Artist: Carmina Correa, Sam Medeiros, Nicholas O’Connell
Media: Sculpture, Sugar, Mixed Media
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery East
Instagram: Sam Medeiros – @onetruesam
About the Artist
This week, I had the opportunity to chat a little bit with Carmina Correa. Carmina Correa is one of the three artists responsible for this exhibition, along with Sam Medeiros and Nicholas O’Connell. After talking to Carmina outside of the galleries, I discovered that she is from Fullerton, California and was born and raised here in California. She is a senior and currently working on achieving her BFA in Sculpture at CSULB after having transferred from Cypress College in Cypress, California. Sam and Nick are BFA Sculpture students, as well. When I asked her Carmina why the three of them decided to collaborate on this exhibition, she mentioned that she, Sam and Nick all had common interests and common styles of thinking. Carmina’s goal for the future is to work in fabrication, which is a process or service relating to the production of large or technically difficult artworks. She also wishes to continue practicing 3D modeling and physical and digital construction.
Correa described this exhibition as a “collaboration of mutual interest” and that was kind how it felt. The first thing I noticed when I walked into the gallery was this sculpture that, to me, resembled some kind of dirt slide. I thought, “Wow, how did they get that in here?” Correa had said that Medeiros was responsible for creating that large, dirt slope piece, as well as the resin-like woven piece that laid on the floor. Correa then said that O’Connell was responsible for putting together the video that was being projected on one of the walls. The video featured a pilot flying a plane and then landing on a checkered runway. O’Connell also created the large, metal, red and white checkered sphere, as well as the small, red and white painted dog on the green platform.
Finally, we have one of my favorite pieces in the gallery – Correa’s confessional. She had created this confessional booth that was kind of camouflaged and hidden in the corner of the gallery. The outside was painted white and blended in with the white walls of the gallery, so at first, I thought it was a restricted area, and I did not know if it was part of the exhibition or not. However, once I ventured towards it, I noticed that you could in fact go inside, and I was glad that I did. This confessional booth was unlike any I had ever seen before. Made out of construction material and acoustic film, this confessional was filled with stuffed animals, dolls, candles with saints on them, small pillows and an altar.
Correa made it known that this confessional was more about her personal history as a Filipino American than it was about religion. However, I learned that about 86% of the population in the Philippines are Catholics, so religion is definitely an important aspect in her culture. Correa talked about the legacy that the Spanish colonization left on the Filipino culture during the sixteenth century. She later went on to talk about how some people get intimidated by confessionals and even fear them, even though this should not be the case at all. She decided to put those stuffed animals and other trinkets inside the confessional to give the impression that confessionals really aren’t anything to be intimated by or scared of.
Synthesis / My Experience
When I entered Correa’s confessional, I honestly thought something was going to pop out and scare me (considering it’s almost Halloween and all). However, I was pleasantly surprised by the contents of the confessional.
As someone who attended a Catholic school for eleven years, I am no stranger to confessionals. I could really relate to Correa’s confession booth piece because, growing up, I used to feel a little intimidated by having to go to confession. There was just some odd feeling about confessing to this priest you didn’t even know in this tiny booth and wondering if they would judge you for confessing your sins. Even the word “confessing” was so frightening as a kid! However, once confession was over, I felt clean. Those initial fears and thoughts of intimidation were gone. That’s why I really enjoyed Correa’s piece. It took me back to those Catholic school days, and after going into her confessional, I can see that there really shouldn’t have been anything to be scared of back then.