Meet our latest Refocus interviewee: Sofia Dominguez, a Latinx actress and playwright! Sofia recently won ACT Theatre's Young Playwrights Program for her ten-minute play, "Estrella." Her play sheds light on the experiences of undocumented immigrants and their families; through this piece, Sofia hopes to dispel stereotypes about the Latinx community.
While, unfortunately, this play cannot be produced through ACT Theatre this year due to coronavirus-related health concerns, you can support Sofia and her work by watching the video below.
Student Art Spaces is looking for art and writing submissions for their new, teen-curated zine, which aims to provide a voice to underprivileged and underrepresented youth. Their first issue will be about a current problem facing artists: COVID-19.
Specifically, the organization is looking for submissions about your experience during this unprecedented time; they want to know about your reactions to current events and politics, observations, and feelings.
The deadline for submissions is April 11th. Contributors will receive a free copy of the zine.
Click here to submit your work.
If you wish to remain anonymous, please indicate so in your submission message.
By Anya Shukla
Taylor Wang’s Instagram, @yingshiart, features finely-detailed oil paintings, hyper-realistic digital art, and celebrity-related fanart as I’ve never seen it before. I spent a minute staring at a portrait of Billie Eilish—side-eying the viewer like she couldn’t care less—which manages to capture the pop star’s world-wearying languor. Wang’s best work—and this is oddly specific—gives me the sense that I’m lying on a small town road at two in the morning a la The Notebook. There’s a sense of peaceful isolation about each painting, regardless of whether there are one or multiple subjects in the frame.
Third Charm Films is specifically looking for teen actors of color to fill some roles in their upcoming television series, Hetero. More information below:
Synopsis: Five misfit friends scramble to save their school’s Gay Straight Alliance from an unsympathetic principal while facing the ups and downs of being queer in high school. If there’s one thing Quinn, Zel, Sarai, Dahmer, and Mickey aren’t, it’s Hetero. After an outburst based around Shakespeare being super gay sends them to the office, they must scramble to recruit the school’s heterosexual population to gay straight alliance. Selling themselves out as “gay best friends” to the school’s population, they learn about love, pride, and ultimately, how to be (or not to be) Hetero.
By Anya Shukla
Historically, glassblowing has been dominated by European artists. Dan Friday, a member of the Lummi Nation, is working to change that dynamic.
Seattle born, Friday went to the local, arts-focused Northwest School. However, according to Friday, “it didn’t really seem pragmatic as a career, to continue in artwork.” After graduating, he decided to go into the automotive industry. Two years later, at twenty, he walked into a glassblowing studio for the first time and saw a potential career path.
An art form where an artist uses a blowpipe to inflate molten glass, glassblowing requires a fairly unique skill set. Glassblowers must utilize a mix of industrial and artistic knowledge. Nevertheless, Friday’s background gave him the ability to succeed in the discipline. Friday uses his childhood drawing experience and mechanical knowledge from auto work to create his pieces. But the learning curve has been steep: “Glassmaking is a lot like being a musician,” Friday noted. “Anyone can get up there and sing, but when you’re performing at such a high level, it can take two or three or five years to start to feel like you’re producing something you’re happy with.”
By Anya Shukla
I’m Indian-American. But until recently, I had a preconception of Bollywood movies: they were filled with over-the-top acting, wacky plots, and overt green screen usage. Anathema to a Hollywood born-and-bred gal like me. Sriram Raghavan’s Andhadhun stands in stark contrast to my sugar-coated image of Indian cinema.
Andhadhun evokes an unnerving feeling of suspense, perfectly encapsulated in one slow, eerie dolly shot of a maroon, poster-lined hallway. That sense of faint foreboding, coupled with the movie’s dramatic narrative, constantly keeps you on the edge of your seat. The plot is dense—a blind piano player witnesses two murders, then tries to catch the killers and also land the girl of his dreams and also move to London. But this film was made for Indian audiences: what Americans find over-the-top, is, in Bollywood, just right. And the storyline’s complexity doesn’t keep its twists and turns from being any less revelatory.
Our latest interviewee is Shree Balasubramaniyan, a South Asian singer and musician. Shree performs Carnatic music through NK Tunes and also sings in Vocalpoint! Seattle, an all-girls choir that performs 80s pop numbers at concerts throughout the year. Rehearsals are intense, with thirty-hour weeks before shows, but Shree wouldn't trade Vocalpoint! for the world. Check out the video below to learn more about Shree's journey!
So sorry for the delay in posting this video! College applications got away from us...
Nikko Johnston started out by acting in Red Eagle Soaring, a performance organization for indigenous youth. He has since gone on to perform in high school theater, 14:48 HS, and the Young American Theater Company. Nikko also participates in high school jazz choir. Now, as a senior, he's dedicated to using his power as an upperclassman to create space for teens of color in the arts. Watch his video below to learn more about his journey!
By Anya Shukla
Leilani Lewis, a Seattle native, was first exposed to visual arts when her mom was offered a job at the Detroit Institute of Art. “I would go run around the museum, terrorizing the security guards,” she reminisces. Growing up in the ‘90s, Lewis noticed art--particularly hip-hop inspired murals and street art--all around her. But as she grew older, she began listening to lectures by visiting artists, shifting from a passive consumption of art to active participation. Simultaneously, her newfound artistic knowledge, particularly around black history in the arts, began to shape her worldview: “I learned about history; I learned about black history in art. I learned my most critical, foundational identity and historical identity through the arts.” Lewis’s mother is white, and she didn’t have much connection to the black side of her family, so the arts shaped her understanding of her heritage.