WK 10: Artist Conversation- Ja’rie Gray


Artist: Ja’rie Gray

Exhibition: My Complexion

Media: Oil paint on canvas, charcoal on canvas

Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery East

Website:  http://jariegraymycomplexion.weebly.com/ , http://jariegrayblackface.com/JG.html

Ja’rie Gray is a third year student at CSULB. She is pursuing a MFA in Drawing and Painting with an emphasis on figurative. She is from South Central L.A. Ja’rie has already earned her BFA at Laguna College of Art and Design. She expressed how she felt that an artist can always learn more which is why she continued going to college. She has been drawing since she was five years old, but only accepted herself as an artist after she began college. She is also an art professor at CSULB.

Each painting has their own unique quality to them. The charcoal paintings put a darker feel on them. They give a wash out look to them. The shadows put a contrast within the art. The oil paintings emphasize the way she feels about her skin tone. The audience can see the bleach in them and how in one, the women appear to be drinking it. They also show the different skin tones of each painting within the painting. There are a lot of edges in her paintings. Each one has at least one rectangle or square shaped object within it. The vibrant colors make her clothes pop and contrast against her skin tone.

Ja’rie wanted to emphasize how darker African Americans are not seen as beautiful as those who have lighter skin tones. She wants her audience to believe that they are beautiful no matter what skin tone they have. Her paintings show her struggles that she had growing up with a darker skin tone. She put bleach in her paintings due to the fact that she used to bathe in bleach. She hoped that by bathing in bleach for hours, her skin tone would become lighter. In most of her paintings, she has multiple versions of herself. Each version is a lighter version of herself and there is one who actually resembles her skin tone. In all of her paintings, she seems miserable and unhappy. When talking to Ja’rie, she explained how it took years for her to accept who she was. She was completely unhappy due to her skin tone. Now she feels beautiful in her own skin and made these painting to help others see their own beauty as well.

I loved this exhibit. It is probably my favorite one that I’ve seen this year. I am not a dark skin woman, but I do have friends that are. I see their struggle to feel beautiful in today’s society where a “light skin black woman” is seen as more beautiful than those with darker skin tones. I love Ja’rie’s message to love yourself no matter what your skin tone is. I feel like this is a message that should be more emphasized in our society. She challenges what “true beauty” is in her art. She shows that there is something beautiful in everybody, which is a message that I love.





WK 10: Art Experience- Instagram


This week’s art experience wasn’t the greatest one. I really did not know what to post and what was expected. However, after seeing what everyone else posted and taking these screenshots, I can see the importance of this art experience. I see our class as a community of people who share their own individual experiences with one another. It’s interesting to see what each person did on the same day. Even though we were all at the art galleries, each person shared a different experience with the class. I did not like posting myself, but I did enjoy the results after they were done.

WK 10: Classmate Conversation- Molly Poyer

  This week I met Molly Poyer. She is a 3rd year student at CSULB. She’s undeclared right now but is leaning towards becoming a communication major. She said that she wants to go into social media when she graduates. We spend most of our time talking about what our favorite things are. Her favorite food is pizza and her favorite drink is either Dr. Pepper or strawberry lemonade. Her favorite band is pentatonix and her favorite movie is Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. In her free time, she likes to hang out with friends, watch movies, and play basketball. She is hoping to one day travel to Italy. It was really fun getting to know each other and seeing what we have in common. https://mollypoyer.wordpress.com

WK 9- Artist Conversation: Sean Joy Cabanig

Artist: Sean Joy Cabanig

Exhibition: All Work All Play

Media: Metals: Copper, and Silver

Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Merlino Gallery

Website: None

Instagram: None

Sean Joy is an undergraduate student at CSULB. She is in the School of Art Metals Program and will be graduating this semester. Cabanig is originally from L.A. but moved to Long to attend college here. Her first two years as a student, she lived in the dorms. In her third year, she moved into an apartment. All Work All Play is Sean Joy’s first show. Some of her interests include reading, cats, and playing games. She really enjoys being in the studio and experimenting with new metals. She became interested in metal after her second year at CSULB. When first attending Cal State Long Beach, she was in the studio art program.

Each of Sean Joy’s piece were different from each other. The shapes were in different shapes and sizes. Some pieces were small simple rings and others were big intricate necklaces. Each piece had a smooth texture to them because they are made of metal. The color scheme of each piece were similar to one another. Her pieces were either a dark brown color, or they were a shiny silver. The scale of each piece was realistic to what they represented.

When talking to Cabanig, she explained that her ideas for her art range from her emotions to her daily life. Some of the art in her gallery were from projects assigned to her over time in her classes. Other pieces show her emotions that she felt. She said that she tried to invoke humor into her pieces as best as she could, which is why some pieces are shaped like a penises. She also stated that some pieces held dark emotions for her as well. The piece that had the darkest message was the choker. She said that when creating this piece, she had been going through a rough patch in life and this was her way of expressing herself.

I personally enjoyed looking at her art. Most of the jewelry pieces looked like they belonged in a jewelry store. Even though the jewelry was not my style, I can definitely see someone wearing some of her art to fancy parties. Knowing that her emotions were apart of her inspiration for her art, it made each piece even more interesting. I found myself walking around trying to guess the emotions that Cabanig was feeling that day. Some pieces were more obvious than others to guess the emotions. Overall, I was very fascinated by the art gallery and had a great time talking to Sean Joy Cabanig.


WK 9-Classmate Conversation: Kyu Lee

IMG_2218This week I talked to Kyu Lee. She was super cool and very friendly with me. She is graduating this year and will be majoring in technical theater lighting design. She said that with her degree, she wants to work at concerts and sporting events. Her main goal is to one day be able to work in the Olympic opening ceremonies. Kyu is originally from Korea and moved to California when she was 10 years old. She explained that she does translate most of the time for her parents but that they are slowly learning more English everyday. She chose to come to Long Beach State because it has a good lighting program and she is able to commute to school. In her free time, she likes to sleep. Kyu explained how busy her schedule is and that she takes full advantage of every minute of sleep she can get. It was very interesting to talk to her and learn about her transition from Korea to America. I hope to talk to her more before she graduates.



The year is 2046 and I have finally escaped to Moonbase Alpha. My name is Orphelia, no not Ophelia from Hamlet, its ORphelia with a R. I’m relieved to finally be here and be able to follow my dream of being a person who gets to test out paintball guns for a living. Ever since I was a child, this has been my dream. On Earth, my parents were completely against it and always pushed me to do other things that they wanted me to do but not what I wanted. I was even supposed to marry a man that I don’t even love. He was a great man and my parents love him, but on the day of our wedding I couldn’t go through with it. So I left, and here I am on Moonbase Alpha. I have met some wonderful people here so far. I’ve only been here a few weeks but the first friend I met was Kyu. She’s super funny and very interesting to talk to. I then met Toma Ato. She is very different than any other person that I have ever talked to before. I was very skeptical when I first met here because she was carrying around a wand. However, once you get past the magic, she’s pretty cool. And then there was Rocko. I’m still not sure about this one. My suggestion is to keep the adventure going and see for yourself who this is.


Kyu:  https://kyujunglee.wordpress.com/

Toma Ato: https://maisonchiublog.wordpress.com/

Rocko: https://mollypoyer.wordpress.com/


WK 8- Artist Conversation: Almira M. Nikravesh

Artist: Almira M. Nikravesh

Exhibition: Farsh

Media: Sculpting, Plaster, Cement

Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Merlino Gallery

Website: None

Instagram: Almiranikravesh

The artist I met this week was Almira Nikravesh. She is an undergraduate who is graduating this semester. She will be getting her BFA in the sculpture program. She was very interesting to talk to. Not only did she answer everybody’s questions, she also took time to ask about me and my classmates’ life. In her free time she enjoys lifting weights and believes it helps when she is working long hours on her art work. She also explained that art has always been apart of her family and felt that she best excelled in sculpting. She expressed that she feels sculpting gives the artist more freedom to do what they wish.

In the exhibit, there are 91 different pairs of feet laying around in the room. In the center of the room, she has a recreation of a carpet that is very important to her family. The carpet is made out of MDF and took many hours to recreate. There was a lot of detail in the carpet that captured the attention of the audience. The carpet had a rough texture with all of the detail within it. The feet were very smooth looking. The entire gallery consisted of very neutral colors which made everything balance. There was not one thing that stood out more than anything else, instead they all blended together.

Almira Nikravesh’s exhibit is based on her childhood and how sacred the rug was in her family. She placed the sculpture of the rug in the middle of the exhibit to show how things were in her household. She and her siblings had to learn to adapt and walk around the rug in order to not damage it. The feet that surround the rug represent her and her family. They are placed around the rug far away to show the distance she put between herself and the rug.

Personally, I found the exhibit super interesting. Everything about the exhibit was different. Her message reflected something sacred in her family and I loved the detail in her work. I am not a big fan of feet, but I liked how she incorporated them into her work. Each pair of feet were different yet similar. They all had the same job of representing the location of her own feet when she was near the carpet. What I enjoyed the most was that even though the carpet was beautiful and full of details, the artist kept it a neutral color to make it blend in with the feet that surrounded it.