Wk 15 – Student Conversation – Katherine Pantoja

Katherine Pantoja is a first-year freshman at CSULB. She is currently undeclared, but is looking to double major is Creative Writing and Sociology. She is taking this class for fun, as she has already completed the GE requirement multiple times over. Her favorite food is spaghetti and her favorite dessert is between chocolate cake and flan. Pantoja has two dogs; one is named Lucky and the other is Panda. If she could be any animal, she would ne just that: a dog. She can’t decide between loving books or movies more, but she will always prefer a book over a movie made from a book. Her favorite flower is a Rose and she loves travel and vacationing every summer. Pantoja’s favorite color is purple and if she could have any superpower, it would be having the ability to fly. Flying is a trait of some of the main characters in her favorite TV show,  Supernatural. She also is going to be in my group for the final. Just from that, I can see she has a good sense of judgement! I’m just joking. I enjoyed meeting Katherine and I hope we have a good time together during the final and wish her luck in declaring her majors!

P.S. I forgot to ask her for a photo before I lost her in the busy Thursday artist conversation crowd! My apologies.


Wk 15 – Artist Conversation – Nancy Young

Exhibition: As the Crow Flies
Media: paper, printing inks, screens, chemicals, transparencies, litho stone, linolium, etc.
Gallery: ???
Website: no website
Instagram: no instagram

About the Artist:
Nancy Young is graduating from CSULB with a Printmaking BFA this term. She attended CSULB in the past, but at the time was undergoing issues with drug abuse and bipolar disorder and was put on academic probation for how those things affected her GPA. It took her a while to come back here and she is grateful for the opportunity to do so. When she did, she enrolled in Roxanne Sexauer’s “History of Prints” course. From there, she spawned an interest in printmaking and entered a beginning printmaking class where she participated in a smattering of printmaking processes. From there she was hooked and was determined to take all of the printmaking classes she could.

Even so, she has been provided with a challenge her entire time earning this degree. She has been working full time as well as going to school to earn this degree. On top of that, she decided against using old work (with the exception of one piece) for her show. Young balanced a full-time job as a programmer in Santa Ana and creating an entire show of work during this entire semester. Although she loves working artistically, she doesn’t plan to make a living off of her art because she plans on keeping her current job. Even so, she will continue to buy, make, and exhibit art from here on out. She enjoys putting herself out there and trying to do more than she has in the past with most everything she does.

Content Analysis:
Young’s work is inspired by her life’s experiences and personal issues. Her husband died nine years ago and that is reflected in a lot of her work. Much of her work is also inspired by her dogs, but that line of work is not represented in this show. During all of her projects, awareness of the past is brought up within her work. Along with these personal issues, there is a constant physical theme brought up in this show. The titles to the pieces in this show consist of the word “miles.” This is because the title area is representative of CSULB and the pieces are geologically ordered based upon how far away the locations of the source images are from the campus. I find that to be a very interesting way to organize the work.

Formal Analysis:
On a formal level, Young has experimented with all sorts of printmaking techniques during the semester. I have personally seen her work with many different forms of printing such as lithography, etching, and screen printing during this semester and the past ones. She takes a lot of advice from people within the studio and within other studios to improve her working process and the overall outcome of her work.

Young took her own photos as source imagery. She took these photos in many different locations that mean something to her which linked to the geographical order in which the pieces are displayed in the gallery.

My Experience:
I loved this show. I would never have known it was a geographical order in which the pieces were displayed- I think that displays amazing attention to detail. I like how that idea is linked through the sand compass on the ground in the middle of the gallery. I am also impressed by the photography aspect of the project and the dedication to go to many different places for taking source imagery. I definitely got to know a lot more about Nancy Young during this conversation and I feel a bit closer to her now. I had a lot of fun talking to her about the show after everyone was done asking questions. I also find it very interesting that she displayed and taught students about the different processes of printing when she was there for her show. Overall, this was one of the best artist conversations of the semester!

Wk 14 – Art Experience – Sketching in the Garden

I enjoyed doing the sketching in the garden as well as taking photographs. I liked getting away from the normal routine we have as a class and being able to get in touch with nature. I used to sketch a lot, but I feel like I don’t have time anymore. This gave me a chance to get back out there and do something I love to do that I missed doing more than I realized. For my representational sketches I sketched students, because I love drawing people more than anything. For the abstract sketches I included more of the landscape; these were also more sketchy and loose lines. On the other hand, for the abstract photos, I zoomed in on small sections of the landscape and for the representational photos I chose to show bigger sections of the scenery. Overall I enjoyed the experience thoroughly.

Representational Sketches:

Abstract Sketches:

Representational Photos:

Abstract Photos:

Wk 13 – Art Experience – Art Care Package

An ACP is similar to a snapchat because it shows a little bit of the sender’s life to the receiver.

An ACP is different from a snapchat in that an ACP takes more effort, the contents within last longer than ten seconds, and it feels more special for the viewer because the same thing can’t be sent to multiple people and it takes more effort to go out and mail something versus taking a quick photo. You can also interact with the objects.

The value of ephemera is based on individual basis of value. Ephemera of different types can be of value to different people. There is no yes or no answer to whether or not Ephemera is valuable. It depends on what it is and who you ask.

The only difference between well known art and an ACP is that one is more intimate. You can touch and feel and be with an ACP. You can’t interact with famous art pieces. In any other way, these two forms are children of the same parent, art.

Faster is better because you can access more people and get important messages and moments in life to more people when they happen. On the other hand, slower is better because it builds up anticipation for the receiver and makes it more fun and satisfying to get upon arrival. The time and effort does make a difference, it put more value into the ACP than the snapchat.

An ACP has more “love” than a snapchat. An ACP requires planning and time to create and gather it’s contents. An ACP takes days or weeks to get together, showing the dedication and care you have for the package and the person it’s going to. I feel these things make the love aspect a lot stronger in an ACP than a second snapchat.


Wk 13 – Artist Conversation – Nick Bamford

Exhibition: Untitled
Media: Mixed Media, Plaster, Clay, Cement
Gallery: Max L. Gatov Gallery West
Website: no website
Instagram: nickbamf4d

About the Artist:
Nick Bamford is in his fourth year graduating from CSULB with a BFA in Ceramics. He grew up in Huntington Beach, taking ceramics classes there. Bamford decided he wanted to pursue collegiate education in ceramics because of the classes he took then. Bamford is the only person in his family to pursue a career in the art field. His hobbies include all sorts of art: for example, he enjoys painting, sculpting, and working on current projects. His interests mainly revolve around his work.

Content Analysis:
Although it appears that Bamford’s work is random or unorganized, that is not true. He made it clear that each piece in his body of work is a representation of himself brought to life. He was inspired by the desire to go beyond his normal work and patterns and try something new and maybe even strange. He wanted to do something original. That is why Bamford chose to incorporate lighting in this body of work and display it in the dark. Another unique idea that he incorporated was to take materials and pieces and put them together in an entirely new visual context.The main goal Bamford was pursuing was a chance to challenge himself, and through creating these large and unusual pieces, he succeeded in just that.

Formal Analysis:
On a formal level, this body of work is astounding. The way that these heavy and light, large and small objects and other materials all balance upon one another is very well planned out whether is looks random or not. In order to keep everything balanced, it needed to be constructed in a specific way. The range of materials also shows the inspiration of getting out of one’s comfort zone.

My Experience:
I enjoyed this exhibit, although it was a bit daunting at first. This is the first exhibit we have been able to see in the dark, which I found to be unique, just as Bamford was working toward with his show. I would love to know how long it took him to find and construct the materials for each piece, but I didn’t have the chance to ask. I imagine it took a very long time. I saw his work from 2015 and in comparison, this is very different and new. I feel that Bamford definitely accomplished his goal of challenging himself and creating something new and original in a body of work.

Wk 12 – Artist Conversation – Jennifer Chen

Exhibition: Succession
Media: Epson printer, paper, ink, computer, Photoshop, screenprinting tools, camera
Gallery: Max L. Gatov Gallery West
Website: no website
Instagram: no Instagram

About the Artist:
Jennifer Chen is in her final year in the BFA Printmaking program at CSULB. Chen earned her undergraduate degree in biology. She changed her major in order to share her perspective with people in the arts and explore her artistic passion. She has worked for companies big and small that strive to help people that usually revolve around health. Chen is a woman if two main interests: biology and art. She combines these interests in her educational, artistic, and lifestyle goals and actions. Her other interests are wide ranging and she did not further elaborate on that. Each of Chen’s pieces is different, just like she is unique and different from the people around her. I know she and her work stand out in the printmaking studio because I work there. She is diligent and focused, but also social and friendly to the people in the studio. She has done so well in the program that she and another student will be teaching a beginning print course next semester at CSULB; for that I am extremely proud of her.

Content Analysis:
Chen’s body of work shown in Succession is a merging of science and art. The reason she chose “Succession” as the title of the show is because the definition of the word works as a definition for what the show represents: The effects of a disturbance in the landscape. In the case of Chen’s show, urban scape is the disturbance to the natural landscape.

In this show, Chen shows the microscopic and macroscopic effects that urban scape has inflicted upon the natural world. The microscopic representation is found in close-up photos of tree bark in various types of trees, many of which are non-native. In this tree bark there are often carvings and embellishments made by humans as a result of urban scape. The macroscopic representation is found in wide-area Google Earth views of different urban locations. Each image is different and the areas where nature shows up are highlighted apart from the buildings that have taken over. One of the close-ups of the bark is featured from a tree on the CSULB campus, which I find interesting and creative. It makes me wonder if each tree is a representation of a part of Chen’s life.

Formal Analysis:
Chen’s artistic process begins with finding imagery. She either takes the photos of the trees herself or finds screen captures on Google Earth of locations she would like to represent in her art pieces. After she has located or taken sufficient images, she works with them in photoshop to create the layering she needs in order to print properly. From there she uses the large Epson printer to print out the image. Afterward she uses a silkscreen, with its tools and inks to layer the different inks on layer by layer, working in quadrants on each sheet of paper because her pieces are so large. She makes the pieces large to have a higher impact, magnifying what people overlook in everyday life, and to fill up space on the gallery walls.

In order to give the map view pieces a 3D look, she adds gloss as the final coat in certain areas of the works. In these works, she plays with the idea of painting and photography. She does not claim to be a photographer and simply uses the camera as a tool to get her idea documented and transferred to the paper. Each of these pieces can take up to a week to complete because most of them are so massive.

My Experience:
I enjoy seeing the accumulation of the work Chen has been working on during the semester. I feel that the theme of her show is a good representation of her interests in health, science, and the arts. I do not feel a huge emotional draw to the work, but more of a pull of facts being laid before me. The fact is that urban life has ruined the natural landscape, but has also added to it. Ruined it in the way that nature is seen less and less in urban scape, but beautiful in that the carvings and markings seen in the trees we normally pass by art works of art in and of themselves. This depiction of urban scape is factual and opposite like the two sides of a coin. I like that Chen does not try to create an emotional pull and I feel it fits her personality, from what I’ve observed, quite well. Overall I enjoyed the show and hearing Chen talk about it and I hope that enough students enroll in her course to get her teaching/artistic career started.

Wk 12 – Art Experience – Location Based Gaming

Coordinates of my Cache:
N 33° 47.000
W 118° 08.000

Finding the Cache:
I went looking for the “Where’s the Tree?” Cache. I went by foot from my dorm building with not much time to spare this weekend in hopes that I would located the nearest Cache to me and take photos. I was sorely disappointed when I arrived within footsteps of the logged coordinates and found nothing but two dumpsters near a Toyota repair shop. I looked around in the area for anything matching the description and hint (which detailed that the extra small object should have been four inches from the ground) and found nothing. Meanwhile I was getting strange looks from the mechanics at Toyota while I milled around their dumpster area for about five to ten minutes looking for the cache.

I felt that finding a Cache was a good idea in theory, but in actuality it’s hard for students. I think that this assignment would be easier if students were simply asked to place a cache. I felt like I was wasting my time when I went out looking for one, and indeed I did waste my time because I didn’t find what I was looking for and I didn’t have the time to try to locate another one afterwards. The cache I was looking up turned out to be from 2010 and I am sure that’s why I couldn’t locate it, because it is no longer there. Overall, I was quite disappointed with that half of the experience.


Placing a Cache:
On the other hand, I felt that placing a Cache was fun and relevant to the course. I took a few items that represent me and the college life quite well to place in my Cache: a paperclip, safety pin, Snow White movie pin, a Werther’s Original candy, and a rubber band. This shows a glimpse of my interests and experiences here in the dorm building, which is where I placed my cache. I put all of the objects in a red playing cards box. I placed it above a fire alarm along with a small college ruled handmade log book nearby. I named the Cache “Red Zone” because of the red playing cards box and the red fire alarm.

I understand that Geocaching is meant to be a fun experience to find and place things for other people to see and I got a glimpse of that fun in getting to place a Cache in my dorms. I hope that it sticks around, but I would understand if it at some point gets removed over time. Even so, I feel the place I put my Cache was creative and quirky, just like me.

I feel in a way that the stories of the people who place Caches are imbedded in the Cache through what they leave behind. In the same way, people who hunt for Caches leave a part of themselves with the Caches they find when they make trades and enter things in the log book (if there is one available.) In this way, Geocaching is like a global storybook of the people who travel the world in search of new and interesting things in the thousands of Caches on the globe.

Wk 12 – Student Conversation – David Brown

David is a senior in the Computer Engineering major. His career goals are to get an job that is interesting and hopefully where he can help to make something rather than be stuck in a cubicle or at a desk all day long. David is taking this course as a GE requirement. His hobbies consist of reading, gaming, watching movies, and occasionally playing golf. David’s favorite color is orange, his favorite food is french fries, and his favorite season is summer. He enjoys the summer the most because it provides a time for going out and doing things. David has a small chihuahua names Snickers, due to the coloring if its fur. A fun fact about David is that he used to participate in Jiu Jitsu and was fairly skilled, even so far as to earn placements and metals in competitions. Overall, my first impressions of David are good; he seems to be a person traveling the right path in life.


Wk 11 – Art Experience – Turning Pages

Experiences like Turning Pages can be documented through film and photography as well as through writings (such as a blog post) after the experience is already over. These are all ways to capture momentary art experiences.

I believe that words and pictures can capture the essence of an experience, but not fully describe them. The base of this even can be captured through words and pictures, or even film, but the feelings, dialogue between people, and expressions cannot be fully captured outside of the moment which they happen. Still photography and writing CAN capture these experiences, just not entirely.

The style of the words and images DO matter. They reveal what the experience meant to the individual who documented it. For example, if a photo or written piece is disjointed, unorganized, or quickly captured, I assume that the artist was paying more time and attention to actually being IN the experience versus planning the documentation thereof.

Another way to share an experience to people who were not a part of it, other than writing and photography, is verbal retelling. I like the idea of verbal retelling, as this is the base of how people told stories and experiences to one another since the very beginning. I also enjoy the idea of the evolution and transformation of an experience based on multiple retellings: most stories gain new details when they are told over and over, turning the experience into something entirely new.

The act of documenting an experience does take you away from it. I felt more immersed in the library experience than the bookstore one. I didn’t have to take my attention away from what I was doing and I felt like all I had to focus on was getting the most out of the activity. On the other hand, in the library, I was focusing a lot more on getting the right photos than on the concept of the experience. Even so, the documentation of an experience creates an entirely new experience. When I was taking photos in the bookstore, the more artistic side of me was able to flourish in finding interesting angles and content to put into my documentation of the experience. The same freedom is not allowed when you are not the one documenting the event. Even so, both experiences and documentation processes have their strong suits.

To be honest, during this activity I felt like a nuisance in the library. I felt like the students were taking up space designed for people coming to work and that we were loudly disrupting a quiet working area of the building. I also felt like we should have returned the books ourselves instead of making the library staff do it. The staff looked annoyed when we were all giving them the books to put back. I see what the goal of the experience was, but I feel it was executed wrong. I feel that we could have checked out one oversized book and sat around Marta in a circle as she read it to us to challenge the college environment. That would have been a less disruptive and maybe more fun alternative to the process. I don’t really feel much about the bookstore part of the experience. All we had to do was take photos at different locations. I did enjoy the freedom and openness of the process more than the library experience though. I had an opportunity to talk to Marta, which I did not have in the library.

I have no new ideas about the nature of spaces. Each space is designed to serve a certain task. Unless there are moral issues surrounding the tasks being done in a space, they do not need to be challenged. For example, I think what we did in the library was disruptive and unnecessary. Yes, that part of the library is not for reading, but the thing is there are four other floors of the library with books and sitting areas where reading can be done. I don’t really like what we did in there, but I see what she was trying to do.

Overall, I get what the point of the activity was, but I feel like it was executed incorrectly and it was a bad experience. I felt like I was being an interruption and not for any good reason. There are no moral issues surrounding the computer lab section of the library, so why were we trying to fight it? Of course there are going to be computers in a college library; every floor does not need books. I don’t think that is something people need to stand up against, which is what we were doing. It made me and the people in the lab confused and uncomfortable. Again, though, I do understand what she was trying to get at, I wish it was not conducted in the way it was.

Wk 10 – Student Conversation – Katherine Shinno

Katherine is a first year Communications major from South Pasadena interested in working for Disney in merchandising or marketing. Katherine is taking this course because art interests her and she heard there are a lot of fun projects to do in this class from her friends. Her hobbies consist of watching Netflix, listening to music, going hiking, and exploring the world around her to find new fun things to do. Her favorite food is pasta. Her favorite colors are maroon and mint. Although Katherine doesn’t have any pets, she always wanted a dog. If she could travel anywhere, she would go to Japan to get more in touch with her Japanese heritage. Her favorite flower is a sunflower because of its overall happy feeling and bright color. She enjoys listening to EDM and alternative music over other genres. Her favorite movie that fits into any mood she’s in is The Breakfast Club. If she could be any mythical creature, she’d be a dragon. Her favorite animal is an elephant because of their cute look and sweet nature, but if she could be any animal she would be an otter because she loves the water and she identifies with the bubbly, sweet attitude of an otter. Overall, I feel that Katherine is a very open and friendly person. I was comfortable talking with her and this has been the best student conversation yet. I felt she had true interest in learning about me as I did with her.