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Welcome to arts, ink., where our student columnists are given a forum to write about the arts and cultural thoughts that are on their minds. If you’re a U-M student interested in becoming a regular blogger, there may be a position available to get paid for your blogs. We review applications and hire new bloggers twice a year, in September and January. Read more about Blogging Opportunities here!
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Taylor Swift and The Lumineers

This time of the year always brings new surprises; new albums being released. It just so happens that this time some of my most favorite artists are dropping new things for me to listen to. Here’s a rundown and throwback of Taylor Swift’s past albums:

  1. Taylor Swift (2006)
  2. Fearless (2008)
  3. Speak Now (2010)
  4. Red (2012)
  5. 1989 (2014)
  6. Reputation (2017)
  7. ???

Taylor Swift has recently been posting mysterious pictures with no captions whatsoever on all her social media. The pastel pictures at the side of The Lumineers’s album cover are some of the pictures she has released on her Instagram, and her fans are definitely excited (including me). What a way to rile some excitement, posting pictures with no explanations.  Her latest tweet however, has a date, 4.26. Well now, I have something to look forward to (besides the nearing end of finals).

(some other pictures she has been posting as of the past two weeks)

Anyhow, The Lumineers too are set on releasing their 3rd album after their last release. The last album they dropped was in 2016 titled, “Cleopatra”. They have also released new tour dates and merchandise. Surprisingly, most of their tickets and merchandise are sold at a very reasonable rate (I suppose they want all sorts of fans to enjoy their music without too heavy of a price tag).

If you don’t really know much about the Lumineers, here’s some pointers:

  • They are an American folk rock band
  • They passed up opportunities to sign with major record labels and decided to go with an independent label, Dualtone Records: As one of the member’s commented, “It’s just nice to work with people that are entirely engaged. You know, not just sitting in front of a computer and playing Angry Birds their cell phones all day,” adding, “with these smaller labels, people work 12 or 15 hour days to ensure our records are in the stores, and that we’re getting played at radio. We want to work with people that are as hungry as we are. “ (Wikipedia).
  • Launchpad comments on their music saying “Where most bands these days look for that new, original sound to enhance the digital revolution, ‘The Lumineers’ do superbly in taking it back to simplicity.” (Wikipedia)

Also, Yuna is set to release a new album soon as well this summer/fall.

So, stay tuned to these artists for their fresh hits!

Bob Ross Paint Night

The man. The myth. The legend. Bob Ross.

About one month ago, the Residential College RAs put on an event that allowed students to take a break from studying to “paint with Bob Ross.” The event was called “The Joy of Painting: a wholesome night of painting” in reference to Ross’s television show. Students followed along with an episode of The Joy of Painting, which entitled following – or at least attempting to follow – Bob Ross in painting a scenery with mountains, trees, and “happy clouds.” Before delving into that process, it’s nice to gain insight on Bob Ross himself.

Though his death was in 1995, Bob Ross is an internet celebrity, continuing to grow in popularity. Before becoming the supportive painter we all know and love, he had an extensive career as a member of the Air Force. After attending an art class, he developed a taste for painting that would eventually evolve into a $15 million business. His company, Bob Ross Inc., marketed painting classes and sold his line of art supplies and how-to books. Additionally, his television show, The Joy of Painting, was successful in having thirty-one seasons. Reruns continue to air, and the show is available on Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime. You can also check out clips on Youtube.

Youtube was used at the event to televise one of Ross’s tutorials. A smooth jazz intro played while paint was being poured, preparing us for the magic ahead. The sight of Bob Ross’s iconic hairdo (which was originally a cost-cutting measure) immediately generated excitement. As time went on, however, there were groans of frustration and frequent pausing of the video. Bob Ross made painting seem easy, and the unexpected difficulty resulted in moments of exasperation among students. Yet, Ross’s soft voice and continuous words of encouragement provided a soothing presence. Any frustration felt was mixed with amazement at how quickly and simply Ross turned a blank canvas into something new. Every brushstroke had a purpose and tremendously changed the overall look. Even though recreating his work was more difficult than anticipated, everyone appreciated the event and the fun break it provided.

What was truly amazing was how unique every individual’s painting turned out to be, despite being based off the same tutorial. The finished paintings varied in colors, shapes, and more. Whether or not students considered themselves artists, it was fun to compare works and be proud of the art that was created. My friend group found the event so memorable, we temporarily hung our paintings in the lounge we often hang out in (with support from the RC).


Do YOU want to paint like Bob Ross? Click here!

The Joys of Lint Rolling (Seriously)

I can’t believe I had gone through 18 years of my life without ever using a lint roller. The first time I ever picked up the ergonomic handle of the roller was when I borrowed my freshman year roommate’s, out of her collection of numerous lint-picking devices. It was life changing, and lint rollers are now a mainstaple of my closet.

Lint rollers have the main purpose of getting lint and hair out of your clothing, making them look presentable and fresh. My clothes used to look dusty and worn, but were now rejuvenated by the absence of lint. For some reason, it’s so satisfying to look at the sticky paper afterward and revel in the cleanliness of your new lint-free fabrics. The process of lint rolling can be likened to popular relaxing behaviors such as folding clothes, or peeling off a face mask, or even organizing stationery for some people. There are even dedicated videos to lint rolling ASMR.

Little did I know that lint rollers actually serve a number of purposes besides, obviously, picking up lint. They can be used to clean bags, pick up hair, especially if you shed a lot like me, clean up glitter/confetti/paper, reach debris from inside your drawers, refresh furniture, and clean nearly any other ordinary item.

If your clothes are looking a little less than new, PICK UP A LINT ROLLER AND CHANGE YOUR LIFE.

The Timeless Appeal of Vinyl Records

April 13th was Record Store day across the world, an annual event created to keep the legacy of records and record stores alive. The local Ann Arbor District library set up a Record Store Day event, including a market of new and used vinyl records from various record shops in Ann Arbor, along with a DJ and other entertainment. I was lucky enough to be able to go, and it was a great experience: I didn’t expect there to be many people, and I was worried it would be an awkward and uncomfortable environment, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that there was a large turn out. Even more surprising was how diverse the group was, most notably in age. It was interesting to see so many young people talking to the older people about records, and it got me thinking a lot about the role of vinyl records today. They’ve reached an age where they’re obsolete in a practical sense, but have become a symbol of nostalgia and good taste: many people will boast about the unique and superior sound of vinyl records; if they’re being sincere or just trying to sound cool, it can be impossible to tell. Regardless, vinyl records have maintained their spot in popular culture and it doesn’t seem like they’ll be leaving anytime soon.


Personally, it’s easy for me to see why vinyl records have stayed relevant compared to other music formats, such as 8-tracks, cassettes, and CDs. I’ve always appreciated the artistic format of vinyl records: their size alone demands attention and respect, not to mention they can be great examples of quality art and design. They take the concept of album art to an entirely new level by making the entire product a unique piece of art, from the front cover to the back cover and everything in-between. Some of my favorite examples are actually newer albums that are being sold in vinyl record format; I find it especially fascinating that modern musicians are releasing new music on vinyl. Maybe they see the unique artistic potential as well and they want to sell a work of art that will never age. Either way, I hope it’s a trend that doesn’t die out.


(Header Image: Google Images)

Albums featured:

  1. Zaba Limited Edition by Glass Animals
  2. Monument Valley Soundtrack by Stafford Bawler, OBFUSC and GRIGORI


On April 26th the last movie of the Avengers franchise will be released.  This movie has been highly anticipated since the shocking end to the last Avengers movie, and fans cannot wait to see who will be left standing at the end of Avengers: Endgame.

While this is the last Avengers movie, it is not the last Marvel superhero movie.  There are other Marvel movies already being cued up with everyone’s favorite characters from the Marvel Universe.  One movie that has been talked about for some time now, and that has been confirmed is coming out in 2020 is “Black Widow”.  Black Widow first made her appearance in Avengers and has been in other Marvel movies but has not had a solo film. Fans will be excited to get to know more about her and her backstory.  Another film set to release is the Black Panther sequel. The first film broke many records and was nominated for an oscar for best film. The sequel has been highly anticipated since the release of the first movie.  Two more sequels are also already confirmed to be coming out in the coming years: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, and a Doctor Strange Sequel. Both of these movies joined the franchise later and made their first group appearance in the previous Avengers movie.

Not only are there many movies still in the works to continue to build on the Marvel Universe, but there are also TV shows that are being made.  A confirmed show that is being made is “Falcon and Winter Soldier”, as well as “Hawkeye”. These two shows in particular, similar to the Black Widow movie, will be the first solo project for these Avenger members.

While the group movies of the Avengers will be over soon, over the past several years every movie seems to feature at least two or three Avengers.  This means that as the Marvel Universe moves forward we will most likely still see the characters that we have fallen in love with since 2010. While Thor doesn’t have his own movie or TV show, there is a good chance that he will make at least one appearance in at least one of these sequels and Television shows.