Kathryn's Blog

Wk 10- USU Wedge

For this week’s blog post I chose the USU wedge. I chose this because I always walk through it. For my design, I thought that taking out the the wall that is there and making it two columns so there is another place for people to walk. I also though it would be easier for pedestrians if they took out the seating. Please excuse my stick figures.

I think this new design will benefit pedestrians because it allows for more people to cut through as opposed to walking around, which is what I believe is the reason for people using the wedge. During 1-3 pm, the wedge can get really congested, so hopefully making another space will help. I think people will be really happy with this new wedge a year from now.


Wk 8- Classmate Convo- Makenna LaFortune

This week my classmate conversation was with Makenna La Fortune. Makenna is from Las Vegas, Nevada and loves cats. We bonded over the fact that we both love cats. She actually has 7 cats that she has rescued from several different kill shelters in the Nevada area. She has named them after the seven dwarves from Snow White, which is adorable. Although it may seem like Snow White is her favorite Disney character, she has informed me that it is actually Lucifer the cat from Cinderella! I told her that my favorite Disney character is Marie from Aristocats. Then we started talking about Disneyland. Turns out we both think that Disneyland is over-rated! Makenna and I have a lot in common it is crazy!



Wk 8- Finger Painting

For this week’s activity, I finger painted. Unfortunately, I did not have any paint. So, I decided to mash up oil crayons and mix them with water and that is what I painted with. I enjoyed doing it because it was actually really relaxing. It is nice to not have to think about making something look perfect. I wouldn’t say that it was necessarily hard or easy, but it was definitely more easy than it was hard. How does it compare with other paintings? Mine is pretty crappy , but that doesn’t matter right?



Wk 7- Individual Writing Assignment-Ballet Versus Modern or Contemporary Ballet

This week in class, I had a great discussion with Glenn about wanting to learn and do something. I brought up how I always knew I wanted to be a ballet dancer. I told him about how when I was 7 I told my mom I wanted to be enrolled in a ballet class and that I have been dancing ballet ever since. Wanting to go to class was never a problem for me. The highlight of my day, every day, was going to ballet class. I never had to worry about being graded on anything which made my experience that much better. Because I wasn’t being graded, I felt safe to take risks and make mistakes. This is what Glenn was discussing in his TED Talk. After talking with him about why and how I started ballet, we got on the topic of CSULB. I told him how CSULB doesn’t have the ballet heavy program I was looking for, but I didn’t have the right body type to even be considered for a ballet heavy program. He asked me my opinions on modern ballet, otherwise known as contemporary ballet. After I expressed my hate for it, Glenn explained how important it is to learn about the things you hate because you might discover that it is actually revolutionary.

At CSULB, the dance department mostly focusses on modern but does offer some ballet. For the BFA classes, I am a BFA, we are given a modern class and a contemporary ballet class instead of a classical ballet class. One of the reasons I despise contemporary ballet so much is because ballet is structured and orderly. I really dislike how wild contemporary ballet is. Contemporary ballet is also a lot less musical than classical ballet. Contemporary choreographers like William Forsythe and Jerome Robbins wanted to test the limits with how they could change up the ideals of classical ballet. With classical ballet being very musically driven, these dance revolutionaries decided to change the music, make the movement less musically driven, and even in some cases took away the music. Although I think that movement without music or with sound scores as opposed to music is interesting, I don’t think it mixes well with the highly structured ballet vocabulary. It makes sense to mix abstract movement with abstract ideas. I don’t see the sense in mixing a style that developed from European court dances with abstract ideas.

As a dancer that is studying both classical ballet and contemporary ballet, I find contemporary ballet to be less healthy. Classical ballet has a very specific set of rules of technique that are taught to dancers to protect them from injury. For example, while performing a petite allegro combination, a classical ballet dancer is taught to drop the pelvis, close the ribs, have both heels connect to the floor every time you land, and to have the knees exactly in line with the lower leg when you land. This is alignment is important because it protects the lower back from the stress of the landing. In BFA contemporary ballet class here at CSULB, our professor tells us to release our spine when we perform petite allegro. Without protecting our lumbar spines by holding our alignment, we are playing with fire a bit. I find myself, as a dancer, having to make decisions about what is right and healthy for my body in this contemporary ballet class that I wouldn’t even have to think about in a classical ballet class.

All that being said, I have tickets to see Alexei Ratmanksy’s new contemporary ballet work titled “Whipped Cream” that he choreographed on American Ballet Theater this Wednesday. Although I dislike contemporary ballet, I do still respect the work that is being done. I think that “Raven Girl” by Wayne Mcgregor is a crazy interesting piece of work that I could watch over and over, but I would never want to dance. I enjoy performing pieces that flow along side the music rather than challenge the music. This is important because I now know that when I graduate and start looking for a job I will be steering away from the contemporary ballet companies.

Wk 6 – Artist Conversation-Story

The Tree

The Birch trees stand alone in the yard

Gloriously white, the stand perfectly still as the wind gusts

Pristine, clean, pure, perfect,

they are intriguing and I get the urge to feel one

Getting closer, I notice the people on the other side

Their eyes meet my eyes and the trees begin to sink, melt

The ground begins to shake and these people aren’t people anymore

Their pupils are gone and their teeth are sharp

The melting trees become white snakes with ruby eyes

The trees are gone, the people are gone, and the nightmare ensues

I begin to run, but I go nowhere

I look behind me at the creatures with no pupils

They smile as they stand there,

They know that I will not be able to escape their white gaze

My body begins to ache and I stop

I realize I will never escape

The snakes slither around my ankles as the wind gusts once again

I close my eyes because I can’t look at the creatures any longer

The gust of wind dissipates, and I open my eyes

I am standing in front of the Birch Tree with my palm caressing its branch

Two brown speckles stare back at me


This is the exhibit No Redemption Value at the CSULB School of Art Dutzi Gallery by Amy Williams. This is a mixed media installation.

Wk 6- Flip Book

For this activity, I tried a couple things. I tried to make a flip book that was printer paper folded in half. Turns out I am terrible at drawing when I feel like I need to, and I am certainly not creative enough to do something with writing. With that in mind, I decided to take a different approach. I decided to think about doodling something as opposed to drawing something marvelous. So, I took a bunch of sticky notes and doodled a bomb exploding. It is very small and not super interesting, but I like it. It reminds me of old Disney movie shorts of Mickey Mouse.



Wk 5- Artist Conversation- Joshua Tomokazu Thomen


Artist: Joshua Tomokazu Thomen        Exhibit: STILL HERE

Medias: sculpture, cementing, and figurines       Gallery: CSULB School of Art Dennis W.   Dutzi Gallery

Joshua Thomen is an artist from California State University Long Beach. Thomen is a third year Bachelor of Arts student who is hoping to get a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture. Thomen will be applying for the program in the future.

When entering Thomen’s exhibit, the viewer’s eyes have to adjust to the dim lighting in the room. After their eyes adjust, they can see something that looks like a pathway or a wall of little squares of cement. Inside the cement squares or blocks there are glass figurines. These glass figurines are innocent looking animals. They look like something that would be on the wallpaper of a baby’s nursery. Another element to this exhibition was the chimes playing in the background.

Joshua Thomen’s work is very political. He created this piece with our current political issues in mind. His exhibition is his response to our current political crisis. Thomen talks about how he found the figurines and felt connected to them because of how innocent they look. He put them in cement to get his viewers to see a parallel to the United States’ political scene and the innocent creatures struck in cement.

This exhibition really caught my attention because it seemed so eery. I enjoyed the sounds he added. I caught on the the idea of innocence being threatened or trapped as soon as I saw the little animals in cement. I also thought it was super interesting how Thomen arranged the blocks of cement. As opposed to putting them in a circle or staright line, he went with something more angular, sharp, or harsh. When I read about how it was political it really had me thinking about innocence and our current government.



Wk 5-Automatic Drawing

So, I am not going to lie, I did this by myself. I am not a huge fan of other people. I sat in a dark room with a fall candle from Bath and Body Works burning in front of me. I closed my eyes and tried to think about something else as I let my hands move how they want. I did this process three times with three different colors. It took me about 10 minutes per color. I really liked how it turned out. I think it would be a good way to start creating something if you just couldn’t seem to come up with anything. After looking at my picture, I could just imagine all the things that could be added. It was also incredibly peaceful and made me feel like I was meditating. I feel like this is something I will do if I get stressed out this semester.


Wk 4- Artist Conversation-Jenny Cho


Exhibition: INPROCESS

Where: CSULB School of Art Marilyn Werby Gallery

Media: Paint, Drawing, Wood

Artist: Jenny Cho



Jenny Cho is a senior BFA student. Her specialty is drawing and painting. Her exhibition, INPROCESS was presented in the CSULB Werby Gallery. Her exhibition included use of paints, drawings, weavings, wood, nylon, synthetic hair, flowers, and watercolor.

Jenny used a process called system paintings that uses a specific set of rules in order to make the piece. Jenny paints based off of the natural design of the wood she uses.

Jenny Cho discussed how her art depicted her femininity. Three of the pieces actually fit together to make a portrait of her. Her face was the piece with the paint and kisses, her breasts were depicted with electrical wires and her vagina was the piece of wood with synthetic hair.

I enjoyed Jenny’s exhibit quite a bit because I feel very inspired by femininity. I enjoyed her depiction of her face with all the kisses. There is a lot of detail in her work and I could look at it for hours. I enjoyed her use of color to depict femininity.

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