ELYSIUM Volume 17, 2018 www.elysiummagazine.com
Coral Reef Senior High School 10101 SW 152 Street Miami, FL 33157 School phone: 305.232.2044 school fax: 305.252.3454 Contact: Sponsor Email: email@example.com telephone: 305.984.7056
A Note from the Editor Unity is defined as the state of being joined together as a whole. Throughout the pages that follow, each individual has a unique story to tell. As these stories unfold, a number of imbalances come to light. We live in an era of momentum, of movement, and in literature and art we find our voice. We voice the struggle of immigration in a country built by immigrants; we voice past stories of silence when such a silence can no longer be tolerated; we voice our protest against racism; we voice faith in a time when others have lost theirs; we voice admiration for sacrifice when service is disparaged. We voice what it means to be different. We find equilibrium in each other and in each otherâ€™s voices. Sophia Lord Editor In Chief
Cover: The Principle of Metal | Kaitlyn Rezek | Pen and Ink Inside Cover: Circles and Waves | Kaitlyn Rezek | Pen and Ink
Published continuously since 2005, Elysium Magazine is an annual publication designed to showcase student creativity in both writing and art. This year’s staff of nineteen students came from an assortment of academies and represents grades 10-12. Elysium meets every Wednesday after school from October to March as well as three full weeks in April. All staff members are involved in procuring, selecting, matching, designing, and proofing the magazine. To reach a larger audience, all Elysium publications are archived on elysiummagazine.com along with programs and photos from past galas held at Books and Books in Coral Gables. In this venue, various artists, writers, actors, and musicians present dramatic readings, art discussions, and performances.
The magazine intends to showcase the beauty of interrelationship between literature and art. What sets Elysium apart is that we endeavor to represent our student body as a whole. Additionally, the magazine seeks to establish ties with the larger community, recognize talent, and teach professional design and layout. We believe in the value of preserving print media.
Colophon Volume 17 consists of 120 pages created on Dell Desktop computers using Adobe InDesign © CS5.5 and Adobe Photoshop © CS5.5. The layout staff chose Onyx as the cover font while the inside pages had titles, author names, body text, and credits fashioned from Times New Roman. Inside pages were printed on 80 lb gloss white paper while the cover was printed on 100 lb white linen. Rodes Printing Inc. located in Miami, Florida published 200 full-color perfect-bound copies, 175 of which were distributed free of charge to students on a first-come, firstserved basis- teachers upon request.
To ensure that the magazine is representative of the creative work of the entire school, staff is selected from across the many academies, and art and writing submissions are judged anonymously. In October, the editor-in-chief and adviser select the staff based on a personal interview, a portfolio, and the student’s ability to evaluate an unknown piece of art or literature. To further ensure fairness, submissions are judged anonymously and identified by only an ID number. The literary staff reviews pieces in solitude and later discuss pieces in a group. Selections are based on style, distinctive theme, and overall quality. Finally, the layout staff teaches InDesign to the staff. Fonts are chosen and potential covers aid the staff in their designs.
We would like to extend our appreciation to Mr. Scott McKinley, Coral Reef’s visual arts teacher, for his artistic guidance and to our principal, Mr. Thomas P. Ennis, for his continuous support.
Ed So ito ph r-I ia nLo Ch rd ie f
Literary Editor Catarina Fernandez
Art Editor Eva Bibas Literary Staff Dani Hernandez-Gil Nicholas Cedron Michelle Huang Anik Willig Daniela Casillas Francisco Miralles Nicole Marino
Adviser Amy Scott
Layout Editors Sofia A. Seidel Arquimides Cala
Art Staff Adrian Regalado Ilona Arwacher Leilani Herndon Laura Gonzalez Sofia De La Torre Veronica Webber Layout Staff Claudia Breen
The City is Flying | Kaitlyn Rezek| Pen and Ink
Awards and Memberships Columbia Scholastic Press Association:
Gold Crown 2015; Silver Crown 2016, 2017, 2018 Gold Medalist: 2005, 2007-2018
National Council of Teachers of English:
Highest National Award: 2008-2010, 2012-2018
National Scholastic Press Association:
NSPA Pacemaker Finalist 2006 Gold Medalist and All American 2006-2012 (Discontinued 2012)
Cr oo ke dL
Immigrant Mothers Bianka Bermudez, Poem
Zest Natalia Rovira, Poem
Sestina David Ernsberger, Poem
#Me-Too Daniela Hernandez-Gil, Prose
Montyâ€™s Sunset Eric Sokhn, Poem
The Chieftain Gabriel Mendez-Sanders, Prose
Post Flos Mortem Tarah Anasseri, Prose
A Kiss From God Claudia Breen, Personal Essay
Where Earth Meets Water Sophia Lord, Poem
An American Summer in China Miranda Gong, Poem
mary Daniela Casillas, Poem
valentineâ€™s day showers Michelle Huang, Poem
Miranda Gong, Prose The Work of a Historian Jorge Manach, Poem
Space Illusions Karen Torino, Poem
El Doctor Carlos Rodriquez, Prose
The Monks of Norcia Daniela Hernandez-Gil, Prose
The Exotic Garden of Monaco Eric Sokhn, Poem
Apartment on Royalty Court Sherry Zhang, Poem
Samsara Michelle Huang, Poem
This Place Jonah Snyder, Poem
Remnants Maria Camas, Poem
Strange Fruit Amber Robinson, Poem
Drops Nicole Marino, Poem
Complex Cause Nathaniel Miller, Personal Essay
Purification of the Past Rachel Betancourt, Poem
The Stars are Brighter in Arollo Sabana 56-57 Natalia Rovira, Personal Essay Where I Live Catarina Fernandez, Poem
Future Faces of Fashion: Camille Farge 62-63 Sophia Lord, Interview Future Faces of Fashion: Francesca Bornancini Sofia Antunes Seidel, Interview
The Value of Music Kevin An, Prose
Two sides Thomas Clavajo-Garcia
Why I Learned to Sing the National Anthem Before Saying My Own Name Sara Hartzell, Personal Essay
Night Contemplations Nicole Marino, Poem
Alexandra Conroy, Prose
Maybe I Donâ€™t Know but This is Happy 98-99 Daniela Hernandez-Gil, Prose Flames Asunder Jackson Ribler, Poem
Iron Fists Tarah Anasseri, Prose
The Hands of Time Camille Orquera, Poem
The Critic Kevin An, Poem
Planet Rubish Michelle Marrero, Poem
Artist Interview: Leira Padron Eva Bibas, Interview
The Bay Eric Sokhn, Poem
Spa Day, LeiLani Herndon, Watercolor
Pedestrians of Life Fran Bornancini, Photography
Explode Catalina Cortes, Acrylic and Oil on Board
Stripped Apart Connor Albright, Pen on Paper
Drift, Eva Bibas, Mixed Media on Metal
Weighed Down by History Angelica Neyra, Sculpture: Clay
Face Paint, Guadalupe Cao, Acrylic and Oil on Board
Milky Way Galaxy Maria Villa, Acrylic
Filtered Sunset Ilona Arwacher, Photography
Matanusla Glacier Evan Barron, Photography
Gaia and the Loss of Senses Angelica Neyra, Sculpture: Clay
Brickell Building Amber Nolan, Scratchboard
Rosie Laura Gonzalez, Oil Paint
Chaos Amber Nolan, Acrylic Paint
Adventure en Patagonie Nicole Charre, Photography
Queen Laura Gonzalez, Acrylic
Portraits 1 and 2 Sydney Shaffer, Charcoal
102 Degrees Fahrenheit Camille Farge, Photography
Growth Brianna Marshall, Watercolor
BLANK Laura Gonzalez, Mixed Media
Yellow, I got an eye on you Laura Gonzalez, Acrylic, Oil Pastel, and Pen
Future Faces of Fashion Francesca Bornancini, Camille Farge
Life as it is Eva Bibas, Sculpture: Catheters, Shipping Pallet, and Epoxy
Aching Catalina Cortes, Acrylic and Oil on Board
Jessieâ€™s Girl Yadelis Gomez, Pencil, Pen, Marker, and Magazine Clippings
Bliss Maria Villa, Acrylic
Andy Gisel Anuez, Acrylic on Tag Board
Reflective City, Reflective World Francesca Bornancini, Photography
Searching Eva Bibas, Wall Paint on Thick Paper
Toy Soldiers Matthew Gonzalez, Oil Pastel
New York State of Mind Francesca Bornancini, Photography
Aurora Borealis Evan Barron, Photography
Fire and Water Kaitlyn Faircloth, Photography
Get the Aliens Out Veronica Webber, Acrylic and Pen
Memorial Wall Part I Gabrielle Feria, Scratchboard
Eye Vision, Hello Francesca Bornancini, Photography and Digital Art
Power vs. Speed Christina Bernadotte, Sharpie, Acrylic, and Watercolor
Ninety-Six Camille Farge, Photography
Giraffe Amber Nolan, Watercolor
Gaia Angelica Neyra, Sculpture: Clay
LeiLani Herndon Concentration Statement
Lâ€™Ĺ“il Camille Farge, Photography
Caladium, Narcissus Isabel Cataneda, Watercolor on Gouache
A Charmed Life, Drive Camille Farge, Photography
Refraction of Light Laura Gonzalez, Acrylic on Canvas
Cold War Leila Pardon, Oil Pastel and Ink
Leira Padron Artist Interview
Time is the Most Important Thing We Have the Least of Kristin Davis, Acrylic Paint
Crab, Christina Bernadotte, Mixed Media
Puppets of Fate Eva Bibas, Sculpture: Medical Supplies and Digital Print
112-113 114-115 116-117
Banner: Foundations, Grey | Kaitlyn Rezek | Pen & Ink
Immigrant Mothers Bianka Bermudez
“Earrings are the most important part of a girl” Mami says in clipped Spanish But I’m pretty sure last week it was perfume. The week before that Shaved legs And before that, An unwavering smile, A jaw clamped into a garish imitation of compliance Placidity personified, Because I’m not allowed to mind, And no one cares if I do.
Pressed shirt Perfume Perfection Holding herself poised like an actress, And her role is the All-American.
I feel my blood boil at the truths every immigrant mother knowsOr ratherThe lies that they have been taught to believe Or rather1980’s California, My mother On a bus, Her heart pulsating like speed bumps, As chaos consumes the scene Fellow immigrants around her Trying to melt into their seats As la migra stops the bus. And there is no stoplight Like the threat of deportation As they’re voted off the island for being: Too brown Too shabby Too poor Too anything-but-white. But there is my mother. Dressed her best,
“Look sharp, presentable, your best at all times” Immigrant mothers know how one will be judged on their appearances And Mami is livid when I even suggest not wearing a bra in the house, “That’s American nonsense,” she says, “And you are not American.”
La Migra doesn’t look at her twice. Perhaps she is too put together to be an immigrant. Perhaps it says a lot that this would not be the last time she would fool them just like this.
And what she means is We are not American We will never be American Not to them. We are Hispanic We have higher standards, And what she means is Double standards. Because she knowsShe has been taught to believeThat she will never be enough, And we can only pretend by putting on airs Like costumes. But the difference is:
Americans put on costumes of our cultures for fun And we put on costumes of their culture for survival. Immigrant mothers, With brown eyes and dark hair And worn out callous ridden hands while she carries the history The soil of her country underneath her fingernails. She is my mother, My mother’s mother, and the many mothers before her.
Her voice comes out like the chords of an off-key piano She knows the notes of her new language But she never gets it right And maybe she’ll always be a bit out of tune.
Spa Day | LeiLani Herndon | Watercolor
I don’t care. It’s the most beautiful song I’ve ever heard.
For Spain and Puerto Rico
Natalia Rovira This art was crafted by love and knives And called imperialism before it was freedom. A country of bulls and royalty, An island of tropics and magic. The red, the yellow. The red, white, blue. They clashed so perfectly they melted together And now my blood runs deep with the rainbowâ€“ The two flags wave side by side. She picked up the knife and carved away, The orange unzipped itself from its zesty skin. The spiral of the rind fell onto the table: The skirt of the flamenco dancer. He picked up the knife and chucked away. The orange shed itself of its zesty scales. Perfect imperfections, Falling gracefully onto the table: The symbols of the ancient Coat. The Crowns, the Kingdoms, Further Beyond. The Lamb of God, the Jungle Beauty, John is his name. History brought together over a dinner table. Tradition broken into two oranges. This art was crafted by love and knives. I pick up the blade. I carve. I chuck. I lose myself within the zesty sea spray. The spirals fall to scraps. Scraps form into spirals. Over, Over, Over, again. I am lost between the ends of the Atlantic.
Explode | Catalina Cortes | Acrylic and oil on board
Drift | Eva Bibas | Mixed Media on Metal
Sestina * David Ernsberger Why must we meet over there under your sun of gold and sky of blue, when you know the real feeling is deep-sea black
When time is gone, and days turn black, when black-bearded pirates taunt and take you, it is you only unto yourself
and full of you,
who is not really there;
only you, yourself?
no sky of blue. Sea is real;
I wish that you would ask yourself why you fly so high away up there where the false winds blew away what’s real— leaving black—
where mercurial skies blow ships which reel; turning seas their boiling cauldron black. Through them…sails you… an island of yourself— gold there, with pools of blue.
securing you. Overhead I witness skies holding fast to blue— In the ocean’s mirror, you see just you
a nimbus layer just below clutching what’s real;
And you and yourself; and blue and yourself.
only nighttime skies are black,
Now, I only wish I am there
and are now only black for you and yourself.
amidst the black and blue. Minds reel, seeing black.
Over there, in the distance, you stand there in your black and blue Where image and idea of you are impossibly real… And how real the black—you engulf yourself.
* David Ernsberger is currently a teacher at Coral Reef Senior High School
You made me afraid of everything. Of the blue plastic bus chairs, of early mornings, and of the sound of sudden stops. 6:17 became my hell, and you became my vice. My dad always drove me to the corner, sheltering me in a small BMW, of the world’s atrocities, and as we waited I realized how ironic it was that the biggest one was only 4 blocks away. I tried to sleep; I tried to configure my small frame in such a way that I would take up the whole chair, maybe hoping that you woke up late or chose to sit in the back. Never. You never did. It started out innocently, you and I. You would sleep on my shoulder as I would try to explain away the hollow of my eyes, but the more comfort we sought out, the more dignified you became. I was never one to shy from my own words, but I didn’t understand this or us or anything really; you made me shrivel into the papers you ripped from my books. I couldn’t say stop, I thought you knew. Your hesitation gave me confidence, and the first few times I brushed it off. While I slept you had absolutely no way of configuring the glass puzzles without hurting yourself. My mind searched for a contradiction to dig up, but your smile only muddled the dirt. Why did you stop after I got a boyfriend? Why was his silence more impactful than my “STOP no,” or my “You have a girlfriend,” or my “Don’t do this anymore I don’t like it,”?
I said stop. I said no. Half-asleep and dreary eyed I would try everything to make it impossible for you to reach my body. You persisted. I never reported you, remembering how you told me that your father had passed, I saw the slightest bit of humanity you never saw in me. I spared you the life sentence I am forced to carry. You will probably never read this, you will probably never remember. You caused my addiction to silence, my addiction to fear. But you have also caused me to grow up too fast with the pain in knowing who holds my trust. I am afraid of everything, except you. You are merely but a few words etched in my memory, faded and worn, of smirking faces and strange looks. You made the haze rise over my eyes, letting me see the gum filled seats and graffitied windows, instead of the green stop lights and the yellow canaries. I don’t look you in the eye though, when we cross paths. Because I know if you did, the tears in mine would’ve made you stop.
Face Paint | Guadalupe Cao | Acrylic and oil on board
Monty’s Sunset Eric Sokhn
The sunset we never watched together mocks me as Warm hues of purple and gold sit comfortably low on the horizonLethargic. Like whipped cream. Ribbons of light-waves like banners float in the distance as The sun sets. Your face disappearing with it. All that’s left is a final mirage as it slowly fades—
I’m slowly fading, hardly conscious of this release Into the frigid embrace of night. Staring into that endless sandbox of Floating lights, the heavenly constellations become more obscure. Like anesthesia for the mind, all is numb and forgotten. I become a child once more, walking west. Waking through a newly woven fabric as Dawn approaches.
A pastiche of emotions not all mine
Filtered Sunset | Ilona Arwacher | Photography
The Chieftain Gabriel Mendez-Sanders I sat agog in the flimsy cage waiting for something to happen. The silence was beginning to get to me. One hour passed, then two, then three. After that I lost track of time, floating in and out of sleep. Eventually, the wooden door flew open and slammed into the wall of sticks. The small, rickety cage rattled heavily with the impact. That’s how most of the village was, frail and built carelessly. The guard thrust a plate of meat I couldn’t recognize towards me, with a marinade sauce splattered messily on top. I stared at it in disgust and looked up to meet the guard’s gaze. His glare deeply unsettled me. I decided it wasn’t a good idea to resist, more so if I wanted to meet his leader. I ate the food slowly, struggling to swallow each bite, trying to mask my revulsion. The guard stood there, his gaze unwavering. When I finally finished the food, the guard grabbed the back of my tunic and threw me out of the wooden cage. I decisively stumbled into him before hitting ground. The tip of his spear pressed against my back before I could rise. A second guard came and tied my hands behind my back using a strip of leather. I was lifted and walked to the only cabin in the village. Its solid wood doors and sturdy walls made it stand out against the common animal-hide tipis. We entered a dark and stuffy room with a fire lit in the corner. A powerful man sat in an irreducible chair, its complexity marked with hundreds of hand crafted drawings. He was easily the largest man in the village standing at over 6 and a half feet tall. The chieftain of the village stared at me with the acuity of a born leader. His presence made even his own guards hesitate before entering. His black hair and olive skin contrasted with the bright white pelt that lay casually across his chest. “Why are you here?” He questioned, struggling to speak the English language.
A massive black beast rose from the shadow of his chair, seeming to have appeared from thin air. It had an endoskeleton that seemed far too large for its skin. Its razor-sharp teeth were bared, but the leader seem unfazed by it, casually stroking its back. “Why are you?” I inquired in his native language. He hesitated slightly, taken off guard, but just as quickly regained his composure. The guards seemed to get angry but the leader broke into a smile and raised a hand to calm them. He turned to one of the guards and nodded his head towards the door. The guard shot him an uncertain look, but his mind was clearly made up. Both guards left reluctantly as I struggled to loosen my leather bindings. “I admire your confidence, but you are my prisoner. You would do well to remember that.” He stated simply with a smile. “If you were going to kill me, begging and pleading would do nothing to alter your decision.” I stated coolly. He tilted his head slightly as he silently pondered my response. He stood up and walked over to the fire, shifting it with a stick as sparks flew into the air. “What do you want?” The Chieftain tried again. He walked towards me calmly, and the beast’s eyes followed his movements carefully from where he lay. I looked deep into the chief’s desolate eyes--there was nothing there, no remorse. . . no regret. “For you to remember,” I spat with venom. A memory seemed to hit him, a sudden moment of confusion, and that’s when I struck. The blade sank deep into his chest as a look of understanding dawned upon him. His limp body crumpled to the floor. He died moments later, slain by the knife of his own guard. I hope his last thought was regret. Regret for murdering the Chieftain of the village. . . or maybe regret for sparing his son.
Gaia | Angelica Neyra | Clay sculpture
Post Flos Mortem Tarah Anasseri
It was the worst hour of the worst weekend of the worst month of the worst year when the single shriveling petal dangling from the red Chrysanthemum, beside the hospital bed slowly dropped to the ground. He was immensely sick, touched upon by the hands of malignancy. Pale face, piercing wires protruding from the body. Projectile fluids spewing from the stomach. Eyes shut-speechless-static. Such special Chrysanthemum that gracefully spoke, swayed, sang, and spread smiles, now silenced, stiff, struggling to survive-shadows casting shade, stripping its stem of sun and supportThe heart flat lines. Stinging salt. Vision of scrubs rushing from the south. Piercing sounds of screams. The world spins. Let a heart never ache as it did that day. Fooling my heart to believe, believe a long captive mum has now been freed. Somber sights fill the room. A white lily replaces the Chrysanthemum- it stands strong beside the hospital bed.
Rosie | Laura Gonzalez | Oil
A Kiss from God Claudia Breen
some area under the shade. Soon a roar of voices
y mother ran to my table. “Claudia, I just got
rises, and I realize that the noise that I once regarded
word from Kike that the Scouts are doing the Camino
as annoying is rewarding. A stinky sock. A back
de Santiago; it’s a two-week pilgrimage across Spain
massage. The dog that had been following us for the
to the city of Santiago de Compostela. Let me know if
day has found its family amongst a crowd of happy
you want to go. ”
“Ok. Gracias, Mami.” An itch behind my head arises; I scratch, but it doesn’t leave. I recall the angry comments from the students at school. The Church is racist; it’s so homophobic, I hate it. The comments are like slashes in the back. A voice in my head, stiller and sweeter, comforts
A sudden relief invites me. Why was I afraid of coming home? Why was I afraid of embracing a religion that had been rooted in my mother’s family? It’s not the religion itself, I think. It’s the image it gives me. I shift uncomfortably. These pants are going to have grass stains all over! A girl one- hundred- shaded
me. You’ll be a newly Catholic girl in a Catholic
leaves- away suggests that we should call a shelter for
country. Isn’t that cool? Do it. It’ll be good for you.
the lost dog. Alto and soprano voices clash against
Finally the day arrives, and we set off on the hike.
one another. Some scramble for a phone. No service.
My left foot kisses the boot’s sole, sending sharpening
Nearby, the dog lies in the sun, content with his
pain down the raw skin. My right foot obeys its partner
existence. He was experiencing what I hadn’t yet. He
while a trickle of sweat drops from my chin, hitting the
had finished his pilgrimage. I haven’t.
fertile mountainside below me. After several hours, my backpack weighs on me like a giant toddler. I look up. The trees above me separate their
I do know this. It will only be a short period of time when those remarks from school fade in intensity. The slashes on my back will stitch themselves, and that
fingers, revealing rays of gold. No one in Miami
shell, that burden that hangs from my camping bag,
would be experiencing what I am. I keep walking.
will be lifted by the kiss of God.
Un, dos. Un, dos. My feet keep beating to the song of the woods, following the calls of the Compostela Cathedral kilometers ahead. Lunchtime arrives. The sound of sixty camping bags thump to the ground. I scramble for
Adventure en Patagonie | Nicole Charre | Photograhy
Portrait 1 | Sydney Shaffer | Charcoal sketching crayons on newsprint
Portrait 2 | Sydney Shaffer | Charcoal sketching crayons on newsprint
Where Earth Meets Water Sophia Lord
To my earth: may you be forever turning. The peace and serenity engraved in your clay composition your core natural like the soil shifting underneath my toes and the bark on the branch of that makeshift bench we used as a seat when we spent those days out on the lake house us talking thinking about our mistakes, our past, the daily mysteries and simple choices that have led us to this very moment and you peaceful the fluidity of your gentle curls grazing your face as if they were seeking a life of their own dirt adhered to your satin skin and I wondered, how dirty could ever look this clean
Growth | Brianna Marshall | Watercolor
Life As It Is | Eva Bibas | catherers, packing crate, and epoxy| Regional Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Gold Key Winner
An American Summer in China: 2016 inspired by “An Irish Childhood in England: 1951”
The clamorous dialogue of Chinese-American teens, English, Chinese, an irregular mix of the two: An inconsistency in an open-air market of the Old Town of Lijiang. This inconspicuous group turns heads, Passerbys’ tilt their heads, puzzled. They ask each other-“Tāmen bùshì zhōngguó rén ma?” “Aren’t they Chinese people?” In the vendors’ roadside shops, we speak in Chinese; Out on the cobblestone road, to each other, A natural conversion to English, with some Chinese sprinkled in When we can’t think of a translation-We are comfortable both ways. Stopped at a restaurant for lunch, Eyes peering hungrily into steaming pan and plates Fish stews, liáng cài*, jiǎo zi**, hot tea What else? French fries, Spam slices, Coca-Cola I came in the summer of two thousand sixteen, nearly a decade since I’d come last, This country is still my country.
*various types of cold vegetable dishes **steamed dumplings
mary daniela casillas when i tell you i’m a virgin know i say it through gritted teeth and a stiff jaw because it’s against my very nature to lie don’t you dare kiss me under the guise of love forget touching me with a tender hand i will push you away until you are no more the forbidden fruit was still eaten even if it didn’t ask to be a flower is still plucked at its prime not yet ready to bloom even if it didn’t ask to be i am unpure even if I didn’t ask to be he still touched my cheek and my body and all the dimples on my thighs and held me down with the strength of his being not stopping until his ugly desires were satiated the warmth of his skin chilled me his body weighed me down not even my mind could escape bedsheets stained red lips trembling in fear don’t tell anyone, he whispers so when i tell you that i’m a virgin i will say it through gritted teeth and a stiff jaw when i tell you that i’m a virgin i will do so unfaithfully when i tell you that i’m a virgin i am lying
Aching | Catalina CortĂŠs | Acrylic and oil on board
Jessieâ€™s Girl | Yadelis Gomez | Pencil, Pen, Marker, and Magazine Clippings
it is 2:12 on a wednesday & i am gossiping in a classroom packed to the brim with voices & it is valentine’s day & i did not eat lunch yet & layla who sits behind me is wearing red glitter eyeshadow & it is dripping down onto her cheeks & chloe is texting me from the classroom down the corridor & her birthday is a day later & she is turning 17 & the teacher is telling her about valentine’s day & 1929 & drive-bys & gangsters & how she thinks 7 bodies are not enough to christen a massacre & none of us know this yet but on the other side of town a man pulls a fire alarm & walks into a high school & showers the classrooms with bullet casings & i do not know this yet but two hours later i will be driving on the interstate & my mother will be riding shotgun & she will turn on the radio & we will hear a boy rattle like the 2 skeletons he finds bleeding out on his classroom’s doorstep & i will stop at a red light & be glad for my empty stomach & my mother will pull my hand off the steering wheel & lace our fingers together & turn the dial
& i do not know this yet but it is 2:12 on valentine’s day & on the other side of town there is a girl hiding in a classroom packed to the brim with shattered glass prayers & the girl who sits behind her has blood dripping down onto her cheeks & Carmen Schentrup is texting her mother from the classroom down the corridor & her birthday is a week later & she is turning 17 & the streaks of blue in her hair stains with a thick syrupy red & she is gone before she can feel the scars & maybe this is what they mean by massacre
& i do not know this yet but tomorrow we will walk into a spanish classroom & learn the conjugations for uncertainty viva vivas vivamos & all any of us will think of is how we should survive & zach will tell me to play dead & cloak myself in someone else’s blood sangre sangres sangremos & i will think if we should die let it not be like hogs & tiam will tell me to use my desk as a shield for my body & i will think of the bullet holes torn out of the shield that is Aaron Feis’s body me salve te salve nos salve & then i will think maybe we should not die at all & i do not know this yet but tomorrow night we will eat dinner at the breakfast table & my mother will tell me about Peter Wang & how he died 2 days before the new year & how he went back inside the under a hail of gunfire to kept the floodgates open the way moses should have led the exodus & how he will be buried beneath triangular folds of honor while his mother will be sobbing for her baby to lead her out of this nightmare & my mother will put down her chopsticks & tell me she does not have enough children for me to be a hero & i will not look her in the eyes when i promise to be a coward & i do not know this yet but a week later i will walk into a vagabonded classroom & i will hear the teacher tell us about presidents & terrorists & how god don’t like ugly & i will remember how Joaquin Oliver wears a rosary over his collar & i cannot say if i believe in god but if i did maybe i’d say he is walking single-file with his eyes closed & his hands on the shoulders in front of him & maybe i’d say his head is tilted upwards like the rest of us searching & i do not know any of this yet because now it is 2:12 on valentine’s day & we are eating candy we did not buy & we are all standing up in a classroom before the bell rings & when the bell rings we walk out into the hallway & go home
Pedestrians Of Life | Francesca Bornancini | Photography
Balancing Act Miranda Gong
with animated eyes and enthusiastic hand gestures. One Thursday night, she brought up a thoughtprovoking proposition. She suggested, “Instead of asking children, ‘what do you want to be when you I spent many afternoons on a rough, patterned rug next grow up?’, We should ask them, ‘what problem do you to a low-set coffee table on which my parents kept an want to solve?’” ordinary pendulum. With my chin propped up on the wood table, I followed the swing of the pendulum with Struck by the seemingly simple concept, I considered wide eyes. the question myself. There are multiple existing conditions of which I am not content, but all fit neatly The consistency fascinated me: the steadiness of under the worldwide epidemic of imbalance. the click, the gentleness of the parabolic arc that the weighted bobs created with every swing. It seemed It is balance and compromise that builds and mends to me how everything should be: consistent, steady, relationships- that keeps the peace between nations balanced. that promotes a healthy and happy relationship with our Earth. One day, curious, I stuck my finger out and disrupted the swing, threw off the perfect arc. The two cords It is a lack thereof that breaks marriages, that erupts quickly became tangled and the reliable click ceased. into belligerency, and that destroys homes and habitats alike. I’ve come to realize the world works the same way. There is an undeniable imbalance in the world that has I am sitting in a college classroom at 9 o’clock on greatly favored my country and has sorrowed many a humid Thursday night. The sky is navy, opaque others. outside of the shuttered windows. A diverse collection of students surrounds me; many are twice or three I want to make a change. times my age, all are from different walks of life. Some days I’m walking a tightrope, keeping my This is my GEB1011 class, a class I chose to take the balance by the skin of my teeth. summer before my senior year. Still, I am standing upright. As it turns out, it was the most memorable and enlightening class I’ve ever taken. Professor Cruz Isn’t everything just a balancing act? gave every lecture as if it were a keynote speech – I’m sitting cross-legged in the living room of my childhood home. I am four or five. There is a simple pendulum in front of me.
Stripped Apart | Connor Albright| Pen and paper
The Work of a Historian Jorge Manach
History is not set in stone. History is a competition. Shapes and figures that have existed for thousands of years, No matter how beautiful they may be, Can be swept away with one swipe of a historianâ€™s brush, Tossed into the bin of otherâ€™s disproven, disused knowledge. Meanwhile new sculptures are carved into rock constantly, Making the old days useless and irrelevant. In this way the game of history is cruel and punishing. It is in this way, however, That the brush can also do good. The historian can use it to polish, Bring to light, dust off old history. They can get rid of the smaller, uncarved rock In order to place what is important in a better light. Often times this might be valued higher Than the other version of history we have come to know. Whichever way a historian might utilize his metaphorical brush, It can be made certain That with each new innovation that is carved, With each war that is brought to attention, With each death that is unsympathetically swept away, We may slip further from the past, But we may also drive closer to the truth.
43 Weighed Down by History | Angelica Neyra | Acrylic and Wax on Canvas
SPACE ILLUSION Karen Torino
I fell in love with her eyes. Everything else was so unpredictable. One day her fingers were painted with the Milky Way, And the next they were coated with only the remnants of a Supernova. Her heart, a black hole, disguised as a galaxyPromising warmth but delivering destruction. But her eyes held constellationsA surreal display of beauty that could never be altered.
Milky Way Galaxy | Maria Villa | Acrylic
Matanusla Glacier |Evan Barron |Photography
â€œMonks of Norciaâ€? is based on the true events of a man who was reborn into spirituality after a near-fatal car accident in Cali, Colombia. As a form of therapy, Klause Hobrecker sought out religious meditation with music, specifically the songs of a monastary in central Italy, helping him cope with his dire reality.
The Monks of Norcia Daniela Hernandez-Gil
knew he didn’t like silence. He didn’t like the heat,
and he didn’t like cool surfaces. Though he claimed he could not remember, fragments of suppressed memories surfaced with a remarkable pain. He lost it all. He was found on a lonely road holding the angelic corpse of his 2-year-old daughter. His wife lay nearby, and so did his two other children, limp and lifeless. We never knew who made the call or how he survived, but we did know that the acute silence was a sign of his knowing everything was not right. We worried; we cried. His family flew from all over Germany only to see his solemn face stare at the blank wall and make vivid images from it. Now, Klause was respectable and was never a bad host. Maybe it was his need to control his surroundings, or maybe it was rooted in making others feel welcome, but even now he could not force himself to pretend as if any of those courtesies were appropriate. Hidden whispers surrounded him. The worry was that he would harm himself, for he now had nothing for which to live: no family, no life, no God. The most troubling manifestation of the accident was his impulsive atheism; it had caused him to succumb to cynical ideations of a false reality. This loss of faith led to multiple suicide
In the past his wife was a counterweight to his dark cynicism. Maria was the epitome of a good catholic, giving and sweet, but reacted unapologetically to her husband’s lack of faith. She force-fed lines and ideas that he knew were outdated and incorrect, but he went along with it anyway, mostly for her peace of mind and as a continuous sacrifice that came with raising their children as catholic. We also knew about his gun, something we begged him not to buy after a small theft. “For protection.” he said. We all knew about his past; however, Maria assured us that the past was long gone; he was new and accepted God. Now, we had no Maria to assure us, and we had no one to tell us that he would never hurt himself. His siblings rushed over, unable to lay their hands on what we thought was Klause’s “ticket” to finally end his suffering. We looked in the closets, in the drawers, in the kitchen, but it was all in vain. We shed tears, but his face lay unmoved as we begged to know where he had placed his weapon. Finally, he spoke. “No, I would never. I will do everything to live. If I hurt myself, I will never get my one chance to see them again.”
attempts. His siblings were the same way, intellectual and
His brothers stood breathless, the doctors shook their heads;
stubborn, but they had never entertained thoughts of death,
we all poked at the idea that he would in fact try to move
and now he was so close to it that we all feared that he
on, but nevertheless, he persisted in his neurotic fantasy,
would take the leap and end his intolerable suffering
hoping that he would see them all again.
Inspired by Eavan Boland’s “Lava Cameo”
Apartment on Royalty Court 48
This is a vivid memory of mine — They lived on Royalty Court. A two bedroom one bathroom apartment devoid of Internet and cable and so much more. Their possessions were limited. Clothes. Ancient relics that had been in the family for years. Shoes. Fossils providing evidence of evolution of their growing feet. Toys. A want yet not a need, it seemed, a rare phenomenon that occurred only when the stars aligned. If I say that looking back on a childhood here, on the street erected with homogenous red-brick structures in a seemingly impoverished area, was mundane and desolate if I suggest that young child, at the tender age of six who looked forward to the occasional trip to the market a street over, who wanted to play outside yet had no companion to, was lonely — then consider this: this is when they had the most, the richest laughs, the wealthiest memories, the most figures in their bank account. Perhaps here on Royalty Court did live a king, queen, and two princesses.
Brickell Building | Amber Nolan | Scratch board
This place is perfect. Your resting head on my shoulder Your light breathing, Which I can faintly feel on my arm And your sunshine hair, falling all over the place The cool air of the coach bus bringing a welcomed chill And the softness of the velvet seats Feeling each bristle individually on my skin. The trees passing outside So quick that if you fix your gaze, itâ€™s a green blur Brief glimpses of the wildlife, Almost a hundred green iguanas With skin like sandpaper Lying out in the warm sun, which feels like a foreign object in this moving refrigerator. But in here it feels more like home The rough pages of this book running under my fingers Like the skin of the iguanas And you, Sitting there, harmless, sleeping In the comfort of my cotton ball hoodie This place is perfect.
Chaos | Armber Nolan | Acrylic Paint
Strange Fruit Amber Robinson
The recommended daily fruit serving size for a girl my age is 1 ½ cups,
Yet the strange fruit on the poplar tree is too far up. The ones stained with bloody sap are too ripe, Philando, Sandra, Deborah, Alton, and let’s not forget about Mike, The African-American police brutality prototype. Cherry-pick, Contradict, Don’t forget the shooting script.
Do not reach for your wallet, Whether center console or your visible front pocket. Everyone will know your name when you are dead. After Rigor Mortis fades, you’ll crumble like Aunt Jemima’s cornbread. I can’t even stomach hearing your name alongside “thug,” “angry,” “aggressive,” “threatening,” No one ever told me that I can’t put hot sauce on the unsettling. Emmett. . . till the Earth for crops, Just because the grass is green does not mean “Go!”
Remember he threatened you . . . He was a gangster and we already have his mugshot readily available for Fox News.
Plant them in the ground,
You will be on paid leave from the station,
I don’t even like watermelon,
call it an early vacation.
Not once did I hear Mother Nature say, “The white seeds are safe, angelic
My brother was six feet five inches…deep in the hole,
But the black seeds are dangerous felons.”
The black seeds are not poisonous,
the modern African-American birth control.
Yet the water in Flint is still poisonous.
Do not run,
Watermelons are over 90% water and before you bled out, you were mainly water.
the bloodhounds. . . I meant canines. . .might think you are a runaway slave, If you are not running to the finish line or the end zone,
To keep them down.
The other part was natural sugar, brown sugar.
you must learn how to behave.
You were too sweet for this world, Some people are just cavity prone. Your skin was too flavorful, gravy, honey, Whole wheat, chocolate bunny. Your skin accidently read “Open Season,” “Shooting Target,” Now you are the newest addition among the garden. The rose that grew from concrete, Underneath Alton Sterling and Eric Garner’s body heat. The only three words that matter to me are , , ,
I CAN’T BREATHE
Even the southern breeze makes me suffocate, The hugs indicating that they can’t relate. The looks screaming, “That was a piece of cake.” “One less Section 8.” “One step closer to a tax break.” “One less “hood handshake.” “One less “headache.” You can flip the script, But even “C-O-P becomes “P-O-C.” I swallowed the fruits of my labor, To keep you from stealing them. So when you call me “lazy” just know that it is a synonym. For persevering through another day, Coming home to watch my children play, Making it home from the subway, Oscar Grant-ed another day. 54
QUEEN | Laura Gonzalez | Acrylic
The Stars are Brighter in I crouched down to look into her brown eyes. “¿Cómo te llamas?” (What is your name?), I asked. “Aitana” she replied shyly, her little fingers twirling a strap hanging from my backpack. It was hard to hear her over the hammering. Her twinkling eyes looked over my glistening face. Most of the volunteers were meticulously observing Victor’s every move as he showed them how to build a latrine. Beneath a palm’s shade, others observed me curiously. Small, barefoot children who I had yet to meet hugged the doorway of Aitana’s blue wooden house. Gradually, they waddled over. “¿Los conoces?” (Do you know them?), I inquired. She only had to give me one look; there wasn’t a soul in Arroyo Sabana she didn’t know. She introduced me to the little pandilla (gang) and before I could question where we were going, I was being led by the hand with the rest of the pack at our heels. She waved over a beautiful twenty-yearold woman who had been sitting next to the other volunteers. It was only when she stood that I noticed the bump under her shirt holding unborn life. As she approached, the age marks that had prematurely settled onto her face became visible. I tried not to look startled when five-year-old Aitana called her “Mamá”. I put the thought aside as the two helped me under the barbed wire and onto the vibrant green grass of the campo (field). What followed was enchanting. In the distance, thick clusters of trees dotted luscious hills. Up ahead lay a pond which a cow had once fallen into once; Aitana related the story to me animatedly. Her spirit, free as the birds flying above, soared over the campo. I salivated as her mother described the fruit each tree bore as we strolled under their much-appreciated shade. I had been so mesmerized by the whole experience that I had failed to notice the other volunteers trailing
behind us. At the town’s boundary, we returned. Crossing the entrance of Aitana’s house, I carelessly glanced inside. Instantly, my heart dropped. Three cots, draped sadly with mosquito nets, stood in the corner over a bare, grimy floor. The pale light from the small, singular window of this one-room house illuminated the dirty plates that rested on a small table. How foolish of me to forget where I was, and why I had come. How ignorant of me to be hypnotized so easily by Aitana’s childhood happiness. I worked the rest of the evening in a daze.
“These people are dripping in “riches”. Rich with pure happiness. Rich with love for family, friends, and total strangers.” Eight days later, ten latrines had been constructed for ten different families. Prior to this mission trip, they had all practiced highly unsanitary opendefecation. I spent my final, humid night in the campo attempting to identify constellations alongside volunteers I had come to view as family. It was under these magnificent clusters of cosmic creation that I had a revelation. Before this trip, I had looked at poverty from a privileged, capitalistic, and distinctly American point-of-view. If poverty was a lack of economic comfort and stability, Arroyo Sabana was dirt poor. This is far from the truth, however. The blindness to the “harsh” reality I experienced under the spell cast by Aitana and the other locals I met was no witchery. These people are dripping in “riches”. Rich with pure happiness. Rich with love for family, friends, and total strangers. Rich in appreciation for their few possessions. Rich in passion for their campo. Rich with everything that our society’s “rich” oddly lack.
102 Degrees Farenheit | Camille Farge | Photography
Where I Live Catarina Fernandez
i. I live between my two ears; between the clouds and the dirt and two clumsy teenage hands ii. I live in the mind of the artist. A reckless artist, who sometimes closes his eyes, and never rinses his brush. He tries to paint me in colors that donâ€™t exist (at least not on this planet). iii. I live in the periphery, in a house only ever seen by God and restless drivers. No one ever visits my side of town on purpose. iv. I live on Venus with Aphrodite. Together we take hot baths in volcanoes, And cuddle in its craters. I dream of the days when our worlds will collide.
Blank| Laura Gonzalez| Mixed Media
Yellow, I have an eye on you |Laura Gonzalez | Acrylic, oil pastel and pen
FUTURE camille FACES farge When did you realize you were interested in design? When I was thirteen, my blind eyes were opened to design. Fashion is constantly present in any individualâ€™s life. How? It is because every single day, we have the choice of what to wear. Compared to your average person, this process is more than just that for me. Getting dressed has grown to be my favorite part of the day.
Describe your personal style? How does it relate to your designs? My personal style is bold but simultaneously chic. I choose to utilize vivid colors and patterns in each of my outfits. I am drawn to wear items that stand out through their originality. My aim is to be very authentic but at the same time classic. I love to take a unique perspective on my looks, adding different colors, shoes, and patterns. My favorite patterns are stripes and polka dots. These are seen throughout my wardrobe and designs. My favorite colors are red and yellow which, like the patterns, are seen throughout the entirety of my wardrobe and my designs.
A Charmed Life | Camille Farge | Colors on paper
OF FASHION What inspires your designs?
The main source of my inspiration is my French culture. My most treasured memories were made where I spent my serene summers in the French Riviera. This Edenic setting influences the way I dress and the way I design. There is a plethora of alluring qualities in the French Riviera. The contrast between the vibrant colors of the beach against the historically-rich region, as well as the fresh and fragrant foods available at the nearby “marché”, are unrivaled. Nevertheless, my designs are not solely based
on this. I find visions for my work through traveling. My latest collection is provoked by the ravishing country of India. This collection draws its origins from not only Indian culture but also France. My travels have shed light on new ideas, new colors, and new aromas which I implement in my designs. I am lucky to be able to travel to unique places where I always bring my camera. I take countless pictures and then look back on my pictures and obtain my inspiration through the details of each picture. A Charmed Life | Camille Farge | Colors and fabric on paper
Portrait | Maude | Photography
A Charmed Life | Camille Farge | Colors and fabric on paper
What inspires your designs?
personal style and designs describe who I am.
From walking down the street, looking at what people are wearing, the architecture, different cultures, to the different patterns on the crosswalks or stop signs inspires me. Everything inspires me to create.
What is your favorite part of the process? My favorite part is drawing the designs and letting my creativity flow on the paper. This is the most fun part because this is when I design the actual piece of clothing and use my inspiration that I gathered throughout my experiences.
What exposure have you had to designing and making clothes? The first time I was exposed to sewing was in 5th grade. My cousin, Lucila Astarloa, who is a fashion designer came to Miami from Argentina for vacation and she taught me how to sew cute little flowers and put them on headbands. I remember going into the fabric store and buying a ton of fabric and buying several types of fabric. I began cutting out the flowers and sewing them together to place on the headbands. My friends loved them, so I started to sell them. Then in high school I began to take classes with a fashion designer who taught me how to make my first pair of pants and jacket. This was the first time I saw my designs come to life and thatâ€™s when I knew.
How would you describe your personal style? I feel like my personal style and my fashion pieces are similar in some ways but different in others. For my personal style I use colors that are more neutral rather than bright, which I use more for my designs. Also, my designs are more eye opening than my laid back personal style. In the end, both my
Dreamy denim | Francesca Bornancini| Colors and fabric on paper
Urban sunset | Francesca Bornancini| Colors on paper
OF FASHION bornancini
Why did you decide to create your designs into clothing? Itâ€™s one of the best feelings when I turn my designs into physical clothes. Seeing how something that was sketched on a plain piece of paper come to life is astonishing. Also, seeing what I can accomplish gives me confidence that I will be able to get better and better everyday by turning my designs into physical clothes and gaining experience.
Urban sunset | Francesca Bornancini| Photography, fabric and colors on paper
Bornancini fashion modeled by Catherine Briscoe
Portrait | Valentino Bornancini| Photography
Bliss | Maria Villa | Acrylic
The Value of Music Kevin An
It is said that art is not merely the appreciation and creation of beauty. It is also a different way of laughing and crying, of loving and remembering, of hoping, dreaming, and celebrating. It allows us to creatively express, share, and understand our complex emotions in ways not otherwise possible. Conversely Oscar Wilde once wrote, “All art is quite useless.” At an early age, I was torn between these two polar views. Art was everything and nothing at all. I hadn’t fully understood Wilde’s maxim. When I was six, my parents decided to send me for piano lessons. I entered a room where an old lady sat in a dim room lit with a small lamp. Across from her lay a desk covered in papers, and pushed up against the wall loomed a great old wood box strung with black and white keys. My teacher told me, in Chinese, to press the keys with my fingers. I did so, but her game had many rules. She spat out the orders: sit up straight, feet flat, palms arched as if holding a ball, fingers curled. Press the keys, but only these, and do all of this at this exact instant in time, in accordance with the symbols on the paper. I followed instructions, without understanding why. I knew the goal was to make interesting, ordered sounds; what I couldn’t figure out was why it mattered so much. I told my mom that I hated piano. She understood my feelings, but I had just started. First impressions are often misleading. Perhaps, she told me, with time and experience, I would grow to like it. I doubted this, but relented. And so, she bought a piano, continued to pay for lessons, and I suffered countless hours of practice. Her goal for me was for me to become better than everyone else, to become one of the elite. When
that didn’t happen, she tried again by introducing me to the French horn. This time, I had much more success. When I joined band in middle school and played with other kids, I quickly found that I had achieved, to an extent, my mom’s goals, and I liked the idea that I was exceptional. Music became a competition. It was during these first few years of my “musical career” where I made truly “bad” art. Since that time, my views on what is “good” and “bad” art have changed dramatically. Although I once considered myself quite advanced in middle school (and I was, technically), I no longer believed I was truly good. Up until recently, good art to me was simply whatever I thought was beautiful. Beethoven and Chopin were good because their work, at least, sounded pleasing, but rap and dubstep, they were bad because they are spoken rhyming obscenities and computer generated noise. After a series of discussions with a musician friend however where he suggested that “all of art is practically screaming at you to not rank artists”, I changed my mind. I realized that my way of distinguishing the good and the bad was quite selfish. Rap isn’t bad just because I don’t relate to its message and don’t like the way it’s presented. Art is only bad is if it has no purpose, if it’s made without care. When I got to high school, I had lost the arrogance I gained from my achievements. At that age, suddenly kids with superior musical prowess were much more common, and compared to them, I was almost embarrassingly lacking. And thus, the competition ended; so, I found new motivation for loving music. Music became a means for me to express myself and to form relationships with strangers and strengthen those with friends. I embraced Wilde’s definition, art with no preconceived judgements or purposes or even rigid rules, just “art for art’s sake”. I was playing the notes but not listening to the music.
The walk home had seemed pleasant enough. But then I reached the curb. A voice, gruff, Asked me if I wanted to live. There was a pause, then a “Yes” from me—the obvious answer to give. Confusion becomes panic as a gun emerged from shadow which Hands followed and soon after the face of a man whose eyes Are staring at the lump in my pocket with glee As he tells me that to breathe I’ll have to pay a fee.
Reflective City | Francesca Bornacini | Photography
I scan the streets but we’re all alone Save for the company of his guide, Death, Whose icy hands choke all rationale And now I see my children before me with round eyes Pleading me to forget the money and come home Because who’ll raise them and pay the bills and Always watch out for the big bad monsters at night. But the only monster I see is the one before me With eyes that rage with the flames of Hell And a finger at the trigger that’s itching to twitch Oh, why can’t he see things from my side of the gun?
Reflective World | Francesca Bornacini | Photography
Sides Tomas Clavijo-Garcia
I know he’s expecting death. They often do. But my intent is to run. If only he knew. Prize in hand, I step back two. People, just meet my demand, I’m no angel of death! All I wish is to be able to raise my children and pay the bills, To shield them from the monsters—Famine and Poverty—is my will, Their round eyes plead for me to come home, stay safe, forget the money. But there’d be no round eyes if I didn’t bring in some dough. And nobody’s hiring. And street begging is tiring. God forbid I become a murderer—I’m not one yet though. I know what they think. I wish people saw my other sides. For now, I turn and run, Love still my guide.
Why I learned to sing the National Anthem before saying my own Name Sara Hartzell
Growing up a military brat, weekly trips to the gun range were customary father-daughter bonding experiences. On Career Day at my elementary school, I had members of some of the most elite teams in the military at my fingertips. Our family parties consisted of Green Berets, Navy SEALs, and the occasional admiral swapping wartime stories. On “Take Your Child to Work” days you could find me ecstatically riding around base in tanks. At first, when my father excitedly told my family that he was to be stationed in Germany, I bawled at the thought of leaving my neighborhood playmates, not realizing that the three years I lived overseas would serve as the most enjoyable years of my life. Not only am I well-versed in the customs of typical suburban Virginian culture and tough-love military culture, but I’m also at home with orderly German culture
and Latin-infused American culture from living in Germany, Virginia, and Miami. Not everything has been positive however. My Uncle Matt had taken one step in the wrong direction during a mission in the war-torn country of Afghanistan. He was stolen from us forever. There was also my father’s absence at countless birthday parties and Christmases and later the painfully torturous hospital visits and chemotherapy treatments my father underwent as a result of being exposed to chemicals in Iraq. Consequently, I have formed the utmost respect for those who serve, and as a result of these events, I have grown into a young woman who seeks out new experiences, whose personality has been molded by the hands of multiple different cultures, and who has been inspired by the sacrifice of others.
Toy Soldiers | Matthew Gonzalez | Oil Pastel
Night Contemplations Contemplaciones Nocturnas 10:30 a veces te busco en las estrellas. espero la caída del sol para voltear los ojos hacia los cielos vuelo encima de oraciones de mi niñez y dejo que el suspiro de la noche me sople hacia ti 11:34 pretendo que jugamos a los escondidos. te envuelves alrededor de la luna abrazando sus curvas y llenando cráteres con risas que mantienen la gravedad 11:45 nochecitas silenciosas. si miro cuidadosamente te veo entre nubes en puntillas sobre cumbres mirando otras galaxias 11: 50 te entrego mis tiernas lágrimas para que riegues las estrellas para que florezcan como los claveles blancas y sinceras. 11:57 me disfrazo con la sombra de la noche y desato trenzas rociadas por el polvo de cometas.
11:59 Y cuando te encuentre te preguntaré si has visto mis ángeles guardianes Y sobre las malvadas brujas en escobas viejas Y cuando regreses podré contarte sobre los veranos acalorados y las navidades agotadoras 12:00
Night Contemplations 10:30 sometimes I look for you in the stars i wait for the sun’s descent to turn my eyes towards the skies i fly on childhood prayers and drift on the night’s breath 11:34 i pretend we are playing hide and seek. you wrap yourself around the moon hugging its curves andfilling its craters with your laughter that holds its own gravity 11:45 silent nights. if I look closely enough i can see you between clouds tiptoeing on mountain tops peeking into other galaxies
11:50 i give you my tender tears to water the stars so they can blossom into carnations saintly and white.
11:57 i dress up with the night’s shadow and undo braids peppered with comet’s dust
11:59 and when I find you i’ll ask you if you’ve seen my guardian angels and about evil witches on old brooms and when you return I can tell you about hot summers and weary Christmases.
12:00 Aurora Borealis | Evan Barron | Photography
Get the Aliens Out Part 1 | Veronica Webber | Acrylic and Felt Tip
Get the Aliens Out Part II | Veronica Webber | Acrylic and Felt Tip
Eye Vision | Francesca Bornancini | Photography and Digital Art
Sight Alexandra Conroy
I sat on the front porch of my best friendâ€™s
until the early hours of the morning, the country
cabin in North Carolina. My breath came out in
music could be heard playing, soft beats echoing
puffs of visible white frost while the southern drawl
into the darkness.
of country music played in the background. I was sixteen but this was the first time I
Itâ€™s incredible the way nature works. One moment it can come in charging like a roaring beast
had ever seen snow. For a full five minutes, my
and the next it can settle its wings softly over the
friend recorded my excitement on her phone,
face of the earth. It is a never-ending cycle of death
laughing whenever I did because she was happy to
and rebirth, a way for the world to replenish itself:
be the first person to show me this side of nature.
water that flows turbulently and cleanses, earth
After our initial wave of joy, both of us sat quietly,
that decomposes and grows, air that suffocates and
dressed only in our fuzzy pajamas with a woolen
breathes, fire that burns and lights the way.
blanket her mother had draped over our shoulders, watching the snow fall and waiting for the sun to rise.
Amidst the beauty, there is also great pain: poverty, suffering, starvation, and disease which shake the very core of humanity. We know terrorism
Everything was peaceful then. Nature
is on the rise. We know climate change is real. We
moved slowly, calmly. The smell of pine penetrated
know all of this and yet we choose not to see, but
the cool air while in the distance deer lingered on
in that moment, curled up with a blanket around me
the side of the road. Time had stopped, suspended in
listening to the sounds of night, I knew.
a beautiful moment, and all throughout the night,
I want to see everything.
of experience. Obviously it was a
he always told his two daughters
of medical school, Rafael Feliu
huge opportunity as it would secure
and their friends about the evils
graduated in 1954. Five years
his job and family for as long as
of the Communist government.
later, Cuba reached the conclusion
he promised to be loyal to the
He expressed to them daily the
of its revolution and Fidel Castro
need to preserver, to never betray
After struggling in his first year
emerged victorious claiming the
Rafael’s response was
themselves, and to always be tools
hearts and minds of many. The
unexpected, “The scrubs of my
for the betterment of others and
government underwent a dramatic
teachers are much too loose for me
change that affected all facets of
to wear them.”
life, including the medical sector
His daughters went on to
Due to this, Rafael’s
become doctors. They fled
of the country. Beginning with the
breakthrough was not recognized
Cuba due to their hatred for the
Ministry of Public Health, Castro
by the Ministry of Public Health or
government that took their beloved
placed loyal followers in power and
by the Government.
father’s life and broke so many of
replaced all high ranking medical officials in hospitals, given their jobs before the revolution, with new promising doctors that were just starting their careers. Rafael quickly showed that he was a prime candidate for this promotion. Unlike most doctors in Cuba at the time, he did not limit himself to “Cuban
Openly defying the Ministry,
The scrubs of my teachers are much too loose for me to wear them.
their friends. The eldest daughter, Regina Feliu, went to New York to reestablish herself as a doctor in a new country despite not being able to speak the language or having any experience with the culture; while the other, Cecilia Feliu, went to Miami and became a respiratory therapist while raising her son of eighteen months.
Medical Knowledge” but looked
Rafael was seen as a rebel and
overseas and revolutionized fetal
was punished accordingly. He was
I was a child, asking about my
care. Integrating the Duhamel
banned from practicing medicine
mother’s father,she would smile
Procedure that he learned from
at Calixto Garcia, one of the most
and look to the heavens, always
French doctors, Rafael drastically
prestigious hospitals in Cuba. He
turning away from me, and say that
decreased the mortality rate for
was forced to move to La Benefica
he was here with us- that he was
children born with Hirschsprung
as punishment. He passively
always watching over me. I never
Disease in Cuba. The Ministry,
accepted, unwilling to show his
really understood why she never
impressed, offered the position of
anger as he knew it would please
looked at me until I was finally tall
Chief of General Surgery to Rafael,
the Ministry. At this hospital he
enough to see her grief-stricken face.
This was unprecedented. To think
worked until he died, teaching his
that this was offered to a new
fellow surgeons while keeping his
surgeon with less than ten years
political views quiet; however,
I still remember, how when
Ninety-Six | Camille Farge | Photography
Gaia | Angelica Neyra | Clay
The Exotic Garden Of Monaco Eric Sokhn
Its Koi Pond sits high overlooking a narrow valley Just a stoneâ€™s throw from the Mediterranean. The fish struggle to make their way back Through bubbling water as viscous as syrup. Sweltering heat waves from the sun Deny air from my lungs. Cacti stand tall, unaware they donâ€™t belong. A cool cave rests at the bottom. Dormant. No way back to the top.
loss in two parts Michelle Huang
L’œil | Camille Farge | Photography
my motherâ€™s father dies the year he was born when the dragon reared his head and swallowed what was left of his ashes, coloring the door-less hospital room in autumn char he is eighty-four years kind two lungs faint, but his hair stays a new moon waning across pallid temples i wonder if he has traced his path among the constellations i am twelve years callow, cradled seven-thousand miles far from solace and it is the first time death rakes his mangled nails beneath my skin a gentle hush of rain tiptoes through the open doorway and I feel the wind swathe me in its woven veils, rocking me while trickling tears join the raindrops on the day of his funeral we cover our mirrors with heavy black tarp, stretching it over the wooden frames before we walk to the cemetery at dusk the breeze sweeps by but the sticks of incense we carry stay glowing, burning a light that will not go out and we kneel to plant them in the flower beds along the concrete fireflies finding a way home when the sky dims we head down to the cobblestone and set fire to paper, paper houses, paper promises, paper cranes we folded from a time we could still tuck our edges together into rocking chairs the pea & her carpenter a sacrifice, red like the embers incandescent in the name of the lost the sparks burst to warm the air around us i watch as the gales lift them higher and higher and higher and higher pinpricks of flame in the darkness until they are one with the stars.
my father’s father dies the year he was born when the rooster’s crow dissolved serpents into smoke, thick like gray blankets of winter snow that will not fall, stifling the room with its closed windows he is eighty-four years strong his skin sinks inwards, shipwrecked in a glass bottle, casting shadows from his eyes but his voice is still a church of rings, soaking through the sponge of my bones i wonder if i can hear it echo if i press my ear to the wind i am seventeen years hollow seven miles far from closure but i know death he is an old boyfriend, who comes unexpectedly, who does not bother with formalities, who tracks muddy footprints on the kitchen tile and carves our initials into the cutting board with his penknife (dulled with use) i feel a gust rush past before i wipe the salt from beneath my eyelids, sullied crystal flowing into my palms, reckless & ugly and my shoulders flutter like the leaves above on the day of his funeral i carry a ribbon in my left pocket and a lighter in my right both red, like my borrowed pendant, like my cousin’s lipstick, like a dehisced wound i look into the mirror and slip my mother’s chained agate underneath my open collar, waiting for the wind to break as we drive to the cemetery at noon it is my grandmother’s birthday she is eighty-seven years wise and this is the first time i see her tears (they water his open grave) and in some ways i hope it is not the last when the sun is at its highest point we walk among the headstones to watch him return to the earth, and i pick a rose (its petals blanched, the way all flesh goes) & a marigold (in his name, i am the last to wear it) to place over his closed chest we are silent as we turn our faces, blind when the ground swallows him whole i blink up at the sky and squint into the brightness listening to the air still as we leave.
A Charmed Life | Camille Farge | Photography
Driven | Camille Farge | Photography
Maria Camas Latching on to the iron, aged pages of silver, gold, and bronze, of cascading colors that rule over the sky, of an array of assorted candies, the desolate survivors of the crevice embedded on your jeans. Recalling absentmindedly the pitter- patter of footsteps that run amok, the beams of sporadic light casting a draping shadow, the silent cries of anguished beasts, a tumultuous revolt unfolding on cherished land.
And how courage begets promise And how those wanderers encountered the kings of persistence And how the jocotes rung endlessly announcing a lethargic loss And how a grief-stricken wrinkly face full of remorse, fails to forget The smell of crimson fields amongst the promised land
Cold War| Leila Padron| Oil Pastels, Ink
Time is the Most Important Thing We Have the Least of | Kristin Davis | Acyrlic Paint
drops Nicole Marino
He doesn’t like me when I’m sober he likes the oblivious intoxication sewed into my eyes by rum tears and bourbon burns he likes controlling the throne that isn’t his pouring my no’s into his cup to drown his woes he likes inundating the corners of my body with Jack Daniels and Becks pretending to row a drunken ship He doesn’t like me sober because it’s harder to ravish bouquets he enjoys the drunken fog That loosens my grip on vandalized petals He doesn’t like me sober because he doesn’t understand himself sober so he distracts himself with tight skirts and tipsy kisses
This piece is made of medical supplies that my
more veins that can be used and no more skin to
father used during his illness. I have tried to
make more drafts. Even though the patient may
represent our vulnerability as human beings in the
sign constant informed consents forms, are these
face of sickness. Even the most well-intentioned
really his decisions? Does he really have another
health-care givers, need to intervene, hurt, pinch,
choice than to let himself be invaded by cancer?
ope rate, extract, mutilate, and make suggestions
Does he really choose to have a laryngectomy, only
that can radically change your life. The sick person
later to be burnt by radiotherapy and intoxicated by
has to undergo a myriad of procedures and an
chemotherapy? Are these really his decisions? Or is
endless amount of tests and interventions, leaving
he a puppet of fate?
him feeling tired, confused, and hurt. There are no
Eva Bibas Medium: Medical Supplies and Digital Print Size: 42” X 1’ X 1’
Medical Supplies Used: suction catheters/ syringes/ glove/ protective arm sleave/ yankauers / tourniquet band / tracheostomy tube
Andy/Acrylic Paint on Tag Board/ Gisel Anuez
What do a slave in the 1800th century, a black male in the 1900th century, and a convicted felon today have in common? None possess the very inherent characteristic of democracy: suffrage. The chains of antebellum America have been handed down to the son of the hard-working African-American, then inherited by the troubled teenager, caged by his environment. The relic of our disgraceful past still pervades our modern day, promoted by an adaptive, oppressive institution. A crisis faces our country, unlike most others we have seen, but yet so familiar. War could not bring us out of this depression. Trade could not correct this egregious deficit. Only a little bit of time and a revision of skewed cultural perceptions formed over centuries, exploited by politicians and sensationalized by modern media can rectify this glaring injustice. Sound simple enough? Mass incarceration, a phenomenon of which few are aware, yet its support is extensive. Tough on crime. Law and order. Buzzwords that hand elections to demagogues, in the same breath initiating an ever-expanding spiral directed towards poverty and abuse, targeted at the very few that possess very little. From which roots are these strange fruit borne? Those anchored in the soil of America, where centuries ago, enslavement broke through the ground. Its foundation expands, nourished by the acid rain that burns a hole through the freedom that fills this field. The trunk begins to take shape, sustained by the sunlight that invigorates this institution, racist legislation. After decades, however, this solid base begins to falter. The sunlight now shielded by clouds of progress, owing to abolition. The constitution has weakened this disgraceful tree, while the seeds of liberty
germinate around it. Fast forward 30 years, though, and the tree has now rejuvenated, the sky clears once again. Grandfather clauses and poll taxes beam through the atmosphere, contaminating the soil with the toxin of discrimination. Before long, branches form, the onset of Jim Crow tainting the partly replenished ground. The tree continues to poison everything it touches. The larger it gets, the more nourishment it steals from the surrounding life. Foliage forms, shading all of the vicinity, thus depriving everything of the light needed to survive. Freedom withers as oppression flourishes. Once again, intervention is endured, surviving yet another era of social advancement, out of which it emerges tougher. A half-century of uninterrupted growth has now bred handcuffs and ankle bracelets, reminiscent of the shackles that predated them. This fruit, although succulent to some, is bitter to others. Some feast off the misfortunes of few, profiting from their struggle; whereas others have had their worlds torn apart. This perpetuates the cycle that thrust them into this situation originally. A phony war has been waged on inner-city America, aggrandized by misconceptions on crime that posed opportunities for politicians and businessmen to seize. The peculiar institution has taken on several forms, morphing as the times require. Regardless of the era, one thing remains true: racism is the root. The question is, however, how can its effects be limited, if not eradicated? It is cultural, learned not inherited, but how can a cultural bias be eliminated if it has formed over several generations? There lies no panacea for this illness, but I ask, is there no temporary palliative?
The Purification of the Past Rachel Betancourt
Long, lean arms— Brushing on crisp, white stripes— Move back and forth. Confusing clarity for an eraser, and kindness for bleach. Desperately climbing up And leaning over — until every facet and face and flame is white as snow. Suddenly—traces of vermilion slowly peek through the porcelain veil, and he knows he will have to roll on yet another coat, because blood spilt from broken promises can never be washed out. With his trousers and torso tainted crimson, He forcefully presses on the paint— again and again and again Does he not realize that no amount of purity can hide his demons? That not even an infinite amount of paint can remove the stains of his hell? Beware. Sin is forever.
Searching | Eva Bibas | Wall paint on thick paper
New York State of Mind | Francesca Bornancini | Photography
Maybe I donâ€™t know, but I think this is happy Daniela Hernandez-Gil
The world moved like a Kodachrome still across the
The black satchel had held me company on the bus, and
black and white garden that was my imagination.
once again my eyes drifted to the flap opening. It teased
The images were blurred and hazy, reluctant to allow
me until I could not feel myself searching for what I
my eyes to grasp their color, and I could not force even
always had. Yellow-rimmed scissors broke the monotone
my bag to remain quiet on the train. The slight jingle
land of gray.
of the keys disrupted the tires rolling quickly through
The setting sun witnessed the chaotic snipping of my
the smooth road, competing with the old engine. My
long brown hair, and the pieces fell like feathers onto the
universe was nauseating, and every memory came in
dirt, near the road. Any bus that would pass through the
pangs as I hit my head on the dirty glass window.
frigid countryside would now take pieces of my sadness
The fingerprints seemed to form a face smiling back at
with them, dispersing it and diluting it with the kisses
my glout. I could finally read the writing on the wall.
on cheeks, complete resolution, and purrs of cats. Each
The bus slowed, and for a second the momentum froze
strand would fall separately, an ease on my gloom as
time but the push back to my seat only solidified that this
they were set free.
was in fact, real. My legs were recovering from the numbness and my neck felt hot slashes as I stretched my body into the halftone field of gray, and I smiled remembering everything was better in black and white. I could just stare as the stars touched the sky,
It felt like the rebirth of an epoch, even the amaranth of the trees stood still and admired simply what was new light. I ran away. Not from something, to something. My childlike glee filled the field in laughter as I sprinted to the shallow grave next to the river. The violent whips
twinkling their hues of pink and blue as I rested on
only subdued under the power of the brown earth, but I
the cold gravel. They alluded me with tears of yellow
could finally see the greens and blues and reds beneath
and white, and I wondered what they thought of my
all the soil.
consolidation in our new residence beneath a sea of tint.
Inspired by Walt Whitman’s ‘Continuities’ and a very broken heart
Radiant was the tender flame
Should regret stoke the pyre,
that I did so duly douse.
what remains would surely gleam.
Ephemeral was the fleeting flare
Should a tinder soon rekindle,
who left so long ago.
would the fervor flame restore.
Warm was the initial blaze
And if a spark met a cinder,
which left such a frigid wake.
would dormant coals reignite?
Welcoming were the early embers
With the soot of past set afloat,
that seared and scorched me so.
a tender flame would live again.
Gentle was the gracious glare who singed without remorse. Lustrous was the glistening glow who charred all it swept.
Fire and Water | Kaitlyn Faircloth | Photography
I lie next to my grandmother, both
her in bed rest for many months.
inferior, soon came to respect her. Now, in her old age, my
of us bundled in the blanket like a
Looking back on these events, I think
burrito. I admire her soft smile and
to myself, “How can someone who
grandmother continues to be strong
wrinkly skin, her sweet scent, and
was so strong and independent in
and confident. She spends most of
cornucopia of golden-white curls. She
her life end up in such a bad state of
her time living in Germany, but she
hums an Azerbaijani song to herself
occasionally travels back to Iran
while watching her Farsi-translated
Her health was not always this
and comes to visit us in Miami. She
soap opera. A few moments later, the
poor. My grandmother was strong
has seen me go through back-to-
humming abruptly ceases and she
physically and emotionally. She
back all nighters after rigorous and
stares at me with her cataract stricken,
accomplished only a 3rd grade
long volleyball tournaments in order
education, due to the societal norms
to finish homework. There were
of that time period in Iran, which
moments that my exhaustion made me
Farsi, “So, when will you be a doctor
restricted women from having one.
want to give up.
Education was meant for men. Women
She then begins to ask me in
One night, detecting my struggle,
were subject to domestic work, but
she came into my room, and said “You
that I haven’t even finished high
that did not stop my grandmother
see these two fists? Fight for your
school. Seeing how hopeful her
from continuing with her passion for
dreams, be strong, and be wise for
expression was, I continued to say,
sewing and knitting and eventually
yourself. Instead of saying you can’t
opening up her own clothing factory.
do something, say you CAN! But most
My grandfather was very supportive of
importantly, never give up.”
I look at her and laughingly reply
She returns to her humming and soap opera.
her, but many others, especially men,
From that moment on, whenever
were not. They would tell her that she
I feel the slightest bit of doubt in
stops and repeats her question, “So,
would surely fail, since the clothing
myself, I picture her standing in front
when will you be a doctor again?”
industry was mainly dominated by
of me, saying those same words of
men; nevertheless, she opened up her
encouragement. I’ve come to learn,
complained about an immense,
factory. She did all this at the age of
that in these past few years, the reason
pounding pain in her head. We
25, while becoming a widow and also
for my unwavering determination to
told her it was probably a severe
raising five children. Moreover, my
succeed in life has come from my
headache and she pushed through
grandmother went against the grain
grandmother. Ultimately, I hope to
the pain quietly. Little did we know,
and didn’t discriminate when hiring
pursue my dreams of becoming a
her headache was actually due to a
because she always saw the good in
doctor and help people get better,
stroke she was having. Her dementia
people. She thus became one of the
especially my grandmother. Then
developed as a result of this stroke. In
most respected women in Tehran.
maybe one day, she will be lying next
that same year, she had also acquired
Many of the same men who criticized
to me saying,
shingles and broken her back, leaving
her in the beginning and saw her as
“So, you’re finally a doctor. . . ”
Then in a matter of minutes, she
A few years ago my grandmother
Memorial Wall: Part 1 | Gabrielle Feria | ScratchBoard
The Hands of Time â€œLava Cameoâ€? Camille Orquera
Two hands that chase one another, never meeting But always just within reach in an endless cycle overlapping each other as each hour, minute, second passes but never embracing. The thrill of endless time and the idea of forever eluded you. It was February when they called. Or was it March? The hands blur my memories and are at the same time the only tangible thing I have left of you. Maybe it was 8:40 pm when they called. If that was the correct time then consider this: There was a cold breeze in mid-February and the wind chill dried the streaks on my motherâ€™s face and if my father were to feel or say anything then I can hear his screams from the parking lot as they echoed the green soccer fields and my brother collapsed in the arms of my mother as the hands of your life simply stopped. Never touching. Come Christmas and a box of your old things arrive at the doorstep. As if they had just remembered that we had loved you too. There they were. The hands that once rested on your wrist were frozen in time encased in old glass as my brother and I fought over their new owners. In the midst of it, they fell to the floor and when brought back up, the hands that had stopped running since you died started their chase once again.
Only this time they were touching.
Power vs. Speed | Christina Bernadotte | Sharpie, Acrylic, Watercolor
Your watch sits in a case above my desk looking down on me as I work everyday. I was never able to fix the hands from when we dropped it. Maybe I never wanted to. And the hands run in an endless loop With the memories of you. Touching.
The Critic Kevin An
Is it beautiful?
the team walked into
Tell us what you think
The famed museum.
For we do not know, cannot tell ourselves.
Bright light washed over the men in solemn,
Their leader studied,
staring deep in thought
while the men just watched,
in his white lab coat,
breaths held, waiting, in
the manners of their strong intelligent
After some minutes,
of examining, she finally made
Your greatness please look,
up her mind and said:
and tell us about the intricacies
of this work of art. The men, excited, What does it all mean?
wrote down her ideas.
Giraffe | Amber Nolan | Watercolor
I believed it would be hard to use watercolor to complete these pieces but the watercolor could be manipulated and be very watery and light or thick and pigmented. While making these pieces I discovered how colorful and textured metal and fabric really are. Just in one stitch of fabric there are an abundance of colors. The same as there is in one chain link as shown in multiple of my art works.
In God We Trust | LeiLani Herndon | Watercolor
Lock | LeiLani Herndon | Watercolor
Time Is Money | LeiLani Herndon | Watercolor
For my pieces I explored the similarities and differences between hard, shiny metals and soft textured fabric. I focused on being highly detailed in the way I painted the metal in each of the works, and completely studied how light bends and refracts off each item. 109
Caladiums | Isabel Cataneda | Watercolor on Gouache
Narcissus | Isabel Cataneda | Watercolor on Gouache
A deep breath and the infiltrating smell of parched Earth consume the lungs with leftovers of human history.
The swift sounds of the brush’s bristles against the dry terrain pick up the remains of 200,000 years’ worth of human narrative,
Including the architectures of ancient Egypt, establishment of religion, vicious wars, the discovery of geometry itself -
All of which had consequences filtering sepia over humanity today.
Humans of today are forced to endure the endless effects of our ancestors’ histories
Becoming saviors of our own establishment, carrying only a single brush and tin can to make our present better than their past.
Refraction of light | Laura Gonzalez | Acrylic on canvas
Artist Interview with Leira Padron by Eva Bibas
What inspired you to make these pieces? Well, Aesop’s fables aren’t exactly popular nowadays; however, they’re still stories that we hear when we’re children and some of them are still referenced today, such as “the Boy who cried Wolf”. Although they’re not exactly child-friendly stories, they still hold a lot of truth and advice that is still relevant. It’s helpful advice, and I felt like they were strong enough stories to draw and challenge myself with. How do you know which stories to pick for pieces? What goes into the selection process? I read them in order, and if a story catches my attention then I select it. I pretty much go by the moral more so than the actual narrative, since I feel that it’s a lot more impactful and the stories themselves are charming on their own. Are the artworks pre-planned or do you just paint what comes to mind as you go along? At the very beginning, I would first read the story and visualize the narrative in my head. Then, I would pick what I thought were the four most important scenes and that’s how I came up with ideas for pieces. Towards the 7th or 8th piece I started planning them out a bit more so that each scene would be more meaningful. Which mediums did you choose to make your pieces and why? I chose to use gloss, gesso and acrylic. Acrylic was used to add that color factor, of course. Gesso and gloss; however, I used gesso because it has a rougher texture than white acrylic which, when combined with the already rough texture that cardboard has, the “old, rough” look I was going for is further accentuated. The gloss I used to not only bring out the colors but also to highlight certain aspects of each panel that
are important. In the case of the piece with the crow, for instance, the cheese the crow is holding has a bit of gloss on it. I mostly use gloss to highlight certain important aspects. What would you categorize your work as? My work was meant to be a set of comic strips ; however, comics nowadays are usually done digitally and they’re a lot longer and more elaborate so I wanted to stay true to traditional art since that’s what I’m comfortable with and I, personally, enjoy doing more so I decided to combine the two and create four-panel paintings in the form of comics. What tools did you use to make your strips? I used a lot of different materials. I used the usual brush and ink pen, but I also used my fingers for a lot of the marks since it makes them more charming and gives them more character. At some points I also used sponges, bags, and even just cardboard cutouts to move the paint around and just give it more of the feeling that the story was trying to convey when it was written. Do you think the surface or texture is important to the overall piece? I think so because it’s not just about drawing out what the story is trying to say; it’s also about putting every factor that you could possibly put into creating the work. Your choice of material and placement of certain textural elements affect the message that people interpret when they look at the work. What did you discover along the way? When I first began I used a limited color palette, which is reflected in the wolf and the crane piece. I was focusing on my whites, blacks and reds: black representing the darkness of the story, white
The Wolf and the Crane
The Frog and the Ox
The Lion and the Mouse
The Fox and the Crow
The above panels were fashioned with the following mediums: gloss, gesso, acrylic, brush and ink sponges, bags, and cardoard cut outs.
The respective morals of the stories are as follow: The Wolf and the Crane: "Gratitude and greed go not together." The Frog and the Ox: “Self-conceit may lead to self-destruction.” The Lion and the Mouse: “Little friends may prove great friends.” The Fox and the Crow: “Do not trust flatterers.”
representing the light and good, and red representing the tragedy that was bound to happen in order to teach the lesson. After a few pieces, though, I began to realize this didn’t make my image visually striking; so, I started to implement more color which can be seen in the crow piece. That added a lot more to the
storytelling aspect since the pieces were now a lot more pleasant to look at and released more information to the eye. By the time I reached the frog and the ox piece, I was already using lots of colors and creating more striking scenes that told the story better.
the bay Eric Sokhn
Nestled along the cozy coastline In a corner of the world long forgotten, The bay sleeps. Lulling forth travelers and foreigners alike, It was once known as Gubal, and now Byblos It now lays dormant, only bearing the scars and Embellishments of the pastâ€” How it failed to protect its inhabitants once, maybe more. The tale of a thousand lost lives etched into the stone wharf Molding the image of past dynasties and kingdoms as the Fertile Crescent mourns its people. This was once a place of learningâ€” Where the first alphabet was born. Where the Phoenicians sailed the Mediterranean, trading purple dye. Where the monuments to an empire were erected in a day. This is no longer the case. And I, having once felt the deep pang of separation, No longer miss watching war and tranquility crash over the shore, Or hookah and seafood by the sea.
Crab | Christina Bernadotte | M ixed media
aves nd W les a Circ
t II |
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