For this week’s artist conversation I chose Jane Weibel’s work in the Max L. Gatov Gallery West. Weibel is a BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) student majoring in ceramics at Cal State Long Beach. Weibel transferred from a community college in San Diego to CSULB as a graphic design major but later switched to ceramics. This is currently her second year at CSULB and has one more year before she graduates. After graduating from CSULB she plans to apply to graduate school for either ceramics or sculptures. And after graduate school she hopes to work as an artist or get into the gallery system and continue to participate in the art world.
Upon first entering Weibel’s gallery I immediately felt like I was transported back to my childhood. Throughout the gallery there are countless sculptures on the walls, hung from the ceiling, and placed on the floor all of which are as colorful as the jungle gyms I used to play on as a child. Weibel said the gallery was inspired when she had lost a family member that had Alzheimer’s and it was devastating for her to think about losing the memories that were important to her. So her pieces are her attempt to hold on to these memories (specifically her childhood memories). The reason Weibel went into art was because she has always been pretty artistic but in her late teens, early twenties she moved away from art and really missed it. This made her realized that she wanted to do something she really enjoyed so she decided to just go for it and has been doing art ever since.
Almost all of Weibel’s pieces are made of ceramics but she also made use of fibers such as rope, zip ties, and thread. She later told us that all the pieces in her gallery took about two months to make and it took another 36 hours to install everything in the gallery. Weibel explained that color plays an important role in her work because the vibrancy is very important in bringing that childhood sense of wonder into her pieces. You will notice that some of the pieces are a little bit more muted or paler than others meaning that those memories are a bit “fuzzy” to her where as she remembers the vibrant pieces more vividly. All of Weibel’s pieces are representative or abstract representations of what she remembers from her childhood. She enjoys making the pieces abstract because then they are open to individual interpretation.
Weibel hopes that her gallery will make people reflect on their own memories and cherish their childhood like she does. Personally I think she has succeeded because her gallery made me think of all the fun I used to have as a child. I really do cherish my childhood because it was such a simple time where you didn’t have to worry about anything and everyday was a new adventure.
If you’d like to know more about of Weibel’s work you can check out her Instagram (@janemargarette) or email her at email@example.com