fine art in the center of the universe


Star Wars Planets > Coruscant

Also known as Imperial Center during the reign of Emperor Sheev Palpatine, was arguably the most influential planet in the entire galaxy. At various times in its history, it was the galactic capital and seat of government for the Old Republic, the Galactic Republic and the Galactic Empire, and was the homeworld of the human species. Coruscant was notable for its ecumenopolis called Galactic City, which had developed over thousands of years. It was the hub of galactic culture, education, fine arts, technology, and finance. It was also from where the galaxy based its universal dating system. For most of history, laws and galactic policies were decided by the Galactic Senate, and the Supreme Chancellor had his residence on Coruscant. It was also from Coruscant that Darth Sidious, the Sith Lord publicly known as Sheev Palpatine, established his rule as Emperor.


BIG INK is stoked to partner with Roger Williams University’s fine art department for the weekend.  Here are shots of students printing their 24" x 36" woodblocks on the printshop’s Takach press.

Michael Rich, instructor of painting at RWU and a previous BIG INK participant, invited us to work with his students.  We formulated a master scheme for woodcut domination that involved two separate visits to RWU.

Lyell Castonguay first visited in October to inspire the students with example prints along with carving and printing demos.  Then Castonguay and fellow BIG INK organizer Carand Burnet returned this past weekend to help the students print his or her finished block.

Students from both the architecture and fine art departments participated.  We love to collaborate with art centers, colleges, and community print shops to help one another achieve a creative goal. If you know of another educational institution who would be interested in hosting a similar event please let us know and don’t forget to follow BIG INK on Tumblr!

Supercomputing reveals centuries of stories, experiences of Black women

Women’s History Month is perfect timing for this story—a story about a quest to reveal the lives and experiences of Black women in the U.S. during the last three centuries. Hear from the group of researchers collaborating and using ‪NSF-funded‬ XSEDE supercomputing to fulfill this quest. Their discussion is on Advancing Discovery, a featured podcast at Science360 Radio:

Above: Ruby Mendenhall, an associate professor of sociology, African American studies and urban and regional planning at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is leading a collaboration of social scientists, humanities scholars and digital researchers that hopes to harness the power of high-performance computing to find and understand the historical experiences of black women by searching two massive databases of written works from the 18th through 20th centuries. The team also is developing a common toolbox that can help other digital humanities projects. Credit: Brian Stauffer, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 

Above: Nicole Brown is a postdoctoral fellow at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications and part of Ruby Mendenhall’s group. She is interpreting the computational results in light of black feminist theory. Credit: Nicole Brown

Above: Harriet Tubman is famous as an abolitionist, Underground Railroad leader and women’s suffrage pioneer. Credit: H. B. Lindsley – National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Public Domain (PD-1875)

Above: Sculptor Edmondia Lewis (1844-1907) was the first woman of African- and Native-American descent to achieve notoriety in the fine arts world. She spent most of her career in Rome. Credit: Henry Rocher – National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Public Domain

These 20 schools are responsible for a fifth of all graduate school debt

Getting an advanced degree doesn’t come cheap, which is why graduate students carry nearly half of all student debt. But it turns out that a handful of schools are responsible for a large share of that money.

A new study from the Center for American Progress (CAP) found that 20 universities received one-fifth, or $6.5 billion, of the total amount of loans the government gave graduate students in the 2013-2014 academic year. Those schools, however, only educate 12 percent of all graduate students.

What’s striking about the Center’s findings is that a majority of the debt taken to attend the 20 schools on its list is not for law or medical degrees that promise hefty paydays. Most graduate students at those schools are seeking master’s degrees in journalism, fine arts or government, according to CAP.