More than a Feeling: Writing and Publishing Perzines

Hey, it’s me, Jessie Lynn McMains, your resident zinester. I’ve been writing zines for almost 28 years now, and for at least 24 of those years, they’ve mostly been perzines. (What’s a zine? What’s a perzine? Check out the post I wrote for International Zine Month.) And now I’m here to teach you how to…

Magic Gardens

by Jessie Lynn McMains On the north wall of the Nielsen, Madsen, and Barber building, at 1339 Washington Avenue, there is a mosaic mural. Whether you are driving or walking past, it is impossible to miss. Strange beings loom out at you—mermaids, creatures with fish where their arms should be, beings whose limbs and eyes…

The Transverberation of Frida Kahlo

by Jessie Lynn McMains Woman with dark hair full of flowers. Woman wrapped in thorns and vines. Woman draped in bangles, necklaces, earrings of jade and silver. Woman with magenta lips; with eyebrow perched above her knowing eyes like a blackbird, singing. Woman surrounded by dogs, monkeys, deer. Chicana. Communist. Rebel. I don’t give a…

Let’s Be Bad

by Jessie Lynn McMains Sometimes, I want to do bad things. This is not a confession of nefarious plots or dirty thoughts. Maybe I should rephrase it. Sometimes, I want to allow myself to be bad at things. I want to let myself make crappy stuff. I want to let myself just make the absolute…

Why Bother? (we set out to change the world & ended up just changing ourselves)

by Jessie Lynn McMains There’s a scene towards the end of the film Velvet Goldmine, when Curt Wild (Ewan McGregor) says to Arthur Stuart (Christian Bale): “We set out to change the world, and ended up just changing ourselves.” “What’s wrong with that?” Arthur asks. “Nothing,” Curt replies, “If you don’t look at the world.”…

What I Wanted to Say …

by John Bloner, Jr. This is my final article as Racine Writer-In-Residence as I will hand off its baton to the next honoree on July 1st. Thank you to ArtRoot, the Osborne & Scekic Family Foundation, Nick Ramsey, and the Racine Literacy Council for their support and encouragement. Over the past six months, the Krazines,…

Mattias and I: A True Story

When I came across Mattias’ work five or six years ago, I became captivated by his highly-populated cityscapes and his rooms stuffed with bric-a-brac and odd technology. This is the kind of art I want to make!, I told myself.

Forget Paris on the Seine. I’ll Take the Louvre on Lake Michigan

Would you rather have a brat or a baguette? A Kouign-amann or a Kringle? Paris with its Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo is 4,100 miles away from here, and who needs the Louvre Museum when you can experience fine art (and engage in much more) at the Louvre on Lake Michigan, better known as Spectrum School of the Arts and Gallery? Spectrum is located within the historic DeKoven Center campus in Racine, WI at 2050 Wisconsin Avenue and has served southeastern Wisconsin with culture, education, entertainment, and fellowship for over 40 years.

A Lament, and Visions of Hope, for Wronged Souls

The title of this week’s article, A Lament, and Visions of Hope, for Wronged Souls, comes from a New York Times headline from March 2020. The accompanying story was a review of an Off Off Broadway musical; however, from a distance of 15 months, the headline feels prescient, not only because of the pandemic, but for many other events that continue to affect humankind on a global and personal level.