YVCC is made up of ordinary people just like you and me who decided they wanted to make a difference in their community. I love that and I’m all in.Read More
As my past articles illustrate, I've always been fascinated by movies. There has always been the 'how did they do that?' factor of special effects, the 'I know people like that' factor of social behavior and, of course, the 'did someone sell my life story to Ridley Scott?' factor of being able to relate to something on a deeply personal level.
When I was in college I had the pleasure of putting down my abacus and stone tablets and attending an 'Introduction To Film’ class that forever changed the way I think and feel about movies. For me, it became an art form as important as painting, sculpture, music or literature (especially those mind altering Mad Libs).
At my previous church, a partner and I taught a 'Faith and Film' class for about a decade. In our class, we screened new and classic films and then discussed them from a spiritual perspective. It was one of the most challenging, yet rewarding, things I've ever experienced.
I felt the need to try something like that again, so I’ve started ‘The Billings Film Society.’ I hope to find like minded people who enjoy watching films, but also celebrating the history and art form of film. We currently have a small but dedicated group that meets regularly. My goal is to meet up twice a month. Once to see a new release in a theatre and once to watch a classic or overlooked gem at one of our member’s homes.
I'm not stressing the 'faith' part this time around, because I truly welcome EVERYONE. As the films are shown completely uncensored, I would suggest leaving the kiddos at home.
If you're interested in films, you can check out our meetup group here or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org– or, of course, look for me at a CMYK Gathering.
Our very own Grant Jones was just announced as one of the acts for Red Ants Pants Music Festival, one of Montana's largest music festivals. Charley Pride, Brandi Carlile, Merle Haggard, Emmylou Harris, Taj Mahal, Dwight Yoakam, Wynonna Judd, Lyle Lovett, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Corb Lund, and Ben Bullington are just a handful of acts who have taken the White Sulphur stage.
This is an amazing opportunity.
We believe art matters.
As we speak, Tori Wardrip (an art teacher at West High) is leading a group of Billings high school students on an arts and culture trip to New York City!
Think less “touristy” and more personal art experiences.
This includes a visit to a working artist’s studio, museum visits at the Whitney, the Met, and the Guggenheim with studio time to actually create art in the Guggenheim, Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, the Apollo Theater Amateur Night, and the New York Philharmonic.
(And yes...the 90's are back in style)
Jake Frank is a Worship Leader at CMYK, a voice in our community, and just an all around great guy. We're excited that he's chosen to share his writings with us.
"I came of age at a time when the word “blog” was invented, circa 1998. The early to mid -2000 internet culture was ripe with fields of blogs ranging from the 15-year-old’s angst to the 50-year-old’s way to make money. Blogging, of course, is not in fashion now, but I’m still pursuing it. If anything, I’m settling into it in an “old man waves stick at the youths on his lawn” sort of way.
If you meet me in person, you won’t find much of a conversationalist. I’ll stumble on my thoughts as they transition to words – God forbid the conversation dies down because I won’t know where to steer it other than to mention how cold it’s been lately. Therefore, I write – because in writing I find my voice.
I write because it is a way for me to express my voice, but more importantly, it is the way in which I better understand my thoughts and how I process my feelings. I write to explore myself and the world. I am curious about a lot of things and the more I write, the more I understand, particularly about myself. I suppose, as I gain more insight about myself, I might branch outside of myself: into culture, life, and injustice.
Almost all my writing starts with a question. The rest of my stumbling thoughts come out, searching for the answer. Sometimes I get there, sometimes I only end up asking more questions. But the older I get, the more okay I am with having more questions than answers. At least I’m getting my thoughts on a page so I can better interpret them.”
If you want to follow along with his blog, you can do it here.
Meet John Binder. John and his family are a part of our community, and he is really shaking things up in the medical community here in Billings. John is a pediatric neurologist and describes this field as "the most rewarding, interesting, and fun specialty." He calls the brain the "most interesting and least understood part of the body." Sounds easy, right? As a neurologist, John works to treat people (in his case kids) with brain and nerve problems. He is living and breathing our mission to Be Present and to Be the Embodiment of Love as he practices what he calls a "perfect intersection between great families and a fascinating field." He's a caring guy AND a scientist.
Spinal Muscular Atrophy is a rare neurologic condition affecting kids. It causes a decline in motor skills that often results in death. It was not until December 2016 that there was an FDA-approved medication to treat SMA. Diseases like SMA that don’t have treatments are one of the most difficult part of John’s job. But with a new drug called Spinraza, SMA patients have promising treatment that is completely changing the course of this devastating disease. However, treatment is extremely expensive at $100,000 per treatment, and it is difficult to administer. The medication must be injected directly into the cerebrospinal fluid (think spinal tap). These obstacles require many people working together to overcome the barriers.
John rallied the troops at Billings Clinic. Ten months later, he and his team had established a way to provide this treatment in Billings to kids with SMA. This is amazing as oftentimes kids and their families have to travel to places like Denver and Seattle to obtain this type of specialty care. Getting the medical care they need in their own community lifts a huge burden off his patients. What an amazing benefit to the city of Billings.
John describes some of his best days at work by talking about improving quality of life for seizure patients and migraine suffers. However, delivering bad news to patients and families does not make for a terrible day. Those circumstances are what John calls a privilege and he is practicing the art of being present and open, shouldering heavy burdens and carrying loads with his patients.
We are so lucky to have Dr. John in our city, caring for kids. But we are also so lucky to have John and his wife Kelli in our community, teaching us how to Be the Embodiment of Love and how to do hard things in life, especially when taking care of people is part of the equation.
When Shane Hyem, 27, was attending West High School, he worked on the grounds crew at Par 3 golf course. To make repairs, his boss used a welder and plasma cutter, a process that captured Shane’s curiosity. Years later, he started working for MAC LTT as an air and electrical technician, where he was taught how to weld aluminum for himself. It was love at first spark.
Shane went to Harbor Freight and bought a welder for the low, low price of $37. With his welder, he went on to make his first project — a foldable hammock frame whose arms bent slowly until the hammock rested on the ground.
Through the years, Shane honed his craft and accumulated more tools. He combined welding with his passion for the outdoors to create his masterpiece. “My favorite project so far was a steel fish that I made for a very good friend of mine for a Christmas gift. I cut, welded, hydroformed, polished and heat-colored the steel. I learned so much making it. I think I put 30 hours into that thing”.
Shane is now in the process of buying a house, and has added 3D printing to his creative roster. He is still working at MAC LTT, where he is able to sate his passion for welding until he has a dedicated space in his house to bring more creations to life.
I love leather, I love local, and I love handmade.
I’ve been drawn to jewelry and crafts since kindergarten, even selling beaded necklaces to kids in my elementary school. Art was always the highlight of my day, but I went to college to get a business degree because I should “get a job, right?” It wasn’t until my senior year in college that I took Fiber Arts and fell in love. I was teaching other kids in that class and giving suggestions to everyone on where they could go with projects. But by that time it was a bit too late to redo college.
Seven years later, while working at Anthropologie, I started making jewelry and accessories, adding something special and focal to my outfits. Tons of customers wanted to buy them off my body. Making jewelry and selling it is the first job (besides being a wife and mom) that I have loved! It makes me happy to tears that others love it too.
I care deeply about the environment, and I love leather, so I upcycle unwanted leather into jewelry and continue its story. My company, Love and Worn, is a rustic, nature-inspired jewelry and accessories company based in Billings. I draw, ink, burn, cut, stitch, and shape leather in a variety of ways, designing each jewelry item or accessory to be easy to style, memorable, soft and comfortable.
My most featured design is a feather-leaf, crafted into headbands, earrings, bracelets, and hair clips. Other accessories and gifts include a variety of cuff bracelets, state leather decal hats and necklaces, leather braided/pendleton fabric headbands, and more.
Loved once upon a time, then forgotten;
Re-purposed Leather Goods,
given Love and Worn again
With two little ones younger than 3, finding time is difficult. But I know this is just a season, and I have cut back to be more present with my kids. But I always think that God has given me this talent, and if I don’t create, no one will get to enjoy it, and that would make my heart sad. Seeing a girl look and feel cute for a wedding or date or just around the house, and knowing God has been leading me to do this, it fills my heart daily with gratefulness. In the future I could change what I make or teach others. Honestly, I have no idea what lies ahead, but I do know my love of Art will always be at the center.
I forage for inspiration from my surrounding home and camping travels. I display a few Love and Worn items at the Ebon Coffee Collective. Check out my website or follow me on Facebook to see my full product display at an upcoming show. I love Billings, and I love creating beauty and art in this town.
A few weeks ago baby Violet and I journeyed to the capitol in Helena to comment at a medical marijuana hearing. For the past few years I’ve been helping support my family as a home-based medical marijuana provider, but new regulation passed by the state last year has driven me out of business. I loved my job, so when I heard there was an interim committee hearing to overhaul this legislation I decided to speak up.
Public comments come at the end of a meeting, and I started by apologizing for Violet being such a distraction. One of the older legislators immediately raised her hand and said, kindly, “Babies are never a problem.” And I thought, “She’s right!” People like me getting involved in activism in their 30s, so often we come with little kids — that keeps many of us from getting involved until we’re retired. But the truth is that we’re out here paying taxes, building businesses (or trying to), and sending our kids to school every day, and our perspectives are crucial to understanding how things are going right now for the average family, or the average medical marijuana provider.
Far from a problem, Violet’s presence made things personal; it was natural for me to then say, “This matters because obviously I have a baby to support, and there are hundreds of small providers like me across the state.” Most of the other people commenting represented large providers, and I realized if I hadn’t shown up the committee wouldn’t have heard anything from a business my size. I don’t know what will happen with the legislation going forward, or if I’ll be able to re-open my business in the future, but it was empowering to speak up. I’ll be tracking the legislation going forward and would love to chat with anyone interested in politics/activism!
The wait is almost over for Grant Jones' debut album, “Nighttime Friends.” The album includes tunes Grant wrote in the past seven years and has played around Billings for nearly as long.
In anticipation of the release of “Nighttime Friends,” Grant launched a Kickstarter to raise funds for the album. The campaign has surpassed Grant's goal, raising more than $4,300.
“It feels so real,” Grant said. “And I’m extremely happy with the way it sounds. The people that worked on the album made it better than I ever thought it could be.” That includes collaborators and musicians from both within the CMYK community and without. CMYK’s own Parker Brown played pedal steel and lap slide on the album, while Matt Blakeslee recorded and produced every song. The work also features Phillip Griffin on backup vocals and bass, Keller Paulson on drums and percussion and Erik Olson on keys. Jordan Steingraber mixed and mastered the album.
Grant’s sound defies easy definition. At Moav recently, we took a quick straw poll of everyone in the immediate vicinity. “Indie-alternative?” wondered Brian Murnion. Ryan Kabeary paused. “There’s definitely folk, and definitely rock. But maybe some indie, too? Indie-folk-rock?”
Whatever genre Grant’s music is, “the key is his lyricism,” Ryan said. Grant’s songs are spaces for him to unpack, describe, express and interpret his experiences, the experiences of others, and big, hard-to-contain feelings. “The imagery that his lyrics provide, that’s the real draw for me,” Ryan said.
Want to help bring “Nighttime Friends” into being? Grant’s Kickstarter runs through Sept. 22, and his next show is Sept. 15 at OxxFest. Join him at the location of local bag manufacturer Red Oxx (312 N. 13th St.) at 4 p.m. for a fun set and a great local event.
Photography credit to Mary Kate Teske
In its fifth year, Amp Camp hit the stage in July at Yellowstone Valley Brewing for its final concert to a packed house of friends, family, and new listeners. The campers worked all week in large and small groups honing their sets as well as challenging their knowledge of their instruments, ears, and minds.
Each day is packed, from morning warm-ups and master classes to music theory and small combos to the "main jam" — the full camp performing all at once. Small groups are led by a faculty member and treated like a real band rehearsal where two or three songs are learned for the final performance. Kids also attend shows from local bands performing original material.
Amp Camp is geared toward preparing students to be real, live-gigging musicians. Having only five days to prepare for a show is a lot of pressure, and year after year the students rise to the occasion and put on a wonderful show.
As a founding faculty member, the best part for me is after that final performance, seeing the radiant glow of the students as they exchange compliments and phone numbers so they can get together and play over the summer. That’s when you know they’re hooked.
After a long winter of existential angst, Montana Gallery has had a successful summer. In June we celebrated five years in business, and on the night of the opening hundreds, maybe thousands, of people came through the gallery. My friends, Ryan Kabeary and Parker Brown, transported us to another dimension with their music. The kind words, the pats on the back, and the presence of so many dear friends moved me greatly. Since that five-year reception we've had one successful event after the next. We've seen well-attended Story Nights, good art sales, concerts, and regular walk-in traffic, and the gallery is catching the attention of collectors across the states thanks to several flattering articles in prominent art magazines.
Above all, I'm pleased that the gallery and Ebon Coffee continue to be a welcoming space. To some degree, this is possible because of the CMYK community. Over the past couple years Montana Gallery has twice received financial help from CMYK — once when it was completely unexpected and once when it was greatly needed. This is the kind of community I want to be a part of: one that helps meet the needs of its city. As I reflect on this generosity, I'm inspired as an artist and member of downtown to pass along the favor, to lean into and amplify the beauty of life, to create when compelled, and to help those I can. Thank you, CMYK.
Kerry Sherman is passionate about his band, Dead Presley, and about the local music scene. The groove rock band consists of Kerry (vocals/guitar), his cousin Colton Gabel (drums), and college friends Zach Reiter (bass) and Tyler Cook (lead guitar). Kerry is a relative newcomer to Billings, but he’s got some connections in town. Despite a nomadic family life due to his father’s white-collar railroad job, Billings is home to his wider family, and Sean Lynch recorded his first band when Kerry was 16. His parents eventually returned to their hometown of Billings, and a few years ago Kerry wanted to follow.
Kerry hit up Sean while looking for potential jobs in the area. It turned out the Pub Station needed a marketing coordinator. It was a great fit for Kerry, with his marketing degree, minor in entertainment management and love for music. “My job is to put butts in seats,” he said. But it’s more than a job. As he describes the position, he grows thoughtful; he wants to stick with Pub Station and help it grow. He’s in it for the long haul.
Kerry also handles Pub Station bookings for local musicians. This gives him a natural connection to the local music scene and an opportunity to help shape it. "A vibrant music and arts community is essential to a growing and diverse community," he said. Kerry is passionate about supporting and encouraging the arts in Billings. But he also loves making music. “I want to create music I love and play awesome shows and travel around the area.”
Creating beauty is a key tenet for CMYK. It inspired our name, and we make a point of feeding into and nurturing creative expression. Kerry aims to foster more cohesion and cooperation within the creative community in Billings. “There is enough opportunity to go around,” says Kerry.
Those opportunities could be no more evident than in downtown Billings in summertime. Motorists are regularly stymied by barricades protecting open stages, live music and crowds of people enjoying music and conversation. Magic City Blues takes it all up a notch. Per Kerry, only been a few local bands have played the festival. Goodridge looks for the best he can get. Tim’s invitation to play the MCB stage (read by Kerry before dawn one day in March ) triggered an impromptu dance party of one. Tim’s invite endorsed the quality of Dead Presley’s music.
Kerry’s musical development has been heavily influenced by Gaslight Anthem and Bruce Springsteen. When asked to choose the one song everyone needs to hear, he tagged Springsteen’s “Jungleland.” “It becomes really impactful when you listen to it within the context of the 'Born To Run' record because that entire record is a story, with Jungleland being the finale.” Kerry’s affinity to story shows in his choice of songs for CMYK Gatherings, whether it’s one of his own creations or a cover. Playing at CMYK has triggered a change in his acoustic songwriting, Kerry says. Feedback from Matt Blakeslee on differences between his band and his acoustic writing has given him confidence to explore more and take creative liberties. “Spirituality, faith and the wrestling match with that has always been really present in my music before I got involved with CMYK,” Kerry said. “I don’t go too deep into it, because I don’t want to speak for the other band members, but it’s there. I get a lot of lyrical content ideas from CMYK because it really makes me think and explore on a deeper level. It puts me in an inquisitive headspace.”
Dead Presley is scheduled to play the Stillwater Stage at the Magic City Blues Fest at 5 p.m. on Saturday, August 4. You can follow Dead Presley on Facebook. Their first album, “Muses” is available in the usual places.
How many of us would like to experience our favorite movie or book again for the very first time? That’s exactly what Alyssa Small is doing in the podcast, Wordstruck. Alyssa and her co-host, Clark Hodges, are reading the Harry Potter series together a few chapters at a time. The twist is that Clark has never read the books or seen any of the movies.
Harry Potter introduced a young Alyssa to the world of books, drawing her in so thoroughly she went on to a creative writing degree and a career in journalism. As a professional in the writing world she longed to take a closer look at the quality of writing in Harry Potter and to do it with someone brand new to Hogwarts and the wizarding world.
Cue Clark Hodges. Fellow journalism students, Clark and Alyssa studied and graduated together from the University of Montana, but weren't great at staying in touch after leaving school. As Alyssa started her hunt for a podcast partner, Clark came to mind. The radio emphasis in his journalism degree was an added perk for the techie part of the podcast. It took a bit of convincing, but they launched Wordstruck in March 2016 and are now in book four, just about halfway through the Harry Potter series.
So why not just have a book club? “It's vital to us as humans to have a thing we just have fun making.” Alyssa explained, using Brené Brown’s theory on the importance of creative play, “It’s vital to us as humans to have a thing we just have fun making. It doesn’t have a deadline, isn’t monetized, and isn’t linked to our work.” Despite the periodic frustrations, the podcast is a big part of her creative play outlet.
One of those frustrations is the slow pace of a couple chapters every few weeks. The series is a place of comfort for Alyssa. Familiarity means she can put the book down at any point, knowing exactly what happens next. But Clark suffers when he encounters a cliffhanger ending and has to wait weeks for the resolution. Alyssa is hoping they can turn the tables at some point, giving Clark a chance to put her on the hot seat of uncertainty with a book she’s never read.
As Alyssa takes a harder look at the Harry Potter series, she acknowledges the shine has tarnished slightly. But, “I don’t think it discounts how much I loved it and how ardently I just owned that world as a kid. It’s just finding a new way to love it.” The book is still a roller coaster ride, but “the roller coaster is different now” and it’s affiliated with her journey with Clark. Their interaction is exactly what drew Alyssa to entertainment podcasts. “It's people spending time with people they care about. As a listener, I get to enjoy the two people enjoying each other.” And that’s just fun — for the two co-hosts and their listeners.
Goats or cooking? These were the two options Clark Hodges and co-host Reily Wagenhals considered while planning a new podcast. They were retiring their ‘Into The Echo’ music podcast after a couple years but wanted to continue collaborating. Conversations on goats and cooking bookended every ‘Into The Echo’ recording session. The goats lost and ‘Me Cook Pretty’ launched in March.
Each episode of ‘Me Cook Pretty’ revolves around a new cooking challenge, — a seasonal or esoteric ingredient that is hard to cook with. In the podcast, they share their successes and failures — the burnt ends — of the challenge. Clark says they’ve both made a lot of food so they’ve made more mistakes than most. Their goal isn’t to stop making mistakes, but to throw a bunch of things at the wall, from ingredients to techniques, and see what sticks without going broke.
They want to connect with people who are in the discovery phase when it comes to cooking — those who have their own kitchen for the first time, or those who might enjoy cooking but are afraid to take risks with it. The typical married couple with three kids is maybe not the right audience, because “they’re not going to buy a dragonfruit and try to figure out how to get it in their kid’s lunch.”
They’ve found more and more people, particularly in the 20-40 age range, are getting into plant-based food. Reily went vegan six months ago and Clark has found he’s cooking a lot cleaner and with more plant-based products since starting the podcast. “It’s weird," Clark said. "People don’t ask for a biscuits and gravy recipe. They ask, ‘How did you make this salad?’” Vegan is clearly a thing a lot of their listeners want.
Clark was a bit sheepish confessing he’s changed his cooking style in response to Me Cook Pretty listeners. But it reflects his desire to serve their audience. Clark grows enthusiastic when describing the food community and its openness, curiosity and willingness to collaborate. The YouTube community reflects this especially, as when favorites Alex ‘French Guy’ Cooking, Jun’s Kitchen and Brad and Claire from Bon Appetit are super excited to see each other. “Everybody is a fan of each other. It’s a really healthy, strong community of everyone really appreciating each other.” He wants to become part of the community, giving back to those who’ve helped build them up.
Clark explains how easy it is to get buried by focusing on what you don’t have, whether with a media channel or cooking or whatever. He wants to keep his head in the right space of “Hey, we’re here to serve people and love people. Stop worrying about getting more.” The CMYK gatherings reinforce that philosophy, like a weekly pep talk from his brain at its most healthy. “We’re going to work hard to create something beautiful with what we’ve been given. Hey, there’s rhubarb in my parents' back yard. Let’s figure out what we can do with it.”
If you want to ask Clark about goats, look for him at the Sunday evening gathering.
The dream of brothers Kaleb and Marcus Barkac and third member, Jake Goldberg, is to make Alder Lights a full-time gig. They got a taste of touring last summer, playing until the wee hours most weekends until finally crashing around 4 a.m. after teardown. The roads are long in Montana. Kaleb says the trick was sunflower seeds. There’s something about the chewing and the spitting that kept them awake during the long hours of driving. Though also working full-time jobs, they loved every minute of touring, and it affirmed their dream of performing full-time.
In March, they released a new single, Creatures, adding one more song to their collection of originals. They’re working on expanding their repertoire, but they prefer a smaller set of songs that are “really polished and well put together.” Alder Lights holds a new song close to the chest until it’s the best it can be, leaning on the brutal honesty of their producer, Matt Blakeslee, to get a song right. “It can be really difficult to have something you’ve worked hard on get cut,” says Kaleb, but the music comes first, ahead of our individual goals.
They’re in the concept phase of a new record, feeling their way toward the most authentic style for right now. They’re shifting more into rock, but aren’t locked into a particular genre. Instead, they’re looking to make the best music possible, creating a very cool tension between three individuals with different musical ideas and each with a different focus in life. They come together and create music they love, and somehow it works. Kaleb finds that, “It helps that the band has created an environment where it’s easy, beneficial even to be honest with one another.” They’re in tune about the direction they want to go with Alder Lights, so can funnel all their energy into being a band and just enjoying it.
Although tempting to dream of the day when they’ll be headlining across the country, they’re working to stay present and focused on what they need to do as a band to reach their goals.
This is one of CMYK's values. Kaleb often mentions it when describing his song choices on a Sunday. Although he and Marcus emphasized Alder Lights doesn’t have political, faith-based or other messages to send, CMYK values — being present, honest and open — surfaced regularly throughout our conversation. “Being part of CMYK and its community of likeminded creatives has encouraged me to explore different musical directions and to be open to outside-the-box ideas,” Kaleb said.
The invitation for Alder Lights to perform on the main stage at Magic City Blues came as a surprise. Promoter Tim Goodridge sent a Facebook message while the band was celebrating Kaleb’s birthday at a local brewery. Marcus said, “Just got offered the blues fest. Clear your schedule. Drop what you’re doing, this is a big deal.” Marcus handles marketing and strategy, carefully shaping the band’s reputation and profile. He’d heard Goodridge wanted to involve local bands in MCB, and that he wanted someone well-established and marketable. In getting tapped for MCB, their work appears to have paid off. Sharing the stage with Phillip Phillips and AJR, it seems a good bet Alder Lights will be getting exposure to a whole new audience.
Alder Lights is scheduled to play the Budweiser Stage at Magic City Blues Fest at 6:15 on Saturday, August 4th. You can follow Alder Lights on Facebook or at alderlights.com. Their first album, “Here’s To Fate,” is available in the usual places.
“Swollen Flesh” — to some this may sound more like a surgeon’s dictation than a sculpture. But this artwork by Jenna Livingston led her to an experience afforded very few students and a bus ride few would be brave enough to attempt.
Jenna is a member of the CMYK Community and an art student at MSUB. In a clay and 3-D sculpture class, Jenna was tasked with creating 50 nonrepresentational objects inspired by a randomly assigned word. Her word: SWOLLEN.
As Jenna created pieces for this assignment, she described how the project started to embody issues of race, health and age. She strived to make the clay represent distended skin in a “non-pretty” way. The clay figures could, in a subtle way, speak about beauty. “Lots of art is too bold” when tackling issues, Jenna says. “I didn’t want race or aging to be obvious or in your face, but it’s in there.”
After many drafts and trial runs, she had molded 50 fleshy spheres, squeezed and bulging from their perfect form. The project received rave reviews and Jenna's professor urged her to submit her piece to a student juried exhibition. “Swollen Flesh” was selected for display in a gallery at the National Council for Education of Ceramic Arts. The gallery exhibited fewer than 100 works chosen from more than 500 submissions. Jenna’s sculpture was in the company of only 16 undergraduate students' pieces.
In March, Jenna boarded a bus to Pittsburgh to embark on a multi-day, multicultural adventure. Her bus delays and seatmates provided entertainment, unease and anecdotes alike. Countless hours on a bus with a sassy driver and sleeping next to strangers are good and terrible adventures Jenna will never forget.
At the gallery Jenna enjoyed her anonymity, standing within earshot of her exhibit and eavesdropping on observers’ opinions and feedback. The reactions lifted her spirits, inspired her, and strengthened her resolve to create. She said it was lovely to see people, without buy-in or pretense, genuinely enjoy something she had poured herself into.