Dog Star / A Creative Arts Guide






Image above: Vik Muniz

A Bar at the Folies-Bergère after Édouard Manet, from the Pictures of Magazines 2 series, 2012.

Out of the refuse of modern life—torn scraps of outdated magazines, destined for obscurity—Muniz has assembled an ode to one of the first paintings of modern life. Édouard Manet’s A Bar at the Folies-Bergère, painted in 1882, explores the treachery of nineteenth-century Parisian nightlife through the depiction of a bartender attending to a male patron reflected in the mirror behind her. Muniz plays on Manet’s style, replacing Manet’s visible brushstrokes with the frayed edges of torn paper and lending the work immense visual interest.

“Thank you for DogStarNYC, in general. The site speaks to so many kinds of interests; it discerns which qualities will appeal to many different tastes in a tremendous number of activities. I love how it encourages young people to pay attention to the unusual.

In New York we let so many teens walk around the periphery, mildly shell-shocked by life, while the information that they need to make sense of their world sits in the center of the room. DogStarNYC welcomes them into the middle of the room; the blog tells them how to walk there. ” - Stacy L.


DOG STAR is the creation of a high school English teacher in New York City. This blog began in 2008 as an online community for a journalism class and has since evolved into a curated site on the creative arts, arts-related news and a guide to free and low-cost events for teens. Our mission is to offer teens real-life options for enjoying all the creative arts in New York City. May wisdom guide you and hope sustain you. The more you like art, the more art you like!

IMPORTANT NOTICE OF NON COMMERCIAL & EDUCATIONAL CONTENT Unless otherwise stated, we do not own copyrights to any of the visual or audio content that might be included on this blog. Dog Star is for criticism, commentary, reporting and educational purposes under the FAIR USE ACT: Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use. If you own the copyright to any images and object to them being included in this blog, please advise and the content will be removed. No attempt is made for material gain from this blog's content.

Friday, February 27, 2009

UPDATE! This Week's Schedule March 2-6

Our schedule for next week:

Monday - March 2
SCHOOL CLOSED due to snow and wind

Tuesday - March 3
Frida Kahlo Test

Wednesday - March 4
S.A.T. timed-writing practice

Thursday - March 5
Chloe Hilliard, professional journalist, visits our class for informal talk, follow-up

Friday - March 6
PENDING AVAILABILITY - Computer Lab time to type articles / assignments

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Museum of Modern Art in the News

MoMA has organized a temporary exhibit in the subway entrance and platforms
at the Atlantic / Pacific station in Downtown Brooklyn.

Watch the video here

POSTER BOY is at it again! The subway "artist" / "vandal" has struck the MoMA subway exhibit: he takes a razor blade and cuts images and words from subway ads and places them (they have adhesive backs) in unusual ways on adjoining advertisements. He has now struck the MoMA "artworks" since they are easily cut and re-positioned like the advertisements.

See the news story here.

"Spending Time with Poster Boy" shows the artist/vandal working in the subways.

See Poster Boy on YouTube here.

Article Reminders

ALL students are required to complete the following for Friday, Feb. 27:

Editorial / commentary on ONE of the issues presented in the Byron Hurt documentary

In addition, you may want to consider these assignments to fulfill the requirement
for TWO articles each marking period:

- Write a personal essay response to the video "Hip Hop: Beyond Beats & Rhymes" (instructions are in the packet distributed on the video)

- Write a response to the New York Post editorial cartoon with the police officers shooting the chimp.

- Write a contest entry for the New Youth Connections newspaper (see post below).

- Interview a student who is involved in a club / team or school activity.

- Write a review of an album, video game, movie, book, etc.

- Write a personal essay about a topic other students will find interesting (such as coping with teen pressures, relationships, teen sexual / health issues, "My first")

Reminder: 40% of each marking period grade comes from submission of TWO publishable articles each marking period. If you do not pass a marking period because you did not complete these pieces on time, you will be required to make them up as a condition for passing the next marking period. Let's try to avoid the situation where you will need to write SIX articles to pass the third marking period. That would be kind of silly, right? I mean, to wait so long?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Seeking Co-Editors for Spring Term

We seek to fill the positions of two or more co-editors for the Spring 2009 issues of Bergtraum Voice Exchange.

ALL students in the class are encouraged to apply (it's simple!).

If you are interested, read the details below and hand in your completed application by THURSDAY 2/26 in class.

  • You will not have to beg or convince students to write/hand in articles.
  • Will work with writers to develop, edit and prepare articles for publication.
  • Will meet with Mr. Gagnon (as needed) 1-3 times each week period 9 in B14 (or periods 3, 6, 7 if you have lunch).
  • Will direct the planning and design of each issue.
  • Will collaborate with writers on special projects or special issues.

Why would I volunteer for this position?

  • Develop leadership skills
  • Add the phrase "Served as Co-Editor-in-Chief of school newspaper" on college applications
  • Demonstrate knowledge and dedication to journalism

Special Notes:

  • At least ONE of the co-editors should be from the fall term
  • Teams of 2-3 students may apply together
  • Mr. Gagnon will share the application with the class and ask the candidates to talk about their interest in serving as co-editor.
  • Co-editors will be selected by Mr. G and not voted on by the class.


Typed or handwritten, answer these questions:

  1. What do you foresee as preventing you from carrying all the responsibilities outlined above?
  2. Why do you want to be a co-editor of the BVX?
  3. What special skills or talents (relevant to being a co-editor) might you bring to the position?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Teen Thief Hits the Big Time!

How a penniless teenager got addicted to labels and became an icon in his own mind.

The new issue of New York Magazine features a profile of teen Kevahn Thorpe whose obsession with looking "fly" in school turned into a serious problem shoplifting Gucci, Prada and Ralph Lauren (among other labels).

Read the article to find out what happened when he got caught feeding the monster (giving into his wrong and illegal passion for taking merchandise from a store simply because he wanted it).

CLICK HERE for the link to the New York Magazine article!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Writing Contest! Everybody Participates for Credit!

You could win $150.00 from New Youth Connections

Contest #194What does it mean to do the right thing? Pick one of the following words and describe a time you, or someone you know, acted on it, and how things turned out: Loyalty. Courage. Compassion. Honesty. Fairness. Generosity. Faith. Forgiveness.

Deadline: March 30, 2009

CLICK HERE to submit your entry online!

Participate for credit towards your 20% required for an article! Must be completed by March 13 for the First Marking period.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Creator of Famous Obama Hope Poster

The man: Shep Fairey. The artwork: Immortal.

Perhaps. In the new issue of The New Yorker a column and slide show discusses the first museum show of the graphic designer and his street work. The famous Obama image is not the first time he has been famous. He is also being sued for "stealing" the image of Obama from a news agency's photograph of an event.

CLICK here for the slide show and link to the article

Click here for a link to the museum exhibit and a video on the artist

Learn about Contranyms!

Some words in the English language are their own ANTONYMS (opposites). These words are called contranyms.

One example is CLIP: You can clip coupons. You can also clip a bag of chips closed.

Another is GARNISH: You can garnish a plate before serving it (enhance) or garnish wages (take away) for money owed on a debt.

CLICK HERE for a website link with a list of more contranyms!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Learn about Maori Moko!

New Zealand has indigenous / native peoples called Maori (pronounced mow-ree).

You have surely seen these facial tattoos in the media. They are created following ancient traditions in design, purpose and birthrights. The Maori do not agree or support the practice of their ancient culture being used as a fashion statement; especially by people who do not know the origins and meanings of the designs.

A profile of a United Nations employee who is completing his moko in stages.

Excellent slide show with music of contemporary moko designs.

Blog with photos of fashion magazine spread using Maori moko.

New Youth Connections Summer Program

The 29th Annual New Youth Connections
Summer Writing Workshop
For Young People Ages 15 - 20
224 West 29th Street - 2nd floor
New York, NY 10001
(212) 279-0708 ext. 103
Dates: June 30 - Aug. 8
To print an application go to:
Application deadline: May 16
Cost: The workshop application form is also for an $800 scholarship. Students who are selected attend free.

Summer Journalism Program

DEADLINE: May 15, 2009

for the website and online application for this 10-day summer journalism program at New York University in the Village.

Only TWENTY area high school juniors will be selected for this residency program (this means you will live in dorms!) and participate in campus life. FREE!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A High School Crush

New York City's public radio station has a program called Radio Rookies.
One of the teens in the program created a radio broadcast for Valentine's Day.
Listen to the whole broadcast to find out if the girl he likes will go on a date
with him!

Radio Rookies
NEW YORK, NY February 14, 2009 —In many ways today's holiday is just as significant for people who are pining for love, as for those who have it. So, in honor of unrequited love, Radio Rookie Keith Harris shares a story about an all-consuming, exhilarating, and over-the-top high school crush.