Intern Spotlights: Week 4, Wrap-Up

Where are they now?

We are so proud of our past and present staff here at Superstition Review, and we’ve decided to celebrate the accomplishments of our past interns throughout the month of April. Each day, we will feature an intern on social media and share what they’re up to now. Then, at the end of each week, we will share a wrap-up post of all our featured interns from that week. So, without further ado, we present our last week of intern spotlights:

1. Leah Newsom: Interview Editor, Issue 15 (Spring 2015) and Issue 16 (Fall 2015)

April 24: Twitter and Facebook announcements, find Leah on LinkedIn

Leah NewsomMore details: Leah shares, “Since graduating with my BA in Creative Writing, I got an amazing job working as a content developer for a boutique design group called Monomyth Studio. I also returned to ASU as an MFA candidate in fiction (and am just now rounding out my first year). I still run Spilled Milk Magazine, an online literary magazine featuring brief prose and poetry. It’s great to continue engaging with my literary community outside of the university, and to work with friends (now across the country!) on such an ambitious project. It’s hard to say what it is I love about what I do. I obviously feel very compelled to write and to read and to talk about writing and reading, but I am still figuring out why. I probably will always be figuring it out. I think, in a way, this curiosity—this ignorance—is a necessary thing. I need the surprise of a beautiful sentence, the wonder of a unique image. I probably wouldn’t be writing, otherwise.”

2. Brianna Perkins: Social Networker, Issue 9 (Spring 2012)

April 25: Twitter and Facebook announcements, find Bri on LinkedIn

Bri PerkinsMore details: Bri shares, “My life has deviated quite a bit from that ‘master life plan’ that I created back in 2012, and to be honest, I’m glad it did. I found it is far more exciting to sit back and enjoy the twists and turns in the road than try to make it fit this unrealistic image my crazy 20-year-old brain had concocted. I packed my bags, said goodbye to the Arizona desert, and moved to Massachusetts. In the years since, I’ve traveled through Europe with just a pair of worn out sneakers and a backpack, bought a house, knocked down a few walls, and met some amazing people.  Not long after my big move, I started at Springfield College in a position that was the college’s response to the wild growth of an unpredictable monster: technology. As we all know, technology changes faster than that banana on your kitchen counter turns brown. In this role, it is my job to stay ahead of the curve as best as I can. It is one part fortune teller, one part inventor, and one part translator. I create new ways to integrate engaging and immersive technologies in a way that not only makes sense, but is meaningful. I learned quickly how to translate from Techie to actual English. It has made me every relative’s favorite person and I’m sure I’m on the speed dial for more than a handful of grandparents (none of which are my own). I started doing outreach and communications for IT. I launched a YouTube channel for training and development. I started doing workshops for faculty, staff, and students. The role has grown exponentially. Springfield College recognized that there is this emerging need for creating technology literacy and as of May 1st, I’ll be pioneering yet another new position: Learning and Development Coordinator. This position will give me the time I need to provide development and training opportunities to staff, faculty, and students in a language that makes sense to them and in a way that makes technology seem a little less intimidating (and dare I say it fun).

“In my spare time, I do quite a bit of consulting. I’m currently on a one-year contract with Springfield Technical Community College as an Outreach and Technology Coordinator where I’m working with their Supplemental Instruction team to launch their own YouTube channel and outreach programs. I’ve designed catering menus for local restaurants, logos for new initiatives, and even jumpstarted a few marketing campaigns and social networking strategies. Even Arizona State University couldn’t get rid of me; from time to time I work as a voice actor for some of their systems. Fun fact: if you call any phone line at Arizona State with an automated phone menu, it is my voice you’re hearing.  I’d tell you my future plans, but as I’ve learned, I can plan all I want, but life has its own trajectory. All I know is that the time I spent has Superstition Review has been absolutely vital in getting me where I am and I am so thankful for the opportunity I had while there. I’m so proud to see how far it has come and I can’t wait to see what is next for the SR family.”

3. Katie McCoach: Fiction Editor, Issue 6 (Fall 2010)

April 26: Twitter and Facebook announcements, find Katie on LinkedIn

Katie McCoachMore details: Katie shares, “When I finally realized that I could be my own boss and do story editing (not even copy editing!) all day long, I knew that nothing else would be as fulfilling. I opened KM Editorial, LLC in 2012 with not a client to my name. But since then I’ve grown my business to be a stopping ground for many authors in need of all levels of editing. I have a whole team behind me now. I love what I do. It’s funny sometimes when I consider the fact that I dole out criticism for a living. But it’s so rewarding. I get to work with authors all day long and help them create fabulous stories. I see them grow as writers. It’s amazing to see my collection of clients’ books fill my bookshelf. But honestly, even better than that is when I get that email from an author saying, ‘I’m so excited to dive into revisions!'”

4. Cassie Tolman: Poetry Editor, Issue 1 (Spring 2008)

April 27: Twitter and Facebook announcements, find Cassie on LinkedIn

Cassie TolmanMore details: Cassie is a creative entrepreneur who owns Pomegranate Cafe (vegan/vegetarian, organic, locally sourced, crafted with love) in Phoenix, AZ. She shares, “There are so many opportunities to express myself and share ideas through writing as a business owner.  I am currently creating an Indie Gogo campaign to help fund our expansion, and being able to write with authenticity and heart is essential to sharing our mission and creating community.  I also use freestyle writing/journaling as a daily practice to connect with my dreams and the quiet world around me.  I see words like imaginary seeds we plant that can grow off the page into wild and beautiful gardens with a life of their own.  Being part of the Superstition Review when it first began was an exciting, new experience for me.  I feel really fortunate to have been a small part of the beginning of a dream that has now taken shape and enriched the lives of so many people!”

5. Caitlin Keniston: Nonfiction Editor, Issue 9 (Spring 2012)

April 28: Twitter and Facebook announcements, find Caitlin on LinkedIn

Caitlin KenistonMore details: Caitlin shares, “After graduating from ASU, I applied to every publication company I could find in the Phoenix area. I was lucky to be hired by Target Market Media Publications, a national publisher of trade magazines. As the editor, I work with our clients, writers and proofreaders to get each of our magazines ready for publication. I learned a lot in college, but it does not compare to the experience of working in the field. I feel blessed to have found a career in writing and editing. While it’s partly luck and good timing, I also think you need to have a certain drive to make it actually work.”

6. Dominique Brigham: Art Editor, Issue 11 (Spring 2013)

April 30: Facebook announcement, find Dominique on LinkedIn

Dominique BrighamMore details: Dominique is a graduate student at the University of Amsterdam in the Cultural Analysis research MA program. She shares, “As the student Art Editor of Superstition Review, I had the wonderful opportunity of putting all my time spent learning about art in Florence to good use! While I did my BA in English literature, I loved being able to branch out into a different discipline, and Superstition Review gave me that opportunity. Currently, I am writing my thesis for my Master’s in Cultural Analysis at the Universiteit van Amsterdam in the Netherlands, where I’ve enjoyed a fantastic and interdisciplinary program with fellow international students. My research deals with adaptation and translation theory, centered around the Pokémon franchise and Pokémon: The First Movie in particular, and I hope to pursue a PhD on how transmedia storytelling has impacted the way popular franchises are built now and for the future. In time not spent on academic work, however, I am a volunteer proofreader for WordFire Inc. and a freelance copyeditor, though I would like to turn this into a more permanent career. I am also co-authoring a four book fantasy series, which will hopefully see its first query letters being sent to various publishing companies in the near future!”

Thank you so much to these interns for their service with us; you are all doing such amazing things, and we’re so proud!

Mesa Center for the Arts: Monica Martinez, Carolyn Lavender, and Mary Shindell

Then Entry to the exhibit Creature, Man, Nature

The entry to the exhibit “Creature, Man, Nature.”

On Friday April 5 Superstition Review editors met with s[r] contributors Monica Martinez, Carolyn Lavender, and Mary Shindell to discuss their collaborative exhibition at Mesa Center for the Arts. The exhibition, entitled “Creature, Man, Nature,” explores the formation of bodies—animal, human, and rock—and the voices inherent in each form. When I walked into the exhibition, I was immediately struck by the size of several of the pieces on display. As Carolyn later told me, there is a certain power that comes from artwork that is as big as or bigger than oneself. This was true of Monica’s work, specifically a pair of massive paintings of the male and female forms, hence the “Man” portion of the exhibition title. Monica explained how her intensive study of human anatomy allowed for highly accurate portrayals of bodily structures, as well as a literal frame through which she could explore male and female energies. She challenges the traditional patriarchal energy by including feminine qualities in her male figure (modeled by her husband).

Monica Aissa Martinez

Monica Aissa Martinez describes her work.

Monica’s pieces, “Body Male” and “Female Body,” draw in the viewer through the visceral anatomic imagery coupled with animal figures. In her painting of a female figure, she includes a snake, which instantly brings to mind ideas of the Christian creationist mythos wherein the snake functions as an antagonistic figure. However, the female faces the snake head-on as an equal, accepting of the snake as symbolic of knowledge, rebirth, and sexual passion. Conversely, the male figure is presented with a cat between his feet, modeled by Monica’s own pet. Her husband trained the cat to walk on a leash; due to this curious skill, the cat connected Monica’s family to the rest of her community, a traditionally feminine quality exhibited in conjunction with the male form. Directly beside Monica’s human subjects, Mary’s digital art piece, “There is a Mountain” is a room-wide print of her backyard view, fashioned on the program Illustrator. 26 layers allowed for the tiny details, such as sage bushes and cacti, to be created on a mountainside of elegant color and texture. Mary had had plenty of experience with her subject, having sketched and painted South Mountain multiple times prior to attempting a digital rendition. As she said, South Mountain dominates the landscape with its sprawling hills, and the size of the print, dominating an entire wall of the exhibition room, communicated the grand scale of the mountainside well.

Mary Shindell

Mary Shindell describes her work.

Mary explained to me the meticulous process of piecing together the different components of “There is a Mountain.” The minor details, like plant life, had to be modified outside of Illustrator in another program, such as Photoshop, so as not to overtax the main image file, and would then be incorporated back into Illustrator as a repeatable symbol. In order to create a soft, rolling effect for the mountain itself, Mary used the gradient feature, which she identified to be her favorite part of the process. As a whole, the intricate and time-consuming details paid off; viewers will be amazed to see the piece both at a distance and up close. The exhibition also benefited from Mary’s input for the lighting. Hanging light sculptures emulate the cacti in Mary’s backyard, functioning as relevant sculptures for the larger mountain view.

I addressed Carolyn’s art last, having finally made my way around the exhibition room. Carolyn’s work focused on the “Creature” aspect of the exhibition title, introducing a variety of animal figures on large panels as well as smaller paper sketches and paintings. She described her love of animals to me as that of childish fascination, a love fostered in her early years and carried firmly into adulthood. Her largest piece, “Preservation Woods,” features animals sketched and painted (acrylic) from photo and taxidermy models onto 10 foam-core panels. Carolyn explained to me how long the piece took to create, requiring 8-10 hours of tracing per panel.

Carolyn Lavendar

Carolyn Lavender describes her work.

With that in mind, the raw, openness of the piece, fully compiled, hardly transmits the idea of “incomplete” or “unfinished” but of intentional invitation, drawing viewers’ eyes from the broad white expanses of the bottom panels to the detailed shadows of each animal figure. While Carolyn told me that there are still bits that she would like to work on (as with any piece of art), she was pleased with the outcome of her efforts and considered “Preservation Woods” to have been a learning experience, having never worked on so large a scale before this exhibition.

Leaving the exhibition after interviewing these three artists, I felt encouraged to pursue art myself. Each artist approached her craft in a different fashion, and this collaboration no doubt impacted those approaches. I look forward to seeing the future works of Monica, Mary, and Carolyn, and I hope that the exhibition inspires others.

The Banner

Outside the Mesa Arts Center Museum.

The exhibition “Man, Creature, Nature” is on display at the Mesa Arts Center until April 28.