Wk 13 – Artist Conversation – Krystal Ramirez

Artist: Krystal Ramirez
Exhibition: La Cena Esta Servida: Dinner is Served
Media: Metal
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Merlino Gallery
Website: www.kgrmetalcraft.com
Instagram: kgrmetalcraft

About the Artist

Krystal Ramirez is an Undergraduate student, who is graduating this year as a senior at CSULB. Currently, she is in the program formally known as 3D Media and Metal; otherwise, known as Metal Smithing and Jewelry Design. After she finishes, she plans to go back to community college in order to learn more about steel. Also, she plans to evolve her website more, to participate in craft shows, and to get an internship. Before even going to CSULB, she went to Orange County High School of Arts where she was introduced to jewelry in her senior year leading to her falling in love with it; furthermore, she met a professor that teaches at CSULB at her high school and was intrigued and motivated to pursue a degree in Metal Smithing and Jewelry Design. Besides her interest in art, she also loves to thrift and do things that involve DIY crafts that are made from scratch.

Formal Analysis

Simplicity within artistic abilities. The gallery itself was centered around a dinner table that had various plates with different metals. All the materials were made out of metal and had quite an emphasis on bronze and silver color types. From bowls to silverware to random, curved shaped metals, the art itself had a similar rhythm with constant lines. While some metals had straight lines, others were meant to be curved. Basically, the metals made it feel as if the viewers were at a dinner table to be in the moment where families all united as one.

Content Analysis

As I’ve previously stated, the whole exhibition is based on Krystal and her memories from being at the dinner table with her family. Moreover, it’s a place where families talk about casual and serious things all at the same time; a place where there are zero limits as to what can be said to express what one is feeling. All her metal works were transformed as an inspiration from her family and the journey along with influences and reflections of ideas, peoples, and the past. It’s also about connections that she has made with people and how it has carried into her life to lead her to the individual that she is today.

Synthesis / My Experience

For me, this exhibition hit it out of the park since it brought back memories of my family eating around the dinner table since the start. Till this day, my family still incorporates the dinner table as part of our end of the night get together. This is the moment, just like Krystal’s, where we get to talk about what happened for the day and everything that we want to share. All the good news, all the bad news. Honestly, as long as I have my family there all together at the dinner table then everything is perfect. Overall, Krystal and I share the same values that “dinner is served” at the table and it’s where relationships will continue to form.

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Wk 13 – Classmate Conversation – Derek Chow

As always, one of my favorite activities in art for the week are classmate conversations. I mean who doesn’t love meeting new people right, but I guess I used to be that shy type. Now, I somewhat bloomed and love talking to people non stop. It’s like when I start talking to someone, I literally won’t stop and my so-called new friends are now introduced to my sarcasm. Anyways, without further ado, my new friend for this week is named Derek Chow.

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Derek is a Kinesiology major, which is great since it’s within the medical field. Moreover, he wants to be a physical therapist in the future. It’s funny cause I figured that if nursing wasn’t going to work out for me that I would want to be a physical therapist, so Derek is pursuing my second dream job basically. Since we’re talking about our majors, we both had to or have to take anatomy before getting into our majors. Literally, we both looked at each other and knew immediately all the suffering that we went through as we looked in each other’s eyes.

Besides school, we share quite some similarities with hobbies and interests. We both like to go hiking and are quite active people. Moreover, we appreciate the nature around us and love to experience new hiking spots. Also, we both really like steak! If you know me, I’m all about food. Given this, I literally was jumping for joy when he said he liked steak. I know, weird much, but I’m a big foodie. Also, we are both night owls instead of morning people. We don’t like the struggle of waking up and would rather live the night life, whether it be partying, hanging out with friends, or just studying for classes in general. Overall, Derek is a great person and I’m truly glad that I met him. I’m hoping that we’ll still be great friends even though the semester is ending soon.

Derek’s site is right here guys!: https://derekcsite.wordpress.com

Wk 12 – Artist Conversation – Travis Lober

Artist: Travis Lober
Exhibition: Work: It’s a four letter word
Media: Printmaking
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Merlino Gallery
Website: N/A; No Website
Instagram: N/A; No Instagram

About the Artist

Travis Lober is an Undergraduate Senior student in the Printmaking BFA program. Originally, when he came to CSULB, he was in the Graphic Design program; however, he took a printmaking class as an elective and found it more engaging plus interactive. With printmaking, Lober felt like it was all about working hands on with activities and interacting more with people through his art. He’s always been into art itself since he was about ten or twelve years old, where he once resided in Northern California. In fact, his family or dad inspired him to pursue and get going with art because his dad graduated with a Fine Arts degree. Now shifting, various forms of arts attracted him: from graphic art to trades, which was more of a sculptural and physical art form. Lober’s interests all encompass within art since he doesn’t have much time because printmaking requires dedication full on. As for his exhibition, it encompasses tools and commercial application to the point where viewers should view the tools as more than what is seen in the prints itself.

Formal Analysis

Beginning with the right side of the wall, Lober put together four different prints or images to show a “work in progress” of a tractor, wood, and another piece of machinery. As the images move to the right, the print changes from a olive green to a blackish-gray print at the end. These pieces on the wall were more straight in appearance with lines and rhythms forming the actual pieces of construction. Moving on to the center piece, it was more interactive to the audience; moreover, the structures weren’t only on print. On the bottom portion of the wood where metals with tools being hammers and measuring tapes on the upper portion in print. For the pieces with a bluish or grayish background, there were more details to the lines and the shapes forming the equipment. In a way, it felt like the images had portions popping out to the viewer. For the last two pieces closer to the entrance, the prints shifted to brighter yellow and orange colors. Clearly, on the left are working shoes, yet the right seems to be a form of uniform with a belt. The same rhythm and line is used throughout the whole exhibit basically to encompass the tools used. Everything in this exhibit was made to the lines and formations to completely duplicate real life tools into print form.

Content Analysis

From the beginning, all of his work began as class projects that evolved into concepts towards mediums that he would use to display imagery. The exhibition focuses on actual tools and their uses. Before he embarked on art, he was a construction worker. Working in construction led him to look at tools and trades in a different way to the point where he sees them as things or even beings that are formed differently for varying tasks. Moreover, printing these tools basically brought him back to feeling and being within the whole construction zone. The whole five senses that he felt when eh used these tools is what he wants to get to his viewers; furthermore, he wants people to look at tools differently to the point where they aren’t viewed as just simple tools. Travis wants people to see the beauty that he sees in the tools and the art imagery itself. With his experience in construction, he found it more helpful technically to have that background to carve blocks with precisions and with trades in general. As for transitions, it’s all automatic with a block being a certain size and carvings in certain areas with different angles. Lober’s exhibition took him a total of three years being that printmaking is not an easy process; moreover, it’s all about carving each block print and each different color at a time.

Synthesis / My Experience

Overall, Travis Lober’s exhibit encompasses around the idea of work and tools as can be told by the exhibition name. Tools that are presented in this gallery can easily be used day to day, but some don’t come to realize the connection they could have with tools to form art. Just like Lober, I feel like I could connect to other objects on a different level where my different senses remind me of a certain moment. With him, his construction tools brought him back to the vibrations that he felt with machinery. As for me, I feel like seeing or keeping various objects that were from a special moment bring me back to that certain time. For example, I had things in my art care package that I still keep to this day because it brings me back to moments with a special loved one. Honestly, beauty comes in all forms; moreover, his exhibition revolved around the beauty of tools. In my life, I feel like it would revolve around the beauty of nature and past objects that bring me back to reminisce about important milestones. Art is meant to get people thinking and to feel that connection with a certain art piece, and I can say that Lober’s exhibit made it clear to me of the simple things that are still important and valuable to me.

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Wk 12 – Art Activity – Ethnography (Pre-Electric Cultures)

Initially, I figured a night without electricity would be great for me since I’m literally always on social media for the majority of my days. However, of course, I knew at the same time that this activity would be difficult given my attachment to electronics. When pondering what to do about this activity, I immediately thought about just having a nice bath in the dark with candlelights by my side just to reflect on life and my thoughts in the dark. Moreover, it would give me time to relax instead of stressing about school and just endlessly scrolling down my feeds and timelines of social media. Besides the bath by candlelight, I had to continue my night with just sleeping it off. Too much thoughts would be overbearing, so I decided to call it a night.

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As I’ve said, I figured the activity would be difficult at first; however, it was easy as the time progressed since I got some time to myself to think. I wouldn’t say it was frustrating at all because who wouldn’t like some time to think about life and destress themselves? Given this, it was more of a liberating experience where I was able to let myself go within my thoughts. I wouldn’t say I got better sleep because sleep isn’t much for me nowadays. Even if I was more relaxed, a night without electricity wouldn’t give me a better sleep in my opinion. Honestly, I would say I am usually sleep deprived because of the stress of school, more specifically the anatomy course I’m taking this semester. If I was to sleep well every night, I would be able to get more hours in and have smaller eye bags. Right now, my eye bags are like big sacks that are just dragging me down sadly :(.

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Living without electricity would be more harmonious with nature for me because I’d be able to appreciate my surroundings more. For example, I wouldn’t be constantly looking at my phone when going out of my house. In our generation, our electronics rule us over. Without having the convenience of escaping the world in front of us, people would admire nature and the beauties of the world in general. Also, living without electricity is definitely more limited, yet it isn’t boring. As I’ve said, we wouldn’t see much people on their phones at dinner instead of interacting with the friends and family that are important to them. It’d be limited, but I feel as if it would be more beneficial. I guess I could say that it would be boring if I had to do it continuously for a long time, but just a couple of days or weeks without electricity wouldn’t hurt. Then again, we are using the internet and electricity for our blogs, so I would need it no matter what.

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Personally, it wouldn’t be hard to survive without constant stimulation. I feel like I’m repeating myself over and over again, but it’d just be us interacting with those around us and even nature itself. People would learn to love the simple things, and not pay much attention to the negative things. I feel like people would be more peaceful since they wouldn’t really be influenced by negativity as much. As for my ideal level of life activity and connectivity, I think it would be higher than now since I would be disconnected from electronics. Moreover, I would be more prone to outside activities since there wouldn’t be much else to do. Also, I would be able to connect personally more to people instead of talking on screen to others. Some people usually hide themselves behind social media and don’t really talk much to others in person. Furthermore, it’s as if we rely on electronics so much. I’m not saying that electronics and social media is bad for us cause there are some benefits to it, but I feel like my childhood with not much electronics was more of an experience that children today should feel. Overall, this activity taught me that it’s good to live a life reflecting those in pre-electric cultures and that I’d honestly love to go back to that era.

Wk 11 – Classmate Conversation – Renette Tabadero and Lyle Adonis

Expanding horizons is always a great thing to do, so this week allowed me to meet another great individual to add to my friends list in ART 110. As I’ve said in all my other classmate conversations, it’s always a pleasure to become acquainted with people that I’ve never even seen or talked to. Given this, I always look forward to this assignment. Anyways, this week, I met one new friend being Renette Tabadero and one old friend named Lyle Adonis.

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Since I’ve already talked to Lyle, I’m deciding to center my talk more around Renette. Here it goes with summing up her life in a paragraph. I feel like Renette and I seems to share a bunch of similarities. One being that we both work at cafe’s for our part-time jobs, but her cafe is in Cypress. Also, we both have dogs as pets; moreover, she has a boy dog named Mason and a girl husky named Aria. I didn’t tell her this random fact, but I’ve always wanted to name my future daughter Aria! Another thing we share is that we are both partaking careers in nursing, as well as the fact that we’re both taking anatomy class this spring semester. As for her speciality in nursing, Renette wants to be an ER nurse or a surgical nurse. Besides school, Renette is an adventurous person who likes to go hiking and to the gym, just like me. Recently, we’ve both been booked with anatomy class so we haven’t had time to go to the gym sadly 😦 !

As for Lyle, I’ve shared just about everything that I know about him in my other classmate conversation post. New things that I found out was that he doesn’t have a part time job, so he’s broke everyday in his words. Also, Lyle has cats for pets since he doesn’t have to do much with taking care of them. Random story: When he was training as an EMT, he was in an ambulance when a guy got shot. Luckily, the guy didn’t die!

Both Lyle and Renette are great people, and I’m definitely glad that I had the honor to meet them. I’m sure that I’ll see both of them around since I’m getting to know them better with each and every class that we go to. Within no time, I’ll learn more random facts and stories about both of them that could be shared. Until then, here are links to both of their blogs! Click for Lyle: https://lylesbakery.wordpress.com & Click for Renette: https://renettesite.wordpress.com

Wk 11 – Artist Conversation – Yujia Gu

Artist: Yujia Gu
Exhibition: Tracing Gun Violence in the USA
Media: Print
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Dutzi Gallery
Website: yujiagu.squarespace.com
Instagram: N/A

About the Artist

Yujia Gu is embarking on her last semester within her Masters for Printmaking; moreover, she is undecided about what she wants to do to further her career in the future and may just return back to China. As for her childhood, she was into drawing since she was young.  She also takes great interest in graphic design and has actually been a graphic designer for five years now; furthermore, she’d actually love to become a publisher for a newspaper. Yujia used to live in New York where she stayed for three months, then decided to move to Long Beach where she liked it better. Besides graphic design, she also takes interest in photography, movies and museums. As for her work, her whole exhibition explores the topic of gun violence and how it has affected the United States as whole.

Formal Analysis

As soon as one walks into the Dutzi Gallery, the right portion of the wall was filled with words and images of guns and humans. Basically, humans are buying guns to protect themselves from other humans that are buying guns. Yujia stated that gun violence itself is a revolving problem, so that’s why the words and images are repetitively shown on the wall. On the back wall, she had a list of the names of children and people that died from the Sandy Hook incident. Also, she has images of the people themselves in front of their names. On the left portion of the wall, she had a map of the United States projected show how many people have gotten shot within the last 72 hours, as well as the number of people getting shot everyday. All her work in her exhibit follows the same print with straight texts displayed. Furthermore, there are not much shapes or rhythms associated with the exhibit. The colors alone revolve around black and red to center around guns and the violence it brings along.

Content Analysis

Before Yujia came here to the United States, her mother warned her about gun violence. Moreover, China itself is a place that doesn’t allow guns. China has a completely different culture as compared to the United States where there’s differences in culture itself, teaching style, and freedom. Being curious, she wanted to know if what her mom stated about gun violence was true leading her to research about the issue. The main goal of her exhibit is to make it clear to people that gun violence is a serious topic; furthermore, it’s important to know how to properly handle guns. Her map showed mass shootings around the United States and the people affected daily plus over time. Yujia is thinking about showing society that action can be made from one individual at a time to improve gun control, as well as take serious actions on gun violence. The overarching goal is: less guns leading to less violence.

Synthesis / My Experience

Overall, I feel like this exhibit is essential for society and should actually be mass produced. By that, I mean that more people should look at this exhibit itself or know about the issues of gun violence. It’s very sad to see such innocent people go because of others not rightfully using their rights to guns. Just recently, there was the San Bernardino shooting where I saw an innocent child get killed because a husband was trying to kill his wife that worked at the school. It honestly makes me think about life and how people make such rash decisions for wrong reasons. I wouldn’t want people that were innocent to be damaged in any way, especially if they’re just trying to live their life and be successful in what they want to do. Thinking about it, the children from the mass shootings just wanted an education to provide for their future. However, they don’t have one anymore since they were taken away the right to live. The government or we, as people, need to take action to improve gun control, as well as take care of the gun violence. Without our action, nothing will change. It all starts with us.

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Wk 10 – Art Activity – Architecture and Urban Planning

First glance at this activity, and I honestly was lost and didn’t know where to start. I literally glared at the pictures below for the longest time before I figured out what I wanted to do as an architect! Since most people have seen the USU wedge and know the whole sha-bang behind it, I decided to switch it up a bit and work towards the FA4 wedge since I haven’t really seen it till last Wednesday. Trust me, I was at a loss of words when I saw the random tree blocking the path to the door and the stairs. However, don’t worry though because I think I got it all figured out.

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Designs begin, and I know I didn’t want to cut the tree because of its beauty and significance. Oh, and aesthetics right? Anyways, I decided to leave the tree and the building there. Moreover, the only difference I made was to remove the hedge/bush plus flowers behind the tree. Also, I decided to remove the dirt past the tree or behind the bike racks, and make a pathway instead to the doors of the building. Easy access and the tree is still there. Everything seems perfect to me!

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Change is either good or bad, but this time I aimed for it to be better. I believe that removing the greens behind the tree will be beneficial since there will still be a path and the tree will still be growing and present. No complaints from anyone AND a pathway. YAY 🙂 Basically, I made this choice because I initially didn’t know what to do and was really on the edge about just removing the tree to get it over with. However, I decided on this because nature is still present in front of the building plus a pathway will be provided. So, it ends up working out both ways in the end. People still get the beauty from the surroundings, as well as the accessibility of a pathway.

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Overall, I think students will actually appreciate the removal of the bushes or design that I created. Maybe it won’t be as great as removing the tree itself, but at least the students will know that effort was made while still considering the importance of having the tree still there. Since not as many students pass by through this wedge as compared to the other, I don’t think much chaos would be caused by having my design be initiated. However, I still think that there wouldn’t be any chaos at all since I left the tree there. I’m sure the students will think that it’s normal to have a pathway behind the tree from then on since there would still be a way to get to class. Access and beauty of nature breaks the deal for everyone, and that’s what I plan to initiate with my design!