Humans just love to celebrate: there are holidays for everything important and not-so-important on each day of the calendar year. Take today, for instance: August 1 is not only National Girlfriend Day and National Mountain-Climbing Day and National Raspberry Cream Pie Day, it's also National Spider-Man Day--time to celebrate your friendly neighborhood superhero dispensing justice and swinging through the streets of New York City. Source: Spider-Man from Marvel Comics, image from Austin Toy Museum It's also one of the last days of summer exams here at the college. I'll leave it to you…continue reading →

Portrait—of a Presidential Portrait

As Barack Obama made history when he became the first African-American president of the United States, Kehinde Wiley made history nearly ten years later to become the first African-American to paint a presidential portrait. President Obama's portrait, painted by Wiley, went on display at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery on February 12, 2018. It shows the 44th president of the United States seated in front of rich green foliage, punctuated with colorful flowers. Unlike previous presidents, President Obama sits in his portrait, relaxed and casual instead of formal. The flowers in the rich…continue reading →

Artist Spotlight: Jack Goolsby Pottery

If you come to the Midlothian campus library, you may have noticed the blue vase guarding our graphic novel section. The Library is once again proud to display the pottery of JTCC art student Jack Goolsby. He provided this information about his Onggi pot: "Planter By Jack Goolsby 2018 - Cone 6 Stoneware This planter is made using a paddle & anvil technique. In Korea, storage jars made this way and of this size are called “Onggi”. They are used to ferment and store vegetables.  Kim Chee (fermented cabbage) is a familiar example. …continue reading →

Scary Good Books – Why We Enjoy Getting Scared

Every year, October brings wind, falling leaves, and a new round of scary books and movies. Nothing pairs so well with windy nights as a spine-tingling thriller. Considering that no one would ever want to live through the events in our favorite thriller, why do we enjoy getting scared? Horror novelist Lou Morgan argues that horror stories and thrillers give us “safe place for a stern truth.”¹ We have to face our own fears in them, and become a little more able to overcome real life terrors. Prominent thinker G. K. Chesterton in…continue reading →

300 Years of Gothic Novels

2017 marks the 300th birthday of novelist, Horace Walpole, who wrote the very first Gothic novel. The Castle of Otranto was published in 1764 and featured a series of terrible events set in a medieval castle which eventually “comes to supernatural life until villainy is defeated.”¹ Filled with ghosts, secret passages, and murder, The Castle of Otranto was a popular hit and critically significant for how the atmosphere, even the castle itself, reflected the inner turmoil of the main character Manfred. Since then, elements of the Gothic novel like haunted houses, supernatural environments,…continue reading →