The opportunity to meet an Artist is optional, the chances of working with them is a privilege. On Tuesday, I did not know who I would be Interviewing for this weeks Artist Interview. During work, one of our Graphic Designers here at Student Life & Development said he was going to have a Gallery at the UAM this week. Everyone one at work decided to go at 1:00pm on Thursday before Ralph’s Exhibit would close. Trying to get a sneak peek before everyone else, I tried viewing the gallery during class but Ralph was not there because he was still at work.
After I got off of work, I went immediately to the Galleries. Luckily, Ralph was there and he hadn’t taken down his stuff yet. It was a good thing he didn’t because after viewing his stuff, I would’ve missed out on something great!
Ralph Acosta grew up in Los Angeles, California. After his parents divorce, him, his mother and sibling would move to a new house every year for 10 years. Him and his brother vividly remember hanging out at the Ambassador Hotel as kids. In his video, The Ambassador, Ralph and his brother reminisce about the Hotel. As kids, they thought the Hotel as a Castle. The Hotel was filled with a smell of cigarettes and perfume, which Ralph remembers because it was so overwhelming. During the time he would hand out, people would smoke inside the Hotel and there was a 50 Gallon perfume bottle of Chanel perfume that would spray every so often.
Ralph also told me that there was a cafe in the Hotel that his mother would take him and his brother to as a treat for ice cream. He added that his mother would always dress up to go to the Hotel because she did not want to be mistaken for one of the Hotels maids.
As his short film kept playing, Ralph kept giving me info that wasn’t in the video. He told me how his main home was the Kenmore Home and then he started talking about the history of the Ambassador.
Apparently, the Ambassador was the scene of the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy. He told me how him, his mother and brother were waiting for the Robert Kennedy’s speech, but that how Kennedy was running late. Before the speeches even started, him and his brother fell asleep in the lobby because the Auditorium was too packed with people and it felt “stuffy”. His mother soon found them asleep and took them home before any of the speeches started. The next day, they heard about the tragic new of Robert F. Kennedy whom was shot 2 hours after they have left the Hotel. He soon told me that after the incident, The hotel soon began to die down.
In 2006, the Hotel was partially knocked down and was soon turned into a school. The picture he had on the video gave me goosebumps. For three years, I have competed in the exact Auditorium for the ACE Mentorship. This was also the place that I got my scholarship last year as well. I was amazed on how small the world got at that very moment.
Overall, Ralph did a wonderful job and he told me and my co-worker Sam how hard his program was. He told us how he worked on his stuff for a entire year off and on. He also told us how that the graders told him that his video was “Too pretty.“ I personally think that Ralph did an excellent job and hope that he gets his own gallery to himself soon! This was a marvelous opportunity to have this week.