Wk11 – Artist Conversation – Kyle Kruse

Exhibition Information

Artist: Kyle Kruse

Exhibition: Janus Maxim

Media: film, sculpture, wood, dirt on floor

Gallery: Marilyn Werby Gallery

Website: kylekruseart.com

Instagram: kyle.kruse


About the Artist

Kyle Kruse is a fourth year senior at California State University Long Beach. Kyle is currently working on his Bachelors of Fine Arts in Print Making. He plans to graduate this year, and created this exhibition, Janus Maxim, for his senior project. He said he has never lived in the same place for more than year before moving to Long Beach, where he has lived for the past 6 years. After he graduates he said he might want to move to the United Kingdom, where he aspires to obtain his Masters of Fine Arts in Visual Anthropology. That, or he wants to move to New York.

Formal Analysis

Kyle Kruse created an exhibition he titled Janus Maxim. His exhibition consisted of several things, namely the: wooden engravings, the mask sculptures, and the films. The exhibition took place in a dark room, with black curtains covering the doorway so little light could enter the room. The floor also had a thin layer of crusty dirt which was immediately apparent when entering the room. Towards one end of the room were three wooden engravings and three masks place upon stands. The wooden engravings portrayed Greco-Roman mythical figures Prometheus, Janus, and Sisyphus. The all seemed to resemble deformed animals; one a bird, one a mouse, and one a bull. At the base of the wooden carvings that were hanging on the wall, there were three masks, each one based off of the same creature the carvings were based on. At the far end of the room was three TV’s, each playing a different film of a person doing various things with a different mask on in each one.

Content Analysis

Kyle said his goal was to provide a place where people could “take the role of the onlooker”, someone who is in the void, a place between time, life, or the absence of either of the two. The wooden images were there to create an idea of the concept of what life is, and imitations of things that can not be sensed. The masks (or bones and skins) represent the things that could not be reached. The empty space between the masks and the TV’s represented the Void, the area without anything. The TV’s on the far side represent the donning of these masks, and life and humanity.

Synthesis / My Experience

I thought Kyle’s exhibition, Janus Maxim, was very cool. Without even considering the philosophical portion of the exhibition, the sculptures, engravings, environment, and films were all very cool looking. They were also slightly creepy, but that added to the psychological effect it had on me and others. The Greco-Roman theme also appealed to me. I’ve always been a history fan of the Antiquity era. I’ve always enjoyed reading Greek myths and epics throughout my life. Kyle’s attempt to encapsulate the void and how it would feel to exist in such a place was well done. The dirt on the floor and eerie lighting have the exhibition an ominous feeling, one which someone in the void might feel. If they could feel.


Wk 9 – Artist Conversation – Dalia Banuelos & Daniel Bonilla-Vera

Exhibition Information

Artist: Dalia Banuelos & Daniel Bonilla-Vera

Exhibition: A Non-Degree Exhibition

Media: sculpture, photography, paintings, various

Gallery: Maxine Merlino

Website: dbvphotography.com

Instagram: daliaeffect, dbvphotography


About the Artist

Dalia and Daniel are both undergraduate Studio Art majors at California State University, Long Beach. They are both seniors, and plan to graduate in spring. Dalia and Daniel have known each other for 2 years. Both of them attended community colleges before transferring to CSULB. Dalia said one of her main hobbies (besides creating art) is martial arts. Daniel likes to create various kinds of art pieces, and particularly enjoys carving. He was actually practicing his carving as we were interviewing him!

Formal Analysis

Dalia and Daniel created an exhibition that included several pieces. There were around 20 pieces in all, although it was hard to count individual pieces, because there was a sculpture that contained several photographic pieces within it. There were several paintings on the left side of the exhibition from where you first walked in. The paintings depicted various effects, taking on a granite or sandstone-like appearance. On the right side of the room from the entrance there were several pieces on white canvas that appeared to have an ink-like effect. The canvases were white, with black ink used to create images and designs on the canvas. At the back of the room was the sculpture. On the floor lay two mannequins of people curled up in the fetal position. They were both fully clothed, with their faces covered. Above them was a network of strings, that bridged the gap between and connected many photographs. The color of the string was black.

Content Analysis

Dalia was saying that A Non-Degree Exhibition represented both Dalia’s and Daniel’s attempts at getting into the Bachelors of Fine Arts program at California State University, Long Beach. They were both rejected from the program, and decided to harness their emotions and previous art pieces to create a new one. When the applied to the Bachelors of Fine Arts program, they had to submit some of their work. After they were rejected, they used those pieces that were included in their applications to create the exhibition. The two mannequins on the ground represented themselves, with their art strung out above them.

Synthesis / My Experience

I really liked Dalia’s and Daniel’s A Non-Degree Exhibition. As a non-art major, it really showed the “other side” of the art world. Anytime I, as a non-artist, go to look at art, it’s all art that was approved by a higher-up and, for the most part, generally considered “good” art. A Non-Degree Exhibition showed me what it’s like to not have your art approved and be considered “good” by a higher-up. I thought all of the pieces were good, at least as good as all the other pieces I’ve seen in the galleries this year. The emotions created from experiencing the exhibition reminded me of the times where I failed a test or did poorly on a project. A would study to the point where I thought i understood the material, but when I get my grade, it would show otherwise. My answers to the free-response questions would not be considered adequate to the professor, and I would be marked down for it, while I thought my answers were great.


Wk 8 – Art Experience – Sketches

This week we got to do some sketching! I was pretty excited about this one, because we got to meet at the Japanese Gardens on campus. I’ve been to the Japanese Gardens twice before this, and both times were really cool. They have tons of plants and great scenery; the perfect place for some good ol’ sketching. Well, it would have been, if I wasn’t so terrible at sketching in the first place. Man, I thought I was going to draw some awesome scenic pictures that were going to change the world as we know it. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Check this out:


These are the first two 30 second sketches I made. The first one is supposed to be my good friend Lukas standing under a tree. It only took me one sketch to realize that my artistic ability peaked in the third grade. It was also really hard to draw something in 30 seconds, and I felt pressured to finish my sketch or else it would look even worse and incomplete. The bottom picture is supposed to be a bridge next to a tree going over some water. Who woulda guessed.

I then did the 5 minute sketch, which, in my opinion anyway, was better than those two previous sketches. Here it is, in all it’s glory:


Ah ha! A little better but still pretty bad. This one had much more detail, but unfortunately the quality of the details wasn’t very good. I also realized I had no idea how to draw leaves. Or branches. Or anything. But I tried, and that’s all that really matters in the ends of thing, right? I hope.

Wk 8 – Classmate Conversation -Alex Miramontes

In the Japanese Gardens I met some guy named Alex Miramontes. Turns out he’s a 4th year Psychology major, which is awesome. I’ve never met a psych major before, and to be honest it was kind of intimidating. I thought he was analyzing my consciousness throughout our conversation. Or reading my mind.

He’s also minoring in Human Development, and plans to graduate next semester (Spring I assume).

So the first question, “What is a piece of art, of any medium, that you would like to share with everyone? Why do you like it and why do you think others should experience (read, see, listen to, etc.) it?”: He said, “I really like album covers”. Cool. I’ve always liked album covers, but probably not as much as Alex does. He said he really likes the interesting art style of classic rock albums, like Iron Maiden and Metallica. However, he said his favorite album cover is Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs. I looked it up and it is a nice album cover. Very simple and easy on the eyes.

Then I cam up with my own original question and asked him, “Would you be supportive of your child wanting to pursue an art career? Why or why not?”
To that he responded, “Yea sure, I don’t see why not.” He then went on to say that the kid would do it anyway, so it’s better to support them instead of them doing it behind your back. Well that makes sense to me, nice one Alex.

The third and final question was, “Open your phones to the 1st page. What apps do you both have? What apps are different? Discuss!”, which I guess really isn’t a question now that I think about it, but oh well, we’ll go with it anyway.

Turns out Alex and I both had Snapchat and Twitch as apps, which was cool. I wasn’t expecting someone to have Twitch.
I had Ultimate Guitar Tabs on my phone, and he didn’t, but he did have the Chase Bank app, which I did not have because I have the far superior bank, Wells Fargo. 006

Wk 7 – Artist Conversation -Dulce Soledad Ibarra

Exhibition Information

Artist: Dulce Soledad Ibarra

Exhibition: Manos De Oro

Media: Found objects and video

Gallery: Max L. Gatov East

Website: dulcesoledadibarra.com

Instagram: N/A


About the Artist

Dulce Soledad Ibarra is currently an undergraduate at California State University Long Beach. She is a senior working on her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Sculpture who plans to graduate this spring. She is very excited to graduate! Dulce is from Chino, California and after she graduates she wants to work full-time and then go to graduate school. She’ not sure which school she wants to go to, but would prefer to go to a school located in the Midwest because there’s nothing out there! She does know that she wants to stay in studio arts though.

Formal Analysis

Dulce created an exhibition she called Manos De Oro, which translates to “hands of gold”. In the exhibition she used various gardening and landscaping tools, and then manipulated them. She coated several pieces with a golden layer of paint. Some pieces, such as some large hedge clippers, were hung on the wall. Others, such as an entire lawnmower and several pieces of different gardening machines were laid out on the ground. Artificial turf was used to represent grass, and two large bags of grass clippings were stood up in the corner of the room. At the back of the room, a video of a man gardening and trimming bushes was played on loop, with an unknown song in Spanish was playing in the background.

Content Analysis

Dulce said Manos De Oro main message was to inspire people to take pride in what you do. She also said other people (e.g. family members, friends, etc.) should also take pride in what you do. Some people are embarrassed about what their parents do for a living and try to hide their profession from their peers. Manos De Oro looks to cherish what you do for a living and appreciate what it does for you and your family.

Synthesis / My Experience

I felt that Dulce’s Manos De Oro hit close to home for me. My parents (specifically my father) had blue-collar jobs their whole lives, while many of my friends parents’ had more of white-collar jobs. My dad has always worked in garages and manual-labor jobs. The last job he had before he retired (also the job he had for the longest) was down at the Long Beach harbor. He repaired the chassis on large 16-wheelers that would come in to drop off their containers. He always worked as much over-time as he could so his family had enough money. Because of this, he was always tired and had little time to do what he wanted. Unfortunately, he ended up hurting his back permanently which led him into an early retirement. For years I was a bit embarrassed of the job he had and what ended up happening, until I finally realized I was getting embarrassed over nothing. I eventually took pride in the work he did and am very thankful for all the time he put into work for his family’s sake, even when it led to his own health issues.


Wk – 6 – Art Experience – Flipbook

This week we had another fun activity (thankfully). We had to make either a flipbook or a zine. To be honest, I had no idea what a zine was until Glenn explained it in class, which is partially why I chose to make a flipbook instead. The main reason I chose to make a flipbook is that I like animations more than stagnant images.

So, for my flipbook, I tried to think of the best, most creative idea ever. And after a solid 30 seconds of coming up with nothing, I gave up. Then it hit me. How about I make an animation that has me walk up to my friend and hit them with a frying pan. Then I hit him.

Check it out.

I call it “Beating Up Marcelo With a Pan (ft. Kaiser’s nose)”

It took me a whopping 26 frames and a solid 45 minutes to create this masterpiece. I do have to give credit to where it due: thanks Marcelo, and your sweet hairdo.


It was fun to do this activity. It was (to date) the longest flipbook I have ever made. I think the runner-up was one I made in 3rd grade that was 15 frames long. 15 frames of raw, unadulterated baloney. It was terrible, 8 year old me sucked at art. I guess not much has changed.

Wk 6 – Artist Conversation – Blaine Scot Prow

Exhibition Information

Artist: Blaine Scot Prow

Exhibition: Extrusions, Factory

Media: Bristol paper on foamcore

Gallery: Dr. Maxine Merlino Gallery

Website: N/A

Instagram: @tiffuts


About the Artist

Blaine Scot Prow is a undergraduate student at California State University Long Beach. He is currently a 4th year Bachelor of Arts major with an emphasis on graphic design. In his free time he likes to listen to music, specifically Indie and alternative. He also plays a few instruments, mainly guitar, bass, and keyboard. In high school, Blaine thought origami was cool but never really got into it. However, he was a good math student and was fascinated with shapes and how to create them. After he graduates he wants to work in-house, directly for a company, as opposed to working for a graphic design team.

Formal Analysis

Blaine create an exhibition that he called Extrusions. He created three dimensional shapes out of two dimensional object. He cut various shaped out of bristol paper, and then tinkered and folded them until he created three dimensional shapes. He then overlayed the three dimensional shape on top of the two dimensional cut out. Everything was done in black and white, the three dimensional shape being white and the cutout being black. Blaine created six different pieces, his favorite being The Factory. The Factory portrayed a white cube over the black cutout that formed the cube. He used black foamcore to create the black background of the two dimensional cutout, and white bristol paper to create the three dimensional cube.

To create the pieces, he drew out the templates first to see how they would fold and create a three dimensional shape.

Content Analysis

As long as he could remember, Blaine has been fascinated and utterly obsessed with geometry. He said he wanted to bridge the gap between two dimensions and the third dimension. He said many people don’t realize how similar two dimension and three dimension really are, and wanted to create something that would allow people to see that. By placing the final, 3D product over the original, 2D template, Blaine created a unique way to showcase the inter-dimensional transition.

Synthesis / My Experience

I thought Blaine’s projects were super cool. I particularly enjoyed the process by which he thought of and created the pieces. He said he was just messing around with a square piece of paper one day, when he realized that if he folded the paper a certain way, it formed a triangular pyramid. This is allowed him to instantly realize the relationship between a square and a triangular pyramid, or a two dimensional shape and a three dimensional shape. With this idea. he created more 2D shapes that he then played with until he create 3D shapes out of them. This is a similar way to how scientists and researchers come up with new experimental ideas. As a science major that wants to go into research, I found his process of synthesizing his idea very interesting and relatable. I too have been fiddling with something and then all of a sudden had an epiphany. With that new knowledge, I was able to use the information to create an experimental project of my own.