The Artistic Escape

In a day and age when technology reigns as king, there’s hardly any need to experience the world through other mediums.  Why head outside, view landscape or nature paintings at a museum or create anything of your own?  The internet provides us with everything, so why look for more?  You might think you’re being incredibly sociable on social media, but that’s not exactly true.  Rather than taking the time to hold an actual conversation, your neck is craned downwards to see the latest Facebook post or Twitter tweet.  What you probably don’t realize is the power that putting down your phone can have.  Since joining the Southern Utah Museum of Art staff in Cedar City, Utah, my involvement in social media marketing for the museum requires me to find the best angle to get an interior shot or style the most effective arrangement of retail shop products for Instagram.  However, the best shot, I’m discovering, is when I put my iPad down and take a look around.  Wandering through the museum around the sections for the National Parks, the creations featured in the First Peek exhibit, Kevin Kehoe’s poetically painted southwest landscapes and the permanent Jimmie Jones collection, I experience the power of nature and art.  To celebrate the Beverley Center for the Arts’ Opening starting Thursday, July 7th through Saturday, July 9th, I’m sharing a few reasons on how nature and art can have a significant impact on our lives. Continue Reading ›

The Story of My Peruvian Scarf

Stumbling upon Centro de Textiles Tradicionales del Cusco in Peru after a visit to a local market only seems like yesterday, not the two years that have passed.  I still recall carefully inspecting the bright textiles and beautiful patterns that seemed to be in every direction that I looked.  I had heard of the organization before I visited their store, but hadn’t expected to visit in person any day soon.  Luckily I was wrong and I explored every inch of the small museum and available products.  I had been looking for something to bring home from Peru that would reflect the culture, but nothing had caught my eye and I yearned to find something I knew would be authentic, not another tourist trap or from a store claiming to be fair trade.  After deciding on a scarf of purple and deep reds, I felt proud of my choice, but upon returning home I didn’t seek the opportunity to wear it much.  It can be easy to tuck our travel souvenirs away in favor of clothes we wear all the time, but recently I’m determined to wear this accessory.  Why?  To share the beautiful craftsmanship and history of this scarf.  After all, this was the reason I was careful in selecting it; I wanted to share a piece of Peruvian life. Continue Reading ›

It’s Just Sewing

I was having a typical conversation about my work with my roommate, discussing my multiple costume jobs and costume shop procedures, when he exclaimed, “It’s Just Sewing!”  This wasn’t the first time I had heard this point of view.  Numerous times people have expressed shock that I was paid for sewing.  How could I be paid for something that is so easy?  Since I know how to sew everything why would I charge money to do something that comes quickly to me and takes virtually no time?  Even though I no longer work as a costumer, after learning how the collapse of Rana Plaza in 2013 killed over 1000 garment workers and injured about 2500, I was hopeful people might see the result of not thinking about how our clothing is made and who makes it.  Although Fashion Revolution Day is upon us, it unfortunately seems that sewing is still regarded with these attitudes: Continue Reading ›

Looking for Locally Made in Costa Rica

My recent travel adventure to Costa Rica had me pumped, not just for the opportunity to venture into the jungle, but to visit a destination known for ecotourism.  In the past I’ve set goals for myself to live and travel more sustainably as well as reflect on how I can balance sustainability with my shopping habits, and I anticipated putting these ideas into action in Costa Rica.  Although it was inspiring to see numerous places recycling all kinds of materials including paper, aluminum and plastic, there was one lingering disappointment in the back of my mind.  Scouring the souvenir shops in Monteverde and Tamarindo left me feeling at a loss for something else.  Continue Reading ›

Art Vs. Craft

On the final day of my drawing class, a classmate eagerly pursued me and asked, “Can I draw you in class today?”  He seemed intrigued as his eyes looked over my features, not that I got the sense he was necessarily pursuing me romantically.  Instead he seemed to be taking me on like a challenge, but I wasn’t sure what the challenge was.  “Sure,” I responded, shrugging my shoulders and not thinking much about it.  I didn’t think more on it as I concentrated on drawing another classmate, until I saw the final result.  It hit me hard.  It wasn’t that it was terrible.  It was that the drawing was so accurate my heart jumped.  I couldn’t believe how I looked.  He perfectly captured my large dark brown Italian pupils perched in the narrow Epicanthic folds of my eyelids.  I always thought I looked Mediterranean, but never Asian.  “I look Japanese,” I replied in shock.  He took this as an offense, but that wasn’t the problem.  It surprised me that someone could capture me so well.  Other students tried, and some were close, but none had drawings like this final result.  Continue Reading ›