wk14- Classmate Conversation – Anthony Simeone & Devin Nelson

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In this week’s classmate conversation I interviewed both Devin Nelson and Anthony Simeone. Devin is in his 3rd year here at California State University, Long Beach and so is Anthony. We all seemed to have one thing in common. All three of us love to play sports and do anything outside including snowboarding, hiking, mountain biking, wakeboarding and camping. Devin’s favorite color is red, and his favorite house pet is a dog. His favorite exotic animal is quite strange as it is a Lion and Panther mixed breed. I never heard of a hybrid like this, the only one that I knew of was a Liger. I have to say, when I looked up a picture of the hybrid, I was amazed. When I asked Anthony what kind of art has impacted him the most, he responded with music because it is in his everyday life all around him and that is what gets to him and makes him happy. Devin responded with Urban art such as graffiti because he grew up in Long beach that is what he saw the most. Anthony is studying the same thing as me which is Mechanical Engineering and Devin is a double business major. Anthony would like to work in the amusement industry and Devin would one day hope to be running the Port of Long Beach. Devin’s favorite memory from a sport was in pop warner football he ran a punt back for a touchdown running sideline to sideline weaving through the opposing team in his white soccer cleats. Anthony’s favorite memory was recently when he had just joined the Rugby team and the first time he got the ball he ran over two players and scored a 50 yard try. It was awesome getting to talk to the two and I wish them well in the future.

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wk14- Artist Conversation – Jennifer Ho

In this week’s artist conversation I was able to view artist, Jennifer Oh’s pieces. The pieces were very interesting and obviously they meant something to her almost like it was personal. The name of her piece in the gallery was “Diverted”. Jennifer seems to be very passionate about the problem with women being sold off into sexual slavery in Korea. She says that women and girls were forced into sexual slavery from Korea to the Japanese Imperial Army in occupied territories during the Sino-Japanese war. Many women were forced out of their homes during the war into wartime brothels and some were often lured into the brothels with the promise of work.

After being lured into the brothels, Jennifer claims these women were incarcerated into comfort stations servicing up to 30 men in one day. The name “comfort women” comes from the translation of Japanese euphemism meaning “prostitutes”. Jennifer’s work includes photos of these women where you can see them expressing emotions of remorse and sadness. She wanted to create a symbolic connection between these women and herself, so she threaded onto the images. The threading and images are her reactions to the past and the present stories told by these women who survived these wretched conditions.

Jennifer explains that the combined media gives the effect of a dimension where history and future converge. I’m not sure what she means by that phrase, if she is claiming that this hasn’t changed at all or what. I know that these kind of things are still happening all around but I don’t think it is still a big problem. So how will the past dimension and future dimension converge? This is when I wish Jennifer was available to talk to today because her piece is very interesting. The threading she applied to the photographs are supposed to give the piece a more personal and present appeal because it skews the way you see the image. The threading reveals thoughts and feelings of the bodies and displays a duality of the bodies. She ends this with that she is recasting the figure with an uncomfortable modesty, overlaying a past generations cross-cultural anxieties with an allusion to our own.

With that being said, I know understand what she meant by saying she is converging a past dimension with a future one. She accomplished this with the threading. I decided to write about her piece instead of the other artists’ whop were available because her piece spoke to me because I felt how personal it was to her and that it meant something. She threaded tears onto these women and clothes along with other displays of emotion. It was amazing what Jennifer did with these photographs. Almost like the threading belonged. It was great having the opportunity to write about Jennifer’s work and I wish I could’ve met her but you can definitely find out all that you want by clicking the link to her website above.

wk11- Geocache EC

In this week’s Extra Credit opportunity, my roommate, Anthony Simeone and I decided to collect all 50 points of extra credit and find 5 of our classmates geocache’s. The first geocache we found was late at night early in the week. It was hidden by fellow classmate Tony Nguyen in his cache “wintergreen-altoids”.

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Our next find came a few days later when we set out on a geocaching adventure on campus! Our first find of the day goes to Jackie Bautista and her cache “Fire Hydrant”. The cache was easy to find because everything gave it away but it was still fun!

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Our second find of the day, and third total goes to classmate Emily Snyder for this great cache! This one was more challenging and very clever! Thanks Emily for “Nebraska”

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My fourth total find comes from my classmate and roommate Anthony Simeone who named his cache “Pipeline” which gave it away. It was somewhere in the neighborhood and once I saw the pipe I knew it had to be in there! Thanks Anthony!

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My fifth and final find came late at night on the same day when we saw our classmate, Adrian Caluya hid a cache close to our house. We strapped on our roller blades and the rest was history! Thanks for the “Miniature House” find Adrian.

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wk10 – Activity – Geocaching

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My Geocache- https://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?wp=GC65ZGC&title=brick-garden&guid=58dc9944-f4fb-4262-b137-11629ed3372b

This week’s activity, just like every other activity involved us getting off of our feet and using our heads a little bit. It also included having to go out and do some treasure hunting. This treasure hunting is actually from an app called Geocaching. I have gone Geocaching prior to this activity, but I have never gone out and hid my own ‘cache’. I decided to start this activity on Wednesday when my roommate and I got off the bus on our way home from school. We had done some research on where some local caches were close to our home so we went out to find one called “Where the Sidewalk Ends”. It was pretty obvious where the cache was once we were in a close proximity of it because I noticed the concrete raising up from the ground on the sidewalk, and I could see a big gap between the dirt and concrete and thought, that’s where it must be. Turns out that I was right because I went straight for the sidewalk, reached my hand under and grabbed the cache. Inside of the cache was a log book, where we could log our names. Also there was a little toy car, a button, and a quarter. My roommate and I took the little toy car and traded it out with a dime and I also signed my name in the log book.IMG_5164 - CopyIMG_5163 - Copy

A few hours after we found the geocache, we set out to hide my own cache. We happened to find what I think was the perfect spot for a cache. It was on the corner of the street where we saw the spot. There was a raised garden around a house and a crack on the brick wall. It just so happened that behind the brick wall there was a broken brick. I was able to insert my altoids can inside of the hole and put the brick back in place. Inside of my altoids can I inserted a log book and also an iced tea bag for others to enjoy. A few hours later my cache was published and in the same day, 2 people already found it and wrote reviews! My first review was from geocache user Staace-n-Raina and she said “Yay! Cute area for a cache! CO-FTF with bvkbugger! We were looking at the posted coordinates which are not really at Cache location ( maybe check it out -the description is what gave it away) and we heard someone racing toward us on roller blades and dogs barking at him. And when he stopped cold at the corner, breathing hard from the race against time–we knew we had a fellow cacher in our midst…. 🙂 so nice to finally meet him and thank him in person for helping fix one of our caches. Great fun after a long hard day…. TFTC!” My second review was from user, bvkbugger and he wrote: “CO-FTF with StaaceNRaina!! Not only did I finally get to one quick, I was able to put some faces to other members of the community. Now to race to another FTF to meets the Druids, Foon, Ravrobin, Bajatym………etc!:) TFTC!!” I was really surprised to see that two people went out to find it so quickly. Overall it was a really great experience and I will keep my eye out in the future to see anyone who is looking over in that direction for something.IMG_5167 - CopyIMG_5168 - Copy

Wk9 – Artist Conversation – Maccabee Shelley

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During this week’s intriguing artist conversation I had the pleasure of meeting, artist Maccabee Shelley. Maccabee is an artist who currently works here at California State University, Long Beach. He grew up in LA, and then moved to San Francisco. He loved living in San Francisco because it wasn’t hot, but there was one thing about San Francisco that forced him to move an hour south. San Francisco classes and schools were too crowded to get into, and that’s when he decided to go to Humboldt State, because it still wasn’t hot there and it wasn’t crowded. He recently received his undergraduate degree from Humboldt State University focusing in studio art and a minor in art history. Maccabee claims that he was never interested in art until he started college. As a kid he was always interested in science and reading, but when he was receiving C’s and B’s in those classes and A’s in art classes, that’s when he found out he wanted to pursue an interest in art. He didn’t fully pursue it until 2010 when he started doing ceramics. He now uses ceramics in most of his work now, and he makes some really great pieces from glass ceramics including what I saw today in the Gatov-West gallery.

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There are multiple pieces in his showing and they all make up what he calls “Fragile Nature”.  Fragile Nature consists of plaster but mostly glass ceramics. In the past he messed around with some acrylic painting but that was all before he found his love for ceramics. Even though, he is an artist now, he has found ways to incorporate his love for science into his work. He says that in the process of making his pieces there is a lot of science that goes into it. The process starts off him making or buying a bowl of clay, and then fills it with glass and fires it for the first time. He then lets it cool, and applies more colors and finishes, then puts it into the kiln and then lets the glass cool again. He finishes off the piece by torching it again and applying more glass. Glass is expensive, and Maccabee has a very limited amount of money. He used to get a lot of his glass from the recycling center, or garage sales, but now the community brings glass to his studio and it’s ridiculous how much he actually has now. He has so much glass that it’s actually overflowing.

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“For every piece we see, there is probably 6 more just like it.” That is how Maccabee when asked which was his favorite piece. He said that he cannot pick one favorite because to everyone else they are all individual pieces, but to him all his pieces are a torrent of water and he just scooped up a few to show us. Maccabee doesn’t have a specific ultimate goal he says he just has a lot of practical goals, because as an artist he has to be flexible with the amount of money he has. Once he achieves one goal, he is going to have another and then another after that, but if he were to have an ultimate goal it would probably be to always have the opportunity to make and show his work. The person that has inspired him the most is Tony Marsh. Tony provided him with the opportunity to work here, and he is the reason for his success.

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Speaking to Maccabee was really interesting and he is probably my favorite artist to date. He spends a lot of time on his work, and puts in a lot of detail. I think each piece represents a little bit of his personality. In the picture below you can see part of one piece has a glass bagel on it that says “I love bagels.” I thought that was pretty funny, but there are other pieces that I thought were cool like how he stretched the neck of a bottle to be very thin but still left the top of it untouched. Maccabee was a very inspiring artist, and had a lot of words to pass on to us. If you all would like to see more of his great pieces you can visit his website or even here on campus.

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wk8 – Classmate Conversation – Daniel Guerrero

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In this week’s classmate conversation, I had the opportunity to meet fellow classmate, Daniel Guerrero. Daniel is 20 years old and is currently in his 3rd year here at CSULB and is focusing on Bio-medical Engineering. In his field he would like to work with medical devices and prosthetics. When asked where he sees himself in 5 years he said Grad school, definitely. He works in the student recreation and wellness center here on campus while still maintaining a full-time student status. Daniel is mostly Hispanic and comes from Santa Barbara, Ca. Daniel and I are alike in many ways because in his free time he says he will do just about anything outdoors like hiking, camping, action sports, etc. On his breaks he likes to travel and currently he is planning on going to Europe and studying abroad in Spain. He has been to about 10 different U.S states and also Mexico, and Baja California. His favorite animals are Bears and turtles, specifically the Galapagos Tortoise. He thinks that it’s hilarious when a Galapagos Tortoise tries to eat a pumpkin. An interesting fact about Daniel is that he likes to read a lot of comics. Lastly, his favorite kind of art are pencil drawings because he likes looking at intricate detail.

wk8 – Artist Conversation – Rhiannon Aarons

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In this week’s artist conversation, I had the pleasure of meeting artist, Rhiannon Aarons. Rhiannon is in her second year as an MFA student, but when she was just 17 she started formal artist training as an undergraduate at Otis. In her past she has worked at a non-profit teaching establishment to teach the disabled how to paint. Her artwork has been inspired by many artists, but one in particular that she mentions is Dana Reyes. Rhiannon is also interested in anything that is obscure or weird.

The purpose of her piece this week is to represent Satan in the Garden of Eden, and how women can be seen as demonic. In creating her piece she took scans of anatomy books. In the other drawings she used what is called Heckatan (Hecate) which are 3 heads inspired from myths, and since they are myths she researched what they would look like. To do this, she was scratching through paper, then put the paper through the printing press which is the dry print. The other drawings we see are digital prints. Amazingly, All of her pieces together took a year to make, and shown in the pictures below are the Heckatan, and what she drew from the research she did.

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In Rhiannon’s artist statement, she explains how there has been a lot of confusion, untold truth, and lies about the anatomy of a woman. She states that the “anatomy books that originally perpetuated the misinformation dispelled by Chalker relied on illustrations that were printed using wood engraving; such as, the line quality created by this method becomes one of authority, of an invisible author with an alleged neutral hand.” Rhiannon later goes on to say in her statement, that Reed and Page from “Crate for Remains of a Mythical Creature”  were on opposite poles but at the end, both women are buried in the same cemetery, they are both reduced to the same earth.

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These digital print drawings that she made, represent how the female body is represented as demonic. Not the female personality, but the female anatomy. How the writers and the illustrators, depict the female body with the lines they use are representing women as these demonic creatures. She used these skeleton pieces because as mentioned earlier, she likes weird things. She wants us to figure out what she is trying to get across in her work.

I think that with her interesting, weird work Rhiannon attracted a lot of viewers, which is what she was trying to do. When looking at the work I did not see anything to me that looked like a demonic woman. To me, it looked as if she was doing a somewhat Halloween theme, with the skeletons, and the heads. I thought it was interesting how the skeletons looked similar but they were all very different. In conclusion, I don’t think her point got across to me but I believe other people had understood the point she was getting across, how the female anatomy is represented as demonic.

wk7 – Artist Conversation – Norax Ayala

Hello everyone, this week I would like to include you all in an interesting conversation with an artist I just met by the name of Norax Ayala. Norax does feminist work her at California State University, Long Beach and she is also a graduate student. She grew up in the Inland Empire and went to undergraduate school there before coming to Long beach. She has always been interested in art and decided that she wanted to major in art coming out of high school. She started doing a lot of coloring when she was younger and then transitioned to water color painting. Norax now does small work like the one I saw today in the Dr. Maxine Merlino Gallery which is inspired by feminism. Her piece “She and I” represents everything she stand for as she is very inspired by gender politics and what she cares about most, her partner. Her inspiration for her work comes from well-known artist Fransisco De Goya who does etchings.

The objective of “She and I” is to “Represent relationships, of any kind”. She says that relationships are essential to humans because we need to have emotional experiences “emotionally, physically, mentally, and sometimes even spiritually” Her body of work is to investigate aesthetics of sensuality and intimacy. Her paintings show two becoming one through the use of transparent layers. She also likes the use of lipstick, since lipstick goes on lips and lips go on other body parts, she felt it was appropriate to use lipstick as a material. Lipstick was also a good material for her to use because it is nontoxic.

Her pieces all took about 2 weeks to make which includes 18 small pieces. The red and pink ink and the lipstick create patterns on the paper that range from curved lines to full circles and blank spaces. Her focus when creating her peace was on her partner and using their experience. Norax says that the rubbing motion to transfer the ink is like the motion of what people do with their partners or with themselves.

Least to say, I was not very comfortable in my conversation with Norax because our point of views are millions of miles apart. I grew up with a very different background from her but I was easily able to identify what her piece was saying. It was interesting watching the piece slowly mix together like two partners do and watch the piece become one. Her piece easily got her point across of what she was trying to accomplish. if you all would like to see more of her work you can follow her on instagram- @norax_darko. In the pictures below you can see her two paintings become one.

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wk6- Activity – Periscope

This week’s activity was probably the easiest and best one yet. Our objective was to do a broadcast on periscope. If you don’t know what periscope is, it’s an app where you do a live web broadcast and anyone in the world can interact with you and watch. I decided to do my broadcast at the gym because that is a big part of my life, and I thought people might find it interesting.

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I invited people to get a peek on what I do when I workout. On this particular day, my roommate and I were working out our back, traps, bi’s, and obliques. We started the broadcast off showing our viewers, on how to do rocky pull-ups, which you can view in the link. We then continued on all of our other workouts and I also would interact with my viewers during breaks. At one point my roommate even said “Dude you’re having way too much fun with this”. A lot of the comments came from a girl who was being very inappropriate with sexual comments that i cannot repeat. There was also a comment from a guy saying “Just another douche-bag at the gym showing off”. It kind of offended me, but just for a second because there was one viewer who was giving us a lot of compliments on how hard we were working and asking us for tips on back workouts because he just hurt his back lifting heavy weight. At one point he even asked if I was a trainer and told us that we really knew our stuff. It felt good helping other people and I hope to do another broadcast sometime soon. Thank you all for coming! Have a blessed day.

Anthony doing back fliesMe on my break from shrugs

wk4 – Activity – Painting

This week’s activity was Painting. The objective of this activity was to use spray paint to write our name in bubble letters anywhere we wanted to, legally. I have never tagged or made an effort to do so because I just suck at art. I have no artistic ability whatsoever. I do find it interesting though. I see a lot of beautiful graffiti and it brings life to cities and their walls. Now on that comment, there is more ugly and disturbing graffiti that outweigh the good. It disgusts me when I see a beautiful bridge or wall that took construction workers days to build and engineers weeks to plan tagged with a gang symbol or just a name. It costs cities millions a year and I believe it turns people away from visiting cities like Los Angeles because it looks too ghetto. That is why i think they should make more legal art walls like the one in Venice so people can express themselves better. I wanted to go to Venice this week to earn the extra credit but that was before I knew it only open on the weekends. I had planned to go on Wednesday since unfortunately, I will be working throughout the day this weekend. Below you can see my attempt at spraying my name in bubble letters. The colors are not very good since they are blue and black they do not contrast very well. That is because I bought the paint before knowing we would be spraying in bubble letters. The nozzle also had a very wide spray resulting in my tag to look even more messy. It was my first try but I think it turned out to be okay, and I hope you think so as well. Thank you all for reading. Have a blessed day.

Me with my tag in the kitchen