Monday, March 31, 2008

Words of Encouragement

Hi Guys!

I wrote an email to Marysara Naczi, a student who is very involved in the Fine Arts Department. She recently collected artwork for a student show she is exhibiting in April. I wanted to know what her response was for student submissions and this was her reply:

That sounds like a great idea! The show Katelyn and I are working on has actually not gone up yet, so you can catch it in April. We had a great response for this show, and the Martin Institute recently held a contest for war themed art and I hear they had a lot of submissions as well. I have, however, worked on other projects that attempted to involve the Stonehill community which were not as succesful. The students tend to be rather apathetic so you have to keep that in mind and work really hard for their involvement. For this exhibit, we sent out emails from our student accounts as well as having the secretary at Cushing Martin send out a more professional one that would get attention from different types of students. We also hung up flyers with tabs so that people could actually have a tangible reminder. And we made it clear that our show was not looking for artsy smartsy art, but things from all classes and majors. As long as you have interesting themes and really publicize it, I am sure you will get plenty of submissions! Our own show is going to only be up for 2 1/2 weeks, which is really not enough time. Ideally would be at least 4 weeks. It is a lot of work and if you don't get a lot of submissions for the first show or you don't have a lot of time to coordinate it, I would suggest spacing them out more and doint only 2 a semester.

Hope this helped!


Also, I am involved with the Martin Institute's war themed exhibit that Marysara made reference to. The email I received from Peter Ubertaccio was sent out to 26 other students, so it seems that there is a decent amount of student participation. In class we had mentioned also purchasing work over time, but these numbers give me hope that our gallery will have a good amount of Stonehill artists involved.

See you Wednesday!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

I just finished reading Chet Raymo's article on miracles, and it got me thinking. Specifically, one passage really stuck.

"Accepting the physical resurrection of the historical Jesus means setting aside one's rational faculties and making a leap of faith. That so many people are willing to do so says more about where we have been as a species than where we are going."

I underestimated how we as rational beings give way to irrationality for what we believe in. I feel like I've never looked at the situation that way, especially how in this sense we tend to dwell on the past. and I find it ironic that we live in a nation that seems is so focused on the future and somehow we can't let go of the past....


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

We need to get stimulated

Hey guys,
   I completely agree with Tatiana and with most of the blogs that I don't think we are taking this thing very seriously. I guess what I am trying to say is that we need to leave behind a good amount of information for the next group that is going to take this up... the ones that are left after the Seniors graduate. I think when we get into our sub groups we make sure that someone that is not graduating this year is in on everything so that we can make sure this is not a waste of our time and a waste of a good class. 

p.s. I spoke to facilities and they have nothing planned for the grounds around the science building. This gives us a chance to really make sure we get something done because they said they wouldn't mind a little help with ideas if the president agrees to them.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Stake Holders


It is good to hear that there are people who are excited about our project, but I am not sure if we are giving enough weight to the people who are going to make this happen. I am concerned by Melissa's posting and the concern that she described in the Fine Arts department. I think that we may have been looking at this more idealistically than we thought in terms of finding a Fine Arts person that is willing to advise our board.

I was thinking about revising the constitution, but I can't shake the feeling that I am writing rules for somebody else to follow through with. Nobody likes to have to abide by the rules of a governing body that they never knew or were able to give input to, and the direction that we are going in now is setting up the rules for someone else to do a lot of hard work. While this seems like the best way to really create a legacy for our question of religion and science as seen through art, I am beginning to wonder if we are biting off more than we can chew or even taking a bite that we are expecting others to chew in our absense.

I really want to see this happen and I think we need to rework the constitution in a more simple way that the fine arts department can take and make there own.

This could just be late night ramblings, but I am just concerned about selling these ideas in a way that will excite not only the higher up administration, but also the people who are going to have to invest their time in the future to make our plans a reality.


This is real and you are completely unprepared...

Hey everyone,

I was browsing through the borders bookstore while I was home for spring break. I stumbled upon this book which had the above phrase printed in bold on the cover. I ended up buying it because naturally I wanted to know what exactly I was unprepared for.

So I bring this book home and start reading it. Within the first few pages I discover it was written by a Rabbi. I was slightly disappointed to realize the book has a religious base automatically thinking it would just be preaching to me. However, I kept reading and although I know very little of the Jewish religion I thought it was really interesting.

Here is a little blurb I found on the internet:

"There are moments in life where one is caught utterly unprepared: a death in the family, the end of a relationship, a health crisis. These are times when the solid ground we thought we stood on disappears beneath our feet, and we turn to faith to help us find our way back. The Days of Awe encompass the weeks just preceding Rosh Hashanah up to Yom Kippur, a period in which Jews take part in a series of rituals and prayers that reenact the journey of the soul through the world from birth to death. Like the days of Lent or Ramadan, the purpose of these rituals is to experience this brokenheartedness and open one's heart to God. The acclaimed Rabbi Lew has taken the beauty and power of these rituals and made of them a journey of seven distinct stages that will touch the spirit of all readers in search of inner transformation. Rabbi Lew weaves together Torah readings, Buddhist parables, Jewish fables and stories from his own life, to lay bare the meanings of this ancient Jewish passage. Drawing on both his rabbinical training and his scholarship in Buddhism, Lew leads readers on a journey from confusion to clarity, from doubt to belief, as he open a path to self-discovery that is accessible to readers of all faiths. THIS IS REAL AND YOU ARE COMPLETELY UNPREPARED unveils the deeper meanings of the High Holidays, enabling Jews to reconnect to their faith with a vibrancy and intimacy that will resonate throughout the year."

hopefully i can find a good passage to bring to you guys in class so while we are working in our sub groups we can also stimulate our other senses with some literature.


Update from the Religious Studies Department

Hey Guys!

I got a chance to talk to Professor Beisham of the RS Department today and he was ecstatic for our idea! He told me about a resource (possibly a journal) that deals with the relationship between science and religion. He's going to get the exact information for me (hopefully for tomorrow, but most likely for thursday).

Professor B. also gave us this food for thought. He suggested the themes for the art try and coincide with the Martin Institute's theme. He says it might be possible to get funding from the MI if we become "theme partners" with them. Professor B. suggested that if we involve Peter Ubartaccio (sp?) in the project because he might be able to give us funding for the project. The theme will be Globalization by the time the science center is ready. I'm not sure exactly how this could tie in, but it's worth investigating. See you all tomorrow!

Tim :)

Monday, March 24, 2008

Update From Fine Arts

Hey Guys!

Solange, Pat and I met with MJ, the Fine Arts Department Chair, right before we left for Easter break. To my surprise, she actually had a lot of concern regarding our project. She really thinks that someone should be getting paid because in her opinion that is a surefire why to make sure things get done. She thought the endowed scholarship was a great way to go. She also suggested that in addition to student/faculty/alumni work, we create a budget to work on purchasing a new piece of work each year; that way we start to acquire a permanent collection. This would be particularly beneficial if there were lulls in the submission process.
MJ seemed very concerned about faculty members taking on additional work without additional pay. We asked if she thought it would be too much extra work if the professor already in charge of internships took on the role of faculty advisor for this project. She thought that was a decent idea but to talk to Professor Candace Walters who is the current advisor about it. She also encouraged us to speak with Professor Carole Calo who teaches the Exhibitions and Collections class, Marysara Naczi (a current student who is putting on a show of student art) to see what kind of response she got, and Professor Ubertaccio who is also putting together an exhibit. MJ also suggested we talk to Candance Smith-Corby(the current gallery curator in Cushing Martin) and Stacey Gerver in SGA. Our group is currently in the process of setting up these meetings and has a lot of work to do. We will let you all know as soon as we have more information, but this should not set us back too far in our plans.
See you all Wednesday!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

You Are Making a Name for Yourselves

Yesterday as I was leaving the Academic Vice President's office, Katie Conboy come up to me quite excited about our class. Seems she had been talking to Doug Smith in development and he was singing your praises, having just met with Dana and her crew on fund-raising.

I am hearing quite a bit of this sort of thing from all corners of the college community. This bodes very well for our project!

On another note: I have now met with each of you individually, and I have to say I enjoyed the encounters a lot more than I thought I would. We seem to have a consensus that for our last few meetings (note: no formal class on April 9, since I will be at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research with three seniors who will be giving papers there) we will return to the earlier format of the course in which we read a text (not a whole book!) and you do talking points before discussion. Don't forget: I need to have some help in formulating the topics, so please get me your suggestions before Monday.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Holy Cross Fathers

Hey Everyone,

Spoke with the Holy Cross Fathers about the project (Walter Jenkins, John Reardan, George Piggford, and Bob Kruse). Bob Kruse seemed particularly confused by the project and did not believe there could be a mix of religion and science (was especially opposed to the miracles of Jesus vs. the miracles of science). I explained our ideas further to them and they seem open to the idea of having something in the science center. Fr. Kruse still feels that religion and science do not mix together, but he certainly is not going to stop the project from continuing and they're all interested to see where we take it.

Have a good break everyone!!!

Tim :)

Fundraising Update

Hey everyone,

Tatiana and I (and Sarah in spirit!) had a really productive meeting with Doug Smith this morning about fundraising. I think he's really excited about our project and he's turning out to be a great resource. Ryan was kind enough to post our notes from the meeting on the filesharing site so check it out--included in the notes are some suggestions and some questions for consideration that are relevant to all groups.

Doug has a copy of our constitution and from what he was suggesting, it seems that we're really on the right track. Make sure to check out the end of the notes where it talks about the fundraising proposal/request document. I think that's our next step!

Have a great break :)


Monday, March 17, 2008

Staple Stabilizer

Dear Everyone,

Had a chat with Professor Piggford this afternoon, and he suggested something that I thought was worth pursuing: a constant piece of artwork. While I think we are all agreed on having a rotating gallery collection, it might be nice to put one piece somewhere in the building that would remain constant. Kind of like our signature send off to future generations. Thoughts?

Hope the short holiday's a good one!


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Wind-powered Life

I don't know for certain how this might relate to our class at this more practical stage of the project, but I have something to show you. If nothing else, it could be a sort of inspiration amid the bureaucracy we have necessarily created.

There is an artist who creates wooden organisms powered by the wind. He records information about each organism and enters the data into a genetic algorithm program. This is an evolution simulator: it draws successful patterns from random change. Usually the results of such programs -- the ones I've seen, anyway -- are tiny, squirming plastic gadgets. This artist has created much larger designs. He has achieved the element of grace that defines life as we know it. He envisions these animals becoming so perfectly calibrated that their movement will be perpetual. They would move in herds across the remaining plains of the Earth. The ingenuity, complexity, and precision displayed here is literally beyond human capacity. You may not believe your eyes.

Courtesy of YouTube (where else?)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

An alternative to email attachments

After mentioning it in class today, I was determined to figure out a way in which we could give everyone in class easy access to our important (and constantly changing) documents. After going through the help section provided by, I found a lot of other users have encountered the same problem. Unfortunately, there was no perfect solution.

I was, however, able to find a suitable alternative. In fact, it even has some advantages to posting documents on the blog itself. I created a webpage through GooglePages on which I can upload any file and have it available for anyone to download. I placed a permanent link to this website in the upper right hand corner of our blog (above the "blog archive") so that everyone can go between the two sites with ease. Please visit the site and try to download the Constitution; respond to this post if you have any problems/suggestions so I can make any necessary changes.

The one setback to this solution is that I have to upload each document myself, since the webpage is under my personal Google account. I couldn't give you access to just the website without giving you access to my entire account (email, etc). If you simply email me any updated or new documents, however, I will be happy to promptly post them on the webpage for others to download and view.

I would like to post the theme group's newest document; Kendra, could you please pass it along to me? Also, any groups who have new or updated documents you'd like to share, please feel free to email me. I hope this can be effective, but please let me know if any of you have another idea or any problems with this method.