Portrait of an artist: Anna Hall ’15
Anna Hall ’15 has been drawing for as long as she can remember. When most kids her age had already put down their pencils and paper, Hall stayed with art and has continued to pursue that passion throughout her impressive career at Bowdoin.
Hall is a student of many talents, not all of which are limited to the arts. She is an earth and oceanographic science and visual arts double major who is involved in the Bowdoin Outing Club, the Bowdoin Food Co-op and the Orient.
Hall is currently experimenting with different mediums of art, particularly watercolor and photography.
“I always have a roll of film going,” she said. “I love the physical process where you’re taking a picture and you can’t look at it right away. It’s always a surprise to develop the film, to watch what comes out and remember what you photographed.”
Hall’s most recent project, for her Senior Studio, has been with watercolors and is now on display at the Robert H. and Blythe Bickel Edwards Center for Art and Dance.
“I just finished up Senior Studio,” said Hall. “That was a figure painting watercolor project. You dive into a subject more so than in other classes and really work on developing the concepts throughout the semester. That’s a lot of fun because it requires a lot of trying something out and then if it doesn’t work, trying it again.”
Hall wanted to experiment with line drawings and the human form for her Senior Studio project.
“I hung up two paintings that are a little bit more literal and then some line drawing-style paintings where I was trying to minimize form and reduce the human body to a couple of lines,” she said. “I wanted to see how far I could push and have the image still be recognizable.”
Hall also finds the time to provide illustrations for Orient articles. Working for the Orient was her first time experimenting with illustrations, and said that it has been a fun way for her to work on art outside of Bowdoin art classes, which often fill up quickly.
“For me, working for the Orient has been a great way to do art in a social setting,” she said.Hall also uses art to relieve the stress from the heavy workload and busy life of a typical Bowdoin student.
“At Bowdoin, art is my sanity time,” said Hall. “It’s something that feels less academic and a lot more creative, which has definitely helped my stress levels.”
Drawing inspiration from the world around her, Hall is often excited by the random things she finds when she is outside.
“In Photo I, I was out taking pictures in the woods and I found a vacuum cleaner,” she said. “I really liked that, and ever since then I like to notice the random things that I find every time I’m walking. I love just seeing something interesting and asking myself why it’s interesting, and then exploring that through drawing or painting.”
Although Hall is sure that she will continue with her art after graduation, she is not entirely sure what the future holds.
“I don’t know if I’m going to make a career out of art. That would be great, to maybe do something like graphic design. However, I’m definitely excited to have more time to really pursue art for a while,” she said.
Spring Dance Concert brings together alums, faculty and students
In addition to being a showcase of dance coursework, this weekend’s Spring Dance Concert features work of two Bowdoin alumni—choreographer Natalie Johnson ’13 and lighting designer Tyler Micoleau ’91.
As the annual culmination of a semester’s work in several advanced dance classes, the concert showcases performances from Paul Sarvis’s Modern I Repertory and Performance, Gwyneth Jones’ Modern III: Technique and Charlotte Griffin’s Advanced Dance Composition. The concert is a mix between live performances by the students and guest artists Anna Hulse and Justine Lee, and a series of videos featuring dances by Griffin’s class.
Griffin’s class performs the first piece, a movement improvisation composition, live. This opening piece is designed to demonstrate the work of the class in exploring movement and dance through improvisation. The audience is also called upon to provide three words, which the dancers then embody, working as a team.
“We ask for audience participation and get three new words every night. We work together as a team, but also as individuals to create choreography on the spot. It’s something we’ve worked on every day in class,” said Arhea Marshall ’15. “We’re opening our class to other people now to see our process.”
The second piece Marshall is involved in is the screen dance that grew out of collaborative projects with other classes. The dance is displayed on a video monitor interspersed between live performances.
“Our whole class did collaborative projects with the advanced musical composition class and an avant-garde subversive film class,” said Marshall. “All the videos that are shown in the spring dance show are those collaborations coming to life.”
The music throughout the screen dance is an original composition by Bowdoin students, and all the dancing is original choreography, usually from movement improvisations. Eight Bowdoin students came together to create the collaborative work and to work through the cinematography.
Adrienne Hanson ’15 is a student performer in Jones’ Modern III class.
“This piece was inspired a lot by opera. All of the performance classes are collaborative, and at the beginning of the semester, [Jones] gives us all a lot of smaller prompts,” said Hanson. “We then work independently or in smaller groups to come up with different sequences, and then she fits them together into a piece.”
Hanson has been in four dance shows and has danced with Jones before.
“I think that we’ve really come together. We all feel like we know the piece and it is in our bodies,” said Hanson.
“Dance is a great way of communicating for me. I love dance. I didn’t really train as a dancer outside of Bowdoin,” said Marshall. “It’s provided great opportunities to meet other people here at Bowdoin and to find out where you are in your day and your process.”
The show was first performed last night and will be staged tonight and tomorrow night from 8 to 9 p.m. Tickets are available for free at the Smith Union Information Desk and will also be available at the door. The performances will be held at Pickard Theater, located in Memorial Hall, and are open to the public.
Portrait of an artist: Diamond Walker ’17
Diamond Walker ’17 tried out for an Irish dancing team though a program at her elementary school at age eight. She was accepted into the program, which turned out to be the beginning of a lifelong love of dance. Now a sophomore involved in many projects on campus, Walker still finds the time to pursue her passion.
Though Walker was an Irish dancer in her childhood, she switched to hip-hop when she was 15. Walker took dance classes as a first year, and has continued to be involved in dance through her choreography and leadership of Obvious Dance Crew.
Walker’s current project has been choreographing a piece for the Asian Students Association (ASA) Fashion Show, which is coming up in two weeks. However, she plans to do a more personal piece for the student show in May.
“Usually my dances are more fun and I usually do my dances for other people,” said Walker. “I really want to do a dance that’s about identity and about race with all the events that have been happening this year, like Ferguson.”
Walker said her family inspired her to become a dancer.
“Dancing in my family is normal. My mom played music in the mornings while cooking or cleaning and music is always on in the house,” said Walker.
“We would always be moving which was something that I loved. I love to move. It was a way that I enjoyed expressing myself and it was comfortable for me,” she added.
Walker recalls times when she would choreograph dances for her cousins to perform. “My male cousin was always the footstool. He hated it,” said Walker.
One of Walker’s sources of inspiration is Nappytabs, a husband and wife dance duo from the TV show “So You Think You Can Dance.”
“They do the craziest isolations and choreography,” said Walker. “To this day I still watch some of my favorite pieces of theirs to get inspired in my own work.”
Walker also finds inspiration in music of all kinds.
“I love listening to classical music when I’m doing my homework,” she said. “I’ll be sitting there and I’ll start dancing to a classical beat which is very unheard of.”
Walker is involved with many clubs and organizations outside of dance. She is currently a member of Residential Life, serving as a proctor in Osher, and is a student director for the Women’s Resource Center. Walker is also a staff member at the McKeen Center for the Common Good. She recently co-facilitated a four-week group discussion series about identity at Bowdoin for Undiscussed, a student group dedicated to discussing difficult issues.
In her spare time, Walker loves to learn about the science of hair and how to take care of it. She is passionate about social activism and loves to discuss issues surrounding race and diversity at Bowdoin. Walker wants to bring her love of dance into everything that she does and plans to incorporate her passion into whatever career path she chooses to go down. She uses dance as a method of expressing herself.
“I love to be big when I’m dancing. I’m a small person, so in my dancing I like to do big expressive movements to show the big person I am on the inside,” she said.
To suggest an artist for Portrait of an Artist, email Arts & Entertainment Editor Emily Weyrauch at email@example.com.
Survivors tell of sexual assault, by the numbers
An exhibit in the Lamarche Gallery in David Saul Smith Union displays multicolored hand-written posters created by victims of sexual assault. The display is in partnership with “Surviving in Numbers,” a non-profit organization launched in October of 2012 by Alison Safran, an activist, who collaborated with senior Gabriela Serrato Marks to bring the show to Bowdoin.
Safran’s goal is to bring attention to the prevalence of sexual assault on college campuses across the country by developing and implementing prevention curricula for high schoolers. The organization provides an online forum for survivors to share their experiences. Safran has shown her exhibit at the U.S. Consulate in China, the Massachusetts State House and colleges across the country.
Marks was inspired by her friendship with Safran to organize the exhibit.
“[Safran] told me she was looking for different colleges to show her exhibits so I thought we might as well do one here at Bowdoin,” said Serrato Marks. “She started it as a way to have survivors of sexual assault tell their stories in a format that they were able to control.”
The large marker-decorated posters use numerical information and statistics to illustrate the realities of surviving sexual assault.
“I think [Safran] liked the idea to use numbers because it quantifies things in a way that would otherwise be hard to describe. It separates you a little from the story and I think that makes you realize that these posters could be anyone,” said Serrato Marks. “I really like the format for that reason.”
The statistical content of most of the posters also makes clear both the challenges victims of assault face and the successes they can achieve in the process of recovery.
“Some people are still affected by their assault 50 years later and that’s significant,” said Serrato Marks. “Other people are able to write down that it’s been 12 months since their last panic attack. That’s also highly significant and a great victory for that person. Putting numbers to things helps outsiders understand the experience.”
Serrato Marks hopes that the exhibit will help members of the Bowdoin community understand the impact that sexual assault has on individuals.
“I can’t say that the exhibit will prevent assault; I think that only changes in behavior can prevent assault,” she said. “I hope that the exhibit will make people think twice about their interactions and remind them to make sure they’re being careful to get consent every time.”
The exhibit is meant to reach everyone at Bowdoin, regardless of prior exposure to or knowledge of sexual assault.
“I like to think that [the exhibit] will help people understand survivor experiences a little bit better because unfortunately, there are a lot of survivors on this campus,” said Serrato Marks. “Ideally, because of this exhibit, there wouldn’t have to be any more survivors, but for now I think that love and support is what we can offer.”
“Surviving in Numbers” came to Bowdoin with the help of many campus groups and offices including Residental Life, the Women’s Resource Center, The Department of Gender Violence Prevention and Education, Bowdoin Men Against Sexual Violence, V-Day, Safe Space, the Bowdoin Queer Straight Alliance and the Alliance for Sexual Assault Prevention.
“We all have similar missions but we seldom cooperate because of issues such as scheduling,” said Serrato Marks. “It was really nice to work together.”
Members of the Bowdoin community who have survived sexual assault as well as people not affiliated with the school contributed to the exhibit by creating the posters.“Surviving in Numbers” will be on display in Lamarche Gallery in Smith Union through Sunday December 7.
Cross country sprints through NESCAC championships
The men’s and women’s cross country teams finished sixth and tenth out of 11 teams, respectively, at the NESCAC Championship last Saturday at Middlebury. The men finished with 169 points and the women with 268, just 13 points ahead of last-place Trinity.
Williams’ men’s team won the NESCAC Championship for the second year in a row with 39 points—10 points worse than their first place finish last year—followed by Colby with 76 and Middlebury with 80.
For the women, Middlebury also repeated as champions, putting up 38 points to beat out second-place Williams (47) and third-place Amherst (108).
The race started out with a large pack controlling the speed as the runners inched up a few long hills and dealt with muddy footing and the low temperature. First year Riley O’Connell described the conditions at the start as a “a frozen slip-n-slide.”
Then, after the first mile, a steep downhill signaled the real start of the racing. The course weaved around the perimeter of the bucolic, Middlebury-owned, Ralph Myhre Golf Course, and featured wide paths and many short climbs and sloping descents due to the steep terrain. O’Connell continued, “It was about as bumpy as a gummy worm in dirt cake.”
Captain Avery Wentworth ’15 finished first for the men’s team with a time of 25:55.4 on the rolling eight-kilometer course, good enough for 18th overall. Wentworth was followed by sophomore Bridger Tomlin, who finished 35th with a time of 26:18.1. Tomlin led a pack of Bowdoin runners—including sophomore Matt Jacobson (37th) and seniors Kevin Hoose (39th) and Will Ossoff (40th)—who all finished within eight seconds of one another.
The women’s team was led by junior captain Lucy Skinner, who finished 28th with a time of 23:55.2 over six-kilometers.
Skinner was followed by sophomore Caroline Corban, who finished 53rd with a time of 24:56.3, and junior Ally Fulton who finished 57th with a time of 25:07.1.
Rounding out the scoring for the Polar Bears were freshman Sarah Kelley (64th) and senior Brenna Fischer (66th), who finished with times of 25:18.9 and 25:24.1, respectively.
Both teams will send runners who qualified to the New England D-III Regional Championship at Williams on November 22.
If the runners perform well enough at Williams they will compete in Mason, Ohio at the NCAA championships the following weekend.
Safe Ride tracking app to debut in November
Within the next few weeks, Bowdoin students will be able to track the location of Safe Ride shuttles using a new iPhone application developed by two Bowdoin students. For over a year, seniors Sawyer Bowman and Henry Pratt have been working on both the app and a website that will allow students to monitors the location of the shuttles during their hours of operation.
The application allows students to place pickup requests and track the shuttle in relation to their own locations in real-time from either an iPhone app or a program on computers.
“At the moment we’ve equipped one of the two shuttles with a GPS tracking device,” said Pratt. “We’re also letting people place calls from where they are on campus.”
The application and the website work through a service called “Track Your Truck.”
“They provide the GPS tracker as well as an API [application programming interface] that lets us access the information through network calls,” wrote Bowman in an email to the Orient. “From there, we parse the information and display it back to the user.”
Pratt and Bowman were inspired to begin developing the service during their sophomore year, when they lived far from the center of campus.
“I used to live at Pine Street and I would call the shuttle for dinner,” said Pratt. “Sometimes I would end up waiting 30 minutes or more, depending on how backed up the shuttle was. It was tough to have to wait and not know when it was showing up.”
In the past, it has not been uncommon for students to call the shuttle and cancel requests to be picked up. This has frustrated both students and drivers.
“We’re both hoping that this will help reduce the number of canceled calls and make everyone happier with the service in general,” said Pratt.
This is not the first time Bowdoin has attempted to create a shuttle tracking service. In 2011, Information Technology (IT) started a tracking website, similar in theory to Bowman and Pratt’s application.
“We spoke to IT, and they had tried to develop an app previously that would do this, but I guess they never got it finished,” said Pratt. “We asked them if they’d be interested in us working on it, and they said that they’d love to have it.”
IT’s previous attempt to create a tracking service for the shuttles depended on using an iPad in each of the shuttles for tracking purposes. However, Bowman and Pratt purposefully chose to pursue a different direction with their application.
“This didn’t work because there was too much overhead with making sure the iPads were on, maintenance, et cetera,” said Bowman. “Our solution got rid of these problems because it doesn’t require the driver to do anything. Once the car is on, data is being transmitted automatically.”
The Safe Ride tracking app has been in the works since the fall of 2013. While Pratt went abroad last spring, Bowman picked up working on the iPhone version of the application. They have spent this year fine-tuning the application and putting on the finishing touches before its release.
According to Pratt, the tracking part of the application and website should be live within the next couple of weeks, with the phone request service soon to follow. The goal is to test out the application towards the end of the fall and to have a full version ready by the spring.