For this activity, I decided to choose the wedge that was closer to Brotman Hall because I am more familiar with it and I have had experience with it. Every time I have to walk to Brotman Hall for my exams I always decide to go through the wedge even though there is traffic there majority of the time. I feel like it’s because us college students are too tired to walk around the black wall that is creating the wedge and it just seems like an easier choice. Although it is famous for creating traffic, it is still a pain to go through because you have to walk in a certain way to avoid people or if you are carrying a big load. For my design, I decided to just take down the black wall all together in order to get rid of the wedge. It will be missed by past graduate students but as time move on, the memories will disappear and the wedge would eventually be forgotten as new students are accepted into the university. With this new design, it will create a natural flow of traffic and people won’t have to wait for other people to walk through because there is enough room for everyone! However, if you still want to experience the wedge, it will still be there on the side of the new opening.
For this weeks artist conversation, I got the chance to talk to Brittany Waters, a 4th year student at CSULB who is currently working towards her BFA in ceramics. Waters found her passion in ceramics during her time in high school where she spent most of her time working with her hands and sculpting. She had decided to pursue ceramics as a career at the age of 19 when she realized that painting was not something she wanted to do for the rest of her life because of the process; instead she enjoyed the process and messiness of ceramics itself. After deciding her passion, she wanted her work to focus on nature such as lakes and forests because she was raised in that area in Northern California and wanted to showcase the beauty of it in Southern California. After she graduates CSULB, Waters hopes to achieve her masters in ceramics and stay in the west coast, possibly Oregon, because she feels there is a greater ceramic dynamic in the west.
Her exhibit brought to light the endangerment of sea turtles and other creatures that live among our beaches. She wanted to focus on sea turtles as her senior project because she found inspiration through her trip to Hawaii. In Hawaii, she saw the natural beauty of the beaches and creatures and when she came back to Long Beach, she noticed that the beaches were destroyed by humans. In her mind, the beaches have become commercialized with bonfire pits and destroyed by all the trash; therefore, no animal could live there. However, while doing research on her project, Waters was able to find out that the only place that still has sea turtles is the San Gabriel River but they are slowly becoming endangered species.
In her exhibit Waters was able to make 118 baby turtles by hand, each taking about 2-3 hours to make each, with low fire white clay called Steve’s White. When you first walk into the exhibit, you will notice that there are pictures of the turtles up close and personal, making you think that she saw them at the beach. However if you were to look at the opposite wall the making process of each turtle was revealed, shocking the viewers. Waters purposely set up the pictures this way in order to trick the viewers into thinking that the turtles were actually real in order to bring some amusement. As you walk deeper into the exhibit, there are a bunch of baby turtles placed in a scene that looks like a beach “crawling” into the ocean. The projected ocean on the wall is supposed to represent the barriers and struggles that baby turtles must face in order to survive, and that varies from predators to pollution.
Overall, I feel that Brittany Water’s senior project was a complete success. The little details on the turtles were amazing and to use this project to bring awareness about endangered species and our beaches was a big hit.
I wasn’t able to make it to Venice Beach this weekend (which sucks) because I left for Mammoth Lake, however I was able to finish the assignment in my backyard. I honestly thought that this activity was okay and feel like if I had a wall to work on, it would have been more enjoyable. But because I didn’t have a wall to work with, I ended up doing the activity on a poster board. I like the color I chose but I miscalculated on the size that was needed to write my name and that’s why I had to put it on different lines. The first time I did the activity, I messed up and didn’t leave room to fit my name and so I had to redo it on the back. It turned out okay but could of cane out better if I had more space.
I don’t think I did this weeks activity correctly because mine isn’t as abstract as it should. I really liked doing this activity because I felt like a little kid again. Looking at the blank white board, I was getting frustrated with what to do because it was such a broad concept. However after looking at the colors that I had, I came up with the conclusion that I wanted to do a space themed piece. I painted the sun and moon as much as I could and because I didn’t want to ruin what I had going with the flairs of the sun, I splattered in the stars. The final piece to me was great because I believe I got my theme across.
In this week’s artist conversation I had the opportunity to speak to one of the artist in the “Word of the Year- Printmaking group show” and his name is Jonah Coloma. Jonah is an undergraduate at CSULB who is currently trying to get his degree in BA- Studio Art. He just recently transfered to CSULB from LBCC and claims to be a third year student but he is not completely sure do to his transfer. His main focus in studio art is creating monotype pieces. I was able to learn from him that with monotype printmaking, each piece will always be different and unique because he has to paint on a plexy glass and have the paper be rolled on to it. Out of all the words that could have been used to represent the “word of the year,” Jonah wanted to focus on xenophobia. Xenophobia is the fear or hatred of something or someone that is percieved as strange. He wanted to focus on this word because of what has been going on in our world politically and the destruction it has brought onto our country. To bring attention to what is realistically going on, he hopes that the audience will acknowledge what is going on and make a difference.
Jonah decided to use the black and white colors on his art piece in order to create a ominous and dark feeling to the audience, which in my opinion really worked because it brought on a sense of uneasiness in me. If you were to look at the left side of the piece, you will notice that there is a black “wall” and that is supposed to represent the world. For immigrants and people of color, there has been a sense of fear because they do not know what is going to happen to them on a daily basis and to make that side black and scary, it represents mystery in the unknown. There is also a figure on the right side of the art work and that is supposed to represent everyone that feels scared and targeted in the unknown.
Overall, I feel that Jonah’s intention to bring the term xenophobia to light was a success because of the way he used the black and white colors and how he used the sapce that was given to him. It really did bring a sense of uneasiness in me.
For this week’s classmate I had the opportunity to talk to Khanh. At first I didn’t have anyone to talk to but he was nice enough to allow me to do my conversation on him even though he already did it with someone else. I found out that Khanh is originally from Vietnam who immigrated to the US in 2009. He lived around the Santa Monica area with his grandparents and Aunt and Uncle. Cal state was not his first college choice, but because he was rejected by the UC schools that he applied to, he decided to go here. He’s currently working towards getting his computer science degree and is a second year. He is a member of the women’s engineering club and also a board member of another engineering club but I wasn’t able to hear what it was. His favorite colors are navy blue, black, white and gray. He loves to eat everything so he doesn’t really have any favorite foods.
Artist: Ariel Maldonado
Exhibit: Talk to Strangers
Materials: clay and electricity
Growing up, I was always the sensitive type. I cried easily during movies or when I was getting lectured, and I got angry real quick when I did not get my way. Maybe that was normal for young children but once I started to get into high school, my sensitivity was not going away. Once high school came around, I felt like I was being pressured to make future decisions and skipping my teenage years in order to take care of my two little brothers. I was extremely unhappy and soon became depressed. I kept thinking to myself, “What was the point of living if I am no longer happy and no one really cares about me?” I didn’t know what to do during that time and tried cutting myself, thinking that maybe the pain would take away the emptiness I felt on a daily basis. Soon after I had become depressed, I had basically “turned off” my emotions because I didn’t want to feel anymore and get hurt. I thought by no longer feeling anything, I could protect myself from people and not get too attached. After a couple of years, I learned that turning off my emotions was not the right thing to do because I had basically pushed people away and was just damaging myself in the long run. I had to make myself feel again, but because I have any emotions for a while, it was hard to really feel anything and I had to really try to feel happy, angry or sad. To this day (3 years later), I still have a hard time feeling emotions sometimes because not feeling anything had become a natural feeling for me. Also, because I taught myself to not feel, it has become a problem in my relationship because it’s hard for me to be sensitive to my boyfriend’s feelings and so if I could go back, I wouldn’t have done what I did and just feel all the emotions I was feeling instead of repressing it all. The piece that was displayed in the “Talk to Strangers” exhibit impacted me because it brought me back to those years where I was repressing my emotions. The switch that was displayed allowed the viewers to turn on and off the lights in the clay dome and change the colors, almost how someone can turn on and off their emotions.