Artist: Nancy Young
Exhibition: As the Crow Flies
Media: Ink, Chemicals, Plates, Matrices, Grease and water pencil
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Dennis W. Dutzi Gallery
Nancy Young is going for her BFA in CSULB’s printmaking program. She originally came to school here many years back but was unsure of life plan at the time and wasn’t sure if college was right for her as well as what to do here. Along with that, she was also falling prey to drugs and ended up getting kicked out of school. When she did decide to focus on school though, she took a printmaking class for fun and ended up finding it really exciting and loving it and actually applying to go under the program.
When you walk into her exhibit, it looks like drawings to the untrained eye. Nancy’s works looked very textured and she very much encouraged us to touch her pieces of art. Many of the works fit under a few categories which were: prints in frames, prints on canvas, and etchings on metal plates but the way she set up the exhibit makes them all flow together nicely.
When doing this exhibit, Nancy had the whole idea of focusing on where you’re going and having a good plan because then you can concentrate on what’s around you in more detail which is what her prints do. Printmaking is kind of like taking what a in front of you and putting your own touch on it to make it yours. In her journey, she’s had to deal with personal issues involving her dogs and grief as well as loss because she lost her husband 9 years ago. With this exhibit, it feels like she’s showing us a bit of how her life has been going.
Her work feels very real and very personal and she even told us that she doesn’t like getting inspiration from internet because if she gets inspired there, chances are so has someone else and they’re going to end up with similar work. I don’t really think you can copy the rawness of her work though, it’s very textured which I really like seeing and it’s just overall quite eye-catching.
This is Leah Perez, she was born and raised on the West Side of Long Beach. She is a third year here at CSULB. Her major is Child development, but she is still doesn’t know what she wants to do or be with this. I thought it was interesting because she is a twin, and she’s actually mixed with Samoan, Salvadorian, and Japanese which I think is really cool because it blends a lot of different culture into her life. She said she is currently working on bettering herself as in going to school, work, and working on her health and staying positive. She likes going to the beach, playing basketball, hanging out with her family, and doing karaoke. Her favorite food is pho and she really enjoys Chinese food. Besides that, she told me she is very passionate about music, although she doesn’t actually really sing or make music, she just likes to listen to 24/7 because she says it helps gets her through the day. In the future she sees herself graduated and hopefully working at a job she loves as well as having her own place.
When I found out we were going to be sketching in the gardens, I was looking forward to it since I feel like I’m semi good at drawing so I felt it’d be easy enough to do. When I read we were going to be doing three realistic and three abstract though, I got kind of worried about the abstract since I felt it was going to get confusing and difficult and to me, it was. I wasn’t sure what to do and since I had actually gone to sketch on Wednesday, long before I got the email that the class would be going on Thursday together to the Japanese Gardens, I had already done my own interpretation of what abstract was, which, if I’m being honest, looks like realistic drawing but I did my best. Overall, it was fun because I like taking nature shots and drawing is pretty relaxing so I enjoyed it.
Artist: Nick Bamford
Media: Plaster wood, Urethane, Foam, Found objects
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Max L. Gatov Gallery East
Nick Bamford is originally from Huntington Beach and is now an undergraduate here at Cal State Long Beach. He’s going to graduate this year from the Ceramics Program within the School of Art. He actually has a younger sister but she’s an accountant letting us know that art actually does not run in his family. Although he always liked art and drawing as a kid, it really brought him in when he took a ceramics class in high school which has caused him to pursue it for ten years now. Besides sculpture and ceramics, he also plays guitar but doesn’t do much else because art takes up all of his time.
When going though the doors of the exhibit, you have to go through two pieces of black fabric and as soon as you step in, you can see why. Going in, the first thing you notice is how abstract the sculptures are. They’re made of “found objects” as Nick says and they’re strewn together in quite the seemingly random fashion. Besides these found objects, the next main thing you notice is the blacklight factor. At first I had thought the lights within the sculptures were just normal lights but then I noticed my shirt as well as other peoples’ clothes reflecting color from the lights.
When asked what inspired him, Nick said he liked doing things spur of the moment. He prefers to just do intuitive work and to just let things happen. In this exhibition, he tried to bring found objects together to create a new piece. He even said he wanted to do his exhibition in the dark because no one else really does it. Another thing I found interesting was that he said there was no specific message to the audience, he wants people to interpret his work however they want.
Nicks favorite piece is the one with the shopping cart because it was the most difficult to build and I thought that was kind of funny, knowing he appreciates a challenge. Other than that, I thought it was really cool that he used blacklights because that was the first time I’d ever seen that and I’m pretty sure most people don’t. Another thing that was interesting was how he incorporated them into the sculptures because he made everything feel as if it was supposed to be together like that and that all these found objects were made to be together the way he put them. Lastly, it was fun to look at the sculptures from different angles and be able to get a whole different perspective on the works as if you were looking at something new.
This is Nancy Tran. She’s a second year here at CSULB under health care administration. She has a younger brother who is a senior in high school and she’s originally from around Pasadena but now rents an apartment with roommates. She wants to be a nurse and really likes helping people in general. Her favorite food is sushi, her favorite color is purple, and on her own time, she likes baking, swimming, watching dramas, and trying out new food.
Artist: Tiffany Le
Media: Watercolor pencils and inks, Charcoal, Acrylic paint, Pens, Funeral paper
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Dennis W. Dutzi Gallery
Tiffany is in her last semester of her third year here at CSULB. She is getting her MFA in the school’s illustration program. She is from Garden Grove and in her free time, likes to hike, go to gallery shows, and she also wants to get back into kendo which is a form of fencing. She also has bunnies which she likes showing off, dressing up, and taking cute pictures of because she finds them very cute. When she finishes up here, she hopes to do freelance and studio work.
When I walked into Tiffany’s exhibit, I immediately knew I wanted to do my artist conversation with her. In the center of the room, there is a big paper boat surrounded by many smaller boats of different sizes. Many of the boats had led candle lights inside them and I was able to see the exhibit when she turned off the lights and closed the door and it was very pretty. The boats were made of funeral paper as well as other types of paper and they had inkings of drawings of the stuff that the people on these boats would bring with them. On the walls were visualizations of the journey that they were going through while traveling across the ocean.
When working on this exhibition, Tiffany was inspired by culture context, thinking about her family background and how her family and many other refugees from their home land had traveled across the ocean. Many people were lost and died on their journey and she used funeral paper with red inkings as a form of respect and tribute to them and all that happened. She has a background in comparative literature and mythology and likes to use that to relate back to the humanitities.
Hearing her talk about her exhibit really made me wonder about some of the history because she just talked about it so well. Like she said she always felt at odds since she was born and raised here in the U.S. but people saw her as a foreigner and she didn’t understand why people wouldn’t see her like one of them. I understand that because as a child you feel like everybody else until your culture and society introduces you into different types of thinking such as that not everyone is the same. I just really liked her exhibit because of how she pulled it off and expressed everything she was thinking and feeling while paying tribute to her family tree.
This is Cassandra Topete. She is a Psychology major here at Cal State Long Beach. She really likes Long Beach because it’s close to the beach and she really enjoys hanging out there with friends in her free time. Her favorite color is purple and I liked that because mine is too and she also really like Hercules. Cassandra is a first year and is currently dorming because she is from Central Valley but says she is liking it so far.
This week for our art experience, we did something different and it kind of made me see things in a new way. I had never really deeply thought about capturing ephemeral experiences like Turning Pages in photographs or words to be very different from the actual experience. Obviously, the kind of experience truly makes the difference but nonetheless, I’m not sure if words and picture truly can capture the experience because sometimes a camera lens puts what’s in front of it to a grand fault or doesn’t capture everything, doesn’t capture the motion or the vibrancy or the joy or horror and the same goes for words. Many times experiences are just too indescribable to put into words and so words, no matter the form, are just not quite enough.The only other way to share an experience that I can think of is to film it and that way, you can see everything going on as well as hear it but that also has it’s own restraints.
I do believe the act of trying to document an experience takes away from the experience because then you’re more likely to be more focused on trying to get a good shot by perfecting the angle and lighting of the picture and you’d be more focused on documenting then actually participating.
My experiences between not taking pictures at the library and taking pictures at the bookstore were different because I felt more immersed and not distracted while in the library while when I was in the bookstore, taking pictures was most of my focus.
When it comes to having new insights about the nature of spaces, I reflect back on the library experience and I find it so weird that when we were reading in the downstairs area, they wanted us to leave because it wasn’t for reading even though we were in a library and I just found that ironic but I was thinking how if it was only a few of us, they wouldn’t have said anything but since it was so many of us, I felt that they probably were overwhelmed and thought we were going to do something bad.
Artist: Helen Werner Cox
Exhibition: Silent Screams
Media: Pastels, oil paint, permanent marker, water paint
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West
Helen Werner Cox is a graduate student working toward her MFA in the drawing and painting in the figurative track program here at CSULB. On her own time she loves to low water garden and read. In fact, she was a librarian for seventeen years. Besides that though, she tought art for thirty years in many different settings such as in high risk communities in community centers as well as middle and high schools. She originally went to college at Boston University as a painting major but then changed to art education. She was born in New York and moved around a lot on the east coast but would say that she really grew up around Ithica, New York and she says she decided to move here to California because she was tired of all the rain and snow. It really hit her hard when she moved here and she wasn’t quite so popular anymore and she had to start all over. She did get her footing back though and she ended up retiring at fifty-five.
Helen’s work has very active lines. This basically means that you can really see the motion in it and that makes her work pop quite a bit because it seems as if it’s about to go back into motion. Another thing that helps with that is that she blurs some things very well in order to help enhance the motion and overall rawness to the work. Her pieces often feel like they’re the straight work of first time ideas flowing onto paper and I love that about them. That she can make a very professional piece of work have the passion of a first time idea.
When it comes to Helen’s work, it’s a very simple but complicated idea. It’s insinuating the idea of life. One day Helen just woke up with the image of an antique carousel with adults with problems riding on the horses and that’s where this whole idea started. People just go around in circles with the same constant problems all the time but as she says, if you’re lucky enough and have enough momentum, you can fall out of that circle and onto your own new path that will hopefully lead you to a successful life.
As soon as I saw this exhibition, I absolutely loved it and it just caught my attention so dramatically. In the beginning, I didn’t really realize why but then when I read the artist’s statement and actually talked with Helen, I understood why. Helen was the absolute best and she was so sweet and I loved her story and it just caught me really well because some of the things she was talking about, I needed to hear in retrospective to my own path in life with what I’m doing because it’ll help me choose a better path for myself and not just stay in a never ending circle of problems. In the end, I really loved Helen’s art because it just really popped for me. I though it was ironic that for the first picture I show, Helen was going to cut off the strip at the bottom to remove the paint drips but then she decided against it because she liked how chaotic and sort of 3D it looked and I couldn’t agree with her more. I also found it funny how she pointed out that in a way she has also come full circle. She started in art when she first went to college, then branched off to art education, then to being a librarian, and now she’s back to art again though it’s in a different setting. In the end, I think she’s had a great journey and I’m sure she will continue to succeed.
This week for our art experience, we instagrammed. I thought this was going to be more awkward because I only really post every once in a while and it felt weird knowing I had to post and had to seek out things to take pictures of. In any case though, I like taking pictures so this was fun. Looking at all our pictures, you could see many similarities in that many people posted places in CSULB or food or our pets and it seems many of us have similar interests so that was interesting to see. It does feel like a community while also each and every one of us having our individual lives but still being connected in one way or another.