Wk 5 – Artist Conversation – Katherine McRaven

Artist: Katherine McRaven

Exhibition: Insolitum

Media: 3D Printing, Metal, Drawing

Gallery: CSULB School of Art – Dennis W. Dutzi Gallery



About the Artist

Kathrine McRaven is an undergraduate at CSULB’s School of Art’s Sculpture Program. She is from Long Beach and and enjoys photography, filming, and writing. Although she is currently in the Sculpture Program, she has become vary interested in the Metal Program. She also enjoys science and gets a lot of inspiration and ideas from science. In the future she hopes to continue working on her art, and hopefully be able to live off of her work.

Formal Analysis

Kathrine has many different pieces in her exhibit, each with a unique look and textures. Some of these different pieces include metal work, 3-D printing, and paper. In many of her metal works there was hammer work done which gave each piece a characteristic texture. Other metal pieces were bend and shaped or even made into bowls. This level of complex metal work shows great dedication and attention to detail. Once piece in particular consisted of a collection of triangular metal pieces together but separate. Some of the paper pieces consisted of geometric shapes that intertwined and together formed a collective image.


Content Analysis

Much of what Katherine has created has a basis in science and math. She has created a contrast between the natural and modern world. This contrast can be seen many of her pieces. The paper pieces show the linear and geometric shapes made on a piece of paper. The necklace piece, is physically made of different metals which come from the Earth, but they are cut geometrically into patterns of a modern society. This same idea is seen in other metal pieces, including the one seen above.

Synthesis/My Experience

I must say that Katherine’s exhibit was very unique and had art that I was not used to seeing. I knew that metal working existed, but I had never been able to see and talk to an artist who actually did the work. Learning what it takes to make a piece really took me by surprise. Not only the personal work preferences that Katherine had to work really late at night until the morning but the actual mechanics that went into working with metal. I never knew it took so much chemistry and preparation to shape, color, and texture a piece of metal into a work of art. It was truly eye opening and beautiful.





Wk 5 – Art Activity – Graffiti Writing

I really enjoyed this weeks art activity which was graffiti writing. This is my first time using spray paint and it was really fun. I was not able to go to Venice Beach this week, but I was able to get together with some of my friends from class to share paints, and help each other out. We weren’t able to paint directly on the wall so we used some cardboard we found and it worked pretty well. At first I was a little hesitant to start because I haven’t used spray paint before and didn’t want to mess up but once I got started it was really nice. I also learned how easy it is to cover imperfections or mistakes you make on your first pass by adding more paint. Actually painting with spray paint makes it easier to understand why other people like it and why they do it regularly. It feels good to be able to make a statement or in this case a name, bright and visible.

Overall I enjoyed this activity not only because of the art but also because of the connection you make to the entire art style and the people that do it. In the future I would love to go to Venice Beach and try graffiti art there and hopefully bring friends along to learn and enjoy the experience.

Wk 4 – Art Activity – Automatic Drawing

This weeks art activity was automatic drawing, and was one of the weirder activities for me so far. The basic premise is, you find a partner and in the same fashion as a Ouija board you hold a pastel (or another marking tool) together and let your hands flow where ever they want. I did this activity with my friend Daniel from art class and out drawings turned out pretty great.

The first piece was a bit rougher and more rigid than the second drawing. Within the flow of the drawing there is a rabbit. Daniel says he sees a world within the rabbit but I do not see it. Along with the rabbit within the world is carrot, because what is a rabbit without its carrot.

The second piece had a much smoother flow to it. I think this was due mainly to having already done one already. I think by getting out any ideas or pictures in our head in the first piece, we were able to just let the pastel flow more easily and create a much more flowing image.

Doing this activity was a little weird to me just because it is not really what I am used to when people mention different styles of art but it is an interesting method nonetheless. I would however like to see how this activity would do at a party. I am sure that it would open people up more and give them an cool activity to meet over. Plus, they also get a cool party favor!

Wk 4 – Artist Conversation – Carly Lake

Artist: Carly Lake

Exhibition: Closer

Media: Wood, Clay, Yarn, Acrylic

Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Dennis W. Dutzi Gallery

Website: carlylake.com

Instagram: Sea.lake

About the Artist:

Carly Lake is a senior at CSULB, who is in School of Art’s BFA program with an emphasis on illustration. In addition to this she also getting a minor in American Indian Studies. Her studies have helped her to be more open minded and have helped to expand her creative ideas. She is currently working on a book of illustrations with her friend Cindy. In the future she would like to enter into an editorial program and maybe one day teach as well.

Formal Analysis:

The specific piece that was a part of the Closer exhibit that I will discuss is called Clonal Realm. It is a combination of different art medias that are used to express its idea. It consists of a clay sculpture that are all colored in different patterns that sit on top of a plywood base. This base is colored all different colors and is suspended in the air by wires. On the underside of the base is a tangle of different colored thread.

Content Analysis:

This piece was created in response to a TED Talk that Carly had seen. In this talk they discussed a clonal plants, which are plants that have underground connections to what seem like other individual plants. In reality though, these plants are not individuals even though they look like it, they are all connected to each other. Carly took this idea and applied it to humans in order to see society and the human race in a whole new light. Even though everyone comes from a different background and lifestyle, we are all connected to one another and share a global heritage together.

Synthesis/ My Experience:

At first I was intrigued by the piece because it had looked interesting and I was wondering what all of the yarn was for. Once Carly explained that she had been inspired by clonal plants, I understood what she was trying to get across. I understood because back when I was taking some of my early biology courses, I remember learning about clonal plants and thinking that it was similar to the way that ecosystems, humans, and the world works together everyday. The different colors show the phenotype (outward characteristics) that people and organisms gain and pick up over their lives. The underlying clay and connections show the genotype (underlying characteristics) of each organism.

The colorful roots under the base show the interconnections of all of the different organisms on this earth. Even though these roots are messy and disordered, they are essential to keeping the entire system alive. This system is just  like business, art, science and so many more disciplines that are essential in keeping society going and working everyday. This is why I enjoyed this particular piece of the closer exhibit and hope to keep it fresh in my mind as long as I can in order to remind myself that it takes everyone working together to keep it all going.



Wk 3 – Artist Conversation – Alvaro Alvarez Salazar

Exhibition Information

Artist: Alvaro Alvarez Salazar

Exhibition: A Response to Classical Music

Media: Video, Paint, Music

Gallery: CSULB School of Art: Marilyn Werby Gallery

Website: None at this time


About the Artist

Alvaro Alvarez Salazar is a creative and inspirational artist. He is currently in is second year of CSULB’s School of Fine Arts. Although he is in the School of Fine Arts he hasn’t decided definitively what area he wants to focus on, and is still explore the different types of media. Alvaro is originally from Guatemala but he moved to the United States when he was a child. He has always been creative and art has helped him with his transition coming to a new country. Art has help him throughout his life and he hopes to one day become a teacher and teach others art in hopes of inspiring them as well.  Continue reading

Wk 3 – Classmate Conversation – Christopher Yuen



Welcome back to the third installment of Classmate Conversations! This week I met with Christopher Yuen. Chris is originally from Oakland, California and is now a sophomore here at CSULB. He is studying fashion design and wants to create and own his own brand in the future. Art is also a pretty big part of his life because he enjoys sketching out new designs for clothes. He also really enjoys sewing and even makes some of his own clothes.

When Chis isn’t working on perfecting his designs or working on new sketches, he likes to break dance. He is part of the break dancing club on campus. When we talked about what kind of art influenced our lives the most Chris quickly responded by saying clothing designs have influenced him the most. When he creates his own designs he takes influence from other designers he looks up to. Knowing this I see why he has taken the path he has in school, and hope to see him succeed in the fashion industry.

To  see more of Chris’ experiences and art check out his website:


Art Activity – Week 2 : Landscapes with a Corpse

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A Broken Branch, a Broken Back

Creating this scene I wanted to convey a few things to the viewer. One of them is that I wanted them to see the green and life surrounding my corpse in order to create a contrast between life and death. This living nature is also there to remind people of the life cycle that humans and all living organisms go through. The other thing I wanted to convey is the unpredictability of life, because in the picture I wanted people to see someone climbing a tree only to have fallen to their death. This unpredictability can be good or bad and just because it can be bad at times, this shouldn’t stop us from doing what we want.

The actual process of creating the scene was fairly simple. The only difficult part was finding a friend willing to climb up a tree to take the picture. As an added bonus I was able to take some time and enjoy the outdoors with my friend. Overall I enjoyed this activity and think that people should try doing this type of activity regularly. By this I mean start with an idea or theme and try and take pictures conveying this, maybe even in an app.


Classmate Conversations – Week 2 : Tina Nguyen!


Hello! This weeks classmate conversation was with Tina Nguyen. Tina is an awesome girl who is a second year biochem major. She is really funny and really easy to talk to. One of her favorite foods is french fries (which are great) and her favorite fancy food is Pho. We both love white chocolate macadamia nut cookies, so you could say we’re pretty much the same person. She is more of a dog person (I am too) but she doesn’t have a dog right now, but she does have an awesome fish. The main reason she doesn’t like cats is because she doesn’t trust them, which I don’t either. She is from the city of Garden Grove and went to Pacifica High School, which was a rival to my old high school Cypress. Since leaving high school and becoming a biochem major she has gotten involved in undergraduate research with Professor Vas. She helps to make the proteins that the research team is using to research Alzheimer disease as well as some cardiovascular research.

When Tina is not busy with schoolwork or research, she likes to watch TV as well as go kayaking. She likes to go kayaking with friends but doesn’t get to go too often. I sympathize with her because I enjoy kayaking myself but don’t have much time to dedicate to it.

When we discussed if art still has a place in the world, we both agreed that it definitely did. Tina sees art being used more as a cultural cornerstone. Art has been around for so long and has been an integral part of every society. It has shaped how people think and act as well bringing beauty into peoples lives. When I gave my reason I had forgotten of the historical significance that art has played for generations. I am really glad that I was able to talk to Tina this week. She is a really great girl who I am sure will do great things in the future.