Artist: Jane Weibel
Exhibition: Psycho Cycle
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery-East, Gatov Gallery-West
About the Artist:
Jane Weibel is an undergraduate at CSULB and is aiming for her BA in ceramics. She started ceramics a long time ago, just taking a class to fulfill her needed GE’s. As time went on, she began to grow a passion for ceramics, from making the traditional pots and vases to making beautiful sculptures. Her art takes inspiration from her life, using experiences and memories to create her pieces, as well as inspiration from other artists. She started her ceramics career in community college in San Diego, and then worked her way to CSULB. As her time here at CSULB is nearing an end, Weibel is looking forward to grad school, having her sights on UCLA.
Although Weibel is getting her BA in ceramics, this gallery that she produced had a collection of mixed media. Her gallery, named Psycho Cycle, had photographs, sculptures, and overall interesting pieces that all conveyed her overall message. One piece that I was very interested in was the line of photographs connected by a clip. It showed the process of women lifting up rocks. One photo would have a women squatting, the next would have the women pulling up the rock, and the sequence would just continue. Another interesting piece of hers was the photograph of a women in between a hanging 3D stone and the 3D fire.
In her message towards the audience, she bluntly says, “I am a Feminist.” She acknowledges that the phrase is deeply stigmatized by society and that she felt somewhat uneasy for proclaiming such a title. Through her first-hand experiences, she created this gallery to explore the emotions of women and the troubles they face because of their gender. For example, the women between the rock and the fire was to symbolize how no matter what, a women cannot escape her troubles no matter how hard she tries; her gender will always be the source of her problems. Relating this back to her own personal experience, Weibel told us a story of how she was treated differently because she was a woman. She noticed this contrast while shopping at Home Depot for her art supplies. Because she was a woman, she was treated as if she didn’t know what to look for or how to use the supplies they had at Home Depot. She also explained to us that she knew it was a very minute contrast and that she knew they were trying to be friendly, but it was the fact that it was ingrained in their minds, because of society, that she didn’t know how to use tools. And these minute contrasts build up over time and happens over and over again where it would have a large impact on society’s perspective of woman. For example, one could say, “Oh, women don’t know how to use tools”. From there, one could jump to, “Oh, women don’t know how to do build things”, and finally, “Oh, women can’t do it”. Throughout her gallery, Weibel expresses her feelings of society trapping women specifically because of their gender.
When I first walked into the gallery, I was a little confused. I saw the rock and fire, I saw a shredder, I saw a colorful house made out of plastic wires, and I didn’t know what it all meant. Later, when I found her letter to the audience, I knew the message she wanted to convey to her audience. However, after talking to her, I then realized what she wanted to symbolize through each art piece. Each art piece symbolized a different aspect of how women are oppressed. I really liked how she chose to convey this message because instead of just looking at it and thinking “gender inequality” or “women oppression”, her art pieces actually make you stand there for a minute and think. Overall, I enjoyed the aesthetics and the unique atmosphere of Weibel’s gallery and wish her all the best in future endeavors.