This week’s galleries featured a huge amount of incredible work. From Brianna’s mind-altering meditations to the immense amount of prints, photos, and metalworks on display, it was almost overwhelming even deciding which things to look at, much less learn more about.
Some personal favorites from the gallery shows this week
In comes Jordan, the incredible person I somewhat randomly met last week when Professor Glen introduced me to the metal department. She seemed truly in her element in her little work space, and by comparison now seemed slightly overwhelmed by the whole show, but nonetheless incredibly excited and proud. She admitted this was her first time having so much of her work shown at one time, though she had been a slightly smaller star in many group shows before. She was also excited that her mom was flying in to finally see her work in person.
One of three artists in the metals show, Jordan’s work took up the front left side of the room (when facing in from the doorway). Her work came in many forms, from jewelry pendants to huge wilting flower sculptures.
She said her family is fairly artistic; her mother has a BA in furniture design and her sister is a graphic artist (though currently working for a law firm which Jordan slightly joked about referring to it as merely ‘the job’). She said with so many super sculptural women in the family, her doctor father felt slightly out of the loop. He, however, never ceases to support and admire them and their work, which we both thought creates a great environment for an artist (and may have influenced her immense amount of work).
Growing up in Boston, she attended a year of BFA arts, but the more classically-styled school she was in became boring very quickly. Wanting to experience something new and expand her horizons – and slightly on a whim – she moved to California. Though she hates the new sunny weather, she’s stayed plenty busy with school. She began classes at OCC taking nearly everything in the art department. After 3 years in a metal class with a professor who attended CSULB, her instructor advised her to try out the program and she has been at Long Beach ever since. She says she loves the program here because it has the largest array of things to do and try, and almost doesn’t want to leave college because of all the incredible equipment and tools so readily available on campus.
With so much work on display, I was eager to learn some of the processes and inspiration that led to their creation. Jordan explained a lot of the pieces had been assignments, but she had worked on them since turning them in, choosing pieces she felt she could touch up the way she liked. Many of her pieces contain copper, which she said is the cheapest metal and easiest to practice with since failed experiments can be simply thrown away. Some of her more elevated pieces featured sterling silver, a much more expensive and less tossable metal. Much of her work also used patina to bring out beautiful, unexpected colors in metals like copper, while others used bending and hammering techniques to create movement. She also loved working with glass and said enameling was one of her favorite processes.
Even her seemingly simpler pieces had layers of intricate detail in them, especially in her enameled works with their many flowing colors. She played a lot with organic shapes and fluid colors, making even her most complicated pieces seem effortless and beautiful.
A lot of her work focuses on ideas of what she described as “romantic decay”. Jordan said she likes organic shapes and subjects like leaves and flowers. She also loves art nouveau style and especially draws inspiration from Alphonse Mucha, one of her favorite artists. Lately, she’s been looking at incredibly magnified images of cells and such things for inspiration. We talked about such microscopically zoomed in images creating such unearthly and astounding images – definitely suitable material for the basis of such great art.
(A painting from Alphonse Mucha to the left and a microscopic view of a cell to the right) The combination of classic Art Nouveau influences and modern cell-viewing tech have combined in Jordan’s work into truly astounding pieces.
It was great talking to Jordan about her work and it was truly inspirational getting a glimpse into the influences and process involved in creating her works. It’s great seeing an artist staying so true to what they love and I wish Jordan luck in finding the perfect place in the world for herself and her amazing art.