smith college art

So, I know I post a lot about me being depressed and complaining about life. I’ve wanted to post about this for awhile because it hits me ever so often and it makes me feel so unbelievably amazing and confident.

When I was in fifth or fourth grade, my mom started taking me to a judo class in Florence. I liked Judo a lot, because it wasn’t about direct strength. It was using your opponent’s weight and body against them. As a small but stout and solid person, judo was fucking perfect for me.

My mother liked to come up with different routes home, always looking for the most efficient route home. She plans for things like traffic lights, left turns, etc. I’ve realized this is how I drive as well. Eventually, her route settled on leaving Florence via Elm St in Northampton.

One night she points across the street to a bunch of houses and goes, “You know, college students live in those houses.”

“What college students?”

“Smith College students.”

And every night after, when we passed those houses, I thought of the college students living in the houses, going to class. I had no clue what kind of college Smith was at that time, but I always envisioned women.

I began to notice a huge modern building on right side of the road as we’d drive into Northampton. Students were in this building awfully late at night. Huge modern windows revealed the students working so diligently on their work.

Their artwork, I began to notice.

And every time we passed that building, I kept wishing to myself, that I could be an art student in that building. Working late at night.

And guess what?

I am an art student who works in that building late at night. I’m an art student who misses the studio spaces. I completed a very important dream of mine, a dream that I never thought I’d be able to follow because “art isn’t going to get you a job.”

I guess I mostly wanted to post this because I spend a lot of time beating myself up for stupid stuff all the time, yet I haven’t given myself much time to celebrate getting someplace in life that I never thought I’d reach in a million years.

And yet here I am.

And I fucking love what I’m doing in the Smith College Art Department. I’m proud of my major decision and I don’t regret my major declaration in the slightest.

Student Picks is TODAY from 12-4pm in the Cunningham Center. Curated by Niyati Dave ‘15, this exhibition sets colonialist images side-by-side with contemporary works that confront these narratives of race, empire and the Other. With art by Willie Cole, Kara Walker and Saira Wasim it’s worth stopping by! Check out the event page for more info:https://www.facebook.com/events/580832468717881/

Image: Saira Wasim, Pakistani (1975 - ). Buzkashi, from the series Musharaff, 2003-2004. Graphite, gouache and gold on wasli paper. Purchased with the Josephine A. Stein, class of 1927, Fund in honor of the class of 1927. Photography by Petegorsky/Gipe. SC 2004:25

yo guys i saw my adviser at his show yesterday and we talked about the cool transformative aspects of the work and how it reaches this moment where you’re not quite sure if the tattoos are coming to life or not because so much information is removed that’s influencing how we view the movements

basically just go see The Beastiary in the Oresman Gallery, it’s there until the 31st

we also talked about really cool art things and art classes and how he wants me to take photo II next semester with him (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

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Exploring Archi-Textural Space

Anthony Vidler suggests in his essay, “Spatial Violence,” that transparent and hygienic spaces are responses to a fear of “darkened spaces, of the pall of gloom which prevents the full visibility of things, men and truths.” By making things more visible we eased the anxiety that the invisible brought us. We put giant windows on our walls and made our interior spaces more open. We reduced the potential for darkness. Philip Johnson’s Glass House is constructed of glass walls, the best windows you can get, making the interior completely visible and open. But the Glass House is limited in its construction. It remains cut off, even though it appears open. It cannot be opened except for a door.

I constructed my project with limitations. I looked through an archive of film, looking for architectural or textural spaces that were abstracting out of context. Spaces that spoke about visibility, transparency, and darkness. Then I shot film to try to capture these ideas of space. I thought of how we view the spaces and how we view ourselves in the spaces. What feelings do these spaces recall? Are we exposed and vulnerable? Does the invisible in the darkness make us uneasy? Or are we curious to find out more about these darkened, abstract spaces?

Go to the Museum by Yourself

Winter has descended upon Smith College. The campus is barren and the houses are more or less empty aside from the bundled few here for winter term. The academic spaces are exceptionally quiet. While the campus is entirely yours, go to the museum by yourself. It is an ideal place to pause and reflect (not to mention thaw…). The reinstalled galleries are especially majestic in the silvery winter light. So take some time to stand alone and lose yourself in the art. It is a luxury to spend a day or just an afternoon cultivating a rich and uniquely personal relationship with an art object. Take advantage of having the time and the space to inspect a painting closely and a sculpture from afar. Take advantage of the opportunity to critique an exhibition, a work of art, or an artist. Take advantage of the ability to form independent opinions and see our collection in a new or different light. The museum is yours to discover so take advantage of the privilege to explore it in your own way and on your own time.

I Have Finally Understood the Point of a Liberal Arts Education (despite “knowing” it from the very beginning)


Anything that I could possibly major in at Smith College, a small liberal arts college here in Western Massachusetts, (except for perhaps Economics, Engineering and Computer Science) is not going to get me a good paying, stable job without graduate school. Then why do people even come here? What is the point?

For some reason, the point of a liberal arts education had completely skipped my mind while I spent days ruminating on what degree has the best job prospects and regretting joining an institution that threw me onto a path that required graduate school training. The point of a liberal arts education isn’t to make you ready for a job, it’s to make you become a better researcher, entrepreneur, service provider. Someone who can think critically and communicate well both verbally and in writing is a valuable addition to a workplace that needs those skills, to a start-up company, or their own company. The point of Smith College is for you to spend four years of your life explicitly trying your best to gain skills researching, thinking and all that fun stuff.

Smith College is a great place to learn all these upper-level “scholarly” skills. People here want you to do that! They are just sitting around waiting for you to come and ask them questions. They want to give you their knowledge.

So my plan is to do just that. To take all the knowledge I can from my professors and others at Smith, to learn how to write super eloquently, to learn how to do research, to become more well versed in different cultures (this is just a personal thing I want to do), learn a language (multiple if possible), and just try to take care of myself while I do it all. I’m also probably going to become more independent in the process, but also someone who is a worthy companion. So I’m not worried about what to major in. I’ve decided to major in a field that I like, Psychology, basically because I know that whatever I do, it will be related to helping others in some way. Why not Neuroscience? Because I don’t know if a science career is for me, and if I major in Neuroscience, I will have much less time to devote to other classes that I’m interested in. Also, I can still get into a Neuroscience program after a Psychology degree. My summers will be devoted to work that is centered around the job that I would like to get, whether that is in education or research (or whatever else I come across).

(Disclaimer though, this plan may not work for everyone. If you need to provide for yourself, your family right after college, if you do not want to go to graduate school because you cannot afford it, this is not a good place to spend your money. Majoring in something that has good job prospects at a technical university may be your best option.)

CAN I BE IN ALL THE CONTEMPORARY ARH CLASSES PLEASE???

ALSO IM GETTING MY BIG ASS INTO 374-02 BECAUSE FUCK YES ART IN THE AGE OF AIDS

KEITH MOTHERFUCKING HARING

ROBERT MOTHERFUCKING MAPPLETHORPE

LET’S FUCKING GOOOOOOOOO

*blasts off into the sunset of contemporary art* 

8

In Pursuit, senior exhibition, featuring works such as To-Do, Residue of Emotional Moments, and Rituals.

Here’s my artist statement for the show:

I work primarily in painting and photography, as well as installation, printmaking, and sculpture. I create work that addresses elements such as exposure, representation, and the body. My work is often personal and deals with intimate moments in my life. The pieces in the show grapple with concepts of memory and personal spaces.
My first project, Rituals, is a book of photographs of self-portraits of myself performing banal, everyday routines. The photographs are shot over the duration of the semester, demonstrating the repetition behind these actions. The idea is to create an intimate space between the viewer and subject (me), where they can begin to think critically of their own day-to-day life.
In my second project, To Do, I aimed to capture the chaotic nature of my organizational habits. Scribbled post-it notes have been gathered from throughout the school year, sewn together to create a web. The tangled mess represents how these tasks or post-it notes are mentally conceptualized in the mind of the artist, who suffers from a variety of mood/emotional disorders, including ADHD.
Residue of Emotional Moments, the third project, explores the idea of what remains after emotional or psychological experiences. These residues exist in our lives and remind us of what has passed. Some of these residues are permanent, while others can be easily washed away. The large, photographic prints call attention to the small details in the images, such as the fine hairs along the scar.
I have been influenced by artists such as Adrian Piper and Nan Goldin. I have worked with the idea of photographing the self at specific moments, as Piper has done with her work Food for Spirit. My work is also influenced by diaristic photographers, photographers who take photos on an almost daily basis and capture moments in their lives, creating visual diaries. I believe that I am creating my own visual diary, an index of moments in my life.

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Inspired by a post in Harper’s Bazaar SMAC Members Suma Haque and Julia Franchi Scarselli have combined art and fashion for a new monthly blog installment. Suma is class of 2018 with an intended double major in economics and American studies. Julia is class of 2018 double major in architecture and art history with a CEEDS concentration.

Welcome back Smithies! The beginning of spring came along with the end of Spring break and we are absolutely itching to break out our sundresses and shorts.  Luckily, Spring Cocktails have given us the perfect opportunity to bust out our fanciest spring wear and give a toast to being able to do things outside for the first time in months!  For inspiration, we were drawn to the tittering French ladies depicted in “Life at the Villa” by Marie Laurencin.  The airy feel of the lithograph print brings the pre-party jitters to life as Laurencin creates a great variety of looks using a simple, yet elegant, color palette.  Taking a more modern, and slightly more minimalistic, approach to the ladies’ looks, we embraced the whites (proudly breaking all fashion faux pas) and the golden accents by introducing a statement skirt to a rather understated outfit.  The color white allows the freedom to experiment with multiple textures and colors, so by taking a cue from the new season, we suggest spicing up outfits with a floral accessory, such as a scarf.  Finally, do the French ladies justice and throw on a pair of fabulous shoes before making your way down to a night of dancing and gossiping with your equally glamourous girlfriends!

And if you are looking for more spring inspirations, hop on down to the Smith College Museum of Art to see many more beautiful works of art!

Image: Laurencine, Marie French (1885 - 1956). Life at the Villa,1926. Print. Lithograph printed in color on gray wove China paper. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Archie Burack (Lillian Sagalyn, class of 1927). SC 1980:30-2