I had the opportunity to visit two different galleries and discuss with each artist what they made. To begin, Johan Coloma is a senior in Cal State Long Beach, and he is doing a minor in photo design, but his major is graphic design. On the other hand, Jillian Thompson got her degree from Michigan, but she is currently working on her MFA in Long Beach State. Both artists are trying to get an MFA in order to be successful in their industry.  

Furthermore, we can see how Jillian’s art is very different from what we usually see. Thompson uses materials such as skill, prints, hairy wigs and spray.  We can also notice how she uses bright primary colors like blue, orange, yellow, green and red. The colors are based on posters located in her neighborhood. On the contrary, Coloma made photos with undulating lines creating an abstract piece. He uses two main colors that contrast each other because of the meaning they have. White and blue are very light and ephemeral, and red is seems as bloody.  

Thompson’s art work
Coloma’s photography

Thompson explained how she relates with her African American culture and she portrays her experience as a black woman along with her music taste. By taking traditional craft techniques and applying cultural cues to these mediums, it expands a conversation between the different objects. Thompson said that was inspired by her favorite artist, Noname and that’s why she can relate her music and style with the vibrant colors. Moreover, Coloma explained how he doesn’t like attachments, so he portrays loneliness. But Coloma also said that his work doesn’t dictate the audience response because he tries to make the audience feel something regarding the art. The artist studies of light and form are ephemeral while discussing the intangible of intimacy. 

To conclude, I would like to say how these art pieces really get you thinking. Thompson and Coloma did an excellent job portraying their ideas and feelings. We can differentiate between both art pieces that Thompson’s art demonstrates the struggle of African American women more explicit while Coloma expressed materiality but did not dictate what his photos mean, leading to an implicit message for the audience. I am happy of being able to assist to their expositions since it was a unique experience.    

Artist: Jillian Thompson
Exhibition: African American
Gallery: LBSU School of Art, Max. L Gatov gallery west
Artist: Jonah Coloma
Exhibition: Materiality
Gallery: LBSU School of Art, Marilyn Werby Gallery

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