On this last Thursday, Gatov West was like a time warp back into our childhood. The room was enveloped with bright pastel colors and figures that reminded me, personally of when I was a child. Monkey bars on the ceiling, swing sets, and playing house were all created with the use of fragile material such as ribbon and tape, The pieces were so dainty that I felt the need to stay at least 5 ft away from them in fear that they might come apart with one touch. Yet in the midst of all the observations, the room felt familiar, like my own memories had come to life and it was in that moment that I knew this gallery was my inspiration of the week.
The creator of this labyrinth is Jane Weibel, a ceramics major here at California State Long Beach. As my first impressions were correct, her art within Gatov West was inspired by her childhood when she was looking at old photos that she found of herself. What Jane hoped to convey through her artwork is that memories are very fragile and through her use of material, she also portrays that it can be easily walked on and forgotten. The gallery she created was a reminder to herself to hold on to memories, because as life is always moving at a fast pace, little things may get lost in the shuffle. Because of this, she chose to dedicate her gallery to a close family member who passed from Alzheimer’s disease.
The depth that Jane underwent to explain and share her art with our class is why I state that she and her gallery is my inspiration of the week, rather than simply just an artist. It takes a lot of courage to share your history, emotions, and thoughts with total strangers which is why I not only commend Jane as an artist, but as a person. She awakened me to the fragility that life holds, and its irony. Alzheimer’s, from her personal example, reflect how fragile our memories are as they may one day be lost in the house that is meant to store them. And although she told us how this idea brings her great anxiety, I don’t believe her intentions were to scare us , but more to give us a sense of realization. That being said, Jane was able to inspire her audience, through her artwork, to preserve every moment that passes us by and to relive it as much as we can- in our minds, in our photographs, or in our art.
Please follow Jane on Instagram @JaneMargarette