It’s no secret that I love Instagram. I also love the faux drama created by bitter iPhone users that are upset by the app’s Android launch:

To celebrate this righteousness, here are some of my favorite pictures that I took with Instagram over the past year. Obviously I have a thing for flowers.

Community Collage

I created a collage for an assignment that described community through the lens of Wenger (1998) for my Disruptive Technologies class. It took such a long time, but it was very well received by my classmates. You can check out their comments on the class blog.

Click on the following PDF to see all of the images that went into this collage: CollageElements.pdf

Art as an Aesthetic Experience: Specifically, South Pacific

For a graduate class, I recently had to write a paper about an aesthetic experience I had through art. I wrote about a visit I went on to NYC recently, and thought it might be a pretty good read (if you’re interested)…

Here’s the beginning:
“A trip to New York City and tickets to a Lincoln Center musical show. To some, this may seem like a perfectly cliché vacation for a country bumpkin. For me however, it was a surprisingly transformative experience.”

If you care to read more about my take on everything from NYC street-attitude to snotty theater ushers to breakups, continue reading here.

Oh, and here’s my favorite song of the night to get you in the mood…

Get Up Offa That Thang

With all the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it’s hard to take a step back and remember what’s really important. During a recent walk around my neighborhood, I noticed an advertisement for a NYC’s government-initiative charity program, NYCService. This, coupled with the Weight Watchers Lose For Good™ campaign, seemed like a sign from above that I need to get off my bum and start helping others.

Once I decided to dedicate some of my free time, I needed to figure out what commitments would work best for me. As an art school grad, I naturally decided to look for creative programs around the city, particularly ones that would let me share my enthusiasm for art with others. Lo and behold, there were plenty of options to choose from! The biggest,, features a massive compilation of many city programs, cross-listed for easy access to different types of service. I attended the mandatory orientation session this weekend, and am looking forward to my first project. Another,, specializes in bringing educational art programs and mentoring to underserved children. I’ll be going to their orientation tonight, and hopefully joining one of the program’s ongoing commitments when they begin in September. Wish me luck!

All in the Family

Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about Nature vs. Nurture, and wondering if we’re all destined to become our mothers (or fathers). Which certainly wouldn’t be terrible, just something interesting to consider. Specifically, is weight influenced more by genetics or socialization? After reading a bit on the topic, I still wonder if I love chocolate because my genes influence my taste preferences, or because I learned at a young age that it was a special (and delicious) treat.

There is, however, a lot of comfort in recognizing yourself as part of a family tree. I realized this while studying in Italy a few years ago, in a situation that has become one of my fondest memories.

After a dreary, winter week in Florence, I visited the Uffizi Museum to restart my art-school mojo. I passed through the first few exhibits, feeling homesick and lonely, until I entered the Botticelli room. I immediately stopped in awe to gaze at The Birth of Venus. As I slowly turned around to view his other paintings, I was shocked to realize that Botticelli’s women looked exactly like my mother’s family: tall, pear-shaped, fair and redheaded. My new insight was confirmed by an Italian man who tapped me on the shoulder, pointed to Venus and said, “Look, you are her — she is you! You are love, come have dinner with me tonight?”

Although I politely turned my Florentine suitor down, I left the museum not quite as lonely as I entered. After all, I had just been surrounded by images of my family. Perhaps Botticelli’s models were my distant cousins? Although my hips and skin may not measure up to today’s standard of beauty, I find a lot of reassurance in the fact that they suited my ancestors just fine.

The self-portrait above is a painting I made after this experience.

Botticellie’s original.