On the morning of November 24, 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald, infamous for the assassination of John F. Kennedy, was to be transferred to an armored truck; yet, Oswald never made it to the vehicle. Surrounded by crowds of news reporters, cameramen, and photographers, Jack Ruby was virtually unseen as he stepped forward, drew a Colt Cobra .38 pistol, and murdered Oswald with a fatal shot. “The Shot Seen ‘Round the World” was instantaneously covered by the media, scarring the event into the public’s memory.

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Everyone’s heard the phrase, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” but there are a few instances when this phrase is no longer true. Some pictures have been seen so many times that they no longer have a voice, no longer tell a story, and can no longer share a thousand words. When found in art, these images hold little value as they remain stagnant and unchanged. Read more


Imagine a technology that would allow you to convert a traditional piece of artwork into a digital piece of art, create and compile compositions and sketches easily, and even add an “undo” button to the world of art. When teaching art to children, this technology would allow one to give their students increased freedom, flexibility, creativity, and security, ensuring that they feel challenged, privileged, and safe within the classroom. With this sense of pride and self-efficacy, students are more likely to succeed as they overcome challenges and feel accomplished with their art.

Adobe Photoshop is an innovative technology that can be utilized in the art room to broaden the opportunities students have. Adobe Photoshop, commonly shortened to just “Photoshop”, is a graphics editing program developed and published by Adobe Systems. First released in 1989, there have been several new editions, with Creative Suite 6, or CS6, being the final version released on August 30, 2012. With each new upgrade comes new features and new possibilities as Adobe continues to improve each year.

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One cannot truly experience Impressionism without actually witnessing a painting from the movement in person. This became apparently clear to me after I visited the McNay Art Museum, located in San Antonio, Texas, and found myself before Claude Monet’s Water Lilies painted within 1916 and 1919. This grand piece is a prime example of the Impressionism period and allowed me to truly experience the movement and understand the techniques that comprised it.

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“My work is a mosaic of fragments, collected experiences, information, and images. This mosaic is both ideological and visual. I like to begin with an idea that I allow to develop unhindered to encompass anything from the serious to the absurd. No thought is isolated and the simplest can build upon itself. Layers of connected thoughts revealed in a succession of images link and multiply in evolving variations. In my recent work, for example, I sometimes begin with just a word, but already this word comes with many meanings and connotations. Then I make a connection, a thin bridge, between each word and its images, and other perhaps abstract and veiled yet related ideas. My artworks are often labyrinths of intricate wordplay. I want the words to be read as fleeting and visual impressions that interact with the other stitched images. The figures in my work in combination with the words form a running commentary.”

With so many threads making up an intricate composition, I marvel at Khan’s work and her ability to combine many small parts to create a whole. Her wall works are especially astounding as they combine multiple elements to create an interesting-looking collage, filled with meaning and purpose. I am impressed by the skill and amount of patience it must take in order to create this works of art, especially with a medium that I am not very familiar with. It baffles me how single threads can come together to create what looks like a painting or mural upon a wall.

A man intrigued by the capture of time, Hiroshi Sugimoto is a well-known photographer constantly striving to freeze time within his photographs. Through his multiple series, Sugimoto takes several pictures within a common theme, exploring the use of shutter speed, focus, horizon line, perspective, contrast, and lighting in order to emphasis the passing of time or the contrast between life and death. He is most famous for his photos of empty movie theaters and drive-ins, lonely seascapes, posed museum dioramas, and life-like wax portraits and is well-known for using extremely long shutter speeds. Read more

When first viewing Robert Henri’s painting, La Reina Mora, one notices a lone dancer, posing within a bright light emanating from an unseen source. Contrasted against the dark and obscure background, the woman stands boldly with her hands resting on her hips in an assertive stance, the only subject and focal point within the piece. Staring out past the viewer, she bares a complacent look upon her face, appearing as if she is posing for a portrait.

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Photography is an art that relies heavily on light. In order to correctly capture the image before the viewer, a camera must successfully capture the correct amount of light. This capturing of light relies on film exposure.

By pressing the shutter button, one allows light to strike the film and take a picture and by setting the exposure, one can control how much light is allowed to enter the camera, therefore influencing the way a scene will be depicted. When too much light is let in, overexposure occurs, but when too little light reaches the film, underexposure results. In order to achieve the correct amount of exposure, one must understand many contributing factors such as subject lighting, lens aperture, shutter speed, and film speed.

Obviously, one must learn to compensate for the amount of light that surrounds a subject. When the subject is dimly lit, more light should be allowed within the camera yet when there’s an excess of light, it should be restrained. This control can be adjusted through the camera’s lens aperture through f-stops, the shutter speed through intervals, or even the film’s speed or sensitivity to light. When choosing an f-stop, one must determine whether a larger or smaller lens opening is required. The larger the f-stop number, the smaller the lens opening. The opposite is true of shutter speeds, however. The smaller the fraction, the shorter the amount of time the curtain within the camera is opened and the less light is allowed to reach the film. While lens aperture and shutter speed are the factors most often considered when dealing with film exposure, the film itself may also play a role as films with higher ISO numbers are more highly sensitive to light than films with lower ISO numbers. All factors must be considered in order to correctly set a camera’s exposure and accurately depict a scene.

By understanding each factor that determines the film’s exposure to light, one can more accurately capture the correct amount of light and more accurately create the scene that is desired. Because light is essential to creating successful negatives, it is important to understand and master the factors that govern it.

For my 3-Dimensional Design Final, the class was assigned to make a piece of art that could support a seated person and solve a functional problem that did not necessarily look like a traditional chair.

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Though many pieces of art today are meant for the enjoyment of others as they stand before the work and entertain their eyes, artworks from Ancient Times were often meant to involve the viewer as they enveloped him, astounded him, or even allowed him to become part of the artworks or the stories represented. When exploring the ancient artworks within the San Antonio Museum of Art, one piece playfully welcomes the viewer into Greek mythology as he stumbles upon the statue of a reclining woman. Placed upon a squat pedestal within the Ewing Halsell Wing, the Statue of the Sleeping Ariadne represents Greek myth as it imitates Greek sculpture through the work of a 2nd Century A.D. Roman. Though the artist who created the work may not be known, the myth that inspired the piece lives on.

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With a wild, tenacious manner, the Wild West has blazed its way into the minds of many. Scenes of vast prairies, wild mustangs, and of course, dashing cowboys, suddenly invade the mind when thinking of the American Frontier. It is because of artists that these images exist. It is because paint was thrust upon a canvas and pencils were led across paper. It is because water was mixed with pigment and threads were brought together. From paintings, drawings, water colors, and even textiles, the American Frontier has a face, and it is striking.

At a time when vehicular transportation was foreign, horses reined the lands, and cowboys reined the horses. Inspired by the beautiful conjunction of man and animal, painter, William Robinson Leigh, depicted scenes of the western life. In 1914, he created a series of oil paintings on canvas featuring cowboys riding atop galloping horses. The Roping, displayed in the University of Texas at Austin’s museum, the Blanton Museum of Art, is one of these fine paintings.

At first glance, one is overwhelmed with a sense of dynamism as a stampeding horse is seen galloping towards the viewer. Atop this muscular creature rests a posed cowboy, propelling his lasso above his head, captured in a moment just before he ropes his catch. Through the dust caught up behind the racing animal, another rider can be seen dashing through the undefined background, blurred and minimally detailed, compared to the primary character. Riding in a different direction, this secondary rider enables the viewer a different perspective of the cowboy and horse, hard at work. Clothed in classic cowboy garb, each rider displays a long-sleeved shirt with a bandana tied around his neck and a classic cowboy hat upon his head. These workers clearly illustrate a common scene of the Wild West. Complementing the scene and contrasting with the bright, vibrant colors of the foreground, lay light, pastel rocks and foliage common to the western era scattered all about the scene. Red clay and dirt make up the soil that is kicked up around the horse’s white stockings while gnarled twigs and miniscule shrubs add interest to the barren ground. From the pastel colors swirling in the sky, a sense of morning dawn is created, emphasizing that the cowboy’s work is only just beginning.

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On Thursday, September 30, 2010, I attended the opening gallery reception for the Sustainability Must be Beautiful show located in The Gallery of the Common Experience.

Within the University Honors Coffee Forum in the Lampasas Building, Room 407, of Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas, the gallery provided a quaint, yet roomy feel for the show to reside within. With low lights, all 60 pieces appeared shrouded in a beautiful, rich, golden glow. The environment was warm and comfortable, allowing the viewer to completely experience each piece of art.

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