This is the Winter 2017 course discussion blog for and by UCLA students enrolled in LGBTQ Studies 183: Queer Arts in LA.
This course includes a creative component. When this course was first offered during the Fall 2012 quarter, the students researched queer artists who have a significant connection to Los Angeles. Then created a collaborative website.
The artist that I chose is widely known as a sculptor, but she is an artist of many different mediums. Claire Falkenstein started her artistic career during her college years when she realized her passion for art. Though her passion for art was sparked while she was at Berkley, her artwork lead her to travel to Paris and many cities in California. Falkenstein often used metal and glass for her sculptures, but she also was known to use inexpensive and nontraditional materials such as wood logs, lead bars, and wire from stovepipe. In 1990 she stopped concentrating on her sculptures and started putting more focus on her paintings. When she passed away she had over 4,000 works that consisted of not only sculptures, but also paintings and drawings which she referred to as “structures”.
I chose Claire Falkenstein as my artist for a few different reasons. One of the reasons is I admire the fact that she expressed her passion for art through more than one medium. Even though she is mostly known for her sculptures, she was also recognized to be a painter, printmaker, and jewelry designer. I also was intrigued by the fact that she did not let her economic situation stop her from pursuing her goal. Even when money was tight, she found ways to continue doing what she loved. I also was attracted to her work because she has been engaged in the art world in many of the places that I consider to be my home. She has worked in my home town of Fresno, the city of Oakland where my family is from, Los Angeles, where I currently reside, and last but not least, the city where I plan to go to medical school, San Francisco. Knowing that this artist worked in many of the places that are dear to my heart made me more interested in her works.