writing form: duplex

a “duplex” is a poetic form, created by jericho brown. it’s a poem of couplets (stanzas with only two lines) that grows off of itself, where the first line of each next couplet mirrors the previous line (the last line of the couplet before it) and then the last line of the couplet introduces a new idea or image. the very first and very last lines of the poem mirror each other as well. [i know hat could be confusing to be explained with no context, so check out the link and maybe read my description while going through the poem??]

while poems often involve a journey, my favorite duplexes from jericho display movement , or makes its intention moving closer to somewhere possibly more vulnerable or more honest. this feature of movement is what inspired me to attempt the form. (p.s. i’m not sure if the form has to be indented in this way, i just replicated his structure here to learn the form.)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

lightning flashes before my eyes can adjust

i’ve got too much white in my eyes

a static blade gathers iris and tongue

time be going by so fast

minutes turn into echo chambers of gravel and salt so quickly

learn, unlearn, learn — splinter on

petal open to get to the truth

every step i’ve taken has been to find myself

there are so many roads to get to the self

i study my veins in winter trees

the bloodrush means we existed

the heart beats, sends lightning before i can ask why

 

Looking Forward: This Week at the UMMA + New Interviews Soon

Happy Friday, Arts, Ink readers!

After a brief intermission, we will be back in action next week. I’ve spent this week reaching out to many exciting and diverse student organizations to learn more about how they’re handling the semester, and I’m excited to share what I’ve learned so far. 

In the meantime, I thought I would spend this week highlighting some events the UMMA is putting on this week that I found especially exciting.

If you’re a fan of spotify collaborative playlists and/or how art and music intersect, check out UMMA’s jukebox. Through that link you can fill out a form to suggest songs that pair with two of the museum’s newest art pieces. As someone who has always enjoyed interdisciplinary work, I found this project very interesting and I’m excited to see the results!

The UMMA is also putting together a virtual event called “The Adjacent Possible” on Feb. 18th at 8PM. They describe it as “[mixing] music performance, storytelling, and technology that converts the audience into an orchestra. The project culminates in the recording of an orchestral piece – the first and last ever to be performed.” If you need to transport yourself for a little while from the stress of schoolwork or job searches, definitely check it out – it seems like a really unique event. Pre-registration is required, so make sure you confirm ahead of time!

That’s all from me today. Check back next week for an interview with the co-presidents of Relevé – they had some really interesting points to make about the creative process and COVID!

Stay safe!

Lucy

Looking Forward: EnspiRED

Happy Friday, everyone!

Ashley King, Vice President of EnspiRED

We are back to our regularly scheduled content. This week I spoke with Ashley King, the Vice President of EnspiRED, to learn more about how they are adapting to the restrictions that COVID-19 has brought. This was a special interview, as Ashley is not only a talent and joy to speak with, but one of my good friends from high school. I was excited to learn more about the organization that she has fallen in love with.

In a normal year, EnspiRED is best-known for their annual fashion show with proceeds going to a charity they choose each year. Each show has a theme that is tied together through the outfits on the runway, the visuals that accompany the show, and even the wardrobes of those working the event. One of the most recent themes, astrology, was a personal favorite of Ashley. 

During the past year, EnspiRED has obviously had to adjust much of what they do in light of COVID. They can no longer host their fashion show in-person, as it can attract hundreds in attendance, but they are finding ways to fit what they usually do into this new world of COVID. 

I also asked Ashley about how she interprets the intersection of arts and fashion. She told me that to her, fashion is an art.

Current E-board for EnspiRED

“You watch a Marc Jacobs, or a Vera Wang, or anybody’s fashion show and you’re like, wow, it must have taken some ingenuity to put this together, or a really creative mind to come up with that. I very much feel that fashion is in our forum because not everybody can, like, pick up some fabric and make something that everybody wants, and that’s from high fashion to fast fashion. There’s an art to all of it.”

I couldn’t agree more – and the energy that has to go into a fashion show is way beyond just designing the clothes. The staging, the lighting, the music, the makeup, the hair, all add to the concept and sells the experience. 

If you want to get involved with EnspiRED, be sure to follow their Instagram account so that you can stay up-to-date on their upcoming events. Modeling and volunteer opportunities are also available most years, so be on the lookout for those. Lastly, their e-board will be opening up applications soon to lead the organization next year. Ashley’s advice? “Brush up on your interview skills.” Who wouldn’t want to be a part of one of the top fashion organizations on campus?

That’s all from me this week! Come back next week for more about the arts on campus this semester. 

Stay safe & stay healthy!

-Lucy

Andy Blank: Real or Retail?

Andy Blank, of the self-named contemporary art company, is a Brooklyn-based artist known for “making the unscalable scalable”–AKA, Blank produces limited edition paintings and prints all under $199. The handmade artwork ship fully framed, allowing the customer to easily display their new art with tools picked by the company. In a saturated market of both astronomically-priced paintings and low-quality prints, Andy Blank stands out as a pioneer of a new art business model.

Blank’s works are unique in their ever-changing explorations of texture, color, and mediums. From photographic prints to glossy canvasses, new works constantly appear online and available to purchase, made by Blank and his production assistants. However, the batches of art also are quick to sell out. The website explains that the limited artwork is made purposefully “to protect the integrity of the artworks and the collectors who secured them.” I do appreciate that the “museum-grade” materials are all sourced from local suppliers, and that each work is handmade by the company.

I quite like Andy Blank’s business model as it makes art affordable–presenting consumers with a “gateway drug to art”. Intriguingly, Andy Blank compares itself to fast-fashion retailer Zara, which allows buyers to look as if they came off the runway, before moving on to more prestigious, expensive companies like Chanel. I think this comparison is somewhat self-deprecating, painting an image of a factory assembly line of art assistants producing work directly for purchase. There has been a lot of controversy in the art world about what makes art legitimate–is it the message? The materials? The price? The making of art for art’s sake? Is commercial art “real art?” While these questions never have a straightforward answer, Andy Blank continues to live in the limbo between fine art and commerce, and that’s completely okay. What do you think?

Hoops
Deep Love
The Mighty Jungle
Yin
Sweet Sorbet
Miami Vice

Making the Most of Second Semester

Happy Friday, everyone!

I know it’s been a long week (even with Monday off) so pat yourself on the back for making it through. Whether your semester seems like it will be a breeze or your hardest one yet, remember to be kind to yourself and find moments for celebration. 

A new semester means a fresh start in many ways, but some people can feel trapped in the extracurricular activities they committed to in the first semester. I wanted to take some time to remind you that most student organizations gladly welcome new members during the second semester. MUSKET is producing a show, Basement Arts is partnering with Blank Space Workshop to produce new work, and many performance groups are holding auditions, just to name a few of the opportunities this semester. 

Even if you don’t have the time or interest in fully joining these organizations, I encourage you to attend their events as much as possible. Not only will it bring some joy into your life and introduce you to new groups and artistic expressions, it will also help support these student groups through what is sure to be another strange semester. With most of their performances being virtual, along with classes, attending these events shows that we still support these groups, even if we can’t cheer them on in person. 

So in the next couple of weeks, I challenge you to scroll through MaizePages and jot down a couple of organizations you’re interested in learning more about. Then, see what day they’ll be attending the virtual Winterfest and have some questions ready – maybe about the process for joining, or what their plans are for this semester. Finally, as you’re scrolling through Instagram or walking around campus and you see an advertisement for an upcoming arts event, add it to your calendar. That way you won’t forget, and when it comes along maybe you’ll put aside your homework for an hour or two to experience the creativity our campus has. Think of it as a new form of self-care. 

That’s all from me this week. Good luck to everyone in their classes!

– Lucy

Looking Forward: 2021

Happy Friday, everyone!

I hope you’ve enjoyed a relaxing couple of weeks off. I’m taking the time to soak up this last week with my roommates before the semester starts.

I arrived back in Ann Arbor a couple of days ago and I have to say it feels like a different place than when I moved here three and a half years ago. Businesses have closed down, the movie theaters are still dark, restaurants and bars are limited to take-out-only. When I walk down Main Street, I no longer see lines for concerts at The Ark or jazz at the Blue Llama. And while I would love to sit in Hill Auditorium and see a Gerswhin show, I know that all of this is to protect our community. 

The past semester felt dark, at times, especially being so rooted in performing arts, but this blog has been a shining light. It has allowed me to speak with some incredible people and hear hopeful stories of how the arts are surviving on campus. I’ve been in awe over the creative ways that academic departments, student organizations, and campus resources have adapted to the challenges this year has presented. They have not only found a way to continue their missions amid a global pandemic, but many have addressed students’ mental health and wellbeing as well as critical social justice issues. We have shown up for one another, and that is a beautiful thing. 

This blog is all about looking towards the future, and the new year is all about that prospect. Of course, we know that 2021 is not a fresh start that will magically solve all the world’s problems, but that doesn’t mean that we cannot also recognize the hope that this year brings. So let us hope that 2021 brings us more community, more creativity, and more compassion. I am so looking forward to having new conversations with resources and organizations on campus, and to hearing how students are “looking forward” this year. 

Til’ next week, 

Lucy

P.S. If you have any suggestions for organizations/people I should interview – please leave me a comment below!