Artist Conversation week 15

This week I had the Pleasure of meeting Krystal Ramirez at her metalworks Exhibit In the Dr. Maxine Merlino Gallery. Krystal Is a student at California State University of Long Beach. Krystal is a 3D Media Metals major. When Krystal isn’t at school creating her art she is spending her free time with her family. Her hobby is to go thrifting and collecting. Krystal has always been interested in art from a young age. When she first entered school she was pursuing a child development major but then switched to her  3D Media Metals major. When she is done with school she would like to continue making pieces while building her brand. She would eventually like to use her talents to create kitchenware.

Krystal Ramirez presented  her Metal Smithing potteries and jewelry at the art sale in the Dr. Maxine Merlino gallery presented by her club The CSULB Metal arts Guild. The art sale is made up of different pieces from the club’s alumni and current students the profits are collected to support the club.

Krystal Ramirez’s Metal Smithing Pottery is a copper metal flowering pot. The pots are very pleasing as they have a nice shine to them and are crafted very nicely. Each pot is holding a cactus. each pot hold’s Krystal’s business card. Her business card features a logo that Krystal designed herself.

I enjoyed Krystal’s Pottery because it was simplistic and refined. I also like the cacti she picked. I liked her pottery I only wish that I could have seen the other 3 that she had already sold.


Daniel Puentes


Finger Paintings Week 15


This week we made abstract Finger Paintings. Our art buckets came with only 3 colors so I decided to go and grab some different colors. Finger Paintings was a pleasant experience, you weren’t trying to create anything you just painted whatever came to mind and moved your fingers whichever way you liked. Using our fingers to paint brings you more in contact with your painting so you can create what ever it is you are feeling. It was also pretty nice to take a break from finals preparations to do something fun and creative. Art is a nice break because all the these finals are just reiterations of someone else’s information when in art you are creating your own material.

Finger Painting was an easy art project. You were able to express yourself with out any guidelines. Finger Painting also wasn’t as messy as I thought it would be.

Painting something without a subject was liberating. You were able to move your hands over your art in whichever way you wanted. I changed what ever I wanted and created what I wanted. Finger Painting was also nice because there was no way to mess up. I felt like I wasn’t trying to paint something but more create an experience because what you see in the painting is how I felt when I painted it.

Finger Painting and Graffiti Writing where very similar. In both art projects we created pieces that were ultimately left up to us to create. When we did Graffiti Writing the only instructions was to write our names, the rest was up to us. They are both very personal pieces because they are our own creations and the subject of Graffiti Writing was our name. I would also say that these two pieces were my favorite.


Daniel Puentes

Classmate conversation week 13



This week in art class I had the pleasure of meeting Hannah Adams. Hannah is a second year Biology major at Cal State Long Beach. Hannah enjoys working on art as a Hobby. Her favorite medium to work with is pen and ink. Hannah would like to teach Biology to middle schoolers once she she is done with school, but Hannah said if she knew she couldn’t fail than she would like to become a Biomedical illustrator. Both me and Hannah have pets. I have my black lab named Daffy and she has her cat named butchy. Butchy is said to be a large and lazy cat.
We both decided that we would like to know even if we couldn’t change anything. The saying ignorance is bliss does not work for us. To live without knowing would be living a lie. I for one prefer cold hard truths over comforting lies because only the truth can set us free. The world cannot become a better place if we simply ignore all the bad.


Daniel Puentes

Artist Conversation Week 12


Artist: Conor O’Brian

Gallery: Dr. Maxine Merlino Gallery

Exhibit: Mentia 

Media: Video

My artist of the week is Conor O’Brian. He is a student at California state Long Beach. He is about to graduate with his Bachelors in Photography. He grew up nearby in Los Alamitos and has stayed local attending Cal state Long Beach his whole collegiate career. Conor’s father suffers with dementia. Dementia causes his father Michael to live in a haze where nothing is clear to him. He was diagnosed 6 years ago and had shown symptoms over the last 15 years.   Connor takes turns with his mother and brother providing care for his father. Connor presented his first exhibit here at Cal State Long Beach named Mentia

Mentia is a video exhibit. This was a single channel exhibit. There are 3 different characters. One serves as the main character and the other 2 are only seen briefly. This video features no dialogue. The video is accompanied with calming melodic music. The video was filmed with natural lighting.

Mentia is a touching piece about a son observing his father. Conor said he made the video to bring awareness of the disease. He also said that he made the video to try to figure what is going on with his father. He said that the video also gives him a different point of view of his father and his condition. Conor said he would like to make a continuation to this series and record his reactions to different things such as music and environment.

Mentia is a beautiful and personal piece. Conor did a great job at presenting his father and the dementia that he suffers from. Due to his father’s condition he does not see properly and can only make out shapes while that is very sad it was what made the video very interesting to me. The whole video you are able to observe a man without him ever knowing the camera is there. It presents such raw and emotional content and it feels like such an honest piece. I also thought it was amazing that Conor and his family took it upon themselves to take care of his father.  Conor’s father spent his life helping others when he worked as a special education teacher. Now Conor and his family care for him. Conor accomplished his goal because I had never heard or knew about dementia until I saw his exhibit. Mentia made me think about my grandpa. My grandpa is 83 years old and is still driving and functioning on his own. Mentia made me appreciate how lucky I am that my grandfather at his age is still able to take care of himself. I tip my hat to Conor for stepping up and taking care of his father.  


Daniel Puentes

Classmate Conversation Week 11


This week I had the Pleasure of meeting Monique Alcala. She is a 4th year student here at Cal State Long Beach working on her Electrical Engineering major. Since I am a Mechanical Engineering Major we have taken and struggled in allot of the same classes. Monique spends most of her time studying and when she’s able to get away she enjoys napping. We both discussed the question of the day which concerned the Demi Lovato’s fan art that was drawn by Vladimir Serbanescu. We both agreed that Demi overreacted. Her body was not drawn with over exaggeration. We could understand if her body really was drawn out of proportion because Demi is very proud of her body and it would not be right for someone to represent her as something she is not. On the other hand she’s drawn as a mermaid so it’s not like it was suppose to be a realistic depiction of her.


Daniel Puentes     

Artist Conversation Week 11


Artist: Kyle Kruse

Exhibit: Janus Maxim

Gallery: Marilyn Werby Gallery

Media: Mixed

This week Kyle Kruse presented Janus Maxim.  He is a Printmaking major here at Cal State Long Beach. Kyle is on his final semester of his degree. Kyle was a Physics major until he decided to change to an art major. Kyle says that physics was about regurgitating information where as in art he was able to create.  Kyle spends his free time exploring new things. He enjoys exploring the land and finding new places to capture with his mind and art. He also enjoys exploring new horizons like learning new things. Kyle would like to teach at a collegiate level. He would like teaching because that would allow him plenty of opportunities to have intellectual conversations with more artist.

Janus Maxim Is a mixed media exhibit. Janus Maxim consists of fabrics, film, and wood. The floor is covered in a thin layer of dirt that creates a crackling sound when stepped on, there is insidious music playing in the background, and the room is tied together with a dark setting. There are 3 sets of of pieces. Three masks, three wood carving paintings, and three videos playing. Each set of mask, painting, and video represents three different gods of Greco-Roman mythology. The three gods are Prometheus, Janus, and Sisyphus. These three gods represent the cycles of human progress which include life and death.

Janus Maxim is an exhibit about the void between life and death. Kyle stated that the biggest part of his exhibit was to create a setting that would allow us to fully experience the pieces. Kyle’s intention for the exhibit was to create an experience that blocks out everything and only presents what is there, which is nothing but the void between life and death. Kyle was able to do that by controlling almost everything in the exhibit to stimulate our senses. He eliminated the light and even took away the ground that we are use to walking on. He wants us to take on the role of the onlooker instead of being apart of the life and death.

I was taken back by the exhibit when I first walked in. The masks and large circular paintings of these scary looking sculptures threw me off. It looked like a shrine from a scary movie. I walked around and looked at the masks and the films and I started to think that all these pieces were fairly scary. As I started to talk to our artist Kyle he started to explain the exhibit to me and I realized that the exhibit wasn’t necessarily scary I just didn’t understand it. Once Kyle explained his goals with the exhibit I was able to enjoy it more. I also realized that one of the reasons I felt uneasy was because of Kyle’s ability to play with our senses and put us in this void between life and death.


Daniel Puentes

Artist Conversation Week 7

Artist : Kristi

Exhibit: Lineage

Gallery: Marilyn Werby Gallery

Media: Metal

My Artist of the Week is Kristi Tristao Jensen. She is finishing up her Metals BFA this Semester. She transferred to Long Beach from Santa Monica College.  Kristi said that she became an artist because she loves being able to explore her creativity. She remembers from a young age being surrounded by creative people like her grandparents. Kristi plans to surround herself with like minded, creative, and open minded individuals.

Lineage is a sculpture exhibit. The exhibit displays different metal sculptures. THe sculptures are presented on pleasant wood top tables. The walls hold some of the jewelry that Kristi made. There is one piece called Lemonade that had broken and was repaired with gold soldering.

The sculptures are metal workings that represent those that taught her the valuable skill s that inspired her creativity.  The Lineage sculpture represent Kristi’s hard work and dedication to her craft and skill. The tables that her sculptures are presented on were made by Kristi’s husband, who she says she was lucky to meet such a like minded person who also enjoys making art.

I liked the Lineage exhibit because Kristi’s metal working skills and creativity come together to create these nice intricate sculpture. The pieces look so natural and gentle that you forget that it is made by a strong formed metal. I also related to Kristi because I work with metal forming at work. I too have the same do it myself mentality as Kristi.


Daniel Puentes