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Dig Deeper: All About Birds

By Ethan Shea

"'Delafield's Ground-Warbler' by John James Audubon"

“Delafield’s Ground-Warbler” by John James Audubon

"Flyer for Bird Poetry Workshop"

Flyer for “A Bird Came Down the Walk: A Creative Writing Workshop”

On Nov. 4, Falvey Library will be co-sponsoring two events that explore the artistic potential of birds and birdwatching. A writing workshop with Nathalie Anderson, a Philadelphia poet who recently retired from Swarthmore College, will give attendees opportunities to consider the various ways of putting visual observations of these spirited creatures into words. This exercise will be supplemented by discussions of pictures and videos of birds.

A second event will celebrate the publication of a book titled Birds of North America. This book will be displayed at The Drawing Room in Philadelphia with images by Susan Hagen and poems by Nathalie Anderson and Lisa Sewell, who will all attend the event.

The first event will take place at 4 p.m. in SAC 300, and the second will occur at 6 p.m. in Falvey Library, room 205. Both will take place on Nov. 4.

To prepare for the upcoming festivities, I’ve provided a few links for those who want to dig deeper into the intersections of birds and art. In addition to literature regarding birds and bird-concerned artists, I’ve found some images of birds, all available in Villanova’s Digital Library, that will get your creative juices flowing.

Dickinson Electronic Archives

These archives give curious readers the opportunity to explore anything and everything about Emily Dickinson. Her poem A Bird, came down the Walk is one of the most famous examples of bird-inspired poetry. In fact, the upcoming writing workshop is named after this piece of literature!

"Bird Talk Flyer"

Flyer for “Birds of North America: A Reading and Artists Talk”

The Raven

This poem by Edgar Allan Poe is another well known example of bird poetry. Published in 1845, The Raven is an incredibly eerie piece, giving a very different impression of bird imagery than Emily Dickinson.

Birds in Medieval English Poetry

Michael Warren’s book, Birds in Medieval English Poetry, takes readers back to the Medieval Ages in his discussion of birds as symbols in Medieval texts. The relationship between the poems Warren studies and the natural world is highly debated in this piece.

Here is a list of pictures and paintings of birds available for viewing in Falvey’s Digital Library:

Susan Hagen’s website is another great resource for bird images. I encourage you to check it out!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Headshot of Ethan Shea

Ethan Shea is a first-year English Graduate Student at Villanova University and Graduate Assistant at Falvey Memorial Library.


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Photo Friday: “Eye-Dentity” on Display

Anna Jankowski showcases her "Eye-Dentity" painting.

Anna Jankowski, 23′ CLAS, showcases her “Eye-Dentity” painting.


On Friday, Sept. 30, Villanova students attended an Art and Identity Painting Event in honor of the University’s Inclusion Week. Sponsored by the Center for Access, Success, and Achievement (CASA), Jeanne Brody, PhD, Art History Professor, discussed the role of public art, identity, and representation while students created art reflecting their identity, culture, and experience at Villanova.

Anna Jankowski ’23 CLAS, a junior communication major and Falvey Library Student Employee, says, “I loved attending this event for Inclusion Week to learn more about how art can be both functional and meaningful! I titled my piece ‘Eye-Dentity’ because I used complex colors and symbols inside my eye which represented a part of me. I included some aspects that were very obviously tied to my identity, like my astrological birth sign. Other symbols, like a flower, were more abstract and represent the growth I’ve gone through to bloom as my current self. I included a nature collage around my eye to represent the beautifully complicated world we live in and how I, and the things I love, fit into that world.”

Stop by Falvey Library’s first floor to see Jankowski’s painting and art crafted by students who attended the event!


Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 


 


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Identity Painting Workshop During Villanova’s Inaugural Inclusion Week

A student painting from the Identity painting workshop


By Anna Jankowski

This year marked the inaugural Inclusion Week at Villanova University. The series, which ran from Sept. 27-Oct. 1, was sponsored by the Student Government Association (SGA) and the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ODEI) in partnership with many groups on campus. In honor of the series, the Center for Access, Success and Achievement (CASA)  and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) invited students to an “Art and Identity” painting event on Thursday, Sept. 30 in the Idea Lab (ground floor of Falvey Memorial Library). This painting event was one of the final events of the week, which celebrated the various intersecting identities on campus.

Students learned about how identity closely impacts art and how we may not be conscious of the ways that art is all around us. Public art on campus includes The Awakening, also known as the “Oreo,” as well as St. Augustine’s Students in front of the St. Augustine Center. Students learned and discussed the differences between these two art pieces on campus in terms of interaction with the pieces and their significance to our community.

During this Courageous Conversation workshop, students were able to create their own art projects linked to their unique identities. First, students took a close-up selfie of one eye, and then they sat down to sketch their own eye on a canvas. Next, students picked various symbols or drawings to represent their experiences and identities. Some students chose the Spotify logo, and some chose flags of countries from which they originate. Some students represented their major through a beaker full of chemicals.

Each student interpreted the project in a different way! No two eyes looked alike.

This was a great way to cap off Villanova’s Inclusion Week and to celebrate the various individual intersecting identities at Villanova.

You can see these art pieces displayed on the first floor of the library from October to November. Take a closer look to see if your own identity resonates with any of the pieces displayed!

 


Anna Jankowski headshot

Anna Jankowski CLAS ’23 is a Junior Communication Major from the Baltimore area who ​​works as a Communication & Marketing Assistant in Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 


 


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Cat in the Stax: Appreciating Hispanic Visual Artists

By Ethan Shea

"Food City by Yunuen Cho"

“Food City” by Yunuen Cho

To keep with recent “Cat in the Stax” themes of exploring different forms of art, and to honor the start of Hispanic Heritage Month, I want to call attention to a few visual artists of Latin-American descent.

Gaining access to these artists’ works was made easy with the help of Falvey’s Art History subject guide and a database called Artstor. Here, I was able to find plenty of images of paintings and sculptures by several artists. Scrolling through this database was like walking through a museum without ever leaving my desk, so if you enjoy visual art, I recommend you check it out! There are also plenty of art books located in our stacks that are a pleasure to thumb through.

Research aside, here are a few artists definitely worth knowing!

"Nuestra Senora de Las Iguanas" by Graciela Iturbide

“Nuestra Senora de Las Iguanas” by Graciela Iturbide

Graciela Iturbide

Graciela Iturbide has been featured in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art as well as The J. Paul Getty Museum for her photography that focuses on the daily lives of indigenous people in Mexico. She is lauded for her ability to vividly document the lives of those she photographs in a manner that is not exploitative. Iturbide was born in Mexico City and introduced to photography as a child through her father, who would take pictures of Iturbide and her family members. Other points of inspiration for Iturbide are women’s rights and migration.

Doris Salcedo

"Untitled" by Doris Salcedo

“Untitled” by Doris Salcedo

Born in 1958, Doris Salcedo is a sculptor of Colombian descent who uses common household items to represent trauma and loss. Salcedo has witnessed family members go missing in her home nation of Colombia due to political turmoil, and she uses these personal, trumatic experiences to represent the feeling of emptiness loss brings. Salcedo has had her art featured in the Guggenheim Museum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the University Museum of Contemporary Art in Mexico among several others. Earlier this year, Salcedo’s installation, Fragmentos, made headlines when the Colombian Ministry of Culture was accused of exploiting the piece for their own purposes, breaking from the anti-war messages carried by the piece.

"Cow Community" by Yunuen Cho

“Cow Community” by Yunuen Cho

Yunuen Cho

Based in New York City, Yunuen Cho is an Asian-American and Latina artist of Mexican descent, specifically of the Tarahumara people. Her piece featured here, Cow Community, is a painting inspired by Labor Day. There are many food-related elements in the piece that pay homage to the Mexican working class. Cho has several family members who are essential workers in the food industry, and this painting brings light to the fact that essential workers like them do not have the privilege of enjoying a day off like others. There are also references to specific historical events in the piece. The mushroom holding a flag with text that translates to “Land and Liberty” represents Emiliano Zapata, a leader of the Zapatista movement, a cause that fought against the Mexican government in the early 20th century in the name of agrarian rights. Cho was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, so many of her other pieces, such as Food City, are inspired by the experience of living in the American Southwest. You can find more of Yunuen Cho’s art here.

 

 


Headshot of Ethan SheaEthan Shea is a first-year English Graduate Student at Villanova University and Graduate Assistant at Falvey Memorial Library.


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Friday Feels: Falvey Rocks into Summertime

Can you feel the change in the air? Summertime is almost here!

This Friday Vibes is courtesy of Molly Proctor, the artsy “rock star” daughter of Shawn Proctor, Communications and Marketing Program Manager at Falvey Library.  Are you rocking summertime, too? Send in your best photography to shawn.proctor@villanova.edu or tag @villanovalibrary on Instagram!


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European views and portraits by Esther Borough Johnson

Earlier this year, we acquired an album of sketches by English artist Esther Borough Johnson. The album has been digitized so you can peruse it at your leisure. The album depicts various places in England, Italy, France, and other European countries. The Leaning Tower of Pisa is probably the most widely-recognized landmark in the album.

Drawing of the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy.

Pisa, Italy. [7, recto]

Some drawings are labeled with the name of the place depicted, but many are not. Many of the drawings are undated as well, but the dates noted in the album include 1921 and 1922.

Sketch of a courtyard with a woman leaning over a well.

Sketch of a courtyard in Majorca (Mallorca). [5, recto]

The drawings are mainly done in graphite, although some have had color added. Many of the sketches are unfinished, likely quick drawings in situ that may have been used later as references for completed works. In addition to cityscapes, Esther drew a number of street scenes and portraits.

A beach scene at Honfleur (France). [13, recto]

Esther’s art provides an intimate glimpse into several European locations in the early 1920s with an eye for more than just the typical tourist scenes. The art has been assembled into a larger album, but many of the works are done on smaller pieces of paper. It is easy to imagine Esther pulling out a small sketchbook whenever a particular scene caught her eye.

Two sketches of Bruges (Belgium), another unidentified city street, and some chickens. [41, recto]

The complete album of Esther’s sketches can be viewed in our Digital Library. Elsewhere online, you can view three examples of Esther’s finished paintings at ArtUK. ArtUK also has a portrait of Esther painted by her husband Ernest Borough Johnson. The Suffolk Artists website has a brief biography of Esther.

 


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#TBT: Sweet Times at the Oreo

The Oreo statue in 1991, The Awakening, and students

The Awakening, an abstract sculpture donated by artist Jay Dugan, greets students as they make their way through campus. The dome of Alumni Hall peeks through the trees.

 

THROWBACK THURSDAY

Check out this throwback to 1991. Students walk on campus with The Awakening statue, or what is now fondly known as the “Oreo,” in the background. The statue has been a well-loved campus landmark since 1985.

For more information on the Oreo sculpture, check out this sweet blog by Alice Bampton.

Photo Credit: Alan Nyiri, 1991.


Regina Duffy is Communication and Marketing Program Manager at Falvey Memorial Library. She is a big fan of mint Oreos.


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FotoFriday: Transforming the Bard’s Work Into Art

Alice Dailey contemplates the art project that will transform Shakespeare books into art mourning the passing of time.

“As a scholar, I recognize the labor and time that goes into the composition of these #books. Each book is a unit of human time. I’m searching for a way to acknowledge what it means for that time to be over.”–Professor Alice Dailey, discussing her art project, which will transform nearly 500 deselected #shakespeare books into #art reflecting the passing of time


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Last Modified: July 12, 2019