This project was something very new for me and a bit challenging. I’ve drawn graffiti art on paper before and have only used spray paint to make a sign for decoration in high school, so putting the two together was a bit difficult, but made it fun to not have any expectations. At first I did not like my piece at all because the paint was dripping but then I thought the drip added a cool affect especially with the colors that I chose. Cool project!
Artist: Kim Abeles
Exhibition: Call and Response, When We Say… You Say
Media: Ink on paper
Gallery: CSULB, University Art Museum
Kim Abeles was born in 1952, and is an American artist living in Los Angeles. She is mostly known for being an activist because of her works of political and social nature. Abeles would also be described as a feminist. She has created projects with the California Science Center, air pollution control agencies, health clinics and mental health departments, and natural history museums in California, Colorado and Florida. Abeles has a very impressive and extensive resume of her work that she has clearly invested a lot emotionally and physically.
Abeles piece that was presented at the art museum caught my eye immediately and I knew I wanted to write about it. Her work was displayed with two panels stretched horizontally and on each paper was ink stretched across like an EKG. Each horizontal line was continuous and took the shape if sine buildings and trees but nothing too in detailed. The lines were small and created movement because she was literally on a train drawing this and let her hand move to the movement of the train. You have to get pretty close up to see the quaint images but it tells a story.
I loved this piece because from far away I was confused as to what it was exactly, so it drew me in and made me want to get a closer look to discover what it was trying to display. Once I took a second to observe the image I started hearing all the sounds on the train. The loud tracks against one another, the random conversations among strangers, the subtle julting of the training and the fast pace lives living just outside of it. I thought that was quite beautiful how a work of art like that could make me feel. It even made me feel safe in a way and I really resonated with that.
Artist: Savannah Paul
Media: Metals, Mixed-Media, Installation
Gallery: LBSU School of Art, Marilyn Weeny Gallery
Savannah Paul is finishing up her last semester as a fifth year for a BFA Degree in the Metals Program. The metals program is very small with only 8 people working towards that degree and all are female. She started in the metals program about three years ago, but before that was in drawing and painting, which she said has made an influence on her work. Ever since she was young she was always inclined to creating something and then Paul began getting more serious about her work in her last year of high school. Paul explores the ideas of femininity and being strong as a women.
Her figures are made out of wire and take the form of broken up curved lines. They are life size gestures that is not the complete female body but takes on the shape of it. To me the metal looks like twig like figure which adds a very natural element. Each gesture flows with one another to create a unit out of the whole gallery. Then as for her other pieces she used a model of the upper body of a female and then created a necklace out of actual bright orange rape whistles and then used the rope from the whistles to make a giant rope that laid on the ground next to the body.
This gallery in particular takes stand on the pivotal socio-political movement in our community of what it means to be a women. She embodies the powerful women that participated in the #Metoo movement. Her intention is for women and herself to see themselves in these objects, which is why they figures are kind of abstract in the sense of we have to fill the object. Then the whistle piece is a commentary on the appointment of Brent Cabana to our supreme court, it’s using the rape whistle as a jewelry piece to shed light on items like a rape whistle and pepper spray have become a normalized accessory as a women. And also the way the rape culture is in a way glamorized, especially in Hollywood.
Pauls work immediately struck my eye and I found it beautiful yet moving. I’ve been noticing a trend in the works of art based around feminism and that is something that I adore. It is a topic that needs to be talked about and heard. The gestures that she created are one of my favorite styles of art work.
Exhibition: Roll Call
Media: Resin, wire
Gallery: LBSU School of Art, Gatov Gallery West
Hillary is on the path to graduate next semester in the Sculpture BFA program. When Hillary was in middle school she started becoming more and more aware that while she was in class she couldn’t quite process all the information that every other student could do. That is when she discovered that she has an Auditory Processing Disorder. This means that Hillary can still hear everything clearly but may process it a little bit slower. She described it as gathering about 80% of a conversation then the other 20% gets jumbled. So Hillary wanted to explore the idea of processing disorder as well as the anatomy of the body. It takes a lot of vulnerability to be open about the difficulties that she faces everyday. However, with lots of therapy and some lip reading, she is overcoming the auditory processing disorder.
Hillary created a 4D sculpture of the cochlea out of 3D printed resin with an embedded speaker in it and sodded wire. The sculpture is pretty true to size and is supported by string and wire hung from the ceiling. She used a clear resin and grey wiring to represent the nerves that are actually grey matter. It is a continuous piece that is curved around like the shape of the inner ear. The print itself took her 8 hours and the whole piece together took about roughly 3 weeks to create, including all the sound and wiring.
This sculpture is mainly focused around Hillarys Auditory Processing Disorder. The idea behind it is that, it is the part of the body that understands all of your frequencies and the pitch that happens. Then where it connects to the wire is the part where the nerve connects to the brain. Hillary was also interested in this because she thought it was similar to a conch shell; in how you can hear the ocean and ambient noises. She stated that she really struggles with ambient noise because it's hard to synthesize information that's going on. The underwater sound mimics the ocean, which is an ambient noise, and she has created that through the wiring and into the cochlea.
I really loved the message behind this gallery. When I first walked into the exhibit I was a bit confused as to how each piece all flowed together, but after reading the description I thought it was displayed very nicely. The idea behind Roll Call is a collection of thoughts, questions, reflections, exploration of vulnerability and present-day issues, and more that forms a community as they create. After learning more about Hillary's piece, I thought her work brought these words to life. It really exemplifies the concept of vulnerability and pushed the experience of her everyday difficulties. The whole exhibit made me reflect on my own life and own questions; and I believe that is exactly what art should do.
Discovered that finger painting is one of the most stress relieving activities someone can do. This assignment was lots of fun not having any pressure or expectations on what you create. Allowing my fingers and paint guide me aimlessly along the paper. I seem to have fallen back on this flowing motion of a wave. That was the mindset that this project put me in - flowing within the piece. I also loved the satisfaction of getting my hands messy. Great project!
Job one: Photographer and Videographer
Being a photographer allows for so much creativity and exploration. For the past 5 years I have gotten more and more invested into photography and videography and am inspired to continue that growth. I am starting to achieve this life everyday but constantly creating, capturing moments, and thinking about new ideas and places to go. With that I will learn more about this field and can continue to improve. As a picture perfect dream life I would imagine myself having the ability to travel around to different cultures, communities, places and capturing the big and small moments that make up each place; send a message out to the world that has yet to be discovered or talked about. I would love to be working with either an adventure lifestyle like surfing, skating, hiking, etc. Or pursuing something that does send out a greater message like helping the environment or bettering a community somewhere.
Job Two: business owner of yoga studio and juice bar
Yoga has been something that I've been grounded in ever since the transition from moving away from home. It's been something that’s secure for me and that I’ve found personal growth in, so I now want to give back what I’ve experienced and share with others. Let others find personal acceptance and growth in their own ways. By doing so I want to open up my own yoga studio along with a juice bar that is entirely vegan. Veganism is another thing that I have found love within and that has truly shaped me into the person I am today. Sometimes it can be challenging finding places that is completely cruelty free while still giving nutrients to the body, so this is just the place I want to create. To do this I will complete my yoga certification class and begin practicing and putting myself out there to teach at other studios and then work my way up. I will also become more educated with nutrition and juicing to gain the right knowledge needed to provide for others.
Job Three: Creator of ethical clothing brand
The world of fast fashion is overpowering. Companies producing and selling clothes at incomprehensible rates and those workers get paid near nothing, not to mention the horrible effects it takes on the environment. From manufacturing pollution to items of clothing getting dumped to landfill - it is outrageous. To combat this small companies, like the one I aspire to make, create ethical clothing from recycled and eco friendly products that are produced by quality staff that get paid fairly. I want to create a brand that feels like a family and gives out love to those who support. My ideas are simple neutral color clothing that are very flowy and comfortable. I would also like to release my own line of yoga wear and surf wear. I think it's important for women to comfortable with who they are in what they wear. I will do this by taking classes based upon making the garments themselves in a eco friendly way. Then will start opening up my own business to sell the items that myself and others create.
Artist: Jillian Thompson
Exhibition: Sista Sista
Media: Ceramics, Glass, Mixed-Media, Installation
Gallery: LBSU School of Art, Gatov Gallery West
Jillian Thompson is a second year working towards her MFA in jewelry and metalsmithing. She just recently moved to California about a year ago and oddly enough she transferred from Grand Valley University in Michigan, which is 10 minutes away from my hometown. She originally wanted to go into graphic design to make hip hop album covers, but then she learned that the demographic of the school wasn’t a good fit for her. Then she took a ceramics and jewelry class at the same time and discovered her love for creating jewelry and working with metals that were very forgiving. She's always had a fascination with LA, especially by growing up with LA hip hop, specifically Long Beach hip hop is very significant in her life. Thompson found a great community based upon her culture that she didn’t get to experience living in west Michigan, but did grow up with it when she lived in Detroit. Jillian stated that, “the art black community is very strong here, stronger than New York, Atlanta, and that is why she chooses to stay here. She now makes and sells her own jewelry and is building her connections and working to get picked up by a gallery or have her jewelry in museums.
Jillian's space was centered around a great big sculpture that consisted of old wood planks that were supported by bricks of cement. The wood was covered in painted designs and had ceramic statues on top. Then hanging above the sculpture was weaves of hair mixed with some jewelry. Then surrounding the gallery was mixed media pieces that consisted of magazine clippings, printmaking images, hair, and jewelry. She used mainly bold colors on a white backdrop.
The exhibition, Sista Sista is the idea of having a safe place for their work to explore freely. It truly relates back to the principle of being a black womyn in today's society and living with the remarks of what others say and how they act around them. For their mixed media pieces with magazine clippings and quotes that have been said to them or have read and heard. Quotes such as “Nice hair aint cheap hair” and “I didn’t have time or energy to go deeper into the problematic history of racist petting zoos.” They got their ideas based off of feelings and past experiences that have built up. They included the hair to show what it's like to braid then unbraided their hair and how that feels living with that. Jillian said that they created this work to emphasize that they are no different to anyone else.
I think it is very inspiring to see young women create this art with such a powerful message. I love how in the description of her work she decided to change the spelling of women to “womyn” just so the word “men” is not included. It shows a very feminist aspect from the start along with the name of the exhibition. This gallery caught my eye and new there was something special about it and come to find out that I would connect with the artist and relate back to a place of my past home. I absolutely love the how she included pieces of hair extensions and weaves because to me I've felt like it has had a bad connotation to it, but now it is all about embracing it and her art brings that concept to life.