Wednesday, May 12, 2010


this last night in NYC is terribly bittersweet.

Ohio bound, Michigan bound, summer bound.

Monday, May 3, 2010

a lesson in patience.

Have I mentioned how much I love the pastor at Presbyterian Redeemer, the church I've been going to here? Dr. Timothy Keller is great; every word, every phrase, I seem to agree with. Yes, this even surprised me! I've never been much of a note-taker during a sermon, but the one week I was without a pen here was killing me. I'm taking down bullet points like it's my job! I'm sad that I only caught onto this church within these last 2 months, but I've been attending regularly for the past 5 weeks and it will definitely be a part of NYC that I miss.

Currently, Tim is diving into the Fruits of the Spirit (Galations 5:22), digesting one a week. Yesterday's sermon was on Patience, something I've been meaning-and needing-to work on. He broke it down into three sections (like any good Presbyterian would): the Principle, Practice, and Power of Patience. I figured since this series has struck such a chord with me, I'd share some of my notes:

based on Romans 12:17-21, in having patience with others

Principle: the only way to overcome evil, is with good.
  1. bless (pray for) those who you're bitter towards. As Tim put it, "You can't hate someone you're praying for!" (Matt 5)
  2. forgive them; forgiveness is always granted before it is felt.
  3. don't avoid them (v. 18 "as it depends on you")
  4. will their good (v. 20a), do what you can for their good and growth
  5. oppose them - humbly! (v. 20b), seek truth softly, graciously, and knowingly; to be humble is to be justified Jesus Christ
Power: only God has the right to pass judgment; we don't know what the person deserves

Patience and grace is only achieved "in view of God's mercy." (Romans 12:1)

Obviously, these notes don't do justice to how great I think this all is. But just thought I'd share some of the lovin'. :)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

homestretch. [procrastinating this dumb paper.]

2 weeks from today I will be on a flight back to Ohio.

In other news, my internship with the Ladd brothers has been going so well that they hired me for the summer! Long-distance of course. Having only worked for them for about 3 weeks, my relationship with them is great and I love working for them. There's even talk of me working for them in the future...maybe in Hawaii...we'll see...! ;) New York has definitely given me some amazing opportunities and stellar connections.

I'm sure I'll be back someday.

But for now, Grand Rapids is calling my name and I'm ready to make that trek from Ohio to Michigan in my little CR-V, blasting my music, going at my own pace, and dreaming of an adventurous
Summer 2010.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Romans 5:1-11

I love the time I've spent here in NYC but this last month is both flying by and dragging on all at once.

Recently, I've struggled with thoughts of just wanting to be back in Grand Rapids; skip this last month here, and just be in my house, in Grand Rapids, with my car, with my friends, and have it be summer time.

I think I've realized however, that part of my discontentment in this last month is not only anxiousness to get home, but also a lack of Christ in my life here in NYC. Not that Christ is not present here, but that I have not been actively pursuing a deeper connection with Him while living here.

So much of this NYCAMS semester is defined by how much effort we ourselves put into our time in the city and in this program. And I believe, that along with work effort and motivation in my studies and internships, that this effort also lies in me to continue soaking up the love that Christ has blessed me with. Unfortunately, I have definitely been slacking in my relationship with my adoring Father. Thus, it feels like it's all catching up to me now -- that this restlessness is caused by a valley I've subconsciously (or consciously) wandered into.

I've relied too much on the comforts and ease of a church I love in Grand Rapids, as well as a community of believers in my friends and co-workers, along with other familiar bits and pieces I can dip into spiritually, and have become lost on my own. God has plucked me from familiarity and placed me in an overwhelming, impersonal city, and has been waiting for me to stand up, cry out, and look to Him. So instead of turning from these spiritual comforts and seeking new ones, I have stood pouting in this concrete jungle, expecting these comforts to fall into my lap.

I am sweetly broken, therefore I need to wholly surrender and realize that although Christ pursues me and waits with open arms, I need to reciprocate and pursue HIM. Everyday. Pursue.

Here's a playlist that I've been pumping into my little iPod and affectionately labeled "REBOOT"

Sweetly Broken -- Jeremy Riddle
Overcome -- Desperation Band
Hope Now -- Addison Road
God of This City -- Chris Tomlin
Marvelous Light -- Christy Nockels

(I, of course, highly suggest these wonderful songs. If I were more tech-savvy I would've had them clickable to play, but isn't that what Google is for? "Just Google it.")

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

man oh man oh man.

time is flying.
of course.
but I'm getting the hang of this, at least.
I've picked up another internship.
(of course, ha!)
not for credit or anything, but just for the shear experience. it's two brothers who have been collaborating for 10 years. our class visited their studio on a field trip and I just loved their work so much I asked if I could help out! they have a big installation coming up so they gladly accepted my extra hands.
here's the link to their website, because Kevin was worried they were shady guys, haha. :)
other than that, I still have 1 presentation and 2 papers to write. gah!
and art to make.
of course.
but I successfully did 3 loads of laundry tonight -- $12. kill me. NYC drains my bank account!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


2 presentations.
2 10-page papers.
5 more critiques.
5 weeks left.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

There in the ground, his body lay,

Light of the world by darkness slain.

Then bursting forth in glorious Day Up from the grave he rose again! And as He stands in victory,

Sin's curse has lost its grip on me,

For I am His and He is mine.

Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

Monday, March 29, 2010

some favorites.

[click to view larger]

[the next three are from my trip to D.C.]

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

list making.

art making.
art critiquing.
skype chatting.
intern running.
laundry folding.
hummus consuming.
GR missing.
LOST watching.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

on my way to DC...

I love Megabus and the fact that I can just get a $20 round trip to Philly or $30 round trip to DC! AND I'm actually on the bus right now, free wifi always a bonus. I'm headed to DC to visit one of my housemates studying there for the semester since it's spring break. It's crazy to think we're all having these different experiences...Katie in DC...Teresa and Jennifer in England...last semester Jill in Hungary...Kristen in Mexico...Grace in Ghana...we are all so blessed to have the opportunity to travel through Calvin!

NYC has been a whirlwind these past couple weeks. I can't believe 2 months from today I'll be in Grand Rapids. I miss it so much. And at the same time, I don't want to waste a minute in New York.

On the other hand, it's getting a little overwhelming and tiring. The mass amounts of people in the city is ridiculous -- 8.3 million is the rough estimate. I've always considered myself a "city girl" with plans to move to the Big Apple at some point in my life and do the whole art thing. Don't get me wrong, I'm not regretting my decision to come here or taking any of these experiences for granted. New York City is the art capitol of the world and if I had it my way, I would just pick up all these artsy-fartsy people and their galleries and put them smack dab in the middle of Grand Rapids. If only it was that easy. I'm loving every minute, aspect, and person in the art world and I'm seeing artwork that I've studied my whole life.

But there are so many people. And nothing is personal. Just mass amounts of people. And it's overwhelming, looking out at the sea of crowds, to wonder if they all know the love of Christ like I do. It's overwhelming, to want to reach out to every person I pass on the street, to give money to every beggar on the train, to love everyone in NYC as much as Christ loves me. I'm just one person. Am I doing my job? To think of all the people out there that might not know or want or have that relationship that I thrive on is too much to dwell on. And the art world? Well it's so much of the time brutally honest and vulgar and biased and judgemental. Where is Christ in all that? Not to lump all artists and artwork into a vulgar category, but it's not easy to see the evidence of God in the mainstream, contemporary art world sometimes.

I'm trying to make art. I'm soaking it all in. I've made amazing friends. I'm appreciative. I love my internship. I do love it here. I just don't think I could live here forever!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Mostly I eat.

I eat fro yo.
I make art.
I eat pizza.
I walk.
I take the train.
I eat fro yo.
I second-guess my art.
I miss Calvin.
I eat pizza.
I make art.
I talk.
I walk.
I nap.
I eat fro yo.
I watch LOST.
I intern.
I try more art.
I eat.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

where did the time go?

A week and a half until spring break.
A week and a half until a highly anticipated visit. (!!)
A week and a half to get my butt in gear and work harder.

I have no idea how the time is going by so quickly. I feel like I've wasted so many hours...days...I need to soak up NYC for everything that it's worth. I'm excited to see how this second half of the semester will unfold, but at the same time very anxious and nervous. I'm in a sort of limbo period in my art making and don't know where to go from here.

My professor Julie (who, by the way, is great!) mentioned how I am sort of like the Princess and the Pea in my artwork. A little difficult to explain via blog, so I'll just leave it at that for now.

Yesterday I had a chance to talk with 2 of my housemates, one in Grand Rapids and one in England. It was so great to catch up with them -- I miss them so much more than I thought I would! I'm looking forward to spending the summer in GR with my best friends and can't believe in the fall I'll be starting my senior year at Calvin. I'm not ready to grow up yet, I haven't learned enough!

On just another side note, I've absolutely fallen in love with the people in my program. It's too bad that most of them go to Bethel, but I know I will stay friends with at least a few of them for a very long time.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

almost one month.

long long weekend. strange weekend. busy weekend. tiring weekend.

sneak peak:

Had a good critique this morning -- challenging and encouraging. I was told I'm bold but subtle, honest but not offensive, and that my work evokes "humor, potential pity, sarcasm, and even rage."

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I need more junk food around here, I have nothing unhealthy to snack on!

I've been painting the gallery (not one, not two, but three times) to prepare for the show opening this weekend. Lesson learned? Shooting pains in my lower back due to crawling around on the floor painting baseboards. No fun, so I'm headed to the gym's hot tub next door. Hopefully that will help.

For now, these are a few of my favorite things.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

passion pit = favorite subway riding/errand running music.

Tuesdays and Thursdays are easily becoming my favorite days. This morning was wet and windy and one of those days when you can't look straight ahead because of the snow/slush coming down at a slant. Never fun. But either way, I braved the cold snow and headed to the five flights of stairs that would take me to Olaf's studio. The morning started per usual, sitting at the computer collecting images for a new photography collage. Lunch was at the great Italian Bread again, this time filled with conversations about climbing, backpacking, and camping. Eddy, another intern, and I discovered a mutual love for the outdoors and will hopefully get some climbing in soon. Olaf told us about the documentary he watched on Mt. Everest and laughed about the fact that it seems to be the Disneyworld for climbers.

Post-lunch was dedicated to running some errand with and for Olaf. First, a trip to the Post Office with Olaf, an errand that I know never takes "just a minute." Then Eddy and I picked up a new sculpture and supplies from Olaf's studio and headed to 5th Ave and 94th via taxi. Once at our destination, our jaws dropped. The nicest townhouses in NYC seemed to be on this street! Our job was to drop off a sculpture for a private collector and their townhouse was no stranger to the high-end architecture and design of the rest of the street. I've never stepped foot into a more beautiful house! It was about 6 floors, including an elevator, multiple kitchens, full wooden spiral staircase and original, one of a kind pieces by big name contemporary artists like Kara Walker and Chris Ofili! Eddy and I both walked out wishing we could have wandered the house for hours and look at more of the collection, but continued on our second errand -- getting a cab to the Bronx to fix one of Olaf's sculpture. This cab ride proved fatal for my new(ish) North Face gloves, having left them on the seat and not realizing it until we were ready to leave, but it was a succesful afternoon. The secretary at the warehouse where we fixed the sculpture even drove us to the train station because it was snowing!

As for this past weekend, I didn't actually make it to Olaf's party Friday night, but it didn't seem to be a problem. I still had a very good evening with Rachael and her fiance Mike who was in town; we went to a great hole-in-the-wall Italian restaurant and had some of the best, authentic pasta I've had in a while. Valentine's Day was spent attending the Brooklyn Tabernacle for church, a great, vibrant, and Spirit-filled service. Then I was blessed to spend the afternoon with my cousin Jackie who has been living in the city for over a year now. We finished our lunch date and treated ourself to cupcakes!

Today was exhausting but good. I'm currently sitting on my bed watching LOST with three other girls in the program, finishing off junk food before Lent starts tomorrow...

It is so strange that I'm half way through my third week here.
Time is flying by.

Woohoo, I live in NYC!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

busy saturday

I love when I can walk into a gallery and recognize artists by their work. It makes me feel so accomplished, educated, and confident. Today we walked around the Chelsea gallery district as a class, popping in and out of galleries. Chilly and blustery, but all around a good afternoon. Unfortunately, I left a lot of work to do for the weekend, so I need to buckle down. I need to crank out some good pieces for critique on Monday. But instead, I'm eating candy hearts (sent to me by a thoughtful aunt) and chatting with missed ones back home.

Along with school work, I've taken on the position of assisting Dr. Romaine in some research and working in the NYCAMS gallery for a little pocket money throughout the semester. There is a show opening next week, so it's my job to repaint the gallery walls before we start putting up the work on Monday! So, I'm off to eat a quick dinner and start painting.

(for some reason, the time that it says when I post an entry is incorrect, by 3 hours. so if anyone's really wondering, it's about 5:30 now, instead of 2:30. it's done this for all the posts before, too...hmm...)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

olaf olaf olaf

Tuesdays and Thursdays are devoted to my internship with artist Olaf Breuning. He's an amazing artist and has gained international recognition. Currently, he's on the cover of ArtNews magazine! Here is the article and this is his website. Today was only a half day, spent scanning in the articles Olaf is in to add to his site and then packaging and sending a drawing and tshirt to a friend of his, named Cricket of course. Olaf recently returned from a 2 week trip home to Switzerland, so there wasn't much to do at the studio this week. In the coming weeks, it looks like I'll be helping Olaf with his photography pieces, working on the computer, editing and researching. Olaf is a quirky artist, but very serious in his work. But somedays, it's hard to take him seriously as he sits on his futon with his laptop set on a very Olaf-like piece -- a mop bucket on wheels, with a water jug set inside and an orange colored tray on top, all pieced together perfectly for Olaf's laptop. The picture is part of the studio, taken on my phone. Today Olaf's music of choice included Die Antwoord, a South African hip hop (ish) group. Very Olaf. This weekend is his birthday and I am honored to have been invited! So far, Olaf said 300 people are planning to attend which means hopefully I'll make some good connections!

Other than my internship, I didn't do much today. But, I did get a chance to Skype with my beautiful roomie all the way in old York (England)! Such a pleasure to see that WOG's wonderful smiling face. After our chat, I endulged in a wonderful nap. The stiff, plastic mattresses provided by Hotel St. George do wonders for my sleeping patterns, or rather, take away from my beauty sleep. Unfortunetly, it looks like I might have to invest in a feather mattress pad, but who has money for that? I understand now where the term "starving artist" comes from. $60 spent at Pearl Paint or $60 at the grocery store? Pearl Paint, please. I did indulge in some cupcakes the other night though. My Valentine's Day treat for myself!

Hopefully I'll have some interesting things to write about after this weekend -- with Olaf's party, Chelsea gallery tours, lunch with my cousin Jackie (!!), and Rachael's fiance coming into town, it should be a fun couple days.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

the realism of our time

I've been living in NYC for a week and a half now. At times, it feels like I've been here forever, but on the other hand I still feel so unsure of how things in the city work. I've mastered taking the "2" train to the studio every morning and can successfully navigate myself to and from Target, which has appeared necessary as we settle into our humble abode. The dorm-like building where we stay is an old renovated hotel in Brooklyn Heights -- a great, expensive neighborhood in Brooklyn two blocks away from the water, with a great view of the Manhattan skyline and Statue of Liberty. My roommate, Rachael, and I have grown to establish a love/hate relationship with this lovely building. The room is quite cozy and warm, perhaps too warm at times, forcing us to crack the screenless window, allowing a cool breeze and cigarette smell from the street below to fill our beds. The finicky light in our bathroom works just fine, when given a good smack to turn it on. And let's not forget the lack of trashcans, outlets, or mirrors. But overall, we've breathed life into this historic hotel room, filling it with numerous episodes of Friends, laughter, and an over-priced candle.

The studio/gallery/classroom space is great, located on 28th street. Ironic that I would move from one 28th street in Grand Rapids, to this much busier one in New York City. The studio is located in the floral district, so on cool mornings the smell of flowers follow us the couple of blocks from the subway station to the studio elevators. We've conquered the frozen yogurt (affectionately referred to as fro-yo) cafe a couple blocks away, as well as discovered some great antique and flea markets on 25th.

My first day interning for artist Olaf Breuning included Googling images of coins, cash, and clouds for 3.5 hours, followed by lunch at a great Italian restaurant (courtesy of Olaf) with 2 other interns and the studio assistant, ending with a "quick" run to the Post Office, to drop off some artwork. Quick is a relative term here in the city. Located in the financial district, Olaf's studio is just a few blocks from the Post Office, nevertheless, this errand took an hour, complete with attitude from the desk clerk when I was finally through the line that I stood in for half an hour. Upon returning from the Post Office, Olaf (in his sweet, awkward Swiss accent) asked me what kind of music I liked. I answered honestly, "folk, indie, and anything but country." He proceeded to reply, "So Lil Wayne is okay? I love his new album." The last 45 minutes of my internship were filled with Lil Wayne and Olaf. I think I'm going to enjoy this internship, even with the five flights of steep stairs that I have to climb to reach his studio.

I'm ready to dive into my studio class here at NYCAMS. The professors are honest and informed, which hopefully means I'll be pushed and challenged as I work. Some different ideas are emerging and I'm not overwhelmed yet, so hopefully this will all go in a decently steady direction. Overall, I'm excited, anxious, and looking forward to my time in NYC. I have yet to get truely homesick, which may or may not be a good thing. I miss many friends from the old 28th, but have made some great ones here at the new 28th. Hopefully I'll be able to maintain this blog, and maybe eventually post some pictures of recent and new work.

Much love from the East Coast (which is slowly but surely being covered by snow...)