For this week’s art experience, we went to the Japanese Gardens and sketched three representative and three abstract drawings. After that, we then took three representative and three abstract pictures. For the representative sketches, I decided to draw a tree, a duck, and the pond. For the abstract sketches, I drew the outline of a fish under water, the trail of waves behind a duck, and an abstract image of a tree. I really liked this part of the art experience because it involved an old hobby of mine that I used to have, drawing. Although my drawing skills were not what they used to be, I still had a lot of fun do it. For the representative pictures, I took pictures of a small statue, the island in the middle of the pond, and a small tree. Then the abstract pictures I took were of the tree leaves moving because of the wind, the trail of waves behind the ducks, and the water moving because the fish had just swam by. Overall, this art experience was really cool because it involved a trip to the Japanese Gardens and I was able to do some drawing along the way.
For this week’s art experience, we each were given another classmate’s address and were to create a care package to mail to them. At first, I was not really sure what to put in it but after going through my room, I found a couple of things that I thought would be cool. The first thing that I found was a colorful wristband that I had that I had never worn before. I thought that since I never wore it and had no use for it, maybe someone else would like it. The other things that I put in the care package were old tickets that I still had from movies and events I went to go see. Some of the movie tickets were from movies that I really liked and I thought that maybe giving the classmate the tickets would remind them from the time that they went to go see that certain movie or if they have not seen it yet, maybe it will make them want to go see it. The other two tickets were from a comedy show I went to and a volleyball match. Like the movie tickets, maybe those two tickets will make them want to go see that comedian’s show or want to go watch a volleyball match with their friends. All of those tickets were of great times that I had so I put them in the envelope to hopefully make the classmate want to go create some of their own. In ways, an ACP is both similar and different to Snapchat. They are similar in the fact that they can both be sent to someone and can contain a picture or show the other person where they have been. The difference between the two though is that a Snapchat can only be a video or picture that will last a couple seconds, while an ACP can contain a picture or any item that you can keep forever. Overall, this was a cool art experience because it made me think and take my time in trying to decide what to put in the care package and I am interested to see what I get in the mail.
For this week’s classmate conversation, the person that I interviewed was the best student in the class, Danielle Dallas. She is a Sophomore at CSULB and is a Communication major with a minor in Marketing. In her free time, she likes to hangout with her friends, go to the beach, watch movies, go to parties, and play her ukulele. When I asked her if she had to be an animal the rest of her life what would it be, she said she would like to be a dog. She then continued on and said that she would like to be a wealthy family’s dog because they are “living the life” and dogs are so happy and energetic and live without a care in the world. I then asked her who her favorite music artist is and what her favorite song at the time is. She responded by saying her favorite artist is Fetty Wap and that her favorite song is “What’s Luv” by Fat Joe ft. Ja-Rule and Ashanti. For the final question, I asked her if she were to win the lottery, what would be the first thing that she would buy? She told me that the first thing she would buy is a new house for her mom wherever she wants. She said that she would actually just go to her and ask her what she wants and anything that she would ask for her she would get because she loves her mom. Overall, I had a fun conversation with Danielle and even though we were already friends, it was cool to be able to learn new things about her.
Artist: Ihab Ali
Exhibition: Eye Witness
Media: Dry wall, property lights, black sheeting
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Marilyn Werby Gallery
Website: No Website
For this week’s artist conversation, we got to meet with artist Ihab Ali. Ali is currently an undergraduate at California State University of Long Beach and is working towards his Bachelors of Fine Arts. For the CSULB School of Art, he is in the Ceramics program but what is funny is that in art show that we saw, it consisted of no ceramics. The ideas that his art explores come from his childhood growing up in the Middle East and he uses them to show others what it was like. When asked what his interests are, he said that whenever he has free time, he uses it to keep working on his art and it shows how much dedication he has for what he does.
Ihab Ali’s art show did not consist of the typical art work you would expect. Instead of paintings or statues, he created a maze for the viewers to go through. In his maze, he used dry wall, bullet holes, fake blood, and dark lighting to create an environment that resembled a building in the middle east right after the neighborhood had just been bombed. The first time I went through it I was a little scared because I thought things were going to pop out at me. His use of the dark lighting and the siren going on in the room made the maze really intense and you were not sure what to expect. With the use of all his props and tools, he was able to create an environment that kept you on your toes the whole way.
After speaking to Ihab and going through his maze, it was easy to understand what he was trying to portray. For him, that environment was what most of his childhood looked like while growing up in Syria. He created this maze because he wanted to show all the other people what it was like to live in the Middle East because most of us had never dealt with situations like that before. He was able to create a first person point of view for us and in my experience, it was scary. After going through his maze, it really opened my eyes to how lucky we have it living in America where we do not have to deal with that kind of violence.
Overall, I really liked Ihab Ali’s art show and for me, I think it was the most creative one I have seen so far this semester. I thought it was really cool how instead of using paintings or sculptures to portray his message, he created an environment that the viewers could walk through and see and hear what it was like to live in the Middle East. Being raised in California, I have never had to deal with those kinds of situations and had only seen terrorism on the news or in movies. So being able to go through a first person point of view experience was both scary and cool for me at the same time. With the space that Ali was given, he was able to use his way of art to create a great representation of the life in the Middle East and made it really easy for the viewers to understand what he was trying to portray.
Artist: Jennifer Chen
Media: Print making and Digital Print
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West
Website: No Website
Instagram: No Instagram
For this week’s artist conversation, we got to meet with artist Jennifer Chen. Chen is currently a graduate at California State University of Long Beach and is in her last semester working towards her Masters in Fine Arts. For the CSULB School of Art, she is in the Print Making program and one thing I learned about her that I thought was really cool is that she has a Bachelor’s degree in Biology. Her interests vary from both art and science and they show in her art work by merging them together. When she earns her Masters after this semester, Chen will then be teaching Art 270 for the fall semester.
Jennifer Chen’s art consists of mainly print making, but she likes to add her own thing to them after. Some of the things she likes to do to her prints include watercolors and putting gloss on it to make it stick out more. With these additions to her art pieces, the texture of her art work is rigid. The colors in her art work vary depending on whether it is a landscape of the city, the desert, or different locations. By using Google Earth, Chen is able to get her prints and then brings more life into them.
Chen is a big fan of the ecosystem and she explains how even when it is disturbed, it will find a way to reach equilibrium again and that is why the name of her exhibit is “Succession.” Her viewpoint on this explains why in all of her art pieces, the trees in her prints have the most detail and stick out from the print. In one of her art pieces, she put pink blocks around everything that was not a tree, that way the viewer would see that the main focus of the print were the big green trees. Similar to that, in a different art piece she made the trees 3-D like and made the buildings around the trees light grey to a point where you could barely even see the buildings. With her art work, she is able to show how the ecosystem is very important.
Overall, I liked Jennifer Chen’s artwork and thought her style was very creative. She was able to use simple landscapes from Google Earth and put her own touch on it to make them really stand out. I too am a fan of the ecosystem and understand how important it is for our survival. Everyone has their own way of getting their viewpoint to people and for Jennifer Chen it is through her artwork of print making. By making the trees stand out from everything else, Chen is easily able to show the viewers what the focus of her work is.
For this week’s art experience, we used the Geocaching app to find a Geocache somewhere around our location. Luckily for me, there was one just a couple blocks down from where I lived. With the help of the map on the app and the hint telling me it was outside of the garden gates near some bushes, my sister and I were able to find it. We both had a fun time looking for it because it was like a little scavenger hunt trying to find the Geocache and it was hiding in a tricky spot in the bushes. After we found that one, my sister and I then got in my car and tried to find a place to hide my Geocache. It took us a little while, but we finally found a good place to put it. Overall, I had a fun time doing this art experience. Before this week, I had never heard of Geocaching before and now that I know what it is, it amazes me how all these Geocaches are placed everywhere throughout our communities. People probably walk by them all the time and if they do not have the app, they are missing out on finding some pretty cool items that are just waiting there to be found. Being introduced to this app has really shown me that there is so much more out there in the world and all those Geocaching experiences just waiting to happen is one example.
The coordinates for my Geocache are: 33° 51’1″ N and 118° 1’16” W
For this week’s classmate conversation, the person that I interviewed was Devon Carus. While Devon is a Marketing major, one thing that I learned about him is he likes doing poetry and does a lot of writing. For him, nature is his happy place and some other things I found out he likes to do include surfing, skating, and doing some art. Devon is also really into music and likes to listen to a lot of Rock, Blues, and Jazz. He told me that some of his favorite singers are Beck and Jack White. One thing that I thought was really cool was that he has been to a lot of concerts and even got to see Jack White perform at his concert once. I also learned that other than listening to music, Devon also plays the guitar and drums as well. Lastly, to finish off our conversation, we asked each other what our worst fear was and I found out that his is being really far into the ocean and not being able to get back to land. Overall, I had a great conversation with Devon and it was cool to learn about his passion for music.
Artist: Helen Werner Cox
Exhibition: Silent Screams
Media: Oil Paper, Oil Paint, Pastel
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West
Instagram: No Instagram
For my second artist conversation this week, I got to meet artist Helen Werner Cox. Helen is a graduate at CSULB and has her Masters in Painting & Drawing. She was born in Ithaca, New York and lived in Boston for 18 years, until she moved to Long Beach because the climate was too much for her. For this exhibit, she worked on this project for a year and three months and filled two sketch books when she went to antique carousels and took sketches. Her work explores the ideas that a carousel is a symbol and a metaphor for society on how we go in circles and keep making mistakes over and over again. Some other interests of hers include her garden that she has and that she loves to read Elizabeth George books.
Helen’s art has a strong focus on drawing tons of energy. For her art style, she borrowed techniques from futurists. Some of her art pieces are monochromatic, while others have a warm or cool feeling that complements the colors. Most of the materials Helen used to create her art work consisted of oil paper.pastels, and oil paint. In her pieces, the lines represent motion and structure. They can be seen as sinuous and as one of her middle school students explained, “Each art piece has its own story.”
Helen did not want to work in a studio alone so she went to antique carousels to get her ideas and get a first-person point of view of what she was going to make. She wanted people to see what kind of work she has done and have it be seen as museum quality work. She explained how she had been “holding crayons and pencils since before she remembers”, so she wanted people to see how all of her time and work has paid off. By using a carousel as her main focus, it is used as a metaphor of how we keep going in a circle and we never make any changes.
Overall, I thought Helen’s art work was creative and how she used the carousel as a metaphor. I understand what she is trying to portray and how we as people need to stop going in a circle making the same mistakes over and over again. Our lives do not need to be like a carousel. Instead, we need to learn from our mistakes and move on instead of having the same thing keep on happening. With Helen’s carousel art work, I believe her message is understood.
For this week’s classmate conversation, the person that I interviewed was Dominique Gomez. Dominique is a freshman here at CSULB who is majoring in Biology and is thinking of minoring in Engineering. When I asked what she wants to be in the future she said that she wants to be a veterinarian. We then started talking about sports and I learned that for college sports, she is a USC football fan and a UCLA basketball fan. For professional sports, she said that her favorite basketball team is the Golden State Warriors and her favorite football team is the Oakland Raiders. While I joked around with her by calling her a bandwagon for being a Warriors fan, I gave her a high five when she said that she likes the Raiders because that is my favorite football team too. One thing that surprised me that I learned about her is that she went to one of my high school’s rivals which was Pacifica High School where she played on the soccer team. We started talking about that and I found out that we actually know some of the same people which I thought was cool. I then asked her if she could go to one concert, what concert would she go to? She said that she would want to go to a Sam Hunt concert and I told her that I liked his music too and we talked about which songs of his were our favorite. After that, I asked her if she could go anywhere outside the country, where would she go? She told me that she would like to go to New Zealand because it is really pretty with nice beaches. We then talked about what kind of movies we liked and I found out that she likes action and comedies including Fast & Furious and The Proposal. Overall, I had a fun time talking to Dominique and it was cool to get to learn a lot of new things about her.
Artist: Travis Lober
Exhibition: Ink 16: The West: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly
Media: Acrylic Plastic, Etching Needle, Sand Blasting Machine, Ink
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Marilyn Werby Gallery
Website: No Website
Instagram: No Instagram
For this week’s artist conversation, we got to meet with artist Travis Lober. Lober is currently an undergraduate at California State University of Long Beach in the Print Making program for the CSULB School of Art. He was born in San Jose and grew up in Gilroy, California. Before doing art, Travis used to be a construction modeler. He uses his previous job to inspire his art work because at his old job, spiders represented the good, the bad, and the ugly at the construction site. One thing that I found crazy is that Travis spends at least 25 hours per week at the school working on his art pieces. Some other interests of his include model making playing soccer.
Travis Lober’s art is very technical and very particular about how precise it is. He explains how it is more important how it looks rather than what it means. When asked what the formal qualities of his art are, he said that was a “hard question” and that all the ink is on paper. The main materials Lober uses for his art are acrylic plastic, an etching needle, a sand blasting machine, and ink. His art work is monochromatic and it allows the viewers to see the image over the color. With no color, the image is able to drive more emotion. He also makes his pieces look photo-like because he says it is greater than it looking graphic.
Lober uses his art to portray what he views as the good, the bad, and the ugly in the world. That explains why he named his exhibit “Ink 16: The West: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly.” One example would be his art piece of the spiders that resembled what he saw when he worked as a construction worker. While he had that job, he explained how all the daddy long legs, the tarantulas, and the black widows represented the good, the bad, and the ugly of his old job. He also created art work of Bernie Sanders, Hilary Clinton, and Donald Trump to get his view point on which presidential candidate he liked. He put the word “Good” under Bernie, “Ugly” under Hilary, and “Ugly” under Trump. I thought that art piece was really funny.
Overall, I really liked Travis Lober’s art work and the theme to his exhibit. I especially liked how he used his past experiences including his old job to come up with his ideas for his art work. Although I may not be an artist and not have the same purpose for using my past, I believe that everyone should use their past as a tool to help them in the present and build their future. We have all been through good, bad, and ugly moments but it is what we do with those moments that define us. In this case, Travis Lober used those experiences to create great pieces of art.