- ItemOpen AccessCarlos Moreno Loachamin: capstone(Colorado State University. Libraries, 2023) Loachamin, Carlos Moreno, artistThe artist's statement: The body of work I have made in my four years at CSU has been a ramping evolution in the exploration of contemporary American mental health struggles, the notion of the sublime, and the beauty in such raw emotions as shame, guilt, and exhaustion. This evolution has primarily taken place through material exploration. Beginning with pen and ink on paper my freshman year, I have ventured into different media as I've painted, sculpted, and animated pieces which grew imbued with flashes of self-flagellation, exhaustion, and the buckling weight that follows when one holds onto torturing ideals for an excruciating amount of time.
- ItemOpen AccessBrian Pena Garcia: capstone(2023) Pena Garcia, Brian, artistThe artist's statement: As a Mexican immigrant I've had to witness and experience a lot of mistreatment while living in the U.S. Feeling the pressure of being the absolute perfect model citizen in a country that doesn't respect or care for my existence is exhausting. With no financial sustainability or support medically, I've seen my family and other immigrants struggling year after year. Even though Undocumented Immigrants pay Billions of dollars in taxes every year, we are still not accepted as citizens. For my project I would like to explore the feelings and sentiments I have felt through my life in growing up in the U.S. as a Mexican immigrant. Throughout my years of watching the political climate in constant fear, to my personal experience of racial discrimination, I want to create illustrations in ink that demonstrate the aspects of being an immigrant in the United States. Some examples of concepts I'd like to explore are the experiences in the work environment. Being underpaid, working more hours, and having no choice in where to work are a few points that describe the situation of work for undocumented immigrants. Another aspect is the ability to see family from their home country. Undocumented immigrants usually don't have the money to travel, and if they did it would be impossible to leave the U.S. because they would no longer be able to come back. This causes them to not be able to see their family. This is an experience I had to go through in my family and witness this pain in my parents. Pieces like "Thinking of Mexico" explore this feeling of diaspora that Mexican immigrants deal with when it comes to being in the United States. Only experience my birthplace through memories while experiencing the unjust systematic discrimination and oppression in the U.S.
- ItemOpen AccessErik Reynolds: capstone(2023) Reynolds, Erik, artistThe artist's statement: In general, my art is a visual expression of change in my world. These changes are often highlighted through the process I take to get from concept to completion. I do very little sketching or planning for my projects, instead that process part of the work and is integral to the final piece. This dynamic way of creating has led me to mostly work in series because a series allows me to explore how one idea can morph and change over time. I start with a conceptual phrase that I try to keep each piece aligned with. As that concept becomes more fleshed out, the image gets more and more refined. Most of the time, by the end of the process I have moved so far away from the original concept that the original concept has evolved into a different idea all together. However, this new idea contains the same roots as the previous image, and thus is contained in the same conceptual idea. It's a type of narrative; not a narrative for the viewer to be absorbed in, but one that allows the viewer to consider the different possibilities of a single event. The majority of my work is done with pen and ink, though it may be many different iterations of that tool. Technical pens, brush pens, calligraphy pens, dip pens, fountain pens, all are contenders for the different kinds of marks they are capable of making. In many ways my work relies on the exploration into these different marks and how they interact and support the other materials. The interplay between marks is where a lot of the change I search for is found, out of the rough and chaotic nature of a single mark blooms an endless number of collective ideas.
- ItemOpen AccessEmily Pfanstiel: capstone(2023) Pfanstiel, Emily, artistThe artist's statement: I create illustrations based on altered realities. My latest series tackles a long-term experience in one's mental fog, due to grief. This concept was then split into bodies of work dissecting the recognition, recollection, and relinquishing of grief. I find great significance in the use of memories and their deterioration over time. Whether caused by physical displacement, a migration, or a grief of loss, I use these moments to visually demonstrate how individual realities are impacted by psychological pain. Often those in bereavement carry the collision of past and present to their experience of everyday life. This projection is where I feel most compelled to approach the corrosion of a memory. When we hold nostalgia for moments of time, this is often attached intrinsically to an item symbolic of those memories. With memory, my images contain personal references to objects of attachment, or the social life of objects. There are connections to our environments that continue to bring us fulfillment after they have served their purpose. My media works to demonstrate the context of erasure and disintegration. Alongside the medium, I work with fading a recollection of memory, adding graphite in layers as a rendering technique that disorients the viewer. I am drawn towards ink, watercolor, and graphite-based tools. Textures of paper and its application to the narrative play an important role, as my erasure techniques connect with ideas of loss or the absence of something important. Text is also used to quietly support this idea of the finite construct of time. Working with limited material keeps my process evolving deeper into experimentation. Some pieces are fused together as a storytelling element, with a variety of color palettes, materials, and textures to connect into a singular moment of expression. These media allow each composition to evoke the impression of events fading into the fog of memory, or the loss of a moment altogether.
- ItemOpen AccessAva Schuetter: capstone(2023) Schuetter, Ava, artistThe artist's statement: My name is Ava and as a multimedia artist my work allows me to navigate through what I struggle with. Between the materiality and process of creating each piece, I can confront what is troubling me and understand it better to continue growing as a person. I wouldn’t say this process allows me to fully overcome everything I face, but rather gives me the space to approach it in a comfortable, therapeutic way. Recently, I have explored themes of mental illness, gender, sexuality, and family. Currently, the work I am doing centers around my existence within domestic spaces. A commonality between all my work is material and sourcing materials second-hand is a large focus of my practice. I believe there is value in continuing the life cycle of objects that already exist, rather than buying something just to be used once. This largely stems from my fears for the future of the earth, but I draw some satisfaction from reimagining what something can be used for. For instance, using an old, gifted window to become an interactive wall installation about my experience being a woman. Or my most recent work, where I use scrap fabric from second-hand stores to applique an imagined view of my current bathroom. Both are very different materials used in a similar process to help me understand more about myself.