Wk14 – Classmate Conversation – Evan Burton

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There are those moments where you realize that one of your classmates from last semester is also in one of your classes in this semester and you wonder if he or she remembers or even recognizes you. Well I had that moment and no he did not recognize me, but I thought it was a good chance to make a new friend!

Evan Burton (left) and I were in the same activity class last semester for communication. And in that class, each individual shared a little bit about themselves and it was a perfect time to see how his goals and aspirations have changed within a semester. He just started his sophomore year in CSULB as an Economics major. I wondered if that was his first choice, but it was actually international studies. From just having a conversation I got the impression that he is quite outgoing. In fact he told me that he used to participate in Parkour, which is really cool! In addition Evan and his peers enjoy spending time together and going to parties.

As for our question of the week, Evan thought that our apparel will change similar to the the “hobo” style from the movie “Zoolander.” Oddly enough I agree because one musician, Kanye West, is currently setting the trend on that type of ripped, raggedy, worn type of clothing line. In addition he assumed that fashion is getting worse. Another important aspect that we jokingly added was that tuition will hopefully decrease.

From how things are playing out, I am afraid of 2036. Not just because of college, it is also because there are so many aspects that affect college, specifically higher education. Hopefully I will not be concerned with how people are going to dress. On the other hand I feel like the world is getting colder and there is not much light that we can hold on to.

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Wk11- Artist Conversation – Lia

Exhibition Information

Artist: Lia

Exhibition: BFA Sculpture Group Show

Media: Sculpture

Gallery: CSULB School of Art

Website: N/A

Email: N/A

About the Artist

Lia, a first semester transfer student, has already made her foot print in the BFA sculpture show. She started her studies from Miracosta Community College where she studied studio art. From studio art, according to Lia, is where she found her passion for sculpting. From that she began exploring her potential for sculpting. Coming from a traditional latin family, her parents did not encourage her to continue on with college. However, her interest in sculpting drove her to Long Beach where she continued her sculptures. In addition, her fascination regarding her ancestors in Guam inspired her piece that I am going to go over.

Formal Analysis

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From first impression I thought this piece had great craftsmanship. The colors complemented each other and the details on the box brings a pre-colonization feel to it, which Lia was really aiming for. Her idea for the tool box came from her digital fabrication class. The tools were mostly 3D printed in one of her classes as well. The tools are 3D printed as a whole and she just added in a thick rope or twine so she can tie the pieces together to mimic ancient pre-colonized objects.

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This piece is part of her whole exhibiton. With the help of 3D printing and computer software, she was able to reproduce this piece of seven-foot rock from Guam and resized it into a handheld sculpture. She was also telling me how fascinating it is to be able to do these things with technology and it contributed to her success.

Content Analysis

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Her interest in pre-colonized age played a heavy role in creating the whole tool box set. Lia even claimed that she was thankful that she got that time to take a trip to Guam and visit the ancient ruins that were still there, which was what her piece was based solely on. When she was exploring the ruins and caves, there were a lot of carvings and objects that were found in it. So she took one, brought it home, and the development for her project began. She also claimed that there were tools that were withered down over time that she took pictures of and then rebuilt it utilizing the software available and that created the tools.

My Experience

Speaking with Lia was a pleasant experience because she was very down to earth and was interested about her ancestors. She even said that finding those artifacts and antique, aged tools was like getting a gift from her ancestors and it is definitely something she will never forget. This led me to be thankful about my ancestors as well and the sacrifice that they did to put me everyone else in this position that I am in now.

 

Wk10 – Artist Experience – Fiber Art Social Network

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When we were all inside the faculty office, it felt nice to finally be able to see my actual classmates, not just a stranger that I see interviewing someone for an artist conversation. For some reason, despite how crowded it was, I felt delighted to a part of the activity because we were all communicating and helping each other out. Even I was able to share a laugh with different individuals that I did not know was in our class. Although I am sounding very lonely, I did have a few chords attached to my photo, which I was very proud of.

Looking at it a social media level, I cannot imagine myself being friends with all of them. Not because I am picky which friends I want, it’s just the fact that how can one manage so many friends at the same time. In addition, a majority of them do not share the same likes and interests. For example, on facebook, I have probably five-hundred friends, which for some people is not a lot, but to me feels like a whole country. In my opinion, it is quality over quantity. In other words, I would rather have a few friends and mostly family because of how much closer you can get to them, how much better my relationships be with them compared to juggling five-hundred “friends.”

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This is the type of social network I am more accustomed to. I only drew a few but I do have more social ties so please do not assume these are the only individuals I know. But to summarize what I said, I do prefer having mostly family then a few close friends.

Wk10 – Artist Conversation – Tony Nguyen

Exhibition Information

Artist: Tony Nguyen

Exhibition: Neotony

Media: Sculpture, Metal Smith

Gallery: CSULB School of Art

Website: Instagram: eIII_tigue

Email: N/A

About the Artist

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This  is Tony Nguyen. He has been attending CSULB for five and a half years now studying in the BFA program with the focus on Metal Smith. I have never heard of a program that teaches students how to metal smith so this caught my interest right when I walked in through the door. His close ties with his family complemented and contributed to his detailed craftsmanship. Judging from the exhibition, he was playful and spent a lot of time creating all of his artworks. He considers himself as a “child” in an adult body. In fact, the name of his exhibition resembles himself as a person; “Neotony.”

Formal Analysis

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We were welcomed by a British-inspired mailbox, which also functioned as a critic holder, where students or teachers may review his work or simply write a note complementing his hard work. Without looking at the rest of the exhibition this mailbox seemed like something I could buy. However everything, apart from the lights and walls, he built with his own hands.

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This vending machine was inspired my Tony’s father when he immigrated to the United States. The silver hints were an addition to add some of his culture to a classic American vending machine. And similar to all of his artworks, they all function in its own special way.

On the first picture of this blog, Tony was using one of his projects as a way to communicate to us the importance of functionality to him. In that picture, one of my classmates got to try on a snake bracelet that he made. Basically it was a snake that wrapped around one’s wrist and the snake’s head will bite its tail. Then it connected to another snake that forms a choker that women can accessorize with. He emphasized that everything that he makes has to have a purpose and is one of the aspects why he continues to create.

Content Analysis

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All of the works involved a sentimental background to it. For example, this piece, with the water tank and plant pot, symbolizes friendships or the connections he formed since he was a child. It’s a little cheesy but to him it is something that he holds dear to his heart. I even realized that the plant was authentic, which looked adorable since it fit in that miniature pot. One of the students also asked if putting a real plant symbolized a “real friendship” compared to a fake plant that resembles a “fake friendship.” And he responded with a surprised look and said that that was a great observation. He was really glad that we were able to convey different messages towards his work.

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This piece, as corny as it is, spoke to me because it was very relatable. A background story for the bridges comes from Tony’s mom and she said that in Vietnam there was a bridge that connected her city across the river. And once the Vietnam war started there were rebels that attacked and bombed the city. The bridges were targeted and once it was destroyed it prevented families from escaping the rebels. Therefore, if his mother did not cross the bridge then he would not be here.

The bridges have the numbers one, two, three, and four in roman numerals, which represent Tony and his brothers. And at the end of the necklace represents his parents which are also symbolized in bridge form. Then the parents’ bridge connects to the four bridges. Then to top it off, he crafted their names under the bridges.

My Experience

It was awesome to see a unique type of exhibition and I have never seen metal-smith work before. His presentation was very organized and entertaining because of how he arranged his pieces in a way that a little toy store boutique would. This arrangement actually made me feel like I was in a toy store again asking my dad to buy me something. In addition to nostalgia, it is always great to be able to relate with an artist because I am more engaged in what they say and what each piece means. Last but not least, the craftsmanship and amount of detail he put in his works was something I marveled. I am definitely happy with what he plans on doing and I would love to see more of his works.

 

Wk9 – Artist Conversation – Carmin Correa

Exhibition Information

Artist: Carmin Correa

Exhibition: A Beach in Symmetry, a Breach in Symmetry

Media: Sculpture

Gallery: CSULB School of Art

Website: N/A

Email: N/A

About the Artist

Carmin Correa is on her last year at CSULB, finishing with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture. She is not planning on going to graduate school right after she graduates because she wanted to have time to be able to improve and add on to her skills set. Then she added that if she was going to graduate school, she wanted to go to a research school
(i.e. UC Berkley). As she goes on her final goal is to be a fabricator. In other words she wants to professionally sculpt as a job or 3D modeling. Through that she wanted her sculptures and designs to be displayed somewhere else.

Formal Analysis

Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to capture Ms. Correa’s artwork because I assume that all of the sculptures was hers. So hopefully, in detail, I will be able to portray her sculptures, with the use of my imagination and yours.

The First sculpture that she mentioned that was hers was a sugar piece. Basically, it was three levels of three by three slabs, that were about three inches thick stacked on top of each other. The whole sculpture itself, without her explaining it, was surprisingly made out of real sugar. I even asked her if it was edible she said yes, but it would not be safe or good for your health. In addition she also explained how she made it. She utilized a silicon mold in order to create the shape added cast hard sugar into the mold, which took about one hour per slab. She added that it was a very rigorous process and involved her sitting in a room smelling sugar the whole time.

Second was an imitation of a confession box at a Roman Catholic Church. It was basically the size of a shed that had a partition in the middle to create two rooms: one for the priest and one for the individual participating in the confession. Walking in I realized that it was a confession room because I am also Roman Catholic like Carmin. So she explained to the other students that the purpose of that room is for individuals to repent their sins to the priest and in result will rid them of their sins. The whole process can be very anxious since a person is basically reciting their sins to a priest and it can be very scary at times, I would know.

However what Carmin did was she added stuffed animals and other encouraging objects for an individual that would make them feel more comfortable about the process, according to her. Where the window usually is for the individual to speak to the priest, was open and one can see inside where the priest usually is and that room is covered by toys and stuffed animals.

Content Analysis

The Sugar piece was actually a symbol for Carmin’s struggle with Type II diabetes. According to Carmin, her family has inherited this disease through many different generations of Filipinos, even way back where the Spanish colonized the Philippines. To her this piece meant a lot. The duration of time that she waited in order to finish each slab took one hour and her being stuck in a room enduring the smell of sugar. Therefore, she utilized the process as a way of her training her brain to dislike sugar or not be attracted to sweets because her senses have had enough of it.

She sculpted the confession room to represent the context of a confession to her. To me confession was a two step process: Intensity of repenting my sins and then the relief of having my sins forgiven. On the other hand she thinks that confession has different forms. In other words, it does not require a priest in order to have a confession, according to Carmin. That there are different types of confessions, whether it be venting to your friends and family, or laughing or crying about it.

My Experience

Carmin Correa was a joy to have a conversation with. I was disappointed at the same time, however, because I was able to capture all the other artists’ work except for hers, which is an odd coincident. Anyway, the students were able to relate with Carmin so easily, including myself. Although she was not allowed to talk about the other art works except for hers, I would say that I was very happy that she was the one there. It was nice to speak with a fellow catholic and share stories about what is confession for her and me.

 

Wk8 – Art Experience – Sketching in the Garden

Sketching in the CSULB Japanese Garden was a great experience. Despite the humidity, I had a great time admiring the different plants, animals, and scenery. It was certainly different than your average walk along the campus. And with that I was able to separate myself from the daily struggles of a student and be able to enjoy and sketch in the garden.

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This one page of my thirty-second drawings. There were so many plants and other elements in the garden that I had a hard time picking which one to start with. The plants had so much details, especially the bonsai trees, and the animals added life to everything. So I started off with the inanimate things to warm up. With “no erasing” in mind I did not know how to go along with my sketches because I do erase a lot when I try to copy a raw image. It was a challenge at first but I enjoyed it more and more as I kept on sketching. So I just sketched very lightly until I thought that the image on paper matched what was in front of me. Then I just sketched darker and darker.

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The leaves of the plants was probably the most challenging since it required so much detail. And if you notice, the plants that I drew were incomplete. As I was sketching, my friend Janis, began taking pictures of the ducks. Therefore, I began sketching him using the method that Professor Zucman taught us by beginning with a stick figure and just adding aspects that gave the stick figure more depth.

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I did not do so well with my five-minute sketches. I tried to capture the view from the bridge outlooking the whole garden. It looked beautiful so I thought it would be nice to capture a glimpse of it on my sketchbook. Ducks were going crazy and flying everywhere so I thought I could draw one of them in action so the sketch would at least look alive. Again the plants were difficult to finish because of the fact that there were so much detail and we only had five minutes.

I really wished that I came to Japanese Garden earlier or at least on my first year as a college student. But I’m glad that this art class gave me chance to witness what I was missing. It was a beautiful and great experience and I hope we get more projects that require us to go to the garden.

Wk 6 – Artist Conversation – Blaine Scot Prow

Exhibition Information

Artist: Blain Scot Prow

Exhibition: Extrusions

Media: Design & Sculpture

Gallery: CSULB School of Art

Website: In progress (Instagram: @tiffuts)

Email: N/A

About the Artist

Blain is a senior is CSULB. He is currently studying under the Bachelor of Fine Arts with focus on Studio Art and Graphic Design. As he was talking to the group he mentioned how it was challenging to get into graphic design because of its GPA requirement of 3.2 and above. However he managed to stay on his feet and not let the work catch him. His hard work channels through his work and in my opinion seemed challenging to accomplish. By channeling his obsession of geometry he was able to create “Extrusions.”

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Formal Analysis

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“… Sort of like crossing dimensions,” according to Blain when we were questioning him about his thought process when making his sculptures. He could not assign a genre to this so he thought it was a mix of sculpture and 2D design. As mentioned in the beginning his childhood adoration for geometry played a significant role in creating these figures. He claimed that the way he decided on doing this was through an accident. He was just playing with shapes one day and there it was. His experimentation resulted in the use of cut out pieces of paper from 2D and creating 3D shape out of it through different mathematical calculations and his technique on cutting the individual sides and angles of the shape.

Content Analysis

His presentation seemed simple and basic at first, but the more he is questioned the more meaning came out of him and his artwork.

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In this picture (above) he explained to the group the process of making a 2D drawing in to a 3D sculpture or shape. He added on that there were a lot of trial and error when creating more complex shapes such as this one compared to creating a cube since he only had to create a cross shape and fold the sides the proper way. For this one he stated that there were times where he would assume that the shape is forming, but then at the last minute, since he miscalculated an angle the shape did not pop out right as he wanted to. “There was a lot of math… trial and error…”, according to Blain. And the point of having one side of the paper attached to the flat paper is associating the two dimensions together so the viewer can witness how the transformation occurred.

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Then he mentioned that the lighting in the room was purposeful. It gave the sculptures more depth and brought different angles on the shadows that added an extra detail. In my opinion the lighting helped significantly because it immersed the audience in to moment when he brought two dimensions together and see it unfold, no pun intended. Also he wanted to add on that he chose the color black and white just for simplicity and that adding colors to the paper would bring a different atmosphere.

Synthesis / My Experience

Honestly, I would not think that a simple grade school project would end up in the School of Art Galleries. In other words, it is great how artists can improve on one thing and make it into something else that no one else would ever think of. And Blain did a great job on that. I liked that he included that he found this by accident then all of the sudden began developing angles in order to make simple drawings into pop-up sculptures. It was also very pleasant to view something that is not so complex that it threw me in different directions. Sometimes I think simplicity is just the key.