Courtesy of Mollie Friedlander
Courtesy of Katie Coleman
Courtesy of Tess Hamilton
Courtesy of Victoria Pavlatos
Hamilton ’16, Stack ’16 present summer artwork
A group of students dressed in animal onesies eating Cheez Whiz were listening to the live DJ set, in none other than the The Robert H. and Blythe Bickel Edwards Center for Art and Dance on Monday. Tuesday brought a delectably different event, with vases full of fresh-cut flowers and platters full of vegetables and hummus. Both nights, however, marked the gallery openings of students’ summer work: the first showcased the work of Cody Stack ’16, the latter opening featured Tess Hamilton ’16.
Both students pursued independent art projects through the visual arts department grants and fellowships this summer. Stack received the Nellie C. Watterson Summer Fellowship in Creative and Performing Arts, while Hamilton received a Kaempfer Summer Art Grant.
Hamilton’s exhibition is titled “Migration,” and hosts colorful landscapes that starkly contrast the plain, white walls of the Edwards White Box Gallery. Meanwhile, in Stack’s exhibition, “impatient/therapist,” industrial concrete sculptures and abstract paintings fill the Edwards Main Gallery.
The difference between their exhibits is indicative of the contrasting approaches to their work.“There was never a vision at the start,” said Stack. “I was going to do contemporary abstractions with painting, which was so ambiguous.”
The open-ended nature of his project allowed Stack to spend 40 hours a week exploring different materials and ideas in his own studio in Edwards.“I really just enjoyed playing with material—rubbing concrete on things, mixing gorilla glue into a mixture, and then coating it on the surface,” said Stack.
Hamilton entered her summer hoping to execute a plan. After working for a commercial fishery in Alaska last summer and studying in New Zealand this past semester, Hamilton’s initial idea for her summer project revolved around painting the migration flyway of the bar-tailed godwit, a bird species that migrates from Alaska to New Zealand.“The immediate personal connection was that [the bar-tailed godwit] migrates from Alaska, where I spent last summer, so I had my own geographic perspective on how far it takes to fly a similar distance,” said Hamilton. “I could’ve seen the same individual in such different settings in my own life and such different geographic settings.”Both students found themselves refining the directions in which their exhibitions would go throughout the summer.
“I started painting the birds when I got back [from New Zealand] and I was very precious with the paint and the details of the birds,” Hamilton said. “They were anatomically correct but they just seemed dead to me and flat, so I just scratched that and started just painting landscapes and having fun with color.”
Adjusting the theme of her work, Hamilton painted the landscapes of the places that she and the bar-tailed godwit have shared as temporary homes during her four years at Bowdoin. In “Migration,” Alaskan mountain ranges and New Zealand riverbeds are depicted naturalistically, but with color experimentation, like patches of red, pink, and yellow.
Stack’s work began to take shape after he discovered the texture and materiality of concrete. “impatient/therapist” features canvases painted with concrete along with a large, winding sculpture made of tubes painted with cement. Shades of gray make up the entire palette of the show, achieving an austere and minimalist look.
Throughout the summer, Stack regularly met with his advisor, Assistant Professor of Art Jackie Brown, for critiques and advice.
“I think what was great was seeing Cody be really experimental with what he was doing,” said Brown. “Every time I walked into the studio this summer, it looked different—his commitment to his practice is phenomenal.
Both students said they found spending an entire summer creating art fulfilling.
“Anything I do, I want to be in a creative field," said Stack. “This summer, I approached things more as an artist.”
Interactive: A guide to the 2015 housing lottery
The interactive map above highlights housing options for upperclassmen. Hover over a location to see what rooms are available in that building, a list of pro tips, and photos of select dorm rooms. Full blueprints of each building are also available.
Lottery dates and 2014 results:
Quints and quads: Tuesday, April 14 -Chamberlain quads filled first between the 1st and 20th picks -Harpswell quads filled second between the 20th and 40th picks -Coles Tower quads filled third between the 40th and 60th picks -Cleaveland St. quads filled fourth between the 60th and the endChem free: Thursday, April 16 -52 Harpswell filled first between the 1st and 30th picks -Smith House filled second between the 30th and 60th picks -Mayflower Apartments doubles filled third between the 60th and 80th picks -School Street filled fourth between the 80th and the endTriples and singles: Monday, April 20 (Triples lottery is first) -Cleaveland Street Apartments filled first between the 1st and 20th picks -Brunswick Apartments two-bedroom triples filled second between the 20th and 40th picks -Coles Tower triples filled third between the 40th and 53th picksTriples and singles: Monday, April 20 (Singles lottery is second) -Stowe Inn singles filled first between the 80th and 93rd picks -Chamberlain Hall singles filled second between the 93rd and the end -Coles Tower filled third between the 93rd and the endDoubles and open rooms: Wednesday, April 22 -Brunswick doubles filled first between the 64th and 76th picks -Osher and West doubles filled between the 76th and 89th picks
All lotteries begin at 6 p.m. in Daggett Lounge. Lottery numbers are emailed and posted outside the ResLife office by 3 p.m. on the day of the lottery.
To get updates during each lottery, follow @BowdoinResLife on Twitter.
For more information about the lottery, go to bowdoin.edu/reslife.
Illustration by Anna Hall.
Behind the Name tag: Hutton joins digital, physical in her work
If you’ve ever walked through the hallways and galleries of the Robert H. and Blythe Bickel Edwards Center for Art and Dance, you’ve probably seen Visual Arts Technician Tara Hutton installing artwork or training students on how to use a bandsaw.
While working as a studio assistant for the art department for her alma mater, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, Hutton searched for opportunities to relocate to New England.
“I’ve lived in Maryland my whole life, up until now. But I always wanted to move up here,” said Hutton. “Almost all of the schools I looked at when I was applying to undergrad were in New England. I think this is kind of fulfilling high school Tara’s dream.”
Hutton arrived at Bowdoin during the renovations of the Edwards center in 2013. During her first few weeks, she was responsible for consolidating all equipment and supplies for the Visual Arts and Dance departments from the many places on campus into the new facility.
“Nobody knows this building the way I do because I’ve set up everything in here,” said Hutton.
With this extensive knowledge, Hutton manages the maintenance of the studios and galleries, purchases and repairs equipment, and assists with exhibitions like the Senior Studio and end-of-the-semester shows.
Working in an artistic environment is not new for Hutton. As an undergraduate studying art and art history, she made digital artwork, designed web pages, constructed sets for theater productions, and helped manage several exhibitions at the Boyden Gallery at St. Mary’s. And although her responsibilities revolve around helping others showcase their art, Hutton continually creates her own works as side-projects.
“In undergrad, I was interested in sexual identity politics,” said Hutton. “Now, I think ultimately I’m mostly interested in art that is displayed and accessed through the web.”
Her most recent work (which can be viewed at tnhutton.com) explores Hutton’s move from Maryland to Maine and how it has affected her memories.
“I’ve been interested in exploring memory and how memories inform each other,” said Hutton. “Biologically, every time you access a memory it rewrites it. You’re kind of being continually informed by your current experiences, so there’s never a pure memory.”
To convey these ideas, Hutton creates a moving digital image that overlays pixels of colors between two photos of Maryland and Maine. Creating this artwork is made easier with the Edwards Digital Media Lab, which has the software Hutton uses to manipulate photos.“Coming up here, the lab’s been super nice,” said Hutton. “It’s the nicest lab I’ve ever seen.”
Having always lived in coastal areas, Hutton appreciates Brunswick’s proximity to nature.“It was really important to be so close to the water,” Hutton said. “I remember asking that in my first interview with the [Dean’s Office], ‘How close am I to the ocean?’ My partner Laura and I are really into hiking and I love having Bradbury Mountain ten minutes away.”
This spring marks Hutton’s second year at Bowdoin, and she said that the best part of her job has been working with students and trying new kinds of materials or helping them to set up installations. The creative atmosphere of the Edwards Art Center enables her to be surrounded by what she enjoys the most.
“I’ve always been kind of a maker, even at home,” said Hutton. “I love building things for the house, making jewelry or knitting…The act of creation that leads into an object, I really like that.”
Snapshot: What a difference a day makes in Smith Union
On Monday afternoon, Smith Union was packed with students, faculty, staff and community members to welcome President-elect Clayton Rose to campus. Today, Smith Union was quiet as much of campus was closed and some classes were cancelled because of winter storm "Juno."
Photos by Hy Khong (Jan. 26) and Jono Gruber (Jan. 27)
Snapshot: Snowpocalypse 2015
Winter Storm Juno
Talk of the Quad: Race is real
“Oh my god, that’s so Asian!”
That’s how a student on my study abroad program responded when I told her how to spell my last name.
What’s so Asian? That it’s not spelled like “King Kong”? Does adding the “h” really make it that much more Asian? I would never tell someone they’re “so white,” because what does that even imply?
I’m studying abroad in Nantes, France for the semester and never have I been so aware of my race. When I walk into class with my hair ungroomed and sticking up everywhere—resembling the hairdo of an anime character or K-Pop star—I inevitably hear “dude you look so Asian today.”
If I receive a good exam score, my friends will say that’s “very Asian” of me (because, apparently, intelligence and race are mutually inclusive). My host family considers me Vietnamese rather than American, and when I tell someone I’m from the States, they re-phrase: “No, where are you from, your family?”
To me, the French are more direct, not skirting around issues considered “politically incorrect” in the States. The attention I’ve received for being Asian isn’t malicious or discriminatory, but it is constant, making me want to untangle what exactly it means being Asian-American—while stateside and abroad.
My parents fled political and religious persecution in Vietnam by boat in 1989. After my sister and I were born, we immigrated to the States from the Kuala Lumpur Vietnamese Refugee Center. I spent the first five years of my life in the heart of Seattle’s Chinatown-International District, where I heard more Chinese, Cantonese and Vietnamese than English when walking down the street. In 2001, we relocated across Lake Washington to a predominantly white suburb, where we still reside.
My childhood was a game of switching cultures on-and-off: observing Vietnamese New Year in traditional áo gấm and then watching Tom and Jerry, eating cơm tấm for breakfast and then hot dogs and coleslaw for lunch, and trying to find the English equivalent of Vietnamese words—a struggle I now face with French.
During my mid-teens, my dual-cultured life was the source of a lot of angst. I resented going to youth group with all the Vietnamese families in Seattle, many of whom were recent immigrants—I preferred being with American families. Eventually, my parents gave in: bánh mi was replaced with sliced white bread, and weekly Vietnamese culture and language classes ended. I was never ostracized at school, but I was tired of being embarrassed when my parents, with their thick accents, had to speak to my teachers or when my friends would tell me that my clothes smelled like rice.
Coming to Brunswick was essentially removing myself from my roots, something I didn’t realize until Winter Break in 2012 when, after I expressed my disdain for having to go to Vietnamese Christmas mass, my sister retorted, “Well, that’s because you’re just white-washed now.”
The Class of 2016 is 493 people strong, with 156 students self-identifying as students of color, including 53, roughly 10 percent, as Asian. Before leaving home, this ratio did make me a little nervous—was I going to stand out? But since arriving on campus, I don’t spend that much time thinking about the implications of being a minority at Bowdoin; my experience in our little bubble of political correctness and support has been comfortable and safe.
The two new diversity initiatives on campus, A.D.D.R.E.S.S. and Inter-Group Dialogue, have been facilitating conversations about race, which I find incredibly important because many people don’t know how to confront racial issues. When people found out there was another short Asian student who wears skinny jeans and likes photography my freshman year, I kept getting compared to him as if we were each other’s competition. Please, there is no competition—we’re two completely different people.
Catalina Gallagher ’16 told the Orient earlier this month that, “Part of the reason that people are on such different pages often is that we just don’t talk about race. It’s uncomfortable.” And it’s because of this that I was a little apprehensive about writing this article—because it’s uncomfortable and I’m perhaps making it a bigger deal than it is. But this “big deal” is a reality I have to live with.
In the whiteboard photo campaign (organized by A.D.D.R.E.S.S)—which posed the question “what does race mean to you?”—there are responses saying, “It means nothing.” This couldn't be further from my experience with race: it shapes almost every experience I’ve had, and will have, with the world.
It’s undeniable that my experience in France would be different if I were, say, blonde and Caucasian. People wouldn’t stare because I’m the only Asian in a bar, I wouldn’t have to repeatedly tell people I’m not from China, and people I hook up with wouldn’t call me “my little Asian.”
Phrases like “that’s so Asian” are dividing mechanisms, ways to gather all the stereotypes and throw them into one sweeping generalization in order to differentiate us. At Bowdoin, my identity is very much separate from my race; people know me for my personality or skills. The very fact that people have seen me and pulled their eyes back into slits during my time abroad says enough about how my race is at the forefront of my identity. And I won’t even get started on sexuality.
At Bowdoin, I’m Asian-American; in France, for the most part, I’m just Asian. Associate Director of Health Promotion Whitney Hogan wrote “personal narratives” on her whiteboard for the A.D.D.R.E.S.S. campaign, and that’s exactly what’s being disregarded when race is used as the primary identifier: my history, my stories and my experiences are dismissed.
What’s being left out is my parents’ immense sacrifices and struggles to carve out a life for my sister and me; it’s the process of assimilating into American society; it’s my cultural heritage and how my upbringing has given me a more enriched view of the world; it’s how I’m able to share stories about growing up in the States and about Vietnamese customs with my host family.
I’m still trying to figure out what being Asian-American means to me, and it’ll probably take a lifetime, since meanings change as circumstances and situations do. But after two months in Nantes, one thing I’ve discovered is it’s not so much about definitions or classifications. It’s about how my Vietnamese and American backgrounds interlock and fit together to form just a small portion of my identity.
Video: Behind the scenes: Thorne Bake Shop
A multimedia look at early morning routines, recipe selection, and the logistics of large-scale baking.
Talk of the Quad: Beyond the slump
Walking through Smith Union two weeks ago, I saw more students crowded near the mail center than I’d ever seen before (even more so than the week before Spring Gala, when everyone seems to have a Nasty Gal clothing package). The sounds of S.U. box doors swinging open, paper crinkling and high-fives meant only one thing: College House decisions had been released.
As I navigated my way through all the commotion, I kept hearing one phrase pop up in conversations: “I’m so excited for next year.” Living in a House has been one of the best experiences I’ve had at Bowdoin, so it’s understandable that accepted applicants would feel the same thrill I felt one year ago.
But I couldn’t feel completely excited for them. I grew a little bit more uncomfortable with each text that came in carrying names of those who would be succeeding us at Reed. It was a look into the future, but what about the present?
It wasn’t until I was walking down a sunlit Boody Street later that week that I realized my time is coming to an end, just like the rapidly melting snow. These letters were more than just the announcement of the future of the Houses—they were a subtle reminder that my housemates and I only have a month left. Exactly one month from today, our OneCards will no longer open the doors to the place we all call home.
I feel as if we’re running out of time. Where did this year go? There’s still so much I want to do with the people I run into in the kitchen, so many late night conversations to be had in the living room and events I wish could take place in our yard. (We do have the best yard in the game, after all.)
The limited time I have left in Reed terrifies me because I feel as if I haven’t made the most of the year. Like trying to hold onto sand, so many months feel as if they just slipped between my fingers. I expected a tremendous year, and it was…for the most part. Returning to campus from the summer, my housemates and I laid out in the sun, cooked endless meals together and thoroughly took advantage of the fact we were all living under one roof—something we’d never get the chance to do again.
The elation and naïve hope with which I entered the school year quickly dissipated as the temperatures plummeted. I felt myself succumbing to the legendary “sophomore slump.” I grew increasingly disenchanted with the House system, with the winter months; Bowdoin began to feel stagnant, and I became increasingly stressed by the big decisions looming overhead and the smallest of things—like someone not returning a text message—would upset me more than it should have. My attempts to forge new friendships and to strengthen old ones, something for which the College Houses are the perfect platform, felt feeble.
I fixated on this slump as if it was the heart of being a sophomore on campus. For four to five months, one bad day would continuously lead to another until I had dug myself into a rut of debilitating loneliness.
Nights I didn’t go out I spent on my bedroom floor staring at the ceiling, trying to make sense of the dark corners I hadn’t known my mind contained.
My personal sophomore slump pushed me into a severe depression—one I disguised with a heavy workload and “I’m just tired”—and I cannot say that I didn’t think about leaving Bowdoin, at least sometimes.
Sophomore year narrows your horizon. Friend groups grow closer—sometimes to an irritatingly insular degree—and study abroad and major declaration decisions feel burdensome and momentous. But my year has been so much more than just a slump—it’s been a year of youthful adventures, immense growth and lasting memories. Yes, it’s a year of ridiculous highs and lows, but I’d argue the highs overshadow any low.
It wasn’t until I looked through the photo album of candid moments from this year—in its entirety, for the first time—during Spring Break that I managed to pick my head up and remember how fulfilling living in Reed has been. Each memory came flooding back to me as I glimpsed at each 4” x 6” photograph. I used to compulsively upload these photos to Facebook at the end of each week, obsessed with not letting any hilarious incident or cute portrait be forgotten. I’m sorry if my mass uploading of midnight soccer, impromptu swimming-with-the-bioluminescence trips, or weekend revelry popped up on your newsfeed when you needed to study. Actually, I’m not sorry. These are the memories we need to cherish.
However, I noticed there was a big time frame missing in my album. Four to five months of the year were not documented because I was submerged in my sophomore slump, convinced that I was miserable with Bowdoin. These months are now time that I—with only a month left in Reed—wish I still had.
As the year winds down and my housemates and I prepare to pass the torch down to “New Reed,” I’m taking photos again because although we’re on our way out, this month is still the last chapter of our time at Reed and of our sophomore year.
When I return from being abroad in the spring, it’ll be a little odd not to walk down Boody Street to my room, let alone have half my grade off campus. But if there’s anything this year has taught me, it’s to make the most of the present because it will fly by you faster than you can realize.
To the new generation of Reed: Sophomore year will be one of the best—you just have to look beyond the slump.
Snapshot: Professors' offices: Part 2
Prof. Tricia Welsch, Film Studies. Photo by Joanna Gromadzki
Prof. Andrew Rudalevige, Government and Legal Studies. Photo by Emma Roberts
Snapshot: Inside professors' work spaces
Prof. Katie Byrnes, Education. Photo by Kate Featherston
Prof. Eric Chown, Computer Science. Photo by Brian Jacobel
The Antlers, Cantilever perform at WBOR’s Spring Concert
The Antlers and Cantilever headlined WBOR's annual spring concert on Friday night, filling Morrell Lounge with the indie-pop sound that both bands share.
Last semester's WBOR concert featured electronica groups RJD2, Shlomo, and Forget Forget. This semester, to appeal to different genres and interests, WBOR decided to mix things up a bit with indie-rock and lo-fi groups.
“We chose the Antlers because they have a sizeable following on campus, but they still fall in that vein of independent music,” said WBOR Station Manager Rachel Lopkin ’13. “We also like bringing back alumni too because it gives them a place to still showcase their music after graduating.”