Artists I Know

I have always found myself surrounded by creative types. I cherish time spent sharing art with them, learning from them, and conversing with them. Below are some of my dear friends here at Rutgers, who are also artists, writers, comedians, poets, and cooks.

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This is Ali Looman, holding one her paintings that she modeled after one by Henri Matisse. She is pictured here in her bedroom, surrounded by the plants that she grows around our apartment. Ali’s personal aesthetic mingles fine art with the organic artistry of nature, a combination that makes our apartment serene and green. It is a calming place to live and study.

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This is Sam Rosenfeld, otherwise known as Pip. He does stand up comedy. His original routines will make you laugh until you cry. Here he is pictured in the living room of his apartment.

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This is Amanda Figliolini, as she prepares her evening meal. As we all know from Julia Child’s “Mastering The Art of French Cooking,” there is an undeniable artistic aspect to cuisine. Even someone who claims that they “don’t know anything about art” can appreciate a delicious sauce or slice of freshly baked bread. 

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This is Nick McNamara holding a painting he is currently working on. Upon completion he plans to give to a friend. He also writes awesome poetry.

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This is Chelsea Sirico. Here she plays guitar on our back porch on an unseasonably warm and sunny day in February. There is always a chance that we may fall right into the Golden Rail Pub when we stand out on this somewhat stable “porch,” but when the weather is nice we really can’t resist. The construction behind her, on Condict Street, has been disruptive this year in more ways that one. Listening to her play guitar and sing in the room next door to mine is far more pleasant than the bulldozers and shouts that come from our neighboring construction site.

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This is Akiva Weinstein beside two of his original paintings. His work hangs throughout his apartment on Easton Ave. It also graces a few of his friends’ homes like that of…

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Charles Arber, pictured here holding a pencil sketch that was gifted to him from Akiva, which usually hangs in his room, but looks great outside too.

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One frigid February night, while feeling particularly creative, a group of friends collaborated on this mural, which now hangs in Charles’ apartment. This is Charles (left) and Nick DeLisi (right)  looking accomplished  alongside it. On the floor below them is a box of pastels. Before snapping this photo I too contributed a flower to the piece. This work in progress is sometimes revisited post-2AM, after nights out around town.

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This is Matt White. He writes incredibly imaginative poetry. Sometimes, he writes with fruit. I’ve heard him described as New Brunswick’s Allen Ginsberg.

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The above picture features a large format photograph taken by my friend Jack Clarizio. The black and white photo was taken from his car. The car in front of him is my friend Megan’s, which at the time held Meg, Ali, and I. Jack took this picture in October 2010. We were freshman in college and visiting Meg’s older sister in Burlington, Vermont. We spent this weekend hiking, eating flat breads pizzas, watching The Great Pumpkin Regatta, and driving down wide open country roads. He gave me this photo framed for Christmas this year. It hangs beside my desk and reminds me of the journeys I’ve taken with my friends. It is one of my favorite gifts. Below it is my own bulletin board where I post various things that I need to be reminded of and that inspire me. Included right now is a poem by Audre Lorde, a photo I took in Girona, Spain, and a username that I can’t quite commit to memory.

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If you look closely, that’s me, the portrait at the bottom of the page. I found the November/December issue of the Rutgers Review atop the toilet last Wednesday night at Huntington Poetry Club, a student-run gathering of poets and musicians. I have written a few articles for the Review throughout my time at Rutgers. This past issue I was asked to be a featured contributor, which included a photo of me and a short biography.  My article for this issue was about cell phones and dating. The Rutgers Review is a student-run publication that covers New Brunswick and Rutgers culture, art, and music. Writing articles for The Rutgers Review and sharing my poems at Huntington Poetry club has characterized my time as a student and writer here at Rutgers. This photo places me within both.

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4 comments

  1. I really enjoyed this essay because it gave me a glimpse into what makes these people happy. The only thing I was confused about was the shot of your self-portrait. Is there a reason the toilet is so focus?

    1. It was supposed to be a bit of a joke. Although I am serious about my writing, when I find the magazine I write for, open to my picture and bio in a friend’s bathroom I can’t help but laugh.

  2. This glimpse of the people around you can really tell a lot about a person and her values. I think it is very cool that you included art’s many scopes and creativity in the people around you. Very interesting. Good work!

  3. I always find it reassuring when other people’s talents help inspire myself or simply put a smile on my face. It must be pretty intriguing and comical constantly being surrounded by all these creative minds and personalities. Just looking at your friends and their incredible creations is truly amazing. Bravo to everyone!

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