Jessa Comago is a freshman at Cal State Long Beach, just like me. She is Filipino, but does not speak Tagalog well. She lives in Lancaster, but she went to school in Antelope Valley. She was interested in drawing in high school. She played Tennis at Antelope Valley High School, and continues to play at CSULB in a club. Jessa is majoring in accounting and hopes to be an accountant when she graduates.
I am an Insta-aficionado to say the least… I try to post at least one picture a day, whether it is a photo of a great memory from days past, or a candid snap of my daily activity. I love the idea of a social network that is connecting people primarily through square photos. So when I heard we were going to be using Instagram as an art activity, I was thrilled. At first I was going to post a morning selfie, but then I looked in the mirror and quickly changed my mind haha. I started by taking pictures at the art galleries which 80% of my classmates also did. Then I went to lunch with some buddies from my old high school which we do every thursday at Glory Days Sports Bar.
Time passed and I got out of my evening class to meet one of my best friends at her dorm where we were to decide what our escapade was for the evening. After much deliberation and arguing over who was to drive, we decided to explore 2nd Street and grab a snack and chill at the beach. I stopped by Starbucks for a drink and we were on our way. My friend June suggested we eat at a nearby ice-cream parlor, I agreed and we were there before we knew it. The place was called Paradis and it was quite pricey, but worth every penny. The next post was a pic of my coffee and ice cream.
As we continued exploring, we stumble upon the very cool antique shop that had a steampunk vibe. I felt like I was in another world when I entered the store… I was greeted by a young woman who was serving chocolate desserts and watering a plant hanging in a glass jar from the ceiling. All around me were influences from every era of the United States: a 1920’s typewriter turned lamp, a Victorian era cabinet filled with ink and quill sets, and of course there were many products and books from this decade such as top 50 Zombie movies. My next photo was a tiny section of the massive antique shop of a few vintage nautical items. I wish I could’ve taken more pics, but the owner insisted on not photographing his establishment. We then went to the beach, but it was too cold and too dark to stay so we headed back to the car. After a few hours on 2nd street, me and my friend went back to CSULB and chilled at the Student Union in one of its lounges. I began to play the piano (quite horrendously I might add), and my friend snapped a pic of me. After the union closed, it was time for me to head back home and call it a night.
When I searched the hashtag #Art110S15, I noticed that most of my classmates posted pictures of the art galleries, what they ate for the day, and themselves with their friends. Although many students had their own personal touches to their photos, the majority posted selfies and food pics. I guess that’s what people think interests other people these days…. Food, Narcissism, and showing how many friends they have. That’s just my opinion though. My Instagram posts are in the sidebar.
Yireh Elaine Kwak spoke about her art exhibit in the East Gatov gallery on Thursday the 5th of February. It was entitled “Harmony and Discordance” and it included mostly her paintings and a few of her good friend’s art. Most of Elaine’s portraits were of vibrant pastures and scenic views of hills and trees. Whereas her friend’s paintings were of urban decaying views of the city. Elaine represents the “Harmony” and her friend represents the “discordance”
Elaine is inspired by her home of Fullerton and its many picturesque landscapes. That is where the inspiration for most of her paintings in the gallery arrived from. Elaine described her process: she picks a spot in her backyard and paints what she sees, then she takes the painting indoors and paints the rest from memory. I thought this was very cool because she did not need a subject in front of her to paint. I personally love Elaine’s work because I enjoy views of green landscapes and pastures, so I can appreciate the nature of her art… Pun intended. I also liked how she painted based on memory and what she saw.
I spoke to Elaine one-on-one and asked her to tell me her background in art and to start from the “very beginning”. Although she had only recently began taking her art more seriously in the past five or six years, she was fascinated with art since childhood and has always been praised for being creative. Elaine is attending CSULB and is receiving her BFA in Drawing and Painting. Elaine explained that at times she gets so frustrated with the little progress that her art is making that she will transfer that stressful energy into entirely separate art pieces as seen in this piece entitled “pasture”.
So I arrived a bit early at the galleries to meet my good friend from high school, but she was arriving late. So as I wait, a fellow classmate compliments my watch as he passes by on his Razor scooter. He strikes conversation with me and says his name is J Perez. I write his name down in my notebook as “Jay”, but he quickly corrects me and says it’s just “J”. I had never known or heard of anyone with just one letter for a name, I thought this was very interesting.
He begins to tell me a bit about his background. J is a junior at CSULB and he is majoring in Computer Engineering. When he told me this, I immediately connected because I also majored in Computer Engineering my first semester. I told him that I have respect towards him because my short time in the major was quite difficult; to which he replied “Yeah It’s difficult, but all it takes is discipline and an interest in what you’re learning”. J is also in some orgs at school like: SHIP, EAT, HSI-STEM.
He grew up in Long Beach and attended Wilson Classical High School, which is where he met Valerie. He and Valerie began dating in high school, and continued through college (CSULB) until the end of 2014; that is when J popped the question. Valerie said “Yes!’’ and the two young lovebirds eloped at a city courthouse. J and Valerie live with J’s parents and are saving to get their own place soon. Valerie is also enrolled in ART 110, I hope to meet her and interview her next week.
I woke up at 10 AM for my Art Class on Tuesday morning, I arrived early so I picked up a copy of the Daily 49er and picked up a cup of coffee. As I began to read, I stumbled on an article entitled “Through the Fired Glass” an editorial about an artist from CSULB named Maccabee Shelley. The Article continued on to describe Shelley’s background in art and his showcased art in the Gotav Gallery at the university entitled “No Redemption Value”.
As I make my way toward class, I pass the Gotav gallery to have a peep at the artwork that I was just reading about. I saw these unique-looking glass statues that looked like coral-reefs, but I didn’t get a close enough look. I got to class and viewed a documentary about spray-painting art around the world. After the documentary, a guest arrived to class and our professor Zucman introduced him as Maccabee Shelley. The artist that I had been reading about just minutes before and had caught a glimpse of his art was now standing in front of me discussing his work.
After class, I returned to the Gotav gallery and had some one-on-one time with “Mac” Shelley to discuss his artwork and the entire process it takes for a piece. He explained that he basically creates a plaster and silicone-like mold with chicken wiring as a structure for the shape of the piece he is attempting to create. He then takes several glass bottles with no redemption value and crushes them and fills the mold with the glass. He then puts the mold with glass in a ceramics oven and the glass melts into the shape of the mold. After the glass and mold are cool enough, he breaks apart the plaster mold and the piece is finished. He then began to tell me about all of the experiments he conducted with the glass pieces, such as the “dripping effect” that some of the pieces had from sections that weren’t yet cooled all the way. He said that the more he tinkered with his art, the more cool effects and visuals he produced.
I asked him several questions beyond the technical processes of his artwork as well. For instance, I wondered why none of his art pieces had names or titles; so I asked him. Shelley himself wondered if names would “add or subtract to the value of [his] pieces”; he explained that if he gave his artworks names, people would be influenced to see what the names suggested. He would rather the observer see what they felt the art meant to them, rather than what the artist sensed. Shelley then began to tell me about his ambitions to go to a good grad school and his hopes that the artwork he was producing now would be recognized and admired. “If you have an idea, go for it! Even if you fuck up, it’s better than not trying the idea in the first place”; No Redemption Value was Maccabee Shelley’s idea.
I had a conversation with a fellow classmate at the Gatov gallery on Thursday. I asked Daniela a bit about where she’s from; she told me that she grew up in Long Beach and went to Long Beach Polytechnic High School prior to CSULB. She tells me that she is a freshman majoring in Journalism, but she doesn’t want to be a journalist. She is pursuing a career as a coordinator of sorts for a fashion design company. She is taking Art 110 as a class for her major.
This week’s activity was to spray paint my name in bubble lettering. I’ll admit I was a bit intimidated at first because I had never used a spray paint can before in my life, but I was eager to try something new. I began by testing my paints on a piece of cardboard… first a basic lettering of my name. I tinkered with the can a bit just to get a feel of the way it dispersed the paint. Once I was comfortable with the can, I used a black spray to outline my name in bubble lettering and filled it with a chrome paint.
I was pleased with the results, but not satisfied with the cardboard background of my artwork. I decided to use a glass canvas for my next attempt. There was little room for error, so I outlined what I was going to paint next with a sharpie.
This activity really showed me that spray painting is more difficult than it seems. I give more respect to spray paint artists now because they aretruly talented and skilled. I also don’t view graffiti as just vandalism now, but rather works of art that should be as appreciated as paintings or photographs.