By Marcus (Marc) Barrett, Adjunct Professor, Art
For the past two years, I have been working on a series of paintings that depict views of downtown office buildings. The low-angled linear perspective creates structures that want to spin. The geometric structure of the glass windows, steel mullions and concrete supports, along with shadows and reflections from adjacent towers are the focus of my paintings. I believe architecture is a visual language understood throughout the world. These steel, concrete, and glass giants are rooted in capitalism. The urban skyscraper has become a symbol of Western and Eastern civilization.
As a painter, I am also interested in how the transparency of the glass windows, along with reflections and shadows, create optical tension. The repetition of railings, windows and balconies, painted with a kaleidoscope of colors, shows various dwellings that set up a constant visual rhythm. With their steel, concrete and mirrored glass, modern architecture functions as a prism, reflecting our world.
In my paintings, the illusion of volumetric space is counter-point to the flat physical surface of the canvas. The three-dimensional quality of the silhouetted architectural structures played against the sky and clouds gives one a sense of vertigo or spinning. This architecture has allowed me, as a painter, to locate beauty in the modern world. By focusing on a structure, I am able to discover new patterns of expression.
By Diane Orsini, Professor, English
Dr. Williams dared me to submit a sliver of creative work to the Concentrate, and I accepted her challenge.
For the record, I’ve been teaching creative writing at Valencia since 1993 and am working on a project of my own. Fiction must first be plausible, and after 10 years of preliminary research, including a year-long stint cleaning the mews at the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey, I am hard at work on a full-length children’s action-adventure novel whose working title is “Voyage of the Beagle.”
The inspiration for that novel occurred when my first beagle, a wonderful, bossy little monster named Reliable, ran away into the deep woods of St. Johns County one Christmas Eve. Against all predictions or hope, he returned five days later, starving-hungry but also mightily pleased with himself. The novel is an imaginary exploration of the adventures he just might have had.
Recently, hoping to develop discipline about word choice, I’ve been experimenting with haiku. Here is a quintet from that experiment. Enjoy!
And now, Dr. Williams, I challenge YOU: it’s time to step up and haiku!