Students Who Do Cool Things: Elizabeth McAvoy, the face of Alex Katz’s commission for the High Line and the Whitney Museum of Art’s public art collaboration

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Katherine and Elizabeth

 

If you’ve strolled along the High Line in the past six months, and managed to look up between sips of Blue Bottle Coffee and captioning the perfect #highline ‘gram, you’ve probably seen Alex Katz’s public art commission on the side of the TF Cornerstone building in NYC’s Meatpacking District. Katz’s installation of Katherine and Elizabeth (2012) is part of a long-term public art collaboration between the High Line and the Whitney Museum that introduces new art to the space every eight to twelve months. Thus, it is no coincidence that Katz’s work is installed directly across from the Whitney Museum’s new home, set to open on May 1. Katz’s works were first displayed at the the Whitney in 1974 and the museum hosted the artist’s first major retrospective in 1986. While the Katz installation serves to link the current Upper East Side space with the museum’s new digs, the public art collaboration project between the High Line and the Whitney is about more than just bridging uptown and downtown. The Whitney director Adam Weinberg said that the installation is part of “‘reconnecting with the neighbourhood where we had a deep historical connection,” noting that the Whitney’s brand new Renzo Piano building is just blocks from the museum’s original home on West 8th Street in Greenwich Village. Katz’s history with the Whitney as well as his previous involvement in public art projects, such as the 2005 installation of the Give Me Tomorrow billboard above the ever-popular B Bar and Grill and the 2010 New York City Taxi Project, made him a natural choice for the collaboration’s first installation. But how did Katz’s work featuring RISD’s own Elizabeth McEvoy make the cut? The curators chose Katz’s 2012 painting, Katherine and Elizabeth, given that it would read well from a long distance. But if you haven’t had the chance to check out the scaled-up 17-by-29 foot digital print of Elizabethyou might have the opportunity to run into the real-life version on College Hill. Well actually, Elizabeth McAvoy is currently studying abroad in Italy, but keep an eye out for her next Fall. In the meantime, check out my interview with Katz’s RISD-raised muse after the jump!

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BlogDH: How long have you been a subject of Alex Katz?

E: I started sitting for him in 2010, so I guess five years now.

BlogDH: What it’s like to sit for and be Katz’s subject?

E: His studio is beautiful. He has a summer home in Maine, which is where I’m from, so the painting sessions take place in his studio on a small lake. While he paints I have to sit very still for a couple of hours. So, for entertainment, he tells me various stories from his life as an artist, people he’s met, and just general thoughts on pop culture. He’s hilarious.

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Last Call: Dillon O’Carroll

As the semester progresses at the speed of light, the senior class is beginning to make peace with that fateful day in May: Commencement. Until the Class of 2015 leaves us, BlogDH wants to highlight all the interesting things they’ve been up to. To this end, we’re (re)starting the series Last Call, which features seniors reflecting on their experiences at Brown. Each featured senior will tag another senior for the next installment. Find the other chain of Last Call here

Then + Now

Then + Now

People might know me as… Depends on where you find me.

In my time at Brown, I am most proud of… Not leaving the football team after I had to stop playing. I felt a strong urge to [quit], because I felt angry for my circumstances. But I always remember that I was in the 50th percentile in my high school and had mediocre test scores and would not be blessed to be here without them allowing me the opportunity. I’m grateful for the program and for the sport.

Also, athletes are people too and we enrich this school. I wish some folks at the BDH Opinions page would realize that. We can read, you know. We’re humans who sacrifice for the school’s name and promote the university. And sports create jobs, too.

On Friday night, you might find yourself… Don’t ask questions you don’t need the answers to. Besides, I’m only doing this interview so I won’t get fined.

Three things you wish you knew freshman year…

  1. I wish I knew Day 1 that President Ruth Simmons was going to step down.
  2. What Brown Charge is.
  3. The definition of heteronormative.

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Iron Maidens: A Spring guide to cardio machines

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March is upon us, and the weather is getting slightly more pleasant. Soon, it will be so warm that it will be difficult to justify eating macaroni and cheese three meals a day (difficult, but not impossible). As you emerge from the dead of winter, idle thoughts of going to the gym may float across your mind. Supposing you decide to get the blood pumping in service of your vanity health, you will be faced with a wide variety of cardio machines in the campus gyms. If your diet is 120% protein and and you can discuss the finer points of squatting form, perhaps these machines are of little consequence to you, but for the rest of us who answer “Do you even lift?” with, “Well, no, now that you mention it,” cardio is our bread and butter. Or method of burning the bread and butter. Clichéd metaphors aside, there are a variety of options for your distance workouts. Like other areas of life, most of these choices are wrong.

Treadmill

Old reliable. The treadmill is the bane of excuses everywhere. “It’s rainy.” “It’s -2 degrees Fahrenheit out.” “I went to Kabob and Curry last night.” Whatever reason you can come up with to dodge running outside, the treadmill is always there to remind you that you’re a lazy bum. The only excuse left is that the weather is too poor to even get to the gym, which is unlikely in the event that the gym is actually open. The treadmill offers the wonderful experience of turning oneself into a hamster, running forever while gazing at the same stretch of wall (though many models come equipped with TV screens). On occasion, you meet the person, clearly the scourge of public restrooms everywhere, who elects to use the treadmill right next to yours, despite the fact that there are a dozen others available. Miscreant.

In spite of its monotony, the treadmill does have several key upsides. The first, which it shares with running in general, is that your treadmill music can never be too ridiculous. Running is a stressful enough activity that no one can ever give you shit for your tune choice. If “Call Me Maybe” dubstep remixes are all you want to listen to, the treadmill is your machine.

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Another advantage of the treadmill is that it puts less strain on your joints than running outdoors, which is great if you, like me, are secretly a geezer in a 22 year-old, hip injury prone body. Also, the machine takes care of your pacing for you, so you can run more or less without thinking.

Bear’s Lair Treadmill

These deserve their own section, nestled as they are in the carpeted-gym madness of the Graduate Center. Firstly, only 2 of the 4 will be functional on any given day, so either run in the wee hours of the morning or perfect your cage fighting skills to capture one by force. If you live near or in Grad Center, there’s probably  part of you urging you to put in some extra effort and go to Nelson Center for your workout. Pay heed to that voice; it is your friend. Continue Reading


The Hunting Ground screens at Brown

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“My rape was bad, but the way I was treated in the process was worse.”

The Hunting Ground is a documentary that explores the world of sexual assault on college campuses, and the processes through which those cases are handled. BlogDH went to IFF’s screening with the intention of gathering student reactions at the end of the film. The night did not go as expected. What started as a montage of adorable college acceptance videos, quickly escalated to a platform for the interwoven narratives of college sexual assault victims across the nation. The overarching theme was to follow the first two women in this movement to file a Title IX case against their school, UNC Chapel Hill. The personal story arcs for so many of the victims made the story hit close to home, with one student who exited the theater saying “that could be me.”

As the documentary layered the various complexities that victims face on college campuses, at times going against inert administrations, athletic infrastructures, and the fraternity system, one would stop to catch a breath and think, “this must be the end of the movie,” only to be hit with another punch to gut. When the film let out, very few attendees wanted to speak with us. Some shook their heads, declined to comment, and one person said, “I have no words.” We gathered what afterthoughts we could, but we also would like to acknowledge that the film was very intense, and many people were unable to talk about it immediately afterwards. Another student said, “I don’t know if I have anything positive on the subject,” illustrating the moroseness that hung over the audience, despite occasional messages of hope.

In many of the featured cases, students filing sexual assault charges were downright ignored. When you did see change, it was often followed by a lack of institutional memory. Many have clamored for college administrations to inform their student body of potentially dangerous areas on campus in regards to sexual assault. Wesleyan did that just a few years ago, by sending out an email warning incoming freshman to stay away from a certain fraternity house, because they could not secure it as a safe environment. It was met with outrage from alumni, parents, and some students. The next year, they did not send out the email, and by Halloween a student was raped in the fraternity house. Despite the anticipated backlash, another student leaving Granoff still insisted that “Brown-specific sexual assault data should be reported to students, because the issue goes well beyond protecting image (of the University).” Continue Reading


There are two Brown alums on the new season of Survivor…

Last Wednesday, Survivor premiered its 30th season, and while I thought my friends and I were the only ones watching, it actually drew a really big crowd (10.04 million people, to be exact).

Upon further research, it turns out that Brown is the leader in Ivy League Survivor contestant. [Ed’s note. Is this something to be proud or ashamed of?] A resounding four people having competed in the show, although none have won so far.

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Suck it, Princeton!

Two of this season’s contestants are alumni from Brown, both representing the “White Collar” tribe–Max Dawson ’99 and Shirin Oskooi ’05. Coincidentally–or maybe not–they were named by host Jeff Probst as the two players from the White Collar tribe to watch. In the first episode, they formed an alliance, and SPOILER ALERT: voted out another White Collar tribe member. Both of these Brown alums have great chances of winning the show. Get to know them a little bit better after the jump.

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Introducing CLNK, a new fashion line by Brown students

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If you’ve been searching for a clothing line that seamlessly blends African prints with modern street style, your dream has just come true. If that search hasn’t kept you awake at night, well, your dream might have just come true anyway, because four Brown students have just dropped a gorgeous fashion collection that appeals to all crowds.

Everything started last semester, when Chimezie Udozorh ’16 was looking for African inspired pieces to add to her wardrobe. She commented, “It was really hard to find clothes I liked, and if I did, they were really expensive.” Her and her brother, Kelechukwu Udozorh ’18, were working with their dance team’s sewing machine to make performance outfits, when the idea fell on them to make clothes of their very own. What started with family sweaters for Christmas, turned into a winter recess project to launch a fashion line. Leadz Dorcé ’16 (also featured on folkmade) and Nora Hakizimana ’16 joined the team, and after weeks of nonstop work, the collection launched in mid February.

Chi and Kele are from Nigeria, and they are primarily responsible for producing the clothes. Leadz is from Haiti, and she’s in charge of advertising, logo design, and the website — with the help of computer science concentrator, Joshua Chavez ’16. Nora is from Rwanda, and heads up the business and numbers end of the line from abroad this semester. CLNK is a special opportunity for consumers to purchase unique fashion with a rich cultural heritage. As Leadz put it, “we are the source material.”

If you haven’t fallen in love already, check out some specific reasons why you should after the jump. Continue Reading