45th Annual Art Auction

Britt Donahue-Asst. A&L

Photos by Britt Donahue

This past Friday, Dec. 1, the Rhode Island College Art Club put on their 45th annual fundraiser. This event, consisting of a silent auction, a live auction and a few raffles, help the club fund their yearly spring trip to New York City. All auction items are donated by current RIC students, alumni, and staff.

Photos by Britt Donahue

The live auction was kicked off with a few words from the club treasurer, Sherly Torres. Kathi Bacon, the coordinator of external events, reprised her role as auctioneer. Bacon did a fantastic job keeping the audience excited, entertained, and most importantly- bidding! The club was excited to match their earnings from last year, despite having significantly fewer pieces donated. Last year 400 pieces were auctioned off, this year they had 130 pieces.

Photos by Britt Donahue

Thank you to all the artists and volunteers who helped make this night a success. I’m looking forward to auction number 46.  

“Ladybird” Soars Beyond

Mary Ellen Fernandez-Anchor Staff

In her latest directorial endeavor, Greta Gerwig gives audiences a coming of age film that will make them cry, laugh and hopefully give their mother a call. “Ladybird”, depicts the story of a young teenage girl growing up in Sacramento, California on the “wrong side of the tracks.” The leading Ladybird, played by Saoirse Ronan, is the epitome of an angst ridden, misunderstood teen who is preparing to make the transition into young adulthood. The film is able to naturally display the complex, intense and unbreakable bond that both mother and daughter share. Marion McPherson (Laurie Metcalf) is the matriarch grappling with financial issues as well as the shaky relationship she has with her daughter, Christine, better known as Ladybird.

Photo courtesy of A24 Films

Although the film casts a light on the plight and plunder of teenage love, do not be mistaken, this movie is centered around life as a teenage girl. Gerwig is able to spectacularly allow the main character’s love interests to play a small role in Ladybird’s story. That is, the film addresses issues such as sex, age, friendship, school, religion, love, hate and much more, all without focusing directly on one particular thing. This allows the character to bring the audience through a series of moments of life, the simplicity and the complexity of it all.

The true beauty of this film comes from the main character, who you can hate and love all the same because she will remind yourself of you. The story is so real and so true, capturing the confusion and struggles that come along with being an adolescent. The subtlety is endearing and marvelous. While most coming of age films require a thickening plot and center around a boy, Ladybird allows for a story to be told about a girl and her world. A lovely film to watch and speak upon, Greta Gerwig has once again shown that she is the master of the unspoken language of women.   

Rating: A+

Forever/Fornever

Britt Donahue-Asst. A&L

The rapid changes technology has brought to our daily lives have left many artists with questions about what this increasing digitization means for humanity. What do we lose when the majority of our social interactions take place on a screen? And what do we gain when distance is irrelevant? What does a life look like when it takes place virtually?

Back in October, Rhode Island College hosted a digital art exhibition in the Bannister Gallery called “Forever/Fornever.” The exhibition, curated by artist Chris Romero featured talented artists from around the world; Morehshin Allahyari, Jacob Ciocci, Kenta Cobayashi, Terrell Davis, exonemo, Miao Ying, Akihiko Taniguchi, Lu Yang, and RIC’s very own (Frank) Wang Yefeng.

Forever/Fornever showcased art created using new digital media technology, resulting in art that looks very different from anything before it. For his take on what it’s all about, I contacted Romero to ask him a few questions.

What can you tell me about yourself, your art and your experience on curating new media shows?

I work primarily as a curator and writer focusing on new media art. Another way to describe this type of work is time-based media, or simply media art. I’m interested in how technology and digital culture shapes and changes our lives in social and political contexts. I am particularly interested in learning more about art outside of a western perspective.

Briefly describe the Forever/Fornever show.

Forever Fornever came about following a research residency I participated in while in Tokyo. The show is about observing the lines between the physical world and the virtual world. Oftentimes we think our lives in these two realms is separate, but I would argue that at this point the two have completely merged. Of course, many individuals don’t use technology and some do not even have the internet, but for a majority of people living in major cities, media influences life in a way that it never has even in the past ten years. So Forever Fornever, is about those borders between two realms, but also about breaking down international borders, and about the border between the present and future, which I also view as blended together.

What is new/digital media art, and why is important in the artworld?

Hmm, this is a big question.

Foremost, I believe new media art is different from digital art. Digital art falls into the category of new media art, and new media art falls into the category of media art. I consider any artwork that utilizes technology in some way as media art. To me, technology is not reserved to things you can buy at an electronics store. It can be a car, or forks and knives. However, new media art can be described as works using video, television monitors, and other devices. Generally these two things “new media art” and “media art” are analog. Whereas, digital art is of course digital. Digital art requires technology as we often describe it – computers, cell phones, the internet, and so forth.

Joseph Beuys as a sculptor and media artist for using ephemeral fat.

Nam June Paik as a new media artist for using old televisions.

Lu Yang is a digital artist who uses high-definition and computer animation software.

I don’t like to prescribe to definitions too often, and using the word “new” to describe something is often silly, but, these terms are useful when we speak. They do however help to describe different moments in time.

Time-based media is a more proper term as it is about how the artwork changes radically over time. Generally, artworks in this category need much more care in terms of conservation when compared to a painting or sculpture. The works are fragile or ephemeral, in a temporal and spatial sense. They can change in appearance depending on the type of room you put them in or the type of display they are played on.

I’m not sure these types of artworks are important to the “artworld” per se. The art world is often driven by fads and economic factors. For the artworld, maybe this type of art can at times provide spectacle and variety, but certainly many people in the artworld avoid these types of art. That is often because they don’t understand it, it is too complicated, too difficult to exhibit, or because they come from a background that dictates painting as the one true art form. Maybe then, it is important to the artworld as a way to destroy conventions of what art is or can be.

More importantly, media works are important to the world in general. These types of works can bring new visitors into museums and galleries, it can show possibilities and break this notion of high and low culture in and outside of art. The best media works can also talk about social and political issues in ways that other art forms cannot. I suggest viewing Rafael Lozano Hemmer’s “Level of Confidence” in this regard. Media art is important because it speaks to the times we live in. It shows us that art does not have to be only reserved for painting and sculpture. Any material can be a creative medium.

What is your inspiration and influence as new media curator?

It has changed from time to time. There was a moment I was very interested in video games as an artistic medium. I focused a lot on installation art and interactive/participatory art.

I still enjoy artwork with these components, but increasingly I am interested in illustration and animation. Recently, especially in regards to the political climate in the US and the “artworld” I have taken an interested in working with artists from outside of the US. I especially want to work with artists outside of western ideologies and conventions. I want to break down borders and work with emerging and underrepresented artists.

What’s your thought process when you start curating a show?

I think about my own experiences in daily life, what am I concerned about? Death, love, an iPhone addiction? I see my digital life being deeply connected to my everyday mundane life. Reading fiction also deeply affects my inspiration for exhibitions.

Pop culture? Y2k? 9-11? How much do they influence your curatorial project?

These topics definitely influence my projects because they are things I have seen and experienced on a daily basis.

Pop culture is always a factor. But it isn’t common pop culture like listening to a Kanye West song. As an example, I’m currently working in Korea and I’m fascinated by how the local culture in Seoul uses the messaging app Kakao. A friend of mine named Yaloo is also creating a works about the imagery from Korean make up commercials.

Y2K influences me the least out of these topics, but I’m sure it is there. That time period was strange, seeing the millennium change. But it is certainly overshadowed (rightfully so) by 9/11. Maybe Y2K is kind of poetic then, everyone was expecting either the world to collapse from technology or that we would enter the millennium like Will Smith’s song, with flash and pop. Instead we got 9/11, followed by the economic crash, followed by our world today run by fear.

I can’t say how these things affect my curatorial work outright. I was pretty young when 9/11 happened. I didn’t even know what curating was back then. But, I certainly have spoken to most people in my life about where they were that day. And that day certainly affected politics and the world we live in today.

What can you tell us about the kissing tv? What was your influence? Are there any other pieces you want to talk about?

Well, this work is made by the Japanese artist duo Exonemo. They’re well known throughout Asia, but haven’t really cracked the shell of NYC yet. They began working together in the 90s producing all types of things. The piece is meant to be humorous, but it is also a deep observation of how our lives – in their intimacy or coldness – has changed due to cell phones, Skype, and so forth. My influence in featuring that artwork in the exhibition was to make a clear statement that our relationships have changed drastically due to digital technologies. The way we fall in or out of love is dictated by devices. Is this way of living, with cell phones in our pocket and WiFi in the air, going to be permanent or temporary?

The post-internet is a popular term in new media art work. How does it relate to your show since there are works in the show using internet or web as a platform?  

In the exhibition, I think only Miao Ying and Terrell Davis might be considered as post-internet artists. But I’m not sure to be honest. They’re work is highly digital and has a “digital” aesthetic. But I wouldn’t say they are. Brian Droitcour’s article “The Perils of Post-Internet Art” in “Art In America” is a nice summation of my views on the term. I think the term is a bit challenging. Who gets to say what is or isn’t that type of art? And what kind of person makes it? And it gets dicey because if we are basing it off of that, we could also be thinking about race, gender, and so forth. Who gets to be a post-internet artist, and what if you don’t want to be considered one?

It feels at times like a blanket-term for anyone born after the internet, but I know that isn’t what it is. And now it feels like museums and curators use it as a term to basically describe millennials who make art with computers or print objects with photoshop gradients. So, this feels like a bit of ageism, where the old is scoffing at what those young kids are doing. But the other side of that are people using the word in a way that sounds like a “cool-kids club” sort of thing. You might not get to fit in the term, but you want to. So you put your screen on the floor and add some house plants.

New media, time-based media, and digital art are more about genre. Whereas post-internet art seems to be more about a style or aesthetic. It’s kind of like being a painter who is a fauvist. But even those terms come with their own problems. I imagine many post-internet artists would hate to be called a new media artist or time-based media artist, even if that is that is the museum department that would collect their artwork.

What are you working on now?

Now I am finishing up a residency in Seoul! I don’t have many big plans other than traveling and reevaluating what I want to do and focus on. I enjoy being in Korea, and learning about the artists here. I think the best thing I can do is see the world and meet artists from different backgrounds and identities that are not my own.

 

If you want to see the Forever/Fornever exhibit for yourself, go to

www.romerochris.com/foreverfornever.

“The one” known as The Punisher

Sara Massa-Anchor Staff

Graphic by Andre Glover

Netflix has done well in the Marvel realm. In the past two and a half years, five different series have appeared and expanded the superhero universe. “Daredevil” started it off in April of 2015 and since then we’ve had “Jessica Jones,” “Luke Cage,” “Iron Fist,” and the just recently released “The Defenders,” featuring the heroes from the first four shows. Now Netflix is at it again with the long-awaited trailer for “The Punisher.” We’ve already had a look into the character of Frank Castle played by Jon Bernthal from his season long appearance on “Daredevil,” but now we get to see how brutal and rage-filled the Punisher really is.

The trailer starts with Frank living in the memories he had with his kids and wife, when all of the sudden we are pushed into the reason behind his rage: the murder of his family. The trailer shows Frank really adopted his new persona as “The Punisher” as he goes after the people that took his family from him while also staying underground, away from the government agencies currently after him, including the CIA, FBI, and Homeland Security. An appearance from Deborah Ann Woll’s character, Karen Page, was also shown in the trailer. This was not too much of a surprise seeing as during season two of “Daredevil,” the two seemed to have gotten close. So much so, that Karen might even act as a friend or confidant for Frank during this series.

“One” by Metallica is played throughout the trailer, as both an acoustic version in the beginning with Frank playing a guitar, to the original as the video plays out. The song gives the trailer a hard-core edge that goes well with all the action scenes playing throughout. The lyrics also speak to the character of Frank Castle: “Darkness, imprisoning me / all that I see / absolute horror / I cannot live / I cannot die / trapped in myself / body holding my cell.” It’s almost like he is consumed by this darkness that he now lives with daily because of the death of his family.

All in all, I think that the Netflix series will do very well once it is released. Fans say that Jon Benthal killed it as the Punisher in “Daredevil,” so we should expect a great new show from Marvel. “The Punisher” is set to come out sometime this year so be on the lookout for it.

IT (2017) Movie Review

Mary Ellen Fernandez-Anchor Staff

Photo courtesy of xemgi.net

As a person who typically disagrees with positive feedback of any remake, I found myself a little too excited for the latest release of the Stephen King classic, “IT.”

Fans of horror rejoiced at the idea of this new remake, as its original release was a made for TV, four-part series that could not quite dive deep into the dark and twisted concepts that originated from the novel. Although no one will ever match Tim Curry’s ability to portray an uncomfortably creepy Pennywise, Andy Muschietti’s fresh approach to the material is one to watch.

Andy Muschietti took directive reigns over this project, and once again proved that he knows how to create fear on screen. Steven King has an uncanny ability to create complex characters, as well as portray children as deep and often adult-like thinkers. This was not as evident in the first adaption but is extremely evident in the latest one.

The characters allow the audience to understand what the subjective idea of fear meant for these children, while adding raw and gritty humor. The whole movie you are on the edge of your seat, and along with the characters, you are capitulated into the realization that they are dealing with something from another world.

Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise is incredibly frightening, because for whatever reason, a clown is extra horrifying when it is over six feet tall. His adaptation of the fear and flesh-eating monster is anything but subtle; from his first encounter in the sewer, the audience realizes that this movie was definitely not made for television restriction.

The comedic relief from the kids is extremely useful in their character development. You cannot help but love particular characters for their strange ability to mix vulgar humor into their roles as innocent children.

A must see film for any of those who are fans of horror. The first remake in a long time that has left me hoping for a part two! If you have not seen “IT” yet, I recommend you do!

Interview with Donovan Dining Center Director an exclusive with Arthur

Joey McCourt-Anchor Staff

I went to interview Arthur Patrie, who is the director of the Donovan Dining Center, to find out what kind of food that they serve at Donovan Dining Center. The objective of the Donovan Dining Center is to provide high quality food in clean and comfortable areas and to support the educational process.
The Donovan Dining Center serves a variety of foods. There’s a full grill line service, deli bar, salad bar, and entrees. The entrees and soups are made in house from scratch. New to this semester are calzones. Most of the food available for purchase is thanks to customer suggestions. There’s everything from fresh fish to hamburgers. Donovan also has a series of drinks to select from: 4 different types of milk, a wide range of bottle beverages, from iced tea, to juices, to Coca-Cola. None of these drinks are served in glass or plastic bottles. This helps with the environment and gives the customer a lower price.
The dining center serves Sun Roasters coffee that is free-trade roasted coffee beans roasted in Connecticut, that get delivered weekly. There are three types of chefs. Line cooks who directly make meals and support customers they do almost all of the preparation. They are very talented senior cooks that also work with our cooks on meal prep and do supervision. 2 principle cooks oversee the senior cooks and the cooks. They assist with operational needs. The executive chef oversees all of the culinary work with the department. In terms of sustainability and green initiatives they work closely with the other student groups to build menus, and work on more culinary authentic menus. Cashiers are cook’s helpers. There are 8-10 cook’s helpers that serve as cashiers. Cashiers assist customers which is very important. The ovens that they cook it in have steam holding tables. Holding tables are seen when you buy the food, and are like mini ovens. They are designed just to keep foods at the right temperature. There are a series of refrigerators and freezers. There’s a big refrigerator unit in the kitchen to keep the supplies. They go to the preparation stage and other refrigerators are underneath the salad line, the deli bar, and grill line. They constantly keep the food at the temperature. There are 4 televisions in the dining center. Those televisions have different channels. There are 6 monitors in the dining room part of community outreach. These monitors bring customers different information across the campus. Student marketing does a great job promoting and letting customers on campus know about the different events. The different content on the monitors bring in different areas like residences life and some of the great stuff being done by the student’s success center around the dining center. The hours at Donovan are Monday-Friday 6:30am to 7:30pm, and weekends 9:00am to 6:00pm. The Donovan Dining Center is named after Fred J Donovan. There is a plaque on the lower level. Dr. Donovan was here in the 60s and was part of an administrative team that helped build the current college in terms of facilities and other student services.

Artistic Expressions: Marisa Longolucco

Britt Donahue-Asst. A&L Editor

Last week, I had the privilege of speaking with Alison Reynolds, a very talented painter, about her experience in RIC’s Studio Art program. This week, I would like to introduce you to another artist, Marisa (Reese) Longolucco. Reese is working towards a Bachelor of Fine Arts in studio art, with a concentration in photography.  

My first question: what exactly is a BFA? How is it different from a B.A.? Reese told me that a BFA requires a few additional art elective credits and is considered more rigorous than a B.A. Students must complete an application to get into the program, and are evaluated each semester by a panel of Art Department faculty members. They are expected to show and defend a cohesive body of work that shows improvement and artistic growth over time.

“Usually BFA candidates are interested in continuing to work in the fine art community after graduating,” Reese told me, and this is a goal of hers. “I definitely want to take a year off after I leave, to set up a studio and take some time to explore different methods of creating art. Eventually, I want to go to grad school for an MFA.”  

Photograph by Britt Donahue

Currently, Reese works on campus in the Bannister Gallery, as well as in Pawtucket at another gallery called Periphery Space. “I really enjoy both my gallery jobs, that is something I could continue doing after I finish school, but I would also love to get involved in community arts programs.”

“How did you get involved in photography?” I asked.

“I got my first camera when I was around 5,” Reese tells me. “It was this little Barbie polaroid, and I used to take it everywhere-I still have the pictures, but my cousin dropped it in the pool. After that I would borrow a camera from my parents and take pictures of my family. In middle school they enrolled me in an after school photography program, which I ended up getting to help teach. And I have been hooked ever since!”

My next question was which faculty member does she think helped her grow the most as an artist, and this was difficult for Reese to answer. “Everyone here is amazing. Of course Amy Montali has been hugely inspirational and helpful, but I have to give shout outs to Doug Bosch and Bill Martin too. Doug is the one that really pushed me toward the BFA, and Bill helped me explore 3-D art, which was helpful for my artistic growth, even though I am mainly a 2-D artist.”

Reese has spent the past few semesters developing art that examines the way women are historically and contemporarily presented in art and culture. “Last semester I focused on the way women are treated as consumable objects. I photographed a nude female model and used fruit to symbolize the genitalia, femininity and sexuality. I tried to make it a little grotesque, my intention was to subvert the idea of ‘the male gaze’ and comment on objectification, without objectifying my subject.” This can be a difficult line to walk, but from what I saw of Reese’s work, she did an excellent job.

Thanks for the interview, Reese. On behalf of everyone at the Anchor I want to wish you luck with the rest of the school year, and with your future plans.

If you or someone you know happens to be an amazing and talented art student graduating in December 2017, or May 2018 please email asst_lifestyles@anchorweb.org.

Nobody leaves lunchtime in the corner

Sophie Costa-Anchor Staff

Between studying and writing papers, finding time in the middle of the day to sit down and enjoy lunch is not high on our list of priorities. Even though breakfast takes the cake for the most important meal of the day, lunch is trailing just behind. Lunchtime is essential in providing the energy to power your body through the rest of the day and vital to avoiding the 3 PM crash. Most of the time we are either in class or just don’t have enough time to make an elaborate lunch in the morning, which is why the best time to pack a lunch is the night before. These three, healthy and easy on the go lunches are quick to make and delicious.      

Photo courtesy of graphicsbuzz.com

The first lunch that is a personal favorite is a veggie pita pocket. This includes roughly a teaspoon of Dijon mustard, sliced campari tomato, cucumber, matchstick carrots, a sliced pickle and a handful of spring mix salad. Not only is this sandwich super yummy, but packed with dark, leafy greens which provide you with vitamins C and K, calcium, potassium and iron. We could all use a hearty serving of veggies in our diets.

The next lunch that is an all time favorite is a healthy twist on peanut butter and jelly. This sandwich starts off with your choice of bread (preferably wheat), about a tablespoon of vanilla or plain almond butter and sliced strawberries. This sandwich will send you right back to your childhood within the first bite. It is simple, easy, and is packed with protein and healthy fats without the unnecessary hydrogenated oils from regular peanut butter and the 10 grams of sugar in jelly per one tablespoon. The natural sugars from the strawberries will satisfy your sweet tooth without setting you up for a sugar crash later in the day.

Lastly, arguably the easiest and least time consuming lunch is oatmeal. Who says that oatmeal is just for breakfast? Oatmeal can be enjoyed at any time of the day, especially when it’s made so deliciously. This recipe calls for a sugar free packet of microwavable rolled oats, plain or flavored. Microwavable oatmeal is perfect for on the go college students because most buildings have a microwave that is accessible for students to use. All you have to bring is a packet of oatmeal, a packet of Justin’s almond butter, a baggie of pumpkin seeds or granola and a small banana that can all easily be transported to class. This oatmeal will keep you full and energized with the sources of antioxidants and the magnesium and protein in pumpkin seeds.

No matter what, skipping lunch altogether will set you up for headaches, moodiness and poor concentration in class. However, with these three simple lunches, you will never have to go to class sluggish and distracted again.

Superhero Central – The Summer of Heroes

Sara Massa-Anchor Staff


As I wrote in last week’s issue, this year has been abundant with heroes in film. This summer in particular had the box office dressed in its own pair of spandex with the mass of superhero films. We had “Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2” come out May 5 to start the season and it was the best definition of “beginning with a bang.” The film picks up two months after the first, and we are thrown into the Guardian’s world with the team fighting a tentacle monster that spits rainbow colored balls of fiery energy and baby Groot dancing to the tunes of Electric Light Orchestra. Not only are the graphics amazing, the storyline takes a dark turn I don’t think anyone saw coming. Plus, Stan Lee’s appearance in this film pretty much confirms one of the strongest fan theories regarding Stan Lee himself.

Next was “Wonder Woman” that was released June 2 and is the very first female solo film in both DC and Marvel franchises. Diana is the child of Themyscira, an island hidden from time and is only inhabited by Amazon warrior women. I confess that throughout the movie I was making constant comparisons to Marvel’s “Captain America: The First Avenger” film that came out in 2011. Both Wonder Woman and Captain America feature a soldier named Steve, both help the war efforts (the difference being World War I and WWII) and both heroes carry shields with stars on them to protect themselves. Even with that, the film was a great example of female power and broadened horizons for other female heroes to get their own solo films.

Lastly was “Spiderman: Homecoming” which came out July 7, made old and new fans of the web-slinger unite. The film takes place a few months after the events of “Captain America: Civil War” where we first introduced to the latest incarnation of Spiderman. In “Spiderman: Homecoming,” Peter Parker is trying to keep up with school and his late-night activities as the “friendly neighborhood Spiderman” while also trying to convince the one and only Tony Stark to make him a part of the Avengers. I’d call this movie a coming of age film as Peter figures out the hard way what it really is to be a superhero and the dangers it puts not only himself but the people closest to him.

If you have not watched any of these great films yet, some are still in theatres so go and take a day to watch the movies that really made this year have a super summer.

Jeff Dunham makes a return to Netflix

Sara Massa-Anchor Staff

If you love to laugh and don’t have a crippling fear of Ventriloquist dummies, you should check out one of the new comedy specials on Netflix: Jeff Dunham’s “Relative Disaster.” The comedian has been working with ventriloquism since he was a kid and now at age 55, we get a look into his life with help from “the little people in the boxes,” as he calls them. Dunham’s gang of ventriloquist dummies consists of Walter, Bubba J, Achmed the Dead Terrorist, and Peanut. There’s also the appearance of his newest member Seamus, an Irish baby who has quite the fondness for alcohol.

The special takes place in Dublin, Ireland that Jeff chose specifically because he had just learned about his Irish heritage. Dunham’s family and the fact that he is adopted takes a huge role in the special; there are some surprises that you don’t see coming as we learn more about what exactly happened for Jeff to be who he is today. I laughed the most during Achmed’s and Peanut’s appearances on stage. With Achmed and Dunham’s forgetfulness of the puppet’s lack of skin and the constant excitable state that Peanut kept up to annoy him, I was laughing loud enough for my dad to tell me to be quiet from the other side of the house. Even with the small amount of confusion on some jokes, it seemed like the show was a success and will hopefully open the door to more Netflix specials in the future.