TFMS Sixth Film Series Begins with J.P. Sniadecki

On Oct. 1, St. Mary’s Theater Film and Media Department began the sixth annual film series on Ethnography and Alterity.  Filmmaker J.P. Sniadecki kicked off the series with the screening of his documentary titled “Foreign Parts.”

Foreign Parts explored the imminent destruction of an industrial zone and the stories of the residents and workers who depended on its existence.  The documentary, set in the neighborhood of Willets Point, Brooklyn, focused largely on an auto parts scrapyard and its community. “It’s about getting to know the space as it operates,” said J.P. Sniadecki.  The film showed family and friends who lived, ate, worked, celebrated, and struggled in the junkyard. “This is my people, my friends,” said Julia, an older woman who lived in the area surrounding the zone. Other residents expressed similar sentiments about the community.

The film captured the fear of what little the 2000 individuals who worked at the junkyard would be left with once the zone was redeveloped under Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration. The film showed how politics affected this New York community. “It’s a political film but it’s not an activist film,” explained Sniadecki. Yet the film showed the sense of hopelessness that surrounded the junkyard residents and workers. “It’s a shame I don’t know what they’re going to do when this place closes down,” said Sarah who lived in an abandoned car in the scrapyard with her husband, Luis. “It’s getting really hard but this is how I live,” Sarah continued.

For Sarah and others in the community the junkyard was their only option and means of income and shelter. Although the community reorganization committee offered a program through LaGuardia College to the individuals who were being affected by the demolition plans, this was not an option since the residents lived in poverty. “It’s a real source of income but they’re in a difficult situation because they feel the city is neglecting them,” said Sniadecki

The documentary ended showing the community’s dissatisfaction with the redevelopment plans and the open-ended question of what would become of these individuals. After the film’s screening, Sniadecki continued to explain why he chose this location as the basis for his documentary. “I didn’t want to privilege a message, but I wanted to show how they were fighting for the survival of this place,” said Sniadecki. He commented on how he saw the zone to be “a beautiful place” and how he found its “rawness captivating.”

Sniadecki explained that he did not intend for his ethnographic film to take the shape that it did. “I was not trying to make an argument about development. We just wanted to spend time there and see what kind of film would come of it,” he said. However, the audience in Cole Cinema was still captivated by the documentary’s portrayal of the scrapyard residents’ stories. “I really appreciated the sense of community and how Sniadecki captured this collective struggle,” said junior Eric Portillo. “It really makes you sad to see people go through this,” Portillo continued.

The Ethnography and Alterity film series continues with two other experimental filmmakers, Sasha Waters Freyer and Kwame Braun.

Living Wage Forum Addresses Student and Staff Concerns

Many of the concerns expressed by the Living Wage Campaign last year were once more brought to light as students and staff attended the Living Wage Forum Oct. 4, held in the lecture room in Schaefer, with speakers such as Interim Dean of Students Bert Ifill in attendance.

According to Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) member Ashok Chandwaney, junior, “living wage” refers to the minimum wage necessary to live in St. Mary’s County and “make ends meet.” This has been an issue on campus for the last decade. Thus far, the Living Wage Campaign has included a sit-in held in 2006, a Christmas Bonus fundraiser in December 2011, and a Board of Trustees meeting at the end of last semester that resulted in a $1,000 raise for all union members on campus.

“It’s not enough,” said Chandwaney. “I’m not an economist, but I do remember from Econ 101 to know how to adjust for inflation and if you do an inflation adjustment calculation on the new salaries and compare them to the old salaries, the school is getting a pretty good deal out of this because they are paying less value money in inflation-adjusted dollars to our staff members now, even after the raise.”

The first speaker of the event was Dean Ifill, who presented the economics aspect of living wage.

“I come here really as more of an analyst,” Ifill said. “I’m not here to represent the administration, and I’m not here to advocate one way or the other; but I want to talk about some of the things surrounding living wage that apply to St. Mary’s that I find particularly intriguing. Looking at living wage, I see three kinds of dualities.”

These three kinds dualities interact, which makes issues like living wage a complexity. The first duality was the definition of a wage. Ifill explained that from an economist’s point of view, a wage could be seen as a price, as a way to determine how to reconcile a demand for a labor and a supply. However, it is also a source of income, and depending on the position you approach the issue from, you can have different perspectives on how you feel the administration should set those wages.

“For the people that work here, there are several labor markets at work that have to some extent determined what the wages are,” Ifill added. “Even people in the same ranks get different incomes, and it’s not because we value one more or less, as much as it is what the market demands. For a number of workers in the union, the market is fairly local – so there are a variety of different wages being offered, in part because of the way the market operates.”

The second duality refers to whether St. Mary’s as an institution operates as a community or an enterprise.  According to Dean Ifill, it is a combination of both considerations, and trying to reconcile those is a challenge, because depending on the perspective, there are differing rules that apply in terms of power and value of labor.

The third duality mentioned involved how decisions are made on this campus, as Ifill stated we have an ideal of “shared government” which means each constituency on this campus has not only a voice but a vote, or at least a feeling that they are included in decision making processes. However, Ifill also pointed out that in an enterprise, there are rules and procedures that do not involve the population, adding to the conflict revolving around this issue.

The forum continued with a reading of statements collected earlier in the year from staff members, highlighting some of the struggles that have resulted from lack in pay. The issues presented included retirement planning difficulties, health care coverage concerns, and countless other examples of the struggle to make ends meet.

Assistant Professor of Mathematics Dave Kung also spoke at the forum, and presented some of the potential solutions that have been discussed. Kung began by explaining how the college budget works and where the money comes from. Thirty percent of the money comes from the state, and over 70 percent comes from the students (particularly from tuition). “This means that if we want to pay something extra, we don’t have a whole lot of places to go to find that extra money,” Kung said. “Tuition has almost doubled in the last decade but where is that money going?”

According to Kung, the majority of cost-drivers are places that the budget does not have much control over or have been agreed on as necessary for the campus; including health care coverage, retirement benefits, fuel costs ($1.5 million are spent every year on fuel oil), a bigger international education department, and new facilities. Pay and benefits take up approximately 55 percent of the budget.

“The vast majority of pay groups on campus have been kept at inflation,” Kung continued. “They’re not part of the problem or the cost. This includes faculty at all levels, and most levels of staff. There have been three groups that have beat inflation in the last decade, and those are the people at the very bottom (because of things like living wage), secretaries to executives, and the executives. Those three groups are the cost drivers on the salary side.”

Kung explained that by looking at this as a math problem, they way in which we set out pay level based on the national labor market is a recipe for inflation. He continued by speaking about upward and downward pressure which balances out faculty pay but does not affect the executives on campus, because they are a small pool of people and therefore do not experience downward pressure. According to Kung, this is normally kept in check is through social forces (such as the Living Wage Campaign), and tax rates.

“I’m looking for a structural solution. The idea that I want to present to you is the idea of 10:1, capping the ratio of pay on campus so that the person making the most on campus does not make more than ten times the person making the least,” Kung said. “This would cause downward pressure on the executives. We are 12.5:1 at the moment, and it won’t be that hard to get us down to 10: 1; you could set the living wage so that it would move with inflation, establish a floor for your wages, and put in place levels in between.”

The forum concluded with an open discussion where students and staff were able to voice concerns and ask questions about potential solutions and plans. According to members of the Students for a Democratic Society, there will be at least two more forums held later in the year to discuss the issue further.

Miss Meghan: SexFest!

Dear Miss Meghan,

What is this ‘SexFest’ event I keep hearing about?

-SchoolIsCool-

 

Dear SchoolIsCool,

First of all, I appreciate you taking the time to be a fictional person asking a question I made up just so I could write about and self-promote SexFest. Thanks.

The short answer to your question is that it is an awesome event where students can come learn about sex and sexuality. In costumes.

Longer answer is that it will be held on Saturday, Oct. 27 from 1pm-5:30pm. We have an exhibit hall area with off campus agencies, clubs, sex games (like sex Jeopardy), free stuff (tons of condoms), snacks, sex secrets, and other awesome stuff. Last year we had a giant Vulva, draw your own orgasm, Burlesque Club performance, and condom balloon animals! We will have raffles throughout the day (as well as during our keynote speech), t-shirts, and stickers for the first 200 students who show up. At the keynote presentation we will also be having a “best costume” prize, so dress up. I will also be in costume, so it will be worth it just for that.

Our keynote speaker this year is Dr. Timaree Schmit who, sticking with the Halloween theme, will be interactively presenting on: Vampires, Leatherface, and Girls in their Underwear: Sexuality and Fear in Horror Films. Timaree Schmit, Ph.D. has been a professional sexuality educator for over a decade, starting as an HIV prevention counselor and tester, and is now an adjunct professor of human sexuality at Widener University, a syndicated sex columnist, host of the Sex with Timaree podcast, and guest lecturer and consultant on issues related to sexual health, diversity, media literacy, and social justice. Her work can be found at on iTunes and at SexwithTimaree.com. She can also do a mean dinosaur impression, but she only does it if she really likes you.

The event is put on by the Peer Health Educators and Programs Board and this will be our second annual SexFest event. If you or your club would like to get involved, have an idea for the event, a question, or just want to tell me how great this is, email me at mkroot@smcm.edu. You can also find out the details on the Peer Health Educator Facebook page (SMCMPHE). See you there!

Sincerely SexFest is going to be awesome,

Miss Meghan

 

Things Get Hairy on the Campus Center Patio

On September 25th, students wishing to donate their hair for a good cause could sign up and receive a free hair cut, plus a drastic new look, knowing they did a good deed.
Organized by Services and Social Change, hair can be donated to one of two groups, or dropped off. According to one of the coordinators, Katie Morgan, class of 2013,”Stylists come and donate their time. It’s all volunteer based, and depends on how many people are interested.” The stylist, Mis Amber, has come for the last three semesters, and only does this for St. Mary’s. “I figure, why not? It’s for a good cause.”
In the past, they have accepted donations for Locks of Love, a charity organization that makes wigs for kids under 21. Most recipients of the wigs have a medical disorder called alopecia areata, which causes the hair to fall out and has no known cure. The wigs help keep their confidence up and have a brighter outlook on their future. This semester, they added Pantene Beautiful Lengths, an organization partnered with the American Cancer Society, that provide wigs for women facing cancer. They understand that women can feel a loss of identity when their hair falls out, and the wigs help make them feel themselves again.
This year one, six people donated hair, and they received two drop-offs. For many, it was their first time. Emily Cerna, class of 2016, gave eight inches to Pantene. For her, it was a very personal decision. “My aunt had breast cancer and lost all her hair, knowing that I could help is good.” Losing so much hair can be a shock at times, and the donators knew how important having hair can be to help, and how crazy it can be to lose it. “If you had asked me two weeks ago if I’d be cutting off eight inches of my hair, I’d call you crazy!” In the end though was she proud of her donation? “I am glad”.

-Orion Hartmann

College to Switch From Webmail to Gmail

Over winter break, the student and faculty emails on campus will be converted from Microsoft Exchange to Google Apps.

Jennifer Wright, the Assistant Director of User Support and Learning Technology Services, said, “It offers a lot of advantages, both for students and for the institution. For students it means larger email inboxes, so it’s moving from 5-gigabyte to 25-gigabyte inboxes.” Wright added, “Google allows colleges to claim a domain and then within the domain we can create accounts, much like we do for Exchange, but it also offers us Google Docs, Google Spreadsheets, Google Forms.”

Up until now, only alumni had emails that consisted of “@smcm.edu” in Gmail. However, starting this spring, alumni, current students, and faculty alike will have their emails put into Google Apps. In addition to having access to Google Docs, Google Spreadsheets, and Google Forms, Google Apps will also offer a calendaring solution for campus. Wright said, “It allows us the ability to share calendars with groups, and the calendars have some features that Microsoft Exchange calendars don’t have, like the ability for faculty, for example, to set up a block of appointments and have students sign up.”

There has long been a need for electronic tools that allow for more efficient collaboration, and collaboration tools has been a large part of what Google has been dedicated to, for several years. Because of this dedication by Google, and the conversion to Google Apps, it will be easier to share electronic documents within a class or within committees and groups. Additionally, significant in the reasoning behind the conversion is that many students on campus are already familiar and comfortable with Google Apps, especially Gmail.

Campus Plan Includes Food Services Changes

On September 21, an all student forum was held at Glendening Annex to allow students to consider a series of large-scale changes to food operations being recommended for the Fall 2013 semester, and to voice their opinions. Luke Mowbray, the college’s Facilities Planner and Sustainability Coordinator opened the presentation at 5pm to a modest audience of one student for the 1st and 2nd year forum, the smallest of all the forums held so far. With a detailed and PowerPoint illustrating goals for the food program, common complaints and proposed solutions, Mowbray talked the student in attendance through the changes the campus intends to implement for the 2013-2014 school year, and how they had come up with a design it to greater fulfill student needs. The proposed changes are a part of the 2011-2026 Campus Master Plan, a 15 year plan to redesign campus facilities to better fill the college’s needs, improving the quality of student life in everything from the content of their homes and classrooms, to the contents of their stomachs.

 

The Food Service Master Plan is designed with the primary goals of improving hours of operation, food costs and customer satisfaction. Though surprisingly absent from Friday’s presentation, St. Mary’s students have been very vocal outside of the forums about dissatisfaction in previous semesters related to the hours during which food venues are open, repetition in food variety and blandness in the weekend menu. Other common complaints include a lack of vegetarian and vegan options, the value of meal costs and meal plans, and the distance of food services from certain parts of campus. In addition to the consideration being given to operational changes, the campus’ contract with its current food service provider, Bon Appetit!, will expire in Spring 2013. At this time, the college will consider a number of different service providers in addition to Bon Appetit, a decision in which students will be the key decider.

 

In addition to addressing issues of quality, repetition and vegetarian options, the centerpiece of the new plan would be an ‘Anytime Dining’ Option in the Great Room. ‘Anytime Dining’ would allow the Great Room to be open seven days a week from 7:30 am to 8:30 pm without interruption, providing full dining services (ie. Home, Grill, International, Vegetarian and sandwich and salad bars), during regular meal hours, and limited dining services in between. The trade-off, for the sake of cost and efficiency, would be the discontinuation of Quizno’s and the Grill in the Upper Deck. According to Chip Jackson, Associate Vice-President of Facilities and Planning, with the Great Room open continually throughout the day, it would be performing the function of Quizno’s and the Grill as a between meals food service, and require all-day staffing and food production. As a result, these other services would need to be replaced by the anytime dining plan. No plans have been established for what will happen to the Upper Deck space, and students are encouraged to submit their suggestions to the college.

 

In lieu of Quizno’s and the Grill, the Pub and the Grab n’ Go in Lewis Quadrangle would both be changed into a more cohesive food service, with the Green Bean would be moved from Goodpaster Hall to the main Pub, and the Grab n’ Go being moved to the main dining area. Additionally, the Pub would be open seven days a week, with extended hours of operation on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. These  changes are intended to address the most prevalent issues with food service; hours of operation, customer value and the distance between students on North Campus and food services. The most notable change, however, would be the complete overhaul of the meal plan. Instead of operating on a block system, students would be offered three new meal plans with the ‘anytime dining’ option, giving students access to dining services without limitation, with exception of flex dollars and a certain number of guest passes. Though some people have voiced concern over how this would affect the ‘swiping for two’ system (giving credence to the sharing community that St. Mary’s prides itself on being), what is essentially a ‘V.I.P pass’ to the dining services in the words of Mowbray and Jackson, has been very well received by students. Students could also have a plan with a limited number of ‘meals’, in which only one meal would have to be redeemed at a dining service, rather than a number of them determined by the time of day, as wit the block system.

 

According to Mowbray, reception of the plan so far has been very positive, and after a warm reception at September 25’s SGA meeting, the new plan appears to be receiving the support of students and staff to be implemented. There are several students, however, who still voice displeasure with the idea of the removal of the Upper Deck. “Absolutely not. The Great Room food isn’t always consistently good, and for me, the Upper Deck always provides something that’s at least edible. The system works just fine right now.” says sophomore Zachary Mintz.  Still other students, while disappointed, feel Quizno’s and the Grill are a fair trade for an increase in value and quality. “I eat at Quizno’s a lot, but if the Great Room were to be open all day at a reduced price, that would be great!” says transfer student Will.

 

Although the plan is garnering general approval, Mowbray and Jackson wish to remind students that the plan is just a draft proposal at this time, the details of which have not yet been finalized. Another open forum, one for students and one for faculty, will be held on Tuesday, October 2nd at noon in Campus Center 205. The community is strongly encouraged to attend and make their opinions and concerns a part of the discourse. As Chip Jackson puts it, ‘You eat the food. It’s your quality of life.’

The Neurobiology of Aggression and Violence at First Psychology Lecture

On Friday, Sep. 28, students and staff attended the first lecture of the year for the psychology department, titled “Neurobiology of Aggression and Violence, the Importance of Heterogeneity to Development, Diagnosis,Treatment and Prevention.” The presentation was given by Dr. Stuart F. White, a visiting neurologist from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIH).

White began the lecture by describing and defining aggression, giving examples from humorous YouTube videos and scenarios. He explained how aggression is caused, highlighting the parts of the brain that respond to threats, based off of research on animals. There are a few systems in the brain that work together to create a response when a person feels threatened; one being the amygdala where emotional reactions are processed, the other being the prefrontal cortex, where we weigh the risks and benefits and make decisions.

“Generally speaking, in most people, these two systems work quite well together,” White said, in reference to how it is natural to react when threatened. “It clearly has an adaptive component. We’re going to talk about what happens when those systems go wrong.”

White went onto describe two types of aggression. The first type is Reactive Aggression, which is responsive to threat, motivated by emotion, and has no premeditation. This type of aggression is based on the survival component. Instrumental Aggression is goal driven, involves some forethought and is largely influenced by the cortical regions. Studies have shown that these systems can happen simultaneously and are independent of one another.

“Without appropriate reaction to fear, we are getting insufficient reinforcement and learning in terms of socialization,” White said. “That’s what allows people to be instrumentally aggressive.”

He then focused on the development of antisocial behavior and violence, which is caused by a variety of factors. Antisocial behavior rapidly increases at about twelve years of age and peaks at about fifteen, declining again at twenty. White mentioned that eighty percent of adolescents perform some sort of antisocial behavior, asking the audience to recall any “bad behavior” they may have exhibited at the age of fifteen.

The majority of the rest of the lecture focused on types of aggression disorders, including Childhood Onset Conduct Disorder and Adolescent Onset Conduct Disorder, and Conduct Disorder with Callous Unemotional Traits. According to White, the disorder in adolescence is not psychopathology the way most think of it, and is likely to have the most treatment response.

However, his main focus was on children with Conduct Disorder with Callous Unemotional Traits. In order to be diagnosed, the children must meet the full criteria for Conduct Disorder as well as at least two of the following over a twelve month period: lack of response or guilt, callous lack of empathy, unconcerned about performance (but completely capable), and others.

These individuals are likely to be manipulative and violent, and were not necessarily affected by environmental factors or parenting, although genetics play a large role. These children were the only group to show high levels of Instrumental Aggression and exhibited emotional deficits (did not respond to aggression, fear, etc.). According to White, these children have cognitive deficits as well, where in they have great at acquisition learning, but not reversal learning, which indicates a problem in decision making. The concern is that left unattended, this disorder is correlated to psychopathy in adulthood.

White concluded the lecture with suggested treatment and prevention methods, and discussed the importance of appropriate diagnosis.

“What you call things actually matters because what you call them reflects how you think about them,” White said. “How you think about these things in term of diagnosis can really affect treatment and prevention. My goal is to get you all thinking about neurobiology when making these decisions. Neurobiology should inform diagnosis, informed diagnosis should inform treatment, treatment can and should then re-inform neurobiology”.

It has been found that behavioral management programs are not effective when treating this disorder, however intensive corrections based treatment have resulted in reduction of violence.

“It was really cool to see someone put all that together” said Professor of Psychology, Eric Hiris. “I hope the student got a lot out of it because it really was an integration of fields in psychology.”

Dr. Perline Shows Students the Light at NSM Lecture

On September 19, Dr. Ron Perline, a professor of calculus and differential geometry at Drexel University, presented his topic, “Non-Euclidean Flashlights: A Tale of Two Blackboards”, for the Natural Science and Mathematics Colloquium.

Dr. Perline, who was the PH.D advisor of St. Mary’s professor of mathematics, Emek Köse, formatted his lecture to appeal to non-mathematics majors as well as aspiring mathematicians. Department Chair & Associate Professor of Mathematics, Dr. Susan Goldstine said that since “Dr. Perline gives excellent talks for a general audience…we agreed that he was a great candidate for the NS&M Colloquium series.” Dr. Perline insisted that one of the goals of his lecture was “to give a math speech that had no equations.” By the end of the lecture, Perline was glad to have met this goal.  “This was the first time he gave a substantive mathematics talk with absolutely no equations in it, and he was quite pleased that he pulled it off.” added Dr. Goldstine.

Dr. Perline began his speech by explaining how he became interested in researching the parabola reflections of flashlights. He stated that his students had confronted him with a problem which made him ponder using calculus and geometry for the focus of parabola reflection. Dr. Perline carefully described how the path of light is reflected at “different speeds and distances” and how “you can predict the paths.” He further explained how his research correlated with building a flashlight. Using images of geometric shapes and graphs of light paths, Perline said “this is what you would do if you lived in a strange world and wanted to build a flashlight.”

Dr. Perline defined each mathematical term he used in order for the audience to follow him.  The definitions were helpful in analyzing not only how light works in flashlights but also how cameras and mirrors can be attached to robots and used in reflecting light. In detailing such an advanced process and applying his mathematics to other fields, Dr. Perline still managed to avoid using technical terms and equations. “What’s important is the geometry that we had to guide us.” said Perline.

Students in attendance were enthusiastic about the lecture and what Perline had taught them. First Year student Alyson Thompson said “it was really cool. It was interesting to me because I want to be a math major.” Others expressed similar sentiments with two rounds of applause for the speaker. Dr. Perline was equally interested in the SMC community. “He specifically  mentioned how impressed he was with St. Mary’s College of Maryland and all of the people he met here, students and faculty alike.” Said Dr. Goldstine.

Perline was pleased to find how eager students were to apply his lecture to other areas. “This shows that there’s so much to be invented.” declared Thompson. Goldstine stated, “Our goal with the NS&M Colloquia in math is always to have students see interesting math that they wouldn’t see in their classes…he also showed the audience ways in which he and his colleagues use math to build things in the real world.”

‘Aelita’ Launches Soviet Science Fiction Film Series

On Tuesday, September 25, the Soviet Science Fiction Film Series, Comrades in the Cosmos, sponsored by the History Department, kicked off with the viewing of the film, Aelita, at 8:00 p.m. in Cole Cinema.

The event produced a good-sized turnout that included students and faculty, as well as St. Mary’s County residents. Prior to the showing, audience members had varied motivations for attending.

Junior Elizabeth Keesler, who was there because the movie fit in with her current studies in an International Relations course, said that she expected to see “communistic and imperialistic viewpoints in the film, and the perspective of the filmmaker and how it contradicts American viewpoints or capitalist, democratic viewpoints.”

A local resident said that he had a keen interest in the Soviet idea of science fiction, and emphasized his curiosity in the way films were made in this part of the world in the early twentieth century.

A Soviet science fiction silent film, Aelita, as mentioned in History Professor Dr. Thomas Barrett’s e-mail to all students concerning the film and in the Comrades in the Cosmos film schedule, depicts a Russian rocket engineer who dreams of a Communist revolution on Mars and envisions building a spaceship in order to take part in the uprising. Much of the film’s content, however, conveys the economic hardship in the Soviet Union during the 1920s.

As the night began, Professor Barrett opened with an introduction that provided an overview of the significance of this 1924 picture, directed by Iakov Protazanov. According to Barrett, Aelita came to the screen during the New Economic Policy period in history following the Russian Revolution, but before socialism established itself in the Soviet Union; though the Bolsheviks were in power at this time, capitalism and bourgeois culture remained in place.

“It’s a film about revolution,” said Barrett, “but it’s mostly set in the Moscow of the 1920s with its housing shortages and crowded trains and urban poverty.” Barrett added that Aelita is “really less about Martian revolution and more about the corruptions and misguided goals of the 1920s.”

Commenting on the relevance of Aelita today, Barrett pointed out that, without proper context, this film would be difficult for most contemporary audiences to relate to. This notwithstanding, general themes do come through the film, chiefly that it is essential to focus on the work to be done now to bring about socialism, rather than to dream about less important things, such as the Martian world portrayed in Aelita.

Barrett believes the next viewings in this film series “will be interesting for people because they’ll have a stronger basis of comparison with contemporary science fiction and allow a general audience to think about Soviet science fiction a little bit differently.” The next film dates for this series are October 11, October 23, and November 6 in Cole Cinema at 8:00 p.m.

 

 

Artist Spotlight: Johanna Siobhan Guilfoyle

Some people are born natural artists, and Johanna Siobhan Guilfoyle is certainly one of those people. With her bright brown eyes and pixie cut, she’s all spunk with a hint of edge and her artwork is completely unexpected.

As a sophomore biology/art double major student her pieces are primarily biology based, as opposed to the modern art most people imagine upon meeting Guilfoyle. This mix of subjects results in truly amazing pieces such as the one she did for “The Artist as Naturalist,” a book done in collaboration with the St. Mary’s Arboretum. Her painting of a knockout rose (pictured here) was done for the book which was linked with the class “The Artist Naturalist,” which she took last semester.

Guilfoyle attended Baltimore School for the Arts, something that is very apparent in her style of drawing. Guilfoyle said, “It is a very traditional school in the sense that I really only took one digital art class and the rest was very classic drawing, painting, sculpture, etc.” This has definitely influenced her current art as she prefers these traditional mediums. “I love illustration and working with media such as illustration markers and gouache,” Guilfoyle added.

Guilfoyle is currently taking Figure Sculpture, as well as Intro to Visual Thinking, and she thoroughly enjoys both classes. Her Figure Sculpture class is especially helpful for her dream job: being an anaplastologist. Anaplastology is a very specific medical field dealing with the construction of prosthetics and Guilfoyle has wanted to work as an anaplastologist since the 7th grade. She has made biologically accurate replicas of the human face before (also pictured here) and the work is very detailed and laborious.

At the age of nineteen, Guilfoyle is a very talented young woman who knows where she wants to be in a few years time.