AIFF: Art and Culture in Film


Hey there loyal readers, and new friends! This Wednesday’s look at art and culture in the Rogue Valley is being brought to you by yours truly (Danielle). As I you may know from the team’s about the bloggers page, we are all fairly new to the art world. I am a Business major so art has not really been my focus in the past. However, this blog has given me a chance to dive deeper into an unknown world and to share my experience with all of you. And it’s really fun!

imgresThis week I wanted to talk about the Ashland Independent Film Festival (AIFF). I have always been passionate about film so I knew that one of my explorations into art had to be focused on film. I was so into movies when I was younger that I dreamed of making a career out of movie reviewing and working for Entertainment magazine. Now that that particular dream has faded into the back of my consciousness, I still enjoy discussing films critically with my friends and family, and as a reader of #ArtRogue I figured I should talk to you too!

Although AIFF happened a few weeks ago I still thought it would be interesting to talk to you about my festival experience and to hear about yours. I hope you agree! If you don’t know about AIFF, it is a local independent film festival that is hosted in Ashland, Oregon every year. It began 16 years ago in the hopes that it could “celebrate the diversity of human experience through the art of independent film – enriching, educating, and inspiring audiences of all ages”. Each year about 7,000 people come to the festival which brings a boost of enthusiasm and culture to Ashland for those four days. Even with my passion for film, I had not attended AIFF until this year despite living here for 4 years. I always found some reason to not attend whether that was work or laziness and that is another reason I really wanted to share about my experience at this event. Because if you haven’t been to AIFF yet, I want to convince you that you should!

This year I prioritized attending AIFF and even with work at school I managed to attend three films. I saw Cortez, Whose Streets?, and 500 years. Each film I saw on a whim, based on what fit into my schedule. These three films were all very different but they BLEW MY MIND! Each one left me with such a lasting feeling and I wanted to tell everyone I knew about each one. Despite my desire to blather on and on about each one I’ll just give you a short summary of each and what I thought. Here is where my amateur movie critic career begins…


This film was the only feature film that I saw. Feature meaning that it was not a documentary. Cortez was a film about a struggling musician who seeks out a woman from his past in an attempt to avoid his current issues. He finds the woman and he film explores their complicated relationship, issues of family, fatherhood, and what it means to be successful. In short, this film amazed me. After I saw it I literally had no words. For hours after I saw it I felt almost as if I was having a spiritual experience and I was contemplating my life so far. This film made me want to pursue my dreams of being a professional artist, and musician (I’m not an artist or musician so you can see how much this film touched me). I couldn’t believe how much this film, that I paid $7 bucks to attend impacted me for days after. I wish that it was available somewhere else so that you could watch it, and so that I could see it again. Until it’s available somewhere check out the trailer.

Whose Streets?

Out of all three films that I saw at AIFF Without a doubt this was my favorite one. Whose Streets? Is a documentary about the Ferguson uprising that came about because of the death of Mike Brown. It explored the aftermath of police violence in Ferguson and what the black community did in response. It was a devastating and inspiring look at the overt and institutionalized racism that is still present in America. The way that it followed the stories of community leaders, and the movement as a whole showed an extremely raw, and human portrayal of the war that Ferguson residents waged on inequality. This film made me feel devastation, disgust, and anger but it also gave me hope. It gave me hope that if we come together we can create positive change for all people in America regardless of race, gender, sexuality, or any other identity. Until then, I don’t think we really have achieved being the land of the brave. Check out the story of the film on its website

500 Years

500 Years was a documentary that looked at the 500 years of oppression of the Mayan people of Guatemala, focusing on the resistance and events that have happened in the last 20 years. The movie followed several leaders of the movement and highlighted the many horrible acts committed against the Mayan people. The film showed both victories and losses that the movement incurred and ended the film with a feeling of hope. Like Whose Streets?, this film showed how an entire nation’s structure can be set up to benefit a few, and marginalize many. Although this film was sad, it was also hopeful because it showed some real victories occurring due to the diligence and the determination of the people’s peaceful uprising. I would highly recommend that everyone see it, especially in light of the US political climate. Watch the trailer to see what it is all about

That’s it! My amateur movie review of these three AIFF films. Thank you for indulging my passion for the art that film is and I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. Comment to let me know what you thought, and tell me about your AIFF experience.

#AIFF #Independent #Documentary #Cortex #WhoseStreets? #500Years #ArtRogue

– Danielle


…Just a Little Something to Take the Edge Off.

In honor of 4/20, Art on the Rogue blogger—Hailey—participated in a ‘pot event’ hosted by SOU’s Resident Hall Association.

Being the precise day many college-age individuals are participating in cannabis oriented activities, I celebrated in my own way. This involved expressing creativity and artistic skills by acrylic painting pots. The RHA provided planting pots, paint, soil and succulents for students to create an arrangement and take home. My room is full of various assorted succulents, the piece I designed adds to the funk sway of my personal space. This event also allowed me to connect and share similar interests with fellow students.

Why celebrate Earth Day? It all started in the seventies when hippies wanted to alert national and worldwide government agencies of the harm being wreaked on earth’s environment. They brought awareness to the adverse consequences of industry pollution, toxic dumping, pesticides and other various negative impacts on our environment. Now every year schools, colleges and environmental groups from over 150 countries celebrate Earth Day. Internationally, Earth Day raises awareness about the environmental impact as we rapidly continue to industrialize and develop.

Earth week is in full swing, so go celebrate, promote sustainability and appreciate the environment!


Earth Week: Art and Culture

Earth Week in the Rogue Valley


Hey there fellow art lovers! This week there is so much art and culture happening around us in the little Rogue Valley. Our group of dedicated bloggers decided to put our fingers to the keyboard and let you know about some awesome upcoming events. If you weren’t already aware, this week is Earth Week! That’s right! The week you’ve been waiting for all year is finally here. This is the week to walk, bike, and hike around the Rogue Valley to express your appreciation for this awesome world we live in. If you don’t have time to get out in the mountains this week, that’s okay there is plenty of spring and summer ahead of us for that. But how will you celebrate Earth Week in style if you can’t get out in nature? SOU’s very own Ecology and Sustainability Resource Center (ECOS) is making sure that there is plenty for Earth lovers to do this week. They have a ton of events going on each day so that you can fully immerse yourself in Earth Week culture. Check out some events we’ve highlighted below!

Earth Day Extravaganza


Check out what this event is all about at:

April 18th 11am-2pm
Stevenson Union Courtyard on the SOU campus

Southern Oregon University’s ECOS club is hosting an event allowing participants to become involved in climate action! FREE admission! FREE food! This event is taking place Tuesday, April 18th from 11am-2pm in the Stevenson Union Courtyard on the SOU campus. This event will hold over 30 environmental organizations sharing information and tabling topics of discussion. The first 125 students to arrive will receive a free “Sustainability at SOU” mug! The trails and views surrounding Southern Oregon is art, protecting such beauty so we can enjoy for years to come is vital. For anyone who enjoys the outdoors and is interested in preserving the nature surrounding us, attend this event to learn more!

Siskiyou Film Festival Roadshow


Tuesday April 18, 6 pm to 8 pm, Stevenson Union Rogue River Room

Film is one of the most accessible ways of sharing art that there is. Film can convey emotion, imagery, and the passion of the film participants. I don’t know about you, but I love film! Today on the SOU campus there is an amazing opportunity to be immersed in the beauty of nature while still sitting inside away from the rainy Oregon skies. SOU’s Ecology and Sustainability Resource Center (ECOS) and KS Wild, the host of the Siskiyou Film Festival, will be showing the four most popular films of the film festival. After the film showings there will also be an opportunity to interact with two of the film makers. This event is an amazing opportunity for film lovers, culture seekers, nature enthusiasts. Go check it out and let us know what you thought!

Painting Pots with RHA

1-painted-potsIf you want to express your creative abilities and also have a cool plant to take home with you this Earth Week activity is perfect for you. On Thursday April 20th from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm come out to Raider Village, located outside the Hawk, to paint pots in an event held by the Residents Hall Association. The pots will be provided by the RHA for people that come by to design any way they please, when you’re finished designing your pot there will also be succulents to plant and take home! This event is a perfect way to connect with your local community at SOU while participating in Earth Week and also gives you a sustainable piece of art to take home after you’re done!

Siskiyou Singer Presents: For the Beauty of the Earth


During SOU’s Earth Week, on Saturday April 22nd from 7:30-9:30pm, and Sunday April 23rd from 3:00-5:00pm, SOU Music Recital Hall is hosting nature-inspired music sung by Siskiyou Singers. Now I Walk In Beauty, Morton Lauridsen’s Sure on this Shining Night, Brahms’ Four Quartets, Louis Armstrong’s What a Wonderful World, and more will be presented at this event. Accompanying the music will be photographs of nature to emphasize the inspiration of these songs. Community members will be charged $20, and students and Oregon Trail Members will be charged $5 at the door. Ed Wight, a musicologist, will present a free pre-concert lecture about the music one hour before the concerts. Come on out and support Siskiyou Singers in light of Earth Week!



Welcome to our art and culture blog! We are dedicating our first blog post to explain to you our goals for this launch. We are an excited group of Southern Oregon University students who plan to venture the culture of the Rogue Valley and discover works of art, and then blog about our experience. We are learning as we go, and hope that you can gain more knowledge about art and culture around the Valley with us! We plan on consisting this blog of photos of artwork, facts and information about artistic pieces, meeting local artists, learning about culture, and so much more! Join our adventure throughout this art and culture packed journey using the hashtag #ArtRogue!

Check out our “About Us” page if you wish to learn more.