Week 9 Artist Conversation Vanessa Olivarez

Artist: Vanessa Olivarez

Exhibition: Don’t Be Careful, Be Gentle

Media: Sculpting, Photography

Gallery: Dennis W. Dutzi Gallery

Website: tokioni.com

Instagram: tokioni

Vanessa Olivarez is currently in her last year at the California State University of Long Beach. She plans on graduating in the Spring of 2017. She has been working hard on receiving her BFA in sculpting, and she will be rewarded in about 7 months. She has been in many art shows and galleries outside of school, however she usually only shows illustrations of her art pieces. Vanessa first entered college expecting to receive her degree in English, she always had a love for art but she thought that she would not be able to make a living off of a Bachelor’s Degree in Art. She decided to change her major to Art because she was not enjoying the classes that she was in. Her heart told her to pursue something that she loved, so she made the switch to art.

It took her about 2 months to complete her seesaw and to record her 2 videos. Her exhibition included a seesaw, two screen projections, and a television. I thought that the seesaw was made out of glass but I was later informed that it was made out of acrylic plastic. The two video projections were different including random clips which portrayed her life and the world. While one video played the other would show a women starring into a mirror looking at her reflection. The room was lit up with pink and blue lights, she decided to have these colors of light because there was a lot of pink and blue in her two videos that were being projected. She also chose these colors because she did not want her exhibition to be like the many others that we see, she wanted to be different. The television in the corner is an important part of the exhibition because it shows a medium between the 2 videos that were being projected.

Vanessa often finds herself having to decide between two things. In life you have to chose one thing and leave your next best option up in the air. Often times this can be stressful and you want to just be in the middle and have a little bit of both sides of the spectrum. At times she wants to be seen by everyone and at other times she wants to be invisible. Like a seesaw one thing must come down and the other must go up, you can not be in the middle. She portrays this greatly in her exhibition by only showing one video at a time and by having the television in the corner which portrays a medium between the two videos.

I often find myself with having two choose between two things. Sometimes I make the right decision and have positive effects but unfortunately there have been many times where I choose the wrong path and am left in the dirt. However I sometimes float in the middle of a decision and simply let fate choose for me, or let someone else make my decisions. After many years I have realized that I am more happy when I make my own decisions and accept my defeats, rather than leaving my decisions up to someone else. I really enjoyed Vanessa’s exhibition and look forward to seeing what decisions she makes in her future, and hopefully one day see her in some art shows soon.


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