Tag Archives: art

Final Reflection of One Amazing Semester

Written by Zeying Lang

FAA 110 is one of the most inspiring classes I have ever taken. It lets me experience different types of arts and allows me to explore the possibilities of artworks and exhibitions. I still remembered that we took a tour in Krannert Center, and that’s the first time that I actually realize how amazing Krannert Center is. I learned how much preparation work needs to be done before a show is presented on the stage. And I also learned the different purposes and design concepts in each performance hall, and the story behind the establishments of Krannert Center. So many performances are happening each day here. It is a bridge that connects the artists and people who love arts from all around the world to share their thoughts of arts. 😊

Shanghai Ballet: Butterfly Lovers 

https://otso.h.media.illinois.edu/wp-admin/post.php?post=16182&action=edit

Photo by Zeying Lang
Photo by Zeying Lang

The first performance we watched together this semester is the Ballet dance from Shanghai that tells an ancient love tragedy in China. It was absolutely a fantastic experience since I know this story when I was only a child. I was amazed by how they used their body movements to express their feelings and tell the story to the audience who are not familiar with the story. The ending scene: the transfer from human to butterflies was imposing and a little bit romanticism.  

Step-Africa!

https://otso.h.media.illinois.edu/wp-admin/post.php?post=16404&action=edit

Photo by Zeying Lang
Photo by Zeying Lang

This is the first time for me to watch a performance that used body percussions as the beats. When the performers and dancers show the audience how to clap and make the moves with them, the audience could also be involved in this show. What impressed me the most in this performance is the passion conveyed by the dancer’s body movements. The dancing crew has incredible cooperation, and their moves are synchronizing. The sound they generate is their beats, and the drum in the show is a symbol of freedom.

Somi 

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Photo by Zeying Lang
Photo by Zeying Lang

Somi was born and raised in Champaign, Illinois. After she becomes an outstanding artist and musician, she comes back to her hometown, and share her thoughts and philosophies of life with people. Her music is unique, and her arts could inspire people. She unites her own stories and feelings in her music, and her art not only relaxes the audience but also brings inspiration to the audience. I really appreciate the thoughts she shared. I remembered that it was a hard school day for me, but the voice and music of Somi really made me feel relaxed and relived.

Anna Deavere Smith 

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Photo by Zeying Lang

I had an exam that day, so I went to the Talk with Anna Deavere Smith and Julia Wolfe. Anna Deavere Smith said she’s been caring about the hunger problems of children, and she believes that more attention should be given to the children and the new generations. She shared her experience of how she entered the media business and how she dealt with the challenges she met in her career. It was absolutely an inspiration from her about how young artists should face the rapid changes in the current world, and how they could impact the world positively by using the strength of art. As an experienced artist in media, she encourages young artists to express their opinions about politics, and she says, “every significant change starts with a small step.” 

Romeo and Juliet

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Photo by Zeying Lang

Due to the impact of COVID-19, all university classes have transformed into online sessions. Though many of the events got canceled, it is lucky that we could still enjoy high quality shows from home on the University’s media library. The reason I chose Romeo and Juliet as my first virtual performance is that we watched the Butterfly Lovers at the beginning of the semester, and some may say that it is the eastern world version of “Romeo and Juliet.” This version that I chose is also quite different from the classic version of Romeo and Juliet: it is modified to happen in the current society. The transition from traditional to modern is exciting. Some designs are made on the costumes of the characters to show their personalities. The surprise of this show is that the modern version adds a little humor in this play.

The Container 

https://otso.h.media.illinois.edu/wp-admin/post.php?post=17281&action=edit

Photo by Zeying Lang
Photo by Zeying Lang

This event brings me a new understanding of how shows could be made. Everything happens in one scene: a container. All the background and stories are conveyed to the audience by the talks among characters. At the end of the show, I realized that the audience, photographers, and actors are all in this container. The audience could watch the actors’ performances in person, and I couldn’t help thinking about how cool that could be!

The Metamorphosis

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Photo by Zeying Lang

Adapted from Franz Kafka’s novella, the story tells the tale of how a salesman is transformed into an insect, and how his families change their attitudes towards him before and after the transform. One word I could use to describe this show is delicate. There are only a few simple props and scene sets on the stage, and it is tough to show the transition from a man to an insect. However, the excellent Japanese actors used their exaggerated facial expressions and body movements to convince the audience and bring the audience into this story. The man who played the salesman is really a great artist.

The Nutcracker 

https://otso.h.media.illinois.edu/wp-admin/post.php?post=17304&action=edit

Photo by Zeying Lang
Photo by Zeying Lang

I’ve watched several versions of The Nutcracker, but the one presented by the Royal ballet from the British is the best one I’ve seen. I love how fancy the scenes are set, and each detail of the props and the costumes are perfect. The skills of the ballet dancers are startling. My favorite scene is when the prince takes Marie to the Candy Kingdom, all the toys start dancing to welcome them. All these toys are alive, and many of them are exotic. Chinese tea, hot chocolate, coffee from Arabia, candy canes and mother ginger, and etc. The solos and duets are definitely eye-catching. As this is the last event of this semester, I chose the same types of art as the first event of the semester to make a sweet end. 

Thank you! FAA110! 🌹

An Empty Stage That Is Full

“Sometimes I feel discouraged and think my work’s in vain, but then the Holy Spirit revives my soul again.

Written by Jackie Dominguez

This past month has been the hardest without a doubt. Today I think it’s safe to say is one of top 5 hardest days in my life. Needless to say, the world keeps on spinning and I need to finish my assignments for the year. When I clicked on the link to the dance performance of Virago-Man Dem, I didn’t know that a performance during this hard time would provide me with a comfort that I didn’t think was possible to have in a time like this.

I would’ve never imagined I would be watching a performance like Virago-Man Dem in my living room, but here we are.
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CultureTalk with Anna Deveare Smith and Julia Wolfe

Written by Zeying Lang

As an actress, playwright, and professor, Anna Deveare Smith, cares about the issues of how contemporary art confronts the crises that are emerging in the current world. This time, she brought her good friend, Julia Wolfe, a reputed musician and composer, to give this fantastic Culture Talk with the opportunities to communicate with the audience. Together, they talked about how art can be involved in dealing with the world crisis, and what possible changes that art could bring to the world.

Retrieved from https://krannertcenter.com/events/culturetalk-anna-deavere-smith-and-julia-wolfe-artists-voice-times-crisis
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Music and Art

Farewell to FAA 110 and all the amazing experiences

Jessica Moreno

FAA 110 has been an amazing class. Before I started the class I was very closed to trying new things and I just wanted to stay in my comfort zone, but ever since this class started I realized that I should try new things to see what I like. This has truly been one of my favorite classes, and I really like how the class was set up. I’m not sure what I was expecting when I signed up but it sure wasn’t what I got. My advisor had told me it was just an easy course to get credits, and I had signed up just for that reason but my outcome was amazing from this class. I met new people, I experienced thing that on my own I know I would have never done and I went to places that when I first got here I thought I would go once or twice, but I ended up going 10+. This was an amazing class and I am glad I got to take it and experience what I did.

These are the events I attended:

-Buddy Guy

-Chris Botti

-Jennifer Monson

-Baile Latino

-Homecoming Concert

-Wynton Marsalis

Tiger

-The Nature of Forgetting

Farewell to FAA 110

Written by Ashleigh Cox

The first photo I took at KCPA!

As ready as I am for the upcoming semester to begin, I’m going to be very sad to leave behind FAA 110. Anyone of my peers has heard me talk about this class at least eight times because I enjoyed it so much. Having a class that was more focused on making me think about the different parts that go into performance and had very little work to go with it was very good for my mental health and the first semester of my college career.

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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.

Radioactive Art (Make-Up Event #2)

Written by Ashleigh Cox

A wall of photos in the exhibit!

Krannert Art Museum’s second ArtTalk discussed the way we get rid of nuclear waste. The curator, Lilah Leopold, focused on a few different pieces and explained the intention of the exhibit from the artists’ point of view.

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First-Ever Art Talk at KAM! (Make-Up Event #1)

Written by Ashleigh Cox

KAM from the outside!

I went to the Krannert Art Museum’s first-ever Art Talk and learned a lot about African Art and it’s movement throughout the Western world. The curator talked about several pieces from different regions as well as their significance to the cultures they originally came from.

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Spirit of “Dance”

Written by Nicole Miao

Although this workshop was titled “Dance”, it was more like a journey about our soul. It gave me plenty of time to feel my inner changes and explore the deeper philosophical implications of art.

People gathered outside the KAM

We stopped outside Krannert Art Museum and Ms. Monson requested us to close our eyes and feel which direction is north. Then we each looked for and turned to the direction of our hometown. Ms. Monson let us feel the sounds from a distance or close by, looking for objects that emitted these sounds, and moving in the direction of their movement. In such a quiet environment, I clearly heard the rumble of cars driving across the road, the rustle of wind blowing through the leaves, and the screaming of birds in the sky, which made me feel relaxed and calm down.

A three-minute “Dance” experience

After entering the museum, Ms. Monson took us to a gallery and let us find a partner. Each person had three minutes to close their eyes and do whatever they want. I chose to lie on the ground and stretch my body, which made me feel comfortable because I usually sit to study and my back could not be relaxed.

I was observing an artwork

In the third session, Ms. Monson asked us to choose one from different activities and work with our partner. My partner and I wanted to observe and draw the life cycle of the material of a work of art. We chose a painting, and I thought about where the oil paint came from. I painted the process I imagined on paper to share with others.

Drawing by me and my partner

This workshop was so unique that I couldn’t find a similar event. I was very grateful for this special experience, which taught me a new way of feeling art.