Battling Comfortability

Comfortability is determined by your environment and the people who you are surrounded with. This class, The Art of Steve Prince, has further helped me realize that your creation of art, no matter the type, depends on what you are willing to share with everyone else. As a dancer, I am already aware of the dependency of my comfortability in relation to performances and dance classes. I have realized how my performance skills will be dependent on who I am performing for. For example, if I believe the environment is filled with a sense of competition, I am less willing to fully express myself because I fear judgement. It is assumed that when you dance those around you are judging you; however, this feeling of judgement is different from a competitive environment. My description of a competitive environment is when the dancers around me are trying to out-dance each other and pick out who is the “best dancer”; this would be the type of environment that would make me feel uncomfortable to be myself. My comfortability relies on a space where dancers are not only supporting and encouraging, but also open to giving feedback in areas where improvement is possible. Continue reading “Battling Comfortability”

The Impact of Language

“We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives.”— Toni Morrison, 1993 Nobel Lecture


One thing we are sure of in this life, if nothing else, is that our life, at some point, will come to an end. Toni Morrison describes death as the meaning of life and language as the measure of our lives in the quote above. Upon first reading this course epigraph, I struggled with how I would tackle this quote. This could be for various reasons such as not feeling like I had the tools to respond to this quote at that certain point in time, or not wanting to search/reach out to find the tools. As the semester comes to the end and I reread the course epigraphs, I am able to recognize the beauty in Toni Morrison’s words. The various readings, discussions, and crafting of several blog posts is part of the reason I am able to finally tackle this quote, but first I am going to define language and meaning to help explain my interpretation of this quote.  Continue reading “The Impact of Language”

Old Lady in the Upper Room

Upon first analyzing the picture below during our collaborative blog post, I did not know what to make of it. My group and I started off by trying to make out specific things we saw in the picture such as the watch in one of the horseman’s hand and what looks to be a shadow of a person behind the little girl. As I explained in our blog post, I stated that the  older woman was reaching for the little girl while Alexis thought that the woman was reaching for the watch. I tied both of our assumptions together with Kazon and Devin stated that the little girl could be a depiction of the older woman. This made me think of how we are oblivious to what is around as children because we have yet to experience what the world has to offer. As we grow older and become wiser through things we have faced in life, we start to wish that we can go back in time and use what we know now to change the past. Continue reading “Old Lady in the Upper Room”

An Artist’s Dilemma (Response)

Brian recently posted a blog posting discussing the lack of appreciation for the arts. He talked about “the lack of interest in the funding of those who create” which is something I particularly notice in school settings. Through middle school and high school, my experience of  seeing the way most students view art has been the “easy A” perception. The various art classes were equivalent to gym class where it was seen as fun, stress relieving, and easy to pass as long as you attended. Some schools would not even have art as a class but as an afterschool activity. These examples display how the arts are often overlooked, especially in the light of a challenging subject. Moving forward to college, some students decide that they want to attend a college that is specifically designated for the arts. In most cases, the students are seen as taking the easier path because studying something such as painting is not seen as challenging compared to studying biology. The reason that most people tend to overlook the arts is because they do not understand the process and dedication it takes to become successful in that field. Continue reading “An Artist’s Dilemma (Response)”

A Conversation on Urban Garden

By: Amina Diakite and Melisha Gatlin


I think stepping into the the Kinetic Gallery, it is safe to say we were both unsure of what would come from this activity. When Steve Prince said we would all be contributing to this piece, I thought to myself “I cannot draw, I will mess up the canvas”. My experience with drawing is  extremely limited, and by limited I mean stick figures. The best I could do is trace some lines, so I doubted that I would be able to contribute anything more than some lines . On top of that, I did not think I had an artistic eye. I remember revisiting the Urban Garden after people had contributed and being amazed at what people were able to come up with and their creativity. This just made me more nervous to add to the piece myself because I did not know if I would be able to draw, let alone think of something, that would fit in with what was already there. By the end I added something very small, specifically three raindrops under the clouds that had already been drawn. At first it was just something I joked about, but then Steve Prince had came over and said he really liked what I added. This one comment boosted my confidence perhaps because it was coming from someone I considered a professional artist. Therefore, I added  another drawing to Urban Garden. This time it was something a little bigger which was a form of a black hole with the word freedom getting sucked in. How I came up with this image I have no idea, however, it was at this moment that I realized that the goal of this piece was to draw something we felt about our society, both positive and negative; at least this is what I perceived the goal to be. Urban Garden’s turnout was the opposite of what I initially thought it would be which was either blank because people would not want to participate, or messy because people would not take it seriously. This piece of art became a way for our school to create and tell a story together about our views on society. Continue reading “A Conversation on Urban Garden”

What Makes You an Artist? (continuation)

In my previous blog post, I posed the question what classifies someone an artist. Do you have to be an artist to create art? When searching the definition of artist I found three definitions: “a person who produces paintings or drawings as a profession or hobby”, “a person who practices any of the various creative arts, such as a sculptor, novelist, poet, or filmmaker”, and “a person skilled at a particular task or occupation”. Two out of three of these definitions do not specify that an artist has to create art as a career. This was a surprise to me because I assumed the first definition, defining an artist as someone who creates as a profession, would be the only definition. The reason I assumed this is because whenever I usually hear someone mention in artist, they refer to exhibits they have done/are doing  and famous paintings/drawings. The latter definitions give artist classification a wider spectrum because it describes an artist as someone who “practices” or is “skilled”. This means I can be considered an artist even if I am not working for a professional business, selling art, or in art shows, all which classify as a occupation. Continue reading “What Makes You an Artist? (continuation)”

What is Art?

There have been two instances where the question “what is art?” has been brought up in conversation. One instance stemmed from Dan DeZarn’s lecture where he attempted to give a definition of art, which is a piece of work that had to include craft, design, and content. Another instance was in Cynthia Hawkins-Owens’ where she stated that art can be learned. Upon hearing these statements separately, I had different reactions which I realized are opposite of each other. To DeZarn’s statement, my initial thought was his definition is too constrained. I believe that art is any form of expression; craft, design, and content will not make someone believe that a piece of work is art, however, artwork can also lack one of the three and still be considered art. On the other hand, I do not completely agree with art being something that someone can learn. Yes, people can learn to draw or paint well, but it is the intention behind it that makes it art. It was not until I started writing this blog post that I realized my opposite reactions and how these statements can actually be a both/and. Continue reading “What is Art?”

For the Straight Folks

Pat Parker’s poem is geared at “straight folks” who follow a pattern of hypocrisy in relation to “gays”. Throughout the poem, she highlights events where people who identify as straight will publicize personal information while also wishing that people who identify as gay “weren’t so blatant”. As we were reading the poem aloud in class, I was nodding my head and saying to myself “this is so true”. Most of my reactions stemmed from personal experiences of either hearing someone talk about their intimate life in public or discussing how people who identify as gay are too public with their relationship. These are the reasons this poem stuck out to me because I was shocked yet excited that Parker decided to call out this type of hypocrisy. Continue reading “For the Straight Folks”

Straying Away from Tradition

In today’s society, we tend to stray away from thinking deeply about the food we eat in terms of where it comes from. Personally, I only think about what I am eating when I have heard negative reviews on the place I am eating from or how the food looks. It is even more rare that I consider how the food was processed in terms of hunting and how it was grown. I asked some of my friends how often they think about the food they eat and where it comes from. They explained to me how it’s rare that they think about where their food is coming from because eating is part of a daily routine. I agree with their responses for the most part because on a day to day basis, I am focusing more on making sure I eat throughout the day, not necessarily stressing what I am eating. Continue reading “Straying Away from Tradition”

Who’s Your Audience?

Upon learning that Mark Broomfield was attending one of our classes, I was excited because of my personal connection to dance. I have been dancing for years now and since being a student at Geneseo  have not had a chance to take one of his classes yet; therefore, I was anxious to see what he would teach us and how it would connect to Steve Prince’s art. We spent this class period moving around which is expected, but something one of my peers brought up inspired me to think about our everyday comfortability. In discussing the stereotypical feminine and masculine dance phrases/poses, Dr. Broomfield challenged us to push  against these stereotypes. In order to accomplish this my group decided that half of us would repeat the same sequence of the stereotyped feminine and masculine moves, and the other half would mirror the same moves but modify them to fit the other gender. The point of this exercise for me meant fighting stereotypes and becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable. Continue reading “Who’s Your Audience?”