Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday, June 27, 2014

The OU in Arezzo Crew Arrives in Italy

Today I begin my journey and the first official day of my Study Abroad program with OU, The University of Oklahoma's Signature Study Abroad Program ~ OU in Arezzo

© Shelly Perkins ~ image made with iPhone

Dinner with our OU in Arezzo crew at the Ristorante La Vittoria near the Vatican in Rome, Italy.

"At OU's Italian Center students with no to early intermediate knowledge of Italian are provided with an introductory experience of Italian language and culture while taking a variety of OU coursework. At the cradle of western civilization, students can enjoy the Mediterranean atmosphere and study an abundance of ancient art objects close by, while spending a good time with fellow Sooners in a small, quiet, and secure town, untouched by mass tourism."

"OUA's student center is located on the central Corso Italia in a renovated medieval Palazzo. There Sooners can relax in the student lounge, prepare and enjoy meals in the kitchen, work and communicate in a cutting edge PC/Mac lab, and attend classes in beautiful classrooms equipped with modern technology for effective and versatile instruction. This building also houses the administrative offices and the apartment of our Faculty in Residence - allowing for close interaction with and easy access to the OU professor who accompanies the students throughout the academic year." OU Study Abroad

For more information about the program go to

Ristorante La Vittoria in Roma ~ Foursquare photos & info

Monday, May 26, 2014

Turn Down for What

I must admit that I have a weakness for the song "Turn Down for What" by DJ Snake and Lil Jon. I even have an affection for the off the wall video ~

In my love for the song, I have noticed the song is everywhere I go, whether it's constantly played on the radio, played during every break at the football games I attend or on numerous just released movies. In my admiration of the song, I know that soon I will have a deep dislike of it because of over-saturation in pop culture. It's unfortunate.... but I know it's coming.

public domain internet image

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Obsessed with Light

I've decided that I'm obsessed with light, which may explain why much of my art involves light. I love light. I love natural, beautiful warm sunshine and knowing how to make it work for a photograph. I love artificial light and appreciate the skills that I've learned over the years to manipulate light either to make a portrait look a particular way or to manipulate the light to set a mood for an artwork that I'm creating.

While shopping for LED lights for a project, I found the Light Energy Studios website which sells various commercial lighting rigs. I wanted to save their information and share their fun site in case someone's in need of a little break.

Information from the Light Energy Studio website lists "Light Energy Studio has almost any resolution of the LED Video Displays available. Video panels are made for inside use and outdoors, for rental and permanent installation. These are some of the factors when deciding what type of display will work best for your needs."

"Some uses for the video screens: Playback video of the bride and grooms montage / reflection video. A video montage adds a special touch to a rehearsal dinner or at the wedding reception Show off your company logo or any company video presentation at corporate events Playback on the LED screen, in real time, video of guest during an event - very popular when we do LED Dance Floor rentals Playback of stimulating digital effects at parties, nightclubs, raves, concerts and for film and video productions Playback, in real time, video of entertainers, such as dancers, performers, and speakers, at events on a large video screen"

Monday, January 20, 2014

Mommy-To- Be in 6º Oklahoma Weather

I wanted to share a few images I was privileged to make of this beautiful mommy-to-be from Edmond, Oklahoma. I met up with Dallas for a few pregnancy photos about two weeks before her sweet little baby boy's arrival, on what just happened to be one of the coldest days of the year here in Oklahoma. We made a few images inside to capture her precious growing belly and show her beautiful glowing smile. We also wanted to capture a full length shot to show off her baby belly while still being able to sport her stylish boots. When looking at the image, viewers can't tell it was a piercing cold 6º. Yes! SIX DEGREES! Oklahoma has the most unpredictable weather ever which can change in a matter of hours. This day the wind chill was negative but we really wanted to get the shot with the light snow from the evening before glistening off the water. We drove over to our location, I left Mommy-To-Be in the car with the heater running full blast, got out into the cold, scouted the exact place I wanted to make the shot, metered the light and knew exactly what I wanted the final image to look like before we put Dallas in place. We took our shots in about 30 seconds and were pleased with the results. I'm looking for our next planned photo shoot to introduce everyone to Baby Sawyer.

Shelly Perkins Photography & Art

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Parenting as a Non-Traditional College Student

Non-traditional college students (meaning those who aren't attending straight out of high school, may be a little older, or who have families) face an additional set of struggles during their years spent in the world of academia. While juggling classes, tests and projects, non-traditional college students, especially those who are parents, must also juggle family responsibilities. This can be a challenge because it's not just making sure your children are fed and have clean clothes to wear to school before you commute to your own school, but also spending quality time with your kids.

Spending time, reading, dancing or just listening to how their day was while truly listening can be hard at times. I have found I must make myself slow down so I can accomplish all of this. In the mornings once I'm out the door and headed to school, I must put my head in a whole different place and compartmentalize everything. When I'm home with the kids, I try to only focus on them so I can be a good mom. I know their time spent as kids is such a short time space and these moments in life won't last forever. I don't want to loose track of the important reasons I went back to college in the first place, which was to set a good example for my daughters, to become an educated critical thinker as well as be able to provide a better life for my family. I'm so excited to be near the finish line and have enjoyed my experiences and time at the university.

If you're a parent, mother or father, whether you're in your early 20's or 40's and want to go back to school, don't let your children be your excuse for not returning. You don't have to attend traditional classes in the university setting, which is what I do and is probably the most challenging. You can attend class one night a week, now you can attend class in your PJ's online from your home, you can enroll in a vocational training course which will allow you to train sooner and get into a new career field quicker than attending a four-year university. Take the time to explore the many options that are now available to adults and don't be afraid to try something new. In the beginning, starting something is always the hardest part. Once you get going, you'll have a new routine, and everything will fall into place. Don't let anything stand in your way. Don't forget to spend quality time with your kids, be super organized and manage your time well (which is the hardest part of all) and most of all, don't forget to take care of yourself. It's easy to become so busy your forget to take care of yourself by eating right, getting daily exercise and getting enough rest each day (I'm guilty of these things). Also, taking time to mediate or pray and connect to your spiritual side is important too. Be the best parent and college student you can be.

GO FOR IT!! ~ Shelly

If you're inspired by my words, please drop me a note because I would also like to hear your story. Comment below, message me through Facebook at or email me at perkphotography (at)

Shelly Perkins Photography & Art

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Surveyance ~ An Exploration through Convergent Media

SURVEYANCE ~ An Exploration of Surveillance Cameras through Convergent Media

SURVEYANCE from Shelly Perkins on Vimeo.

While working on my University of Oklahoma Convergent Media project, Surveyance, I worked through a process of performing surveillance, conducted short interviews from others while they were under surveillance, and also was under surveillance myself. Working through these three processes, I found a little eeriness in the thought of being watched. However, I also found a comfort in believing if my safety was jeopardized, the law enforcement or agency monitoring the cameras would send help.

There is a live camera feed on an open, unsecured camera mounted on the top of the University of Oklahoma Memorial Stadium Parking Garage facing to the southwest, which constantly films Gaylord Hall. Many people do not even notice the camera mounted at the top of the building, above the stairwell. However, I’m sure those being interviewed now will notice it each time they pass by that particular location. This unsecured feed is available at Opentopia (dot) com. Others may also exist, however this is the live feed I used during the interview portion of my project.

The University of Oklahoma campus employs surveillance cameras in various public locations viewable to those who pass by with at least one located on top of the stadium. However, the campus also uses surveillance cameras in less visible areas like at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, which houses works from artists like Pablo Picasso and Monet.

One thing I found curious when I myself under surveillance, I found it a little strange. I stood in the spot with the open live feed atop of the OU stadium parking lot, while watching myself on my iPad. I walked around in several spots in front of the camera while watching myself on the open feed. At one point a bicyclist was riding up behind me. The only reason I knew this was from the images from the live feed. I could not see him coming up behind me and I could not hear him. It was as if those watching me knew something was going to happen to me before I did. This leads to these questions, Could someone actually stop a crime from being occurred if he or she saw it was about to happen? Would someone actually stop the crime?

There are various pros and cons to surveillance cameras mounted in public spaces. The main benefit to the surveillance camera is the security it can offer in these spaces just as to privately owned stores, banks or homes. The security agencies that monitor these cameras are able to view various locations and activities from one control room, managing a much larger area than without the devices. Law enforcement often uses the video images recorded from these devices to later solve crimes, while their presence may also help prevent criminals from initially committing the crimes.

The cons to living with surveillance cameras are the freedoms they take away. With millions of cameras in existence, both surveillance and camera phones, no one is immune to their use. Some critics point out instead of spending money on funding more surveillance cameras; money should be spent on hiring more law enforcement officers or spent on social programs, which may deter crimes being committed.

Interestingly, while conducting interviews, most were surprised when I pointed out the location of the surveillance camera. Some were interested in the website with the open live feed. The debate will continue as those who advocate the use of surveillance cameras argue the advantages to their uses against those who believe the government is becoming “big brother” and overstepping boundaries.

-Shelly Perkins University of Oklahoma Convergent Media

Monday, September 16, 2013

Watching Crows

Today in my convergent media class at the University of Oklahoma our professor had classmates trade iPads which we recorded images, audio and video on each other's devices.  From these three mediums we were to choose one as a launching point to produce another form of media.

I actually was very apprehensive about trading iPads. It's not that I didn't trust my classmate to take care of my device, it's just something I don't do-touch other people's technology. It's like touching someone else's car, You Just Don't Do It!!

After I got over my anxiety with touching other people's "stuff," I recorded various images on my classmate's iPad. I recorded audio clips of the traffic passing the North Oval on campus at OU and the sounds as pedestrians wait at the crossing light. I took a few pictures of a locked door with a keypad, the wooden floor of the art school with a bright light shining into the image and a multi-colored paper mobile which was hanging in the window. I also recorded video of the university's new 3-D printer as it was making some type of head or bust. These are sounds and images which my classmate will use to create his convergent media piece.

Currently I am working with a reoccurring theme of surveillance and the act of watching or being watched.  The images in the video slideshow I have produced were re-appropriated from the Internet and set to an ambient sound captured by fellow media student, Tanner Trammell.  Below is my 33 second piece entitled Watching Crows.

Click on link below or go to:

Watching Crows from Shelly Perkins on Vimeo.

For more information about Shelly's work go to:

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Surveillance Camera Footage of Oklahoma Tornadoes

As I work on my latest convergent media project, I continue to focus on surveillance, the act of recording or being recording. My hometown of Moore, Oklahoma was recently affected by multiple EF-5 Tornadoes (which is the most extreme and damaging tornado on the planet). I've found several sites which show footage caught by surveillance cameras as the tornado of May 20, 2013 ripped through Moore and other towns throughout Oklahoma.

Surveillance camera footage taken with a Moore, Oklahoma home security system in May, 2013.
Click on this link or video below.

Surveillance camera footage taken at a Moore, Oklahoma gas station in May, 2013.
Click on this link or video below.

I'm not sure of this school's location but I wanted to share this dramatic tornado footage from the school's surveillance cameras.

Thursday, September 12, 2013


The following video is from a student convergent media project with my studies at The University of Oklahoma. (Video for inclusion in my process blog ~ OU Instructor Todd Stewart.)

Watching represents my interpretation of the increased government surveillance atmosphere of current times. Over the past sixty to seventy years, technology has greatly improved and become a tool for the U.S. Government and other governments of advanced nations for monitoring its citizens. Learning from the past, disagreements or rebellion with his or her government has penalties and consequences. Big Brother is always watching.

WATCHING from Shelly Perkins on Vimeo.

Click on video above or link below to view Watching.
(approximately 3 minute clip)

Shelly Perkins, artist

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

APPS for iPad Convergent Media

~ This list is still evolving ~
APPS for iPad Convergent Media

This list is a compilation of applications currently available for iPad usage. I've included the cost of the app and the direct link to learn more information about it. These apps are a few of the many tools I will be using this fall as I create work from various types of media, converging with other mediums.

iStopMotion ~ $9.99
iStop Motion for the iPad is a stop motion animation movie app which uses a sequence of photos shown at a very high speed (approximately 25 frames per second) to create videos. The app is often used in classrooms.

FiLMiC Pro ~ $4.99
FiLMiC Pro turns mobile device into an HD video camera using real time, 4 zoom with full control over focus and exposure, white balance and frame rates.

iMovie ~$4.99
Make HD movies with iMovie app by adding videos, photos, music and sound effects, drag and trim capabilities, pinch to zoom timeline, freeze-frame and more.

Layers for iPad ~ $5.99
Add up to five layers to your drawings in a creative space, including photos.

Paper 53 ~ free 53 gives creative tools for drawing, sketching, outlining or writing. Sketch books shown with several examples of work and possibility. Free app with minimal tools can be upgraded for variety.

Flickr ~ free
Online photo hosting management and sharing app is free. One terabyte of space is available at sign up. Great for uploading photos, giving you link to place in blog or other online spaces.

Coordinates ~ free
Find your GPS coordinates instantly with this app. Great for use on geocaching or geographical projects for phone or iPad.

YouTube ~ free
You Tube is free video hosting and sharing program. Upload, view and share videos here.

Vimeo ~ free
Vimeo is free hosting and video sharing program, currently with less users than YouTube. This program appeals to artists and professionals in comparison to YouTube.

Vine ~ free
Video sharing social media site similar to instagram but with videos.

Instagram ~ free
Social media website displaying images (and now videos) to other uses which can be set for public viewing or private. Filters are available for use but may also be ignored for “actual” capture details.

Snapchat ~ free
Snap chat is a “real time” picture chatting app in which images are sent to another specific user for viewing. The image has a time limit (as set by the sender) to how long the image can be viewed.

Facebook ~ free
Social media website to share posts, images and videos with public or private access.

Camera Access ~ free
Camera Access allows operators to use camcorders with their iPhones and iPads via Wi-Fi, recording and zooming from a distance. App is useful for monitoring pets, people or recording yourself.

Google Earth ~ free
See virtual images of anywhere on earth to see cities, buildings, terrain and imagery.

Free Blogging Sites ~

Shelly Perkins
Convergent Media Artist

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Convergent Media at the University of Oklahoma

This process blog details the steps I take to create art for my Convergent Media student projects. Combining multiple media devices, techniques and tools is required for Convergent Media at the University of Oklahoma School of Art, Technology and Culture.

Convergent Media is the process of combining various types of technology into a single media. The combination of television, Internet, radio and newspaper into a single project using various apps and tools like the computer, iPhone, camera, and iPad to complete a project.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Oklahoma Road Crews Remove Bridge as OU Sooners Game Ends

The Oklahoman is reporting I-235 will close Saturday night (September 6) at 9:00 pm to Monday morning at 5:00 am. Those traveling through the state may want to change their course after leaving Saturday night's football game when the Sooners take on West Virginia.

It's interesting that this bridge has already been closed for the last few months, yet some of the busiest traffic in the state occurs during the same hours as the Oklahoma Department of Transportation will be detouring traffic elsewhere. Fans driving back to Edmond or other locations north of Norman who normally take I-235 after home games, may want to plan an alternate route to avoid the detours and huge lines of traffic.


For more info from the Oklahoman click on link below:

Monday, September 2, 2013

Dust in the Wind

I not only love Sarah Brightman's version of this song Dust in the Wind, but I really enjoy watching this video. YouTube shows this as the official video however the film quality doesn't seem to show the best resolution. Despite the quality of the video, the photography is breathtaking and inspirational. I especially love the interaction between the female and the horse. I also really enjoy the final scene when the girl jumps into the water. The set location showing rock formations in underwater caverns is breath taking. I would love to do location work for film and music videos. Half the fun of making images is scouting out the locations and coming up with the ideas. I'm sharing this with my process blog because it brings me inspiration.

Click on the link below to watch the video:

Sunday, September 1, 2013

WICKED Musical Comes to OKC

I'm looking forward to the arrival of the Broadway Musical Wicked to Oklahoma City's Civic Center. Wicked, based on Winnie Holzman's book with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, books sold-out shows. The touring production begins the story long before Dorothy lands in Oz, of two unlikely friends, Glinda the Good Witch of the North and Elphaba the Wicked Witch of the West.

The production is scheduled to be at the Oklahoma City Civic Center, September 4-22, 2013.
Click on the link below for ticket information.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Meeting Artist Ed Ruscha, The “Father of Google Maps”

Artists Ed Ruscha and Shelly Perkins

Photo Courtesy of Jefferson Chang

Our journey on the “Road to Ruscha” began with an idea and a collaboration of students from various college majors and studies, combined into one group to learn from the past and how it influences the future. Artist Edward Ruscha, who grew up in Oklahoma, was one of the first artists to document the familiar and present it in an art form unlike any others before him. Over fifty years ago in 1962, Ruscha self-published Twentysix Gasoline Stations, a first of a series of photobooks the artist made in the 1960’s and 1970’s.

The highlight to our trip was meeting Ed Ruscha and crew at his Los Angeles suburb studio. His staff was friendly, his friends and family were inviting and his dog was loving. They graciously invited us in and Ruscha took a break from his busy schedule to talk to us and show our group around his studio grounds. So many of the preparations and so much of our trip revolved around this well-known artist who in our minds was almost a fictional character. As we visited people and places on his often traveled route, a few of us joked along the way, W.W.E.D. (What Would Ed Do?)

As the interstate highway system did not yet exist, Ruscha recorded gas stations between Oklahoma City and Los Angeles on his often-traveled Route 66, which at the time was “the” highway road to travel. The last stretch of interstate wasn’t opened until 1984 through Arizona and since then much of the original Route 66 has fallen to disrepair and yet so much is still worth exploring. Much of the road through America’s countryside and urban areas that display signage and images, between visible homes, businesses and roadside eateries, is still there. When the same image or place is viewed often in one’s lifetime, these sites may seem mundane and familiar. However, as time goes on and as these landscapes change, one may recall the buildings and activities that were once there. Later found photographs, maps or paintings of these forgotten once-familiar places, bring on memories of good and bad events one has experienced in the past. Ruscha understood the changes taken place right in front of him and others.

I’ve learned through my experiences, travel informs one’s understanding of space, land, and place in the world. I am a little older than most of the other university students on this trip which allows me a little more insight. I understand we are only on this earth for such a short time. I am intrigued with the American road and landscape, and the history each space contains. As people come and go, the earth and place remain. Although the topography may change, the soil may erode or man-made structures may come and go, the space remains. Within the space lies a history of those who have traveled before and those who will travel after. I believe Ruscha understood this before many others or at least any artists who chose to document the changes. Art critics and writers have even called him the “Father of Google Maps.” Although it is a relatively new technology and a tool many use today, Google Maps is often taken for granted, as images of cities and maps appear at the push of a button.

Finding myself traveling in new unfamiliar places, I search out the land and experience the unknown. Each place I experience brings a new understanding to the past and a new connection. I am intrigued with the new and continually grow from each experience as a little part of it remains with me. As I traveled with our university group, I experienced Ruscha’s America, revisiting his steps to deepen an understanding of the land, places and space he and others have experienced before me. Ruscha’s work emphasizes that people are only on this earth but a moment in time and although the land changes, it remains for the next generation to experience. I feel privileged to have been reminded of our short time on this ever-changing planet and to have met Ed Ruscha in his studio with his friends and family.

- Shelly Perkins

Monday, July 1, 2013

Ed Ruscha's TwentySix Gasoline Stations currently at The J. Paul Getty Museum

During my visit to Los Angeles, I was blessed to not only meet the amazing artist, Ed Ruscha, at his studio but also view his current exhibition being held at The J. Paul Getty Museum. The Father of Google Maps as some art historians and critics call Ed Ruscha, has multiple books and images at the Getty. If you're in the area, I highly recommend a visit to the esteemed Getty to visit "IN FOCUS: Ed Ruscha." The exhibition is open until September 29, 2013.

Standard, Amarillo, Texas, 1962, Ed Ruscha, gelatin silver print. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2011.54.9. © Ed Ruscha.

"Rejecting the tradition of the limited-edition, handcrafted artist's book, Ed Ruscha produced sixteen photo books between 1963 and 1978 in large editions on high-speed professional presses. Most feature snapshot-like photographs that he made with his 2 1/4-inch-format Yashica camera and sequenced in straightforward layouts."
"For Twentysix Gasoline Stations (1963), the first of these photo books, Ruscha photographed gas stations along Route 66 during road trips between Los Angeles and his hometown of Oklahoma City. Several of the photographs became source material for works of art that he would realize in other media either at the same time or several years, even decades, later. Most notable is Ruscha's sustained interest in the photograph of Standard Station, Amarillo, Texas that he took in 1962. Over the next four decades, he would create several works on canvas or paper that abstracted the original silhouette of the gas station, including the 1963 oil painting, Standard Station, Amarillo Texas now in the collection of the Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College." ~
- © The J. Paul Getty Museum

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

"Road to Ruscha" Part Two Post by FJJMA

"Have you ever wondered about what happens behind the scenes of a major art museum? Welcome to Off the Wall – a glimpse of life behind the walls of the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art at the University of Oklahoma. Join us as we examine the roles of museum staff members, works inside the museum vaults, upcoming news and exhibitions, and much more."

~Post by Jessica Farling, Curator of Academic Programs at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art at the University of Oklahoma
Click link below to view Road to Ruscha Part Two Post by FJJMA

Monday, June 3, 2013

My OU Trip to California on the Road to Ruscha

I just returned from a road trip to California with a group of photographers, art-historians, scientists, artists and geographers from The University of Oklahoma. Several students and faculty traveled along Route 66 half-way across the country retracing artist Ed Ruscha's trip from Oklahoma to Los Angeles, which inspired his book TwentySix Gasoline Stations. When we reached California we met Ed Ruscha, originally from Oklahoma, at his studio where he graciously showed us around his studio and then on to the Getty Museum where we viewed Ruscha's current exhibition, including TwentySix Gasoline Stations. If you're interested in checking out my blog posts from my OU trip you can currently view them online along with the other group participants.

To check out my blog posts click here or paste the URL into your browser:


Sunday, June 2, 2013

Harley – Ruscha’s Auto Superhero

I was honored to meet Harley Laird who is Ed Ruscha’s automotive superhero. He has a vast knowledge of automotive know-how and can fix about anything given to him. I could have listened to his stories for hours about cars and days gone by. Harley reminded me of my grandfather and a generation that I’m just not ready to let go. When Ed Ruscha originally wrote his TwentySix Gasoline Stations, a short fifty years ago, cars were still made of metal, bondo was just starting to be used to fix dents and drivers traveled Route 66 to get from Chicago to Los Angeles. Harley is of that generation and along with Ed Ruscha has seen many changes.

I made a few images and recorded Harley’s voice so when I left California and returned to Oklahoma, I could remember just how much I liked this man. The wrinkles buried deep into his face reminded me he has lived a long life, as I’m sure each wrinkle has a story. His hands, which fiddled with car parts as I listened to him speak, showed years of hard work on cars and even airplanes. My husband is a pilot so I thoroughly enjoyed Harley’s stories of flying off in a “borrowed” plane. I knew my husband would love him as much as I loved him too.

I only wish I had more time to spend at Ed Ruscha’s studio. I could feel in my heart that Ruscha and those people he surrounds himself with are good people. I could tell that they were people I would love to spend more time with and get to know better. I truly appreciate the short time I was able to spend at Ruscha’s studio. Thank you Ed Ruscha, Paul, Harley and all.

- Shelly Perkins

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Meeting Ronaldo from New York on the day of the Moore Tornado

On our Road to Ruscha trip down old Route 66 we met many people that have touched our hearts and we will remember forever. One of those people is New Yorker Ronaldo Robledo, a retired NY firefighter who currently works as a social worker. He was staying at the same hotel as we were near Los Angeles, California and we began to talk in the hotel lobby over breakfast. My roommate on the trip Katie B who is from the same town as I, found out that not only was Ronaldo from the state of New York like my husband but was also from the Hudson Valley area where my family previously resided. The same day we met Ronaldo was an afternoon of great tragedy in my city of Moore, Oklahoma. An EF-5 tornado, the worst of the worst, had touched down, causing a path of destruction through housing developments and business areas including an elementary school and junior high.

My middle daughter is a junior high student and was still at school less than a mile from the ongoing tornado damage. My other two children were at my house taking shelter with my mother and husband but Destiney my 13 year-old was still at school where they had lost power. I heard the news and started getting calls from my oldest daughter Courtney about the tornado. Then Courtney told me she had lost contact on the phone when Destiney and heard one of the junior highs had been hit by the storm.

Some in our group from the University had gone to Universal Studios in Hollywood and this is where my horror began to unfold. Power was lost at my house, phone lines went down and then on top of all that, my phone ran out of power at the park. The others in my group went on a few rides as I tried to explain the severity of the moment and being 1500 miles away and helpless. I stood alone, paralyzed in the middle of hundreds of people passing by as they laughed and enjoyed their day as I just began to cry out. I cried out to God and prayed out loud. I bawled and moaned like a hurt animal and I know people began to look at me and wonder what was happening. I began thinking of going to LAX to fly home to my kids. All I could do was make a plan of quick return being so far away from my family. My stomach knotted and I began to feel nauseous as I ran around the park looking for an electric outlet to power my phone. I finally found one in the ladies room and I stood there crying and praying out loud.

Finally hours later, I received word that all my family had been reunited, my children and my sister’s family were uninjured. All of our houses were still standing. Even though I was born and have spent much of my life in Oklahoma, I was never as scared of a tornado until my sister completely lost her home to a tornado in May 2011. Now I understand from her loss to that tornado, how much damage can be caused and how easily a life can be lost. Our families had managed to escape this one, this time. However, the Friday after we returned on our trip, my house was hit by a tornado on a much smaller scale. We lost part of a roof, had water leaks, a brick support beam damaged, a tree fall partially on the house and leaving one side of the house impassible and on the other side of the yard part of the fence had been torn down. We were alive and these things can be repaired. After having friends loose their homes and lives on May 20th, I still don’t feel I have the right to complain one bit.

Long story short about Ronaldo from New York: he flew from California while he was relaxing on his vacation, to Oklahoma to volunteer his time at a relief center. Also, to find out what a small world this, when he arrived in Moore, Ronaldo was partnered with one of my dear friends Karen who volunteers with the Red Cross. Both Ronaldo and Karen worked together but did not know that they knew me until later. I think God brings people into our lives for a reason and during this trip both myself and Katie B from Moore, needed comforting and reassurance to get through the rest of the trip. Ronaldo was one of those guardian angels.

- Shelly Perkins on University of Oklahoma Road to Ruscha trip 2013

Monday, May 27, 2013

Holbrook Arizona – A Place to Rest and Eat on Route 66

We arrived in Holbrook, Arizona to find our hotel, a survivor of Route 66′s cglory days. The hospitality of America’s Best Value Inn was friendly and prompt, and provides a complimentary breakfast. We proceeded to find our rooms, all on the only upper floor, each with a door which opens to the outside walkway and balcony. This hotel or as many we’re called motor inns or motels, instantly took me back to days when I was younger. When I was in growing up, my family would often stay in roadside motels like this on our vacations and road trips. These days my family most often stays in hotels with many floors, interior only access to the rooms with big swimming pools and business centers. Our rooms were quaint and clean and I enjoyed a much needed hot shower after a day of playing in the sun and on the hot mesas.

We had dinner at Tom and Suzie’s Diner, attached to the motel, which with a group of more than 20 took a bit, but they were able to serve us all and it was definitely worth the wait. I ordered the spicy Mongolian BBQ over rice with a glass of lemon water. The diner has a large selection as others ordered steaks, shrimp, burgers, ice cream and tall shakes. Probably one of the best things the diner offered is their free access to their high speed Internet. This mad our university group extremely happy as we all could finally post work and communicate with loved ones after a day in the hot sun on Route 66.
Also, if you have a chance to have breakfast at Tom and Suzie’s, it was fast and delicious.
~Shelly Perkins on University of Oklahoma Road to Ruscha trip 2013

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Relocating Artifacts

As we have learned, artifacts have narrative with a place or person associated with them. If an object is removed from one place to another, its meaning can change. Our group came upon a shoe field or “garden,” an abundance of shoes and various random articles, abandoned in the desert. Each one of our group located artifacts, examined its present location, considered why it was possibly placed there, and then moved the artifact to a new location.

The artifact I discovered and relocated was a car tire, spray painted teal blue on one side. Other than finding it in the trash pile and additional blue paint, I could find no flaws with the tire. The tread looked even, had not been worn down and looked new. I decided to relocate the tire closer to the Route 66, on top of a pole covered with shoes. With the tire in close proximity to the road, travelers who notice it and later may need a spare could return and retrieve the tire for use on their own vehicle.

I find it interesting that this location of micro-artifacts and many smaller objects like shoes, combined with tires, a bathtub and other random discarded articles; has grown in size to a large macro area of waste, now a tourism landmark.

Coordinates for this location:
Latitude: 34.083413
Post by Shelly Perkins on University of Oklahoma's Road to Ruscha trip 2013

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Locating Artifacts on the Road to Ruscha

Artifacts have narrative with a place or person associated with them. Removing objects from one place to another can change the meaning of the artifact. Students from our group were encouraged to think about how the meaning changes when we changed its location.

We encountered two places, abundantly full of artifacts, along our route. The first was a roadside area littered with garbage, which looked to an outsider to be some type of abandoned waste management area. However upon further investigation, some believed to be a site of a multiple tractor trailer accident, although we are still unsure. Each one of our group located artifacts as we examined the morphology and changes from the vacant frontage past to the present waste site.

Coordinates for this location:
Latitude: 34.791180 Longitude: -115.146633

~ Shelly Perkins on University of Oklahoma Road to Ruscha trip 2013

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tornado Hits Home

Tornado Hits Home and I’m in LA !!!

Every one in our group chose their activities for the day; many of us ran around town, went to the beach, some met up with family or friends from the area and my group went to Universal Studios. We went on the backlot studio tour and then rode several of the rides. While we were on the tour I started getting text messages about a tornado sitting less than a mile from my house. I am 1500 miles away from my kids and there was nothing I could do to help protect them or keep them safe from the impending danger which was about to envelope my city.

My family prepared to take cover as the tornado approached. My oldest daughter who is almost 21 was at our house with her little Maltese and my husband picked up my youngest 9 year old from the elementary school. My mother was also at our house, along with husband and our zoo of animals. However my 13 year old was at school taking shelter; had texted my oldest daughter that the power was out at the school and she was scared. Soon after, the phones also lost connections. What seemed like an eternity until I finally received a call from home that my family and animals were okay. The junior high decided it was now safe to release the kids from class and my husband and oldest daughter picked up my 13 year old. Finally everyone (except me) were reunited and home after the tornado.

There are a few moments in my life I’ve realized just how much I love my family, especially my children and couldn’t imagine life without them. Exploring Route 66 over the past ten days has made me think about slowing down and cherishing the everyday life and world around us we often take for granted. It seems many families are busy with work, school functions and sports practices and need a little time to reconnect. It’s been a great experience meeting others along our route, spending time with new found friends and making connections through a shared community on the road.
~ Shelly Perkins on University of Oklahoma Road to Ruscha Trip 2013

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Canadians Traveling Route 66

On our stopover in Holbrook Arizona’s Tom and Suzie’s Diner, I had the opportunity to meet an interesting retired couple from Toronto, Canada. Doug and Peggy Purdy are traveling with their terrier, Chloe on Route 66. The couple had recently visited Oklahoma’s stretch of the route and in addition to meeting our group from the University of Oklahoma, they also met a group from Oklahoma State.

While visiting Red Rock Canyon in Hinton Oklahoma, Doug was injured on a hike which required medical attention. He hit his head on a tree and the wound was deep enough to require stitches at an Oklahoma hospital. Canadians receive socialized healthcare coverage for all citizens and they were unsure how it would work since they were in a different country when he sustained his injury. The couple said it took longer to complete the paperwork and the calls from the hospital to Canada, than the actual time spent with the doctor in the emergency room; however they left Oklahoma without a medical bill and were pleased. Since the couple is touring the United States and spending quite some time here, he needed to have his stitches removed while still away from Canada. Mr. Purdy visited the hospital while in Sante Fe, New Mexico and left WITHOUT stitches but WITH a $500 hospital bill. We spent much of our conversation discussing U.S. vs Canadian healthcare, which I found quite interesting and I enjoyed my time with the Purdy’s.

Post by Shelly Perkins on University of Oklahoma Road to Ruscha trip 2013

Friday, May 17, 2013

The “Standard” American Dream

Visiting Ruscha’s Standard Gas Station in Amarillo

Our group has had the opportunity to meet such a variety of characters on our Road to Ruscha, however I think the person I’ve enjoyed the best so far is Mr Khang An Nguyen. Originally from Vietnam, Mr. Nguyen is the owner of the K&T Automotive and Transmission. He’s owned the business for only about seven months, after working for another automotive shop; since he first arrived in the US in 2006.

Mr Nguyen represents the “American Dream.” According to the New York Times, the phrase was first coined by writer James Truslow Adams in the early 1930s. He wrote regardless of social class or circumstances of birth “life should be richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement.” Mr Nguyen moved to America, worked hard, saved his money and purchased the station at 4001 E. Amarillo Blvd in Amarillo, which was Ruscha’s original “Standard” station on Route 66.

Post by Shelly Perkins on University of Oklahoma Road to Ruscha 2013

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Cowboys at the U-Drop Inn

While visiting the U-Drop Inn located in Shamrock Texas, I had the opportunity to meet two extremely nice gentlemen. These Texas cowboys are also insurance adjusters who set up an office in the U-Drop Inn, which is also known as the Tower Station or Tower Café of Wheeler County Texas. Most may remember the architecture of the U-Drop Inn as it was featured in the 2006 animated film Cars as the inspiration for the fictional Ramone’s Body Shop. Currently the building acts as the Shamrock City Chamber of Commerce, visitor’s center and office space. The diner area has been restored to its original condition, although a full time diner is not currently in operation.

These cowboys were working as insurance adjusters, as recently a storm had traveled through the area and affected quite a few residents. One of the cowboys I spoke with was Gary Brewer who is also the Mayor of Wellington, Texas, which has a population of 2,200 people. The other gentleman, Dennis Wilson, raises Palomino horses. Wilson belongs to the Palomino Horse Club and travels to Pasadena, California with his horses to the Rose Bowl Parade. I teased Mr. Wilson that he should be the sheriff because he was so tall and in my mind is the epitome of a big Texan sheriff. I enjoyed meeting these two gentlemen and wish I had more time to get to know them. This area of Texas and the town of Shamrock seems like a very lovely place to visit and I know will be back with my kids. This was the first day of our journey on the Road to Ruscha.

Shelly Perkins ~ University of Oklahoma Road to Ruscha 2013

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Jessica's Sneak Peak

I had a great time meeting Jessica and her adorable family. Jessica helped me with an OU project that I'm working on over the next few months for my Women and Gender Studies minor. Here are a few images from our shoot.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

"Road to Ruscha" Part One Post by FJJMA

"Have you ever wondered about what happens behind the scenes of a major art museum? Welcome to Off the Wall – a glimpse of life behind the walls of the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art at the University of Oklahoma. Join us as we examine the roles of museum staff members, works inside the museum vaults, upcoming news and exhibitions, and much more."

Click on the link below to read Road to Ruscha Part One
~Posted by Jessica Farling, Curator of Academic Programs at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art at the University of Oklahoma

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Lion Sleeps Tonight ~ Happy Hippo & Stan

I wanted to share this link to this cute video that my youngest daughter discovered. This little song and cartoon characters remind me not to be so serious with life and in my art. I hope you enjoy this much as we did. ~ Shelly

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

University of Oklahoma's School of Art and Art History Online Gallery

My Photography on OU's School of Art and Art History Online Gallery

I was excited to learn that my work was chosen to be displayed as a part of the the University of Oklahoma's School of Art & Art History online gallery. Here's my image that was chosen. You may also go visit all of the great work by the other artist's currently at OU. Visit:

Tags: Shelly Perkins Photography;; OU; University of Oklahoma; School of Art and Art History; art; art gallery;

Monday, April 1, 2013

The Creative Brain ~ How Insight Works

The advancement of humanity has been based on the creativeness of others. By understanding creativity humans can begin to understand the brain more. Creativity is found everything, not just artists. People should learn about their world and surround themselves with what they love and through creativity, humanity will improve. Go Create!!

Click on the link below to BBC's Documentary Horizon ~ The Creative Brain: How Insight Works

Shelly Perkins Photography
Tags: Oklahoma, Photographer, Artist, Brain, Gamma, Waves, Works,
Creative, Creativity, Insight, Documentary

Sunday, March 24, 2013



King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
Matthew 28:6

Enjoy your Palm Sunday with those you love remembering the Reason for the Season. Happy Easter ~ SP

Monday, March 18, 2013

College Student Parents Keep Working

Stock image from Sociology in Focus

Currently I am working on my final project for my Women and Gender Studies minor at the University of Oklahoma. I am making photographs and writing biographies about mothers who are currently college students. Both jobs are equally hard but combining them makes it quite a challenge. I know from being both that there are times when it just doesn't seem like I have enough time to complete everything in the day. I found this article and wanted to share it with others.

"First-generation college students (i.e. students whose parents did not graduate from college) are at higher risk of not completing college compared to students who have parents who completed college. Consider these statistics reported in USA Today: Nationally, 89% of low-income first-gen[eration college students] leave college within six years without a degree. More than a quarter leave after their first year — four times the dropout rate of higher-income second-generation students."

"I think my perspective on the importance of parental socialization regarding college crystallized as a graduate student. I did become a second-generation graduate student and first-generation doctorate student. But it was my grandma who had the Master’s degree, not my parents. In other words, graduate school was a world that my parents did not know. And after completing a graduate degree, I know exactly how to advise my own daughter on navigating graduate school. There are a number of things I understand about graduate school now that I am on the other side of it that I wish I had known and understood before I started graduate school. If you have teachers who are willing to share their graduate school experience, listen to them and ask them lots of questions."

"Having college-educated parents, does not just mean a likely higher household income growing up, but also helps socialize children into future roles as college students themselves (thanks, mom and dad!)." So remember when you're working so hard being a mother and you're a college student staying up all night, remember you're not only working to better yourself, but future generations. You're also working hard to improve the life of your children and their children. Keep working. Keep your head up. Study hard. Keep being a good parent. Don't forget in your day when you're spending so many hours reading, writing, and studying, don't forget why you're doing this. You're doing this for yourself, your kids and your family. Spend some time with them too. If you don't have a lot of money to spend on an activity with them, just take for a walk in your neighborhood (without constantly looking at your mobile device). Take your kiddos to the park, they're everywhere and they're free. Go to the library, not to check out books for your class or next research paper, but instead pick out books and sit in the corner and read to your kids. Don't forget in all the craziness of your college and parent life that you need to spend time with your kids and take some time out for yourself. Now, go get your degree.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Apple's 1984 Mac Ad and "Big Brother"

Apple's "Supper" Bowl Ad in 1984 using the book "1984"
Hmmmmm, Big Brother is here, a few year's later than George Orwell predicted in his novel 1984, but definitely here.

Click below to see the YouTube video of Mac's commercial:

This blog post was created while Ms Perkins was a student at the University of Oklahoma and any information or use of images, phrases, are used solely for educational purposes and not for resale.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Life is a Merry Go Round

Image from: copyright 2008 by Cheri Media Group

I love the song Merry Go Round sang by Kacey Musgraves. I really love the images in the video too as it takes me back to watching the old home movies that my father took when I was a kid. I luckily have inherited his movie projector and these images and working to archive these for future generations of my family. I lost my Dad a year ago and it still makes me so sad, as there is a piece of my heart missing. I believe he was a Christian and is in now in Heaven, but I am still miss him terribly.

This song makes me think about quickly life goes by. Life is so short and then the next generation comes along to live their life. I feel like I am the storykeeper of our family. I want to archive the images and moments of my family, to pass down our stories and the stories of those who came before.

Click on link below to view the video of Merry Go Round.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Finding Inspiration in Eugenio Recuenco

I'm back at the University of Oklahoma this semester studying Fine Art. In a search for inspirational photographers, I have found a photographer and a style which I am completely and totally in awe ~ from Madrid, Spain, Eugenio Recuenco.

Already in love with Spain, he gives me more reason to love it. I've had the chance to visit Espana with my husband a few years ago and I completely fell in love with the country. It reminded me a lot of Oklahoma with it's grassy fields and gorgeous horses in the Andalusian region near Cádiz and Rota. Enough on Spain, check out one of their amazing photographers....

Here's a link to his online portfolio for some eye candy. As I experiment with my own work, I feel drawn to this photographer's vision. The images have a cinematography feel with fantasy blurring the lines between imagined and real life.

Here's a link to an informational blog containing works by Eugenio Recuenco ~

Above are a few of the images I found to be sooo inspiring. Remember ~ nothing is original. So with that, I will make my own work using Recuenco as inspiration for my fantasy photographic project at OU.

The images contained within this blog may be under a copyright law. I am not selling these images but merely using them for my own personal inspiration to make photographic works at the university. ~ SP

Friday, March 8, 2013

Jerusalem in 60 Seconds

As Easter time approaches, I wanted to share this link to a very short video about the diversity of religions found in the city of Jerusalem. Maybe it will inspire you to learn more about this Holiest of Holy of cities. ~ SP

Jerusalem in 60 Seconds ~

"This is a glimpse of one of the holiest of cities on Earth, with thousands of years of world-shaping history un-boringly condensed into just 60 seconds. Welcome to Jerusalem. Try not to blink."

click on this link below

Thursday, March 7, 2013

College Student Mothers of Oklahoma Needed for OU Photo Project

************************************************************* WANTED !!! Calling MOTHERS who are also COLLEGE STUDENTS in the State of OKLAHOMA. If you are a mother and a current college student (full or part time) and are interested in participating in a Photography Project for The University of Oklahoma, please let me know. Also, if you know someone who is college student mother, please pass along this information. *************************************************************
please message me through Facebook at Shelly Perkins Photography ~ SP

Monday, March 4, 2013

Jewelry Photography & Retouching Commercial Images

Jewelry Photography & Retouching

"In today’s highly retouched advertising world, people assume everything can be solved with a quick airbrushing in Photoshop." I found a great blog about lighting products for commercial advertising photography that can help other photography students. Stylists set up displays while photographers work hard to show off the best qualities of a product for their commercial employers. This blog shows how one company in Canada is making images look great.

click link below to read Epic Mind Blog