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On Thursday morning, I had the opportunity to meet Kayla R. Workman- an artist, student, and lovely person in general at the Marilyn Werby Gallery at Cal State Long Beach.  Her work is truly inspiring because she incorporates education in her art in a unique way. She is a very optimistic and strong person because her work was inspired by her grandfather who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. She was interested to learn more about the disease so she collaborated with Acacia Adult Day Services where she challenged them to create art that represents beauty and identity.

Workman’s masterpiece 

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Kayla’s art was displayed in the Marilyn Werby Gallery. This one was my all time favorite because the minute you enter there are various vibrant colors and an incredible energy. The picture above represents one of Workman’s work and three other women who contributed as well. It is called “Affirmation”. It is a Polaroid film of a person’s hand holding a strip of paper that explain what they had accomplished with their hands. Hands are seen as a great feature because it reveals our identity. In addition, our hands can hint our ethnicity, age, gender, occupation, and class. The colors are black and white which can represent the dark times and happy times their hands were used.  The nature of the line is straight but the handwriting is quite different. Every person wrote their own accomplishments on the Polaroid film so every photo can be distinguished.  The work is very simple but there is a whole story behind each photo. It encourages me to find out more about the work and even meet the people to know more about their lives.

Affirmation

This is another example of her work. I really love this one! It can represent how the person used to or still loves cooking fried chicken for either herself or her family. When Kayla spoke about her art, it made me realized that she is very passionate about her work and “super stoked” about it all the time. She mentioned how she wish she spend more time working at the Senior Center. She was there from February through August. Kayla’s mind is filled with such beautiful and creative ideas. You can tell by observing her artwork. I feel like she is trying to expand and create a new version of what art can be. Art can be for everywhere regardless of age, ethnicity, class, etc.

In my perspective, I am not an art person at all. I love how she used the Polaroid camera because it so vintage and cute. I feel like Kayla used her experience with her grandpa as a positive aspect because she did an amazing thing at the Senior Center. She is using her art skills in a positive method where it can inspire others to follow her footsteps. I really admire her for not letting herself down about her grandpa but instead she took something negative and made a positive outcome for herself and others. If I had the talent or energy to actually study art, I would love to be like Kayla. Her optimistic and stoked self reminds me of myself. I have had hard experiences in my life and in a way her art comforts me. It is hard to explain but I feel like I can breathe and stare at the artwork in peace.

Kayla R. Workman Information

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