APEX Hour at SUU

2/24/22: Aïsha Lehmann explores identity in art

Episode Summary

In this week’s episode, artist Aïsha Lehmann joins host Lynn Vartan in the studio to discuss how her exploration of identity and race have influenced her art. She gives insights to the hidden meanings and influences in her work and what is next in her creative path!

Episode Notes

APEX website

Episode Transcription

Dr. Lynn Vartan  00:01

Hey everyone, this is Lynn Vartan and you're listening to the apex hour on K SUU thunder 91.1. In this show, you get more personal time with the guests who visit Southern Utah University from all over, learning more about their stories and opinions beyond their presentations on stage. We will also give you some new music to listen to, and hope to turn you on to some new sounds and new genres. You can find this here every Thursday at 3pm or on the web at sau.edu/apex. But for now, welcome to this week's show here on thunder 91.1. All right, well, welcome in everyone. It is the end of February here at SUU and we are talking about art today. It's almost spring break. And it snowed like five inches, or something over the last couple of days. It's been really cold. But we are talking about art. And I am joined by a young up and coming awesome artists. Welcome inAisha.


Aisha Lehman  01:10

Thank you so much.


Dr. Lynn Vartan  01:12

Should we start by talking a little bit about who you are what you do. So can you start by telling us a little bit about where you are? Where do you live? What do you do? Tell us about yourself?


Aisha Lehman  01:24

Yeah, so I'm just finishing up my undergraduate at BYU. And I'm from Provo, so I didn't go too far to start school. But I'm an artist. I also have minors in sociology and Africana Studies. And that has really inspired my art. I also have a mixed race and mixed nationality background. And so all of those things influenced my work.


Dr. Lynn Vartan  01:48

Yeah, I mean, we've been having such great conversations about identity and building communities and all that I want to get into all of that. One of the things that also is just amazing about you is that you are already a represented artist. You know, and you're still in school, which is so amazing. I wonder if you could talk a little bit about, you know, some of your recent shows, and where you have relationships with galleries.


Aisha Lehman  02:14

Yeah, so I'm represented by Modern West in Salt Lake. And they're really fantastic. They represent a lot of very professional and fantastic artists. But then they also have taken on more emerging artists like me. And it's been an incredible experience. And I've had shows up in Salt Lake through them, but also at the Finch Lane gallery back in October. So it's been really fantastic to kind of move away from just staying in Provo, and kind of moving up to Salt Lake a bit. And yeah.


Dr. Lynn Vartan  02:46

When you work with the galleries, and they start looking at your work or start engaging in a dialogue with you, what are some of the things that they say to what what what are they drawn to in your work? Do you get a sense from them of that?


Aisha Lehman  03:01

Yeah, I think they were drawn to my work for the subject matter, mostly, they wanted to have an artist that was engaging with the kind of themes I was. So I think it worked out that we both kind of wanted and needed each other. And that's been really fantastic. Being with a gallery that I know really values, the subject matters that I've worked with, because I know that that isn't always the case. Maybe other galleries might be more focused on selling work as quickly as possible. Whereas this gallery is really awesome at giving me opportunities to engage with community a lot more, have artists talks and really talk about the ideas behind the work.


Dr. Lynn Vartan  03:38

Yeah, what if those aren't talks artists talks been like, because it's a gallery up in Salt Lake and you're here talking about these pretty intense subjects, which are awesome to get into conversation with but what are those? How have those developed?


Aisha Lehman  03:55

Yeah, I think that's kind of new for me. I'm just still trying to figure out how how to do that I get so nervous before. But back in October, I was able to talk about all the research that went into my final capstone project and the interviews that I was able to have with people of mixed race and just their experiences. So I was able to talk about History and Sociology, and also just the specific people that I talked to, and they gave me an hour and they gave me my guns. I had plenty to say on the subject while also going through the art pieces. So


Dr. Lynn Vartan  04:30

Were they free form conversations, or were there questions or,


Aisha Lehman  04:34

Um, I tried to give time for questions at the end, but they really let me kind of speak and share and yeah, it was really great.


Dr. Lynn Vartan  04:40

Well, I want to let you do that. We'll get into that. But also, before we leave where your work is, we want to also say for anybody listening live that they can see Aisha's work in person right now at Summa at our Southern Utah Museum of Art, and as part of the Grace A Tanner gallery, and, remind me if it just opened and then it'll be up until...


Aisha Lehman  05:05

February 19 to March 19.


Dr. Lynn Vartan  05:07

So all this month, and you can go to Suma anytime and check out these works that we're going to be talking about. So awesome. And do you have a website that you'd like to share with everyone?


Aisha Lehman  05:17

Yeah, it's really easy. My name is just Aisha Lehmann and that's it. AishaLehamnn.com.


Dr. Lynn Vartan  05:21

And for those who might not know Lehmann is spelled L E H M A N N, perfect. Okay, AishaLehamnn.com, awesome. Okay, let's get into talking about the work and how you came to some of these topics on. So you are a young person doing art for fun at home, and also growing up in a mixed race household? And how do those two things converge? How do you make that connection? Because I mean, you're living your life as who you are in your identity? And how do you start bringing that into the art?


Aisha Lehman  06:00

Yeah, I think it really started with me adding my minors and adding sociology and Africana Studies, because I was able to engage with the subject matter in a way that felt informed by research and scholarship. I don't know that I really trusted my own opinion on the things and also didn't know how to think about it myself. So once I really started reading and learning more and taking classes that really gave me a vocabulary to talk about things like race and identity and just dynamics in our society.


Dr. Lynn Vartan  06:32

How would you describe your work before those classes? Like I, you showed some of it this morning, but how would you describe it?


Aisha Lehman  06:40

I think I liked working with color pattern and figure but that was all I knew, you know. And so afterwards, that was me kind of repurposing those same symbols and visual cues and recognizing, you know, how can I turn this person as a representative of a person in society? And how can I use patterns that are actually informed by someone's culture? So those kinds of things.


Dr. Lynn Vartan  07:03

Cool. So you take these classes in college, which is awesome. You just, why did you start taking it? I mean, were you just like, I want to take, I'm interested in identity and race. And I want to take this class, or what drew you to branch out into the areas of sociology and these kinds of studies.


Aisha Lehman  07:21

Yeah, I found myself liking my art classes, but not really feeling completely fulfilled in them. I felt like I was missing something and wanted to learn more about the world. It kind of started off with an international development class that I took. And I really thought for a second there, I wanted to be a social worker. Thankfully, for me, though, BYU doesn't have a social work program. So I ended up going more the sociology route. And it turned out sociology was for me, and it's still pretty theoretical. So maybe it's a bit more similar to art in that way. But I kind of just fell in love. And I started adding as many classes as I could from various departments actually, all on topics of race, especially African American history and identity. So yeah, I think I was yearning for something. Didn't know what it was. But I ended up finding it there.


Dr. Lynn Vartan  08:13

That's great. Oh, my gosh, and it seems like you found some great scholarly pursuits in that as well. Were you always, I know you talked about being a reader. Were you always like a voracious reader? Or is that something that developed as this passion turned on?


Aisha Lehman  08:30

Yeah, I think I think I kind of stopped reading after high school, you know, and then suddenly, I found a subject matter that I really cared about. I think it helps to when you see other grad students or professors that you just want to be more like, and I think, seeing how well read they were and how much they knew and how much I still needed to learn really pushed me to start reading more.


Dr. Lynn Vartan  08:53

Well that's a great like sense of drive, you know, but I don't know that everybody has that. Is that something that you feel like you kind of always had?


Aisha Lehman  09:02

I don't know, I've always liked school, and then a teacher's pet. So maybe it's not for everyone. But I say I think that there's incredible documentaries and podcasts and just ways to get information. Even if you can't go to school, if you're unable to sit down and read for those long periods of times, I think there's a lot of ways to gain information so you don't have to like reading.


Dr. Lynn Vartan  09:25

Cool, so you get involved in these studies, and you're just turned on by it. And so then what's sort of the first work in art that you do that's really newly informed by these lenses?


Aisha Lehman  09:42

Um, I think it's hard to pinpoint which one but I think it took me a good year since my first class in recent ethnicity to really feel like I had somewhat of a footing to be able to even start going into those concepts because I wanted to do it appropriately and I did a series called the color line. And I was just looking at how mixed race people just function and identify around a system where I'm in, you know, in the US where we are often divided between black and white. And I wanted to see how, yeah, makes people fit within that.


Dr. Lynn Vartan  10:20

How How has your own experience been particularly related to that? Do you, when you sort of go along thinking about the color line? Is that something that felt very comfortable to you or normal to you? Or is that something that you didn't experience and were like, wow, this is, I'm really learning about this experience.


Aisha Lehman  10:45

I think it's definitely a bit of both, you know, I think everyone can kind of recognize to a certain extent how they might have been separated from other races or cultures, because of just divisions in our country where we live in things like that. And I think I can relate on that level, I grew up in a predominantly white area, and I found myself not necessarily connecting to aspects of my ancestry or culture in the way that maybe I felt like I should. But at the same time, I felt like I also was learning about how that experience changes based on your melanin in your skin color. And so that was really interesting for me learning how, you know, as someone like me, who is quite light skins, and I can pass as a white person, it's a bit easier for me to just blend into the white spaces, whereas a mixed person who has darker skin than me has a lot harder time to be treated as a normal person in that space.


Dr. Lynn Vartan  11:42

Yeah. Right. So that was called the color line. And then what is the next group of art or the next series that you started working on?


Aisha Lehman  11:53

Um, I was started working with a sociologists and demographer and looking at just where mixed race households live, and where they're able to move to, depending on their socio economic status and those kinds of things. And I started making art about that, and reacting to historical housing segregation, and how that continues today to a certain extent.


Dr. Lynn Vartan  12:17

And you did a lot of census study around that. Right? What kinds of things did you find that surprised you? If anything?


Aisha Lehman  12:24

Yeah. Oh, gosh, I learned so much. First of all, yeah, you bring up a good point about the census, I think it was interesting learning about how the census over time has to had to really change to encompass the diversity in our country. And it still has a hard time doing that. And so it's interesting seeing how mixed race people haven't always been properly counted because of that. And even to this day, even though things are a lot more inclusive in the way that we collect data, I realized that a lot of people kind of fall under the radar. And another interesting thing that I learned is that we are in a lot of ways just as segregated as we were in the past. It's mixed race households that often make us think that we're a little more blended than we are, but we're actually quite divided.


Dr. Lynn Vartan  13:10

Yeah. And do you see from your research that it's, it's just the same now as maybe it was, it hasn't improved, really.


Aisha Lehman  13:20

Um, there are some improvements, of course, you know, because back in the day, you literally couldn't marry someone of a different race. And there were often very violent reactions to say a black family move moving into a white neighborhood. Even though things aren't maybe as overt and violence as in the past, even though there are definitely exceptions to this day. I think that there's a lot more coded language. And there's a lot of ways that people can work around being inclusive and including people from different groups into their neighborhoods because of different codes for their neighborhood, or school systems or the way that we red line around certain school districts or voting districts, those kinds of things really change and change who has what power and it really dictates who lives where.


Dr. Lynn Vartan  14:15

Cool. Well, that's awesome, a great background and we're going to get into some of the some of the newer pieces and newer things that you're working on and talk about some of the methods and everything like that but first as always, I have a song I have been listening to I don't know I guess a lot of alternative female artists and just trying to find some new ones at least new to me. And this song is called on site and it's free nationals J ID and catch up on a are all included in this. Check it out. You're listening to KSUU thunder 91.1. All right, well welcome back. They have like a cool phone ring at the end of that. And so you're hearing that as the background as we get started. This is Lynn Vartan, you're listening to the apex hour K SUU thunder 91.1. I am joined with artist Aisha Lehman. And we are talking about all of the art that she's been creating in the last few years. And I'd love to continue that conversation. Welcome back, Aisha. Okay, so one of the series is the capstone work that you've done, which goes for, of course, has the images but also goes beyond that in that you have done interviews with all of your subjects. Talk about that body of work?


Aisha Lehman  19:32

Yeah. So I think we kind of talked about it before, I was looking at a lot of these larger, broader issues. And I realized that I wanted to focus a little more on the individual. And so I wanted to talk to people who parents came from two different ethnic or racial backgrounds, and ask them more about their experiences. And yeah, it was a very enlightening experience for me and really fulfilling.


Dr. Lynn Vartan  19:55

Tell me more about the conversations, what kinds of things were you hearing? Were were there any threads that were similar? Or was every story completely unique? I mean, every story is completely unique, of course. But did you find common themes? Tell me more about what you found out?


Aisha Lehman  20:16

Yeah, well, first of all, I realized how different everyone was, you know, even though technically, they would have maybe been under the same racial or ethnic category, they were actually extremely different, which I think is a good lesson on, you know, just how diverse everyone is different everyone is from one another. But there are definitely commonalities. I, for the most part, I found that people really had a lot of positive things to say about their mixed identity, they were very grateful for the merging of two cultures, and they thought they were just grateful for that. But they also discussed how that becomes a little more messy, being mixed becomes messy, when you kind of look at how they're treated in their community or in society, where maybe they're isolated, or not included in a certain group, because they never quite belong, whether that's in a white community or in a community of color. Also, sometimes people felt detached from their own family history, because maybe they lived in a completely different continent from their grandparents and, or maybe they they didn't speak Spanish in the home growing up. And so they felt like this disconnect from that culture. So I think there's a lot of interesting dynamics that, you know, we see growing up in maybe in a predominantly white community, as a mixed person, it can be difficult at times.


Dr. Lynn Vartan  21:40

And the were your subjects all from kind of the general same area in Northern Utah.


Aisha Lehman  21:46

That's right. Yeah, I really focus on people that were kind of in Utah County around so yeah. And that was great to hear. Yeah, cuz they all came from very different backgrounds, but they could all relate on the fact that they had grown up in a similar environment.


Dr. Lynn Vartan  22:00

Yeah. And then, and then talk about the work itself, I know that there's, there are some elements that are the same, like the chairs, for example, if you could talk about the choice of chairs, and and and a little bit about that, and then talk about some of the patterns that you've chosen and why


Aisha Lehman  22:16

absolutely, yeah, I mean, they're large portraits. I don't know that I want to work that large in the future, because it is quite the project, but they're almost life size about and they read as paintings, but they're actually all mixed media, collaging, printmaking, things like that, because I wanted to embody that idea of mixing this. And all of the figures are seated in a chair or next to a chair. And I had each of them identify a chair that was significant to them and their childhood and experience growing up. And yeah, like you alluded to, there's a lot of bold patterns and a lot of collaging, and almost like quilting in that sense. And all of those were sourced from patterns that the interviewee gave to me.


Dr. Lynn Vartan  23:05

Yeah. And how did you decide on the materials that you wanted to use? How did you how did you come to some of those decisions?


Aisha Lehman  23:15

Yeah, I like I like making a lot of my own tissue paper just so that it's just the just the right hue and color that I need it to be to fit. But I also liked collaging and sourcing from kind of found materials. So for example, in one piece, there's strips of telephone book paper, along the panel, and one thing that that person had talked about in their interview is that their last name is Martinez. And everyone asks them Are you related to so and so Martinez, and he just always laughs because people don't realize how many Martinez is there are in the phone book. And it just for him was a story that really embodied just how people really lump people together often. And so there are elements like that, where it kind of snuck in these little things that you can only notice when you look up close.


Dr. Lynn Vartan  24:11

Cool. Well, that brings me to talking about the creative process and or actually the art making process. So when you're working on these large body of works like what what is the day, like in that? Like, where do you work? How how, what is the workday look like for you in that way?


Aisha Lehman  24:30

Yeah, so like I said, I'm still in school. So I'd say that's taking up most of my day, but as far as sitting down to actually do work, I often have to think a lot not for a long time beforehand, and I do a lot of brainstorming and sketching. And it takes a while for me to get a plan in place. But once that's in place, I honestly could work anywhere and I often do so I'll find myself on campus. I used to have a studio space on campus, but unfortunately don't anymore. Also, I love printmaking. So I kind of depend on those facilities and labs. So yeah.


Dr. Lynn Vartan  25:04

So in the pre work, the thinking and the sketching, do you? Do you have like a favorite kind of Sketchbook? Or do you have a favorite place? Do you have to kind of go away for a few hours at a time? What What's that part of the process look like?


Aisha Lehman  25:20

Yeah, I think any time that I'm just walking somewhere, I tried to just like tune out and just think about a certain like, visual problem that I'm trying to solve or a concept that I'm trying to encapsulate. So I use a lot of time walking for that. I also think, if there's ever a really, really big project that I'm trying to land, I think hiking and running, honestly, is a really good time for me to not do anything. I think we live in an age where it's really hard to not just sit there and then get on your phone instantly. And so those are activities, where I'm forced to not do that, and just forced to think and be with myself.


Dr. Lynn Vartan  25:55

Yeah. Which begs the other question, as an artist, in today's world, you know, how, how dependent Are you on your phone? And is that something that you're constantly fighting? Because I mean, our entire experience can be curated for us if we spend too much time there. And so, you know, what's your relationship with that? Like, do you do let it affect your, your thoughts and your processes? Or do you try to divorce from that? What's that like for you?


Aisha Lehman  26:29

Yeah, um, I've actually had to recently turn off notifications on Instagram, because it was just distracting me from my homework too much. But in general, I find, um, I really like using my phone as a way to help me with my work. Like, it sounds cheesy, but I really like Pinterest as a tool to organize articles and artists that I'm looking at. And I'll often do that on my phone. But other than that, I really try to limit that time. But it's very hard to because like you said, it kind of starts curating the way that you think when really should be open minded and be reading and seeing a lot more sources.


Dr. Lynn Vartan  27:09

Yeah. Do you have a favorite kind of Sketchbook? 


Aisha Lehman  27:13

Oh no, I don't know. I just I like, I like the thrill of buying a new one. And I never really look at the brand. I just like the cover.


Dr. Lynn Vartan  27:21

Yeah, that's great. I love it. That's awesome. Cool. Um, okay, so you have another body of work that we looked at some today. And that is, and I can't remember the title of it. But with the black and white shirts that take on take off? Can you talk a little bit about that body of work?


Aisha Lehman  27:39

Yeah, exactly like you said, it's called, I was seen unseen, which is just two German words for the verb to take on and to take off and there, I wanted to loosen it up a little bit more. And there's screenprints there, I was just thinking about the privileges of being able to take off one's identity and kind of be fluid in spaces and just be able to adapt on where one is but also as an actor to be able to, to look at oneself and look at where someone comes from and and just think more about who you are and why you are the way you are.


Dr. Lynn Vartan  28:14

Cool. And can you describe what the work is for anybody who might not be able to see it right now? 


Aisha Lehman  28:20

For sure, yeah. Um, their, their hand dyed organic paper, because I wanted to kind of Yeah, just play around with that background you and they're all very organic, almost skin tones.


Dr. Lynn Vartan  28:33

Yeah. How did you do the hand dyeing process?


Aisha Lehman  28:36

Um, yeah, I had to play around with it, I had to figure out which materials work so I ended up using things like beets and walnuts and match all natural. Yeah, I wanted it to really speak to the subject matter, right, because on the surface level, I was speaking to more of as racist, manmade construct, but then I think there's that organic factor of it, you know, there's the the family stories, there's the culture and those kinds of things and so I wanted the paper itself and also the floral backgrounds to speak to that.


Dr. Lynn Vartan  29:10

So let me ask you this then as I'm learning more and more about your work, like for example, that I hadn't heard until just now and I was like, Wow, that's so cool. How important is it to you for people to see your work the way you see it? I know for some artists they like they want them to you know, they want it this is what its intent is but you have all this hidden stuff in there and, yeah, how important is it for people to know that to you?


Aisha Lehman  29:42

Honestly, I kind of wish I could just tell everyone everything but I have a lot of professors that helped me to like just like tone it down a little bit and allow there to be ambiguity because I mean, that's that's art right? And so many different ways. You can find that in literature as well like the more ambiguous you allow something to be the more like the viewer can bring added elements into the work. So I think that's something that I tried to do. Because exactly like you said, I do want to dictate and tell people exactly what to see, but I try not to.


Dr. Lynn Vartan  30:15

So people have advised you to that. That's very interesting. I mean, I wonder, I wonder about that, you know, because like, I love hearing those inside details and stuff. And then when I look at those, and I go, like, oh, my gosh, that was like walnuts and beets made those made those guys, you know, that's really fascinating. So, yeah, and especially with the subject matter, I think it's I, I love all that, that backstory that goes into it, but I can see where you know, other people, you know, are sort of encouraging that ambiguity. That's interesting.


Aisha Lehman  30:51

Right, exactly. Yeah. It's a hard balance. 


Dr. Lynn Vartan  30:54

Oh, my gosh, that's fascinating. Okay, cool. So okay, the paper themselves, the paper itself, is that hand dyed? And then what else is on it for anybody who might not be able to see that work?


Aisha Lehman  31:07

Yeah, for sure. So kind of like you alluded to there, there are two rows of just figures, removing a shirt and hanging it up and just examining it. And I thought I would draw the figure on but I ended up just leaving negative space. It's kind of hard to explain, but all you see is a background in the shape of a figure. And so I kind of like playing around with that negative positive space and not exactly defining the figure too much, because I think it allows people to kind of see themselves in the figure when there's not a face attached to it too much. 


Dr. Lynn Vartan  31:43

Cool. Well, thank you. Yeah. All right, it's time for another song. Um, so I just found Madison McFerrin and I'm pretty into her and this is a song called try and you're listening to the apex hour here on KSUU thunder 91.1. Well welcome back everyone. I'm Lynn Vartan, this is the apex hour, the song that you just heard was try by the artist Madison Ferren, who I'm completely obsessed with and just totally found out about. So I'm really excited to know her work. And as always, if you're interested in the music that's played on the apex, our, there is a open Spotify playlist, you can find that and many other things on our website, which is suu.edu/apex. If you're looking for the podcast, you can just click on the podcast tab, and the Spotify playlist is also there. I am joined in the studio with studio with artists Aisha Lehmann, welcome back.


Aisha Lehman  36:19

Thank you so much.


Dr. Lynn Vartan  36:20

All right, we are talking about, we've talked about your art and your background, and kind of how you came to tackling some of the subject matters that you do, which is identity, particularly as it relates to race, but not just race, spirituality, place all the different things history, you know, and I'd love to just kind of open the conversation a little bit more to talk about, you know, the power that we have, as people to move the needle on some of these things, you know, I think you've done the research and have studied the history and, and our and are living life now. And so I wondered if you might comment on, you know, some of the things that you've observed in your experiences that work really well. And could could really maybe look to a better future, more inclusive, more open, you know, warm in the way that we all regard each other future? And also, I'd be curious of some of the things that you think don't work and that you have found in your studies and experiences?


Aisha Lehman  37:32

Yeah, that's such a big question. And, um, I don't know that I'm the expert to talk on it. But I definitely have been able to be in certain spaces where I've been able to see this kind of dynamics play out,


Dr. Lynn Vartan  37:45

And you've done the research, you have this great depth of knowledge and experience, so I'd love to hear you talk about it.


Aisha Lehman  37:53

Well, I think what you're really getting to is I think the more people read and know about a thing, the more they can have compassion for it, you know, so when we're talking about how to be more inclusive, or how to have more anti racist spaces, and just helping each other belong in our spaces, I think a lot of that is rooted in understanding our history, understanding, current dynamics, and how race continues to play out. So I think the spaces that I've been in that have been the most just influential, and maybe the healthiest have been ones that are rooted in academia, I was a participant in the Civil Rights seminar at BYU, and that was an incredible community of students and several faculty that deeply cared about African American history, and how it affects BYU students to this day. And that was a really wonderful community where we could like, learn together, and then discuss together. So I think conversations can happen if we're willing to talk about facts and research and stories, gain empathy from those things, and then think about how that implicates each of us personally.


Dr. Lynn Vartan  39:12

So as a student yourself, how, what advice do you have for maybe any, any student who could be listening and saying, like, yeah, I want to, I want to engage in this way. I want to get more involved in these conversations, and I want to be more present in these spaces. What advice do you have, for students of, of any race and ethnicity and to approach these conversations?


Aisha Lehman  39:40

Yeah, I think it's easy for someone like me, who's in the humanities and the arts all the time where I can kind of engage with this, simply because it's my major. Um, but I do also recognize that other people are in, you know, the sciences or business schools or things like that. And in that case, I feel like there's a lot of great clubs, usually on campuses, I know that at BYU, I'm one of the officers for the anti racism club. I'm sure SUU has similar things that are multicultural kind of things. And I think those are fantastic spaces to engage in. Also, I can't speak highly enough about like general classes and using your generals in certain subject matters that you genuinely want to learn more about, you know, if you have to do humanities class, make it be about one of the subjects that you want to learn more about. And we kind of alluded it to before, but it's hard to find time to read as an undergraduate unless it's assigned for a class. So I just really love listening to podcasts, watching documentaries, just things that I can do while I'm traveling places, or maybe while I'm doing more monotonous work or washing the dishes or things. And that's a way I think that students can just be engaged with things, even if it's not their major. Another thing that I think is really wonderful is being a research assistant for professors. Um, I think there's professors probably in every department that genuinely care about these issues and know how it can be applicable in their field of study. And so I know that there's certain maybe biology professors, or professors in the School of Business, who care about the subject matters and know how they can be applied. In that space. I have a friend who is really interested, for example, in equity and just rights for black women in the healthcare system, for example, you know, so that's in the medical field, right? It's not in the humanities, but it's a way to engage with that subject matter. So I think, finding professors that care about these things, that's a great way to be working with a professional that knows these things and learn how you can engage with it too.


Dr. Lynn Vartan  41:55

And are there any trends or things that you've noticed that that you're that you think, really are not the right direction, or that have been detrimental to your experience, or that you could see to others experiences?


Aisha Lehman  42:11

Oh, that's hard, I think. I think the unfortunate thing is when someone just simply thinks that an issue doesn't apply to them, so they won't engage with it. And I think as long as people have an open mind and are willing to learn about it, then I think they're on the right page. I also think social media can be a really powerful tool, but sometimes it can be a little bit of a, just a complicated space to be in and it's not always the most factual or the most well informed space. So I think sometimes people have gotten scared of talking about race because it was talking about too much on their social media feed. And for those people I would just say, you know, find sources that you can still engage with and don't just drop the subject matter entirely, because maybe you just needed to learn it from someone else.


Dr. Lynn Vartan  42:58

Yeah, that's great advice. Thank you so much. Awesome. Well, I have one more song that I want to play and this is an artist called Naipalm, N A I P A L M and the song is crossfire or so into you so we'll get one more song here here on the apex our you're listening to KSUU thunder 91.1. Well welcome back everyone that song was crossfire or so into you both titles and Naipalm is the artist N A I P A L M. This is the APEX hour and you can find out more about us on our website, which is suu.edu/apex. There's all of our past episodes in the podcast. They're all of our past videos from events, lots of great material there. So we are finishing up our conversation with artist Aisha Lehmann, and welcome back. Oh my goodness, we have flown by this hour talking about your work and all the different things that you've experienced. And you know, just everything that about your subject matter and all these things and but I wanted to ask you one more, two more questions. One, what's next for you? Where can we follow you to next? Because you're graduating.


Aisha Lehman  48:36

That's right. Yeah, I just got accepted into a sociology Ph. D. program at University of Illinois, Chicago, which I'm really excited about. Hopefully, I'll still be able to make art but it might have to be put on hold slightly during that experience. But yeah, we'll see what happens next.


Dr. Lynn Vartan  48:52

Oh my gosh, well, that's amazing. And let's share your website. One more time, which is AishaLehmann.com L E H M A N N and your first name is spelled A I S H A. Okay. I said it right, I was trying to imagine in my mind, but I got it right. And you can check out where her work is. And if you're in Cedar City right now, for the next month, please definitely go to Summa, our Southern Utah Museum of Art, and you can see some of his work in person. Alright, it's time for our famous last question. Not famous, but just the last question I always ask, which is what's turning you on this week? And it can be anything it could be a book or a magazine or a song or movie or TV show or a favorite brand of clothing? Or I don't know an article that you read. It could be anything at all, so I should leave in what's turning you on this week? 


Aisha Lehman  49:46

I made this Thai peanut soup earlier this week, and it only took 30 minutes, which as a college student is pretty wild to have such a delicious meal for so short. So it's on The Food Blog Half Baked Barvest and it's just her Thai peanut soup, and you should make it oh my


Dr. Lynn Vartan  50:06

Oh my godness. Wait, what is the blog again? 


Aisha Lehman  50:09

Half Baked Harvest.


Dr. Lynn Vartan  50:11

Half Baked Harvest. All right, you heard it here. This has been great. Thank you. I've really enjoyed getting to know you and your work. And I just wish you all the best of luck in grad school can't wait to have you back when your next exhibit exhibition is hitting the big leagues. Thank you so much. Awesome. Thanks, everyone. We'll see you next time. Thanks so much for listening to the apex hour here on KSUU t under 91.1. Come find us again next Thursday at 3pm for more conversations with the visiting guests at Southern Utah University, and new music to discover for your next playlist. And in the meantime, we would love to see you at our events on campus. To find out more, check out suu.edu/apex Until next week, this is Lynn Vartan saying goodbye from the apex hour here on thunder 91.1