Courtney Lowry is a recent graduate from SCAD Atlanta with a BFA in Photography. Her writing touches based on issues other shy away from such as black rights, womens rights, and mental health stigmas. Instagram: @courtneyllowry
There is no doubt that Jaden (Smith) is talented both on and off screen: from his heart-wrenching lyrics about love lost backdropped by pink and orange sunsets, to drawing crowds of millennials by the thousands at Coachella, founding a sustainable and clean water company called Just Water, and designing wavy neon shoes with New Balance.
Christmas definitely came early today for music fanatics and movie buffs alike. So far, today has been filled with an overwhelming amount of surprises from artists as they navigate the pandemic and continue to create through grief and confusion about the state of the world.
There is no question that Bob Ross’ classic The Joy of Painting was the relaxing, positive, and optimistic burst of hope we all needed for 2020 (even if the show is over 20 years old). Bob Ross has always been an artistic icon for me. I remember waking up early on weekends in elementary school to catch a glimpse of Bob painting one of his iconic snow-covered cabins on my little, white antenna TV. It amazed me how he loaded his brush with so much paint, just dabbed the canvas, and there were tree leaves! Or how a palette knife also acted as a brush, as he carved mountains with it and created branches with one swipe. He made it look effortless.
In the ninth grade, a close friend of mine and I opened our first Wattpad accounts on a school field trip on a cold, sunny December afternoon. While the purpose of the field trip was to learn about the ever-changing world of news, how to cover hard topics, censorship, and the documentation of history, my friend and I were glued to our phones. We'd both been to the museum before, and plus we were fifteen -- our minds were more focused on the latest Divergent book and not the traumatic and disturbing things at this museum, which still haunt me today, but is necessary to see.
It’s Monday, November 30, 2020. And I’m heading into my second week of having a fibromyalgia flare. The flares begin subtly: a nagging hip pain there, numbness in my ankle here. Then, they come in like a lion, boisterous and commanding, establishing their reign over my body for the next few weeks. It becomes tough when I have to decide which of my symptoms I can tend to today when all of them are firing at once. But that’s the reality of having a chronic illness.
The Renaissance Woman lays it all out on the table in her latest project Accidental Wine. This selection of ten songs is curated to prominent piano chords and laced with heavy, but whimsical lyrics. Each track is like a diary entry, often recounting in vivid detail her questions of purpose, responses to unrequited love, the admittance of self-doubt, and the strive to be defined by more than just her body on the journey of self-empowerment. Accidental Wine is honest and heart-wrenching as The Renaissance Woman brings us to her pain and allows it to filter through us. While we stand to evaluate the aftermath, The Renaissance Woman leaves us on a reminiscent note, asking, “where did all the time go?” in her final track, “Old Houses, Empty Fields”. It’s an examination all too familiar to those in our early twenties. Accidental Wine is not bold. Accidental Wine does not inflict discomfort because it’s not in your face. Instead, the searing ebbs and flows of hope The Renaissance Woman finds herself in as an American woman who will not stand for her womanism to be silenced is the unapologetic statement we all need.
April was a significant month for me: I turned 23. I uprooted my life in my small Maryland town, drove across the country, and created a new life in California.
We are officially a month (or longer for some states) into our stay-at-home orders. While some still insist on lingering in department stores, throwing “quarantine parties”, and posting their lack of consideration for the current state of life’s fragility with determination and confidence that they are immune to COVID-19, there is comfort in seeing how social media is finally bringing us together instead of dividing us based on follower counts, appearances, and the race to become the next viral sensation. Prior to the pandemic, society was dragging us in a toxic direction. From the sudden surge of underaged teen girls wearing the bare minimum choreographing dances to a mother and daughter getting attacked for simply speaking Spanish (CNN), the world was not going well. There were plenty of memes that circulated after the release of Drake and Future’s song “Life is Good” (January 2020) in late February claiming that the rap moguls jinxed us by being too optimistic.