Friday, November 21, 2008

Behind the Scenes with Barbara: Making the Ad Art for ARTSweek and Leaders Night

It’s great when you find an art director/designer/illustrator group all-in-one situation to work on a project — which happened with creating this year's invitation (image above) to the ASI Student Leader Night.

I walked into the ASI Communications office (where 99% of the student government orders its project materials, everything from name tags to 30-foot banners) three weeks before the bash, which would take place at the close of ARTSweek, on Thursday, Nov. 20. And I came in with oozes of newspaper articles, books with marked photos and all the written details to what would belong on the inside of the invitation.

My vision for the invitation's look came from Pop master Andy Warhol's Mick Jagger pastel and acetate collaged silkscreen foil posters, and his Liz Taylor pastel prints (I love!). But when I met with one of the illustrators at ASI Comm., Patrick, he had his own ideas and created a landscape of the University Art Museum à la color-by-numbers — he made the museum into the star. After, another designer stepped in and added color. The results? Pssss... Look above!

After researching the designer's inspiration for the Leaders Night invitation, which was to transform the UAM into a star and create a color-by-numbers landscape, I became a fan.

A full week of arts-related events for ARTSweek passed, then Thursday night finally strolled in for the ASI Student Leader Night, an event created by the previous arts commissioner, Melissa Tanney. A group of about 50 devoured yummy minis from Bouchees Bistro and Silver Ballon cupcakes created especially for this event by Frosted Cupcakey. Apple Computers and the Photo Club entertained guests with taking Polaroid and other Pop-inspired photos in the UAM's Reading Room. Then, we toured the galleries with the direction of the UAM museum director, Chris Scoates, as he ellaborated on Andy Warhol's life as an artist and his art pieces found in "Warhol: 15 min/24 fps."

Let Andy Warhol inspire you, too. "Warhol: 15 min/24 fps" will be at Cal State Long Beach's UAM through Dec. 14.

Chris Scoates on YouTube: 'Now at the UAM'

If you're curious of what the University Art Museum Director Chris Scoates has to say about the three current exhibits showing at the UAM, watch this YouTube video:

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

On the Arts Beat: 400 Words about ARTSweek

Making the ARTS on campus visible
Published in Tuesday's edition of the Daily Forty-Niner

Poll Results: Warhol Thoughts

Earlier this month I asked what Warhol muse(s) you’d most likely want to be and also what artist you would like to see the University Art Museum pull from its permanent collection for a show, à la Andy Warhol. The poll questions revolved around the UAM, because, after all, it's had an impressive month — from debuting “Warhol: 15 min/24 fps,” to receiving a grant from the Getty Center to collaborate with the Long Beach Museum of Art on a show on video art. If you’ve been M.I.A., look through my archives for more details. For now, here are this month’s poll questions and results:

If you could be one of Andy Warhol's darlings, who would you be?
57% voted Elizabeth Taylor
28% voted Edie Sedgwick
14% voted Campbell Soup, Lou Reed, the Wicked Witch of the West or Mick Jagger

Andy Warhol was known to ask his friends for their suggestions on what he might paint next. Make a suggestion to the UAM on what other major artist from its permanent collection should show next.
50% voted David Hockney
33% voted Roy Lichtenstein
16% voted Graciela Iturbide

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Blurb of the Night

Met L.A. artist Maya Schindler tonight, and I wish I could've taken pictures of Andy Warhol's silver ballons. Naked women were at the museum. "Performance action," they call it. Tattoo, then glue.

ARTSweek Event : MUSEUM I Nov. 13 I “Warhol; 15 min / 24 fps” “Maya Schindler: Present Progressive” “Un-figuring the Body” I University Art Museum I 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Public Reception I Free

This is what's happening at Cal State Long Beach this week. It's the Week of the Arts, or simply ARTSweek! Hooray!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Photo Blurb: A "Splattered" Scene

These little masterpieces can be found in the Design Building's hallway. They were created for Matias Ocana's Industrial Design - Materials and Tools (Design 151) class.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Notebook: Hour-by-Hour Snapshots

Today is Election Day. And instead of hurrying to vote or even opening the newspaper to read whatever new controversy might’ve landed a 60-point headline, I plopped down for a nonsense breakfast at about 10 to 10. No radio. No TV. But, yes, toasty hash browns and creamy scrambled eggs interlaced with slices of garlic and onion, with a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice, and the clear sky allowing the intoxicating sun to shine through — I do remember thinking what beautiful day this had already started off to be!

11:07 a.m. I am somewhere racing down the 405, blasting some wild rock music, loud and for long, by Long Beach’s own, Cold War Kids. I can’t ignore the fact the band performed at the DNC, or Democratic National Convention, earlier this year.

12:16 p.m. On Facebook via mobile. All status updates look alike.

Cruz is an MFA student. Sander, a theater student who recently starred in the student showcased "Whose ISM is It Anyway?"

2:32 p.m. Meeting #2. This time at the University Art Museum, where I met with Nadia, the public relations assistant, for our plans to (as she put it) “take over the world.” More on that soon! *Mega-wink.* We were tucked away in the cozy Reading Room, plotting away some magical Warhol soiree, when suddenly politics and art slipped into our conversation. An undergraduate art history student, Nadia pointed out the somewhat overload amount of art shows galleries accumulated during campaign season. A lot of Obama art and a lot more subversive political art, she noted.

3:47 p.m. Immersed in the remote land simply labeled Dance Center on Cal State Long Beach maps, I encounter a flyer, “ArtsVote … Arts Positions of the 2008 Prsidential Candidates.”

Click to enlarge. LEFT Found. Evidence that dance students are interested in the campaign and each candidate's view on the arts. RIGHT Details, according to ArtsVote.

4:52 p.m. CSULB is only an image in my rear mirror now. Still in wonderment about that political video art I encountered at the galleries yesterday, I drive away wondering how Masters of Fine Art sculpture artist McLean Fahnestock is celebrating Election Day. She did mention a treat for gallery guests wearing an "I Voted" sticker. Ben & Jerry's and Starbucks are doing something like that, too. I am headed home to vote.

6:13 p.m. I am in my hometown, San Pedro. I've waited 15 minutes in a short line of about 20, finally reaching the check-in table where I present my California driver's license, sign by my name, receive a ballot, am directed to a poll station, look for the President's name, punch, turn around, deposit ballot, receive sticker. I Voted.

Photos, a la Fahnestock.
7:22 p.m. Chinese take-out, steamy. TV with Katie Couric, steamy.

8:09 p.m.
Game over. Barack Obama will become the 44th president of the United States of America. Offical release by the Wall Street Journal:

Nov. 4, 2008

Barack Obama won a historic race for the White House, defeating John McCain to become the first African-American president. Obama carried Democratic strongholds such as California and New York, but also won key battlegrounds such as Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Florida.

With the victory, the 47-year-old senator will become the nation's 44th president, riding a tide of voter discontent with the economy, the war in Iraq and eight years of Republican control.

Obama's party was poised to expand its majorities in both the House and Senate, setting the stage for Democrats to push an ambitious agenda from health care to financial regulation.

What are your reflections on today's results?

Monday, November 3, 2008

Pre-Election Notebook: Fahnestock's Video Art

NO WALLFLOWER McLean Fahnestock, MFA sculpture student, exercises her political views through her video art. Politics and celebrity shape powerful characters we all get to know, but politicians hold all the power, Fahnestock says.

It's come down to less than 24 hours before Election Day. History will be made either way -- the possibility exists for the first black president or the first woman vice president to enter office.

Whatever the scenario, Masters of Fine Arts sculpture student McLean Fahnestock is watching carefully, so carefully she often records politicians or those stalwart political TV analysts in the act.

In the Gatov gallery, she's got Hilary Clinton in a "Today Show" interview from 1998 -- the day after the Lewinski scandal broke. Part of Fahnestock's interests include documenting politicians who mesh "private and public parts" of their lives before the media. A better example rings louder in the Merlino gallery, occupied by another one of her videos, "The Great Debate." "God. God. God. God." repeat two men. This is an example of how God, being that private thing, gets delivered in such a public manner.

THE "GOD" VIDEO "God. God. God. God. God." Currently in the Merlino Gallery, Fahnestock's 45-second video projection called "The Great Debate." The video shows two conservative news analysts, George Will and Cal Thomas. The great debate? It's about teaching creationism and evolution, noted Fahnestock.

"I am watching performance," notes the part-time video artist. "It's a facade, all in the face, a schedule in looking like people."

Like how democratic nominee Barack Obama announced he'd be spending time with his children for Halloween?, I probe. Actually, Farhnestock responds, more like John McCain's making-up of fictional characters, like "Joe the Plumber," attempting to grasp the middle-class archtype.

Farhnestock is excited about the election, and so am I. And as the school's arts commissioner, I'm more curious of which candidates have more interest in supporting the arts and funding for artists, a lot of like what I do.

Click here to read what LA Times has to say about the presidential candidates and their individual support towards the arts.

Do you vote according to who has greater support for the arts?

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sculpture Act

You see the frame of a chair, there. You see the wiry skeleton of a chair, up there. A rope controls the direction of the chair, up there, which will eventually dip in a pool of bubble solution, down there. Slowly, cautiously, breath by breath, the rope lifts the wiry chair into the air, now glossed with a flimsy shell of bubble. The skeleton has transformed into an outer skin, like a fabric to fit the wooden "chair" below.

"Not in So Many Words": See this active sculpture in its breathing moments at set times in the gallery.

The Very Act
by McLean Fahnestock (Sculpture, MFA)
Max Gatov Gallery at the Student Art Galleries
Sunday, Nov. 2, to Thursday, Nov. 6

Art Commissioner Says: Getty Grant Good

OC Register, then LA Times, and now the Daily Forty-Niner...
The news broke through and everyone's excited: The Getty Foundation announced $2.8 million in grants to museums, big and small, throughout Southern California. Why? Because, according to the The Arts Blog (OC Register), there will be a region-wide expansive series of concurrent exhibits highlighting L.A.'s and SoCal's art after World War II, for "Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980."

Because of Long Beach's rich history with video art, the Getty assigned the University Art Museum and the Long Beach Museum of Art to work on creating a video-centric show for "PST." Getty is making it happen!

Daily Forty-Niner reporter Antoinette Luzano asked for my reaction to the news. (I was quoted in a later issue of the DFN.) Below, my statement in its entirety.

If Los Angeles has been overshadowed by the New York scene for so long, what hope was there ever for Long Beach? But the interest is exploding, and this grant reflects that.

Long Beach is unique because of its history with video, and the Long Beach Museum of Art helped to flourish this sometime in the ‘70s with video art studios that gave birth to the Martha Roslers and Bill Violas of the world.

video frenzy has diminished with time, but the past is the past and the appreciation exists.
It’d be so cool to uncover all that video-making magic that took place here, especially when it’s known how the LBMA has probably the world’s most expansive video collection. The possibilities that this grant bring to the horizon are simply incredible — it’d probably help with the research, restoration and archiving of videos. I’m sure our school’s University Art Museum is tingling with excitement to work on making things happen.

I look forward to seeing what comes from the Getty grant!