Arts & Entertainment
By Matthew Burgoyne
On May 16, "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian" was finally released. I may be 21, but my favorite movies are the children’s fantasy movies. I guess I am trying to hold on as long as I can. Having seen both of the "Narnia" flicks, I thought it was appropriate for the two films to go head-to-head to see which is more deserving of my $8.50. I should offer this disclaimer: I have not read the books, so my opinions are based solely on what I saw in the films.
1. Story - Like I said, I enjoy the land of make belief. I love movies that are completely fiction and take you to places only the imagination can dream of going to. The first film, "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe," showed us how the film’s four major characters (Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy) discovered the mythical land of Narnia and defeated the evil White Witch. "Prince Caspian" came in at a disadvantage because the first movie was tough act to follow. Plus, sequels normally aren’t as good as the originals. However, "Prince Caspian" was just as good. In the second film, the four siblings return to Narnia, where time has destroyed the peaceful land. With Prince Caspian, the foursome again defeat the evil in Narnia and restore happiness. In terms of story line, I would have to say the two movies tied.
By Jessica Blomquist
As a little girl, First Friday featured artist Mary Leslie, like most little girls, loved horses and dreamed of owning her own. But it wasn’t until she was 32 years old that she bought her first, a quarter horse named Indy. Then four years ago, she and her husband moved from their home in the suburbs of Alpharetta to Madison and adopted a menagerie of other barnyard animals. As an artist, who primarily uses charcoal and oil on canvas, she finds inspiration from living on a farm with five horses, two goats, four dogs and four cats. Leslie has been painting for over 20 years.
“I’ve been drawing since I was old enough to hold a pencil,” she said. In 1984, she attended Savannah College of Art and Design, majoring in graphics and illustration. She then studied at the Atlanta College of Art.
Leslie began her artistic career painting murals in homes and at various businesses. A couple years ago, she combined her enjoyment of painting with her love for animals and began painting country scenes and her pets.
She enjoys giving the animals she paints a sense of personality, conveying their emotions to the viewer.
“People don’t even realize that horses have different personalities,” she said.
For example, she usually paints her younger horse Bleu in a manner which suggests his mischievous, animated spirit. “It’s mostly in the eyes,” she said, describing how she uses an animal’s body language and facial expressions to communicate their personalities. She also likes to show the communication between animals, again mostly conveying this through body language in her artwork. Though her own pets are more conveniently located for painting, she has also been commissioned to paint portraits of other people’s animals.
By Matthew Burgoyne
Congratulations graduates! You are about to embark on what will hopefully be a very successful and fruitful life. But before you go, I thought I could give you (and your parents) a few words of wisdom seeing as how I just graduated from college. Not that a college degree gives me infinite knowledge, but I have at least been through the experience.
Here are five things to remember (or to do) as you start the rest of your lives.
1) Work Hard. - High school may be over, but the work isn’t. In order to be successful you have to put in the time. Plus, why waste all that money on doing nothing?
2) Explore. - Now is your chance to really explore life and find out what you want to take out of yours. During my four years at the University of Georgia, I wanted to keep exploring. I changed my major seven times (which is fine no matter what anyone says). Discover who you are and what you want to accomplish.
3) Study Abroad. - So, you don’t have to do this one, but it is beyond worth it. In December 2007, I went to Antarctica. No, I am not joking. It was one of the best experiences of my life. Though not everyone can or wants to study abroad, I definitely recommend it.
4) Branch Out. - Try things you never dreamed of trying. You may find something that you will continue to do the rest of your life. I thought I hated tomatoes, but I love them now. That probably wasn’t the best example, but it was the first one I thought of.
5) Don’t forget those who got you where you are now. Basically, your family. As you go out and become an independent adult, remember that you would not be here without the help of those that love you. They may annoy you from time to time, but they are always there for you. Plus, you may need a place to crash after you graduate so it is good to stay in their good graces.
By Matthew Burgoyne
From living in a house with seven strangers to eating some unimaginable animal part for $50,000, reality television has infiltrated the daily lives of millions of Americans – and I am not complaining.
Reality TV is “The Brady Bunch” of the 21st century. Families gather around nightly to tune in to their favorites, hoping for a healthy dose of mindless entertainment.
I am a fan of reality TV. I watch a majority of the programming – The Real World, Survivor, The Amazing Race, Flavor of Love, and the list could go on for quite a while. The only reality show I do not watch is The Bachelor because it does not involve a celebrity and the ending after the show is rarely a good one.
Reality TV gives me what I am looking for at the end of a busy day – an ironic escape from reality. For those 30 minutes (of if I am lucky, an hour), I do not have to live me life or my stresses. I get to watch and scrutinize the actions and decisions of people I have never met. It’s great.
So, what’s the appeal? Reality TV offers an escape for some people. I love to travel, but like a majority of the population, I can’t really afford to pick up and explore the world for months at a time. How do I deal with my unfortunate situation? I tune every week to The Amazing Race on CBS. Not only do I get to imagine myself traveling the world, but I get my fill of drama and excitement all from the comfort of my couch.
Reality TV lets the audience say and do things they would normally never say or do in real life. It allows them to live vicariously through reality TV “stars.”
By Ann Cantrell
Ed Zuniga has spent a lifetime devoted to precision and detail.
This attention to detail is represented in his pen and ink depictions of antebellum homes, old farmhouses, old automobiles and other scenes from the southern countryside.
Zuniga said that he loves antebellum homes, particularly in the county. The Greek and Roman columns that are found in this architecture are attractive to him. His education and different careers instilled in him a care for the fine details that enabled him to accurately portray this architecture.
For 43 years, Zuniga worked as a mechanic for two different airlines, Eastern and Lockie. The employees of these airlines were taught to be extremely accurate in order not to jeopardize the lives of the people inside the aircraft.
“You had to endeavor to be perfect,” said Zuniga.
Zuniga traveled with the airlines throughout the 70’s and was able to get several pictures of the aircraft to work with. Eventually, a friend asked him to do a painting of the Eastern aircraft.
At the time, there was an advertisement for Eastern Airlines, “The Wings of Man.” Zuniga changed the title to “The Wings of Eastern” for his depiction of the different aircrafts.
One thousand copies were made of the piece and Zuniga sold every one of them.
Before Zuniga ever started working as a mechanic, he was already putting together things with his hands. Growing up, Zuniga did not have many luxuries. His father often struggled to provide for his family and Zuniga had to build any tools or toys he wanted.
His skill for working with his hands and his inquisitive nature came from this early period in his life.
“I accredit most of it[skill] to my father, who was very influential,” said Zuniga.
By Ann Cantrell
The Madison Morgan Cultural Center is hosting its most competitive juried art show yet.
Since the 1976, the cultural center hosted some form of a juried art show where a judge selected pieces to be shown. In the past three years though, the art show has expanded to accept art pieces from all over the country.
This year Sylvie Fortin, the editor-in-chief for Art Papers, selected the pieces for the show. Angela Nichols, Visual Arts Curator for the Madison Morgan Cultural Center, said Fortin was more selective than judges from previous years.
“I thought there was a lot of strong work she didn’t select,” said Nichols.
She went on to say that regardless of competitive nature of the art show, she is happy with the selections made by the judge. Nichols said that Fortin is very well known and respected and on the cutting edge of contemporary art.
With a better known juror, Nichols said the art show is more likely to receive pieces from professional artists because the artists hope to receive recognition from the juror. She believes that this year the cultural center has succeeded in bringing in higher caliber artists.
“I think we’ve gotten a lot of established artists,” said Nichols.
The art show tends to receive pieces from a lot of graduate students or emerging artists whose passion in life is art.
Fortin picked 31 pieces by 27 artists out of the 450 pieces submitted. The artists were allowed to send in three pieces in any form of media. While most of the pieces were sent in from Georgia, there were also a number sent in from other states.
One selected piece, done by Corrina Sephora Mensoff from Georgia, combined aspects from both sculpture and digital media. Nichols described the art work as an installation piece with hanging sculpture and images projected on to the hanging pieces.