Month: February 2017

[YAC Responds: Thalia & Madison on What is the Purpose of Art in a Time of Crisis?]

[Thalia Medrano]

Is our world in crisis? I won’t lie, it seems to be, and if it isn’t now it will be soon. There’s no particular novelty to this crisis. We’re still dealing with the same old issues we’ve always dealt with, and finding more so called solutions the continue not to solve anything. And in 50 years I can’t help but imagine we’ll be right back here again.

img_5817I read somewhere that meaning comes from repetition; if something only happens once, it might as well have never happened at all. This is seen all the time in the context of religion. How many times have you heard someone say, “If there’s no life after death, what’s the point of living?”

But I say that meaning isn’t rooted in repetition or continuation, and is instead found in change and rarity. And in a time when we are facing the same old issues we always have, we have to seek out something new. Hope comes from possibility, from creation. There’s no value to a world that can’t change.

So remember that we aren’t stuck, there is possibility in everything. History isn’t doomed to repeat itself so long as we keep creating. And there’s no wealth of creation and possibility like art.  

[Madison Hart]

When walls are built and curtains drawn. When the human soul masks its pain. When all the world seems enraged. When the only hues are black and gray. It is then that hearts long for and even needs a splash of color breaking through the rain. The art of hurt is so easily displayed on canvas, paper and a window pane. It is here where mortal enemies bond together as they share one thing in common, despair. When we realize that we’re not all that different, we fall to our knees and humbly exclaim, “we are brothers, we are sisters, let us stand.” This revelation explodes. A country landscape, a colorful myriad of tiles, a poem for the soul, a bench to sit and observe. So, that when the walls crash down and the curtain is torn. When a soul is released from unthinkable pain. When all the world seems peacefully sane. It is then that we see the black hues turn to cherry blossoms and gray’s turn to rainbow sunsets. Then we sit on the bench, the bench with the placard that says, “to my brothers and sisters with whom I stood tall, we made the walls fall.”

[YAC Responds: Abigail & Lucy on What is the Purpose of Art in a Time of Crisis?]

[Abigail Munson]
Dip
The world
In
Honey
Everything slows
To a tangible
Stumble
The billboards
Stuck in the sky
Bleeding like
Crucified martyrs
Grabbing your attention
Proclaiming–
Emotional, economic, egotistical
DEVASTATION
This honeycombs inside
Your head
Growing like cluster crystals
On your skull
Manifesting a temple
In flashing renaissance gold
And dirty green
You learn to worship this
To create the divine
From signs, and shows
And endless streams of
Fluorescent words
Halo-ed and hollowed
Eternalized icons
Your HOME-MADE GOD
Lives in technicolor
And watches this EDEN-REALITY
On Repeat.

[Lucy Earl]
Oxford Commas
You know what art is?
The oxford comma.
Never have I seen such a beautiful symbol
Except perhaps the interrobang (look it up)
But that’s not the point.
Oxford commas are empowering.
Look at how long they’ve survived.
That oxford comma has endured hatred and debates,
And yet some loyal people have understood the importance of the good old oxford comma
So there it stands.
A beautiful disruption
Yet it manages to pull everything together as one.
Let’s all be oxford commas.
Let’s disrupt this crazy world as beautifully as we can.
And we’ll pull each other up along the way.
Because this is art
And it’s saving us all.

[YAC Responds: Aiyana & Christian on What is the Purpose of Art in a Time of Crisis?]

[Aiyana Spear]

I believe that art doesn’t need a purpose. To do art, all you need is the drive to do it. But in times of crisis, art is one of the most valuable tools out there that can help people.

When I’m scared, I turn to stories. When I’m feeling hopeless, I turn to words. My sister turns to music, my friends turn to comics, movies, shows, watercolors, calligraphy, and (of course) books. In class when we are discussing tough topics, we always take breaks and do drawing competitions or lip sync battles.

img_5816Happiness, love, hope are the most important things that can help a person through a crisis. Art creates these emotions. Stories help to ground, help make sense of seemingly incomprehensible things. Music can bring peace and stability. Movies, shows, provide escape, painting is peace. All forms of art are works of love, and that love, that power, can help people get through crises, get through hell.

[Christian Wilson]

If you’re stranded in the middle of the forest with a Rembrandt, don’t be afraid to use that priceless son of a gun as kindling in a fire. One of the most common deaths when stranded in the wilderness is hypothermia, and if you can’t get a fire going, you will get sick and you will die. Remember, Van Gogh used to use burn his paintings for warmth and if an artistic master has no qualms about setting artistic masterpieces aflame, then you shouldn’t either. Even if the only reason you’re holding the authentic oil on canvas painting is so you can auction it off to a shady group of Russian oligarchs, remember that despite its acclaim, The Night Watch is not worth your life. Although, given the fact that that painting is twelve by eleven feet, you could probably also the canvas as a tent. While you lay awake at night, wondering if you will die in the untameable Scandinavian wilderness, you can also study the intentional strokes made by one of the greatest painters that ever lived. Art students across the globe have studied every tiny intricacy of the famous tarp that could shield you from the harsh elements. To me, that’s real prestige.

[YAC Responds: Ellen & Sierra on What is the Purpose of Art in the Time of Crisis?]

[Ellen Huggins]

Art is the byproduct of everything that occurs us, so the result of more happenings in our lives; more chaos, more anger, is more art trying to find the meaning of it.

[Sierra Karas]

art is everything

Life is far too monotonous. We drive the same way to work every day. We come home to the same house, the same life, the same bed. We are caught in our habits because they are easy and because they are comfortable. But art is not supposed to make you feel comfortable. It is supposed to invoke feelings you haven’t felt before, it is supposed to be a call to action, a call to something, even if that somethings is small and simple. Maybe the message is just to be kind. Maybe it’s to change the world. And maybe, those are the same things.

Art is there to wake you up, to jolt you and bring you back to life, it is there to scream and to shout, to direct your attention to what truly needs your attention. When we’re in crisis, chaos, or social disruption, we need this wake up call. We need a platform from which we can voice our opinions and get messages for change out there.

We need to unite, and what better way to unite then to see similar or dissimilar opinions plastered down the boulevards until your eyes and ears and hearts have nowhere to hide from the problems at hand. (more…)

[YAC Responds: Adam & Katy on What is the Purpose of Art in a Time of Crisis?]

[Adam Dorsheimer]

The fight for hope can be a painful one, especially when you’re fighting against large men armed with cleavers and your hope is a Picasso in the rain. This is not a metaphor, we were terrified.

[Katy McDonald]

My heart often hurts when I look at color. The brininess of the world can often be painful when you wish it to be dim.  The pulsating purity of the sky it what reminds us that we are in fact alive.

The walls and structures that we have build to hold on to what we believe in crumble and fade, by that bright sky reminds us that the rest of the world is still there. I think that’s how I find myself here time and time again.

Surrounded but by the remnants of torched souls. Without the bright colors of the outside world, the faded colors of the past comfort me. There was once a time when every creator looked upon the world with a heavy heart, of that I am sure. They look at the hand dealt them by fate and decide that it was enough.

Maybe the sat down maybe the thought, but they all created. No matter the poverty, corruption or despaired they thought they could may the hard world seem a little more beautiful.

I like to think that there are people who would look at the bright sky the told him to live and there began to compose. That is just simply a theory. (more…)

[End of the Year Road Trip]

by Katy McDonald

We were driving in the car, well I was driving, they were yelling at each they way they always do.  Screaming every brilliant topic into submission.  The back seat fell into a compatible quite.  Jamie and Sasha must have run out things to say, for the time being.  My shotgun rider, Margaret had miraculously drifted off half an hour ago.

The car passed a sigh, Marfa ½ mile.  Marfa that was a weird name for a town.  

My thoughts were echoed from the I assumed was asleep girl next to me.  “This seem a great place to spend the worst year in the history of… the history of what.”  She yawned.

“Time.”  Jamie.  “It was the worst year in the history of time!”

“Yeah.”  Sasha giggled.  “Twenty sixteen was one hundred percent the worst year of all time.”

I didn’t say anything.  Personally, I thought that was a hard statement to make, I mean we had only been around for twenty-two years out of history and we didn’t know about the years we had no written record of.  I had a feeling that some of the years from 1914-1945 were pretty rough.  But I was tired.

Marfa, Texas by Alejandro De La Cruz Follow, Creative Commons Copyright

Photo by by Alejandro De La Cruz Follow, Creative Commons Copyright

“Okay just hear me out,” Margaret said.  She must have seen the look on my face or something.  “So Britain left the EU!  Alan Rickman, David Bowel, Prince, and a bunch of other people who we all loved died.  Hurricane Matthew happened.  There was no snow like anywhere.  There were the attacks in France and Belgium.  Organ had an army control presence there for a bit.  There were wildfires everywhere, did I mention the snow! Oh, and America failed at the whole democratic thing we have pumpkin for president.”  (more…)

[MMXVI RESIDUE DISPOSAL]

by Abigail Munson

  1. Denver is crying, and tangled goodbyes stick to the street like dusty black gum.
  2. You still wear the same army boots your Dad bought you in ninth grade the day you said you wanted to be just like him. Then you decided that camouflage wasn’t for you. You would rather be seen. You would rather be heard. What happened to you toy soldier? You’re so hollow now, I hear the wind in your bones.
  3. My dog died and I didn’t cry until 3 weeks later.
  4. I met a God defined by disaster and I loved him. He lent me his favorite books and left poems and dirty jokes tucked in the saddest parts.
  5. BIG MAN WALKS ON TINY FEET
    HIS SHADOW BOMBS EVERY STREET
    NOWHERE TO GO
    NOWHERE TO HIDE
    BIG MAN’S SHADOW STRETCHES NATIONWIDE
  6. You grew mushrooms in your basement like you were some wacky moribund Ray Bradbury character. You spent weeks in the dark “finding yourself” you never left your house, you rotted away living through the veil of creation. You danced and licked at the heel of being erratic and played into it like sick puppy needing a fix. Maybe Bukowski will send you a gorge of red wine and some audacity. Keep drawing your spirals and huge eyes honey, keeping loving your bathroom floor and the way you mother just walks past your door knowing she can’t save you. On August 12th you called me from the hospital for the 14th time this year. (more…)

[The Apocalypse or My Life So Far]

by Madeline S. Dean

  • I was born eight days after Y2K caused all of the planes to fall out of the sky, all computer programs to spontaneously crash and time itself to stop.
  • I was eight during the Great Recession. I remember all of the graphs of stock falling down, down, down, into a deep hole of an economy that the country would never return from.
  • I remember the time the United States went to war with Russia over a crashed helicopter in Syria.

    Photo by Rick Bolin, Creative Commons License

    Photo by Rick Bolin, Creative Commons License

  • I was twelve in two-thousand-and-twelve, and I remember when the super volcano at Yellowstone erupted, causing all kinds of natural disasters.
  • I remember when Russia took over Crimea and Ukraine and then kept spreading, all over Europe until the United States had to step in. With nukes.
  • I remember when Iran got a nuclear weapon.
  • I remember when the Ebola epidemic devastated the United States, and everyone was afraid to get within a foot of each other.
  • I remember the Zika epidemic that followed, and how it made everyone lock their doors and windows and not leave the house.
  • I remember the apocalypse, the world ending so many times and in so many different ways.
  • And so, looking at all of this, I can’t help but feel that the future is bleak. All I’ve ever known is one end of the world after the other, so how could the future be any different?

[Ten Reasons Why 2016 Was Not Very Good]

by Adam Dorsheimer

-Dabbing
-The presidential election
-Having to listen to people complain about the presidential election
-Brexit
-That one Chainsmokers song that goes like “noh nah nuh noh noh nah nuh noh”
-That incident with E. coli at Chipotle (wait, was that 2015?)
-The Orlando shooting
-My favorite video game store getting robbed
-Denver real estate prices
-One of the digits was not a prime number

 

[CHECK!]

by Madison Hart

Meet Lisa. Lisa is your average woman. Except she makes a ton of lists…on sticky notes…everywhere. But this time, she put her 2016 goals on a nice sheet of crisp notebook paper. Tonight is New Year’s Eve. After a long, tiring day as a barista, she retires to her home office in anticipation of crossing off all her goals…

Let’s see… (rummaging through desk drawer), I know my nice neat list of goals is in here…somewhere (chucks stapler over shoulder, barely missing her cat) Ah ha! Here it is Mr. Fluffy (cat purrs) Now, I’ll just snuggle up in the big armchair by the fire and mark off everythiSticky Notes in Elevator photo by Pekka Nikrus, Creative Commons License
ng I have accomplished (sits with nose in air).

ONE. Baked cookies every Saturday

Oh ya! That was an easy one-CHECK!

TWO. Never missed an episode of my favorite shows

Barely (wipes brow), college almost got in the
way (perks up) CHECK!

THREE. Found Mr. Fluffy a friend

Um…well…Mr. Fluffy, you really should work on your first impressions (Mr. Fluffy hisses). Just saying…NOT CHECK!

FOUR. Remembered to floss at least once a week

They really should stock that near the gummy bears so I remember to buy more…NOT CHECK!

FIVE. Went to the Gym with BFF once per week

Whoops, ya, I ditched her after the first one…(lightbulb moment) That’s why she hasn’t called me…NOT CHECK! (Mr. Fluffy glares) Ya, ya, I know…bad friend

SIX. (Tries to smile and shake off impending gloom) Successfully completed first semester of Acting School. Well, I did successfully land the prominent role of background dancer #1. Oh ya! ( Pencil checks and Mr. fluffy meows) But, but—(hangs head and sighs) UNCHECK.

(Stares into fire for unknown length of time)

Goodnight Mr. Fluffy, I’m too downtrodden to stay up for 2017. (Throws list into fire) I think I’ll resort back to sticky notes. (leaves room)

(White cat with pink bow rubs against Mr. Fluffy) CHECK!