“Best batch of images we have had.” – Nicole Goudarzian
Exhibit Coordinator: Nicole Goudarzian
Exhibition: From Here to There
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Dr. Maxine Merlino Gallery
Website: does not currently have one
About the Artist
The exhibit that was hosted in the Dr. Maxine Merlino Gallery was an interesting and unique exhibition. The From Here to There exhibit is a special exchange that was created between the University of Central Florida and California State University, Long Beach photography departments. This exchange began when a former professor from the University of Central Florida joined CSULB’s photography department and thought about how much exposure the students from both coasts would benefit from it, and they make sure to have an exchange once every semester.
Unfortunately, we were unable to talk to the artists responsible behind the beauty, but we were privileged enough to talk to the woman who coordinated the exchange. Nicole Goudarzian has coordinated the exchange for the last two semesters. She is currently a senior in the photography program working towards her Bachelor’s of Fine Arts degree and says her emphasis within photography is surrealism. Nicole explained to us that this exchange is very popular amongst students and that all pieces that were admitted into the gallery were jury pieces. Jury pieces are pieces of art that are submitted, critiqued, and then chosen to be a part of the exhibition. When asked whether she had ever submitted any work to be judged, Nicole said she would have loved to but the actual coordinating of the event itself requires a lot of time and is very exhausting.
The gallery in itself was an experience and had a a vibe that was unmatched. Each photo was different as far as content on it whether it was a landscape, portrait, or a series of objects but what they shared in common was that it took me to another state, specifically Florida. The art itself gave east coast vibes, rather than the warm and inviting photos that are normally captured in California. The photo series that stood out to me the most was the Baby Ladies by Christina Maldonado. Both photos had a fun and flamboyant vibe with a powerful message. One image was a series of photographs that displayed nine girls with their backs towards the camera and the second photo was a hand with its middle finger up while holding a lighter with the word “FEMINIST” on it. Christina Maldonado captures the spirit and the burning fire within everyone to be a feminist and to want equality despite the gender you associate yourself with. It made me feel proud to be a woman and it inspired me to keep being fierce and push through society norms. As a woman in the field of engineering I have encountered a lot of criticism or jokes regarding my sex and my career field of choice. Many do not believe that I have a passion for my field or that I have great skills equipped for higher level maths and physics concepts. The suggestive finger is something that I would like to compare as my success. The more successful I have become throughout my college career the more I have been able to prove to those who doubted me that women are able to conquer the field.