Week 12- Artist Interview- Ashley Sharpe

            After walking through all the galleries, I knew after seeing Ashley Sharpe’s show that I wanted to know more about her and her work! It really was just a fun show! It reminded me a bit of the pop art that has become popular with famous artists such as Katy Perry, but maybe I just made that connection because Katy Perry loves cats and even refers to herself as Kitty Purry! Anyway, back to Ashley Sharpe! When I first walked into the Merlino Gallery, I noticed that to the left there was pink litter box with glittery litters and letters spelling out meow which I thought was a very clever and fun way to introduce her audience to her show.

Ashley shared that she believes art has always been important to her due to the fact that she was an only child and found herself and art kept her occupied and helped her from feeling lonely. She also explained that because she was an only child she always was very fond of animals and had a lot of pets which also relates to her show dedicated to cats!  Sharpe explained that some of the cats she worked with while creating her different works had passed away and that was the reason for the alter consisting of candles that was the first thing you saw when you walked into her show. This sort of shrine was meant to represent a religion of sorts and a spiritual representation of the cats. She also described her show to express her own fantasy world in a different way which is also inspired by the idea that cats can see things that we don’t see. This fantasy world that she talks about goes back to when she was a kid and would get in trouble for doodling things like unicorns and cats on all of her tests and school work.

Being more of a dog person myself, I really liked Sharpe’s show and had a lot of fun looking at all of her interpretations and different takes on the cats!


Week 12- Peer Interview- Natsuki Fukayama

Something really cool happened today while talking to my classmate, Natsuki! When I first introduced myself and told her my name, she shared hers and said that it means Summer Queen in Japanese! Meeting someone with the same name is always pretty cool, especially when it’s a name that isn’t super common but meeting someone with the same name translated into another language is even cooler! I then learned that Natsuki is actually from Japan! This surpised me at first because her English was so clear and I could not detect an accent at all! She then shared that she was born in Japan but actually spent the first 9 years of her life growing up here in the U.S., right in Palos Verdes! She moved back to Japan with her family when she was about 9 years old and has lived there ever since until the beginning of this school year. Natsuki is actually spending her sophomore as a film major year here at CSULB as a foreign exchange student! Although it is a bit different from her home in Tokyo, Japan she said it was not hard to adjust since she grew up in the area but that she does miss Japan alot!

I was so surprised to hear Natsuki describe Long Beach as quiet and spacious and very slow paced but I guess that compared to Tokyo it is! She compared to Tokyo to New York City; very loud and busy and just the typical city life. It’s funny to me that two people can have such a different opinion and view of a place like Long Beach due to what they are used to. To me, Long Beach is this crazy big city that is a lot to take in because I was raised and grew up in a small town but to someone like Natsuki who grew up in a place even bigger than Long Beach it’s nothing! I also thought it was very interesting to hear that her college in Japan is really not that different at all from CSULB. It’s crazy to think that things may really not be all that different in a place that seems so far away and different. Another thing that is different is the weather apparently! Natsuki misses the distinct changes of the four season and is tired and bored of the constant summertime weather that we experience in Southern California!

Talking to Natsuki left me in awe because it’s always so interesting talking to someone who has lived in a place that you are unfamiliar with and it also made me think about studying abroad myself in the future, maybe even in Japan!

Week 11- Activity : Plaster Casting 


  I actually went back home this weekend so this project was a great excuse to get my family out to our beautiful central coast beaches ! We ended up at Avila beach which is about a 15 minute drive from my house ! 

My little sisters and mom were a big help but I was getting a little frustrated with them because they didn’t fully understand what I had to do but after probably the 100th time of me explaining it to them I think they got it! My sister was in charge of running down the water when I needed it and my mom was the photographer of the occasion!

We were super surprised by how quickly the plaster set! It only took about 12 minutes to completely harden! I was also surprised by how much bigger the cast was then my actual foot! When I pulled it out from the sand my mom couldn’t stop laughing at how big it was! I was nervous the whole time that it wouldn’t set or that I added too much water to the amount of plaster or that the tide would come  up and ruin the whole process so when I pulled out the set plaster and it worked I was relieved! 

Week 11- Artist Interview- Gabriel Garcia

       Gabriel Garcia’s show of Toxic Masculinity expressed so much more than just the words displayed in his pieces. It’s really cool to me that so many people are using their creative skills and talents to not only create art, but to create something that can really relay an important message to their audiences. It’s important that art can be enjoyed but on a whole other level I believe that it is such an accomplishment to have your work really get its viewers thinking about an issue that we see in today’s world, no matter how heavy it may be. In Garcia’s show, he displayed many of the issues that are going on around us everyday. Just on social media websites alone, I see posts about feminist driven issues multiple times a day. I think that feminists are viewed to be advocates of women’s rights only when really that’s not the case. It’s important that these issues are addressed for both women and men! Which is why I think it is very important to see a male artist addressing issues such as physical abuse, gender stereotypes and common phrases that may be relaying the wrong messages to our youth. Common sayings that we hear all the time that Garcia chose to point focus on consist of “Man Up”, “Don’t Be a Pussy”, “Don’t ______ Like a Girl”, etc. These give men certain expectations that they feel they must live up to in order to qualify as a “real man” which only affects them negatively. Garcia shared that he got the inspiration to create this show from a combination of personal experiences, news events that have occurred over the past year, and issues and ideas that are going on currently. These are all ideas that aren’t necessarily new and that we can all relate to and voice some sort of opinion whether we share our own personal experiences or have seen people we know affected.

Some of Garcia’s pieces conveyed really clear messages and others were a lot less obvious. When he was asked about the drawing of the pig and what is was meant to represent, he asked right back what we thought it represented. After a long pause of an unanswered question, he shared that his idea behind it was to represent the culture that we live in that has grown to be one big consumeristic culture. In the United States we are lucky enough to be able to consume pretty much whatever we want whenever we want and it has made us greedy. I would have never thought to use a pig to represent this issue but I think it’s brilliant and actually makes a lot of sense!

Week 11- Classmate Interview- Lizbeth Acosta 

 Today I had the chance to talk with Lizbeth Acosta! It was definitely the least awkward peer discussion I have had so far this semester! We started the conversation with the usual questions to break the ice such as “where are you from?”, “what’s your major?”, etc and I learned that Liz is also a first year here at CSULB and dorms in Hillside building C. Liz is a kinesiology major and plans to further her education after CSULB to get her masters to become a physical therapist. Most people that I have met who share that career choice usually also share a passion for physical fitness and athletics! I asked her if she had played any sports and learned that she had actually participated in synchronized swimming for many years until she got to highschool where it was not offered and she joined the swim team and competed on that from then on. When I first heard her use the term synchronized swimming I was just imagining regular swimming until she went on to explain it as those ladies we see on the TV in commercials wearing matching swim floral caps and suits dancing in the water. She explained that although it is not really like that at all, it does consist of dancing in the pool with your team to a variety of music! I think that is the coolest thing ever and am actually angry that I didn’t know about that until now! What a fun way to stay active and in shape! I also learned that Liz just got a job at our amazing rec center! It’s neat that she was able to get a job working in an environment that really relates to her future goals.

After talking to Liz for nearly all of the class period, I completely forgot that we were even talking for our class interview, it just really felt like a real natural conversation. We even stayed a while after class talking about this one brand of swim suits that has a trunk show here in Long Beach this weekend! After today’s class I feel as if I made a friend and now I have someone to go to the beach with and make a plaster model of my feet with! Yay!

Week 10- Activity- Student Choice



Unlike many kids my age, my first official college spring break was not a 1o day getaway in florida spent on the beach ending up in young regret. Instead I spent my spring break in a chair next to my dad’s hospital bed. With all of the stress that comes from having a sick parent, I didn’t think about anything this week except my dad and the rest of the family. Before I even realized it, it was already Friday and easter 2 days away. Holidays are always a huge deal in my household and my mom always makes sure that Santa or Cupid or the Leprachauns, or in this case the Easter Bunny is extremely good to my siblings and I. This year she found herself way too busy and overwhelmed with the serious decline in my dad’s health that I had to take on a lot of the responsibility and even helped in the role of being the Easter Bunny. Tonight my little sister and I died easter eggs for the Easter Bunny to hide for us to find in the morning, and although the rest of my family was either too busy or felt too cool for easter eggs we had a blast! It also gave me the idea to use the idea of yarn bombing in our activity a few weeks ago and add some color to my dad’s hospital room for the holiday. Being so sick and away from home and your family is never easy, but I can imagine that it’s especially hard and sad to be away during the holidays when you’re used to spending it enjoying the day with your wife and kids. My sister and I then decided to bring some of our Easter decorations from home to my dad and spruce up the blinding white room that my dad has grown so tired of. I can’t wait for Easter and to bring a little piece of home into room 212 and cheer up my dad!

Week 10 – Artist Interview- Dawn Ertl


When Dawn Ertl came into class on Tuesday and shared a few words about her show in the galleries this week, I was instantly excited and curious to see them! Today, having the chance to view her work I became even more interested and curious! When she shared that she used the waves of sound from a piece of music as inspiration to make one of her pieces, I was so intrigued! I don’t know how anyone could ever come up with such an idea! It’s really cool to think of artists using one form of art, such as music, to create another piece of art that is so different such as weaving. The first thing I noticed about Ertl’s work were the colors! There were so many of them incorporated in all of the pieces and together they created a very whimsical vibe to me. It’s not surprising to me at all that each of her pieces took around 6 months to create, you can really tell that there was a lot of dedication and time put into her work which makes viewing it even that much more special. It’s such a cool opportunity as a student to get to share such a big moment for artists such as Ertl who is displaying her last show at CSULB with a display that she has worked very hard on and that is very important to her. I think the most interesting thing to me personally about Ertl’s woven pieces is the message behind them. To use environmental issues also as inspiration to get a message across by her art is a really cool way of taking a stand and saying something important. She wants to get across that our relationship to the environment is very important and it’s very important that we treat it nicely and that we treat each other nicely.
It amazed me how the pieces in the second picture posted above, first had to be made as patterns on paper which were also displayed in the gallery (third picture posted above) and consisted of extreme detail and lots of color. They were all titled after different weather conditions such as “humidity” or “wind direction” and after I was aware of this fact I looked at the pieces differently. It made a lot more sense to me because they really did portray works of mother nature like the wind and rain. When Dawn Ertl shared and discussed her art with us today, I really saw a lot of passion and pride in her art which makes viewing the art in these galleries such a cool and unique experience, especially being someone very unfamiliar with art galleries and such.