Friday, June 22, 2018

When We Rise Exhibition 2018

One of your classmates wanted me to let you know about this possible exhibition which includes some of the artists we were introduced to in class as well as others.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Extra Credit: The Black Experience

The Black Experience is a mural that is located right next to Panda Express in the Ackerman Union. This was done by seven students from UCLA after the recent protest on the Vietnam war. Before taking this class, I had no idea that this mural was located in a place that I frequently visited. This mural addresses the issues of racial disparities occurring in the United States. After researching more about the mural, I found out that they were in fact already there for 20 years. However, there were people who were unhappy about the mural and covered it with another wall while renovating. Only recently, members from the African Student Union (ASU) fought to uncover the mural and I am glad that they were successful.

This mural serves a timeline for black and African American excellence up until 1970. I am really intrigued by the intricate details that are depicted in the eight figures. If you look closely, there are news articles about slavery and their daily lives in a black community. The third man from the left has a picture that caught my attention. It looks like a girl that is looking up and seems to be sad, she seems to be behind bars. I hope that by uncovering this mural, it will raise awareness on the severity of racial discrimination not only against the black community, but other racial groups as well.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

LACMA Extra Credit

This past weekend, I visited LACMA's exhibition City and Cosmos: The Arts of Teotihuacan. The ancient central Mexican city of Teotihuacan was the urban center of the Americas in the first millennium, and accordingly a vibrant artistic capital. Recently, archaeological projects have uncovered relics from Teotihuacan's three main pyramids and some residential areas, which fundamentally changed historians' understanding of the city's history.

Walking around the exhibit, I saw many artifacts, such as bowls, statues, vessels, shells and more. These art pieces "provided guides for people as they navigated the city's streets and managed natural resources." I found walking around the exhibition to be reminiscent of the scene in Black Panther, where Killmonger is indignant as his ancestor's art being locked up in a colonizer's museum before staging a heist to steal the artifacts back. Not to be the "there should be a Latinx superhero" girl, but if there were, I could see myself doing research for the costume design for him/her at this exhibition.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Reflection Post

I have had the amazing opportunity to take two courses with Professor Lopez and am very appreciative of the experience because not only do we learn about critical and relevant artivists who have had and continue to have a major impact on the cultura and comunidad, but we are also given the opportunity to practice our own art and engage in creative mediums that help us better understand our roles within this praxis. I would like to thank you Professor Lopez for giving us the space to learn, analyze, and practice an important part of our communities and educational trajectories that are not always valued in traditional academic settings. The arts are always marginalized from k-12 education, and even more so in higher education. When taking this class, I thought I was only going to be learning about Chicana/Latina artists that I already knew. But, I found that I have a lot to learn about the muxeres who engage in art today in various ways that are not always highlighted in our communities. I especially liked this course because it aligned with my research interests. As I was reading for this class, I found a lot that I could use within my own research process that I may not have found otherwise. One thing I hope is that everyone in the class continues to find their own personal and spiritual journey with the arts and that although they may not feel like artists, that they continue to find freedom and liberation in the act of expressing themselves in whatever form they choose.

Artist Presentation - Ana Mendieta

The presentation on Ana Mendieta is one that I greatly appreciated, especially because I was fortunate enough to be a part of the CCS 188 Radical Women in Latin American course offered in the Fall of this year. Mendieta is one artist we covered in great detail because of the political importance of her work and trauma she endured before and after her death as a woman of color. Furthermore, the presentation became a reflective process for me because I had the opportunity to not only learn about her work, but also see it in its authentic form at the Hammer Museum during the Radical Women in Latin American Art exhibit. I appreciated myself and my learning process because I was able to contribute to what was presented about Mendieta in class. I think the presenter did an amazing job at covering some of her most critical works that covered an array of topics that affect women of color, such as mental health, sexual abuse/trauma, and gendered representations of women. The piece I find most impactful was the Rape Scene performance work she created. One thing that was not discussed in class, but I would like to reiterate, is that this performance lasted 14+ hours. She took it upon herself to take an issue that happens too often on college campuses where students are supposed to be "safe," but are almost always impacted by sexual assault and violence. Its fascinating to think that Mendieta was in her undergraduate education and was able to take such a heavy and violent topic and bring the attention that is never given by the university administration. It has made me reflect on what it is that I'm doing to ensure that I am also advocating for my community and trying to find creative ways to bring change to our communities.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

The Black Experience Mural Extra Credit

The Black Experience is a mural created in the 1970s by a group of black UCLA students.  It's located behind Panda Express, which I was oblivious to despite my (unfortunately) frequent visits (my attention was likely diverted to my honey walnut shrimp). It depicts some of the biggest leaders in black history. Not only does this mural show the power of public art in its placement in such a widely-visited part of campus, but it is also a testament to the perseverance of black UCLA students to uncovering the mural from walls put up during renovations.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Reflection Post

When I enrolled in this class, I had thought we were only going to be learning about Chicana artists from the past and how they revolutionized art. And then, I quickly realized that Chicana artists are still around, they've always been around, creating art that represents a part of who they are. Not only that, but I have come to appreciate the art that they create! It's been really cool to learn techniques that Chicana artists use in their own art. For example, learning how to draw hands by contour drawing, shading, and using shapes! At first I felt like I didn't really know how to draw hands. I mean, I knew that hands are basically the hardest parts of the body to draw,  and I've tried it before but it never came out right. After practicing some of the techniques that Professor Lopez gave to us, I feel like I've gotten better. I didn't know that I could trust myself by drawing my hand without looking at the paper! Also, I enjoyed how we learned that most muralists paint in blue or brown while also using grids as they begin sketching their pieces on walls. Overall, I believe I have become a more confident artist after taking this class, and I want to thank Professor Lopez for that.  I feel like Professor Lopez created a very welcoming environment for all of us to learn in and it wasn't like a regular art class where everybody is trying to show each other up.

Finally, I want to thank all the Chicanx artists who have come before me, and who are still out there, for continuing to represent our culture, struggles, and triumphs for what they really are. Let's not wait for other people to write/ paint our hxstory for us, but let's show them who we are with resilience en la frente. 

Reflection Post

Coming into this course, I knew little about Chicano/a artists and art overall as a subject. When asked to write down names of artists,  I came up with six, only one of which was a Chicana. However, in comparison to the second time we were asked to write down names, I was surprised that I was able to name twelve, all of whom were Chicana artists. Before taking this class, my interaction with art was highly limited to works by famous authors, such as Picasso, and my own personal attempts to sketch images. In this class, I learned that art is not just a hobby done on a whim but work produced by individuals with a message. In the case of Chicanas, I learned that their work has been incredibly under-represented despite their quality and powerful messages. Through the work produced by myself in class, I learned that art takes much time, thought, and creativity and found that my appreciation for artists majorly grew. When Professor Lopez instructed us to draw hands for the majority of our sketchbooks, I was terrified because that was always the thing (in addition to faces) that I was never able to master before. However, by the end of class, I was able to see that with practice my hand drawings got better over time. Now, I'm glad that Professor Lopez challenged me to improve my skills, for now I will not shy away when something seems impossible.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Carmen Lomas Garza(late)

Image result for earache treatment carmen lomas

I really enjoyed Carmen Lomas Garza’s work because it reminded me of my family. I can easily identify a lot of the scenes depicted in Garza’s work. I like Carmen styles because it is vibrant; one my favorite works is  Earache Treatment because it reminded me of my mom. My mom always does this, but she incorporates onion for extra healing power. Their is so much detail that really makes the scene come alive; this helps the viewer recall  similar circumstances their lives.

Refelction post

At the beginning of the class I knew little to nothing about Chicana artist. I only knew about Frida Kahlo because I watched Frida; I remember watching the film as a young child and thinking, Frida is really cool. This class exposed me to different artist, who also embodied Frida’s spirit; some of my favorite artist include Carolyn Catasño and Judith Baca. I identify with Catasño’s work because I also care environmental issues. I also loved her incorporation of nature and vivid colors a I have always liked colorful materials. As for Baca’s work, I liked Baca’s community engagement; I have always admired activist leaders because I believe any change, regardless of how small, is significant. These two women inspire me to focus my efforts and to always keep in mind that change is possible.

This class has demonstrated to me the power of art has, in all honesty I viewed art as a leisurely activity, but know I see it as vital tool for activism. I want to incorporate art’s ability to heal into my everyday life; consequently, I want to improve my art skills so I can give my friends and family presents. I have always liked when my friends make me a present because the art s always tailored for me. This lets me know that my friend listens to me and cares about me. I really think it is important to tell the ones you love that you the, but most importantly show them. I see art in my future as medium in which I can express my love for the world.

Mural Extra Credit

The mural currently next to Panda Express is called The Black Experience, completed in 1970 it aimed to draw attention African American history. I liked that we learned about the background surrounding the mural’s removal because in the articles I have read nothing was mentioned about the LA riots. The mural was created by seven UCLA art students in response to recent protest associated with the Vietnam war. The mural was covered up in the early 90s and was only recently restored because of student initiative. The mural is very intricate, but deceptively simple from afar; I think this characteristic was used a symbol for black representation in America. From afar African American are treated as monolithic group, but upon close inspection a lot of diversity and history is discovered. I didn't like the placement of the mural next to Panda Express because it leads to the mural being missed. Overall. I enjoyed looking at the mural and noticing the small details within the picture. I especially liked how the used one of the man’s glasses as a reflective surface.

Extra Credit: The Black Experience (1970)

The Black Experience (1970) is a 10-foot-by-27-foot mural that was created in 1970 by a group of Black UCLA art students. The mural is located on the first floor of Ackerman Union and is located next to Panda Express. Prior to the course, I had no idea that the mural even existed and was also completely unaware of the fact that such a beautiful and historical piece of art was in close proximity to me. The mural is a testament to the way art remains relevant in today’s day in age, as well as the fact that it serves as a timeless piece documenting the interconnectedness of Black folks and allies since 1970.
Although the The Black Experience depicts achievements of Blacks and African-Americans within the United States, it also addresses issues of racial disparities with a visual representation of the history and experience of the community. One of the contributors to the mural underlined that the art piece was created in response to the “emotional turmoil” that took place at UCLA and other colleges throughout the United States in the aftermath of the Kent State University shootings. Furthermore, The Black Experience is also an embodiment of perseverance within this particular community, since the mural was obscured for 20 years by a false wall erected in front of it during building renovations in 1992. As a result, members of the Afrikan Student Union (ASU) fought for the uncovering of the mural.
One of the most captivating aspects about the mural is the fact that it serves as a timeline for Black and African-American excellence and figures up until 1970. Upon observing it, it is easy to pick up on the intricacy of the piece. The eight figures depicted on the mural are the accumulation of smaller, noteworthy individuals that have served as catalysts for the community. Overall, the mural gave me a better understanding of the importance of artistic initiatives within underrepresented communities. Shifting the paradigm to encapsulate a clear and valid representation of our community members is a matter that requires engagement through artistic processes. In doing so, marginalized communities are able to achieve the conceptualization of their own identities, memories, and histories.

Print Makers

The Chicano civil rights, El Movimiento, was a civil rights movement in order to extend the Mexican-American civil rights movement of the 1960s in order to achieve Mexican American empowerment.Throughout the movement, printmakers were very essential. Print makers are a very unique and talented way to represent political social and economic issues. Print making was a way tospread their message and political, social and economic advancements. Therefore, print making in the Chicano community was prominent in the 1970s because Chicano representation were underrepresented, especially Chicana artist. Chicanx art was a way to figure out how to put their struggles on the forefront and represent all communities within theirs, especially involving art. I feel as though print making is a way for people to easily  see and envision their struggles. 

Gender, Indigenism and Chicana Muralists

Gender is usually a taboo topic to tackle in communities of color, just as its been hard to tackle throughout the years. We have to understand gender dynamics in order to understand how equal representation can be represented in art! As I am writing this blog post I see that every time I type "Chicana" a red line appears and tells me to say"Chicano". This is very random, but this just shows the gender dynamics in society as a whole.

Chicana Muralist are an important aspect in history! Murals are often underrated in society being that murals are supposed to be on the forefront in society. Murals are a way for everyone to see beautiful unique perspectives on life as a whole. However, there is a big gender dynamic on who's murals are recognized. We know that women are not appreciated for all of the hard work they put out in society. Therefore, a lot of Chicana women's murals are often overlooked. There has been a lot of fights for equal representation. For example, In the 70s there was a big fight for equal representation regarding art politics.This carried on throughout the years, and because people have been tremendously advocating for presentation, Chicana artist are being more recognized.

Course Reflection

Course Reflection

I came into this course thinking that I would be able to listen to a lecturer talk about some interesting artists. However, I left with a new skill, a new medium that I enjoy and a newfound interest in art. 
For the past few years I have dedicated myself to graphic design and digital media. I love photography, illustrator, and any way that I am able to express myself digitally. I have also always said that I cannot draw with a pencil and have always had insecurities as an artist around drawing. To my dismay on the first day the professor brought out a little bag of art supplies and told us that we would be crafting and filling a sketchbook with drawings. My immediate reaction was to drop the class and find another way to fulfill the GE but after talking to a few friends about my fears, I was convinced that I should stay. After days of drawing ugly hands I found that comparing my drawings to other's in the class was less productive and finding my style was more productive. I started to get better and even on the third week of class bought a sketchbook for my personal drawings (something I never thought I would do). This class has opened my eyes to a medium that I never thought I could love and also given me a new appreciation for artist who work in that medium. I have been challenged as an artist this quarter to set my pride aside and learn with the rest of the class about the new hurtle that Professor Lopez had set up for us that day. 

- Elise Burgos 

Course Reflection

As I reflect on this quarter, I recall the highs and the lows. More often than not, I am asked why I decided to take an art history course. The answer is that my biggest step towards coming closer to my artistic side was through a formal course about art. As an applied mathematics major, I rarely get to express that side of myself, which I abandoned prior to transferring to UCLA this academic year.
This course has taken my outside of my comfort zone on multiple levels, and has simultaneously brought me closer to my interests outside of my major. I enjoyed learning about Chicana artists, and their role in cultural and female empowerment. The topics at hand are so relevant in the current political climate, and I was interested in the artists, and also my classmates insight. It was also interesting to learn about, and actually experience, the level of intricacy that art requires.

The sketchbook was probably my favorite part of the course. Initially, I was afraid of my ability, as I have never participated in drawing/painting to this degree. I was afraid of drawing something "incorrectly", but the exercise in which we drew hands without looking at the paper quickly made me realize how cool I think the imperfect hands look. Admittedly, I am still afraid of drawing, and procrastinated doing my self-portrait until the night before the sketchbook was due. Upon completion, my self-portrait is one of my favorite drawings, and I am surprised at the how my drawing skills have developed.

I came into this class with the expectation of dipping my toes into the art world, something I have put to the side for a long time. After learning about so many different Chicana artists, I am inspired in many ways. I am inspired to engage in conversations and pursue feminism. I enjoyed this course and am excited to continue to expand my knowledge about art.

Laura Agular

Photography is very important in modern day society. It is a way to capture life experiences and give those experiences for the public to see. Laura Aguliar is an example of a notable artist because her work represents marginalized communities as a whole. Women should be on the forefront of all experiences, and Laura does use that. I am very appreciative of her hard work because not only does she utilize her experiences within her photography, but she highlights the importance of being a woman in society within her photography. She focuses on body empowerment, which is very essential. On social media, there is lack of representation of different bodies. There is only one representation and that is the normal "skinny girl'. However, women come in all shapes and sizes. Therefore, she challenges social normatives. Being a Chicana, she obviously puts her experiences of being a Chicana and a woman on the forefront. 

Reflection Post

Looking back on this quarter, I can say that I do not regret taking this course. I decided to join the class during week 2 or 3 because I was having trouble with my schedule. Before enrolling I knew I really needed to take this class because of the art making component. I deeply enjoying drawing and having sketchbook assignments as homework sounded great. So I made the rest of my schedule work around this class as best as possible. I was behind on the class assignments but I still enjoyed the work that I was doing and the knowledge I was gaining. I was not aware of how many Chicano artists there are and from a variety of styles. But I learned more about art through the sketchbook. Making art and really getting that hands on experience made what we were learning during lecture and readings that much more real. I learned that art requires a lot of patience and less self-criticism. I never liked drawing hands because they were so difficult but now I feel a bit more confident in drawing them because I was pushed outside of my comfort zone. Also, I had no idea that water color pencils existed! It was really fun to paint with the water brush. I find watercolor very intimidating because I believe it requires a lot of skill to control something as fluid as water. However, since I was already pushed outside of my comfort zone by drawing hands then, now I hope to have more courage to indulge creating more watercolor art. Thank you so much Profe for giving me the opportunity to combine my love for the arts with academia. It was truly an inspiring class as I learned about the many Chicana artists and the guest speakers who are currently working with art and academia; made me consider a career in art more seriously.

Extra Credit: The Black Experience Mural

It amazes me as we learned in class how art is everywhere. I had seen many murals prior to this class and while I was fascinated, I never truly knew the meanings. What I find so intriguing is the efforts of people to cover up and get rid of murals and pieces that are part of a political movement and historical references. This "Black Experience" mural in Ackerman Union is important piece of art like many others. This in specifically is a representation of Activism and key figures in the African American community. The detail and meaning is truly remarkable. It was created in 1970 and was tried to cover up with the excuse of needing more space for the restaurant. Like many other art piece the educators fail to acknowledge them and teach members of the community about it. I have been at UCLA four years and it took me taking this class to find out there is a piece of art so amazing like this. I am appreciative for being able to have learned that this piece was revitalized thanks to the African Student Union who worked to get it back. I think preserving murals is key to our community and I am grateful to have learned about this piece of art while still a student. I learned through this mural and the class that we need to take a moment to appreciate the context of art and learn more about our artistic histories.

Course reflection

Overall, this course allowed me to get a different perspective in the Latina Art community. Many do not understand all of the hard work and dedication that women play in society. Therefore, this class allowed me to venture out of my comfort zone of just being 1 identity as being Black in society. The main thing I enjoyed in this course was the fact that we had freedom to do a sketchbook. In traditional classes, there aren't many opportunities like this. Therefore, I really appreciate the fact that we had an opportunity to venture out and explore new talents.
I personally enjoyed this class because I feel as though art is a gateway for me to reflect life and also help those in my community find their passions. Learning about art history is a way to get out of social normative society especially being a woman of color in patriarchal societies. I want to personal thank this class experience because it allowed me to develop my love for art even more. I also want to incorporate more Latina representations within my art because I feel as though all women of color should be supported! I learned that art isn't just a hobby, it is a lifestyle.Thank you!

Extra Credit

Earlier this quarter, a couple of classmates and I, went to check out The Arts of Tenochtitlan exhibition at LACMA. I found it amazing how we were able to see such artifacts here in the US even though they originated from Mexico.

So, the first picture on the upper left hand corner shows a funerary urn. The figure is either a deity or an ancestor. It is wearing a snake mask with the tongue being the prominent feature. The headdress it is wearing refers to maize. What is interesting about this is that these are commonly found in Oaxaca but this one was found in Mexico City, formerly known as Tenochtitlan. Then it was transferred to the US, so I think it is amazing how strong the artifact is since it is able to endure such exportations.

The second image on the top right hand corner is a stone skull surrounded by "folded paper". This artifact was found near the central altar of the Sun Plaza which is in front of the Sun Pyramid (LACMA). The bio provided by LACMA states that it might be a precedent of Mictlantecuhtli which is the Aztec skeletal death deity. What is interesting about this piece is that the nose is actually a hole where a blade could be placed.

Finally, the bottom left image is of a mural of a figure with claws. You can't really see from the picture but up close, it was very beautiful because of its intricacy. The figure has a prominent mouth of which a scroll comes out of. This indicates that the speech or song is a prayer (LACMA).

Reflection Post

Prior to the beginning of the course, I did not know what to expect from the class. I was fully aware that it was a class where we were going to dissect and critique prominent Chicana/Latina artists within the community, but that was as far as I knew or at least had anticipated. Chicana Art and Artists M175 was not only my first class with a particular focus on Chicanas/Latinas, but it was also a proper introduction to art―a domain that I had no knowledge in. Fast-forward to the end of the quarter, I can now confidently and proudly say that I gained knowledge in the field of Chicana/Latina art. The course was a humbling experience, as I learned about two important things in particular. First, art is a vehicle through which one can contextualize, historicize, and politicize. Art is a medium that allows for the freedom of expression, while simultaneously also serving as a statement to society. Second, I learned about the importance of contesting the status quo through the reimagination of art. The latter paves the way for the dismantling of the stigmatizations that target Chicana/Latina women. Cultural expression through art forms serves as a catalyst for not only the amplification of identity, but also the expansion of horizons within the artistic domain.
Overall, the course was a learning experience like no other. Personally, I tip my hat to Professor Alma Lopez for always being so encouraging through the process. As one of my peers pointed out, the class gave one the leverage to fail and grow at the same time. The course also provided a better understanding of my role as an ally to Latina and Chicana framework and propositions. The dismantling of preconceived notions regarding women is a matter that concerns community efforts. In doing so, Latina and Chicana women are able to extend feminist visions, create new identities, and, most importantly, achieve liberation from societal expectations.

Presentation: Favianna Rodriguez

For the second week of presentations, I chose to discuss Favianna Rodriguez. She is an admirable artivist (artist and activist). She was born in Fruitvale, CA 1978. She is of Afro-Peruvian descent. I chose this artist because I had already seen her art, I just did not know the artist's name. Rodriguez's art is commonly seen and used for modern activism for the undocumented Latinx community, particularly the butterfly featured above. Besides the fact that her art is so familiar to me, I also think it is very beautiful. She uses a lot of shapes and colors. The images are outlined with bold black lines which I think only make the colors pop a lot more since they contrast with the black lines. What I like about the shapes is that they are not just random shapes. The shapes are used to emphasize facial features on the people that she draws. For example, the nose is very prominent because even the nostril is exaggerated. Even the butterfly has the same style. The shapes used to make up the butterfly wings are also used to make the faces.

Presentation: Diane Gamboa

Out of all the artists that we saw during week 8, Diane Gamboa's art stood out the most to me. Gamboa is from East Los Angeles. According to our classmate, Gamboa already had an art exhibit at merely the age of five. That is very young age to have accomplished something like that; I know it was not something like the art exhibits we see in museums but the mere fact that she knew what she wanted and that she made it happen is very admirable. Further into her career as an adult, Gamboa began including her interest of tattoos into her artwork. Gamboa has many tattoos of her own so it is understandable that she would also incorporate them in her art. If you think about it, Gamboa's own body can be considered a canvas as it holds her tattoos as art pieces. Interestingly enough, Gamboa started off as a photographer. This image in particular was quite captivating to me because of the colors and drawing style. A lot (if not all) of Gamboa's art shows her characters' gender as ambiguous. She paints these figures as showing both feminine and masculine characteristics. I like this very much because it shows the fluidity of gender and challenges the gender binary. Her art questions what is typically accepted as identifiers for men and women. The ambiguity in her work shows that there are not strict rules for such. She also took on the idea of reclaiming our own narratives as Chicanx. Mexicans are commonly called aliens so she also paints her figures in such a manner. The beings in her art not only resemble gender fluidity but also depictions of extra terrestrials.

Reflection Post

Coming into this class at the start of the quarter was really exciting and a bit daunting because an esteemed friend of mine had told me that Alma Lopez's artistic practice was her introduction to Chicanx arts and had an immense impact on her. Hearing my friend describe the resonance and mark that Alma Lopez had on her reinforced some sort of humility inside of myself for being able to study in an institution with such impactful artists teaching. As a transfer, I was thrown for a loop going into art classes at UCLA where the teachers really set the tone for what the learning environment and atmosphere between the students would be. I was thrown for a loop when some teachers set a tone for extreme competition and aggression, which can be extremely disappointing and difficult to navigate. This class was a complete refreshment from other art classes because Alma Lopez set an atmosphere of acceptance and was really welcoming to all students without bias. I know that the rest of the students can agree when I say that the learning environment in this classroom was over all generative and encouraging. I think the best thing a teacher can give any student is encouragement and that is exactly what my experience was especially regarding the sketchbook assignment. I feel that drawing can be difficult for people in all skill levels simply because it requires a lot of patience and commitment and implementing the sketchbook and having us draw during the lectures (which is something many students get in trouble for) allowed for students to just try it even if they weren't necessarily good starting out. It allowed for me to recognize that muscle  between my own hand and my eye that the professor mentioned and to recognize the growth that comes from dedication.
Thank you to all in the class for sharing their sketchbooks and their artists. Thank you to Alma Lopez for being a thoughtful, sincere, and ultimately loving educator.