Abby explores new media

abby
photo by Christina Hallowell

“Project 2 really is just a further extension of Project 1, which is a class where you figure out who you are creatively and establish yourself, which is really valuable especially for people who come into college expecting art to be just “painting.” That’s what I expected, and I ended up changing my major because it wasn’t what I thought it was and I was ultimately unhappy. I found that I’m much happier doing (theatre) and especially this podcast project I’m working on. Finding different mediums to express thoughts that you have, ideals, philosophies… it’s all really valuable.” -Abby Parkinson

 

Kassidy works on costumes for Cripple of Inishmaan

photo by Christina Hallowell
photo by Christina Hallowell

“I work in here as the costume assistant for my work study job, and Beth Dorr is the head costume designer here. I just designed the costumes for The Last of the Boys, the fall show directed by Peter Simmel. That was the first show that I’ve ever designed costumes for and I worked very closely with Beth, obviously. Beth is designing this upcoming show, Cripple of Inishmaan, and I’ll be helping her with anything she needs. I had never done costuming until last year when I took Beth’s costume design class. In high school I used to pull costumes out of the costume room, but I’ve never designed anything this intensely before. I’d done some basic sewing but I never had actually made things that people were going to wear on stage or design for a really large college-level production, so it was a big leap for me! I just fell in love with it when I was costuming The Tempest. It was so much fun. I already knew that I loved theatre and acting, but doing the costuming was just this whole other part that I really had never had the chance to explore before. I just found so much more passion in it than I ever thought.” -Kassidy Giggey

Austin as Ariel in makeup

photo by Christina Hallowell
photo by Christina Hallowell

“So, I would go in to get into makeup at around 2 in the afternoon for a 7pm performance – which means the prep time was roughly 5 hours. 5 hours of sitting in a chair and having two people painting all over me with various types of makeup and even some actual paint for my hair. It was always astounding to look in the mirror every night before performance and not only see someone who wasn’t me, but to see someone who wasn’t human! You can’t really see your face when you’re out there on stage, but to be able to look down and see my hands and feet painted white, little designs on my fingernails that no one else would see – it was impossible not to stay in the moment with that. I remember standing in the loft every night before the show with feathers and acrylic paint in my hair and a tight sequined unitard with fabric wings and not just feel the life of theatre and of Shakespeare. To know that I was sharing in a long tradition of people getting into this makeup, or something similar, to step out on to their stage and BE Ariel.” -Austin Hayes

Ahnna does Austin’s makeup for The Tempest

photo by Christina Hallowell
photo by Christina Hallowell
IMG_1447
photo by Christina Hallowell

“In some cases the director will have a concept in mind for certain characters, like Ariel in The Tempest. In this case Jayne Decker had directed the actor, Austin Hayes, to channel bird-like mannerisms in his portrayal, which then became the inspiration for the feathered design to his makeup. The whites and blues used were chosen because Jayne’s vision showed Ariel to be an almost transparent spirit. This was the largest make-up application I had done by that time and I had a blast doing it!” -Ahnna Beane

VDAY

Valentines Day is the day of love. Simple enough. So why, lately, is there so much negativity surrounding the day meant for such a beautiful thing? It’s not a surprise to anyone that Valentines Day can put a lot of pressure on someone, especially a single someone. But I’m here to say, “Why does it have to?”

If you’ve been scrolling through your twitter, facebook or even yik yak in the days leading up to this love-filled-holiday, you’ll find that many people on our campus are actually bashing February 14th and all it stands for, which I find ironic. Valentines Day is a day literally dedicated to love and all the happy feelings that come along with it. Recently it has become “cool” or “funny” to separate yourself from those happy feelings of love. I get it. Singles feel left out because they don’t have that one special someone to share the day with. Not to be harsh, but they also don’t have a special someone the other 364 days of the year. It’s not necessary to put so much pressure on this one day in February.

Yes, Valentines day has become a cliche materialistic holiday for consumerists. A day to buy overpriced chocolate and teddy bears. But I for one, will endorse this day because I love love and I love what VDay stands for. People in happy relationships should celebrate their love every day of the year. However, if they’re given a special day to surprise each other with gifts, dress up and go out, they should most certainly take advantage of that. Love is always something to celebrate and be thankful for.

This is my first single Valentines day in a few years, but I’m not going to sit around all day, feel sorry for myself and hate on people who aren’t alone. My plans are to surprise my roommate with a Clefnote’s singing gram. I’m also going to go out for dinner at The Homestead with my single friends. I’m going to bake pink cupcakes and make my loved ones cute cards with tons of sparkles. I’m going to watch a sappy romcom at Narrow Gauge and enjoy the fact that love exists and someday I will find it, again.

It doesnt do any good to add sadness and bitterness to the day made for love and happiness. Cheers to a happy VDay. May cupid shoot you in the butt so you can happily enjoy it.

new years resolution

Recently, I’ve been really into arts journalism. Interviews, Reviews, Analyses, etc. I want to take this year to really grow as a writer and as an arts administrator, so I thought of doing more artful things, just for myself.

Also, last semester, I took a film analysis class where I learned a lot about the intricacies and technicalities of film. Since then, I’ve been noticing all of the tiny directorial details. I’ve been finding those things that make it truly an art.

SO I’ve made a list of movies I’d like to see or have seen in theaters already this year and I’m going to review them here.

American Sniper ✓

Birdman

The Theory of Everything

The Interview

Boyhood 

Into the Woods

The Loft

Unbroken

Cake

Age of Adeline

The Last Five Years

Big Eyes

It’s an ambitious list, and I hope to fulfill it. Cheers to 2015

Art is only a three-letter word, but as they say, “big things come in small packages.”

It means so much to me and to an ever-growing network of people that I have had the pleasure of meeting in my two years here at University of Maine at Farmington. For my whole life, the arts have been an essential part of who I am and I know they will continue to be as important to me in the future. I have had the privilege of fostering my love for so many different areas of the arts here at this beautiful little school. Costume Design, Photography, Journalism, even Administration – these are all both old and new-found loves for me.

 

I am an Art Administration student and it couldn’t be a better fit for me.  My favorite part about the major is that it’s new. Everyday I can see how it’s shifting and evolving and I get to be a part of that change. In just two, short years I will be tackling the ever-changing world of art. My passion for creativity paired with my business background will help me achieve success. My brain is colorful and creative as well as black and white and logical; these are qualities that help me thrive as an art administration student.

 

I wasn’t too involved in the artistic community during my first semester here, a regret of mine, but I have definitely made up for it in my past few semesters. My first dip in the artsy waters here was working one on one with Beth Dorr, a costume designer, as a part of Jayne Decker’s Space Lab and Performance class. There, I helped alter and pull costumes for the performance of “Keely and Du.” Working in costume design through the Space Lab class as well as the Costume Design class I am enrolled in this semester has given me some incredible opportunities. Together with my class, I made the costumes for the performance of  “The Tempest” directed by Jayne Decker. Now, I am currently designing costumes for a one act I am directing myself, called “Write Me a Love Scene.” Working with this incredible mentor through these experiences has taught me to deeply respect and love the craft. These opportunities I’ve taken advantage of will help me for my upcoming summer job as the costume designer at a children’s summer theatre camp in Smithfield, Maine.

 

I have also opened my eyes to photography recently. It is a hands on and technical form of art in which I can express myself, but there is still some left-brained science to it. I enjoy photography because it allows me to capture the beautiful things of our world, which others may not take the time to see. My first “look through the lense,” as you might say, was last May when I accompanied Ralph Granger on his yearly trip to England and Spain for a photography class. I was blown away by the beauty of the world and it’s different people, places and cultures. I was humbled by the experience of travel; learning how the technicalities of photography can create beautiful pictures was just icing on the cake.

Journalism is yet another new artistic interest of mine. For the past two semesters I have worked as the Webmaster for the Farmington Flyer. There, I have gotten to work with new technologies and marketing techniques, which is excellent experience for my future in art administration.  This semester I have also worked as the editor of the new arts journal, “Knack”, as part of Steve Pane’s Project 2 class. With “Knack”, the class and I write articles pertaining to everything going on in the arts in and around Farmington. Our goal is to show our appreciation for all types of arts, explore our individual fields, and educate those around us about arts events in the area. Working with “Knack” has been a phenomenal opportunity and I am excited about all of the things I’m learning through its production. As editor I’ve had to manage lots of ideas and people, bringing every creative mind together to make one really great thing.

 

It’s interesting that I found Art Administration as an actual major at UMF, because ever since I was a little girl arts leadership has been a passion of mine. When I was little I would always take on that leadership role, helping the teacher hang up our class paintings in an aesthetic way or dressing up my sister and her friends and having them put on a little play. When I got a little older and entered high school, I organized a monthly acoustic music event at a local arts center. I gathered young musicians, marketed the events, did the catering myself, and even sold tickets at the door. These acoustic nights are some of my best memories of high school  and knowing that I made it all happen makes it that much sweeter. Last summer, that arts center hired me as the in-house Arts Administrator. I was in charge of marketing art classes via radio and internet, handling payments and accounting work, as well as planning evening events. Working there really gave me the confidence I needed to let me know I’m right where I belong in the arts world.

 

All of these experiences I have had thus far, and those I will have in my future at UMF, have helped me grow as a person and as an artist. Everything – art forms I’ve learned in classes and hobbies I do on my own – are things I can turn around and share with my community of artists. I believe that is the essence of art administration and what I hope to do with my degree. I hope to add to the beauty of the world by helping creative souls achieve a common goal.

 

Finished Artist Statement

I’ve been working pretty hard writing and re-writing my artist statement and here is the final product:

Christina Hallowell is an Art Administration student with a concentration in Theatre at the University of Maine Farmington. She has loved beauty and all forms of art her whole life. Through photography, theatre, and art she uncovers the beautiful things of the world so that others may share in her experience. Inspired by the minute details of everyday life, Christina enjoys looking at the world through new perspectives which continue to inspire her artistic philosophy.  However creative and artful she may be, Christina’s strength in this field is administration. She excels in leading others to be talented, thoughtful, and successful creators of art.

I’ve been a huge fan of Brandon Stanton’s “Humans of New York” work for about 4 years now. I first found out about his blog because it was advertised on my personal Tumblr dashboard. It was this photo. Image

I was intrigued. The look of this man’s face was honestly just pure happiness. For one minute of his life he was able to feel childlike and free. The blurry people in the background help achieve the feeling that this man was the only one that mattered. For one fleeting moment, he was the star of the show. I immediately wanted to know more of his story.

Since then, Stranton has been sharing bits and pieces of people’s stories from all over one of the world’s greatest cities, New York City. His goal is to create an interactive map of faces and to reach 10,000 photographs from every neighborhood, street, nook and cranny in NYC. He has currently met and recorded the stories of 5,000 citizens and visitors of the big apple.

It’s hard to describe what emotion his photos evoke in me. I always feel somewhere in between wonder and contentment. Stanton always knows what exactly to say and that’s the part I find most fascinating. What do I mean by that? Well, when Stanton takes a photo of a NYC citizen, he also has a chat with them. He discusses their biggest fear, their biggest regret, their advice to other “Humans of New York.” Stanton says that sometimes he talks with these strangers-turned-friends for an hour, about anything they like. What does he do with all of their wisdom they just handed to him? He takes a single thread in the quilt of stories they just weaved and he captions the photo. That’s it. Stanton’s work is so pure. So simplistic. Sometimes a single sentence, sometime’s just two or three words explain the Human in the photograph. And honestly I never question it. I never yearn to know more. His ability to capture the essence of a person so easily astounds me and it makes me wonder what kind of story I’m advertising about myself everyday. It makes me wonder what I could learn from the people around me right here in Farmington, Maine, if it’s apparently so easy to learn about a person with just a few simple words. That ability to capture the essence is exactly what I love about photography, and Stanton does it ever so delicately and elegantly.