Alumni

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New Alumni Facebook Page

Welcome to our online alumni art gallery.  We look forward to publishing your announcements and accomplishments in our news and events section of our website. In order to take advantage of all that your department has to offer please send us your name, phone numbers, email and home address to Robert Martin, Chair Department of Art at rjmartin@calstatela.edu.  After you forward this information, you will receive alumni news and information via our Art Department Online Newsletter. Don't forget to drop by our arts community for up-to-date information about special announcements.

The works of alumni and faculty of the Cal State L.A. Department of Art have helped define the L.A. aesthetic for over four decades.   This collection represents some of the talented people who found their unique styles while attending Cal State L.A. The tradition continues as galleries, museums and venues around the world seek out the work of our students, alumni and faculty for important exhibitions, installations and publications.

 

Gronk DVD
No Movie: A Journey Through the Archives of a Man Named Gronk 2007 DVD

Gronk is the artistic name of Chicano painter, printmaker, and performance artist Glugio Nicondra. Gronk is a name his mother found in an article on a Brazilian tribe in National Geographic while resting shortly before his birth.

Gronk was a founding member of ASCO, a multi-media arts collective in the 1970s. Influenced by European film, existentialism, and literature (i.e., Camus, Beckett) Gronk and his early teenage cohorts made "movies without film", farcical "happenings" on the streets of their native East LA, with Patsi Valdez (magical realist painter of ominous domestic interiors) starring in female roles. Gronk is largely self-educated. Bored with High School and radicalized politically by the anti-Vietnam War and Chicano Walk-Out movements of Los Angeles schools, Gronk and friends barely attended their final years in school, and may not have graduated. He took some classes at Community College. Gronk reports that he was kicked out of famed East LA's Self Help Graphics "by that chain-smoking nun," Karen Boccalero, for not following instructions. He is best known for his murals, including those at Estrada Courts in East Los Angeles. More recently his murals have been intentionally painted as temporary art works (i.e., Fisher Gallery, University of Southern California) to be whitewashed later, Gronk has been involved with theater since his teenage ASCO days, through more elaborate stage design for organizations such as the Los Angeles Opera and Santa Fe Opera.  His scenic work has also been featured onstage with Latino Theater Company and East West Players.  He has collaborated with composer Joseph Julian Gonzalez on “Tormenta Cantada,” a visual/musical piece performed in 1995 with Kronos Quartet at University of California, Los Angeles. In 2003, Gronk was in residency at University of New Mexico as part of the Cultural Practice/Virtual Styles project. He was also given a career retrospective at the same art institution where Asco famously left it's graffiti "tag" years early in protest against )the official Chicano art of "Los Four"---Los Angeles County Museum of Art. He also curated "Altares", a small exhibition at UCLA Hammer Museum. Gronk was in residency at University of New Mexico as part of the Cultural Practice/Virtual Styles project. Gronk's murals, paintings on canvas, and widely-collected screen prints, relate to the direct visual aesthetic contained in works by German Expressionist Max Beckmann and the cartoon-like paintings of American Phillip Guston, along with vernacular arts of early civilizations (i.e., Toltec figurines). His work is original and constantly evolving. Gronk is prolific, filling pages of sketchbooks daily, often while enjoying his favorite cup of coffee on the streets of Los Angeles. He mostly paints at night. Gronk joins many first-class artists collaborating with master printers at Tandem Press. His work is represented by Daniel Saxon of Saxon Gallery, West Hollywood, California. Gronk is accessible to students and others, often seen walking all over his home turf (he does not drive), Downtown Los Angeles. Comfortable with the moniker "Chicano artist", Gronk's intense devotion to craft and multi-disciplinary pursuits are informed by a wide knowledge from a myriad of global and historic sources.

 

Frank Romero
Frank Romero
The Arrest of the Paleteros.
Giclee print, 29¾" x 26½"

Frank Romero
Throughout his 40 year career as an artist, Frank Romero has been a dedicated member of the Los Angeles arts community. As a member of the 1970s Chicano art collective, Los Four, Romero and fellow artists Carlos Almaraz, Beto de la Rocha and Gilbert Lujan, helped to define and promote the new awareness of La Raza through murals, publications and exhibitions. Los Four's historic 1974 exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art was the country's first show of Chicano art at a major art institution.

Since then, Romero has successfully balanced a career in both the public and private arenas. He has completed over 15 murals throughout the city, and was a key contributor to the 1984 Olympic Arts Festival with “Going to the Olympics,” a large scale mural which adorns one of Los Angeles’ busiest freeways (Highway 101). He recently restored this mural with a grant by the Amateur Athletic Foundation, as well as working on new murals for SPARC (Ritchie Valens Park in Pacoima) and North East Trees (along the Los Angeles River) and in Silverlake.

Romero has shown extensively in the United States, Europe and Japan. Notable exhibitions include: "Chicanarte" (L.A. Municipal Gallery), "Hispanic Art in the United States" (Corcoran Gallery, Washington D.C. and national tour), "Le Demon des Anges" (Nantes, France; Barcelona, Spain; Lund Sweden and Brussels, Belgium), and "American Kaleidoscope" (National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.). His work is featured in many permanent collections, including the National Museum of Art in Washington D.C., the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Carnegie Museum in Oxnard, CA.

 

Carlos Almaraz
Carlos Almaraz
"Greed"
Limited Edition Print

 

Carlos Almaraz

Carlos Almaraz was born in Mexico City in 1941, and spent his youth in Los Angeles, California, and Chicago, Illinois.  He attended the University of California, Los Angeles, and earned a Master's Degree at the Otis Art Institute in 1974.

Almaraz formed a group called Los Four with fellow artists Gilbert Lujan, Frank Romero, and Roberto de la Roche, and together they brought Chicano street art to the attention of the Los Angeles community.  Almaraz died in 1989 in Los Angeles.

 

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Kent Twitchell

Kent Twitchell (born August 17, 1942, Lansing, Michigan) is an American muralist who is most active in Los Angeles. He is most famous for his larger-than-life mural portraits, often of celebrities and artists. His murals are realism not photorealism according to Twitchell.

Twitchell's father was Robert Twitchell who was a farmer. Twitchell went to Dimondale High School (1957-59) and Everett High School (class of 1960.) He joined the United States Air Force and was stationed in London, where he served as an illustrator at Headquarters 3rd AF. Upon his discharge, he worked for J. C. Penney Co as a display artist (1965-66) in Atlanta, Georgia. He used his GI Bill to study art at East Los Angeles College (AA, 1968), California State University, Los Angeles (BA, 1972), and the Otis College of Art and Design (MFA, 1977). He was active, along with Artscene publisher Bill Lasarow, in the creation of the Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles and serves on its board of directors."

His most recent show was in Los Angeles, California April 2009 at the LOOK gallery entitled "Thriller: The King of Pop Meets the King of Cool: Exploring the Lost Works of Kent Twitchell." The exhibition included sketches, photos and drawings for "lost" murals, as well as one that was completed but never installed or shown to the public: A 100-foot-tall, 60-foot-wide portrait of Michael Jackson, created in the early 1990s for the side of the former Barker Bros. building in Hollywood, now the El Capitan Theatre, and a mural of actor Steve McQueen. He currently has a studio in downtown Los Angeles.

 

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La Monte Westmoreland

La Monte Westmoreland has been an active presence in the Los Angeles art scene for the past thirty years. Since his inclusion in the 1972 exhibition, A Panorama of Black Artists at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, he has been on the scene ever since, not only as an artist, but also as a respected teacher, curator and collector.

Westmoreland earned his MFA at California State University, Los Angeles in 1985 after earning his undergraduate degree at the same institution in 1971. He has taught at a number of Southern California colleges including Los Angeles Community College and California State University, Los Angeles and has been regularly exhibiting since the early 1970s with more than twenty solo exhibitions since 1980.

Westmoreland works primarily in collage and assemblage and has produced several notable series: Watermelon Series, Shadow Series and Target Series. These are not closed chapters for Westmoreland as he continues to create works in each series. In the Watermelon Series, he cleverly incorporates watermelons into the hands of familiar iconic settings. In the Shadow Series, he incorporates images of well known artists such as Jasper Johns, Frank Stella and Robert Rauschenberg with those of lesser known African American artists such as Norman Lewis, Romare Bearden, Charles White, David Hammons and Richard Wyatt.

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Mitzi Valenzuela

CSULA Art alum Mitzi Valenzuela is now a well known photographer for Hot Rod Magazine and Vintage Pin Up Photography.