The Linda A. Day Endowed Student Award
2013 Linda A. Day Endowed Student Award Recipient
Cynthia Luján is a Southern California based artist who currently works as an arts educator teaching older adults at various arts & culture centers in LA & Orange Counties. While earning her B.F.A. in Drawing and Painting and minor in Russian Studies from California State University, Long Beach she participated in study abroad programs in both China and Russia. Her awards include the Romance
German, Russian Languages and Literatures Award, Russian STARTALK National Security Language Initiative Scholarship, and the Linda A. Day Endowed Student Award.
Upon graduating, she served the City of Long Beach for three years coordinating arts education programs, public art projects, and community events through the Arts Council for Long Beach. She curates exhibitions at flatline art gallery in North Long Beach and has remained an integral member to the informal CSULB alumni association FA4 Collective founded in 2014. As Co-Founder of __flatline and member for FA4 Collective, her goal is to connect CSULB College of the Arts students, alumni, and local artists to one another and the Greater LA arts community with efforts to create a platform for artists to dialogue and further their visual concepts.
Luján has exhibited her studio artwork at the University Art Museum, Torrance Art Museum, Huntington Beach Art Center, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, The Brand Library, LA><ART, and Art Share L.A. among others. Luján’s public artwork has been in the form of murals at The Allery, Bixby Knolls (2016), Cerritos College’s FAR BAZAAR, and with FA4 Collective at The Stache Bar in Long Beach. She assisted Parisian artist Fafi for POW! WOW! Long Beach 2018, Puerto Rican artist Sofia Maldonado for PST LA/LA at the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach in 2017, and most recently led a mural project with students at Santa Ana Community College's Mural Program in partnership with the OC Weekly.
Through my daily commutes and travels abroad to other nation-states I've found public space to influence my artwork in more ways than just serving as inspiration for reference imagery. I now reference and re-purpose objects found in public space that serve as surrogates of power ( i.e.: traffic cones, chain-link fences, painted street lanes, chevrons, public signage, cement, asphalt, bricks, grass, etc.) The forms of depiction I use in my objects become a hybridization of photography, low-relief sculpture and drawing & painting that disfigure these symbols of power by obscuring and manipulating images from public space.
With this work I aim to foster cognizance of how objects signify power, and in turn the positions of power we hold or are submitted to, with hopes that this awareness will increase individuals social responsibilities to one-another and the disenfranchised.