Orthodox Arts, Museums, and Russian Cheesecake: Catching up…

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…on Art, Art History, and Art Projects:

I can’t stress enough the importance of Orthodox Arts Journal. It’s especially valuable for Orthodox artists and craftspeople in the West.
Right now my studies are narrowing in focus on Russian iconography, but I still have quite a few general Art History classes to take. Naturally, they are primarily focused on the West, the post/modern, and post/structuralism. It’s been invaluable to have the wider perspective of articles such as:
The Degraded Iconicity of the Icon: The Icon’s Materiality and Mechanical Reproduction,
On the Gift of Art…Part III: Clashing Worldviews, and
The Icon Painting Tradition and Modern Art: Hermeneutical Considerations.

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This helps too.

Which brings me to the real purpose of this entry: to express how busy I’ve been with school. We’re approaching finals and this last semester has been heavy. I realize that this blog is set up a lot like a professional page in some respects, and there isn’t much new work to share. Over the summer, I’ll be sharing more studio progress photos, finished works, and blog posts in general. I didn’t want to wait until I had a substantial body of new work (namely icons) to build this space and show past projects. Frankly, I am constantly at work on smaller and/or more immediately necessary creative projects, but I’m not going to post every garment I make for myself or item I construct for our home, nor am I going to post every little sketch and side project. Personal and especially internet boundaries are vital. It’s important to me to avoid constructing an online identity for the purpose of nurturing my self-image. The “if it isn’t shared, it isn’t happening” syndrome: that way lies madness. Someone once said that “machines wont become more like us, but the other way around”, and as far as I’m concerned, that’s a warning, not a hope. (Which reminds me: New German media theory is fantastic in that I am finally hearing people articulate specifically why technology is not neutral and what it means for us. But I digress…)

pashka 02
Nevertheless, I will share that I attempted to make Paskha, the traditional way, with Farmer’s cheese. At this moment I was probably praying that it had set.

…on Art Museums:

This semester has been particularly museum-centric for me. For an exhibition analysis, I visited the Pennsylvania Anthracite Heritage Museum in Scranton, PA. I wanted a challenge and to stand out from the Met/MoMA papers, but didn’t really know what to expect. I’m happy to report that the exhibitions and overall experience were everything I look for in how a museum is organized and curated, even if on a smaller scale and with a humbler (but still great) collection. The I ended up writing a paper on the textile industries exhibition.

Earlier in the year, my husband and I returned to the Met with the CEMERS department and also went to the Cloisters for the first time.

Reliquaries of Female Saints at the Met Cloisters in NYC. Probably representative of St. Ursula and/or some of her Virgin Martyrs.

Tomorrow morning we’re getting up at 5:00 am and going to a couple of different museums in Philadelphia with the Classics department. Then this summer, on our way back from a trip to Maine, he and I will be visiting the Museum of Russian Icons (!) in Clinton, MA.

…on Art Majors and Studies:

I was an Art History/Medieval History double major, but I’ll have dropped the Medieval History part of that by Tuesday afternoon. I have a genuine passion and ongoing interest in the area. However…
1. I want to focus more on Eastern Europe. The Medieval department is understandably more Western in focus.
2. The major requires Latin or Greek studies, and I want to take Russian classes. (Obviously Greek would be great for Byzantine studies, but as far as reading research papers and studying abroad, Russian makes more sense for me.)
3. …Still, I’ve picked up a Russian minor. Between learning Russian and taking cross-credited Art History classes, I’ll basically be earning one anyway.
4. On top of the accelerated degree program to hopefully put me on track for a Masters, another major is just A Lot.

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Light summer reading.

5/2/18 UPDATE:

Well, I had a meeting with the department head, we shuffled some stuff around, and I’m all in. Art History major, Medieval History major, AND Russian minor. I can take Russian since it pertains to Medieval studies in my case, I can double-dip a bunch of courses, and I’m just SO THRILLED it has worked out this way. SCHOOL IS THE BEST.

…on Summer Projects and Creative Miscellany:

  • The local Bundy Museum (more museums!) has a community darkroom, which is the best thing I’ve heard all week. I’ve amassed a 1930’s Brownie box camera, Kodak Duaflex II, and most recently, a Zero Image wooden pinhole camera. The darkroom would be the perfect way to try Caffenol processing, something I’ve wanted to do for years.
  • I’ve managed to pick up a tattoo on each foot, start a huge chest piece, and have been lasering off some hand tattoos to have them re-worked/covered. (Progress pics of this sort tend to show up on my instagram, if you’re interested.)
  • I have a LOT of posts lined up for the Films on Cults series, as well as a future Cinéma Jésus series. I’ll be very happy to spend the summer working and/or interning, studying Russian, and reviewing movies when I’m not painting and sewing.

…and most importantly:

Christ is Risen! Христос воскресе!

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It turned out! Paskha in the church basement, for 3:30 am feast time after the Paschal Divine Liturgy.

Justiniano, Silouan. “The Degraded Iconicity of the Icon: The Icon’s Materiality and Mechanical Reproduction.” Orthodox Arts Journal, 2 Apr. 2017.
On the Gift of Art…Part III: Clashing Worldviews.” Orthodox Arts Journal, 8 Apr. 2017
Kelley, Christopher P. An Iconographers Patternbook: the Stroganov Tradition. Oakwood Publications, 1992.
Orthodox Arts Journal
Slezkine, Yuri. House of Government. Princeton University Press, 2017.
Xamist, Federico José. “The Icon Painting Tradition and Modern Art: Hermeneutical Considerations.” Orthodox Arts Journal, 19 Apr. 2016.

Citing this page:
Solomon, Alana. “Art, Orthodox Arts, Art Museums, and Russian Cheesecake: Catching up…” (2018).” Ortolana Studio & Press. Ortolana Studio & Press, 27 Apr. 2018.

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