four consecutive semesters, I FINALLY was able to attend this semester’s. These six vignettes left me laughing, crying, and squirming in my seat. The one-acts are fairly low key, taking place on a bare stage with minimal props, and a short rehearsal period. However, the quality of all six were astounding.  Two in particular blew me away:

Baby Talk: A Case Study in One Act (by Doug Wright) We all know the story. Husband loves wife. Wife loves husband. Wife becomes pregnant. Mommy speaks to baby. Baby recites poetry in utero. Baby calls Mommy the c-word. Baby tortures Mommy with all that will be wrong with him once delivered. Mommy’s never the same.

Props to Andrew Smith (CAS 2013) for his excellent choice in one-act and stellar direction. This one-act starts off very charming and whimsical. The mother, Alice (Amy Sullivan, COM 2013) sits on a stool recounting her pregnancy, along with her husband (Albert Paez, SED 2012) and Psychiatrist (Allie Romano, SED 2013.) Baby (Chris Hamilton, CAS 2012) sits next to Alice, with a cigarette and glass of scotch. Baby gets smarter and smarter while still in the womb, and the audience eats it up. But all too soon does the baby’s charm fade. Smith impressively led the group of four fantastic performers in this arch that started at cute, crept up to wacky, skyrockets to disturbing, and ended in a plateau at haunting.

Meat (by Lauren Kolodkin, CAS 2014) What happens when the recession leads to soaring food costs in the near future? In Meat, written and directed by Kolodkin, the answer is simple: harvest meat from recently executed death-row inmates for a fraction of the cost and feed it to public schools and jails.

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The play opens with three test subjects being fed said mystery meat by two reluctant doctors. It’s the final test before the mystery meat proposal is passed on to the senate. The audience gets it—the test subjects don’t. I had the unfortunate pleasure of sitting in front of Kolodkin when I went, and I hope she got as much demented joy from watching me squirm as the subjects put together the pieces as she did writing the play. (I had to turn around to call her sick afterwards. It was a compliment.)

In addition to nightmares, Kolodkin’s play made me think: if you want to tell a story, just tell it. If that story’s about eating people, still tell it. Don’t worry what the reaction will be. Just do what feels right and necessary. Lauren told me that she thought of the idea somewhat randomly and almost immediately decided to write about it, and I commend her for following her impulses. It paid off well. I’m going vegetarian.

 

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Ryan McPhee (COM 2012) Indulging in art on the stage, in the kitchen, and everywhere in between. @mchadoaboutryan

 

Not so Bizarre: Bazaar Bizarre

December 8th, 2011 in @sarahmerra, Arts, Arts Exchange 0 comments

On Sunday, December 4th, I attended one of my favorite Boston events of the year: the Bazaar Bizarre, held at the Cyclorama in the South End of the city. Within this enormous venue, over a hundred venues set up beautiful displays to sell their handcrafted wares, from pottery to jewelry, journals to cosmetics, illustrations to knitware. It is the perfect combination of hip creativity, local handiwork and sourcing, and the inherent friendliness that comes with hand to hand selling. As a lovely bonus, the venue is warm and inviting, with music playing the voices of shoppers buzzing excitedly over the quirky beauty contained in each table.

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Each year, I look forward to being enchanted by this market. It is everything one could want in a shopping experience, with the creators right in front of you and the products so beautifully made and finished. “Finishing” is the little touches that producers give to their products to make them look professional- a seam on the edge of a felted headband, or paint to cover any rough edges on a framed print. This fair, while being fun, is also a lesson for anyone who wants to sell their stuff-if you want to sell something, finish it well. Love your product.

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Here, useful, usable art is sold. These things are not just lovely to look at, but work into daily life, as part of your accessories stash or what you drink your coffee out of. And by the time you leave, you’ll know everything about the vendor, their dog, and their new tattoo. Enjoy the craft fairs that Boston has to offer-buying what you need straight from the person who makes it best is not a chance you get too often.

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Sarah Merriman loves being surrounded by, and writing about, people with talent, who also happen to be her friends. When she’s not camped out in front of her computer screen, which is the norm, she’s probably being a reckless biker or eating a dinner that’s better than yours. Reach her via Twitter:  @sarahmerra

 

Lessons in Comedy with Erin Judge

December 5th, 2011 in @brembles, Arts, Comedy 0 comments

To wrap up my semester in Women in Comedy, our class had a very special guest—Erin Judge. A Wellesley graduate turned standup comedian, the now Brooklyn based jokester drove up to Boston Thursday to have an open discussion with my class and eventually perform a routine for BU.

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Erin Judge on the cover of Improper Bostonian’s 2005 Humor Issue

What on earth to do you ask a comedian? Do you try to be funny? Can they get offended? I was a little intimidated going into our class discussion because, honestly, I hadn’t done my research and had no idea what we were in for.

Our informal chat basically summarized our entire course in an hour, but instead of reading scholarly diagnostics on the experiences of female comics, Erin gave us first hand insight.

Here are a couple of the highlights I took away from our talk:

When asked if she’s ever annoyed by online articles like, “Top 10 Sexiest Funny Comics,” Erin said she wasn’t too annoyed by them and pointed out that those lists mostly consist of TV comics, as there are really no roles out there for “regular looking” female comics and, in actuality, “women on TV just wear a LOT of structural garments.”

While still on the topic of television, Erin retold a story in which an interviewer blew her mind with a seemingly innocent question. “So, like, why are there, like, no good sitcom role models?” Erin imitated in a convincing, nasally Valley girl voice. Abruptly breaking out of that character, Erin asked, “Seriously? Has she ever seen I Love Lucy? That woman is NOT making good choices. Lucy is in no way supposed to be a role model. Comedy isn’t about being a role model—you’re the foil, the fool.”

While we discussed the idea of feminism in standup, Erin pointed out that while “feminist” is a loaded word, people can’t deny that standing up in front of a room full of people and forcing them to listen your words is “inherently powerful.” She went on to point out that most male comics have some sort of shtick about how women talk too much… and yet how is it these men are making their money? By talking… a lot. And usually complaining.

Finally I was able to ask my question: What male comic, in her opinion, appears to respect women in his routines or at least doesn’t seem to make jokes at their expense? My mind was shouting, “Please say Louis C.K.! Please say Louis C.K.!”

“Oh god, Louis C.K., without question! Have you guys seen his Chewed Up special? In it, he has this bit about how his wife’s body has changed since becoming a mother and how he thinks it’s the most beautiful thing in the world. But at the same, it’s time, it’s also about how she’s growing tired of him. Really it’s this beautifully tragic piece—which I think is what the root of all comedy is.”

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Arielle (CFA ’12) has two simple missions in life: paint and create. She is a self-proclaimed tea snob, an avid people watcher, a critic, and the keeper of useless movie trivia. Want her to check out your event? Don’t be shy! Contact her via Twitter — @brembles

 

 

 

How to be Smug (Artfully of Course)

December 5th, 2011 in @beinglizbreen, Arts, Cultural & Multicultural 0 comments

For those of you who didn’t see the Red Hot Hockey game last Saturday in Madison Square Garden or watch it on TV, you missed a phenomenal game. After a nail biting three periods, BU overcame the “Big Red” of Cornell in overtime. It was quite possibly the most exciting sports game I have ever seen (Besides BU’s NCAA win in 2009. Tying it up in the last 17 seconds and winning it in overtime? WHO DOES THAT?! Terriers do that.)

RHH

However, I can say with confidence I have never screamed louder at any sports game than I did at RHH on Saturday (I think I couldn’t scream after the NCAA win because I was in shock). Mostly because I have never been happier to beat any team in my life. Not even the Yankees. Not even BC. (GASPPPP!)

When ads promoted the BU/Cornell rivalry, I kind of laughed it off as hype. I’ve never even thought about Cornell’s hockey team in all my time at BU. But when it was game time, I wanted to beat Cornell. And I wanted to beat them bad.

Maybe it was because they were wearing our school colors. Or maybe it was because the Cornell fans vastly outnumbered the BU fans. (In person, not on Twitter.) Or maybe it was the fact that every time I stood up and clapped, I got screamed and sweared at belligerently by a certain intoxicated Cornell player. But I didn’t like those fans. I didn’t like ‘em one bit.

And when we won, I wanted to turn to that drunken Cornell player and say, “HA! TOLD YOU SO!” But my grandmother always taught me to “kill ‘em with kindness.” So, I restrained myself. I high-fived every BU fan I could find. And I smiled a meek little ohgollygeehowdidthathappen smile. And they knew. Those Cornell fans knew.

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Because Terriers are the classiest of dogs AND the classiest of people. And because when it comes to art (and sports in this case), sometimes you just have to be an Andy Warhol. You have to have so much faith in your vision and belief that you don’t feel the need to fight and argue with the critics. Rather, you let your final product speak for itself.

That’s a lesson I’ve had to slowly learn through my four years as a film major. And it’s been a tough pill to swallow. (Not one of those “spoon full of sugar” doses that Mary Poppins talks about.) But it comes in handy not only in my own writing and film work, but in the real world. Like at college hockey games.

 

 

 

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A post brought to you by Liz Breen, BU senior, film and television major, lover/aspiring connoisseur of the offbeat. Post/event suggestions welcome via Twitter – @beinglizbreen!

 

 

 

The Art in the Distance

December 5th, 2011 in @sarahmerra, Arts 0 comments

14 hours is the time difference between myself and my best friend. Australia is, quite literally, a world away. Though we are both creative folks, the idea of creating with that kind of distance between us seems an unnecessary hardship. I’ll wait for his plane ride home, thank you.

16hrs

For the creators of “16 Hours”, a specialty magazine buried deep in the recesses of the internet, this was not the case. They, too, were two friends separated by land and oceans, one being in Calgary and one being in Sydney. They named their magazine after their time difference, with the beautiful tagline “The time difference…is the place you’re going to now find inspiration.” The aim of these two designers, creating a magazine of art and ideas? It was, simply, to inspire. The text on the “16 Hours” logo reads “Do more. Be more.”

The magazine is utterly beautiful and chock full of artist contributions in a way that typical art-focused magazines cannot be. It is under the guise of two people, which illicits a kind of freedom in the editing, and it is from two people in two very different places, meaning they have two separate social networks that can collide to inspire in the most unique of ways.

I don’t want to ruin this collaboration for you. Each issue has a 6-spread preview online that immediately made me desire to buy each issue and tack each page onto my wall. Even the font is beautiful, and because the magazine is less of a profit venture and more of an art piece, it is mostly free of advertising and a specific agenda.

And, in the end, it goes to show you that even the distance can work out into something beautiful when the right parts come together.

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Sarah Merriman loves being surrounded by, and writing about, people with talent, who also happen to be her friends. When she’s not camped out in front of her computer screen, which is the norm, she’s probably being a reckless biker or eating a dinner that’s better than yours. Reach her via Twitter:  @sarahmerra

 

Stage Troupe’s All My Sons “Sees It Human”

December 1st, 2011 in @mchadoaboutryan, Arts, Theatre 0 comments

I attended Stage Troupe’s final mainstage, All My Sons expecting great things: great script by Arthur Miller, talented first-time directors, and an all-star cast of some of Stage Troupe’s finest. I was not let down—in fact, I was moved by this show much more than I expected.

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Having read the play years ago, I was familiar with the plot, but it took seeing the play to realize just how much this play truly stands for, extending well past its story. All My Sons, Miller’s first main work, depicts the Keller family, whose idealism and denial deteriorate the household structure. The family contains patriarch Joe Keller (Travis Cherry, CAS 2012), Kate, the mother (Stephanie Gray, CFA 2013), and their son, Chris (Adrian Burke, CGS 2014.) Now absent from the family structure is Joe and Kate’s other son, Larry, reported missing after an apparent U.S. army plane malfunction. Kate tragically holds onto the hope of her son’s return, while Chris seeks a newer, ideal life for himself with Ann (Katie Diekhaus, COM 2015), Larry’s love before the crash.

Cherry plays Joe Keller with appropriate sincerity and warmth, and beautifully showcases the character’s tragic descent once past secrets about his possible connection to the crash are revealed. Gray handled Kate’s heartbreaking hope and denial with the utmost persistence. Rounding out the family, Burke successfully portrayed the Chris’s ascending desire to disrupt his family’s provincialism and actually achieve something from his idealism, juxtaposed with a need to maintain the family bonds. The rest of the cast handles the complexity of Miller’s text with depth and expertise.

I was most impressed by the directors’ (Elise Roth, CFA 2012 and Mike Halpern, COM 2013) stance toward this show. Their passion was, without a doubt, palpable in the theatre. The piece that they presented demonstrated not only an understanding of the text, which goes without saying, but also the fundamental role of human connection that brings us together and drives us apart. Both seemed to have a balance of appreciation for the times in which the play was written and set, as well as the drive to bring the play’s message to today, proving how timeless this piece is.

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Ryan McPhee (COM 2012) Indulging in art on the stage, in the kitchen, and everywhere in between. @mchadoaboutryan

Holidays in the Bean

December 1st, 2011 in @beinglizbreen, Arts, Cultural & Multicultural 0 comments

So… Christmas in Boston starts this week! (I know. For some of you, it started right after Thanksgiving dinner when you popped on Elf and quoted every line.)

First up at bat, a tradition favorite – THE BOSTON TREE LIGHTING!

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New York isn’t the only city that knows how to spruce up and spruce (GET IT?!). The tree lighting takes place this Thursday December 1st at the Boston Commons at 6PM. (I would suggest getting there at least an hour beforehand.)

The lineup this year looks preeeeeettaaaaay solid. Headliner Joey McIntyre (New Kids on the Block, anyone?). Performances by the Rockettes, the Boston Ballet and the Boston Children’s Choir. Go! Especially if you have never been before. (On my must-do list for all you freshman wondering what you should do during your time at BU.) Get into the holiday spirit. Sing some Christmas carols. Watch 40 year old women flip out for Joey McIntyre.

But more importantly… save up your energy for this…

The Slutcracker. The Somerville Theatre. Starts this Friday December 2nd and runs all month. I really want to go. But I’m scared. But I think for the sake of this blog and in the name of blog, I am going to go and review it for you all next week.

Everyone celebrates the holidays differently, ya know?

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A post brought to you by Liz Breen, BU senior, film and television major, lover/aspiring connoisseur of the offbeat. Post/event suggestions welcome via Twitter – @beinglizbreen!