Artist: Nick Bamford
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery East
About the Artist
Nick Bamford is currently pursuing a bachelors degree in the ceramics program here at CSULB. Nick Bamford was born and raised in Huntington Beach where he first discovered his passion for the arts. His high school ceramics class is what propelled him to make his passion into a career. Bamford enjoyed the creative process as a young boy and always knew that he would grow up to be a prevalent influence in the art community. His art explores the manipulation of perspective on physical objects we see in our everyday lives. Bamford enjoys dabbling in other medias of art as well. He mentioned that he enjoyed making things from nothing. He has an inventive side to him. He also enjoys painting and sculpting during his free time.
First off, this exhibit is like nothing we have seen in the weeks prior! The blacklight and led light combination added an element of suspense and mystique. It wasn’t until I got closer I saw all the trinkets that were stacked on top of one another. I saw a shopping cart, lamp, shoes, wires, poles, etc. His imagination shined through in each piece. Honestly, how did he get shopping cart to stay up in the air balanced with only strings and sticks! Bamford’s work consisted of bright colors, straight lines, and large objects magically balanced on top. This made for an interesting exhibit to observe.
Bamford’s work helped me explore the fantasy of making imagination real. His pieces seemed so out of this world but he somehow made it a tangible piece of work. His work brings me to look at things outside of the box. I believe that Bamford wanted to inspire his audience to look at our everyday lives at more than face value. To some, his work may just be a bunch of random things piled on top of one another and called “art” but Bamford is the person who spent the time thinking and putting together his vision. His exhibit showed me that there is nothing wrong with being different and doing things that have never been done before.
I thoroughly enjoyed Nick Bamford’s exhibit. His work explores the ideas of stepping outside of the box. I theme I live by. I enjoy watching fellow students doing things that they enjoy, even if it is outside of the “norm”. It’s refreshing and it inspires others who want to do the same but can’t build the confidence to do it alone. I congratulate the artist for getting an exhibit at CSULB and pursuing his dreams. This experience has inspired me to continue to live outside of the box and embrace those qualities about myself and others.
Artist: Jennifer Chen
Media: Printmaking, Digital Print, Gloss, and Google Images
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West
About the Artist
Jennifer Chen started her college career with a Bachelors Degree in biology. She claims that she has many interests and wants to pursue what ever intrigues her at that moment in her life. That was how she found her way to the fine arts department at CSULB. Jennifer is finishing up her last year at CSULB for a Masters in Fine Arts. She specializes in printmaking and next semester she is planning on teaching an intro to print making class. (Art 270) The theme of her exhibit explores microscopic and macroscopic disturbances in landscape over time.
Jennifer’s uses Google Maps as a platform for her work. She will 3D print an image she finds on Google and will add other elements to give the image more depth. Her larger pieces take up to a week to finish and have to be broken up into different sections. As you can see from the images I uploaded, her work comes in many different sizes. She uses smaller canvases to show the microscopic disturbances (ex. bark) in our ecosystem. The larger canvases are used to show the macroscopic disturbances (ex. buildings and roads)
Jennifer’s work exhibits landscapes after disturbances or natural disasters strike.
A “disturbance” is by definition “the interruption of a settled and peaceful condition”.
On the contrary a natural disaster is “a natural event such as a flood, earthquake, or hurricane that causes great damage or loss of life.”
I believe Jennifer wants to emphasize the difference between the two. While natural disasters are tragic, what human beings have done to our planet was a conscious choice. We have taken advantage of our planet and although it may not seem like it, one day it will all be very apparent how selfish our species are.
Jennifer brings a unique quality to the world of art. Her background in biology emphasizes the factual aspects about the world we live. I definitely have an interest in the arts and she gives me inspiration to pursue my own interests. I am currently pursuing a bachelors in accounting but that does not mean I should let my other interests die out in the back burner. Learning is a never ending journey. She got to experience working in both the medical field and the art industry. I’m sure there are things that she likes and dislikes about both, but unless she tried both she would have never known which path to choose.
Artist: Helen Werner Cox
Exhibition: Silent Screams
Media: Oil pastel, prints, carving, water based material, etc.
Gallery: Gastov West Gallery
About the Artist
The exhibit she showed last Thursday is the last one she will be showcasing at CSULB because she is expected to graduate this semester. She was born in Boston, Massachusetts and later moved to southern California to pursue her passion in fine arts. She is deeply intrigued by carousels, which wasn’t hard to see by the nature of her exhibit. She gathered many of her inspirations by being around carousels. Her favorite place to go and be around carousels was in Griffith Park. When Helen Werner Cox is not working on her pieces, she enjoys gardening, reading fictional novels, and playing on her favorite App -“dots”.
I can see the hard work and dedication put into each piece by Helen Werner Cox. She mentioned that each piece takes a while to complete but the amount of detail in each piece was insane. I noticed that her strokes are made up of lines. A bunch of long lines. I had to take a large step back to take in the large pieces. She had a sculpture in the left corner and I thought it was interesting that she used a human torso instead of a horse torso.
Cox’s work reflects societies inability to grow. Like a carousel, society is a never ending spiral. A carousel goes round and round but it never goes anywhere. She feels that society is moving but not “moving on”. The horses in her drawings are portraying emotions humans feel in this never ending ride. The horses face show fear and anxiety. Merry go rounds used to portray a somewhat dark/scary message is genius.
As I get older, the world becomes a scarier place. People are not nice, nothing is perfect, we are all doomed. We grow up thinking that life gets better as we get older, but that is not the case. The naivety of a child’s mind is a precious thing. Carousels are meant to bring happiness to kids and the fact that Cox was able to put a dark twist of reality into a distant memory is remarkable. Overall, I really enjoyed this exhibit and appreciate the the message Cox left within me.
Artist: Kimberly Morris
Exhibition: What’s Mine Is Yours, What’s Real Is Not
Media: hair (real & synthetic)
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West
About the Artist
Kimberly is originally from New Orleans. Prior to talking with Kimberly, I had no idea about the history of Louisiana and Creole people. She educated me about the history of Creole people and their mark in Louisiana. It gave me a better understanding of her work. This is her third year at CSULB and she is in the masters program for sculpting. She received her BA at Northridge for painting and her MA for sculpting. Growing up, Kimberly’s family looked racially ambiguous. This led to bullying and judgement from peers at school and by standers in public. Her work is a reflection of all of the experiences she endured facing the reality of how society view race.
Well obviously, the first thing that stood out to me was that every single piece in her exhibit was made of HAIR. The hair was braided in one piece one piece and placed in a perfect spiral. Another piece had ethnic style hair (curly) and there was a gold brush separating it from western style hair (straight). The same piece of the spiral braids was used in a photo of the hair covering who I believe is the artist, Kimberly. The extensions along the wall had a beautiful gradient of black to red.
Kimberly has struggled with identity, along with many of other young women. I struggled with an identity crisis growing up in a school of primarily caucasians. There is a undertone of pressure amongst girls to achieve a standard of beauty that is impossible. Growing up, I desperately wanted to be white. I would dye my hair blond, shop at stores with clothing that was designed for caucasian girls, I even tried eyelid glue/tape and circle lenses. It wasn’t until after high school that I realized what I was doing was twisted. Instead of loving myself for my uniqueness, I wanted to conform into a version of myself that a society dominated by caucasians deemed to be beautiful. This was in every way an impossible goal for me to achieve, yet I took extreme measure in hopes that one day I would wake up with big blue eyes, blond hair, and a long lean body.
This experience took me back to a dark place. A place that took many years for me to bury myself into then dig myself back out. Today, I fall more and more in love with the person that I am. My small mono-lid eyes, my short height, my straight black hair, my small nose, my everything. These were all features that made me resent myself because the girls who were born with all of the features society found “beautiful” had is so much easier than I did. Its interesting to look back and think about all the late nights I spent morphing my face into something it could never be. Its some what amusing, yet terrifying. Why does society do this? Pick one size fits all type of beauty and expect anyone who doesn’t fit the criteria to alter themselves? I hope that every little girl who is struggling right now knows that IT DOES GET BETTER.
Artist: Andrea Williams
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West
About the Artist
I spent over an hour talking to Andrea from her childhood to motherhood. She was born in Riverside to a Mormon family. She has 4 siblings and we talked about how the small age gap between all of them made for a really memorable, exciting childhood growing up. Andrea originally went to a community college and got a cosmetology license, but when her husband encouraged her to pursue art she decided to go to CSULB for ceramics. This is her last year at CSULB. Andrea and I talked about our different views on motherhood. I personally feel that bringing a child into the world we live in today is a disadvantage to the child. Andrea, obviously didn’t feel that way and I wanted to hear and discuss her point of view. Out of the many topics we covered, something she told me that helped me change my perspective was she said “nobody is ever ready for motherhood at any age, its all about adjusting.”
The sculptures are not a smooth texture. It has lumps and bumps all throughout. There were nails laying beside a couple of the pieces. The nails had sharp points at the ends with a flat top. It didn’t look like nails we use today, they looked like nails ancient civilization would use to carve pictures in walls. Along side some other pieces were white pebble like pieces. If you look closely, they have little hands and feet imprinted on them. There were brownish and red painted colors on every piece. It gave the piece life by giving it shadows. There was a lot of white colors used as well. Another signature piece she uses are roses. The roses have a smooth texture to it, it made it stand out next to the bumpy texture of the other pieces.
After talking to Andrea, the exhibit was a spot on representation of the journey she’s been through the last 27 years on this planet. We talked about her childhood growing up in a Mormon household and then later becoming atheist. She later reconnected her relationship with God and is a Christian now. We also talked a lot about the emotional pull and tug mothers experience when deciding to become a mother. She said that she felt afraid to take on that role because she didn’t want to lose herself. The first impression I got from her gallery was empowerment. Motherhood is a selfless, courageous road to travel and Andrea’s art reflects that.
Talking with Andrea really gave me a different way to look at motherhood. There is no calculated formula for parenting. It’s a decision of impulse and you do the best you can with the situation at hand. It teaches you lessons you would otherwise never learn. I’m the type of person who is always seeking growth and so maybe in the future I may decide I want children. Andrea is a very sweet person and was very open with my forth coming questions. I’m glad I decided to talk to her because it gave me an inside look into what motherhood means to someone else.
Artist: Tony Nguyen Exhibit: Casual and Random Thoughts Media: Metals Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery East Instagram: elll_tigre Website: N/A
About the Artist
Tony Nguyen is currently an undergraduate student at CSULB. He specializes in using metals. He came to CSULB as a drawing/painting major but he decided to explore a new medium because he found out that he wasn’t a great illustrator. When he took his first foundation 3D, he discovered that he had a remarkable talent using his hands. He took on metals, ceramics, and wood and since then he’s been in love. Tony is a Capricorn and he loves to drink Asahi beer. Tony’s hobbies consist of gaming, reading comic books, writing, and an amateur pastry chef. In 3-5 years, Tony says he wants to be in graduate school for metals and hopefully in a committed relationship.
The piece I thought was absolutely intriguing was of “Mailbox”. It didn’t look like a traditional mailbox. It reminded me of the barrels on the Titanic that blew out steam. The top tier was a reddish brown color and the bottom tier was black. There were gold letters bolted onto the mailbox with the initials ET. It had a gold crown on top of the initials as well. Above both of those were instructions. It read “Insert a comment on paper and it will be read by the artist” Pick up times: “Monday-Thursday at 5:00 PM” Above the instructions was a slit for the letters. His other pieces resemble warrior-like ensemble but this piece was emotional and endearing, in a way.
The artist gave me the impression that he is the type of person who will try anything. He seems very driven to accomplish his goals, which is where the warrior pieces resemble that side of him. But as we continued talking, I found that he is a very sweet person and sort of a hopeless romantic. The mailbox piece resembled that side of him. He told me about a time when he had to cope with heartbreak through his work. He wanted to create pieces that would make people feel happy or empowered, in hopes of making people who look at his art feel better if they are in a dump themselves.
My meeting with Tony was an eye opening experience. Both of us come from a similar backgrounds. Both of our parents are immigrants to this country and we both wanted to pursue our passion for art. We went about doing this in different ways and we are going to school for the most opposite things but we got along really well. We both believe that going to school for a specific major doesn’t define who you are as a person. We both have been brought to this country by our parents so that we can live a life with no restrictions. His work reminds me of a slogan I live by: “Dominate Humbly” I attack every task I’m given with full force but I stay mindful of how I treat the people around me and make sure that I make them feel good. Similar to the theme of Tony’s work.
Artist: Samuel Jernigan
Exhibition: Weight of Whimsy Ideals
Gallery: CSULB school of Art, Gatov Gallery West
About the Artist:
Samuel Jackson’s career began back in 2000. His peers noticed that he had a natural talent. As a beginner, his ceramic skills were far beyond his years and he was immediate hired to work. He stayed with this company for five years. He took a break from ceramics for seven years. In between those years he was working at a farmers market. He returned back to creating ceramic pieces in 2012. Samuel was born in Louisiana but most of his life he spent in the bay area/ central California. He enjoys coffee, comics, and TV. His favorite types of beers to drink are sweet. Much of his inspiration comes from items he finds at flea markets or thrift stores. The final question I asked Samuel was “What sacrifices have you had to make for you art?” He said that at one point in time, he had to live out of his car.
Each one of his sculptures are sculpted with precision. It felt nostalgic. The figurines I used to play with as a child closely resembled many of his pieces. I was mesmerized by how smooth the texture was. Some pieces have a more rugged texture, which I assumed was supposed to represent aged skin. The way the sculptures were colored reminded me of my childhood as well. I don’t know what it was about it. Along the sides of the gallery, he had body parts laid beside each other. The body parts were disassembled. The piece that stood out the most was:
I love the message and how the pieces were assembled.
This exhibit made me feel childish in the sense that it brings back so many childhood memories and it felt like I was in my memories. After having a one on one conversation with the artist himself, I had a better understanding of the art. After talking with the artist one on one, I could tell that the artist is a positive person. He would rather hide the pain behind a happy face. Being the reason for others happiness is true positivity. Just because you post a positive quote with your car selfies, does not mean you are a positive person. His exhibit made me forget about what ever issues I was having that morning and I had a really good day. That is how you spread positivity.
I’m glad that I got to talk to the artist one on one. It really changed how I viewed his exhibit. When there are 160 students all huddled over each piece its hard to see the exhibit for what it is. I’m really glad that I got a chance to talk to the artist one on one. It made the experience that much more memorable and I was able to gain a better perspective on spreading positivity. I’m the type of person that wears their emotions on their sleeve. The artist, Samuel Jackson, does not seem like that type. I want to be a more uplifting person after visiting the exhibit and meeting the artist.