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You have officially made it through your two months of College!  This is only the start of your hopefully amazing experience here at UofM and with Living Arts.  Read below for some upcoming events, cool happenings, spotlights on current members of the community, and a look back at all the creative things that happened in the last month.

Group Photo - 2014-2015

Upcoming Events

42 Hours of Re_Creativity - Friday, October 24th, 8pm - Sunday, October 26th, 2 pm.  Come check out this annual competition in Creative Re_Use run and participated in by some of your fellow Living Artists!

Haunted House - Friday, October 31st, 7-10 pm, Living Arts Creative Suite

Arduino Workshop - Sunday, November 2nd, 1-3pm  with Living Arts Alum, Mihir Sheth, '15 Computer Science Engineering

Web Coding Workshop - Thursday, November 6th, 6-7:30pm with Living Arts Alum, Zach Boulanger, '16 Computer Science Engineering

All Community Meeting - Sunday, November 9th, 3-6pm with special guest Amy Chavasse, Associate Professor of Dance

Open Mic Night - Wednesday, Nov 18th, 8pm, Blue Apple 

Student Spotlight: Sherrian Yu

Sherrian Yu is a freshman Architecture major in the Living Arts community this year intending to pursue an Art minor as well.  What many of you may have noticed in the last few months is that she is often creating very impressive paintings.  According to Sherrian she draws and paints for around 3-4 hours per day and enjoys doing so, further evidence of her passion for art.

As an architecture major she is especially interested in form, and as such her paintings aim to accurately portray the subjects, as opposed to being abstract representations.  Similarly, while she tries to incorporate the inherent architecture of an object in her art, she also appreciates the art that is in architecture.  Her painting style and general view of art focuses on things that are beautiful and aesthetically pleasing.

Sherrian’s favorite painter is Robert Hagan.  His paintings are realistic while also romanticizing the subjects and he has been one of her biggest inspirations in her own work.  Another way she finds inspiration is by looking through pictures and deciding which themes or subjects to use, without directly copying.  With this method she will also often combine ideas into something unique.  Another way she finds inspiration is by simply surrounding herself in art, whether by creating her own gallery in her room or by seeking out other people’s art.  To her this is a good way to be constantly evaluating and improving upon her work.  Every time she paints something new or uses a new technique she can feel herself improving.

What she likes most about Living Arts is that it is an environment where people are actually doing art.  To her this is a good way to become inspired in her own painting.  And since she creates her art mainly for the benefit of other people Living Arts is a good way to accomplish that.  Sherrian says that she wants to be a peer mentor next year, so we are happy that her creativity and inspiring work will stay with the Living Arts community!

Peer Mentor Spotlight: Harsha Devaraj

Harsha is a sophomore Peer Mentor this year majoring in Art and Design.  One of the interesting things that he does to improve his creative process is during long school breaks he will visit a major city that he hasn’t been to before.  What makes this even more unique is that he will live on the streets, with everything he needs for a week packed into a single backpack.  For him this is mainly a good way to get some quiet introspective time to himself.  Something people may not think too much about is how little you talk when you are on your own.  He said that on average he would only speak 20-30 words per day, mostly to strangers he meets while traveling.  Because of this he ends up observing much more about the people around him.  Little things about their daily lives and problems they are having are things that he finds very interesting to see, especially since they are outside the protective bubble of college.  

As of now he has been able to do this in both New York, NY and Chicago.  Each of these cities presented different experiences, both concerning the ease of finding places to sleep and in general the atmosphere of the city.  The main issue with Chicago was that, it being the windy city, it was often too cold.  The subway worked as a decent place to stay for a few days but being under a bridge was not as “romantic” as it is often portrayed in movies.

Artistically while on these trips, Harsha says that one of the most interesting things is the way the sky turns into “shapes”.  In places like Ann Arbor where there isn't much of a distinctive skyline it is very easy to see vast expanses of sky.  But in cities like New York where there is a very compact building layout, the sky is obstructed.  He likes to draw and write journals while on these trips and the shapes of sky blocked out by the buildings is often the subject of those drawings.

When asked why he puts himself in these unique situations and how that relates to his work as an artist he explained that it enables him to become a more interesting person.  He included being a part of Living Arts as something that serves the same function.  When people want to express an idea or share an experience they need the vocabulary to be able to do so, something that can only really be done through experiencing it first hand rather than through the patronizing filter of the media.   Art to him is a form of communication, so everything he experiences gives him even more thoughts to communicate and express in his art.

Creativity Goes Green!

Harness your Creativity to support environmental change!

Why should you get involved?
- YOU can make an impact on campus
- Engage creatively while reducing your environmental impact
- Work with a Living Arts alumna and your fellow Living Artists!

Questions, email Jhena Vigrass jvigrass@umich.edu

Community Throwback 2014

All Community Meeting with Special Guest Osman Khan

Living Arts students explored the Creative Process with Professor Osman Khan from the Penny Stamps School of Art and Design.  Professor Khan introduced the students to his personal approach to creating thought provoking works of of art. Through a series of drawing exercises, students leaned first-hand how varying the medium used in the creative process can alter the perception of the artwork itself both for the creator as well as others viewing the work. 


Detroit Museum of Art Tour

Students spent an afternoon immersed in art and architecture at the Detroit Institute of Arts, one of the world’s finest art museums. They found out new ways to think about and understand contemporary works in a “looking lab” with Lauren Fretz Thompson, Education Specialist for ArtsEngine. They also explored Mexican muralist Diego Rivera’s famous 27-panel Detroit Industry fresco cycle, which explores industry and technology as the indigenous culture of Detroit. Towards the end of the visit, they had the chance to explore the entire museum on their own or join a docent-led highlights tour.

Canvas Painting

In a workshop led by peer mentor Tasha Gillum, Living Arts Students painted canvases to be displayed on the walls of their residence halls.  Many different styles of painting were used, which aptly represents the variety of creative processes among students in the community.

All Community Meeting Special Guest Andrew DeOrio

Creative Computing:

Students experienced the creative world of computer science and engineering with Dr. Andrew DeOrio.  In this hands-on session, students were creative makers and problem solvers, and engineered a solution to a problem.  The main tools used were computing devices called Makey-makeys that interface a computer to the real world.  By the end of the session, each team had a working demo and had experienced the creative side of engineering.  http://www.andrewdeorio.com/ 

Junkstrament Wrap-Up

One of the first Living Arts activites run this year, the junkstrament building compeition was an intensive intro to the Living Arts community.  Hopefully you all got to know your mentoring group during this and had lots of fun creating an instrument out of junk! All of the final junkstraments were amazing feats of creativity, and you should all be extremely proud of yourselves!

Brain Storming Phase

Sketch Phase

Sketch Phase

Clay Modeling Phase

Final Building Stage

Final Building Stage