Wk 10-Artist Conversation – Tony Nguyen

Artist: Tony Nguyen

Exhibition: Neoteny

Media: Metal, Ceramic, and Wood

Gallery: CSULB School of Art – Merlino Gallery

Website: eltigresite.wordpress.com

Facebook: facebook.com/RoboticTony

Email: robotictony@aol.com

Instagram: elll_tigre


About the Artist

Tony Ngyuen is currently a fifth year student at CSULB, pursuing a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Metal. Originally an illustration major he changed his focus to metal, and hasn’t looked back. His exhibit, Neoteny, means someone/something that keeps their childish behavior even as an adult. Tony’s feels that this is a good descriptor of his work and of himself. The work in this exhibit reflects Neoteny and having taken two years to create, it is safe to say that Tony’s has kept this same style for a while. In the future, Tony hopes to build props for Hollywood and later on become a professor.

Formal Analysis

Most all of the pieces in the exhibit are made of metal and give everything a sort of cold and sharp feel. Although this cold feeling was subsided by the content that each piece expressed. All of the pieces were very detail oriented and ranged in size from a small ring to a headpiece or glove. Most of the pieces in the exhibit were made of aluminum as well. Even the number labels were made of metal.

Content Analysis

All but one of the pieces in Tony’s exhibit were made to pay tribute to his childhood and the memories he has of those times. The Many Tonys piece was an expression of himself and the different versions showed the many fun and childish ways he still thinks about the world. Kimlee the Pothead and Conrad Jones the Watering can are another perfect example of how Tony expresses his childhood and childish thoughts through his art. Even on some of the pieces that were required to make for his classes his style and childishness shines through to the audience.


Going through Tony’s exhibit made me remember moments in my own childhood and even thoughts I have today. I remember making a pot for a plant and making pothead jokes to others, and Kimlee the Pothead, does exactly that in a more professional and elegant way. Green lanterns ring and the Black Hand also really took me back to my younger self because thinking back I wanted my own of these items but not know how I could possible make them unless I lived in an alternate universe or comic strip. Seeing these items in real life brings me a lot of joy, knowing that someone else has had a the same thoughts and was able to make that thought into reality. It is important to keep a sense of childhood and innocence when going through the world, and this exhibit does just that.


Wk 10 – Art Activity – Fiber Art Social Network

This weeks art activity was to create a physical social network with the rest of the class and make a more personal network on paper. In class we made a big network with everyone. It did get very full in the room we were making the network in though, but luckily we I was able to get there relatively early. This did leave it so that I wasn’t able to see the end result, but I can’t wait to see the fully realized product. For my personal one I used a mix of people I know from work, college, high school, and my own family. I used the different colors separate the groups. Doing this I realized that many of the different friend groups could potentially become one group due to the types of friends I make. If put together they would most likely all get along well.

I mainly associate the term social network to online tools because I think it is kind of weird when you refer to your friends as a network. When I meet people I don’t want to try and make them part of my network, but want instead to make them a good friend. In this way I hope to make a stronger friendship and one that lasts a long time. That being said, I do think that Dunbar’s Number makes a lot of sense. I do try to make a great impression on people in hope of having that relationship last a long time because it is likely that I will not be able to interact and keep in touch regularly with that person. Personally I find myself pretty busy everyday so I am not able to keep up with everyone else’s lives all of the time even though it would be awesome if I could.

I think having 1000’s of Facebook friends can mean a number of things depending on what you do on a day to day business. If your job is to network with people all of the time then you probably dedicate more time to preserving those relationships. If you don’t spend that time then the connections can be a lot weaker and more prone to fading into obscurity. When making my own social network, I did realize that the people who popped into my head first were the ones I work with or see on a daily and weekly basis. I would have to concentrate on peoples face and name to recall people not as close as those I had written down.

Personally, I would love to be able to have a close relationship with everyone in the world in order to gain a better understanding of the world and the problems that occur in the world. Although this would be awesome I know that it is physically impossible, so being realist I would say probably 50. This number may still be kind of big just due to my schedule now, but I think it is a good number to strive for in order to keep people close and have a fairly large group to rely on. I think I may have a few friends on Facebook who I only met briefly and were not able to make a really strong bond. I think I is good to have these weaker ties though, because if you are only friends with people you are close to then you are sort of closed off to new opportunities and perspective.

Wk 9- Artist Conversation – Daniel Bonilla-Vera

Artist: Daniel Bonilla-Vera and Dalia Banuelos

Exhibition: Infraction

Media: Photos, Painting, String

Gallery: CSULB School of Art – Merlino Gallery

Website: dbvphotography.com

Instagram: (Daniels): @dbvqp  and (Delia’s): @deliaeffect

About the Artist

Infraction was a joint creation of artists Daniel Bonilla-Vera and Dalia Banuelos. It was born as an expression of the frustrations they both had not being able to get into the photography program at CSULB. For the purposes of this artist conversation I will focus on Daniel Bonilla-Vera. Daniel is and undergraduate student at CSULB working to obtain his Bachelors of Fine Arts in Studio Art. He transferred here from the College of the Sequoias in Visalia, California.

Formal Analysis

The exhibit was set in a dark room with lights focused on the art. The entire exhibit was connected with yarn that connected each picture to one another. Starting from the front there is a series of pictures that eventually leads to the back were there is a giant web like structure made of yarn that connects more pictures on the walls and also has pictures attached to the yarn of the web. On the other wall of the exhibit is more pictures and paintings connected with yarn. At the very end of the yarn trail is a trashcan full of pictures. The very interesting thing about the back of the exhibit though is the two human like mannequins dressed in clothing. One was curled up in a ball in a corner and the other was on their knees and looked as if they were crying.

Content Analysis

As I said before, Infraction is an expression of the frustration that Daniel and Dalia experienced when they were rejected from the photography program. All of the numerous pieces within this exhibit were ones they created and submitted and got rejected with. The black yarn that connects all of the pictures shows the progress, confusion, and frustration going from a linear trip to more of a tangled web. Once it gets back to a linear pattern it unfortunately leads to the trashcan. This is entire story that the yarn creates really makes you feel for Daniel and Dalia because we have all been frustrated with something we wanted but couldn’t have in some capacity.


When I walked into the gallery I was not sure what to expect, but fortunately I found a well told story, experience, and emotion. Having the exhibit be in such a dark room I felt the depth and weight of the situation they had experienced. This darkness along with the many many photos, showed me how frustrated they must of felt on their journey to try and get into the photography program. Many times try a little, fail, and give up when they try to reach a goal. With Daniel and Dalia, you can physically see the numerous photos and paintings they went through just to come up short. Even though they did not get into the photography program I applaud them for giving it such an effort and actually trying their hardest to reach their goal. Another take away is that even though they got rejected, they were able to use that rejection to create such an awesome and interesting exhibit.

Wk 9 – Art Activity – Art Care Package


This weeks art activity was to create an art care package for someone full of things that relate to you and the person you are sending it to. I am sending my package to my friend from high school that has since moved to Texas. Making this art care package was kind of weird just because I didn’t really know what to put in it at first but as I looked around, I saw that many of the things that I like to do I kind of catalog by keeping small pieces of them. I also found that after looking around, many of the things I found reminded me of my friend and our days in high school.

Sending someone an art care package is sort of similar to sending a Snapchat just because you are sharing a piece of your life and story with your friend. It is different because of how real the art care package makes the entire experience. I think that snaps don’t caring as much meaning with them, is due to them being virtual, short, and disappearing. With a care package, the items take up physical space and are things that were chosen specifically to go to a person, and those things had to be given up by the sender.

As for ephemera, I really had no experience with it before and it took a while for me to understand exactly what was. After some research, I did get what it was and think it is really cool. I remember going through some of my grandparents old things when we cleaned their garage, and thought some of the stuff was really cool just because of how old it was. I think that some of the old things we find can really mean a lot to us because of a common interest or bond while other things are just interesting just because of their age and who they belonged to.

I don’t really think that there is a difference between art in a gallery and art made for a specific person. I believe that all art can me something or nothing to different people. Just because you put something you or your friend connect with in the package doesn’t mean that someone outside of that relationship can’t connect to something in the package. Just like art in a gallery, not everyone will connect but many will.

The time that it takes to make an art care package definitely makes a difference in the meaning. Sending a snap is more for amusement and more out of trying to avoid being bored. Creating an entire package for someone else, picking out items, and sending it takes a lot more thought and preparation. Both have there place but there is a lot more care that goes into the care package. That being said there is a different type of love that is contained in an art care package. I believe that when you spend more time creating something for someone else, you are outwardly showing them how much you care. This is because you are giving them your time in the form of a package, present, or homemade dinner. I think that giving someone your time is one of the most valuable things you can give because all of us only have so much to give in our lifetimes. We should be wise with who we give it to and make sure we don’t waste it.




Wk 8 – Classmate Conversation – Maritess Inieto


This week I got to talk to and learn about Maritess Inieto. She is an awesome 20 year old molecular cell biology student here at CSULB. Her birthday August 7th, which  is a day off from being exactly six months away from my own birthday (February 8th). Though she currently lives in Long Beach she is from the East Bay near San Francisco. She also has a pet bird back home named Rosie. Maritess doesn’t work outside of being a student right now but she does want to become a dentist one day. This might explain why her favorite color being white.

As for the piece of art Maritess would like to share with everyone she chose, The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Katsushika Hokusai. For her it has been one of her favorite pieces growing up and it is very aesthetically pleasing to her. For the question as to whether she would support her child’s decision to pursue a career in art, she definitely would. She wouldn’t want to put them down and would try to help them as much as possible. As for what apps we have in common, there a quite a few. These apps included notes, weather, google drive, google mail, google maps, calculator, voice memo, alarm clock, phone, messenger, safari, google docs, calendar, camera and photos. I think the main reason we had so many common apps is because Maritess uses a lot of folders but looking at the list I guess we are both trying to be productive students.

I am really glad I got to talk to Maritess this week and hope that she reaches her goals into the future. Here is a link to her blog so you can keep up with all of her awesomeness.



Wk 8 – Art Activity – Sketching

For this weeks art activity we got to go to the Japanese Gardens on campus to sketch! I have been to the garden a few time before for events held there but I had never just gone to look around. For the activity we had to do a series of sketches that took different amounts of time. This seemed like a lot of work when reading all of the instructions but it really wasn’t too bad. First were the 30 second sketches which we did ten times. These were fun little sketches but I think because I was using half a page for each sketch I was not able to put as much detail into each one. The 30 seconds was also a pretty short amount of time for me but it did force me to keep drawing and not erase any mess ups.

The five minute sketch was a lot more relaxing and fun in my opinion because you were able to breath and focus on creating a picture instead of worrying about time. The contour drawings had to be one of the hardest activities to do just because I knew I was not connecting lines because I wasn’t looking at my paper. The abstracts were a little harder  to do for me because trying to make something look like something else is kind hard to process in my mind. Nonetheless I did enjoy drawing at the Japanese Garden and will hopefully go there again just to enjoy it and relax. And as usual the koi fish were both awesome but a little freaky.

Wk 7 – Artist Conversation –

Artist: Dulce Soledad Ibarra

Exhibition: Manos de Oro

Media: Video, Sculpture

Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Max Gatov Gallery East

Website: dulcesoledadibarra.com

About the Artist

Dulce is currently obtaining her Bachelors in Fine Arts with an emphasis in sculpture. She is a senior at CSULB and grew up in Chino, California. She currently works for an organization that teaches kids about art. The work she is currently doing goes along with her belief of having children find their passions early on and being proud of them. This pride is seen in her work and the work her father did in gardening which inspired her to create this exhibit.

Formal Analysis

The Manos de Oro exhibit was a two part set up. There were many different gardening tools and equipment laid out on the ground and on the walls. This equipment was covered gold which made each piece stand out. The second part of the exhibit had a video which played a person pruning plants and gardening.

Content Analysis

Dulces fathers work was the inspiration for this exhibit and it is the reason that the equipment is covered in gold. Manos de Oro means hands of gold, which Dulce is referring to her fathers hands. She says this because in her eyes her father’s hands and the work that they do are like gold because of all of the opportunities they have been able to make possible for her and her family. The actual covering of equipment in gold is also there to show the pride that Dulces father has in the work he does as well as the pride that Dulce has for the work her father does.


Seeing the work that Dulce has put into her exhibit is really amazing to see. You can tell by the way she presents it and the way she talks about it that she is proud of her work as well as her fathers work. To me this pride in honest work is something that many people have lost and need to get back. Nowadays many people get caught up in competing with each other to get more money and more things without really caring about they work they do. This is a shame to see because when someone takes pride in there work and what they do, people can tell and appreciate that someone really cares if there work is done right or not. The exhibit also made me reflect on how I was embarrassed about the work my parents did for a long time. It can be hard to let yourself and your life be out there for everyone to see, but seeing this exhibit really made me want to take more pride in the work I do and the work the people around me do as well.


Wk 6 – Artist Conversation- Sheila Garrett Rodriguez

Artist: Sheila Garrett Rodriquez

Exhibition: Were We Even Here

Media: Drawing, Painting, Embroidery, Multi-Media, Performance

Gallery: CSULB School of Arts – Max L. Gatov Gallery East

Website: http://www.sheilagarrettrodriguez.com/

Instagram: @sheilagarretrodriguez

About the Artist:

Sheila Rodriquez is a graduate student at CSULB. She is currently getting her Masters in Fine Arts with a focus on Fiber. She received her Bachelors in Fine Arts in Drawing and Painting at CSULB as well. Sheila was a stay at home mom for a number of years but has come back to school to pursue her passion for art. A lot of the work she does revolves around homes and run down homes. Her culture and heritage are also really big inspirations for her art work.

Formal Analysis:

Most of the pieces in the exhibit are made from actual pieces of run down houses. There is a bed frame, furniture, and even drywall all incorporated into the gallery. With all of these different house pieces together in the exhibit, it give a viewer a sense of being in a house. Throughout the different pieces Sheila has incorporated flowers, nature, and bright colors. These elements really contrast with the dark colors of the materials and paint. The video installation also gives viewers the sense that there is someone preparing food in the other room which adds to the home like feeling of the entire exhibit.

Content Analysis:

Houses and material things can be cold and uninviting but it is the people and the memories made there that give it warmth and life. Sheila has done this using the colorful fibers she has incorporated into each piece. Because of the way that she was raise and the fact that she has had to move many many times over her life the exhibit acts as a connection to her soul. The cultural influence on all of the pieces is both prevalent and soothing to see. Without the pop of colors that Sheila has incorporated into the exhibit, a very different feeling would be felt by the viewers, probably one of dread and despair. Instead of this dread, it gives off a much lighter tone. This feeling also gives off the impression that she has left each house she has lived in with a little bit of her and hopefully brightened it up.


When I was looking around the exhibit, I got a warm type of vibe from each of the pieces. I think it was due to the flowers and what they represent. To me each flower or organism growing over and in the different pieces, taking over them was both a happy and sad thing to see. This is because you know that they will eventually take over and destroy the house, but they will also replace it with something beautiful and alive. I think that may be the biggest take away from this exhibit. That it is not the house that we really want, it is the living moments in time that we want to preserve and remember in a particular house.


Wk 6 – Art Activity – Flip Book

This weeks art activity was to create a flip book. It had been a long time since I had even attempted to make one of these but in creating this one, it really made me happy. It has the same sort of sense of a movie but with a lot less preparation, people, and budget. You can make your own movie fairly quickly and easily using the flip book method.

I think the most difficult thing was coming up with the story. Because I had sewn together my flip book in class, I had already set the number of pages I could work with, without having the story I wanted to draw out. This make more a bit of a challenge to make a story fit in the space but with enough thought, I was able to come up with one. Although this was the most difficult part for me, it was also the most fun. This type of art is simple but because of this simplicity it allows itself to be accessible to many.

It can be a bit tedious setting up and drawing all of the pages, but it is worth the work and you have a small book that is all your own that you can come back to whenever you want. Here is a video of my flip book. Enjoy!