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Saturday, April 18, 2015

Miss you wanna kiss you!


Well, it is has been over a month since I have posted last, what a neglectful blogger I am!

I have been getting busier and busier since I started my new position in January, and while it has been a rollercoaster of a ride so far, one constant is that I am busy all day long and exhausted when I get home. In my free time, I have been enjoying the changing weather, watching Netflix with my pup and Nick, and we even made an Easter trip to Chicago. Here are some photos from my favorite memories the past month or so.

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 Yuck, this was the last of the snow, thank goodness. At least I got to wear my favorite winter-y outfit one last time!
After the BGSU Hockey team's end of season brunch, we made a quick stop to my fav building in Bowling Green. Also, my hair was real dark...



Finally, it was a little warmer and sunnier in mid-March! We stopped during a pup walk to cheese it up for a couple-selfie! This was right before the playoff BGSU hockey game... they went on to win the series, but didn't advance during the next round, darn! They had a great season though, and this guy enjoyed working with the team and video coach!



Same day - only I got to cheese it up with the other guy in my life ;) Who wouldn't love that smiley face and furry butt!?


One of my new roles at work is to work with the young donor group called Circle 2445, which is super awesome. I took this super great mirror pic during our event "Behind the Peristyle", which was a behind the scenes tour of our theater at the museum... it was so fun and interesting! I was hanging out in the dressing room area waiting for the tour, thus time for a mirror pic, duh. Our next big event is the Kentucky Derby Party! So so so excited. 


 We made it to Chicago for Easter, which was the perfect little long weekend. I had been missing my family and was in need of a break! We only had a couple of days, but we made the most of it. This is a shot of me and my cousin Rachel on Easter :) It was amazing weather that weekend, especially on Sunday!


The night before, actually, we celebrated with Nick's family! It was hybrid Easter/Birthday celebration for Nick's Nana Anna. Funny enough, our grandmas have the same birthday (April 20th, yes this was an early celebration), though my Grandma Jo Jo passed away a year and a half ago. It was great to see Nick's extended family and to talk wedding with his sister (Nick and I are both standing up to their Chicago wedding in September... can't wait!!!) - This picture was from our spontaneous post-dinner trip to Lincoln Park (our old stomping grounds) to our favorite bar, Barrelhouse Flat. It is the coolest bar in Chicago, HIGHLY recommend it.


 Okay, another selfie. I was feelin' hawt in this Nordstrom dress (as seen on The College Prepster), which I wore for our SIXTH anniversary. Yup, it has been six years since Nick asked me to be his girlfriend after our trip to the Art Institute. <3 


This is from Thursday night! I helped plan a special sneak peek event for an app called Aura, which is this amazing new app that is design to be your personal art notebook for museum and gallery visits - try it out from the app store! It was a great event filled with a diverse group of people to test out the app and to explore the galleries. And yes, I am wearing a neon skirt with our neon signature drink "the blue aura". The event was a success and my drink was strong - top night ;) 

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Overall, I have been keeping busy and enjoying the spring and cannot wait for summer. I hope to post here more, but I will also be writing still for Obvi, We're The Ladies. Did you read my latest post there from earlier this month - check it out! There are tons of great essays posted a few times a week, and this month is focusing on Sexual Assault Awareness Month. I hope to have another piece posted before the month is done, too.

Oh, one last thing before I sign off for today... LILLY PULITZER FOR TARGET LAUNCHES TOMORROW! I am beyond excited, and hopefully prepared. Anddddd Mr. Big is in the commerical, nuff said. At the launch in NYC this week, Emmy Rossum was even wearing my most favorite dress, so that validates me ;) Here are my must-haves for the launch:



Giraffes, ftw. 


What pieces are you hoping to snag?

xoxo

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Sunday, March 8, 2015

Artwork of the Week: International Women's Day Style!

Hello again! I know it has been quite some time since I have created a new post... 2015 has been incredible so far, but also very busy as a result. Oh, and I also had to get my wisdom teeth extracted a couple weeks ago, which was no fun at all. In addition to the big changes with my job and the loss of teeth in my mouth, I have been actively writing for Obvi, We're the Ladies, which you may know by now, is a fantastic blog and community I am proud to be a part of. My most recent essays there are: Is it Really "Fifty Shades of F*cked Up"? (an essay where I explore my personal experience with the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise), Understanding a Strong Woman (where I wrote about my Grandma and what I learned about her after she passed), and also A Letter to My 30-year-old Self. I highly recommend writing those (shameless plug!) and the other great pieces that are posted every couple of days. Recently, our Instagram content lead posted an image she created to support the #askhermore movement during the Oscars and Reese Witherspoon actually regrammed the image! Big things are happening here, people :)

Aside from my other writing gig, I have been getting some ideas for new posts here, as I am definitely committed to writing more here as well. Just have to get into the groove of things, ya know. But! I am back with my favorite series: Artwork of the Week! And I am particularly excited about this one because today is also International Women's Day. Away we go... (oh, some of these images could be a little graphic)


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Isn't this gruesomely awesome?? This is Judith Slaying Holofernes by Artemisia Gentileschi, an oil painting from around 1614. Not only is the subject matter a form of graphic girl power, but Gentileschi is perhaps the most important female artist in history (well at the very least, her generation). She was known for painting early Baroque pictures of strong and suffering women from myth and the Bible – victims, suicides, warriors. She did not simply paint conventional biblical images with female subjects, such as Virgin Mary submissively waiting for Annunciation. This image above is from a classic Old Testament story which details the delivery of Israel from the Assyrian general Holofernes. In the scene, Judith and her maidservant behead the general after he has fallen asleep drunk. Her realism and conveyed violence here lift off the canvas - it is incredible to me. I have actually seen it in person when it made its way to the Art Institute of Chicago in 2013. Excuse the stealth selfie I took:


Photos were not allowed in the gallery, so I went into the corridor and stole a selfie... I know, I know, a museum professional and I skirted around the rules. Anywho, studying this painting and then seeing it in person was really cool. As per usual, I am beyond excited when I finally get to see a painting or work in the flesh/canvas! This painting is huge by the way, which surprised me. It is about six and half feet by five and change feet. Let me tell ya, those blood spurts were jumping out of the frame.

Back to Artemisia. Not only was she known for her talent, but she was also 'famous' for her personal life. When she was younger, she was raped by her father's colleague and her tutor, Agostino Tassi. The long story includes a seven-month trial and plenty of paint for Artemisia. Though Tassi was found guilty and served a sentence of eight months in jail, of course Artemisia was gossiped about and forever linked to this humiliating event. This circles back to the painting, as Artemisia painted herself as Judith, and Tassi as Holofernes. The painting would not only serve as an important painting in her day and in art history, but also as a very cathartic personal journey.

After the trial and suffering, Artemisia's father arranged for her marriage as she tried to put the ordeal in her past. She found much success in Florence, where she earned support and patronage of the Medici duke, Cosimo II. She even became the first woman to be accepted into the Florentine Academy of Fine Arts. She continued her success, being held in esteem by the royal court, scholars, and even by the likes of Galileo. Her daughters even became painters as well - they traveled throughout Italy for work and opportunity. After Artemisia's death in 1656, her work did fall into a bit of obscurity, but luckily, in more recent academic findings, her work regained the acclaim it once held.

As for the famous painting (one of many, but arguably her most famous work), she is known for her retelling of common stories, but from the female perspective. However, she was not the only one to paint this particular biblical scene of Judith, it was also taken on by some of the most famous Old Masters and beyond (Titian, Rembrandt and Peter Paul Rubens... to name a few). Artemisia's work is often to compared to Caravaggio's, who is very well known for his influence to Baroque painting with his dramatic use of light, composition, and radical naturalism. She is known as the only female follower of Caravaggio. Here is his take on the graphic tale of Judith:



His version, painted around 1598, may look very similar to Artemisia's in terms of color or style, but if you look at them side by side, you can see just how different (and more violent!) Artemisia's is.


Caravaggio depicts a more effortless approach to beheading someone, while Artemisia's is messy and more lifelike (or so I'd think... never witnessed a beheading before...) - you can see the anger that she poured into the painting - which I really am drawn to. Also, you notice that the painting on the left does not have the background detail as the other does - she is not concerned with an ornate setting, she is focused on the act. The drama is much more palpable in Artemisia's rendering. This is just one example of her work and how profound it is.




In more recent artist responses to the influence of Artemisia Gentileschi, Feminist artist Judy Chicago invited her to The Dinner Party. No, really. The Dinner Party is an installation of a large triangular table, where 39 elaborate place settings await mythical and historical famous women, Artemisia of course being one of them (seen above). Each setting was influenced by the invitee, serving as the symbolic importance of each woman. Here is her place setting:



Artemisia's place setting looks a lot like the one for Judith (her depicted biblical figure, who has her own place setting at The Dinner Party). Judy Chicago carried over some of the same imagery between the two, since they are often linked in the art world. The colors and luxurious textures used at her place setting are much like the ones found in Artemisia's paintings - the gold even referred to as 'Artemisia Gold'. The references to Baroque patterns, chiaroscuro (a term for the dramatic use of light in Baroque paintings, found in Caravaggio's and Artemisia's works), and theatricality of the place setting perfectly represent Artemisia. The entire installation, now housed in the Brooklyn Museum, is considered to be the first epic Feminist work of art... and the fact that Artemisia is included shows her prowess and influence. Love it!


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Whew! That was a long one. I always intend for these posts to be light and fun little art history snipits, but once I get started... it's hard to stop! I hope this was easy to follow - there is just so much to talk about with all of these subjects. I am glad I could share a female artist, an important one at that, on this International Women's Day. Thank you so much for reading!



Happy Sunday!

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Saturday, February 7, 2015

Artwork of the Week



Following suit (pun intended) from my last post - I am providing you a great post-read soundtrack. Enjoy.

This week's featured artwork is...
*drumroll*





This is my favorite view of the new Neoclassical chandelier at the Toledo Museum of Art. I walk under it every day and looking up to see this is stunning, to say the least. The Spiral Chandelier is a 200-year-old beauty made for the summer palace of Jérôme Bonaparte, Napoleon’s brother and King of Westphalia from 1807 to 1813. Oh the things this chandelier has seen!




The gorgeous chandelier was created by the German firm Werner & Mieth in 1810-1811, and is made of cast, chased and fire-gilded bronze armature hung with cut and polished glass pendants. It measures roughly five-and-a-half feet tall by three-feet wide as it now lights up Gallery 31 at the Museum. They had been searching for the perfect Neoclassical fixture to illuminate the gallery that houses such works as The Oath of the Horatii. 

The Spiral Chandelier and The Oath of the Horatii combo is perfect! The chandelier's intricate, logarithmic design is quintessentially Neoclassical and Jacques-Louis David's 1786 painting is often considered the face of Neoclassical painting. Neoclassicism is the period of the arts (visual works, decorative arts, music, theater, etc.) that drew from the antiquated ideals of Greece and Rome, going back to the "classics". This period aligned with the 18th century Enlightenment, which explains the influence of science and logical reasoning in both the chandelier and the very thought-out painting. David's famous painting, which is a replica of the Louvre's from 1784 (still painted by David and a student), is much different than the competing Romantic or Rococo (see Fragonard's post here) paintings of the same time. Though the ornate Spiral Chandelier seems like it could lean both ways - it is just so opulent!
This post cannot do the Chandelier justice - it is something you just have to see in person! Hey, the Museum is totally worth the trip!
You can read more about the Museum's newest acquisition on the TMA website here

Until Next Time...

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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Suit and Tie


Here, have this play in the background as you read my post.


So the past week or so, Nick has been all about that suit and tie - no, not the song, but he really has been into buying a nice suit. Now that graduation is coming up, he wants to proudly present that new grad school education in a suit! Between budget constraints, sizing issues, and everything else, it has been a slightly difficult endeavor. From Men's Warehouse, to Suit Supply, and to Macy's, Nick ended up with the winning suits from J. Crew Factory -- I taught him well! He went with a cool navy and a nice gray, but of course it doesn't stop there. Then there are shirts, ties, shoes, the whole nine yards. Exciting stuff! 

Of course, it made me long for new work clothes, with my new position and all, but I am the queen of having too many clothes. I did end up getting a couple pairs of work pantaloons, but other than that I am already set! So, after some inspiration from Nick's shopping adventures, I am going to post my favorite work pieces that I have and highly recommend :)


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BLAZERS   ||   I love me a good blazer, emphasis on the good. I feel like these are so hard to get right, at least for myself. For it to look tailored and properly fitting, I feel like I feel constrained. But, when it's right, it's right and all is fashionable and good. Target has great blazers - all three of these are on their website, even on sale right now I believe! I just ordered the jewel tone one on the right, and I am pretty excited because it is longer! Hopefully it is a hit and not a miss. I also have great blazers from the Junior's section (similar) and from the LC line (similar) from Kohls. 




PANTS   ||   Another article of clothing that can be difficult, especially if you have a strange bottom half, like I do. I know everyone's body is imperfect, but I have a big caboose and thighs (with an average waist) and I am on the shorter side. So pants can be tough to fit properly. I found that LOFT has great selection (all three above are from LOFT), I love everything there... and if you wait for a sale, then it is totally affordable (never buy anything full price from LOFT, there will always be a sale within a few days). Straight leg styles are my best friend - I can't do skinny (too tight and unflattering) and trousers drown me. The only problem is that Straight styles are more limited in color/pattern since I assume they think it is a less popular fit. I've also bought some of the Sloan pants from Banana Republic (pricey).




SKIRTS   ||   Before finding the LOFT pants above, I had been wearing skirts or dresses with tights everyday, that got uncomfortable, so I am glad I can wear pants again. I still love work skirts, though! I got a lot of mine from J. Crew in the sale section (see the middle and right) and I have some good ones from Loft, too. My favorite style of skirt for work is definitely the 'flippy' skirt or a-line... the kind that gently falls away from your hips, thus covering my least flattering body parts. Skirts can be an instant boost to a sweater or top!



This makes me excited to get dressed for work this week, actually!
Happy Tuesday!
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Sunday, February 1, 2015

Another January in the Books

* Good February to all! *


I apologize for my absence the past couple of weeks, 2015 has gotten off to a busy start. I can finally announce on here that I have moved up at the museum and I am now working in the Director's Office! It is pretty exciting, though that means I am more likely to miss blogging here and there. Also, I have been working on more essays for Obvi, We're the Ladies, which has been really fun -- last week's essay was a part of our elders-loving week, so I wrote about what I learned from my late Grandma Jo Jo. I hope you read and enjoy it - it was very personal to me and I wanted to properly share her memory :)

Since I have been MIA most of the month, I am going to share some of the things I have been enjoying, whether it is an item I love or a link I want to share:


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EMMA STONE   ||    I used be indifferent to Emma Stone, thinking she was trying too hard or something, but my opinion has changed recently. I think this Awards Season (which I love, you'll see) has already converted me to a definite fan. Her red carpet wittiness, and recognition of the awkwardness of it, is hilarious and relate able. Oh, and most importantly, her awards attire has been fabulous so far! Her SAG Awards dress was FLAWLESS. I am obsessed with it. I darted to my closet and deemed my black blazer close enough so I wore it immediately on the next day.




iPHONE 6   ||   I joined the iPhone game a few years ago with the release of the iPhone 4s, I subsequently had the iPhone 5 after shattering that 4s a year or so later. But, after the 5, I thought I was cool and tried an Android (LG G2)... while it was thinner and bigger, I learned that I preferred the Apple platform, yeah yeah whatever. So! A couple weeks ago, I caved and got the iPhone 6 - not the 6 plus because that thing is just too big for my little thumb-span. It is more comfortable to operate for me and it has met my expectations. Oh, and the gold is pretty. See mirror selfie above - though it is more acceptable because I am using a mirrored armoire in the museum.




DOWNTON ABBEY   ||    I am a Downton fan, have been since the beginning, and I am very proud of them so far this Awards Season! Though they are big in my heart, they had fallen off the awards circuit lately... but they're back! Last season took on some big stories and people on this side of the pond noticed. I was incredibly happy for Joanne Froggatt, as she won Best Supporting Actress at the Golden Globes! Her role as Anna Bates last season totally deserved such recognition. And her speech was amazing. She mentioned how after the episodes aired, she received letters from survivors of rape and she called out one who said she just wanted someone to hear her story. Joanne said, “And I’d just like to say ‘I heard you’ and I hope saying this so publicly means in some way you feel the world hears you." It was touching and important - brava Joanne! Oh, and the cast won Outstanding Ensemble in a Drama Series at the SAG Awards! The new season, which just began here in the US is interesting so far... not sure what to make of it all, but I'm enthralled, as always. Long live Downton!





BASIN   ||   A non-Disney, Disney-located item, well how about that! At Downtown Disney and the Grand Floridian resort (and Vegas, but shhhh) you can find this amazing bath and beauty store. I have just begun my Basin shopping, but after my friends all mentioned how much they loved it, I decided to give it a try. I bought a little barrel of shampoo/conditioner bars. That's right, bars of shampoo and conditioner! I ordered them on Thursday and they came on Saturday, that's impressive shipping. So I had my first wash with them and my crazy hair was noticeably different. It was fun to shake up my shower experience and great to see results right away. My hair was softer while washing/rinsing and much more manageable while combing it afterwards. My hair is silkier once air dried, too! For those of you who have never seen my afro in person, I have ridiculously thick, frizzy, curly hair. Most of the time the curls aren't even pretty. It's a mess. But I like these bars so far! I bought the Good Hair Day shampoo and conditioner, which smelled the clean grapefruit and was a fun pink color, and the Hair Food chocolate-smelling shampoo and conditioner that is specifically for my type of hair. I tried the pink ones first, duh -- can't wait to try the Hair Food ones, as they are supposedly even better for my type of wild hair. Stay tuned...





EMMA WATSON   ||   So more Emma love! I love Emma Watson, no news there, but ummmmm... did you hear the news? She is officially going to play BELLE in the live-action Beauty and the Beast that will go into production later this year. Oh my glob. This is amazing. Now she is going to play both my favorite fictional women! Both Hermione and Belle are smart book worms and they stick up for what they believe in. Both girls choose to love who they want, regardless of easy, more popular options (yes, I am comparing Ron Weasly to the Beast). I am pretttttttttty excited. And I will continue to ignore naysayers who think Emma, a feminist, should never play a Disney princess. Just no. Read my thoughts on this elsewhere, but I am glad Emma is doing this project!

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Well, I am excited for February, as it means Spring is quickly approaching... though, as I type this, it's a blizzard... soooo. February also marks a challenging month for me - I am going to do a NO SPEND February. Yup, no shopping for me and limiting other unnecessary expenses. It is going to be fun... ugh. Wish me luck!


Happy February!

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