The Claremont Spotlite is a brand new online publication that highlights local artists and cultural events in the Claremont area. It’s a really neat idea and, despite just launching this year, the site already has a bunch of great content. Last week I wrote a guest blog post for them where I got to rant about art. In particular, I wrote about how I’ve been using the widespread availability of online arts communities as an excuse to stop experiencing art in person. Why trek all the way into LA during rush hour traffic to see an exhibition when I can discover just as many inspiring and innovative artists on Tumblr? It’s all online. I don’t even need museums or galleries anymore!
It’s been something that I’ve grappled with a lot over the past year but I’ve recently been reinvigorated by in-person art experiences. If that’s at all interesting to you, go check out the article on Spotlite for some personal musings and unsolicited advice.
With the unlimited potential of a Google search bar, it’s easy to forget about the opportunities for discovery that exist right here in sleepy Claremont. Finding artists online is so easy that I often don’t pursue opportunities that are unique to my geographic location. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve actually made it to an LA gallery show, and I can count the number of museum visits on two. The Internet is an amazing tool, but I fear that I have been using it as a crutch instead; as a way to avoid seeking out creative experiences in person. With the whole world wide web at my fingertips, it is easy to forget that we have an impeccably curated gallery right here on campus. Every time I stumble into the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery I am impressed by the variety and caliber of artists shown, but I always forget it’s there. I always plan to attend the exhibitions, but even as an Art History major, I’ve missed more shows than I’ve attended.
I showed my art to people! This week was the Scripps Student Art Collective’s biannual gallery show. They feature work from students of all five colleges and put on a really good show. Yummy food. Catchy tunes. Talented artists. An all-around jolly good time. Last month I submitted some collages I had been making for my independent study project and they selected me as one of their featured artists. It was exciting and terrifying but I am so glad I did it! Besides, any art show could use a little more 70s soft core porn…
I’ll probably write another post later about this particular project and my exploration of women’s bodies in appropriation art. It’s been kind of an ongoing obsession and is sort of the topic of one of my thesis chapters. So clearly I have a lot to say.
I just got back to California after an incredible vacation with some of my all-time favorite people. We explored the city, tanned on the beach, drank margaritas, sang karaoke, and did a whole lot of absolutely nothing. (Just what I needed!) We stayed at the Torres Resort in Mazatlan, Mexico which was absolutely gorgeous and has some of the nicest staff ever. Plus the whole trip cost way less than I would have expected so I’m not even going to have to starve myself trying to pay for it. Go pesos! Some highlights were touring the old town neighborhoods and shopping in the public market.
Now I am back in Claremont refreshed and ready to get back to work. (So much to do!) But I wanted to take a minute to share some photos and document this incredible adventure.
I am such a sucker for impeccably executed mixed media art and vintage ladies advertisements. So my obsession with Kelly O’Connor is not at all surprising. I actually had to check and make sure that I hadn’t already written about her because I’ve been a fan for a while.
Her 2014 exhibition at the David Shelton Gallery is absolutely fantastic. The entire space was transformed into a Wizard of Oz-y masterpiece of whimsical sparkles and pastel colors. Plus the work manages to explore and critique products targeting women’s bodies in a way that feels fresh and interesting. The product studies in particular have me completely awestruck.
She’s Flawless. Her work is flawless. Go look at other things she’s created on her website. And ask her if she wants to be my best friend. because that would be cool.
I am so ready for spring! I can’t wait for all of the flowers to be in bloom, for picnics on the lawn, weekend trips to the beach, and longer sunnier days. It’s time. Hurry up, spring.
Full disclosure, I already live in Southern California so any winter I have had to endure is basically a joke. But I’m still itching for the new season. There is a rose garden right outside my window and right now they are all little brown stumps in the ground. I keep glancing outside each morning, half expecting the roses to just pop up overnight. But apparently that’s not how it works. Patience has never really been my thing.
Anyway, I’ve been trying to keep my room extra bright and cheerful to make up for the gloom outside and lately that has involved collecting anything green that I can get my hands on. Anything is better than having all of these empty vases scattered around, reminding me that the roses aren’t ready yet. (I probably own six vases. Too many for one dorm room for sure.)
I kind of like the look of these leaves in my oversized vase and have been having fun getting creative. I also hung some sprigs of lavender up to dry on my walls and even assembled a tiny arrangement of wildflowers in a blue shot glass.
I guess I’ll just have to wait for the roses like everyone else. But that doesn’t mean my vases have to sit empty. I think this is a happy compromise.
(PS: I just downloaded the VSCO app for editing photos on my phone and it’s a total game changer. Upping my Instagram game, for sure. Follow me at @hairflipmeghan)
Sophie Victoria Elliot uses aerial landscapes and maps as the basis for her abstract paintings. She is inspired by geology and tries to capture shifting movements under the earth’s surface in each of her works. She even organizes them by location on her website. How cool is that?
If you look at these pieces you can totally see the inspiration shine through. But even if the cartographical explanation doesn’t blow your mind, they are still super pretty. Moody color studies with gorgeous and unexpected combinations. I am infinitely impressed.
I feel like by now everyone on the internet has seen this image with “I WOKE UP LIKE THIS” written over Botticelli’s Birth of Venus. If you haven’t then you’re welcome. It’s quite clever. Enjoy. But if you’re an Art History major like I am, then I’m willing to bet that at least a few of your friends wear this t shirt on the regular.
So yes. Queen Bey and The Goddess of Love. It’s a thing. I’m way behind.
But I had no idea how many of these incredible Hip Hop/Art History mash-ups existed. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. Seriously, there are so many good ones! I’m just going to share a couple of them but check out Fly Art Productions and visit their shop on Rad.
Hopefully this can brighten up someone else’s Monday because it definitely brightened mine.