Thursday, December 13, 2012


Without a doubt, here is the best thing I've created so far:

Sorry for the lack of posts, more coming soon!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Animal behavior

I've been interested in ideas related to home/habitat for awhile now. This probably started a few years ago when my own domestication occurred:) Now that I'm expecting a baby, I'm always intrigued by the ways other animals attract mates. I saw this story not too long ago and it reminded me of the male bower bird, known for making a swanky abode in order to attract a lady.

Checking his work

Finished product
This latest story is about a Japanese puffer fish who creates an intricate design on the sandy floor of the ocean in order to attract a lady and protect her eggs. The underwater photographer who first found this thought it was the work of an artist, since this was an unknown phenomenon.

Hard at work

Apparently the area in the middle is where the eggs go and the shapes around it are designed to protect the eggs from waves and currents. So smart!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Fall in Hayward

We were lucky enough to head up to northern Wisconsin about a month ago for our last road trip of the year. This summer was so hectic it felt wonderful to get out of the city and be surrounded by beautiful scenery and fresh air. We were at a house on a lake and we got to go out on a boat a few times which was so fun! We saw a bunch of eagles, cranes, and other fun wildlife. Here are a few digital images, still waiting for my film to be processed.

Gregory Crewdson Brief Encounters

Looking forward to seeing this documentary on the photographer Gregory Crewdson. I remember the first time I saw his photos in the 90's and was totally blown away by the cinematic quality. It will be interesting to see behind the scenes and learn more about his process.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Flying Lotus short film

This short film made for Flying Lotus directed by Kahlil Joseph is stunning! I will be showing this in my class tonight, looking forward to sharing it with my students.

Fredrik Åkum

Fredrik Åkum via Little Paper Planes

Berndnaut Smilde indoor clouds

These photographs by Berndnaut Smilde are just stunning! At first I assumed they were Photoshopped in but he actually created the vapor clouds inside and caught them on film. Awesome!

via Anthology Magazine

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

25@25- Marwen

This year is Marwen's 25th annniversary  and as a way to celebrate, they chose 25 people from the Marwen community (students, alumni, teaching artists, staff, board members, etc.) to highlight in a series of short videos. Mine was released this week, as embarrassing as it is to see myself on screen, I'm happy that I was able to talk about an organization that's very important to me!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Inspiring words from Coach Lyons

On the last day of one of Marwen's summer programs, called Art at Work, my colleague and the teaching artist for the program put these words from Joseph Campbell on the board to share with his students, many of whom were on their way to college. As a teacher, I come across words of wisdom fairly often but this resonated with me so I thought I'd share it here.
In case you can't read the photo, here's what it says:
  1. Have more questions than answers
  2. The most important questions are "What if?" and "Why not?"
  3. Learn not by speaking but by listening and trying
  4. Enjoy the process as much as the act of finishing
  5. You are more than what you make for a living/You are more than what you do for a living
  6. Use your talents for good
  7. Embrace challenge
Joseph Campbell- The Power of Myth

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

On the Road...again

It feels like I've been on the road a lot lately. It started with visiting old friends in central Illinois, then over Labor Day we drove south through Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina and this weekend we're on our way to northern Wisconsin for another long weekend. The mountains in West Virginia were really spectacular and it felt good to get away from the city for a bit and just be outside. Our first stop was Louisville which I am excited to return to! We stayed with some friends at the 21C Museum Hotel which I had heard about for years. I highly recommend it! The atmosphere is filled with contemporary art (not just in the galleries they have). But there was no sense of pretension, it was just really fun. Since I'm still editing most of my photos, here are a few from the hotel and from the road.

On the way to Farmer City, IL

The bar at 21C where I got tasty house made sodas while everyone else drank bourbon:)

The view from our window, ha!

These red penguins were all over the place, apparently this one had been naughty

Excuse the crappy iPhone photo, this was way cooler in person

Heading to West Virginia

Monday, August 27, 2012

the power of a thank you

I'm a firm believer in the importance of gratitude and saying "Thank You" when someone does something nice for you. Writing thank you notes after Christmas and birthdays wasn't always my favorite thing when I was little but I'm happy my parents taught me what a good habit this is.

Last week, many of the seniors at Marwen had their last day and are officially off to college. I received a thank you note from a student who I met when she was in 7th grade and had started taking classes at Marwen. I had to scan it in and share it here because there are few things more gratifying as a teacher than a genuine thank you from a student. Granted, this student is exceptional, she's had this wonderful attitude since I first met her so many years ago. This really made my day!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Century of the Child

Artifacts from PeeWee's Playhouse
Century of the Child
Growing by Design 

This is the title of a new exhibition at MOMA. I read this article in the New York Times about it and was intrigued. I wish I could just hop a plane to check it out! Luckily, MOMA has a fantastic interactive website for this exhibition. It features tons of images and information.

A toy designed by Vit Grus

The exhibition is organized chronologically in the following categories:

New Century, New Child, New Art 1900s-1910s

Avant-Garde Playtime 1910s-1930s

Light, Air, Health 1920s-1930s

Children and the Body Politic 1920s-1940s

Regeneration 1940s-1960s

Power Play 1960s-1990s

Designing Better Worlds 1960s- 2000s

Monday, August 6, 2012

Marwen Lab

It's hard to believe we finished our 4th year of Marwen Lab in May! I'm so happy I've been involved since the beginning with this program. To see it grow, take shape and become much more effective and refined over the years has been extremely gratifying. We had our first student, Emily,  who had taken 3 straight years of Marwen Lab graduate this year. It's always tough and this year we had 18 seniors out of 28 students! I am so proud of all of them and can't wait to see what they accomplish in the years to come. As I start a family this Fall, I'll be quitting my staff position at Marwen and continuing on as a freelance teaching artist. I am so excited to start this new chapter and am happy I can still continue to teach and be a part of the community.
Here are some photos from the exhibition, the top one is during our last class of students doing a post-it note critique. The next three are details of Emily's art work. I find them so beautiful and thought provoking. This is a small sampling of her project but you get the idea.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Calaveras Big Trees

We didn't do much on our trip to California other than lots of lounging outside, walks, and visiting with family, which was just what we needed. We did take one excursion to the Calaveras Big Trees state park though which was AMAZING. I'm a fan of trees and this park has lots of giant redwoods and sequoias which you just have to see in person. We smelled the park before we saw it, the pine and redwood smell was out of this world. I try to breathe it in as much as possible to counterbalance me walking on stinky Western ave so much:) Anyway, here's some photos I took on my phone, still waiting to process the film I shot.

enormous pinecone!

my p's

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The little things

Don't know if it's because of this little person growing inside of me but I've been noticing lots of teeny tiny things lately. Here's a sampling.

adorable colored pencils at Marwen

my first peppers!

book by my former student Samantha Serrano, now studying photo at U of I