SCAN Spring 2021

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SCAN is the quarterly student print magazine of the Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta. All editorial content is determined by the student editors. Opinions expressed in SCAN are not necessarily those of the college. ©2021 SCAN Magazine. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher. Visit us at for all previous issues and more. Cover design: Khushboo Uday Nayak Photography: Daniella Almona Model: Fayo Adenuga Staff illustration: Diem Quynh “Julie” Tran



In a world cramped and closed where concrete flows in inconceivable scopes, where children grow into churches of contrarians congregating around the non-conformists, where discontentment constitutes the conduct of congratulations, where creativity becomes the contorted consequence of conventions — conscious in such a construct, we can consistently count on one constant. It is not a con that we have created. It is a case of Contradiction.

— Diem Quynh “Julie” Tran


4. STUDENT SHOWCASE Shayna Moore and Rebecca Michaud embraces different aspects of their crafts.

8.COLLEGE LIFE: AN OXYMORON You're in college? And you have a "life?" No such thing in this day and age!



Art review of Via Café's exhibition.

A tale of race, disguise and the circus.


31. 65 ROSES

An angel, a demon, a girl, an actor and a vampire walk into a bar.

Kate Barton creates fashion inspired by loss.



Amari Moneé's collection discovers spiritual healing.

First year SCAD students share tales of 2020.



A short story about salsa's upbeat tragedies.

Autumn Nelson delves into the complexities of her identity.


44. ARTS CORNER Living contradictions.



What project are you currently working on?

Interviewed by John Warner Portrait by Shirley Susilo

What inspires your design concepts? My mantra is that interior designers create the soul of a building. I firmly believe in putting the client’s needs first when it comes to concepting. My design concepts, inspirations, and solutions depend on the client’s project synopsis. Knowing the problem helps me navigate the research process to cultivate a thought-provoking and captivating concept. By taking a complex vision to a more intimate level, the project becomes something more than just aesthetically pleasing.

Why did you choose to pursue a career in interior design? Since the 7th grade, I have wanted to do interior design. My mom worked in hospitality construction at various casino resorts in Las Vegas, so I grew up around the industry. My sister and I would often go with her to work on the weekends and she would show us how the projects were constructed. Being exposed to all the wonderful examples of hospitality and designs of Vegas sparked something in me and I have been in love with interior design ever since.

I am working on my Såtba project with the design concept Na’na’lo, which means “return to original state”. It embodies an appreciation and understanding of the land and local culture. Guam is “where America’s day begins’’ and it is one of the most lush and most beautiful islands. The island has been colonized three times. The Guamanian or Chamorro people have lost over 90 percent of their original population of people due to enslavement, colonization and neo-colonization. I want to be sensitive to Chamorro history and bring the culture to life through my design. By recognizing the raw original beauty that Guam displays, I design based on inspiration from native architectural elements, cultural dress, the land, ocean and stunning sunsets.

What are you hoping to achieve with your current project? I am most excited about the potential impact of this project’s design. Sometimes as a society we turn a blind eye to the things that do not affect us. I want my designs to be accessible for everyone in all spaces. Design can bring healing. On one hand, I want to create something that offers a wanderlust experience for guests. On the other hand, I want to help the community, educate the travelers on the land they are visiting and preserve the local culture. The biggest thing I have learned in design school is healing, mentally and physically. We spend 90 percent of our lives indoors. Those spaces can be therapeutic, tranquil and serene. Every space and every person deserves good design.

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SHAYNA MOORE Fourth-year, interior design


What is your favorite piece you produced? There was a comic I worked on last term that I’m very proud of — it’s a short comic called “Lover of Lady Death,” about a serial killer who falls in love with Lady Death. It’s very much a departure from the usual lighthearted fantasy/action work I do, but I really love how it turned out. It was one of the first comics I did where I pushed the level of detail in my work, and it turned out wonderfully.

Interviewed by Zipporah Dorsey Portrait by Shirley Susilo

What kind of struggles do you face with your art form?

What made you become interested in sequential art?

Motivation and consistency, for sure. As I mentioned earlier, comics are a marathon — big projects can take months to years of hard work to finish, and burnout is a big struggle that most comic artists face. There’s also a bigger problem in the way art is made on social media: there’s a constant push to always have something to show. Also, I like to work in genres that often contradict each other, such as children’s literature and thriller/horror. But I try to keep my demographic audience in mind when choosing what types of themes to put in a story. I also put warnings on all of my adult content.

Honestly, I’ve been reading comics in some way or another since I was little. My first real introduction to comics was newspaper comics, of course. I really wasn’t interested in making comics until I discovered webcomics in late high school — it was a really accessible way for artists of all different levels of talent to self-publish their work, and there are entire libraries of comics content online. I wanted to be an artist and writer when I was younger, and through webcomics, I discovered a way to do both. I’ve been making comics off and on since late high school. For three years I ran an online comic that will never see the light of day again.

How do you promote yourself as an artist and promote your work? I primarily promote myself on social media, whether it be through my Instagram or Twitter, @raspberryimps. I post most of my recent work there, as well as my ongoing webcomic and sneak peeks into future projects. I’ll also take this moment to thank my friends: Jay, Dax, Robin, Shelbi and Kelsey — I couldn’t do any of this without their constant love and support. Thank you for having me!

What can we look forward to next in your work? What do you seek to do with your art in the future? Well, I’ve got two stories that I’m working on turning into concepts for graphic novels, which is exciting! In the meantime, I’ve been working on an ongoing webcomic called “Oxblood” over on my Instagram, which is a thriller/fantasy choose-your-own-adventure comic. In the future, I would love to write and publish my own original content, of course, but recently I’ve loved the idea of doing some sort of novel adaptation. I read a lot as a kid, and I’d love to find a way to publish official adaptations of some of the work that inspired my own.

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REBECCA MICHAUD Fourth-year, sequential art


Can’t have class if you’re unconscious!

Making a teenager/20-year-old wake up at 7 a.m. is like making an adult wake up at 5 a.m. Students’ average waking time:



The perfect work time starts at 11:27 a.m. Work days in this range would reduce health risk and improve performance.


11:59 p.m. is the true witching hour! Many educators believe in rigid deadline policies as well as attendance policies, which directly affect students with mental health issues, working students and low-income students. 14 million working learners:

43% are low-income students

18% are Black 25% are Latino

58% are women

60% of those who works for over 15 hour/week earn average grades of C or lower

Written by Diem Quynh "Julie" Tran Illustrated by Devanshi Uday Chitalia



First-year college students are no longer the stereotypical fresh-faced 18-year-olds. 1 in 5 is at least 30 years old

50% is financially independent from their parents

1 in 4 is caring for a child

47% go to school part time at some point

3/4 take a year off before starting school

44% have parents who never completed a bachelor’s degree

We hold contradictions and oxymorons to be a normal part of life. But sometimes, they are symptoms of a bigger systemic problem: lack of support for the unsupported. The population of the college students is growing more diverse, bringing in more nuanced needs for support and understanding. The college environment must reflect these changes if it were to stay true to its goal: education.


A PAST RENEWED Art review of Via Café’s exhibition

Written by Carlos Nunez Illustrated by Tia Nagaraj I drove for hours, motivated by an odd, singular hunger for art, through 80 miles of kudzu and Family Dollars to get here: Comer, Georgia, a place where “middle of nowhere” is an understatement and compliment. For here, in the outskirts of outskirts and the suburbs of suburbs, is where Tif Sigfrids’s new gallery location stands. Via Café walks us through the early 2000s art scene in Los Angeles. The booming new century was fresh — California fresh. UCLA students would hang out around Chinatown and the artwork shown in the galleries started frequenting Via Café as

much as the artists. The shop operated as a place for artistic minds to meet, laugh and decompress over espressos and banh mis. I entered the space to find myself staring at the bedecked counter wall: all works, zero negative space. Tif Sigfrids & Jasmine Little have curated a tale from the first-person perspective. The surrounding walls were packed with nostalgia that resembled an inside joke that the audience was willing to watch, learn and dig to unravel.

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The show packs more than just conceptual rigor. It is a time capsule that presents a glimpse from the Chinatown scene’s glory days. Bettina Hubby’s Abracadabra is casually tilted on the wall, surrounded by Via coffee cups. The small canvas reiterates the incantation in vivid warm tones, humorous with mysterious intentions — is it a joke, or it is an obsession? Jennifer Rochlin’s ceramic vessel of intimacy on the round is a playful visual journey. A painting in clay, it creates an intricate story of affinity through physical touch: two figures pose in calm, visceral confidence, surrounded by sketch-like floral details and peacock feathers that interlock in a soft celebration, visually hugging the piece’s intimate forms and suggesting a shift in perspectives. Accompanying the vessel is Josh Callaghan’s oversized peach pit. The ceramic highlights the complex groves we don’t often see. By mimicking nature in concept and form, the pit functions as an allegory for rebirth and the human disconnection with its surroundings. The cracks and ridges on the pit’s surface are no different to the marks and dents of our memory: complicated, often overlooked. The message is in the size — what was invisible is now commanding space. This show is an ode to the good old days. Regardless of being in Los Angeles or Comer, the community that rose around

that particular Café is thick with magic and talent. Nostalgia is in the atmosphere, with the artwork closer to each other than I have been to a human being in over a year, with groups of friends who come from across the country for one more reunion, with the remnants of their past jokes, interests and obsessions spread throughout the space. The past often tastes better, especially when you find it in the present, where it’s supposed to be long gone. I hopped back in my car and started driving back to reality with a strange sense of fulfillment. For an afternoon, I was part of something that I, in reality, wasn’t. A time capsule is often exclusive, but the one Via Café offers welcomes everyone in, for the price of a cup of coffee.



AN ANGEL, A DEMON, A GIRL, A VAMPIRE AND AN ACTOR WALK INTO A BAR ... (short story) Written by Rachel Carp Illustrated by Don Tang

Goddamn The angel Sandalphon decided he’d heard enough. He was reclining on a motel bed, tearing into a box of powdered donuts, when he caught on TV a man acquitting a criminal. Sandalphon dusted donut powder off his complimentary robe and listened for a prayer. He heard none but choked on his donut when the same man who’d acquitted the criminal later affirmed his guilt. “Godda —”

A Mediocre Start for a Day in Human History The end of the world was on a Tuesday. The time was 11:01 a.m, though nobody recorded it.

Lily was starting a new project. An award-winning performance with costumes designed by her, songs written by her and A-listers cast by her, all drawn up in her mind as precisely and determinedly as her intention to abandon it. She worked as a barista, but she was going for the big leagues. It was a tradition among barista to have big ambitions, so they could keep working as baristas until they died or until, Heaven allows, everybody else died. “I’m not tired,” Lily mumbled, bobbing her head up and down as she cut out pages from a Vogue magazine and blasted the TV. “The Ulcer” was on, a medical show about doctors making out in supply closets that only seemed to lock when there were no keys to open them.


The main actor was having a signing today in her city, and Lily marked it on her calendar. He was a terrible actor. She wanted his autograph. It was as good a motivation as any to abandon her musical. So she did, walking out to get an autograph without bringing anything to the Actor to sign. She did that with intention. It was a beautiful day. She smiled at everyone who didn’t look at her and looked away as soon as they did. She bought a coffee cup and emptied it in the street, saving the cup for the actor to sign. At the theatre, she saw a mob of five or six people. A woman in business attire stood off to the side, scanning the street and playing with her hands. When she spotted Lily, she called out, “Hey! Do you want to meet the star of ‘The Ulcer?’” “No!” Lily shouted indignantly, with the superiority of someone who had much better things to do. She walked faster to pass them and took a sip of her coffee, forgetting it was empty. She paused at the end of the block, leaning on a building as pedestrians crossed the street. She could never go back now. Rejecting the Actor like that brought a devastating satisfaction and a satisfying devastation. It was unbearable. She took another sip before remembering her cup was empty and tossing it in the trash. A man jumped at the sound. He was tall and pale, alarmingly so. He stuttered and Lily could see elongated incisors in his mouth. Angelic Cell Block Tango Sandalphon flew to the end of the world, hovering his finger over a shiny red button. “Um, excuse me,” Samael said, “What are you doing?”


The angel and demon stared at each other. Sandalphon in his motel robe and donut powder on his face and hands, and Samael in snorkel gear.

all that remained of him, so he introduced himself to Lily. When she turned to walk away, he followed, waiting for an alley to drag her into.

“Vacationing in the —”

Before he could, the bomb struck.


“Go figure,” he said. In the next moment, Lily slammed into him, propelled by the force of the blast.

“Oh, nice,” Sandalphon wriggled his fingers over the button. “It looks like you’re having a hard time.” “Not me,” the angel laughed uneasily. “Uh huh. And what are you doing with that button?” the demon nodded empathetically, standing like he was waiting in a line. Sandalphon hesitated. “Just a teensy restart on our little project. Hope you don’t mind.” “Maybe Boss would. You keep restarting before we’re even halfway to finishing.” “He wouldn’t, though,” said the angel earnestly, coaxing the demon to see things his way. “Our project has too many inconsistencies. He likes keeping things straight, right?” “Yes, heterosexual.” “No, straight!” Sandalphon shifted and pulled Samael in next to the button. “Here, you do it. If He sees that even a roundabout twisted folk like you can’t handle it …” Immortal for the Apocalypse Oppenheimer was not-a-man starved. He hadn’t eaten in weeks, such was the case for vampires who hated blood. It made him gag. But hunger was

When he opened his eyes again, she was gone, and so was the city. Sitting up, he noticed stains on his clothes. Blood. He opened his mouth as Lily’s face appeared in front of him. She blinked as he emptied his stomach in her face. The content of it passed straight through her. “Hey, man, what the hell!” She lunged at him, trying to hold his mouth shut with her hands, but she fell through him and disappeared in the ground. Oppenheimer scrambled to stand, searching for her. She appeared moments later, floating up from the rubble. “Am I dead?” The vampire saw that she was. His hungry nausea turned into nauseating hunger. He started to weep. The Ulcer There was a scream somewhere under the rubble. Oppenheimer ran for it. Lily floated forward, catching up to Oppenheimer who was digging for the screams. Lily clasped her hands around the survivor’s arm but they passed through it. Oppenheimer leaned down to help but noticed a trail of blood on the man’s face. He couldn’t stop his vomiting but manag ed to pull t he s ur v ivor up any way. It was t he Actor. “O h my g od,” L ily g as ped, “C ould you autog raph my … my ..."


The Actor gaped at her, shoving Oppenheimer away, “You want my autograph? Now?" “I’m your only surviving fan!” said Lily breathlessly, then remembered. “Kind of!” The Actor looked around to confirm this declaration. Then he turned to her with his handsome face and deep-set eyes sparkling in two stagnant pools of tears. “My agent had my pen!”

stepping back, “But I need to know how it ends.” “I’m an atheist,” the vampire said, just before God flicked him into the ruins of a Barnes & Noble, smackdab in the middle of the teenage vampire aisle. With another flick, he revived the Actor and charged with finding the rest of “The Ulcer” scripts. Satisfied, he turned to Lily and stuck his godly, powdered finger in her face. “Finish it. The big leagues.” Lily gaped. “But I have no audience.”

Lily looked at Oppenheimer and nodded. The vampire needed no further permission. Desperately he grabbed the Actor by the neck. “I’m so sorry about this.”

“If the people like it, I’ll bring back the audience.”

The Montblanc Samael and Sandalphon were rolling in the dirt like tumbleweeds when God found them. He picked up Sandalphon’s box of donuts and finished them, snapping the powder off his fingers to get their attention.

“No more questions,” snapped God, already turning away to check on the Actor with his scripts. He could be heard mumbling to Sandalphon. “Maybe next time we make a less argumentative mankind, yes? Write it down.”

“I was watching ‘Real Housewives’ when suddenly there was no TV and no housewives. What would you do if you were in my shoes?”

“I have no pen, sir,” said Sandalphon timidly.

“Watch the news,” Sandalphon said. “I would, if you had spared some newscasters and some loons they could make news with. And what about the survivors?” “Survivors?” God pointed to a hill in the distance. Sandalphon and Samael flew to it and found Oppenheimer struggling with the Actor, alternating between drinking his blood and gagging. The vampire looked up and regurgitated on His holy shoes. “I was never a huge fan of ‘The Ulcer,’” God said,

“But how can I know if the people would like it if there’s no audience?”

“I do!” the Actor cried triumphantly, standing over the remains of his agent, holding up a Montblanc that, in the next Holy week, God would use to rewrite the world. On the sixth day, God rested. The Montblanc had run out of ink.


In the process of constructing the garments I was trying to find a name for the collection. As I was talking to God and listening to a sermon, God revealed to me the word “Reclaimed.” During the past couple years, I was dealing with heartbreak and personal trauma. Simultaneously, I was trying to find my footing in the real world. Being a young African American woman trying to findher identity while working tirelessly to make her dreams a reality is the heavy load to bear day in day out. But all of the loss and emotional uprooting I experienced was all for a purpose: character development, strengthening, spiritual growth, healing and much more. God reclaimed every ounce of my self-worth, self-love and awakened me spiritually. — Amari Moneé

Photography: Daniella Almona Garments: Amari Moneé Model: Fayo Adenuga Fashion illustration: Fiona Kelly Photo editing: Diem Quynh “Julie” Tran

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How the Tragic dances (short story) Written by Alejandro Bastidas Illustrated by Kire Torres

hat started as a trip to my grandmother’s basement ended in an interdimensional journey to an alternate version of New York City. Something tells me that Abuela Ophelia knew exactly what would happen as soon as I ventured into the darkness below her bungalow. That kind of humor preserved her youth despite her seventy-two years of age. My other theory is that salsa, both the dance and the sublime act of listening to it, made her move and act with more vitality than people my age.


“Mijo,” she called from the kitchen. “Yes?” I yelled from the other side of the bungalow. She didn’t answer. Instead, I had to walk across the bungalow to receive the next part of the message, and in my slow walk, I realized that my mother had the exact same habit. “Yes, Abuela?" She studied me for a few moments, her small eyes reflecting the intensity of those who have lived more than they tell, and with her head tilted slightly as if to catch a better angle of me, she said: “You’re not eating. Too skinny, Juanito. If you stay like that, you’ll fly away when the south winds blow in the winter. It happened to your cousin Omar.” “Abuela, Omar was kidnapped,” I told her. “Remember? That’s why he never came back.”

Her smile faltered for a moment, the cold claws of remembrance digging back into her head. “Sorry,” I told her. “Yeah, I’ll eat some more when I get back home.” Her smile returned. “Nonsense,” she said. “I’ll make you some pandebonos right now. In the meantime, can you go to the basement and bring me my magazines? I want to sew in the evening.” “Of course,” I told her. I gave her one quick kiss on her head before I rushed down for her magazines. Abuela Ophelia always stayed updated on the latest fashion trends but refused to go outside and purchase them at the mall, preferring to make everything herself, using a machine that was twice my age but still worked better than my own brain. She could work for hours without taking breaks or complaining about her leg, even though I knew it always hurt her. The only time she would stop was when a salsa song played on the radio. Then, she’d hop from her chair, clap her hands in excitement, close her eyes and let the music guide her legs while she sang to Celia Cruz. That was Ophelia.


How she’d come to obtain an artifact capable of interdimensional travel will always be beyond me. No matter how many times I asked her, she would always dramatize a convincing case of ignorance and call me crazy. The basement beneath her bungalow was a cemetery of memories about our family, our triumphs and losses, always in a constant battle to see which of the two amounted to a greater weight. For someone like Ophelia, whose memory was fractured by the inevitable side-effects of time, the basement also served as a sanctuary where she could touch events and faces that her mind had forgotten, holding on to the fragile pieces of the past that in other homes would have only accumulated dust. Ophelia kept the basement as neat as her own bedroom. The lavender perfume she sprayed over her clothes was also present in the wood and drywall and tapestries below.

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Ophelia’s magazines were piled up in chronological order next to an icon of the Virgin of Guadalupe, a present from my Abuelo Tito after his trip to Mexico. Ophelia revered the Virgin as a connection to a holy figure but also the love of her life, taken from her too quickly, too viciously, by the natural occurrences in Cali that come in the shape of a bullet. In this city, that’s a natural form of death. Strokes are rare. Hitmen, on the other hand, are not.Just as I selected two magazines, my eyes wandered across the basement and settled on her old record player, which would have seemed new to anyone for its immaculate golden glint. But the record covers beside it were torn well enough, and that made them precious, for it meant they had been held by loving hands. I browsed through the collection and recognized titles from Héctor Lavoe, el Joe Arroyo, Richie Ray & Bobby Cruz, Maelo Ruiz, Ismael Rivera, Grupo Niche and, at last, Rubén Blades. The last record by Rubén Blades was signed with a blue marker that surpassed the test of time. It was “Pedro Navaja,” one of his greatest hits. Knowing that Abuela would forgive my tardiness, I played the record and closed my eyes. The steady rhythm of the introductory bongos carried me away. The song grew louder in my ears with every passing second, and I finally learned what people meant when they said some songs could absorb the audience into the melody. Because when I opened my eyes to check if the player had malfunctioned, I found myself far from Abuela Ophelia’s basement. Far from Colombia, my home.

I’d imagined him many times as a funny fellow, this Pedro Navaja that Rubén Blades had so masterfully described, but when he appeared before my eyes like a sinister apparition sent to punish infidels and saints alike, his feet in synch with the bongos blaring from the heavens above, I knew I was staring at the kind of man who had murdered Abuelo Tito. Pedro Navaja, meaning Pedro Switchblade, with his hands inside the pockets of his beige trench coat that shrouded his entire frame, advanced through the streets of New York City with a predatory confidence. Police sirens cried from afar while intermittent flashes of blue, red and white barreled into the faraway alleys where nothing could grow. Pedro studied the place. I knew he looked at the space where I stood but did not see me standing there. He grinned at the desolation, a single gold tooth glimmering in his crooked smile. Rubén’s voice merged with the wind, as if he were an omniscient god narrating the violent hunt that was about to unfold, for Pedro Navaja was searching for someone whose death could satisfy the sadistic impulses that guided his meager life, and he found the victim at last, emerging from the corner ahead. The song told the story swiftly, the encounter of the two figures, Pedro and a young prostitute, who walked home after meeting a client and only wanted to be left in peace. But she knew, like I knew, that in New York and Cali alike, a late-night stroll comes with dangers. She had no one to count on except herself. Or perhaps she could have counted on me, the shocked spectator, appalled by the promise of violence. The coward, doing nothing about it.


The prostitute reached for a small Smith & Wesson from her thick fur coat and tucked it safely inside her black purse. She quickened her pace as she advanced into the darkness, unaware of the killer lurking behind. Her killer, lurking behind. A tight fist formed under Pedro’s coat as he closed in on her. “Mira pa’ un la’o, mira pal’ otro y no ve a nadie,” sang Rubén Blades from the heavens, narrating the calculated movements of the killer. “Y a la carrera, pero sin ruido, cruza la calle…” “You! Stop!” I yelled at Pedro, but my voice was suffocated by the trumpets of the song. I wouldn’t save anyone standing there like an idiot. So I rushed over to the other side of the street. But Pedro was faster. He pounced on her, jagged knife in hand, golden tooth in proud display as he chuckled. The blade entered the woman’s back, into her flesh. The woman gasped and her legs spasmed, but she was quick and stronger than she looked. Fur coat flew, she turned around, facing her assailant. Her hand was still inside the purse while she died, while she fought and claimed her vengeance. The trigger was pulled. The bullet blasted a hole through the purse and caught Pedro in the chest. His blood splashed my shirt just as the music devoured the world with its deafening blare, a joyous melody washing over the violence that had painted the streets red.

My screams went unheard, just like the gunshot, just like Pedro’s agonizing groans. “Quien a hierro mata, a hierro termina,” sang Rubén Blades. How many times had I danced to that song before? With how many people, at how many clubs I visited back then, while Pedro and the woman bled to death? I kept on smiling and singing the violent narrative. Partners moved their feet as if entranced by a spell stronger than their misfortunes, always. And I knew there were more salsa songs of that nature. Dark and severe, but camouflaged under layers of instruments and sweet melodies that people could dance to, so it was an endless tug, or rather an endless plot, between tragedy and fortune, joy and loss, that surrounded the dancers who weren’t all that different from the people in the songs. A filthy drunkard paraded through the streets in that moment, his legs too confused to walk in a straight line, but he made it to the crime scene well enough. He smelled like roadkill and a lifetime of recycled needles. The man knelt beside the corpses and looted the woman’s purse, retrieving a humble twenty-dollar bill. From Pedro he took the golden tooth. The drunkard advanced in a steady dance that matched the song’s rhythm, and after whistling the melody, he turned around and looked at me. He saw me. “La vida te da sorpresas … sorpresas te da la vida!” he sang, stretching each syllable like only a drunk man can do. “Ay, Dios!”

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A mantle of darkness swallowed New York City. The next moment I was back in Ophelia’s basement, standing next to the record player, now frozen in place and silent as snow. There was no blood on my shirt and no corpses before me. But the drunkard’s stench followed me to the real word, and so did the image of the woman’s grey eyes after she died. “ You seem troubled, Juanito,” Ophelia said from the stairs. “What — when did you get here? Abuela, I saw … no. Never mind,” I sighed. “What a horrible song, that ‘Pedro Navaja.’” “A classic,” she answered and walked up to me. “A very honest song, if you ask me. It helped me get through your Abuelo Tito’s passing.” “How? By hearing someone sing about death?” “By hearing someone sing no matter what might have happened. Period. By hearing those trumpets and bongos, the clave and the cencerro,” she said and reached for another record from her collection. “Come dance with me, Juanito.” She smiled, as I hesitated. “It is the only thing we can do. The only thing we can control.”


ISAAC (short story) Written by Elijah Johnson Illustrated by Yueying Liu

Alina’s scream ran through the ballroom as all but one light went out. A small panic ensued at the party as Edward stood in the corner waiting. His knuckles were white from gripping his mahogany cane. The scream came again, closer this time. Edward didn’t move, but Alina did, fainting on the ornate floor. Immediately, she became the center of attention. Edward’s guests flocked to her. She was surrounded by men who suddenly became doctors, demanding their ladies’ fans. Some of the men asked for water or wine. A woman offered a pocket-size glass bottle filled with an unknown liquid. Crack! Crack! Edward slammed his cane down, demanding attention. After all, this was his house. Whispers echoed in the room as he made his way to Alina, who laid cold. Alina was beautiful. Her dark curls laid sprawled around her, her porcelain skin sparkling. Her cheeks still had some remnants of rouge that made her look alive. Even her lips were still slightly damp. Edward bent down placing his gloved hand on her cheek,

the other around her waist, careful to lift her up. “Finish it, love,” Edward whispered, barely audible. Suddenly, as if by magic, Alina flew out of Edwards’s arms into the air. The lights flickered back on. The crowd cheered and laughed as they watched Alina dance on the ceiling. “No one can see the wires,” said Clarence. Edwards’s knuckles turned white again but a genuine smile remained. Edward wouldn’t let a pushy scientist ruin his perfectly good party. “Hello, Clarence. I’m glad you made it to our little party,” Edward said. Clarence choked on his gin. “Little? These once-amonth parties get grander each time! You’re the greatest host in all of New York!” “I know,” Edward couldn’t help but feel the pride expand his chest. He looked around the grand room, admiring his hard work.“

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The powerful people, the orchestra, and tables of food from around the world greeted his eye. “Isn’t it great? And it’s good for business.” “Your show?” “Don’t be smug. Ever yone knows my show,” Edward said. “I know. I was hoping to be involved this month,” Clarence said. “I already gave test subjects.” Edward turned to look the scientist in the eye. “I gave you Fe free of charge. You know she came from a southern tribe that I —” said Edward. “And I am grateful, truly,” Clarence leaned in closer. “What about a new exhibition? Dark people from the Congo.” This piqued Edward’s interest. People from the Congo were unheard of in America. It was rumored that they lived in tribes, had multiple wives and ate their enemies. It would be a perfect show. He could raise ticket prices. He could buy a new wardrobe with the money and still buy Alina a new necklace. Edward loved the idea, but a faint memory feared the idea. Clarence was known to lie about where the dark people came from. Usually it was from the Southern states. Not the Dark Continent.

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“Are you sure they are from the Congo?” Edward whispered, not wanting the lesser ringleaders to hear the conversation. “Yes, but —” Clarence said. “Edward!” Alina stumbled toward the men, a grin plastered on her face. “Did you see how wonderful I was, Edward? Did you see —” Alina faltered off. The alcohol was contaminating her speech. Edward laughed, forcing the strange fearful memory away, grateful for his porcelain lover.

It turned out that Edward had to pay for the Congo people in full. Clarence had no money left, he’d spent it all on Fe. Fe had an interesting uterus. It was causing her a large amount of pain, so Clarence removed it. Fe didn’t make it. She was only 17. Clarence kept the uterus; it had large growths he didn’t quite understand. That was where Clarence’s money went. Edward knew he should stop making deals with Clarence at his own parties; he’s too loose, too happy, and not stern enough to be a proper negotiator. “The ship should unload any minute!” Clarence said, standing on the dock.

“I can see why they call you a witch,” Clarence said. Edward nodded, keeping his eyes from the sun. “Only the best one,” Alina said. “I’ll see you in bed, Edward.” “You’re a lucky man,” Clarence said. “About the dark people —” “I love it,” The strange fear returned, but Edward kept on. Clarence made him money and he liked that. “Clarence, do come by tomorrow morning at 11. We’ll talk then. I have things to take care of and do.” Edward winked at Alina from across the room.

“Here they are!” Clarence’s excitement could be heard by the children in school buildings. “The Congo people!” “Excellent,” Edward said. “Bring them to the ring after your examination. I need to go back, practice starts soon.” ***** “I said higher!” Edward yelled from the ground.

With Alina on his arm, Edward left Clarence to a sea of happy drunks who were still singing into the night long after he left. *****

One of his smallest freaks in the show was practicing a new tightrope act. Edward had spent an extra three dollars on a rope with more give so that he could jump higher, but it wasn’t working.


“I should have Clarence pull out your teeth!” Edward yelled. “I hear there are some new studies that show that you dark people are built funny.” “Edward!” Clarence paraded his way into the area. “That’s not true. It’s the toes. Their toes are lined up differently than ours.” “He’ll rip your toes off then!” Edward shouted, but the freak already left the circle. The others tilted their heads down in fear. Edward sighed, knowing he would punish him later. He wouldn’t work them too hard, but in order to live the way he wants, his freaks had to be able to capture a white person’s interest, not disgust. Edward walked over to where they were holding the dark people, chained together, and examined each one. “And here’s the last one. The one I want to keep for breeding experiments. His broad shoulders and chest are stronger than the average, and in order —” Clarence kept talking, but Edward had stopped listening. His fear had returned, now with a vengeance. He knew this boy. His stature, the soft brown eyes, and the scar down his cheek.

enough to make it a permanent mark, an identifier, something Isaac would always remember. Edward threw the knife, Isaac bled, a white family saw the incident. They thought Isaac had attacked Edward, who they thought was white. And so they took Edward away. Safe. Edward is white-passing. His great grandfather was black. That day, he had been visiting his dad’s side. The side with the cousins he loved. Cousins like Isaac. Edward remembered the incident the way skin remembered scars. What if the white people had never taken him away? Then he never would have known this luxurious life. The parties, the women, the drugs and access to the smartest minds in the world. And yet … Isaac’s stature, the soft brown eyes, the scar down his cheek ... He did love his family, didn’t he? Yes, and there had been times when he had missed them. Edward wondered if his parents knew he was okay. He would tell them that he’d made it past his stutter and was now one of the richest men in New York. “Edward?” Clarence said. “What do you think of that deal?” “Huh?” Edward said.

Isaac. Ike. Big Ike. The farm, Edward’s true parents, the gang of cousins and the incident. The memories Edward kept hidden came flooding back as Isaac wouldn’t let him out of his gaze.

“You get to keep seven of the dark people. I keep this one for breeding.” “No,” Edward snapped. “I want him.” Isaac’s eyes met Edward’s carefully.

It happened when he was five. Edward didn’t mean to, he just lost his temper when Isaac grabbed his toy. So Edward threw a knife, just slicing Isaac’s cheek open. Not deep enough to kill; just deep

“I have a conference in a week’s time,” Clarence said. “I need to start an experiment now.”

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“I bought them, and I said no.” Edward said.

wind if it meant saving Edward. But now the shoe was on the other foot. “Free me so we can go home.”

“Edward, I had your word —” “You also have my money, right? I —” “No! You said I could have one of these pathetic dark people. I’m going to take one. I’m going to breed the perfect human, Edward,” Clarence was pacing, running his hands through his hair. “I need to do my test. I need to see if they feel pain, their sight, I need to look at the genitalia.” Clarence paused to control his breathing. “Do you know how rich I could make you if you just let me have this thing?” Edward hesitated. “How rich?” The smile came back to Edward’s face for a quick second, but he could feel the soft brown gaze of his cousin drilling into the side of his face. The gaze Isaac used to give him to start conversations where words weren’t allowed, he remembered.

What else do you remember? When we fished together? When I taught you to tie your shoes? When I sat with you, when others were angry you couldn’t properly speak? When we hid from our drunk fathers? Edward forced himself to look at Isaac, the way the butcher would examine his goods, trying to avoid his stare. It was a hopeless task. Isaac had the family’s eyes, doe-like. Edward remembered being jealous of that cinnamon hue, wishing it would replace his own, which were hazel. “Eddy, please ...” It was barely audible, but it was Isaac. His Southern accent rolled like molasses. Isaac could calm the

Edward paused. Home? Edward was home. He had everything he dreamed for. A show that influenced the public, status, and a girl; Alina, his porcelain doll, who he planned to marry. He picked out the ring last night. It was a 1.5-karat sapphire with a gold band. The sapphire reminded him of her eyes, which gave him peace in times like this. Alina knew nothing of his past. He had to keep it that way. Protecting Isaac would cost him everything. His money, his girl, his life. They would never let Edward live as he has. Two drops of dark people’s blood could make you a full one in the white man’s mind. “ I ’m sorr y,” Edward whispered. He walked back to Clarence. “O ur ag reement st ill stands .” C larence had g ained confidence. “A few changes,” Edward said cautiously, feeling his voice shake and suppressing it. “I want to overlook the experiments, so when you aren’t experimenting he can perform in my show. That way, we can really see what these dark people have to offer.” Clarence’s brow furrowed but smiled. “Can the experiment start today?” “And the show starts tomorrow,” Edward said.Clarence relaxed. The two men shook hands and the new deal was sealed.




“65 Roses” is inspired by my best friend Claire, who passed away last summer at just 24 from cystic fibrosis — a genetic, life-threatening disease that damages the lungs and digestive system. Oftentimes, it is referred to as “65 Roses,” a term that started in 1965 when a 4-year-old, hearing the name of his disease for the first time, mispronounced it as such. The rose has become a symbol of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, whose awareness color is purple. I incorporated the symbol of the rose, color purple, and personal elements from Claire to reflect this concept throughout my collection. The acrylic elements morphed into the draped gowns represent the rose stems, while the delicate draped fabric is the rose itself. The acrylic pieces also symbolize an armor to reflect the strength that cystic fibrosis patients embody through such adversity. I’m using this collection as a platform to raise awareness for this disease. If I can help make a difference for the foundation, even in a small way, I will know this collection will have meant something more than just the garments themselves. This spring, I will also be introducing a commercial and accessory line in connection with this message, hopefully in collaboration with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, striving to help them get closer to a cure. — Kate Barton

Photography: Ellie Briggs Assistant: Lexi Athina Waldman Garments: Kate Barton Model: Olivia Orr and Ashton Wilkes

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WHEN NEW BEGINNINGS DIDN’T START First-year SCAD students share tales of 2020 Written by Luis Ponce Pinon Illustrated by Dannie Niu


or most, 2020 was not a great way to start the decade. With events such as the wildfires, social unrest and most notably the world-stopping COVID-19 pandemic, the year ended up being full of many challenges and sacrifices. Throughout the SCAD community, students were not exceptions to the effects of 2020. SCAD Atlanta freshmen,

we would have to. For those ending their high school journey to transition to a college life at SCAD, it was especially difficult.

Anissa King, Caio Ferreira, Gabrielle Williams, Isabella Erazo, and Jadyn Thompson share the tales of how they made it through the trials and tribulations of 2020. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States, life as we knew it disappeared.

“I think my biggest challenge at the start of the pandemic was accepting the fact that I couldn’t finish out my senior year in the high school,” said fashion student Jadyn Thompson. “Since I am a fashion major, I was designing my own prom dress. It was so heartbreaking looking at my half-finished prom dress when my high school announced that prom would be canceled. Missing out on memories from my youth was very disappointing.”

Offices, schools and most public places began to shut down one by one. What we thought would only be a two-week setback turned into something that didn’t and still has no date of end, forcing many of us to make sacrifices for things we never thought

As time went on, the effects of the pandemic started to hit even more people. Through the deaths of loved ones, not being able to leave their house and financial struggles, the pandemic was beginning to reshape people’s lives.

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“The biggest challenges I faced were financial issues,” said Interior Design major Isabella Erazo. “My house was hit by a tornado in the middle of lockdown and my family was already struggling because of work closing. Luckily insurance was able to come in clutch. Financially, it hasn’t been easy, but luckily none of my loved ones were affected.” With challenges presenting themselves day by day, it was understandable that many had not stayed motivated artistically or even generally. But for firstyear students taking their first steps in this new artschool life, artlessness was not an option. So what was it that had kept them going? For sequential art major Caio Ferreira, it was “sheer bullheadedness and wanting to get things done.” For animation major Gabrielle Williams, it was looking forward to social interaction with people her age who liked similar things as her and knowing that the work she created would make her feel better at the end of the day. For film and television major Anissa King, her YouTube channel was what let her continue to create; college being around the corner also motivated her to keep up with life. For Erazo, it was: "College and the knowledge that time and life keep going on, no matter what." And for Thompson, it was the fact that the entire world was in this together.

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TIME AND LIFE KEEP GOING ON, NO MATTER WHAT. ” According to the American Psychiatric Association, since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is shown that more than one-third of Americans say that the pandemic lockdown is having a serious impact on their mental health. It has been common for people to find or develop new or existing hobbies to help cope with the stress. Sources such as the World Health Organization have said that art and creative hobbies have been a great outlet and our new SCAD students show that. Throughout the pandemic, these five first-years used this time to learn and develop new skills like playing the guitar and rollerskating or going back to old hobbies such as Perler bead art and playing the piano. “2020 made me spend a lot more time with myself. It taught me not to be so hard on myself. I learned to use my art as an escape and not to add my art on top of everything else I was stressing about. It really helped me get through most of 2020,” said Thompson. King also had a similar experience in 2020 that not only helped her keep creating but also have her voice be heard during a very important part of the year: the summer of the Black Lives Matter protests, following the death of George Floyd. “During 2020 I was asked to create a film commission

in response to the Black Lives Matter movement and the current racial injustice. It really helped open my eyes. I was glad that I could contribute to help end the injustice and amplify my voice,” said King. As we moved through 2020, our eyes were opened to many things. People came out of 2020 knowing the importance of mental health and self-care, of having a back-up plan like Erazo, of learning to make the most out of what life gives us like Thompson. Many first-year students, at the age of eighteen, had their first big lesson in patience and understanding like King. Making it through 2020 wasn’t an easy task. Many, unfortunately, didn’t. As we move on to the rest of this new Roaring Twenties, onto the possibilities and blank spaces of this next decade, it is important that we resist the temptation to forget. 2020 has brought pain and growth, has stirred up the good and bad parts of society and has taken victims as much as it has left gifts. We come out the other side to a new normal, an abnormality, that we cannot ignore and suppress. 2020 is the kind of year that we keep in a glass box, the kind that we must re-examine and re-peruse in order to fix the problems we now see before us, to honor the people that were taken from us, to keep up the things that have helped and uplifted us. And we hope, as the new decade rolled in all around us, that it is up from here.


AUTUMN Nelson B.F.A PAINTING, 2021 I use symbols and language as vehicles for my message. In this series, I work with concepts of the father: breaking down the concept of “father issues” and how it plays into sexuality. I look into the Black and brown home dynamic and into pop culture itself where there are extensive records of men preying on Black and brown women without public consequences. For this series, I want to explore my adolescent memories and the sexual repercussions that arise from them. First, I look to the past at how sexuality is forced on a Black or brown child at a young age when her natural features are deemed erotic. Then, I look to the future and try to untangle myself from the assigned sexuality still while discovering my own. I have to figure out how to be a sexual Black woman while pushing back those connotations that were given to me as a teen.

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Nathalia Kelana Fourth-year, sequential art



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Devanshi Uday Chitalia Graduate student, illustration


Disha Gupta Third-year, photography





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