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Integrative 2: Seminar + Studio Final LP Reflection

Link to final studio project post

Stay Queer: A Reflection

Artist Statement

One of my favorite aspects of being an art student is experimenting with different materials and techniques. This semester has been no exceptions, I’ve experimented with digital art, plexiglass, live plants, and a variety of other materials and techniques. All this experimenting with materials and different ways of making art has shown me certain materials and techniques that I like and certain that I would probably never use again.  Out of all the materials I used I was most surprised that I liked working with the live plants. There is just something so intriguing about art living art. Though I’m glad that I used my first year of college to really step out of my comfort zone, I do miss just painting for the sake of painting and my next few projects will likely just be impressionist-esque acrylic paintings.

Much of seminar was devoted to figuring out our individual topics of research, but we did study a few texts throughout the semester. Out of all the readings my favorite was Atlanta because I hadn’t seen the show before and that episode made me want to watch the series. It was also a very witty talk on current events,  especially since many of us wrote research papers regarding race and gender. I also like McLuhan’s “The Medium is the Message”, even though I feel as if I’ll have to read it another three times before I really understand the passage. It opened the conversation to talk about the relationship between a medium, its materiality, and the content of the project being produced with that material.

When I use personal experiences to fuel my art I pour more of myself into it and people are able to feel that when they look at the piece. This semester I also used my friend’s experiences to influence my art because I wanted to create a project that speaks to a larger issue. Since many of my friends are queer and quite a few have mental health issues, it felt like an obvious place to draw inspiration from.

Artist Bio

Alyssa Nicole Markowski is a Queens native who is study Illustration at Parsons and Psychology at Eugene Lang. She was inspired to go into illustration after going to a popular performing arts high school, but she couldn’t stand to give up standard academia so she chose a dual degree program. She has a small army of pets consisting of a dog, cat, pacman frog, kingsnake, and a bearded dragon. She divides her time between creating art, tending to her herd of animals, and hanging out with her friends, usually getting bubble tea or watching Netflix.


Seminar Focus (Bridge 1-4)

Bridge 1 + 2

Observing gender

Bridge 3

Visual Essay Collage 

Bridge 4

Library Research and Whitney Exploration 

My reflection on fear piece is also heavily tied to my studio piece because I wrote the response about my social anxiety which is touched upon throughout my studio piece.

An excerpt from my ‘on fear’ piece:
When you’re afraid of so many social situations, socializing has to be well thought out. It becomes a bargaining game: if I talk to this person than I can stay quiet during this class, if I go to this event I can spend the next three days at home, and so on. Not only is it exhausting but it ruins, or in Tiravanija’s words ‘eats’, many possible acquaintanceships, friendships, and relationships, both business and personal.”

Studio Focus (Bridge 1-4)

Bridge 1

Principals and Elements of Art and Design

Bridge 2


Bridge 3


The locations that I visited inspired me to look at not only the way that the media depicts LGBT+ youth and the way that LGBT+ youth are treated (what I’ve already  been looking into) but to also look  at the way that companies market products to the LGBT+ and the line between LGBT+ marketing and rainbows for the sake of rainbows.  The locations also inspired me to look at the way that color (color as in the rainbow, not skin color) is seen in our society because the rainbow, or just the colors of the rainbow, is the main symbol used by the LGBT+ community.

Bridge 4

Whitney Research

What drew me to “Wipe Out’ by Gran Fury over the other pieces in the exhibit was firstly where it was placed.  Since the piece was placed so out of the way many people didn’t notice it which immediately made me want to pay closer attention and figure out why it was placed separately from the other works in the gallery.
The piece is about the HIV epidemic and how it especially affects LGBT people, women and people of color. I want to look at the way that sex and sexuality were shown in art and the media throughout time and the way that it changes. I can look at not only the way that sex has changed in art but the way sexuality and the way heteronormativity has changed in art throughout time.

Bridge 5: Studio and Seminar Final

Effects of Heteronormativity on LGB Teens

Though the United States has become more accepting, it still adheres to heteronormative societal norms. Heteronormativity ostracizes lesbian, gay, and bisexual teens who are at a pivotal point in defining their sexuality. These LGB teens then see themselves as outcasts separate from the idealized norm. The way that heteronormativity ostracizes LGB teens damages their mental health, especially in regards to depression and increased rates of suicide ideations.

Heteronormativity has negative effects on LGB teens in the United States because it ostracizes them, affecting their mental health in relation to increased rates of depression and suicidal ideation.

Both my studio and seminar work focuses on mental health issues in LGB teens. My studio project focuses on 4 individual stories while my research paper takes a more clinical take on the issue, providing one reason why mental health issues such as depression and suicidal ideations may be so high amoung LGB teens.

Final  Reflection

Through seminar I was introduced to McLuhan’s The Meaning is the Message and AtlantaThe Meaning is the Message made me more aware of the importance of materiality and its influence on my project. The episode of Atlanta that we watched showed a relationship between a clinical look at transgender discrimination and a personal story of being ‘transracial’ and though Atlanta is a fictional TV show, that is very similar to the connection between my studio and seminar pieces. Through studio I was introduced to Gran Fury (at the Whitney), Anna Boenish (a quilter), and Tracy Emin (an artist of many different mediums).

Studio allowed me to explore a wide array of materials and techniques throughout the semester. I was able to look at gender and sexuality through the different mediums and get feedb,ack on what worked and what didn’t. Not only was I able to try new materials, but it was encouraged. Brian pushed me to think further and further out of the box in regard to form, material, and content. I was also introduced to new artists and techniques that I can use to inspire and further my artistic practices and I was able to improve my ELP.

In seminar, we focused on a lot of abstract topics regarding the way that we act and think the way that we do. We looked at the meaning of meaning, signs, symbols, and medium. We also explored the ideas of gender, identity, and race. Seminar forced me to continually narrow down my topic and really find a specific topic that I would be able to cover in my research paper. It also made me think more in-depth about the materials that I use in my artwork.




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