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!


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!