December 19, 2017

A week in my life with art

Penina Warren


The average school week, when in the midst of it, feels like you’re experiencing a state of suspended animation in which a minute is far longer than sixty seconds. Although, when reflecting in retrospect, the weeks seem to pass as quickly as my will to go to school dissipates (hey, I’m a senior- give me a break).

And to add to all of that, if you’re like me, going to school is an immensely frustrating ordeal when it feels like your time could be better allocated doing so many way cooler things. But, despite my qualms with the school system, I challenged myself to document all of the art I experienced in a school week to prove to myself that despite being stuck in a classroom for the majority of my day, my time is not wholly monopolized by the common core curriculum. Art is experienced daily, from the clothes you wear to the books you read, and can be appreciated universally by people of all color, creed, and age (especially teenagers!).

The following is a list I compiled of the artistic highlights of my week: the best of where I went, what I wore, listened to, read, watched, and purchased (one or two that deviated from these classifications, but were exciting nonetheless).

Monday, the 11th of December:

Vinyls. One is the Doors. Another is a yellow banana with the text Andy Warhol. A book titled The Essential Ginsberg.

What I read: The Essential Ginsberg (a collection of poetry by the late great Allen Ginsberg).

Where I went: Wax Trax records and Kilgore Books. These neighboring stores are truly the best places in Denver to score some used vinyl and eclectic reading material!

What I purchased: while at the aforementioned stores, I picked up The Doors self-titled album, a Joan Baez greatest hits record, and a classic rock compilation performed by the London Symphony Orchestra.

What I listened to: The Velvet Underground and Nico. This album is simply amazing (and the cover was done by Andy Warhol- double art points for me!).

Tuesday, the 12th of December:

Poloroid of a neon sign reading Wish you Were Here. A book on a table reading Impressionism. A woman takes a selfie in a changing room. An image of musician Declan McKenna with a chain held in his lips.

What I read: Impressionism by Phoebe Pool (stole this one from my school library!).

Where I went: where else but the MCA!

What I saw: “Love is The Message, The Message is Death” by Arthur Jafa. As a Teen Ambassador, I was invited to an advanced screening of this powerful ode to black culture at the MCA. This film will be on view in the Whole Room (basement gallery) of MCA beginning in February 2018.

What I purchased: a pair of flared Uniqlo jeans! They’re on a super sale and also super cute.

What I listened to: What Do You Think About The Car by Declan McKenna. Declan is legendary and played the famed Glastonbury Festival in the U.K. at 16 years old- so it truly comes at no surprise that his debut album is wonderful!

Wednesday, the 13th of December:

Four poloroids. One is a book. A person takes a selfie while holding a white electric guitar. China tea set on wooden shelves. An image of four men looking up at the camera. Swim Deep, Where the Heaven Are We, reads the text.

What I read: Down and Out In Paris and London by George Orwell. Orwell is one of my all-time favorite writers and he does a beautiful job of conveying his experience of living in poverty in both of those cities. Love this book!

What I did: played guitar! I got my Telecaster in August and absolutely love it so much!

What I purchased: a new record player! Vinyl is god’s gift to man.

What I received in the mail: Television Romance by Pale Waves on vinyl! Go check them out if you haven’t already- they’re amazing!

What I listened to: Where The Heaven Are We by Swim Deep. I hadn’t listened to it in ages, but had an urge to listen to it on this day. This album is fantastic and will always hold a special place in my heart.

Thursday, the 14th of December:

Gustav Klimt Book. Four teens look at an adult woman. Selfie of a woman wearing a beige jacket in a restroom. A woman in a white dress outdoors.

What I read: Gustav Klimt by Eva Di Stefano. I adore Gustav Klimt as an artist and this coffee table book is so fun to flip through! The content is so beautiful.

Where I went: MCA Teen Ambassador Meeting! The highlight of every week! If you haven’t already- go apply for the Spring Semester (the snacks at our meetings are super good and that should be motivation enough to at least apply!)!

What I wore: jacket (thrifted), sweater (thrifted), Uniqlo flares (seriously love them!), patent heeled boots (thrifted).

What I listened to: Visions of A Life by Wolf Alice. Ellie Rowsell (the most badass frontwoman ever) never fails to amaze me! I have listened to this album daily since it came out in September! Do your part to support women in rock by listening to them if you haven’t already!

Friday, the 15th of December:

A book titled Please Kill Me. A blank black image. A photo of brick buildings with the text Congratulations NYW2022 overlayed in red.

What I read: Please Kill Me: The Uncensored History of Punk by Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain. This book is incredibly interesting!

What I wore: pants (thrifted), bodysuit (thrifted), trench coat (American Apparel), black heeled shoes (vintage Stuart Weitzman).

What I listened to: DH00278 by the 1975. This is a live recording of their 2016 album “I like it when you sleep for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it” that was just released! So, so good.

Other notable mentions: I was accepted into the NYU College of Arts and Science! (that sort of counts as art… right?)

To those who made it this far: thank you for reading! Hopefully, you gleaned something from this week in my life and it *fingers crossed* inspired you to reflect back onto your week and appreciate all of the beautiful art you experienced as well!


Penina Warren is a senior at Denver Jewish Day School. She is a Teen Ambassador at MCA Denver as well as an Ambassador in the Her Campus HSA program. Guided by an affinity for fashion and art, she has professional styling experience, has produced her own youtube and blog content, and has experience in the retail industry. Penina enjoys writing poetry and traveling for concerts in her free time.