Art and My Life

It was hard to limit myself to two pages for this paper about how I see art in my life. Although I talk about how art has always played a big role in my life, I don’t mention that I am still intimidated to call myself an artist. I don’t think I can articulate my thoughts all the way through, but there is something scary to me about giving myself the title of an artist. Don’t get me wrong, I want to be one. I want to be a successful choreographer confident enough to state that I am an artist! I am SO grateful for the lessons I’ve learned in this class to take with me and help me reach my goal of becoming a successful choreographer.


Art and My Life


When I think about what art is, I am reminded of the beginning of the semester when we all wrote our own definition of art on the board. The white board was filled with a wide variety of definitions as we all used different words to articulate what art meant to us. This was just a small in class activity, but It was eye opening to get a glimpse of the many different meanings art serves to a large group of people that may or may not consider themselves artists. Throughout the semester, that single definition I had come up with expanded, as I now see what it means for art to be in everything, everywhere.

As a dance major, art has always played a big role in my life. I have been dancing since I was three and have watched my older sister perform in professional dance companies all my life. Being exposed and involved in the dance world helped shape what art means to me and continues to help me find myself artistically. When I was younger, I saw dance as more of a sport than an art and as I have grown up, that perspective has totally flip flopped. It use to bother me that when I go to see a performance, I typically have no insight into the choreographers purpose of the piece. Now, creating my own interpretation and emerging myself in the experience of the performance has become my favorite part. Dance is incredibly powerful as it is music or silence in a space given limbs and thought. With dance being my biggest exposure to art, I always thought of art as a form of communicating thoughts in a new way because that is what dancers do as we express ideas or concepts through movement.

This semester in Art 110 has allowed me to expand the way I define what art is and how it applies to my life. Being exposed to a lot of visual art in this class gave me the opportunity to see art through a fresh set of eyes since it was something new to me. It was so interesting how easily I was able to connect my life as a dancer and just as an everyday person to all the artists work. I learned that art is in everything. The way people walk, dress or communicate, the sky, nature, everyday objects ect. It’s all art. I remember talking to Jenny Rask, an MFA artist, who’s work Make Them Light was so similar to the purpose behind the choreography I was learning in modern. In our conversation with one another I was given a new perspective of what it means to give objects a purpose and let that impact the way I moved in modern. I also remember talking to artist Abby Olivia who used art as a coping mechanism. I talked to the people around me and we could all relate in some way of how art is healing. Whether that means looking at art, dancing, creating or finding art in daily life activities. In this class I was inspired to see that everyone has an artistic side to them. Regardless if they consider themselves an artist or not, everyone in the class brought a new artistic perspective. This lesson was very important to me because as a choreographer, my main goal is to create work that is relatable to an audience beyond dancers, but to reach and impact those who are unfamiliar with the art form. Art 110 showed me that this goal of mine is possible because you can find art in anything depending on your perspective, and every individual has a creative side to them.

Finally, I am excited to see how this knowledge will impact my future work as a dancer and choreographer, as I already feel completely influenced by this class to create work differently. I am grateful for the opportunities this class provided me with by attempting artistic activities I never have before and talking to many different visual artists to learn about their work and perspective. Art is in everything and in everyone, an important lesson to take from this class. 


Extra Credit – Feedback

What did you think of the A-B-C format? I thought the A-B-C format was simple and effective. It was an easy way to keep us on track of what activities were to come and what we were expected of each week. I appreciate the way it feels like the course has an appropriate beginning, middle and end. The weeks of A allow you time to meet your classmates and prepare for the semester. The B weeks are filled with a nice variety of activities to experience and the two weeks of C allow for just the right amount of time to reflect on the semester.


What did you think of the 4 messy hands activities? The 4 messy hands activities are a lot of fun! My favorite was plaster casting because I had never done that before and it was a lot of fun. I also enjoyed that the location was pretty close and that mostly everyone was able to go since it was during our normal class time. I think having 4 very different hands on activities was a good amount and served a nice variety. Just a thought and I don’t know if it would be effective, but if there are more activities that you wish there was time for maybe you could have two a week and the students could pick one. This way the class is exposed to more than just four hands on activities.


What did you think of the 4 life design activities? I liked the 4 life design activities and I thought they were very relevant to the world today. Getting the opportunity to create a website was a great experience and it is something that I will possibly use for dance more in the future when I have more choreography to show. Vlogging has become a huge thing and although it’s not for me, being able to experience it and go for it was really fun.


What did you think of the student choice and one more activity? I LOVED the student choice and one more activity. I thought it was really helpful for student choice to be mixed in the middle of the semester so you have some Art 110 activities to be inspired by as you pick your student choice. I also love that our last activity is open to our creativity because as a student, I was able to see my work reflect on how this class has impacted my thought process as a choreographer and for any student, they are able to reflect and see that growth.


What did you think of visiting the SOA galleries, having a conversation with them and blogging about it? I really enjoyed visiting the SOA galleries to talk to the different artists and write about it. This was something I often looked forward to and really enjoyed becoming exposed to the visual art on our campus. It was very neat to get to talk to the artists and learn from them!! Going to the SOA galleries about every week was a lot, although I enjoyed it, I think some students thought it got repetitive. Maybe the assignment involved with visiting the SOA galleries could switch up more, like the 2 times we were asked to write a story instead. Maybe the conversation topic with the artist could change or the way we write about them is different throughout the weeks.


What did you think about the class website and having your own website instead of beachboard? I love the class website and how we are able to see the pictures you take and other students work sometimes. I enjoyed completing the assignments on wordpress but beachboard would work too. It would also be helpful to have the semester schedule on beachboard along with the class website.


What did you think of using wordpress for your blog? I enjoyed using wordpress for my blog and thought it was valuable to become exposed to working with a blog site like wordpress. It was easy to set up and I love that you can download an app and access your blog easily from your phone.


What did you think of Wix for your eportfolio? I had trouble at first using wix and the website crashed a few times in the making of my website which was frustrating but once I was able to complete it, I was happy with it. Learning how to create your own website was an important skill that I was happy to be exposed to.


What did you think of the guest speakers? The guest speakers were super cool and it was beneficial to hear from the people themselves about ways we can take advantages of the opportunities on campus. Hearing from 22 west and the study abroad person was my favorite because It applied to opportunities I am interested in. We did have a lot of guest speakers, and your lectures were always my favorite, so maybe narrowing down the guest speakers or having some come in on the same day would be helpful to get to hear more of your lectures.


What did you think of the times in class when we took time to meet new classmates? How many Art110 peeps did you know before the class started? How many do you know now?

I love that this class is big on meeting new classmates!! I did not know anyone before the class started and quickly, at the beginning of the semester I already felt like I had friends. I now am close friends with taylor and I met hops, toty, kyle and his group of friends all because of this class!!


What did you think about having a class with no tests? I LOVED not having any tests and not just because I hate taking tests. I really found it beneficial to steam outside of the typical class where you memorize info for a test just to forget it the next day. I can honestly say I learned more in this class with no tests than my other two GE classes with tests. It was way more effective to learn and get to blog about your experience than fill out a scantron with only one right answer. In this class, I felt that there was no wrong answer just room to grow and share or learn from others.


Any other thoughts? This class by far has been my favorite class I have taken at CSULB. Even on top of my dance classes! There is something about the way you teach that inspires creative thinking throughout the whole room. Your lectures are all very effective and you make each student feel like they have a creative side. You open up our minds to see that art is for everyone, not just those that consider themselves artists. I really could go on forever, but honestly, I really appreciate you class and wish I could take it again! Your creative way of teaching has impacted the way I think about school and life in general. You have also greatly influenced me as an artist by exposing me to visual art and inspiring me to create movement based on visual art. THANK YOU for the best semester ever, you are the coolest.


b10 – art activity – One More!

For the last art activity I chose student choice and I was inspired by the times we were asked to write a story about the art in the student art galleries. My story is not written, it’s another self choreographed dance video! i was inspired by Abby Olivia’s work I once wrote about inspired by near death experiences. My choreography explored a contrast between free and bound flow to describe the going in and out of a world different from the life we experience every day. The movement goes in and out of looking indirect and free or direct and in control. I was inspired to move outside my comfort zone of choreographic habits and would be interested in choreographing similar work (but with a lot more detail and intricacies) on a large group of dancers in the future!

week b10 – Artist Conversation – Natalie Rosen

Artist: Natalie Rosen

Media: illustration

Gallery: The Dutzi Gallery at CSULB


Instagram: @natalieanne2

About The Artist: 

Natalie Rosen is a third year MFA student at CSULB in Illustration. Natalie’s interests outside of art include a love for animals and gardening. These interests of hers have a big influence on her art work. Her work showcases more than just illustration as she combines works of paper crafting and clay sculpting within this exhibit. Her artistic process begins with illustrating her ideas onto paper with either a pen or pencil. After her ideas are drawn out, she is able to envision her ideas in a three dimensional space and begins to create. I thought this methodology was interesting because she is able to gain inspiration from her own illustration work to inspire the direction of her three dimensional work. She has established a unique process that fits her work and the way her art is brought to life well.

Formal Analysis:

The title of Natalie Rosen’s piece is Witti-Schism which can be defined as the combination of witticism and schism. Rosen is intrigued by the way people often respond to pain or sadness with humor. One wall in Rosen’s exhibit consists of 6 different animalistic characters to represent 6 feelings that come from humor theories. The six feelings are incongruity, chaos, superiority, criticism, relief and fear. Each clay sculpted animal is unique to match the feeling of those words described in the previous sentence. The animals had a very exaggerated expression and some, even distorted facial features such as four eyes or three heads. Hanging from the ceiling are intricate, detail-oriented paper crafted shapes of houses, animals and other flower looking designs. These are all strung tightly together to form a block shape and the color of these paper crafted shapes are black. On the other walls, there is a paper craft of two humans with a big scribbled shape between them that connects the two from their eyes. The colors used fit in a primary color scheme as one person has blue inside them and pouring out it’s fingers and the other person with red inside him. The big scribble between the two individuals is a standard green. The two people and big scribble are all outlined in black. Against another wall, is another paper crafted person from the waist up. This individual is also outlined in black. He has primary colors red and blue pouring up and out of his eyes, along with a green slime looking scribble pouring out of his mouth. The overall picture of the exhibit is very captivating due to the many intricacies and details that were given to each character, shape or part of Rosen’s piece Witti-Schism. 

Content Analysis:

As described earlier, the inspiration of the piece Witti-Schism is based on the many ways people react to feelings of fear, sadness or pain with humor. Humor is often used as a coping mechanism for people going through those feelings. The six animal faces were created to describe feelings of incongruity, chaos, superiority, criticism. relief and pain. Each of the animal heads provoke a strong characteristic relatable to the average person. For example, one of the animals is a pug named Fear. A frame of Rosen’s illustration of the clay sculpted pug is beside it and it describes the characteristics of Fear. It talks about how this character cares a lot about what people he doesn’t even like think of him. Fear is often nervous and indecisive. This is a feeling many can relate to. Each animal has their own illustration of Rosen’s work beside it to describe the meaning behind it. The other art on the wall is based off of the idea of using whimsy to illustrate conflict. This is a form of dark humor. It is interesting how we all have our own sense of humor and we may all respond to one’s humor in a variety of ways. To many, laughing at something uncomfortable helps lighten up the situation by creating a psychological distance. The paper crafting of the two individuals, one red and one blue, in-between a green scribbled shape describes this concept. The green scribble is the situation covered by a humorous conversation between two individuals and they are made in two different colors to describe how their emotional responses differ from one another. It is interesting how we all cope with negative experiences differently and how humor is one of them. I can say for myself at least, sometimes it really does help to laugh off a certain situation. It has a way of belittling a situation and brushing it off for a while. Overall, Rosen’s work is very detailed and descriptive. It is very captivating to me because it touches a very relatable subject in a creative and abstract way.

My Experience:

This exhibit was extremely interesting to me because it got me thinking deeper about how everyone and myself included responds to an uncomfortable, sad, or frightening situation. Sometimes I often to not know how to respond to bad situations. Especially in times of death of a family member or any bad news that creates a big impact in my life. I feel lost in those times of what to do or say because it seems impossible to describe how you feel. Even trickier, is finding a way to help others cope. There’s nothing worse than not knowing how to comfort a friend in a tricky time in their life, sometimes all you can do is listen and be there. However, the times I feel the most helpful is when I am able to make that person laugh although they might be sad or afraid ect. Humor that creates laughter is a visible representation that you have made someone smile and feel happy. Rosen’s work brought me to a train of thought of how important it is to surround yourself around people that make you laugh and that you can make laugh because it is the best feeling. I really enjoyed how relatable Rosen’s art work is. My goal as a choreographer is to create work that can be relatable to an audience that knows nothing about dance at all. I want to reach people who would say they are not at all intact with their artistic side. That is a huge goal to hopefully accomplish but it is inspiring to have an artist do that to myself to know that it is possible to accomplish. Art can often be very relatable to a large audience and often not at all. It goes back to our first week of school when we wrote on the board what we thought art was and someone said “Art is everything”. Seems very cheesy but there is definitely truth to it. Overall, I am kind of sad this is our last artist conversation because I have really enjoyed learning from all these different artists and sharing my thoughts and experiences but I am grateful for all of them and will definitely visit the CSULB student art gallery on my own time when I am able to.

Lauren Woods: American MONUMENT

Lauren Woods’ Paused Choice

In response to the University abruptly firing Kimberli Meyer days before American MONUMENT was to open, Lauren Woods has put the exhibit on pause. American MONUMENT is an exhibit consisting of efforts to tackle the culture of police brutality through culture production. The exhibit was to expose many different court cases of police brutality and end white supremacy. With the exhibit on pause, the records of these cases are empty and there is only a surfaced version of the work on display. Lauren Woods’ choice to put the exhibit on pause leaves controversial thoughts between Kimberli Meyer getting fired being connected to the American MONUMENT and whether or not the pause is the right reaction or if Lauren Woods is being selfish by hiding the voices of those twenty-five court cases relating to police brutality. I am conflicted, I see both sides.

With the chance that the firing of Kimberli Meyer is connected to Lauren Woods’ work, it is understandable to me that Woods has chosen to put her exhibit on pause. This work deals with a serious matter and firing the biggest co-collaborator of this creative process days before it was to be put on display is ignorant to the works purpose. Lauren Woods has a right to react to the Universities choice to fire Kimberli Meyer with no explanation. Art is powerful in what a body of work has to say and to not say. For Lauren Woods to go on with the exposure of the exhibit without a reaction to Kimberli Meyer getting fired may be unlawful to what American MONUMENT is trying to say. The pause draws attention to the Universities actions and it has made the students more aware of the uneasy environment the University may have created. The pause is powerful because it creates curiosity, more people may want to find out what the exhibit was about and what caused the pause. This draws more attention and awareness to the topic Woods addresses in her work as well as what goes on behind the scenes at the University.

Although I see validation in Woods’ choice to pause American MONUMENT, I also wish to see the exhibit complete. I am intrigued by the 25 court cases that were supposed to play as well as everything else that was put on hold. Those voices in those cases deserve to be heard and drawing attention to them is very beneficial to rise awareness to gun violence and police brutality. This exhibit seems to have a powerful voice and it deserves to be seen and the students, faculty, etc. deserve to see this body of work. It is crucial to rise awareness to the matters that this art work touches heavily on. Having this exhibit on display fully has the power to open our eyes to see that this matter is a big deal as it is ending innocent lives. The pause is powerful, but it does disrupt the exposure of these cases which all deserve to be heard.

With the tone-deaf timing of the University’s choice to fire Kimberli Meyer, a tense environment is created in the UAM and throughout the University. Lauren Woods’ choice to pause her exhibit draws attention and awareness to Kimberli Meyer getting fired and curiosity to reasons behind the university’s actions. However, the pause is also very unfortunate due to the voices in Woods’ work not able to be heard. They deserve to be heard and exposed so I hope this pause is not permanent.

M3 – Spray Painting 11/3

Spray painting was a neat experience!! I was really bummed I couldn’t go to venice with the class on saturday because I had work and rehearsal but I ended up becoming better friends with my coworker who happened to know how to spray paint! It was hard to execute the bubble letters nicely but a lot of fun in the process. On one poster board I wrote kaelie but I liked the one that just says kaes better because Kaes is what my family has always called me!

Artist Conversation b7 – Abby Olivia

Exhibition Information:

Artist: Abby Olivia

Media: acrylic painting, painting and drawing

Gallery: CSULB student art gallery

Website: No website

Instagram: bbyolivia

About the Artist:

Abby Olivia is a BFA candidate in drawing and painting. She is in her last semester but as a 4th year BFA drawing and painting student she had the task of sticking to one theme to work with for the entire year. Her theme was near death experiences which served as a coping method for herself as her dad unexpectedly passed away the second day of the semester last year. The way she was able to learn about death and different peoples experiences with it allowed her to become less afraid of it and believe her dad really is in a better place. This experience inspired her to decide to get her masters in art therapy in the future.

Formal Analysis:

The title of Abby’s piece is Steam Engine. The painting is a acrylic painting on a cotton canvas. The raw ends of the canvas are showing and the painting is draped on the wall to fit the “unfinished” look of the gallery theme. The background of the painting is a dark color scheme of deep blues, purples and black. The majority of the background is black with little hints of blue and purple cloud skinny cloud shapes. There are shapes painted against the background in bright, vivid primary colors. There are about 12 single colored small shapes of distorted squares, diamonds and triangles. These shapes are all different and painted in different blues, reds, greens and yellow. Along with the small shapes, 4 large 3D looking shapes are painted in stripes of multiple different vivid colors. None of the 4 larger shapes are the same as they are all different 3D looking shapes and each painted different but all with multiple colored stripes of vivid primary colors. The small and large shapes are all scattered in no particular formation on the canvas against the dark background.

Content Analysis:

This gallery was entitled Raw and the theme was about how every individual encounters many different obstacles in their lives and how an artist’s perception and experience differs from an every day person’s. Abby Olivia’s piece Steam Engine is a painting of different spirits in space. The 3D multi-colored striped shapes represent different spirits or energies of beings in space. Abby Olivia interviews people from all different cultures and countries that have near death experiences. She said the most interesting part is that everyone she has interviewed has had a positive experience with near death and it was the happiest state they have ever experienced. They all talk about light and bright colors which explains why the shapes are bright vivid colors. None of the shapes are the same because everyone has their own spirit and no two are exactly the same from what Abby has learned through the process. The background of space is to remain abstract and not dive into the topic of what heaven or anything like that might look like and stick to a point in space everyone can relate to and know to connect with her piece.

My Experience:

In my conversation with Abby Olivia, I was reminded of how special it is to be in tact with your own artist perspective. I’ve never felt very smart when it comes to academics but when it comes to art, dance especially, is the place where I feel excitement to learn and share my thoughts or perspective because there’s no wrong, everyone has their own taste and it’s all worth being heard. That may sound very cheesy but there really is some truth to it. I’ll always be grateful for art and continue to expose my perspective and become influenced and inspired from what I learn from others. Also, I am taking an anthropology course this semester and hearing Abby talk about how similar everyone’s near death experience is regardless of their culture or religion. It’s crazy how different we all are yet still so connected to one another.

Artist Conversation-B5 story edition

Exhibition Information:

Artist: John Reese

Media: sculpture, painting, ceramics

Gallery: CSULB student art gallery

For this weeks artist conversation, we were asked to make a story out of the art that caught our eye. I picked this piece by John Reese because I was inspired to create choreography off of this abstract piece. I set this choreography on a friend of mine named Nao. The intention behind the piece was to exaggerate the dancers use of internal to external space as well as her internal and external focus. This contrast is to represent how easily our mental state effects the way we see all that is around us. What we tell ourselves in our heads and how we intake words from others play a big role in shaping the way we perceive things. Inspired by John Reese’s piece with all the mouths and eyes. placeholder://