VENOM jrnl

This project was all about designing for other people. I chose to use my Artist Voice to give a voice to someone else.

VENOM jrnl is a series I started in Fall of 2018. I wanted to create a collaborative mini magazine, or zine, where artists could freely express themselves. Art for Art’s sake. My background in Art Therapy has taught me the healing power of artistic expression. I started collecting art from people. Poetry, photography, short stories, napkin art, anything. I created zines from the community and for the community. A lot of the art content came from myself, and a lot of it didn’t. The anonymity of the zines is what made me really want to leave them places anonymously as little secrets to be discovered.

This is where the art installation aspect of my project comes into play. After creating the zines — my technique explores a blend of typewriter art, photography and drawing, all hand-bound into book form — I left the copies out in the community for people to find and appreciate. I keep one copy of each zine. This is a project I plan on pursuing for a long time. It’s a give and a take. A meditation. Enjoy!

GALLERY AND SHOW EXPERIENCE

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Innisfree Poetry Bookstore & Café,  2018

  • Photo on display for three weeks, sold

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Lolita’s Market & Deli, 2018­­­­­­­­­­

  • I sell my greeting cards at Lolita’s, a historic Boulder market and deli that gives support to locals
  • The cards feature hand-made paper from Nepal and a hand-stitched binding

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Career Services | University of Colorado, Boulder , 2018—2019

  • One photo (above) was selected by a curator board to be on display in the career services office on campus at University of Colorado, Boulder.
  • It will be on display for 6 months as well as available for purchase

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ATLAS | University of Colorado, Boulder , 2018—2019

  • The (above) series was selected by a curator board to be on display in the ATLAS building on campus at University of Colorado, Boulder
  • It will be on display for 6 months

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Honors Journal | University of Colorado, Boulder, 2018

  • Two pieces (above) were chosen to be featured in the CU Honors Journal
  • “The University of Colorado Honors Journalis an annual interdisciplinary, student-run publication sponsored by the Honors Program under the supervision of a faculty sponsor and the Director of the Honors Program. The Journal presents a collection of works that reflect the utmost talent, diligence and creativity among undergraduate students at the University of Colorado Boulder. “ – CU Honors Journal website

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ATLAS| University of Colorado Boulder, 2018

  • Permanent Installation Piece
  • We Change With The Seasons, 2018

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In addition to the above experience, I have shown work in two Black Box Shows,

  • December, 2017
  • April, 2018

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Finally, I have had work featured in four ATLAS EXPO shows. EXPO is a program-specific show for the best work produced in the Technology, Arts and Media (TAM) program. I have displayed work in EXPO every year since being in the TAM program.

expert 2 – Joel Swanson

I spoke with Joel Swanson about the specifics on my book as well as the directions I should take this project so it can benefit my future as an artist.

He gave me great advice on what MFA programs would give me the best environment for creating mixed-media pieces. I talked to him about not wanting to specialize in “photography” per se, but a more broad art education. I want to teach some day and he gave me advice on that as well.

He gave me great feedback on my art installation; he thinks my smaller zines would be more appealing if he were to find one on the streets. He liked my typography and we talked about materials.

The conversation was mostly about my future in art education as well as advice on traveling before starting a career or a grad program.

He likes how I use “chance” in making my art, like in my books created from one frame per roll of film, or my zine taking only the lyric playing at 1:11.

expert 1 – Narayan

My Capstone project took a bit of an unexpected turn, as I am going to go back to Nepal to teach art classes to kids. I am going to be working with this organization called Helping Hands Health Education, founded by a local Boulder man, Narayan. I spoke to him about the options for me teaching art at the school he founded in Khandbari. However, the position is not paid. While I would love to volunteer my time and energy, I cannot afford to do that right now. The kids at his school have never taken an art class, and I am determined to bring art to the Suruya school in Khandbari. Since my training is in art education, I have been working on a proposal to present to Narayan and his team. I am presenting the idea of me being a paid employee to manage this art project.

I learned a lot during my conversation with Narayan about the volunteering possibility and about Nepal in general. I am going to send him an email proposal tomorrow, and will add more to this blog once I hear back from him and am able to have an in-person conversation with him. I have mocked up my proposal below.

 

My background in teaching art is extensive, as I have been teaching art classes since I was in high school, when I assistant taught an introductory film photography class. In college, I assistant taught a freshman seminar art class at CU Boulder, as well as taught two introductory photography art classes. I also involved myself in art education outside of my education at CU Boulder when I interned in the education department at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art. While working there, I created the curricula for the children’s art programs at the museum. This included planning art projects for kids of all ages for the 34 weeks of the Boulder Farmers Market. Additionally I Created six Young Artists at Work (YAW) summer art camp curriculums, each camp being five days long from 9-5 each day. Developing this curricula involved intensive research and planning.

 

I also interned at the Boulder Art Therapy Collective, as a program coordinator. This role involved planning art curriculum for young adults and adults.

 

My experience in Art Therapy and developing art curricula for kids at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, as well as teaching college level art classes has prepared me for developing art curricula for kids and adults of all ages and abilities. Coordinating such programs requires extreme organization and time management skills.

 

My dedication to the arts and its healing power is my driving force to bring art to kids and young adults all over the world. I fell in love with Nepal when I visited last winter, and was particularly touched by one experience I had at an orphanage in Kathmandu. The group of students I was with had one day to play with the kids living in this home, and one little girl was not interested in any of the toys, but rather, led me by the hand and asked for my camera. She led me around her home and photographed her family as they went about their day. She showed her orphanage mother the photos she had taken of her family and they were both beaming with love and pride. This is the power of art. I want to be able to give the gift of art to students at the Suruya school in Khandbari.

 

I am proposing to create a program that brings art to the kids in the Suruya school in Khandbari, Nepal. Members of the Boulder community are committed to the arts and would be happy to provide the funding for art supplies and an educator. I am interested in sending art supplies and activities in kits over to the Suruya school. An idea I have is to have the kids respond to an art prompt, and then a teacher in Khandbari can send the projects to me through the mail, and I can create a publication/ book of the kids’ creations. We can sell this book/ mini magazines to people in Boulder to raise money for this art program at the Suruya School.

 

 

Sep 25 blog post

  • I finished making four copies of the Frank Ocean book
  • I planned for how I will package my books / zines when I sell them
  • I drew a design for a sticker
  • I distributed copies of my first zine
    • someone found one and gave me a shoutout on instagram, that was super exciting!
  • I worked on the instagram…..
  • I am meeting with one of my professionals in the field tomorrow

 

Sep 18

This week I really spent a lot of time creating. I now have tons of copies of the zines I’ve been making. I decided on my username for Instagram which is going to be the only way I credit myself in these zines. I want it to be pretty anonymous. The zines I like the best are the ones that are hand-stitched. I have always wanted to sell some of them so I went to some coffee shops/ book stores in Boulder and looked at how people priced their zines and how they credited themselves.

 

I am stuck on how I can get these zines out when making one copy take so much time and money. I want some zine editions to be collaborative in nature, but I want to do a project that I can keep working on, and I can’t afford to give out a bunch of these for free. So I’m going to focus first on creating an online platform for me to sell these in addition to selling them at local spots. This is a sustainable solution to keeping this project alive. I also made a couple T-shirts and sweatshirts incorporating my photography, which I will also sell.

I brainstormed ways to do a collaborative zine. I could put a sign, pad of paper, pen and envelope out on display with a vague “theme” for people to contribute to. This week I made three new zines. I did informal documentation photos for them (see below) as well as scans.

I currently sell handmade greeting cards that incorporate my photography to a market in Boulder and I would like to sell all of these things online in the same place.

 

 

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To Cuba With Love

I’m honored to share my Cuban story. It was a short, important trip.

– Cuba The Beautiful

Cuba Trip

To Cuba, with love.

There was no amount of research I or my family could have done prior to stepping off the plane in Cuba. Our flight to Cuba took off from the Ft. Lauderdale airport at 8AM and touched down in Cuba at 8:45. Ninety miles and a flight not even long enough for complimentary beverages transformed us to a third world country, in the blink of an eye.

The flight started its descent as I gazed out the window just in time to catch the moment the clear, blue sea stopped and the atopic brown and green landmass started. Brown dirt roads weaved through the land, with no grid, rhyme or reason. Smoke stacks in the distance drew my eyes, they were the tallest landforms in sight, with thick orange-brown smoke billowing into the atmosphere. The terrain seemed to be jungle green in some areas, and completely barren in others, showing human impact. The non natural footprint on Cuban land became more and more prevalent as the descent brought us close to a city-scape. No more green from here on out, simply slums.

 

Stepping off the plane onto ground interrupted with tectonic cracks pouring with weeds, the Havana airport loomed before us, a soviet style building from the forties. A passenger next to us told us to “switch our clocks to Island time.” This was a reminder to be patient for the long waiting periods between getting our bags, going through Cuban customs, transferring our US dollars to Cuban dollars. The airport could have been a ‘smoking allowed’ building. It wasn’t, but people took their smoke breaks in twenty minute increments, standing right where the inside of the building meets the outside, with the doors wide open suctioning the smoke in to the stagnant air of the airport. After those mutinous tasks of customs, money and baggage were completed, we stepped outside onto Cuban land, into a whole different world.

 

System overload. Stimulation at a level eleven out of ten, colors erupted from every surface. Textures competed for living space. Everything in sight was begging for attention. Four people, within ten seconds of walking out the doors, have offered us a “Taxi!!!!!!” We were told ahead of time, some of these people aren’t allowed to do so and shouldn’t be taken up on that offer. People were everywhere, swarming the direct outside area of the airport like flies. Some were waiting for family members to arrive off of the plane. Most were Cubans wanting tourist money in the form of a taxi drive into the town of Havana. The airport had a small parking lot, half empty, half filled with cars from the early forties and fifties. I did not believe my eyes- the cars were all different bright colors, in magnificent shape, and transforming the scene to one in the fifties. Any manmade structure was crippled with decay, with paint chipped off, weeds growing in the cracks, and oftentimes dilapidated completely. A pack of stray dogs traveled, seven sickly canines strong, meandered throughout  crowds of people, slyly stealing scraps. Six out of every ten people were smoking cigarettes, throwing the burning butts onto the ground, as they continued to smoke into the atmosphere. I did a tap dance stepping on them to put them out– what if a dog stepped on it. Cubans wore clothes that offered little differentiation between them. No brands, no styles that vered far off from the standard: for boys, light-weight button up shirts or wife-beaters and dirty blue jeans. For females, all outifts were variations on the next, yet all were looking to be noticed: bright colored cotton leggings and tank tops, arms decorated with thick faux gold chains, charms and rings. Nails were decorated, neck-lines were plummeting. Being a female traveler, it was within five minutes that I got a sense of the attention towards women in the society.

 

We hopped into a cab. I would have felt more familiar with the scene if I were seeing in black and white, as if I were in a movie from the fifties. The car had no seatbelts. It belched diesel fuel into the atmosphere in puffs of black smoke. The drive from the airport into Havana consisted of lots of honking, cutting people off, quick maneuvers around broken-down cars, completely stopped in the middle of the busy street with a man laying on his back with a toolset, cars zooming inches from his face at 50 mph. The buildings on the left and right of the road were not clear in their purpose, because all looked like similar variations of each other: brightly painted, delapadated and all somehow connected to the next building through a makeshift construction job. I noticed a school, gated, with an attendant guarding the door. Inside were teenage girls wearing matching uniforms: cotton white polo shirts and blue skirts that covered only what was absolutely necessary. We drove past a stretch of government buildings, extremely covered, guarded with soldiers militantly standing at the gate openings. The cubans skin tones ranged from very dark, like that of Sub Saharan Africans, and light caramel, like that of Hispanic Americans. Some men and women, I noticed, were wearing only white: white hair turbans, white shirts, white shawls, white pants or skirts and white shoes. I learned later on that a religion called Santeria was rooted in a combination of Catholicism and African religion. They wore all white only in the first year of adopting the religion, and then they could wear whatever they want.

We arrived at our destination, in the center of Old Havana. Old Havana is the tourist destination of Cuba, because of its time-warping illusion. Past the oddity of seeing the streets filled with cars from the fifties, the buildings show no sign of western culture whatsoever. The businesses observed in Old Havana had no names on signs, but were small closet-sized units on the street level of buildings from the Spanish era, their ornamentation hinting at a very rich and prosperous past life. Three, four, five stories high? It was hard to tell. The streets were extremely narrow, built during  a time where it was only necessary for a horse and carriage to make it through. Now they are covered with people like flees, taxi workers riding bikes with carriages for tourists, and cars. If the streets were one way or two way, it was a differentiation unclear to me. Thankfully our taxi driver navigated it semi seamlessly, and if a car has to pass another car, one of them ended up honking profusely and the other ended up on the sidewalk, inches away from the business-fronts. People absolutely everywhere. The stimulation and energy overload reminded me of Bourbon Street in Louisiana, and also Las Vegas.

I heard taxi driver, in broken english, ask my parents where they are from. “Chicago,” my dad said. The taxi driver tilted his head and furrowed his brows, confused. A few seconds later, “Ah!! Al Capone!” Both the taxi driver and my parents chuckled at his only mental association with Chicago. We later learned that because of the casinos in Cuba, and the extremely short travel time, before the USA embargo on Cuba in 1959, many wealthy mafia men had close and intricate ties with Cuba.

 

Dodging people, horses and carriages, bikers and other cars, our taxi driver took us down the narrowest road we had been on yet, intently studied the address my mom gave him, and then came to a halt in the middle of the street. He pointed to a dilapidated green door amidst a palette of urban chaos, and told us “this it!” We were staying in a “Casa Particular,” which means it is a private home owned by a Cuban, that now is used to house tourists. My mom looked at the address and then the door again, obviously confused as to how the taxi driver brought us here, being that there was no marking on the door to imply what address it was, whatsoever. The taxi left after his payment. I reached for the door knob, and before coming into contact with it, it swung open inwardly. Our host was observing our arrival from the balcony above, and opened the door with a rope along the stairwell connected from the doorknob, to the fourth level. When the door was completely open, we were faced with an extremely narrow and extremely long stretch of stairs. At the top, perhaps two hundred stairs up, we could see a smiling Cuban man waving and inviting us up. We climbed the stairs- marble steps and marble tiles decorated the walls. Back in the day, this place was extremely ornate and boastful of wealth. Reaching the top of the steps, we were greeted extremely warmly with handshakes from our host. Senior Mazarono. He had an elaborate goofy smile and laughed at almost everything we said. His english was very broken, but was better than the taxi drivers. He welcomed us in. The apartment used to be a single family home back in the day, clearly a very wealthy family. Now, the large unit is broken into five or six smaller living spaces, with boards patching makeshift walls in between spaces. The floor changed height as we clearly stepped between areas renovated at different time eras, or not renovated at all. At one area of the patchwork display, a wooden board revealed the sky. A conglomeration of different colors and textures, my eyes didn’t know where to look. Everything called our attention.

final documentation self watering planter

Summary:

My self-watering planter will have a compartment for the plant on top that rests inside a container filled slightly with water. The connection between the two will be a drain-like hole that a wick will fit through. The wick will be a cotton rope that is thin enough to fit through a small hole creating a connection between the water and the plant. The wick will be knotted on the plant side of the hole and then hang to the bottom of the container (therefore, touching the water). I will have to make an exact measurement of the rope so it snugly fits. I have been researching planters all semester because I am very interested in them and want to make something that would be new. I also knew that I wanted to create something customizable that had a great range of usability. Self watering planters seemed perfect because they are a new idea that is a good design for everyone. I am going to further the universality of a self-watering planter by making the compartment the water sits in containers everyone can find in their homes – empty cans. My vision for this product is to be sold at hardware, plant and grocery stores, emphasizing the recycling process.

The 3d printed part of this will fit snugly and securely inside tin cans. I like the look of two different opposing materials being used in one project and I think the tin can will make the plastic 3d printed part and the plant look more natural together.

Click to view inspiration photos

Click to view Artist Design Statement

Click to view project presentation

 

Process:

 

Of the 5 prints I tried of the same exact file, only one printed correctly. If I didn’t run into these issues, I would have printed more planters.  Here are my progress photos:

 

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Finished product… Keep your plants happy!

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