I woke up this morning determined to change my life around, and have decided to lose 30 lbs in the next six months.  I have been working out since this past August and have lost quite a bit of weight.  Something happened over the holidays, and I just lost whatever burning desire I had to wake up and run.  A family member of mine who is in Germany gave me some awesome encouragement, recipes, and workout ideas to get me back on track.  

It seems like I am always trying to better myself in some way, shape, or form.  I want to be the best that I can possibly be and serve as an anchor for my friends and family.  Let’s be real though… who really wants to run, sweat, lift heavy weights, and repeat day after day? Not this girl, but I will do what I have to do to shed the pounds, love myself, and feel good.  The nice thing about living in Richmond is that I can run outside and take thousands of different routes.  Other than the sidewalks that are uneven from the tree roots sprouting up beneath them, accidental construction mishaps, and of course the lovely bricks that go missing just hoping for you to land on your face for all of Richmond to see, it is a very unique place.  

I’m often amazed that I mustered up the courage to pack my bags, leave my family, and live in a city where nobody knew my name.  It was so easy for me and I am forever grateful that I had that sense of courage within me.  If I would have stayed in Virginia Beach i am pretty sure I would be a completely different person.  In fact I know I would be.  Life is all about the chances you take. I am taking several at the moment and slightly overwhelming myself, but that is just how my motors turn.  I’m starting to scare myself with all of these risks I am taking such as changing my major from dental hygiene to English, changing my course of direction by wanting to teach high school, embarking on the long journey to obtain my teacher’s license, and the insane amount of tests I have to take in the next few weeks! I totally got this.

– Ashton 




Alex Grey was born in Columbus, Ohio on November 29, 1953. The themes of death and transcendence weave throughout his artworks, from the earliest drawings to later performances, paintings and sculpture. Alex went to the Columbus College of Art and Design on full scholarship from 1971-3. For five years, Alex worked in the Anatomy department at Harvard Medical School preparing cadavers for dissection while he studied the body on his own. He later worked for Dr. Herbert Benson and Dr. Joan Borysenko as a research technologist at Harvard’s department of Mind/Body Medicine, conducting scientific experiments to investigate subtle healing energies. Alex’s anatomical training prepared him for painting the Sacred Mirrors (see below) and for working as a medical illustrator. Doctors at Harvard saw images of his Sacred Mirrors, and hired Alex for illustration work.

In 1972 Grey began a series of art actions that bear resemblance to rites of passage…

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Wayne Thiebaud

Three Machines, 1963, De Young MuseumSan Francisco

Display Cakes

Display Cakes

1963 painting | oil on canvas
Wayne Thiebaud - large sucker
Wayne Thiebaud • Eight Lipsticks • edition of 60, 1988, drypoint, 14″ x 12″
Seven Suckers, 1970
Cakes, 1963


I really enjoy Wayne Thiebaud’s works because of how he used different products to paint in a similar colorful, pastel colors.  His work reminds me of Pop artist, Andy Warhol with his use of popular products. Thiebaud is well known for his paintings of production line objects found in diners and cafeterias, such as pies and pastries. He was associated with the Pop Art painters because of his interest in objects of mass culture, but he doesn’t consider himself a Pop artist he prefers to be just called a painter. He said he painted his artworks out of nostalgia; they reminded him of his boyhood and the best of America.




Motohiko Odani

Rompers (still), 2003

Digital effect, C-print mounted on aluminum, 805×667 mm

Erecto (clara), 2004

Information unknown


Information Unknown

Motohiko Odani is a young, upcoming Japanese artist whose works can be a little disturbing to some. Some works even depict blood, such as Phantom-Limb, with Odani’s response being that “I know people will feel uncomfortable with it, but imagine if one of your relatives or loved ones were bleeding – you wouldn’t worry about their blood, would you? I want to bring people to this point with my art.” Odani takes a studied approach to his work, making it appear less threatening than other artists with similar works, such as Hungarian ‘Neoist’ Istvan Kantor and his Blood Campaign.

Truman Lowe

Doris Salcedo

Tenebrae, 1999, lead and steel

Abyss, 2005, brick, steel and epoxy resin

Shibboleth, 2007, concrete and metal

Pegaria Muda, 2008, wood, mineral compound, cement and grass

Untitled, 2008, wood, metal, and concrete

Doris Salcedo’s work utilizes everyday materials by taking an object and turning it into something else. The viewer is able to see how two or more objects have joined into something new and imaginary. In the piece, Pelgaria Muda, I enjoyed her manipulation of place. The tables have created a place for nature that is unexpected! As the grass grows the maintenance or lack there of changes the work adding an element of performance to the piece. I also enjoyed the mood that was created in Abyss. The feeling of being enclosed and in darkness created a strong emotional place beyond that of the actual work. When looking at it you can truly get a sense of being in the deep sea.

Glen Ligon

Glenn Ligon is an American conceptual artist whose work includes race, language, desire, sexuality, and a lot more. He is an African American artist who likes to put emphasis on race with in his works. He grew up in the bronx and have seen the racial aspects of the world. He graduated from Wesleyan College. He works in multiple media including painting, neon, video, photography, and so on.