I feel like I say this almost every time I blog but–this week has been a whirlwind. Schoolwork, events and meetings really pick up around the end of the year. I really enjoy the sense of business, however. Today’s been the first chilly day in about two weeks, so I think that’ll help everyone hit the books and get to studying for finals. I’m working on several papers right now, so I’m drowning in visual culture, gender and cultural studies, and performance ideas. It’s a bit to deal with, but I think it’ll all turn out well! It usually does.
However, I did manage to get myself some breathing time to get out and enjoy the things I love. Thursday, I was able to see the Linfield Theatre Department’s production of “Spring Awakening”. Several of my friends were in it–and starring–so it was absolutely amazing to see them perform. I love musicals and it’s been quite a while since I’ve had to opportunity to see one. On top of that, “Spring Awakening” is one of my favorites in terms of the music, and this was the first time I’ve been able to see it live, so it made the experience even more special. I’m not ashamed to say that I cried pretty much throughout the whole show. It was incredibly emotional and raw–everyone did a beautiful job with the acting and music. Their harmonies were absolutely amazing–I really think that Linfield should try to put on more musicals. There are so many talented people here, it was wonderful to see some of their great diversity.
On Friday, Linfield hosted Wildstock! It’s one of our big end of the year events, so it’s always a blast to attend. Thankfully, it was a gorgeous day, so everyone was out and about–listening to music, playing some of the games, and listening to music. Wildstock, in essence, is everything that an average college student loves–free food and free music. I got dinner from Thai Country and El Primo, so I was pretty thrilled. I had quite a bit of homework, so I popped in and out of the event, but everyone listening to the music looked like they were having a great time. I didn’t want to stay out too late, however, because I had an incredible day planned for Saturday.
Through Linfield, I was able to get tickets to the His Holiness the Dalai Lama speak at an Environmental Summit at the Memorial Coliseum! We all got on a charter bus bright and early Saturday morning and traveled up to Portland. The experience was almost surreal! The Dalai Lama was so wise and surprisingly really hilarious. He had an amazing laugh! We had a morning and afternoon session, with a long break in between for lunch. We used this time to get out into the city. Since it was a beautiful Saturday, we took the opportunity to go to the Saturday market. I haven’t been there in a very long time, so it was nice to get back into the city. We ate South African food from one of the booths and sat on the waterfront. It was a nice way to stretch from sitting inside all morning and to think about what we were learning at the Summit. I’m so grateful that I was able to have this experience–something that will probably come around only once in my lifetime. After the Dalai Lama finished speaking, the Red Hot Chili Peppers came on and played a concert. It was a pretty strange juxtaposition between the extremely calm Dalai Lama and the rock band, but it was really fun all the same. They opened up the bottom of the Coliseum to go up and dance during the set too. A bunch of the Linfield group went down and danced, but I was feeling a little tired from the day so I stayed at the top to watch our things and take pictures. It was still fun to see everyone though! There were so many people! I’ve always liked RHCP, so it was great to see them live.
That evening, once we got back from the Dalai Lama, several of us decided to go see the new film version of “The Great Gatsby”! We met up a friend’s house first–where I met the most adorable puppy. I just have to include this because it was so cute. After getting distracted by the puppy–Balin, like the dwarf from “The Hobbit”–for a while, we all headed over to the movie where we met some other students from Linfield. They’d dressed up and gone to a fancy dinner/drinks downtown to get in the Gatsby mood. They all looked quite dapper! The movie itself was actually really good! I’d recommend seeing it–but of course, you should read the book first, if you haven’t and plan on going to the movie. A lot of the dialogue was actually taken directly from the book, so that was a lovely treat for lit nerds like myself. The costuming, colors, and set were amazing–Baz Luhrman always does an amazing job of capturing the feel of a book or era, and Prada did the costuming, so what’s not to love?
Sunday, of course, was Mother’s Day! My family came down so we could have a Mother’s Day dinner. It’s been a while since I’ve seen my family, so it was really nice to have them around for a couple of hours. I’m really close to my Mom and little sister, so I missed them a lot! We went out to GVB–Golden Valley Brewery. If you’ve never been there, I definitely recommend it. They source most of the meat products locally and brew their own beer! It’s also just a local staple; one of those restaurants you have to go to at least once while you’re here.
I can only imagine how much crazier this week will be! I have several papers to work on, lectures and thesis presentations to attend, and so much more! I’m definitely looking forward to these last few weeks in the semester. This summer also looks really promising, but that’s a story for next time.
This has been an incredibly full weekend! I can hardly describe the full capacity of my trip up to Seattle. For my Post-Modern Art class, we took a trip up to Seattle for Friday and Saturday to tour the city and see some amazing contemporary art galleries and installations. I went on the trip last year, with my Modern Art class, but this year was infinitely better. The sun, the people I was with, the art–everything culminated into a amazingly memorable experience.
We met up at 6:00 behind the art building on campus to start the drive up. It takes quite a bit of time to get from McMinnville to Seattle, so we wanted to get an early start. Of course, no one ever likes travelling in a van for three hours, but I drove up in the car with my professor, two other art professors and several of my friends in the class, so it made the time pass much more easily. It quickly turned into an absolutely amazing day, and we made it into the city by about 10:30, which is pretty good time! Our first start was at the 4Gallery. They’re actually a government funded organization which puts together public art installations or galleries, works bringing art to the community and promotes local artists. It was very cool to see how a group like that functions, especially for the art majors in the group who are looking to pursue gallery management or a career in the arts.
After we were done at the gallery, we drove up to the U District and were released for lunch! There’s so much good food on the Ave. it was difficult to choose! A group of us ended up finding a small Thai restaurant. Thai tea and spicy noodles are just so perfect for lunch on a sunny day. When we were all done–some people got pho, others Mexican etc–we met back up on the UW campus and were able to tour with our professor, Brian Winkenweder, who got his undergraduate degrees from UW and is from the area. Their campus is absolutely breathtaking–the neo-goth facades were absolutely lovely, especially on such a gorgeous day. Installed at Red Square on the campus is a large sculpture piece from one of the artists we’ve been studying, “Obelisk” by Barnett Newman. It was wonderful to see it in person. It’s one thing to discuss and analyze a digital reproduction; but a whole new thing to actually stand next to it. We also toured their Graduate Reading Room in their library. It felt like walking through a mix of Hogwarts and the castle from “Beauty and the Beauty”. The interior and exterior of the building was breathtaking.
After we were done with our tour of the campus, we all headed back to our hotel, which was only a few blocks away from the Ave. After a little break, we headed back to campus to check out the Henry Art Gallery. This was one of the standout experiences of the trip. There is a stunning James Turrell exhibit permanently installed at the gallery called, “Light Reign”. It’s an elliptical shaped skyspace attached to the gallery. The whole room is curved like an ellipse, with a smooth granite floor, pale grey walls, and long wood bench seating following the curve of the room. On the ceiling, there’s an ellipse cut through to the sky outside. The intense blue of the sky coming through the hole is surreal. To enjoy the piece, you have to lay down on the floor beneath the ellipse and watch the play of light, color, and the soft hum of city noise outside the pod. There’s no special trick lighting or paint–it’s just the sky and natural light. I must have stayed in the room for at least almost an hour. It’s transfixing. It play with your sense of space, light, and your body in the space of the installation. I adore it. The rest of the Henry had a gallery exhibit featuring photography examining the subject of beauty and the body. The second floor house several more large installations–one by an artist called Latouffey who heavily referenced alchemy, philosophy, numerology in his blend of text and diagram in painting. It was so much to process mentally! The colors were so vivid, the work so incredibly detailed and the references so densely layered. Right after that was a large gallery space featuring the work of contemporary/post-modern artists. This was heavily content laden as well, with large video installations, many rooms with various interactive pieces, works by artists we’ve studied like Cy Twombly, Alberto Burri, Richard Serra, Marcel Duchamp and more. I can’t even begin to describe how much imagery and content I absorbed. When Robin and I felt we just couldn’t process anymore, we returned to James Turrell’s “Light Reign” once more and spent at least another half-hour, enjoying the play of light as it grew closer to the evening.
After we finished at the Henry. we were released into Seattle to entertain ourselves for the evening. Robin and I met up with our good friend Miles, who graduated from Linfield with a degree in Creative Writing last year. He lives and works in the city now, saving for grad school, so we don’t get to see him very often. It was a wonderful opportunity to see him again! We went out and got the most delicious pho I’ve had in years. Linfield really needs a Vietnamese restaurant, I’ve decided. I was going to take a picture of it, because it looked delicious, but for those same reasons, we devoured it pretty much immediately. It’s always nice to see former students who’ve already graduated. It makes the whole process of graduating and leaving Linfield next year a little more tangible. After meeting up with Miles for dinner, Robin and I just decided to take an easy night and hang out around the area. We split some amazing Haagen Das (Java Chip, Mint Chip, and Belgian Chocolate–they let us pick three flavors!) and explored the UW campus after dark. It was so peaceful and different! We were too exhausted from all the art and traveling, so we ended up just chatting with some other friends on the trip and listening to music at the hotel, once we were done.
The next morning, we got up bright and early to go to the Sculpture Gardens. I’ve been before, but the gorgeous day outside made it a completely new and amazing experience. It’s right on the waterfront, so the sea air blows through the gardens. The water is so pure and blue! I love the smell of salty sea air, so it just provided the perfect morning to walk slowly around and look at the sculptures. Richard Serra, one of the artists we’ve studied, has a large outdoor site-specific piece called “Tides”. This is always one of my favorite pieces, just because of its monumental size and the delicacy of its curves next to the hard angles of the city. It’s amazing. There were other pieces I enjoyed as well, that I hadn’t taken much note of in the previous times I’ve visited the gardens. The breathtaking made everything look so much more vivid and beautiful.
We were supposed to go to Tacoma to look at another museum after the sculpture gardens, but it was such a beautiful day our professor just released up into Seattle to explore until about 2:00 when we would head home. Robin and I, with several others, took a long walk along the waterfront then up to Pike’s Place Market. It was bustling, as always. We wandered around for a long time–Robin bought me a gorgeous peony. They’re my favorite flower, so I was thrilled. There are just entire walls of fresh flowers along the walls at Pike’s Market. It’s incredible. There are so many people, so many different languages being spoken, and so much food. When we got hungry, we just bought food from different vendors along the way. I bought some char siu bao, which is my favorite Chinese bun, and Robin got tamales, which we shared. We also bought a fresh avocado and made our own guac right in the park where we ate lunch.
I didn’t want to leave! It was such a fantastic experience, and one of the highlights of my time here at Linfield. I couldn’t even begin to tell you every wonderful detail about the trip. This upcoming week there’s even more to do! I have a large research paper due, but it’s also the week of Wildstock and I’ll be seeing the Dalai Lama and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, courtesy of Linfield! May is turning out to be an unbelievable month.
It’s hard to believe that there’s only about five weeks left in the school year! Maybe my sense of time is skewed, but it doesn’t feel like we’ve been here that long. The bright sunny weather we’ve been having is especially decieving as well. This time of year, when it’s finally getting warmer, but isn’t quite the heavy heat that we’ll get in August, is my favorite. So, this makes it especially hard to stay inside!
This past week, as usual, has been completely packed with school, work, and prepping for the summer. Sometimes it’s hard to keep my schedule completely straight! I was able to do some very fun activities though. For my Shakespeare class, I performed a scene from Twelfth Night. Our larger papers throughout the year also include a performace component, so it’s a lot of fun to get a taste of what everyone is writing about, as well as what everyone is performing. In my scene, I played Cesario/Viola–a girl pretending to be a man–interacting with Olivia, the woman her master (that she loves) wants to woo, but who actually loves her! I know, it’s very complicated. In any case, I got to dress in male drag, so it was a blast. Several other members of our class had the same idea so it was great to see what everyone was wearing/portraying.
The rest of the week went by pretty quickly. This weekend was especially beautiful! I know I’ve mentioned before how much I love the downtown area. It’s a great place to just study and relax for a few hours. After I got off work and classes for the day on Friday, I went downtown with my friend Robin to get ice cream and study. (Go to Serendipity Ice Cream! Linfield Students get 20% off!) We hung outside the local grocer, Harvest Fresh, underneath some gorgeous Dogwood trees and were able to just spend some good time studying and hanging out. After a few hours of studying, we met up with a few friends who were having an impromptu drum sesh in the Bank Square. I’m horrible at drumming, so I just listened to the music and learned how to play cribbage. That in itself was an experience! Card games aren’t my strongest suit (pun definitely intended). Later that evening, we headed over to my friend Annika’s house off campus. She was having a celebratory end of the week bonfire, so it was a lovely way to end the evening. One of my friends, Sylvan, brought his guitar and we spent until almost 2:00 in the morning making s’mores and singing.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t spend the whole weekend out and about. I spent the rest of the Saturday and Sunday reading up on Ai WeiWei. I’m currently working on a project focusing on his body of work for my Post-Modern class, so I’m cramming in the study hours. I’m fairly certain I have over fifteen large books checked out about him, with more on the way. It’s a good thing that I love art and reading. \
This upcoming weekend, I’ll actually be traveling to Seattle with my postmodern class! I’ll be visiting several art museums, the Sculpture Gardens, and spend Friday evening in the city. I went last year with my class for Modern Art, so I’m very excited to go this year. I love Seattle and I’m thrilled to be able to explore it more, especially the art and night life scene. I’ll be sure to take lots of pictures to post on here! In the meantime, I have work to prep for being a peer advisor next year! If you’re an incoming senior, be looking for a letter from your peer advisor in the mail soon, it might even be from me!
This past week has certainly been a whirlwind! There’s been so much to see and do, in combination with quickly intensifying course work, that it’s hard to keep track of everything. Last week, we hosted Sexuality Awareness and Sustanability Week on our campus, so the evening were buzzing with different events put on my Fusion and Greenfield, respectively. Unfortunately, because of my classes, I couldn’t attend them all. When there are certain events I know I really want to go to, I try to load my schedule so I get the majority of my work done on all the nights prior. Of course, this means I have to sacrifice certain events and some sleep, but it’s all worth it in the end. For example, last week, I worked later than usual every night so I would feel comfortable not doing any work on Friday–which was when the Earth Games, the Linfield Burn, and our first annual Drag Show too place. Many of my friends were participating in these events so I really wanted to come out and support thier hard work. It’s also just a nice excuse to not do any homework on a Friday night.
Sustainability Week culminated in a fair on Friday–which included the Earth Games and other events. So, I headed over right after I got off work to meet up with my friends. Every year, Greenfield hosts a stuff swap where Linfield students will bring their unwanted or old clothes to exchange or just give away. I usually bring something every year, and don’t pick anything up–but this year I actually forgot to bring anything and ended up taking home a lovely pair a blue heels. It was a nice switch up. All around the stuff swap, Greenfield had set up several booths regarding different sustainable organizations and opportunities in the area for students to learn about or get involved with. Once this kind of wrapped up, we headed over to the IM field where they had set up a obstacle course for those competing in the Earth Games. It was hilarious to see just how competitive everyone got–of course, I enjoyed it more because I wasn’t the one getting muddy and wet. During the duration of the Earth Games, they also had a Local Foods BBQ set up, where we could get veggie burgers and other locally sourced foods for free! It was nice to hang out with my friends on such a beautiful, clear afternoon and enjoy being outside.
There was a concert scheduled after the event, but my friends and I decided to head to one of their houses off campus to play board games and hang out until the Linfield Burn. I love going to the Burn every year–it’s one of my favorite events to attend. Totem, an art professor, has his class build a large wooden structure during his Jan Term course, every year. This structure is then situtated in the courtyard of the Art Department until the end of April. From there, they move it to the Wellness Field behind the department and host an event to burn it down. People can attach confessions or other little notes to the structure during the event, prior to the moment it’s actually lit of course. This year, we had the best turn out I’ve ever seen. We usually see a lot of people, from all parts of Linfield and the McMinnville community, show up; but this this was the biggest crowd I’ve ever noticed. It’s always exciting to see the structure burn down! People take pictures, dance, and there’s always the occasional boy who tries to jump over the fire once it’s almost burned out. It also usually turns into a potluck as well, the deparment sets out tables and anyone who wants to bring food places it there for everyone to share.
After the Burn, we headed over to the Drag Show. It was a complete blast! I’ve never been to a drag show before, so this was a huge shock (in the best way possible). Fusion had brought up some professional drag queens from Eugene to host the event and perform, so we got to learn a little bit about drag culture as well. They interspersed professional performances with performances by Linfield students–we even had a group of girls dress in male drag to perform One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful”. One of my favorite performances of the evening was a jazzy number by the host’s partner, Renata Flambe. All I’ve got to say about that is–I could never dream of doing that in heels. It was impressive, she was so classy, strong and the choice of song was excellent. At the end of the performances, we crowned a Queen of the evening, pulled from the Linfield performers. Aidan, the current president of Fusion, won! We’re in a Shakespeare class together, which focuses on gender and performance, so it was so amazing to see him crowned.
After a full night like Friday, there’s really nothing better than a Saturday morning breakfast at Wildwood. I’ve probably talked about it before, but I cannot emphasize enough how much I enjoy going there. My friend, Robin and I, went together, and then headed to La Casa Verde–which is a larger, community based Sustainability fair in the downtown area of McMinnville. It happens once a year, in conjunction with Earth Week/day, so it’s a lot of fun to visit and see who’s volunteering, what booths are there, or what’s happening. They always have live music and a chicken coop race, not to mention it’s right next to the Saturday Market in the Granary District.
We ended the day by studying in one of the local cafe’s. I love packed weekends. It gives me a nice break from having a strict schedule and makes me feel like my deadlines are a little less drastic. It’s so important to take these breaks during the school year. Personally, I don’t think that someone can work at their peak if they keep driving themselves into the ground without reprieve. But for now, I’ve got to hit the books. Tomorrow, I have a performance from Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” where I’ll be playing Cesario/Viola! So, I need to prepare for that, a paper on the play and an additional research paper on Ai WeiWei for my postmodern art class. The final stretch of classes in within sight, but there’s a lot to do between now and summer break. I’m looking forward to really taking advantage of the last semester of my junior year and trying to enjoy it as much as possible.
This has been quite an eventful week! There were several amazing lectures and exhibits on campus that I was able to attend. I’m really happy that I have the time, or just have managed to balance my time well enough, that I’m able to go to the many events on our campus. I think they really flesh out the experience for me. It’s one thing to go to every class, finish all of the readings, turn in homework etc. But I think supplementing this experience with taking adavantage of the many learning opportunities is what has truly made my time at Linfield wonderful.
I absolutely love the Art and Visual Culture department at Linfield. One could say I’m obligated to do this, since I’m a Visual Culture minor, but I really truly enjoy all of the classes and opportunities they offer. Throughout the year, we bring out various artists to exhibit in our gallery. This gives the chance to see a wide variety of international artists working in various mediums. When we bring these gallery exhibitions to campus, we get to host the artists themselves for about a week! I love going to art museums, so having one directly on campus is a joy. In addition, having the ability to go to events with the artist is wonderful. Currently, we’re hosting a gallery exhibition called “Blonde Ambition” by ceramic artist, Roxanne Jackson. I’ve never thought much about cermaic sculpture, but I absolutely love the level of detail and mythology within her work. The mysterious and mystical feel to her work is alluring–it’s hard to just walk by the gallery on my way to class without stopping in and examining some new detail.
I was able to sit in on one of her artist talks. As I said, we’re able to host the visiting artist during the first week of their exhibition. They present various lectures, gallery receptions, visit classes and work with students. I attended her Artist Talk, where about 15 or 20 other students and I were able to sit in the gallery with her and discuss her body of work, along with the various pieces featured in the show. Hearing her talk about her work was quite interesting and provided a new dimension to appreciating the work . I took pictures of my favorite works within the exhibition to reference the general feel and look to her aesthetic. After this, I think she’ll definitely be an artist I’ll keep track of in the future.
The next day, I was also able to attend a reading in the library of Kim Stafford’s newest book, “100 Tricks Every Boy Can Do: A Memoir”. Stafford teaches at Lewis & Clark College in Portland and is the son of Oregon’s poet Laureate, William Stafford. As I’m a fan of William Stafford’s poetry, I was quite curious about this event, just to see how writes. Many of my professors were in attendance, so it was nice to see and chat with them outside of the classroom or office hours. The reading itself was very engaging. Written about his late brother, in episodic tales and memories, it was nice to hold the book in context with Kim Stafford’s personal anecdotes about his process and actual events.
This week, we’re kicking of the Greenfield Club’s Earth Week and Fusion’s Sexuality Week! As a result, this week is even more packed with fun events about both sustainability and diversity. There’s something different to do almost every night, with large culminating events for both on Friday. I plan to attend as many as possible. On Friday, there’s an event called the Earth Games, where Linfield students will compete in sustainability themed events, a local foods barbeque, our annual Linfield Burn event through the Art department, and our first annual drag show! I have many friends participating in the Earth Games and performing in the Drag show, so I’m really excited to see how this all pans out. Everyone in both clubs have worked so hard and long to pull off these events, so to see these efforts rewarded will be wonderful. They’ve also tried to work in conjunction with eachother, since many of their members intersect, to allow students the ability to attend all of the events. That’s definitely one of the benefits of going to a small school such as Linfield. Collaborating on a friendly basis with clubs from across campus is extremely accessible.
If you’re interested in checking out more of Roxanne Jackon’s exhibit, or her work in general, here’s a link to our gallery website: http://www.linfield.edu/art/gallery-now.html
For more information on Kim Stafford’s book, or the author himself: http://www.linfield.edu/linfield-news/memoirs-of-brotherhood-featured-at-stafford-reading/