Ying Li: geographies

Ying Li: geographies

Ying Li is a Professor of Fine Arts at Haverford College, whose expressive observation-based art depicts a variety of landscapes and city scenes throughout the U.S. and Europe. Friday, September 9 marks the opening of her exhibition “Ying Li: Geographies,” on display at Haverford’s Cantor-Fitzgerald Gallery and Magill Library. CFG staff member Rachel Xiao ’17 spoke to Professor Li about her creative process and progress, as well as some of the influences behind her work.     How do you see your early artistic training impacting your relationship with art now? Do you think your training in Chinese painting and calligraphy has impacted your current painting style? My early training was at the art department of Anhui Normal University. It really gave me a solid foundation, even though at the time I hated it. I remember we spent a whole semester working on one plaster cast, just working on that one piece with very hard pencil. It was like torture. At that time I just wanted to express myself, I wanted something free and colorful. But you know, that’s how you learn how to get your hands to do what you want to do, and how your hands and eyes can work together. Something that is very concrete and simple and trains your concentration, your focus. We also had to take Chinese painting classes as a requirement, even though I was in the Western painting division. At the time I just hated it. I thought it was so boring. You just do the same stroke over and over and over, again and again, a hundred times. I remember we...
Mustard Seed Film Festival: Interview with Co-Founder Natasha Cohen-Carroll ’13

Mustard Seed Film Festival: Interview with Co-Founder Natasha Cohen-Carroll ’13

Natasha Cohen-Carroll is a 2013 Haverford alumna who has cofounded Mustard Seed, a Philadelphia film festival centered on South Asian film and art. The festival, on August 19-20th, will include films, food, discussion, live music, and dance performances, and is “screening films directed by South Asian filmmakers, produced by South Asian production teams, and centered on themes salient to the South Asian citizen, immigrant and diasporic experience.” HCAH spoke to Ms. Carroll to find out more about her motivations and inspirations in creating this festival. 1. You mention on your website that there is a distinct lack of South Asian films, particularly socially-engaged films, being shown in Philly, and that through Mustard Seed you want to highlight “alternative visions of South Asia and South Asian cinema.” Was there a particular moment or set of experiences that really solidified a drive to create these dialogues around South Asian film? The first moment when Mustard Seed became an inkling of an idea was when co-creator/ co-director Hariprasad Kowtha and I were at a race, media and social justice symposium— held by CAMRA at UPenn— with Gabriel Dattatreyan (who taught anthropology at Haverford last year, funnily enough).  After a screening of an Indian documentary, Hariprasad mentioned how wonderful it would be to have a South Asian film festival in Philly, and we all three began joking about doing it ourselves. Three weeks later though, it was still on our minds, and even if it was already the end of May, we decided to go for it, and by the beginning of June we already had three films confirmed.  2. Looking at your...
The end of END

The end of END

Summer update by Early Novels Database Fellow Katy Frank ’17 It’s fitting that on the second-to-last day of work, we got a tour of the newly remodeled section of UPenn’s rare book space. The routine of my job involved cataloguing rare books in the mornings, and either working on projects or learning from guest lectures or correcting plain text versions of old books in the afternoons, and getting a tour was a special treat. I loved looking at the various collections – a collection of everything Gulliver’s Travels related, for example, as well as a fantastic comic collection – that added color to the burgundy, dark green, and navy blue nineteenth-century bindings (even if the books inside the bindings were from earlier centuries) that surrounded us. Our tour guide pointed at one of these latter books and said to us, “Now this binding screams robber baron trying to build his book collection,” and as we all nodded in assent, I thought happily about how much I have learned this summer in order to be able to agree with him so emphatically. I’ve learned how to recognize and roughly chronologically and geographically place bindings, marginalia, fonts, and other various physical aspects of a book; I’ve learned the HTML-esque library cataloguing computer language MarcXML; I’ve learned the particular method of cataloguing for the Early Novels Database; I’ve learned about contemporary debates and hot topics within the field of Digital Humanities; and I’ve learned a great deal about the history of the novel in the West, conventions of the eighteenth century epistolary novel, and random bits of the history of reading in...
Noticing race and diversity in the museum

Noticing race and diversity in the museum

This summer for me has been a lot of “firsts.” It was the first summer I explored many different corners of Philadelphia, the first time I tried Rita’s, first time working at a large institution like the PMA, first time I taught students in a gallery, and first time I began to think about diversity in an art institute. It was a busy summer to say the least. As an education intern, I worked on three different big projects including leading tours in the galleries to summer camp groups, visiting a local library in Germantown to lead art activities relating to our special exhibit Creative Africa, and working at ArtSplash studio, assisting family audiences with different art projects. This structure really allowed me to see the vast and wide array of programs that the museum runs to reach out to different members in the community. In the midst of these busy weeks, I thought a lot about diversity in the museum.  these are some things I have spent a lot of time observing and thinking about. Prior to starting this internship, I was aware that the art world is pretty white. To my surprise, I saw more diversity than I thought when I started, especially being placed in the education department. However as tour groups came in, I started noticing more interesting racial dynamics. A large portion of the students who came on the tour were of color, whereas most of the authority figures they saw in the museum, their tour guides (the education interns), were white. And often, the artwork these students observed were painted by white European...
Jessie Lamworth ’18 on her collaborative piece “Memory in Wood”

Jessie Lamworth ’18 on her collaborative piece “Memory in Wood”

Jessie Lamworth’s “Memory in Wood” was made with the help of Ben Horwitz ’17 and is currently installed at Green Engine Cafe. Below, she details her methods and interests as well as the story behind the sculpture “Memory in Wood.”     In the spring semester class of sculpture with Markus Baezinger, we were prompted to create a piece that curated a collection of things, focusing on the display and arrangement of whatever collection we chose to include. While many people collect tangible items such as stamps, coins, books, etc., I thought about what is universally collected among human beings: memories. I started playing around with the wood in the sculpture shop to create a shelf; a common device on which people display their collected items. The more time I spent with the material, the more I realized how the way trees recorded time (known as dendrochronology) was similar to the way in which we “collect” our memories: as we grow, we internally record certain events, shaping and building our personal structure and character.     Thus I attempted to bridge the natural with the man-made to illustrate the complexity of memory. I abandoned the right angles of a typical shelf unit and instead mimicked the beautifully flowing natural curves that occur in the wood grain. The dips and slopes in the shelves leave gaps in the collective memory flow, while each wooden block is carefully poised. The blocks, though similar in shape and size, have unique, beautifully and naturally ingrained pattern on each of its sides. The piece is not to be taken as a literal representation: I am...