Week 12 – Art Experience – Geocaching

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This week I had a very interesting art experience that I had very mixed feelings about. While I found the creation of my own geocache to be so much fun, I found finding someone else’s geocache to be extremely frustrating. The latter was the first part of this week’s art experience. Initially, I was excited at the prospect of finding trinkets placed by someone else nearby. Using the app, I found a geocache near my house, at a cemetery. I went to the cemetery and tried to use the app’s tracking compass to find the geocache. The information about the geocache indicated it was in a tree. I tracked my way to a group of trees and searched them for a long while. I could not find the geocache. I tried to follow the app’s compass to find it, but after awhile I realized that the compass was changing erratically, going from 5 ft to 18 ft within seconds. Thus, I had to leave without having found the geocache. I decided to try again at another location. The app indicated that there was another geocache nearby, at a shopping center. I went to the shopping center and again used the app’s compass to try to find the geocache. Again, the compass started changing erratically and not making sense. I searched the area for a little while, but decided to leave, as I was in a less safe part of my city. At this point, I was very disappointed and quite frustrated at not begin able to find any geocaches, as I had utilized the tracking app and spent a lot of time searching for them. Finally, while running an errand at the Westminster Mall, I noticed that there was a geocache nearby, near the front entrance. I decided to try once again to find a geocache in this location. However, once again, after circling the area and looking high and low multiple times, I just could not find it. Needless to say, I feel pretty frustrated with the app and with myself for not being able to find one geocache, even after visiting three locations! However, this experience was definitely not all negative. I so very much enjoyed making my own geocache. I used an Altoids tin for my container, and I searched my drawers for trinkets to put in it. I wanted my box to be delicate, and convey themes of nature and beauty. My geocache’s contents include a plastic frog, a ring, a plastic flower, a broken ceramic butterfly wing, a light bright, a magnet, and a quote I cut out from a card that compares life’s beauty to a hummingbird. I also included a log book, a marker, and stickers. I really love the random little trinkets in my geocache because I feel that they have wonderful simplistic beauty. I love that most of the contents are toys that serve as symbolic of life, especially the little frog, the plastic flower, the ceramic butterfly wing, and the light bright, which to me symbolizes sunlight. I feel that the quote I included wraps up and conveys this message beautifully. I placed my geocache at the cemetery where I looked for the first geocache. I feel that this was a perfect, peaceful place to put my own box of little reminders of how precious life is. Maybe someone will find it when they are visiting their loved ones and feel happiness at holding a little box of life. In this way, I now think about maps differently. Maps show us where places are geographically, but they don’t reveal the same information that things like geocaches do – things like emotions, and memories conveyed in their little trinkets.

The coordinates of my geocache are N 33° 45.010′ and W 117° 59.495′.

Although I have never seen any Harry Potter films, I am familiar with the concept of “muggles”, and I definitely think it is an appropriate term for people who are unaware of all the geocaches around them. People who are unaware of all the magical little trinkets hidden around them really are, in a sense, unaware of the magic that surrounds them. In fact, I think this concept applies to much of life. I think there is magic we are all aware of, and unaware of. I think we are all apart of certain aspects of life’s magic, and we are all ‘muggles’ to other aspects of it. Magic I may be aware of, others may be unaware of. Magic others are aware of, I may be oblivious to. We definitely can’t map our feelings and emotions connected to places. This keeps much of the magic that goes with those places hidden. I have to say I am happy that much of life’s magic is hidden. I am very much in love with the prospect of keeping some magic to myself, and seeking other magic out in my life. I think the seeking of magic in our everyday lives keeps life exciting and precious.

 

Wk 12 – Classmate Conversation – Jennifer Garcia

This week I had the pleasure of getting to know Jennifer Garcia. Jennifer is a second year Biology student. She lives on campus, but only ‘kinda’ likes dorming. Although she is taking Art 110 to fulfill a GE, Jennifer says she likes and appreciates art. However, she does not feel she is very good at creating it. In her free time, Jennifer likes to play soccer on her soccer team, listen to music, and hang out with friends. After graduation, she would like to start working in a hospital. In the future, Jennifer sees herself having her own family. She also sees herself traveling to Barcelona, Spain. As of now, she has one pet, a Labrador Retriever. Jennifer’s favorite movie is A Walk to Remember, her favorite actor is Johnny Depp, and her favorite musician is Noel Torres. Jennifer also says her favorite TV shows right now are The Flash and Kim Possible, and her favorite book is “The Lovely Bones”. I loved getting to know Jennifer, as she seems like such an ambitious and sweet person.

Jennifer’s website is: https://yennii714.wordpress.com

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Wk 11 – Art Experience – Turning Pages

This week I had an interesting and very unique art experience. This week’s experience asked us to think about documentation and utilization of space. Since Turning Pages was somewhat of a performance piece, in which we interacted with various places and objects throughout campus, it was ephemeral in nature. Ephemeral experiences can be documented in a variety of ways. We can write about them, we can take photographs of them, we can tell stories about them, and we can create art that reflects them, among other methods. I feel that words and pictures are highly effective in capturing the essence of moments. The quality and personal-ness of words and pictures are major variants in determining how effective they are at reflecting experiences. I think that we can use words and pictures in beautiful ways that allow other people to understand experiences, as if they were, or are, there themselves. I also think the style of words and pictures greatly matters in capturing an experience. Different photography techniques, or even different techniques used in the creation of hand-crafted pictures, can intensify pictures’ abilities to capture experiences. Blurriness can beautifully capture motion, lighting can alter the mood or feel we get from viewing an experience, and angle can affect the way we perceive it. Techniques used in drawings and paintings have similar purposes. Colors evoke emotion and help dictate how we should feel, texture gives images a realistic look, and detail can make a huge difference in how immersed we become in an image. These techniques, among others, help make the experience more real and allow us to see or feel things we may not have from looking at a basic photograph. Variations in writing are also effective in capturing experiences. Poems often capture feelings of experiences, and descriptions allow us to envision things as they were. Both styles of writing are equally effective in elucidating the specifics of an experience. Other ways to share experiences with people who were absent from them include sharing stories about them, writing music that reflects how they made us feel, and re-enacting them. These methods can be equally as effective as formal documentation, and may serve as the preferred methods of documentation for many. Although some people feel that trying to document an experience as it happens creates an experiential distance between themselves and the event, I feel that in-the-moment documentation is most often a means of connection between oneself and an experience. Although I can understand how viewing an event as it happens from behind a camera can seem contradictory to the nature of experiencing something in-person, I feel that the payoff of being able to see your own photographic evidence is very much worth being behind a camera for a few moments during the event. When I experience an event in-person, I am definitely mindful of being present and not straying behind my camera too often. However, I make sure that I take a good amount of photographic documentation, such as videos and photographs. This allows me to re-visit and re-experience the moments that are so dear to me later on. In my opinion, this is so important. Being able to view videos and photographs that I took myself allows me to re-live such moments and causes me great happiness. It is rare that we are able to re-live our most precious memories in life. Thus, I feel that when we are provided the opportunity to document them, we should definitely take it.

I feel that my experiences of not taking photos in the library, and taking photos in the bookstore were not very different. Although they were obviously different in that I did not formally document one experience and I took photographs of the other, I did not feel as though my ability to be present was very much affected. I would say that I felt equally present at both the library and the bookstore. My ultimate feeling about this activity is that it was very interesting. At first I did not really understand the point of the activity, even after reading the instructions a few times. I felt somewhat awkward and disruptive reading books in the library’s computer lab, and I felt as though I were wandering aimlessly through the bookstore, unsure of what to do. However, I can now see that the point was to think about documentation and the ever-changing nature of society as it is reflected in the utilization of space. I can clearly understand Marta’s point about how our utilization of the library and the bookstore very much reflect technological advances and cultural changes within our society. The library’s integration of a Starbucks and computers showcase our dependence on technology and caffeine, especially somewhat fancy coffee drinks. The bookstore’s showcasing of CSULB merchandise and technology convey similar dependencies, as well as students’ desires to celebrate their attendance of their university with themed merchandise. The somewhat hidden, cast aside nature of books in both places that are supposedly founded on books demonstrates many students’ straying from books in favor of technology and consumerism.

Wk 10 – Artist Conversation – Ja’Rie Gray

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Exhibition Information

Artist: Ja’Rie Gray
Exhibition: My Complexion
Media: Oil paints, canvas, charcoal, paper, panel
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery East
Websites: http://jariegraymycomplexion.weebly.com http://jariegrayblackface.com/JG.html
Instagram: Artist has no Instagram at this time.

About the Artist

Ja’Rie Gray is a CSULB graduate student in the Drawing and Painting program. Ja’Rie is from Los Angeles, and has been creating art since she was five years old. However, she feels that artists can and should always learn more about their craft. This is why she is passionate about pursuing her college art education. Ja’Rie finds immense inspiration from her own culture and life, particularly her childhood. Her art beautifully conveys these inspirations, as well as social messages tied to them.

Formal Analysis

Ja’Rie’s My Complexion exhibit is a very cohesive collection of images that powerfully convey the same message. They emphasize this message through their formal qualities, particularly color, line, and rhythm. Perhaps the most dominant feature in the majority of Ja’Rie’s pieces, as well as a major component in portraying her exhibit’s message, is color. Ja’Rie’s pieces, which feature a variety of African American women mostly against bright colors and geometric patterns, utilize color to the emphasize the beauty of their subjects. The rich colors of the women’s skin tones, which serve as the main theme of the exhibit, are enhanced by the bold and brightly colored backdrops and elements. Also notable are the geometric patterns and shapes that are intermingled with the women in the pieces. Perhaps also serving as an element that provides emphasis, is the line found in these geometric patterns. The organic, sinuous lines and curvatures of the women’s bodies are emphasized by the sharp angles of geometric patterns. Ultimately, all of these elements provide each of the pieces with a sense of rhythm, from their contrasting colors to their variously shaped, intermingled lines.

Content Analysis

Ja’Rie’s exhibit aims to showcase the discriminatory attitudes of cultures towards skin complexion and race. Her pieces convey this social theme through their portrayals of both the devastating impact of discrimination, and the beauty of skin tones. The use of bleach as a key theme in her pieces showcases the devastation that results from discriminatory attitudes, and awakens viewers to this highly relevant social issue. The bleach represents the inability to accept one’s own beauty as a direct result of discriminatory perceptions of skin tone. Ja’Rie’s pieces also showcase the beauty that contradicts the misguided and false beliefs that dark skin tones are less beautiful than light ones. The portrayal of African American women in rich color and organic line against bright colors showcase their immense beauty. In evoking all of these feelings, Ja’Rie aims to elicit reactions of complexity from viewers, in which they feel both devastated from discriminatory attitudes, and enlightened to the beauty of skin complexion.

Synthesis / My Experience

I truly appreciate the artist’s beautifully crafted work, her immense technical skill, and her willingness to convey such a personal message through her art. I feel that Ja’Rie will be, and has been, highly successful in her mission to empower viewers by showcasing the beauty of skin complexion. Her pieces powerfully convey the harsh and discriminatory attitudes of many cultures towards skin color. The use of bleach as a major theme in her pieces evoked a very strong, sad reaction from me. However, her absolutely beautiful portrayal of African American women in their natural bodies and skin tones made me feel happy, as well as appreciative of people who are able to see and draw attention to such beauty. I love Ja’Rie’s ambition to showcase the beauty of all skin tones, and I think her work is exemplary of how successful she will continue to be in fulfilling this ambition.

Wk 10 – Art Experience – Instagram

This week I had a very fun experience with Instagram. Unsurprisingly, most of my posts were of my dogs, whom I absolutely adore and am with all the time. Since I willingly post pictures of my dogs all the time, it was so fun to actually post pictures of them for a grade! I also had a very enjoyable and interesting time looking through the Art 110 tag at my classmates’ posts. I was actually very surprised to find that I felt a sort of connection between our posts. Although all of our posts greatly vary in content, I felt as though they all conveyed the lives of Californian CSULB college students. I also felt that having all our posts shared under one tag was so cool. It made me feel as though we all had a shared connection in our own little corner of Instagram. I felt a lot of connections between my own activities and life, and the lives of other students. I especially felt connected to the posts featuring pets, Netflix, CSULB, nature, and shopping, as these are some of my most favorite things! I also thought the posts that reflected different interests from my own were very interesting to see. However, despite these few differences, I ultimately felt a connection between all of us Art 110 students.

Wk 10 – Classmate Conversation – Valerie Laslo

This week I had the pleasure of getting to know Valerie Laslo. Valerie is a third year pre-criminal justice student. After she graduates, she hopes to become a fish and game warden, and then perhaps be a police officer. Valerie loves being outdoors, and enjoys activities such as hiking, camping, water sports, scuba diving, wake boarding, swimming, and snorkeling. She is looking forward to visiting Montana this summer. At the moment, Valerie’s favorite show is “I Love Lucy”. Valerie has one cat, one rabbit, and one beautiful angel cat who I’m sure watches over her. Valerie seems like a very sweet person and wonderful pet owner who loves animals. I very much enjoyed getting to know Valerie.

Valerie’s website is: https://valcat17.wordpress.com

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Wk 9 – Artist Conversation – Sean Joy Rosario Cabanig

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Exhibition Information

Artist: Sean Joy Rosario Cabanig
Exhibition: All Work All Play
Media: Electroformed Copper, Wax, Fishing Line, Spray Paint, Copper, Bronze, Sterling Silver, Fine Silver, Enamel, Brass, Silver Plated Chain
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Marilyn Werby Gallery
Website: Artist has no website at this time.
Instagram: Artist has no Instagram at this time.

About the Artist

Sean Joy Rosario Cabanig is a fifth year CSULB student pursuing a BFA in the School of Art’s Metals Department. Sean is from Los Angeles, and now lives in Long Beach. She started at Long Beach State as a Creative Writing major, but quickly switched to Studio Art. Other than art, Sean loves cats and reading. Sean enjoys experimenting in art studios. She draws significant influence for her art from her emotions and her daily life.

Formal Analysis

Sean’s pieces are beautifully crafted from a variety of metals. The utilization of various metals causes for a wide variety of textures, colors, line, shape, and other formal qualities in her pieces. However, all of her pieces also share qualities that allow them to come together to create a unified exhibit. The metals used in her pieces are perhaps the most significant unifying feature of her pieces. The different colors and textures of the metals enhance each other. Copper, bronze, and silver are complimentary to each other in Sean’s pieces. Their textures also serve this purpose. The majority of her pieces appear smooth and showcase undulating, sinuous line, although a few also appear roughly textured and utilize sharp and jagged lines. Circular shapes seem to be a major theme in her pieces, and appear to utilize both smooth and rough textures. In many of her circularly shaped pieces, Sean seems to integrate sinuous and jagged lines seamlessly to contribute to the illusion of a seamless circle.

Content Analysis

Although Sean does not have a specific message she is trying to convey in her artwork, she aims to convey her influences through her pieces. She finds inspiration from her emotions, her daily life, and her humor, and tries to incorporate them in the creation of her art. In this way, Sean’s art is very personal. Rather than overthink her ideas and inspirations for her art, Sean tries to simply create what she feels. Ultimately, Sean reveres art as a process that requires immense patience and perseverance. She showcases this philosophy in her pieces.

Synthesis / My Experience

I really love Sean’s work. I really appreciate that she seems to drift from inspiration to inspiration. From my perspective, Sean’s exhibit looks like the most beautiful collection of knick knacks or garage sale items I’ve ever seen. I love her mentality of not waiting for a specific idea or inspiration to strike before creating, but just creating whatever you feel or want to create in the moment. I think this philosophy is very evident in her pieces. I also think the inspiration she draws from her humor and her daily life is illustrated beautifully in the randomness of her pieces. I very much love that this randomness creates somewhat of a mysterious feel behind her pieces, as they elicit curiosity from viewers. I think that Sean has an amazing talent for taking ordinary objects and reinventing them into things of beauty, or perhaps extracting and showcasing the beauty that they’ve always had.

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