huh?

For hundreds of years, the definition of “art” has been questioned, debated upon, and altered. I myself, have no idea how to EVEN try and define this ambiguous term. Growing up in a traditional household, I once believed art was solely realistic paintings and drawings. I thought to be a professional artist I must achieve the skills these talented individuals have and millions will love me. Granted, this was when I was in kindergarten. Okay, maybe fifth grade (we don’t need to talk about it). Since then I have luckily expanded my definition to not only different types of visual art but also performance. I believe art consumes our world and to label it would be to limit what it can be. Instead we must explore what kinds of art can be discovered and share them. I am personally passionate about visual storytelling and I believe the most effective way to connect with an audience through story is with artistic platforms. 

Last semester, I used my column as a place to dispense art information I had found out and wanted to reach others with. In addition, I also wrote about my own class art projects and rambles about topics/questions about art that interests me. For this year, I hope to make my column connected to this theme of “What is art?”, “What can art be?”, and “What does art mean to you?” I will be interviewing a wide range of student artists and maybe professors as well. I will probably slide in a couple of posts about art seminars, galleries, and performances I attend too. I hope by doing this it will engage whoever you are that is reading this and expand your own definition of what art is/can be. I will be posting every Thursday so keep an eye out! I am excited to start this journey with you all but until next Thursday all you get are some favorite photographs I took over the summer. And yes, I believe this counts as art. 

🙂

“The Wading Fortune”

For my final project in my Methods of Inquiry(an odd pre-req Stamps students must take to graduate hahahahah.) class I had to create an “advocacy desktop companion”. A weird name? Yes. But, I did not question the title of my project but focused on what I wanted to advocate for and what my individual project would look like. Right away, I knew I wanted it to be on excessive consumerism and/or animal cruelty. I decided to do overfishing because I feel like this topic is not talked about enough or even at all.

When sketching ideas I came to many dead ends but then my friend recommended to look up “Fortune Teller Miracle Fish” to seek inspiration. I found out that these fortune tellers are small envelopes that contain red fish on the inside that will tell one their “fortune”. To find their fortune, an individual would place the fish on their palm and see it move around because of the static it has. Then you would match the movement to a fortune found on the back of the envelope. For an example, if I placed the fish on my palm and it curls up entirely it would mean I am “passionate” according to the chart. After learning about this awesome and ridiculous invention I decided to recreate this into an overfishing advocacy project.

Instead of just any red fish I decided to create three types of envelopes for three different species affected by overfishing: green sea turtle, bluefin tuna, and vaquita dolphin. I drew these species out and then created my designs on photoshop. After, I printed the designs out and folded the paper into envelopes, I then cut the shapes of each species out of red acetate to put inside them. In addition, I created description cards for each species about who they are, why overfishing affects them, what has been done to help, and where someone could find more information.

 

When completing this project I had to do minimal research but after just reading one article, I was sent down a hole of digging up dirt on this world wide crisis. I also came to the realization that to get someone’s attention about this issue, they needed to hear tragic numbers and I needed to share horrible stories in order for a variety of people to sympathize. After I finished my envelopes it made me question how I could spread awareness with not only a desktop companion(lol) but something even bigger. I have begun to watch many documentaries that advocate for an issue and I believe this would be an interesting project to be apart of and I hope to keep this idea in mind for the future. ANYWAYSSS… Below I will include some pictures of my project. Also y’all should go to WWF.com and find out more information about overfishing. All the information is very interesting and good to know.

       

       

 

 

P.S.

Dear people,

I have some news to share with you all. Our environment is in danger. Are you surprised?

Best,

:0

 

Poster Design Connection from 1917 to 2017

This semester I have been enrolled in Art and Design History through the art school. Each week we have to do a discussion post and this weeks caught my attention more so than others, because of the interesting connection from an art piece in 1917 to 2017.

We were given a task to answer a question about one of the pieces of artwork our professor put in a display case in the Duderstadt Center. The one I chose was called “Food —don’t waste it” (2017), by Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr. Although I was struck that the artist is based in Detroit, it was his design in reference to one from the first World War that caught my attention the most.

 

2017

 

Kennedy brought up the conversation of food conservation with his design but also how it relates to this same topic during WWI. In the early 1900s, America was trying to lower food consumption in order to feed their troops. They needed to conserve to help the people who were fighting for them. I find it interesting that in 2019 although we are producing food faster and more abundantly, we still are hearing these same conservation slogans about our food habits. In recent years, food conservation is also needed but in a completely different way. We are getting our food from mass produced businesses and this is causing harm to our environment. Although many are unaware of the damage we are creating, Kennedy creates discussion about it through simple slogans and advice for sustainable options.

 

1917

image taken from https://www.nal.usda.gov/exhibits/speccoll/exhibits/show/poster-collections/item/224 

 

This poster interested me with its color, text, simplicity, and message. I recently have started eating by a plant based diet (mainly for environmental concerns) and this poster connected with me because of my new beliefs. I believe art starts conversations about topics that are hidden and I think Kennedy is doing this because food conservation is being pushed aside by the people in our government. Kennedy uses memorable slogans and simple designs to create outreach just like the artists did in the early 1900s and to see more of his amazing prints go to http://www.kennedyprints.com/ YOU WON’T REGRET IT!

Goodnight (if you are still up) and have a wonderful week:)

“Stamps Senior Studio” vle blog response

When I visited Stamps during campus day last April the main area that stood out to me were the senior studios. As you could have read in columnist “vle”’s April 5th blog, these studios are for Stamps BA and BFA students. They are filled with inspiration and each cubicle has its own personality. I could spend hours looking at each artists space and how they have cultivated their work over the years here in Ann Arbor.

Personally, my creative process is at it’s best when I have a space to my own, where I can establish my work and a neat mess (yes this is a thing and I know everyone knows what I am talking about). I also thrive off of being surrounded by other artists because I get to watch their unique way of creating in addition to their way of being inspired. After the discovery of how I creatively flourish, I came up with a design for the Stamps building itself and for its curriculum as a whole. After reading “vle”’s blog I decided to share my thoughts on the studios and my idea for Stamp’s future.

Problem(s):

First, second, and third year students don’t have their own space to work in the building. In order to complete work they must go to free classrooms or work at their homes, apartments, or dorms. This causes travel concerns when transporting supplies and the actual pieces of artwork. For the amount of money students pay, I believe they deserve a space to create and inspire others.

Why:

I believe in fixing this issue because of listening to other students concerns. Whenever students speak about this problem, they usually complain instead of problem solve. They and I, adapt to what we have been given because dealing with this problem requires (a lot of) money from the school.

Solution:

I believe Stamps should include a studio space design expansion for their future projects. My idea is to build up on the Stamps building, where the senior studio spaces are now located in the front. The classrooms that are located over the senior spaces now should be moved to a separate addition to the Stamps building itself. There should be four floors for each student based on year. In addition, instead of moving each class every year, when the seniors leave, their floor would be filled with the incoming freshman.

Conclusion:

I think this idea will give students an amazing opportunity to grow and create in their own space for four years at Michigan. It will allow for immense student collaboration and help students connect with the other artists in their class. Although it costs $$$$$$, I believe this would make the art school way more attractive to prospective students and allow for graduated students to rave about the school even more than they do now. Yes… I do realize what I propose is an absurd idea which requires lots of money, work, and effort but just think about it. Let it sink in. Process it. Appreciate it. Love it. Okay, I am done sharing my idea.

 

Have a beautiful day!

 

AAFF through a B&W lens

This past week, the Ann Arbor Film Festival(AAFF), “the oldest avant-garde and experimental film festival in North America”(just to point out), was held at The Michigan Theater. I am currently taking a first year seminar on the Ann Arbor Film Festival, so it was only right if I volunteered. I signed up for normal shifts where I had to hand out audience ballots, check tickets, count how many people attended a competition, etc. In addition, I also signed up to be a photographer not out of having experience, but rather just my enjoyment of taking pictures.

In my film seminar, we just finished up a project on the archives of the festival–held at the Bentley Historical Library on North Campus–where I found numerous film strips of black and white candid pictures. These images reflected the joy and energy of the festivals community and it was my goal to try and capture shots just like them.

On Tuesday, I was nervous, excited, and felt like I was going to vurp(a term I learned from the magical movie Wreck It Ralph! hehe). Just bringing myself and my fujifilm x100f I was scared I was not going to get the right pictures, however my motivation triumphed my fear. Furthermore, the energy of the room was immaculate that there was no way not to capture unique shots. The lobby of the theater was filled with filmmakers, professors, cinema buffs, and AAFF super fans. Everyone was talking to someone and the whole place was filled with laughter and interesting discussions of what was to come.

After putting on my badge(my lanyard that said photographer), I felt invisible to the community, which was PERFECT. I got to dip into the AAFF lifestyle while not actually having to be in it but rather observe it. Behind the lense, I felt pretty powerful and also like I was watching history happen. This experience was extremely special to me and I hope to work further with the festival and maybe eventually be apart of the community in addition to observing it.

Please look at my pictures on my website and like them so I feel accomplished and so this blog can be inspirational 🙂

https://breeandruzzi.myportfolio.com/photographs

SHORT observation on my perspective of lyrics

I don’t know if this is extremely unusual but when I listen to a song, I tend to be initially attracted to it based off of its beat and sound rather than words. I listen to feel some sort of connection inside of me. I imagine water inside of me doing a dance. It crashes and swirls as the beat drops and picks up again. I also enjoy the feeling of a speaker playing music. Some of my friends have cylinder speakers that have circles on the ends of them, which move to the beat of the song. I can’t remember how it happened, but one day we started placing the speaker on our chest to feel the thud of the circle. My heart and chest were pounding, and all I wanted to do was dance to the “pound” of the beat instead of worrying about the lyrics.

For Arts Ambassadors this week, we hosted Omar Offendum, a Syrian American hip-hop artist, designer, and poet, for Dinner With An Artist. Throughout the dinner we talked about his unique cultural story and his career but what struck out to me is when he made a comment about how, “Music isn’t just that lyrical today.” As a hip-hop artist and performer, he creates music to inspire not just with his beats but with his words. At the end of his dinner he showed us his music video for, “Close My Eyes”, which “is a lyrical / visual reflection of immigration, fatherhood, mortality, Syria, America, & Mother Nature” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_o4hVgPnFpE). He is an artist who seeks action with telling his story mainly through words. The formulation he creates helps him come to terms with what is happening and has happened in the world, as well as giving him ideas to create change.

In addition to his music video, we watched him perform live for us. Both the video and performance were incredible and mesmerizing poems. His tempo and annunciation of some words while fading or talking quickly over others allowed the audience to hear what he wants us to pinpoint. Furthermore, his imperfect rhymes and story he chose/chooses to tell make the song absorbable. While watching him perform his art, instead of listening to the beat first, I listened to the words to carry me through.

Our Dinner With An Artist event with Omar Offendum enlightened me with his story but also about how I need to be more aware of what I am listening to. That is not to say I am completely drawing back from my usual listening style, but instead, I am going to try enjoying and appreciating the song for both its lyrics and “pound”.

P.S. Please check out Omar Offendum’s music. Click here to view, “Close My Eyes”.