Artist’s Portfolio: Alex Turner

Found below is a collection of intriguing and enveloping paintings by Lewis University student Alex Turner. We’re ecstatic to feature his nine paintings, which we’ve interspersed throughout this post along with Turner’s bio and process piece.
Discover for yourself the awesome work of this young artist.

Alex Turner
Alex Turner

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Artist’s Portfolio: Mervyn John

Found below is a collection of the vibrant, brilliant photography of Mervyn John, a Lewis University student we’re incredibly happy to feature here. We’ve interlaced John’s bio and process piece between the eight hand-picked photographs we’ve highlighted in this post. See for yourself the stunning artistry of this young talent.

Mervyn John
Mervyn John

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Meet the Editors: Andrea Holm

andrel
Andrea Holm

Hello, readers! Fall is here and it’s time to break out those jackets! We are near the end of our “Meet the Editor” series, and this week we have Andrea Holm.

Andrea Holm is a senior at Lewis University. She is majoring in psychology and double minoring in sociology and professional writing. Her goal is to earn a PhD in clinical psychology and become a mental health doctor. She is a member of the Lewis University women’s cross country and track and field team, participating in middle distance events. This is her first year working for the Jet Fuel Review, and she has chosen to help out as Fiction Editor and Copy Editor. Outside the world of Lewis, she spends time riding her four horses, as it is a very therapeutic hobby and something she is passionate about.

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A Community Collaboration: Bouts-Rimés

Jet Fuel Review Issue 11 Cover
Jet Fuel Review Issue 11 Cover

For issue #11 of the Jet Fuel Review, we’ve included a special section that features a sampling of pieces that all share a prevailing theme, with this issue’s special theme being a collection of bouts-rimé poetry.

A bouts-rimé is a literary game in which poets are given a predetermined set of words that they must center their poems around. Literally meaning “rhymed-ends” in French, a bouts-rimé is a type of sonnet, three quatrains and a couplet with an abab cdcd efef gg rhyme scheme. Since the fourteen words that we chose were challenging, we decided that adherence to iambic pentameter would be optional.

The selected fourteen words were required to be used at the end of each line (hence, “rhymed-ends” as the translation) and in the order they were given. All of the Jet Fuel Review editors collaborated in coming up with interesting words to stump poets. Here are the fourteen words we decided on: envelope, orange, telescope, singe; eyelash, wire, mustache, fire; underhand, render, ampersand, tender; photogenicpomegranate.

Seeing what the poets were in for, we felt that it would only be right for us, the editors, to attempt to write bouts-rimés ourselves. After feeling the frustration firsthand, we could not be more pleased with how many lovely bouts-rimés we received in response to our seemingly impossible task.

— Sam Gennett, Assistant Managing Editor

Presented below are the editors’ attempts at writing poems using our specific bouts-rimé guidelines. These poems have all been written by Jet Fuel Review editors and other Lewis University students/alumni.

To see the poems that made the cut in issue #11, follow the link here.

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“Painter Working, Reflection” and “Ex-Voto” by Dr. Michael Cunningham

Frida Kahlo’s Portrait of Doctor Farill http://bit.ly/1Mw7iU5
Frida Kahlo’s Portrait of Doctor Farill
http://bit.ly/1Mw7iU5

An introductory note on ekphrastic poetry (“Artists at Their Easels” ) by Dr. Michael Cunningham:

I have been interested in portraiture, artists’ renderings of the human face and figure. And I am interested in self representation, especially in the two forms where it is commonly found: the memoir/autobiography and in paint.

My “Artists at Their Easels” project is a result of the convergence of these two interests. At first the subjects came to me; for a long time I have been familiar with and provoked by the mischievous Rene Magritte’s “Clairvoyance.” The same is true for Jan Vermeer’s “The Artist in His Studio.” I have been fascinated by the photography of Vivian Maier, the North Shore nanny who shot thousands of street scenes in Chicago at the middle of the 20th century, none of which were reproduced until her negatives and proof sheets were discovered at a garage sale in the last decade. I was delight to find that, in some cases, Maier had turned the camera on herself, capturing her fleeting image in a huge department store window.

In other cases, I have deliberately looked for self-portraits in studio settings. I was familiar with the work of British avant-gardist Lucian Freud, but didn’t know that he had done self-portraits until I investigated.

If the limited number of poems that comprise this project can be classified, it would be in this way: poems in which the artist speaks and those in which an observer speaks. In the first category, I am challenged to be a good mind reader, that is, to take what information I may gather about the artist and imagine what he or she might be thinking. The poem about the Frida Kahlo painting shown here is such an instance. My research is not extensive. Though I have seen and enjoyed “Frida,” the 2002 biopic, and have seen a number of exhibits of her work and that of her contemporaries at the National Museum of Mexican Art in Pilsen, I have not read Hayden Herrara’s biography. I suppose that this leaves me open to the charge of “historical error,” but then complete fidelity is not my goal. The Frida who speaks in this poem is the Frida that I imagine.

In fashioning poems in the second category –-  those about viewer responses – I rely on my own engagement with the poems. The speaker in these poems is some version of myself. The voice found in the poem about Vermeer is close to my own. It’s me that finds something intriguing about the use of red, an unusual color in the painter’s palette. The voice that you hear in the poem about the naked and aging Lucian Freud is my own; in the painting I find an image of my own increasingly decrepit form.

Dr. Michael Cunningham is the Director of the Lewis University Arts & Ideas program.

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“Jamie” by Gina Capperino

Gina Capperino
Gina Capperino

An introductory note on the short story “Jamie” by Gina Capperino:

I used to live in a small suburb close to Midway airport — it wasn’t the best area, but I was too young to notice what was really around me. I fell in love with the rainy days in my neighborhood because there would always be a lingering fog that was hard to describe in such a small amount of words. Being a dog person, I was always looking to tell a story about how letting go can be for the better.

Gina Capperino is a junior at Lewis University and a member of the Jet Fuel Review staff.

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“After the dishes are done” by Harold McCay

Harold McCay
Harold McCay

An introductory note on the poem “After the dishes are done” by Harold McCay

The spilling of wine has a proud history as a metaphor going back at least as far as Euripides. Medea refers to the stain on her hand as the crushed grapes of the wine she has prepared for Jason. And, there is, of course, the wine of the sacrament. And on and on. This is not in that vein. Here, the cigar may just be a cigar. This once had a working title of “In Lieu of the Evening News.” But I felt it imposed. Like an attempt to compete with Dover Beach.  Ignorant armies abound, for sure. And they can’t be ignored. But neither can trivialities. Trivialities may be trivial, but that doesn’t mean they’re insignificant. Perhaps.

Harold McCay is a professor in the Theater Department at Lewis University.

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A Trip to Hong Kong with Therese Jones

Dr. Therese Jones

If you could travel anywhere, where would your destination be?

I have longed to travel to China for thirty years because of the amazing arts, history, beauty, and my curiosity regarding Chinese literature. Ten years ago, I was so fortunate to travel to both China and Hong Kong. I accompanied some of the Lewis University Business Department faculty members and their students, who were studying international business there.

While in Hong Kong, we all took a river cruise, which was the inspiration for the poem below.

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Depth of Field: The Grand Budapest Hotel’s Shape-Shifting Aspect Ratio

Photo from fastcocreate.net
Photo from fastcocreate.net

This past weekend, my sister and I had our parents over for dinner. After dinner, we decided to watch a movie. Our parents had never seen “Fantastic Mr. Fox” or “The Grand Budapest Hotel”. After fifteen minutes of searching various Video-On-Demand services to find out which one they wouldn’t be able to watch on their own, it turned out they had neither, and we settled on “The Grand Budapest Hotel”.

Okay, so, a warning: over the course of this blog, I am going to come across as an absolute Wes Anderson fanatic. And I am. Sort of. But lately, my sister and I have been going backwards through Mr. Anderson’s filmography because we hadn’t seen any of his films, but always wanted to. They are amazing and you should watch them (if you want, I don’t care). So the fact that his films are so fresh in my mind is going to make this fact of my character even more exaggerated. I swear I like other directors.

Anyway! We settled on Grand Budapest, and I had already seen it, so with the story already known to me, I was able to perceive all the little gems I missed on my first viewing. And man. Are there gems.

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There Are Wrenches in English Too: Professor Eric Jones Profile by Richard Mulville

Hello, everyone, and welcome to our installment, “Acts of Reading and Writing: Faculty Profiles.” This week we feature Prof R. Eric Jones, Lewis University Aviation and Transportation Professor. Lewis student Richard Mulville interviewed Prof. Jones. The mini-interview, that the Jet Fuel Review editors are also partaking in for the “Meet the Editors” series, is located after the profile.

There Are Wrenches in English Tooeric jones

Robert Eric Jones, though he prefers Eric Jones, is one of those mechanics who works and inspects airplanes on a weekend basis for SWA (Southwest Airlines.) Jones with his clean cut brown hair, standing about 5’10” with his lab jacket on, is a professor here at Lewis University.  Jones wasn’t always a professor at Lewis University, he has also worked in the United States Navy as an airframe and powerplant rated mechanic. In the Navy, he worked on LC-130’s,which is a four-engine transport aircraft. Jones was deployed to Antarctica where he worked on these type of airplanes and mostly transported toilet paper and plywood around the continent. After his four years in the Navy, he worked for United Airlines as a mechanic for three years. After his three year stint at United, he heard about new opportunities at SWA where he applied and received the job.

Jones has been working for SWA for 14 years and only works on the weekends now, stating “Yeah, it’s not a bad deal.” He is now a Flight Line Technician at SWA where he looks at planes before they depart. In the event that there is a problem with the aircraft, he decides if it’s a “go” or “no-go item.”  Since he has been with the company for so long, he is able to choose his own hours and works around his teaching schedule during the week. He is the proud married father of three children with one of them being special needs. This diverse background shapes a brief summary of Robert Eric Jones.

With all of his mechanical background, it is no surprise that Prof. Jones’s favorite type of book is either a nonfiction or historical book. In Jone’s library, he’d have, “different types of literature, historical, biographies and classics.” And, if he could co-write with one author, it would be David McCullough, a primarily nonfiction author. It is no surprise that Jones would want to work with someone who is also interested in nonfiction historical pieces. Although his favorite books are nonfiction, he does need somewhere to relax when he’s off the job. When asked where his favorite place to read is, he stated, “It has to be the bathtub, because of the Jacuzzi,” which is where he escapes when he’s stressed about working on airplanes or grading exams. Continue reading