Introspectiveness Through Community

On the very first day of INTD 288, I was highly considering dropping it. When my classmates passed around artwork and we were forced to work with one another to try and interpret an artist that I was unfamiliar with, I was scared. I did not truly think I could contribute to anything in the course without having extensive background knowledge about art. However, once I convinced myself to step out of my comfort zone and embrace this unknown territory, I was met with new tools and a new grasp of what a community is. To me, community is created in our class through the process of integrative learning with various professors from different disciplines coming in for lectures and our group discussions of the lectures which occurred with students with various academic backgrounds. Our class is a microcosm of a community that supports integrative learning and helps students to help each other gain new tools to express ourselves both personally and academically. On our syllabus, we have epigraphs to show what this course will cover. Part of an epigraph fits the community-based learning that I experienced since day one. The epigraph is from Mary Rutigliano and she states her goal that as students,we be rooted in a pursuit of growing our understanding, a sense of wonder, and the agreement that we can’t learn anything without one another’s help.” My experience perfectly fits with this epigraph; if it had not been for the sense of community fostered by interdisciplinary lectures and conversations, I would not have succeeded as I did with gaining new tools throughout the semester.

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Social Sustainability Through Art, Life, and Literature

Blog Post Written by:

Alexis Banaszak, Kazon Robinson, Madison Jackson, Mary Rutigliano, Joo Hee Park, Melisha-Li Gatlin, Devin Hogan, and Cindy Castillo

Sustainability is a definition that is not fully set in stone. In fact, the term sustainability has no self-sustained answer because of its wide and various meanings. Every person interprets sustainability differently. For some, sustainability is a matter of maintaining something to a certain level. For others, sustainability is focused on the environment and fighting for conservation matters. Generally speaking, sustainability is structured by three pillars: environmental, economical, and social and that we need all three pillars to aim for sustainability. Our group first searched the definition of sustainability and decided the definition with the best fit is from the website YadaDrop. The website defines social sustainability as “an ethical responsibility to do something about human inequality, social injustice, and poverty.” This definition strongly resembles Prince’s compositions and content. Over the entire semester our class has been filled with intellectual curiosity about what Prince tries to unpack in his work. From the pieces we have examined in class, our group agreed that there is a both/and with simplicity on the surface and multiple meanings upon analyzation.

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Empowerment Through Dance

Before walking into class I knew nothing about Dr. Mark Broomfield and what he teaches. All I knew was to wear comfortable clothes to move around in. Therefore, when I walked into class on April 1st, 2019, I was stunned. The classroom was turned into a dance studio. Dr. Broomfield instantly got to work with dancing. He wanted me and my fellow classmates to ground ourselves in the music, and connect with each other. First, we started off simple by following the beat of the music through the shuffling of our feet. At first, it was strange to see everyone dance. But, I took it upon myself to let loose and have fun. I treated it as if I was in a Zumba class and allowed the music to dictate my movements.

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Community Through Artistic Collaboration

Before attending class on March 29th, 2019 I was excited. I knew that during class we were going to paint. Therefore, when Garth Freeman first began the lecture with other artists I was intrigued. Before taking this class I would have looked at art and thought how is that art? But now, with all the additional tools I have collected along the way, I was able to see why a certain person was an artist and try to interpret the work instead of looking at it.

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A Closer Look at Goya’s “The Third of May”

During the Teaching Assistants’ lecture on March 11, 2019, they mentioned a painting titled The Third of May by a Spaniard named Francisco Goya created in 1808. In my last blog post, I mentioned how the TA’s connected it to the Steve Prince art piece Stand at the Gretna Bridge because he used Goya’s painting in reference to his creation. However, in my last blog post, I did not have time to unpack everything about Prince’s composition. Therefore, for this blog post, I will attempt to unpack the art piece to the best of my ability. Continue reading “A Closer Look at Goya’s “The Third of May””

Connecting the Dots

When the Teaching Assistants led the class on March 11, 2019, I did not know what to expect. When they began with a Human Clay exercise I was confused and felt out of my comfort zone. This activity required three people in a group: one person as the sculptor and the other two as the clay. The sculptor would mold their clays into the word that the TA’s instructed. Then, after forty-five seconds of working with the clay, the sculptor was able to walk around the room to view how other people interpreted the word. The words given to us in class were: difference, unity, conflict, grounded, peace, aliveness, and care.

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The Multiplicity of Division

When I heard that Professor Lytton Smith was returning to our class to give a second lecture, I was apprehensive. I remember he was the first guest lecturer for our class and that was the day I felt the most lost in class because I was not into the routine of our classes. However, when I walked into class on March 3rd, 2019 I tried to keep an open mind. Smith first began class with the word division and how we define it. To push myself from the first lecture he gave, I participated with my interpretation of division. I discussed how women in New Orleans face division in society by expressing themselves through dancing and music. Mary discussed the division with contrast of dark versus light. Amina thought of a literal divider and a segregated community. Within the span of ten minutes, I knew exactly what I wanted to unpack in my blog post: the word division.

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Dissonance of Song and Society

Still unfamiliar with every aspect of the buildings on our campus, I did not know that we had an art gallery in Brodie Hall until my class attended a lecture by the art gallery director, Cynthia Hawkins-Owen. Walking into the room, I instantly saw Steve Prince’s name in bold letters and large pieces of his artwork on the walls. Sitting in the room, I was mesmerized. Here are more compositions to unpack that I did not know existed. Hawkins-Owen described the process of an art director and the troubles she faces. One that stood out to me while she was talking was how sometimes with art we do not get all sides of the story. Every piece tells its own narrative and it’s the artist’s job to depict a certain message to the viewers.

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The Perplexing Dove

Despite not having a guest lecturer come into class on February 18th, 2019, I called the lecture “Tools and Ingredients” in my notes. Professor McCoy wanted us to meet with a group of students to discover what we have already learned and put it into practice. Additionally, she wanted us to have stimulating conversations about the course thus far and how we can feed off of each other. Truth be told I was eager to hear other people’s thoughts and see how they have improved with the course, and possibly help me with my weak points.

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Confusion to New Set of Tools

Before walking into class February 11th, 2019, I did not know what to expect with our special guest lecturer Dan DeZarn. However, when I sat down, he said he used to be a sculpting professor at SUNY Geneseo. The reason he was in our class was to provide art terms to help facilitate our discussions. But instead of delving right into definitions and answers he posed us a question: What is art? I never thought about what constitutes as art. At a young age, most of us sat in an art class and did a simplistic drawing of a house. But is that art? Sitting in my desk I felt uncomfortable participating in class discussion because of my lack of knowledge in the subject material. However, I was attentive to my classmates who were giving their ideas about art. For example, Liv claimed art has to have intention. But what is the heart and core of art? Well, Professor DeZarn believes that art intersects into three things: 1) Craft 2) Design and 3) Content.

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