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Schedule

You are responsible for the information on this page

As you know, this is a Hybrid course. We use our small amount of F2F time each week to focus on Activities. Now in Week 3 we’ll be spending this Wednesday and most Wednesdays at the SOA Galleries. The main official communication with you is online. Be sure to read materials like this post, and follow requests like the ones below for Post Naming, Classmate Links, and so on.

Artist Conversations

This week we begin our Artist Conversations and as I’ve tried to make clear, I’m asking you to really up your writing game. All the details are in the syllabus:

As you know, we’re at the SOA Galleries this week. And most weeks from now on. Class is at the regular time, but we’ll meet in the gallery courtyard between FA2 & FA3. Bring your 4×6 ID Cards (yes, you can do them there)

Points on BeachBored

All points through Week 2 are now up on BeachBored. Be sure to check your points and know where you stand!

Post Naming!

Please use this format:

Wk2 – Art Experience – Plaster Casting
Wk2 – Artist Conversation – Brianna Allen
Wk2 – Classmate Conversation – Geri Weckstein

Classmate Conversations

  • Be sure to state your classmates First and last Names.
  • Be sure to include a (live!) link to their website.
  • We don’t have a Classmate Question OTW yet, why don’t you write one: beacharts.ca/fall16-qotw/
screen cap of Kelly Schwartz' sailing website

Kelly Schwartz, Summer ’16

Organize your website

Now that you’re gaining a little bit of familiarity with WordPress, you might go back and clean up your website. You might like to choose a different theme, or just organize your current theme. A lot of you have “Site Title” as your site title. It should be something else! 😀 Like:

  • Glenn Zucman Art110
  • Art Adventures
  • Glenn’s World
  • Sailor Kelly

Or just about anything other than “Site Title”! 😛

Theme Content

Many of you chose “Portfolio” themes that came with samples of your work on the home page. In the short, Art110 context these layouts might not be that helpful. But in the longer career context, these might be great. Whether you’re in Fashion Merchandising, Nursing, Aerospace Engineering, Business Marketing, or any other field, you can use areas on your website like these to feature some of your work. Just like writing your 1st resume, don’t worry too much about starting out with the awesomest content, just put up what you’ve done. Over time you can replace that with new and stronger work.

Also many of your themes came with “Demo Content” things like “Sample Post” that let you see how the theme will look even before you’ve posted much or any content. Now that you’ve got some content, you could go back and delete those demo posts.

Featured Images

When you’re making a post you can add images. I think you’ve all got this! 😀 You can also specify one image as your “Featured Image.” This image is the one that many themes will use on your home page. You’ll see on some of your websites that the demo posts show images on the home page and your new posts don’t. If you spedify a Featured Image that will fix this.

Points so Far

Weeks #1 & #2 are up on BeachBored now. So far we’ve had 102 points possible. Here’s how many points you should have to be on track for each grade level, and how many peeps in 1p / 2:30 are currently at each grade level:

A = 92 points – 52 / 46
B = 82 points – 9 / 6
C = 71 points – 0 / 4
D = 61 points – 1 / 0
F = 60 points – 3 / 6

As you can see we have a lot of peeps on A pace so far. Awesomesauce! If you’re one of the few who isn’t, now is the time to get rolling! Blowing a couple of weeks and then doing great work from here should work out pretty well by the end. Blowing another couple of weeks will put you in a deep points hole that’s hard to dig out of. I encourage those of you with low or no points to either decide to get started today, or to drop already if that’s what you need. Don’t just flounder collecting few or no points each week.

If anyone has any questions or needs any help, please ask me. Sooner is better! My virtual OH is Monday 9-10am at BeachArts.ca/chat. You can also ask questions there 24/7. You can also email me: glenn.zucman@csulb.edu. And my RL OH is Wednesday 11:30-12:30 at the Umbrella Tables outside Robek’s / Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf at the USU. I can also meet with you at other times by appointment.

Leaderboard

Top 5 @1pm:

Amanda Martinez & Maritess Inieto in CSULB Classroom FA4-311 and smiling

Amanda Martinez & Maritess Inieto, 1p

  1. Maritess Anne Inieto, 153
  2. Stephanie Arciva, 145
  3. Melissa Rios, 143
  4. Carlos Villicana, 131
  5. Selena Lara, Joy Elizabeth Uba, Brian Sath, 127

Top 5 @2:30:

sitting in a black leather chair

Lydia Chang

  1. Lydia Chang, 160
  2. Jamie Van, 149
  3. Adriana Maciel, 139
  4. Samantha Gomez, 132
  5. Jessica Obrique, 131

Discussion Posts

Most of you are doing great with post naming. A few of you still need to be sure to start your comment with your name, as “Amanda Martinez” does in this example:

screen capture of a blog comment
  • Please be sure to include your name, clearly spelled!
  • Please be sure you post on the right page: 1p peeps on the 1p page / 2:30 on 2:30! 😀

Joseph DeLappe Discussion

I thought… Jospeh Delappe’s ‘dead-in-iraq’ was super interesting.

I’ve played plenty of war games and always just thought of them as games, not really reflecting about the reality of war. I remember sitting on the couch playing Call of Duty years ago and my mom would always say, “You don’t respawn in real life”, and I’d be like “Shut up mom you’re annoying” or something like that.

But I guess as you get older maybe you start to see war how it really is. Hell.

— Daniel Schmitz

Gesture Sketches

Looks like those of you who made it to the game had fun both at the game itself and also trying gesture sketching. Great job everyone! 🙂 It seems like many of you only drew a small handful of sketches. That’s great. But if any of you do want to draw better, I’d really encourage you to take an opportunity like that game to draw literally hundreds of 5 or 10 second sketches. Try to see how the body is articulated and make quick, sketches of volume in space, and spatial orientation. The more you do the faster you’ll get better. Not everyone “needs” to be able to draw, but if you’re interested, that’s how to make progress.

Brian Sath & Maritess Inieto smile at the camera as a Long Beach State vs Washington State women's volleyball match goes on behind them inside The Pyramid at Long Beach State University

Brian Sath & Maritess Inieto

a page of quick gesture sketches

Brian Sath

a page of quick gesture sketches

Maritess Anne Inieto

a page of quick gesture sketches

Jamie Van

Landscapes with a Corpse

Alex Miramontes' 3-year-old niece pretending to shoot him in the park with a water gun

I decided to base this art project on a recurring dream that I had when I was in middle school, till this day I occasionally have the same exact dream. My dream is similar to the book The Giver by Lois Lowry and the short story Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut. My dream takes place in the far future in a dystopian society and our government has implemented many laws and devices to control the population. The government’s intentions were to create policies that would allow everyone to be equal, but total equality resulted in censorship and restraint. Basically, in my dream my job was to deliver historical books to government officials, but books were prohibited to the general public because the government was afraid of people gaining knowledge. However, I would often break the law and make photocopies of the books and distribute them to the general public. The government discovered that I’ve been breaking the law and they hired ninja assassins to kill me to prevent me from starting a revolution. What was weird about the ninjas was that they were genetically manipulated so they would be small, their size would allow them to be more mobile and less visible. These ninjas killed me when I least expected it, and they framed me to make it seem like I had committed suicide.

Alex Miramontes

photo of a stop sign at night

Briana Garcia

So, crazy story, this actually happened:

One morning around 7:15am I was walking to school (which is across the street from my house) and I was hit by a car at this exact intersection. How strange right? Within the 5 minutes that it took for me to get from my house to the school, I was hit by a car. What are the chances?

That morning I woke up and thought it was going to be just like any other. And then suddenly I was hit by the unexpected, literally. We go about our days and never consider that it could be our last. But who does? No one wants to think about that. Unfortunately for me, I do. That day left an emotional scar but it also made me realize that everything can be taken from you within seconds. I have learned to enjoy every day that i am given, appreciate the people around me, not to waste time being angry and to live my life in a way that makes me happy. I almost lost my life and it was scary, but it was life changing.

This activity wasn’t dark in my opinion. I think it was actually a great opportunity for people to realize what I did without actually having to go through it. My pictures are a little more dramatic than how it actually happened but I thought I’d have some fun with it. I was worried it would give me anxiety trying to relive that event but I’m stronger now and I’ve accepted it.

Briana Garcia

Briana Garcia lying in the street, near a stop sign, at night, as though she'd been hit by a car

Briana Garcia

young person on the floor surrounded by makeup as if all the makeup had "done her in"

Maritess Anne Inieto

Beauty is pain, sometimes enough to kill you.

Maritess Anne Inieto

Selenara imagining a death by gunshot - image with blood on forehead and leaning up against a low wall

Selena Lara

I grew up in Compton, which many like to refer to as “The Hood.” There’s a statistic that says that, given the neighborhood I was born in, by the age of 16 I would be involved in a gang. It also says that by the age of 18 I would either be incarcerated or dead due to gang violence. A lot of the kids I grew up with always talked about how their biggest fear was to not make it past 18. To end up shot up dead in a corner. I wanted to project just that.

The image of me dead, shot up in a corner, is a representation of what I could’ve been but wasn’t. Watching me create this image was difficult for my parents. They told me I was crazy for even thinking of death or anything related. It was also kind of hard on me because it’s the way many of my childhood friends ended up.

Selena Lara

a woman floating, unconscious (simulated) in a pool and holding flowers

Adriana Maciel

My boyfriend of two years broke up with me about a month ago and it hurt me tremendously. He was my first true love and I couldn’t imagine my life without him because I thought he was the one. We had lived together and we had been through so much in those years we shared. The week after he broke up with me I felt like I was literally drowning with emotions and everything reminded me of him or memories we shared, etc. I had never felt a heartbreak like this and I didn’t think I would ever overcome the feelings and depression I was dealing with.

I feel like this is not a representation of what I was feeling when I was ‘drowning’ in my sorrows, but I feel like this represents how I am feeling now. I understand why it didn’t work out with Andrew and I got closure from him so I am feeling a lot better about the situation. I feel at peace. I did drown figuratively but now I am content with myself and I feel like I let that piece of me that was so attached and heartbroken drown but I kept myself as a person afloat.

Adriana Maciel

simulating a celebrity overdose in a bathtub filled with dingy colored water

Emily Tomasello

Aside from the fact that I find over-glamorized celebrity overdoses interesting, I wouldn’t necessarily say that I have any sort of personal connection with drug-related topics. I have not met anybody or had anybody in my life who had a drug problem to the point where they overdosed, so I guess I’m pretty fortunate in that aspect. I honestly could not imagine how that must feel for people who have had to go through that with a loved one. However, this was definitely an interesting experience getting to step out of my comfort zone in order to get this story across. I think art is one of the best ways to tell controversial stories like this one and portray a certain message. Hopefully, I did that here.

Emily Tomasello

simulated "death by heartbreak" - a body on the ground surrounded by rose petals

Jamie Van

When I imagine my departure, I consider heartbreak a possibility because I don’t think anything else hurts more–or kills more–than a broken heart. On creating this scene, I thought about incorporating a sense of Gothic style and romance. I can easily say that I am a hopeless romantic so I thought that creating a scene with a big mess would be fun to do because love is messy. Sometimes, we push away the ones we love. We come to become afraid of being vulnerable with another person and for someone to see the deep and dark parts of our soul because we are afraid of loving someone too strongly and then becoming disappointed. In romance, falling in love is a thrilling ride but falling out of love is the most heartbreaking and blue. Love is not always joyful but the meaningful moments and lessons we learn from being moved are something that I believe deserve a spotlight of their own.

When I thought of a tragic love scene, the first thing that popped into my mind was dead roses. With that in mind, I headed over to the nearest florist and asked for a dozen dead roses because why not? I’m sure the florist was surprised about my request but, in the end, I got the flowers that I wanted and then headed home to start working on the project. I ripped up a bunch of these roses and just scattered them all over the set. Just as love isn’t neat, I did not want a neat set. I also laid a fallen chair out on the floor because love has a way of knocking you down just as the chair had been knocked down. I paired the whole scene with a dark outfit to illustrate the dark demise of a broken heart when one may fall out of love, which is how I could imagine my departure and tragic end.

Jamie Van

simulated death scene with a body in a bathtub of red water

Lizzy Stiller

I have never had so much fun doing an art project. Personally, I’ve always been interested in dark subjects such as death and what not. So when I found out about this project, I knew I had to go big. I had a pint of extra fake blood from last Halloween and decided the bathtub was going to be the best clean up but also a very visual way of dying. I filled the bathtub and then mixed the fake blood in to become very deep red. Then I splattered it all over the bathroom walls which ended up being a perfect contrast on the white tiles. I entered the bathtub and poured more blood on my arms and chest to be even more gory. On the floor next to me I actually placed a little note to allude to a possible suicide.

Personally in my head I see my death as I was murdered but the culprit set it up as a suicide. Doing this project really made me open my mind to the possible ideas and appreciate the color contrast. I loved the look on the blood splatter on my tiles. The colors of the innocent white and the death red really spoke to me. It made me understand and appreciate just how powerful and meaningful colors are. I am actually quite terrified of death but this project made me think of an artistic interpretation of it. It is not something to be afraid of, but something to eventually embrace.

Lizzy Stiller

Laura Lockett lying in the driveway with radiant chalk lines emerging from all around her and her cat sort of inquiring "what's going on?"

Laura Lockett

With my mother’s help, I laid down in the driveway with the sun shining down hard on me and and traced an outline of my body so we could make more lines around me. Although I ended up a chalky mess, we had tons of fun bonding over this experience. Playing dead is a lot harder than you think when the sun is so bright and blinding. Even the cat wanted to make sure I was still alive and breathing as you can see in the picture above. The chalk outline is still on the driveway, so there might be a few more pictures uploaded as the rest of my family comes home and becomes a chalky mess.

Laura Lockett

black-and-white photo of Melissa Rios lying in bed and surrounded by Christmas lights

Melissa Rios

A lot of things ran through my head when my brother was taking the pictures. My throughts were mainly focused on what it would be like to pass away in your sleep. It has its pros and its cons. For starters, a person would have a peaceful death. One wouldn’t have to suffer through their death, which a lot of people now-a-days experience. A con to this experience would be that you wouldn’t get to say goodbye to your loved ones.

Melissa Rios

lying on train tracks

Esmeray Lopez

This project really hit me inside. It made me think about appreciating ourselves more. It’s hard to look at a picture of yourself in a position like this where it could bring so much pain to the people you love.

Esmeray Lopez

Art Talk OTW

  1. 3 Million Years of Art History
  2. Joseph DeLappe
  3. Mahsa Soroudi
  4. The Mind in the Cave

Nice discussion on Joseph DeLappe last week everyone. I want to get back to our “Art History Timeline,” and we will do that next week with The Mind in the Cave, about Cave Art from 10 to 40-thousand years ago. But this week I’d like to talk about one more living artist first. It’s only about 540 miles from us at CSULB to Joseph DeLappe at UNR. This week’s artist is both closer and further. Today she lives and works just down the road from us in Newport Beach, CA. But she was born and raised 7,500 miles from here in Tehran, Iran. This week’s Art Talk: Mahsa Soroudi:

Website:
Mahsa Soroudi.com

Nature’s Cadence:
mahsasoroudi.com/plant-show

7,500 Miles:
7500miles.org

Written by Glenn Zucman

BA, Psychology, University of Hawaii, MFA, Intermedia Art, Long Beach State. Host of American Public Media's "Border Patrol." Host of KBeach Radio's "Strange Angels." Interested in Identity Art that explores our Oracle-at-Delphi-like straddling of corporeal and virtual realms in our new media century. Civil rights in online space. 10 years...
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103 Comments

Mark Nguyen

Mark Nguyen
Mahsa Soroudi is an artist who was originally from Tehran, Iran. Around five years ago, she decided to leave her home and explore the world. After living in a couple different areas, Soroudi eventually ended up moving to southern California, where she has remained since then. I thought it was very interesting to hear about her perspective on leaving Iran, as I’ve heard about many people who hated living there and wanted to escape. It was very different hearing about how she only wanted to leave because she wanted to experience the rest of the world, not because she hated it. Hearing about her piece, “Nature’s Cadence,” was also very interesting. The way the succulents grew roots was a great analogy to Soroudi’s experience here in America. Soroudi feeling comfortable here in America and growing her own roots with the country was a great message. Her other piece, “7,500 Miles,” is also very inspiring in its own right. By gathering art from other Iranian women, I feel that Soroudi is giving these other artists the necessary exposure and recognition they deserve, especially since they come from a culture that doesn’t really recognize women as much as they should.

Reply
Alfredo Gonzalez

Hey Mark

Learning Mahsa Soroudi story of her moving away from Iran to explore the world and ending up in California is inspiring. Many people are scared to leave home and she did it at an older age that many people won’t do. Especially when you love the place you are, in her case where she did not hate living in Iran and she still had the courage to move away. I found her art piece “Nature’s Cadence,” interesting as well as her succulents grew new roots along side her growing her new roots as well in California. Her teaming up with other Iranian women is powerful as it shows how a place that sometimes have a bad reputation could have these incredible women come from whatever is going on there and become successful and create art to represent them in a positive way.

Reply
beansartblog

Hey Mark,

I love the fact that you brought attention to her Nature’s Cadence project because I thought it was very powerful as well. I know in the interview she said that just like the succulents she was withering due to the fact that she was homesick. But after taking care and being patients with her plants, she saw that the plants were getting stronger, in the same sense that she was slowly getting used to California as her home, her roots basically were still growing like what you said. Other than that I loved your research on her with Iran, her view of her home is definitely an interesting one.

Arvan Arguelles

Reply
Daniel Martinez

Daniel Martinez
Mahsa Soroudi, an artist from Tehran, Iran, decided to move away from her country at the age of 30 to see what the world of art had to offer her. Her art work is very interesting and it is captivating to see how much of her art is tied to her personal life and Iranian culture. Soroudi made a great comparison when she described her “Nature’s Cadence” work saying that the way she viewed the succulents was the way she viewed herself in the United States. She said that she would see her plants trying to blossom, trying to grow their roots and that is something she felt very close to. She said her flowers gave her the motivation because she knew that she had to fight her homesickness to grow her own roots here. Another art work that she is currently working on is entitled “7,500 Miles”. Soroudi is trying to make Iranian art grow here in the United States. She has many friends both in her hometown and in Southern California that help her get pieces of art from home into galleries here in Los Angeles. This is something very heartwarming as Mahsa Soroudi is hoping to give many Iranian artists an opportunity for their artistic side to be viewed. Because of her work and bravery, Soroudi has been able to slowly adapt her way into the American culture, although I’m sure she will never forget all the lessons her Iranian culture taught her.

Reply
Jamie Van

Hi Daniel,
I had the same thoughts on Mahsa Soroudi. I also see her as an inspiring figure and I thought her work really does create an opportunity for more artists to demonstrate their artistic sides in a new way, especially for Iranian artists. There are probably many other individuals facing difficulties with their transition in American culture and being so far away from their old homes. Likewise, it makes sense that people search for outlets to express their homesickness. Soroudi’s work provides inspiration and a sense of calm. As such, her work illustrates new means of adapting and learning to cope with a new life in new ways of expression through the use of nature and art. Furthermore, nature has its own charm and does provide a very down-to-earth feel to projects with the succulents.
 

Reply
amazeeana23

Hi Daniel,
I have the same perspective towards Mahsa Soroudi. I feel like she shows other individuals that they shouldn’t be embarrassed of where they come from, and if they’ve accomplished something great, they should acknowledge it. I felt like I really connected the way she expressed the homesickness, and I love that everyone has a different way of expressing it. Like myself, I miss my hometown in Mexico and when I feel homesick, I bump the music really loud, or I’ll cook something that brings the essence that I’m home.

Reply
hrandonbong

Brandon Hong

Mahsa Soroudi is an artist from Tehran, Iran. She is now about 30 years old, with a life chalk full of experience. She traveled a lot at a young age, which I believe is important as an artist because you get to see the world with all of its beauty. It lets you understand the world better than most people because you get a taste of different cultures. I love how Miss. Soroudi doesn’t hate her home country, and didn’t leave it out of hate, but she left due to curiosity. Curiosity to explore something new, and came to America to experience it. I think it is really admiral that she decided to do this, being a child of immigrant parents myself, because I know how tough it can be living in a new country, not even being able to speak the language. She relates her life to her succulents (her plants) by seeing a deeper meaning behind her plants growing; she connected to it because it struggled to grow just like she struggled while trying to make a life for herself in America. I love her strong will and how she also tries to spread Iranian art in America. She is truly an inspiration to young artists wanting a new start and also anyone else wanting to move far away.

Reply
Mark Nguyen

Mark Nguyen

Dear Brandon,
I agree with your point of view on travelling the world. I think that people who are able to see many different places and experience other cultures have a better view about how some people live their lives. I feel that being able to experience places that are different from your own also allows you to have a more open mind because you are able to see cultures or people that may not necessarily be the same as you. Everyone and everything is different, so I think being able to experience that firsthand is a really important part of life. I also like the fact that she left her home country to explore and not because she hated it. I feel that I have read or heard so many negative experiences about Iran that it is nice to finally hear someone who did not harbor any negative feelings for it. I think that her symbolism and messages behind both of the art pieces described were very important and the way she incorporated those messages was very clever.

Reply
Nathan Davalos

Nathan Davalos

I agree with Brandon and Mark when they say that traveling the world at a young age is helpful for an up and coming artist so that they can see a wide range of what the world has to offer. You get to see all the different ways of living and the many different types of cultures. I have heard of people that have left Middle Eastern countries to escape from all the terror but Masha left Iran out of curiosity. This is amazing because some people that have told me about their stories from back home are so relieved to be in a new country where there is a lot more less violence, but she loves where she is from and is proud to be from Iran.

Reply
ammyphaam

Hi Brandon,
I completely agree with your statement that being able to experience different cultures at such a young age has a lot of beneficial factors when it comes to being an artist because you get to witness and experience different things that play a key role in the emphasis of a certain art work. Also, I agree with the statement that it was very brave of Masha to leave her country to new and foreign soil. However, by doing this, I believe that it helped her to grow not only as an individual, but as an artist. She strives to become successful and adapted to the new changes that she was unfamiliar with. When reflecting on her past story, one can tell that he is not ashamed of her heritage, rather she embraces it. This is shown through her art pieces because her art work is a good representation of her character and her values.

Amy Pham
S3- 2:30

Reply
samanthagomezblog

Dear Brandon,
I agree with your analysis on the artist and how you connected with her. I believe you are correct in thinking that she is an inspiration to many young artist who are probably struggling to fit into a new country, school and new friends. They all go through a big culture shock, but by sharing their experiences and being vocal about it, they show that it is not impossible. In fact it is quite the opposite. I would also have to agree with Nathan, in his reponse to you when he stated that Mahsa Soroudi was prod of where she came from, it was very evident when she spoke about her home in Tehran.
Samantha Gomez

Reply
Marissa S

Marissa Sar
I never heard of Mahsa Soroudi, but I thought it was so interesting to learn about her through the video conversations and websites. Soroudi always felt some sort of connection to art even within her family. Even, she said that Iran, where she is from, would be considered the capital for art, as LA area would be a capital for art in California. Another interesting fact was her reasons to come to the U.S, which were for exciting explorations and desiring for more opportunities her and her husband somewhere else. From most stories that I heard of for those who came to U.S, was either for escape or for better educational or job opportunities. I thought that was interesting that the U.S can be a country that represents as the “land of opportunities” not only for those in the past, but even for those currently. While she was still trying to adapt to the culture in the U.S, she felt very homesick. However, I am amazed that despite Soroudi feeling homesick, she used gardening as a way to cope. The great part of that was she had an emotional connection and realization that ornamental plants can also have difficulties and ways to overcome a new environment as well. I am thankful to learn about this because I thought that with plants can be a recreational activity, but I would have never thought about it as a an art form. Also, 7,500 miles is a project that she is working on to bring more awareness Iranian contemporary art, and allowing recognition for Iranian women in the art field. The artworks that are shown by these artists are not all about the political aspects or the “exotic” perception about them. However, it’s more of whatever concerns them and their personal intimate moments like other contemporary individuals, such as global warming, or issues that are more universal. I think that is so beautiful that art should not be confined to the views society has placed, but that life experiences that anyone can relate to all over the world through art.

Reply
lourdessahara

Marissa Sar,
I agree with you completely. I like how you mentioned that her reason for coming to the United States was unique as compared to the typical reason you hear about moving here. Many people move here for educational purposes or to live the “American dream,” but Soroudi moved her for exploration purposes and desire for opportunities. I think her explorational purposes derived from her traveling with her family in many Asian countries. Also, I agree that relatable life experiences can be shown through art. I believe that Soroudi’s work portrays new means of adapting to a new lifestyle, but still growing with the same roots. I love that Soroudi found art within nature, and used that to cope with her hardships.

Reply
beansartblog

Hey Marissa,

I loved the fact that you brought up her reasons on coming to the states, which were for better opportunities and education. I agree with your point of view on the States, because everyone wants a share of the milk and honey we have in this country. I also agree with your point of view on her emotional connection with the plants because as she stated in the video, patience is the key for her roots to grow in the states. I also loved her 7,500 project because it gives a lot of Iranian women exposure in the art field especially here in the U.S, for more western exposure.

-Arvan Arguelles

Reply
megansalinas11

This week, our featured artist was Mahsa Soroudi and she was born and raised in Tehran, Iran in 1981. I watched the video, then went ahead and took a look at her personal website and I was really intrigued with her bio where she said, “I’m also passionate about taking steps towards familiarizing the community with the contemporary artists who may gone disregarded or unseen due to the absence of fair exposures.” I was really moved by that statement because I feel like she cares about these people who don’t get recognition for their work or pieces. She works towards getting those specific artists their own shine and acknowledgment and I find that extremely inspiring. She’s someone I’ve never heard about, especially given one of her most important art pieces is “Nature’s Cadence,” but after reading and hearing about her I feel as though I’ve known of her all along. After reading about her “Nature’s Cadence” piece, I really obtained a new level of respect for her and how she moved across the world to SoCal and used the plants as a way of relocating and growing new roots to start a new life.

Reply
Zjlinney

Hi Megan,

Mahsa Soroudi, “ Nature’s Cadence” is really interesting and I agree with you on how Mahsa reaches out to her community. In the video she relate her life to her succulent she tries to grow. With Mahsa helping artists who go unrecognized I feel like she want to help them grow with a little help from her. With just a tiny bit of water goes a long way. Every living being or plants all strive to live when there is no water. They will work even harder to survive and I think it is the same for artist who work so hard and go unrecognized. Hard work is not all for nothing in the end it will be rewarded. Someone will come along like Mahsa and see their hidden potential and reach out. This will cause a domino affect, when generosity is given that act is repeated continuing, striving, and growing.

-Linney Sar

Reply
Marissa S

Hi Megan,
I also never heard of Mahsa Soroudi. However, I totally agree that it was great to learn about her background and how things just came to be as she try to adjust to the new environment in the U.S. To me, she is another demonstration that despite obstacles that she and even us can rise from it. It was inspiring to me notice the kind heart she has to care and to make a difference in the community to bring forth exposure for the contemporary artists. I hope that her projects and other contemporary artists’ projects go well!

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Zjlinney

Linney Sar

Mahsa Soroudi is an artist who was born and raised in Tehran, Iran. She left her country in order to reach out to different opportunities. She comes from a family that has a background in art. In the video she expresses her view on Iranian art and how her country new emerging art is portrayed differently than what westerner is centered on. New emerging and young artist want to express their own creativity and addressing issues revolving around the globe. Mahsa goal in her project is to overcome stereotypes that are express onto her culture from the western viewpoint. An ongoing project of her is the 7500 miles project. She wants to address the lives of women in Iran and how things are changing. Her focus is on women lives in her country in Iran. Opportunities for women are rising and she was to show in her project and collaboration that women are taking the chances to express who they are beside just playing roles of being a wife, mother, and a daughter. I think the goal of this project has a huge significance on representing women and creating a power message to all audiences. Mahsa reaches out to show the world of the struggles and achievement of women from her country. At the same time there are many other women working hard all over the world doing similar things. The concept of women lives and opportunities shows that this issue is a global issue being expressed that is common for most women around the world today.

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Daniel Martinez

Hello Linney,
Perhaps one of the most intriguing and inspiring characteristics that Mahsa Soroudi has is the fact that she is willing to help her talented people from Iran. Her 7500 miles project is very motivational and it is great that she is talking for so many woman in the world, not just for the people in Iran. It is very interesting of how many woman have such negative experiences with their country in Iran; however, Mahsa Soroudi says her experiences are neutral. She is a brave woman whom came to the United States with passion and talent. Now, she is trying to get people with her same talent to be noticed.

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adrianagmaciel

Hi Linney,
I find the Mahsa has a very big heart and that she wants to do her part and help everyone that she can and it is such a good quality to have. We should all try to be a little like Mahsa and try to help her own people that might need a little push. I love hearing about women helping women because we all need to stick together. It is very important because there are so many factors that work against women being successful in their careers and there are many expectations women feel like they need to live up to. However, Mahsa is inspirational and nice to see that a woman can have it all and still wants to reach out to help other women who don’t have the opportunities that she worked so hard for.

Adriana Maciel

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Dabidlai

David Lai

Hello Linney!
It is very empowering that more female figures are appearing in the spotlight because most women in other countries tend to lack the drive to make a name for themselves. This is not their fault as most of these difficulties and obstacles are formed by society’s standard on the traditional woman. Mahsa Soroudi is an excellent figure for the women in Iran and other countries because of her passion and commitment to making a better life for herself, and to inspire those along the way with her ‘7,500 miles project.’ I agree with you that women tend to be underestimated in terms of their goals and aspirations because it is always shot down by the role of a traditional house wife. I believe that Soroudi is doing great on her journey to illustrate her art to demonstrate her passion and help inspire others to change in ways never imagined before along the way.

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allison cruz

Mahsa Soroudi is a woman that I would love to meet. Her life so far is so interesting and what she has been able to accomplish since leaving Iran is amazing. I viewed her website and enjoyed looking through all of the different artists under her 7,500 miles exhibition. Mostly, enjoyed how they are all women showing us their work, that what Mahsa pointed out in the video, is not typical of art we would expect from artists of that culture. It is a realization that artists have a lot of say, other than what is expected of them. It is great that Mahsa is helping women from her country with that cause and opening up the world, their real life, day-to-day issues and topics that are important to them. She really made me see global/cultural issues and topics in a new light, and I am thankful for that. It is very important to have women who support other women in achieving their dreams and goals- especially in a new country as the United Stated that has so much to offer. With Nature’s Cadence, I found it lovely the connection that she felt with her succulents and plants. Succulents are awesome- I have a lot, and even though they are not required as much attention as other plants (I only water mine once a week), it was eyeopening how in-tune she was with them. This shows how much emotion goes into an artist’s project- they are deeply connected to their work and you are able to see parts of them in it. I feel like Mahsa has so much to say and show the world and I cannot wait to hear and see more of her work in the future.

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Stephanie Valdivia

Stephanie Valdivia

Hi Allison! I also relate to what you said about seeing global,culture issues in a new light. She briefly talked about how women live there and how it’s not as bad as Western culture makes it out be. I always thought middle eastern women were heavily oppressed and could never go out or else they’d get beaten by a husband. Obviously, this was all ignorance. I took in all the lies and stereotypes that articles and gave me. I now know to find things out for myself and to verify all my sources. I also agree with how you said it’s important for women to support other women in achieving their dreams and goals. I love it when my girl friends support me and I love supporting my girl friends. I’ll support women who I don’t know as well. I think it’s important for us women to stick together and support each other because it’s nice to have another friend in this big world.

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Stephanie Valdivia

Stephanie Valdivia

This week’s artist has been my favorite! I loved watching the video and learning about Mahsa Soroudi. It was interesting to learn about her background and hear her thoughts. Nature’s Cadence and 7,500 miles are both brilliant projects. It was interesting to see how Mahsa connected with her plants and how they motivated her to stay strong. As a child of two immigrants, I can understand the struggles and loneliness that comes with immigration. A lot of people see plants as that, just plants. However, Mahsa grew a sort of connection with her succulents and sought to learn these plants. I never understood how people could grow to actually love their plants but as Mahsa was explaining how plants too are human-like, I finally got it. After watching this video, I’m in awe of plants. Just like Mahsa said, plants are resilient and are always adapting to changes in their life. Plants seem to be stronger than me. 75,000 miles is about the universal themes that women experience in their lives. On the website for this project, it’s expressed that this isn’t a political project whatsoever. She talked about how Western cultures love to portray Middle Eastern women as weak and oppressed. She also mentioned and laughed about how Westerners see the hijab as a middle eastern woman’s number one problem. It’s interesting to hear this from a woman who is actually from the middle east and knows what’s going on. I’m sure she didn’t want this project to be political because of this. For example, on Twitter there are lots of people who claim to be feminists, or try to be, and say that a hijab is the most oppressive thing in the world. However, middle eastern women, like Mahsa, seem to disagree. I think Mahsa wanted the art in this project to be peaceful and not related to the negative aspects of politics. I hope 7,500 miles becomes a physical exhibition soon. I would love to go.

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giancarlovento

Giancarlo Vento

Hi Stephanie, I also was able to relate to her story as a child of immigrants. Soroudi is the embodiment of the American dream and “Nature’s Cadence” conveys the resilience needed to adapt in any new environment. I agree that Soroudi wants the project to be about the art and not about politics or the perception of politics in Iran. Her responses in the interview were also more objective than opinionated. I like how she is not pessimistic and finds all the good in the art, especially with a subject matter that can easily invoke a pessimistic mind state. Without her explanation of “7,500 miles” I could see people jumping to a conclusion that her work is politically inclined.

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Nathan Davalos

Nathan Davalos

This week we got to learn a little bit about the life of Mahsa Soroudi. She is from Tehran, Iran and was born in 1981. She left her home country 5 years ago and bounced around quite a bit. She now lives in Newport Beach, CA where she has lived for the past 3 years. Masha does not plan on leaving Southern California any time soon. Being from another country she has made drastic changes to her lifestyle. In the video you can not that she stubbles on some words and at times has trouble putting some sentences together. This is common with native born people. She has a fascination for succulents and grows them in her own patio of her Newport Beach home. She is currently working on a project names 7500 miles, she is trying to bring Iranian art to the the United States. Art from Iran would be completely new to the people of the United States. I am eager to see how this project will end up. I had never been aware of the art that goes on in Iran. After doing a quick Google search on Iranian Art I found out that a lot of the art in Iran has lots of colors and ranges from paintings, drawings of Persian Kings to some of the most beautiful pottery I have ever seen.

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Justin Pham

Justin Pham

Hi Nathan,

I like how you mentioned that native born people tend to stumble on their own words. I’ll take more consideration into that when listening to native born speakers from now on. I also agree that Iran art would be very interesting to bring to the United States. The 7,500 miles project should have an eye opener for some to understand the true culture of Iranian men and women. In today’s age, with more prejudice people on the rise, perhaps it’ll shed more light onto the matter and have people understand the non stereotypical views of the culture. I would like to emphasize the drastic changes to her lifestyle as that she did come to California all on her own and she still overcame the obstacles and pursued her passion. This feat alone in my eyes is very admirable and I hope to be as independent as this woman one day.

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gabrielg454gmailcom

Gabriel Gonzalez.

I agree with Nathan, I have paid a little attention on the stumbling of the words and can notice it. But it is not only fully born native people that have that issue. I my self come from a Mexican family, and although i was born here in the United States, I sometimes have hard time with words too, and completely butcher some names and words in general. I think its just the fact that be able to speak two languages, can be hard at times, especially in my case when some English words sound close to Spanish words.

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nkechiokoroma

Hey Nathan,

I was also fascinated by the succulents. I didn’t even know people trimmed these in order for them to root and become new plants. I am also eager to see how this project ends up and when it does, I would in fact like to see it in exhibition. I think what makes this project different is the fact that it not only showcases the frustration and vulnerability of any kind of woman, but specially the women of Iran.

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Jamie Van

Jamie Van
With her background, Mahsa Soroudi has a very wonderful character. Soroudi’s passion for art can easily be seen with her work. The succulents were very beautiful to me. I have seen succulents that were artistically oriented in the past in stores but I have a different insight on them now. I thought the succulents that she had worked with were really inspirational. Likewise, I loved how there was a story behind her work as the plants had helped her with her transition from her life in Iran to her life now in California. Furthermore, I thought it was interesting when she mentioned how there was a new trend happening in Iran and people were making their own private galleries right in their homes. I felt that it showed that people are now not only thinking of looking at art in galleries but now thinking of bringing the art to their homes. In a sense, it demonstrates a stronger level of appreciation for art growing in the world now.

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megansalinas11

Megan Salinas

Hey Jamie,
I agree with you on the part where she talked about the new trend in Iran. The art galleries that will be featured in their own homes is a very interesting idea. I feel that with people doing this, it allows them to see how the artists lives and the kind of person that they are that they don’t show through the art pieces. I think this is an awesome way to showcase their work, to a point where they can really show off their workspace as well, because for instance, if they are working on a particular piece and they do it in a blank white room and happen to go outside of the box/lines, then the room also becomes part of the art piece they were working on. It’s a new outlook on art as a whole and for this trend to spread, I feel would be very beneficial.

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Bunny Horn

Hi Jamie,

I agree with you that Shroud’s passion for art can easily be seen with her art work. I also thought that it was amazing that the story behind her work as the plants had helped her transition from to her life in Iran to her life now in California. The way she describes the succulent was very thoughtful and relatable because she relates the plant’s life to her own life. Also, I agree with you that it was cool how some people in Tehran open a garage for own gallery. This shows that out there in Tehran there are a lot of good artist in Tehran. Also, I agree that i felt inspired that people are not only thinking of looking at art in galleries, but also bringing art to their homes. And by display an art galleries at home can help inspired children.

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hrandonbong

Brandon Hong

Hey Jamie I totally agree with you on how after watching this video I had a new view on those succulents. I usually see them in stores and just think of them as tiny plants, but the way Soroudi can find a deeper meaning in those small souvenirs is really amazing. This just shows us how connected she is with her emotions. Also the thing about how people make their own art galleries in their homes just shows how accepting the culture in Iran is in terms of art. A lot of people must have a love for art to even want to build their own galleries which must make Iranian art culture very rich. I believe Soroudi is one tough cookie for moving to another country just for her art. Usually people would leave because of economic struggles or other types especially Iran due to the battles going on there. She has no hate for her home country and instead finds inspiration in it. Soroudi is truly an inspiration to young artists.

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Justin Pham

Justin Pham

For this week’s Artist of the week discussion, we got to learn about Mahsa Soroudi. This individual has a strong background with the tale of overcoming a certain obstacle all on her own. Mahsa was born in 1981 in Tehran, Iran. She then moved to California, 7500 miles away from home. After reviewing her website, I was able to learn a little more about after along with the interview. On her website, she has worked on two projects, Nature’s Cadence and 7,500 miles. 7,500 miles is the project where she and a few other artists try to capture the non stereotypical essence of Iran men and women for the intimate aspects of their culture. It is an ongoing online exhibition and will eventually evolve into a physical exhibit. As for Nature’s Cadence, this project spoke a lot more to me, because it reflects Mahsa’s story. The project involves photographs of plants and nature, with the message of how plants learn to adapt to new homes and settings just like how emigres adapt to new homes while coping with nostalgia and homesickness. In the interview, Mahsa also shows her succulents which are part of Nature’s Cadence as well. I think that it takes tremendous amount of courage to leave your country all on your own to try to pursue your passion.

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felixchuynh

Felix Huynh

Yeah, I agree with your thoughts on Nature’s Cadence. Learning about her story and how hard and worthwhile it has been for her to move to Southern California really made it pop out and catch my attention. Her succulents are like a smaller version of her throughout her time here. Such as being withered and tired, not knowing what to do anymore, to growing strong and passionate about art and to show the world that Iranian woman are stronger than what the stereotypes show. It’s interesting to hear her talk about loving Iran and replying to Zucman’s question on what she thought about it when a student of his said they didn’t like being in Iran. I liked seeing the varying opinions of Iran from people who lived there themselves, as some say it’s bad or even horrible. Then there’s other like Mahsa that just love Iran so much, and believes it to be a beautiful and great place. It’s nice to see that there are people who truly love Iran, as there are so many stereotypes and hate towards countries in the middle eastern area coming from all over the world. It was really an interesting video showing Mahsa’s history and how we shouldn’t believe everything we are told, whether from the news or even trusted family and friends.

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adrianagmaciel

Adriana Maciel

This week’s artist is definitely my favorite so far, Mahsa Soroudi is very passionate about her work as well as her life and it’s very inspiring to see someone who is so invested in her succulents. I love how there is a story behind her project ‘Nature’s Cadence” because I can relate to her situation. I find that whenever I feel sad, depressed or I’m in a funk, it not only determines how I feel for that time but it changes the way that I see the world itself and how I treat the people around me. Moving so far from home and having such a drastic change in your life can be very difficult and you may not feel like yourself in a new place. Negative vibes or feelings do have an effect on your surroundings and the environment you’re in so I think it is so beautiful that she was able to change her mindset and feel better about her situation and that her plants reflected her in a sense. Also, I didn’t know that new succulents are able to grow from their own leaves, I had a succulent a while back and whenever the leaves would fall I’d throw them away…but now I can just re-plant them! As a person, Mahsa is very strong and you can see that from the interview, I’m glad her succulents inspired her to grow strong roots for herself, even if it is hard to start from nothing.

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Jessica Obrique

Jessica Obrique

Hi Adriana,
I agree that she is a definitely is an inspiration! Being able to make the decision to live outside your comfort zone is tough. And although at times she feels homesick, she is a strong woman to be able to make her own path in a different country. I was surprised to see the succulents growing from their leaves too! Thinking symbolically here, it sorta gives a us a message that although we may see some of our life decisions as failures, we never know if something great will grow out of them. We can also relate that to Mr. Nobody and the butterfly effect haha! 🙂

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lourdessahara

Lourdes Sandoval

In this week’s artist video, we were introduced to Mahsa Soroudi. She was born in Tehran, Iran and now is currently living in Southern California. She was raised into a modern muslim family, and has always had a connection to art due to her father being a painter. Soroudi and her family traveled to many Asian countries, where she began to have a good understanding of the different cultures. She decided to move to the United States with her husband to seek the opportunities that were brought to her attention. Here she began her two art projects, Nature’s Cadence and 7,500 miles. Nature’s Cadence rooted from her feelings of not feeling at home. She realized that she was not giving enough love and energy to her plants that needed it the most. After spending time in her patio with her plants, they began to bloom. She admired the idea of not knowing what was happening underground with the plants roots. Soroudi related it back to herself being an immigrant, but has started growing roots herself here in the United States. Her plants give her that motivation. Another project she has been working on is 7,500 miles. She has decided to use miles and not any other measurement because she believes that the American culture is more familiar with miles as opposed to kilometers. 7,500 is a project involving other upcoming artists that showcase universal themes women experience in their lives. Soroudi hopes to help make this online exhibition into a physical exhibition,but needs more supporters to make this happen.

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gabrielg454gmailcom

Gabriel Gonzalez

Mahsa Soroudi was born in 1981 in Iran, but moved to Southern California. She is currently in Newport Beach CA, and she has been a resident in Newport for about three years now. Knowing that she is from Iran and has lived most of her life there. people would expect that she was not a big fan of her home country, now that women have so many restrictions there and she moved to California; yet, she actually loved her home-country, and the reason she moved was to explore the world. That is pretty amusing, to be able to just leave the place you have lived in for majority of your life. Also it shows the love she has for her country and the women from there, by the way she has based her art from them and showing their value and passion.

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leslie2213

Hi Gabriel,
I agree it was courageous of her to leave her home country to explore the outside world. I personally think i would have never done that. Moving from my home country would be a drastic change that i would think will also cause me to be homesick. But, i did like the way she connected with the plants from her patio. I thought that was really powerful. I would have never thought about connecting the way I’m feeling to the environment. I really admire Mahsa Soroudi for traveling the world Although it was isn’t easy for her, she is now happy where she is. Also by her immigrating she can bring the Iranian art to the US. The art will then open the eyes of people and view women in Iran without the perspective of stereotypes they have heard.
– Leslie Meza

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Bunny Horn

Mahsa Soroudi is an artist who was born in the mid 80’s and was originally from Tehran, Iran. She shares with us that she was born in a moderate Muslim family. Also she mentioned that her mom had an interest in many art form and her dad is a painter academy in Tehran. When she was little she watch a lot of Hollywood movies. She told us about Tehran childhood, she mentioned that the South and North Tehran is different. Also she said that Tehran is an art capital. She said that it is a trend that in Tehran people even open a garage gallery. Her personal story was interesting because she was able to share about her life. She shared that she was born after the revolution. Also, she mentioned the difficulty after the revolution but from her family perspective, she said that her mom was able to work after the revolution. Also, to her family the revolution does not close all the door to the war. Soroudi even mentioned that she was leaving from Tehran not because she does like it, but she was leaving to live in Malaysia was because she wanted to explore. Soroudi talked about her project, “Nature’s Cadence.” I was amazed how the flower grew without a root. Another plant that she showed was the succulence. She likes how the succulent tried to survive. I think this is an art because she was able to describe the meaning of the succulent and relating the plant life to her own life experience. There’s a lot of meaning behind the succulent. She was homesick when she got to America. When she by herself and she notice that the plant was withering. She said that she didn’t give the love to the plant that why is the plan wither. After she taking care with care, she can see the plant grow so healthy. Also the plant inspires her to be strong and be patient. I like the similarity between her and the succulent. She feels comfortable here in the USA because she growing her own roots.

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melissapassarelli

Bunny Horn,

I agree with you that her project, Nature’s Candence, was really interesting because the flower grew without a root. The succulent was a plant that she used in her project. She grew succulents in order to draw a connection with the little amount of water it needs to grow and the drought of her own life since she moved to the U.S. I like how you compared the plant growing healthy to Mahsa’s own life and how it inspired her to be strong and patient. I also agree that she is feeling comfortable because she is growing her own roots. I can tell that Mahsa Soroudi has a lot of heart for the succulent plant and the amount of effort that she has put into her life.

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amybecerraart

Hi Bunny!
I agree with what you said about how growing plants is an art form because it has personal meaning to her. The whole process was therapeutic and inspiring to her. Her plants were so much more than “just plants” She related them to her own life and used them as a symbol of her own transformation. Part of what makes art so powerful is what the artist felt while making it. Mahsa’s succulents are a shining example of nontraditional art. Gardening might not be what pops into people’s heads when they think about art, however, Mahsa proves that there are absolutely no limits in producing art.

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nkechiokoroma

Mahsa Soroudi was born in Tehran which is the capital of Iran. She was born into a Muslim family who appreciated the artistic culture. 5 years ago, Mahsa got married and then moved to the United States a week after her wedding. This reminds me a lot like my parents and how they came to America. My mom, dad, and I left Nigeria less than 2 years after getting married to purse a better life here in America. Coming to America, they knew there were better job opportunities, education systems, and an overall better life compared to back home. When she was talking about how she was homesick, it was interesting to see how both Mahsa and her succulents were wilting. Once she started taking care of the plants again, she knew she had to be patient with not only the recovery of the succulents, but also with familiarizing herself with her new lifestyle. Later in the video I start to learn about Mahsa’s project called 7500 miles. This project is about reducing the stigma of many different stereotypes of Iran and women. Something that many people in the Western World tend to have.

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amazeeana23

Ana Gomez
Mahsa Soroudi is an artist who migrated from Tehran, Iran. She decided to move away from her country about 5 years ago to explore the different forms of art around the world. She incorporates her personal life and culture from Iran to her art. She lived in different areas, but decided to stay in Southern California. I found it very interesting to hear her perspective on when she left Iran. Many people depict is as a very unsafe place and many people are forced to escape, but she decided to leave because she wanted to explore the rest of the world. Also with her piece “Nature’s Cadence” left me astonished. She compared herself to her plants, since they have roots and they blossom and it was something she connected very closely to. Another very interesting piece was “7,500 Miles” , and I like the fact that she wants to incorporate many ideas regarding Iranian culture in her art. She gathered other Iranian women’s pieced of art, and felt they needed more recognition, so exposed their beautiful art. Soroudi had the ability to adapt to American culture, and I’m sure will never forget where she comes from.

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itsjazelle

Jazmin Mejia
In response to Ana Gomez
I was also fascinated that the reason why she left Iran is because she wanted to explore the rest of the world instead of because she thought she was unsafe. Also, I love how Soroudi compared herself to the plants. It’s crazy how much it makes sense and applies to her because just like her they have roots and blossom into something beautiful as long as you take care of them. However, if you don’t water and trim them they start to wither and the same can be applied to Soroudi especially when she was feeling homesick and didn’t go out for a while. But at least during her period of homesickness something good came out of it, which was “Nature’s Cadence.” I’m glad that she made something good out of a bad situation. This actually also applies to her exhibition piece “7500 Miles” because she decided to incorporate and shed some light to disregarded Iranian women’s contemporary art pieces. I’m glad that even though she is now a resident of Southern California, she still remembers where she came from and always incorporates it into her artwork.

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itsjazelle

Jazmin Mejia
Before this video, I had never heard of Mahsa Soroudi but I’m glad that I know about her and her work now. Mahsa Soroudi has a BFA in Visual Communication from Azad Art and Architecture University. She is an independent artist interested in interdisciplinary topics and passionate about taking steps toward familiarizing communities with contemporary artist. Soroudi says that her experience of leaving her country of Tehran, Iran caused an emptiness in her life that left her melancholy and gloomy. Her case of homesickness is what actually inspired “Nature’s Cadence.” In “Nature’s Cadence” she is exploring displacement and resettlement through identifying with the replantation of ornamental plants and their adaptation to a new environment. As stated in the interview video, she says that after moving to the U.S, her and her plants both needed to be taken care of and she realized that she needs to do something about it. She started to water and trim her plants and after some time they started to looks better and in turn that inspired and motivated her to “grow her roots” and to accept her decision of moving to California. And as time passed by she accepted her decision and settled down in CA. Another of her projects that is still ongoing is her exhibition piece entitled “7500 Miles” which is also just as inspiring as “Nature’s Cadence.” Soroudi states that, ‘“7500 Miles” is an invitation to forget the stereotypical images of Iran and women and it invites the viewer to be a part of their intimate and private moments through their lens.” I love Soroudi’s passion and humbleness and how she is trying to help other artist that like her through her artwork. I also enjoy how appreciative she is of nature and after all she has been through she still remains down-to-earth.

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Valeria Gonzalez

Hi Jaszmin!

I also found both of Mahsa Soroudi’s projects to be very selfless as they are both about helping others. In “Nature Cadence” she finds inspiration in her succulence and is hoping to share the resilience of her plants to others. Hopefully, the people will see the beauty in the will power of the plants and find inspiration to overcome whatever obstacle they are facing. Also, in “7500 Miles” she is hoping to portray women as human beings. We are more than wives, mothers, sisters, etc. Her project aims to open the eyes of those that subconsciously stereotype Iranian and women in general to the emotions and experiences that women face in the world for simply being a women. I also find her to be passionate and inspirational artist.

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Pamela Ajoste

Jazmin,

I liked how she uses nature as her form of art. I find it really interesting how one can connect with something that other people only find as a decoration in their household. Watching this video made me appreciate nature and succulents even more. The motivation that she receives from these plants is something that not everyone can relate to. I also liked how she uses her ongoing online project “7,500 Miles” to help Iranian women have the exposure that they deserve. This is a very generous act for her fellow Iranians. Mahsa Soroudi is a very inspirational artist and is great at what she does.

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leslie2213

Leslie Meza
This weeks video of Mahsa Soroudi was very interesting and motivational. Mash Soroudi was born in Tehran, the capital of art, into a Muslim culture. Her family was not too passionate for the religion yet they were not too discounted from it. At a very young age a week after getting married, Mahsa Soroudi immigrated to Malaysia where Mahsa learned English. After a few years she traveled to the US where she later moved to California. Although Mahsa Soroudi enjoyed exploring the different countries she became homesick. Mahsa Soroudi’s sister was interested in art yet she was not able to display her art. Mahsa tried to help her out and also grew passion for art. As Mahsa Soroudi was experiencing homesickness she spent a lot of time in her patio. She then created her “Nature’s Cadence” piece. Mahsa Soroudi, Nature’s Cadence was a piece of art in which she found herself having a connection with her plants. She explained the growth of the plant with her situation of migrating. As she states,she wanted to be as the plant, strong and beautiful. As she observed the growth of the she stated she had to grow new roots in her new home town. Another of Mahsa Soroudi’s work is the “7,500 Miles.” The 7,500 mile project is an ongoing online project that portrays the women in Iran. The purpose of Mahsa Soroudi’s project is to minimize the stereotypes people have about Iran women. Mahsa Soroudi has made realize how one can connect with anything that surrounds us, in her example plants. We all go through different changes and problems and we don’t realize how things that surround us can mirror our feelings and actions.

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Henry Pham

I completely agree with your analysis at the end! We are so focused with out lives that we miss how things about us can symbolize us and our situations. The things that many people may not realize is that symbolism does not have to be exclusive to literature. It can serve the exact same purpose within art, as seen through Soroudi’s art “Nature’s Cadence”. Furthermore, the symbolism serves to allow us to further connect with the artist. When a person knows next to nothing about the artist, that person still knows about plants and can use it as a basis of understanding. An example of this is where Soroudi compared a strong leaf to the experience of being an immigrant. In this case, there was a leaf where, when planted, would grow roots and become a new plant. Although the new plant was created from the leaf, the plant still used the old leaf for food. It is metaphors and symbolism that helps the viewer connect to the artist. It certainly has a different impact than just hearing the story and theme from Soroudi. The metaphor gets the point across while making many people think instead of simply listening.

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melissapassarelli

Melissa Passarelli

Mahsa Soroudi was born in Tehran, Iran in 1981 but then moved to the U.S in 2012. One of the projects that can be found on her website that I loved the most is called Nature’s Cadence. This project is very important to her because it is mostly about plants which she found comfort in after leaving her country. She explains that this project “came to realization mainly to share the effort that it takes for plants to adapt and grow in their new homes.” She compared the plants to homesickness that “emigres” get while adapting to their new ecosystem. Mahsa demonstrates that she took care of the plant with time and grew to be strong which she compared to herself. She also shows how individuals only see what is above the surface but that we don’t see what is under the plants like the roots. I thought that was interesting because that can be true in life as well.

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cslabell

Melissa; i loved her project Natures Cadence. i especially love succulents too, so when i saw them i was like OMG!!! But yes your totally right when she said that we dont really know whats happening underneath; that hit home. i just think that we are all like those little plants trying to start new sometimes for the first time or start over for the hundredth time; there is always a struggle underneath that others dont see. but i think she chose a great little plant to represent that struggle. i found her to be really relatble because of this project and i really hope we get to see more of her in the future!

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cslabell

Melissa; i loved her project Natures Cadence. i especially love succulents too, so when i saw them i was like OMG!!! But yes your totally right when she said that we dont really know whats happening underneath; that hit home. i just think that we are all like those little plants trying to start new sometimes for the first time or start over for the hundredth time; there is always a struggle underneath that others dont see. but i think she chose a great little plant to represent that struggle. i found her to be really relatble because of this project and i really hope we get to see more of her in the future!
-Claudia Sanchez

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Valeria Gonzalez

Mahsa Soroudi was born and raised in Tehran, Iran. The Islamic Revolution that occurred in her country in 1979 did not affect her family the way it affected others in Iran. In fact, Mahsa grew up influenced by art as her father is a painter. The reason Souroudi left Iran was voluntary and she did it to explore the world. I actually really admire the fact that she learned a completely different language than her mother tongue in order to be able to live more comfortably in a new country. However, just because she was able to learn a different language did not mean that she was able to quickly adapt to a different country. This is why I find it so beautiful and interesting that she found inspiration in her succulents. I typically don’t find succulents to be the most beautiful plants, but one can’t deny their resilience. I feel that her project, “Nature’s Cadence”, will resonate with anyone who is an immigrant or has immigrant parents.

I’m glad that she addressed the hypocrisy of the western world. The United States stereotypes Middle Eastern woman as submissive and helpless, but don’t want to address the issues that their own woman are facing. In fact she explores these ideas in her work “7500 Miles”. Overall, I’m really glad that this video introduced me to Masha Soroudi as I find her to be an incredibly inspiring and brave artist.

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Janett Moctezuma

Janett Moctezuma

Hi Valeria Gonzalez,
I like how you brought the point of just because she learned a different language doesn’t mean she was able to adapt to a different country. I believe it isn’t as hard for someone to learn a language than to adapt to whole different country because when you know a language you are just speaking it. There isn’t a difference in the environment and culture when you know how to speak a different language. Although it was hard for her to adapt to an environment, I still agree with you on how it was admiring of her to learn a completely different language. During high school, I enrolled in a French class but it was too hard for me so eventually I had to take Spanish, which is the language I grew up with. Overall, I think Soroudi is a very smart and strong individual because she was finally able to adapt to a whole new environment.

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Lydia Chang

Janett, I agree with you with your statement on language v. culture. I think that learning a different language is the easy part when moving abroad to a completely different country and culture. I admire her for being able to initially step out of her own comfort zone and take the bold step to learn a completely new language whilst moving halfway across the world (7,500 Miles to be exact, ayyyy) and being able to get through culture shocks and her own struggles on adaptation/home sickness. One of my regrets in high school is not taking a different language than one I am already fluent in (I went for the easy A and took Korean). But anyways, I do concur and I think that Soroudi can be an inspiration for many who are looking to move away or are struggling in a new environment and culture.

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Jose Perez

Jose Perez

I agree with you when you said you admired how she learned how to speak a new language, but doesn’t mean she adapted to a new country. It’s not always easy to adapt to a new environment, but she managed. Especially making a huge change from coming from one side of the world to the other. Your analysis on the video was great.

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alfredogonzalezsite

In this week’s art talk, we get to learn about the artist Mahsa Soroudi. She was born on 1981 in Tehran, Iran. She lived there her whole life there until she decided to move away five years ago to Southern California to explore new things. It was interesting to learn about Mahsa and her style of art as she used plants to express herself. She left Iran on her own terms, she did not see it as an escape or running away from something as sometimes you hear stories about people that leave the country to live a better life. For her she wanted to explore new things and she ended up in Southern California. When she first moved here, she had good motivation that she would be able to accomplish many things her first few months here. Then she felt lost that motivation and started to get home sick and not have the energy to do anything. In her art piece, “Nature’s Cadence,” the plants growing new roots was a representation of her growing her new roots in Southern California. In one of her plants started off growing good then it stopped and it seemed it was going to die out but eventually it continued to grow stronger. This is similar what happened to her when she first moved to California and she felt great about then she started to feel homesick and not do anything but she was able to get out of this and feel great again about the big move. She really opened my eyes as to how someone could use different things to showcase their art.

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amybecerraart

This week’s art discussion revolves around an artist named Mahsa Soroudi. She was originally born in 1981 in Tehran, Iran and lived there until she got married and moved to a variety of places before finally settling in Southern California. While I was watching the interview, I got very excited when Mahsa started talking about her succulents. Recently, I have been going through an obsession with succulents. I have potted succulents all over my room and spend a lot of time caring for them and attempting to propagate them. Because of this, I instantly felt like I had a connection to Mahsa because I could tell how invested she was in gardening when she was talking about her plants. Although I liked succulents purely because I thought they were visually beautiful, Mahsa using them as a metaphor for her own personal development has given me a whole new perspective. I find Mahsa’s metaphor extremely empowering. She explained that sometimes succulents will appear to die but will then resurrect and bloom again. You can never tell when they are about to bloom because they develop their strong roots underneath the soil and out of sight. She related this to her own transformation. Mahsa felt out of place whenever she changed residence, however, just like her plants, she was evolving and growing to “bloom”. Thanks to Mahsa, I now see succulents as more than just a pretty plant. They are resilient and able to flower magnificently, just like Mahsa Soroudi.

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giancarlovento

Giancarlo Vento

Mahsa Soroudi is an artist with a very interesting story. She is originally from Tehran and grew up in a moderate Muslim family. Her overall view of Iranian’s recent history is quite objective and optimistic considering the traumatic nature of the revolution. This outlook was something new to me because the few Iranian people I know all have negative sentiments toward their homeland. Five years ago Mahsa got married and left Iran to explore other parts of the world. She first moved to Malaysia where she learned the English language. She eventually ended up in Newport Beach three years ago. Soroudi explains how her piece “Nature’s Cadence” paralleled some of the ups and downs in her life. The succulents in Nature’s Cadence were almost dead at one point but survived although some of the plant was growing below the soil. This piece of art is so similar to her personality because she is optimistic even when a situation is pushing her down. The resilience of the succulents inspired Mahsa to push through tough times, which goes along with the theme of optimism in this interview. This also ties into her piece “7,500 Miles” that also shares the theme of optimism. In “7,500 Miles” she takes direct action to help Iranian female artists by displaying their work for a western audience to view. This work is awesome because Soroudi is taking action to give these females a bigger voice as they are facing gender issues in Iran. Her piece “Nature’s Cadence” also parallel the situation for females in Iran because although they might not be in the best situation Soroudi is helping them to get to a better place.

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felixchuynh

Felix Huynh

Mahsa Soroudi was born in 1981 in Tehran, Iran. What really interested me was when she talked about coming to Southern California a few years ago and her past in Iran. She talked about how her father was apart of an art school, and that was how art was kind of introduced to her. I feel like her succulents in a way were a representation of herself, like when the plants withered as she did. Though the plants didn’t all wither, the ones that grew and became strong were a representation of what she would become in the future. Now, she is over her homesickness and feels like Southern California is her home now. She had become what her projects became, despite having troubles and hardships in her life, she managed through and became a figure of art for us today. Her 7,500 Miles project is a really interesting project made to show the world that what they think isn’t always the correct version of the world, for others to know about Iran and their woman and to see that the stereotypes are wrong. I’m glad to have watched this video as it’s shown me a lot about what someone from Iran thinks, because I’ve heard so many bad things about Iran as a whole. It’s nice to know that many actually love Iran, such as Mahsa Soroudi.

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Zack Ngov

Felix,

I have also heard and read about many negative things about Iran and Middle Eastern countries in general. One of the things I heard is the muslim religion and how it forces women to wear Hijabs. I agree that it is nice to know that there are Iranian women like Mahsa Soroudi who like Iran. In most cases, it is highly likely that an immigrant came because they hated their country. It is a nice change to hear from someone out of the ordinary who actually liked their country and has some positive things to say about it . All the negative stories from immigrants make us think the countries they came from were/is an evil place, when in reality, that might not be fully true.

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Henry Pham

The art we see today is a conglomeration of many different arts. Many art forms originate from a certain era, location, or culture and have found their ways into many people’s lives. We’ve all seen and heard of renaissance paintings, but that is because of people that have managed to spread the renaissance throughout the world. Much like the artists in the 14th to 17th century, Mahsa Soroudi, who is originally from Tehran, Iran, is bringing an art style to other parts of the world and spreading its influence. Her project “7,500 Miles” serves the spread Iranian art outside the area of Iran and to the rest of the world meanwhile portaying women’s lives beyond “typical clichés.” By doing so, she is maintaining one of the “richest art heritages in world history” meanwhile using it to help express valuable themes concerning our society. The project’s focus is to represent the new wave in Iranian contemporary artists and facilitate female artists. Hopefully her project will gain traction and spark a new focus on the intimate lives of women meanwhile creating an appreciation for Iranian art.

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Janett Moctezuma

Janett Moctezuma

Mahsa Soroudi is an artist with a very interesting background. She was born and educated in Tehran, Iran. She was raised into a modern Muslim family who share interest in the different forms of art. Her father is a painter who has him own art academy in Tehran. As a child she would always watch Hollywood movies so she knew about different cultures. She mentioned how her hometown is the capital of art and how there is a cultural difference between North and South Tehran. She has always been interested in different cultures and learning about them that is why she likes to travel. Also, she has always believed in better opportunities that is why she decided to move to the United States. She is currently married and living in Newport, CA. Two projects that she has worked on are Nature’s Cadence and 7,500 Miles. Nature’s Cadence is a project that I find very interesting where she begins by planting succulents. She used succulents to express her thoughts and feelings on how she felt when she had to adapt to a different environment when she came to the United States. When she first moved she was home sick. She would spend a lot of her time sleeping, not doing anything. She finally decided to plant succulents outside her patio. Planting succulents gave her motivation to be strong, patient and brave. Nature’s Cadence was my favorite project Soroudi did because succulents gave her all the motivation she needed to overcome her home sickness. By far, this art discussion has been my favorite. I really enjoyed learning about Soroudi and her interesting background within the art field.

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Tiffany Phan

Hi Janett,
I also found it really inspiring how she used her succulents to relate it to her life. Especially when she describes how they’re growing and she took it upon herself and grew with them as well. I felt the succulents gave her the motivation and drive to face the obstacles she had to overcome and to “let her know” in a way that she can do it too. It really nice to find that there are people that can connect to plants for example and find a deeper meaning to them and it can be relatable as well. For example, a lotus flower comes from a place that many people consider beautiful, but it grew beautiful from that place and I feel like it is just like this situation!

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Jessica Obrique

Jessica Obrique

Mahsa Soroudi is an amazing woman. I love the succulents that she’s grown and I can relate to idea of being uprooted. Although I was born here sometimes there is a feeling of being left out. I’m an Asian American woman and the culture in my house is completely different than the culture out of it. I can compare it to being a flower originating elsewhere but still being able to thrive. Although in the video my comparison is a little different I liked the way she compared the succulent to herself; that she was able to go out of her comfort zone and be strong enough to live in a country that isn’t her first home. It’s great that the succulent gives her daily motivation. I think she is doing a wonderful job to be able to support the artists from her country and bring up issues that everyone faces globally. Wishing her the best of luck!

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Juli Yoshinaga

Hi Jessica,
I totally agree with you in that Mahsa Soroudi is an amazing woman that we all can look up to! I am also an Asian American woman that was inspired by her because I could relate her story to what my family has gone through. Her succulents made me feel that I could be more courageous and even little things can give us life and inspiration again. Although what I am going through is not as tough as what she may be going through, it definitely motivates me to work as hard as I can because I cannot take for granted what I have.

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Pamela Ajoste

Mahsa Soroudi is an Iranian born artist who now lives in Newport Beach, CA. She was born into a moderate Muslim family. Her parents were very interested in different forms of art. Her father was a painter, so she’s always had a connection with art ever since she was little. Living in Tehran also gave her a lot of exposure to art as it was Iran’s art capital. Soroudi moved out of Iran five days after she got married because her husband and her always wanted to experience different things. She first moved to Malaysia for a year and also learned English there. While growing up, Soroudi had a different perspective about Iran compared to other people. While some hated it and escaped from Iran, she left because she wanted to explore. She talked about her project “Nature’s Cadence” and how she relates to it as an immigrant because just like plants, she is growing as a person while living and experiencing a different culture. The plants inspired her to be strong and patient because she felt really homesick and nostalgic when she moved to California. The succulents gave her a lot of motivation to overcome the consequences of her decisions leaving her country. She also talked about her other art project, “7,500 miles.” This project gave other Iranian women artists the exposure that they deserve. She wanted to educate the people here in California about the reality of what’s really happening with the women in Iran. I think that this project is really inspiring because it’s helping other people and also making them realize that not everyone is treated the same way.

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cslabell

Claudia Sanchez
First of all, can I just say that she is BEAUTIFUL! I literally couldn’t stop looking at her saying wow she’s really pretty! Then I couldn’t help but applaud her because her story and mission through art is awesome! (Insert emoji clapping hands here)! Being an immigrant from her native Tehran, Iran; has given her both a curse but helped her find her gift. She moved away from Tehran to purse and reach a bigger audience in art, and she did so amazingly. Both her pieces featured in the interview 7500 Miles and Natures Cadence are great pieces that completely represent her. 7500 Miles is an ongoing website that promotes established and new upcoming female artists from Tehran, Iran. In it they feature women’s artistic view points on global issues. Mahsa is more interested in showing how Iranian artists struggle with global issues that woman from around the world can also relate to and have passion for. But these concerns are not so much politically or gender focused, its issues are more concerned with those of animal rights, global warming, or society views that all women can connect with. I think Mahsa has moved away from promoting specific Iran women issues because she wants for everyone to see that women from Tehran worry more about things on a global level then thy do on a local level. I absolutely loved Mahsa’s project; Natures Cadence. It took me a moment to realize though that this was her art project, for a moment I thought we were just touring her garden, but then when she started talking about roots and how she related to finding and planting her roots as an immigrant I was like “wait a minute, THAT’S HER PROJECT! HOW AWESOME! I LOVE SUCCULENTS” I love succulents because they are sometimes so tiny yet so strong, resilient and independent. She choose an awesome plant to represent her. I think I would choose that for me too. It was tough to hear how sad, emotional, and melancholy she felt when she moved away from home. I think we have all experienced that at least a few times in life. But, through gardening and taking care of her succulents she found herself in them. She had to survive somehow and she had to grow strong and build roots to stand strong and carry forward; and she did! I enjoyed how Mahsa described her plant with the big stems. It’s funny how she said that she was disappointed in the first bud even though she had watered it and taken care of it. I felt though that she understood that sometimes we are that first little bud that disappoints ourselves because we can’t stabilize ourselves so quickly. Sometimes we want to fit in and have things so put together but it’s not really that simple, and I think that she knows that whenever she explains her plant. But then with time buds grew and it grew strong and stems extended up and even twirled own out of the vase, just how life is. I enjoyed this artist I think she has a strong will to survive and make her mark in the art world. I am excited to see how far she gets in her 7500 miles project and hope to see a physical gallery soon. I definitely applaud her for her journey up till this point and encourage her to continue making a big impact in the U.S.

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Savannah

Hi Claudia,
I also loved that she emphasized that women in Iran were concerned about what women in the US are concerned with too. As an American woman, you don’t have to worry much about oppression and being submissive. We have the freedom to do whatever we want and to stand up for ourselves. Since we don’t have to exert much effort into tearing off our shackles (since we don’t wear any) we get to focus on other issues that we might be passionate about, like animals and the climate. I’m sure most women in the US assume that women in Iran don’t get to focus on global issues because they have to focus on freeing themselves first, and even though that might be the case for some women (as I’m sure it is for some women in the US too), it’s not as big of an issue as we make it out to be.

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Lydia Chang

Mahsa Soroudi is a very inspiring and bold artist from Tehran, Iran. She was born into a moderate Muslim family who all had a shared interest and participation in different arts (ie, father is a painter who also owns an art academy). From her early years, she was introduced to Hollywood movies which opened up different cultures to her. As she grew older, she moved a week after her marriage with her husbands all over the world exploring arts before ultimately settling in Newport Beach, CA.
Her two art projects, Nature’s Cadence and 7,500 Miles, were very fun and inspiring to learn about.
Nature’s Cadence is a project that represents her own journey and internal struggles of moving away from her home country in Iran. This project was a “rejuvenation of the soul” as she learned how to be strong in times of hardship while also being inspired to create a project from the whole “growing” process of herself and the succulents. This project reminded me of Gabriel Picolo’s drawing (https://www.instagram.com/p/BFt7MCytdBH/?taken-by=_picolo) of his character’s Icarus’s own succulents. Icarus named his succulents after his own internal struggles and gives them their own personalities.
7,500 Miles is an ongoing project that “represent[s] a new wave in Iranian contemporary art and specifically women artists.” It stands for the distance between her original home in Tehran to her new Western home in California. The project currently involves 9 female artists and 2 curators. Through this project, she can dismantle the “cliches and stereotypes” of many Middle Eastern women’s lives. She is using this project to help conserve her art culture and help many Iranian female artists receive recognition and feedback from the public.
I think that her through her works, she will be a voice for many female artists around the world. I will definitely be following her and her work (in a very non-creepy way) and am so grateful that this was our week’s discussion topic.

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Emily Tomasello - Art

Hi Lydia!
I really like how you added a link to Gabriel Picolo’s drawing of the succulents. I think it definitely relates to the message Mahsa was trying to portray in her Nature’s Cadence piece. In the past, I have simply found succulents to just be interesting decorative pieces, but I never really looked past that. After watching this interview of Mahsa and now seeing Picolo’s drawing, I have to say that I will definitely be looking at succulents in a new way. I really enjoyed getting to learn about Mahsa’s personal life journey and how she connected herself to her plants. On her website (http://www.mahsasoroudi.com/), she discusses how her plants taught her to remain “beautiful and strong while struggling to grow roots and adapt to a new home.” I think, as an artist, that is a really powerful message for her to share with the world, and as young adults, I think we can all relate to that somehow. We are going to have to overcome difficult situations every now and then, and we may need to adapt to our surroundings in order to prosper. But we need to remind ourselves that we are strong enough to overcome it all. I will now look at succulents as a symbol of growth and strength, and I may even try to grow some of my own!

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Jose Perez

Jose Perez

Mahsa Soroudi is an artist currently living in Southern California, but originally from Iran. Throughout the video/interview, I found many interesting things about her. One thing I found interesting is how she came to the United States because of curiosity, not because she was forced. When I hear about women in Iran, I always hear about how it is tough to be a female in that area. I hear that most women want to leave the country because of how hard the way of living is, but not in her case. She left because she loved traveling and wanted to explore the world. Exploring the world could have a major impact on many artist today, as it probably did with Mahsa, because it exposes you to other objects, textures, figures, etc. being exposed to other cultures around the world could help run your imagination and creativity. Not only would she be learning from things she sees from moving to a different country, but she would also bring her own culture and creativity from her country to Southern California; thereby helping other artists here in our area as they can feed off her creativity.

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Emily Tomasello - Art

Emily Tomasello
In this interview, Mahsa Soroudi discussed how she was born into a moderate Muslim family. Her family did not practice that much, but they were not disconnected from the religion either. She discussed how her family was interested in art in different forms, her sister and father being painters. Her father even has has an academy in Tehran. She always felt like she had a connection to art, so she wanted to learn more. She grew up and went to school in the metropolitan area of Tehran, where the culture was very different in the north and south. After checking out her website (http://www.mahsasoroudi.com/), I learned that Mahsa got her BFA in Visual Communication at Azad Art and Architecture University in Tehran. Mahsa goes on to describe how people have conflicting feelings and opinions about Tehran regarding the Islamic Revolution. Some people saw the revolution as a negative event, while others saw it as a positive one. From her own family, she said that her mother had difficult experiences because of the revolution, but it did not necessarily “close all of the doors”. I found it interesting that she felt like she had to “catch up with the world” after the war. I commend her for traveling and exploring outside of where she grew up so that she could experience the world and more possibilities. It was refreshing to hear how she connected herself to the succulents and how they “fought for their lives” and how she felt like she could “grow” her “roots”. Those were really powerful statements because it showed that she could never forget where she came from, but she could truly thrive and become successful after leaving her home. Her overall story was extremely inspiring, and I will definitely try to keep up with her work.

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reynareal

Reyna Real

This weeks art talk is about Mahsa Soroudi, she is an artist who was born and raised in Tehran,Iran. She decided to leave her country just being one week married to her husband. Mahsa Soroudi left her country to try and find different and better opportunities for herself. All her life she has been interested and had always been surrounded by art, she always traveled around to see art. Her father was a painter and has a painting academy back in Tehran. It was very fascinating to see that Soroudi uses her plants to stay strong and motivated. Her project “7,500 miles” is very inspiring that she is trying to show the world the art from Iran. I love how Soroudi is very passionate about her art and is sharing it with the world. Mahsa Soroudi is a very inspiring women.

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Erika Perez

Dear Reyna Real,
It is very fascinating and inspiring how both of her projects are and the message they entail. I think its important to keep in mind that Mahsa is not only showing America the world of art from Iran, but also that women in both Iran and America are tremendously similar. In a sense she is trying to eradicate the stereotype and political image put on Iranian women. Her art definitely opened my eyes to how Americans as a society are kind of oblivious to the accurate reality of places outside of our country. Thus, I hope the educating aspect of her projects, especially “7,500 Miles,” impacts people just as it did for me.

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Zack Ngov

Learning about Mahsa Soroudi was interesting, inspiring, and view changing. Hearing that she was born and raised in Tehran, Iran made me have some assumptions that were cleared as the video progressed. One of those assumptions was that she probably came to Southern California because life was tough in Iran. Later in the video, she stated that she came to America to explore new things and not because she did not like her country. The messages conveyed in her two art projects “Nature’s Cadence” and “7,500 Miles” were very inspiring. The message conveyed in Nature’s Cadence was that plants survive through different types of weather and environments and still have the ability to grow like how immigrants are surviving through hard times in a new country while growing and becoming stronger. Her other project “7,500 miles” was cool and inspiring because it is a project meant to kill the stereotypes associated with Middle Eastern women by displaying art from female Iranian artists. I find this project very admirable because women are not held in equal regard to men in the Middle East. Overall, I like and really respect Mahsa Soroudi’s art. Her art is about helping people or giving people something to relate to. She is not the typical artist that just wants to show off abilities.

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lizzystiller

In response to Zack
I had the same exact assumption but was too embarrassed to admit it. I like to think of myself as a very open minded person and do not believe in stereotypes. However, with seeing all the news lately, it is hard not to assume she was escaping. I feel bad catching myself just assuming something like that. After all that is her family, culture, and home that she is “escaping” from. It was very inspiring that she was moved to create her work 7,500 miles in order to squash some of these Western thoughts. I think it is very important to. We are blinded by scary news headlines which cloud our thoughts. Mahsa Soroudi is bringing the light on Iran as she shows people function just as we do. They create works of art and express their emotions through their paintings. They do go to school and have families. While every country do go through harsh times, it is important to cherish the good. By creating this exhibition it will forever capture and display their culture and emotions. There is still life in Iran and it is thriving, we just can’t see it.

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belenbarragan

Belen Barragan

Hi Zack,
I totally agree with how cool it is that Masha Soroudi is attempting to educate her audience in regards to important topics through her art. I too sometimes am quick to assume that when someone immigrates from Iran or from other areas of the middle east, oppression seems to be an underlying issue. It is neat how also throughout her experiences not only is she trying to educate people regarding women and their roles in life but also whether or not it is in her intention, she is also teaching her audience about a misconception we have in regards to women in the middle east. Although i agree with you on the majority of your post, I do disagree with your idea that the ‘typical artist’ just wants to show off their abilities. I, on the other hand, believe that most artists are actually trying to convey some sort of message, whether emotional or political like Soroudi, but it is our job to decipher them. Not all art or art projects are as bluntly stated as Soroudi does so, so i personally don’t believe that it is fair to assume that a typical artist is just in it too show off.

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reynareal

Reyna Real
In Response to Lydia Chang i agree with you that Mahsa Soroudi projects were very inspiring to lean about. In her Nature Cadence project she shows us her struggles she had when she moved away from her home and how she felt homesick. When she would go to museums in the video she says that she couldn’t relate to any of the art because she was feeling homesick. Her plants helped her stay motivated and strong. In her 7,500 miles project she takes action to help Iranian female artist display their work. Through her art she is showing people about Iranian culture.

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lizzystiller

Mahsa Soroudi is an Iranian artist who now lives in Newport Beach, California. She lived in Tehran, Iran which she describes to be enormous and full of life. Every corner would have a new experience in store. It is home to many very great art schools and is basically the art capital of Iran. Soroudi had neutral feelings toward her background. She understands how many people who lived in Iran lived a hard life after the revolution and were motivated by escape to move. However she moved because she wanted to experience new things and expand her knowledge. She first moved to Malaysia where she learned English. What I found most moving was her bravery to leave her home and start fresh. Having myself never moved in my life, I would be frightened. She did express how she felt lonely and homesick and it was represented in her plants. It sounds funny to say a plant shows how you feel, but as her succulents were drained and wilting, so was she. She felt because of this she needed to spend more time on her plants in order to see them live again. This inspired her as it felt very rewarding to restore life to them. She felt she needed to begin to grow her roots in CA.One of the things I found most intriguing was her 7,500 miles project. She explains it is to show the western audiences that the stereotypes they have been shown are not true. Women in Iran do not cower. In fact, most of the students in her university were women. This is basically everything that we are told is not true. We are full of these stories that women have no say in Middle East culture and I think it is very important Soroudi is trying to create this exhibition in order to get the truth out there. We should not give them pity because they do not need it. There are so many strong women in Iran and the Middle East that are making a name for themselves. It is sad that the stereotypes are getting so large that most people would be shocked to hear Soroudi’s story.

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Savannah

Savannah Avalos

Mahsa Soroudi left Iran, not to escape a situation, but to experience more situations that might only occur in other countries. She eventually settled in Southern California, where she initially felt out of place. She missed home, but had decided to stay and make the best of things. She said that she had to deal with the consequences of wanting something bigger than what she had, which would be valid if the situation was a bit more extreme, like ending up in jail for stealing jewelry, but no consequences should come from trying to experience new things in life (that are 100% legal and cause no harm to anyone). This is when I disagreed with her. There’s nothing wrong with trying something, being unhappy with it, then going back to the way things were.
Then she related herself to her plants, and my perspective changed. Instead of making her bed and laying in it, she was determined to make the best situation for herself that she could. She had a goal and never gave up.
I also like how she explains the US perspective of women in the middle east in relation to how it actually is. I often think about how big-headed we are and wonder if things in other lands are actually what we think they are. We might form these ideas that women elsewhere are living awful lives just to make us feel like we are superior. We have a “come follow us” attitude instead of a “look at her go” attitude.

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belenbarragan

Belen Barragan

After watching the interview with Masha Soroudi I was immediately interested in looking at her projects. I specifically dove into the 7,500 Miles project that she is involved in. As a woman, I feel as if I myself am a very important advocate for women and for women strengths and I love seeing other amazing women help empower one another. I think that it is truly amazing that she has a whole project that is aimed at breaking the stereotypical views of women, specifically in Middle East. She is not doing this by displaying her own art or her own project but rather by spotlighting other talented women from her native home Iran who might not otherwise be able to display their work to a larger country. Its also inspiring that although Masha did not have a bad experience herself in Iran, she is still worried about the reality that is occurring in Iran in regards to women’s life. Furthermore, she wants to also educate the Western audience in regards to women in the middle east as well. Although these women do have limitations and stereotypes, they are not “submissive” in any way but rather continue to attempt to rise amongst their constraints. I think her goal to continue to break a variety of stereotypes and educate multiple societies through art is great.

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meganchung07

Belenbarragan,
I agree with you! Her focus of her project is very powerful and inspiring. She is uses art to represent woman from her homeland. She is very concerned about the life a woman might have in Iran even though she did not have to go through any bad experiences herself. Her project creates a powerful message to her audiences. She wants her audiences to see what the women in her country has to go through. I respect her for using her art to project global issues that are going on today.

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linruiwen

Ruiwen Lin

In response to Belen, I feel the same thing as you talked about. As a woman, I like to see women prove themselves that we can break stereotype in people’s minds, and encourage other women to be stronger and live the lives they want to be. Mahsa Soroudi’s project “7,500 Miles” changes the views of Iranian women, and some Western thoughts. And I think it is very important that she is bringing the light for Iranian women as she shows women should “focus on universal themes that women experience in their lives, beyond being mothers, wives, and daughters”, this thought also got into some Western audiences’ minds.

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haileilauren

Belen Barragan,
I totally agree with you too. I also liked how she uses 7,500 miles as a a way to display others women’s art and not to just display her own work. Its like an outlet that she has created for Iranian women so they don’t have to feel like they only need to produce typical “Iranian” art. I like how you stated that Mahsa empowers other women. Empowerment is such a strong word and totally fits Mahsa’s goals and her actions.
– Hailei Reyes

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meganchung07

Her name is Mahsa Soroudi is an Iranian artist. She now lives in Newport Beach, California but she originally lived in Tehran, Iran. She describes the places as huge and very lively. She said that the culture between North and South Tehran is very different. A lot of universities put an importance to art so there are a lot of galleries there. Her and her husband decided that they wanted to move out of Iran to experience new things by receiving more education and opportunities.
When she first came to Southern California, she felt like she was very ready but really she felt really homesick and nostalgic. She felt like she could not relate to the art here. She spent a lot of time alone by sleeping or reading. By spending time by herself, she noticed that her plants were dying. It was withering like herself. As she spent more time on the plants, they were blooming. Her friends noticed it and gave her lots of compliments and it helped her gain strength. She feels like the strong plants fighting for their life. She has learned so much from moving to different places. Moving out from Iran had some difficult aspects to it but it helped her grow to be the strong woman she is now. I hope the best for her!

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Juli Yoshinaga

Juli Yoshinaga

Mahsa Soroudi is an Iranian artist who moved to the United States to seek better opportunity and to pursuit her career in the arts. Soroudi shared her life and immigrant experience moving from Iran to Malaysia to the United States. I was particularly inspired by her courage and her will power to work hard despite her struggles in the new country. Although Soroudi faced many immigrant problems, such as homesickness and lack of energy, her strength to get back up stronger than ever was motivating. I almost saw Soroudi as a mirror image of my mother, whom is an immigrant from Japan. I saw similar qualities they shared, such as strength, resilience, and hard work. The comparison I found in Soroudi and my mother has touched my heart because I was able to recognize Soroudi’s work from first hand experience from watching my mother. I am beyond impressed by how Soroudi took a leap of faith and continued to strive for what she wanted. Additionally, as a woman, I look up to Soroudi because she empowers woman and their ability in what they CAN do not what they cannot. Many people may feel doubtful about women, even in our progressive day and age, however, her words struck deep. Soroudi’s art project ‘7,500 Miles’ is a true testament to teaching our society about immigrant experiences and why they are important in our society.

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Tiffany Phan

Tiffany Phan

Mahsa Soroudi is born in Tehran, Iran in 1981 and currently lives in Southern California. Her parents had interest in different forms of art and her father was even a painter in Tehran. Growing up she developed a good understanding of different cultures by being able to travel to different countries. And after her marriage she decided to move out of Iran to Malaysia for about a year to experience new things, have a better education, and more opportunities. Soon after she moved to California she thought she was ready, but she realized she started feeling home sick and she couldn’t relate to the people or the art here. I’m also really amazed with how she relates her life to much like her plants. She says her plants are “really fighting for life,” and they gave her a lot of motivation so she thought maybe she can grow her on roots and overcome homesickness, the hardships and everything in order for her to be successful n her life. I also really loved when she said “As beautiful as plants are to look at, we never know what’s happening underground” then she relates that to her as an immigrant and its true because no one knows what you’re going through and it amazes me how she found a deeper meaning to it all!

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superyessi

Yesenia Hernandez

I agree with you Tiffany. I think it is amazing she is able to find so much meaning to something as simple as a plant. But like she said we do not know what is going underneath, and that makes things complicated. In reality, there is no such thing as simplicity, everything is more than it appears on the surface. This is very true of people, we are complicated beings, no matter our situation. Our lives do not have to be torn or in tangled for them to mean less or more. People think that because someone does not show trouble or express hardships their lives are worth less. Mahsa educates us otherwise. Mahsa is an interesting and refreshing thinker.

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beansartblog

Arvan Arguelles

Mahsa Soroudi is a modern day artist who was born in Tehran, Iran in 1981. Mahsa Soroudi was born in a moderate Muslim family with a strong background with art due to the fact that her father was a painter, which gave her a strong connection with the art culture. I learned that Tehran was Iran’s art capital, where countless of garage and private art galleries stand. Mahsa moved out of Iran to experience new things and to obtain better education and opportunities. Her husband and her moved first to Malaysia to first where they learned English. Soroudi has a neutral feeling about the Islamic revolution. She explained that the revolution affected different families, for some it closed all doors to the world and for some it didn’t. So ultimately this revolution affected everyone differently, not everyone was affected negatively and not everyone was affected positively.

When she first moved to California, she felt that she was ready to do everything. She was trying to get involved everywhere, but after awhile she realized that was homesick cause she can’t relate to any art here in the states. Seeing that she spent lots of time by herself doing nothing at home she started noticing that her succulents are not doing well, in the same sense that she her as a person was withering. After noticing this she decided to take care of her plants, watering them and trimming them more often, which caused the plants to live and be revived. She stated that this made her stronger as a person and to be patient and wait due to the fact that just like the plants, her roots are still growing. Her 7,500 miles project is inspiring due to the fact that she is pushing Iranian art outside of Iran in order for these artists to have more exposure in the western world, but more importantly to minimize the stereotypical moments through the viewer’s eyes.

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superyessi

Yesenia Hernandez

Mahsa Soroudi is an Iranian born artist but now resides in Newport, California. She left Iran about five years ago but not because she was escaping hardships but for a new adventure with her husband. Like many immigrants in America, Mahsa felt lost and alone at first. This feeling of isolation she transferred to plants, specifically succulents. She noticed they were able to thrive and live in a harsh terrain and so could she. I find that amazing and beautiful that she was able to find comfort and motivation in plants. Plants helped her overcome her fears. Something so simple yet so empowering. Nature is amazing and inspirational. I connected to her plants project. It does not just have to be immigrants but anybody who feels like an outsider or going through difficult situations. You can make it and overcome these feelings and situations. Mahsa is an amazing artist. I am also moved by her 7,500 miles project. She is trying to change the perspective of women, specifically Iranian women. Iranian women (women) are more than the clichés that dominate popular society. It is challenge of the culture and I think many of the ideas the artists explore in this project are relatable for everyone, for example feeling in-between or resistance. These are universal themes but sometimes people forget they impact everyone no matter where they live or who they are. I find it interesting she does not want to make a political statement with her 7,500 miles project. It definitely could set a statement but her and the artist do not want that kind of publicity. I think it is because the politics of it would take away from the pieces of art and ideas they are conveying. People would not focus on the smaller things but the big picture.

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samanthagomezblog

Samantha Gomez
When I clicked on the video of the week for week 3, I was really excited to learn about Mahsa Soroudi. Upon watching the informative video interview about this artist, I loved how she gave her view about her country and how she acknowledges the fact that many people do leave due to political differences, etc. , but her reason was to see the world. I love how our professor connected and commented on the state of how the plants were not doing well around the same time as our artist. Mahsa, is inspired by her plants, to acknowledge her roots, but like the new budding succulents she is growing and expanding herself here in Southern California. As for her second art project, she got the idea from her sister, she wanted to showcase artist who really didn’t or couldn’t get an audience to view their work. Not only is she showcasing amazing artist, but she is also battling against stereotypes that the public has about Iranian art and artist. With each piece that she showcases, she is exposing us to daily life for an Iranian women aside from the sterotypes, and to show that no matter where you live, the problems are the same, just slightly different.

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Erika Perez

Erika Perez
This week’s art talk was about Mahsa Soroudi and it was such a pleasure to hear her talk about not only her art, but also her background and the way her hometown of Tehran, Iran has influenced her. To many, Tehran is the capital of art in which it showcases true, brave art that accurately represents the society and culture there. Mahsa’s mission in her “7,500 Miles” project is to bring a sense of that kind of art to America. Considering most people in American seek the stereotypical, women suffrage type of art when it comes to Iran, Mahsa is on the path to eradicating that type of mentality. This type of women empowerment is always inspiring to me. Her art, along with many other Iranian artist have a sincere message to to educate Western audiences. There is a need for stereotypes to be broken, so it is heartbreaking to see how a physical exhibition is not possible at the moment. Her other project relates to the three years being a resident in Newport, California has been. Coming to southern California was more of a way for her to explore rather than escape her hometown, but that didn’t prevent Mahsa from becoming homesick. However after many lazy nights in, she realized something special in the plants she had at home. She called this piece “Nature’s Cadence,” in which helped her cope with the new life around her. Its amazing to me how the these resilient plants can have such a message to immigrant life in regards to the roots they are able to create for themselves. Overall, I really enjoyed being educated on Mahsa’s art and the many other powerful women’s art that were mentioned.

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haileilauren

Hailei Reyes

When meeting this weeks Artist of the Week, Mahsa Soroudi, I feel very connected and inspired by her. As she explained her plant show, Nature’s Cadence, I find myself relating to how she made new roots and I think her point of view is very motivational. By coming all the way from Iran and settling in Newport Beach, she didn’t feel motivated her self. She did seem to have roots or any source of knowing where she stood in her new American environment. As a working college student from San Diego, I find myself feeling that way sometimes just like she did. But with the look at the finer things and observing the natural beauties of life, Mahsa took a dying succulent and saw that with patience a person or plant can thrive even after struggling. People, like Mahsa, so many others, and I can plant roots in new environments. I like the way Mahsa tries to break down stereotypical ways people think about women and the art they produce from the Iranian culture. She takes what people think is supposed to Iranian or cultural art and says no to those stereotypes. By making “Iranian” women’s art the everyday art of Western women, she changes the conversation and this is truly inspirational. Us women or us cultured people do not have to do what the world thinks were supposed to and Mahsa had created a forum or way for the Iranian culture to thrive in doing what is unexpected.

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linruiwen

Ruiwen Lin

For this week’s Art Talk, we know about Mahsa Soroudi who is from Tehran, Iran, and she was born in a moderate Muslim family which have strong inspiration of arts in different forms. So as she was growing up, she was connected with arts closely. After Mahsa got married with her husband, she left Iran to experience new things and explore arts in this world, but not escaping from Iran as people’s stereotype. Now Mahsa is settled in Newport Beach, CA. For the art projects she has done, “7,500 Miles” is an ongoing online project that shows the private life moments of women from Iran, and it breaks the stereotypical views of women, specifically in Middle East in people’s minds. I love this project very much because it involves different types of female artists’ and curators’ lives to show people a different sided view of women, and help not only Iranian women, but also Western women audiences to “focus on universal themes that women experience in their lives, beyond being mothers, wives, and daughters”. Being to different places, seeing new things, and accepting new thoughts in the world really help people to open mind and forget stereotypical views on other people or old stories.

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Dabidlai

David Lai

The artist of this week is Mahsa Soroudi. Soroudi was born in Tehran, Iran in 1981. The life of an immigrant to a new country is heavily demanding on energy and change. Having left her country five years ago, she now lives in Newport Beach, CA and had moved here in the past three years.. Having the life of an immigrant is very difficult and as can we observe from the video presented, Soroudi is still developing her sense and style for speaking the English language as she ‘stumbles’ upon her own words. My parents are legal immigrants today and still struggle with speaking English despite it being an everyday language and their residency here in the United States for the past 20 years. Soroudi is on a journey of melding Iranian Art with American art as America is seen as ethnically diverse, and she is doing this through her project called ‘7,500 miles’. Iran, like most other cultures has art that is depicted and conveyed much differently than the United States and just about anywhere else in the world, and that on its own is enough of a feature to marvel in here artistry.

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Raul Silva

Masha Soroudi is an artist who has found tremendous success due to her ability to connect with the people and things around her. Her succulents, her home country (Iran) this is a trait that is a curse and a blessing and she has found the way to express all of the emotions that come with it through art. It is hard to be attached emotionally to everything because of the deep nostalgia that develops when away of things. This is what she had such a hard time dealing with moving away as it is already hard enough for a normal person to adapt to a new culture a new life but for someone who gives everything life and feelings to her surroundings can be especially difficult. I also said it was a blessing when she sees the things around her grow and develop it too makes her happy and more content with her life this is why she nurtured plants to give her a sense of happiness when she was not she is uplifted when positive changes are made. In her country she is seeing her culture develop artistically and politically and she wants to be apart of it all help push progression of anything around her. She can become the most influential person in any thing she decides to do because of the passion that grows in her from giving life and growth to the things around her.

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Maria Leon

Hi Raul,
I definitely agree with you on your point of view on Mahsa Soroudi, it can really be difficult being apart from things, family, and places but Mahsa has found a way to express how she feels. I also agree that it is a blessing because we can always learn from new places we are in and new people we meet. I liked how you said that she can become the most influential person because we can see that she can see things we don’t see like how she saw that in the plants.

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Maria Leon

Maria Leon
This week’s artist Mahsa Soroudi from Tehran, Iran shared with us a little bit of her background and her artwork the Nature’s Cadence, which really connects with how she was feeling being away from home. She left her country five years ago with her husband not because they were escaping the situation in Iran but because they wanted to explore the world and wanted better opportunities. She has settled down in New Port, California where she shared with us the Nature’s Cadence. I think it was interesting how she said that even though her plants were not really getting the water they needed they were really fighting to survive. Another thing she mentioned was that after giving her plants love and taken care of them that is when they started to bloom. Many times when we move somewhere new, where we don’t have family we kind of feel like the plants struggling to survive. We as humans also need love and patients to be able to feel like we are at home in a new place. I like how little plants gave her motivation sometimes when we are struggling we need to see things that sometimes we might look at it like a small insignificant thing and find the beauty in it the way Soroudi has done.

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