Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Ghosts Research

My idea as for making this art was inspired by my best friend, who used the word "legend." This made me think of old fairy tale books, and I wanted to recreate that look with actual words from my research, and highlight the difference between a classic fairy tale font and look with the subject matter of ghosts.

Ghosts on Campus: A Comparison


FSU is home to many ghost stories, largely due to its rich and lengthy history. Most of these stories, such as that of a woman who was hanged due to killing her own children, date back far before FSU was a college as we know it. 


UF hosts its own ghosts, also due to history and placement. For UF, one of the most chilling stories is that of Native American ghosts roaming around the College of Law, a convincing argument as it was built over an ancient Native American burial ground. 


In a city known for its history, it’s no surprise that Flagler houses convincing ghost stories. The most interesting one, perhaps, is that of a little boy who fell to his death in the old Ponce de Leon hotel. Rumor has it that his playing and stomps can still be heard today. 


Given a brief idea of what ghost stories are like on other campuses in Florida, what kind of skeletons might UWF have in our closet? Are our ghost stories any more or less convincing than those of much older Universities?

Though ours is a younger college, there are still rumors about the library, the gym, and even the theatre auditorium. However, it is much harder to track down these stories, especially given the ease with which I could remotely access ghost stories about other campuses. One in particular that stands out is the man in the “funny little hat” that roams campus and knocks on windows, doing nothing particularly malicious. Another interesting story is that of a baby’s cries in the woods of UWF, near an abandoned nursery. 

Though our ghost stories may not be as numerous or as grounded in history as other universities, we do have more recent evidence for paranormal activity on campus. In fall of 2012, police found the remains of a man who had been missing for over a year. His bones were hidden by underbrush. 

Although not as recently as 2012, another death was discovered near the nature trail in 1993. A man, Eric Branch, approached student Susan Morris as she left class. His motive was to steal her car, but her body was found beaten, bruised, raped, and strangled in a “shallow grave” near the nature trail. Branch was caught and imprisoned, and has recently been given the death penalty. Though there are no official reports of Morris’ ghost roaming the campus, if ever there were a time to become a ghost, this brutal murder, that went for so long without justice, would warrant it. 
“Are There Ghosts on Campus?” The Voyager, 1 Nov. 2016,

Associated Press. “Florida to Execute Man in 1993 Slaying of UWF Student.” Northwest Florida Daily News, Northwest Florida Daily News, 22 Feb. 2018,

Enkerud, Mark. “UF Campus Holds Decades of Legends, Ghost Stories.” The Independent Florida Alligator, 16 Aug. 2009,

 “Ghost Stories Of Flagler College.” The Odyssey Online, 11 Nov. 2017,

“Haunted Tours Return to Downtown Pensacola.” Pensacola News Journal, Pensacola News Journal, 4 Oct. 2016,

 “” Human Remains Found At UWF Identified As Missing Man :,

“School Spirits: Ghosts at Florida State.” Illuminations, 28 Oct. 2015,

Monday, April 2, 2018


Area of Interest:

I’m interested in researching the ghost/paranormal stories surrounding the University of West Florida campus and compare it to those of other popular Florida college ghost stories. I believe that such a comparison will be more interesting than a ghost story about UWF alone, while reminding my audience that though the university is so prevalent in our lives, it is but a larger piece of culture, and each university has a football team, and an art department, and a ghost story. I am also interested to see what the most compelling ghost story, and how much evidence I can find at UWF to compare to the evidence to the most compelling one elsewhere.

List of Primary Research:

“Are There Ghosts on Campus?” The Voyager, 1 Nov. 2016,

“” Human Remains Found At UWF Identified As Missing Man :,

“School Spirits: Ghosts at Florida State.” Illuminations, 28 Oct. 2015,

Enkerud, Mark. “UF Campus Holds Decades of Legends, Ghost Stories.” The Independent Florida Alligator, 16 Aug. 2009,

“Ghost Stories Of Flagler College.” The Odyssey Online, 11 Nov. 2017,

“Haunted Tours Return to Downtown Pensacola.” Pensacola News Journal, Pensacola News Journal, 4 Oct. 2016,

Locations to Conduct Fieldwork

1.     Edward Ball Nature Trail
2.     UWF Library

Information/Sample Collections

1.     Map of the Campuses with locations of ghost sightings marked
2.     Photographs of the haunted sites at UWF
3.     Photographs of reported sightings from all the campuses, including UWF
4.     Video and audio recording of the haunted places

Final Project/ Product

The goal is to take all the information I collect and make an abstra

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Week 7 Storyboard

I went through several storyboards, trying to find a story or idea that I was actually invested in and that made sense to me. After several tries, I decided that my everyday routine was something that would be interesting to turn into art, as it is not necessarily profound or moving, but rather a somewhat mundane storyline turned into something anything but mundane. I also finished the site map, linking all the pages together like blank canvasses, and though it took me a while, I felt rather accomplished when I was finished.

Week 6 Reflection Post on Gifs

My work with the gifs was more difficult than I anticipated. From the tutorial in the class, I thought that I had it down pretty well. However, when I went home and worked on them, I realized I needed quite a bit more practice, and I spend a lot of time on Youtube watching simple tutorials on how to get what I needed. Although my gifs are still fairly amateur, I feel that I have a better understanding of how to do it that I did previously, and certainly a better understanding than I did a few weeks ago. My ideas all stemmed from my desire to investigate simplistic designs and movements as a way for me to start off and really get a hang of things.

Gif Read and Response

Gabriella Gong
Professor Tasmuth
Intro to Digital Studio
Gifs Read and Response
In 2018, the term “gif” makes one think of the infamous internet debate on pronunciation (gif or jif), Twitter memes, and, perhaps to some of the moms of Facebook, those eCards that say clever things and you send to your children or friends on their birthday, sometimes with a gift card and sometimes without. According the the articles, particularly “Ubiquitous Minicema,” gifs can sometimes be thought of as amateur or as a form of art that has been preserved and used in modern culture. This is entirely correct. Gifs have indeed evolved, and often they are a loop of a part of a video, rather than individualized pieces of art, like those of Chuck Poytner, but their reach is still expansive. Gifs are a quick, easy form of communication, and they evoke a sense of movement, relatability, and often humor. Particularly in my generation, gifs are used as fast and disposable memes, and while the content may be different, the format remains the same.

More than the cultural phenomenon of gifs remaining relevant to the next generation of internet users, gifs are also social and democratic. The social aspect is mostly addressed above, as the quick means of communication across the globe is simply punctuated by easy access to gifs. They are even included in our text messages, now, as a means to respond to a person in the form of a moving image and not actual words. However,  gifs are also democratic by nature, promoting the exchange of information and culture all across the globe, and inviting everyone’s voice to be heard with just a few seconds of a moving image on loop.

Saturday, February 3, 2018


     This piece originated from throwing ideas around with my best friend, where I said "presidents" and she said "drag. The conceptual idea behind this was that a chimera is a mashup of different entities, yes, but they also mashup that which is traditional and nontraditional, a combination that can sometimes make people uncomfortable. I decided that the hybridization of our US presidents and Rupaul's drag queens would make some uncomfortable. To create this piece, I photoshopped together a painting of Abe with a drag queen's dress, and make them a separate layer to put over the Empire magazine template. I made the template mostly transparent, and layered everything over a copy of the emancipation proclamation, in which I turned down the opacity so it kept the emphasis on Abe. 

     For this piece, my conceptual idea was around the same. However, this time, I wanted there to be a more subtle vibe, something that people could look at and not immediately place as being different, or a chimera. For this, I used a painting of George Washington and cut him out from the rest, and I did the same with the bottom of the dress. Then, I found a Time magazine template and erased the entire background to only leave the logo. I added the constitution to George's hand where his sword used to be, and I adjusted the transparency on an old flag with only 13 stars to add to the background, but I ultimately decided to just incorporate the stripes.

     This piece was the emphasis of the three, having a mostly white background. The concept behind this was to really nail the magazine feel, and I found a transparent Vogue cover to do that. I had a lot of trouble cutting out Teddy because the background was so similar in color to his coat, so I eventually cut out parts and merged all the layers to come up with his body. I also cut out another drag queen, counting on the exposed leg to contrast comedically with his stern face and fist, reinforcing the idea of non traditionalism relating to chimeras. 

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Photomontage Work

For the photomontage, I've chosen to reimagine famous presidents, specifically George Washington, Abe Lincoln, and Teddy Roosevelt, as drag queens on magazine covers. As the description implies, chimeras and hybrids are meant to intimidate and make one uncomfortable. With the amount of patriotism and nationalism most Americans feel, regardless of politics, I would venture that seeing a well-respected president in drag, something that is not often quite as respected for one reason or another, would be somewhat unsettling and uncomfortable for the viewer, creating the feeling of being a hybrid while the actual photo itself is a sort of chimera, collaging together bodies and text. These are some of the images I am using.