Wk 10- Artist Conversation- Helen Werner Cox


Artist: Helen Werner Cox
Exhibition: Silent Screams
Media: Paintings
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West
Website: www.helenwernercox.com
Email: U2Helen@msm.com

About the Artist

Helen Werner Cox is a graduate student at CSULB who is pursing a master’s degree in Fine Arts. She grew up in Ithaca, New York, and then she went to school at BU School of Fine Arts. She then stayed in Boston for 16 years before moving to California. In California she became an art teacher for middle school students. Helen explained that she actually fell in love with teaching middle school students; she laughed when she said this because most people hate teaching middle school students. Besides art, Helen enjoys gardening and reading. She loves to read fiction and mystery novels.

Formal Analysis

Helen’s work is inspired by carousel horses and each of her paintings its quite intriguing. She uses pastels, ink, charcoal, crayons, and even color pencils to create her beautiful pieces of art. Helen uses shading to make her pictures of the horses seem realistic. Most of her pieces are in black and white or they are sketches. Although they are in black and white, they still have this very lively quality. There are a few pieces in color and they too looked very real as well. For her pastel paintings, the paintings look as though they are a bunch of little tick marks.

Content Analysis

Helen’s exhibition is called Silent Screams, and is centered around the idea that antique carousel is a visual metaphor of society. Antique carousels have been around for a while and were actually created for adults not children. Helen explains, “the paradox inherent in a merry-go-round, as the horses go ever forward and never get anywhere, symbolizes the circles we spin, both individually and collectively”.  She says that only a few are fortunate to gain momentum to break out of an endless circle and form a spiral that takes them upward, which keeps with the mythic structure. Helen believes the horse is instrumental in human development, such as farming, transportation, and war. She explains that today the horse has become obsolete and we now find ourselves on the brink of extinction. Helen expresses each image with lights and darks, warms and cools, and an arrangement of major shapes within a composition. She takes inspiration from Goya and Paula Rego because their pieces each contribute components of power and emotional expression.

Synthesis / My Experience

I found Helen Werner Cox’s art to be absolutely interesting. First looking at her artwork, I thought it looked beautiful. The horses seemed to be almost jumping off the page. The paintings were also so large, so it amazed me that she did that much work. The colors of the paintings were also amazing as well. Some were simple, black and white, while others had a variety of colors that made the paintings look lively. I have always loved carousels, especially as a child. They were so interesting to me because the horses all have a different identities but seem the same from far away. My mother also used to collect carousel horse figurines, so I am used to seeing them. After hearing what she believed, antique carousel are a metaphor for life, changed my view on carousels. I just thought they were beautiful before, but her analysis made me rethink what a carousel could stand for.


Wk 10- Classmate Conversation – Rejina Hernandez 

 I met Rejina Hernandez this week. She is a sophomore at CSULB and is majoring in comparative world literature with a minor in creative writing. She explained to me that she likes writing and came across comparative world literature because of the classes she was interested in. They offer courses from mythology to poetry and also literature from many other cultures. The major also offers a variety of career options such as being a producer, photographer, editor, writer, mediator, professor, and tons more. She then said that she doesn’t yet know what she wants to do with the major but will wait and see where life takes her. She loves being around people who love humor, poetry, and biking. She also loves to listen to music. She likes a wide variety of music, from Jack Johnson to JLo to Engelbert Humperdinck. Rejina was born in Los Angeles and has 10 siblings. Something interesting about her is that she is a twin. It was really nice getting to know a little bit about Rejina’s life. 

Wk 10- Art Experience- Instagram 

My Photos:

For the project, posted pictures of a typical Thursday for me. The first picture is from Art 110 at the CSULB galleries. The next picture is of my friend Tareena Woods, who I see every Thursday in art class. The third picture is the view from my desk at work and lastly, there is a photo of my dog who is waiting for me after a long day.


The Class Photos:

The class photos are similar to my own activities but there are a lot of differences as well. Many posted photos of the campus art galleries and their friends. Many people also posted pictures of their dog which was similar to my post as well. Those were the basic similarities between our photos and even our lives. Many seemed to actually be doing exciting things for a Thursday afternoon, which made me rethink my activities on a Thursday’s. I saw people were at Disneyland or in San Diego, while I was stuck at work for 5 hours. It was really interesting to see this because it made me feel that everyone was having the time of their lives. Simple pictures of pho or people driving at night made it seem that they are living an interesting life. Maybe that’s the power of Instagram or everyone just really has awesome lives. I guess you can say that we are sort of a community because we all were doing completely different things but our only connection is this class. Although we may have had similar pictures, our experiences while taking those pictures where completely different.

Wk 9- Artist Conversation- Sean Joy Rosario Cabanig



Artist: Sean Joy Rosario Cabanig
Exhibition: All Work All Play
Media: Metal and Jewelry
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Werby Gallery
Website: N/A
Instagram: N/A

About the Artist

Sean Joy Rosario Cabanig, is an undergraduate student at CSULB and is currently working towards her BFA in metals. She now lives in Long Beach but was once from different part of Los Angeles. Sean has loved art ever since she was a child, and she has been working with metal for the past four years. The pieces she creates could take up to a day, week or even a month to complete.

Formal Analysis

Sean’s work is mostly metal pieces. Each piece of jewelry looks not just physically strong but also develops a strong connotaion. Due to the powerful shapes in which she created her pieces, it also helps to develop this very powerful connotation. Each piece is also very heavy looking and its texture is rough looking as well. She also uses the shape of the cylinder often. Although the cylinder is quite a smooth shape she creates this a feeling of strength along with it. Many of Sean’s pieces feature a variety of metals such as electroformed copper, bronze, sterling silver, and fine silver. Each of these metals are used to create her strong pieces.

Content Analysis

Sean Joy Rosario Cabanig is a metal smith and has slowly come to the realization that patience is key. She explains that “I came to value patience, perseverance, and acceptance. You can’t skip steps and you can’t rush anything”. She urged the idea that rushing something important isn’t a good idea because you are going to work too hard. What she means is you will work to hard and not even have a chance to reflect on your work. The end result may not always be what you wanted but that pushes Cabanig to work even harder to get an even better result. She absolutely loves metals. She loves to perfect their technical aspects because this allows her to create what she is feeling, her thoughts and her environments. She explains that one can’t sit and wait for inspiration to come because you  will be waiting for a long time. She explains that, “you can only do. Stop overthinking. Stop trying to imagine. Quit the chitchat. Simply do”. One of the best feelings, she explains, is when she looks at what she has created and realizes it is enough, then she is happy that she worked and played this hard.

Synthesis / My Experience

I found each of Sean Joy Rosario Cabanig’s pieces to be truly unique. They were beautiful but conveyed a powerful feeling. It was also spectacular to see how some one can envision these pieces within pieces of metal. I was truly amazed. Another thing I found interesting was when I was reading her statement within the exhibit. I absolutely loved her attitude within her writing. She had this statement  that you need to work hard but not over work. She also urged that one should not just sit and expect inspiration, that one should just do. Although Sean Joy is talking specifically about art, I think that her thoughts relate to other aspects of life as well. This really speaks to me because I constantly believe that so many people just talk and never do. If you want change, why not do it? Why sit and judge others, when you could help others? It is hard to do. I am guilty of not doing as well. We all sit and expect others to do, but if we want change we must do.

Wk 9- Classmate Conversation- Shannon McGuinness

This week I had the pleasure of getting to know Shannon McGuinness a little bit better. I have talked and worked with Shannon a little bit in the class before but I took this opportunity to get to know her a little better. Something unique about Shannon is that she works at Hi Tech Archery in Fullerton. At Hi Tech Archery she teaches people how to use a bow and arrow. She finds it really fun to work there because she works with all ages. Another interesting thing about her is that she has played soccer for over nine years. She is also a first year at CSULB and is majoring in business management. Shannon is also an only child, unless you count her dog Mika. She is also half Irish and half Mexican. Throughout high school, Shannon was really involved in the school’s theater program. She was in most of the schools productions throughout the years. In her spare time, Shannon and her friends love to sing and go to karaoke bars. It was really great getting to know Shannon a little bit better.



Greetings peoples of Moonbase Alpha! My name is Oceana and I am a mermaid! I currently live among the coral, in the golden city of Atlantis. After Earth was destroyed and everyone was evacuated to the moonbase, millions from the ocean community were lucky enough to move to the Moonbase’s replica ocean. Alpha Ocean is a beautiful and vast body of water filled with interesting inhabitants. Most of our inhabitants live in Atlantis, the largest city in the Alpha Ocean. The city has skyscrapers that almost reach the water’s surface and a university for all of its young scholars. I am currently studying astronomy at Nemo University, which some may think is a little odd because I live underwater. I find stars so interesting and I just love to gaze at them from my favorite spot, the local jetty. I love to spend time with my fellow fish friends. My best fish friend is Avalon. She is as sweet as can be! Together we enjoy collecting unique objects lost by the humans above and we also enjoy exploring the Alpha Ocean. When we are really bored we will travel to the surface and hangout among the humans. Thanks to the technology on Moonbase Alpha we are able to travel with portable fish tanks! While on the surface we love to go to a club called Cloud 9. The bar tender there is Rosetta and she is amazing. She is always kind and helps us with whatever we may need. One thing you need to avoid at Cloud 9 is a local that goes by the name Creepsteevo Swankavitch. This man is an absolute dog! He would not leave my friends and I alone! A total creep! Please avoid!! Not everyone on Moonbase Alpha is as bad as Creepsteevo, such as Royal Moby. Royal Moby is super nice and is actually from a plant called Neptune. 








Wk 8- Artist Conversation – Yujia Gu


Artist: Yujia (Beatrice) Gu
Exhibition: Information Graphic Design 
Media: Pictograms, Graphic Design
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West
Website: N/A
Instagram: Yujia_gu

About the Artist

The artist is Yujia Gu and she is a senior at CSULB. This spring she graduates but is currently done with her credits. Yujia is from China and moved here to get an education. She goes by the name Beatrice because she said its easier for people to pronounce. Both of her parents still live in China and she is an only child. She currently lives in an apartment near school. Beatrice is very interested in the pictogram and how it translates meaning. She also is very involved with the Special Olympics and volunteers with them often.

Formal Analysis

Part of Beatrice’s work is pictograms dedicated to the Special Olympics. Each is made up of smooth and rounded lines. She also colors the lines blue and red. The red lines make up the people and each red line is normally straight looking. To make each body she uses a couple different red lines. To make the equipment that the bodies are interacting with, she uses blue lines. The blue lines are thick and normally straight, like the red lines. In her other piece of art, it was a video presentation. The presentation would go through the years to show popular female and male names from 1900-2000s. Each of the names were in normal looking font but the way they were presented in the video was unique. Each name would appear like a bubble and they would also float around. In the background there were a mixture of more names or the colors blue and pink.

Content Analysis

The pictograms for the Special Olympics were created by the artist because of her connection to the Special Olympics. The Special Olympics were in San Francisco so she drew inspiration from the Golden Gate Bridge.She  used the lines of the bridge and connected them to the lines of the human body. She explains, “the design of the pictogram is based on sport’s movement so the body of the bridge as people’s body and the legs and arms are the lines. When these two elements are combined together, it will create different movements and sports at the same time”.  Each of the pictograms represents movement and dynamism of each sport. Besides providing dynamism, the pictograms are easy to recognize, remember, and use. Some of the sports at the Special Olympics include archery, athletics, football 5-a-side, football 7-a-side, goal-ball, table tennis, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair fencing, wheelchair rugby, and wheelchair tennis. The Popular Names (1900-2000) experience was based on the fact that in China names have specific meanings during specific time frames, and the artist wanted to see if American names are the same. Names represent what is happening during that time, explains Beatrice. She received the statistics for names from a social security website and then organized the top 10 popular names in the last 100 years. She explains that the names float up or down according to their rank and how it changed over the years. She also explains that the background is related to space because we are all just elements that make up space.

Synthesis / My Experience

Beatrice’s work was absolutely interesting to me. Her work for the Special Olympics was very dear to my heart. I want to be a speech and language pathologist, so I will be working with people who have a disability. The Special Olympics are a wonderful event for people with disabilities to be apart of something that will not only help them, but help the rest of society. These games will help society realize that although someone has a disability they are human and should be treated with the same respect. It was refreshing to see this young artist uses her talents to help others and especially help with a cause that will definitely impact society. It was really interesting to see that just these small and simple pictures carried so much meaning. Her other piece of art within the exhibit was about names, and I found this just as interesting. I really enjoy meeting people with unique names and hearing the stories of why they are named a certain name. It was really cool to see how she put together all of these names, and by doing this show reflects on what American society was doing during this time frame.

Wk 8- Classmate Conversation- Dorothy McMahon

This week I had the pleasure of meeting Dorothyrose McMahon. Dorothyrose is 21 years old and a junior at CSULB. For the first 15 years of her life she lived in Connecticut and then moved to California. She went to high school in Humboldt and then moved here to go to college. Something unique about Dorothy is that she spent a semester abroad. In fall of 2015 she went to Germany to study film.She is currently working towards becoming a production designer. Dorothy loves film and design and in her freshman year she decided that she would like to combine them for a career. Her favorite films are the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. In her spare time Dorothy likes to run, play guitar, play tennis, and hang out with friends. She currently lives about a block away from CSULB and doesn’t have a car to get around. She also has an older brother who graduated from UCSB as an environmental science major. It was truly nice to meet her and learn a little bit about her and her life.

Wk 7- Art Experience- Group Video

For this art experience, I worked with Tareena Woods and Shannon McGuinness. We decided to do a music video for the project. We were really inspired by the discussion on Tuesday, so we tried to film a music video with unique cuts. Together we went to the CSULB Japanese Garden and took videos of things we found interesting. We then picked a song that we thought would go with what we were filming.

what you tried to do, how the process went, how you feel about your result, what you might do different next time, and so on.

Wk 7-Classmate Conversation-Rosa Velasquez

This week I had the pleasure of meeting Rosa Velasquez. She is a first year student at CSULB and is majoring in business. She commutes to school, but often gets lazy at the thought of driving here. She really enjoys school and currently works at a bridal shop. Rosa loves to spend time with her friends. In her spare time, she likes to dance and eat her favorite food, tacos. She also has a younger sister and a younger brother, which makes her the eldest. Rosa also explained to me that she loves meeting new people and making new friends. She says that she is a naturally happy person almost all the time. It was really nice getting to know her and learning a little bit about her life.