Category Archives: Fine Arts in Motion Fall 2019

Stories from Dr. Collins class Fall of 2019 for FAA 110

Abstract Art at its Finest [Makeup Event]

Written by: Benjamin Tan

The art talk this time was entirely on abstract art. This was one area that I could not understand or appreciate.

However, after the art talk, I was much more informed on how to actually appreciate abstract art. These are the few tips I would like to share with you!

Firstly, it is the biography of the artist. Understanding where they came from and how they were raised from young can really give you a depiction of what kind of abstract they will be painting and also what is the effect that they want to draw out from their painting.

Secondly, It is the brush strokes. If you start to lean in and observe each of the abstract painting, you can start to see the different gestures that were used in each of the brush strokes. This makes viewing the abstract art even more interesting as you start to ponder what kind of emotions the artist was having when he/she did that brush stroke on this corner of the painting.

Thirdly, which is the most interesting is the grid. Every abstract art will always have a formula for a grid. Some questions that can help facilitate your pondering of the art will be is the grid dominating the whole painting? Is the grid symmetrical or is it distorted?

During the art show, there were 3 abstract paintings that were showcased.

Louise Fishman Abstract Art, 1995

For Louise Fishman, one thing really unique about her art is that the brush strokes were actually many different objects that were removed from the painting to give that really special brush stroke to the abstract art.

Purvis Young Abstract Art, 1990

For Purvis Young, he will use any kind of material and objects in his abstract and as shown above, he used carpet this time round for his abstract art.

 McArthur Binion Abstract Art, 1990

For McArthur Binion, the interesting fact of his abstract was that he used his own birth certificate for all the 4-inch squares in the art. Also, if you look more closely, you will actually see an oval in the painting too!

Overall, I was really glad to go for this art talk to learn about the wondrous world of abstract art.

Art Since 1948 – History of Abstract Art

Written by: Laura Chong

How do we tell stories? For these 3 artists, their stories were told through abstract art. Integrated with their life experiences in the 1900s, these are truly interesting art pieces.

Art talk series: 3 artists & their abstract art pieces

This art talk made me appreciate abstract art so much more. I realized they are about the engagement of materials, the process when creating the art piece and the stories you are trying to tell.

Artist 1: Louise Fishman, 1995

Louise Fishman is a Russian Jewish Lesbian woman who arrived in New York in the 1960s. Her abstract expressionism emphasizes black, white and minimalism. In this painting, she used different materials to transfer the paint away from the canvas. I could see a woman leaning backwards, which could be a representation of herself and the society.

Artist 2: Purvis Young, 1990

Purvis Young is a African American self taught artist. His life mission was to visualize injustice, therefore, he studied protest art. His style of painting was the use of anything as a canvas, including plywood. In this painting, he used carpet as the borders and painted on a plywood. The ship could represent a move into a collective society.

Artist 3: McArthur Binion, 1990

McArthur Binion is a African American born in 1956. He has a DNA series where he used materials that tells his story into his work. In this painting, he teared up his birth certificate and used it in the grids. There is an oval drawn in the middle which represents how the background and foreground is playing with each other – just like our life stories.

All in all, abstract paintings take a long process and is very labored. There are a lot of thoughts put into it and it is up to individuals on how you interpret the painting. I really enjoyed this art talk as it opened up my mind to a much deeper world of abstract art.

Makeup: Cariñosa at Multicultural Night

Written by Danielle Herrera

Various cultural-based student organizations perform and showcase their talents in front of a large student section at the Ikenberry.

On a quiet Thursday night, the Multicultural Advocates of Ikenberry South held its regular Multicultural Night in the IKE multipurpose room. The event was filled with performances from different cultural organizations, along with free shirts, food, and information about different cultures. Performances ranged from dancing K-pop to singing national anthems to reciting poetry; through it all, the unique aspects of each culture being represented definitely shone through each display of talent. In addition, the large crowd was noticeably diverse; people of all different backgrounds and colors came out to support their fellow classmates in representing their heritage and what their culture means to them.

I attended the multicultural night as a performer from PSA, or the Philippine Student Association organization here at UIUC. We danced the Cariñosa, which is a traditional Philippine folk dance that was derived from Hispanic roots. Cariñosa means loving or affectionate when translated in English, which is exactly the impression that this dance gives off; the movements of the Cariñosa are flirty and romantic, and with the addition of long flowy skirts and fans the such gestures are emphasized. Our dance in total was around 5 minutes long, beginning with the introductory bows to our partners and ending with the men and women holding up a handkerchief and facing the audience in a cheerful demeanor. The performance was quite simple and short, however it was still a very enjoyable experience.

Overall, I loved attending the Multicultural night; being able to watch students perform their culture’s traditional dances, songs, etc. reminded me how diverse UIUC is, and made me feel more welcomed on campus. In addition, I’ve only performed one other traditional Filipino dance so it was a nice experience to learn a different type of folk dance and be able to show it to others who embrace their culture as well. I’m glad the MA’s were able to hold an event like this, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone interested in learning more about other cultures here at UIUC.

For more information on the multicultural advocates who held this event, visit

Makeup: FACT Variety Show

Written by Danielle Herrera

A multitude of performers including UIUC’s Filipino Cultural Dance group showcase a wide range of talents at the Foellinger Auditorium.

On November 9, 2019 the University of Illinois’s Philippine Student Association held its 27th Annual FACT conference in Urbana, Champaign. FACT, or Filipino Americans Coming Together, is a large event that invites Filipinos from colleges across the Midwest to celebrate their culture and heritage. It is a 3 day long conference that involves a variety of different workshops, social gatherings, and an infamous variety show. The FACT variety show provides different universities the opportunity to showcase their talents, whether it be dancing, singing, or even reciting poetry. In addition, famous special guests are invited to perform making the variety show an event that many anticipate to attend.

Women villagers attacking abats (center)

This year, I was able to participate in FACT’s variety show as a part of Barkada, UIUC’s cultural Filipino dance group. We performed a dance that depicted ancient creatures called abats, supernatural beasts originating from Filipino folklore. Abats are said to be beautiful maiden by day, but monstrous creatures by night; with large bat-like wings and sharp fangs, abats were thought to roam around villages reeking havoc amongst the people. Our dance portrayed a story in which 3 maidens are poisoned and transform into abats, but are later fought and killed by the the men and women villagers. The whole performance traditional Filipino garments, sticks, spears, and much more.

Dancers backstage after performance

I think this dance was a fun but challenging experience. I have never participated in Filipino cultural dance before, but I was eager to learn more about my heritage and my roots. Initially, I struggled maintaining the specific postures that are essential to most traditional Filipino dances such as this one; for example, it is required that you keep your chin raised at a 90 degree angle with your eyes pointed downwards so the whites of the eyes are not seen. This posture is necessary for all women to sustain throughout the entire performance, with only a few exceptions. Small details such as these were enforced in order to accurately portray Filipino cultural dancing, and ultimately play a large role in traditional dance competitions such as the Battle of the Bamboo (which Barkada competes in every year). Overall, this performance required months of practices and rehearsals; however it was worth it, because not only did it teach me more about Filipino cultural dancing but through the process I was able to meet an amazing group of people and share a wonderful experience with them.

For more information about FACT, visit

Illinois Modern Ensemble – Sound of the War

Written by Zhengqi Xu

Illinois Modern Ensemble is a show that I only had little understanding of, and I was trying my best to learn the meaning of it.

Big crowd of people coming for the show

The show consisted of 5 parts which featured different style of playing and some local singers. The whole melody of the first part was the frightening to be honest. I don’t know if I am the only peoson who thought in that way, but I really felt uncomfortable sitting there listening them playing music which was so scary.

List of the 5 parts

However, I started to understand a little bit of what the show was about during the second part of the show. The second part was called Philosykos and it tells the story of the war. Basically, the story was about how war is cruel and thousands of corpses lie. So, I thought maybe the show was trying to be scarstic about how war play a role in people’s history.

People clapping when the show ended

The rest parts of the show was much the same of the first two parts. The music was frightening and made me feel nervous the whole time. But, this show was another one that I had never seen before, and I highly appreciate this opportunity.

Nature of Forgetting

Jake Xiao


The Natural of Forgetting, a show currently in the UK and around the world, is performed in Krannert center. The Natural of Forgetting talks about the story of Tom, a father who is struggling in the early stages of dementia with many early life memories, such as schools, graduation, weddings, daughter’s birth.

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[MAKEUP EVENT] Unforgettable CSO symphony concert

Written by Nicole Miao

At the beginning of this semester, I flipped through the calendar of events and found the scheduled performance of Chicago Symphony Orchestra on campus. I am afraid that it would be hard to get a ticket when it is accessible, and because I have never been an usher at the performance before, I signed up as an usher for this performance.

Selecting my section
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By Jessica. Moreno

Program and ticket

On November 12, at the Krannert Center for the performing arts Theatre RE performed “The Nature Of Forgetting”. Which was an amazing performance about a middle-aged father who is struggling in the early stages of dementia. It talks about his memories and what he is forgetting.

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