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Back to School!

With the last days of July upon us, I shed a tear and take a deep breath as I prepare for my final year at San Francisco Art Institute. My classes don’t begin until the last week of August, but being the ambitious student that I am, I have several school-related activities that begin momentarily: a) TA-ing with a professor; b) organizing the student social budget with the graduate student council; and c) meetings with student groups and administration to discuss program changes (also part of my duties within the graduate student council).

I had asked Bill Powhida for some summer to-do’s back in April. Aside from wandering around galleries and working on my own art, I went against his words and, indeed, got “f***ed up.” This summer, I visited galleries in Chelsea, stayed with family and friends in New Jersey, danced up a storm at the Electric Daisy Carnival in Los Angeles, and doggie paddled in a hot tub in South Lake Tahoe. Bill mentioned that I should write a couple of art reviews, too. I never got around to writing about art, but I did get around to writing about each flavor of ice cream that I tasted from an ice cream shop that opened on the first floor of my graduate center.

Jeffrey Augustine Songco, "Mexican Coffee." Courtesy the artist.

“Mexican Coffee”

While it doesn’t taste like fútbol victory, the speckling of cinnamon makes it ridiculously Catholic — think Midnight Mass, Christmas morning, and immaculate conceptions.

Jeffrey Augustine Songco, "Seven Spice." Courtesy the artist.

“Seven Spice”

Things that come to mind when I think of ‘Seven’: dwarfs, sins, and Brad Pitt. Things that don’t come to mind: this flavor. And what about the ‘spice’? When I check Yelp and read a 1-star review, I often reread the review out loud in my ‘obnoxious Yelp voice.’ See if you can do that yourself with the following statement: “The only reason this ice cream flavor is getting one star is because the ice cream shop was open. The only thing spicy now is my attitude.”

Jeffrey Augustine Songco, "Ballpark." Courtesy of the artist.

“Ballpark”

After watching a baseball game from a private company skybox (like I’ve done a few times), there’s really nothing that can top the experience of watching my country’s national sport with good friends, good beer, and endless peanuts—unless of course you throw all (or rather most of) that into an ice cream maker. The shop downstairs has hit this one out of the figurative ballpark. With a combo of Anchor Beer, peanuts, and chocolate pretzels, I could care less if my home team was losing ‘cause this flavor’s got me dancin’ on my feet.

As a student of life, I take to heart any kind of guidance and direction. When Bill mentioned that I should do some writing this summer, you bet your bottom I was thinking about writing every second of every day. But about Art? When I’m deconstructing my existence in my own studio, the last thing I want to do is analyze someone else’s art. My hat’s off to all you art critics and journalists out there—for me, I’m just gonna stick to reviewing tasty ice cream and gaining the Second-Year Fifteen. (Get it? It’s like a play on the Freshman Fifteen, where incoming college freshmen eat so much in the dining halls that they gain fifteen pounds. Oh nevermind…)


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