This week’s art experience was an Art Care Package. When putting together my ACP I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to do in the beginning. So what I did was went on to her blog and found out that she seemed to be a really hard worker. So, in my ACP I wrote Lorena a handwritten note and a friendship bracelet for her to keep and do whatever she wants with. One of the questions that really interested me was, “How is sending someone an ACP similar to sending someone a Snapchat?” When I first read it I thought to myself, absolutely nothing. But if you think about it, they’re both an item that you send to someone and they get the opportunity to open it and look at it. The only difference is that a Snapchat is either a picture or a video while an ACP is an actually item. Overall, this art experience was interesting and I can’t wait to see what I get in the mail.
For this week’s classmate conversation, I had the pleasure of talking to our honorary student Danielle Dallas. Danielle is currently a communications major with a minor in marketing here at Long Beach State. With that, she wants to join a big company and work on their marketing, public relations, and advertising. In her spare time, Danielle likes to hang out with her friends, take long walks on the beach, and play her ukulele. When asking why she chose Long Beach, she said that it was the only school that she visited that made her feel at home. Overall, I loved talking to Danielle and I hope I get to talk to her more as the semester is ending!
Artist: Ihab Ali
Media: dry wall, car, black sheeting
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Marilyn Werby Gallery
About the Artist:
Ihab came from Damascus, where he originally lived for 14 years before coming to America. For the artwork we saw this week, it was his senior show. Surprisingly, Ihab is a ceramic artist with a BFA in ceramics, but his senior show had no ceramics in it at all. In his free time, Ihab doesn’t really do anything else but art. He said that in whatever spare time he has, he goes to the studio to work on his art. The most prominent idea that his work explores is memories back from Syria, and trying to demonstrate to Western Culture what it’s like.
For this show, a lot of different pieces went into it. To list a few, there was dry wall, burlap, black sheeting, and even a real car. When entering the show, it was pretty scary feeling, dark and mysterious even. Ihab tried to portray memories and flashbacks he had back from his homeland. The artwork was very striking and caught your attention right from the beginning.
Before I spoke to Ihab, I first walked through the exhibit and was kind of lost as to what it meant as a whole. However, after speaking to him, I walked back through the exhibit and understood it 100 times better! Ihab really wanted to portray what it was like back in his homeland and to bring it to Western Culture. When asking him to describe his exhibit to us, he called it a “theatrical piece of reality that portrays poverty, destruction, and abandonment.”
For myself, I really enjoyed Ihab’s show because I don’t meet too many middle eastern people here at Long Beach. I’m 25% Iranian so I was really interested in what Ihab had to say about his time back in his homeland. Although I have never actually been to the middle east, my dad and grandpa have told me stories about what it’s like there and some of what Ihab said resonated with me. I really connected with him when he said that people are quick to judge middle eastern people in America and how they automatically attach stereotypes to us. I can relate to this not only in the way that I’m middle eastern but I’m also on the cheer team, so many people assume that I’m dumb or not athletic at all, when that obviously isn’t the case. Overall, Ihab’s exhibit has been my favorite up to this date.
For this week’s art experience, we had to do Location Based Gaming. At first, I was really excited to try this out to see what I could find. However, when it came down to it, I tried three different Geocaches and I was unable to find any of them. I was pretty disappointed, but I want to keep the game and try it out again some other time, maybe in Long Beach and not by my house. However, I did place my own treasure and hope it will be more successful.
This week I had the pleasure of talking to Jayson Fields. When speaking to him, I learned that he’s on the club volleyball team here at Long Beach State. He is currently a second year and an athletic training major and absolutely loves it. In his free time, Jayson spends a lot of time working out and running whenever he gets the chance. He also loves watching basketball and football on his lazy days. When asking him why he chose Long Beach State, he said that it was close to home and had an amazing athletic training program! Jason is an amazing person overall and I hope everyone gets the opportunity to meet him!
Artist: Jennifer Chen
Media: Printmaking and Digital Prints
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West
About the Artist:
For this week’s artist conversation, I had the pleasure of meeting Jennifer Chen. To the class’ surprise, Jennifer’s undergrad was done in Biology, but she is now in her last year trying to obtain her Masters in Fine Arts. Outside of art, her interests are wide-ranging and she says that some of her artwork reflects that in the way that it merges her love for science and art. Her plans after she graduates is to hopefully teach a class here at Long Beach State. Her artwork explores the idea of succession, which is an ecology term, which describes after a disturbance in a landscape and how it changes.
For Jennifer’s artwork, her main media is printmaking and digital prints. Some of her pieces have an unique texture in the way that they don’t lay flat on the paper, and it’s levitated above. There’s another piece that is pink and makes a very bold statement because of the drastic changes in colors. Overall, I think that most of Jennifer’s pieces have jagged lines that speak loudly in the gallery.
Before speaking to Jennifer, I walked around and looked at her artwork first. And after speaking to her, it was clear that her thoughts and her artwork connected. Her background in biology was evident in the way that she demonstrated the environment, and how she spoke of the macro and microscopic aspects of it.
Personally, Jennifer Chen’s background connected with me the most. For myself, I’m a chemistry major and have always had an interest in photography but never thought about pursuing it. After listening to Jennifer, I realize that it’s possible to do both and don’t have to pick just one.
“Can words and pictures capture an experience?” For me, this question is probably the most interesting because I find myself thinking about this often. Personally, I think it is possible to be able to capture an experience through words and pictures but never to the same extent as the experience was itself. For example, when something really funny happens and you’re there in person, you could be on the floor from laughter. However, if you were to try and tell an outsider what exactly went on, they could just look at you like you’re crazy and say it wasn’t funny at all. And I know almost everyone knows what I’m talking about here.
As far as the experience for this activity, I thought it was good for the class because it was something different than we usually do every Thursday. It also gave us the opportunity to look at places on campus differently than the ways we typically do. As far as not taking pictures in the library, I actually really liked it because it gave me an opportunity to not be on my phone and take in the experience with the class. I thought it was really crazy how everyone in the library kept looking at us and how we almost got kicked out. It was pretty cool being “rule breakers” but it was okay because it was technically a class activity. When we went over to the bookstore and were able to take pictures I noticed I wasn’t really focusing on the task at hand, but instead trying to get enough pictures for this blog post. So overall, I preferred not taking pictures because I was able to watch the environment more closely and absorb the activity at hand.