Week 8-Classmate Conversation-Jasmine Figueroa

This week I had the pleasure of meeting Jasmine Figueroa. Jasmine is a second year, like me, and is planning to major in psychology. She commutes to CSULB from Compton, which she says is only about 15 minutes away by freeway.

A piece of art that she would like to share with everyone is making bouquets of flowers. I thought this was very creative because people would usually think about traditional mediums, such as painting/drawing and ceramics. She says that she has lots of flowers at home. In her spare time, Jasmine and her mom would make bouquets out of different flowers. She would like to share this because it’s easy and its something everyone can do. After hearing that, I asked her what her favorite flower was and she said it was a Jasmine flower! What a coincidence.

The next topic we discussed was whether or not we would be supportive if our child decided to pursue an art career. Jasmine admitted that although she would hope to be supportive, she would still worry about how here child would end up in the future. This was understandable, and quite frankly, I agreed with her as well.

After our discussions, we then opened up our phone to look at the home pages of our phone. I had a samsung, she had an iphone. Our homepages were basically the pre-downloaded apps that came when we purchased the phone. One notable similarity was that we both had two unread messages! Overall, I really enjoyed meeting her and hope to get to know her more.

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Week 7-Artist Conversation-Dulce Soledad Ibarra

Exhibition Information:

Artist: Dulce Soledad Ibarra
Exhibition: Manos De Oro
Media: Mixed-Media
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov-East
Website: dulcesoledadibarra.com
Instagram: N/A

About the Artist:

Dulce Soledad Ibarra is a 25-year-old senior undergraduate getting her BFA here at CSULB. She is from Chino, California and worked in a museum for five years installing work before she realized she wanted to become a sculpture. Instead of installing other people’s artwork, she wanted to install her own. She started off painting and drawing, and although she is now getting her BFA in sculpturing, only started sculpturing a year ago.  All her life, Ibarra has grown up poor and has seen her father work all his life so that he can provide a living for her family. He is the one in her video in the gallery, and he visited the gallery on opening night with her brother. Her father and brother were both so amazed and so touched and so proud of her. Her brother even cried because of all the emotions.

Formal Analysis: When you first walk in, the first thing your eyes are drawn to is a regular lawnmower with some parts of it covered with gold leaflets. In the background, there is a video playing of a Mexican gardener cutting lawns, bushes, etc. with Mexican music echoing throughout the gallery. On the walls, there are various gardening tools painted gold, such as a hoe and a shovel. They are placed on the wall in an “x” form, resembling a code of arms of some sort. On the floor, there are different parts of the lawnmower covered with gold leaflets.

Content Analysis:

This gallery was created to pay an homage to her father’s hard work in life. In her family, goals were seen as gold; it was something that if you achieve it, you would be rewarded with money. Her father has worked all his life and even though he was a gardener, he still felt pride in his work and his machine. He kept his machines nice and new, so she resembled that in her work by covering the lawnmower with gold. She wanted to showcase that all people’s hands were made of “gold”, but some have to work harder than others.

Synthesis/My Experience:

I really liked the message behind her gallery. It was touching to see how she dedicated her whole gallery to her father. I thought the gold leaflets on the parts was an interesting concept, because I haven’t seen anything like it before. Although the lawnmower first caught my eye, the one aspect I liked the most was the gold hoe and shovel on the wall put into an “x” like feature. Ibarra was very proud of her work and in a way, I feel like she was rightfully showing off her dad as the good, hardworking man he is. One day, I hope I can give back to my dad and say thank you to him as well, like how she did. 20161005_125156.jpg

Week 6-Art Experience-Flip Book

I have made a flip book before in third grade for art class. I made a fish swimming from one side to the other. Although it seemed simple, I remember I had trouble putting the fish in the same spot and having it look exactly the same while still making it move ever so slightly. I had that same problem doing the flipbook this week. For this flipbook, I decided to pay an homage to my third-grader self and do a spin off of the fish swimming. Going from a small, measly guppy (that was my pet fish at that time) and upgrading to a big, beautiful, plump goldfish, I decided to make mine follow a worm and then eat it.

My initial idea was to do those cool moving stick figures that you see moving on the desktop. Once I started, however, I realized the truth. I did not have the artistic capabilities to start something so detailed and complicated. Just focusing on each limb was a challenge enough, so I decided to change my ideas.

The part that was especially hard was getting the mouth open ever so slightly with each index card. You would have to change it enough so that there is a change, but not so much that it goes from a straw hole to a crater in 3 pages.

Overall, I was very proud of myself, just like I was in the third grade. 20161002_231252

 

Week 6-Artist Conversation-Sheila Rodriguez

Exhibition Information

Artist: Sheila Garrett Rodriguez
Exhibition: Were We Even Here
Media: Mixed-Media
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery
Website: http://www.sheilagarrettrodriguez.com/
Instagram: @sheilagarrettrodriguez

About the Artist:

Sheila Rodriguez is an LA-based artist currently attending CSULB as a graduate to obtain her MFA. She also attended CSULB as an undergraduate and specialized in drawing and painting. Her favorite food is Mexican cuisine, mainly tamales. She comes from a Mexican background, and this show was created to represent her heritage. Her mother’s side has been here in America for many generations, and her grandfather comes from Mexico City. Her family lived in a time when the United States was segregated. Although they kept their traditions alive through weaving and embroidery within the household, they had to assimilate to the different culture outside their home.

Formal Analysis:

When you first walk into the gallery, your eyes are immediately drawn to the wooden bed in the center of the floor. In the middle of the bed, there were some woven multi-color threads. On the walls of the gallery, there were a multitude of different pieces that represented the home. One piece would be a screen that you would find on a window, another would be a piece of wall that seemed like it was just knocked out of a home and placed in her gallery due to all the cracks and uneven edges. All of her pieces had one aspect that tied them all together: the woven pink roses made out of thread. In another part of the gallery, she had projector in a dark room that displayed a video of someone crushing corn, relating her back to her roots.

Content Analysis:

This gallery was meant for her to piece together her heritage. She uses furniture to convey this message because it is something we all grow up with and is passed down from generation to generation. She uses features of the house to symbolize the line between the outside world and one’s private area. This concept can be traced back to her childhood, a time when she freely practiced her heritage inside the home, but had to maintain a different identity when she stepped foot outside. She then begins to question the idea of identity and asks us to think about it as we walked around the gallery.

Synthesis/My Experience

This was an interesting gallery because it was based off the regular things we see at home everyday. The bed, the window screen, the chair. However, we all begin to take these things for granted because we see it everyday in our lives. It really made me think about how much these everyday items shaped me. Of course, I knew that the way I am today is the product of how I was raised in my home. But the way she incorporated the physical features of the home was very unique and different. These physical features tells us about our heritage. For example, in my home, we have things that make it distinguishable ours. We have an alter to represent our religion, we have porcelain plates from Vietnam, etc. These things represent our culture and identity and I don’t know if I could really be the same without those things.

 

Wk. 5-Artist Conversation-Jane Weibel

Exhibition Information:

Artist: Jane Weibel
Exhibition: Psycho Cycle
Media: Mixed-media
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery-East, Gatov Gallery-West
Website: http://www.janeweibel.com/
Instagram: @janemargarette

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.

Formal Analysis:

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.

Content Analysis

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.

Synthesis/My Experience

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.

Wk. 4- Art Experience- Automatic Drawing

This art experience of the week was very relaxing. Sitting down, just relaxing, letting the pencil do the work; takes less energy than going to the beach and making plasters! (although that was fun). Although it was recommended that we do this in a small, quiet, dark room, I decided to do this in front of an empty shop. Although it took us awhile to get relaxed, we succeeded by closing our eyes followed with deep breaths. In the first few minutes, the pencil did not move at all; we had too much pressure on the pencil. We forced ourselves to get less tense. I stretched out my shoulders and began to slouch. I honestly got a little sleepy. After that, the pencil began to move to the rhythm of our breathes and it created the first layer made of pencil. After seeing what we created, we decided to do a second layer with red. Our finished product was a bunch of curves and sharp edges; basically random turns. Overall, I enjoyed stopping for a moment to just relax. It’s so interesting to see how the effects of relaxation being turned into a piece of art!

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Wk. 4 – Artist Conversation -Jan TalmadgeDavids

Exhibition Information:

Artist: Jan TalmadgeDavids
Exhibition: To Hold a Letter To the Light
Media: Ceramics
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Merlino Gallery
Website: N/A
Instagram: N/A

About the Artist:

Jan Talmadge Davids is a local artist here, residing in Huntington Beach. She is about 45-years old and is currently on route in getting her BFA in Ceramics. Although Jan is currently a rising artist, she started off by majoring in a field completely unrelated to art: anthropology. I find this aspect truly inspiring because it just shows that your passion can become your career if you work hard enough. Jan was married for a time, but is now using her time to focus on her artwork.

Formal Analysis

When you first walk into the gallery, you are met with hanging notes made out of ceramic. It is aesthetically pleasing, with the dim lights hanging along with the notes. Some of the hanging ceramics were made to be paper, and others were made to resemble envelopes. The paper was made to have some texture to it, as if it was an old note that had just surfaced. Some papers were wavy, others were semi-straight, and some were crumpled. It was truly amazing how she created these envelopes because the notes were written on the inside of the clay envelope and the audience would have to use a flashlight to read through the ceramics. In the two corners would be crumpled up paper-like ceramics that also had some sort of writing on it.

Content Analysis

The idea behind her work was to showcase the memories she had throughout her life. This gallery allows us to see her life in her own perspective, rather than just simply reading about it. Because of the way this gallery is set up, we see her own emotions and her own thoughts; she shows us the vulnerable side of her. This is interesting because the everyday people try to keep this vulnerable side hidden to the public. These significant factors on the notes tell the story of an ordinary person who faces hardships based on her emotions, her love life, her gender, etc. Each of the notes or envelopes that were hanging spelled out a little snippet of her life. For example, in one of the envelopes, she talks about how she would use her “woman card” to get new tires for her car. In this, she satirically shows how the female gender, because they do not know anything about cars, are more likely to get conned into buying car parts for high prices. As for the notes inside the envelope, I feel like those hold her more intimate details and the more secretive side to her. It is something she was hesitant about sharing, but still chose to anyways. The crumpled pieces on the floor in the corner shows her thought process put into the gallery and which memory she deemed important enough to be read by the audience.

Synthesis/My Experience

I was drawn to this gallery immediately because of the hanging envelopes. I thought this was a creative and unique gallery. It didn’t have paintings or photography like the other galleries; it was interactive. We were told to use flashlights to help us read some of the notes that were inside the envelopes. I enjoyed how personal her art was. Usually, people don’t really talk about having sex in all the rooms (written on one of her notes), but it adds a different perspective to the situation. It shows how much passion there was in her relationship and how in love they were for that time. The gender equality aspect also made me think. In one of her notes, she states how her woman card would get her into paying $400 dollars for a car part she didn’t need. Although that did not happen to me, I feel like I have been ripped off while going to an auto shop because of my gender. It was a simple gallery, but it carried meaning, and that was why I was drawn to it.

Wk. 3- Artist Conversation- SOA Art Maker Society

Exhibition Information:

Artist: SOA Maker Society
Exhibtion: Interactive Gallery
Media: Mixed Media
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Dutzi Gallery
Website: N/A
Instagram: N/A

About the Artist:

There were two girls sitting at the booth when I first walked in: Ellen Phan and Ellis Giba, both board members of the SOA Makers Society Club here at CSULB. Because Ellen Phan was busy helping out another student, I decided to interview Ellis Giba. Giba is currently an undergraduate student within the School of Art Studio Arts Program. She likes studio art because it allows her to work with a variety of mediums. She’s not sure what she wants to specify in yet, but she is leaning towards animation. When I asked her about her career goals and her plan in 5 years, she just simply states that she wants to be a wholesome, humble individual. Although she plans on having a career, Giba says her career comes second, and if anything, her career will help her achieve her goal of being the person she wishes to become.

Formal Analysis

All the galleries were unique in their own simple way. One gallery would use music to enhance the viewer’s art experience; Another gallery would use a projector to give the artwork more dimension. This gallery differed from the rest of them because it was created to be an interactive gallery. Each wall had a different setting where the audience could come in and put their own creative spin to the already existing artwork. On one wall would be origami instructions; another wall would have beautiful chalk artwork drawn on black cardboard paper. Right in the middle of the floor, there is an interactive block art piece, where it was encouraged for you to build whatever you wanted using these blocks.

Content Analysis:

The purpose of this gallery was to show the audience that you don’t have to be an “artist” to be an artist. It also allows us to see that art doesn’t have to be boring. In traditional galleries, the viewers are expected to walk around and just view the art. This gallery, however, wanted to break that stereotype and show us that we can have fun with the art itself. The artists behind this gallery was very determined in getting people to view art in a different way; that it doesn’t have to be looked down upon or be viewed as something that is unobtainable because one “might not be good at drawing”. Here, it shows that anyone can be an artist, whether you’re folding origami, doodling with chalk, or building blocks. Also, another very important goal of this gallery was to get the audience out of their normal routine and use their creative mind to create something.

Synthesis/ My Experience

Although I enjoyed all the other galleries, this gallery really resonated with me because I liked the message the artist was trying to point out. As colleges get more competitive, many students in high school are forgetting about art and only focusing on math or science. Many young people do not understand the importance of art and usually overlook it to take more STEM classes. However, I believe we only progress when there is art. Because art stimulates creativity, we would need it to improve as a society. Without art, our world would be monotonous and grey, with people thinking the same way. However, a creative mind can step out of the mundane routine and see a different path; a path that can lead our society to a better place.

 

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Wk. 3 – Classmate Conversation – Hannah Adams

This week I had the wonderful pleasure of meeting Hannah during our tour of the galleries. Her major is currently biology. When I asked her about her future plans and future career paths, she told me, with enthusiasm, that her goal was to become a high school teacher. As I got to know her more, I realized that we had many things in common. For example, we both watched the TV show, Supernatural. When she isn’t doing homework, Hannah likes to spend her time reading science fiction novels written by her favorite author, John Crichton. She even pulled out her book that she readily had available in her bag to show me how to spell his name.

Hannah has had some prior art experience in high school. She told me how she was exposed to a variety of mediums to portray her art, such as painting and photography. This differed from my experience since I focused more on digital art. Although there was no question of the  week, we managed to come up with our own. We discussed whether or not art was an important aspect of academics. She agreed with me, saying that art was important because it keeps a person unique. Art keeps the brain from becoming monotone and helps creativity grow. Without creativity, there would be no innovations, no technological advances, no inspiration.

All in all, Hannah was an incredible person to talk to, so check out her website here! https://hannahadamsart.wordpress.com/

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Wk. 2: Landscape with a Corpse

This was a very weird experience for me; I never thought I would be planning my own death. I had many questions about this project: How should my face look? Where should my scene be? How should I position my body? What props do I need? What should the camera angle be? What am I going to die from?

I first started to think about my lifestyle and personality. I decided to do mine with a little bit of self-deprecating humor. I looked at my flaws, and I asked “What do I do right now that can kill me?” My first idea was food. Although it was an exaggeration, I believed that food was going to be the death of me because I would eat so much to the point where I feel like I am going to get a heart attack. Another idea that crossed my mind was taking the portrait in a car, because I feel like I am a very reckless driver.

But the idea I settled on was the photos you see below. I just thought about how bad of a cook I am that if I tried, I would surely kill myself. So, in the photo, I die from trying to make food for myself. I used props, such as the pan and the spatula. When I first started taking pictures, I found it really hard to play dead. My body looked awkward and I had half a smile on my face. To correct this, I had my photographer point out what I needed to change before he snapped the shot.

Although I found it a little unusual, I really enjoy this project. It forced me to think about things I usually don’t ever think of. Every time I went somewhere, I would always wonder to myself if this would make a good setting for my photo shoot. It gave me reason to brainstorm and think creatively about things other than the usual biology or political science (the other classes I am taking).

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Wk. 2 Classmate Conversation: Laura Lockett

This week, I had the lovely pleasure of meeting Laura Locket, a second year like me, who is going into social work. She had on a cute summer dress and a bright bubbly personality to match it with. She wasn’t afraid to be open and speak her mind. I also adored her hair. I love how different it was and how full and thick it looked even when it was in braids. She explained to me that she needed to get hair redone. Her hair artist, who lives in Georgia, travels across the U.S. to do hair and now Laura is waiting for her to come back to California. In class, we just talked about our majors and our back-up plans. We were both in very competitive majors, hers being social work, mine being nursing so we just casually joked abIMG_1709out the “what ifs”. She also told me about her plans after class, which was going to a baseball game with her boyfriend. I was excited for her, because I have never been to a professional baseball game myself.

We then moved on to the discussion. We agreed that art was something that had no limits and that anything and everything could be considered art. Because of the famous cliche saying “Beauty is in the eye of the Beholder”, what one considers trash can have immense value for a different person. An example of that would be the washing machine barrel mentioned in Week 1 Discussion video. It was a beat up barrel with bullet holes in it, but the artist saw value in it and gave it a place in his gallery. Art can be anything as long as someone sees the beauty and value in it.

Plaster Casting at the Beach

For this project, I went to Huntington Beach on Saturday at three o’ clock p.m. I add this little detail because I wanted to share some events with you that happened during my experience. This was the first time I ever plastered or made a mold or done anything like this. There were a lot of people at the beach, which is not a surprise since it was 80 degrees on a Saturday. When I got there, I set up my station near the waves, next to an organization that had an event going on. This organization, called Life Rolls On, had a big turnout, with at least 50 people showing up. Seeing this, I should have moved so I could have more space, but laziness overcame me and I decided to stay put.

20160828_210644[1]Me and my friend began to dig holes to put our hands in. We had to do this
several times because the molds we created at the beginning kept on breaking and collapsing. After several tries, we were finally satisfied with the mold and began mixing the plaster. Once the plaster was created, we poured it in and waited for it to dry (we made three molds in total). During the drying process, we saw that the waves were inching up closer and closer to our molds, so we got a little worried. Finally a big wave hit and our plaster got soaked with seawater. Two of our molds were completely soaked. We didn’t touch the mold and we just prayed that the plaster was hard enough to not break the molding. This happened one or two more times. Also, because there were so many people around (due to the tents), the same two molds were stepped on by people who were taking group photos and bystanders. 20160828_210713[1]

When we took out the mold, we saw it wasn’t as bad as we thought it was. I didn’t realize how fragile the plaster was until I took it out of the sand. As I dug, chunks of my plastered
finger were coming off. In one mold, I am missing three fingers. But, our third mold stayed intact with all five.
All in all, I think it was a good experience. It shows us that although we are doing work, we’re still having fun. I would integrate this into a part of my life when I wanna have a break from life and create/do something fun and interesting. I learned a new, different, creative way to make gifts that show people that I put a lot of thought and energy in it. It was great, and I would definitely take the time to do it again!