Cal State Fullerton student artists share their ‘Delights’ at the arboretum

  • Irene Sauceda, “Essence of the Heritage House”: I really wanted to capture the essence of the Heritage House by displaying the beautiful greenery that surrounds this residence. From the various types of plants and bushes, to the palm trees that circulate this particular location, the Heritage House provides not only history, but a sense of tranquility to the Fullerton Arboretum.

    Irene Sauceda, “Essence of the Heritage House”: I really wanted to capture the essence of the Heritage House by displaying the beautiful greenery that surrounds this residence. From the various types of plants and bushes, to the palm trees that circulate this particular location, the Heritage House provides not only history, but a sense of tranquility to the Fullerton Arboretum.

  • Marilu Lozano, “Join Me in This Moment”: I have been to the Arboretum many times throughout my years at Cal State Fullerton. Even if I am alone the Arboretum has always seemed inviting to me. I picked this scene because although no people are depicted in the work it is as if each bench is asking to come and join them to enjoy a moment in nature.

    Marilu Lozano, “Join Me in This Moment”: I have been to the Arboretum many times throughout my years at Cal State Fullerton. Even if I am alone the Arboretum has always seemed inviting to me. I picked this scene because although no people are depicted in the work it is as if each bench is asking to come and join them to enjoy a moment in nature.

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  • Mauricio Islas, “Peaceful  Desert”: The Arboretum is a place to go relax and enjoy the beautiful nature it has. I picked this scene because of how everything was placed made it seem that I was in the desert and not here.

    Mauricio Islas, “Peaceful Desert”: The Arboretum is a place to go relax and enjoy the beautiful nature it has. I picked this scene because of how everything was placed made it seem that I was in the desert and not here.

  • Winona Soenarijo,“Pioneer”:  In an effort to celebrate the history of Fullerton and reaffirm its importance as the city’s reminder of the past, the artist painted the iconic Dr. Clark’s office surrounded by the beautiful landscape of the Arboretum. Each brushstroke is meant to reflect the visual rhythm that the blades of grass and the pieces of leaves exude, transfiguring them into nature’s own kaleidoscope.

    Winona Soenarijo,“Pioneer”: In an effort to celebrate the history of Fullerton and reaffirm its importance as the city’s reminder of the past, the artist painted the iconic Dr. Clark’s office surrounded by the beautiful landscape of the Arboretum. Each brushstroke is meant to reflect the visual rhythm that the blades of grass and the pieces of leaves exude, transfiguring them into nature’s own kaleidoscope.

  • Julia Slipp, “At the Lake”: Nature is the perfect subject to turn to for inspiration.  The sunlight gleaming on the waters of the  Arboretum Lake ensures an afternoon full of relaxation and beauty.

    Julia Slipp, “At the Lake”: Nature is the perfect subject to turn to for inspiration. The sunlight gleaming on the waters of the Arboretum Lake ensures an afternoon full of relaxation and beauty.

  • Tyler Booth, “The Heritage House”: Fullerton Arboretum is a 26-acre botanical gardens encompassing plants from around the world. Dr. George C. Clark Heritage house is at the heart of the Fullerton Arboretum. The painting features flowers, trees, and plants that complement Dr. Clark’s beautiful home.

    Tyler Booth, “The Heritage House”: Fullerton Arboretum is a 26-acre botanical gardens encompassing plants from around the world. Dr. George C. Clark Heritage house is at the heart of the Fullerton Arboretum. The painting features flowers, trees, and plants that complement Dr. Clark’s beautiful home.

  • Yennhi Nguyen, “Under the Sun”: The Arboretum is a wonderful place to experience greenery and to relax under the warm California sun.  I selected this scene because I wanted to capture how the Arboretum houses many different types of trees and plants while also providing visitors a lovely place to sit while taking in the scenery.

    Yennhi Nguyen, “Under the Sun”: The Arboretum is a wonderful place to experience greenery and to relax under the warm California sun. I selected this scene because I wanted to capture how the Arboretum houses many different types of trees and plants while also providing visitors a lovely place to sit while taking in the scenery.

  • Alynie Tran, “Serenity”: I picked this scene because I like the shades under the tree. I like how many benches are arranged throughout the Arboretum to give visitors a spot to relax and enjoy the scenery.

    Alynie Tran, “Serenity”: I picked this scene because I like the shades under the tree. I like how many benches are arranged throughout the Arboretum to give visitors a spot to relax and enjoy the scenery.

  • Kristyn Price, “Here; Now”: The  Arboretum is a beautiful place to wander, appreciate, and to ultimately find an escape. While this small experience of a variety of nature is amazing to behold, I find myself coming here to get away and to sit and find some small happiness in the moment. I wanted to depict that moment of escape by choosing a bench that overlooks the beauty of nature in front of it while also being surrounded by it.

    Kristyn Price, “Here; Now”: The Arboretum is a beautiful place to wander, appreciate, and to ultimately find an escape. While this small experience of a variety of nature is amazing to behold, I find myself coming here to get away and to sit and find some small happiness in the moment. I wanted to depict that moment of escape by choosing a bench that overlooks the beauty of nature in front of it while also being surrounded by it.

  • Denise Otterbach, “Arboretum in the Clouds”: The CSUF Arboretum is a wonderful place to visit any time of year, but there is a special draw to this botanical haven after the rain. The clouds and cool breeze made this particular visit especially enchanting for me. Artful opportunities abound around every corner, and when the clouds touch this place the aura of peace is complete.

    Denise Otterbach, “Arboretum in the Clouds”: The CSUF Arboretum is a wonderful place to visit any time of year, but there is a special draw to this botanical haven after the rain. The clouds and cool breeze made this particular visit especially enchanting for me. Artful opportunities abound around every corner, and when the clouds touch this place the aura of peace is complete.

  • Eduardo Torres, “A Walk in Autumn”: Autumn is one of my personal favorite seasons, to get lost in a sense of slumber in nature is peaceful, the rain, the cold weather, it all brings a renewal peace to me. To know that it will all come back next year, and it continues this cycle as living things must, it brings a sense of, a quiet understanding of the simplest drive of live, just keep  going. (This landmark Italian stone pine, a subject of many students’ paintings over the years, collapsed in February.)

    Eduardo Torres, “A Walk in Autumn”: Autumn is one of my personal favorite seasons, to get lost in a sense of slumber in nature is peaceful, the rain, the cold weather, it all brings a renewal peace to me. To know that it will all come back next year, and it continues this cycle as living things must, it brings a sense of, a quiet understanding of the simplest drive of live, just keep going. (This landmark Italian stone pine, a subject of many students’ paintings over the years, collapsed in February.)

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In Lawrence Yun’s watercolor classes, budding artists learn that paintings don’t stop at the frame.

Not only do the Cal State Fullerton students create a piece of art, they learn how to mount an exhibit, price their piece and market it at a reception.

The result is “Botanical Delights of the Arboretum,” an exhibit of watercolors of the Fullerton Arboretum that runs through May 13 at the Orange County Agricultural and Nikkei Heritage Museum on the grounds of the arboretum.

Lawrence T. Yun, Cal State Fullerton art professor, brings his watercolor classes to the Fullerton Arboretum to draw inspiration. (Photo courtesy of Cal State Fullerton)
Lawrence T. Yun, Cal State Fullerton art professor, brings his watercolor classes to the Fullerton Arboretum to draw inspiration. (Photo courtesy of Cal State Fullerton)

“This show is an inclusive exhibition that allows everyone in class to participate, as opposed to a juried or curated exhibition where often only a handful of students are selected,” says Yun, professor of art, who has produced the show for nine years. “It gives everyone a valuable opportunity to practice the whole aspect of being a working professional, from creating to presenting, pricing, marketing and selling their work.”

“Learning how an art show is set up, being involved and having art in the show, is like getting my feet wet for future exhibits,” said senior art major Denise Otterbach.

Along with the technical elements of a landscape — foreground, middle ground and background — students were expected to capture the vibrant colors, set the mood and interpret the scene with their own aesthetic, said Yun. He then led students in a discussion on titling their painting, pricing it and writing about the scene they chose.

Some of the students’ paintings and comments can be seen in the accompanying slideshow.

“It’s hard for them,” he said. “They don’t yet grasp the value of their time, talent and the product. Many of my students have never experienced marketing their work, or even considered selling it, but it is an important aspect as an artist.”

Students Ed Milanino and Briana Aldave hang paintings in the the Orange County Agricultural and Nikkei Heritage Museum at the Fullerton Arboretum. Learning how to mount an exhibition is part of what they learned in class. (Photo courtesy of Lawrence Yun)
Students Ed Milanino and Briana Aldave hang paintings in the Orange County Agricultural and Nikkei Heritage Museum at the Fullerton Arboretum. Learning how to mount an exhibition is part of what they learned in class. (Photo courtesy of Lawrence Yun)

The students learned about setting the exhibition “stage” — the color of the walls, the placement of lighting and the hanging of the paintings. During receptions in the exhibition space, the student artists turn into docents, explaining why they chose the scene, colors or techniques.

“This is my final year at CSUF, and being able to promote my work like this is really beneficial,” said Julia Slipp, a senior art major planning to become a teacher. “I would like inspiring artists and art lovers out there to know that collaboration is important in the art world. It’s a beautiful show, and I feel so accomplished being a part of it.”

The exhibit is open to the public from noon to 4 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays-Sundays. Go to fullertonarboretum.org for more information. Many of the works are for sale in support of the students; a portion of the proceeds benefit the arboretum’s museum exhibition program.

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When art and feminism collided at Cal State Fullerton, with a little smoke

  • For its current issue, the New York Times’ T Magazine restaged a 1970 photo with models Jenny Shimizu and Dilone. Artist Judy Chicago looks on in the role of coach. (Cover photo by Collier Schorr for T Magazine)

    For its current issue, the New York Times’ T Magazine restaged a 1970 photo with models Jenny Shimizu and Dilone. Artist Judy Chicago looks on in the role of coach. (Cover photo by Collier Schorr for T Magazine)

  • In this photo, taken in 1970 at Main Street Gym in Los Angeles to promote her solo show at Cal State Fullerton, artist Judy Chicago, seated, poses as a boxer. Art dealer Jack Glenn of Corona del Mar is seen in the background. (Photo by Jerry McMillan)

    In this photo, taken in 1970 at Main Street Gym in Los Angeles to promote her solo show at Cal State Fullerton, artist Judy Chicago, seated, poses as a boxer. Art dealer Jack Glenn of Corona del Mar is seen in the background. (Photo by Jerry McMillan)

  • This ad promoted Judy Chicago’s solo show at Cal State Fullerton in 1970. It attracted attention for the artist’s feminist rejection of her married name. (Photo courtesy of Through the Flower Archives; copyright Judy Chicago/Artists Rights Society New York)

    This ad promoted Judy Chicago’s solo show at Cal State Fullerton in 1970. It attracted attention for the artist’s feminist rejection of her married name. (Photo courtesy of Through the Flower Archives; copyright Judy Chicago/Artists Rights Society New York)

  • This photo of Judy Chicago in Main Street Gym in Los Angeles was used to promote the artist’s solo show at Cal State Fullerton in 1970. (Photo by Jerry McMillan)

    This photo of Judy Chicago in Main Street Gym in Los Angeles was used to promote the artist’s solo show at Cal State Fullerton in 1970. (Photo by Jerry McMillan)

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At one small but significant moment in 1970, two magazine ads put Cal State Fullerton in the spotlight of the art world and feminism at a pivotal time for both.

That moment has been revived by the New York Times for the cover of its current T Magazine issue.

The magazine’s Feb. 18 cover photo promotes a story on feminist artist Judy Chicago, best-known for “The Dinner Party.” The installation piece honoring 39 notable women debuted in San Francisco in 1979 to immediate acclamation and condemnation for its place settings invoking intimate female anatomy.

Nine years before “The Dinner Party,” Chicago held a solo show at Cal State Fullerton. T Magazine’s cover restages a photo shot to publicize that October 1970 show.

Another photo from that shoot was chosen for the publicity notice and was sent by the Jack Glenn Gallery in Corona del Mar, which represented the artist, to Artforum magazine. The photo features Chicago, then 31, standing in a boxing ring with her arms draped over the ropes.

Artforum liked the notice so much it ran it full-page. The photo’s gritty portrayal of Chicago in a traditionally male setting attracted wide attention in the art world at a time when women artists were struggling for equality (and women boxers were virtually unheard of).

“Judy was a real scrapper,” said Jerry McMillan, who took the photo. In an interview last week, he said Chicago’s personality gave him the idea of dressing her as a boxer. He paid Main Street Gym in Los Angeles, training ground for many fabled champs, and took photos of her in a ring with available light. Chicago had just cut her hair short, he said. “It fit right in.”

Chicago, who was teaching at Fresno State, flew to Los Angeles solely for the 10-minute shoot, he said. Boxers made smart-aleck comments about hoping she was their next bout, said McMillan, who lives in Pasadena.

When the photo ran in Artforum, after the close of the show, it was an important moment in the art world, he said.

“That gave her immediate worldwide exposure.”

The CSUF exhibit also attracted attention for another ad, also in Artforum, before the show. The Jack Glenn Gallery ran an ad in which the Chicago native announced she would no longer use her married name: “Judy Gerowitz hereby divests herself of all names imposed upon her through male social dominance and freely chooses her own name: Judy Chicago.”

The Fullerton show debuted Chicago’s large, doughnut-shaped “Pasadena Lifesavers,” a series of 15 sprayed acrylic lacquer paintings on Plexiglas, which was an example of the airbrushing technique that characterized the so-called Los Angeles Look.

Earlier in 1970, Chicago produced three art events on the CSUF campus. In the biggest of these, she installed smoke canisters on top of nearly all campus buildings; the canisters detonated at once, sending a huge amount of smoke onto campus as students continued walking to class. She also set off pyrotechnics on a bridge crossing Nutwood Avenue, which police closed to traffic.

Dextra Frankel, then a curator and CSUF professor of art, got permission for the events from Cal State Fullerton’s then-vice president, Donald Shields, and met with the mayor, chief of police and a city pyrotechnics supervisor. Like many college campuses at the time, Cal State Fullerton was starting to experience student unrest, and there was concern the explosions could be problematic.

The exhibit and “Three Atmospheres” installations were among several historically significant events Frankel brought to campus, according to the university.

Frankel toured the West Coast with Chicago in the summer of 1971 to find pieces for a women’s art show. “Chicago was struck by the way their art-making was tucked between laundry and cooking, their work displayed among toys and family curios,” the Times story quotes Frankel as saying.

Chicago taught studio classes on feminist art at Fresno State and then at CalArts in Valencia. Now 78, she is the subject of a number of major solo gallery and museum shows over the next 18 months.

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