Wk 15 – Artist Conversation- Chelsea Blecha 


Artist: Chelsea Blecha
Exhibition: Mixed Aesthetic
Media: Paintings, Sketches
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West
Website: chelseablecha.com
Instagram: @chelseablecha

About the Artist

For the last artist conversation, I had the pleasure of meeting Chelsea Blecha. Chelsea is going to graduate this spring with a BFA in illustration.Chelsea explained that she absolutely loved the time she has spent at CSULB. She explained that the Illustration department was a wonderful place for her to learn and grow her talents. She loves illustration and hopes one day to work as a concept artist for Pixar. Chelsea began drawing at a very young age because her mom is an artist too. Her mom has an awesome job of designing window displays for major retail stores such as Nordstrom’s and Macy’s.

Formal Analysis

Chelsea’s pieces consists of sketches, drawings and a unique piece, a skateboard. The sketches are done on drawing paper with colored pencils. Each sketch looks very realistic and is often shaded. Although some pages may contain many different sketches, each sketch looks real and lively. The drawings on display also look very lively as well. The hands, resembling the seven deadly sins, each look effortless but realistic. The skateboard is truly beautiful to see. The flowers that surround the skateboard look dream-like and resemble those in Alice in Wonderland.

Content Analysis

Chelsea explained that she is often inspired by those around her and the places she travels. This is evident in her sketches redesigning the classic movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s. One of her favorite places in the world is San Francisco and so she has taken her favorite place as the setting for the new Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Her drawings of building and sketches are of the possible set designs for the movie. She explained to us that the characters for this possible movie were also inspired by her friends. She has decided to reinvent this movie as practice for what she would like to do for Pixar. Her inspiration is also seen in her skateboard. She explained that she has always been a skater girl and always wanted to design her own skateboard. This school year she got the chance to reinvent her board and now she has many offers to customize other people’s boards.

Synthesis / My Experience

I think Chelsea was the best artist to end the semester with. She was so kind and had such a youthful presence. I loved the fact that she didn’t know exactly what she wanted to do and was open to any opportunities. I also really loved the way she wanted to reinvent the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Breakfast at Tiffany’s is one of my favorite movies and the whole idea of making a modern version in such a cool city ,as San Francisco us something I would definitely be interested in seeing. Looking at her pieces of art, it was obvious she had a certain style. Her style really drew me in and know matter what the image was it looked beautiful and realistic. I really enjoyed getting the chance to look at her art.


Wk 15 – Classmate Conversation – Jhonatan Ramos

For the last classmate conversation, I had the pleasure of meeting Jhonatan Ramos Lopez . He is 19 years old and is a first year at CSULB. He is currently a philosophy major and has big plans after he graduates. After graduation he plans to enter a seminary and become a Catholic Priest. I found this to be so interesting because I have never met anyone who was training to be a priest. Now a days, it seems that more people are focused on secular jobs so it was interesting to meet someone with such a unique interest. Another interesting thing about Jhonatan is that he is from a town in Northern California named Gilroy. He decided to come to college down here because his brother goes to CSULB. Together they share an apartment by school. It was a really fun experience getting to meet Jhonatan this week.


Wk 14 – Art Experience – Sketching in the Garden

Perspective Sketches:                      Abstract Sketches:      

Abstract Photographs:


Perspective Photographs:

My experience:

I really enjoyed this activity! Actually, it was probably one of my favorite activities! My Thursday, up to this point, was extremely stressful and this was a great way to relieve some stress. Just sitting and sketching was really fun, even if I have zero drawing skills. Even though there were people around it was still was a very peaceful environment. The perspective sketches were harder to do than the abstract ones, in my opinion. I think that they were harder because I had to do a lot of more thinking but with the abstract ones I could just let my hand do whatever. The abstract ones also contained zero planning, which I enjoyed. The photography portion wasn’t as enjoyable as the drawing but it wasn’t bad. It wasn’t as enjoyable because I really had a hard time taking an abstract photo. The perspective photographs on the other hand were quite easy to take. Overall, I enjoyed this activity and it really helped brighten my day.

Wk 13 – Alternative Art Experience – Pre-Electric Cultures

For this week’s Art Experience, I did not participate in the Art Care Package and instead chose an alternative. I chose the Pre-Electric culture as an alternative because it seemed really interesting to me. Everyday of my life I use electricity in some way. The idea of completely cutting out the use of electricity is almost impossible now a days. So I decided to do this on a Thursday night in my bed room. The picture above is my bedroom and the place that I stayed in during the process. To prepare for my night without electricity, I grabbed many candles and prepared many activities to do. The first thing I did was read for a while. This was super strange because I couldn’t gauge how much time had passed. During one chapter, it felt as though a hour had gone by, but during the next chapter if felt like I spent only 15 minutes. After reading for a while, I decided I would try to draw. I did this for a very short time because I was annoyed with my poor drawings. My best friend then came over and joined me in a night without electricity. She was very uncomfortable with this idea because she is addicted to her phone. She constantly wanted to walk into the other room to grab it. We then played a card game for a while. She then left and I went to sleep. Living without electricity for the night was different. It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t great either. Sometimes I enjoyed not having the electricity. An example of this would be when I was reading or playing a game with my friend. At these times I didn’t have the urge to look at my cell phone. I think many people my age have this automatic response to check their phone. It isn’t a bad thing but it can be when your phone stops you from enjoying whats around you. From this experience I learned that it is best to just disconnect from everything for a while and think about the times when people didn’t have the luxuriates they have now.


Wk 13 – Artist Conversation – Nick Bamford


Artist: Nick Bamford
Exhibition: N/A
Media: Mixed Media, Plaster, Wood, Random Objects
Gallery: CSULB School of Art,
Website: N/A
Instagram: Nickbamf4d

About the Artist

Nick Bamford was the artist I met this week and he is currently an undergraduate student at CSULB. He plans to graduate at the end of the semester and is currently working towards a BFA in the ceramics programs. After he graduates he plans to go to graduate school at either Yale or UCLA. Nick is from Huntington Beach and there is where he found his love for ceramics. He has always enjoyed art but decided to make a career out of it after taking a ceramics class in high school. In his sculptures he enjoys taking pieces of everyday life and re-purposing them.

Formal Analysis

At the first look at Nick’s sculptures, one may think that they are strange. When you get closer to them they almost seem to defy gravity because of the way they are built. The base of the sculptures is quite large but as it goes higher it seems to either decrease in size or get bigger.  Most of the sculptures look as though they are going to fall over as well. The sculptures also look effortless. Each piece has many others pieces on top of it. It almost looks like a bunch of random objects thrown together. The neon lights add a youthfulness and a sense of beauty to these sculptures. The sculptures up close almost look scary due to the pieces holding them together, but the lights give them a feeling of beauty.

Content Analysis

Nick enjoys using all different types of shapes and materials to create his sculptures. He wanted to stray away from the idea of a traditional sculpture. He did this by using a variety of objects that wouldn’t normally be thought of as art. He also decided to use black lights which is normally unseen by other artists. By using such bizarre items and black lights, Nick really steps out of the box of traditional sculptures. The whole idea of taking items that are normally found in a different context and putting them into a new context, is the purpose of his sculptures. His sculptures are an exploration of shape and form. He explains that,”these are forms that decided what to be through process, I was kind of just there just helping  them along the way”. This quote clearly identifies how Nick lets his art take on life and creates it in the moment.

Synthesis / My Experience

So looking at Nick’s sculptures I was immediately weirded out. The colors were cool to see because it looked like a club but looking at the individual pieces of the sculpture, it was a little creepy. Some of his sculptures looked as though they were deconstructed pieces that resembled the human body. This was a little strange to me. Sitting there for a while and really looking at it, I began to warm up to the sculptures. Yes, I thought they were strange but yet they were interesting. I could see the effort within the piece, although I couldn’t understand it. I actually liked not being able to understand it because it seemed each sculpture had its own life and a thousand different meanings.

Wk 13 – Classmate Conversation – Gabriela Hernandez

This week I had the pleasure of meeting Gabriela Hernandez. She is 19 years old and is from North Long Beach. She is currently a second year student and is an undeclared major at Cal State Long Beach. She explained that although she is undeclared she is thinking about going into sociology. In her spare time she enjoys eating, sleeping, and hanging out with friends. She loves to spend her time watching Netflix as well. Her favorite shows to watch are The Walking Dead and Glee. She is currently watching Gossip Girl on Netflix and is really enjoying it. Gabriela also loves to go to concerts. At some of the concerts she has had the chance to meet some of the artists. She explained to me that she has met Selena Gomez and the guys in 5 Seconds of Summer. An interesting thing about her is that she has seen Justin Bieber perform 3 times in a week. Gabriela loves all types of music except country and metal. Her favorite colors are black and burgundy. Also her favorite food is chicken strips and fries. I had a blast getting to know Gabriela better this week.

Wk 12 – Artist Coversation – Tiffany Le


Artist: Tiffany Le
Exhibition: Tàu
Media: Canvas, Water color paintings, Paper
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Dutzi Gallery
Website: http://www.letealeaf.com
Instagram: @letealeaf

About the Artist

The artist, Tiffany Le, is a Master’s student pursing a degree in Fine Arts here at Cal State Long Beach. She is currently set to graduate in May. Tiffany was born and raised in the United States, unlike many of her family members. She explained that while growing up she constantly heard her parents explain how difficult their lives were back in Vietnam, but they never told their stories. Intrigued with what they had been through, she slowly coaxed stories out of them that explain their experience.  She is very interested in the story of the refugee and likes the idea of exploring their stories.



Formal Analysis

Le’s art is mostly watercolor paintings, which often portray a tumultuous sea and boats. Much of her work is made up of dark colors but beautiful swirling lines, in order to mimic the ocean. Although her pieces are dark, they tend to draw in the audience because of the effortless strokes. Most of her pieces, also take the typical images of the sea or boats and add humans to its make up. The main piece, in the center of the room, is a sculpture of beautiful paper boats with LED lights in them. Each boat is delicate and simple, and typically white. The large boat in the middle sits on canvas, that is supposed to mimic the sea. Within the sea there are women drawn within the waves, they seem to become the waves. The drawings of these women are very simplistic yet intriguing and beautiful. Again these drawings lack vibrant colors but are still very intriguing.

Content Analysis

Tàu means boat in Vietnamese, and this theme is constantly seen throughout the exhibition. Tiffany Le’s exhibition is inspired by the stories told to her from her parents. Her parents both lived in Vietnam, after the war during the 1970’s. Tiffany explained that she never knew much about the Vietnam War, because, growing up in America, Americans believe it to be a shameful war and try to hide it. She explained that when the war was over life for people in Vietnam got worse. Millions tried to escape and her parents were lucky enough to make it out alive with the third wave of Vietnamese refugees. Many escaped on boats that were crowded and often many were lost at sea. She explained that their struggles fueled her to create her art. She explains that many of the Vietnamese American refugees are not able to tell their stories and are often forgotten “boat people”. She relates these stories to individual lost ships in unpredictable waters, that are fortunate to escape. These boats also represent change, decisions, and moments that shape her generation’s identity. She explains that, “documenting and interpreting the narratives of my family into visual metaphors are my attempts to reconcile my experiences as an offspring of refugees. At the same time, I am able to share the perspectives of the older generation to show that they are not singular experiences, nor are they simple stories”.

Synthesis / My Experience

I truly enjoyed this art exhibit and getting to know more about the artist Tiffany Le. Her story of how she was inspired by events in her family members lives, was truly interesting. I really like history and my favorite time to study is the Vietnam War. It was and still is such a hot topic in America and it forever changed people’s views on war. It was interesting to hear how Tiffany’s family had to deal with the aftermath of the war. So often we only hear about what happened here after the war and not what happened to the people we were fighting for. Her example truly shows how America wasn’t just fighting for resources or to stop communism, but for people. People who were being oppressed. People who would swim out to boats and cram into boats just to escape. Her exhibit really put a face to those who were forgotten due to politics. Tiffany Le’s exhibit also is current because it relates to the struggles felt by  Syrian refugees. They too are leaving their homeland not because they want to but due to oppression. The Syrian refugees are being treated similarly to how the Vietnam refugees where back in the 1970’s.

Wk 12 – Classmate Conversation – Bianca Dominguez

This week I had the pleasure of meeting Bianca Dominguez. Bianca is a first year at CSULB and is currently undeclared. She is interested in pursing a degree in nursing and hopes to get into the nursing program next semester. She explained that is really hard to get into the nursing program and one must have near perfect grades. She wants to be a nurse because she genuinely wants to help people and feels that it will never be boring. Her older sister inspired her to get into the medical field because her older sister works as a surgical recovery technician. As a surgical recovery technician one must retrieve organs for donation. Bianca’s sister loves her job and inspired Bianca to want to purse a degree in the medical field. Bianca explained that she currently doesn’t have a job but is looking for a summer job. She also has two poodles named Romeo and Lola, whom she loves very much. In her spare time, Bianca loves to hang out with friends and family, visit new places, watch YouTube and of course, sleep. So interesting things about Bianca is that her favorite colors are black and white, she’s 19, and enjoys meeting new people. It was really fun getting to meet Bianca this week.


Wk 12 – Art Experience- Location Based Gaming 


Finding A Geocache:

My experience in finding a geocache was extremely negative. So after Thursday at the galleries, a couple students and I went searching for some on campus. The first one we spent over 45 minutes looking for, before we gave up. I sadly didn’t take pictures of us searching. We then decided to look for another one on campus and spent about 30 minutes searching for it. We still couldn’t find it. Disappointed I went home. The next day some friends and I were eating dinner at the Garden Walk and decided to look for a geocache nearby. The pictures above show us searching and the coordinates of the geocache. We spent about 20 minutes looking before we gave up. This was a very disappointing experience because I really wanted to find one.  I know for sure it was probably my lack of skills to find these geocaches, but it still was some fun to try with my friends.



My Geocache:

After my failure, one thing I knew I could do for sure would be to hide a geocache. I decided to hide it in the park by my house. I hid it in a tree so it might be a little hard for someone to get too. Inside my geocache is a few coins, two safety pins, a plastic ring, and paper for a log. I had much more fun hiding it then I did finding it. Hiding it caused me to think of the spaces around me in a cleaver way.


The concept of muggles can be expanded beyond geocaching. The idea that places my have a certain history without others knowing, expands this idea. Such as the time when my family and I stayed in a hotel in Arizona. We were visiting family and told them where we were staying. They said that there had been a murder in that hotel, recently. We were muggles in that situation because we didn’t know the history of the place we were staying.

Wk 11 – Art Experience – Turning Pages



  • How can we document ephemeral experiences like Turning Pages?
    • Turning pages is an example of an ephemeral experience and how each of us documented it was by taking pictures of our experience. We also are blogging about our experience as well, which is another way to document an experience. Another way would be to take video of the experience.
  • Can Words & Pictures capture an experience?
    • I believe words and pictures can capture an experience to an extent. Words and pictures can show a viewer what the participant went through, but it won’t be like actually participating in the experience. The words and pictures develop a mental experience for the viewer but leaves out the actual physical experience. Although it is great to “mentally experience” something, to physically experience an event causes you to escape your comfort zone and participate in the world around you.
  • Does the style of the words or images matter?
    • The style of words or images does matter. When an artist creates their art, they make it in a certain way in order to explain their version of the topic. Although they may make a piece of art that seems unconventional, it is for a reason. This unconventionality is their style. The audience may see a certain style and not understand it, but it is done for a reason. So all in all, style does matter because it is how the artist interpreted an event.
  •  Can you think of other ways to share an experience with people who weren’t there to share in it live?
    • Another way to share an experience with people who did not participate would be to video record it. Although, they are not physically there, they can witness every physical aspect of your experience.
  • Does the act of trying to document an experience take you out of the experience?
    • I think that documenting an experience does take you out of the experience, just a little bit. Although you are still participating in the experience, you may not be totally focused in the actual experience. One maybe focused on documenting the experience that they miss out on parts of the experience.

My experience:

For this art experience, I found it to be really interesting. I have never really thought of how the names of the places on campus have slowly become irrelevant. This project really allowed me to question the spaces around me. While we were in the library, I found it really awkward to be reading a book in there. This thought is absolutely bizarre because you should feel comfortable to read a book in a library. It was also weird not taking pictures because it think it would have taken away my focus from not feeling so awkward. When we went to the bookstore it felt much more normal. It was a little weird to take pictures there but it still felt normal. My overall experience was positive because I feel like I am now more aware of what is around me. I do have new insights on the nature of spaces and how they change over time. In both the library and bookstores, books have become obsolete. This change also shows how our technology has taken away books. Books are still being written but are now being digitized.