Wk 15 – Artist Conversation – Nancy Young

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Exhibition Information

Artist: Nancy Young
Exhibition: As the Crow Flies
Media: Ink, Paper, Metal, Wood, Silkscreen, Stencils,
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Dutzi Gallery
Website: Artist has no website at this time.
Instagram: Artist has no Instagram at this time.

About the Artist

Nancy Young is a graduating CSULB student who will receive a BFA in Printmaking this semester. After leaving school when she was younger due to mental health issues, Nancy returned to school to pursue her passion. Although she does not plan to make art her career, she believes that everyone can benefit in significant ways from an art education. Nancy currently works as a data programmer in Orange County. Her art is inspired by her personal experiences, particularly those in which she experienced sadness and struggle.

Formal Analysis

Nancy’s exhibit As the Crow Flies features pieces that integrate a variety of formal elements. Perhaps most notable about her pieces is their sense of rhythm. Her illustrations of landscapes and birds integrate a variety of textures, shapes, and lines that converge to create a sense of movement. The use of both jagged and sinuous lines to create images of crows create beautiful cadence. Nancy’s tendency to completely fill in the backgrounds of her illustrations also creates rhythm in the pieces, as such backgrounds are often textured, involve sinuous patterns, and ultimately complete the piece as a whole. Nancy’s etchings provide vivid texture to her illustrations that contribute to their depth and dimensional appearance. The neutral, muted tones featured in her pieces prominently provide them with a melancholy or peaceful feel.

Content Analysis

The use of crows as the theme of Nancy’s exhibit is derivative of her personal association with crows. Nancy expressed that her turbulent journey through life, in which she has faced a multitude of experiences, has led her to identify her life with that of crows’, as they, too, fly from place to place. Nancy feels that she is like a crow in that she journeys to and from her life experiences. She noted that she feels especially akin to crows as she prepares to graduate, and leave CSULB for her next life experience. In addition, Nancy uses the crow to represent departure in the form of death. Her experiences of sadness and grief, especially that in which she lost her husband, inspired this symbolism. Ultimately, the crow serves as the perfect symbol for Nancy’s journey through life, and for her personal feelings of grief.

Synthesis / My Experience

I truly appreciate Nancy’s art and the immense amount of thought and emotions she evidently put into creating it. Like Nancy, I also feel that humans are a bit like birds in that they journey from place to place. I find it so brilliant how Nancy utilized the crow as a symbol for both her own life and for the concept of death. I also really love the variety of materials and techniques Nancy used to bring her ideas to life. I feel that her pieces have a beautiful sense of rhythm, and I really loved seeing her etchings integrated into her prints. Overall, I feel Nancy’s art was beautiful and serene. Despite her many tribulations, I believe her pieces showcase the peace that she has found within herself.

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Wk 12 – Artist Experience – Tiffany Le

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Exhibition Information

Artist: Tiffany Le
Exhibition: Tàu
Media: Ink, Color Pencil, Charcoal, Watercolor, Clayboard, BFK Paper, Pastels, Watercolor Pencil, Acrylic, LED Lights, Sculpture, Canvas
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Dennis W. Dutzi Gallery
Website: http://letealeaf.prosite.com/174509/home
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/letealeaf/

About the Artist

Tiffany Le is a third year CSULB graduate student. She is from Garden Grove, and has been creating art since the age of three. This May, Tiffany will receive her MFA in Illustration. After graduating, she hopes to continue her freelance work and seek studio jobs. Aside from art, Tiffany’s hobbies include Kendo, hiking, going to gallery shows, and taking care of her bunnies. Tiffany’s art explores her Vietnamese-American descent and conveys untold narratives of her family’s experiences during their immigration to America.

Formal Analysis

In accordance with the themes of chaos and turmoil of her family’s immigration conveyed in her pieces, Tiffany’s art integrates both sinuous and jagged lines. The many natural elements depicted in her pieces, including fire and, most dominantly, waves, are sinuous in nature. They curve and spiral, giving them an appearance of being all-encapsulating. Large animals featured in her pieces are also crafted from sinuous lines, giving them a similar powerful, consuming feel. Jagged lines are also featured in Tiffany’s pieces, offering stark contrasts to the sinuous lines. Most notable are the jagged lines featured in her illustrations of boats. The sharp lines that make up the boats are highlighted by the sinuous waves that serve as their backdrops. The integration of both sinuous and jagged lines creates a chaotic rhythm in many of the pieces. The dominant use of dark tones, such as red, black, and gray, convey a bleak, hopeless feel in many of the pieces. Even the occasional use of bright tones, such as the oranges and yellows of the fire, convey a terrifying and all-consuming feel. The use of acrylics allows the artist to create illusions, and beautiful integrations, of both crashing and gentle waves in her pieces.

Content Analysis

In creating her pieces, Tiffany Le sought to illustrate the untold stories of her Vietnamese-American family. The intense, yet often down-played trauma her family members experienced in their immigration from Vietnam to America is depicted in her pieces. Tiffany drew inspiration from her family’s experiences, such as that in which her father failed to escape on a boat nearly sixty-seven times, as well as that in which her cousin was thrown overboard and nearly drowned. In crafting visual narratives of immigration during the Vietnam War, Tiffany seeks to not only elucidate the immense struggles and endurance of her own family, but of all immigrants, as well. In creating art that depicts the journey of immigration, she hopes to portray the individuality and humanness of immigrants. In this way, she seeks to convey a message that emphasizes the error of perceiving immigrants as a collective group of foreigners that deserve to be shamed. Tiffany’s art ultimately serves as beautifully crafted visual narratives of the strength and perseverance of immigrants.

Synthesis / My Experience

To say that I love Tiffany’s art would be a major understatement. It was an absolute honor to see Tiffany’s craftsmanship in-person, and listen to her speak about the foundations of her art. As soon as I walked into the gallery, I saw the beautiful paper boats in the center of the exhibit. Even more breathtaking was when the lights went out and the boats shone brightly in the dark. My perception of this piece was that the boats’ lights shone as brightly in the dark as the hopes of immigrants traveling through darkness and despair. Tiffany’s other pieces were breathtaking, as well. Rich in color, integrating various lines, and showcasing powerful, naturalistic elements, Tiffany’s illustrations evoked feelings of sadness and hope in me simultaneously. I felt the sadness associated with the struggles of immigrants, the hope that they must feel upon entering a new land, and the pride that they must feel upon overcoming their struggles and establishing new lives for themselves. Tiffany’s feelings towards her family, and immigrants in general, are very clearly conveyed through her art. I am proud to say that I share her high regard towards people who have survived these immense struggles and come out on top. Tiffany’s art eloquently portrays why I have these strong feelings, and justifies them. I am so honored to have experienced her beautiful, brilliant art. I am confident that the countless immigrants who are so often mistreated and abused would be immensely grateful for Tiffany’s representation of their struggles and their essence.

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