Valeria R's Senior Project Blog

Project Title: Old Glory: The Fiery Intersection of Art and Politics
BASIS Advisor: Adam Engle
Internship Location: Phoenix Art Museum
Onsite Mentor: Aspen Reynolds, Archivist



Project Abstract

I am frustrated with car-centric cities, especially in Arizona. I have had the pleasure of visiting walkable cities like London and New York and have been in awe of the public transportation systems and how much they contribute to a more vibrant and communal city feel, along with a healthier environment. While the solution in my head has long been to move away to a city where I don’t need a car to navigate my daily life, I now see the value in transforming my local cities so that even more people in my own community can reap the benefits of a people-centered city. My site placement may be Living Streets Alliance in Tucson, an organization that strives to transform Arizona streets into public sites of unity and community rather than mere paths for individual cars to follow. I hope to document a day-in-the-life of both a person who depends on a car for their everyday life and someone else who lives in a place where public transportation and walking eliminates the need for a car to display the benefits of cities that put their citizens first.

    My Posts:

  • 4/22/24. The Complete Collection

    The entire Old Glory collection has been organized, labelled, and completed! This singular collection takes up nine entire boxes which is quite a lot, considering most exhibits fit in one folder and sit in one box along with multiple other exhibits. We have also completed the finding aid. Here are the final Old Glory categories,... Read More

  • 4/17/24: Interviewing David Rubin

    Last week was my long awaited zoom interview with David Rubin, curator of the Old Glory Exhibit! This interview helped fill in some blanks and add new perspective to the exhibit files I've been familiarizing myself with for the past couple of months. Rubin began as a philosophy student at UCLA, but when he was... Read More

  • 4/8/24: Preparing to Interview the Curator

    This past week, I began preparing for my interview with David Rubin which will be occurring later this week. I've been unknowingly preparing this whole time by simply familiarizing myself with all events and controversies surrounding the Old Glory exhibit, but last week I listened to Rubin's own words through radio and newspaper interviews. I... Read More

  • 4/2/24: PhxArt’s Ancient Photo Technology

    This past week, I began writing a finding aid for the Old Glory collection. As put by archivists in a helpful YouTube video, “a finding aid is to archives as a menu is to a restaurant.” Basically, a finding aid details the contents and locations of an organized collection of archives. I also spent lots... Read More

  • 3/25/24: What Else Goes On in the Archives Room?

    All file piles have now been organized neatly into folders in boxes! Exciting update: David Rubin, curator of the controversial Old Glory exhibit, has emailed my site advisor Aspen back and has agreed to be interviewed! Aspen and I will read/listen to more of his interviews this week to make sure we don't ask him... Read More

  • 3/19/24: Besides Old Glory…

    This past week I finished organizing three filing cabinets' worth of files into the following categories which have been modified since they were first established, and will probably continue to be modified as too many piles don't quite fit into the folders. Contextual Information The Flag: cultural context The Flag: political history Museum External art... Read More

  • 3/4/24: Structuring the Chaos of Old Glory

    Week three began by gathering all Old Glory exhibit materials from around the archives basement onto one table. This included two file cabinets' worth of folders, the box of folders I accounted for last week, the six binders of visitor comments, and other items like the exhibit catalogue and a binder full of general information... Read More

  • 2/26/24: The Face of the Old Glory Exhibit

    During my second week at PhxArt, I began to tackle the grand task of organizing all of the Old Glory exhibit files. I started with one box full of vaguely organized files and an empty spreadsheet where I began inputting the general categories of items. Every time a news article written about the protests against... Read More

  • 2/19/24: Files for miles

    On my first day at PhxArt, my site advisor Aspen showed me the archives of one particular exhibit at the museum from 1996 called Old Glory: The American Flag in Contemporary Art. This exhibit became quite infamous due to its controversial displays of the American Flag, like setting it on the ground for people to... Read More

  • 2/12/24: Letting art shine in a STEM world

    My name is Valeria and I am looking forward to documenting my project through this blog. I knew I wanted my Senior Project to be related to the arts because I feel as though most of my time at BASIS has been occupied by memorizing formulas and solving math problems. While my favorite subject has... Read More