23 June 2013

Mi Casa, Su Casa: Handmade Movement Volunteer Party, A Visual Post . . .

Vesak Day!

I can't believe it's been almost one month since Singapore celebrated Vesak Day. I feel like this magical holiday just happened! Can you tell how behind I am in my blog posts? So much has been going on! Luckily I am almost caught up!

Vesak Day is Buddha's birthday and a national holiday in Singapore. So I had the day off from school. This year it fell on a Friday, meaning a happy 3-day weekend. I hadn't realized what a giant holiday this was until the Wednesday before, when I was walking home from school. I glanced in the window of the temple where the big deity resides to find piles and piles of beautifully handcrafted lanterns. I noticed a lady inside cutting brightly colored tissue paper, so I ducked in to take a peek.

She told me that the priest himself had carved the foam gate (pictured in the top image, above) and designed the pattern for the paper lanterns. And she was the one cutting the patterns out of the hundreds of paper lanterns you see here. Each lantern had 4 large sides and 8 small sides, so that was a lot of cutting!

Over the course of several weekdays, they had strung up lots and lots of flags, all of the lanterns, and twinkly lights. Everywhere I looked there was bright color! It was truly fantastic!

Candles and incense were all over the place for visitors to light. And realizing it might rain--it rains everyday here, so I'm not sure how this might be a surprise--volunteers were out in full force on Thursday, the night before, bagging up the lanterns so that they could still hang, but they wouldn't get ruined.

It did rain for most of the day, but it did not deter anyone from the celebration. And the paper lantern party went off without a hitch.

I didn't actually participate in the lantern making. Being that I make things all the time, I signed up to just to take pictures. I was more interested in the process for future projects anyhow. 

Each person was given paper to shape, paint, and glue together. The flame was attached after the constructed paper was completely dry. A small piece of filament was tied to each lantern so that they were able to be brought back down and properly thrown away when the flames went out.

It really creates a beautiful visual, with the colored papers filling the night sky. 

Back at the home front, the temple was packed. Cars were trapped coming to and from, and lots and lots of honking had begun to take place.  

A precessional of people dressed in white started behind the temple and wrapped around the building, each person carrying some sort of gift or offering. People lined the fences to watch. I was right there with them.

The whole day--start to finish--was amazing, a gorgeous spectacle! I can't wait until next year . . . I want to be a part of the processional for sure!

13 June 2013

MFA Time!

I am excited to announce that next Friday--June 21st--I will be starting a new graduate program at the Maryland Institute College of Art. You might remember that the whole reason I even started this blog was to catalog my first masters program, start to finish. (It's hilarious to look back at those early posts: what with their bumbling formatting and small type. Yikes.)

Complimenting my teaching in Singapore, this graduate program meets every summer for an intense 6 weeks of studio time, critiques, and workshops. So when I finish my three-year term in Singapore, I will also be receiving an MFA in Studio Art from MICA (er, hopefully). I can't tell you how happy and thrilled I am to be spending every summer in Baltimore, on the East Coast! Yay! (Love, love the East Coast!!!!)

"This low-residency, 60-credit interdisciplinary MFA program is designed for experienced artists who want to pursue graduate study without disrupting their ongoing careers. The emphasis of the program is in integrating practice with theory, where students are encouraged to be independent thinkers and researchers who may focus within one specific medium or work across various media." You can read the full description, including curriculum to be covered, here

The books above are for this summer's term. I've started reading them and I am chomping at the bit to get into the studio . . . These books are incredibly thought-provoking and inspiring. Can't wait to see what's next! 

Fun blogposts ahead, I just know it!! Here we go . . . 

Bring In The Clowns . . .

My nephew Liam is really into performance. I mentioned how lucky I was to see his alien dance here. And took note of his boogie-ability here

What he likes best is to be involved in performances that involve a bit of theatre and a bit of dance. He and his brother, along with my sister, recently moved to Franklin, Tennessee. But right before they left, he performed in "The Fabulous Flying Car" based on Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. He had several parts in it, but the clown costume--while simple in construction and form--was the absolute most fun! Check out the performance below, a bootleg I received from my sister. Looks like he really cleaned house in the bouquet department, too! 

I'm so happy to see him participating so heavily in the arts. (Both of the boys, really.) Kerry and I took quite a bit of dance growing up, but it would have been great fun to be involved in theatre too. Looks like Liam is picking up where we couldn't quite make the connection. So proud and excited to see where this exploration leads! Keep up the great work, buddy!

10 June 2013

Stamford's Gala and Fundraiser Artwork . . . A Visual Tour.

For the Stamford fundraiser that took place in May, each grade had to complete a work of art to be auctioned off to help raise funds for a school being built in Cambodia. 

I decided to do large paintings with each of my grades. I started out with three photographs I'd taken around Singapore, played with them in Photoshop to get a posterized effect, and then traced them out on the canvases for the students. 

The students (and one parent volunteer who I am utterly grateful for) filled them in with bright colors and the rest is history! The painting made by the third grade students ended up raising the largest amount between all of the grades! Go, go Grade 3!

Second Grade: A Night Scene From Chinatown

Third Grade: Just Off Arab Street

Fourth Grade: Deep in The Heart of Little India