The Lessons of Roberto Lugo

In the world of the “ghetto potter,” it takes a mess to make art.

Spectators in the luminous gallery room of Artspace press up against one another, wary of bumping into the artwork on display. Detailed portraits, written messages, penciled outlines, and colorful decals cover the walls. Music commences, and the attendees part, making way for 15-year-old Jordan Walker. He struts in time with a pulsating house beat. When he reaches the other side of the room, a grand-finale backbend provokes wild applause. The music ends, and Walker poses in front of his portrait: Olympic gymnast Simone Biles, her. . . Read more
Addee Kim and Sarah Pillard
Hard Drives, Harder Questions

In Yale’s archives, digital records provide a new portal to the past.

“Can you imagine what it might be like for a child whose parents are not allowed to be married?” The day was March 26, 2007. Anna Heller, a 39-year-old social worker from Willimantic, Connecticut, testified during a twelve-hour hearing before the Connecticut legislature on H.B. 7395, which would grant same-sex couples in the state the right to marriage. She spoke on behalf of Love Makes a Family, an organization that lobbied for the bill. Heller’s testimony, and the rest Love Makes a Family’s records, are. . . Read more
Amber Hu
I (Almost) Got Clobbered By Your Mom

Connecticut’s roller derby community bashes heads and bucks gender norms.

  Illustration by Julia Hedges. Krazy Legz Nikki is barreling down a flat track in quad skates, looking for Your Mom. Your Mom, a blocker, has a decision to make: she can either help Legz, her jammer, carve through a glut of skate-wearing women, or she can get in the way of the opposing jammer, Sass Squash. To make it through unscathed, Legz will have to “dance by” Lehigh Valley’s blockers using the precise footwork she’s been practicing since 2012. Or she can just barrel. . . Read more
Jacob Sweet
Gilding the Green

A private organization rebrands the center of New Haven.

  Illustration by Julia Hedges. “Welcome to the Town Green District!” says Win Davis, Town Green Services’ Executive Director, sitting against an office wall branded with the organization’s logo as he smiles mildly at the camera. “Let’s look at some of the meaningful ways that we make downtown New Haven a better place for everybody.” Shifting images fill the screen: a lamp-lit thoroughfare, a crowd gathered to watch a broadcast of the World Cup. Scenes of hardworking “downtown ambassadors” hanging potted plants and sweeping sidewalks. . . Read more
Talia Schechet
Playing Sick

Meet the people performing pain to teach doctors to listen.

Illustration by Meher Hans. Aryan Patel, a 30-year-old therapist, sits before a fidgeting first-year medical student. Aryan needs medical attention: He has a fever, severe nasal congesion, and a sharp constant pain in his right cheek bone. He anxiously kneads his knee with his hand, unable to stop thinking about his blood tests: are his blood sugar levels too high? The medical student clasps his hands together and nods nervously. “Oh, I see. Okay,” he says. He runs through the script in his mind: Elicit. . . Read more
Rachel Koh
Beyond Binary

Yale researchers compute for the future of quantum computing

There are twelve half-a-million dollar refrigerators on the fourth floor of Yale’s Becton Center for Engineering and Applied Science. Cooled by liquid helium, they maintain a temperature of less than a hundredth of a degree Celsius above absolute zero. The refrigerators, which resemble industrial pipes, hiss in unison like a den of snakes. Inside each is a tangle of cords, wires, tubes, and copper plates inscribed with handwritten alphanumeric symbols: a primitive quantum computer. Scientists and investors envision quantum computing as a technology exponentially more. . . Read more
Matthew Kleiner
Reframing the Canvas

Zebra, a 1763 painting by George Stubbs, serves as the mascot of the Yale Center for British Art on shirts, mugs, and bumper stickers. But to Linda Friedlaender, Senior Curator of Education, the Stubbs painting also embodies the YCBA’s recent shift toward a more critical perspective. “Before, we would talk about the story of how … Continue reading Reframing the Canvas

Zebra, a 1763 painting by George Stubbs, serves as the mascot of the Yale Center for British Art on shirts, mugs, and bumper stickers. But to Linda Friedlaender, Senior Curator of Education, the Stubbs painting also embodies the YCBA’s recent shift toward a more critical perspective. “Before, we would talk about the story of how Queen Charlotte received the zebra from explorers in Africa, and what a gifted painter Stubbs was, and we’d talk about the painterly qualities of the work,” she explained. “But really,. . . Read more
Sohum Pal
Remembrance Deferred

Guilford, a town of twenty-thousand half an hour north of New Haven, is a place that loves its past. There are three historical societies, and in the town center, by the chocolatier and tea shop, historical markers nearly outnumber street signs. A lone soldier stands at the center of the town green, looming over the … Continue reading Remembrance Deferred

Guilford, a town of twenty-thousand half an hour north of New Haven, is a place that loves its past. There are three historical societies, and in the town center, by the chocolatier and tea shop, historical markers nearly outnumber street signs. A lone soldier stands at the center of the town green, looming over the dog walkers and families. Tall and imposing, with a musket by his side, he is the centerpiece of an 1877 memorial dedicated to the town’s Civil War veterans. Until recently,. . . Read more
Yonatan Greenberg
Sign of the Times

On a recent Wednesday evening in a basement room of Yale University’s Dow Hall, four students attempted a translation of the song “I’ll Make a Man out of You,” from Disney’s Mulan. Hands, fingers, and arms jumped, fluttered, and glided their way through the lyrics. The class broke into a fit of giggles when the … Continue reading Sign of the Times

On a recent Wednesday evening in a basement room of Yale University’s Dow Hall, four students attempted a translation of the song “I’ll Make a Man out of You,” from Disney’s Mulan. Hands, fingers, and arms jumped, fluttered, and glided their way through the lyrics. The class broke into a fit of giggles when the professor, Jessica Tanner, forced them to re-sign the line, “Tranquil as the forest but on fire within.” Their signs for “fire,” she suggested, had been underwhelming. Her hands, fingers, and. . . Read more
Noah Macey
Much Ado About Mushrooms

It was raining steadily in the woods in Hurd State Park, an hour northeast of New Haven. I stooped down by the base of a dying tree. There wasn’t much to see except for damp leaves carpeting the ground. Then I spotted it: a few clusters of small tan caps. “Coprinellus micaceus, inky caps,” said … Continue reading Much Ado About Mushrooms

It was raining steadily in the woods in Hurd State Park, an hour northeast of New Haven. I stooped down by the base of a dying tree. There wasn’t much to see except for damp leaves carpeting the ground. Then I spotted it: a few clusters of small tan caps. “Coprinellus micaceus, inky caps,” said Beth Karwowski, without missing a beat. Karwowski, whose laugh carries through the forest, is the president of the Connecticut Valley Mycological Society (CVMS). She turned one of the mushrooms upside. . . Read more
Sarah Adams