Wk C1 – Art & (my) Life

Five months have come and gone, and I’ve learned a lot of things in my ART110 class. Things about art, the nature of art, its different types and forms, things about myself, growth, enjoying life and making friends. Lead by our teacher Glenn Zucman, I can truthfully say that this class has been the most fun out of the 3 others I’m taking this semester! For my final paper, I will be talking about the things that I’ve made, the SOA Artists I’ve met, the things I’ve learnt, and what are the applications of things I’ve learned. Firstly, let me list all the projects I’ve done this semester: Plaster Casting, Design Thinking, e-Portfolio, Web Page, Sketching in The Japanese Garden, Student Choice, Environmental Portraits, Graffiti Painting, Vlogging, Finger Painting, And One More.

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Plaster Casting. It was the first time that I had played and created something with plaster. Our project was to head towards Seal Beach and make a sand plaster cast out of either our hands or legs.  I was in a budding friendship with two fellow classmates and we decided to do this project together. Once we arrived at the beach, we marked our ground and dug up three holes. I still recall during our first try, the waters had filled it up because we had dug too close to the “wave-zone.”Our second try was a success and as a whole, this was a different, note-worthy experience. I got educated about the process of crafting and managing plaster.
Sketching in The Japanese Garden. I went to our resident Japanese garden and the topic of the day was abstract vs representation. The task was to create 6 sketches and take 6 photos of that would represent these two forms of art. It felt great loosening up and sketching whilst under nature; something I hadn’t done in a long time. I clearly understood the difference between the two representations of art. The waterfall, ducks, and pond were very peaceful, and I had a blast taking pictures!
Student Choice was my favorite of all the projects mentioned above! For my student choice, two friends of mine and I decided that we would make a short film. At first, we thought the 3 of us would do something, then one of my friends mentioned to the whole class about our project and it turned out to be a massive alliance between 9 fellow students! In just 3 days, we wrote, produced, acted, directed, edited and posted a short film. This project catapulted my friends list and it was one of the best experiences during these 5 months. I learned: teamwork, friendship, camera work (since I was the cinematographer), location scouting, and many more things during this project.
Environmental Portraits. I hastily took a photo of myself with my little tripod and that served as the first environmental portrait. The main point of my environmental portrait was to show that I was either a director or a cinematographer. By the end, I was knowledgeable about very idea and essence of Environmental Portraits since I was researching about it online.
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Graffiti Painting. This was another project that I had a lot of fun with! My friend and I drove to Venice Beach, observed for parking for about half an hour, and ultimately reached our spot. I made 3 graffiti arts; all my name. It the first time I tried so the first attempt wasn’t pretty. The second got better and I was relatively pleased with the final draft. We met Glenn and chatted for a bit. It was a good day and I learnt a lot. There were a group of 4 professionals who we bumped into and they explained to us the process, styles and techniques of graffiti to which I was amazed by!
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The One More projectwas noteworthy because I got an opportunity to remake a previous project and do it better! The project I chose to redo was the Environmental Portrait.

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As stated earlier, I’ve learnt many things. I have always been a person who enjoyed art. In-fact, all forms of it! such as: film, photography, stop-motion, sketches, sculptures, painting etc. but after this class, I learned that there are more forms of art than I had previously comprehended. After visiting the Art galleries, conversing with the SOA artists, and blogging about them, I got to see art projects that people with different view point, perception and art style. Blogging was also something I hadn’t yet started, so sharing my ideas, perception and thoughts was quite fun. For example, the first artist I talked to, Althea Fultz was trying to explore ideas about individual expression and what lies on the surface as well as beneath herself. Which she did through Expressive Art. Her main focus were the art styles of ceramics, pottery & sgraffito. Sgraffito was something I had never even heard of before that day! Another different artist was Erika Niko Barrios who mainly expressed personal narrative into art. She explored intersectional feminism, showcasing the female body and presenting it in various forms of art such as Porcelain, Ceramics, Knitting. These were one of my favorites and some of the most exquisite art pieces I had ever seen! One of the most complex themes of an art piece were made by Claudia Chavarria-Reyes. She used printmaking to explore complexity and the struggle when one is caught in between two ideals, places, and thoughts. There were many more artists I interacted with and absorbed a lot of various ideologies and themes.

My major is filmmaking. It is something I’ve loved since I was a kid. When I was given a choice to make anythingduring our student choice project, I made a short film. Albeit the fact that filmmaking is a form of art, art itself can be reflected and showcased in film. By that I mean; in film, one needs to think creatively. Each department needs to express their views, ideologies in their own form of art. The aesthetics of each frame is seen by the audience so, the cinematographer and the art department need to visualize what they want to show in the most expressive way possible. What I learned during these 5 months of ART110 class will definitely be used for my future classes, career and life.

Thanks for reading!

O.U

 

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Wk C1 – Feedback

My feedback for Glenn:

  1. What did you think of the A-B-C format?
    It was extremely helpful! The organization and details were very easy and clear to comprehend. Any info about anything was just a click away.
  2. What did you think of the 4 Messy Hands activities? (Plaster Casting, Sketching in the Garden, Graffiti Writing & Finger Painting)
    All mentioned above (except for finger-painting) was completely new to me! I had an amazing time doing all of these projects since my friends list grew, I understood different forms of art and did something new, that I had never done. Especially plaster casting and graffiti that was at Venice beach!
  3. What did you think of the 4 Life Design activities? (Design Thinking, ePortfolio, Environmental Portrait, vlog)
    All of these were extremely helpful. Not just for now, but for future use as well! especially the Design Thinking – where I planned out my future and backups and ePortfolio – which I can show other people about the things I’ve done.
  4. What did you think of the Student Choice & One More activities?
    The Student Choice was probably my most favorite of all the things i’ve done this entire semester! What was a plan of 3 friends turned out to be a massive collaboration between 9 fellow students! We all gathered and made a short film for our project. In just 3 days, we grew very close. One More was also very interesting because I re-did one of my previous projects that I wasn’t as delighted with. I got a chance to make it better!
  5. What did you think of visiting the SOA Galleries, having Conversations with SOA Artists, and blogging about them?
    Visiting the SOA Galleries, having Conversations with SOA Artists, and blogging about them were all also something that I had yet to experience. Visiting & talking to them was fun as I got to see art projects that different people with different view point, perception and art style created. Blogging was also something I hadn’t done, so sharing my ideas, perception and thoughts were very fun!
  6. What did you think of using the class website, glenn.zucman.com/i2va, plus your own websites, instead of BeachBoard?
    I liked it, it was very different and creative! all the info presented in an accessible way and not difficult to find.
  7. What did you think of using WordPress for your blog?
    WordPress was user friendly therefore, easy to use!
  8. What did you think of using Wix for your ePortfolio?
    Wix is something I had used before, and is still a little user-unfriendly to me. I probably would be better if I had more experience with it.
  9. What did you think of the guest speakers? (Internships, Study Abroad, etc)
    All were helpful as they were providing information about “our” future. 
  10. What did you think of the times in class when we took time to meet new classmates? How many Art110 peeps did you know before the class started? How many do you know now?
    They were very helpful. I knew 0 before the class started and I guess I know about 15 now! 
  11. What did you think about having a class with no tests? I don’t just mean “was it cool to not have to take any,” but students use tests to guide their study and participation in a class. Students tend to learn what’s on the test, and to not learn anything that isn’t. Did not having exams make it harder to focus or find importance and relevance in the class?
    I agree. I’ve done exams where literally 30 mins after the exam I would forget anything related to the subject matter. I think it’s just like Filmmaking; my major. You learn more by doing rather than reading.
  12. Any other thoughts?
    Glenn was awesome! (I’m not just saying that) He truly was the best “lecturer” I had this entire semester. The class & the subject matter, taking with artists, artsy projects,  and especially growing my friends list, was all done in ART110 and it was a fresh and spectacular experience!

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Wk B10 – One More Time!

For my Try it One More time! I’ve decided to redo my Environmental Portrait!

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During my first try, it was actually the first time trying out an environmental portrait. I looked online, glanced & analyzed the process, aesthetics, the ways each individual stylistically represented their goals and interests. My strength at the time was that, my fellow classmates and I had just finished shooting and editing a short film and I was still in that “film-y” mood. It enhanced the authenticity of the process. Weakness was that I didn’t have much materials to work with. So, I just used my tripod and earphones.

My goals for try #2 was to create richer aesthetics, make it better and more stylistic. Now, I bought some posters of my favorite movies which was directed by one of my favorite stylistic directors: Quentin Tarantino. I have yet again used my little tripod, but now it works better in the shot since the background enhances it ‘film-yness’. I have an arm-band of the movie “Deadpool” – which one of my favorite superhero movie + comedy. I have also used the classic Director/Cinematographer gesture of framing the scene, to further develop the concept of filmmaking, what the cinematographer sees and decides what frame to lock and film, frame rate of camera and what the movie-goer perceives in the limited frame that filmmakers provide.

I feel better about my second attempt as its not bland and one tone. It’s filled with different colors and is enchanted in terms of aesthetics and its purpose. This Environmental Portrait! has a stronger idea and concept behind it!

Thanks for reading!

O.U

Wk B9 – SOA Galleries – Short Story

This piece was displayed at CSULB School of Art, Max L. Gatov Gallery.

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The Short Story (fiction):

In a deep trance of vivid colors and autonomous objects, she hears an oddity. At first it seems like someone or something is calling out ‘Dallas’ but as she swims towards the sound, it feels as if it’s calling out her name. She wiggles her feet vigorously and approaches the sound. It is certain that its calling out “Alex.” Suddenly, and enormous earthquake appears and it causes Alex to swerve violently!
She wakes up from her dream, hearing the sounds of her tense mother. “Alex! Jesus, you’re late for school honey!” She explains, anxiously. “I was h-having such a wonderful dream mom!” She replies, dreamy & disappointed.
If only Alex knew…

Alex attends to her morning ritual of brush, bath and breakfast hastily and is ready for school! But she’s already late so her mom rushes into the car. “Alex, sweetie, I have some bad news for you” She says as they almost reaches the compound. “What mommy?” Alex replies. “Honey, Snowy got into an accident today” she pauses. “She… didn’t make it” Her mom finishes. “WHAT?!” Shouts Alex, perplexed.

They reach the school and her mom kisses her goodbye as she heads out for work. Still in shock over her dead cat, Alex rambles around her bag and takes out her notebook. “Oh no!” She exclaims, dreadfully. On top of her cat dying, she has forgotten to do her homework for the day.
“Can this day get any worse?!” She exclaims, defeated.
Yes, Alex. It can.

The bell rings and Alex places herself in her favorite seat. She looks outside the window and sees beautiful green grass followed by 2 quick squirrels. She turns her attention to her teacher; who just entered. “Alright! Alright! Settle down! Pop quiz. If you fail, that’s 50% off your final grade. Submit before you leave.” The teacher says, discourteously. “Mr. Barton’s in a bad mood!” Cries Alex’s neighbor. Great! ‘That’s all today needed. Dead cat, no homework, and a moody teacher whose quiz could fail me’ thinks Alex.

It is not Alex’s day today. Mr. Barton hands out the papers to everyone and it’s a particularly difficult classwork that must be summited by 2:00 PM otherwise 50% of the grades are lost! “Thats it!” She exclaims loudly! “Time, time. Will you be mine!” She recites. A few quick moments later a similar earthquake enters and a loud Pop! Is heard.
Alex sees that in-front of the blackboard there is a tall dark figure standing. It is wearing all black, has a beak – like a bird – for its mouth, dons some fancy shades, wearing a belt that is a little too long for its waist, a fedora and holding a staff that contains an hourglass and wings.

Alex having the worst day of her life, has called upon: Mycroft the Time Giver. An ancient deity that grants its summoner an extra 15 minutes of time that doesn’t impact the natural timeline.

“Mykey, I would like to say goodbye to Snowy before he died today” She asks her first request. Mycroft nods and taps the hourglass. The classroom suddenly blurs away and turns into her living room where a pearl white cat sleeps. “Snowy!” She emotes loudly. She snuggles with the cat for ages and after letting her go, she is in tears. The scene starts to get blurry as time runs out. The last thing Alex sees is Snowy playing at the ledge of the window. Woosh! They have returned back at the class. She starts to have a panic attack as she realizes that’s how her cat dies. He places both hands at her temple and tries to breathe normally.

Alex is deeply saddened and stressed. She calls upon Mycroft once more. This time to extend her time so that she can search up the answers online to the dastardly difficult work. She rummages inside her bag and now remembers that she has forgotten to bring her phone.

Now again fill with tears, she does her work; albeit oblivious to the answers. Feeling pitiful towards Alex, Mycroft appears at its own will, taps the hourglass and grants her some extra time. More than allowed.

Thanks for reading!

O.U

 

Wk B9 – Finger Painting

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The experience that this assignment got me feeling was like I was a child again. Getting my hands all covered with paint and wiping artistically all over the paper felt good and felt as if I hadn’t done something like this for a long time. I got Green, White & Orange paints because I thought it would contrast and stand out better while  – finger – painting on a Purple paper/background.

Normally artists have trouble painting something that is vague and/or abstract: because art can mean, signify, showcase, illustrate, and represent many ideas. For me, it was surprisingly easier than I thought and definitely different. I am more inclined towards drawing/painting non-abstract art rather than abstract, but abstract painting does have its charm. It can be interpreted into all kinds of different ideas and thoughts.

I dipped my fingers inside the green paint and started making shapes similar to trees but then I thought “hmm, if I make it similar to trees, then it wouldn’t be as abstract enough” then I smeared green all around hoping it would be a little more obscure. Then came white, I made these markings similar to that of footsteps but can mean anything if you perceive it differently. For some it could be footsteps on the snow, for others it could be snow fall, etc.
It was confusing if I’m honest. I wasn’t sure of what I was painting on the paper for a few moments, but then I realized abstract can mean different things to different people so I continued with the smearing. It did feel liberating, not having to care of getting my hands filled with paint, making sure I’m not making mistakes, going over the lines.

Other abstract painting I’ve seen are completely jarring to me. I can generally perceive what see of the art and not what the artist is trying to say. So, I made this abstract painting in the hopes of one can formulate their own story and/or version based on what they see.

Thanks for reading!

O.U.

Wk B8 – Lauren Woods: American MONUMENT

The class of ART110 visited our University Art Museum today to view the piece made by Lauren Woods called the American MONUMENT. A visually contrastive art piece compared to the other pieces I have seen during our 8 weeks: sadly it is currently in pause. Lauren Woods is a visionary conceptual artist whose projects of media includes film, video and sound installations to view and spread awareness regarding the socio-politics of the current times. She explores how traditional monument-making can be translated into new contemporary models of commemoration, substituting the traditional marble and granite for new media.

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As mentioned above, this fascinating art piece is currently in hold because the university fired Kimberli Meyer; she was collaborating with Lauren. Lauren sees the University’s terminating of Kimberli Meyer as proceeding with the violence that her work tries to address. Given that, she felt that pausing the work was her solitary choice; because external pressure was a lot to handle and was vastly expensive to go further with the investigations regarding the termination.

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As for my classmate and I, we were unable to experience the actual /complete art peice. But, we did get the opportunity to glance and tour around the turntables (without the intended) records – of the sounds of the end of someone’s life. We did get to see the voices of the victims. (Picture above). We saw the empty aluminum boxes (picture below) where case materials for each of the victims would have been. Also, we saw void cases and other crude components of American MONUMENT. I figure we can, at least theoretically, comprehend a decent measure of what American MONUMENT would have been.

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American MONUMENT isn’t actually about gun violence. It’s about bigotry, racism and police brutality that is residing in The United States. In any case, police shootings exist with regards to a country’s firearm culture. The United States – albeit one of a kind – is among the countries of the world where there is passion for firearm ownership, but is also prone to mass shootings. Comparing U.S to Nepal (my home country) we have very strict gun rules. If I’m not mistaken, one cannot own pistols, and owning a sniper rifle or shotgun is very difficult because it is difficult to gain a license for them.

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In conclusion, I would have preferred to see the completed version of American MONUMENT, but regardless, I understand and comprehend what it wants to convey and what it stands for. I hope they find a way to solve this issue so that everyone can appreciate and fully experience what this art piece wants to convey.

Thanks for reading!

O.U.