Artist Conversation – wk 15

Artist: Ramona Gomes & Sam Medeiros

Exhibition: May Roded

Media: Print & Sculpture

Gallery: Merlino


About the Artist:

Ramona Gomes is a print making art student he just began her college career at CSULB. Sam Medeiros is a graduating senior who spent his time studying sculpture making.


Formal Analysis:

The exhibit was full of life and color from every direction. Any print or sculpture student could have submitted a piece to sell in the gallery, so Ramona and Sam each only had a few pieces on display. Though there were some duplicates, since the items were all for sale, the majority of the items on display were unique in style, color, and shape.

Content Analysis:

Since this exhibition was voluntary for the students, they got to put on display pieces of their choice in the style of their choice. Most pieces were personal expressions that were relatable to and could be appreciated by most of the audience. 20161207_143450

Synthesis / My Experience:

I admired every piece for the message it contained and for the work that the artist put into it. Proceeds would go toward funding the art programs as well as providing compensation to the artists. I was able to purchase a $10 grab bag of decorative cards.


Wk 11

Artist: Caryn Aasness

Exhibition: To Call it Cute is to Misunderstand

Media: Fibers

Gallery: Merlino



20161102_142344About the artist:

Caryn Aasness is a senior at CSULB who will be graduating after this semester with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in fibers.

Formal analysis:

The gallery was full of multi-colored, checkered, woven pieces of material. They varied in length but were all 26 units wide to match the 26 letters of the alphabet. The only piece that was wider than that the title piece, which displayed the message “To Call it Cute is to Misunderstand.” In place of a traditional artist’s statement was a follow-along piece that directed you to a statement that is tailored to your experience.

Content analysis:

Each woven piece contained a different message that could be deciphered through the colors of the squares and where a color overlapped itself. The messages all had something to do with social constructs or a social timeline, such as “first comes love then comes marriage.” Other patterns contained playground like sayings like “I know you are but what am I” and “I’m rubber you’re glue.” All of these messages share the implication that we follow a pattern in life. Things are slowly changing, but we still are living based on the idea that boys are boys, girls are girls, we grow up, fall in love, get married, have children, and history repeats itself.

Synthesis / My experience:

I have my own beliefs about whether social constructs should be followed or not, but I am fascinated at how we as a society have followed them for so long. Caryn’s representation of societal organization through weaving is brilliant. She had total freedom in what she wanted to create, but she did have to follow some guidelines because, like lots of other skills, weaving requires a specific set-up in order for it to work. We have control of our lives. We can do whatever we want, but we still follow rules. We do our chores, go to school, get jobs, and have families. Everything we do in between, or the big picture that we create, is totally up to the individual, but, for the most part, we all follow a general guideline, like weaving


wk 7 – Manos De Oro

Artist: Dulce Soledad Ibarra

Exhibition: Manos De Oro

Media: Sculpture, Video, Multi-media

Gallery: Gatov Gallery East


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Dulce is an undergraduate student at CSU Long Beach working toward her Bachelor of Fine Arts under the sculpture department. Her home in the United States with her immediate family lies in Chico, California, while her extended family lives in Mexico. Dulce’s family has a background of hard physical labor, but they have proudly used it to earn themselves a comfortable lifestyle.


When you first glance in the gallery, you notice the colors green and gold. The objects in the gallery are tools used for landscaping, such as a shovel, rake, and lawn mower. These objects were placed around the room in such a way that made the viewer feel as if they were in a museum looking at historical artifacts of high value. A video was playing of Dulce’s father doing his landscaping work, and the viewer could see the content expression on his face and hear him whistling a song while he did his work.


The landscaping tools were decorated in gold to show how to Dulce and her family, as well as may others, they are more than just tools to maintain a yard. They are tools used to make a living and create art, therefore they carry the value of gold. Hiding inside one of the piles of yard waste in the corner of the room was a gold casting of Dulce’s father’s hands. She illustrated that “all hands are made of gold, but some hands are left invisible under the sun, covered in grease and the greenery of another man’s land.”


Dulce’s work is beautiful to look at, and the meaning behind it is even more beautiful. Through hard, physical labor, her family earns their living. While many American families obtain their gold through taking advantage of other people, Dulce’s family earns their gold with their hands, which makes it much more valuable. Her representation of hard-working hands as gold attempts to give viewers a deeper appreciation of physical labor than they might already have.

wk 6 – Wood Exhibition

Artists: Ingrid Gonzalez, Kyle Wallace, Quinn Nguyen, Joshua Smith, Ariel Maldonado, Laura Zhan, Marino Hernandez, Ryan Taber, Briana Pero

Exhibition: Wood Exhibition

Media: Sculpture

Gallery: Marilyn Werby Gallery

Website: n/a



Multiple artists took part in putting this exhibition together, including students, staff, and faculty in the CSULB Wood Program and the CRAFTED Wood club.


Though each project was made of wood, they varied in shape, color, and texture. Different types of wood were used to create each project since each type of wood serves a purpose better than another might. Some creations were smooth and seemed fluid while others were more cut and rigid.


The intent of this exhibition is to portray the nature of wood and its significance in ecology. Each artist needed to work with the biological nature of the wood and create something that would fit into our society and serve a purpose. Some pieces would serve more as decoration while others would come into use, such as a desk. Something like a desk would help provide contact and understanding between two people, like a teacher and a student.


I’ve come to really appreciate this type of work. Every week, I tend to gravitate toward the gallery that shows a relationship between nature and the man-made world. In this specific exhibition it’s shown that wood, which already has a role in its own biological ecosystem, also has an important role in our human ecosystem.


wk 6 – Zines/flipbooks

I had made a zine once before, but didn’t really get the concept. It was difficult for me to figure out what to write or draw this time as well, even after seeing examples.

After thinking about it for a while I figured I’d document my Wednesdays, the most difficult day of the week for me.

I stitched together sketchbook pages with pink thread, of course.



My Wednesdays begin when no reasonable person would be awake. The Coffee Bean at which I work opens at 5:30am, so my shift begins at 5. It takes me about thirty minutes to get to work.


Customers aren’t always pleasant, especially in Pasadena. They drive nice cars and have huge egos. I’m just a barista. Who cares if everyone dumps their sh*tty attitudes on me? It’s not like it has any effect on the rest of my day.


My shift ends at 9:30 on days that I open. This gives me barely enough time to get to class, especially since finding parking is an absolute terror.


I use my gap to eat dinner and do some homework. I still haven’t been home since I left for work.


Driving home takes about 45 minutes. As soon as I get there, I’m out like a light, but not for as long as I should be.


Wednesdays are exhausting to my mind and body. I usually keep things simple these days. I’ll wear a T-shirt with my work pants, maybe a hat to cover the hair I haven’t washed in a few days. These days are very blah, so I decided to make the documentation of it the same.

I went with simple, to the point drawings because I like to keep Wednesdays as short and sweet as possible. I also went with an alarm clock theme because of how constricted I feel to my schedule.

wk 5 – Insolitum

Artist: Katherine McRaven

Exhibition: Insolitum

Media: Studio Art, sculpture, drawing, 3D printing

Gallery: Dutzi

Instagram: Spirit_rose_a_metre






Katherine McRaven is a student at CSULB studying Studio Art. She takes interest in creating useful things out of unconventional, unrelated, or recycled items. She mostly makes jewelry and hopes to create enough inventory to open a shop.


The first thing to catch your eye when entering the gallery is a wall full of metal triangles. They have very rustic and earthy tones, but are cut so clean they remind me of glass. There were also a few 3D printed items on display, mostly items that resembled something you’d find in nature, like this sculpture that looks like icicles.



Katherine pulled together materials and ideas from various points in history and different cultural backgrounds to create each piece. In her piece “I” (pictured below) she laser-etched the design onto vinyl then heat transferred in onto metal. Corinthian columns or Victorian motif are recognizable in the piece that portrays a simply stated “I” next to a decorative flourish.


When Katherine sets up “Untitled Triangulation #2” (first picture) it’s always different. She arranges the triangles in a way that she feels reflects her mood while setting them up. This piece, then, serves the purpose of reflecting her mood, rather than making one statement.



Katherine’s use of natural, archaic, and modern ideas interests me because it’s not something you see everywhere. It’s common to see antique ideas, but not so many different ideas from different times and cultural backgrounds are brought together to create one piece. This breaks many rules about consistency, but instead of considering the rules broken, I’d like to consider the rules absurd and unnecessary.

Wk 5 – Spray Paint

September 25, 2016

This week I was planning on going to Venice Beach to participate with the class in this activity, but then life happened and…we all know how that gets in the way sometimes.

So I bought a piece of wood to paint at home. Looking back I probably should have gotten something a little bigger since my name has eight letters in it, and an easel would have made it easier, but I’m a rookie.

Luckily, pink was one of the colors I got in my art kit. It’s my favorite color and I don’t see how I could have possibly done this project if I wasn’t working with my favorite color. It’s, like, a big deal, or something.

I didn’t know where to start, so I figured I’d paint the whole board blue to get myself a background.


After the first squirt of paint hit the board, I realized that the beach would have been a MUCH better place to do this. There wasn’t much of a breeze, so the smell was strong. I looked at my boyfriend with puppy dog eyes, looking for sympathy.”Do I have to do this?


I still didn’t know what to do, so I just dove right into spelling my name.

Then realized that I REALLY had no idea what I was doing. I tried out the different can tips on the back of the board to familiarize myself with them, but I was still lost. The S came out blurry, and I made it too big. Once I got the rest of my letters on the board, I decided flowers would be a good idea. Even better, I wanted to make them purple, so I tried to mix the pink and blue to create something new out of what I have, which is artistic, right?


I couldn’t get purple. As you can see, I got frustrated. Under that concentrated amount of blue paint was a flower, a very ugly morphed flower.


The paint from my name was starting to drip because I’ve never worked with spray paint before, but I liked the way it looked, so I went with it. And, of course, turned the S into a dollar sign because, why not?


I really like this picture. I think I’m going to make it my new profile picture on Twitter.


And here’s Chris having fun taking pictures of me while I complain.


I’m actually happy with my final product. If Chris wouldn’t mind me taking over our room with my girly things, I’d put it on the wall. But for now, it’s probably going to sit on the patio until the weather ruins it.

Wk 3 – “What kind of art has had the biggest impact on your life today?”


This week I met Jose Perez, or JP. He’s a business major but is still undecided about what he wants to do with his degree. He’s an LA native who loves hip hop music. I asked him what kind of art has had the most impact on his life, and he replied that hip hop has always been something that he goes to if he needs to relax, let loose, or just wants to hang out. He claimed that it’s nothing more personal than being able to vibe to it, but music allows a person to sort out their emotions, no matter the genre.

Wk 3 – Artist Conversation

Artist: Juliet Johnson
Exhibition: i thought i saw a windmill
Media: photography, sculpture, mixed media, installation
Gallery: Gatov Gallery East
Website: n/a



Juliet Johnson is an undergraduate art student who began her college career as a painter, but found herself a more natural spot in the sculpture department. Upon completion of her bachelors degree, she hopes to continue her education as a graduate student.


The first thing you see when you walk into the gallery is a photo of a young man who appears to be sitting criss-cross in front of some foliage, but when you get a closer look, he’s actually floating, leaning back with an elated expression. A piece of the portrait was abruptly cut out of the bottom right, and the frame was incomplete. On the wall to the right of the portrait was a moving picture of a green landscape. The leaves were dancing, and in one spot, it seemed to be pulsating. The background noise was a dancing nature tone. It was the perfect audio representation of the dancing foliage.


In i thought i saw a windmill there was an overall theme of unfinished business and things that made no logical sense, such as the partial frame and the floating man. I stood for several minutes staring at the moving picture of the green landscape, waiting for whatever was pushing its way out of the ground to come out. It never did. I read and reread the text. I couldn’t make logical sense of it. The room was full of questions, and the gallery provided no answers, but it was okay. After experiencing the piece, I felt pure bliss. I asked Juliet what kind of emotion she was going for, and she described it as “the feeling.” Even “bliss” didn’t cover it completely.


i thought i saw a windmill is more than just something to look at; it’s a feeling that you can’t exactly pinpoint, but it’s overwhelming in the most comforting way possible. The gallery is full of unfinished business, which should be upsetting, but Juliet placed things together in such a way that the missing or illogical pieces are more comforting than they would be if they were finished and made logical sense. In our every day life, we piece things together and try to make things work, logically. When things don’t make sense or work the way we want them to, chaos takes over our bodies. In Juliet’s gallery, though, chaos doesn’t exist. I felt completely satisfied and content in the presence of the unanswered questions.

Wk 1 – Plaster Casting

It would be cheaper for me to buy a $3 bag of sand at my local Home Depot than to spend the 2 gallons of gas it would have taken me to get to the beach and back (I am a commuter) so I got my 50 lb bag of sand and went to working.

It was too hot outside, so I decided to throw some newspaper on the wood floor to do my project. We’ll find out how my roommates like this.


I imagined myself creating this pretty hand sculpture that I can paint and set on my dresser to be a jewelry holder. Boy, was I wrong! The sand started falling apart and the mold wasn’t what I was hoping it would be. When I took out my project, it looked a little scary.

This won’t sit on my night stand for decoration, but maybe it’ll be a decoration for a Halloween party.