Wk 12 – Artist Conversation – Evelyn Contreras

Artist: Evelyn Contreras
Exhibition: Metastasis
Media: Print Making
Gallery: Dr. Maxine Merlino Gallery
Evelyn showcases her printmaking exhibit at California State University, Long Beach as she is expected to graduate this semester. Upon graduation, she will be attending the University of Texas where she is offered a full ride plus stipe in. Originally from Santa Barbara, she moved to Long Beach in order to achieve her BFA.  Other than being a student, Contreras enjoys a whole array of activities ranging from hiking, and traveling to other locations. On her spare time, she works at CSULB’s very own computer lab. What inspires her draws from the fact that she really enjoys architecture. That being said, the majority of her exhibit focuses on the distortion & manipulation of various landmarks as she recreates them into her own through print making. What she basically does consists of taking something that already exists and reimagine it into her own idea. Contreras’ work both shows a reflection on how she embodies both Mexican and American values into her own self as she molds two different things into one (setting and imagination) and the resolution of human culture and forces of nature. 
The interesting thing about Contreras is the fact that she focuses on one form of media (print making) as it allows her to exemplify her mastery of the very technique. Because she her exhibit focuses on architecture, one of the main rules for her pieces is traveling. She physically goes to the location (particularly those of abandoned architectures) and takes photos in order to create her own pieces. However, the way she manipulates these pieces depends on the very architecture. That being said, much research is needed in order to make a complimentary distortion of the pictures as it embodies both the architecture and her original ideas. Although each piece takes roughly a minute to print, the time, travel, and dedication it takes to manipulate and travel is time consuming. Through manipulation, Contreras recreates new spaces from the original piece as she adds “layers on layers”.
Contreras’s pieces contain much meaning behind it. For example, her work suggests how human culture has evolved and abandoned various settlements. In order to survive, humans built buildings into order as a means for shelter. The fact that many of these buildings have been abandoned shows how historical advancement leaves behind these places to deteriorate. In order to build a photo and new ideas upon it, Contreras focuses on abandoned architecture in order to provide her own rendition through printmaking. Another reason behind her work suggests the balance of both her culture through the idea of printmaking. Just how she shows both cultures (Mexican and American), she mixes both the past and her ideas into one entity (art work) as a mean to balance two different forces. 
Contreras’s pieces allow me to see how something old and abandoned can be recreated into a whole other piece of art through the imagination. By manipulating these architectures, Contreras brings new life upon these abandoned structures. The message of balancing both two different ideas/subjects shows both a cultural and imaginative meaning. For the most part, not only I am impressed with her creativity and manipulation, but proud of her achievements in a personal level (we’re coworkers).  

Wk 11 – Art Experience – Aaron Dela Rosa

Because experiences & memories aren’t forever, one key way to document ephemeral experiences is through camera. Taking pictures allows us to physically look back the the things/stuff we saw from the past. While our actual experiences aren’t forever, the moments we capture are. That being said, the way pictures are taken makes a huge difference. For example, the assignment we did in class had us playing around with the various items across the bookstore. Without interacting with these objects, the pictures cannot capture the “enjoyment” many of the students had while doing the activity. Documenting scenery  versus students’ interactions in the store makes a huge difference. Other than capturing moments through photography, another way to share the experience (especially when others aren’t there to directly share the moment) is via blogging. The words we type place a vivid imagination; and describing experiences can help others imagine the experience. However, while trying to document an event (either through photography or blogging), the action to documenting can actually distance oneself from the actual experience. One cannot be emerged into the live experience if the person is not “fully” there. That being said, experience the moments through a camera or keyboard distance oneself from the actual event.
This week the class turned to “Turning Pages” in which we traveled to both the school library and bookstore. Between both, there were huge differences in terms of the experience. For starters, going to the library felt more “real” than the bookstore. Since we were told not to document anything, the experience itself felt genuine and realistic. We were actually able to grasp children’s books without having to worry about documenting the event. As for the bookstore, the fact that we had to take pictures made the experience “staged”. Although it was more entertaining, the fact that we had to take pictures made the experience a little tedious and fake unlike the first setting.
My overall experience of this activity allowed me to rethink how advancement in technology allowed us to shove textbooks into the shadows of both places. The irony is that although both settings’ main priority are books, the fact that the majority of us thinks of computers and college sweaters when we hear of the term “library” and “bookstore” is quite alarming. Despite that, reading children’s book allowed me to wind down from the college life and taking pictures was quite amusing and really set up an entertaining day. The experience itself allowed me to have a new insight on books. The value of a book is important, and the fact that we allowed to push it into the shadows is sad in some ways. Not being able to use my camera on the first portion of the assignment allowed to realize the many sources & values books has to offer.


Wk 10 – Art Experience – Aaron Dela Rosa

This week the class explored a fork of social media many of us use in today’s technological world: Instagram. What is it is basically an outlet for people to post their images/videos as a way to share their life to the world. Unlike Snapchat, Instagram posts stays intact. For the class, we had to post various Instagram posts in a single day with the hashtag, #art110s16. To be honest, posting more than 1 post in a single day seemed daunting to me primarily because of the fear of losing followers. However, I gradually got over it as the day progressed and repeatedly posting on my primary account.
The experience itself was fun for the most part. I hadn’t posted in a few weeks, so having that feeling of receiving likes (4 times?!) was quite enjoyable. After the “day of posting”, looking at the giant collage of classmates’ posts was quite something. The pictures had a monumental range from food, to work, to school, to art, and even to Disneyland. Looking over these posts made me feel like I was part of the shared experience. While some posts were aesthetically pleasing, others are quite entertaining and also gave me cravings. For the most part, I do see a distinct connection between my posts and my peers’ considering how most of us posted something relating to school. Because we have that in common, a sense of community can be drawn. A community of college students struggling to survive while also having the best times of their lives is a recurring theme while looking over the images. While Instagram does show a sense of disconnection between us and the real world, it also provides an outlet for people to share their experience in any given time of day.

Wk 10 – Classmate Conversation – John Stouras

Name: John Stouras
Website: https://greekishblog.wordpress.com/
Stouras is currently enrolled at California State University, Long Beach. Majoring in film, he originated from Santa Cruz in order to experience the culture of Southern California. In the end it works well because the culture between NorCal and SoCal are polar opposites. Because he originates from the Bay Area, he prefers the Warriors > Lakers (in terms of basketball). Aside from being an average student, Stouras is much more as he enjoys art exhibits, video games, and working out.

Wk 10 – Artist Conversation – Helen Werner Cox

Artist: Helen Werner Cox
Exhibition: Silent Screams
Media: Oil pastel, prints, carving, water based material, etc.
Gallery: Gastov West Gallery
Website: http://www.helenwernercox.com/
Helen Werner Cox showcases on of her last solo shows at California State University, Long Beach as she is expected to graduate this semester. Cox is currently a graduate who has showcased her work multiple times throughout her career. Originally from Boston, Massachusetts, she moved to California as she thought fine arts for 30 years. The biggest inspiration for her exhibit roots from carousels as she was amazed & fascinated by the appearance and its function.  Specifically, she gathered her ideas for her show by physically being in the presence of merry-go-rounds; especially the one located in Griffith Park. Aside from her work, Cox is interested in a plethora of things ranging from gardening California natives, reading fiction and mystery novels, and playing the mindless app: “Dots”. Her work is a reflection on mankind’s inability to advance in society as it’s portrayed through merry-go-rounds.
Cox showcases an array of artistic techniques throughout her exhibit ranging from oil pastel, prints, carvings, paint, and water colors. She shows enthusiasm & hard work considering the fact that many of her pieces takes a long time to process. For example, in one of her prized pieces, “Silent Screams”, Cox not only shows a hybrid of artistic styles, but also her energy and dedication into her passion. As a way to bring her ideas of carousels to life, she actually rode on the Griffith Park Merry-go-Round for 4 straight hours simply sketching the horses. She even went beyond by isolating herself in a warehouse of carousels in order to get inspiration for her show. For her more recent styles of art (monochromatic prints), she has a certain way of creating them. First, she sketches her work, then she obliterates it, and finally she redraws & modifies the obliterated canvas.
Cox’s underline metaphor for her exhibit shows how society is trapped in an endless spiral. Unlike Joseph Cambell, who thinks that people goes through a spiral in order to learn from their mistakes, her ideals are the antithesis of it. Cox’s work show how mankind has no progression as she portrays it through merry-go-rounds. Because carousels never moves anywhere but one direction, mankind’s inability to “move on” is a reflection of that idea. Cox believes that carousels is the perfect representation of her perspective as she channels both anxiety & creativity into her works. By looking into the horses’ facial expressions and the direction they’re going, they seem miserable in an endless spiral.
Cox’s pieces allows me to see how an simple attraction meant for children can actually represent something much more. In this case, carousels are used to portray society’s lack of progression. While carousels themselves are meant to bring happiness to young children, the fact that Cox is able to take that and twist it into her own perspective of mankind is the best part of her exhibit. The bleak message of her work- masked by the plethora of colors and friendly music is what really makes this exhibit memorable. For the most part, not only am I impressed with her message, but also her creativity, passion, and dedication put into her exhibit.

Wk 9 – Classmate Conversation – Eddie Castillo

Name: Eddie Castillo
Website: https://eddiescastle.wordpress.com/
Castillo is currently is freshman enrolled at California State University, Long Beach. Majoring in Poli Science, he originates from Huntington Beach and was previously enrolled at Marina High School. Aside from being the average student, Castillo also enjoys badminton, watching Netflix, and Asian cuisines. In terms of his current courses, he finds this class tedious, yet also entertaining at the same time. His personality and passion definitely reflects the way he utilizes his skills throughout the course.

Pepe Sanders


Hello everyone. I am Pepe the Frog. I am green, lonely, and lost. I come from a distant planet called Moonbase Alpha where frogs have big eyes. Did I forget to mention that I am lonely? I have a lot of friends, except the times when they don’t invite me to eat flies in the riverbanks. I would like Netflix, but I’m just a frog. Therefore I don’t have credit approval to obtain said credit card to purchase Netflix. I am Pepe the Frog. Be my friend.
Politics. I love politics. I believe that all frogs should have free access to flies. As compared to my primary opponent, Bull Frog Trump, I am the better shade of green. The kind of green you love to smell in the morning. With my win, I would want to qualify for a credit card so I could finally purchase Netflix. Vote for me. Feel the Toad.
I believe I am well qualified. I inspired my dear friend, Adam McConnelly, to venture off into space. He is a well qualified physicist and I know he will do good. I sent him on a mission: titled Flies R US in order to do some “NASA” stuff. However, in reality I really wanted him to see if our planet has an island shaped like a fly. I would’ve told him to come back from the failed mission; but he had no Netflix account. Did I forget to mention that I love flies.
I have a dear friend of mine, Creepsteevo Swankavitch, as I helped him get with the ladies. He was too shy to even try to talk to women; however not only I told him the many stories of my past experience with women (and men), but also gave him a few pointers to reach for his goal. I inspired him to become a confident person. I then asked for his Netflix password. He said no. He’s now a confident man with a Netflix account.
Lastly, I have one person who can tell me I’m well qualified for your vote, Lia. Fun fact, she is actually a twin. Basically, I was her guidance when her twin sister (a more nicer one) was abducted from another planet and was traced here. Now, for a decent frog, I accompanied her to help find her other half. I can tell you right now she is VERY powerful. So if she tells you I am a trustworthy frog who wants some Netflix, I advise you to believe her. Although she is a sweety, she does not have Netflix.
I am here to tell you folks that I am Pepe Sanders. Green, lonely, and Netflix-less. Vote for me.