Xpress Magazine | October 2020

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SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY

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CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS ELOISE KELSEY ALEXANDRA LEVEY ALYSSA BROWN SEAN REYES EMILY CURIEL REBECCA SCHUPP JUN UEDA

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF MALAKAI WADE

ART DIRECTOR ELOISE KELSEY

PHOTO EDITOR SAYLOR NEDELMAN

HALEY PETERS

MANAGING EDITOR CAMILLE COHEN

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

COPY EDITOR

NIA COATS ALYSSA BROWN EMILY CURIEL SEAN REYES SAMANTHA JOSON REBECCA SCHUPP

OMAR MORALES

X PR ESS

CONTRIBUTING DESIGNERS CAMILLE COHEN MALAKAI WADE HARIKA MADDALA SAYLOR NEDELMAN ALYSSA BROWN SOCIAL MEDIA INSTAGRAM & TWITTER: @XPRESSMAGAZINE ONLINE CONTENT XPRESSMAGAZINE.ORG

RESEARCH EDITOR DAVID HOROWITZ

ONLINE EDITOR SAMANTHA JOSON

SOCIAL MEDIA EDITOR

SPECIAL THANKS

REBECCA SCHUPP

MULTIMEDIA EDITOR

JOSH DAVIS LAURA MOORHEAD AMBER WEHRER RACHELE KANIGEL

RYCE STOUGHTENBOROUGH

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[06] Talk to me! by SAMANTHA JOSON

[10] A journey to the walls of the de Young Open by NIA COATS

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

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Health at home by ALYSSA BROWN

[24] Women raising the ledge of skateboard culture by SEAN REYES

[30] SF artists unite the city during the pandemic by REBECCA SCHUPP

[38] Plant parents by EMILY CURIEL

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elcome to the October 2020 issue of Xpress Magazine! We’ve been adapting to the changes this semester has brought us, and decently well I might add. The whole team of Xpress Magazine has done a fantastic job trekking on to produce our second installment of the Fall 2020 semester. In this issue we chose to highlight design and the curation of our stories. This close to the election — and near the middle of the semester — it’s easy to feel burnt out, so we wanted to create an issue with an overarching theme of health, art and calmness. Inside this issue you will find a few deep dives into some of San Francisco’s artists who either paint on plywood in the Castro, or their work hangs on the walls of the de Young Museum. We’re also featuring a look at the best ways to communicate with your loved ones during this stressful time. We are also excited to showcase two photojournalists’ work; one story is about female skateboarders, and the second is about plant parents. Without further ado, enjoy issue two.


XPRESS MAGAZINE

Talk t

a guide to effective and healthy co

“sunday morning’s parallel lives.” photo of Alexandra Lev

Story By Samantha Joson | photos by

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to Me!

ommunication during quarantine

vey, Olivia Reich and Hannah Sudaria by Eloise Kelsey.

by ELoise KElsey and Alexandra levey

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ince the beginning of lockdown in March, some SF State students have moved out of the city and now live with their families while others quarantine with roommates, significant others or alone. With the combination of political unrest, an uncertain future and our new lives in lockdown, tensions can rise between housemates or significant others. Learning how to communicate in a healthy and effective way can help resolve conflicts faster, or avoid them in the first place and ultimately help create an environment where everyone can coexist peacefully. “In high tension situations, when feelings are hard to manage, especially anger and rage, we can sometimes say or do things that can hurt the other person. If we don’t learn to undo the hurt, this can cause resentment in the relationship,” says Thien Pham, a licensed marriage and family therapist in San Francisco who specializes in working with first and second generation immigrants. “Unresolved resentment may worsen future conflicts. The quarantine can add to the tensions that may already exist in strained relationships.” Whether or not you’re having a tough time with the people around you during quarantine, take a look at these tips for healthy and effective communication. They just might make the next tough conversation a little more manageable.

Tips for communication:

pictured: AJ Glassman and Sidney Glassman by Alexandra Levey. Don’t make assumptions

More empathy, less sympathy

Tracy Taris, a Santa Clarita, California marriage and family therapist, says a common mistake is assuming what the other person is trying to communicate, and forming their responses based on this — usually wrong — assumption. “Communication hasn’t happened until the message sent is the message received,” Taris said. To avoid miscommunication Taris recommends repeating back exactly what you heard the other person say before responding. This is called active, or reflective listening, and it gives everyone the chance to genuinely be on the same page. Say, for example, a housemate is upset because you ate something of theirs in the shared fridge —- Oops, it happens. Here’s what you could say: “I’m hearing that you’re upset because I used up the last of your oat milk in the fridge. Is that correct?” This statement allows the other person to verify what you heard. Then follow up with: “I’m sorry. What do you need me to do to fix this right now, and how can we work together to avoid this conflict moving forward?”

Joe Zarate-Sanderlin, they/them pronouns, is a San Francisco marriage and family therapist. They recommend video where research professor and best-selling author, Brene Brown, talks about the importance of creating genuine empathic connections through showing vulnerability. Zarate-Sanderlin points out that empathy never includes an “at least” statement. A statement such as “I know you feel bad about this situation, but at least …” can come across as minimizing someone’s feelings. But more importantly, Zarate-Sanderlin says whatever follows “at least” doesn’t take away from the fact that there’s still a problem, and it’s bothering the person. Effective empathic communication, according to Zarate-Sanderlin, is “understanding what it’s like to be in your shoes and conveying that back to you.” Whereas empathy builds intimacy and trust, sympathy “really sounds condescending.” 8


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Practice asking consent for conversations

Don’t get defensive

While part of good communication is bringing up negative feelings in a constructive way, and not putting off serious conversations, it’s not always the right call to have those conversations at the exact moment. Zarate-Sanderlin says to bring up serious conversations as soon as practical — not necessarily as soon as possible. It’s usually beneficial to save serious conversations for after everyone who needs to be involved has calmed down. and had time to process their emotions, especially if they are angry. “I’m a big advocate of consent for conversation,” they said, “If I get your consent for that conversation, I’m probably going to have a better quality conversation.” Asking consent for conversations doesn’t have to be hard either. According to Zarate-Sanderlin, it can be as simple as, “Hey, is this a good time to talk about this? Because this is really important to me.” Despite all the extra uneasiness in the world, conflict

Continuing with the previous example, it’s tempting to assume that the other person is attacking something about you other than just the oat milk, and it’s natural to get defensive when feeling attacked. Not being defensive goes hand in hand with not making assumptions. The key to not becoming defensive, Taris says, is to “guard against offense.” “Usually, when someone says something, and we get offended, we want to defend that,” Taris says. “The minute you feel offense, you’re going to go into defensive mode, and then communication is over.” Taris’ best advice for avoiding conflict when feeling defensive is to put the feeling of offense aside for the duration of the conversation. Later, analyze within yourself why you felt offended. If, after analysis, the statement in question was legitimately offensive, then that’s the perfect opportunity for a separate conversation at a different time.

Use nonviolent communication Nonviolent communication “gives us the tools and consciousness to understand what triggers us, to take responsibility for our reactions and to deepen our connection with ourselves and others, thereby transforming our habitual responses to life,” according to BayNVC, a Bay Area organization dedicated to promoting the principles of nonviolent communication. It’s also a reliable technique to use when you’re starting the communication about a conflict. “People unknowingly use accusatory language in their communication, especially during times of high conflict. Shaming and blaming doesn’t resolve conflict. It makes it harder for the other person to empathize and truly listen to our needs,” Pham says. Zarate-Sanderlin recommends using nonviolent communication with the people around you, especially if there’s conflict. “What it does is really take into account your needs, and how to get those needs met, but in a way that is really centered on you,” Zarate-Sanderlin said. BayNVC says the three components of nonviolent communication are observations, feelings and needs. The aim is to describe what you’re reacting to as concretely as possible, describe the feelings being brought up and to be specific about your needs that must be met in order to remedy the situation. For example, Zarate-Sanderlin says nonviolent communication can be used to ask those around you for more empathy. In that case, nonviolent communication could go something like this: “When you’re not empathic, I feel really frustrated because it seems like you’re not hearing me. What I need is for you to put down your phone, and listen to me and understand where I’m coming from,” Zarate-Sanderlin said.

“Conflict is a part of life, but it’s not something to completely avoid or to point out every single time. It’s a delicate balance of knowing the right time and place to address an issue that’s been bothering you.” — Thien pham

is normal. Don’t be too hard on yourself, or the people around you if some conflicts arise. “Conflict is a part of life, but it’s not something to completely avoid or to point out every single time. It’s a delicate balance of knowing the right time and place to address an issue that’s been bothering you,” Pham said. “Be gentle and ask for help rather than demand change.” Good communication and habits not only help resolve conflicts, they can help avoid them in the first place. Remember to have regular check-ins with the people around you. Ask how they’ve been feeling, and if there’s anything you can do to support them. Make sure to express your needs and wants as well. If you’re living with a significant other, it’s a good idea to schedule regular date nights. Finally, make sure you give yourself space and allow others to give themselves space too. If learning healthy communication is new for you, and you find yourself falling into old habits, don’t worry. Good communication is a lifelong skill, and the earlier practice starts, the better. X 9


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story By \ Nia Coats

Scans of various artwork provided by Jocelyn Lee & Morgan Corbitt

A J O U R N E Y TO T H E WA L L S O F T H E D E YO U N G O P E N

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magine playing monopoly and instead of land- bedroom apartment. It’s really insane.” ing on Boardwalk, the top hat lands on the most Lee credits her UC Santa Cruz education for helping expensive San Francisco neighborhood — South her land a spot in the de Young Open. As a student she of Market. In this 406-acre district, the median in- learned silk screening and lithography, which prepared come is nearly $200,000. The amount of money that her to create “Playground For The Rich.” She makes a player would need to rent a 1-bedroom apartment art that is not made pretty for the sake of beauty, but is $72.12 per hour. to absorb what she has learned. She takes those feelings San Francisco artists who create work inspired by and brings them out into the real world through her work. their home city say sweeping affluent neighborhoods, “If I’m going to put something in front of someone such as SOMA, are a driving force for inspiration in and say ‘look at this,’ I want to have a real intent and their work. Having that work showcased in one of the purpose when showing it to people,” Lee said. nations most visited museums means even more. Two Morgan Corbitt, a recent SF State studio art graduate, local artists, Jocelyn Lee and Morgan Corbitt, landed also sees San Francisco as her muse. Most of the work an opportunity to do she produces incorjust that. porates photography, The de Young Musepainting and collagum in San Francisco’s ing. Corbitt’s piece in Golden Gate Park the de Young Open held an open call for exhibit, “Pork With artists from all nine Juices,” is a collage Bay Area counties. that features items — Jocelyn Lee Seven hundred and and experiences she sixty two artists from has had while living in these counties presently have their art showcased the city. She paints about things that have left her with through Jan. 3, 2021. The open exhibit is “a museum uncomfortable feelings. tradition that engages the local community through “During that time I was also having these dreams showcasing the art of their community members,” ac- where I was just grinding my teeth. My teeth were fallcording to the de Young Open website. ing out, and I had this model of teeth from a dentist’s Lee was born and raised in San Francisco, and recent- office and I was looking at that sitting on my desk while ly graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a double major I was looking through my photos and thinking about in cognitive science and studio art. After reading an ar- a can of pork with juices,” Corbitt said. “I decided to ticle one day that outlined the prices of homes in each make this painting based on things that make me feel city zip code, she turned to her art. With her piece a little on edge and uncomfortable.” titled “Playground For The Rich,” Lee creates a space The de Young Open call was a way to celebrate the for the public to explore the issues of housing and in- museum’s 125th anniversary. Artists, such as Lee and come through a game of Monopoly. Her piece shows Corbitt were chosen because they enrich the cultural the viewer what it costs to afford a one bedroom in landscape of the Bay Area, according to curator Timoeach San Francisco district. thy Anglin Burgard. Out of the 6,188 artists from across Lee recounts the moment that sparked her inspiration the Bay Area who submitted work, 762 were chosen. while reading the article about housing costs in the city. Burgard said in a walkthrough video of the exhibit “It was really staggering just to see all of these numbers,” that all of the art pieces were installed nearly edge Lee said. “I tried to arrange them from the poorest to to edge in a 19th century salon style, which “allowed us the richest district. Even in places like the Tender- to show the absolute maximum number of artworks.” loin, you have to make $50 an hour to afford a one The themes are apparent when walking through

“If I’m going to put something in front of someone and say ‘look at this,’ I want to have a real intent and purpose when showing it to people.”

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BY JOCELYN LEE 1 - “FARE IS FAIR” 2 - “CARNAGE ENSUES AT DOLORES PARK” 4 - “EARTHQUAKE! (BE STILL MY HEART)” 6 - “TELL ME YOU’RE THE HEART OF THE GOLDEN WEST” 7 - “PLAYGROUND OF THE RICH” 9 - “FARE IS FAIR”

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BY MORGAN CORBITT “A QUARTER FOR SCALE” - 3 “PORK WITH JUICES” - 8

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5 - ANTHONY B. COSIO PHOTOGRAPHED AT THE DE YOUNG IN SAN FRANCISCOON ON OCT. 10 2020 (HALEY PETERS / XPRESS MAGAZINE)


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the exhibit. The front room of the gallery is dedicated to political and social justice issues of the moment. They feature images that visualize the political landscape utilizing paint, photography, origami and quilting. The exhibit is not only a showcase for artists,

“It always goes back to San Francisco, because that is what I love and what I want to share with people.” — Jocelyn Lee - Jocelyn Lee

but an income opportunity as well. The artists have the opportunity to place their artwork for sale. One hundred percent of the profits goes to the artist. Lee is undecided about selling “Playground For The Rich,” it’s listed for $888 — a lucky number in her culture. “I haven’t decided if I even want to sell my piece because it cost almost $400 to frame, and it was such a process. I don’t know if I want to go through that again,” Lee said via text message. Corbitt listed “Pork With Juices” for $1,000. This would be the first piece that she’s ever sold. She says that it is strange to put this piece of work on sale because it was her first time pricing one of her pieces. To help with deciding the price she reached out to a former SF State professor, who was familiar with her work. She hasn’t gotten any offers on her work yet, but the idea of her work living in someone’s home makes her happy. “I think it would be amazing if this piece lived in a person’s home forever!” Corbitt said via text. “I just hope if it sells, the owner is someone who really appreciates art, and takes good care of it.” Corbitt didn’t take art seriously until she came to San Francisco. Luckily she was able to find her inspiration. The pandemic left her in a precarious

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position when it hit. She felt restricted. Once everything closed, it was like her creative process took a turn. Usually, she is able to capture what she sees, but if everything that she sees is the confines of her home, it becomes challenging. “I think that’s a big part of my art that I didn’t really realize,” Corbitt said. “Now that I’ve been at home much more, and not seeing friends, I definitely feel like my creative process has come to a halt.” This moment in Corbitt’s life has not been entirely bad. She counts her spot in the de Young Open a blessing. “This whole process has been such a great learning experience for me. It was really interesting to see the exhibit in person, and look at all the art that was accepted,” Corbitt said. Lee said that studio art was something that she found her way into during her second year at UC Santa Cruz. Most of the art she produces comes from the viewpoint of what it’s like

“It’s always a rapidly changing city and I just want to hold onto a piece of that; preserve some of it before it’s all lost, gentrified or unrecognizable.” — Jocelyn Lee being from a city such as San Francisco. “It always goes back to San Francisco, because that is what I love and what I want to share with people,” Lee said. “It’s always a rapidly changing city, and I just want to hold on to a piece of that. I want to preserve some of it before it’s all lost, gentrified or unrecognizable.” X

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HEALTH AT HOME

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ccording to UNESCO, approximately 80% of the world’s student population is receiving an online education during the 2020 school year due to the pandemic. A survey conducted by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that out of 50,000 people employed before COVID-19, half are now working from home, 35.2% of which were commuting and now remote. A little more than 10% were laid off. The global shift to online learning and telecommuting for work poses challenges to human health. Luckily, there are also verifiable ways to combat these issues as we adapt. One example of the impact increased screen time has on our bodies can be seen with our own eyes. Long periods of screen engagement leads to computer vision syndrome, according to the Harvard Health Publishing. The symptoms include: eyestrain, blurred vision, dry eyes, headaches and pain in the neck and back. The brightness of your screen and its proximity to you are major factors of eyestrain. A study by the University of Haifa and Assuta Sleep Clinic found that screens emit high levels of shortwavelength visible light, which is blue on the Visible Light Spectrum. This wavelength is able to decrease melatonin production in the body — the hormone that helps us sleep. Screen time before bed inter-

mediate environment. A scientific study for Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics suggests sitting 11-17 inches away from a monitor and increasing the font size to 12-14 point to prevent eye strain. The center of the monitor should be 15-20 degrees below the horizontal eye level, and the entire visual area of the screen should be adjusted so the downward view is never

“Everybody has a different limit to work.”

— Cintya Chaves

more than 60 degrees. Use eye drops to prevent dry eye, which can occur from decreased blinking while looking at a screen. For dry eyes, also consider blink training, ambient humidity, hydration and redirecting air conditioning. Use a matte screen filter on your phone and computer to reduce glare and strain on the eyes. Matte screen can be found on Amazon, or at Target and Walmart. Another key issue is that sitting for an extended period of time can contribute to bad posture. Improper posture at your desk results in neck, back, and spinal pain, chronic lower back pain and postural instability, as stated by a study for BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, a journal for the prevention, diagnosis, and management of musculature and skeleton disorders. To avoid pain and slouching, be aware of seated positions at a desk. Cintya Chaves, Hatha Yoga instructor for SF State GroupX, said that good posture begins with “building the awareness of your body from your feet to your head.” She suggests that the first thing to do is focus on the feet. If the feet aren’t flat on the floor, either lower the chair or place a pillow under the feet so they are grounded. Always press the sitting bones down into the chair. Become aware of the spine. Use pillows between the body and chair to lengthen the spine. “You need to be comfortable. How can you work

“You need to be comfortable. How can you work if you aren’t comfortable?”

— Cintya Chaves

rupts our circadian rhythm, also known as the natural wake-sleep regulator. It shortens REM cycle, or the propensity to dream, which creates a restless night, according to a study by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. To help prevent and treat computer vision syndrome, experts suggest adjusting device settings, repositioning equipment and reimaging your im-

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Photos by Alyssa Brown.

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if you aren’t comfortable? Pillows can help you with that,” Chaves said. She advises placing a pillow in the lap to rest the arms and hands when tired. Relax the shoulders and rotate them to open the chest, projecting the heart into the wall in front of you. Keep the length in the body by projecting a push from the top of the head to the ceiling. “Everybody has a different limit to work. If you feel that your body might be saying, ‘I’m tired, I can’t find a comfortable position,’ just stand up, stretch, hydrate and then return,” Chaves said. While challenges such as back pain and headaches are a nuisance for students adapting to learning at home, they are not impossible to manage and improve on. Yoga, for example, has great effects on the body and mind. “The main goal in yoga is to bring our mind to the present,” according to Chaves. A study for the International Journal of Yoga, a scientific journal dedicated to yoga research, found that it enhances muscle strength and body flexibility, improves respiratory and cardiovascular function, and promotes recovery and treatment for addiction. It reduces anxiety, stress, depression and chronic pain. Yoga also aids sleeping patterns and boosts overall well-being and quality of life. Consistent yoga increases serotonin levels and decreases monoamine oxidase, an enzyme that breaks down neurotransmitters and corti-

sol. It generates balanced energy that is vital to the immune system and leads to an inhibition of the sympathetic area of the hypothalamus, a region of the forebrain coordinating homeostatic systems involving sleep and emotion, optimizing the body‘s responses to stressful stimuli and restoring autonomic regulatory reflex mechanisms associated with stress. When a long day in front of a computer takes its toll and you‘re yearning to relax, Chaves recommends you get on the floor. Using a mat, towel or carpet, create a softer ground and move into the Child’s Pose. Start by sitting with the knees on the ground at hips-width. Fold the body over to make the sitting bones touch the heels and extend the arms shoulders-width apart in front of the body. Pull the head between the shoulders, and crawl the fingertips further away from the body. Doing so brings back realization of gravity, as standing and sitting are always acting against gravity. “[Child’s Pose] is very good for concentration and stretching your spine, arms and hands,” Chaves said. There are three types of movements to do in this position: move the spine forward and backward, side to side and twist. “Our spine is our center and structure,” Chaves said. “All the other bones, and the organs depend on our spine.” The following poses are proven to decrease pain over time, according to the International Journal of Yoga:

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Rag Doll From a standing position, bend the knees and curl forwards to meet them with the arms. Hands should be holding elbows. Drop the head and feel the stretch in the neck. This exercise helps new blood flow to the brain. Doing this on your breaks will help rejuvenate memory and creativity.

Downward Dog Get into a pushup position with hands shoulder-length apart and feet hips-width apart. Push back into the hips. Now bend the knees. Keep the head down between the shoulders and the arms straight. Alternate legs pushing the heel towards the ground. When ready, return to the pushup position and ease down to the floor. Keep the hands next to the shoulders, uncurl the toes and lift the upper body. Keep your hips pushed down into the floor. Feel the stretch in your lower back. This pose stretches the shoulders, upper back and calves.

Half-Sun Salutation Begin in mountain pose, stand with feet hip-width apart and arms down by your sides. Roll shoulders back, engage thighs and lift kneecaps. Next, move to Raised Arms pose, lift the arms straight out in front of the body and raise them above the head, either bringing them together, or remaining shoulder-width apart. Inhale deeply. Continue to pull the shoulders towards the ground. Forward bend, and exhale. Keep the arms and back aligned while lowering to the legs. Bend the knees slightly and let the head hang. Keep some weight in the balls of the feet so the hips won’t push back and unalign. Inhale to flat back, lift off the hands onto the fingertips and raise the head to flatten the back. Feel free to rest the hands on the legs as high as needed to reach a flat back. Exhale. Return to forward bend. Inhale and slowly rise back up feeling every vertebrae, keep chin to chest until the head is last to rise. Move the arms back up to Raised Arm position and repeat as many times as needed. This exercise stretches the spine, arms, shoulders and legs to help rejuvenate the body. Breathing through the motions invokes relaxation and concentration.

Chest Opener This can be done standing or sitting. Rise up tall with feet on the floor hips-width apart, and interlace hands behind the neck. Push the elbows out wide. Now lift the spine and look to the ceiling, allowing the head to drop into the hands. When ready, ease back into a comfortable position and bring the elbows in, keeping the hands behind the neck. Curl forward by rounding the spine and dropping the head. Feel the stretch in the back of your neck. This exercise helps open the airways and stretch the arms and shoulders.

Corpse Pose Lay on the ground with hands by the sides with palms facing up towards the ceiling and legs spread apart. Allow the feet to fall open feeling the pull of gravity towards the ground. Use this time to meditate, by focusing on breathing in and out. Let thoughts come and go with each breath. This pose helps the body and mind to relax, it allows time for checking in with one’s self.

Spinal Twists From a seated position, place feet flat on the ground hips-width apart. Lengthen the spine and twist it to one side. Use the side of the chair to gently pull yourself deeper into the stretch. Hold for five seconds, then repeat on the other side. Spinal twists help realign and promote movement in the spine.

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Aromatherapy is a holistic healing treatment that uses natural plant extracts or essential oils to improve the health of the body, mind and spirit. It improves mood, alertness and math computations, as reported by a study for the International Journal of Neuroscience. “Aromatherapy is described as both an art and a science, because it takes the knowledge of the scientific aspects of the plants and oils, and combines it with the art of producing a beneficial blend,” the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy said. A study conducted for European Neurology suggests inhaling lavender when an abundance of screen time causes migraines.This herb is known to help reduce and manage migraines. Results showed that from 129 headache attack cases, 92 responded entirely or partially to lavender. If school and work is taking a toll on mental and physical health, the Neurological Clinic of the Christian Albrechts University of Germany suggests applying a combination of peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil and ethanol. Each of these results in muscle and mental relaxation, which can help increase cognitive performance. A combination of peppermint oil and ethanol is proven to have the greatest effects on pain reduction. When typing all day cramps up the hands, try chamomile oil. A study in Research in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, investigated the use of chamomile oil for mild and moderate Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, which is pressure on the median nerve on the palm side of the hand causing numbness, tingling and weakness. The study found that chamomile oil improved symptoms of severity, func-

tionality, and strength when applied to the hand. For restless nights and stress, try chamomile oil or tea. It treats insomnia, induces calming effects and assists in healing wounds, as stated in Complementary and Alternative Therapies and the Aging Population. This study found the effects of chamomile oil, in the form of aromatherapy or massage, to aid anxiety and improve the quality of life for cancer patients. If restful sleep is becoming scarce, lavender and chamomile aromatherapy is proven to decrease anxiety and improve the quality of sleep. When overwhelmed by school, try inhaling rosemary oil. It was discovered to increase short-term memorization of images and numbers by the Egyptian Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences. While these holistic and physical recommendations may improve one‘s ability to cope with the online world, Chaves has one more straightforward piece of advice. “Don‘t forget to breathe. We just forget that we are breathing. It’s so automatic we don‘t think about it. Every ten minutes or so ask yourself, ‘how am I breathing?’ If you take advantage of all the spaces in your body to breath, you are going to feel much more concentrated and calm,” Chaves said. “Breathing can help you to calm thoughts and feelings. If you are feeling anxious about an assignment, stop and breathe for five minutes. Do the correct movements. When you inhale you should expand your belly, and when you exhale you should contract your belly inward.” Cintya Chaves teaches Hatha yoga every Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. The class is available to all students via the Mashouf Wellness Center. X

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women raising the ledge of skateboard culture photo story by Sean Reyes bottom/right Shelley Rose Cartalla poses for a portrait at Westborough Park on Oct. 6, 2020. Cartalla is an artist based in South San Francisco, who has expressed herself through skateboarding, painting, embroidery and most recently tattooing. Cartalla first held a skateboard when she was nine years old, but didn’t start regularly skateboarding until two years ago. “My favorite thing about skating is that it’s really fun and I get to be expressive about it too,” Cartalla said. “I get to wear what I want, and do what I want with skateboarding and not give a shit about what other people think.” South San Francisco. (Sean Reyes / Xpress Magazine)

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left Tabitha “Tabby” Rae Bartholome performs a boneless 180 off of a ledge at Fremont Skate Park on Oct. 7, 2020. “My favorite thing about skateboarding is that you push yourself a lot,” Bartholome said. Fremont, Calif. (Sean Reyes / Xpress Magazine).

right Tabitha “Tabby” Rae Bartholome poses for a portrait at Fremont Skate Park on Oct. 7, 2020. “I really like that girls can show up and prove to people that they can do what boys are doing,” Bartholome said on the inclusion of female skateboarders in the community. The advice she would give to young women who want to start skateboarding is: “Not only boys can do it. You can do it too. You just have to be confident.” (Sean Reyes / Xpress Magazine)

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top Kat Campos kickflips at Harry Bridges Plaza on Sep. 30, 2020. San Francisco. (Sean Reyes / Xpress Magazine)

left Kat Campos poses for a portrait at Harry Bridges Plaza on Sept. 30, 2020. Campos commented that her favorite thing about skateboarding is “how it connects everyone so easily, because we’re doing the same thing in the same spot. Literally, it bonds people like nothing else.” Campos also addressed the sexism in the community. She spoke about a prior experience of a male skateboarder underestimating her abilities. According to Campos, his reasoning was “cause you’re a girl,” which left Campos puzzled and upset. San Francisco. (Sean Reyes / Xpress Magazine)

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XPRESS MAGAZINE

STREET ARTISTS UNITE THE CITY DURING THE PANDEMIC Story by

Rebecca Schupp Photos by

jun ueda & Rebecca Schupp Diego Gomez stands in front of their mural, holding their dog Jasmine at Walgreens Pharmacy on 18th Street in San Francisco on Oct. 13, 2020. (Jun Ueda / Xpress Magazine)

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OCTOBER 2020

Art.

It is all around us and there are many different ways of expressing it — whether it be visual or performance art. It is important to utilize creative muscles to create an escape as a form of therapy, especially during difficult times such as those we have faced this year. Something that emerged from a scary, apocalyptic locked-down city riddled with barricaded storefronts is an endless series of new murals all over San Francisco. Xpress Magazine sat down with five street artists to hear their stories, and shine a light on those who keep lifting us up and inspiring us with their creations.

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“We don’t have queer murals, we don’t have transgender murals, so I do queer street art, because no one can tell me I can’t do this art.”

Jeremy Novy InstaGRAM: @jeremynovy

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eremy Novy is a stencil street artist who has dedicated his life to art. Novy is originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and moved to California to pursue street art after getting his second art degree. Novy was drawn to San Francisco in 2008 to join the street art movement after flipping through coffee books inspired him. Novy says that art fixes what the city is ignoring. He started his career by documenting urban decay in Milwaukee in 2004. He focused on the things and people that were leaving Milwaukee. He put up stencils on the doors and windows of boarded up houses to highlight the problems in a cartoony way. Novy chose stencil as his medium because it is much cheaper than printing. Novy is most famous for koi fish, which can be found all over San Francisco and beyond. The koi refer to Chinese numerology, in which lucky numbers were hidden in artworks during the cultural revolution to communism in China. The number seven, for example, brings luck with relationships and community. Novy wants murals in San Francisco to speak to all demographics, so he puts up stencils of different segments of the queer community. He includes depictions of drag queens, leather people and bears to create a visual safe space for those communities. “Murals are about empowering different demographics. We have murals for migrant farmers, women, the handicapped, different races, different cultures, cities, counties and states. We have all these murals that are about empowering these people. We don’t have queer murals, we don’t have transgender murals, so I do queer street art, because no one can tell me I can’t do this art,” Novy said. To Novy, art is a form of self-care, which has become even more crucial in the COVID-19 era. When other forms of self-care are not an option, such as going to a bar and having a drink with a group of people, or going to a museum, it’s important to replace them. Amid the pandemic he created art such as a bear, with a bewildered, sad expression, that holds a sign that says “free hugs,” juxtaposed with a big, “canceled” stamp across his belly. Novy also added a life-sized stenciled Icarus on the plywood covering the windows of Walgreens Pharmacy in the Castro District, which inspired our next highlighted artist, Diego Gomez, to add to it.

— Jeremy Novy

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Jeremy Novy stands in front of his street art with a bandana covering his face at the corner of 18th and Sanchez streets in San Francisco on Oct. 14, 2020. (Jun Ueda / Xpress Magazine)


OCTOBER 2020

Diego Gomez InstaGRAM: @designnurd ican culture to the Greek mythology of Novy’s work. So, they drew a jaguar mermaid god, surrounding Icarus with a black Sharpie. Gomez uses their art to brighten up spaces considered unattractive, so people feel happier and more connected to their neighborhood. “If things could be covered in flowers, trees, moss and vines, I would be fine with that. I don’t think we necessarily need more murals, but every building is not about to be covered in vines,” Gomez said. “It just looks dirty and gross sometimes, so why not add some more color? What I don’t want to see anymore are more beige buildings, because that’s really boring.”

“Let’s vote for whoever will allow the most colorful, joyful art possible.” — DIEGO Gomez

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iego Gomez is a professor at City College, who teaches fashion courses in illustration, history, careers, digital fashion, and portfolios. Gomez has many talents, and has written and illustrated multiple comic books about the 1963 Civil Rights movement. They are the creator of “Hell Babes,” a story about drag queens in hell. They are also the publisher of DADDY ISSUES magazine, and designer of a flag that combines the Black Lives Matter movement with the gay pride flag colors. They grew up in Daly City and has been living in the Tenderloin District for the last 15 years. Art and fashion are in their blood. Their mother was very fashionable, and their father was a painter. When they were a child, Gomez was bullied, so they used art as a way to escape, while at the same time getting the attention from other children. Gomez takes inspiration from Madonna, and fictional characters such as the X-Men and Diego Gomez stands in front of their mural holding a prop head of President Trump at Walgreens other comics and TV shows. Pharmacy on 18th Street in San Francisco on Oct. 13, 2020. (Jun Ueda / Xpress Magazine) Gomez has painted many murals, but many have been painted over since — a Gomez’s final thought to share with Xpress Magafate many street artists are facing. One mural that is zine was a political one. still up is the addition to Jeremy Novy’s Icarus. Go“Let’s vote for whoever will allow the most colorful, mez was inspired to add an element from their Mex- joyful art possible,” Gomez said. 33


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Nicole Hayden Instagram: @nicolehaydenart

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icole Hayden didn’t know that street art was for her until she walked around her Hayes Valley neighborhood during the lockdown, and saw all the plain plywood as potential canvasses. All the boarded up storefronts made her feel as if she had to do something creative that was uplifting and beautiful. She created COVID-19 bears wearing masks as well as murals with beautiful flowers. She also painted a 1940’s pinup girl on a swing with a mask and gloves on at Yoga Tree in Hayes Valley, as well as a male pinup riding a whale at the Moby Dick bar in the Castro. “I just really really wanted to get out there and beautify my city,” Hayden said. Hayden was born in Chicago, Illinois and has been painting and drawing since she was six years old. She came to San Francisco in 2001 to get a master’s degree from the California College of Arts and Crafts. After graduating she worked as a decorative painter and photo finisher,and learned to create works in various styles, such as interior murals, wood graining and marbleized plaster. This experience formed her mural making skills seen today. When shelter-in-place began, Hayden used her art as a coping mechanism. She received a lot of positive feedback from the community, which thanked her for beautifying the city. “It’s the least I could do — to bring art to the streets during this time,” Hayden said. Hayden is inspired by everything. She loves getting out into nature, taking hikes and going on adventures with her husband and dog. She also loves seeing other murals in the city. Hayden’s work and portfolio has expanded since the pandemic hit the world and she hopes that she can continue to do outdoor murals. “There’s something pretty magical about working outdoors,” Hayden said.

“It’s the least I could do — to bring art to the streets during this time.” — Nicole Hayden 34


OCTOBER 2020

Nicole Hayden poses in front of her tulip mural on Castro Street in San Francisco on Oct. 14, 2020. (Jun Ueda / Xpress Magazine)

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Jordan Herren Instagram: @jherren

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ordan Herren was born and raised in San Francisco. He studied marketing at SF State University. Eight years ago, while a student, he took to a canvas that was sitting in his room and created a painting, which he posted on social media. This kickstarted his career as an artist, as more and more people commissioned his work. After graduating, Herren worked in the marketing industry but is now a full-time artist. Herren describes himself as a contemporary artist, using acrylic and spray paints. He is inspired by graffiti artist, Cost, and fellow San Francisco street artist, Apex.

“I believe that we’re the curators of how the public feels, and I think it is a responsibility for an artist to interpret that and put it out there — as long as it’s positive, of course.” — Jordan Herren

“I try to make something that I personally would like to put up in my home,” Herren said. Herren is most famous for painting the San Francisco skyline, which he also put up on the covered windows of two bars in the Castro District. His work located at Badland’s was the first mural he ever painted. Herren applied to the Paint the Void program, an organization that gives grants to artists for “safeguarding hope and beauty in the wake of COVID-19.” One month later he was chosen to create the mural at Badlands located on 18th Street. Since then he has done six more murals, and strives to always improve his craft. Seeing his own art on the streets of San Francisco means a lot to Herren — he always wanted to be a full-time artist and is now finally making it via the transition to street art. “I believe that we’re the curators of how the public feels, and I think it is a responsibility for an artist to interpret that and put it out there — as long as it’s positive, of course,” Herren said

SF State alum Jordan Herren poses in front of his mural at the former Badlands bar on 18th Street in San Francisco on Oct. 13, 2020. 36 (Jun Ueda / Xpress Magazine)


OCTOBER 2020

Derrick Bell stands in front of his mural on 18th Street in San Francisco on Oct. 3, 2020. (Rebecca Schupp / Xpress Magazine)

Derrick Bell Instagram: @derrickbellart

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orty four-year-old Derrick Bell is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio and has been in the Bay Area for about five years. He lives in Oakland where he teaches art to middle school students. Derrick is not typically a street artist, but he said yes when a friend reached out to him asking if he wanted to paint a mural on plywood covering windows in San Francisco’s Castro District. Bell got in touch with the business owner of Cheaters Too, who chose artwork from Bell’s website, which he then painted on the plywood. The mural depicts a woman bowing with a baby on her back. Bell’s work can be seen at 4126 18th Street. “I look at the world as my inspiration. Really, I do. Anything that moves, anything that’s breathing inspires me. I’m fascinated with nature. Hearing other

people’s stories inspires me. Especially underdog stories,” Bell said. Bell thinks that art serves as an escape or a gateway to a fantasy world, especially during a pandemic. He also sees it as a type of therapeutic exercise for people, such as his students, to use. He explained that he believes art heals people and releases frustration. Art is not only fun to look at, but it also speaks to happenings in our city and our country. Black Lives Matter, equality, immigration, women’s rights and other social issues are the type of themes on display in the artists’ work. Bell hopes that at the end of the COVID-19 era, when it is time for the plywood to come down, that there will be a show or exhibition at a museum that showcases all the different artwork created during the crises our country is facing. X

“I look at the world as my inspiration. Really, I do. Anything that moves, anything that’s breathing inspires me. I’m fascinated with nature. Hearing other people’s stories inspires me. Especially underdog stories.” — Derrick Bell

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PLANT PARENTS XPRESS MAGAZINE

Photo story by Emily Curiel

Hannah Adams prepares soil to plant sprouting broccoli in vegetable garden bed project she made during quarantine i Sunday Oct. 04, 2020.

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“Anybody and everyone can have plants. It’s no exclusive club to own plants. You can have one, you can have 100, they’re equally as beautiful and important, no matter how many you have. I think it’s a wonderful way to unplug and unwind. It teaches us to sometimes focus our energy on other things than ourselves, because they’re babies and you get to take care of them. So, I recommend it. Everyone should get a plant, at least one, in their life.” — Hannah Adams

n a recent in Berkeley on

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“It’s not silly to talk to your plants. I talk to my plants. They’re alive. Just like I am alive. I feel like it encourages their growth. Plants are living matter. They’re made up of energy, and molecules and atoms just like we are. And so if you know a person can benefit from you talking to them, or giving them words of encouragement or letting them know that you care about them, I think a plant can too.”

Paige Acosta holds up her English Ivy while sitting on a patio chair in her backyard in South San Francisco on Thursday Oct. 01, 2020.

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— Paige Acosta

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“I also have a soft place in my heart for the zebra plant. Because when I got it, I was to lose all its leaves, and now I fully understand it a lot better.” — Isaac Arreola

killing it. And now it’s at a point where it’s doing fine. It took me a little bit of

time to work with it. I feel this was the rebellious teenager that I adopted, that wanted

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43 Isaac Arreola decorates his window ledge with succulents to match the succulent poster on his bedroom wall.


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During quarantine, Adams says that having plants helps with mental and physical health. “Even outside of the pandemic, they provide me clean air, they provide me a sense of stability, something to nurture and love and take care of. I would say, regarding my vegetable garden that I just started it was definitely a wonderful quarantine project to keep myself preoccupied and off my phone. And really spend time in solitude just with Momma Earth.”

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— Hannah Adams

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Photo by EMILY CURIEL

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