Week 13 – Artist Conversation – Shahrzad Ahrar

Shahrzad Ahrar transferred to CSULB to get her Masters in Fine Art and Graphic Design. She said when she got accepted into this program she thought it was interesting because it’s a program that she had to plan everything out, chose her thesis, and move on toward making projects based on her thesis. She said she has always been interested in art since a child and took many art classes during high school. Shahrzad migrated to America from Iran to escape the war in her home country. Her collection “Wake” was based on a few of her acquaintances and friends who have also migrated to the United States. She created art that was based on their stories through interviews, paintings, and more. Some of her artwork was a wallpaper fabric and design where behind some of the prints you can hear the story of the people she interviewed on migrating to the United States. For the kaleidoscope she made, they were used to represent the different major events in these immigrants lives. She used colorful objects inside the kaleidoscope to which she used those little objects as representation of the other immigrants stories. Some of these objects were money, holiday symbols, gender symbols and much more.

I really enjoyed this collection because it was interactive with the audience and I think it makes the viewing experience more pleasurable by using more than 1 of the 5 senses. I also liked the bowl that said to take a piece of the experience with you.


Week 4: Artists Conversation: Tidawhitney Lek, Emily Hernandez, & Jamie Strassenburg

“Disposable Thoughts” -Tidawhitney Lek & Daniel A. Rivera Echeverria
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The idea behind “Disposable Thoughts” is how we dispose our thoughts to the world. The napkins are a collection of thoughts we expose or dispose. The napkins are represented as a reminiscent storytelling of our history. As I interviewed Tidawhitney she had a lot to say about this masterpiece. She said what’s on the napkins are thoughts. She strongly believed that thoughts keeps one unfocused and emotional. The medium she used was napkins. This piece is made of 1,000 napkins that were sewn together. She said the most difficult part of this piece was sewing the napkins together and installing it in the gallery especially because it was so fragile and could tear at any moment. When this piece was installed, figuring out how the audience was going to see it was a challenge too. She said Daniel Rivera proposed how to display the piece, and that was to display it as a tunnel. Sewing and installing this artwork both took about 35 hours.

Emily Hernandez’s oil collection:
Emily Hernandez painted a self portrait of herself which took over 20 hours. Her next painting is called “The Split” of two cats eating noodles.

“Inuit Mythos” -Jamie Strassenburg
Intuit Mythos was inspired by Native American art. This piece shown is called “Pukimna”. “Pukimna” was the guardian of caribou herds. To see and learn more about Jamie Strassenburg’s artwork, her website is http://www.jamiedraws.com/

Although I did not have a conversation with these two artists I still wanted to share their incredible artwork:
“Women in Bathtub” -Hu Zichao, Medium: Oil on canvas
“A Peeking Black Cat” -Lui Yimiao. Medium: Color pencil on paper