Blogs

  • If It Ain’t Baroque, Don’t Fix It

    Baroque (1600-1750) was an art movement that came after the Renaissance. It took techniques like realism and chiaroscuro and combined them with the intense drama and emotion of the Mannerists (a group of artists that chose to deviate from the harmony and perfection of the Renaissance). Because Baroque combines Renaissance and the Mannerist ideals, it yielded some of the most ostentatious and ornate pieces of art. Art became more of a way of life during the 17th century. The point of Baroque art was to elicit an emotional response. To do so, artist perfected the use of chiaroscuro and became masters of light. Technically, the Baroque era began in Rome around the 1600s. Then it spread to France and to the rest of Europe. In this post we will be focusing on Italian, Flemish and Dutch Baroque, and in the next post we will finish the entire time period with English, Spanish and French Baroque. This will give you a little taste of what the Baroque era had to offer and how each country and artist took their own spin on the Baroque style.

    As mentioned previously, Rome is where the Baroque style started. The skills of artists were at an unprecedented level. They were able to portray the human form accurately from complex perspectives and angles. It was inevitable that artists would begin experimenting with emotion and drama. In fact, Baroque art is characterized by their emphasis on emotion and dynamism—straying away from the rationality of the Renaissance masters. The best example of an artist who took realism to a whole different level is Caravaggio. Caravaggio paints in an astonishingly vivid and real manner. He played with light and shadows to produce intense and dramatic pieces of work. Below is Caravaggio’s “The Conversion of St. Paul.” His radical portrayal of a holy man as a commoner in sharp contrasts between light and dark changed European art.

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    March 5, 2014 at 9:40 am


  • Admiral Stavridis promotes literature as essential tool for social development

    ASU’s School of Philosophy hosted Adm. James G. Stavridis this month in a lecture called “Life, Literature, and Leadership.” He is a retired four-star admiral, and the current Dean of Tufts’ Fletcher School of International Affairs. He attended the Naval Academy in Annapolis where he studied… literature.

    It’s as counterintuitive as walking into the lecture on Thursday night behind a long line of ROTC students in uniform. It was a happy juxtaposition to experience. A cross-breed of military science and literature. Photo by Marie Rabusa

    The largest lesson to take away from Adm. Stavridis’ presentation was to create bridges, where we may otherwise build walls and barriers. The room, where we sat and learned of books and their impact on the world, was symbolic of this message. see more

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    March 4, 2014 at 2:00 pm


  • Don’t spring break your bank account

    There is nothing quite like spring break.

    Fall break tries, but it’s usually at the tail end of October, and that’s when the cold weather rears its ugly head and people are gearing up for Halloween shenanigans.

    Spring break rests in the transition period between the end of winter and the start of spring. It’s usually the perfect time for bathing suits, pool-side iced tea and TV shows starting to hit the high points of their seasons. see more

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    March 3, 2014 at 10:46 am


  • Thoughts on “Another Story” and SB 1062

    Music videos are kind of hit-or-miss for me. Sometimes they leave me unaffected, but more often than not, I’m either floored or underwhelmed. The worst is when the vision I had for a song gets crushed by a video interpretation that doesn’t fit. This might come off as irrelevant to the music or even selfish, but I think there’s usually a heavy dose of meaning for artists in the videos they piece together for songs. To not resonate with a video feels much like not resonating with the artist, their initial vision and the music itself.

    This was an exciting week. The Head and the Heart released a new video, which proved to be a fantastic, moving new addition to their collective book of musical successes.

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    February 27, 2014 at 3:46 pm


  • Why writing is a viable career

    It was early 2010 when I began seriously considering what I wanted to do with my life. That is, what I wanted as a career.

    I reflected on my interests and scanned through pages of college majors. I didn’t want to enter college as “undecided.” I was always the girl with a plan, always doing something. I had already gotten to the point in high school, senior year, where I knew that I would graduate. I figured I had a decent chance at being accepted to the colleges to which I applied. Choosing a path for the rest of my life was the challenge.

    It is 2014, and I have chosen to pursue a degree in political science. see more

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    February 27, 2014 at 12:00 am


  • Three books that humanize immigration

    I had the opportunity to travel down to Nogales, Ariz. with my International Political Economy class. We were able to experience the border and the extreme disparity that exists between the United States and Mexico’s border towns. On one side, you see faltering infrastructure, and on the other, you see perfectly kept porches with shiny rocking chairs.

    We also met with a group of men who attempted to cross the border and struggled through the desert. They were forced to return to Mexico, suffering without food and water on their way to the United States.

    We hear so many stories of immigration from news and other types of media. Books, my favorite medium, shed light on these struggles as well. It humanizes these struggles, which are sometimes abstracted and tainted. see more

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    February 26, 2014 at 4:25 pm


  • “Got $20 in my pocket”: Five ways to save

    College is a place for students to grow from teenagers into young adults. That learning process is neither easy nor cheap. We spend thousands of dollars each semester as a payment to the societal overlords simply so we can get an education in return.

    It’s a time of transition — this is the time when we encounter our first jobs, first internships, first paychecks and our first bills. Freedom doesn’t come for free.

    We get caught up in the desire for fun that we lose sight of practicality. College is the place for ridiculous antics and some mistakes, but blindly plundering into the depths of credit cards, loans and debt is not a good idea at any time. see more

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    February 26, 2014 at 4:16 pm


  • The Age of Rebirth: The Turtles

    The Renaissance gave way to more realistic and naturalistic forms of art. Through their scientific and technical approach to art, artists achieved new heights in both their status as artists and in the quality and prestige in the art they made. Their use of oil paints on stretched canvas, perspective, chiaroscuro (the use of light and shadow) and the pyramid configuration were all innovations and breakthroughs that made representing reality a possibility.

    First up, we have Donatello. Donatello (1386-1466) was an Early Renaissance sculptor. He laid the groundwork in recapturing what the Greeks and Romans did in sculpting: presenting the human figure in a more realistic way. He used the Classical technique of contrapposto (weight shift) in his figures. His sculptures were life-like in scale and in look. It was almost if they had a skeletal system under all that stone. Then Donatello created his “David.” It was the first freestanding nude sculpture since the Classical period. It is anatomically accurate and life-sized. This is what set the fascination with realistic sculptures in motion. see more

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    February 25, 2014 at 7:00 am


  • Music for the road

    Childhood memories have an enormous impact on my life that often slips through the cracks. One of my favorite things about growing up in my family is the road trips we would take every summer across the country. While my fellow classmates would brag about luxury cruises and trips to Disney Land, I would talk about the crazy, tumultuous adventures my family partook in as we drove from Wisconsin to the Florida Keys or Washington D.C. There always seemed to be something special about being in such close quarters with my parents and sister for an extended period of time with nothing but each other, gas station snacks and mixed tapes to keep us amused.

    My dad made the craziest mixed tapes for us. They would include a range from Neil Young to Dizzee Rascal to the most obscure, bizarre country songs or Hawaiian music. I think his goal was equal parts getting us to laugh and getting us to stay distracted, and he succeed every time. The weirder, the better, the more we asked him to press repeat.

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    February 25, 2014 at 12:00 am


  • How to be in the moment — without Facebook

    Life is about participating. Memories are all well and good, but there’s nothing like being in a moment you know will never exist again outside of your own mind.

    The small things are what matter. It’s not about the pictures or the videos. It’s about holding something so precious in your hands and fully experiencing it. It would be great if a magical camera could capture every moment that makes our hearts beat faster or a particularly loud joke that startled a snort out of you.

    Memories are intangible, precious, and fleeting things, but in those moments–when you are fully participating–there’s something magical and incredible about them. see more

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    February 24, 2014 at 9:35 am