Primary: Volume 1

Page 1


Volume I Spring 2021 CSULB School of Art

Cover image 100 In The Room Xavier Joson BFA Illustration '21 @mttxvr.jpg


Editors-in-Chief Vivian Chang Lauren Schechter

Assistant Editors Zadie Baker Noah Him Natalie Madrigal Mary McCord Armando Navas

With endless gratitude to each and every professor in support of this project, Aubry Mintz, Michael Nannery, Katie Grinnan, Dr. Kathryn Chew, and the entirety of the Department of Art History. The editors at Primary affirm Black Lives Matter. We stand in solidarity with our Asian-American communities and with Palestine. We acknowledge the ongoing devastating COVID-19 pandemic and the 4.6 million lives lost globally at the time of publication. Primary





Tongva/Gabrieleño and the Acjachemen/Juaneño Nations of the ancestral and unceded territory that is now occupied by Long Beach. We thank them for their strength, perseverance, and resistance in maintaining their cultures, identities, and worldview.

From the Editors

It’s been nearly eight months since we first embarked on this journey toward Primary, a student-run magazine within California State University, Long Beach's School of Art. The issue you read, our very first, coincides with the founding editors’ departure from the University, edited and produced remotely, across faraway time zones. It is a strangely quiet and pensive moment for us, two Art History students who, despite COVID-19 times, have never felt as connected to the SoA student community as in the same moment we must distance ourselves from it. We are deeply thankful to all of the artists whose contributions give Primary its shape, to our supporters across departments, and also to the forthcoming editors and contributors who will keep this space an active channel through which students can speak with, from, and out of art. In 2020, we began editing what would become our inaugural issue with the belief that we were responding to a growing need for a student-led outlet based in the School of Art. Our open call for submissions encouraged student creators and recent alumni to contribute work they cared for the most, reflecting Primary's inimitable character. Collaboration and transformation are embedded into the very identity of this publication. We gain a privileged look into a cohort of graduate students’ practices through our In Conversation interview series; Dialogues encourages writers to reflect on the artwork of their peers; Perspectives on Art History illustrate new takes on the canon. Purposefully devoid of a theme, these pages are meant to hold space for the work of all minds. We propose section phrases that pair surrounding atmospheres to the issue’s content; they are gently suggested for reader consideration, but are not intended to limit reader nor artist interpretation.

In Paradigm Failure, the analytical yet vulnerable work of students urges us to always ask (and ask once more) questions about our thinking patterns. We spoke with photographer Amanda Quinlan, who explores the influence of artificial intelligence on photographic imagery and human memory, and learned how interdisciplinary artist Robert Porte’s obsession with process and exploration in material mirrors personal experience. Among the bright pages of An Inward Manner are two interviews with photographer Nicolas Ramirez Cruz and painter Dede Lucia Falcone, who evocatively interrogate the ‘self.’ Homesickness, habits, balance, self-realization, and the intimacy of personal truth pervade these pages. Gentle Resemblances meditates on the inevitable love and pain of family. In a befitting transition, the works of Restless Summertide collectively prompt familiar feelings of nostalgia and frustration in the context of home, wherever this may be. Youth is bittersweet. Longing/Desire seeks to understand individual relationships with passing time. In conversation with fiber artist Elise Vazelakis, we learn how she perceives time and the present moment through tactile memory. Multi-media installation artist Shima Taj Bakhsh clarifies her ongoing project exploring generational and collective memories by means of absence, nonlinearity, and liminality. Time, like memory, undeniably lingers within us in disordered manners. Recalling the cinema, curtains rise for Interior Projections, with sprawling narratives across imaginations. Illustrator Hui Tan and graphic designer Hanjialin Bao breathe life into entire universes, indulging traditional myths with personal experience. Those of Us engages art that not only interprets the world but beams out of its remote context to enact change. Draughtswoman Meredith Freeman reveals her enduring dedication to the Earth. Multimedia installation and performance artist nicolaalee aligns social intention with the artistic: after all, intervention and critique are based on desires for change. Finally, printmaker Bobi Bosson reflects upon the journey of motherhood and her practice in queering ecology. The artists and writers of this first issue have undeniably touched us with their work as we relied together on art to examine and speak on the obscurity of this confused era. What Primary has shown us is that the social and collaborative life of the School of Art (and beyond) belongs to the students—which they must transform, again and again.

We thank you— Lauren Schechter & Vivian Chang Editors-in-Chief '20-21

Table of Contents

Paradigm Failure



An Inward Manner

























Gentle Resemblances














Restless Summertide



















Interior Projections Those of Us Contributors

. .

. .

. .

. .



























. .

. .

. .

. .

. .

. .

. .

. .

. .

. .

. .

. .

173 230


Paradigm Failure


BFA Photography '22







manda Quinlan

I use my photographic practice to question the nature of representational photography and the values that are consumed and projected through photographic imagery. I consider how the eye of artificial intelligence, fueled by billions of uploaded photographs and built into editing software, alters and constructs photographs. I explore how consumption of these human and AI collaborations affects our understanding of how photographs work as tools of communication, artifacts, and art objects.



The works you submitted are quite a departure from your online portfolio. How did they come to be?

I worked in the commercial area for a very long time; I worked for Disney for six or seven years. Using the language of commercial photography and being asked to move between lots of different genres of commercial photography opened up questions and ideas about the way that photography and images act as language. I think that was the impetus of how I got to where I am now, which is really being interested in not just the photograph as an object, but what does it mean now? Because our society is so image-saturated, so what does it mean to have A.I. play a part in that? To have social media algorithms play a part in that? The fact that we live of, through, and by photographs is so interesting to me. Those came from a trip I took in 2019, 2018 in Poland. Warsaw Old Town was completely destroyed in WWII and it was rebuilt exactly as it had been before by looking at photographs. They had reconstructed this town that had been completely destroyed. It’s interesting when you see the rest of Warsaw because it's such a departure from the rest of the city. So I was thinking of this idea of facade, because it’s not entirely a facade but it’s a constructed space based on photographs and memories of a place that doesn’t exist anymore. I had been looking at Adobe’s new A.I. features. Their latest launch is billed as “the most A.I. integrated software ever made,” so I was really interested in how that comes into play; the fact that those tools are now a standard for commercial/travel photography. I was using a lot of automated, A.I.-generated features, things like auto-select and content-aware autofill—what happens if I just let the A.I. do the work? Knowing what I know, what if I give it something to start with and let it do [the work on its own]…it’s this weird coming together of a place that was a reconstruction and using these photographic tools that use A.I. to reconstruct. The Command ‘set’ is not currently available Digital photograph 2021



ll three titles share a common theme of malfunction and

abnormality, like a representation of the condition of memory itself. How does memory play a part in your work?

Absolutely. Memory falls apart, comes back together, and is built and constructed and reconstructed. I’m really interested in Norman Klein’s idea of the social imaginary, which is this idea of a collective memory that is not a conscious thing but exists by nature of people existing together, constructing memories of places that don't exist anymore. He wrote specifically a lot about Los Angeles, where we are surrounded by places that are constructed, reconstructed, torn down. The idea of a memory that isn’t intentional and exists in the ether between a group of people is really exciting and interesting to me. I think of it as a facade. We all construct this imaginary, or facade that takes on its own meaning; no one person has control over it but it exists because of people.

You give prominent space to

The idea of glitch came through when I read Legacy Russell’s Glitch Feminism¹, and the idea of a glitch is to be celebrated, paid attention to, and to be interested in as a space where things can exist that otherwise couldn’t. Those ideas are floating around between memory, glitch, construction—all of it playing into a reality that we shouldn't expect. Truth and reality are ideas we can’t expect to ever be concrete and that’s exciting! It’s interesting that we have the opportunity to juggle all these multiplicities of possibilities at any given time.


in Memory (R


M). Talking about

collective memory, photographing public spaces where these protests


take place in public, can you talk about your choice to give space to C

It’s less political and more an interest in the formal qualities, but it is interesting to think about the way [ACAB] enters the space and adds another layer of existence to [Old Town Warsaw], which was reconstructed from a memory of the place it was, that continues to grow and change.

in your work?

The people of Warsaw made the distinctive decision to reconstruct something that continues to grow and exist in contemporary times influenced by protest and the people living in it. You can try to reconstruct something but you can't go back to the way something was before because you have people living in their own existences right now.

1. Legacy Russell, Glitch Feminism: A Manifesto (New York: Verso Books, 2020).


Did you have any expectations of what would happen in the end result?

These tools in the commercial field are so standard that we don't even think about the way A.I. is integrated in them. Adobe is such a unique situation because they have a hold on that market corner. They’re becoming more explicit when they’re using A.I. But especially these content-aware, autoselect things, we don't think of them as A.I. so we don't think about the biases. If you show them to a photographer they would be able to figure out the tools I used. It was exciting to see how I pushed them further than they were intended to be done; they’re intended to be invisible right? You're supposed to be able to select, fill, and hide something without anyone knowing that's exactly what you did.

It’s exciting to push it past that, to a point where it’s very obvious that it’s there and you’ve done something, using them until they come full circle and do the opposite of what they’re intended to do. Most of the time it was exciting, I had a general idea of what tools I was using and had an idea of what was going to happen but sometimes it would do something completely different than I would have expected it to. Working through multiple steps, doing it again, once you're feeding the A.I. generator multiple things, most of the time it was exciting and fairly light. There are questions and concerns about A.I. and the way it’s going to change our world, but within this particular project I felt free to feel curious. The whole time it was, what’s going to happen next?

So it’s a collaborative experiment. In the end, who had more control?

The idea of collaboration is something I’ve been thinking a lot about. I'm excited about it being a collaboration with A.I. because I talk about algorithms like [they are people] but we each bring something that the other cannot do. Lately I’ve been working more with other types of machine learning and generative image making, with this idea that it has to be a partnership because the

Transcribed by Vivian Chang

A.I. can’t function if I don't give it images, and I can't create what the A.I. can do, so it truly feels like a group project. It depends on the image to say what percentage each of us did. Sometimes it was a fairly short process to get to the final image and sometimes it was longer. Did the starting image need work beforehand? Cropping, resizing…it varies image to image.


How do you know when an image is done, when you’ve arrived at the final product?

I’d say most of the time it’s when you go a little bit too far and then you back up.

Glitch Path Digital photograph 2021 Memory (RAM) Digital photograph 2021

15 Perspectives on Art History


NFTs: Changing up Digital Art NFTs have taken both the business and the art world by storm, with their market value tripling in 2020 and only growing faster in 2021. NFTs (non-fungible tokens) are a type of digital asset where each “token” is completely unique from the rest and can represent any kind of digital file, such as images, GIFs, songs, and videos. At the same time that users are selling viral tweets, digital artists are taking advantage of the NFT market. NFT art gained plenty of attention when a digital artwork by Mike Winkelmann, known as Beeple, sold for $69 million at Christie’s in early March. According to the New York Times, this sale has become the third-highest auction price achieved for a living artist. What this means for artists: digital art can be tokenized and established as authentic art online, complete with collectors looking to purchase these tokens.¹ Here is the gist of how it works: cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and NFTs are backed up by blockchain technology. NFTs are supported by a programmable blockchain (Ethereum, FLOW, Tezos, etc.) that can be modified to represent various digital assets. Artists can program an NFT to represent their digital artwork, and sell it on a virtual marketplace (for example SuperRare, OpenSea, and MakersPlace). According to MakersPlace, blockchain technology not only helps artists protect their work from being copied but also allows artists to authenticate and create “single edition” digital art.² Buyers of the NFT then own the blockchain, with the ability to post and otherwise use the artwork. Collectors can buy as many NFTs as they want, and sell them back on the virtual market when the value increases, e.g. if the artist becomes more popular. Essentially, the NFT art market mirrors the traditional art market with the digital element in play. This digital element allows for a much wider market due to the accessibility for artists to create their own platform and allows artists to sell work in a medium that was previously undervalued. However, this platform comes with challenges that prevent users from participating, mainly because it requires an understanding of cryptocurrency and the virtual art market, as well as access to digital tools. The market also gets a lot of criticism for being ‘hype-based,’ and because the platform is so new, there have been reports of artists having their work stolen and then made into NFTs, according to The Verge.³ Despite these issues, I believe that the NFT art market is making a positive change in the art world, especially towards how digital art is viewed and valued. However, there are issues based on how new and unique the platform is, and although it is definitely something worth looking into for digital artists, proceed with caution.

BA Art History '20

1. Josie Thaddeus-Johns, “What Are NFTs, Anyway? One Just Sold for $69 Million,” New York Times, March 11, 2021, 1/arts/design/what-is-an-nft.html. 2. “Protect and Sell your Unique Digital Creations,” Sell Your Creations, MakersPlace, accessed March 15, 2021, 3. Bijou Stephen, “NFT mania is here, and so are the scammers,” The Verge, March 20, 2021, 20/22334527/nft-scams-artistsopensea-rarible-marble-cardsfraud-art.

Taryn McMillen


robert porte The overall shape of my art practice focuses on materials and processes, their perceived uses, characters, and capabilities. Formal concerns are at play in order to seduce poetic possibilities from said materials. Exploration is backed by technical knowledge and fueled by intuition. As a painter, primarily in oils since I was a child, I have always viewed the practice of art as a way of problem-solving and I work in this way in every discipline I approach. As an autodidact (I received my undergrad in 2016 and am working on my MFA now), my art school was the streets, clubs, and art scenes wherever I lived. I bartered with and befriended the best who were generous with their knowledge. I remained curious and in search of poetry and beauty.


As an interdisciplinary artist, I explore the language of processes and materials and how they may or may not communicate with one another. For example, a photograph of, say, a painting may be more powerful than the painting. Or not. for a myriad of reasons. And that, for me, is where art gets exciting.

IN CONVERSATION: MFA Printmaking '23


Your work suggests grids and vehicles for movement, temporal-spatial awareness or positioning. What are your ideas in this realm and how do they find themselves in your practice? I've always taken photographs, but it wasn't until maybe ten years ago or so that the photographs were ends by themselves. I learned how to see looking through a camera lens. That's just how I prefer to see. So looking at my photographs, I hope I've expanded that––the original photography for Leaving Los Angeles is analog. So I have not worked photography into my printmaking yet. I'm going to start in the fall which is so fun because I have been waiting for this merge. But Leaving Los Angeles as it stands now, is just an abstraction to me. This is a composition of light, shape and color. That is what it means, the subject matter itself. Of course, pre-pandemic, all I had to do was sell a little painting and I'd be on the next flight somewhere. I just move. My interests are migration and movement.

LAX Departures Manipulated analog optical print 11" x 14" 2018

As an artist, I am constantly moving, turning things around and making something different, which brings me back to that photograph. Leaving Los Angeles was a [Kodak] Portra 400 film out of my Leica analog camera. I scan my photographs negative, take the negative files and mess around with it in Photoshop, and then I send my digital files to New Mexico where they are rephotographed with analog film and they are made digital as negatives. I end up with a very beautiful image you don't know is digital. I mean, that it had gone through a digital process, but the difference between optically printing something and sending it through with a digital print is very different. Of course we are all looking at it now on a backlit screen. So whether it is on your phone or the computer, it is all backlit and all of these layers are where I am operating. I am located in the language between our technologies, and how we perceive.

Airplane 1 Analog C-Print 11" x 14" 2019

So then, with XT-2 (your Gomuban relief plate), can we ask about its relationship to these ideas? Here's the funny thing—at Cal State Long Beach, in the printmaking department, they haven’t really used Gomuban. It is a beautiful Japanese relief material. It is not expensive and I like it because it is different to carve. Normally you take carving tools and you make lines with it. Well, I asked, what if I drill it? I just started drilling these holes to make circles instead of lines. My interest is also very much in the Kandinsky idea of the dot being the beginning of everything. Since I was a little kid, I knew a line is actually made up of millions of dots. So for me, it's so interesting because I have listened to some older artist talks lately, and they talked about reaching back into childhood, where this all comes from. I agree, of course, we are born innocent. We make all of these beautiful, innocent things and then some adult comes in and says, you got to behave in a certain way and you've got to meet these criteria. It destroys our creative impulse and we have to fight to keep it alive until we get to a certain point where we have made it in the art world and now we can do whatever the hell we want and nobody can say anything to us, which is just ridiculous to me. That's one of the reasons why I was so anti-school. I am really just playing around in those same mud pies that I did when I was a kid, so for me with this plate, I took a photograph of that Gomuban [plate] in my studio just so I could remember it. Then I looked at it and thought that it looked three-dimensional. My committee asked if I thought of using the plate as the final piece but I thought the plate alone was less interesting than the photograph with this extra layer. The grid makes a connection in the three works we are looking at. When I'm in the airport I take pictures all the time, and I feel the airport and above the airport. I am seeing it like it operates and all of this is part of my whole lexicon that just goes on in my head all the time and that is how these images often appear. I have been working with the grid in other aspects as well.


You’ve lived an incredible nomadic life. Airports are such liminal spaces, and the presence of being in an airport is palpable in your work. How does existing within this threshold affect you? All the time. I mean, I don't separate my work from the way I operate in my life, it's intuition. Decisions are made for better or for worse, maybe not with a whole ton of logic behind them, but it's more intuitive. This is the right time to do this now. I do not know why and I cannot explain it, but it is. When I lived in Denver in the early '80s, I would have dates at the airport. We would grab a little takeout and watch the planes take off and land in the parking lot. It was weird but really it's so beautiful. You hear the roar of the engine and then you hear silence. The plane is taking those two hundred people out somewhere else, and you’re rid of them, you know, and now you have the silence, and to me, that's very satisfying. My years of painting and showing in Germany and California, and my subject matter was landscape and seascape based, I started those in Berlin. They were out of a desire to move paint around, like finger painting, and I call what I do in painting sophisticated finger painting. The act of putting the line down and the pressure or repetition. Some get caught up with the preciousness of my work and it's interesting that people comment on that because even when I was a painter, people asked, is it a photograph? Or is it a painting? Not because they were photorealistic, it was because there were ideas of photography and the way photography operates visually, there are certain characteristics that come through, but as far as how I work, and I don't know, precious is a trendy word, you know, so I question the use of it. If you want to know the truth, I'm pretty brutal when I'm working. I'm throwing shit against the wall. I'm like, hitting it. I'm pounding, I'm drilling, I'm scraping. I'm doing this. But at the end, there's a delicacy, there is an understatement that is happening here, which is extremely important.


You work in a variety of mediums, yet each one of them seems to hold their own. How do you begin the process of selecting the medium that feels right for you? Up until I saw the exhibition in Dusseldorf in 2016, I had only seen an occasional Agnes Martin in a museum somewhere. I had never really paid much attention to her but when I got to the art academy in Stuttgart, I had started these drawings on my mylar, just tape squares, and I used silverpoint to etch. And the silver actually oxidizes over time, so it may go on grey but the silver will eventually turn a light rust color and warm up. I started drawing on Mylar like this and out of nowhere, I just made a grid and I remembered that I used to love drawing on gridded paper at my father's desk. It was a way of organizing my thoughts and constructing something. There is a point that you can see in the Gomuban plate, where my drill bits in different metric sizes are going in the grid, but I lose control. It just gets kind of wild and I love that. I also began to use correction tape for my grids and the nature of that is that it's so indeterminate. When you're using it for its intended purpose, you want it to cover something but when I'm drawing with it, it can break up. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. So that's the element of chance. But in Germany after I had already been making grids I saw an Agnes Martin show in Cologne and it was really wonderful because it was like she almost gave me permission to try this, to work in this way and to to allow this to happen. You have to understand the nature of silence because that is the element that she was working in, she was working in absolute silence and focus. I admire her for that.

XT-2 Gomuban 12" x 12" 2021


From your artist statement, you "seduce poetic possibilities." I used that on purpose because people don't like to use the words, "beauty" and "poetry" in school. As a professional you can say any damn thing you want and nobody can criticize you, you know, it's like you're suddenly allowed to be that again and I just think that's too bad. Most artists like poetry, they like to read poetry or they like to write poetry. It's not a bad word and I am looking to seduce the poetic capabilities of the material that I'm using. It could end in a dead-end but it can also take me somewhere. What happens is, and I'll tell you this one short anecdote, I had a show in Hamburg and my work had to travel from Berlin. A painting got damaged during the transportation, it was a huge painting. The only person my gallerist could find to repair this was a retired professor and she normally repaired 17th-century paintings. They brought my huge painting up to her place, which was almost impossible, and it took her a few days to reconstruct. You couldn't even tell, it was magic to me. She came to my show and pulled me aside and put her finger on my heart and she said, “Every single painting is different from each other but there is one thing that happens through all of them, and it starts right here.” She pointed to my heart and she said, “There is a thread that goes through your heart, and through everything that you've done in these rooms.” And even though they're different, you walk from painting to painting. And that's like my problem with a lot when you go to see a show is it looks like somebody took one huge painting and chopped it up into sixteen different pieces. It's the gallery that says you need to repeat your work. Those paintings that I had shown in Hamburg, where that woman pointed to my heart—I spent three years painting the figure. In Berlin next to a dumpster, I found a box of gay porn from the '60s, somebody was tossing it out. I was like, look at this, that's incredible and I brought it all up. I started these huge paintings of these naked men masturbating in showers with views over the curtain, and they were black and white, sometimes yellow, black, and white. That's the language of love. You're not looking at what they're actually doing, you're being seduced by this technology. Why do we like to look at old photographs? It's not because it's somebody's grandma, it's because of the shadow and light. The quality or nonquality. That's the point. I needed to get back to that, but I thought nobody wanted to look at my naked boys, so three o'clock in the morning, I went in and whitewashed all of the paintings and I painted these huge flowers, like these abstract flowers of line, very Cy Twombly kind of thing, you know, just all of this. I worked on those for another two years and they were shown in Hamburg. The show was called Pentimento, which in Italian means regret. Lillian Hellman, who's a playwright, I was reading her stories called Pentimento, and when a writer writes something, they sometimes decide that's not what they want and they scratch it out or they erase it, but you can always see the trail or the ghost image of what they had written. I just thought, if these paintings survive in two hundred years, you're going to see the shape of naked bodies coming through all of these flowers. Nobody had to know that but me—but it was also in the title of the show.

Transcribed by Lauren Schechter



L. Halloween Oil on canvas 48" x 60" 2021

R. Sweeping Gouache, oil pastel, and charcoal on paper 30" x 40" 2021


Anais Garcia BA Art History '22

Sweeping is a mixed media artwork consisting of four figures sweeping a fenced patio. The figures are faceless and transparent, walking diagonally towards the bottom right corner of the composition. Linear perspective and proportion create a three-dimensional space, while saturated colors describe the warmth of a sunny day. Textured lines used to contour the figures' clothing depict elements of Expressionism. Additionally, the subject matter feels surreal; uniting the physical realm with the unconscious through repetition. The harmonious movement of the four figures creates a compositional balance, as they are evenly spread out through the canvas. Breaking this rhythm, a mysterious fifth figure is isolated in front of the brick wall furthest from the viewer, almost blending in with the background. Sweeping acts like a portal into a dreamy memory, in which one can see the essence left behind by a previous moment. The repetition of the two figures in the middle ground brings to mind a person leaving their trace behind. While the subjects are preoccupied with a commonplace task, their ghost-like appearance evokes a mystifying mood. Sweeping leaves us confused yet amused, allowing the creative imagination to decipher its meaning.


BFA Drawing & Painting '22

Jessica Le



Perspectives on Art History


Thoughts on Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010)

BA Art History '21

Natalie Madrigal


Since its 2010 release, I have avoided watching Exit Through the Gift Shop: A Banksy Film.¹ I am not a fan of Banksy as I find that I am unmoved by his work and believe, quite frankly, they are devoid of the activism and advocacy they pretend to hold. I hold many reservations about the newer definitions of “street art” and the connotations that exist with that term now. In preparation for viewing this documentary, I did a quick Google search to get my facts straight. I noticed in my search that the first result, aside from the all-encompassing Wikipedia page, was the film Exit Through the Gift Shop alongside other art institutions defining the art style. Having grown up in a relatively low socio-economic neighborhood in a working-class family, “street art” is not a new concept to me. I have seen it on the street in front of my house, at my local gas station, the drive-throughs of my favorite fast food joints, my high school, and particularly, having grown up in the greater Los Angeles area, along freeways, and on trains. These spray-painted works have two paths of life: they exist forever, or they are quickly pressure washed off of their surface. They denote a myriad of meanings but range from the marking of territory, identity, hopeful insights, and even fun quips. I noticed after watching the documentary, the word “graffiti” did not appear once in this documentary. Though it has a negative connotation in the legal and social lexicon, this word is the root of what newer street art is. How could it be possible that Banksy appears on Google before Jean-Michel Basquiat, who was one of the first Black artists to popularize graffiti art in the New York art scene after previously being a prolific tagger who went by the name SAMO? Before Keith Haring, who created his own distinct style of graffiti and made visible the expressions of those living through the AIDS crisis and imagery now proudly held by some LGBTQIA+ communities? My intent here is not to gatekeep or resist change and progress, but I truly believe that the central figures of this film: Banksy, Shepard Fairey, and Mr. Brainwash, all participate in the appropriation of an art movement that has existed on the streets of cities for longer than can be accounted for. I believe these artists are succeeding off the backs of the low socio-economic status communities of Black and Latino artists that did not receive credit for their expression, but that modern street art is graffiti made palatable for upper-class audiences.


This palatability is present in the fact that Banky’s work (as well as Mr. Brainwash’s) relies heavily on shock value, rather than bringing attention to political or social messages. Much of the shock of their work relies on the illegality of their medium, vandalization of public property. At one point, the documentary plays news coverage of Banksy’s spray painting of the West Bank barrier separating Israel from Palestine, which a reporter refers to as “subversive.” It made me question where the subversion lies: in the actual art design, the location, or the act itself? Are muralists’ works any less subversive because they often take the permitted route? Is Banksy someone who can afford to break the law if he were caught? I relate this to my beliefs about Bansky’s identity and the audience whom I believe subscribes to him. Those who consider his work intensely subversive are those whose only mode of subversion can come from breaking the law; they are the same people who are ultimately protected by the law. There is so much myth about Banksy and his anonymity which, aside from providing value to his work, prevents the actual contextualization of his pieces and where his point of view stems from. I have always been under the impression that Banksy is a white, cis-heterosexual, ablebodied man. My proof for this is his shallow, pseudo-critiques of capitalist society through his stencils. The attention Banksy seeks to bring to the follies of capitalism has always existed, and those suffering under those constraints with a lack of upward mobility are duly aware of the shortcomings of society. The people who are newly informed by his work, and subsequently assuming the shock value he intends viewers to feel, are people who are unaware of the immense degradation of capitalism: the ruling class, and all groups to which that title entails. All of this furthers my disbelief in Bansky’s supposed moral standing that he seems to lord over viewers. This documentary has solidified my somewhat dissatisfaction with contemporary pop art (which I believe is the umbrella modern street art falls under) as it exists at this junction in time.

Furthermore, Banksy, Fairey, and Mr. Brainwash are examples of art that could only have thrived in the digital age. Though there has been the ability to create a palpable buzz over artists throughout history, the scale of their success is highly related to modern consumer culture. The hype built around their works directly coincides with the dissemination of texts, local news coverage, and the internet. There is an interactive art experience to be had with these artists’ works as viewers take pictures, share, and post them to social media, but I feel the risk of their interactivity is at the cost of thoughtfulness. They are told that capitalism is bad but not why, or they are told nothing at all. Both of these reasons lend to their palatability for upper-class audiences, as these reasons are activism, but activism that does not condemn those who maintain these oppressive systems. At this point in Banksy’s now critically acclaimed career, is his work still subversive if he now belongs to the class of millionaires who do not typically find themselves subject to the law? What are the repercussions of art activism that only goes as far as a Facebook or Instagram feed? Funnily enough, as Mr. Brainwash strongly associates his works with that of Banksy and Fairey’s, the entirety of his oeuvre consists of coopting the works of others (which, no, is not a crime in the art world), and changing it to a degree to meet the legal percent that protects him from being sued. Bringing new ideas to images to create a newer context and definition of work is usually a polite prerequisite when using other people’s imagery. The documentary makes it clear that Mr. Brainwash does not create his own works (once again, not a crime in the art world), and makes it even more abundantly clear that there are no overarching concepts behind them either. At the very least, Shepard Fairey does align himself with political and social causes, frequently using his work to question the conventions of society, and does so with his face to the public.


At the same time, Banksy continues his critiques of society from the comfort of his censored face and distorted voice, but still asserts his sociopolitical opinions in his work. Contrarily, Mr. Brainwash forgoes any type of intention, irony, or activism in favor of perfecting the formula of consumer-approved “subversiveness,” proposing a “Well, it looks cool” ideology among those who experience it. With that said, each of these artists’ works has brought attention to the way audiences interact with pop art contemporarily. This ultimately is what leaves me puzzled as this is where these artists plead the fifth, so to speak, in relation to the “validity” of their work. In the documentary, there comes a question of the authenticity of one’s art; Mr. Brainwash’s career is questioned by his contemporaries as they feel he did not put in the groundwork to create a style or build his own reputation. But art theory asserts that his lack of message does not make his art any less authentic than Fairey or Banksy’s. These artists have identified the blindspot in art theory’s side-view mirrors: the neverending, constant questioning of what art is and the realization of our value systems. I left the documentary, and this essay, with no answers. I am caught in the perpetual loop of “I do not like their art because it is art without a message,” and “but does art need a message to be art?” And I am reminded by art historical principle, that it is art because they said it is.

1. Exit Through the Gift Shop, directed by Banksy. (Paranoid Pictures, 2010), 1 hr., 27 min., calstatelb346994/watch/0A5E95B 04EA240C7?referrer=direct.

Banksy in Bethlehem, corner of Caritas and Manger streets (on commercial building, not separation wall) March 2018 © Onceinawhile / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0,_dove.jpg


An Inward Manner


BA Studio Art '21

Kio Claudia Villa


LAX OAX (2020)


I moved to LA more than 20 years ago. I’ve been trying to become familiar with the city and trying to understand how the culture here is. I have my own culture from the place that I’m from. I’m not fully here, and I’m still missing some of the aspects that I left behind. But as I get older, I start to question the choices that I made, whether moving was a good idea. I am now feeling that I’m homesick twenty years later. Then there are the events that happen in between—like when something happens and you’re not physically there. If you have any loved ones left behind, you start questioning why. Now the people are gone and have passed and you start missing them. For me, that’s a focus in my practice when I photograph things. So the absence of people, that is something I do on purpose. I don’t want to create stronger bonds with people, so that reflects into my work. I have been through the process of getting used to being here. So there’s always that kind of ghost haunting me: is it worth settling here? And you don’t know when you’re going to move again. When I’m walking around a city and just photographing things, I’m like, 'Oh, that looks interesting.' And yet, there’s no people. It’s always quiet, this feeling of loneliness, nostalgia of certain landscapes or buildings that I come across that basically draws my attention. There’s also the use of light and the formal elements which I really enjoy and probably that’s the strongest reason I photograph things. Because I’m really drawn to the formal elements of it, lighting, shadows, and all the things you can achieve by using spaces.

Nicolas Ramirez Cruz IN CONVERSATION: MFA Photography



Thank you for sharing LAX OAX with us. This is such an incredibly poignant and poetic book. Yeah, it’s such a long process of thinking and reflecting on so many things. Usually, I wanted to do this in film. I love film. I love using my 35mm. The whole experience is different from using digital. It allows me to be more mindful. This is done with digital because, you know, the pandemic. I don’t do a lot of editing because I’m not a big fan of changing things around. So what you see is what I photographed. I look for light. I love light. I could see light everywhere. When I’m walking or driving, I’m like, “Stop right there.” There is a photograph and I have to go get it.

What areas of Los Angeles did you photograph, and within what time frame? It’s been over the past year. I usually approach this project by walking to the city early in the morning before people actually go out, when they are allowed to go outside, or at major holidays, when people are out of town and everyone’s doing their own thing. So the city seems a little quieter. I love driving on Sundays now, there’s no people here. I could take my car and drive down the street and I am just in heaven. I enjoy the quietness of it.

Have you photographed in Oaxaca? I did probably twenty years ago when I started doing photography. When I was there, it was more about objects or personal places, you know, not much of what I’m doing now. I’m considering going back, maybe within the next year or so. That’s something I have been trying to figure out because I know a lot of what I photograph now affirms what I think is still there. It would be interesting to actually go back to see what I know has probably changed quite a bit.

How has your relationship with L.A. and Oaxaca changed as you worked on this project? When I started this project I was so into the idea that the text had to be in Spanish. It’s a personal thing: it has to be in Spanish, and it has to meet a certain criteria, and then—I was really backed into this square box, right? But I realized I have changed over the past twenty years or so. When I came here my English was not as good as it is now. I started thinking, “Hey wait, there should be probably English and Spanish in the text.” I have texts that have been written in both. I started working in English and continued in Spanish, and the next thing I know I have that duality with both languages. So as I was moving through the project I was like, maybe I should keep that because somehow that reflects who I am now. So, I changed in the sense that I’m more flexible.


You use writing and visuals to communicate political commentary. What are your aims and feelings in regards to those aspects? Well, that’s something that I set myself to explore. Before I was not touching political stuff. I was keeping myself away from it. But then there was a time where I was like, I should be acknowledging those things that are happening, especially to people like me or the community I live in. When the last administration started, things started getting crazier than usual so there were a lot of things I couldn’t keep quiet [about]. I have to somehow use my platform and try to do something for the things that are happening. I noticed that I have a lot of immigration things in my work. I comment on immigration labor as well. Especially during the pandemic, one of the things I was really concerned with was, how is it that society is so afraid of getting the virus and then you go online and shop around for a lot of stuff but you still need people to deliver things to you? But we kind of—and I include myself because I order stuff online too—order things and forget that someone has to get those things for us and risk themselves. The majority of these people are immigrants who need to work. They either don’t have access to a stimulus check or whatever amount of money the government is giving, so everybody has their own reasons. That was really something that kept me thinking: how as a society are we okay with that? So I’m sitting here, I’m getting my products, I’m getting my food, but somebody else is out there putting their life on the line and the government pretends to see or not see them as they exist. So they are essentials, but at the same time, we don’t care or take care of them as we should or offer them the resources they need. It just keeps haunting me.


Tell us about your relationship and selection process to LAX OAX's literature. The majority of them are things that I grew up with since the day that I moved here. I still write sometimes, things that I remember or just put into writing. For research, I have been reading a lot of books. I am inspired by music a lot, so I found lyrics of songs I listen to, which just come into my head. I'll be like “Oh, I haven’t heard that song in a while, I need to listen to that.” Somehow it kind of clicks with what I am doing and the lyrics commented on how I was trying to approach this project. Writing is hard, especially because you are being vulnerable. Maybe I reveal too much, but I mean that’s part of the practice, right? Sometimes you just have to be honest until things are the way you see or feel them. That’s one of the things that I’m also getting used to, opening up about things and letting things just come out.

What is it about light that fascinates you? I’m always chasing lights. If I’m outside, there are certain things I’m looking for. If I’m at home, I cannot stop staring at my window lights. As the day goes, it changes, and I’m like, “Oh my god, that’s beautiful.” I guess it’s always been there. Sometimes I just like to stare at the window and start looking at how light changes. As the day goes along, I go back to the same spot, and the light’s different. When I was having a discussion with my committee a few days ago, they were like, did you actually look for these things? But most of the time, it just happens. My eye’s just drawn to those things. I do sometimes specifically look for certain things, but I will say most of the time, I just…my eye just gets into that aspect and I love it.

Select images from LAX OAX (2020)

Transcribed by Noah Him


BFA Drawing & Painting '23

Miguel Mendoza





Fierce eyes look straight ahead at the viewer, determined and strong. The figure stands in a hazy setting amongst jellyfish. Are they floating or metaphorically immersed in water? Still, it is unsettling as the space is ambiguous, but jellyfish do not belong there. Yet, here she stands, quenching her thirst as jellyfish tendrils curl away from her water glass. There is a sense of serenity amidst the confusion within her gaze. The confidence to confront the audience suggests the strength of the figure. I may be out of my element, but I will stand strong, taking it all in one sip at a time.

MiaoMiao Zhou BA Art History '21

Jellyfish Princess Charcoal on paper 18" x 20" 2020


BFA Drawing & Painting '22

Clarisse Abelarde






u i l on


c a

Fa c


I depict theoretical models of engineered systems which are vulnerable to impermanent states of excess, entropy, breakdown, and transformation. The work is an abstract representation of systems which have been contained and developed over time and have morphed as a result of a confluence of variable elements. The elements represent volatile actors, circumstances and challenges that thwart or undermine the framework, resulting in a system as an amalgamated mass of networks or channels that have no true beginning or end.

r wing




& Pa


ow i you om into p inting? h t urning qu stions prop ll you into this p th? H







I think that as culture producers, and I hate to use that word—I don't mean that we're shooting for a variable that is a product that we're selling, that certainly is part of the ecosystem—but I think that as we, artists, are kind of weirdos. We are seeing and experiencing the world in a way that steps outside of that box of one, two, three, you know, going through the motions of how to be a productive person in society. Artists think about things outside of that context. I was a military kid, so I moved every year. I did have about three years in Europe where I never stepped foot on American soil, which was an incredible experience. It was also a benefit to me because my parents were super unsophisticated and art never existed in their world under any circumstance. That said, they were good tourists and the first museum I ever entered was the Louvre. I was ten.







So art came into my world at a pretty young age only through this experience that was kind of completely the “other.” I was always good at drawing and painting, and it was a form of expression because when you move a lot you don't have a lot of friends, if you don't have a social network that you can bounce off. So for me, a lot of my downtime was introspective even though clearly I'm an extrovert! The final place in my young life journey was when my parents retired from the military and took me back to Ohio where I was born and I was all of a sudden faced with this very impoverished environment of a farm community. My graduating class was 65. So there were not a lot of classes and there was not a lot of opportunity. There certainly was a very little way out of the environment my peers were in and born into, as most of my family was.

Interstitial Proximity Oil on canvas 60” x 96” 2020


So I was put in an advanced art class in high school, which meant here are materials: do stuff! And so I did, and my teacher entered me into a number of different competitions and I won everything, which gave me a scholarship to college—a big one. So when I was 18 years old I walked into Bluffton College as a freshman, this little Mennonite school, again an insular community, and I knew that was where I wanted to be. I knew I wanted to do art, be around academia, I knew I wanted to be on a beautiful campus. That is really what set up the rest of my life in a pursuit of a creative endeavor. And I see creative endeavor everywhere. I’m a singer, I was an actress at one time, I'm a dramatist generally! (Ask anyone.) I just feel like art is what makes life beautiful and part of that comes from living in Europe, where you're living with history. Historically, regardless of the many sad social conditions that created beautiful things, those beautiful things, those beautiful objects, buildings, and streets, and architecture and art and paintings and fountains— those things still exist. Coming back to this country—particularly when I landed in Ohio—those things did not exist anywhere. So there's a very, very big discontinuity of those two realities that I lived within a five-year period. So art was that place where you can both experience the sublime and the beauty and the ugliness. That sublime lives between beauty and ugly.


ou depict theoretical models of engineered systems. ow much is your distanced experience with the


military part of the complex of models that you depict?

What I'm actually making is in a process of involvement all the time, evolvement and devolvement. This idea of theoretical models comes from a different place—I have another life passion which is public policy, and I love looking at the 30,000-foot level and saying, "Okay what's the big picture?


How does that influence all the little nuanced details, the micro?" As I'm moving forward in my own work, I'm recognizing that maybe these theoretical models aren’t just of systems and networks, but maybe these are social models as well. There's a deep social construct associated with coming in and recognizing. It's like recognizing the discontinuity and the breakage and the abject as being part of the beautiful whole.


uch of your work is based on systems and how they are

sabotaged and made vulnerable. But systems, in theory, re supposed to be organized and methodical. Would you


say that making art for you is a methodical practice? hat is it about this ruin that attracts you?


Flight Oil on canvas 48” x 60” 2021

I'm not methodical at all! It's terrible! Part of my work here is to become more methodical. It’s slowly seeping in. I'm only in my fourth semester, so I have a whole other year, but this whole time it's been this trepidation of forcing an intuitive process of working with line, space, color, shape, and form and putting these things together in a more methodical way. I'm now incorporating source imagery that gives me a sense of where the work can be built up from a foundational level and from there allowing that to be roughed out on the surface and then allowing my intuitive reactions create an event that's happening on the surface. I'm learning so much about how to put more methodology into a creative/intuitive process. Not all artists are intuitive artists that can come to work and explore on the actual canvas. Lots of artists now are using Photoshop and photorealism to get that feeling. I'm not quite there yet. I don't want to be tied to a technological answer. I still want it to be very organic. I want it to be coming from a place where my emotions and psychology are sitting. So any of the work that I'm doing, my life is embedded. I'm a parent and I had a lot of rules, and all of those things come out and they live in these works.


o wh n it om s to pro ss r you oing pr p sk t h s or r you just going in str ight w y to l t th t intuitiv pro ss pro u ? S

e c









, a












Part of this is learning how to have a more intentional process. Having a clear methodology is utilizing a source reference. Right now, I'm looking at photography from really high-end houses like Architectural Digest, and I'm flipping them upside down or on the side. For me, just that experience of looking at a high-level multimillion-dollar house on its side is, by itself, an interesting idea to start from. I'm taking those shapes and I am looking into them and I'm thinking about them in a way that can be relational to where I am in my own life. So I am coming from an image base but I want to tilt it and take the thing, change the thing and then change the thing that was changed. And oftentimes my process will do that five, six, seven, eight, as much as I think, twelve times of just changing the thing that it was before. The abstraction that you may see in Interstitial Proximity—I took a photograph of this beautiful paper, so that's the first change. I ran the photograph through a filter, that's the second change. I printed the photograph on paper, that's the third change. I collaged the photograph into a composition, that’s the fourth change. I painted it, that’s the fifth change. After painting it is when it took on its own life and interiority, that's when the psychology of me and the intuitive processes came alive and rectified itself in the process of streamlining, working through, and understanding what the space is doing.

Submerged Oil on canvas 60” x 48” 2021



here does the semi-autobiographical l ment in your work arise?

e e

What a signifier really means is how we, or how others, will relate to the work. I could have a signifier of an old-fashioned telephone and it can mean one hundred different things to one hundred different people. You put the signifier of making that phone fire red and that becomes a different kind of charge. I think that as my work is personal to me, there were kinds of color representations and certain kinds of moves that in some ways might be habitual. I try to break those habitual moves. But because you're in a state of clarity, you’re in a state of flow (and that’s psychological right, to be in a state of flow?) it seems like the whole world is kind of shut out and I'm left to my emotions and what's in my head at that moment, which will be my most recent experiences, my relationship with the people around me, and the music that I'm playing. I do listen to music and the music is influential as to how the work comes out. I'm not saying the music dictates, but my emotions dictate my mood which dictates what music goes on, it's kind of like a self-fulfilling circle. These things connect and then the work is a triangulation out of that.


or someone encountering your work for the

first time, what do you want them to value the most? What do you hope the viewer will take a

way from your paintings?

That's a really tricky question. On one hand, I want people to be able to come in and look at this painting, particularly the abstract ones, and I want them to get lost in their own experience. At the same time, what I'm doing is putting myself out there in a way that is suggestive and secretive and I think that as I'm becoming more confident in my painting, I'm also becoming braver and I'm becoming more honest. There's a piece of integrity that


ranscribed by Vivian Chang

exists in the painting that's really critical to me—I'm only just now breaking through that and learning how to just say “look”. I'm looking at this piece [above my desk] and it almost looks like a shotgun barrel. Not everyone's going to pick up on that and it certainly was not a conscious effort. Yet I do know that there's some level of velocity and a violence that existed in me during the time I made this artwork that feels authentic. It's only been finished for about three weeks, but it was originally a self-portrait nude. I just couldn't put it out there. I was like, “I'm not ready.” Maybe I'm never ready, but I'm also asking how much of me I can put on a canvas. So instead of a nude, I put in a bed. It’s frightening to go way out: now I have this outlier and I have this little cluster. My quest now is to fill them in. I’m capable of this, I know I’m capable of that. What’s in between there? It’s going to be the full body. ow does the phrase “interstitial proximity”


rive your work and questioning?


Interstitial means the space between. You come from a place and maybe there's this trajectory of where you think you're going to be. Of course, no one knows so I guess the trajectory is really more like an arc, a dotted line of an arc, and you can land anywhere on that arc while not really knowing the exact trajectory. Then the questions are, what is this middle area? How close is the arc? When you’re thinking theoretically, for me, I'm always trying to push that boundary. What am I capable of? What am I good at doing? The failure of the work has to happen, so every work gets to a point where it's just ugly and doesn't make sense and it's complete chaos and you have to get in there and fight for that shit. You have to seek it out and the answer is in there. I see it as a puzzle. Where am I in this place and what is the space actually doing?




Future Perfect Tense Oil on canvas 60” x 84” 2021


i logu

D a


With twenty-four hours in a day, I long for those seven where I lay. Alone with my thoughts, doubts, and ambitions, wondering if people care to listen. As my eyes close I can feel my body breathe its first true breath all day, it exhales for the time when I am truly awake. In this state, I am surrounded by a fecundity of life, a real green that is not masked by the fumes of machines. My soul is indebted to this greenhouse so perfectly planted in my consciousness, My only fear is that I will forget. Once I return to the realities of the intangibility of the nature that surrounds me, it is the fecundity of concrete, not nature that envelops everything whole-heartedly. I watch as roots try to overwhelm the masses of metal and stone where in some houses they are overgrown. I am saddened that there is no middle ground where dirt lays cold from untouched progression. Therefore I anticipate tomorrow where I will lay once again in recession.


r h llison rt istory '22





BA Narrative Production '22

Leia Everett








BA Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies '22



Andi Dunn-Levy


BA Narrative Production '23




is a short film I recently wrote, directed, filmed, and edited at the beginning of 2021, following all COVID-19 safety guidelines. Adapting to an online learning environment and finding new ways to balance work, school, and social life has never been more challenging. Using only my tripod and camera, I captured a small glimpse of my life where feeling burnout, exhausted, and unmotivated has become a new normal for me. I've become numbed by this feeling. Students are constantly spending their entire day in one place staring at one thing. As humans in this generation, we don't know how to turn off our screens without feeling guilty or ashamed. We allow notifications and demanding deadlines to take a huge mental toll on us. This film not only shows the effects of Zoom fatigue I struggle with daily but highlights the importance of self-care and a sense of self-realization. We forget to experience the world around us until we finally start truly giving ourselves a break by having the courage and strength to go offline—a necessary form of productivity. Film stills from "OFFLINE" (2021)



BFA Photography '22








The sea is infinite and confusing. I have only known its shores, yet I somehow feel its depths. It stung again. Warm tears streamed as they dropped from my nose. The spray of the crashing waves refracted the light, so I closed my eyes to feel the kindness of the cove. We are slowly getting comfortable to the procession of things. Accumulating, Sacrificing, Humbling, The sea is the same. I feel the push and pull. It must be you and I must believe it's you. My love is infinite and confusing.

Giovanni Ortega BFA Drawing & Painting '21



There is a kind of silence that one only hears the first time you come to understand yourself and stand squarely inside of your truth. Snake Charmer and Bear Trap (2021), scream into that silence, proud and open. Though buzzing with energy, the pair maintains a quiet solitude that feels inherently queered. What is striking in these pieces is the sheer size of the central figure in the frame, pushing up and out against the paper’s edges, expanding past the viewer’s gaze. Trans bodies are continuously Othered, dissected, or simply humiliated, yet this pair allows the audience a peek into the soft glory and sacred status of transness. It is highly intimate, yet does not fall victim to taboo. Rather, we are invited to witness a pleasure, satisfaction, and calm that is rarely afforded to the trans community. As the figure basks in the beauty that is the self, we are invited to pause and remember the last time we felt unadulterated bliss whilst solitary and undistracted by the outside world.

Jessy Boyer BA Art History '20

L. Snake Charmer Watercolor, color pencil, and ink on paper 25" x 42" 2021

R. Bear Trap Watercolor, color pencil, and ink on paper 25" x 42" 2021


BFA Drawing & Painting '21

Giovanni Ortega


Gentle Resemblances


BA Studio Art '23

Johnny Castillo



Heroes' Pay I don’t know what Superman gets. I don’t know what Wonder Woman gets. I’ll never know what a firefighter, a doctor, an EMT gets. But I know what a grocery worker gets: 25 years in a freezer with a cold breeze that stings The new cuts opened over the old, Cracked hands, like dried mud, Fingers locking in place, curved like a pirate hook, A limp like a pirate, Buckling knees when he lifts his grandkids, A velcro knee brace that becomes tighter each night, Degenerating knee cartilage, A salt and pepper beard, Hand sanitizer, A new coat of anxiety in a cloth mask, And a sigh of relief when Thursday arrives. That’s what heroes pay.

BA Creative Writing '21

Charles Flores


BA Studio Art '22

Maivy Nguyen


I use photography to investigate how cultural identity affects and shapes our perspective of the world around us. Drawing on my own personal experiences as a Mexican-American, I make pictures of people, things, places and ideas I hold close to me. Through these images, I am forming connections between relationships and states of being in order to investigate identity and psychological well-being. I am asking viewers to pay closer attention to how they see themselves and the positions they hold within relationships. More specifically, my work exists as a reflection of being raised in a family afflicted by tragedies relating to mental health, convincing me that honesty and transparency strengthens bonds. I am showing the delicate balance of truth versus fiction within families and relationships to reveal the organized disorder that is created to keep our kin safe from a certain reality. A goal of mine has become endeavoring to open up conversations around mental health in order to destigmatize the subject within relationships and families. The presentation of a psychological space through relationships with people, things, places, and ideas encompasses the thoughts I meditate on concerning the world of stigma and stereotypes I live in as a Mexican-American.

BFA Photography '21

Austin Mendoza






BA Studio Art '21

Eunice Chae




A Bed of Goosebumps We share the same bed, My father and I. It’s a single bed, placed in The corner. He sleeps at five p.m. I Sleep at eleven. When he wakes up For work. He takes a hot shower every Night, to loosen up his knees so they won’t Buckle, and so his fingers can actually bend. I feel the sweat on the bed sheet, drenched And dark, imprinted with his back. He sweats for me, For this one-bedroom apartment, for The opportunity to have a place That’s his. The dampness of the bed sheet gives me goosebumps.

BA Creative Writing '21

Charles Flores


BFA Illustration '22

Jennifer Nguyen




Before looking up the translation for Lạp Xưởng, I recognized those delicately sliced circles of Chinese sausage on the cutting board from my childhood. In my defense, I always understood it as saik krok, a generic term for sausage in Khmer. Line and light guide us towards the edge of the knife operated by the wise and illuminated hands of a grandparent. The earth-toned pigments are not to be confused with a commentary on dullness, but rather celebrates ordinary moments such as these as grounding. To emphasize the significance of what might otherwise seem like a mundane moment, the artist blurs the left side of the painting with a concave, further drawing our focus towards this moment of preparation. We are waiting to be nourished.

Noah Him BA English '21

Lạp xưởng Oil paint 20" x 30" 2021


Restless Summertide


BFA Drawing & Painting '22

Allie May



Our Bed He worked at Michael’s and his name was Michael She worked at Wendy’s and her name was Wendy And I worked at Costco and my name was Costco It was all governed by the hands of boredom in our bed.

When I counted all the freckles on your naked back I could feel the temperature of the melanin hills The scars and hiccups on your body felt like scattered patches of armor I hoped you wouldn’t notice like I did.

BFA Film '22



In a Pool In a pool full of wet used band aids Where the dead bugs didn’t care about us With no shore to stand on There was nothing but blue and white in the sky Everyone here had milk colored faces With handfuls of dirt in their mouths Playing games that recharged delusion

This was for the people who burned down their home in excitement For the fear that starting over with absolutely nothing Was forever better than being in the middle of something

BFA Film '22

Sam Bitnes



Sunlight dances across my cheeks,

Dipping below trees, a game of hide and seek. Fading is the warm light,

Must I say goodbye to such a beautiful sight? You play across my skin,

But I reach for you, grasping nothing, you win Saying goodbye is bittersweet,

Lying if I said after you, I was complete. I look for you in blue shadows of dusk,

You lit up my world leaving me a husk.

I feel old murmurs of times filled with fun, I wish I could hold onto my vanishing sun.

BA Illustration '23

Breana Alonzo BA Art History '23

Catheryn Cowings


Excerpted from


Pet ty Thef t

“Stop it,” Nicole demanded, “he’s not gonna text you.”

I quickly put my phone in my lap, confused about how she knew exactly what I was thinking. “Eyes on the road!” “Shut up,” Nicole snapped back. She was currently on what everyone called her “shitty driving streak.” She’s wrecked her car every week since I moved away for college. All our friends joked about how I’ve been Nicole’s co-pilot in the passenger seat ever since she got her license and she’d forget how to drive as soon as I was gone. Funny how that worked out. It started with her knocking her side mirror off on a pole, then popping her tire on glass, then scraping her entire driver’s side on a brick wall, and the list goes on. Now she’s all paranoid she’s gonna hit a cat or something. “We’re here to look at the lights, Lily,” Nicole said. “No boys, no car accidents.” She was right. It was our annual trip to drive through our town’s racetrack to see it decked out with Christmas lights—stress-free, complete with Dutch Bros and a bin of Popeye’s chicken between us. We entered a tunnel and the car was engulfed in hundreds of thousands of blinking, rainbow lights. It was beautiful, I will admit, but no amount of sparkle or fried chicken could rid my mind of the fact that the boy I’d spent the past four months of my life with, Liam, hasn’t talked to me in weeks. The brake lights on the car in front of us lit up suddenly and the red glow ripped me from my thoughts. Nicole hit the breaks, stopping her car just feet away from their bumper. She inhaled sharply. “Nope, we are not doing this right now,” she said. Luckily, we were exiting the racetrack after half-an-hour of maneuvering through twists and turns and larger-than-life light-up Christmas displays. I could practically feel the anxiety radiating from Nicole’s body and I was relieved that we could finally get back on straight, open roads. Turning the corner, we left the twinkling lights behind us until next year, but we were met with a detour sign.

BA Narrative Production '22

Leia Everett


“Ugh!” Nicole groaned. She put her car in reverse and stepped on the pedal. The car jerked backward, faster than Nicole was expecting because we heard the sound of her tail light shatter on the metal gate behind us. “Are you KIDDING me?” Nicole slammed her fist on the steering wheel, blasting the horn. I didn’t blame her, week eighteen for the streak. Muttering to herself, she gripped the steering wheel again with white knuckles and sped off down the other lane. “Are you ok?” “No!” Nicole clenched her jaw the way she always does when she’s trying not to cry. “Why does this keep happening to me? I feel like such an idiot, it’s just one thing after another and I’m so fed up with—” “Watch out!” I screamed. In the middle of the road, something reflective flashed like a cat’s eyes when light catches in them. But Nicole swerved a second too late. She hit it, and whatever was in the road just got a great view of what the bottom of her car’s tire looked like. Nicole slammed on the breaks. “Oh my god!” she cried. “I just killed something!” The tears welling up in her eyes finally escaped and trailed down her face, taking her mascara with it. She synched her hoodie around her face and curled into a ball. Deciding to take one for the team, I opened the door and said, “Fine, I’ll go check.” I went around to the other side and braced myself to see an animal, a raccoon, I feared, or God forbid someone’s pet cat. Instead what I saw flooded me with relief. It was just a traffic cone—a bit dented with a tire mark running across it, but no serious damage. Nicole timidly hopped out of the car. “How cute was it?” “It’s just a cone-” I began, but Nicole began to sob harder. “What’s wrong?” She reached for the cone. The bottom side of it was caked with mud and it gave off an extremely potent plastic-chemical smell, but she pulled it close to her chest and cried into it.


“I murdered it!” she wept. “With its whole family watching!” I looked behind us, and Nicole was oddly right. Dozens of cones lined the exit lanes of the racetrack and this cone totally got hit in plain sight of its “brothers and sisters.” I patted her shoulder. “It’s ok.” “He’s all smashed now and it’s my fault!” Nicole declared. She stood up with the cone. “Are you taking it?” I asked, perplexed. “He’s lonely! He needs me!” Nicole said, hopping back in the car. I didn’t know how to approach this situation as for the life of me, I couldn’t understand her thought process. It was obvious the shitty driving streak was upsetting her beyond what I had thought and crying was totally valid, but now she was personifying a cone and stealing it for emotional support. What was I supposed to do? Tell her to leave it? Honestly, it looked like it was calming her down. When we drove off, it was dead silent other than the hum of the road. Nicole stared straight ahead with a blank expression and the cone on her lap. Dare I say, it was hilarious. Upon reuniting, the universe handed us a busted tail light and a mental breakdown complete with a cone heist. I guess Nicole was thinking the same thing because all it took was a muffled giggle from the driver’s seat to send us down a spiral of hysterical laughter. The kind where you can’t breathe and it goes on for so long you forget why you started in the first place and now you’re just laughing at the fact that you can’t get any air in your lungs. It was a great moment, though. Neither of us were worrying about anything happening in our lives outside the doors of the getaway car. It was just two best friends and a stolen traffic cone. The best part, though? Her streak ended the next week.



BA Studio Art



Think About This Instead Radiance tested Glossier skincare— 4oz tubs of gooey galactic clay. Jojoba hazel oil serum, Infused with evening primrose. Summer sweet soft drinks: neighborhood stand lemonade, peach flavored Calpico, iced Thai tea and oat milk coffee. The color yellow. Pale as the image you think when (forget that it’s blue) you hear the word “cornflower” Color-blocked pastel knit-wear hung hot on zoo pink hangers. Funky shaped vases & homemade hand-twisted candlesticks. Late afternoon sprints, just before the sun sets. Caught blaze of a smog-enhanced sky, Impressionistic reflection glazed on closed windows. The glimpse of a heathered hare dashing between brambles of Waterwise hedges. Catch his eyesight. Never drop contact. Single street lights, Loud mothers, Brined steak, Beating feet, Steady heartbeat. The sound of your own voice.

Rigby Celeste


THE LIFE We are the main characters of our own lives, right? If my life was a film, what music would be playing? What would be the genre? How is my character portrayed? Will people like me? In this film I had a fun time exploring these concepts. This film is fiction but also nonfiction —I always like blurring those lines. In the end I came to realize that being the main character is a bit more exhausting than I expected.

OF MAYA (2021)

BFA Film '21

Maya Fonseca






With my food portraits, I am trying to show the people I've recently lost in a lighthearted and fun light. Having to deal with loss so suddenly in the middle of the semester has not been the easiest thing to deal with, but being able to have an outlet and create these images in the honor of my late brother and sister has been therapeutic. The foods shown are their favorite meals. An empty table with vacant seats enables the viewer to see that there is a vacant space somewhere around me, that I can't seem to fill. There aren't many words to describe how I feel, but it is appropriate to say that I am grateful for being able to experience and navigate life with them for twenty-six years. Food connects people in ways language and customs can't. We sit down at a table with people and talk about life. Food is a universal language.

BFA Photography

Gabriel Gonzalez


Elise Vazelakis The Present Moment of the Past (2021)

is an installation that merges my affinity for working with textile materials with the proposition of a sitespecific installation that visually conveys the experience of time. The passing of time is usually thought of as linear, however, this installation serves as a visual metaphor for the ways that memories convolute and warp our perception of time. The sole material used in the installation is metallic gold thread representing life's most valuable commodity: time. This delicate medium communicates how time is fragile, elusive, finite, and precious. As the cascading thread emerges and dissolves, it becomes a visual barometer of how time is always present, yet often unseen, and slips away. The fourteen cones of thread are hung by monofilament across the gallery, enabling the 70,000 yards of thread to fall freely off the spools and cascade to the ground. At times the thread moves slowly, in other moments quickly, and periodically it stands still and stops altogether. The amassed thread on the ground represents the layered memories that create and distort the perception of time.



What was the starting point of The Present Moment of the Past


How did it come about? I’ve just been looking at time—time I have left, time that’s passed, trying to stay in the present moment which I really try to do through my meditation practice, through my artwork, just being always present, having these memories and kind of that whole age-old, "where did the time go?" Looking at the memories and then seeing my children grow up.... You know, they always say as you get older, time goes faster, so I was looking at that and started to do research about it. There’s a lot of research that’s been done and it correlates: your memories and how you perceive time, and I became really interested in that. So I started looking at these memories that I have, as well as how they are affecting how I’m perceiving time, and how I convey that visually.

The Present Moment of the Past Installation in Gatov West Fourteen spools of gold thread (70,000 yards) 2021 Photos by Amanda Quinlan

So, the thread installation really conveyed it beautifully because sometimes the thread would swirl down really quickly because of gravity, then sometimes it would stop completely, or go slower or you’d have to kind of tug it along. It just felt like such a beautiful metaphor for life and how we perceive time and how time kind of works when you’re younger and when you’re older. And then, the memories kind of piling up at the bottom and how some of them are buried, some of them are exposed, some you can kind of dig up and find. So, all of it, for me, it conveyed beautifully how I’ve visually wanted to view time.

You speak of developing a lifelong interest in fibers and textiles by learning how to sew from your grandmother How do you see your practice in this generational context ,



After my mother passed away my maternal and paternal grandmothers took over raising me. Sewing was something that they were taught as a child and so they passed that skill along. Also, going to museums was an outing that I enjoyed with my grandmother from Chicago. She would regularly take me to the Art Insitute of Chicago and that introduced me to the masters, especially Impressionism (her favorite) at a young age.

It is a beautiful metaphor. What is the importance of music in the accompanying installation video?

It was really Katie [Grinnan]’s 550 Installation class, and she wanted us to do a sound piece of whatever we wanted. I ended up having 70,000 yards of this from the installation. I’ve been kind of playing with it, I’ve been putting it out in nature, and then one day I was just sitting in my studio and I set up my iPhone and I just started draping all 70,000 yards around me and covering me with it. Again, that was kind of like, you’re buried in your memories, are you your memories? I started playing with pictures and doing selfies with all this material and really liked the way the photos came out. Then I just started thinking about songs that had definitive markers in my life that I can remember where I was, what I was doing, what age I was, and that they had a pretty profound effect. I’m sure everybody kind of has those memories, songs taking you back to a certain time in your life. So I wrote down these songs. The first one that goes throughout, which is “Sugar, Sugar” by The Archies, was one of the first songs that had resonated with me. I remember being with my girlfriends and dancing at a young age and finding the joy of music, and I just can remember the camaraderie of all of us doing this whole little dance routine, it was totally silly but fun. So, I took these songs and listened to them and time-marked how much I wanted in the sound installation, and linked them together. I started putting “Sugar, Sugar” in between each one. And then, I don’t know if you got the second video, but that one, I degraded the sound. I started to degrade it because my thesis committee was like, “You’re talking about memories fading, memories getting diminished, buried…what happens if the sound starts to degrade as well?"


As a fibers based artist what is your relationship to the environment How does it influence your practice -




It keeps changing and I keep getting informed by different artists. Especially being in grad school, I’m informed by my classmates tremendously. First and foremost, they’re really informing my work, and then they’ll be like, “Have you seen her?” and, “Have you seen…?” So right now, Liz Larner just had a show at Regen Projects. She collected all her single-use plastic waste and heated it to make these sculptures. She’s really influencing my work right now, so I’ve kind of started a project informed by her work, and I’m starting to collect my single-use plastic. I want to transform this plastic into a giant sculpture, or a quipu. About waste in the textile industry, I mean, that’s really coming onto my radar how that’s bad for the environment. I’m not using any acrylic or polyester; it’s plastic, it doesn’t degrade, it’s not good for us to wear, so everything I’m using I try to get locally-made or USmade, but it’s definitely like cotton or wool that’s sustainable. Going forward, I really want to look at my usage clothing-wise, so that’s kind of now coming into my realm, which kind of leads back to your question of how I’m influenced. The Present Time of the Past was personal and how I’m viewing time and the aging process and markers in my life, and now I’m again looking outside myself. Well, it’s still my usage, but how it’s going to affect and how I’m leaving the world, and how I’m contributing to this waste.

Transcribed by Zadie Baker


What cultural political haveartistic affectedandyour workexperiences ,



Most of my work comes from a personal place but there are times when world events provoke me to respond artistically. Specifically the gun violence, immigration, and most recently the environment and how plastic refuse is affecting the ocean. My husband's work brought us to Dubai in 2009. We lived and worked there for four years. The works in my Gamcha series pay homage to subjugated immigrant workers in the city of Dubai. While living in Dubai as an artist, I quickly became aware of the city’s silent laborers who toiled long and hot hours on construction sites that litter the city. As I began to photograph and interact with them, I was inspired to communicate their plight through my art and what stood out to me was their colorful headwear. Each worker wore a unique, brightly colored, Indian cotton towel, known as a gamcha. I was struck by how their headwear felt emblematic, and the gamcha seemed to provide a connection to their culture. The vibrant colors and patterns spoke for them and their homeland. I developed a trust with them, so I began trading their used gamchas for care packages of a new gamcha and 10 dirhams acquiring hundreds of towels. My gamcha pieces weave together fabric, photographs, and found objects from various construction sites around Dubai. They are collective and individual portraits of the anonymous men that built the city.

elisevazelakis com .


Dialogue Jesse Boyer

BA Art History '20 @keepartqueer

This past year, I began dating after many years of healing from my last relationship. It has been difficult processing some of the memories of my last partner, especially since they have since passed away. I was only with them for nine months, and yet I have spent the last five years slowly unspooling some of the harder-toreach memories of that person I once loved so dearly. The Present Moment of the Past (2021) reminds me of how easily our minds warp the precious time with loved ones. As the thread is slowly drawn out by gravity, it is almost lost to our eyes until it is collected together in a gentle yet messy pile on the gallery floor. The choice to use gold is maybe the most bittersweet element of this already tender piece and brings to mind that while we have cherished memories with those we love, we often are pulled to gilding those few moments, erasing the mundane to preserve the beauty. Overall, I am taken aback by this piece; the more you search, the more you find yourself completely unwound.


BA Film '21

Justin Barber



IN CONVERSATION: mfa sculpture '20

SHIMA TAJ BAKHSH The absence of a name (2020- ) I work in a range of media and am interested in nonlinear narratives that shift from generation to generation and can be read through fragments of architecture. The time-based sculptural configurations in my work represent a constant liminal state wherein cultural and social edges rub up against other edges, encounter other timelines, and bridge histories. Much of my work is concerned with questioning the material conditions of bodies and borders. The absence of a name is an ongoing project, including documentary research, oral history, and a biographical investigation appearing in different mediums such as sound, video, and installation. Starting from an anonymous gravestone at the cemetery in my hometown Qom, Iran, a part of the installation revolves around the speculation of its identity. Kaboutar, the child of Ali, is the only information found on the gravestone. “Kaboutar” is the Persian equivalent of pigeon. Considering the cultural implication of this rare name and the pigeon’s association with public spaces, part of the installation is dedicated to the people who have the same name as Kaboutar. The biographical research aims to compensate for the historical omission and recuperate the lack of historical knowledge of one's existence.


T he ba c ks t or y of T he ab s enc e of a n a me is th a t you c a m e a c ro ss an an on ym ou s gra ve. W ha t c om pel le d you to c rea te an on goi n g pr oj ec t ab out i t ?

First of all, the grave being partially anonymous and partially known was compelling because it gave me the opportunity to grab some information but not that much that limits my creative abilities. It gave me the opportunity to go forward. So The absence of a name actually guided me to other people. It was a good way to go forward because I always was working with different ways of approaching the interpretation of identity, so from me experimenting with material conditions of bodies and buildings, I started to use different narratives in a historical context that actually refers to identity. It helped me to make a shift in my practice from working with material to working with the narrative of the material. The absence of a name Video installation Variable dimensions



How has the work affected your perception of identity—identity as a concept and even your own personal identity?

I feel like it’s both. Part of it is a personal identity and part of it is a collective identity. The way that I approached it was adding some personal perspective but also adding some collective wisdom. The way that I went forward with this project was me reaching out to different people in different locations, so I didn’t want it to be limited to one location but a guide to a broader collective culture or way of perceiving our identity.


S om eti m es , wh en beg in n i n g s om et hi n g ne w, th e fi r s t s tep i s t he h ar d es t.

H ow di d y ou

be gi n? I n s ea r c h of h i s tor y an d i d en ti ty , wh er e d i d T h e abs en c e of a n am e ta k e y ou ?

First of all, I want to say that there is no result or strict answer to this question. For me, it’s more about complicating the issue rather than reaching to a point that I feel like I am done with this project. That is why it’s ongoing, it’s a never-ending issue. It’s going to go on, and it can go on for a very long time because you can encounter so many different people and broaden your perspective in very different ways. That’s the beauty of the project in my opinion— because it’s always changing. It’s not literal, it’s more abstract and towards fiction rather than documentary.

It’s utilizing documentary research and biographical investigation but at the same time the result is completely fiction, so you cannot really say which person is talking or if this is the image of one person. Is it my voice? Or is it their voice? It’s completely a combination of different things to this extent that you cannot really determine one point from another point. Each story blends to another story. In terms of contacting or encountering other people, it’s still ongoing because I have very limited access to my home country and it’s all about me asking or reaching out to my friends. It’s actually another issue I have to deal with [the lack of access].


C ou l d yo u tel l u s m or e a bou t F ou nt ai n (


- ) a nd why y ou d ec i ded to pl ac e it i n

c on t ext wi th T h e abs en c e of a n am e?

I started making this fountain that is scattered. Every fraction of the fountain is in a different place. It’s not even one fountain that is scattered, it’s multiple fountains that are scattered and each piece is repeating itself. At the same time I was working on this video and reaching out to these people and doing interviews and research, so I thought that approaching a fountain is kind of a container of putting together all these different stories or identities. Maybe it’s a good way to make a connection between the videos and the installation. There has to be a transition and an engagement in this space. And also the presence of the fountain in traditional architecture in Iran and its presence in both public and private spaces, so given all of that it made sense for me to add that. It acts as a container; it’s containing something valuable but at the same time it’s scattered and it’s not doing its job. So it was a back and forth between the installation itself and the videos. I really like to work with water because water is such a thing that has multiple aspects to itself in a way that at some point it’s a symbol of aliveness. In countries like Iran, it’s such a valuable thing because it’s rare, it’s not like you can have water everywhere because of the nature and climate. So it’s such a valuable thing and because of the necessity of water, it’s also very precious in terms of cultural aspects. But at the same time it can be very dangerous and infectious and toxic. It ruins very slowly. If you trace the movement of water in nature you see how it finds its way through destruction, so as it moves and it flows it also changes, gradually, the very solid or rigid structure of nature.


H ow d o you p os it i on t hi s pro c es s wi th i n h i s tor y ?

I feel like it’s more about talking or thinking, or trying to recreate what has been missing in history in terms of daily experiences, especially from a feminine point of view. It’s all about those parts of history that are never heard. You know how oral histories are about things and daily experiences and individual experiences that never can be categorized in terms of strict historical category? It’s all about that. It’s about finding out what has been missing in terms of experience from a feminine point of view. It’s so crucial in investigation—even if you started recording now and investigating what is happening right now, it’s not enough because of the lack of historical content about these matters. I feel like that’s something important to think about.

Transcribed by Vivian Chang


BFA Drawing & Painting '23







Custard Filled

BA English '21

Tara Soroka








on his

about love








He listens to her intently with a small smile. She is beautiful, surrounded by beautiful people and beautiful decorations; white ribbons and pearls draped every table and chair. You can tell which crying old lady is her mom. And, I remember which woman is his mother, I think she remembers me too, but she hasn’t seen me yet. No one I recognize at this wedding has even looked in my direction. His sister, brother, friends all watched the happy couple with happy, loving eyes. There are at least two hundred people here and I’m sitting in the last row of twenty. Apparently, they have been together for three years now, but I never thought he wanted to marry, but here I am in an olive green dress with bows on my shoulders, and that girl is up there in white with a veil over her face. He looks so happy too, holding her hands. A year before today, we had a conversation over the phone. He asked how the cats were, and I said fine. Apparently, he asked her the big question the day after, and I haven’t heard from him since. About two months ago I got the invitation. So, I sit here watching him tell her he loves her, and the priest says, “Let him now speak, or else hereafter forever hold his peace.” The bride jokingly eyes the crowd and they erupt in waves of quiet, reserved giggles. But he looks at everyone too, almost like a crane in a marsh, scanning each row for fish. A few people in the front rows even look back to where the groom is looking. My grip tightens on my handbag. The priest continues and he looks back to his bride. He let out a deep breath of what looked like relief, and for some reason, I felt guilty. I thought of standing on my chair. Everyone would turn to me and they would all clap. His mother and sister would come running after me with open arms. But, I sit here quietly in the soft melody of string instruments instead.


I can hear my breath as I watch their mouths say the words “I do.” In a snap, the ashy blue skies are dark and full of twinkling stars. Glassware clinks, melancholy tunes fill the background of small talk and I sit here at a table of random people who all either seem to be strangers not in the mood to change that, or they’re too old to hold a conversation. But then the man beside me said in a rough voice, “Are you here for the bride or the groom?” I turned to see his face and he appears younger than he sounds and attractive too. “I’m a friend of the groom, and you?” I said. “What’s a friend doing at this table?” “Who are you here for?” “I used to work with the bride, I haven't talked to her in years.” “Yeah me neither, the groom I mean…” “So why do you think we got stuck with them?” He gestures with his thumb to two older individuals slumped over their plates, sitting in three separate la-la lands. One of them looks up really slow and smiles a big rotting grin before he seems to lose the thought that made him happy and looks back down. “Like you said, we haven’t talked to them in years” “She looked at me when the priest asked for objections, and I thought for a second that she was gonna call it all off. Call me crazy, but I got this feeling that she wasn’t gonna take her eyes off me.” “I don’t think you're crazy.” The man shakes his head, seemingly unconvinced. Candlelight on each table gives the atmosphere a warm firefly glow. Everyone is happy, and it was then when his sister walks by the table with the newlywed. She was leading her to him. They are about to cut the cake. I didn’t want any at first, but I walked with the crowd to surround the couple as they ceremonially smashed their first slices in each other’s faces. With thick cream smeared across his cheek he smiles at everyone around him, but suddenly freezes while his friends and family laugh, distracted. It was then when we were the only ones in that whole courtyard of people not moving, and the space between us had never felt so thick, or so sweet before, that I found myself actually wanting a piece of custard-filled wedding cake to remember the feeling forever; however, his wife’s body holding onto his brought him back to focus, so I left without a word or a slice.



Interior Projections


Matthew Lujan BA Art History '22



Perspectives on Art History

THE REVIVAL OF ARTISTRY IN MOVIE POSTERS Excerpted from Episode III: “You had my curiosity, but now you have my attention” — Django Unchained (2012)

BA Art History '20

Kassandra Gomez


Whether you like the story , the characters , or the directors , films play a powerful role in visual culture .

Whether it is the formulaic studio film poster or the artist-driven alternative design, these two variations of posters are marketed towards the same audience: people who love film. But the concept of a poster in the art world has little to no value, and their “commercial art” label pushes the narrative that these anonymous posters aren’t worth attention. Hollywood studios facilitate this assumption because they themselves have taken the artist and creativity out of the design process. However, alternative movie posters challenge this idea through their success via surges in the art market and popularity online. The relationship between the hand-drawn and digital technologies makes for a complex dynamism, but alternative movie poster artists are slowly merging the two worlds into one. This new path allows for artists to work alongside studios to bring new life to movie posters that not only serve a marketing purpose for movies but also as works of art in relation to the film.

1. Harris, Miriam. "How illustrated movie posters are making a comeback," DigitalArts, August 4, 2017, eatures/illustration/how-illustratedmovie-posters-are-making-comeback/. 2. Mekado Murphy, “The Hand-Drawn Journey of the ‘Shape of Water’ Poster,” New York Times, November 3, 2017, 3/movies/the-shape-of-waterposter-guillermo-del toro-jamesjean.html# .

Some studios or directors have taken the leap and started collaborating with artists in the creation of alternative movie posters for actual wide releases. Industries are starting to respond to the artists by slowly incorporating them into the design aspect of marketing films. In 2017, two films that paved the way for these opportunities were Baby Driver and The Shape of Water. Before its initial release in March of that year, Baby Driver had its posters plastered on numerous bus stops, magazines, and movie lobbies. The artist responsible for its design is Rory Kurtz, who, due to the fact that the film was not finished yet, was able to conjure up concepts of the movie while only having been given the film’s playlist, photography stills, and the script.¹ Kurtz acknowledges this paradigm shift and anticipates that studios will want to start capitalizing on the success of alternative poster designs. In an interview, he states, “Things are different now than they were in the last period of illustrated film art. Now the collector’s market drives a lot more of its popularity. They want specific titles as collectible screenprints, by specific artists. It's a huge and constantly growing culture. So if it returns officially, it will likely be changed in many ways to reflect this.” The style of the poster still borrows components from Hollywood’s standard movie compositions, yet because of its painterly effect, it’s able to provide a new mood for the film. This cinematic vision is what films try to awaken by making partnerships with artists.


For example, award-winning director Guillermo del Toro recognizes the opportunity for these artists to use their workmanship and gives them a platform to create something for others to enjoy just as much as the movie. For his film, The Shape of Water, del Toro personally contacted artist James Jean to interpret the complex film. Jean is responsible for making the film’s teaser poster before its preliminary release. Del Toro talks about his decision in choosing Jean for his film: “His drawings have a delicate nature to them and beautiful line work that is at the same time realistic and sort of elevated into a style of his own.” Jean constructed the poster in an all charcoal drawing working from screen grabs and various photos of the creature’s costumes as references for his design. He also drew inspiration for his composition of the two interlaced characters from Gustav Klimt's, The Kiss.²

More recently, Steve Chorney created the poster for Quentin Tarantino’s 2019 blockbuster film, Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood, which is set in the 1970s. Similar to Kyle Lambert's work, Chorney thought it was important to have this poster illustrated as a throwback to the movie’s seventies era. The artist worked back and forth with the company to exchange ideas on what they wanted to express. Comey’s composition was ultimately inspired by the old sixties TV show Mod Squad, evident in the floating heads and placement of supporting characters and locations in the foreground. Interestingly, throughout the film there are posters for the main character’s own films within the movie; Chorney created them as well.³ The relationship between studios and alternative artists should not be one that demands the elimination of the other, but rather how one can help the other. The interchangeable roles that these two counterparts play are for the sake of the movie’s success. The making of a film involves many people, and with many people come many ideas that dynamically unite to better understand the film’s project. Both studios and artists should explore the creative possibilities of working together rather than operating in separate, parallel arenas.

3. Leslie Combemale, “Artist Steven Chorney on Crafting Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood’s Poster & More,” The Credits, August 12, 2019, artist-steve-chorney-on-crafting-onceupon-a-time-in-hollywoods-poster-more/ L. The Kiss by Gustav Klimt (1907) R. The Shape of Water promotional poster. Credits to Fox Searchlight Pictures.


BFA Pre-Production '22

Andie Choi



CATALYTIC ENDS Red on red on red coursing through sunken vessels, a novel to be revealed. Yet you left at dusk, evenings hues’ turned to black and white faded into the alleyway, your heels on cobblestone click.. click.. click.. each step closer click.. click.. till I left your mind. Obscure thoughts, obsession, distrust, I’d follow you tonight. Your arms met his, churning and churning my body dissolved, fragments of what once was. Seconds to two to four to hours alone, succumbed by weariness swirling disillusionment, click.. click.. back down the cobblestone an unfortunate goodbye, Red on red on red my bookend met its demise.

BA Comparative World Literature '22


Maggie Brown



: MFA Illustration & Painting

The Clean Life


It is my belief that folklore contains wisdom from our ancestors. Both Eastern and Western Folklore overlap because human nature is the same. It is at that intersection that I wish to tell my stories. The Clean Life melds the spirit and philosophy of a Chinese folk tale in which a ghost takes on the identity of various people by putting on their skin, with a Western morality tale about the seven deadly sins. For this project I looked to catch one point within the folklore of each culture, and use this to create a new story. The way I worked on The Clean Life was to watch and absorb the atmosphere of ghost stories, not having a direct plan of what I would use each bit of research for. And then as I created, I had a store of accumulated information, impressions, and inspiration to draw from. One of the items I researched for The Clean Life was the tradition of making a deal with the devil at a crossroads. The way that I work is to immerse myself in research and follow where it leads.







When I was five years old, I started to practice the fine arts, how to paint and draw. It would be my lifelong passion to paint and draw. But my work was journalism in China, I worked at a TV station as a journalist for almost seven years, then I came here. I moved to LA. At that time, because my children were very young. I thought, “How about I continue the thing I loved since I was a young child?” Also, CSULB is very close to my home, so I could balance my studies and family. Even in the first year of this program, I was not very clear which direction I would go, illustration or animation. But later on, I figured out that I’m very good at story building. Because of my work experience, I had contact with so many people. I interviewed them, I told their stories. I made a documentary when I was working for the TV station. So I think I have a strong skill to tell a story. Then I used my painting and drawing skills to represent that story to the audience. So I feel quite happy.



That would go back to my work experience. I think during the last couple years, so many things have happened around the world. My background is Chinese, so as most of you know, the trade war between China and the U.S. and the pandemic, so many things have happened. I think basically, the trade war is not only because of the conflicts about the economy. I think the deeper cause is culture, values, and ideology. I think in the first place, there is a misunderstanding between these two cultures, between the West and East.

Then as a media worker, I think I have a duty to release that truth in the first place, for both sides. With that understanding, not cheating, not misunderstanding, with that truly clear, they can choose if they are willing to continue this relationship in the future or not. It’s a complex problem. I think I have passion and responsibility to do something, to bridge the misunderstanding for both sides. I think that I am familiar with how the media works in China, but not with how the process in the U.S. So for my PhD, I want to see, as a media worker, how I can make my film, documentary, or report have an impact with U.S. audiences.



I think in the process of growing up, those stories just came with me. In some of the illustrations, one of the Chinese newspapers asked me to do that. They gave me a surrounding topic to talk about, like the disappearance of children. They gave me a big topic that I could produce the research on to find the story inside that. So some of them, somebody asked me to [make it]. But for me, I think I just had that passion for that story. Like they are old friends who grew with me. In the first year I came into the MFA program, my professor asked, “Why did you want your first story to be dark?” Now, my thesis is reflecting on happiness. I don’t know, I just wanted to try this new thing. I don’t want to keep just one style. I want to try to change and challenge myself.




I think for most good stories, they always reflect human nature. They reflect humanity. I think the desire in the humans’ mind is a big part of causing something very bad or very good. So I want to explore how the human’s desire, um, how that, I don’t know how to say that. Because everything goes by the human’s desire, I want to explore that thing in this story. I think most of the folktales in China and Chinese culture, they always do that the same way, to explore human nature. Same thing in the U.S. too. I think that’s the universal language, to explore humans’ truth in their stories.



I took so many pictures. I think that environmental design was inspired by Italy, some old place in Italy. I think Italy, especially in older times, is so fascinating. When I first started my MFA, I took a class on the Northern Renaissance, and that book is a trigger to my Italian travels. Then I traveled there for one month, and took so many pictures. So when I came back, that story was just floating in my mind. Recently, I watched a film on Netflix, called A Monsters Calls. In that film, it used very dark style but also an innocent skew to make the graphic animation shocking. So thinking about that, I can learn that kind of skill to push my story forward. So sometimes I think that story content and technique can inspire each other. That’s very important for me as an animator to learn. Sometimes I must admit that the storyline is the first priority of the whole thing, but the technique is very important to increase your ability to make the film better.

Production stills and storyboards from The Clean Life (2020)

Transcribed by Natalie Madrigal


BFA Painting & Drawing '21






Waiter Walking Down Stairs 35 mm black and white film Dimensions unknown 2021

BA Studio Art '22

Christopher Barron



Visual geometry can lead to good composition. Artificial shapes can guide the eye to points of interest in a carefully organized world. Waiter Walking Down Stairs brings these ideas to mind, as well as other historical constructions that illustrate the fallacy of empire and today’s pandemic silence. Empires die when taste in the arts is lost, however, some traditions survive. Trapped within this brickwork purgatory is the hapless waiter, who floats like a ghost between stairway edges rising up to a vanishing point leading to heaven. The waiter’s bow tie says there is a dress code in his speakeasy paradise, and the white shirt resembles a beer glass with a belly button. The waiter floats downward, his mask screaming “Covid” within the deafening silence of the nightclub, whose patrons question inoculation. It has ever been thus because we must have the power to drink and remove our masks for pleasure. Byzantium, Rome, the Mughals, and British: each empire fell because of hubris. We can organize our bricklike floating world for a time, but a little bug can easily bring down the house. So, drink up, friends, and let us celebrate in the time of Covid.

Chris Lee BA Art History '20



Waste Not Trisha pressed the flat of her thumb against the side of her throat, where her pulse beat the loudest. It was a comfortable thrum. The rhythm was strong, steady, and she focused on it. It had been two hours since her last cup of coffee, and while her strength seemed to be waning, she was awake. There was no one else to work the next shift in the morgue. The hospital floors above her were overfull; Trisha damned every single denier out there still shoving into packed bars, kissing and hugging their grandmothers, shopping without a mask or a care in the world. The tiles were cold. Trisha pushed off the wall and turned back to her latest patient. Mr. Johnson had died, like most of her patients, from COVID-19 related complications. The virus had torn apart his body, beat down his lungs, and then his heart. After 22 days on a ventilator, his body simply gave up. The odds had been against him. Diabetes, hypertension, obesity, blood thinners and age. 86 years old. Most elderly Covid patients who went on a ventilator died. Trisha rubbed her thumb in circles and focused on the rush of blood beneath her skin. Then why were people still ignoring protocol?

There were sixty four bodies left to process. Trisha knew there would be twice as many tomorrow. When she looked in the mirror, she saw a ghost of herself; hollow brown eyes, skin tan and blotchy, dark circles, and full lips. She slathered them in salve, like her hands, but the skin still cracked and pulled. She was a skeleton beneath her layers, her lab coat like a shroud around her. She couldn’t count how many times she washed her hands every day, and it showed. The skin there was red, and abused. Trisha trudged back to the long, stainless steel table where Mr. Johnson laid. He was survived by three daughters, their spouses, seven grandchildren and three great grandchildren. His chart was littered with extra sticky notes and stapled pages; there was even an angrily scrawled scrap of paper that proclaimed one of the grandchildren had gotten Mr. Johnson and the rest of his family sick by breaking the stay-at-home order.

BA Creative Writing '21

Rachael Taulbee


What a waste. They hadn’t wanted an autopsy done. Some families saw it as an insult, a defilement, or too much information. Others demanded them. There was no reason listed for the denial of an autopsy, so Trisha resumed Mr. Johnson’s processing. She was gentle when she lifted his limbs to turn him. After 22 days spent on a ventilator he had lost an immense amount of weight. Trisha was no stranger to turning bodies alone; she had worked hard to build upper body strength for this morbid purpose, but turning Mr. Johnson was way easier than it should have been. Trisha’s chest ached. He had a lot of laugh lines. His eyes had been blue. He’d lost most of the hair on his head, but he had a full snowy beard, like Santa clause. Though she knew better than to torture herself, Trisha wondered sadly if he’d done the whole Christmas morning debacle for his kids, their kids, and then their kids. It was hard not to imagine what her patients might have been like. Especially the casualties of stupidity. Of ignorance. Of blatant selfishness and disrespect. Had protocol not been broken, if there was any truth to the note in Mr. Johnson’s chart, he may have lived long enough to be vaccinated. Trisha finished her examination, covered Mr. Johnson back up, and got ready to move him back to the locker he would occupy until the mortuary came to collect him. She felt awful for her other patients who had been moved to refrigerated trucks. There’s just not enough room.


Her morgue was large. Trisha was used to working with at least another coroner on site; she liked Dan the best, because he was redheaded, covered in freckles and always said something once per hour to make her laugh. Stephanie was okay, but she’d never gotten over the tragedy of the deaths of children, and usually had to sit out on those cases. Trisha never snitched on her, but she knew it made the others uneasy. It was a simple room. Tiled in white and easy to spray down, with multiple drains set into the floors. The walls were lined with lockers, the trays full of instruments kept neat and tidy. Trisha turned to strip her gloves off and submit Mr. Johnson’s report, but startled at the sound of cotton against flesh. She knew what the slow creak of old bones sounded like. Cold sweat raked down her spine like skeletal fingers, and her mouth grew dry as she slowly turned to face the noise. “It’s very cold in here, ma’am.” Mr. Johnson’s voice reminded Trisha of her father’s. Maybe he’d smoked at some point in his life, or maybe that’s what Covid had done to his lungs. Maybe the intubation had damaged his vocal cords. There were many possibilities. He sat up on the examination table, the sheet Trisha had covered him with slipping down to pool around his skinny hips. She stared at him with wide, round eyes. Her quick breaths fogged her glasses, but she did not remove them. “The morgue has to stay cold.” She replied numbly, as if her deceased patient hadn’t just sat up and started talking. “You couldn’t imagine the smell…” Her voice petered off into a sort of crack, and Mr. Johnson smiled wanly. “Not as bad as bodies left out in the sun.” He mused, thin fingers smoothing his white beard down. “They did that, in the trenches. We had to leave them there, you see. Couldn’t risk getting shot. We had to wait until night to drag our boys back.” Tears glistened in his rheumy eyes. Trisha could not look away from her patient. “No man left behind.” He murmured softly. “Not even me.”




Hanjialin Bao


China has a huge storage of mythology which provides artists with a great place to grow. GUI is my own myth world created through my pursuit of a deeper and wider understanding of traditional Chinese legends and customs, and my attempt to make traditional Chinese mythology more accessible and entertaining for people of various cultures. GUI is based on the old eastern world in a similar manner as the traditional environment and culture that I was born and raised in. GUI is a story of the intertwined lives of people with diverse backgrounds and belief systems. It is also the story of my journey as a student studying overseas, learning and communicating with different cultures and perspectives. On one hand, this work is to tell the experiences of Zi Qing, Yan Zi, and Si Ying as they search for their identities and sense of belonging in a highly diverse, chaotic, and ancient universe, regardless of them being a ghost, a devil, and a human. On the other hand, this work is to tell my own experiences, understanding, and feelings of integrating into current American society today. I like to daydream and in my dreams there are all kinds of characters with different stories, and I have always wanted to find a way to tell their stories. I am grateful for the MFA program for giving me the opportunity.


(Panels read right to left.)


Where and how did the inspiration for "Gui" come about?

I started this story a pretty long time ago. This is my habit—I like to think about stories in my mind; they live in my imagination. There are always little stories here and there. When I was doing this project, I thought that this was a good chance for me to write all the stories in my mind down so I could have them in one place, if I ever forgot them in the future. That was the beginning. I like to play movies in my head, thinking about different characters and different stories. This is a chance for me to write everything down if I ever forget. Gui, translated in Chinese, means “ghost." It is a monster-ghost story. In Chinese, there’s a topic called ying and yang. Yang is about living things; yin is about demons and ghosts living underground, which sets up the whole background of the story. There is a place where they can live together, which is where the story takes place. There is a Chinese Maoshan Taoist belief, where people believe in magic for longevity. Those who don’t want to die will use magic to keep themselves living for longer. The fourteen pages are the very beginning of the story, which I was using to introduce to the reader or publisher. This is a quick capture of the story.

Gui is a ghost story based on traditional Chinese myths and legends. The story is centered on the journey of several young people. The main characters are called Zi Qing, Yan Zi, and Si Ying who find their identity, belongings, and loves in a classic world including humans, ghosts, and devils. There are myths borrowed from street legends and traditional Chinese novels. I would bring these ghosts and characters to my story. In the story, there are two worlds, yin and yang. In the world of the living is the yang space. The world of the afterlife is the yin space. Originally, yin and yang do not interfere with each other. In order to change their fate, people in the yang space begin to practice Taoist magic (the belief I just mentioned). Using this magic, they can maintain magic over spirits and ghosts which gradually blurs the boundary between yin and yang. Ghosts and devils start to hide in the yang space and harm the world. For the story, there is a ghost town built in the north of the yang space, where the boundary between yin and yang is the most blurred. The ghost town was one of the places allowing living people and ghosts to co-exist. Our story takes place in two main places. One is where all captured ghosts are kept and sent back to the yin space. In addition, there are dead people who cannot move onto the afterlife and are stuck in the yang space. Another place is a hotel, which ghosts can live in temporarily before finding their way home. It is also an entertainment spot for officials in the yin space.




What are your aspirations for this project?

It should have become a book for the semester but because I couldn’t use class materials, it was all online. Half of it should be in comic frames with illustrations in the middle, so if you’re reading the comic you can take a break with the illustrations. Xiao Qing is a human from a large family who is able to take control of this mountain Taoist magic. His father is dead and his family breaks down. This situation becomes hard and they became poor. Zi Qing is young and naive, while his mother wishes for a past time when her husband was still in good health. She still dreams that her family will be well again and is stuck in this mental issue—if her husband weren’t dead, then the situation wouldn’t be this way. She’s still stuck in her dreams and imagination. That’s what I should work on more. When I was making this story, I forgot that there will be many people who don’t understand Chinese culture so I need to add more details. For this setting, Zi Qing is the main character. He has the Mao Mountain Taoist magic family background, so his family used to interact with ghosts and demons. There is a tradition in China where people who are dead, their families offer food, clothing, and money to their graves to bring to the ying space. They believe that their family who have passed away and living in the underworld can receive those clothes and money; yang space people can bring this to them. They believe the family who has passed away can still receive these things. If yang people eat the same foods, then they can begin to see those in the ying space—the demons and ghosts, which is what is happening to Zi Qing here.

There are moments where your love of fashion shines through. How does fashion play a role in "Gui"?

I love to draw details. I think the timing of the setting is in various dynasties of China. There are different time periods and I was selecting a specific one—there’s an old Hong Kong movie that includes similar dialogues and clothes from this time period. These clothes follow that time period. I was including traditional elements from Peking opera. I was taking lots of notes from their headdresses and makeup and clothing details; the ways that I designed characters were inspired from the theater. For example, the character from the Yang government is directly taken from Peking opera. I’ve never seen these in person, but often on television.



Tell us more about the themes present in "Gui."

I like including political themes in the story, as well as friendships between characters. The ying and yang officials discuss how they don’t trust each other because the ying space wishes to interfere the yang space to take control and assert dominance. There are people who wish to live longer and borrow magic from the ying space, focusing on dark magic. You can imagine ying and yang as two countries who wish to take control over each other. They are individual, but there is business underground that makes the boundaries unclear.

You've created an incredible universe unto itself. Where did the inspiration come from?

For the story itself…it’s not my own experience but what I feel and what I think. After I came to America, there was a lot of culture shock and cultural difference. There were people who wanted to take control of each other, that’s like where the story I was thinking about. And why a ghost story, I used to read a lot of myths and ghost stories because I’m so fascinated by these things. I like to watch old Hong Kong movies that feature the Mao Mountain Taoist magic, which is a real thing in China that allows you live longer and hunt demons. I really liked this idea and was reading a lot of traditional Chinese novels. It would be a good idea to put all my thoughts and feelings about society today into an unreal world to tell a real story. I like to explain my feelings and explore my fascination with ghosts and monsters together.


In what ways is this story a reflection of you?

I think there are a lot of thoughts that changed me after I came to America. I feel like China is traditional. My thoughts and beliefs really changed after I came to America. After I saw so many people have different thoughts, like there will be something that I had not really thought about before and when I came here, maybe it was because the environment was changing and it really opened my eyes. In Gui, I was thinking about humans and ghosts as that difference. They interfere with each other —we have different backgrounds and identities but we still communicate with each other. Before our thoughts and beliefs are different (or even again each other) but after the story unfolds we find our way. For me, I am a person from another place. America is a new place for me. I think I actually don’t belong here. I’m from China. From the beginning to the end, I think I am always on the outside. It’s a story for me to find who I am and my identity in a place where I don’t truly belong but still live in. It allows me to find my belonging and what role I’m playing in a place that is not my own. Select panels from GUI

Transcribed by Vivian Chang




Those of Us


BFA Printmaking

Dominick Williams


Institutional Critique no.1 (2021) How is property defined? Who delegates ownership of land and property? How is vandalism defined? Institutional Critique no. 1, 2021, is an installation that problematizes the position of the art student attending California State University, Long Beach within the context of Puvungna. Institutional Critique no. 1 began from a critique session. A sculpture was used to write on the gallery walls, a prohibited action due to the wall restoration process after exhibitions. I was reminded of the construction dirt dumped onto the sacred site in 2020. Puvungna is the twenty-two-acre plot of land on the west side of campus that extends underneath the rest of the campus. It is a sacred site to the Tongva and Acjachemen nations, the indigenous peoples of the Los Angeles County and Orange County regions. The institution’s vandalization of Puvungna contradicts the University’s concern for preserving gallery appearances and campus property. Yet, this conflict unfolds upon sacred land. Institutional Critique no. 1 does not provide a solution but comparatively observes two decisions made by California State University, Long Beach. The presented critique relates to similar critiques of ‘the white cube’ and institutions in North America as a whole. Photos by Tran Lam (@yellalamb)

BFA Sculpture '21






BA Studio Art '22







Meredith Freeman I've always been interested in drawing people, drawing animals, drawing nature. I think it's being human, we're part of nature. It's always been a fascination of mine. I like to be outdoors—we especially were encouraged to go outside and play. That's always been a piece of me. I consider myself as a draughtswoman first off, and then painter after. Drawing is something that's so near and dear to me, the rendering and the process of doing so is very significant. Going off of nature, color interaction, textures, all those different things, I feel most connected as an artist drawing and painting. It always goes back to that.


IN CONVERSATION: MFA Drawing & Painting



Have you had any notable encounters with nature that have influenced your work in particular? So traveling and my hikes: it all interacts. I've been fortunate enough to travel to different countries and locations and much of those trips are, literally the mission is we're going to travel, so we're hiking and we're out in nature. One of the most significant trips was going to Borneo. My friend and I were in the rainforest there, and for five days we were on a riverboat traveling around seeing the orangutans. Like I said, it's a deep connection and my work right now is talking about the climate crisis. This semester, specifically, my work is more experimental, playing around with textures, colors, reinventing my process. Ultimately, my goal is to always show nature and its reverence and play around with this micro-macrocosm, cosmology discussion. Everything to me is this above-below thing— we're a part of that, and we do have this power. For years I fought that idea that humanity is better than everybody, but we do have this consciousness. The idea that we're not tapping into and taking advantage of the fact that we have these brains, like what indigenous people do in incorporating nature and how as we've modernized, we've completely disconnected from that. Many of us are doing it, but I feel like now more than ever, artists need to be speaking to that because so many of our issues are rooted in the fact that we don't even treat the land properly. This is our home and we're trashing it. What are the implications culturally, socially, globally, you know?

Waldeinsamkeit Marker, watercolor, and gouache on watercolor paper 10.5" x 15" 2020

How do you fulfill your environmentalist awareness in your actual art-making process? This semester specifically, a lot of the works are actually collage work that I've worked on in the past. So, failed attempts at art from my undergrad experience. I had certain things that, at the time, didn't work out and I didn't throw them out. I looked at them distressed and frustrated, and finally I thought, well, this isn't a complete failure, it's just the way I had it rendered was a failure. So, I'm working on adding in these collage pieces and basically recycling my own work. Because what's the purpose of hanging onto these things if they can be reused? I'm working on including credit cards and plastic in my work. A lot of people, especially with COVID, have considered like, I'm outputting all this stuff and all this stuff is collecting and, where is this going to be collecting? So the idea that anything and everything could be used as source material. I've been looking into using natural pigments from flowers instead of buying more paints —sourcing from nature itself, and the things that we consider garbage and waste, what piece of artwork could that be included in? At least art-wise, that’s how I'm trying to be a little bit more eco-friendly. In my day-today, it's one of those things where my pitch is always that everyone can do better and try to reduce their carbon footprint. But, that's not me saying, I'm, you know, doing it perfectly either.

Aquatic Mycology Gouache, white charcoal, white gel pen, conte, and collaged drawing on black gessoed watercolor paper 22.5" x 30" 2021


As one person, you can only do and know so much. Right, we're all learning and it's trial and error and we're all, unfortunately, the guinea pigs of this. At least trying to be openminded and learn as new information comes. We could be including different things in our daily activities to be more mindful. That's again, very gentle. All I'm looking for is trying to spread that kind of gentle word and not, you know, be so aggressive because personally, anger, rage and aggression are necessary things, but they could be used constructively. We can use it towards a good cause, not lashing out at people or things that we're angry about. Put it towards a better cause you know? So for the one piece, years ago, I mean, I had some kind of connection to it, but I was so frustrated by it and at one point I didn't want anything to do with it. But I think we overlook ourselves. We think something's awful, but someone else might say there's something to that. For me, it’s to look back and say there are things that I didn't like that I did. There are things that I could have done better, but it's giving me the chance to come back to it and heal that. It's this whole conversation I'm even having with myself where this imperfection that we have is still some valuable thing. Would you say it's a reflective process as well? Definitely, art for me is very cathartic. There are certain artists that argue it can't be therapy, you can't be this or that way, but if I'm mad and start making brush strokes, it is cathartic. I can be really frustrated, crying through the process of an artwork, that's totally a normal thing for me.


Is "Sunshine Ripple Daydream" a Grateful Dead reference? According to your artist's statement, you incorporate psychedelics into your work. What about the aesthetic culture of psychedelia that fascinates you? Very much, yes. There are two different songs that are incorporated in that [Sunshine Ripple Daydream]. Definitely. I think it's this spiritual,'s a piece of what's happening here, but it's not, obviously, our concrete reality that we see on a day-to-day basis. I feel psychedelics bring the conscious closer to nature. They're these different things that are bringing you outside of the normal, but, reality is you're seeing things in a different light and maybe in a better light. So, the colors and the different motifs and symbolism, I'm drawn to that type of thing. There's definitely a spirituality to my work. Those things for me are synonymous.


You examine certain species that are currently fighting to survive. What sources do you consult for research? How do you decide which species to incorporate in your work? It's a combination of my own experiences being out in nature, seeing certain animals or plant life and just looking at them themselves, being fascinated by the shapes, the colors. I'm attached to nature; these things are already visually interesting to me. Some of my older work before I came to CSULB, I would decide, I've never seen anything about snails and slugs. I researched and it's, just that, for example, it's crazy how much there is to those creatures, but there isn't enough research because they're so hard to find and research to begin with. Due to the climate crisis, reef specialists don't even know if certain species exist or not, because they're so elusive and they might not exist anymore. We're talking about thousands of different types of snails and slugs that we don't even know about, or we might not ever know about because of what's going on. They're such an integral part to the whole ecosystem and again, they're just so small. So, things like that interest me. Then for another project I had interest in bats. I was looking around North America and researching what species were endangered, threatened, or critically endangered. Reading up on why it's happening, and so many different issues going on really comes down to the fact that it's habitat loss. It's something in the food chain that is getting messed around with so something below the bat or above the bat is of issue. That's why their numbers are dwindling. So, research is an integral part of my work. With Sunshine Ripple Daydream, Sunshine Ripple Daydream Watercolor, gouache, and ShinHan poster paint on watercolor paper 12" x 12" 2020

for example, that one was very specific. There's this sun in the middle that goes out to the mushrooms and then you have all these other little creatures. I wanted to make the point that, as big or small as these things are, the sun is just as important to us as the bees are as important to us and the mushrooms are important to us. That was a culmination of when I was doing the research on endangered species where it's like, this all matters, you know?

Where is your refuge in nature? Probably out in the woods somewhere with a waterfall. I'm from Connecticut. Like I said, I've been lucky enough to travel, I've gotten to go to the desert. I've been to multiple beaches, dry lands, wetlands, all sorts of different places. But there's something about it, and much to my chagrin, because I love and hate Connecticut, it's a weird relationship that I have here. But, there's something about being with the moss and the lichen and being out in the woods with all the little vermin out there and all the different birds and creatures. I guess for other people who are not familiar, it's interesting, but for me it's so mundane. It's like, I'm used to these guys, I'm used to these birds, I'm used to these frogs that I'm seeing, but, there is something about being out in the green and being near water and that whole balance that's just, yeah, that's definitely a refuge for me. Being outside in general, I guess my go-to are Connecticut woods for sure



You've written about the human interaction being incorporated into your work, human culture, and seeing nature as a source of wisdom, where does humanity come into play for you? Right now I'm in a place of frustration because I'm seeing that we're not connected. I am hopeful and I feel as though everyone needs to be in order for things to progress, because without hope, there's no reason to go forward. And there is always that light at the end of the tunnel per se. As much as things look bleak, there is always some kind of moment of good. I am still struggling to figure out where humanity fits into my work, personally, given all that back thought. Right now I still am like, you know, I don't want to be one of those people that's like anticapitalism, but it is very upsetting and concerning the fact that we are so fixated on beauty products, we're so concerned about having the best, next thing. If we don't like this piece of furniture after a year, we get a new one, like with clothing, fast fashion, all this fast consumerism where there's so much flipping around and all this buildup. That's extremely concerning and very frustrating to me. Again, these are things that I grapple with myself and at some point I would love to convey the severity of that. We can do it being more gentle with nature. There's no reason that we should have clothes that we wear once or twice and then that's the end of it, you know? It's absolutely valid to be that person who criticizes capitalism. Right, I mean, when I look at it for what it is, I acknowledge that there's this incompleteness with ourselves.

Maybe this is my personal spiel, but we feel incomplete. We're worried about what we look like and we're worried about being up and coming, and not that those things are issues, but it's misguided. We could be up and coming, but it doesn't have to be like, oh, I have the best this and I have the best that, and I have these things and, you know, technology too. The issue is, as we have all these things, and they have to pull from somewhere. People lack that idea. This thing has to come from something, so like when we're getting our beauty products, it's palm oil that's coming from Indonesia and it's not being sourced properly. When we're talking about the next up-and-coming piece of technology, in the Amazon, they're pulling up gold and metals from the forest, things like that. Going into the whole farming agriculture is a whole other monster. It's just these different things where not everybody has to be a vegetarian or vegan, but we don't have to be eating three meals a day of meat. Where are we pulling that from? Where is the source? So, these are the thoughts that run through my head daily. It's stressful and it's not a good way to live. But in a way it's a necessary evil and I feel like there is a way to mitigate all of this. As I'm taking the steps to like make the changes in my life, I'm hoping like there's a way that I can relay that in my work. What is the importance of fish in your visual language? I have certain motifs that just constantly appear. So like mushrooms, bugs, the koi fish. I don't know how to explain it. I'm not sure why I have such a draw, I've been to different koi ponds and there's just something so relaxing about those areas. Orchid Wisdom Gel pen, gesso, collaged gouache painting, Yupo and Bristol papers, watercolor paper 22.5" x 30" 2021



Terra Aquarium Gouache, white charcoal, white gel pen, conte, and collaged drawing on black gessoed watercolor paper 30" x 22.5" 2021


It's fascinating to me how big they can get and how beautiful their patterning is. I'm obsessed with patterns and colors and those guys pull it in for me, you know? I think you're talking about Gentle Movements, that piece has that feeling of ebbing and flow, that come-and-go type of feeling. They are graceful but sturdy at the same time. I love those kinds of plays of that gentle strength, or the grace those fish have. A lot of my material and a lot of my references are based on that. They just do something for me, you know? And I have to render you. I have to get this out, this expression of what that creature makes me feel. It's funny, the Aquatic Mycology and Terra Aquarium and actually Gentle Movements too, but those three, I just recently lost my Nana and those were the response. Before that I was doing different stuff and then all of a sudden, it was in that moment of time where I was looking at that drawing, because those three specifically have the failed drawing in them, like very heavily. So those goldfish, the kois, you see the lady on one side, she was eventually "mushroom lady" in another one. That's when that kind of came about. That was a very transformative moment for me where I was thinking, like past/present type of issues and that's where a lot of my collaging has kind of taken off since.

Transcribed by Armando Navas

That's beautiful, and so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing that with us. Tell us about "Waldeinsamkeit." Yeah, that's another one that I love too. That’s like this forest talking to you. It's the feeling one has while being alone in the woods, usually a sublime or spiritual one. Because with German, a lot of the translations, the word-to-word translations get lost, but it's this idea of having solitude in the forest. It's a part of the whole idea of that romantic movement that was happening in Germany, the literary movement, that idealized emotion, nature, individualism and the imagination, and just celebrating the quiet serenity of being in the woods, being a part of like what we are. How crazy is that? It’s another one that I resonate with.


Gentle Movements Mixed media and collage on Bristol 17" x 14" 2021

Perspectives on Art History

Finding Vivian Maier: Nearly everyone who comes into contact with Vivian Maier’s photographs expresses awe and admiration for her ability to capture the vitality of life. Yet, official art institutions and curators remained hesitant in recognizing and exhibiting her work. Though Maier created a plethora of photographs, regarded by many as truly great, there is a sense that the general art establishment does not welcome her. This lack of acceptance came from the dissonance between Maier’s identity and societal conceptions of the word “artist,” as well as her own elusiveness in life and death. The way most people define a “true” artist may be rather rigid, wherein an artist is an artist and nothing else. Through this perspective, artists are fervently devoted to their craft and will stop at nothing to create and share their work with the rest of the world. Thus, Vivian Maier and her legacy contest the limits of artistry. She intensely valued her privacy and made only minimal plans to publish a part of her work. Although her employers and the children she spent so much time with constantly saw her snapping photos with her Rolleiflex, she chose not to share the actual photographs with them. Art institutions may see this reticence as highly unusual and at odds with what artists are “supposed” to do. She never fully published or disclosed her abundance of work, so therefore she did not consider herself a true artist and neither should they. Of course, this viewpoint ignores the sheer number of photographs she produced and the acknowledged skill and talent with which they were made. No person creates that carefully and that profusely without having a fierce passion for it.


The discourse surrounding Vivian Maier nearly always involves the apparent discrepancy between her lengthy career as a nanny and her role as a photographer. In the film, Finding Vivian Maier, John Maloof recounts his intense shock upon finding out Maier mainly worked as a nanny.¹ Even after carefully collecting, observing, and preserving her photographs, Maloof initially could not reconcile the image of Maier he had built up in his head with her actual self. This sentiment was shared by many others when informed of Maier’s profession and vice versa, with the presently grown-up children she looked after who learned of her prolific and skilled photography. Before being informed otherwise, the people who viewed Maier as occupying one position—either nanny or photographer—did not consider the fact that she could have been anything else.

BA Art History '21


A Clash of Identities This domestic nature of her profession was likely what threw so many people off, and what further prevented the established art canon from fully accepting her. Society generally overlooks and undervalues traditionally female-dominated spaces, especially domestic service positions. In Maier’s case, she devoted most of her life to taking care of homes and children which did not belong to her. She was simultaneously an integral part of a family and a mysterious outsider; she was constantly on the outskirts and also a key player; she was perfectly invisible. Art institutions regarded Maier as beneath the consideration of artists and art historians since for the most part, she did not do much of note. She was “only a nanny,” and her copious collections and creations of photographs did nothing to change that. Along with the difficulty of fitting Maier into a box of either artist or nanny, the failure to recognize her also stems from the lack of agency she has in the display and circulation of her own work. Maier’s photographs were discovered by Maloof, another party unknown to her, and published posthumously without her knowledge. Therefore, curators and art institutions possibly do not wish to support someone in the canon when she herself had no say in the presentation of her photographs. Consideringher notorious desire for privacy and reclusiveness, it would not be difficult to argue that Maier would not want to have her photographs distributed so widely and her name so well known. Artists have achieved fame posthumously before, but in their cases, it is accepted that they created deliberately and wished for success as artists. For Vivian Maier, her intentions and desires are as much of a mystery as she is. Vivian Maier was a complicated woman who created great things, yet lacked recognition from those in official positions. Most institutions fail to accept Maier due to the conflicts within her own identity and role as an artist. Theoretically, the canon of art should be flexible and welcoming to newcomers and new generations, but the case of Vivan Maier showcases the continuous and perplexing nature of artists and their work.


Taken at the "Finding Vivian Maier: Chicago Street Photographer" exhibition in Chicago January 2011 © ChicagoGeek / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0

Jennifer Ly


nicolaalee Pillow Project (2020) Student homelessness across public universities remains largely undocumented. After discussing the issue of student homelessness with several departments at California State University in Long Beach, the issue of student homelessness remains undocumented. The issue of homelessness isn’t exclusive to students attending Cal State Long Beach, but any person or persons sleeping on the campus. Often unhoused persons must vacate a space and premises before business hours for fear of being harassed by others such as the police. Pillow Project aims to make visible the homeless epidemic of California by holding space for such individuals absent of the body. I am led to explore how desensitized we are as a California State University community and bring light to this epidemic. Pillow Project is a site specific installation installed at the end of the breezeway by the College of Art galleries walkway between FA-3 and FA-2, and outside in the Merlino Gallery piazza. There are two sculpture installations. The first sculpture is one hundred and fifty pounds: a concrete pillow placed awkwardly in the middle of the walkway corridor connecting the two buildings, facing the lawn. The second sculpture is made from fabric coated with fiberglass and is installed by the walkway outside of the Merlino Gallery.



California State University, Long Beach and Long Beach are on the sacred site, Puvungna. We acknowledge that we are on the land of the Tongva/Gabrieleño and the Acjachemen /Juaneño Nations who have lived here and continue to live here. We recognize the Tongva and Acjachemen Nations and their spiritual connection to the ocean and land as the first stewards and the traditional caretakers of this land. We thank them for their strength, perseverance, and resistance. ———

You work in many mediums. How did you come into sculpture? When did your concepts begin to demand that you move into multimedia performance? Yes, I work in a lot of mediums. Also, thank you guys for being here. This is awesome! I feel like this is a space of creativity and learning, so, you know, jump in and correct me if I get some history wrong, please, I’m learning. But, I would say, I first performed in 2013 maybe, it was an Art History class and instead of writing about something, a group chose to make a video and I acted the part of the artist, Orlan, where she was getting one of her makeovers in one of her surgery practices. I was the subject, and my face was being recorded like it was being operated on. That was probably the first art piece that I did in a group, as a performance, as an artist, not as a performing artist in the theatrical sense, so, I don't know, it just felt, it didn't feel like I was acting and just felt like it was reenacting. And then the next performance I did was at CSULB, because I felt like the work or the situation as it presented itself with American Monument required it, and that was an interventionist response. I used to love ceramics, so I started with ceramics and I just got into, like, being obsessed with playing in the dirt and other things.

And then that led to other things. And then I went to [a University] and started with more conceptual work, whereas at [a previous college] I was introduced to a more formalabstract, nonrepresentational type of work.

You've mentioned that when you first came to Long Beach, you weren't as explicit with your criticism but you've come into that more with time. Yeah, I mean, I always had varying ideas of Pan-Africanism and Afro-Pessimism and other Post-Structuralist theories, but I've never really put them into work, but most of my stuff that I haven't documented yet, which I will, I think this summer. I would always be encouraged to bring in the politics, but I didn't see my work as being political, because it was like fingerprints and birth and other ideas, or my work would be on black paper or something, or it will be out of a black and white palette. When you think about it, the artist's identity, how much of that is required and is that necessary for the work to be read? I don't know, I think that's an ongoing question.

Pillow Project Concrete; fabric, fiberglass, and foam 28" x 20" x 8" (approx.) 2019


The importance of privacy should not be an argument anymore, but as a political artist, that's hard to maintain. As an artist who targets conservative and liberal politics and their social outcomes (specifically within Pillow Project), you initiated conversations about student homelessness across campus. What was the response? So a lot of the conversations I started were to ask for statistics and to ask about resources. I was told about the food dispensary program. And then there are the ASI resources and of course the Police Department. No one had documentation of how many homeless persons were on campus. And I found it, like, amazing, how could you not have that information? Or is it just that the information is not available to the public? So basically, from what I understand, they help you find housing for a couple of months until some other type of programming comes through. But, you know, this all began from an inquiry from the director of the College of Art about the status of my residence. And so, I found it interesting that I would be sequestered to someone's office and asked about the status of my residence. And none of the questions I asked about facilities and access seemed to be valid, but to ask about my status was. All of that was surrounding studios and relocation, and these types of things, so it was just interesting timing after complaints of studio situations, leaking and mold or whatever. So it was very auspicious, and I decided to think about the situation, process it, and have a visual conversation. And so after I did the piece, it had its own outdoor show, so it's an interventionist piece for the art galleries, and it was fully permitted.

It took about a month to get there, and then less than twenty four hours after it was installed, it got run over by some vehicle. In the process of installation, I asked if its location was a pedestrian walkway and I was told it is, and that the pathway is not made for carts. So, I mean, I don't know. After all of that, their negligence points to their insensitivity. But that was a part of Craig Stone's class, by the way. Art in Public Spaces (ART440), right? This de-sensitivity must be central to the work, then. Yeah, as an institution, you are trying to appear sensitive, in other cases diverse, but I feel that it's not systemic but on a dermal level. So that's why I feel like the more I understand the undercommons, the more I am totally aligning with the idea of tearing it all down and starting over, because there's really no way to decolonize or unlearn how generations have worked. So what would there be if there is no capitalism? This is one of the things I'm trying to figure out in my paper. Without capitalism, is there racism?


In Pillow Project and in another work of yours, Ubantu, you're entering with this type of immediate solidarity. As you said, you took time to make something thoughtful of an experience. Could you tell us about Ubantu? This is a very specific way to continue your critical work. Yeah, I'd love to. It was a proposal for this spring that we have decided to postpone until next November. The plan is for the 16th of November through the day before Thanksgiving, which is Hunger and Homeless Week, nationally. I'm trying to coordinate the opening for the installation so it recognizes that week nationally and so we can have a congregation. I'm trying to figure out if having a discussion of the undercommons would be appropriate as well.¹ It's the perfect setting for that. Ubantu relates to food security as well, not just housing and the economy. Yes, definitely. I mean, food insecurity, I think, and just poverty in general, but Ubantu is an Indigenous African philosophy from the Zulu people as well, a lot of different peoples on the continent of Africa practice this type of ideology where you live for your sister, so to speak, and I think that’s the phrase that I have on the proposal, so the words that make it more of a classical time-appropriate sculpture and a transcending sculpture are, “I am because of you,” and that would just be repeated all over the pillow sculpture. It's going to be cast iron. And so we're pointing back to incarceration, poverty and slavery and these types of ideas. But I feel that it's, you know, a desire to have materials oscillate at a different vibration. And I think that comes when you're intent and your desire and your goal align with the work and the work's intention, but that's what I'd like to think. For Ubantu, it's really about trying to be more ontologically, or to look in a more allencompassing––it's hard to say universal because it's so co-opted––so in a more multifaceted, multidimensional type of way, and I feel like once that continues to align, then there won't be these different things to distract us. Like these different causes, because they feel the causes, even though they're very important, they're aimed at distracting. They’re aimed at dividing, instead of uniting and resolving. So even though there's a lot of pain and there's a lot of ignorance or naiveté, I think there's still room for transformation. And so I think that is what I want to tap into going forward. Because working with the Pillow Project or homefulness or unhoused, it is, I think lauren [woods] said the work that she was dealing with, like getting public records for her American Monument and listening to the transcribed words of people just as they're about to die, it's rough work, it takes a lot out of a person. And I can't even imagine what listening to more than one of those things can do to a person. So, I mean, one never leaves you, much less, twenty-five or more. So being able to just sit with material or space or an idea and work through it, I think is important. In this case at the University, with Pillow Project and soon Ubantu, your work must resonate with a lot of students—and then, of course, they are probably incompletely understood by many too. I'd like to see them as a place for the undercommons, or then, the future of the undercommons is the proposal of the gathering or the Freedom of Speech Wall performance, or bringing more social reproductive aspect to the work.

1. Stefano Harney and Fred Moten. The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning & Black Study. New York: Minor Compositions, 2013).


So after I installed [Pillow Project] and it got run over, no one took ownership of this incident and what happened. Another day went by and I just thought it was odd that no one is inquiring or there are no whispers going on and so, by the third day, I was just, I wrote the professor and I said, I'm going to file a police report. I told my chair and I had an interview the day before, though, so two days after the incident, twenty-four hours after the pillow got crushed, I had an interview and the interview was set up for a week prior, so basically, you were supposed to be interviewing about a regular unbroken sculpture. At this point, it's broken, so the story changes. The interview goes with the piece as a part of the class and it was submitted but did not get printed. But I feel like anything that's negatively portraying the University is, one, a liability and it's a no-no, because it's an organization and an organization has to follow guidelines and policies. And so when you're dealing with these types of things, it's like a large octopus, how I like to think of it, that has its many arms and, you know, no one arm can really affect the whole. Interventions are the only way that you can cause this disruption, so to speak, or cause a response to some kind of shortage or inadequacy. So the pillow, much like the performance of Freedom of Speech, which is part of the Ubantu exhibit, were both interventions. One at the University museum and the other at the College of Art Galleries, to make a statement that there's something wrong here, and for you to rethink—or I think the way lauren [woods] puts it is—free to reconcile or come to some kind of mediated conclusion. But the fiberglass piece was also closed, the final decision for the fiberglass piece outside was to close the show while it was still open, so seventytwo hours after it opened until the closing of the show, there was a “closed” cone. I find it interesting that I was told if the “closed” cones leave, then the objects have to be removed. So it was like, I mean, I think it's an interesting proposal, so we remove the sculpture, but we leave the cone. And I can draw a pillow around the cone, I mean, I don't know. But as for why white chalk? So initially all of these were fiberglass objects, fiberglass because it's a great way to create an impromptu cast, and by impromptu I mean a cast that needs to be captured quickly because you're dealing with material that's moving, and concrete because there's a materiality, like, relational aesthetics going on, in terms of sleeping on concrete and being an object made of one-hundredfifty pounds, that’s sleeping on concrete that kind of hold space for a human. And what I like about the fiberglass is that it kind of, well it fetishizes the object, it makes the object grotesque in another way, by it’s urine-looking color and it just seems a bit like either saliva or bodily fluids. So that was more along the lines of materials that would kind of generate this stain, like you see on the sidewalk, from bodily fluids.

What texts and moments have influenced your work? The body of knowledge I’m looking at, the way I’m thinking about my work and others’ work, there's been a shift, I would say during Covid, Covid brought it all to the surface—maybe that's because of the world of turmoil that happened after George Floyd died. And so the context of how I'm looking at the work changes and I'm better at understanding the conversations that I'm trying to have. As an artist, you make the work and at the time, even though you have an intention for the work like Ubantu, you never really understand the philosophy that the work presents until after the work is made.


Because it kind of does its own thing, right, it wasn't organized to be in more than one piece, but now the work points in a more institutional critique aspect than before, so that kind of takes over the conversation. I'm reading a lot of abolitionist history and geography like Ruth Wilson, and Forrest Stuart and Cedric Robinson, and so I feel like there's always this conversation that's going on in my work even before, like On Skid Row, that, it's always about poverty or class, always mixing between these two things.

Pillow Project then seems to enter a conversation with another work of yours, On Skid Row. Yeah. It's funny because with that show, I just did one on campus where I installed the pieces and kind of invited the audience to engage or activate it, and I'm installing it in another show and so I'm wondering, I'm going to have a video of Skid Row area and the objects at this time and it changes when it goes inside a gallery, these objects, because it's, it's just not the same conversation when they're placed inside that cube. Your work is also so beautiful. The concept is there and it takes precedence, but your work is just stunning, too. So you do both, and together they're one. That's great. That's awesome to hear. That means the world to me. I would say the concept is always more important, and then I think the beauty is always apparent. For me, it's always, I think I'm just laying it bare to be its most vulnerable, like I want to strip it down to its potency and just leave it to be contemplated.

How much is your hand involved? So the one that I'm doing now, it's a 3D scan of the Pillow Project object, and then I'm sculpting and removing from it to create the words. So the fiberglass one is the master object and with the materials, there's an issue about this whole project. I wanted the piece to be made of materials that were accessible to someone who, let's say, for example, is unhoused. So if there was a construction site and concrete was there, then a concrete pillow could have somehow, partially or somewhat gotten relieved, or made, or something. Fiberglass is an accessible industrial material if you're around shipyards or auto parts. So I didn't want to use lavish materials to have this discussion about poverty and these types of issues, disenfranchisement. So that was one of the big factors in choosing these materials and going about it in this way. So I feel like when you're talking about such significant topics that are current to our socio-political lives, it's important to not be frivolous with materials. And so it's not really specifically about the history of the material or the absolute base necessary for creating the work, which in this case was fiberglass because it was quick setting, fast, cheap, and it did not add more weight to the mold. So there's like all of these things going on while I'm trying to make something that probably doesn't need to be finished, or the finish is the piece.


There's so much thought in every aspect. Yeah, I’m always balancing, what does the audience need to know, is there too much? Is it too didactic? Right now, I'm asking, where's the undercommons? So it's always something that's going through my head. So where's the undercommons, where I feel I am, there's an undercommons. And where is it for you? It's interesting. Maybe walk more lightly, just, again, live for your sister.

Transcribed by Lauren Schechter


BFA Pre-Production '21









Bobi Bosson My work explores the role of mother from a deeply intimate place. Environmental forces, semiotics of my cultural ancestry and those of my child’s, as well as my personal maternal influences are all reflected within the pieces. I am interested in the transformative change that is “Mother” and the societal stigmas surrounding this. Additionally, I explore the connection and environmental footprint humans have with Mother Earth and the process and responsibility of guiding offspring.


Why do you gravitate toward relief printmaking


Yeah, I’m actually working on a wood block right now. I come from a sculpture background, so I'm interested in it because the whole process of carving the image into the block is very tactile and hands-on, and it has the same essence that I would have when I’m sculpting with tools. So that makes me gravitate to it. With any block you always start with a drawing though, so my illustration background comes into play as well. The beautiful thing about printmaking is that it encompasses all the media that I like to work with. I was looking for a program that would allow me to expand through different

mediums and not refine me to one category or one kind of area. But with printmaking, it’s a labor of love because there are so many steps to it—same with screen-printing. So you know, it's all the prep work that goes into the finished piece, that’s why when you have this little piece of paper, this archival print, it’s like a trophy of all your work, so it’s really rewarding. And I mean, I’m sure you can tell from my Instagram, it’s referred to as the "democratic art," so I like that it’s something that can be produced in larger quantities and dispersed more economically.


The Prize (triptych) Linocut print, Penscore stamp, spraypaint on paper 20" x 16", 16" x 20", 20" x 16" 2021

A printer's largest edition is something she wants to get out there. What was your largest project?

It was probably a screenprint I did in undergrad. It was, yes, so after the 2016 election, I participated in the pride march down in West Hollywood and it ended up—I was going for the parade, but it ended up becoming a resist march. It was the most beautiful fellowship I’ve ever been apart of, and it was kind of an accidental thing but the community, I mean droves and droves of people were there, and there was glitter everywhere, and there was just happiness everywhere, but people were very serious and marching against

this fascist mindset that we knew was coming on the horizon, but there were all these stickers, “I resist racism,” “I resist xenophobia,” just all these things. So they were everywhere, and I was very inspired by that experience. And I like to make work that highlights the queer community anyway, so it just made sense. So I ended up making this print edition of about thirty-five, for my Let Love In print, but that print was seven layers, so it was a lot.

Have you drawn protest into any of your other work?

Yeah, I did another—I’ve, yeah, a lot. I was in a show in Ventura, it was called The Print Revolution, and we created


protest printwork. So I ordered this life-size Barbie box and I kind of refashioned it like you would see, there’s Downtown LA and Sunset has some of those, you go into these old Hollywood bathrooms, and they’re just completely covered in graffiti and stickers, and it’s a really beautiful abstract scene. So I was really channeling the grunge and the chicness of that kind of underground look. It’s very communicative down there too, so I kind of took that essence of that and screenprinted it and collaged it onto this lifesize Barbie box, and I called it Virago Barbie, which is like viking Barbie. Feminist Barbie. I put it in the show and it ended up becoming a very interactive piece, because people were stepping inside the box and taking selfies and posting on Instagram and it was really fun.

In your artist statement, your work “explores the role of mother from a

deeply intimate place.” How has becoming a mother affected your work?

So when I first got pregnant, the first thing I thought about is wow, how is this gonna shape my work? Am I going to be able to make work? I’m still exploring my new identity. Because you’re holding onto what you were before you were a mother and now that you’re a mother, but being a mother is not all that I am, and I have to remind myself of that, and remind everyone else of that as well. So this experience of postpartum has been really enriching for my work. I am incredibly productive in small amounts of time, when before I had a baby I was the queen of procrastination. I was always pulling the all-nighter the day before. You know, I still do that, but at least I have a lot more work to show for it. But I feel

a lot freer and I’m trusting my intuition more, I’m not overanalyzing my work as much as I used to so I think that it’s just made me a better artist.

The brand Lansinoh is incorporated into work "Chimera." Could you elaborate on that detail?

Totally. So Chimera, I’ll talk about that first. That was a four layer reductive print, and what that is, is where you carve away one color at a time, you create multicolor print out of one block, so you have to kind of, it’s a planning process. Once you carve that second layer, there’s no going back. So with the chimera, a chimera from Greek mythology was this beast, so it was a multitude of different animals, but I kind of took that idea and was relating it more to creatures that are relevant to my work. I’m doing a lot of studies with the honeybee right now and how the honeybees are kind of mothers themselves, highlighting what that role is, so you’ll see reference of the honeybee wings on the chimera. My ancestral heritage is Cherokee Indigenous, so my great-grandmother was full Cherokee, so I’m not connected to the tribe, but I’m trying to embrace some of the customs more and learn more, and so it’s definitely crossing over a little bit in my work, but I was reading an article about animal totems and what different animals signify, and the alligator is an icon of maternity, so I thought that that was relevant. And then the Jellyfish is referred to as “Medusa” in Lithuania, and my husband is Lithuanian, and my child is half Lithuanian, so I thought that that was kind of relevant as well. And then there’s that whole little political undertone of, I read a book from her perspective which uplifts her


and shows that she’s not really the villain. And then I was crossing over the idea of land, air and sea, and mother Earth, and just kind of creating this mythical being that, you know, we’re humans so whenever we think of mythical beings, we put them in somewhat of a human form, and so that’s where you see kind of the figure in it as well. But that was kind of what I was exploring with the chimera and my own take on it.

We spoke about being a mother to a child but you also mention nature. What is the theme of ecology and mother (as in Mother Earth) within your work?

Yes so, I’m environmentally conscious, I feel like we can’t live in society and not be? The way climate change has turned around —and I am by no means perfect, but I’m working every day to become more of an ally to mother Earth versus just taking from her. I was reading the story of The Giving Tree to my son, and it’s such a beautiful tale of a mother in a sense, the tree, and how mothers kind of give everything to their children. I immediately started thinking about the honeybee, and how she gives unselfishly, all of herself to the world. There’s just a lot of crossover to what honeybees, or queen bees, or nurse bees live everyday, and what I’m kind of transitioning through as a new mother. You asked about the Lansinoh breastfeeding bags and job card? In that print, it is a duality between a human mother and a honeybee mother. There’s the honeycomb hive which is very representational, but then I included all these items within the cells of the hive that represent what mothers of bees are and what human mothers are. So the job card, same with the bees, shows that

we’re always working overtime. A mother’s job is never done. Even when the baby is napping, they’re on the clock. I was doing some research on royal jelly, which I related to breast milk. When I was going through lactation classes, the nurses and consultants told me that breast milk is the miracle elixir. There’s a lot of research that’s going into royal jelly, which is a special jelly that the queen and larva eat. There are certain components of royal jelly that attack cancer cells. Unfortunately, it is being harvested for the cosmetic industry, which is really sad, but I was bringing attention to what royal jelly and breastmilk are—if your baby gets hurt they say put breast milk on the wound. And I've tried this. The baby scratched his face and I put breast milk on it, the next day the scratch was gone. I was a pumping machine, the little breast milk bags were in my purse, in my diaper bag, they were kind of all over. There’s a process called chine collé, you can layer in pretty washi paper. For the technique, you ink up your plate, and you put the colored paper in the areas you think you may want to put them on the print with glue, but I did it with these breastmilk bags because I felt like it’s immediately recognizable to anyone who’s ever done breastfeeding.



Mother 2 Linoleum cut and Lansinoh breast milk bags, and spray paint on paper. 22" x 15" 2021


"The Prize" is a gorgeous series. Though different, alongside "Chimera," they

seem to have this really great dynamic with each other.

Thank you, I’m glad that reads. I was really hoping for that. We’re encouraged to be very experimental and just reach outward in different directions, but I still wanted it to be somewhat cohesive and still want there to be a continuous thread through the work. With The Prize, I had a very difficult birth; I was in labor for about five days. I was considered a failed induction because they wanted to induce me because the baby was big (mainly his head was big). They tried four or five different techniques to induce me and I never fully went into labor. They ended up having to break my water manually. It was a very long and painful process—the baby wasn’t in any kind of turmoil but I definitely was. But the nurses kept saying, “Don’t worry, you’re gonna get your prize,” and he was the prize. I was on a Christmas tree of IVs. It was definitely a process. But the nurses kept saying that. So, it definitely resonated with this piece and I started thinking about, especially with the color palette, thinking about flesh tones and your internal organs are different colors. It’s not just all blood, you know? I ended up having a Csection, and I started thinking about what the inside color palette of what he was sitting in might look like. There’s a lot of layering in that print. Obviously, there's a portrait of my son, and the angle, that was the first time I had seen him, so that picture was a drawing I had done from a photo, which was his first photo, but it was the first time I met him. It was really funny, right after my baby shower I all of a sudden started getting these magazines and I didn’t have a subscription to anything. But I don’t know if it’s because I registered at a baby store and they knew this, but I started getting Good Housekeeping, Parenting magazine, and InStyle. And I just finished the book Ninth Street Women by Mary Gabriel, and it’s talking about the first and second-generation Abstract Expressionist movement and there’s a big chunk of that book that just talks about what the “woman” or idea housewife is supposed to be, as said by Life magazine and Time magazine at the time.¹ So I ended up cutting up silhouettes of these fashion models from these magazines and they’re kind of layered into the print too. And it’s kind of commenting on this duality that women have and my identity that I’m exploring, that I’m not just mother but I’m also supermodel and it was kind of a cliché, but there’s a lot of depth to it as well because it is things that are on your mind. But I just thought it was interesting that they thought I needed Good Housekeeping, Parenting, and InStyle before I could become a parent. There’s a lot of beauty in that time in my life, but there was also—it was painful and it was hard sometimes. It’s kind of just recalling it all, and just working through the different layers. The Prize has different parts where the focal point is the baby, and then point’s where the focal point is not the baby. I will say that he was the prize, but the print is more about the journey of the mother.

1. Mary Gabriel. Ninth Street Women: Lee Krasner, Elaine De Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Joan Mitchell, and Helen Frankenthaler: Five Painters and the Movement That Changed Modern Art. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2018.

Transcribed by Mary McCord


Chimera Linoleum reduction print on masa paper 22" x 26.5" 2021



A Woven Self Fractured. Daughter, mother, wife, lover. I breathe, I am whole. Still, the well-worn path lies. Should I shatter into these roles? Or weave my soul? Every moment ripples, I know my depth. A pathway layered and dense, with life, with love, and mountains ahead. No fences, between my selves. Just seams. Some tattered, some wide, but I am more than what is seen. We are more than it seems. Daughter, mother, wife, lover. The same breast that feeds, finds pleasure. We are more than parts and roles. Our souls know no measure. Rachel Gunter BA Art History '20


BFA Drawing & Painting '21




Paradigm Failure Ana Berrelleza

Amanda Quinlan MFA Photography

BFA Photography '22 @aaberre 2.

Collages (#1) Digital collage, photography, found photography 8.5" x 11" 2021


Collages (#2) Digital collage, photography, found photography 8.5" x 11" 2021



The Command ‘set’ is not currently available Digital photograph Dimensions unknown 2021


Glitch Path Digital photograph Dimensions unknown 2021


Memory (RAM) Digital photograph Dimensions unknown 2021

Collages (#3) Digital collage, photography, found photography 11" x 8.5" 2021

Taryn McMillen BA Art History '20

Orlando Garcia


BA Studio Art '21 6.

Precipitation 1 Inkjet Print 8" x 10" 2021

NFTs: Changing up Digital Art Editorial 2021

Robert Porte

MFA Printmaking '23 @porte.prints_and_drawings


Precipitation 2 Inkjet Print 8" x 10" 2021


LAX Departures Manipulated Analog Optical Print 11" x 14" 2018


Precipitation 3 Inkjet Print 8" x 10" 2021


Airplane 1 Analog C-Print 11" x 14" 2019


Precipitation 4 Inkjet Print 8" x 10" 2021


XT-2 Gomuban 12" x 12" 2021


Jessica Le

BFA Drawing & Painting '22 @jessicaleart 24.


Halloween Oil on canvas 48" x 60" 2021 Sweeping Gouache, oil pastel, and charcoal on paper 30" x 40" 2021

Natalie Madrigal Art History '21 26.

Thoughts on Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010) Editorial 2021 With acknowledgments to Dr. Robert Pincus


An Inward Manner Clarisse Abelarde

Kio Claudia Villa



BA Studio Art '21 @kiototoy

BFA Drawing & Painting '22 @clartist.a

The theme for this series is to bring light to alternate expressions of love and passion and hopefully dispelling any misconceptions. The issues of identity felt by those in this community. The freedom and serenity felt by a submissive while in bondage. The healing power of having control over another for the dominant. The tenderness and love felt not by two, but by multiple partners at once. And lastly the undercurrent and turmoil just beneath the surface.

My work consists of a series of self-portrait oil paintings shown in different perspectives, all of which express an idle contemplative state. Each painting deals with the individual’s gaze: some are seeking societal approval, one expresses distraught, and one is experiencing dread.

Qween Charcoal pastel on paper 31.5" x 46" 2021 Polyamory Charcoal pastel on paper 46" x 34.5" 2021

There is a tactile quality in the paintings depicting the realities of daily life in quarantine; finding balance while adapting to our own homes. The lines of public and private are blurred as the inside becomes the outside, but we also lose the separation between individuality and shared experiences. In the work, I deconstruct the meaning of identity as it pertains to the self, outsider perspectives, and the deep subconscious. 46.

Jupiter Oil on Canvas 24” x 35” 2019


Avoid Contact Watercolor 18" x 24" 2020


Situated Infusion Gouache and ballpoint pen on hot pressed paper 15” x 18” Year unknown

Nicholas Ramirez Cruz MFA Photography 35.




Select images from LAX OAX (2021)

Miguel Mendoza

BFA Drawing & Painting '23 @artsy_mendoza

MFA Drawing & Painting

Alive Oil on canvas board 24" x 30" 2020


Interstitial Proximity Oil on canvas 60” x 96” 2020

Jellyfish Princess Charcoal on paper 18" x 20" 2020


Flight Oil on canvas 48” x 60” 2021


Submerged Oil on canvas 60” x 48” 2021


Future Perfect Tense Oil on canvas 60” x 84” 2021

MiaoMiao Zhou BA Art History '21 45.

Dede Lucia Falcone

Dialogues response to Miguel Mendoza's Jellyfish Princess (2021)


Justin Castillo

Sarah Ellison

BA Narrative Production '23

BA Art History '22 58.

Dialogues response to Dede Lucia Falcone's Future Perfect Tense (2021)


Leia Everrett

BA Narrative Production '22 @leia_everett A visual representation of the mental state of an extrovert during the pandemic.

Sammi Bryant

BFA Photography '22 @boojebee

Extroversion isn’t about being outgoing but absolutely requiring socialization to feel energized and happy. So I took the anxieties and emptiness that extroverts like myself are experiencing because of quarantine and turned it into art. I wanted to create a surreal atmosphere in each image that evokes feelings of loneliness or confusion or a sense of slipping into the void…. 59.

Falling Digital Photography 2333 x 3500 pixels 2020


Abyss Digital Photography 2333 x 3500 pixels 2020


Lost Digital Photography 3500 x 2333 pixels 2020


Void Digital Photography 3500 x 2333 pixels 2020


Hazy Digital Photography 3500 x 2333 pixels 2020

I have shaped separate spaces to create imagery through experimental techniques, scanning processes, editing through Lightroom and Photoshop, and even painting on images to physically manifest the ephemeral thoughts of my mind. Harnessing the fantasy of fashion photography developed a reality I was not afforded. Growing up, my family did not have the same financial security as many of my friends, and I was unable to purchase clothing from many of the shops they frequented. Rather than complacently wear hand-me-downs, I would come up with various combinations and outfits strung together with magical stories that transformed my opinion of them and transported me to another world. This sense of the fantastical is made manifest in my pointed use of beauty and fashion in photography. 68.

Pearl Photography 8.5" x 11" 2020


Seaside Glow Photography 12" x 18" 2020


Sea Foam Photography 11" x 16" 2020

Andi Dunn-Levy 64. 65.

"OFFLINE" Production stills Direction, cinematography, edit, screenplay by Justin Castillo Score by Dandelion Hands (Nicholas Heck, Nick Heck) 2021

BA Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies '22 Warm Poetry Hot Spring Poetry


An Inward Manner (cont.) Giovanni Ortega

BFA Painting & Drawing '21 Inherited traditions may feel like a heavy burden. A way to comfort at times, a way to shield yourself from what you know lies underneath. It can be a confrontation, pushing you to change. Becoming who you want when it goes against what your culture is makes you vulnerable to all the criticisms in the world. It is a double-edged sword, but you wouldn't know the liberty if you had not shed your skin to feel the world's full sting. 71.

Dialogues response to Sammi Bryant's Pearl, Seaside Glow, and Sea Foam (2021)


Snake Charmer Watercolor, color pencil, and ink on paper 25" x 42" 2021


Bear Trap Watercolor, color pencil, and ink on paper 25" x 42" 2021

Jessy Boyer

BA Art History '20 @keepartqueer 72.

Dialogues response to Giovanni Ortega's Snake Charmer and Bear Trap (2021)


Gentle Resemblances Austin Mendoza

Johnny Castillo

BFA Photography '21 @austinnmendoza

BA Studio Art '23

My name is Johnny Castillo. I was born in Guatemala City, Guatemala. I was brought to the United States roughly at the age of five. My art is significantly influenced by my experiences as an undocumented individual. My goal is for my art to be an experience in which others can find solace and pieces of themselves that they thought were forgotten. 75.

Ama Gouache and digital media 14" x 10" 2020


Consumed Gouache and digital media 14" x 10" 2020


Mom Archival pigment print 30" x 20" 2020


Mom's New Sweater Archival pigment print 30" x 20" 2020


Tio Teodoro Archival pigment print 30" x 20" 2020


Dia de los Muertos Archival pigment print 30" x 20" 2020


Abuelo's Clothes Archival pigment print 30" x 20" 2020

Charles Flores BA English '21 77.

Heroes' Pay Poetry


A Bed of Goosebumps Poetry

Eunice Chae

BA Studio Art '21 @chamnolia

Maivy Nguyen BA Studio Art '22

This painting depicts my mom resting on our family couch. It is set in the living room of my parents’ home, along with our kitchen in the background. I wanted to communicate the feeling of finding a moment for greatly-needed rest. My mom, like many other immigrant parents, is an incredibly hard worker. I feel for her and empathize with her feeling that she is not recognized for her hard work at her job. In this painting I also wanted to discuss a kind of haunting for what may have once existed in the home. My nuclear family no longer lives entirely under one roof, with my adult brothers living with families of their own. My parents’ home is both a place of nostalgia and warmth, as well as a site of sadness, for what once existed in the past.

The majority of my artwork is a reflection of my life which includes my personal experiences and my identity. I capture my favorite moments, replicating the essence onto a canvas or paper, hoping to share them with others. My artwork is also an attempt to reconnect with my Vietnamese heritage. Each artwork holds different meanings that are personal to me, which I look back at to encourage myself to continue to tell my story.


Spring Snow Oil on panel 18" x 24" 2021 84.


The Kids Oil on panel 24" x 18" 2020


Rest Oil paint on canvas 20" x 30" 2021

Jennifer Nguyen BFA Illustration '22 @jendoodler

Growing up as an introvert that kept to myself, I was constantly drawn to ordinary-looking things and places often passed by everyday without a second thought. The modern world is such a fast-paced environment that we are rarely allowed to stop and take things in. My art invites others to pause and see the beauty in the ordinary of everyday life along with exploring the personal stories of people and their culture. 86.

Lạp xưởng Oil paint on canvas 20" x 30" 2021

Noah Him

BA English '21 87.

Dialogues response to Jennifer Nguyen's Lạp xưởng (2021)


Restless Summertide Rigby Celeste

Alexandra May

BA Studio Art

BFA Drawing & Painting '22 This collection, Social Distancing, was created in January 2021. They all serve as small glimpses into the time of COVID-19. The restaurant depicted in the photograph is The Hat, in Lake Forest. I found the interior design interesting, with the immense amount of wood paneling. Additionally, I thought the fact that all of the tables were blocked off with caution tape was a sign of the times. 89.



Obligations Ink and marker on paper 9" x 12" 2019


Think About This Instead Poetry

Social Distancing Watercolor 9" x 12 2021

Maya Fonseca BFA Film '21

This collection, Social Distancing, was created in January 2021. They all serve as small glimpses into the time of COVID-19. The restaurant depicted in the photograph is The Hat, in Lake Forest. I found the interior design interesting, with the immense amount of wood paneling. Additionally, I thought the fact that all of the tables were blocked off with caution tape was a sign of the times.

COVID-19 Dinner Watercolor Dimensions unknown 2021

Sam Bitnes BFA Film '22 90.

Our Bed Poetry


In a Pool Poetry


Catheryn Cowings BA Illustration '23 92.

Park and Light Oil on canvas 9" x 12" 2020

Breana Alonzo BA Art History '23 92.

Dialogues response to Catheryn Cowings' Park and Light (2020)

Leia Everett BA Film '22 93.

Excerpt from Petty Theft Creative


The Life of Maya Production stills Direction, cinematography, edit, screenplay by Maya Fonseca 2021

Longing/Desire Justin Barber

Gabriel Gonzalez BFA Photography

BA Film '21 @justinlbarber


Raise the Steaks Archival ink print 14" x 19" 2021


Hotpot Archival ink print 14" x 19" 2020


Grilled Cheese Archival ink print 19" x 14" 2021

Healing is subjective. Some may turn around and skip in the blink of an eye. Others may sit on their situation for any number of lengths. But that’s when it meant something, right? When it hurts and hurts and even when your mind is off of it.... You still feel it. As if your ribs shrunk in the dryer. You can barely breathe. You feel the vibration of your heart beating in both your sternum and your spine simultaneously. And when it is on your mind, you can’t even eat or drink for the fear that you’ll suffocate because it feels like someone tied your throat in a knot and ripped out your stomach since tying a knot in your throat wasn’t enough and you lie in bed all day falling in and out of a blurry coma of depression. But that’s when it meant something... right?


Wing King Archival ink print 14" x 19" 2021


Donuts Archival ink print 14" x 19" 2021


Breathe Out Medium format film 30” x 30” 2020


Restoration Medium format film 30” x 30” 2020


Self-Care Medium format film 30” x 30” 2020


Gonzales Medium format film 30” x 30” 2020

Elise Vazelakis MFA Fiber '23 114.

The Present Moment of the Past Installation in Gatov West Fourteen spools of gold thread (70,000 yards) Variable dimensions 2021 Photos by Amanda Quinlan

Jessy Boyer

Shima Taj Bakhsh MFA Sculpture '21 125.

BA Art History '20 @keepartqueer 119.

Dialogues response to Elise Vazelakis' The Present Moment of the Past (2021)


The absence of a name Video installation Variable dimensions 2020

Tiffany Meier

Dominick Williams

BFA Drawing & Painting '23 @tiffanyruthreads

BFA Printmaking

Dominick William’s current practice consists of generating and producing visual imagery through the exploration and experimentation of printmaking and paintings. His works are inspired by the pursuit of investigating ideas and topics that interact with the questioning of society and self-perception. Furthermore, his ideas are reflective of retrospective approaches of expressing himself and his experiences through the personal interactions and strings that pulls his interest into conversations of Existentialism, Racism, Classism, Environmental Awareness, and other ideas and topics that lay dormant for the viewer to interpret, as he is also working in real time through the unpacking and unfolding of experiences in constant realization of the relationship and bridging connection between the current state of society and himself.

My work seeks to deconstruct my personal experiences as a missionary kid associated with a non-denominational Pentecostal organization. My art grapples not only with the modern imperialist structure of missions’ work, but also touches on the personal struggles of being a willing participant in ritual, rite, and passage, only later to learn of wider implications. Through symbolic and metaphorical imagery specific to my experiences, I aim to apprehend moments of my past, present, and future selves. 130.

Digression Charcoal on paper 30" x 40" Year unknown


Remains Charcoal and conte on paper 32" x 38" Year unknown


Melencolia Blvd (1 of 3) Relief print Dimensions unknown 2018


Implicated Charcoal on paper 30" x 40" Year unknown


Melencolia Blvd (2 of 3) Relief print Dimensions unknown 2018


Melencolia Blvd (3 of 3) Relief print Dimensions unknown 2018

Tryphena Ho

BS Aerospace Engineering '24 @aetriis I wanted to capture the quiet elegance of Beijing’s Summer Palace through the simplest means possible. This ink and colored pencil piece was created solely by the three primary colors: cyan, magenta, and yellow. By emulating the printing process, I laid the lighter values first in yellow, then layered magenta, and added cyan last. Elementary combinations made way for building depth, form, and texture. 133.

Summer Palace Ink and colored pencil on paper 6.5" x 10" 2019

Tara Soroka BA English '21 134.

Custard Filled Fiction


Interior Projections Oscar Pearson

Aleccio Valladares

BFA Painting & Drawing '21 @oscarpearson_

BFA Illustration '21 141.

Binary Dreaming Digital 8" x 10" Year unknown

In my recent paintings, plants, animals, and people cohabitate landscapes. The subjects are often formalized by reducing their complexity into simpler geometric forms. There is a point in which only the essential parts are depicted, for the rest would merely dilute the potency of the picture. In other places, there may be a lack of information and the eye needs a visual rhythm to move to, so I might build up color to a point of dizzying interference or include patterns derived from architecture and garments.

Matthew Lujan BA Art History '22 142.

Dialogues response to Aleccio Vallardes' Binary Dreaming (Year unknown)

I am interested in visual purism, naturalism, and playfulness. The use of space, light, and color in the paintings reflect a sampling of personal memories, experiences, and physical places. I find visual kinship with painters like Luiz Zerbini, Mernet Larsen, and Euan Uglow. All three have varying relationships in their work between the graphic, geometric, and abstract versus the representational. For me, the hard-edged shape and the grid is also a reference to the built world, technological “progress”, and the growing presence of the digital and cyber world in our lives.

Kassandra Gomez BA Art History '20 143.

The Revival of Artistry in Movie Posters Episode III: “You had my curiosity, but now you have my attention” — Django Unchained (2012) Research 2020

Andie Choi

BFA Pre-Production '22 @acblinko 146.

Bookend (Series A-C) Digital (PS CC) 6000x4500px (300dpi) 2020


Adam and Eve Oil on canvas 48"x60" 2020


Grounded Oil on canvas Individual: 22" x 28" Triptych: 72" x 28" 2020

Maggie Brown

BA Comparative World Literature '22 149.

Dialogues response to Andie Choi's Bookend (Series A-C) (2020)

Hui Tan

MFA Illustration & Animation '21 150.

Production stills and storyboard excerpts from A Clean Life (2020)


Christopher Barron

BA Studio Art '22 158.

Waiter Walking Down Stairs 35 mm black and white film Dimensions unknown 2021

Chris Lee

BA Art History '20 159.

Dialogues response to Christopher Barron's Waiter Walking Down Stairs (2021)

Rachel Taulbee BA English '21 160.

Waste Not Fiction

Hanjialin Bao

MFA Graphic Design '21 @amber_baoo 164.

Panels from Gui ( ) Pages 1, 3, 14


Those of Us Dominick Williams

Aria Robert

BFA Printmaking 174.

BA Studio Art '22 @art__bean_

Mother Earth In Reflection Print relief Dimensions unknown 2019

The impact of quarantine-mandated isolation is a universal problem that we have been dealing with in one way or another. This body of work explores the relationship of re-entering a lost society and finding one's place in this newfound world by cautiously rediscovering not only our environment but the connection we once had to ourselves and others.

Mario Campos




BFA Drawing & Painting '21 @mariodevoursapples


Connections Acrylic, colored pencil and marker on bristol 42" x 34" 2021

Playground Gelatin silver print 16” x 10.6” 2021


Of Power and Control Mixed media 24" x 18" 2021

Temporary Gelatin silver print 16” x 10.6” 2021


Pool Gelatin silver print 16” x 10.6” 2021

We Were Soulmates Oil, paint marker, and glass on canvas 36 "x 36" 2020


Snow Day Gelatin silver print 16” x 10.6” 2021

Lawrence Lee


Digital Jesus Gelatin silver print 16.2” x 24” 2021


Backyard Gelatin silver print 16” x 10.6” 2021

BFA Sculpture '21 @found.0bject 176.

Institutional Critique no. 1 Installation with sprayable graphite, drywall, large format print on fabric, wire, earth, trash Variable dimensions 2021 Photos by Tran Lam (@yellalamb)


Meredith Freeman


MFA Drawing & Painting '23

MFA Sculpture '21


Waldeinsamkeit Marker, watercolor, and gouache on watercolor paper 10.5" x 15" 2020


Aquatic Mycology Gouache, white charcoal, white gel pen, conte, and collaged drawing on black gessoed watercolor paper 22.5" x 30" 2021



Kate Maleki

BFA Pre-Production '21 @kdmalekiart 212.

Sunshine Ripple Daydream Watercolor, gouache, and ShinHan poster paint on watercolor paper 12" x 12" 2020


Orchid Wisdom Gel pen, gesso, collaged gouache painting, Yupo and Bristol papers, watercolor paper 22.5" x 30" 2021


Terra Aquarium Gouache, white charcoal, white gel pen, Conté, and collaged drawing on black gessoed watercolor paper 30" x 22.5" 2021


Gentle Movements Mixed media and collage on Bristol paper 17" x 14" 2021

Pillow Project Concrete; fabric, fiberglass, and foam 28" x 20" x 8" (approx.) 2019

untitled Pencil on paper with some digital painting 11" x 13" 2019

Bobi Bosson

MFA Printmaking '23 @barbieleeboss 216.

The Prize (triptych) Linoleum cut print, Penscore stamp, and spray paint on paper 20" x 16", 16" x 20", 20" x 16" 2021


Mother 2 Linoleum cut, Lansinoh breast milk bags, and spray paint on paper 22" x 15" 2021


Chimera Linoleum reduction print on masa paper 22" x 26.5" 2021

Rachel Gunter BA Art History '20

Jennifer Ly


BA Art History '23 196.

Finding Vivian Maier: A Clash of Identities Editorial With acknowledgements to Dr. Robert Pincus


Dialogues response to Dana August's works

Those Of Us (cont.) Dana August

BFA Drawing & Painting '21 @danamaugust My multi-layered, large-scale works draw from the language of patterning that streams from the rich history of feminist art. Artists like Joyce Kozloff and Miriam Schapiro of the 1970’s Pattern and Decoration movement. Both worked with collage, fabrics, sewing, and textiles, amongst other materials, to honor centuries of “women’s work” or domestic work that had not been recognized by traditional fine art establishments. My work follows these artistic traditions by combining various materials, visual languages, and patterns to create unique systems that allow the viewer to explore issues relevant to contemporary society. 225.





Summer 2020 Mixed media on watercolor paper 70” x 42” 2020 Winter 2020 (Diptych) Mixed media on watercolor paper 84" x 56" (two 42” x 28” panels) 2020 Fall 2020 (Reflection 1) Mixed media on watercolor paper 40” x 40” (sixteen 10” x 10” panels) 2020 Winter 2021 (Suburban Grid 1) Mixed media on watercolor paper 40” x 40” 2021 Spring 2021 (Suburban Grid 2) Mixed media on watercolor paper 44” x 30” 2021

228. Fall 2020 (Home) Mixed media on watercolor paper 42” x 70” 2021


Some images in this issue are under Fair Use. Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, education and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Fair use is a doctrine in United States copyright law that allows limited use of copyrighted material without requiring permission from the rights holders, such as commentary, criticism, news reporting, research, teaching or scholarship. Additionally, sourcing from the public domain was prioritized. It provides for the legal, non-licensed citation or incorporation of copyrighted material in another author’s work under a four-factor balancing test: 1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes. 2. The nature of the copyrighted work. 3. The amount and sustainability of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole. 4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.