Artist’s Portfolio: Shannon Washburn

Found below is a collection of exceptional charcoal portraits and close-up by Shannon Washburn, a Lewis University student that we’re excited to feature here. We’ve included Washburn’s bio, reflection, and eight unique pieces in this post. See for yourself the dedication and artistry of this talented individual.

Shannon Washburn

Shannon Washburn’s Bio:

Shannon Washburn, currently a senior at Lewis University, is pursuing a career in art therapy, a specialization within the realm of counseling. Double majoring in both General Studio Art and Psychology, alongside a minor in Spanish Language and Culture, she has a background identifying and interpreting human expression outside of the studio.

“LOVE” Model: Shannon Washburn

Washburn has gained experience working and/or volunteering at several organizations serving a variety of populations, including children, teens, and adults with various intellectual and developmental disabilities, in addition to older adults diagnosed with dementia. 

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A Community Collaboration: Centos

Jet Fuel Review Issue #15 Cover

Inside our new Spring 2018 issue of Jet Fuel Review (with cover art by Australian artist Jim Tsinganos), you will find a special section that specifically highlights a particular style of poem known as the cento, which is a unique form in which an author creates a piece by stitching together lines borrowed only from the works of others. To help kick-off the launch celebration of our 15th issue, we’ve asked some of our own to join in on the fun and construct a piece or two themselves.

Presented below is a portion of the Special Section’s introduction as written by JFR Assistant Managing Editor, Zakiya Cowan, followed by a collection of wonderful centos written by not only the editors of Jet Fuel Review but also some members of the Lewis University community at large. A few of the writers included here are experienced veterans of the genre, others are amateurs, and some have never written a poem in their adult life. However, each piece remains a showcase of talent and form that we are incredibly excited to share with you.

Read on,

— Michael Lane, Blog Editor

The Jet Fuel Review editors are excited to share with you the noteworthy gem of Issue 15, our cento collection. “Cento” is Latin for “patchwork,” and in terms of poetic form, a cento is a “patchwork” of lines taken from various works. According to the introduction of Hosidius Geta’s Medea:” A Virgilian Cento, by Joseph J. Mooney, Geta’s “Medea” is the first recorded cento, dating back between 200 C.E. and 300 A.D. Classified as a Virgilian cento, “Medea” is composed of lines from works by the ancient Roman poet, Virgil. A Frankenstein-like composition, each line is carefully sutured to the next in order to create thought-provoking images and metaphors that seamlessly weld with one another, and ultimately crafts a piece that pays homage to other’s work while creating a new text.

We hope you both enjoy and appreciate the thoughtful artistry that is involved when constructing the cento, and hopefully discover a newfound love for this longstanding, intricate form.

Read on,

— Zakiya Cowan, Assistant Managing Editor

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Artist’s Portfolio: Angela Morris

Found below is a collection of the lively, exceptional artwork of Angela Morris, a Lewis University student that we’re ecstatic to feature here. We’ve interlaced Morris’ bio and process piece between the eight hand-picked pieces we’ve highlighted in this post. See for yourself the stunning artistry of this young talent.

Angela Morris

Angela Morris’ Bio:

I am a senior Illustration major at Lewis University. Experienced in multiple mediums, I had my first gallery show in the Caterpillar Gallery in Romeoville in the fall of 2016.

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Mindfulness Mentor: Loving Kindness Meditation

Steven Seum

Over winter break, so close to the holidays, the Lewis University community lost one of its fellow students, Steven Seum, who had just graduated after completing the fall semester. Steve was a fellow peer, as we shared numerous English classes together, which grew our friendship as he became a dear friend of mine. I want to dedicate this blog post to Steve and all that he has taught me, in such a short amount of time, about being someone who is patient, kind, and loving.

John Kabat-Zinn, in his mindfulness meditation book, Wherever You Go There You Are, (which I also wrote about in my previous piece) attributes a section to this idea of “loving kindness meditation.” Kabat-Zinn suggests that we resonate with one another’s sorrows because we are all interconnected. Being whole and simultaneously part of a larger whole, we can change the world simply by changing ourselves. If I become a center of love and kindness in this moment then in a perhaps small but hardly insignificant way, the world now has a nucleolus of love and kindness it lacked the moment before. This benefits me and it benefits others (Kabat-Zinn 162).

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Student Feature: Roundtable Reviews of “Searching for Sugar Man”

Found below are four reviews of the the 2012 Oscar-winning documentary, Searching for Sugar Man, written by Lewis University students Cynthia Saucedo, Andrea Ecarma, Star Quiroz, Jerry Langosch.

*Spoilers ahead*

Cynthia Saucedo:

http://bit.ly/2gekr8X

Searching for Sugar Man: A Modern Fairy Tale

Searching for Sugar Man (2012), directed by the late Malik Bendjelloul, tells a story that would be considered a modern fairy tale. Rodriguez is introduced as a mystery, untraceable man, and a prophet. The film’s mystery is built-up by using low-key lighting, shadows, and foggy images. Furthermore, when sound is utilized, it creates an eerie feeling and generates excitement, while the lack of sound highlights the importance of a scene. Playing Rodriguez’s actual soundtrack makes the audience recognize the true beauty in his music and leads them to wonder why he never made it in the music industry.

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Mindfulness Mentor: Where are You Standing?

http://bit.ly/2jdJDiW

Understanding and practicing mindfulness can be tricky, but luckily there are many experts who offer their guidance and advice on how to be successful at being mindful. Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D. is one of these experts, but he also plays the role as a researcher, scientist, writer, and meditation teacher. Kabat-Zinn is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where he founded its world-renowned Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Clinic in 1979, as well as the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Healthcare, and Society in 1995.

Kabat-Zinn is the author of two best-selling books, one of these being, Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life. In his book, Kabat-Zinn guides the reader on a simple path for cultivating mindfulness. The book is broken up into smaller fragments, with brief synopses followed by a “Try” section. These “try” sections give how-to instructions on practicing mindfulness in a non-complex way.

Many of these try sections are worth examining and sharing in order for others to attain a more positive life. In the first part of the book, Kabat-Zinn suggests that, “If we hope to go anywhere or develop ourselves in any way, we can only step from where we are standing. If we don’t really know where we are standing—a knowing that comes directly from the cultivation mindfulness—we may only go in circles, for all our efforts and expectations,” (pgs. 15-16).

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Mindfulness Mentor: Tips for Living a Happier Life

Lewis University’s Arts & Ideas program is hosting what is referred to as the “Happiness Series” throughout the course of the 2017 fall semester. The series includes numerous presentations from faculty and staff that offer helpful tips in regards to mindfulness, writing and the arts, and happiness.

I attended the “Cultivating Happiness through Mindfulness and Writing I” presentation that was held late last month. This presentation highlighted the benefits of practicing mindfulness and its intersectionality with writing, as well as how the conjunction of both can cultivate and restore happiness into one’s everyday life.

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