Elevated Reflections of Life — Artist Yumiko Glover MA ’17

Elevated Reflections of Life, UC Santa Barbara Magazine, Fall/Winter 2021.

Born and raised in Hiroshima, Japan, cover artist Yumiko Glover MA ‘17 took a circuitous route to finally following her passion. 

“When I was applying for college in Japan I didn’t have a mentor to support me,” Glover recalls. “I wanted to go to art school and of course, my parents worried that it was ‘non job promising.’ So, I gave up and I majored in something else.” But the desire stuck with her. She took as many art classes as she could while working in the import-export business for more than a decade before returning to school to follow her dreams of becoming an artist. She completed a bachelor of fine arts degree at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa in 2011 and then came to UC Santa Barbara to complete her masters in fine arts in 2017. 

“I was not a good student in Japan in college because I was not really interested in the field. But when I went back to school, I was very serious,” laughs Glover, who is now a visiting lecturer in the UC Santa Barbara Department of Art, as well as a graphic designer and fine artist who has her work in collections at the Honolulu Museum of Art and on view at LAX, among other venues. 

Over the years her style has evolved, but current events continue to influence her art. 

Her “Unfold” series was inspired by President Barack Obama’s visit to Hiroshima in 2016. The first sitting president to visit the city destroyed by an American atomic bomb during World War II, Obama brought origami paper cranes that he folded himself. “Crane origami is a symbol for peace, wishing the best for others, and healing for challenging times,” says Glover. 

Working on the premise that with each fold they make in an origami crane, people are thinking about others’ wellness or sending them good wishes, Glover drew geometric forms and combined them in different ways to create elements. “I thought that matched well with what we are going through in the pandemic,” she says. 

Her ongoing series “Transience” also fits in thematically. “Living through the pandemic completely shifted everybody’s life, including myself, especially my perspective on approaching art,” says Glover. 

“Transience comes from the Japanese term, mono no aware, which means the transience of life that is the aesthetics of impermanence — nothing lasts forever but there is preciousness to it. I created new paintings during the pandemic; one inspired by the cherry blossom season. As you know the cherry blossom has an intense and precious life and death cycle, which is mirrored by the impermanence of our nature and material world that we took for granted for so long.” 

She continues, “During the pandemic, as everything that we thought would last forever became uncertain and our perspectives about life, including the subjects for the magazine — education, economy, mental health, work and environment — everything has changed and also affected me and the way I think, so when I received the concept of the magazine design, I could apply those ideas that I was going through during the pandemic to the design.”  

UC Santa Barbara Magazine, Winter 2021

UC Santa Barbara Magazine, Winter 2021

Originally published in the Fall/Winter 2021 issue of UC Santa Barbara Magazine. Cover illustration by Yumiko Glover. To see the story as it originally appeared click  here.


Inside the Flat File

Paintings on Guitar, by John Chervinsky, courtesy of wall space gallery

Paintings on Guitar, by John Chervinsky, courtesy of wall space gallery

There’s something magical about searching for art amidst the flat files. As wall space gallery owner Crista Dix says, “Looking through the flat files at the gallery is like heading to a buffet and coming back for thirds and fourths. Every drawer is filled with unique work, unlike the drawer before it, and the one after unlocks even more visual desserts.” 

Let’s take a peek inside the flat files.

Story by Leslie Dinaberg 

Aline Smithson

This series, entitled “Spring Fever,” is a take on childhood, womanhood and the future. Inspired by Michael Apted’s ongoing “7-Up” documentary series—chronicling the lives of British children every seven years through adulthood—based on the Jesuit maxim, “Give me the child until he is seven and I will give you the man.”

Aline Smithson says, “In this case, I give you the girl. ‘Spring Fever’ explores the idea of childhood and beyond, capturing seven-year-old girls wearing 1950’s spring hats. Juxtaposing hats traditionally worn by women half a century older with the visual of a child on the threshold of knowledge and sophistication allows us a glimpse into the future, and possibly a reflection of a face that wore a head full of flowers long ago.”

Smithson has had solo exhibitions throughout the United States, China and Europe and her work is in a number of museum collections. 

John Chervinsky

This work represents John Chervinsky’s photographic investigation into the nature of time, light, space and gravity. He creates these conceptual pieces by first composing and photographing a still life; cropping a subset of the image and sending it to a painting factory in China; waiting for an anonymous artist to complete an oil painting of the cropped section, and send it back in the mail; then reinserting the painting into the original setup and re-photographing the piece.

Chervinsky states, “ I’m interested in issues relating to perspective. I’m interested in the tensions expressed in the comparison between reality versus representation. I’m interested what happens when I collaborate with another artist that has no idea that they are involved in a collaboration, and I’m interested in seeing and expressing subtle changes over time that we might otherwise take for granted.”

Bill Finger

With a background in photography and more than 20 years working on movie sets, Bill Finger creates photographs of miniature scenes that seem life-sized. Handcrafting each element, he builds miniature dioramas of narrative scenes that serve as the subject of his large-scale photographs. 

“… I put the camera into the scenes as though it’s the viewer’s point of view, making the viewer a participant,” states Finger. “I also play with the idea of a filmic place that only exists to be photographed and then is destroyed after the photograph [is shot]. This happens in real life too. … I’m creating temporary places that are coming out of my imagination, but they exist in the real world as long as it takes me to photograph them.”

Space Oddity, featuring work by Bill Finger, John Chakeres, Charles Grogg and Ryan Zoghlin, will be on view from May 30 through June 28 at wall space gallery, 116 E. Yanonali St. C-1, 805/637-3898, wall-spacegallery.com.


The subject matter in this series is botanicals frozen in blocks of ice. The ice is as important as the flowers it encases, providing an element of the unexpected and unpredictable. This element can be likened to the Japanese principle of wabi sabi—beauty in nature in all its imperfections.

“Taking spring flowers and stopping time, Ryuijie has managed to mix line, form and texture to brilliant effect,” says Crista Dix, owner of wall space gallery. Crafted by freezing the blooms, then illuminating them with light, these painterly images capture the eternal warmth of the season.

Ryuijie, who was born in Otaru, Japan, has steadfastly pursued his own photographic vision for more than 30 years. An exceptionally prolific artist, works by Ryuijie can be found in private and public collections worldwide.

“Photography is such a unique art form. Most think it’s about what image can be captured from a phone, like landscapes or selfies, but photography can be so much more,” says Dix. “It is fun for me to be involved in releasing someone’s creativity when they come in to look at work and see anything is possible.” 

All photographs pictured can be found in the flat files at wall space gallery.

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine, Spring 2015.