Welcome to arts, ink.

Welcome to arts, ink., where our student artists and writers are given a forum to illuminate the Michigan student experience through art. If you’re a U-M student interested in becoming a weekly contributor, there may be a position available to get paid for your work. We review applications and hire new bloggers twice a year, in September and January. Read more about Blogging Opportunities here!
Email us at arts@umich.edu with questions.

If you want a nice snapshot of some of our favorite posts from the past year, check out the “Summer 2022 Reading List” tag!

OTM #7: Forbidden Fruit

Happy Wednesday once again! We’re almost through the semester!

I’ve been obsessed with coffee lately, as most teenage girls become enamored with at some point in their adolescence. My trips every so often take me to M-36, which has become by far my favorite coffee shop in Ann Arbor. However, something about their cold brews leave me absolutely destroyed; I already have a difficult time processing caffeine, yet the cold brews at M-36 seem to be built different. My friends and I have come to title these occurrences my “Grasshopper Days”, in which I order the Grasshopper cold brew (a delicious mint chocolate flavor, like a thin mint cookie) and just a few hours later fall to my knees and tremble for the rest of the day.

There’s something beautiful about it. After all, I keep going back for more. Something about the experience has become inspirational to me, comedic, legendary. I always am sure to prepare myself before I get one – “Am I ready for a Grasshopper? Have I finished enough work to relinquish my day to this beverage?” – And then I’m set. (P.S., I do know people that drink this and do not fall to the same state as myself, so I would certainly recommend trying it!)

Hope you enjoy my plights for today, and have a great week!

Fine Art Fables: The Bear Prince

The Bear-Prince is a fairytale that originates from Mexico intended to teach children about key aspects of Mexican culture. The fairytale begins with a woodcutter, chopping down trees in the forest. A bear is mad he is doing so, and stops him by grabbing the ax. The man says he must chop down trees or else he won’t have money to feed his three beautiful daughters. The bear says that the only way he will not kill the man is if he gives him one of the daughters to marry. Ninfa, the youngest daughter, volunteers to marry the bear. The two marry, and when they go back to the bear’s cave he transforms into a human. The bear-prince tells her that he was cursed into being a bear by an evil witch. Eventually, Ninfa returns home to see her family, and because the bear-prince is rich is is adorned in nice clothing and jewels. Her sisters are envious, and she tells them his secret. However, this breaks their promise of secrecy and the bear-prince runs away to the Castle of Faith in which Ninfa must now find. She encounters many different ‘beings’ along the way, including the Sun and Moon personified. Eventually, it ends with the prince being permanently transformed into a human and they two can be together. 

 

My artwork this week features the key elements of the story, with the bride and groom figures standing apart from each other and the bear figure in the middle.

PONDERING ANN: IV

MORNING SHOWER 

 

I have bent my hand 

into the shape of a

chewed orange slice, or 

a telephone cord curl,

just so that the droplets

of tap water draining

from the showerhead

roll down and appear 

to pool from the very

tips of my fingers. 

 

I am staring for 

too long, and soap 

has started to fall into

my eyes. I’m trying 

to catch the bits of

life we let slip 

through the cracks.

Like in the law quad, 

how symmetrical gothic 

arches are adorned by 

gargoyles

 

jutting their tongues

at each passerby.
Or the child today 

sitting in the greenery,

with her jam stained

hand stolen into one 

pocket of a yellow 

raincoat, the Morton

Salt kind, and making

the same gargoyle

 

face right back! And 

although she did not 

win that tongue-out 

staring contest, she 

gave the stone creatures 

a run for their stone

money. 

This is a miracle.
No shooting stars 

or runaway eyelashes.
This is it! All

this living makes

me think of the 

time my lover and I

walked the banks

of Lake Michigan 

and paused to gaze

at the cold pools below. 

 

Oh, the warmth

as our stretched smiles

filled the air, cackling

at the sight of a lime

green electric scooter

hurled into the depths

below. You could just

make out the shape of

of its handlebars,

the rear wheel, and

we smushed our cheeks 

together like two

rotten apples, laughing 

at this work 

of a mad man, or 

an artist, or an architect 

of human nature. 

Academia Jukebox: Garden Song

Phoebe Bridgers is one of my all time favorite artists. Though her music may be about a specific event or situation, the emotions she sings about are universal. I personally interpret Garden Song, the second track on her most recent album “Punisher”, as the changes in our lives and in ourselves as we grow up. Noticing how much I’ve grown up always comes as a shock to me. I was (and still am) nervous about becoming an adult and all the responsibilities that come with it. But when I take a second to acknowledge my growth, or see myself from an outside perspective, I have to admit I’m making progress. Though other people might not know about the fears you had getting here, recognizing that you’re growing well can put some of your anxiety at about the future at ease. Or at least, it does for me. Definitely listen to Bridgers’ “Punisher” if you haven’t before, it’s a work of art!