Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Art for Mid-week Wednesdays: Static and Statue

INTERPRETATIVE A new kind of sculpture-portrait.

For MFA student Matthew Segotta's Merlino work, this is an art that has more to do with its materials and the story to how it was made, which includes the main ingredient, Segotta's brother, Tim. "The Sculptor," as noted on the room plaque, or casually just "Scout," employed his younger bro for the casting of this untitled piece, and then a rich mix of materials: concrete, hydrocal, silicone, sisal, aluminum and steel.

The details are so specific to the subject—if you look closer at the right arm, you'll see human hair. But the unconventional presentation of this sculpture form is what stood out to me the most. The artist, who is on-hand during the entirety of his exhibition, will tell you about the process and the subject. The viewer, simply me, will tell you how soothing it is to finally walk into a room bare of wall art and stories locked into a perimeter of a few square dimensions. Statue work is normally seen erect, standing, but makes more of a statement here, where it's thrown and naked on the ground. This show makes more an impact with less and gives sculpture art some kind of new air of coolness. It works with the new tradition I've seen coming out of CSULB artists, like with Julia Haft-Candell, an MFA ceramics student who in spring transformed Merlino into a sculpture-cocoon, or BFA student Sean Flaherty, who adds himself into the end product of even his most sensual work. Space and identity are displayed and explored to dynamic exponents.

S.P. BALTAZAR A new character for Patrick Ballard gets its debut behind locked doors, and an overwhelming voice with an equally charged volume.

Another sculpture student who I find repeatedly "adding himself into the end products," is the unparalleled Patrick Ballard.

I stood there knocking, afraid I was missing the show. As soon as I stepped inside the FA3 building, the walls were throbbing from the noise outpouring one of its first-floor showrooms. Though, really, I was in a sequence of two shows in a row (see above) where the audience was challenged to restrain from and resist usual gallery expectations.

In a dramatic sense, it felt like God was speaking to me.

"S.P. Baltazar" is in the FA3 building through Saturday, 7 p.m. Matthew Segotta's work can be viewed through Thursday (12 p.m. to 5 p.m.) in the Merlino Gallery in the Gallery Courtyard.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Young, Talented, Open for Open Studios 2009

THE FRAMEWORK Ceramics MFA candidate Julia Haft-Candell left her studio doors open for curious visitors attending the weekend's Open Studios. Found: Materials, books for inspiration and gorgeous works in progress.

Alan Klein, publisher and president of Angeleno, writes in the current edition of his magazine on the topic of solid first impressions and how they are formed by mere surface appearance "criteria." If we want a further glimpse, he adds, and perhaps a more honest exploration to the person, "Just walk inside their home."

The annual FARt-organized extravaganza that is the Open Studios unfolds chapters in the very way Klein and countless others seek for definition. Question marks turn into exclamation points as the youthful, brainy and creative MFA art stars of Cal State Long Beach open wide the doors to their studios. New artists you'll find fixed in an air of newness, gathered most comfortably guarding the few paintings hanging on their very white walls. Other artists leave their spaces behind, set on "loud volumes," where visitors can freely walk in and experience a sweet and personal dose of absorption in full confidence.

Whether messy or organized, bookshelves or paint brushes, I found these artist studios in surplus of inspiration, where space belonged to visions and works in progress.

FUN ABUNDANCE Haft-Candell's stick things.

MADE WITH CLAY Bryan Allen Moore suspends a scuplted figure in his studios (top, left), shelves the parts (top, right). Space-mate Haft-Candell's bags (bottom), which I could not resist photographing. Muted colors everywhere. And all very pretty.

EAT ME! Kelly Nye, an MFA candidate in metals, and a working force behind the "GLAMFA 2009" exhibition show, shows off pretty pink buttocks, plastic pink cupcakes, and some gold. Where do we bite into first?

IN A PICASSO JAZZ Developing illustration MFA artist, Robert Pokorny left a few large canvases in his very spotless studio space. All focus turned to his wildly beastly-beauty works, which always show his amazing talent for color and hand-drawing.

SUBTLE WIRING New to the MFA painting scene is the author of this series, Elisa Salcedo. In the Open Studios catalog she explains her current works focusing "on ideas of self-destruction and dystopia."

PATTERN RUSH A nice view of Julie Williams's (MFA status unknown) studio space, while printmaking students show their own pattern works and working spaces (below).

FARt is selling the chronicled catalog of this year's near 30 Open Studios MFA participants, at Also in the book, forward and introduction essays written by, respectively, FARt secretary and fibers MFA student Jennifer Reinfsneider, and professor-head to the sculpture program, Bryan Crockett.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Going Where the Fringe Isn’t Extreme

GREAT EXPECTATIONS Brian Eno visits CSULB on Sept. 20.

Music genius Brian Eno will visit our school on Sunday, Sept. 20 for an intimate evening of discussion at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center (CPAC), and tickets are set aside for the special student price of $25. (The general admission price is $100.) Student tickets go on sale at CPAC's Atherton box office on Tuesday, Sept. 1, at 11 a.m.

One of the center's managers pointed out that there is a limited number of tickets, though students will find their seats in a premium spot in the 1,000-seat auditorium.

Brian Eno's career spans in countless directions, having worked in a multiple of genres since his beginning with Roxy Music, then with interesting stints in carrying the producer hat to bands like U2, Talking Heads and Coldplay. He's most popular for creating instrumental, ambient music. And, while many go unaware about this tidbit fact, he also engineered the little tune we hear on our PCs when Windows starts up. Viola!

Brian Eno's art will show at the University Art Museum (UAM) through December for "77 Million Paintings." The exhibition opens on Sat., Sept. 12.

If this all sounds very foreign to you, simply don't turn away. Instead, try something new and watch your horizons expand.

Brian Eno visits the Richard and Karen Carpenter Performing Arts Center at Cal State Long Beach on Sept. 20 at 7 p.m. for "An Evening with Brian Eno." Tickets at student prices will go on sale Tuesday, Sept. 1 at 11 a.m. For more information, call the CPAC ticket office, 562-985-7000, or visit online at

[Source of photo.]

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Must: Open Studios 2009 Announced!

WORKS IN PROGRESS: At the beginning of a new school year at Cal State Long Beach, MFA artists open up their work spaces.

[Open Studios]

My favorite event of all arts events at Cal State Long Beach: Open Studios. My first plunge into the art-making sphere last year was entirely property of Open Studios. I met a friendly count of MFA artists, sometimes at work inside their campus studios or hanging out with other campus MFA friends. It's a scene. CSULB studios become breathing, stunning spaces exhibited in meticulous order, regardless of the paint-stained floors or hosed-hammered walls. The must-attend art event of the entire school year: MFA Open Studios 2009.

I'll see you throughout the CSULB Fine Arts Buildings, exploring MFA studios on Sunday, Sept. 6, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Alongside the Open Studios, GLAMFA.

Monday, June 1, 2009

An Update from the Arts Commissioner

INSIGHTS: A feather-textured dress made of cardboard-like material debuts at the student gallery show, "Annual Foundation Show." Photo by Barbara Navarro.

Dear ARTicles readers,

Thank you for bookmarking my blog and for being a loyal audience. I know many others at school have also taken notice of my efforts. A few weeks ago my commissioner peers awarded me with a shimmering plaque that read, "Commissioner of the Year." It was the best way to end my first year participating with the student government. A hundred thousand thank yous!

It takes a lot of planning and a lot of work in being commissioner. Though it remains top priority to organize events for the school so that our artists and their works are seen for the beauty and thought they fashion our world and our CSULB community.

The eartliest mission in capturing the artistic spirit at school came with the week-long itinerary of music, dance, visual arts and theatre for ArtsWeek, capping it off with a warm finale at the University Art Museum for the second annual Leaders Night. In late January, to open the spring semester, I curated an art show "Downtown" where the Long Beach community could also sample the great productions coming out of CSULB's creative side. That was a sparkly night at downtown Long Beach's Goods Gallery. I hope you were there!

My current status is simple and probably very similar to yours: I'm taking a break for the summer. My passion for the arts (and for my first: journalism) keeps strong, anyway, and I'm already working on ideas for "The New."

What do you think? Barbara Navarro: Arts Commission... A second term?

Have a great summer, and I'll see you all in the fall!

Hearts and arts,

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Best in Class: At Insights 2009

A glimpse to an annual affair that brings together our school's finest art students, the current "Insights" exhibit at the University Art Museum. These are fine-tuned projects that faculty and UAM directors, a.k.a. the jury of the show, can look at with confidence and say, "We get it." And most noteworthy to mention is this year's addition of typography-related products, as experienced through Chris Ballard's curvaceous book on Frank Gehry L.A. gems.

My photos begin with another Ballard (Chris's brother), a university sculpture student who I worked with for the "Downtown" show. Part of the charm in Patrick's work relies on an unspoken communication that almost screams. Whenever I see that block laced with an imaginary static I really just want to dive into it. And Patrick would be fine with that, really. But has anybody tried it?? In the pictures following, I have captured a few of my other favorite pieces showing at "Insights." Rachel Malin's works are odd and they always get my imagination working on little stories of impossible mystery. What Julia Haft-Candell has works in the same way for me, except, in general, I consider Julia's tangled pieces so pretty. Feline and sophisticated with an echoed languor, the scariest way I'd describe what I see in Julia's work. To elaborate what I've drawn out from her sculptures: speckled straps and blushed-up rags. (And more and more. We can all fixate. Now.) The last two artists here (White and Flaherty) worked with capturing the X-rated, a subjet matter I usually turn away from. But not this time when I was, undeniably, left turn on.

Congratulations to all "Insights" artists and to those who were awarded scholarship for their entries! I'm looking forward to more, more, and more!

Patrick Ballard

Rachel Malin

James H. White, III

Sean C. Flaherty

"Insights" is a must-see exhibition reflecting the best of our university's artists in various mediums (paint, film, sculpture, typography, photography, fibers etc.). The University Art Museum at Cal State Long Beach closes the show on Sunday, May 31st.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

My heart's racketing flywheel is stuttering:
Downtown! Downtown!

Cal State Long Beach artists are presenting works in photography, sculpture, paintings, mixed media and video art on Saturday in downtown’s cargo container art space, the Goods Gallery. All CSULB students are invited to attend for free. There’ll be cool local music by Dietra Kruschev and a cool cupcake party. Come celebrate "Downtown!" DTO9.

Your arts commissioner,
Barbara Navarro