CSUN Art 429: Advanced Study in Studio Art
At the beginning of the Fall 2020 semester, students of exhibiting artist and Professor Samantha Field’s Art 429 course were presented with the virtual exhibit of Common Ground. 10 Students created artwork as a response to the artist/work of their choice.
Art 429: Advanced Study in Studio Art
Fall 2020 August 25-December 8, 2020
Professor Samantha Fields
This is the capstone course with an emphasis on professional development and skills. Students work in all media, and develop a final portfolio that is the basis for their post-baccalaureate career. The course focuses on the creation of a cohesive, conceptually sound body of work. Students research contemporary artists who deal with material and/or conceptual concerns related to their own practice, learn to speak about their work and the works of others, and develop a sense of community in the cohort that continues after graduation. At the end of the term, students will have a portfolio, a pitch deck, a website, an artist statement, a CV and a bio.
Pandemic Course Modification
The class is held on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 11-2pm. Due to the Covid19 Pandemic, class will be held fully online. Last semester, when education shifted to 100% distance learning, professor and exhibiting Common Ground artist Samantha Fields created an online artist residency called: SIPARP: Self-Isolation Pandemic Artist’s Residency Program. All of her students for Fall 2020 will be enrolled in the class as current artist-in-residents of SIPARP.
You can learn more here: www.siparp.com and on Instagram at @_SIPARP
Use the navigation menu on the right to explore the original Common Ground exhibit.
Common Ground is about the earth we all share, and how we relate to each other even from far away. I made this piece about grocery shopping during the pandemic because that’s very universal. We all have to eat and go grocery shopping even if hesitant. We all share the anxiety of being out during a global pandemic no matter where we live because we’re all combating the same virus. It unites us as much as it separates us.
This piece is a reflection of the pollution released every day into the ocean. I transform plastic particles into a work that presents a potential disastrous scene set amid the ocean. This painting relates to the theme of the show, Common Ground, with the focus on how we continue to pollute and destroy this planet at alarming rates. Plastic is everywhere and used every day. The term “single-use” plastic is one that is all too familiar. Around 300 million tons of plastic are released into the ocean with half of it becoming a “single-use” piece of plastic. On average, single-use plastic has a lifespan of 12 mins. Humans are beginning to realize the long term effects “single-use” plastic has on the planet as it has been taking an undeniable toll on both the land and sea. High amounts of plastics are accumulating each year. Some plastics are reaching parts of the ocean that are thought to have not been touched by humans before. Various types of plastics enter these oceans as unidentified large or as microplastics objects that may resemble food to marine animals that unknowingly consume the small pieces. These critically pose a threat to wildlife.
I want to stress the fact that the plastics released into the ocean later become one with ocean life. As they never disappear and don’t decompose for approximately 500-1000 years for each piece of plastic depending on its type and even if the time comes, they will only become infinitely smaller. Leaving a lasting problem humans face.
I incorporate pieces of plastics that humans toss and rearrange to create the foam of the waves. The high consumption and waste of single-use plastic are mostly non- recyclable and not biodegradable. It stays in and slowly destroys multiple ecosystems and can get into our sources of water lines. I hope that my work can make people rethink plastic and its use in our day to day lives.
The Rising Waves
Oil and plastic on canvas
9 X 12 inches
These are two drawing of a homeless encampments I stumbled upon while walking in a park in my neighborhood. Not everyone’s place of comfort, protection, refuge, or shelter functions or looks the same. Some people find their own homes to be nurturing, providing security and a sense of belonging, accumulating pleasant memories. However, my thoughts always settle on those without these comforts.
Home extends beyond a physical manifestation; it is a symbol of community, compassion, and place. My work embodies these themes and helps better define what home means to others as well as to myself. “Common Ground is an exhibition focusing on the planet earth as an ever-shifting politicized landscape ...” Some themes in this show include exclusion, omission, home, and displacement. Homelessness encapsulates many of these themes and adds to the conversations that Common Ground is exploring.
Bedroom with Grandeur View
Ink on paper
18 X 20 inches
Serene Home on Remote Estate
Ink on paper
18 X 20 inches
I created a tableau of lush, artificial greenery and florals for my central figure to emerge from; a glowing evocation of the natural world, morphed into an entirely unnatural playground that has its own merits of beauty. In times of duress, I turn to my gay icons for inspiration. This 1976 Mego Cher doll acts as a conduit of hope, reaching out a hand to pull us out of the darkness. If we collectively turn to the creation and celebration of artifice, perhaps the earth can catch its breath and begin to heal from our endless exhaustion of its life and supplies.
Save Us, Cher
Mixed media tableau
33.5 X 22 X 55 inches (HxWxD)
My work was inspired by what Saint Khalsa discussed in her work, about the co-dependent relationship between humans and trees. Together we keep each other alive, but most often we take advantage of the tree's resources. Whether it be the land the tree is rooted in, eating the fruit it bears, or even the paper from its pulp. My work is completely made out of recycled materials; all were paintings I made when I was thirteen squirreled away. The figure in the middle represents the fantastical and the mundane; my interpretation of a witch.
Stars Are Out
8 X 10 inches
In my mixed media paintings, I captured the effects of the Bobcat Fire, which is obviously alarming evidence of climate change. I was stunned by the Bobcat fire, as I go to the areas impacted often and know the area well. As an artist, I portrayed the wound left by the fire and thought about the healing process from a global perspective. The collage painting “Bobcat Fire 2020” is shaped with organic forms and colors representing the wildfire and pollution over the beautiful landscape plain. The natural law is disconnected somewhere, and I glued the rope with knots to the canvas to represent the connection between the community for bonding and communication.
Collage with thread, oil paint, and crayon on canvas
24 X 36 in.
Oil paint and crayon on canvas
18 X 24 in.
My work is a depiction of one's psyche in response to circumstances of adversity and discomposure. I focus on issues that are relatable to my generation as we have grown up in the age of the internet, global disasters, and social instability. In addition, I focus on representations of my Armenian community. The recent COVID-19 pandemic, in particular, has allowed me to express the turmoil I and millions of other people around the world have been facing through my art.
Descent responds to Sinan Leong Revell’s work which deals with “experiences of cultural displacement, politics and identity, referencing both global and personal perspectives on migration and cultural diaspora.” My painting presents a facet of humanity that deals with intergenerational trauma backed by an image of a man in his prime succumbing to a force of power beyond his will. Inspired by the six-week war between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the painting expresses the existential fear of Armenians for the possible diminishing of our ethnicity. It reveals that we not only carry our own emotional baggage, but also the baggage of the generations who came before us, leaving us to inherit an emotional weight that we may not have asked for.
Within my body of work, there exists a collision of technology with nature, such as in Human Error, where we view nature through an implied display device containing glitches. Inspired by the wildfires set off by a gender reveal, I symbolized human involvement in nature through a glitch because as a glitch is a mistake in technology, our involvement is a mistake in nature. In setting off the wildfire, man has intervened with nature by harming it through neglect for our benefit. However, through the fire retardant, man is trying to save nature.
Oil on canvas
18 X 36 inches
Oil on canvas
14 X 17 inches
I abhor plastic.While I try to achieve a zero waste existence in my household, it is impossible to recycle all of it. It gripes me that every time I reach to buy fish for dinner, it is entirely encased in a shroud of shrink- wrap. Bread loaves suffocating in bags are sealed with a plastic twist tie. My husband’s shirts return from the cleaners cloaked in film trailing like transparent dresses in the breeze.When I was a child in San Francisco, the butcher shops wrapped your purchases in white paper and tied them with cotton string. Italian pastries came home in a pink cardboard box tied with cotton ribbon. My father’s shirts from the Chinese laundry were neatly folded in pink paper and tied with that familiar string. Each form of packaging was something that would biodegrade back into the earth and leave no trace. How things have changed.
Plastic is carved from the earth, created from fossil fuels, and its pollution has become a global threat with millions of metric tons entering aquatic ecosystems annually1, and is predicted to increase in the coming years.2 As land dwellers, humans see waterways as a device to remove waste from our day, not realizing all the ways that it comes back to haunt us. Now particles are inside our fish, mixed into our air, and packaged into bottled water. Humans have developed the ability to compartmentalize pelagic trash as an abstract concept and have disconnected the reality of our daily actions. In her paintings of ocean water ripples, Danielle Eubank explores a schism between abstraction and realism.Through her works, she illustrates how the ocean connects us all, one big colorful body of water acting as a bridge between all lands. Eloisa Guanlao constructs a similar concept with her paper canoe, adding a symbolic fragility to human existence through dependency on the ocean that connects us no matter how remote the tiny island. Both artists have found that our common ground is bound by water. I applaud these artists for their commitment to using biodegradable and environmentally responsible materials in their creations, a conscientious decision which informs my work as well.
In response to the exhibit Common Ground, Non-bio Luminescence is an arrangement of seven PET jellyfish medusæ. To illustrate how deeply plastic has penetrated our daily lives as well as the ocean depths, transparent fruit containers were employed as a material to represent mankind’s effluent from land to sea. Repurposing plastic draws attention to the properties of the material—non-degradable, rigid but light, and moldable into any form humans can invent. Reforming transparent polymers into glowing jellyfish is an ironic replication; as invertebrates, scyphozoa depend on sea water to support its physical form, drifting and pulsing along to procure its food. This parallels our own dependency on the ocean to sustain human life— from CO2 absorption and oxygen generation to the food and medicine we harvest from it—as well as tourists traveling upon it.
Per/polyester plastic with LED string lights
21 X 8 X 16 inches (LxWxH, arrangement)
I create both sculptures and paintings that are a combination of organic shapes, patterns, repetition, and color. My sculptures have become a compilation of objects that I find around my house due to lack of material, which I then use to create something new. With my paintings, I’ve created work because I’ve become obsessed with repetition and pattern and this method has become a relief for anxiety. I layer patterns and combine them to create one piece. My paintings are abstract, and I use repetitive patterns to try and hypnotize my audience and have them focus on details by taking them into a maze.
My most recent painting is called “Catrina 2020” which is a painting that represents my culture and death with the current situation our world is living in. I use a Catrina in my painting because she represents death in a Chicano/a Household, and she wears a mask because this is the reality that not only the Latino household is facing but every household right now. She is surrounded by repetitive patterns and marigold orange that represents the Day of the Dead flowers that we use to show mourning, prayer and remembrance. The patterns and colors distract a viewer from the reality we’re living in.
Acrylic on canvas
40 X 30 inches
My paintings focus on expressing my emotional experiences onto a textured and damaged surface. I cover this topography with color and shapes which then go through a repetitious process of scrapping and exposing further altering the piece. Through the physical creation of my pieces I create a feedback loop that allows me access to internal processes. By the medium of paint, my paintings attempt to give voice and control to emotions that are otherwise impotent and censored.
At this moment my paintings are focused on the city,deserts, and pollution of Bakersfield and their effects on my internal thoughts and emotions. The land we live on affects all aspects of what makes us the people we are. I have lived in Downtown LA, a short time in Germany and now reside in Bakersfield; the differences in each landscape have left deep imprints on me.
I see Gail Werner’s work as a way of showing the effect the land has on our personhood and its formation at all times of our lives. The land has a hand in our emotions and for better or worse it becomes a part of us. The way the land comes to be directly influence how we come to be.
These paintings attempt to show how I view Bakersfield. The city to me is an ugly and monotonous city. Its constant soup like yellow haze of smog, its bleaching sun which strips color and detail reforming everything outside into a uniform khaki color, these are the things I experience and which I distillate onto these paintings.
Acrylic on canvas
11 X 14 inches
Acrylic on canvas
11 X 14 inches
The Earth is the ground upon which we all stand, together in our differences. It is an ever-shifting, politicized landscape of borders, exclusions and omissions, as well as shared terrain under pressing physical assault. This multigenerational and multicultural group of artists explore the reality of a shared planet that is humanity’s most divided territory and damaged common ground.
Curated by Suvan Geer and Sandra Mueller
October 3 - November 14, 2020
Maryrose C. Mendoza
Pamela J. Peters
Sinan Leong Revell
She Votes/ Bonnie J. Smith
Stitch in Time/ Suvan Geer
Use your mouse to navigate the 360 degree image of Embed Gallery.
Click on the hotspots to travel through the space. Scroll down this page for close up views of the artwork.
This gallery of images can viewed as is, or click on each image to expand.
The hundred+ sky photographs for Shared Skies were collected through my journeys, from artists who participated while traveling, and international acquaintances through social media. Each sky is identified with the location and the name of the person who took the photograph and represent all seven continents plus the Arctic. For participating, each photographer was given an archival print that included their sky with twelve others.
As people look toward the sky each morning, through the day or each night, the “shared skies” speak to our connections. In a global sense, we can imagine an interrelatedness through a seamless sky and observe the effects of our environmental choices. From the Salt Flats of Bolivia to Grand Forks in the United States, and Maasai Mara, Kenya to Pine Ridge, Oglala Sioux Tribe, our skies portray the connected parts of our place on this earth.
Kim Abeles is an artist whose artworks explore biography, geography, feminism, and the environment. Her work speaks to society, science literacy, and civic engagement, creating projects with science and natural history museums, health departments, air pollution control agencies, National Park Service, and non-profits. In 1987, she innovated a method to create images from the smog in the air, and Smog Collectors brought her work to national and international attention. In 2019, she worked with Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow to create smog portraits of world leaders with quotes from climate summits. The National Endowment for the Arts funded two recent projects: a residency at the Institute of Forest Genetics where she focused on Resilience; and, Valises for Camp Ground: Arts, Corrections, and Fire Management in the Santa Monica Mountains in collaboration with Camp 13, a group of female prison inmates who fight wildfires. She has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, J. Paul Getty Trust Fund for the Visual Arts, California Community Foundation and Pollack-Krasner Foundation. Her work is in forty public collections including MOCA, LACMA, Berkeley Art Museum, Brooklyn Museum, and National Geospatial Intelligence Agency. Her process documents are archived at the Center for Art + Environment.
Legend of Shared Skies, 2012-2014
Archival ultrachrome prints of international skies
Identified by location and photographer
56" x 16”
Legend of Shared Skies, 2012-2014
Archival ultrachrome prints of international skies
Identified by location and photographer
56" x 16”
Earth is currently littered with more than a quarter million metric ton of highly radioactive waste. Over 90,000 metric tons are in the United States, stored at 121 sites in 35 states. “Monument For A Nuclear Dump” was inspired by Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository’s search for a system of surface markers to warn of its planned lethal underground cache for hundreds of thousands of years. A “toilet paper roll” encapsulating 32 years of newspaper clippings mimics the folly of this entombment while documenting ubiquitous nuclear waste proliferation. When I created this print in 1995, only the United States was planning an underground nuclear waste repository. Today, countries around the world subscribe to the “best practice” of isolating nuclear waste in deep geological repositories, which will be permanently sealed. But this “best practice” assumes a rather static geology instead of the living, breathing, shifting common ground that is our earth.
Mariona Barkus has shown her work in solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States as well as internationally. Barkus’ work is in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, Center for the Study of Political Graphics, Getty Research Institute, UCLA, Franklin Furnace Collection at the Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Yale University Art Museum, Long Beach Museum, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Carnegie-Mellon University, UC Berkeley, Houston Contemporary Art Museum, and Eastern Washington University among others. Her work has been reviewed in numerous catalogues and periodicals including The Los Angeles Times and Artweek. Some of the books featuring her work are Crossing Over: Feminism and Art of Social Concern by Arlene Raven; Other Visions, Other Voices by Paul Von Blum with a foreword by Lucy Lippard; Artists’ Books: A Critical Anthology and Sourcebook by The Visual Studies Workshop; From Site to Vision: the Woman’s Building in Contemporary Culture, edited by Sondra Hale and Terry Wolverton, and most recently, American Artists Against War 1935—2010 by David McCarthy, University of California Press.
Monument for A Nuclear Dump Installation
Archival digital print & nuclear waste newspaper clippings
20” x 14" print; 9.25” x 662' roll
$500 print only
My suspended work Milkman’s Flight was inspired by Toni Morrison’s book, Song of Solomon. Morrison wove a story in which the conflicted Milkman would finally know his forefather’s names and the inherited magic to free one’s mind and fly. The slave trade severed the memories of countless lineages and displaced African peoples from an entire continent. My work explores connections to earth and memory that are vital to the restoration of peace within each individual and among all people, as we seek to connect with one another on common ground.
Sharon Barnes is an inter-disciplinary Los Angeles-based artist born in Sacramento, CA, and raised in Los Angeles. She studied at Otis College of Art & Design where she recently returned to complete her MFA in Fine Arts, and previously earned a BA in Television & Film from CSULA. Barnes has exhibited nationally and internationally, including group shows at the California African American Museum, the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Aqua Art Miami, the Los Angeles Tom Bradley Airport and a site installation at the Arco Chato in the Republic of Panama. She has completed residencies at the Ox-Bow School of Art & Artist Residency in Saugatuck, MI and the Spelman College Art Colony at Taller Portobelo in Panama. Barnes’ work is in the permanent collection of the UCLA Ralph Bunche Center for African American Studies, as well as private and business collections.
72" x 72" x 3"
Designed as a ‘hyper-real’ counterfeit, the PASSPORT booklet mimics the structure and subverts the content of the official document. This counterfeit travel document aims to confront the institutional narrative, question its authenticity, and serve as a record of protest and indignation. This work is centered within the context of ‘decolonizing design,’ as a practice in redefining how we interpret government narratives, and to consider the formats in which land is claimed and people discarded.
PASSPORT revisits the political systems imposed by the U.S. government to exploit immigrants based on denying them citizenship and basic human rights. This counter narrative recollects a history of exploitation against Black, Indigenous, and people of color, from cotton plantations to boarding schools and internment camps, to the current humanitarian crisis at the US-Mexico border
Pilar Castillo is a Belizean-born artist based in Los Angeles, and proudly represents the Caribbean diaspora. She has dedicated twenty-years as an art practitioner and professional in the L.A. art community with a focus on public art. As a painter and illustrator, she applies handmade processes to design work ranging from publication to product design. In 2018 she ventured into entrepreneurship opening CastlePillar Design studio. Most notably designing artwork for the 2018 launch of LAX Terminal 1 for Los Angeles World Airports. Since 2017 she’s been a featured designer with the city’s LA Original brand. Pilar holds an M.F.A. from Otis College of Art and Design, a B.A. in World Arts and Cultures from UCLA’s School of Art & Architecture, and has completed field studies in Amsterdam, Belgium and Cuba.
Digital hand-made passport with sound by "Jar of Files"
Common ground is the answer. In order to help mitigate climate change, which is what Antarctica Glacier II is about, we need to change the way we think about air, water, and earth to more fully embrace the understanding that we all share these elements, amongst all living things. Air, water, and earth are figuratively and literally our common ground.
Antarctica Ice I reflects how I feel at times. It is floating in the benign yet destructive sea. There is only one sea, one common ocean amongst all continents, all people, all life. The sea is our common ground yet, when viewed from our individual angles, it is easy to lose sight of the larger perspective. That piece of ice, no matter how big or small, is unaware that it is part of a greater whole
Danielle Eubank is a painter exploring the relationship between abstraction and realism. She is a recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant. Eubank conceived One Artist Five Oceans, a 20-year project as an expedition artist sailing and painting the waters of every ocean on earth. Culminating with an expedition to Antarctica in 2019, the Southern Ocean was Eubank's fifth and final ocean. It capped her decades-long quest to paint every ocean to raise awareness about the state of the oceans and climate change. Eubank was the expedition artist for the Phoenicia Ship Expedition, a replica 600 BCE ship that sailed from Syria and circumnavigated Africa. As the expedition artist for the UNESCO approved Borobudur Ship Expedition, she traveled 10,000 miles aboard the replica 8th century Indonesian boat from Indonesia to Ghana. Eubank also sailed aboard the barquentine tall ship “The Antigua” to the High Arctic that sailed to the northernmost settlement on earth. She painted the Henley Royal Regatta in 2011-2014. A film documentary about her work, Mozambique VI, premiered at the Newport Beach Film Festival. She was a 2018 Creative Climate Award nominee and received the WCA/United Nations Program Honor Roll Award
Antartica Glacier III
Photograph printed on metal
30" x 20"
Antartica Ice I
Photograph printed on metal
20" x 30"