Category Archives: Current Events

Huiping Tina Zhong: The Stories We Tell

Photography by Huiping Tina Zhong, Copyright 2020

 

Photography and Text by Huiping Tina Zhong, Copyright 2020

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THE STORIES WE TELL

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The Construction of Narratives Through Performativity of Emotions

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This is the first time for me to use an analog camera, hence every aspect of each strip of film fascinates me. The shape of the film reminds me of comic strips, which inherently signify the progress of a narrative, usually chronologically. I set the shooting space to be a space with arches, while each emotion is performed in a different arch, as if the arches are the frame of a stage or a painting, or a hole through which people peek through to view early forms of motion pictures. Different emotions are signified through different pieces of accessories on the same body, and sometimes even only through accessories, in other words, the absence of a body. In the schema, time proceeds both horizontally and vertically, and hopefully creating various storylines for each inspector.

In the first arch is sadness. The signifier of sadness is a pilot helmet. In my understanding, a pilot is isolated in the plane, and the helmet reminds me of war. In the first scene, the pilot is sitting by herself, and in the second round, she is embracing herself with sorrow. What happened? Maybe she has lost her fellow soldiers.

In the second arch is love. Looking out, she seems to be waiting for someone, and she seems to be enjoying her time. I chose a colorful skirt to represent the passion and the exuberance of young love. And when the lover arrives, she joyfully jumps in the air.

In the third arch, despair is represented through index, a trace of a body that was once here: gloves, shoes, a big coat, and a hat. It can be interpreted in various ways, but it can signify the loss of a life, which resonates with war, and even with love. Perhaps it is the lover that was lost to the pilot. The two scenes of despair is the same, because an absent body remains absent.

The last arch is happiness. She wears a pair of extravagant sunglasses with a golden frame, in the first scene she seems to be greeting someone happily, but in the second scene she is gone. Where is she? Is happiness now lost? It is open to the readers’ interpretations.

But let us return to the notion of the construction of a narrative. Although the inherent nature of an analog film strip is that it is indexical and chronological, life often does not have a clear plot line, and our memory of life gets entangled together to form our perception of the world, of our existence. This messy mixture of emotions and anachronistic events becomes the narrative that we construct for ourselves, while the difference between reality and performed memory becomes imperceptible.

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Portrait of Huiping Tina Zhong by Joy Bao, Copyright 2020.

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About The Author:  Huiping Tina Zhong is a senior majoring in Art History at Bryn Mawr College.

Also posted in Affiliates, Architecture, Art, Blog, Cameras, Environment, Film, Friends of TWS, Haverford College, lifestyle, Popular Culture, Portraiture, Student Life, Women

Katie Kerl: Valentine’s Self Care & Cocktails

 

Text and Photos by Katie Kerl, Copyright 2020

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Valentine’s Self Care & Cocktails

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Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching! It smacks you in the face at every turn. This year I urge you to put the phone down and stop swiping in dating apps. I was doing a little research and downloaded everyone I could find. Be very careful when on them. It seems as though at least 50% of men are on dating, hookup, and seeking arrangement apps. That is not my idea of a good time. Cross reference your picks that way. If not you could end up with a disease meeting a sex addict who is using all of the apps.

This led me to wonder why we so desperate for acceptance and mediocre dates on a Hallmark holiday? It is filled with awful pre-fix menus, cheaply made jewelry, drug store boxes of candy, & flowers that DIE. Why have we let the media make us think we have to have a date, or do anything on this day?

When I am in a relationship I make it special by surprising the person I am with. I make dinner, buy cool gifts, and usually some fun sex gag gift to be used later; haha! Going out for a few drinks and dessert is a very nice alternative the whole over reserved pre-fixed meal. I think it is one of the worst days of the year to eat out.

This year I am completely single, and will be spending it with a few friends. I’ll probably get a manicure, make dinner, and we will go dance somewhere. That is what makes me happy. If you are single celebrate that! If you are involved do not let that day be the only one you get off your ass to show appreciation to your loved ones. Self care is love, for men and women. Take that $300 you were going to waste and invest in yourself. After all, you are worth it!

I have compiled a few lists of perfect self care services around the city, and places to have cocktails and small bites that I enjoy. I’m going to start off with the men, let’s face it ladies they feel like they get left out a lot on this holiday. If your man treats you well appreciate that too!!  

 Masculine self care Ideas:

The Blind Barber just opened in the Gayborhood. They have locations in Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, New York, and now Philadelphia. It will not be a place to miss. Get your hair cut, and have a drink in their restaurant/club and relax.

Sulimay’s Barber Shop in Fishtown specializes in haircuts and straight shaves. This barber shop has been around since 1922! If that does not give you an idea of the quality here I am not sure what will. After, check out Suraya for a few cocktails and great people watching.

Blokes Barber Shop & Gentlemen Emporium in Old City. This unique barber also has a slew of gifts that are perfect for a self care splurge. They carry cufflinks, books, shave sets, socks, flasks, jewelry, and funny gag gifts as well.

Ashton Cigar Bar in center city is a very nice place to relax if you love your smoke and whiskey. The servers are all pretty, and they have a wide variety of drinks and cigars to choose from.

Art in the Age located in, Old City is a liquor tasting boutique. It is a unique spot to gather a group of friends, and start day drinking. They offer tastings, cocktail classes, sell bar accessories, bitters, mixers, & recipe books for the at home bartender that likes to entertain.

Follow it up with some sushi around the corner at Tuna Bar.

Reserve a table at Rec & Royal, for their weekend brunch party, Saturday and Sunday from 11-5. There is a food buffet, mimosa bar, and cool arcade games to keep you fully entertained.  

Treat yourself to a pair of new shoes or sneakers at Lapstone & Hammer.

The Suit Supply Is also a great place for the trendy go getter to add to their wardrobe.

Noto will be having a weekend full of parties to go dance the night away at.

The Ritz Carlton Spa offers lovely massage packages.

You can follow it up with their smoked mescal drink in the beautiful marble lobby.

Finally, treat yourself to the concert, or sports game you have been dying to go to.

 For the men who say Valentine’s Day is a women’s day; I think my laundry list of things to do may challenge that statement. Sometimes it just takes a little more than last minute planning.

Some gender neutral ideas:

Treat yourself to the gym membership you have been putting off, and get sexy for summer!

Luxury: The Sporting club at The Bellevue is a full gym/spa club equipped with pool, massage, food, meeting rooms, and personal training. Follow up your work out with a drink at XIX and try the seafood platter. It is located in the top of the hotel.

Mid level: City Fitness has multiple locations throughout the city. I recently joined the Northern Liberties location. They offer a wide range of classes, sauna, tanning, personal training, and a juice bar.

When you are finished walk a few blocks down Second Street and pop into Spuntino Wood Fired Pizza, and grab a heart shaped pizza. Bring your favorite wine because they are a BYOB, they have private parties, and pizza making classes!!

Basic: Planet Fitness has all of the equipment you would need to get cut for summer. They also have a few locations around the city.

Treat yourself to the concert, or sports game you have been dying to go to.

Revive Med Philly Is located in Northern Liberties. They are a non surgical cosmetics boutique. Offering a wide variety of services: facials, Botox, fillers, laser hair removal, EMsculpt, skin care products, finally IVs for hangovers & to boost immunity. I have been there a few times, and you will not find a more welcoming staff in the city. They will not over do it and tell you NO if you are being ridiculous. That is important! Patient continuity of care! Stop in and check out their V-Day specials, and guess the number of hearts in the glass jar to win a free service. You must be present to enter.

Take a photo in front of their beautiful wall for the gram, after they get you glowing in the right direction! They just started a monthly membership call for inquires.

Now for a few Feminine self care options:

Lacquer Lounge in old City is so cute for a mani/pedi. They have all white interior, and pops of pink spread around. Sip a glass of wine and relax while they take care of you.

Rescue Spa is a very tranquil space that you immediately feel at ease upon walking in. Great for a girl’s day, this spa offers a wide variety of services that are sure to please anyone. Call and see what works best for you, and your budget.

The Dandelion in Rittenhouse offers a fantastic afternoon tea. I actually took my mother there and it was quite the experience. You get a tower of tea sandwiches, sweet treats, and a pot of tea. There is a mimosa add on option that is very reasonable. The interior makes you think you have left Philly, and are sipping high tea in England.

 KAWAII KITTY CAFÉ in Queen Village, order your favorite coffee or tea. Then you are taken into a room to play with adoptable kitties. It is very cute to do if you have children as well. All of the cats were very friendly.

The Smak Parlor, located in Old City is a cute clothing and accessory shop that has yet to disappoint me.  They have very trendy reasonably priced pieces.

Book a Photo shoot session. Grab a bunch of outfits, go to a cool spot, and have fun! There is no better self esteem boost than amazing photos taken of you.

Have a Galantines’ brunch! Grab some friends and decorate your place. Make cute heart themed food, Valentines’ notes as place settings, and pomegranate mimosas.  Toss in a berry or two for garnish.

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While love is not always in the air in a romantic sense; we absolutely can enjoy Valentine’s Day in our own way. Appreciate the people in your life. After all, when your relationships end your friends are still there for you.

If you are happily involved I wish that REAL DEEP LOVE for all of you.

These suggestions work if you are single, taken, or for any gender if you identify differently.

I wanted the singles out there to know;

IT IS OK TO BE SINGLE and LOVE YOURSELF FIRST!

I hope everyone has a fun Valentines’ day no matter how you choose to celebrate.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Katie Kerl was raised in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania. She is currently living  in Northern Liberties, Philadelphia. Katie has a background in Psychology from Drexel University. She is a manager in the commercial/residential design field . Katie can be reached  on Instagram @kerlupwithkate 

For collaboration e-mail: Kate.kerl32@gmail.com

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To access additional article by Katie Kerl, click herehttps://tonywardstudio.com/blog/katie-kerl-dating-guide-2020/

 

Also posted in Affiliates, Blog, Friends of TWS, Health Care, Popular Culture, Student Life, Women

Vibe Rouvet: Opera News From France

Vibe Rouvet

 

STUDIO NEWS

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On the 18th of January, 2020 French opera singer Vibe Rouvet continues to impress audiences at the New Year’s concert she performed at Pau’s conservatory in Lescar’s Cathedral, located in Pau, France.  She sang Mein Herr Marquis from Strauss’s opera Die Fledemaus, and the Flower Duet from Leo Delibes’ opera Lakme’.

Vibe Rouvet at Pau’s Conservatory in France

Vibe is a 19 year old student in Pau’s conservatory. The orchestra Chief is Guy Brunschwig a renowned director at the conservatory who performed with the students. 

Vibe had another concert at the Chapelle conservatory and sung the same song but with a higher end note (contre sol) higher than in the air of the Queen of the Night!

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For additional articles about this rising star in Opera, click herehttps://tonywardstudio.com/blog/vibe-rouvet-the-latest-from-france/

 

Also posted in Accessories, Affiliates, Announcements, Art, Blog, Documentary, Environment, Friends of TWS, Glamour, History, Popular Culture, Student Life, Travel, Women

Katie Kerl: Dating Guide 2020

Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2020

 

Text by Katie Kerl, Copyright 2020

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Dating Guide

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This is the first time I have really been totally single in a few years.  After much on and off with my last relationship I fully understand the saying, “I do not have to know you to know your energy.” Unfortunately, our lives led us onto completely different paths, and that is more than ok.

I know upon meeting someone what they are going to bring into my life, and I’m very rarely surprised anymore. If your partner is seeking acceptance from others they have yet to discover who they really are, or they would not care about anyone else’s opinion. This also confuses the fuck out of me. You may be nice, sweet, giving, and that is great! On the flip side though; if you spend too much time trying to be a people pleaser your light will be dimmed. I have said that a few times previously but it is IMPORTANT.

As new decade falls upon us; I wanted to feel like me again. I really started thinking about my life, friends, and family. Those who have yet to drop the ball have made me feel so full of life and appreciated. If you are having a hard time relating to people I suggest joining groups you’re interested in, expand your knowledge on human behavior, and take a few basic psychology classes, or simply try every new thing you can. This will give you basic understanding of human nature, and why we make the choices we do. We will never fully understand what the other person is going through, but you absolutely CAN TRY.

  I find that being an Empath in a world of narcissism and materialistic bullshit is basically suicide. You can be caring to a point, but when you care too much people take advantage of that. It totally depletes your efforts of maintaining a healthy relationship and lifestyle. When you see things in someone that other people do not, you end up an enemy every damn time. While relationships have come and gone through my adult life, I am very fortunate to have gained the life experience, and grown from all of them. The good, bad, and the ugly because let’s face it; something went right before it went wrong, and was not able to be communicated and worked out. Some people will never face their demons and that is ok; making peace with that maybe the hardest part. Moving on is never easy but you must keep growing.

Here are a few things I always keep in mind when bringing someone new into my life.

Top 20 for 2020:

  1. Never compromise who you are for someone else.
  2. Be kind
  3. Have shared interests, your own hobbies, and friends.
  4. Have amazing SEX & lots of it!!! After all, that is half the fun of dating.
  5. Do not try to control people they will show you exactly who they are over time; take it or leave it. A little jealousy is cute, being a stalker is scary.
  6. Be HONEST do not promise someone the world when you are not capable of giving it; no matter how good the intention is. Saying I’m sorry is something that should be eliminated, and replaced with changed behavior if you actually care about the person you hurt.
  7. Go on dates!! Stop accepting, “You want to hang out?” if you are looking for love. The person who says do you wanna hang out has 0 plan, is expecting to get laid, and has probably mass sent that text out to whomever they started talking to on a variety of dating apps. Already in a relationship? Never stop dating the person you are with; that is when the spark dies. If you have to use the phrase “we used to do this.” Things have probably gotten a little stale.
  8. Show appreciation and celebrate their accomplishments.
  9. Be present in the situation… I realize we live in a world of technology and convenience, but your partner does not want a phone in their face every time you go out with them.  If one starts off that way you can be sure it is going to end badly.
  10. Communication; IM FINE is no longer an acceptable response when you are clearly bothered by something. Not speaking on what bothers you only leads to a buildup of anxiety and emotional delusion that could have been handled when your partner asked, “WHAT’S WRONG?” to begin with.
  11. Fighting is two people disputing an issue. Understand no one is going to have the same perspective as you. They have not experienced what you have; also they may have very limited understanding of large life issues if they have not had life smack them down to size yet. Do not discount someone’s feelings based on your own. If they say they are upset, that should be enough.
  12. Have FUN and do not take yourself so seriously….. That is BORING.   There is nothing worse than someone with no quick wit, or funny charm.   
  13. Cook together! Making a meal with someone is a very attractive thing. Anyone can swipe their credit card at a restaurant. If you create a beautiful plate while listening to good music; for me there’s nothing better. Except maybe dancing off the calories after. 
  14. If you are on dating sites try to remember something; not everyone is looking for what you are. Be it friends because you just moved, or sex because you just have not the time or energy to date. If you are seeking dating or a relationship say it. The reality is; you cannot order any of these up like ramen on a snowy day.  If you choose to meet someone on line, my suggestion would be having ZERO expectations, and do not commit to a dinner. You will possibly end up awkwardly stuck for two hours with a person you’re not sure can hold a fifteen minute conversation. Start with a drink alcohol or coffee/juice bar, walk in the park, fitness class, cooking demo, art show, or a museum. This gives you a quick out if you need it, and it is different! Lastly, always tell a friend where you are going because STRANGER DANGER!!!
  15. Be understanding and accept constructive criticism, especially if you were the one asking for it. If you value the person you are with why would you not want to accept their opinions? 
  16. Wait until you find out who you are before bringing someone else into your situation. If you have not figured out how to navigate it, how can someone else?
  17. In 2020 we are not ghosting people anymore. You do not like that person, or they were not what you were expecting? Have some fucking balls and say, “I do not think our lives are on the same path.”  When did we get to be such emotional pussies we cannot convey simple interest, or dislike? It has to be all out war, or radio silence? 
  18. Stay healthy!!  Be the best version of yourself; even when life is smacking you. That shows true dignity when you are still standing when it is all going wrong. Your partner is there for support, but if you are not being honest with yourself how can they truly be there?
  19. MAKE THE TIME, give unexpected gifts, and respect that person’s life for what it is, or walk away. Unless they express they want to be different, do not push. Even if they do talk about it. There is a very large difference between talk and action. You can talk till you’re blue in the face, until you make that decision to be different on your own. It is not going to happen.
  20. Above all else; be careful with that person’s heart. You do not want to be the reason they give up on themselves, love, or dating.

There are only a few billion frogs left to kiss out in the world. Get leaping and put yourself out there. Cheers to all, hoping everyone looking for something special finds it!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Katie Kerl was raised in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania. She is currently living  in Northern Liberties, Philadelphia. Katie has a background in Psychology from Drexel University. She is a manager in the commercial/residential design field . Katie can be reached  on Instagram @kerlupwithkate 

For collaboration e-mail: Kate.kerl32@gmail.com

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To access additional articles by Katie Kerl, click here:https://tonyward.com/katie-kerl-tis-the-season-for-giving/

Also posted in Affiliates, Art, Blog, commentary, Environment, Friends of TWS, lifestyle, Philadelphia, Popular Culture, Student Life, Women

Ed Simmons: Dancing Girls Harvard and Stone

Photography and Text by Ed Simmons, Copyright 2020

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Dancing Girls Harvard and Stone

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Chuck E Weiss. Yeah, I knew that guy. The dude from that Rickey Lee Jones tune, “Chuck E’s In Love”. I was hanging around with him back in the early 80’s at Hollywood’s Club Lingeri.  I read in the LA Weekly a few years back, that Chuck E Weiss was playing a late night set at The Piano Bar on Selma Avenue in Hollywood, so I go on down to check it out.

I bet around about now, you may be wondering how in the hell does this tie into “Dancing Girls”.  Austin was the door man at the Piano Bar that night, a Nigerian with one punch biceps, tells me that on Sundays, this spot, The Piano Bar, barbecues out back, and that I should start stopping by on a regular basis with my camera. I do and we become good friends.  As a photographer, the Sunday afternoon crowd at the Piano Bar was so interesting, so friendly and open to me, but like all slices of life in LA, this ends too before long.

Austin also informed he would be working the door at a spot in East Hollywood’s Thai Town, called Harvard and Stone, that I should start showing up there,  bring the camera, Austin, a bit of a ham…likes being photographed Hollywood ya know. This spot is sorta dark, I’ve got a pretty hot camera, I figure I can hang and see what unfolds. The location is built somewhat like a Hollywood set, lots of interesting industrial architectural treatments, a couple of bars, a smoking area in the back, a stage, live music, shoulder to shoulder people,  and very hard to move around this place, no tension though, everybody’s having fun!  

 One night, I’m  hanging by the front bar at Harvard and Stone chatting it up a bit with Yale, she’s cool, mostly says she bartends at the Hollywood Roosevelt, on this nite she was just filling in. The House Band steps onto the stage and start playing this raunchy tune with a filthy beat, then out from nowhere it seems as if dancing girls started to rain down through the rafters. They start dancing across the catwalks and bar, then down on to the stage. I was shocked, well… surprised,  I didn’t have a clue and couldn’t move. This crowd was thick, shoulder to shoulder.  Hell, no one in this mob was willing to give me an inch as I clicked away.

 The show ends, so I search out Austin as the crowd begins to thin out. He sees my look and ask’s well, did you get anything good? I’m like dude, I couldn’t even move but managed to get some great shots!

Two shows go on, Friday and Saturday nights.  I found the house always full, as I worked through a few months of making images at this venue, I found a need to pre plan. Photographing these dancing girls, week to week, nite by nite I had to pick my spot. If you are a photographer in LA its best to be friendly with door men.

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Ed Simmons photographed by Bonnie Schiffman. Copyright 1972

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Also posted in Affiliates, Art, Blog, Cameras, Documentary, Environment, Erotica, Friends of TWS, Glamour, lifestyle, Models, Photography, Popular Culture, Portraiture, Student Life, Travel, Women