WK 15 – Artist Conversation – Nancy Young

Exhibition Information:

Artist: Nancy Young
Exhibition: As The Crow Flies
Media: Printmaking, acid, wood, and etching
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Dennis W. Dutzi Gallery
Website: no website
Instagram: no instagram

About the Artist:

This week I had the pleasure of getting to know Nancy Young, an undergraduate at CSULB working towards her BFA degree in the Printmaking program. She stated that this exhibition is her final project. Her work explores the many methods of printmaking and her exhibition had an entire wall dedicated to helping the viewers gain a better understanding of printmaking and the different methods used. She aimed to travel around various printmaking facilities to produce pieces of work at locations other than CSULB. This was the inspiration of her exhibition and its title “As the Crow Flies”. When Nancy is not making art, she enjoys music and reading along with spending time with her dogs.

Formal Analysis:

As described previously, Nancy used many different techniques of printmaking throughout her work. Some of the materials used for her plates are linoleum, wood, and metal. She chooses to print based off of her own photos as opposed to photos on the internet because she wants to find her own inspiration. Some prints tend to have a dark focus, normally a crow, with various backgrounds, whether its left blank or covered with splashes of color. Each print has a black focus. The other prints are focused on landscape but still have a neutral and dark tone to them. The monochromatic theme made the prints seem unified and bold.

Content Analysis:

Nancy’s work was very inspiring as it was directly related to her life. As she stated to the students, she wanted to produce prints at numerous printmaking facilities around CSULB since “as birds leave the nest, graduates leaving the university must find new places to work.” Hence the title of her exhibition. Nancy also stated that a majority of her work is inspired by things that matter to her most in life, like her husband who had passed away 9 years ago and her dogs that she holds very close to her heart. Each piece has miles attached to the name and this indicates how many miles away the “crow” is from Cal State Long Beach. This signifies how far she journeyed away from her comfort zone on campus.


I absolutely loved this exhibition. Not only was I inspired by her work but I also had the opportunity to learn more about the printmaking process and the various methods that can be used. I really liked the concept of listing the number of miles on each piece of work because it gave a real illustration of how far she traveled and where she got to experience various inspirations in her pieces. My favorite piece was the black crow with the multicolored background. To me it represented her personal life and that even if someone is struggling internally, the world around us still radiates hope and happiness and I could really see that illustrated in this piece. Not only do I love what it means to me, but it is also a print I could see myself purchasing and placing in my own h0me. I am honored I had the opportunity to experience Nancy’s journey throughout the creation of her exhibition. And I also love that I left with a little more knowledge and respect of the printmaking processes.


Wk 3 – Artist Conversation – Annie Ronning

Info Block:

Artist: Joshua Vasquez

Artist Tag: Gatov-West

Exhibition: Vida/Morte

Media: Spray paint, Sharpie markers, plastic trash bags, wood panels as frames, red rosin paper

Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West

Website: http://joshvasquez.com

Instagram: @joshybehr

About the Artist:

The artist named Josh Vasquez is an undergraduate student at California State University, Long Beach and he is planning to graduate from the BFA Painting and Drawing major a year from now. Josh’s main interests are painting and making art in general, which he has been doing for a majority of his life. He stated that he had just started taking art much more seriously around two years ago, and he now has a non-degree solo show. Josh’s interesting pieces explore the concepts of life and death and how they contrast.

Formal Analysis:

The two main forms of artwork in the showroom consist of paintings on “plastic” canvases along with dozens of dried flowers places on paper that seemed to resemble dirt and the ground. The paintings on the canvases were extremely intriguing to me because there were many jagged and straight lines that formed from the Sharpie markers. I really liked how the streaky appearance of the marker lines added to the roughness of the pieces. The canvases were especially enjoyable to look at because the works were created on clear plastic as opposed to the average white canvases. In addition to the black and white paintings with a jagged appearance, there were also softer aspects of the showcase that included dried flowers. Although the flowers were all dried, dead, and placed in a straight line, they gave off a much warmer tone. These flowers had bursts of color that brought vibrancy into the pieces. Overall the colors and materials seemed to contrast one another which ultimately made them complimentary.

Content Analysis:

From what the artist has said about his work, it can be seen that he is interested in the aspects of life and death, hence the name of the exhibition. He explored these two ideas by considering pieces from artists such as Van Gogh, Kahlo, Cezanne, and O’Keefe and interpreting them into his own thoughts, feelings, and images. He did this by including materials that all have a “life span”. Although everything will come to an end at one point in time, they will all do so at a different pace. For example, the flowers will not last as long as the trash bags and so on. I believe he did this to display how every single life has a different expiration date. Whether the time of death may be fairly soon or dozens of years from now, all things must come to an end. He incorporated the ideas of life and death by using contrasting colors and materials, and by making these items seem hard and soft. The contrast between these things represents the greater ideas that none of us can control, which are life and death.


I really appreciate this exhibition because Joshua Vasquez explored a concept that so many people are afraid of: death. When discussing life and death, sometimes it can be heard to explain, imagine, understand, and illustrate, but I think he did an excellent job at displaying both. Although the exhibit seemed to be centered around death at a first glance, the more I looked the more I realized it represented life just as much as it did death. The paints and markers that were used were black and the flowers were dead and the canvases portrayed images such as skulls so it gave off a feeling of gloom but also a feeling of vibrancy and brightness. I was especially drawn to the colors of the flowers, I loved that even though they were dead, they still had great color in them. All of the pieces did an excellent job at demonstrating the conceptual ideas of life and death. Now when I think of these things, wonderful pieces of artwork come in to my mind.