Week 3: Classmate Interview

Benjamin ZhouIMG_4835

This week I talked with Benjamin Zhou, who is studying Business Finance. We started off by talking about our impressions of the class. We both thought that the chance to explore many forms of art throughout the semester in both the galleries and in the activities was a cool experience. He enjoyed last week’s spray painting activity. He said that when he was younger he was into skateboarding and would often use stencils to spray paint images on his grip tape.

Benjamin’s favorite piece of artwork on display at the galleries was this piece by Maryann Gonzalez entitled Distraction Disruption. To him, the oval shapes were rear view mirrors and he liked the use of color in the mostly black and white drawing.IMG_4860

You can find out more about Benjamin as well as his side of our conversation by exploring his blog at benjaminzhou.wordpress.com.


Week 3: Activity


For this blog post, I was trying to figure out a theme to tie all of the photos together. Instead, I decided to try to find connections between my classmates and I. The first one that caught my attention was from J Jesus Perez Gonzalez. His photo was of the Vivian Engineering Center. Jesus said in the post that the VEC is one of his three homes, and I feel the same way. I spend a lot of time in VEC 524, home of the Long Beach Maker Socitey. I joined last semester, and all of my free time shifted here. That room is where I built a 3D printer, which has turned into quite a fun hobby. I also made some great friends in the club who are a blast to spend time with regardless of where we are.

Next picture I noticed was Lizbeth Acosta’s photo of the rock climbing wall in the Rec Center. A friend of mine got me into rock climbing a few years back. He goes to school in Maryland, so while we don’t climb together during the semesters, summer and winter breaks are always filled with climbing. Even though this semester has only just started, this photo made me excited for summer to come so I can hit the walls with him again.

Eugene Kaler snapped this next picture of some piping on campus. Eugene is a fellow engineering student who I have had classes with in the past. While most people might not find an image like this interesting, it is a testament to the engineering that is all around us.

This last image was taken by Gibson Reedy. It is of him driving his Duffy around the Naples canals. While I’ve only been on a Duffy a few times before, I do spend a lot of time on the water in and around Naples. During the summer, my family and I spend time at my grandparents house, enjoying tasty meals and taking out the kayaks. I also joined the sailing club last semester and learned how to sail a Capri sail boat. I passed the test at the end of the course and became a skipper. Now I’m looking forward to sailing the clubs Laser racing boats this semester.

It was fun to look through all of the class’s Instagram posts and uncover the things that I had in common with my classmates that I never would have known.

Week 3: Artist Interview

Yireh Elaine Kwak img_16861

My work right now is inspired by my home; the views around my home.

Yireh’s says her work, titled Harmony & Discordance: Conflicting Landscapes, is inspired by what she sees around her every day. The choice of title is evident when viewing the gallery. There is a clear juxtaposition of beautiful green landscapes and harsh industrialized cityscapes of pipes and blocky brown buildings. IMG_4837IMG_4839 This juxtaposition is also seen in the type of painting she does. While the first two paintings are oil on canvas, while the other pieces below are painted on paper. Kwak says that painting on paper is a way to release the stress built up from oil on canvas.

I can feel the pressure release from my shoulders.

IMG_4841 IMG_4843IMG_4845This release of tension is evident in these style of these paintings. While painting these, she needs not pay attention to detail or the form of the objects she is try to mimic. Instead she can let the painting assume a style during the process, without the need for predetermination. I see similarities to this juxtaposition in my own life. I often approach things in a very structured manner, but often relax my inhibitions and allow myself to think and act more naturally. I enjoyed talking with Yireh about her process and appreciated the ensuing self-reflection.