Written by Amanda Ly
I had my heart set on discovering new wonders, and the PCC Art Exhibition in November 2019 did not disappoint. When I entered the V Building Gallery, the atmosphere synchronized with the shine of the lights, which complimented the placement of the art. A photographer was snapping shots of the paintings as I, too, tried to capture the magic of the artwork.
Oscar Bernal - "3800artist Explosion"
The exhibit featured student artists: Oscar Bernal, Erika Jordan, Kelly Lenh, Elias Lopez, Julio Navarro, Vivienne Perez, Mattie Quintana, Sherry Shieh, and Kristen Wong. The genres of art varied and included surrealism, portrait, abstract, ceramics, multimedia, children books' illustration, and fine art.
Erika Jordan - "Nocturnal"
I especially enjoyed gazing at Kelly Lenh's art pieces.
Kelly Lenh - "Filter"
They shone. They sparkled. They stole a piece of my heart.
Kelly Lenh - "Manifest Potential"
What I loved about Lenh’s piece was the creativity, and with all of the pieces, the thought behind them. I personally adore intricate details and the use of rhinestones and wash tape on this particular piece. I like, too, the swirls of colors and the magical/mystical elements of the art.
Kelly's "Astrologer: Asteria" stood out to me.
Kelly Lenh - "Astrologer: Asteria"
Acrylic, watercolor, washi tape, chiyogami paper, rhinestone, and glitter in resin.
First, it was the colors that grabbed my attention. The varied blues and purples trailing after her were gorgeous. The white of her subject’s outfit contrasted nicely with the dark of her top. Then the fact that the art was on a glass circle and hung up on the wall differently held my interest. Finally, it was the emotion, the beauty, the creativity of the piece that took my breath away. The woman seemed like a Phoenix rising from hell, or rising from a ghoul-infested planet. The tilt of her head and the way she carried herself demonstrated an impressive amount of strength and confidence. The sparkle of the glitter added flare and attention to an already captivating piece.
Mattie Quintana's "Lighthouse Living" stopped me in my tracks because it was different from the other pieces in the gallery. This particular piece made me feel that I was in another alternative world where jellyfish people exist.. It was as if I could open the window, stick my head out, and feel the salty chill of the sea breeze.
Mattie Quintana - "Lighthouse Living"
It was a quaint little set up.
I love the humor in the little notes scattered along the set. It tickled my funny bone.
Furthermore, the sketches are very thought-provoking and leaves much to be questioned. Why is the character being chased? What is chasing them? What are they holding?
Overall, this visit to the V gallery was not an experience I’d forget soon. I learned a lot. I feasted my eyes on a lot of amazing art. It always humbles me to be able to see thoughts and dreams manifest into reality, to be able to glimpse for a second into a creative mind. It was an honor to meet some of the artists and then to be able to interview them. They were all very kind and welcoming to little old me. I loved their descriptions of their art, their insight, and their thought processes. If given the chance, there will be no doubt that I would visit art galleries again.
OPTIONAL WRITING ASSIGNMENT FOR READERS:
Have you ever heard of an ekphrastic? It’s a piece of writing inspired by a piece of art. Consider one of the pieces included here and write your own creative work inspired by the art. You can add your piece in the comments! We’d love to read it! You can also submit your piece formally through our submittable on our website.
In the age of Coronavirus, poetry is more powerful than ever before. This is, after all, National Poetry Month, but probably quite a different one considering that all of the poets out there are sheltering at home (and with their poems).
Check out how these Ohio students are using poetry to ease their anxiety.
Some people, like Sam Jackson, are using poetry to teach us all what's most important right now -- staying home.
And this Doctor from Boston is writing about Coronavirus through poems --
However you celebrate National Poetry Month, remember that poetry has power and you can use it -- now, more than ever.
Written by Cassie Wilson
Hard Child. Natalie Shapero. Copper Canyon Press. Townsed, Washington. 2017. Soft Cover. 67 pages.
If Shapero’s Hard Child was read by the great feminist poets of the 1960’s they would lack enthusiasm. Not in her poetry, but in the lens of an unchanging world for women. Shapero’s poems undress the topics of humanity, feminism, pregnancy and death. She dances around these topics with witt, unrelenting humor and a twirl of sarcasm. Her poems lack structure and rhyme, in sense that calls for attention. They will stop you - mid coffee sip and force your jaw to drop. They are not optimistic. They are not bright and buoyant. They are certainly not jolly, but in the best ways possible. Her opening poem, "My Hand and Cold", begins in the middle of a thought, just as most of the poems in her collection do:
“Of surgeons putting their knives to erroneous
body parts, stories abound. So can you really blame
my neighbor for how, heading into the operation,
he wrote across his good knee NOT THIS KNEE?”
The poem begins with one sentence which allows the reader to be immediately drawn in. She is referencing surgeons, people of usually high regard, making mistakes in surgery. You can sense a tone shift when the word "blame" is mentioned, which connotes feelings of shame. She then talks about her neighbor and his surgery, how he felt the need to specify to the surgeons, "NOT THIS KNEE". The shame is directed to the surgeons, whom her neighbor does not trust. The distrust is carried into her next lines,
"The death of me: I’m never half so bold. You will
feel, the doctor said, my hand and cold –
and I thought of the pub quiz question: which three
countries are entirely inside of other countries
I bought the bound ONE THOUSAND NAMES FOR BABY,
made two lists: one if she’s born breathing, one if not".
The speaker’s pregnancy is revealed here, as well as her unwillingness to put her life and her baby’s life literally in the hands of the surgeons. She references, "You will feel, the doctor said, my hand and cold" showing imagery of a sonogram where the doctor places their hand and the ultra sound machine on the Shapero's stomach, the coldness stays with her. Reminding her of that same distrust in the medical field, referenced in the line prior, "The death of me: .." Later on in the poem she reveals that the second of the lists she has created was longer than the first and that if she were to call her baby any of those names her baby would not have to undergo all the shaming, blaming and ridiculing of the world. This is where Shapero’s dark sense of the world is shown, exemplifying the overall theme of the collection: her lack of belief in humanity.
This theme is epitomized in her cover poem: Hard Child. Shapero explains:
“I was a hard child, by which
I mean I was callous from the start”.
Shapero's lense of the world is sculpted in this line. She is insensitive and cruel. Someone who pays no attention to others. The poem continues to embark on a list of things she would not carry on about humanity if she were a survivor of “a grand disease or blast" (line 11). She picks apart the human ideals of religion, marriage, holidays, art and money. This poem is an example of her disinterest in human tradition. These ideals have no significance to her, they lack meaning and truth to her life and her journey on earth.
Those ideals may have no significance to her, but a topic that is recurring throughout her collection that does is women's rights.
In the “World of Change” podcasts by the editors of the Poetry Foundation, the first episode: The Wilderness begins with the question “What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life?”
Natalie Shapero’s poem, Mostly I Don’t Want to Have a Son---, addresses this very question. The poem begins with:
“too many fears.”
This opening phrase addresses the scrutiny that woman endure in a world where men are essentially on top. The poem addresses many “what if’s” about a boy and what his life will hold. Shapero addresses, “What if he has to kill her with his fist?" (lines 13). This line is powerful because it holds so much truth. She addresses the issues that many feminists bolster about The fact that women are killed everyday by men, sometimes just for the fun of it. The poem ends on a note that makes you pay attention to what is being said:
“...I don’t want to have a son.
A daughter is simpler. All she needs to learn
is neither to speed nor be caught, and if she is caught,
make him follow her to a parking lot,
somewhere bright and unclosing, before she cuts
the engine. Always ask to see a badge.
The bitter truth of law enforcement taking advantage of young woman is repulsing. Shapero addresses this issue with hard truth. Earlier in the poem she states many reasons she doesn't want a son, all involving a life filled with achievements in the workplace to gain meaning, ignorance in war, violence against animals, woman and children. She then compares these aspects with the life of her daughter, involving the fear of being abused, beaten, raped or killed. She undresses the subject of women and girls living in fear for their lives due to men manipulating, violating and taking advantage of them.
There is a recurring theme throughout this collection that emphasizes women living in fear of men. In her poem, The Mind of Popular Pictures, Shapero addresses the issue of men violating women. She describes:
“I never believed? In a movie, if a man
gets x-ray vision, he can see a woman naked.
He can see through her hooded coat
and then through her button-down and
then through her bra, and he does not
Overshoot. He does not see through her
skin and then through the flatness
of her sternum and then through the acid
in her cell”.
Shapero paints a picture of men glorifying women’s bodies instead of their minds. It is not uncommon for a woman to walk in the streets day by day and be checked out by men gruesomely. They are not looking at their character, beliefs, ambitions or achievements, but at their breasts, stomachs, arms, hips and waists. She can not believe that in the movies this kind of “x-ray vision” is glorified and not scorned.
In the end of her collection Shapero has finally given birth to her child. She addresses the do’s and don’ts of being a mother, as well as the world itself through her cynical lense. In the last poem, The Sky, she talks about death and how she will “disappear” without a glimmer.
“...It wont be like when
the Mona Lisa was stolen and the tourists all
lined up to pay their respects at the empty
spot on the wall of the Louvre”.
Her death will not be a remembrance, where mass amounts of people will mourn over her. There will not be lines down the streets waiting to say goodbye. There will not an abundance of tissues from the myriad of wet eyes grieving over her absence. Shapero addresses death not as a great final farewell, but as an inevitable end. She does not seem saddened or torn over the subject. She is direct and straight to the point, much like all of her poems in the collection.
Shapero’s Hard Child brings awareness to the discrimination of women, the bitter truth of death, the struggles and hardships of pregnancy and just living in general. She is not sensitive. She does not sugar coat her poetry. She is a “hard child” with no remorse in the bleakness of the world.
Overall, the collection was cynical, witty and unrelenting. It embarked on a journey of truths in the world that many people are ignorant to. Her form and structure was not uniform. It did not show any conformity. It was messy and outside the lines, which showed how the world and humanity are complex, tangled and filthy with sin. The book is a talisman to truth. It should be cherished, read, passed on and definitely, by all means, not forgotten.
Written by Catherine Hsu
The New Yorker is a literary magazine that mixes both news and literature together. The New Yorker reports profiles, breaking news, cultural coverage, podcasts, videos, and cartoons. As an American weekly magazine, it truly highlights the works of writers and artists through literary fare and humor. One main thing that would be a signature of this magazine would be the cartoonish appeal as their weekly cover theme and the black trim on the bind of the magazine. The overall artwork that is produced within each article definitely brings out what the magazine is known for.
At a glance, the images for each headline are a mix of cartoon and realistic pictures. Each cover of the issue has a different artwork from various artists. For an avid reader of The New Yorker is a great investment because these issues come out weekly. Each issue has three main sections that split the magazine: The Reporting, The Critics, and The Talk of the Town. The New Yorker's physical copy font for headlines are Irvin Typeface and for the articles, it's in Adobe Caslo. In the online copy, they use a unique Sans Serif font since they are unable to use Irvin Typeface. The size of the issue is 7 7⁄8 by 10 3⁄4 inches.There isn’t necessarily a theme that covers what will be contained in each issue but rather a form of platform to show off each artists work. It is more like a feature. September 16th’s issue has an artwork titled, "First Date", by Ivan Brunetti, a cartoonist and a comic scholar. Within the image itself, there are many small jokes in every corner that tells a side of one's story about each person on a "First Date". There are cats and dogs sprinkled throughout every inch of the cover.
Interestingly, Brunetti drew inspiration from his own personal life at home in the scope living with his wife. They both share the same interest in owning both dogs and cats. The art is supposed to depict the zoo-like aspect as his wife continues to nudge for a dog where owning a menagerie of pets is not only expensive but also a tight squeeze to add to their already filled place. In addition, there are some pictures of his sketches to show them in their most rudimentary form.
This bio is individually created as its own for the online issue, named, "Cover Story". This definitely individualizes the artists and gives them a special platform to showcase their work along with being on the physical cover issue. In a way, it doesn't make the artist feel left out or any less than the articles written by writers. They both equally have a large platform for their works.
One of the main differences between the online version versus the physical copy is how the former has actual moving, interactive pictures. The September 9, 2019 edition features a red cover with a well-dressed lady. While this obviously wouldn’t exist in the physical copy it gives an incentive to subscribers as they can also see all the archives dating back to 1925.
"The Reporting" section consists of highlights of various news report both local and global. "The Critics" is about personal opinions and reviews on multiple medias from individuals perspectives in their own critique. "The Talk of the Town" is about politics or controversy from both local and global news. The following section consists of with cartoons, fictions, and poems. The types range from all sorts of creative outlooks by chosen artists and authors that submit to them.
Catherine is an English major looking towards learning all that English has to offer and breaking free from the stereotypes of it. She says, "I am looking to become an editor of some sorts but also possibly a game writer for a video game company."
Written by Noah Kim
I am an associate poetry editor apart of this semester's Inscape team and I have been working alongside the archive team. I was in charge of transcribing all the table of contents of each available archived issue of Inscape and Pipes of Pan into our website’s archive page. This project involved countless trips to the library's archives (the librarians did not even ask what I needed help with about halfway through, they would just stand and take me to the archives) and an extensive amount of picture taking. Upon nearing the end of this extensive project; after transcribing every table of contents from the archived issues in the Shatford library dating back to 1945, I stumbled across an issue that had no table of contents but instead just the collection of work. Naturally, skimming through the pages to get the titles and names of authors I had to read some of these older works. Two of them really caught my attention and appealed immensely to my particular poetic liking (I particularly like poetry that has a well flowing rhythm and rhyme scheme) as well as satisfying the nature of the Inscape brand. The Inscape brand focuses on work surrounding the eclectic, the human, the becoming, and the unexpected.
The first of these pieces was “Dream Sweet Dream” by J.T. Waterhouse. This piece was especially enjoyable because it held a resonating message regarding the pleasantry of dreaming and the pulling force of reality; the author managed to convey this message with a rhyming, well-structured poem that was sprinkled with some archaic terms of phrase.
Dream Sweet Dream
The current of this day, this hour,
Electrifies with sudden power,
Intensifies the sight and sound
Like the bugles' blast to hound;
'Til I feel with every nerve
(As eye follows the endless curve
Of visual universe), enchantment fills
This fragment Time quickly kills.
Now no sorrow can remain,
No consciousness of living pain;
Trouble ingrained deep and sure
Is tinged discreetly sweet and pure.
Alas, alack, the moment's gone
And I must face another dawn!
The poet enthralled my reading of this work through the excellent pace and rhyming tonality. The “AABB” scheme utilizing such friendly words (that still managed to flow extremely well together) such as “hour” and “power” or “nerve” and “curve” really managed to assert itself to the reader as a well-done poem. The electrifying undercurrent throughout the poem brought together a cohesive theme that ran alongside the overall message regarding the beauty found in dreaming and the disappointment we so often face when being pulled from that dream to “face another dawn!”
Aside from the pleasing poetic ensemble, I believe we chose this work because it fits the brand (which I believe probably has not changed all that much since Inscape’s beginning, as it has always been student-run) and appeals to the majority of the intended audience: college students. Waterhouse touches upon the displeasure of the current state of reality among the average college student and the fantasy of our dreams.
The “enchantment [which] fills” the mind of a student aspiring to make a difference, leave their mark, and find their career comes to life in the dream state and then once awakened “no sorrow can remain” and we must “face another dawn.” As stagnant as a college student’s position may seem (working jobs that pay little to nothing) it is important to realize that as long as the “current” and passion of our dreams stay strong we will achieve them; “fac[ing]” the day and trusting the process of each individual circumstance is the path to live such dreams.
The second poem that struck me from the 1947 issue was “Young Stallion” by Shirley Weinland. This purely caught my attention because of the stylistic expertise exhibited within the poem; I was thoroughly impressed as I first read through this piece. The flow of the poem and the rhyme scheme was simply done in such a manner that is easy to read and a pleasure to follow.
Sleek, strong muscles, rippling underneath
A smooth chestnut hide like a sword in its sheath
Haughty brown eyes and tail held high,
Proud young stallion passing by.
Tossing at the cars driving down the street,
Being very dainty where he puts his feet.
Pulling at the reins, steeping high,
Proud young stallion going by.
The fluency and imagery presented throughout the lines “Haughty brown eyes and tail held high,” and “Pulling at the reins, stepping high” keep the reader enthralled. The use of consistent rhyme and also referencing back to previous lines of the poem highlights the poetic skill at work. Especially the ending lines of each stanza bring about an immense question regarding the poet’s decision to change the word “passing” to “going.” This aspect of the poem unveils the progression of the stallion from being a beautiful animal being admired while simply “passing” by; however, the ending change from “passing” to “going” bestows a notable amount of command to the stallion.
The poem is a perfect read for someone just beginning to read poetry. It also has a thorough amount of subtle points asking to be analyzed by more experienced poetry readers as well. As the years have progressed the works that Inscape looks for has really not changed all that much (this is because the poets submitting have usually all been college students at the time) and these two poems from 1947 would have been great editions in today’s issues.
Noah Kim is a second year English major aspiring to acquire a B.A. in English and move on to attend Law School for his J.D. Within Inscape Noah is an associate poetry editor and is formatting the table of contents within the webpage. Noah highly values literature of all kinds and he believes literature is the microscope that uncovers the nuances of our society.
PCC Inscape Magazine housed at Pasadena City College is following Coronavirus protocols. At this time our staff continues to read submissions and publish web content. Our Spring 2020 issue is at the printer! Our Fall 2020 issue is coming soon!
Blog Posts reflect the opinions of the writer and not the opinions of Pasadena City College or Inscape Magazine Editorial Staff Members.