Wk 9-Artist Conversation

Artist: Sean Joy Cabanig
Exhibition: All Work All Play
Media: Metal and Jewelry
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Werby Gallery

Fifth year Sean Joy Cabanig who is receiving her BFA in Metal and Jewelry this Spring showcased a series of her collections throughout her time at CSULB in her gallery, All Work All Play. She is currently working at Michael Schmidt Studios and is trying to decide whether or not she would like to continue working in a studio or elsewhere once she graduates. She considers herself to pretty much be a lifelong artist. Her father recognized her talent at a young age. Although she started off with drawing, she eventually went to photoshop in high school and realized that she wanted her art to be more hands on in college. Although she grew up with the Filipino stereotype where many children go off to be nurses or engineers, she can’t imagine herself in any other major.

In her work that she showcased, she mostly showed abstract pieces which involved jewelry or small metal sculptures. Much of her work involved smooth kinetics and silver or copper colors. Her art display a variety of ideas and personalities but all show very obvious similarities. Through her art, she shows preciseness and versatility because she works on what various projects ask of her.

Inspiration for Sean Joy’s work comes a lot from humor, the environment, emotion, and people which is prevalent in her art. From the minimalist colors to the kinesthetics of a finger brace to the simplicity yet humor behind a small penis sculpture, Sean Joy’s ability to show off different sides of her really shines through. Her style also accentuates how she describes her work as cool to serious to humorous. By showing a compilation of her work from her career at CSULB, she is also able to show how she has grown throughout her process and how her work has developed yet her ideas and style has remained constant.

I personally enjoys Sean Joy’s versatility and minimalism. She is able to pursue various ideas yet stick to her own style which is difficult when trying to achieve tasks that are asked of you opposed to being self motivated. I especially identified with her a someone growing up in a Filipino household and instead of being pressured to go into the medical or engineering field, decided to pursue media and liberal arts. It is extremely rare even now to find Asian-American students who are able to do so.


Wk 7-Artist Conversation

Artist: Mimi Haddon
Exhibition: Catching Air
Media: Fiber Art
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Merlino Gallery
Website: http://www.mimihaddon.com/

Mimi Haddon is a current graduate student who is majoring in fiber art. She received her bachelors 20 years ago in graphic design and since then worked briefly in graphic design then went into fashion photography. This eventually led to her interest in fiber art and installations as she was working more closely with fabrics and costumes. Although she is currently pursuing her masters in fiber art, she is still heavily involved in fashion photography and is working on a coffee table book with a large costume company. Although she has been working on art for so long, she didn’t necessarily consider herself an artist until after her kids were born in her 30’s where she began to work more hands on.

Haddon utilizes very tangible items which can be found everywhere. Her art which is made of simple, everyday items, is brought together in order to create bigger pieces which illustrate more elaborate structures. Haddon also mentions her love for color and her interest in only using full saturation against natural hues in her pieces whether its her photography or her installations. By looking at her work, you can tell that it’s very vibrant and large scaled which also fits to her vibrant personality.

When growing up, Haddon was terrified of scary movies but found interest in the The Shining and its abstract qualities. Throughout her artistic career, she has grown to enjoys brighter and bigger things. She also expresses her interest in biology and cellular makeup. This inspires her art through the unusual shapes formed by growing cells and structures. This is evident in her art that she takes a lot of inspiration through the building blocks of life itself.

When I am looking for art, I don’t necessarily look for bold and bright pieces. I am usually more attracted to neutral colors. However, the specific colors and materials Haddon utilized really caught my attention. Because of its playful and abstract qualities, it somewhat reminded me of my younger siblings back home. This made me nostalgic and allowed me to adore the piece at a more reminiscent pace along with appreciating its artistry instead of being attracted to its piece solely on its aesthetics.

Wk 5-Artist Conversation-Kristi Jenson

Artist: Kristi Jenson
Exhibition: Fuse: Joined to Form a Single Entity
Media: Metal: steel, copper, silver
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery East
Instagram: whipperton

Kristi Jenson who is getting her BFA in Metal & Jewelry is graduating this fall. Although she has only been working with metal for about 2 years, she originally started sculpting and realized that metal is what she enjoys working with the most. In general, her pieces would take about 3 weeks to finish depending on its complexity. The process will begin with a sketch to a paper model then to working with metal. When Kristi isn’t working with metal, she enjoys watching The Walking Dead, knitting, or reading but especially enjoys the hammering, sawing, and fire work that working with metals involve.

The work Jenson showcased utilized copper and very natural colors; this accentuates the minimalist yet eye-catching pieces. She states that she enjoys the precise technique of working with metal and how the process is forgivable. This is evident in her pieces as it is very clean and smooth. The scales of her pieces vary and she is interested in working on both small and large scale pieces. Eventually, she hopes to showcase her art on tables that she has made herself even though she is currently focusing on jewelry.

Jenson speaks about how one the aspects she would like to work on, is her artistry. She has trouble naming her works and doesn’t necessarily have certain themes to connect them with. However, that doesn’t mean her work doesn’t evoke certain emotions or grab the attention of her audiences. A reason why she enjoys working with metal so much is because she enjoys setting things on fire and hammering them. I find this interesting because just by looking at any kind of metal art, it isn’t evident that that is how the process is due to its smooth lines and beauty.

I particularly found Jenson’s work beautiful. She made pieces that cannot only be showcased but also worn or placed in homes. It’s natural colors and smooth lines really caught my attention and made me interested in her other pieces.

The Whimsy Ideals of Samuel Jernigan

Artist: Samuel Jernigan
Exhibition: Weight of  Whimsy and Ideals
Media: Ceramics
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West
Website: www.cargocollective.com/samueljernigan
Instagram: @samueljenri

Recent 2015 fall graduate, Samuel Jernigan expresses his interest in alienation, belonging, loneliness, and absurdities through his exhibit, Weight of Whimsy and Ideals. Although his work may prove otherwise, he claims to have not considered himself an artist up until about 3 years ago. Coming from a music background, he believes that getting into art, specifically ceramics, was just a natural step to being curious. This started around the year 2000. When he is not creating art, you can catch him reading a comic, looking for fresh produce at a farmers market, or ending his day with a beer.

Jernigan’s focus is ceramics, however, he utilizes a mix of materials such as wood, steel, and paint in his work. The variety of materials used in his art expresses his interest in interchangeability and how the meanings of art can change based on the materials used. He also makes it a point to use minimal color on certain pieces despite the amount of animation shaped through his sculptures. This also accentuates the interchangeability of his work because with a lack of color and use of many materials, perception can be different for everyone. With extremely round shapes and bright, yet minimal colors, his art was user friendly for all but carried diverse meanings for his audiences.

This exhibit explores the ideas of belonging and loneliness along with accentuating the importance of interchangeability. Jernigan mentions that many of his pieces can be put together but because they may be separate, different meanings are explored making what could be, unknown. He also speaks about his interest in comic books. Although those don’t necessarily inspire his artwork and animation, the comics inspire the idealization of his work through absurdities and its ability to change fixed identities. Despite all the thought that goes into his art process, he also enjoys making pieces that are entertaining for himself and can make him laugh.

I personally enjoyed this exhibit a lot. I felt that his pieces made me nostalgic of my childhood yet allowed me to interpret and delve into the different meanings behind the pieces due to it’s complexity with materials and minimalist colors. It was particularly interesting to find out that Jernigan was interested in expressing ideas of belonging and loneliness because it really got me thinking. How do these pieces explore these ideas? I was then able to connect those ideas to the nostalgic feelings his sculptures gave me along with his interest in interchangeability.This then made me connect those ideas with personality types and how people change, especially when young, based on their interests in belonging and at times, need for loneliness. Although this may not be his intent, his work really had me thinking about more than just the playful figures and definitely piqued my interest.

Life and Death: A Look Into Josh Vasquez


Artist: Josh Vasquez

Exhibition: Vida/Morte

Media: Drawing and Painting

Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West

Website: http://joshvasquez.com/

Instagram: @joshybehr

Los Angeles native and CSULB student, Josh Vasquez, has been an artist all his life and can’t imagine himself doing anything else. In his exhibition, he explores the connection and tension between life and death through various mediums of different scales. For 6 months, he expanded on his work and even created his favorite piece, Los Ojos Dos(not pictured), which his favorite because of its large scale. Although his exhibition consists of installation art, drawings, and paintings, he also enjoys photography as a way to capture moments along with expressing himself through his art.

Vida/Morte which shows little evidence of clean lines and perfect shapes utilizes a rugged style and illustrates that neither life or death is perfect. Through natural installations, colors, and strokes, Vasquez accentuates his eye for bringing out the abstract qualities of his thoughts on the tension between life and death because it cannot be explained through words. The lack of color also brings out the simplicity of both ideas despite both being somewhat unknown despite its importance. Throughout the colorless yet effective exhibit, Vasquez is able to illustrate two ideas that people believe to know so much about but cannot explain.

Vasquez discusses his interest in the tension between life and death, hence the name of his exhibition Vida/Morte. Due to the large scale of his pieces, it is obvious that he put plenty of thought and really focused on getting his pieces done to perfection throughout the 6 months of work. Many of his pieces include contrasting ideas aside from life and death such as black and white or clear and opaque. His art shows that two opposite ideas can coexist and make sense. Life and death are both abstract ideas but Vasquez explores this through his deep thought and intense interest for the ideas. This is particularly interesting because he knows that art is his life and without it, he wouldn’t know what else to do.

This exhibit gave me a lot to think about. What do I really know about life and death? Why are these two ideas so important to everyone? What is there to illustrate about it? Vasquez’ art gave me more perspective about these ideas. The tension between the two is so great yet it goes unnoticed. Everything must come to an end but once it does, something else starts anew. The lack of color, or even the dying colors especially caught my attention. Vasquez uses very limited colors yet his exhibit resonates not only with death, but also with life. Because of this, I wondered why life only relates to color. Not everything that happens while living is happy and colorful and that goes unnoticed. Although this may not have been the intent of the artist, the art has made me more appreciative of this idea and how not everything in life is perfect.