30 January 2009

The Emotive Tommy Kha

These are illustrations from an assignment last semester that I stupidly matted before scanning and then never took pictures of, but the matt is now ruined and I'm putting them in a student exhibition at school, so I carefully scraped them up with a wal-mart gift card and ran to the mac lab to take care of business before I glued them to something else too large for the scanner bed. Simple assignment, four emotions. The model was one of my favorite asians, Tommy Kha. (You can view his awesome photography if you click his name.)


28 January 2009

Be a Host

I know that some people may disagree, but I can think of few things ruder than having a group of people over, and then starting a video game. I really only think video games at gatherings are acceptable if it's something like Super Smash Bros., where a majority of the group is engaged, and controllers are passed between people every ten minutes or so. But two people starting an intense, serial, two-player game, turned up to full volume, while "entertaining" five other people in the room? HOW RUDE! I've done that video game spectator thing too many times, and it's really all a sham. No one likes watching other people play video games. WHEN WILL THEY ALL REALIZE?

26 January 2009

Preview of Black & White, Issue 2 of SP09 Semester

To the Edge and Back to School
Lauren Rae Holtermann, BFA 2010

Have you ever been in the middle of a long evening in the darkroom or the sculpture studio, or maybe stooping over a paper cutter, or squinting with burning eyes at a mac, and realized suddenly that whatever you were in the middle of was going to take quite a bit longer than you had originally anticipated? More often than not, our good intentions of a stable, healthy sleep schedule are obliterated, sometimes by one unforeseen night. But regardless of how angry our burning eyes or calloused fingertips are, we’ve all had to push through the night by whatever means necessary. Who knew that that perfect late night pick-me-up was only a few blocks away?

The Edge is a coffeehouse at the corner of Overton Park and North Watkins; about six blocks west of MCA and just across the street from Five In One Art Space (VINI), which you may have visited for the recent ceramics department’s Flocculent Femmes exhibition or for Tommy Kha’s Shambhala show. Like any good coffeehouse, The Edge has free WIFI, a shelf of well worn boardgames and paperback novels, and a hot pot of strong black coffee always on. What makes the Edge different are the details.

Aside from being open from 8AM until 1AM, the Edge has pool tables, a furnished patio, and jukebox, making it into a cozy hangout for decompression at any hour. On Friday nights, they host live music, ranging from old blues singers to techno DJs. Sunday nights are Songwriters nights, Mondays are pool tournaments, Wednesdays are Karaoke, and Thursdays are open mic Memphis Comedy. There is generally something happening down the street every night of the week that ensures even if you aren’t interested, stopping in will be interesting (they have 2 for 1 drink specials for bikers on Wednesdays!).

Perhaps the most addictive reason to visit the Edge is the beverage for which they identify themselves: the Avalanche. The Avalanche is two shots of espresso blended into a milkshake, topped with whipped cream and served in a frozen beer mug. At $4.25 apiece, they rival Starbucks in pocket change, but this drink is way better than that bitter swill, and worth every penny. My personal favorite, however, is the Landslide, a chocolate-blended cousin of the Avalanche, with chocolate syrup drizzled on top for only fifty cents extra.

The best thing and worst thing about the Edge, in my opinion, is its versatility. Not as easily categorized as quiet coffee shop or roaring venue, the Edge finds a happy medium somewhere in between the two, with the charm of the bar regulars from Cheers. I’ll admit, sometimes it isn’t the best location for a strenuous group study session, as there is frequently loud music, boisterous regulars, limited seating, or any combination thereof. However, in the balmier months of the year, all those obstacles are easily overcome by choosing one of the larger tables on the front deck.

Unfortunately, the cold weather and sinking economy has taken their toll on The Edge. Pressed with financial troubles, Rozelle Artists Guild has decided to host a fundraiser to benefit our favorite coffeehouse: Damn the Man! Support the Edge. Come out to the Edge on Friday, February 6th at 6PM for live music by Travis Cantrell, Valerie June, and Grace Askew. There is no admission, but we’d appreciate if you bought a cup of coffee or donated a couple bucks, and art from members of the Rozelle Artists Guild and others will be for sale. If you’re interested in helping or are able to donate art, please contact me at rag@rozelleartistsguild.org.

Either way, next time you’re settling in for a long night of work, remember that the Edge is just down the street, and open 8AM – 1AM, 7 days a week. For a full menu and events calendar, visit them online at theedgecoffeehouse.com or add them on myspace at myspace.com/theedgecoffeehouse.

In the past thirty days, I have seen all of these works of art in person:

Lee Bontecou

Jenny Saville

Eric Fischl

Wangechi Mutu

Jasper Johns

Jackson Pollock

Willem De Kooning

Phillip Guston

Francis Bacon

Joseph Beuys

20 January 2009

I voted for Obama, too.

Older citizens gathered at the inauguration ceremony were asked if Obama’s swearing in was a more historic event than Martin Luther King’s assassination, or the landing of the first man on the moon. The answers were unanimously yes. While I can’t make an accurate comparison because I was not alive to witness either of the aforementioned events, I can say that today is a day I will remember for the rest of my life, no matter how President Obama’s term goes.

Memphis, albeit a majorally black city, is still a Southern town nestled in a die hard red state, and while sentiments may have been more colorblind in cosmopolitan metropolises up the coast, the atmosphere was the same as ever in the Mid-South. Intertwined with crying black reverends praising God for such luck, uncharacteristically optimistic blues singers, and old Civil Rights advocates celebrating a new nation, were news reports of young white hicks in Arkansas arrested for plotting assassination attempts on Obama’s life, and my grandparents who still believe that our new President is a muslim extremist closely connected with Al Queda. It seems that no matter how different and changed and open-minded CNN tells me America is becoming, the same stagnated sentiments of our ancestors and Southern culture can’t help but ooze out.

Regardless, it is really cool to think that we have a president that people in other countries actually respect.

Click to see some amazing photos of the day from boston.com.

17 January 2009

Classes resume on Tuesday.

You wanna go to sleep, you wanna get up, you wanna go out again tomorrow, right? Wherever you are in life, it's my feeling: you gotta go.

-Jerry Seinfeld

I need to dry out and take some time to clear my mind.
But before you know it here I am again, fucking 2 o'clock in the morning,
standing in a bar, with a drink in hand.
How low can you go before you can't turn around?

-Against Me!

10 January 2009

Lyrical Therapy

It has only happened a handful of times in my life that in the wake of a traumatic event, I'm driving, and a song comes on that I know by heart, yet never really attached any meaning to until that moment. It happened last night.

They make bad, bad jokes, it's okay not to laugh.
For every push forward, you get the same fucking push back.
You had, you had nowhere to go,
so you, so you found someplace,
You had, you had nothing to say
you start lying...

What the fuck were you thinking?
I'm not sorry.
I'd do it all again.
All the lines between hate, love, and revenge,
it's just dead, it's dead, it's dead, they're just dead feelings.

Against Me!, "Unsubstantiated Rumors Are Good Enough For Me (To Base My Life Upon)"