Two weekends ago (Sunday, June 2) we hosted our first gallery at Performing Arts Workshop! We had a great turn out and raised around $400 to fund girls' education in developing countries. Thank you so much to everyone who came out and supported, all the artists, Mr. Mumble, Ada Ellisman, Georgia Goldsmith, and Performing Arts Workshop! Enjoy the pictures!
(Shoutout Nina Tartibi for being the coolest and taking these pictures)
Written By Camille Zimmer
This Sunday, June 2, we are hosting a benefit gallery! It will be hosted from 5:30-7:30 at Performing Arts Workshop in Encinitas and will include musical performances from Georgia and Ada and Mr.Mumble. Entrance fee is $5 for students and $8 for adults and all proceeds will be donated to fund girls' education in developing countries. Hope to see you there!
This past week, we interviewed our history teacher Mr. Cameron to learn more about women’s roles throughout history. During this interview we learned about how women’s rights have evolved, as well as steps we can take to promote gender equality at our school. We would like to give a huge thanks to Mr. Cameron for letting us interview him.
Camille: The right for women to vote was a huge step towards gender equality. What do you think are other notable events that have made advancements [towards gender equality] in history?
Mr. Cameron: So aside from the right to vote, other advancements that have allowed women greater freedom and independence, comes with regard to the ability to independently transport themselves, with, like, any sort of new modern technology. Prerogatively the ability to have disposable income and hold a job that provides the income for that independence, and similarly the transportation.
Camille: Were there any female-dominated societies or subcultures throughout history, and if there were, how were they seen by other cultures at the time?
Mr. Cameron: Examples of matriarchal societies can be seen in Post-Classical, bleeding into Early Modern West African Societies like the Ghana and Mali Empires. Matriarchal figures were revered for their reproductive capacities and general peaceful moderation strategies.
Camille: Personally, who are some female figures who you admire or would be good role models?
Mr. Cameron: First female role model: Malala Yousafzai, who despite undergoing some pretty tortuous circumstances has been able to turn that on its head and serve as an influential and inspirational person for people who are persecuted by any state conflict and use that personal experience to uplift those who are undergoing something similar. Secondly, Joan of Arc, of the Medieval France. No doubt working within the patriarchy and asserting her claims to authority by being the messenger of God. Thirdly, and going even further back into history, Empress Theodora of the Byzantine Empire. From prostitute to empress, and basically helping her husband stick with his emperorship despite massive riots. Thanks Theodora. Justinian loves you even in the afterlife.
We just relaunched our original shirts and sweatshirts! All proceeds will be donated to fund girls' education in Sub Saharan Africa. This is the final time we are launching this product so get them while you still can! Both of these products are crazy comfortable and will keep you feeling good while supporting a good cause.
Get shirts here!
Get sweatshirts here!
Keith Haring is a pop artist best known for his cartoon-like figure drawings. Growing up in Pennsylvania, Haring discovered a love for art, particularly drawing, at a young age. While in art school, Haring decided to dedicate his life to creating public art. Much of his art carried social messages and many of his pieces were donated to charities. In 1988, Haring was diagnosed with AIDS. He then used his art to share his story and spread awareness of the disease. The Keith Haring Foundation was established in 1989. All funds raised by this foundation are donated to children affected by HIV and AIDS. Unfortunately, Haring passed away in February of 1990 due to AIDS related complications. The legacy he created through his foundation and his artwork continues to be recognized and honored. If you would like to learn more about Keith Haring’s life, click here.
Our most recent workshop took place on September 28 at Lux Art Institute. We toured the gallary of Lia Halloran and were able to discuss her art work with her. We then created projects based on Lia's pieces and drew inspiratioin from her work. Below are some pictures of the event, thank you so much to everyone who came out and a huge shoutout to Lia. If you are interested in Lia's work you can visit her website here, or check out our last blog post. Also check out her work at Lux's gallery, which is up until November 3.
What message do you want to send through your art or what do you want people to take away from your art when they see it?
Do you have any stories about female scientists that you found when you were researching for this project that you thought were interesting and you wanted to share?
"Oh my gosh, there are so many fantastic stories. This series is all based on this group of women in the late 1800’s. And essentially, at that time, women are graduating for the very first time out of women's colleges. And so there's all of these fantastic thinkers that are looking to work and be useful. The Harvard Observatory director was able to take advantage of that and put these women into positions where they were studying the glass plates. (Glass plates were used to print pictures of stars and the sky).
The way that early astronomers worked was that they were taking pictures of the sky, but they never developed them (the glass plates) into the positive. They just worked with the negatives. And they would use these film loops and they would then take ink pens and they would write directly on the glass plate. They’re measuring like the heat of stars, the size of stars, the chemical content of stars. And how could they do that? They’re using this glass plate.
So back to your original questions, what are the stories of the women? I mean I would say that for me, there are so many stories in history that overlook just one person, I think the most tremendous aspect of this story is that it was actually a whole group of women, who were so often singled out, but it’s actually this group that’s doing all of this work. Sometimes they’re making major discoveries that are really sexy, like "Oh my gosh I discovered this galaxy that no one’s ever seen!" One of them actually figured out how to measure the distance of the universe, and if you think about it and you were to look at the stars here, a big star might look really really dim cause it’s very far away, or a bright star might look dim cause it’s far away, and a dim star might look bright because it’s close to you. This person actually figured out, Henrietta Swan Levitt, how to measure the distance of the universe. You guys have probably heard of the Hubble Space Telescope? Edwin Hubble receive the Nobel Prize, because he figured out that, using what she did, the universe was expanding. And they contacted her to nominate her for a Nobel Prize, but she had died four years before and they didn’t even know it. So there’s a lot of stories like that where these women were doing really impactful work, but they weren’t necessarily singled out as being the inventor of it or having ownership of that discovery.
We've heard about how important art and science are to you, and if you were have to pursued science, what would you miss about art?
You know, I never wanted to pursue science. Here’s the thing, in science I can be inventive, and it’s not about being right or wrong, I can explore something, and I have an interpretation of something, and it’s totally fine for me as an artist to interpret science. If i were to interpret science as a scientist, I would be a very bad scientist. One of my favorite quotes Neil DeGrasse Tyson said was, “The great this about science is that it’s always true even if you believe in it or not.” So I was not interested in being a scientist per say, I’m interested in kind of the humanity aspect of how science can be translated. I walk that line between art and science and I always want to land on the art side of the fence. And it gives me freedom to question it and challenge it, cause I can be outside.
So in your art you tend to follow your interest when you make art and you’ll dive into a new medium if you think that is what your projects calls for, so if you could choose any method or medium to create art with what would you want to try?
That even my studio practice is about me exploring something new. I’m always looking for what would be the weirdest way to make something and then I was thinking, God, even this video project is an extension of “Dark Skate” (Dark Skate are long exposure photographs in which Lia attached lights to her body and skated in urban environments). In “Dark Skate” I’m exploring the urban environment on a skateboard, here I’m exploring the urban environment in an airplane. It’s also a self portrait; It’s always me flying, and it’s always me skating in all of the photos. If it’s an 11-foot concrete wall, that’s me skating in the pitch dark and it’s not about me creating an image, its about that it’s me.
What’s a common theme you’ve notice throughout all your work?
I think the main thing is that they all challenge your understanding of your perception. SO I would say when you look at a piece of mine you might not know what it is or how it was made, but it interests you. So you look at them and you say, “This is a photograph, I know what a photograph looks like.” But then you look at it more carefully and it’s imperfect. From across the room, It could be pictures of the sky or it could be microbiology, but you are not totally sure. And the same thing with “Dark Skate,” you can read about what I’m doing, but when you look at that photograph, you would not immediately think that it’s a skateboarder. And the same thing with the flight video I’m working on, There’s something that I’m doing that’s very odd about it that’s not in your expectation. Technically, I aim to do that, to confuse the viewer in a way in a way that engages them. And in terms of my subject matter, I think that all of my work challenged science and also has a personal aspect to it. So it’s very personal, so it’s not just any galaxy, it’s a galaxy that was based on the study of this one woman. Dark Skate is not just about creating a light painting in an urban environment, it’s important that it’s me skating. I did a big series about the Periodic Table of Elements, and they’re infused with 33 queer women in LA, it’s a whole catalog of my friends and the chemical environment around me. You could look at it and say “Oh, that’s the periodic table of elements,” cause you know what it looks like, but for me it's representing my community, that I don’t think has been represented. So technically one, it challenged your perception, and conceptually it might have a universal reach. I don't think anyone would come to my gallery and say “I don’t know what these are.” You would say “that's a comet, I’ve looked at the night sky, I’ve seen that,” but then the “behind the story” is something that’s very specific and intimate, and in a lot of ways it uncovers things that have been hidden. It’s always about singing an unsung song.
What was it like for you, getting into skating when there were almost no female skaters?
Skateboarding culture is so huge, especially now. Now, the culture of skateboarding has a lot of money behind it, it’s totally accepted, we’ll see it in the Olympics soon. But when I was growing up, it was like you were doing drugs, spray painting things, up to no good, and on top of that I didn’t meet a female skateboarder who could actually really skate until I was in my 20's. It was always very lonely. Maybe not lonely, but more solitary. And that was the other part of Dark Skate that I wanted to represent, that skating is a very solitary thing. I was not invited into the culture of skateboarding, I was always the odd person out. In reflection I was, my friends who were my friends in high school wouldn't want to go to a skate park, and then when I went to the skate park, the guys were nice to me but they weren’t really my friends. I had a half-pipe in my backyard and I would just skate there by myself a lot. When people talk about how they grew up skateboarding, that means something to boys and men in a totally different way, versus me, where I had this hobby where I did not know anyone else who did it. It’s kind of an off thing but I was in Thrasher Magazine when I was 15, and it was so cool, but my actual friends had never heard of Thrasher, I couldn’t win either way. But I think if you are the odd person out, you start thinking of things in a different way and that is my background as a queer person, a skater, I’m always looking at things from the fringes and there’s a power in that. When I’m talking about the skateboarding It’s not even a complaint like “oh my god, I was bullied” or anything like that, there’s just something you see from the margins that you don’t see if you’re in the mainstream. And the mainstream was something that was not accessible for me at the time so now I’m excited to see the X-Games including women, and hopefully they’ll get their act together and actually pay them, so that your peers could go on to say “I’m going to be a professional skateboarder,” and actually make a living doing that, the same way that people in this area (San Diego) do with surfing.
Fast fashion is a name used to describe clothing brands and retailers who aim to move through mainstream fashion trends quickly. Although this may sound ideal, the environment and the workers suffer greatly because of it. Many popular stores, including Urban Outfitters, Forever 21, H&M, Zara, and Brandy Melville, rely on unethical labor practices to produce their goods. These unethical labor practices comprise mainly of sweatshops in developing countries, where some of their workers are paid as little as $3 everyday and where children as young as 5 years old are forced to work. These factories also contribute an increasing amount of toxic waste into water and air supplies. Another problem with fast fashion is that fast fashion depends on the idea that its' clothing items go in and out of style quickly, which causes consumers to buy more clothing from them. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average American throws away about 81 pounds of clothing per year. Once this ends up in a landfill, they produce massive amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas, as they degrade. However, although many clothing items are made of natural materials such as cotton or linen, these materials are highly processed with bleaches, dyes, and other chemicals. When placed in landfills, these chemicals leach into groundwater. When incinerated, the release dangerous toxins into our atmosphere. When buying clothing, consider where it is coming from, and whether you really need it.
Your dollar shows where your heart is! Here are some simple ways and brands to help you shop ethically!
Buy clothing second hand!
Buying clothing second hand not only does not support unethical labor practice, but also reduces clothing waste. One way to do this is by going to thrift stores. If you prefer online shopping, apps such as Depop make it easier than ever to find cute second hand clothing at a low price. Depop also allows you to sell your own used clothes and can help reduce your own clothing waste.
Do your research
The app Good On You among other blogs help you search brands and review how ethical they are. There are also many blogs that review brands and list great alternative brands.
Look for brands that advertise that they are ethical
Brands such as Everlane, and People Tree are 100% honest about where their products are made. This makes it easy to shop and is guilt free.
Below is the first blog we ever posted. With all of our new followers we thought it was important to continue to share what the root of our charity is all about.
The best way to help bring villages and communities out of poverty is to educate the younger generations, especially the girls. Many parents living in poverty overlook the education of their daughters and fail to see how much potential they have. Not only does educating girls give them the knowledge they need to get jobs, but it also gives them confidence, as well as the opportunity to start businesses, which in turn provides job opportunities for the rest of the community, helping the entire population. Educated women who are also married are able to add to the household income, providing a better upbringing for their children. Girls with an education also know their rights and are able to stand up for themselves as well as others, which prevents child marriage. Girls who can read and write are a lot less prone to be kidnapped and sell to brothels and are not forced into prostitution. This is because they have a proper education that can help them get a real job and they are smart enough to know where danger is hiding. Educated women also know more about healthcare and pregnancy, and are therefore able to reduce maternal mortality. They also have fewer children, which helps decrease the exponential population growth rates. The more women that are educated, the more women are involved in politics, creating a more efficient and representative government. Here is a simple list of positive impacts a girls’ education can create:
- Sending a girl to school helps them get a job
- Many women create their own businesses, creating jobs for the community
- Lowers the Chance of Child Marriage and Unplanned Pregnancies
- They Can Care for their Families
- Keep Themselves Healthy
- Can Send their Kids to School