Toxic air will shorten children’s lives by 20 months, study reveals

Fiona Harvey


These kinds of shocking statistic make it impossible to not fear for our future.  The life expectancy of future generations should not be one that is falling, especially for causes that they are not involved in.  China, a country that is known for its poor air quality, has proven that change is possible, if work is put in, as they have taken action and slowly rebuilt the air quality of their country. However, I do not want America to hit rock bottom, in order to see that action must be taken.  Therefore we must be proactive in correcting the damage that has already been done, and work to keep it from further declining, or else our future will be severely compromised.


University charges students for protesting against border patrol

Sam Levin


It is heartbreaking to see students being punished for their bravery.  Peaceful protest is a fundamental right, and we are lucky to live in a country where we have the freedom to do so.  Therefore, when people are being punished for calling out the wrong-doings of the government, it is hard not to see issue with this.  I believe that this generation holds a lot of power, and should not be punished for expressing anger for the inhumane issues surrounding border patrol in America.  This article made me think back to when I was in high school and took part in a walkout for gun control, in light of the school shootings happening at the time. I remember receiving an email earlier in the week warning students against walking out, and the consequences that would ensue.  I remember being angered at my school, who had claimed to be progressive in their thinking, for trying to squash such a valuable movement. I also remember the students who bravely organized the walkout on the down low, and were willing to risk short term consequences for the greater good.  I remember the power I felt, when I walked out with my fellow students. Protest is such a valuable tool, one that I reward these students for taking advantage of, despite the injustice they faced because of it.


Climate change: Warning from ‘Antarctica’s last forests’

Jonathan Amos


When I was around 10, I remember going to the movie theatre and watching movies that talked about wildlife in various corners of the world.  I always marveled at the animals in the wild, and admittedly cried at the predator prey scenes that ensued. There was always an underlying tone of tragedy, as these ecosystems were on their way to decline.  These movies and scenes always stuck with me, as they made me realize that the world was not limited to just my experience. Now, with the earth on an exponential decline, it is heartbreaking to see the effects that global warming is having, particularly in the Arctic.  At this point the facts are undeniable and these animals homes are being taken away, for good. Whenever I read articles in this nature, I am reminded of my 10 year old self who would watch hours of Animal Planet, and revel in the behavior of these species. It is both shocking and upsetting to see how much has changed in such a short span of time, but only motivates me further to look for a solution.



Naomi Klein

Cortez has proven time and time again that we must invest in our future.  I believe that this outlook is one that is extremely important. I think that this message is one that has the ability to really change how people feel.  When talking about the environment, it often feels hopeless, and is hard to see the point in change, when things are already so far gone. However, I think that the value in this project is the hope that it ensues.  We should be excited about our future and the power and resources that we have. With the research that has been discovered, it feels more like an accessible plan, rather than a lost dream. I also appreciate the integration of art, as a part of the fight to make people realize the importance of this new green future.  Art has held so much political power for as long as history has shown, so utilizing this tool will only benefit the fight.


Elizabeth Warren’s plan to end student debt is glorious. We can make it a reality

Astra Taylor


The student debt issue is one that I notice frequently, as it is something that I am directly involved in, as a new college student.  The cost of higher education has skyrocketed, making it inaccessible for many. Too many times, I have heard stories from friends who must forego their dream school, due to financial issues.  College is something that should be prioritized, as it allows for the education and growth of this generation, the ones who will soon be responsible for fixing the many problems we face today.  This is not possible unless the government aids in giving these students equal opportunities to succeed. Through countless civics classes, I have learned about the education system of other countries, and how higher education is virtually free.  The cost of college in America is ridiculous, yet continues to climb. I believe that no student should be denied the opportunity to learn. We are blessed to live in a country where we have access to education, so why are we making it so hard to obtain.  Too many times, I have seen millenials and members of my generation be called lazy for their inability to fund their education, but when I hear that my dad payed less that $10,000 a year for college, it is hard to feel like all the blame is on us. I believe that We must put in the effort for Warren’s plan to become a reality, as it can drastically change the outcome of our future.


Tracking the toxic air that’s killing millions

Mark Smith


When reading articles such as this one, it truly puts into perspective how bad our environment has gotten, and how much of a problem it truly is.  Polluted air is easy to ignore, on a day to day basis, as we are not privy to the effects that it is having, as it is something that has built up over time, to the point where this is the air quality that we are used to.  However, when looking at the bigger picture, and seeing statistics of how the health of people, globally, has declined it is hard to not feel fearful. This is an issue we must tackle now, as it is affecting children (i.e. our future).  We must turn to the people in charge to take action, by this I mean politicians. If we plead and show that we will not idly watch as our earth declines, they will be forced to take action. I believe that this will be a crucial issue in the 2020 election, and I am excited to be able to have a voice when that time comes.

The Rubin

My journey to the museum was complex but well worth the trip.  After making an accidental pitstop at the Rubin Museum of Art, I eventually made it to the 8th floor.  I was greeted by a friendly man and quaint, one room, gallery.

My eyes were immediately drawn to a bubblegum pink installation in the corner.  As I walked closer, I learned that these were trash bags, inflated with air. Upon further inspection, I noticed two pieces of paper in each bag, each with the word ‘Love’ written on it.  Artist Maren Hassinger filled these bags with the breath of love, each bag representing the joining of a couple. This installation creeps up the wall and appears to be fragile, showing the fragility of love.  

All the pieces were made up of recycled materials, put together to form a work of art.  One of the larger installations contained flattened bottle caps that were attached by wire.  The pieces were not flush against the wall, they had a natural shape to them, creating ridges and shadows along the wall.  The color of the piece comes from the natural color of the various parts of aluminum, which translates to an array of grey.  Anatsui, the artist, calls this an in between color, as it is neutral. This grey area, no pun intended, gives a sense of calm, that allows for the viewer to take in the materials, without distraction.

The final piece that I visited, caught my eye while walking through the museum.  I took a closer look and realized that these were silhouettes, formed from leather.  The artist, Shin, used recycled/ leftover materials from Marc Jacobs and other designers to create this series.  This stuck out to me as I have been hearing a lot about a ‘capsule closet’, which is a minimalist approach to wardrobe, as you only keep around ten items to form several different outfits.  The brand that pioneered this idea uses recycled fabric to make its clothes. This method of turning found materials into art, cuts down on waste and repurposes it into something useful.

Space and Materiality 1A

For my second object, I chose something more utilitarian, something I see everyday on my walk to class. I chose a dark green mailbox, permanently stuck to the sidewalk, weathered from years of residency.  This green mailbox is tough, when you touch it, you feel the roughness of the metal, from years of erosion, but you also feel its strength. It is sturdy and shows signs of dependency. It is uniform in color, one that coats the whole, almost as a seal, a sort of armor, used to shield it from the harshness of the outside world. While the smell of this one object was not obvious, it was surrounded, and took in the smells of the city around it.  A blend of the people and the polluted air that is almost as permanent as the object itself. While I did not taste the object, I assume it would have the same tinge of metal as would come from biting down on a fork, pungent and off putting. The object itself, however, is not off putting, it is a representation of communication and community.

Once you look beyond the color, the seal, you see the broken down construction that aided in its strength.  It has hinges, although covered by paint, and most likely no longer functional, that provide an opening, a way in.  It has four solid feet on which it bears its weight. It is made of a sturdy metal, most likely steel, which helps in its permanence.  It is constructed of highly calculated curved and straight pieces, that fit perfectly, as puzzle pieces. The preciseness of each piece adds to its appeal as a solid object.  The green color blends it into nature. It is industrial in use and organic in aesthetics.

I chose this because it is a mode of transport that connects people who are otherwise, not close in distance.  It is a pathway for communication. Even though its construction is industrial, its use is emotional. It is the first step in the offering of a love letter, a message of condolence, or appreciation.  It is man made and its use is incredibly human. This idea of construction as a way to appeal to human emotion is incredibly inspirational. In my own work I hope to find ways to allow people to connect to the art itself, or one another.

Space and Materiality 1A

For my first ‘object’ I chose an article of clothing, not just because it is beautiful as a whole but because it is fascinating when broken down.  This is a dress. A dress from Christopher Kane’s Fall 2015 runway collection. When I first saw this garment, to me, it looked like a second skin. Because of the mesh and the fit, it very clearly conforms to the body.  What draws my eye the most is the delicacy of the piece. It looks organic and easy, before delving into the construction. The second thing to note is the abstract pattern. At first glance, it appears to be a collage of embroidered blue lines.  After continuing to look, you see the collage of bodies that meld together to create a pattern. Overall, this piece is dependent on sight, especially when one is only able to view it from an image, rather than having the experience of seeing the model move in person, therefore one has to fill in the blanks on its construction and intention.

This garment is built up by layers. The first layer appears to be a type if mesh or  see through fabric. The material is soft and has a lot of movement. There appears to be a couple layers of this and they connect at the neckline with a thin, scalloped edge seam.  The layers are varying in length and the top layer is the longest, falling around mid calf, where you can see the skin. As for the embroidery, it is done with black and dark blue thread that overlaps multiple times throughout the pattern.  There is also a thin black belt, tied at the waist, in a bow. The edges of the fabric around the arms, and at the bottom of the dress, appear to not have a seam. Therefore there are rough edges of the natural end of the mesh.

I chose this piece because Christopher Kane has been one of my favorite designers for years.  His clothing appears to be natural and is easy to look at. I love the delicacy of it and how it appears to mold to the model, which adds to looking at the image as a whole.  It allows me to take in the garment with the model, rather than the clothing alone. What I love about fashion is the personality behind it. Kane is able to connect the people to his garments, making it appear more personal.  The construction looks effortless, despite the amount of work that went into it, which is something that I strive for in my own art.