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Art Review #9

“Hansen Surfboards” 50 Year Retrospective Exhibit &

“Transitional Thinking: A Short Story 1966-1972”

November 29, 2011 – California Surf Museum – Oceanside, CA

When I was a young girl, my dad took me to his friend’s surfboard shop. As I walked around I was amazed of all the diverse kinds of boards. This may sound ridiculous..but even though I am afraid of the water and can count the number of times I have surfed on one hand, I would love to sculpt surfboards. Going to the California Surf Museum was so exciting because I could see how the design of the surfboard and the culture surrounding the sport changed. One exhibit displayed the gradual shift from using long boards to short boards. A smaller exhibit described the skateboard/surfboard, Dogtown community. After watching the film “Lords of Dogtown” over the summer, I learned so much about Zephyr boards. Jeff Ho, Skip Engblom, and Craig Stecyk opened up a shop in 1972 in Venice Beach called Jeff Ho and Zephyr Surfboard Productions. Craig designed the graphics, which reflected graffiti instead of the usual soft sunsets and rainbows. Jeff custom-made every surfboard, creating designs no one had ever seen before.

As I reflect on my time in the museum, I feel driven to be innovative, after remembering all of the design alterations surfboards and skateboards underwent and continue to undergo. I am reminded of David Carson and how he established the grunge graphic design genre. I am also reminded of Steve Jobs and how he made technical devices so beautiful as well as functional.

 

Soybeans

Art Review #8

“Prairie Lights” Theatre Production by Patio Playhouse Youth Theatre

November 13, 2011 – Patio Playhouse – Escondido, CA

It was a delight to see two friends perform in “Prairie Lights,” a heart-warming production for families. Taking place in 1905, an Orphan Train brings many children from New York to Wellspring, Nebraska before the holiday season. The orphans come from a city destroyed by the influenza, only to journey to a city, where the stores and families desperately need workers. The main characters of the show are Abe and Sophie Birnbaum, who used to practice Jewish traditions before Abe shaved his beard, neglected the “old ways,” and opened his shop on the Sabbath in order to gain acceptance from the other Wellspring men and women. Sophie Birnbaum strongly desires to be devoted to Judaism and to be a mother. The Jewish orphans Rose and her younger brother Benjamin are adapted by Abe and Sophie. Through many trials, Rose and Benjamin grow to love Sophie as their mother, and Abe becomes comfortable to confidently express his Jewish roots. Benjamin helps re-unite Wellspring with the help of other orphans and Wellspring-born children as the banker Mexwell Ryder pursues the removal of the orphans from the town.

I was impressed by the professionalism of some of the actors, and had to remember that the younger cast members will improve over time as they participate in more productions. Some of the themes of “Prairie Lights” include tolerance and accepting other people who are different than oneself.  Through every art event, I have been reminded of the voice of the artist, whether they are a choreographer, painter, or playwright. A Baylor University Professor once challenged me to never create art that is just beautiful, but to create something that is both beautiful and meaningful.

Art Review #6/7

“Dia De Los Muertos” Cultural Event

November 1, 2011 – California Center for the Arts – Escondido, CA

Celebrated around the world, Dia De Los Muertos (or Day of the Dead) is a holiday of a memorial purpose. Families create an altar piece in their homes in remembrance of a loved one, who has passed away. Pictures of the loved one, flowers, the loved one’s favorite foods and drinks, crosses and candles are common items found upon an altar. Candy or sculptural skulls are decorated with bright colors, fabric, or glitter. As I approached the cultural event, I noticed light projections of skeletons upon the building walls. Walking into the courtyard, I found a row of tables, where Mexican hot chocolate in a large pot, and pan dulce (or sweet bread) in small, cardboard boxes were served to the community. Although the volunteers spoke to me in Spanish-a language I am very familiar with-I could barely utter muchas gracias.

The sights and sounds of the event were so much to absorb. The center of the courtyard, aligned with bricks, contained sections of altars divided by ropes along the ground. Each altar contained the same, wooden cross at the top. Families brought a wide variety of items to place within their altar to commemorate los muertos- the most surprising? A tall, aluminum can of Coors Beer. When I thought most people weren’t looking, I quietly took out my small candle and match box. I lit my item in remembrance of my Aunt Clara, who died of cancer many years ago.

Walking inside of one of the Center for the Arts buildings, I discovered traditional, Mexican dance performances. Outside seemed eerie and peaceful, while inside seemed joyful and crowded.

The beautiful altars remained for days. As I took a stroll through Grape Day Park a few days later, I found the rain had washed the altars away. It was a beautiful metaphor for how our lives are but a breath and our days are numbered. Dia De Los Muertos, influenced by the Hispanic and Catholic community of Escondido, reminded me that fellowship and loving those around me is so important.

I want to possibly be a graphic designer for a Christian organization in another country, in order to serve by meeting both physical and digital needs as I reach out to an impoverished community. Dia De Los Muertos reminded me that I strive to love others because Jesus Christ first loved me.

 

Art Review #5

“Dreamscapes” by Joshua Smith

October 15, 2011 – Contemporary Fine Arts Gallery – La Jolla, CA

Visiting the Contemporary Fine Arts Gallery, which displays the artwork of Anton Arkhipov, Pascal, Orlando Agudelo-Botero, Michael Gorban, Michael Nisperos, Antonio Arellanes, Weiliang Zhao, Jane Burton, Jennifer Stratman, Taraneh Mozafarian, Joseph Metcalf, Joseph Lorusso, Thomas Pradynski, Sean Sullivan, Yuri Kuznetsov, DC Niehaus, Monica Ratliff, Olivier Mallemouche, and Sergey, I was most impressed with the oil paintings of Joshua Smith.

His “Dreamscapes” exhibit was a source of inspiration for a surrealistic project I had to create in another class this semester. I do not particularly like surrealism, but I will admit that I admired the oil paintings. His paintings were very strong due to the use of perspective, color, and composition. Twisting the object itself or view of trees, chairs, homes, hillsides, sky, and water, Smith succeeds in creating a dreamscape for the viewer. As I stared at the work, I was drawn into the setting.

I love artwork that allows your imagination to create scents, the feeling of the ground or wind, the temperature of the air, and the effects of the weather on one’s attitude or demeanor. Although his work first seemed a little dark, I think that the vibrant hues of blue and red gave the settings energy, movement, and life.