Kenneth Bivens, the creator of the artwork, told me his art was to represent the forgotten stories, the stories that have been thrown away and given up on. His art shows the mix of black culture that doesn’t get enough respect.
The Myths of KUTULIZA GHASIA. I was blessed to go see a friend’s artwork on December 5th at The Union. It was nice to see the world through a friend’s eyes. His use of superheroes and 90’s basketball references seem like a good representation of his personality. I have never been so lucky to see a friend’s art exhibit so when I heard about this opportunity I jumped at it. His use of city and environment was organic and elevated the fiction of black heroism.
I am not sure how many art pieces there were but I enjoyed all of them. As a fan of comic books and comic book movies and tv shows, the importance of black superheroes weighs on my mind. I am pretty new to the comic book world and I am always looking for new comic books to read and I rarely am able to find comic book characters that look like me. There were photos inspired by The Flash and the rainbow bridge in Asgard, the superhero Thor’s home.
I was able to speak with the artist about why he made the decisions to use wooden boards for his different works. He told me it was to look like the art had been discarded; as if the stories were “not good enough.” I thought that was an interesting choice and I am happy I asked about these choices because it gave great insight into the entire purpose of the art and into what he was trying to achieve. It seemed as if he was a historian for stories of the past and brought them to light for those who were unable to see there existence.
A semester filled with music, dance, performances, and laughter has finally come to an end.
Back in high school I was always interested in the arts and humanities, and I wanted to make sure that I continued to cultivate these passions of mine in college. Unfortunately, during registration day I found that the majority of courses that were interesting to me were already full. So, on a whim I decided to register for FAA 110, a course that not only completed one of my general education requirements but also was held just downstairs in my residential hall. Given only the description “Exploring Arts & Creativity”, I was unsure if I would enjoy this class mainly because I had no idea what it entailed. I had the premonition that FAA 110 would be another art history that was tolerable, but not particularly exciting; fortunately, I was incredibly mistaken.
When I found out that the main curriculum of FAA 110 required us to watch performances and write about them, I was pleasantly surprised. As a student who was involved in music and theater, I have always enjoyed watching live performances and was extremely eager to see these events on a larger scale. My excitement was not unwarranted; in general, almost every event I went to for FAA 110 was memorable in some shape or form. Certain snapshots of plays or songs by musicians will always be remembered in my mind, along with the emotion that it evoked within me. Here are just a few of these special moments:
Overall, this class gave me the opportunity to experience events that I would never even think of attending. It allowed me to expand my perception of the idea of performance and what constitutes as art. I loved each and every performance, and I can proudly say that through all the singing, dancing, and acting my passion in the arts has been revived. I will forever be grateful to have experienced all these memorable events especially with such a wonderful group of people.
The new Drag Queen exhibit at Spurlock Museum catches everyone’s eye through brilliant colored fabrics and and show-stopping ensembles .
This past week I was able to visit one of Spurlock Museum’s new exhibits, “In Her Closet: How to make a Drag Queen.” When I walked into the museum, this exhibit was the first to call my attention, specifically because of its outrageous colors scattered everywhere. There was a runway located in the center of the space that held numerous mannequins dressed complete in wigs and drag attire. In addition, smaller cases featuring jewelry and borrowed items from actual drag queens are displayed along the walls. The overall feel of the room was vibrant and invigorating, which was most likely created to be a parallel to the energy given off by real-life drag queens.
A piece that I found myself studying was a replica of the costume worn by Ma. Arte Susya Purisima Tolentino. I was initially drawn to it because its style varied drastically from the other dresses displayed in the exhibit. Instead of being flashy or revealing, this mannequin was dressed extremely conservatively, covered head to toe in all white fabric. This attire seemed to contradict the more popular sparkly attire worn by drag queens; however, as I took a closer look at the description on the wall I came to realization as to why this dress was the way it was. Maria Arte Susya Purisima Tolentino, the drag queen who wore this dress, is of Filipino heritage just like me. For that reason, I was easily able to identify the traditional Filipino aspects that were incorporated within this dress, such as the classic butterfly sleeves and head wrap. And yet, the overall conservative aspect of this dress most likely stems from the fact the Filipinos are known to be extremely devout Catholics, and dressing appropriately was a necessary part of the church life. In general, I thought this piece was extremely interesting because I was able to draw information and connect my own heritage to the artist to be able to understand the work on a deeper level.
Overall, I greatly enjoyed visiting “Into Her Closet: How to Make a Drag Queen.” The pieces were all captivating and extremely entertaining to read more about, and I can confidently say that if I had the chance I would visit the exhibit again, even in my own free time. I loved the experience and I would definitely recommend this museum to anyone who would like to see first hand what this fascinating art form is all about.
FAA 110 has been one of the most fantastic classes of my college life and I can say it safely that I shall never forget this class. Professor Collins and Professor Robinson have always been enthusiastic about us and anything that happened in class. For a student who was originally not into art, after all, this class helped me start learning and appreciating any forms of artwork. Overall, I have been enjoyed this class a lot, and I can’t help but feel sad about the end of the semester that I have to say goodbye to FAA 110. Also, I would recommend any students at the University of Illinois to take FAA 110 and this class does not require any prerequisite but it gives people a direct understanding of what art is. Thinking about the fact that I could be no longer linked to FAA 110 anymore after this blog, all the memories about this class popped up in my mind over and over again. Thank FAA 110 for a wonderful experience.
Buddy Guy was the first-ever event from FAA 110 that I watched. I liked the way Buddy Guys made Jazz music a more modern way for us all, which could be a better way for students and young adults to accept.
Chris Botti was bringing Jazz back to a traditional style after I watched Buddy Guy a week before the show. It was an enjoyment for me and Chris Botti was active during the show. He kept interacting with the audience and made the mood light inside the theatre.
Home was a show that opened my mind. I’ve never seen a show that invited plenty of audience onto the stage to perform. All the actors successfully handled the relationship with the audience and made it my favorite show ever.
The dance workshop was more of an event that we can all participate. Jennifer talked to be for half an hour about how to appreciate artwork from all kinds of different to learn the diversified characteristics of the author’s ideas.
Tiger was a completely different kind of performance from any other shows that I watched. The speaker was trying to speak directly to us about the relationship between humans and nature through the media, tiger.
Illinois Modern Ensemble was an event that made me feel scared. I’m sorry that I have to describe the event this way, but I only felt like leaving the show when the band started playing. However, after I read the songs, I realized that the songs the band was playing were related to the wars theme, which made me understand the event was meant to imply the cruelness of wars.
The Campus and University Band was a show that made me feel proud to be a student at the University of Illinois. Although there were not plenty of people there to watch them perform, the music could be comparable to the world-class band from my perspective.