Tag: education

Monster Art Rally 2016

Monster Art Rally Logo

Last year I participated in the 1st annual Monster Art Rally at the Taubman Museum of Art and I’m happy to announce that I’m participating again this year! The event is taking place this Thursday April 21st from 5-9pm. Over 30 local artists will be drawing on-site while visitors watch and learn about the artists, their work, and the art of buying art. All artwork will be on sale for $50 and each piece will go to the person who draws the highest card. Proceeds from art sales help support educational programming at the museum.

Food and drinks will be available for purchase, plus all galleries will be open until 9pm, including the Norman Rockwell exhibition. See below for more details and click here to visit the Facebook event.

MAR 2016 Flyer

If you are a local business, you can contribute by purchasing “Monster Dollars”–pre-paid sponsorships that can be used to play in the auction. Click here for more info and here to purchase.

Hope to see you there!! xoxo

Need Monster Art

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22 Years

It’s that time again. The official day that I sit and reflect on my life as a person with diabetes. I say ‘official’ because this is something I think about daily (no special anniversary needed). It has now been 22 years since I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 3. To avoid sounding redundant, I’ll skip the details about the struggle of attempting to manage some kind of control over my body. Instead, I’ll share some exciting things that I’m doing right now and have been doing that relate to art and diabetes.

Diaversary 2016 Collage

  1. Children’s Book. Writing a children’s book has been a dream of mine since I was a kid myself. I’ve always loved reading and drawing and writing and thought “why not create a book of my own?” It’s taken a while to get to this point (I have many unfinished stories), but it’s real this time and I’m determined to publish it within the next year. The reason I’m mentioning the book in this post is because the book I’m writing/illustrating is meant for kids who are growing up with diabetes. I don’t want to share too much information yet, but I’ve been working on this since September and still have a lot of work left. I’m SO excited to share it soon. You can see peeks if you follow me on Instagram @anamoralesart.
  2. Thesis Work. For my MFA I have to complete a written thesis as well as create work for a thesis exhibition this summer in Chicago. Both are influenced by my experiences living with diabetes and the work that I’ve made about diabetes over the past six years. My goal is to document both processes over the next several months and share them here and on other social media platforms. I’m making plans for the steps I will take post-graduation, and that includes sharing my work broadly and figuring out how I can bring it into non-art spaces as well.
  3. Diabetes Study. This doesn’t directly relate to my art practice, except that it’s kind of like research. I’m currently participating in a 16 week study conducted by The Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Science at The University of Virginia. The purpose of the study is to test an Internet-based program for use with women with Type 1 diabetes who plan on one day becoming pregnant. The goal of the program is to help these women learn how to regulate their blood glucose levels for pregnancy. It is almost like taking a refresher course on how to manage my numbers, plus I’m learning lots of new information and making a greater effort to notice symptoms of high and low blood sugar.
  4. Education. While I don’t have much time to do anything else, I’ve still been thinking about what the next step is for me. In addition to being an artist, I am also an educator and I think there is great value in using visual art to spread information that encourages empathy. I am interested in any opportunity to bridge the gaps between people who are suffering in isolation and between doctors and patients. I want to talk to students, doctors, patients, parents, and partners about the power of art in the realm of medicine. Last month, my work was part of a display by Art in CME at the 41st Annual ACEhp Conference (Alliance for Continuing Education in the Health Professions) and I hope to participate in more things like this in the future.

Stay tuned for updates and more documentation of my progress. Thanks for reading! xoxo

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November + December Inspiration

“We never know which lives we influence, or when, or why.” -Stephen King

1. My fall semester instructors/advisors/mentors: Gerry Bannan, Tim Nickodemus, and Pamela Sneed

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2. Illustrations by Maira Kalman

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3. Documentary: Jiro Dreams of Sushi

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4. Cut paper art by Rogan Brown

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5. The life and afterlife of Henrietta Lacks a.k.a. He-La

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6. Book: Sex is a Funny Word by Cory Silverberg and Fiona Smyth

“Guaranteeing to “get well” similarly reinforces the notion that health is a binary, with sickness on one side and wellness on the other. Is it? Doctors increasingly diagnose conditions pre-cancerous, pre-diabetic, pre-bad, and everyone’s health is constantly fluctuating, like one’s pulse or blood pressure.”

7. Article: The Pressure to Say You’re OK by Adam Baer

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8. Book: The Reality Shows by Karen Finley

Links: 1a/1b/1c/2/3/4/5/6/7/8

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Fall 2015: Work

The past semester was a bit overwhelming–hence the lack of activity on here–but I’m so excited about the work I’m making. Here are some photos of the things I’ve been working on for the past few months. Next up: thesis!

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World Diabetes Day 2015

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November is National Diabetes Awareness Month and today is World Diabetes Day. If you’ve been here before you know that diabetes is a huge part of my life and I’ve spent the last several years making work about it. Sometimes I make art to shed light on what it’s like to live with diabetes and sometimes I make art as a way of coping with the disease. Sometimes it’s both.

Sometimes it’s hard for me to explain how I feel when it comes to my diabetes. I am fortunate enough to have access to the medication, supplies, and care that I need, and I am capable of administering my own medication every day. I’ve achieved many of my goals, I’m at a healthy weight, I do most of the things I want to do, I have a supportive family, and I’m marrying someone who is willing to deal with and support me through all the things that suck about diabetes. And that’s just it. Living with diabetes sucks. My body seems to be getting more sensitive to pain as I get older. Sometimes my insulin doesn’t work. My fingertips are also more sensitive, especially my right pointer finger. Rubbing any slightly rough material is really uncomfortable. My feet are almost always cold. Sometimes I have to eat glucose tablets at the gym because I calculated something wrong. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and realize I woke up because my blood sugar level is plummeting and then I have to eat glucose tablets while I lay sweating in bed trying to stay awake until I feel better. I could go on (and on and on…).

I’m pretty good at staying positive and I’m thankful for that particular personality trait. Making art about diabetes has been such a rewarding creative outlet and I truly believe it changed my life. I continue to feel called to make this work and I hope I can do great things with it (I have plans!).

Anyway, I hope that you spend time this month (even just a few minutes!) learning about the various types of diabetes and what it means to live with this disease. Learn what the symptoms are and share this information with your loved ones. I was three years old when I was diagnosed and I couldn’t describe what I was feeling, but my dad was observant and noticed my symptoms. My oldest sister was diagnosed later the same year and she was able to describe what I was going through to my parents because she was going through the same things. Now that I’m older, I am now incredibly grateful for that.

There are many blogs and other resources that cover this topic. Here are some great websites and articles to get you started:

International Diabetes Federation

The Girl’s Guide to Diabetes

A Cartoonist Laughs at Diabetes, and Her Book Will Make You Laugh Too

T1 Diabetes is Complicated…Even for Doctors

Don’t Judge People with Type 2 Diabetes

In Praise of Diabetes Unawareness

Type 1 Diabetes Finally Explained

The Invisibility of Type 1 Diabetes

Thank you so much for reading. Stay tuned for a peek into the things I’ve been making this fall! xoxo

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Project: Banda Magda T-shirts

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I’ve been sitting on this story for several months, but now I can share it with you! So there’s this amazingly talented international group of musicians called Banda Magda. I know of them through my musician brother, Gabriel, and the Music Lab at Jefferson Center in Roanoke, VA. I had the pleasure of seeing them perform live at Jefferson Center in September of 2013 and I felt like I had been transported to another place. It was such a beautiful and entertaining show.

Magda Giannikou, the band’s tireless leader (pianist, accordionist, singer, composer, orchestrator, songwriter, music producer, etc.), is constantly creating and working on new projects. Last year she and her band put out a new crowd-funded album titled Yerakina. During the crowd-funding campaign, she also released a call for illustrators who could help design T-shirts. My brother told her about me and we were soon Skyping and sending messages back and forth talking about goals and ideas. I was a little nervous about the project since I had limited experience in graphic design work, but Magda had faith in me and was very supportive.

I whipped up a couple preliminary sketches based on Magda’s vision and we discussed style, color, and other content. Magda wanted the shirts to be quite bold, but simple and also educational. We decided to create two different shirts and each would feature a different musical instrument (vibraphone and pandeiro).

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Once I had the final drawings done, it was time to make them digital and add text. This was the most challenging part of the project. I used Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop and I was learning as I went, which is a great way to learn, but also very time-consuming. I learned how to create a vector and I played around a lot with color and placement. Many changes were made along the way, but the designs were eventually finalized and t-shirts were printed! Now many of the people who helped fund Yerakina own one of these shirts and you can also purchase them online here. The shirts have been traveling around the world as Banda Magda tours.

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Speaking of tours, Banda Magda’s last stop on their most recent tour was Jefferson Center this past Tuesday. I saw them perform again (SO GOOD!), and I also finally met Magda in person. She is so sweet and she exudes creativity and passion. I feel so lucky to have worked with her and seen her perform live. What an amazing experience!!

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Banda Magda is working on their third album, Tigre, which will also be crowd-funded. Click here to check it out and consider supporting them! As always, thanks for reading. xoxo

LINKS
Banda Magda Website
Banda Magda Shop
Tigre Pledge Fund Page

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Monster Art Rally

Sweet MI

Sweet MI
Mixed Media (watercolor, ink, acrylic)
11″ x 14″

Museums and galleries across the country are participating in the Monster Drawing Rally, a live drawing event which was introduced by Southern Exposure in San Francisco. This year, The Taubman Museum of Art decided to join in and add a twist by allowing painting as well. Money from sales went towards educational programming at the museum. I was able to participate and it was exciting, inspiring, and admittedly a tad stressful. I rarely create work while people are watching me (unless I’m in a class or workshop) so it was a unique experience interacting with my audience while I created. I didn’t get to do everything I planned to do with my drawing because I ran out of time, but I was very happy with the final piece.

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I started my piece at home and finished it on site. It was sold almost immediately, and before I knew it, it was gone. That was something else I hadn’t experienced before. I usually get to live with my work for a little while (or a long while) before someone else takes it. It was a fun challenge to create for one hour and be forced to part with my creation so quickly!

My favorite part of the night was watching artists at work:

Photo Credit: Taubman Museum of Art
Photo Credit: Taubman Museum of Art

Photo Credit: Taubman Museum of Art
Photo Credit: Taubman Museum of Art

Aside from participating in the live event, I also got to design the logo that was used on various materials including coloring sheets for the kids.

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MAR Thank You Version 2

Overall I had an amazing time at the Monster Art Rally. I plan to participate again next year and I think I will switch it up and create the full piece on site. We’ll see… Anyway, thanks for reading! xoxo

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Precision and Reach Opening Reception

precision and reach collage

Last night I attended the opening reception for Precision and Reach, an art show curated by artist Jane Lillian Vance. The show is displayed in the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine in Roanoke, Virginia as part of their Creativity in Health Education Program. I have two mixed media pieces in the show, which will be up through June.

Precision and Reach Morales

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Work News

Photo Credit: Randall Stout Architects
Photo Credit: Randall Stout Architects

If you’ve visited my blog before, you might know about my life as a post-graduate struggling to find a good job in my field. I wrote lots of cover letters and sent out lots of resumes in the past 16 months and needless to say, it was a pretty frustrating time. I knew that I would find something eventually, but it’s always hard to hear a “no” (or several “no’s” in a row).

I feel like I’m finally at a really good place. I am a graduate student so I needed something that wasn’t too intense. Last week I starting working at the Taubman Museum of Art here in Roanoke, VA and I love it. It’s an awesome balance of art and education and I feel so lucky to have landed this position. (Disclaimer: The postings of this site are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Taubman Museum of Art.) My official title is “Children’s Education Associate” so I’ll be working with kids in a museum setting. I probably won’t write too much about it, just for confidentiality reasons, but I wanted to share this news that’s very exciting for me :]

This year, I will also be teaching after school gifted art again, this time at two elementary schools. I expect my new role at the museum to give me lots and lots of lesson ideas that I can also use with my gifted art students.

I’m still figuring out some kind of routine so that I can effectively balance school, work, and studio time. It will be a challenge for sure, but I’m excited about it. In one of my online classes, we have actually been discussing post-Fordism workers and how they often juggle multiple roles and what it’s like to be an artist in this post-Fordist circumstance. This talk about post-Fordism (which is a recently learned term for me) truly resonates right now. Anyway, thanks for reading!

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World Diabetes Day!

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Hey everyone! So if you’re new to the site, November 14th is World Diabetes Day and that’s important to me because I’ve had Type I Diabetes for almost 20 years. One of the main reasons why diabetes awareness is so important is because so many people go undiagnosed due to their lack of knowledge about diabetes and it’s symptoms. It’s also really important because there are lots of diagnosed diabetics who don’t have access to the care they need to stay alive. Type I diabetics can’t survive without insulin. That doesn’t make insulin a cure.

The American Recall Center teamed up with several diabetes bloggers to create this awesome graphic:

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If I could only tell you one thing that I wanted you to know about diabetes, it would be that even though I look like a healthy 23-year-old, I’m constantly battling a chronic disease that affects my whole body.

You can help raise awareness today by doing a few simple things:

  1. Wear blue–the color for diabetes awareness–and share your blue on your social media accounts. Get the word out that you’re wearing blue in an effort to raise diabetes awareness. Share some information about diabetes if you can.
  2. Take the Big Blue Test. You can do this if you have access to a blood glucose meter even if you’re not diabetic. The point is to show the positive impact of exercise on blood sugar levels. For every 10 submissions, The Diabetes Hands Foundation will grant $5 in support of people with diabetes in need around the world.
  3. Educate yourself–even if it’s just finding out what the symptoms or complications of diabetes are.

Now get out there and spread the word! :]

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