Archive for the ‘school’ Category

RIP Charlie Slavin   Leave a comment

Head of UMaine Honors College dies unexpectedly

By Nick McCrea, BDN Staff
Posted JULY 30, 2012, at 6:49 p.m.
Charlie Slavin

ORONO, Maine — Charles Slavin, the man at the helm of the University of Maine’s honors program for the past 15 years, died unexpectedly but peacefully at his home on Monday morning, according to the university.

The 58-year-old mathematician was a jack of many trades who affected the lives of many who passed through the honors program over the years, according to Honors College graduate and state Rep. Emily Cain, D-Orono.

“At heart, he was a student of philosophy and history” who sought to understand society, arts and sports, not just numbers.

“Charlie was really my first friend at the University of Maine,” Cain said.

Cain joined the honors program at UMaine in 1998, largely because of Slavin’s support and encouragement to do so, she said. She graduated from the program in 2002, the same year Slavin successfully transitioned the program into an Honors College.

“Charlie took the work he did here very seriously and very personally,” Cain said.

I just can’t imagine the Honors College without him. I’m sure it’ll continue on as strong as ever, but it really won’t be the same without Charlie leading it.


Posted July 31, 2012 by benjaminsapiens in personal, school, uncategorized

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End of the semester   Leave a comment

So, the semester’s over. I’ve been spending this past week unpacking and tying up some loose ends. Originally, I was supposed to graduate this past semester, but that’s since been postponed a while. This was the last time I’ll ever live in a dorm, though. I’m going to be living at home while taking part-time classes until I get my degree. I’m looking for a summer job, since the job I’d had for four years at the USDA lab ended. And that’s pretty much all there is to tell.

Also, I do also have this pretty neat little animation that I created in my 3D Modeling & Animation class. I spend so much time working on this – 300 hours at least. I enjoyed almost every minute I spent on it, but I was a little disappointed to realize, once I looked at the finished product, that it only lasted 13 seconds. Anyway, it’s pretty cool (or at least I think it is).

Posted May 14, 2011 by benjaminsapiens in personal, school

Graduation   1 comment

I started at UMaine in the fall of 2007, which means that I’m a member of the class of 2011. This means that I should be graduating in May. My plans have changed a little, however. As I was signing up for this semesters classes this past fall, I realized that I wasn’t going to have enough credits to graduate this spring as planned. I’ve been working on my BFA (Bachelor’s of Fine Arts) degree in Studio Art, which is the professional version of the regular bachelor’s degree in Studio Art. The only difference is that you have to take a bunch more upper level studio courses for the BFA. Both the BA and BFA are meant to be earned in four years; however, I’ve been taking French classes, which displaced the art classes I would have been taking otherwise. I could have graduated this spring with a BA, but I decided to keep going and get the full BFA. To get that, I’ll need to take six art classes after this semester is over. I’ll be taking classes part-time, two art classes each semester, for three semesters, and I’ll be graduating in December 2012.

I’m actually looking forward to doing this. There are still a lot more art class I want to take before I leave, and I’ll be able to take six of them without any other classes to worry about. The only downside is that my Top Scholar Award that I received as a senior in high school (which pays all my tuition, leaving me to only pay for fees, supplies and room & board) runs out after four years, so I’ll have to start paying for the classes I take. I’ll be living at home, so that will cut down on some of the cost, and it looks like I’ll be able to keep my job at the USDA lab as long as I’m enrolled at the University. Unfortunately, most of my friends will have graduated and will be gone after this semester. Matt just got accepted to UMaine in the fall for Engineering (with the Top Scholar free ride, too – well done!), so I’ll be going to the same school as my brother for the first time since fifth grade.

I’ve been in the Honors program for the past four years, and I’m currently working on my Honors thesis, so hopefully I’ll be graduating with Honors under my belt as well. My thesis project is going to be a series of large illustrations of sci-fi literature. I’m taking an independent study art class with Michael Lewis where I’ll work on creating the illustrations. I did a few of these in high school, and I’d like to go back and revisit this theme now that I’m (hopefully) quite a bit more artistically mature. I’ll be defending my thesis at the end of the semester.

In addition to my BFA in Studio Art and my Honors degree, I plan on getting minors in Art History and French. I’ve taken enough of these classes already that I only need to take one more of each to get a minor, so I thought, “Why not?”

The one thing I’m not sure of is what class am I now a member of? I started out in the class of ’11, and I’ll have done a full four semesters with them, and I was even in the Class of 2011 Senior Capstone Exhibition last semester, but I’ll be graduating in December 2012. Does that mean I’ll be in the class of ’12 now? Will I be, say, an über-senior next semester?

Or "Maine 2012," maybe?

Posted February 10, 2011 by benjaminsapiens in art, personal, school

Photography   Leave a comment

I took Digital Photography and Printing this past semester with the awesome Michael Grillo. I took an art history class with Grillo my freshman year, and several others since then, and they’ve been some of the most interesting classes I’ve ever had. We look at the pieces of art and craft in the context of the culture that created them – their place in their audience’s lives, their aesthetic style and visual language, the cultural values they conveyed, the obvious and the more subtle messages they tried to impart – which is all a heck of a lot more interesting than memorizing “Title/Artist/Date/Medium/Style.” He’s also a exhibiting photographer, and I spent last semester trying to take some of what he had to teach about photography and improve my own skills. I made some progress in learning to capture the kind of images that are worth looking at, and I learned a lot about thinking like a photographer. I also bought an awesome new camera and started shooting in RAW.

Here are the images I shot over the course of the class.
















Posted January 21, 2011 by benjaminsapiens in art, photography, school

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Senior Capstone Exhibition   1 comment

The Studio Art Capstone course is required for graduating with a degree in Studio Art. As the name implies, it’s related to a capstone project, which is an exhibition the class puts on showcasing our work. The class is taken in the fall of senior year (more on that later). Because I was in France when I signed up for fall classes, I somehow didn’t realize that I needed to sign up for this class (it’s only offered in the fall, and it’s required for graduation). About a month into the semester, I realized I need to be in this class in order to graduate (again, more on that later). Fortunately I was able to get into the class, and I didn’t have too much trouble getting caught up. Besides getting the senior class exhibition set up, the class was concerned with teaching us the practical side to making a living as an artist: resumés, galleries, agents, career paths, etc.

The 2010 Senior Capstone Exhibition opened on December 3 in Lord Hall, and it will stay up until the middle of next week (January 20). It’s quite a nice show, with a lot of excellent work. I submitted my series of photographs from Le Mans. I would have liked to displayed them at a much larger scale – say, 15’x23′ rather than the 10’x15′ they are now – but they still make a nice display as they are now.

More photos of the show are here.

Impressions of Le Mans — Ben Richard

Posted January 12, 2011 by benjaminsapiens in art, personal, photography, school

Fin de semestre   Leave a comment

Well, the semester ended Friday. Whew. It’s been four and a half months since I started here, and now it’s all over. Here’s a look at what I’ve done at school during these last few weeks.

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Bien, le semestre a fini vendredi. Whew. C’a été quatre et une moitié de mois depuis que j’ai commencé ici, et maintenant elle est partout. Voici ce que j’avais fait à l’école pendant ces dernières semaines.

Flash movie   ***   Film Flash

This was the very first project I worked on when I arrived here. It took me all semester to finish up. It was created around photos taken in a location in the city, in my case the school itself, with animaiton added in Adobe Flash. The animated figures were drawn by me in Photoshop. Click on the link to see the film. Note: it’s sort of a “Choose Your Own Adventure” story, so you have to click on one of the three doors when the time comes to continue the film. Unfortunately, I couldn’t upload as a Flash file, so I uploaded it with QuickTime, which means I had to split the film into the beginning and the three different endings. But at least you get to see it.

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C’était le tout premier projet dont j’ai travaillé quand je suis arrivé ici. Je travaillais tout le semestre pour en finir. Il a été créé autour des photos pris dans un endroit dans la ville, dans mon cas l’école elle-même, avec l’animaiton ajouté dans Adobe Flash. Les personages animés ont été dessinées par moi dans Photoshop. Cliquez sur le lien pour voir le film. Note: cela fonctionne un peu comme un livre-jeu, ainsi vous devez cliquer sur une des trois portes quand le temps vient pour continuer le film. Malheureusement, je ne pourrais pas le télécharger comme fichier de Flash, ainsi je l’ai téléchargé avec QuickTime, alors j’ai dû couper le film en début et trois fins différentes. Mais au moins vous pouvez le voir.

Scale   ***   Échelle

This project was also started at the beginning of the semester. It was a sculpture project in which we had to make a replica of an object that was larger or smaller than the original. I created a couple of hand-sized ten cent euro coins.

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Ce projet a été commencé au début du semestre aussi. C’était un projet de sculpture dans lequel nous avons dû faire une reproduction d’un objet qui était plus grand ou plus petit que l’original. J’ai créé deux pièces de dix centimes d’euro.

10 cent euro coins *** pièces de 10 centimes d'euro

Painting   ***   Peinture

I started work on a canvas based on the theme of le lointain, “background.” Unfortunately, I had trouble getting the materials I needed (specifically, white paint), so I never got very far on it. I’ve taken it with me and I’m going to finish it after I get back home.

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J’ai commencé de travailer sur une toile basée sur le thème du lointain. Malheureusement, j’ai eu l’ennui obtenir les matériaux que j’avais besoin de (spécifiquement, de peinture blanche), ainsi je n’en suis jamais accompli beaucoup. Je l’ai pris avec moi et je le finirai après que je reviens chez-moi.

Landscape painting (in progress) *** Tableau paysage (en cours)

Bronze casting   ***   Moulage de bronze

I got to take part in some bronze casting. The process is known as the cire perdue or lost wax method. I created a model of an apple core, which was a fairly complicated process. I started off by encasing an apple core in plaster, and then sawing the plaster in half and removing the apple to create a mold. I filled both halves of the mold with molten wax. When the wax had cooled, I removed both halves and melted them together to form a wax model of an apple core. This model was encased in clay, which was then fired; the clay was baked solid and the wax melted out, leaving a hollow mold in the shape of an apple core. Molten bronze was then poured into this mold. When the metal had hardened, the clay was broken off and what remained was a bronze model of an apple core.  See some of the process here.

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Je pouvais participer à un bâti en bronze. Le processus s’appelle la méthode de cire perdue. J’ai créé un modèle d’un trognon de pomme, qui était un processus assez compliqué. J’ai commencé en emballant un trognon en plâtre, et alors en sciant le plâtre dans la moitié et en enlevant la pomme pour créer un moule. J’ai rempli les deux moitiés du moule de la cire fondue. Quand la cire avait durci, j’ai enlevé les deux moitiés et les ai fondues ensemble pour former un modèle de cire d’un trognon. Ce modèle a été emballé en argile, qui a été alors cuit; l’argile était cuit au four et la cire a fondu dehors, laissant un moule creux sous forme de noyau de pomme. Le bronze fondu a été alors versé dans ce moule. Quand le métal avait durci, l’argile a été cassé et ce qui sont restés étaient un modèle en bronze d’un trognon. Voir du processus ici.

Bronze apple core *** Trognon en bronze

Found objects   ***   Objets trouvés

For this project we created and painted a piece constructed of objects that had been thrown out. If you walk around the city in the evening, you’ll find piles of garbage on the sides of the streets; some of it household waste in garbage bags, but also lots of things that the stores are getting rid of: boxes, coat hangers, styrofoam peanuts, posters, etc. Enterprising individuals, like us art students, can faire le poubelle: walk along the streets looking among the piles of things being thrown out for something interesting to take. I was lucky enough to find a broken display stand from a boutique which I used as the base of my piece. The work I created is a model of the mythical world: hell below, mankind on the earth and the gods above.

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Pour ce projet nous avons créé et avons peint une œuvre construit des objets qui avaient été jetés. Si on marche autour de la ville le soirée, on trouvera des piles des ordures des côtés des rues; une partie de elle sont déchets de ménage dans des sacs d’ordures, mais il y a également un bon nombre de choses dont les magasins se débarassent: des boîtes, des cintres, des billes de calage, des affiches, etc. Les individus entreprenants, comme nous des étudiants d’art, peuvent faire le poubelle: marcher le long des rues regardant parmi les piles des choses étant jetées pour quelque chose intéressante de prendre. J’étais assez chanceux de trouver un présentoir cassé d’une boutique que j’ai employée comme base de mon œuvre. Le travail que j’ai créé est un modèle du monde mythique: enfer ci-dessous, humanité sur la terre et les dieux ci-dessus.

Found object sculpture *** Sculpture des objets trouvés

Printmaking   ***   Gravure

I was able to finish a linocut while I was here.  I don’t have a very good print of it, but here’s what it looks like. I want to take this farther when I get the chance.

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J’ai pu finir une plaque linoleum pendant que j’étais ici. Je n’ai pas une gravure très bonne de elle, mais voici comment elle ressemble. Je veux travailler plus dans cette pièce quand j’en pourrai.



There was another party at the school to celebrate the end of the year. The theme was “Pirates vs. Vikings.”

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Il y a été une autre soirée à l’école de célébrer le fin de l’année. Le thème était «Pirates vs. Vikings».

Pirates vs. Vikings!


Filming   ***   Tournage

So, how about this: I was an extra in a film on Friday. Pretty cool, huh? It’s an independant short film about a figure model. They came to the school to record a scene of a figure drawing session, and there were about a dozen students from the school, including myself, who played the art students doing the figure drawings. Hopefully, I’ll be in there somewhere in the final cut of the film. They have my e-mail and they’re going to let me know when it’s finished and send me a copy. They also mentioned that they were thinking of taking it to Cannes. So … yeah. Pretty cool.

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Ainsi, entendez-vous de ceci: J’étais figurant dans un film vendredi. C’est cool, non? C’est un court-métrage indépendant au sujet d’une modèle. Ils sont venus à l’école pour enregistrer une scène d’un cours de nu, et il y avait environ une douzaine des étudiants de l’école, y compris me, qui a joué les roles des étudiants d’art faisant des croquis. Si tout va bien, je serai dedans là quelque part dans le montage final du film. Ils ont mon adresse e-mail et ils vont me faire connaître quand il est fini et m’envoie une copie. Ils ont mentionné aussi qu’ils pensaient à le prendre à Cannes. Ainsi… ouais. Assez chouette.

Filming *** Tournage

Photography *** Photographie   2 comments

We just finished a photography workshop in which we focused on public spaces. These are photographs I submitted.

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Nous avons juste fini un atelier photographie qui s’agissait des espaces publiques. Ceux-ci sont des photographies qui j’ai soumis.

This last one is a conceptual piece. I arranged cigarette butts into the shape of the city’s coat of arms on a manhole cover. It’s meant to speak to the fact that people often don’t have much regard for the cleanliness of their city.   ***  Ce dernier est une œuvre conceptuel. J’ai arrangé des mégots en forme du blason de la ville dans une plaque d’égout. C’est doit être parler du fait que souvent les gens n’ont pas beaucoup d’égard pour la propreté de leur ville.