Art Street Fun


Palette.As an artist, I tend to flinch when someone goes up and touches another person’s art. Much of the time, art is made to just be observed. But, going to Art Street, and seeing different pieces that were designed to be interacted with, was a change that quite interesting. I had to get over the knee-jerk reaction of “why are you touching things?” That was a difficult feeling to get over. I’ve taken art history classes, where you learn of all the art damaged or lost forever. In the early 19th century, some frescoes from ancient Egypt and ancient Greece were stripped of their original color for aesthetic purposes, aesthetics of that time period. Art being handled, or exposed to camera flashes, etc. can slowly damage art over time. And, the art is someone else’s creation. I would usually feel strange, seeing people touching my work. But, art isn’t only one thing. Art is everywhere. Art is an experience. Art can be anything. DuChamp famously took a pre-made urinal, and signed his name to it. A joke, yes. But, also a statement, anything can be art. And, having art that engages more than one of the senses makes for some pretty interesting experiences. There’s a room with nooks cut out of the walls, lined with pillows to sit on. The nooks have headphones, with meditation style music playing through them. The room has a giant zen garden in the middle, lit up by green and yellow lights softly shimmering across the room. Another piece was made of moss, in a picture frame mounted on the wall, with a sign that says “Please touch me.” One piece, that was particularly popular with children in attendance, was a collage (in pieces) on several turnstiles. Depending on which way each of the turnstile collages were faced, and where you were standing, determined what type of collage you will see. Kids ran through these giant turnstiles, pushing them around and around, like they were playing in rotating doors. Having art that not only engaged your senses, but could be fun, is extremely smart. Kids are having a good time, and being exposed to art. I wasn’t just standing around, talking about the pieces, wondering if I could take a picture. I was standing inside the art, playing with it, feeling it. Everyone was having a good time, kids were going up to the open mic. Adults were closing their eyes, and really listening to the experience. We weren’t just staring, we were climbing inside, and living the experience. I think this kind of art needs to be around us much more than it is. Going to an art gallery, or museum, feels like a chore sometimes. Something to educate us, or our children. But, once you are there, you go out of your way to keep quiet. You’re afraid to take photos of the work. Adults with children are always on alert, making sure the kids aren’t wandering off breaking things. This isn’t a conducive environment to enjoy the art you came to see. And, it’s mostly boring for the children. I remember being dragged to museums. I didn’t want to be there. But, experiences like this make people interested in it, engaged with it more fully. It was a lot of fun.

Art Street by M5Arts is in Sacramento until Feb. 25th

 

If you are an artist at Sac State, and would like some of your art reviewed, contact me: DJTraySquat on facebook. And, listen to Poli-Psycho on KSSU.com every Wednesday at 6-7pm

Valentine’s Day Plans


imagesValentine’s Day is one of those days that people either look forward to or not. Depending on if you have a date or not is what will get you in a good mood. I personally never have a Valentine or try to have a Valentine that day. Its not because I’m a grouch towards the lovey dovey thing. I usually look at others and laugh at how silly they could get about the person they love by doing romantic things. Also, how sad and lonely people are because they don’t have a relationship, or are too afraid to ask their crush to be their Valentine. So what am I looking forward to on Valentine’s Day? Being my own date and treating myself to anything I want to do. Taking myself out to eat or calling some of my single friends to have a single night out is usually a good choice. It’s too much to make plans and believe they are gonna go as planned. It’s best to wake up and see what you prefer to do that day. If you all have someone special in your life go ahead and share the love. If you have a crush go ahead and ask them to be your Valentine. If you have plans enjoy them. If you don’t have plans treat yourself or ask some friends to celebrate with you. It’s a day to share love to others and yourself. It shouldn’t be a day full of expectations but surprises. For all of you who have class on Tuesday it’s okay. I am kind of upset because it’s on a Tuesday and not on the weekend for everyone to enjoy their entire day.

If you all are curious about how Valentine’s Day came about I think it would be a great idea to look up the story. It’s a beautiful story about a man falling in love with a woman. The way they met was interesting and the way it ended makes a lot of sense of the day celebrated. After learning about the story I have a better understanding about Valentine’s Day. It helped me realize that Valentine’s Day isn’t about dates or presents. It’s about sharing love to others and yourself. So to the readers, go out and share your love others or even yourself. I hope everyone enjoy their Valentine’s Day. Hopefully there is enough information provided here for someone to get an idea of something to do for that day. Enjoy yourselves and share your love. HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!!!

 

 

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Super Bowl Heartbreak


ap17037035090294Well that was an intense Super Bowl we all witnessed! The Falcons got off to a blistering start which was clearly leaving the Patriots a bit bewildered. The first half was nothing short of surprising because the Patriots were not supposed to trail by that much; granted we all knew the Falcons had an explosive offense…but so to did the Patriots. The amazing thing though, was it was not the falcons offense that gave them that big lead, it was their defense. Brady threw two picks, one which was returned for an 82 yard touchdown. Coming into the game, the Falcons defense actually ranked closer to the bottom of the league (according to nfl.com), so when Dan Quinn’s defense came out with those 2 picks and the 3 or 4 sacks of Tom Brady, I was a bit surprised.

Then came the 4th quarter…and literally everything changed like I knew it would. The Patriots were just too good to play that poorly and I knew they would at least make a game out of it…and boy did they ever! As soon as Julian Edelman made that ridiculous catch, I knew the Falcons were going to lose. Everything was going the Patriots way at this point and there was going to be no way that the Falcons defense could with-stand the Patriots onslaught.

It was painful to watch the Falcons lose control of that game. As a 49ers fan, I was only rooting for the Falcons because their offensive coordinator, Kyle Shanahan, was going to be our new head coach, which should be cause for excitement for Niner fans, but that is another blog for another time. The Falcons just simply ran out of gas, and against a team like New England, that is asking for trouble.

Overall, it was an exciting game to watch. This game seemed to have all the drama that a sports nerd could want. It had the excitement of the team you rooted for getting off to a sizzling start, then it had the moments of nervousness as you watched the opponent start to come back, and finally it had that disastrous moment of heartbreak, when you lose in overtime. This game had every emotion you could ask for. This is why we love watching sports. Yes, our teams will have moments of glory, but there are those other times when they (in this case the Falcons) must endure gut wrenching moments that sting you for the entire off season.

On the bright side, the Falcons still look poised to make another championship run, if they keep their core players intact and they can stay healthy, then I think they have a legit shot of returning to the super bowl. However, losing their offensive coordinator is going to be huge for them because Matt Ryan had a really good relationship with him and they both worked very well together. Whoever becomes their new OC will have to try and emulate the success that Matt Ryan and Kyle Shanahan built. Not an easy task.

Super Bowl


superbowlI am not a huge fan of football, but watching the Super Bowl last year had me interested in watching it this year. The half-time show was interesting to watch because I didn’t expect so much entertainment during the game. I was with my roommates at the time and they were telling me how they were ready to see the performers during the half-time show. I asked why were they so thrilled and they provided a video from the 2015 Super Bowl half-time show. It was Katie Perry performing “fireworks” and she put on a great show. Last year Coldplay, Beyonce’, and Bruno Mars performed. It was a great performance, I didn’t expect the Super Bowl to be so live. After watching the performances from last year and 2015, i was ready to watch the Super Bowl to see who will perform this year. Lady Gaga performed and she did an amazing job. However, I expected to more performers than one so I was kind of disappointed. That is my fault because I was more interested in the half-time show than the actual game.
In contrast, the football game was interesting to watch. Of course I didn’t pay attention to the  entire game, but it got heated at the end. Both teams were tied and that made me want to watch the game. The Falcons and Patriots were tied for ten or more minutes and I was curious to see how either team would win. Of course they would be tied once the game is close to being done. The Patriots won the game and many fans were happy that their team won. There are many other games coming up but this game as interesting as last year. I am going to look out for more performances and commercials for the Super Bowl half-time shows. Hopefully it gets more interesting than this one game and performance.

 

Me and Baseball


indexHello world! My name is Matthew (Matt) Wilkie and this is my very first blog on here. I am pretty new at doing this so please bear with me. I think a good place for me to start on my first blog is to give a nice introduction about who I am and what I am doing with myself.

First of all, I am an older student at Sacramento State. I have my reasons for starting a bit later in life but those reasons I will keep to myself if you all don’t mind! haha. Anywho, I am a communications major with a emphasis in mass media. It is my goal to get into the broadcasting field, specifically into the sports arena. Sports is my life, and discussing sports is probably the one thing that helps me get out of my shell. If my friends discuss anything else, I basically become a bump on the log.

My love for sports is also what attracted me to become a DJ on KSSU. As soon as my training is complete, there will be a new sports/country music show that my listeners can tune into. The show date is still to be determined so please be on the look out for when that happens.

My favorite sport by far is baseball. There is just something about baseball in general, the smell of the grass, the crack of the bat and managers and players getting ejected that creates a special allure to me. In hockey, people sometimes say “we went to a fight and a hockey game broke out;” this is sometimes true in baseball too. Brawls are a fairly common occurrence and this adds to the appeal of baseball. However, it is not the ejections or the brawls that really captures my attention; I think it is the suspense of what will happen on the next pitch that really causes me to stop what I am doing and pay attention.

Baseball has received a bad rap for being “too slow.” I will agree it is generally not fast paced like football or basketball is, but it is a game that requires strategy, which is something I love. Now you might ask “how on earth is there strategy in baseball, I mean for crying out loud, all you have to do is hit the ball and run?” Well there is a lot more to this glorious game than that. First of all, the batter does not swing at just any pitch; he needs to be selective. It is imperative for a good baseball player to have a “good eye at the plate.”Secondly, the pitcher does not just throw one type of pitch, he usually has at least 3 or 4 different kinds of pitches he can use to try and confuse the hitter in hope of getting him out. Thirdly, base runners try to read the pitcher in a way that allows him to get a “good jump” in order to steal a base. These are just a few different kinds of strategies that baseball has and I could probably write another 1,000 words getting into more details about baseball, but I will end it here.

So that is a little about me and my passion for baseball. Please stay tuned for more blogs later on during this semester.

The Finals Week Rally Cry


6359780403164185121342282463_finals-babyTo Hopefully Make This More Inspiring, Read This To This (Especially the last minute and forty five seconds (4:13) or so): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7dfZoz6fGc

For most of us, it has probably been a long, tough semester. There have been demoralizing exam results, the feeling of defeat as we type our term papers, and the grueling 8 a.m. lecture have attempted to take us out of the game.

We have had all-nighters, mental breakdowns, and our fair share of failures that have made us wonder if the direction that we have chosen was the right one. There are times where we ask ourselves: Do I have what it takes to keep pushing forward?

You bet you do! Not even the force of of bad professors and group projects can bring you down. Keep your head up and let your determination, your preparation, and your will to push on keep you sane and make your trek through this dark time known as finals week be out finest hour.

Remember the reason why you are here, the future you want to have, and the thirst of success and keep marching on, take every test with conviction that you can pass and you can achieve what you once thought was impossible.

You have come a long way to get to this point in time. You have passed through the transition from teenager to adolescent. You have survived the scary realm known as high school, where drama and disaster loom around every corner. You have survived tough times and excruciating tasks that have made you stronger and more resilient for the looming threats ahead.

Pain is only temporary, but glory lasts forever. These finals may be a disaster now and life may be a little cloudy, but when the sun shines through the clouds, there is a world beyond the classroom and it is waiting for you.

This world, depending on the way you see it, can be paradise or perdition, an oasis or a vast wasteland with no hope given by the rivers of the waters of life. With the right mindset you are battling your way though this university to find paradise after you leave the halls of the Riverside, the walls of Tahoe and Alpine, or the great Mendocino.

With the right mindset, you will find happiness and accomplishment after you finish at this university. Finals week may be a tough time that makes you lose hope, but never lose sight of why you’re here. Believe in yourself and the causes that keep you alive and moving forward and allow good feelings to get you beyond finals to accomplishment.

To all of you who are graduating this semester or in the spring such as myself, congratulations. You probably have worked hard and been through grueling and rewarding experiences alike and soon it is about to all pay off and you will resent to the real world to find your paradise.

However, never lose sight of where you came from. Remember the friends and the great experiences that have positively influenced your upbringing into adulthood. Thank those who had supported you through your finest hours and the dark times of your college career and finally, make your university proud!

And for those who still have a bit of classes left, keep on moving forward for commencement will be closer than you think. As the great coach Jim Valvano once said, “Don’t give up… Don’t ever give up.”

Art Round-up


Palette.

Often, I’m out looking at local art in Sacramento, for inspiration. And, often, I find art pieces that I really want to share with people. Here are a couple of exhibitions I found interesting.

Fine Art to Enhance Your Life & Surroundings by Steve Memering

The Smith Gallery, 1020 11th St #100, Sacramento, CA 95814

The exhibition represents painting. The theme of the works was nature and city-scapes. The imagery was figurative. It was easy to tell that the city-scapes were mostly of the Sacramento or Bay area. The nature paintings were of trees, fish, etc.

Some of the architecture was pretty. It had bright colors, and I recognized some of the buildings and places that were depicted.

But, my favorite was (what appeared to be) an old map-like collage of Sacramento. There were renderings of old Sacramento architecture surrounding a relief map of how Sacramento used to look. It was done in a burnt sienna-type coloring to look old. It seemed really fun. I liked the color. I liked that the buildings on the map looked like they might in real life, stood up.

I liked the subjects the artist chose. I didn’t like the final product of most of his paintings. The color, line, and style felt so familiar that it made me skim over most without really looking at it. They seemed like paintings that had been done a million times before. But, the one that caught my eye had one color. It had different things in it to look at. This taught me that the color palette and style you choose can really impact the interest a piece gets. And, how powerful juxtaposing things can really be.

Wings and Things: Michele Fisher and Vicki Sarantopulos

Art House: 1021 R St at 10th, Sacramento, California 95811

The exhibition was ceramics/mixed media. The pieces had elements of collage and assemblage. The theme of the works was psychology and nature. The works endeavored to explore the narratives of universal human struggles, metaphor, symbolism, and archetypes. The artists are also psychotherapists. So, they explored their experience dealing with human mind and emotions in their work.

The imagery was abstract. The works had a lot of mixing/melding of human and nature, nature and architecture, human and architecture, and so on. Different things were used, such as cloth, paper, and feathers. These items either covered or fit inside of the ceramic elements of the pieces.

I like the use of the other items. The cloth, for example, cut across where a face was fused with wings and a castle. This face had wings attached to the sides of it, and a castle attached to it’s forehead. But, we never see were these things are fused. The cloth looks like a wrap around the head, but doubles to hide the location of the juxtapositions. I think this separation eases the transition from each element, making it more pleasing for the viewer. The same is true of other elements in other pieces. They both smooth out the piece, and move your eyes along.

I really loved these pieces. These pieces all looked like they could have come from one artist. I learned that juxtaposing things can be too powerful, and that there are things that you can do to tone down the transition while keeping the effect.

If you are an artist at Sac State, and would like some of your art reviewed, contact me: DJTraySquat on facebook. And, listen to Poli-Psycho on KSSU.com every Wednesday at 6-7pm

The Best Advice we are the Worst at Following…


advice-500x336

The best advice we are the worst at following, and why. This doesn’t need a huge preamble…

  • Think before you speak
  • Attachment leads to suffering so do the right thing, and be not attached to the result
  • Do what you love, not what makes you money
  • Forgive but don’t forget-we do either both or neither

Think before you speak: I tend to take it too seriously—to the point that there are sometimes rather long pauses in my speech, which annoys people. People have been hypocritically giving this advice since the inception of speech, maybe even since the dawn of communication (no doubt a derivative of the caveman adage ‘think before you grunt’). As far as advice goes, it holds water, absolutely—words once said cannot be retracted once said and first impressions cannot be rewound, so being choosy with words is paramount, yet we find ourselves vomiting out whatever comes to mind and thinking ourselves clever. Why? Here are my thoughts.

  1. We are so enamored with our own ‘wit’ and have such faith in it to carry us along during a back-and-forth that we mistakenly give it free reign. Those are dangerous grounds, rife with opportunities say something accidently offensive, something we don’t mean, or—at best—appear a little dumb.
  2. It literally burns more calories to spend brain time in your Prefrontal Cortex (the center for higher functioning thought/intention) so it is plausible that we humans—in search of the path of least resistance—allow thought to originate in our Medulla, which governs reflexes and involuntary motor movements. If this is the case, then we must work harder to resist the apathy and begin committing to each and every interaction or we are no better than our animal brains

Forgive but don’t forget: I would argue that we do either both or neither of these, as a rule. There will always be the grudge-holder who won’t let it go, but more common is those of us who intentionally pull the wool over our eyes. In order to forgive it is so much easier to forget as well…to constantly hold on to the kernel of resentment could make the task of forgiving impossible, so people tend to forgive and immediately forget as a way to solidify and justify that forgiveness. I can’t pass judgment on any form of forgiveness but I will caution that forgetting opens us up for repeating mistakes, and no one likes that.

Attachment leads to suffering, do the right thing and be not attached to the result: I believe this is a difficult one for the mentality of our culture, where our pride and honor is weaved intricately into everything we do. The advice is sound, we really should take the better road just because we know it is the right thing and avoid getting hung up on the results but that just isn’t reality. Our culture tends to be found on the side of the argument that believes the things we do are a reflection of our self, which inherently hinders our ability to detach ourselves from attachment, and thus, suffering.

Do what you love, not what makes you money: This one is personal to my heart, a self-convicted practical major and practically boring job, I am such a hypocrite. But because of this it won’t take too much digging to come to the reason why we ignore this pearl: because money makes the world go round. If you like what you do, you will not work a day in your life, but if you make money at what you do you won’t sweat bullets every time rent is due. No brainier. But still, it would be ideal to love what you do.

Holiday Season Traditions


halloweentoholidayI love the holidays, especially this time of year. The weather is cold, you want to stay inside, and eating food with family is always the best solution.

Every Thanksgiving my family and I used to go to Richmond, California to visit our cousins and eat a large dinner. However, now that we are older things changed. No one is ever home because of work, school, or their own lives. Leading to us not seeing each other often.

Thanksgiving and Christmas are the only two holidays my entire family have off. Our new tradition is staying at my mothers house the night before. I buy the pies, my sister buy the turkey, my brothers and mother buy the rest of the food. Thanksgiving morning my mom, grandma and sister get up early in the morning to bake the turkey and start the rest of the food. I wake up and talk to them as they are showing me how to cook. I’d rather not cook for thanksgiving because it is too many expectations to get a specific taste for the food.

Around ten o’clock my brothers wake up, my niece walk in the living room with joy, and we turn on entertainment. I don’t mean one specific thing either. We play music with the television on. Even of we are not paying attention to neither. We get dressed up, go to our cousins house in Richmond to eat their food. It is never enough there. So we hang out with our cousins and go back to my mothers house to eat our dinner. I usually buy about four sweet potato pies, two apple, and and two peach. That usually lasts us for two days if we eat all of the food first. I hide a fifth pie in my closet as a personal because I love pie. The next morning, someone always find my pie and we eat that with left overs. I really love the holidays.

Besides Thanksgiving Christmas is my favorite holiday. My family and I never used to have great Christmas Eve’s or mornings. Yet, as we got older we learned how to value each other and understand one another. After Thanksgiving is over my family and I decorate the Christmas tree with our mom playing holiday music. Every Christmas Eve we go in separate rooms to wrap each others gifts, then I help my sister wrap my niece’s gifts. We all put the presents under the tree once my niece is sleeping and go to sleep ourselves. The next morning my niece wake everyone up and we all gather around the tree. My niece gets her presents first, of course. Then we all open our gifts. It’s usually what each of us need or want. Afterwards, I bake chocolate chip cookies and make a ginger bread house with my brothers. Every year we decorate it differently. We watch our favorite Christmas movies while the food is cooking. They drink egg nog and I drink a little bit. When the food is done we eat dinner together and share our thanks and love to each other for another year.

Tips to survive the final wave of assignments


booksI have a few tips to survive the final wave of assignments.

Tip 1: Do not procrastinate. Of course this is always a suggestion, but no one actually does it. I have honestly been procrastinating this semester because of the weather. It makes me not want to do anything. I just want to stay in bed all day but I can’t. I recently checked my calendar and we have three weeks left of this semester after Thanksgiving. Two weeks for the lucky students. I have many assignments, tests, and papers do the week after Thanksgiving. I became overwhelmed for a while but then I had to stop myself and take a deep breath. I realized there is enough time to complete my assignments before the week of Thanksgiving. So the week that everything is due, I can have it completed ahead of time. This will give me enough time to study for my tests the two weeks after Thanksgiving without a huge workload.

Tip 2: If you have any tests, papers, or assignments due soon try to start them whenever you have free time. What I usually do is go to classes throughout the week, stay on campus to do homework, then go home. Completing assignments throughout the week will give you time to relax on weekends. Especially doing assignments once the class is over so you won’t forget later. I understand many students work over the weekend, go to parties, or have a few days off. If you complete your work throughout the week, there shouldn’t be a lot of assignments to complete over the weekend, and you can have your free time.

Tip 3: Staying on campus is a great way to survive the wave of assignments. The library and the AIRC is always available for students to study, do assignments, or projects. Also, making a study group with classmates to meet up on campus is helpful. Staying on campus gives you the choice of actually doing your work. Going home is too distracting. Your bed will look so comfortable, there are so many good movies and shows on television, and roommates are distracting. Just wait to go home until it’s actually time to go home.

Tip 4: The last thing I want to share is make sure you take naps throughout the day, eat a well balanced diet, and exercise if you have time. We all forget to take care of our bodies when the end of the semester comes. We go to class with sweats on, hair not done, probably four hours of sleep, and feel horrible when we wake up. Coffee is our only solution to get through the day.

The end of the semester is stressful but remember this is just another semester that will end soon. Keep a calendar in your phone with due dates and try to make a plan to where you can complete all of your assignments, projects, and papers ahead of time. Finals week will pass by faster than we know it. Good luck you all.