Arts & Life

Crème de la Quarantine: Alone Together virtual exhibition showcases artwork by graduating CSULB illustration majors

The Bachelor of Fine Arts Illustration and Pre-Production program at Long Beach State hosts a virtual exhibition to showcase the work of their graduating students. 

“The Parliament of the Renaissance Frontier” by Ricardo Corona, a fourth-year illustration major, featured in Crème de la Quarantine. Art courtesy of Ricardo Corona.

After canceling activities the previous semester due to the coronavirus pandemic, the program decided to turn their senior show virtual. The students used their creativity to commemorate their last exhibition at CSULB by hosting the virtual exhibition Créme de la Quarantine: Alone Together.

The virtual exhibition is presented on their website and Instagram, featuring 23 graduating artists. Each artist has their own profile to showcase their work, tell viewers about themselves and their artwork. 

Ricardo Corona, a fourth-year illustration student, said he wanted to capture the current situation in the name. He came up with Crème de la Quarantine, a play on the popular french saying “crème de la crème” or “best of the best.” 

Art of Kyoto, Japan, part of “Alphabetical Cities of the World” by fourth-year illustration major Ricardo Corona. Art courtesy of Ricardo Corona

“I wanted [the name] to deal with quarantine or the pandemic but also uplift it by saying the best and showcasing our best work during the pandemic,” Corona said.

Corona’s name for the exhibition was voted the winner among the graduating class, with Alone Together coming second. Eventually they combined the two and presented the exhibition as Crème de la Quarantine: Alone Together.

Rolando Millares, a fourth-year illustration major, said that although things were different being at home, the graduates managed to put on a show.

Millares said that while he was disappointed that he did not get to present his work at an in-person showcase, something he had been looking forward to since he was accepted to the BFA program, this became a new experience to learn from. 

“Above-Board Templo,” digital art by Ricardo Corona featured in Crème la Quarantine. Art courtesy of Ricardo Corona.

“I do like that idea of getting some experience of setting up a website and trying to promote yourself online which I don’t think we would have done as much if it was an in-person show,” Millares said. 

The virtual show also benefited from the fact that there was no limit as to how many pieces each artist could include in their profile, Millares said, as opposed to an in-person show. 

“I think an in-person show is more difficult because of getting a location and every location has its limits,” Millares said. “You’re only allowed to put so many pictures up, you can’t damage the walls, stuff like that. That is an advantage of doing it all online because normally you’re limited to five or so pictures depending on the size, but [online] we really had no limit of how many images we could use.”

While many of the graduating seniors looked forward to having a normal in-person exhibition, they took this opportunity to be able to showcase their hard work. 

“Even though we’re separated, we’re still moving forward trying to make the best of this situation and still have the best show that we could possibly have,” Millares said.

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