Arts & Life, Fine & Performing Arts

Student art galleries replace regular exhibitions with grad student critique week

The School of Art galleries at Long Beach State changed up the typical student exhibitions this week, with a special Graduate Critique Week located in the Fine Arts Building on campus.

The weekly themed exhibitions were replaced by a variety of artwork from students across all art departments, in an effort to provide them with a space to have their work critiqued by artists, curators or other gallery exhibitionists outside of the LBSU community.

Sculptures, paintings, installations, video projections and more will be individually critiqued for five hours every night this week to provide the students with in-depth feedback.

One student featured during critique week is Briana Miyoko, a second year pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in drawing and painting. Through her piece, “Passage, Santa Ynez,” Miyoko uses a combination of sculpture, rocks and a video reel of flowing lava to examine the aftermath of a natural disaster.

Miyoko was inspired to create “Passage, Santa Ynez” after witnessing a natural disaster in Santa Barbara and helping with the aftermath of an earthquake in New Zealand.

“Seeing a place that was my home and coming back and seeing it changed was definitely a really personal thing,” Miyoko said.

Tackling a vastly different topic, first year MFA ceramics student Kenna Dworsky explores the relations between fabrics and bodies in her piece titled “Bed Bodies.”

The white fabric and ceramic sculptures utilized in “Bed Bodies” were created after Dworsky thought about the connection humans with fabrics in their clothing, beds and more.

Originally a literature major, Dworsky became interested in creating art recently after taking a ceramics course at LBSU and discovered that art was her calling.

“In my third year of school I started working with clay and just found the engagement of material with my body to be much more fulfilling than working with language,” Dworsky said. “It felt like a way more rewarding thing to be doing with my time and in my way of communicating.”

Also featured is MFA woodworks student Joanie Ellen, who tackles feminist and political issues in her piece “If you’re not yet like me.”

Having previously performed in several avant-garde theatre shows in New York, Ellen has always considered herself to be interested in the arts and was excited to pursue an interest in the fine arts program at LBSU.

Ellen’s political art piece features one large hanging sculpture in the shape of an orb with several openings which she describes as “protest panties”, a green-screen video of herself moving around on an old Sesame Street cartoon video projected through the sculpture and several small 3D printed figurines of herself laying on a fainting couch — a style of couch used in the Victorian area for hysterical women.

“I think it’s almost impossible to operate as an artist and not be political in this climate,” Ellen said.

Graduate Critique Week can be viewed Tuesday and Thursday this week from noon to 5 p.m. and Wednesday from noon to 7 p.m. Next week, the student galleries will return with a group exhibition focusing on illustration and animation.

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