Alright, so maybe that’s not the most accurate depiction of my summer thus far, but hey, in the words of my man Nelly, “I’m from the Lou and I’m proud.” While there was a part of me trying to stay on the East coast for the summer, being back has not been half bad in the least. Here are just some of the things occupying my St. Louis summer.
My friends from high school are all across the country doing such cool things — hotel management, journalism, theatre, anthropology, the Marine Corps (Oorah!) — and so getting to catch up with everyone during the summer is always fun. It’s really crazy to see how much everyone changes over the school year, but when we all get back together it feels like we never left. When your days and nights are filled with shaving cream fights, climbing buildings, paint fights, parking lot dance parties, and other various shenanigans, you really can’t complain.
Just a few weeks after finishing up finals at school, I road tripped to Tennessee with some friends from high school for the Bonnaroo Music Festival. Just imagine listening to amazing live music all day, going back to your tent exhausted and ready to sleep, hearing Skrillex starting a set at 1:30 am, and then deciding to go back to the stages and party for a few hours. It was ridiculous, and definitely an unforgettable 4 days. I actually got stopped by a guy who noticed me wearing something with a Hopkins logo on it just so he could tell me how much he liked the school and lacrosse team. Bonnaroo certainly gathers some great people.
I’m really excited to head to California in a few weeks with my dad to see some private art collections and visit some of the area museums. I rarely travel during breaks, and I’ve only been to the west coast once, so I’m really looking forward to discovering all there is to experience. I’ve been reading a really good book called Rebels in Paradise about the rise of Pop art and the role that California, as opposed to New York, played in the arising material aesthetic, so I’m pretty pumped to see some of the areas, galleries, and art in person.
Some Art History Here and There
Since I was unable to find a full-time summer job, (hello babysitting, website design, and working a kickball tournament), I’ve had a lot of time to do some casual research in art history, especially the stuff that they leave out of the textbooks. For example, did you know that Warhol, in an interview, once attributed Jasper Johns’ greatness to the fact that he “makes such great lunches”? Or that early film likely held a strong influence on the emergence of the Cubist style in the painting of Picasso and Braque? A lot of this insight into the artistic community and the relationships between these individuals has been influencing my own art lately, and it’s nice to have the summer to step back and reevaluate my artistic intention. In addition to some light research, I’ve also been formulating some possible exhibition themes that I might pursue once I’m back at Hopkins after having gotten permission from the head of the Mattin Center (the arts department at Hopkins) to do some curatorial work in and outside of the buildings. I’m really excited to see where they may go and so I’m taking advantage of the summer to figure out logistics and ideas.
Well, that’s all I have for you now. I’m definitely enjoying soaking up the St. Louis sun (+ humidity + absurd heat wave) but I’m also eager to head back to Hopkins in just less than 2 months. Moving in with two of my best friends, reuniting with even more friends, an amazing internship, and truly, ridiculously-incredible classes are right around the corner; there’s really a lot to look forward to. In the meantime, I hope everyone’s been enjoying their summers as well and I’m off to continue enjoying mine!