Posts in Art
Beth Beverly
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Practicing taxidermy since 2000 and state and federally licensed in 2010, Beth Beverly is Philadelphia’s premiere couture taxidermist, specializing in wearable mounts and unusual home decor. Her hats have won awards at the Devon Horse Show, Brandywine Polo, and Radnor Hunt Clubs. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, AMC's series about competitive taxidermy "Immortalized" and most recently the Netflix series "Stranger Things." 

Beverly has been giving lectures and leading workshops on taxidermy since 2013 at The Wagner Institute, The Philadelphia Sculpture Gym, Morbid Anatomy and University of the Arts. Her knowledge on the craft and restorative skills have been tapped by museums such as the Academy of NaturalSciences, the Franklin Institute and The Vadon Hunting Museum in Transylvania, Romania.

Statement

The raw materials in my work are sourced via scavengry, as in no animals were harmed for the craft of taxidermy. All my specimen have either expired of natural causes or are the byproduct of humanely raised farm stock. My recent work with stillborn farm animals is deeply fulfilling to me as I explore my understanding of time and our attempts to bend it to our will as a means of holding on to that which we prize.  While these infants are frozen in time as an eternal blank slate of innocence, they have younger siblings who will age, reproduce, and die. My taxidermy is meant to be touched and handled to provide a sense of intimacy rarely attained with nature in the wild.  It is my hope that those who experience my work -be it a piece of decor for home or self- share my wonder at the treasures existing right before us in the natural world.

www.instagram.com/diamondtoothtaxidermy

Unconventional Forms: Interview with Deane McGahan
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Interview by Alicia Puig

Deane McGahan is contemporary sculptor currently residing in the Seattle metropolitan area. As having grown up in the Northwest, her aesthetic sensibilities are deeply rooted in the region. Not only as an appeal to the natural beauty at her doorstep but the lived-in experience of people, the effectual charge of living, which Seattle and its many haunts have afforded her.

"This new body of work is inspired by the desire to create unconventional forms. Shapes that push the boundaries of the material employed. Altering what ordinarily is the solid uniformity of concrete into casts that seem pulled, stretched, in transit. To take the stone and make it rip, blend, emote. To revise what is normally the process of casting the wet matrix of concrete into a solid block. To discover instead a form that looks like a sound wave instead of a static obelisk. A reverberation rather than an inert constant.  

My aim is to create work that inspires, connects and contributes. Work that bridges the abstraction of human emotion and solid objects. If there is a message in my work, it is the suggestion that untamed feeling might be captured for a moment in the immutable. A snapshot, as it were, of flow caught in an object and held in stasis."

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How did you first become interested in art and can you explain a bit of how it led you to the work you create today?

I always knew from a young age that I wanted to fully pursue art. I studied commercial art in college where I sort of fell into making video games before gaming jobs were a thing. Over the course of 25 years, I primarily worked as a 3D environment artist on AAA titles. It was a great way to make a living, but over time I felt the need to build more tangible things, made real, be effectually experienced. Shifting from 3D modeling to sculpting felt like a natural shift, as I found that the spatial awareness I developed in the digital world was applicable to the real world.

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Tell us about the inspiration behind your artwork or a specific series that you're currently working on.

On a high level, my inspiration fuels from how we evolve through creativity. I'm obsessed with connecting the dots of human growth and art. I have to sculpt every day or something feels wrong. It's like a raw encoded emotion in me to create or die. Capturing these feelings through new shapes and space helps me navigate life. That, and it feels damn good.

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What mediums do you use and how do they add to the effect of your work?

I primarily sculpt with concrete because the medium itself connects back to my inspiration for evolving. Normally it's cast into solid blocks for function but to revise the process, experiment, and present new shapes highly influences my work. It's also not a very forgiving medium, which forces me to make lots of decisions in the moment while it's still in a workable state. Ultimately the process itself defines and continues to evolve my style.

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Describe your current studio or creative space. What is most important about it or one thing that you definitely need in your work area?

My space is quite small for sculpting. I'm constantly rearranging to make room for projects. Right now I'm fine with that, as I've learned that the most important thing about a creative space is to not let it dictate your ability to move forward. I figure it out as I go.

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Can you tell us about how where you reside and grew up has influenced your art?

Currently, I live in Seattle but I grew up in Portland and have been in the Pacific Northwest most of my life. The beauty of our region is a given as an influence in my work but the lived-in experiences of the people and the city really drive me.

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Do you have any big collaborations, projects, exhibitions, etc going on during the rest of the year that you'd like to share?

I'm excited to share that I'm going to be part of the Relish group art show opening on June 7th. It's at the new 9th and Thomas building in South Lake Union. It's great to see non-traditional curated shows starting to pop up around town.

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Combining Life-Drawing and Ceramics: Interview with Yurim Gough
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Interview by Alicia Puig


I come from Korea, a country with a historic tradition of ceramics, where I was a fashion designer. By age 30, I had been designing high-heeled shoes for over ten years in Seoul then in Tokyo and London. I emigrated to England in 2007, the first time I had set foot outside Asia. Learning English from scratch and being influenced by the radical change in the culture I went back to being an artist, which was always my first calling. Starting with life drawing and experimenting with other media, I found myself drawn to my cultural roots in ceramics, mixing the two.

In 2013 I made bowls and sketched live models drawing directly onto the contoured surfaces, combining the organic hand-molded form of the bowl with the human form of the model. A couple of years later I began to add imagery to the pieces to extend the narratives that began with the poses, seeking inspiration from what I found captured in the drawings.

 In Asian culture bowls are philosophically connected with humanity; for example, in Korea, we might talk about how big a bowl you have in your mind, so the bowl is holding all your knowledge and experience. I mold the bowls in my hands, and I draw straight onto them, with no plan, never changing a line. My vases are like many bowls coming together inverted into sculptures. Drawing directly onto these with a life model, with a human in front of me, I can be led by their energy and afterward see what of human life can fit into a bowl. What I found drove me to use imagery on top to draw out stories imagined from the lives.


Yurim draws straight onto the surface of each piece. Life drawing in front of the living, breathing model joins the model's pose to the contoured surface of the piece. The lines from the model are communicated through the rough texture to the fired hand built stoneware with a ceramic pencil. The jagged lines soften under the glaze. For some pieces, imagery is overlaid on the drawings.

 www.yurimgough.com

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How did you first become interested in art and can you explain a bit of how it led you to the work you create today?

When I was six years old, my art teacher was surprised to see my paintings and made me participate in an art contest. Painting was the only stabilizer, because I was a little kid who couldn't concentrate. I tried to go to art school with a love of art, but I became a fashion designer. Being a designer was another pleasure for me. It's a process that allows the maker to understand the images of creative imagination through drawing. I'd always heard that my design drawing is more beautiful than the reality. When I first moved to England, I worked briefly as a designer again, but all the circumstances were better suited for art. So, after five years of experience with a new environment, culture, and experimenting with various other media, I fell in love with pottery for the first time.

The passion for life-drawing and my new interest in ceramics have combined, yet my passion for fashion still shows in my work.

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Tell us about the inspiration behind your artwork or a specific series that you're currently working on.

I get inspiration from having a living human being in front of me. It's related to the idea of humanity, and I find that humanity can’t be felt without direct contact with humans. And so I find that the thrill of putting a human live model in front of me when I draw is captured in my work.

For me if it's not life-drawing, it's dead art.

I live and experience this world and express what I see in colour; in particular, my 10 years of fashion design experience and special interest in fashion are part of this new work. 

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How did you end up working with ceramics as your primary medium and what is its significance for you and your art?

"What do I like and also want to do?"  This is the question that created a combination of life-drawing and ceramics, and I think it's really important for many artists to find the right materials first. I found the medium for me and that's ceramics. Ceramics is like a paper or canvas that holds my paintings. I've never had a formal education in pottery. Through my experience as a designer, I developed and analysed an understanding of the material and found that clay and pencil fit me. The failures that arise without formal education are a source of ideas for me ... in my works I can see both failure and success at once.

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Describe your current studio or creative space. What is most important about it or one thing that you definitely need in your work area?

Creative space is really important to me. I can work without having my own kiln for my work, but without a studio my art would stop. My workspace is divided into two. It's a ‘brain space’ on one side and a ‘body space’ on the other. For me, balance is very important, just like our brains. In the brain space, all the planning, data and images are easily attached to the wall to make it easier to see. I plan and organize it just as when I used to work as a designer. 

In the physical space, I make and shape organic hand moulded bowls. It's the same process as meditation that cleans and empties my mind and soul. Then I have a life-drawing space in the middle. I go around the model and find the angle I want to draw. I work in a new studio less than a year old, and I feel it’s a little bit small already... I can see why studio spaces get bigger as artists grow.

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What one piece of creative or business advice would you give to your younger self?

I think all the great artists have already told us.

I also took notes from their comments and put them on my wall.

‘FEARLESS

STRONG

CONFIDENT

READY TO FAIL

DON’T ESCAPE FROM YOURSELF

NOBODY DOES BETTER THAN YOU

BUILD A GOOD NAME’

I want to add ‘LET’S PUT IT INTO PRACTICE AND ACTION’

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Do you have any big collaborations, projects, exhibitions, etc going on during the rest of the year that you'd like to share?

I have a very exciting first solo exhibition, which runs from the 25th May until the 12th June 2019 in London at the Zari gallery. www.zarigallery.co.uk

I also open my studio space in the second and third weeks of July. Located in the centre of the Cambridge, UK.

My self-portrait has been selected and is exhibiting (Ruth Borchard Self Portrait Art Prize) at Piano Nobile, Kings Place in London until the end of September 2019.

https://ruthborchard.org.uk/self-portrait-prize-2019

The Future of Our Planet: Interview with Nick Pedersen
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Interview by Alicia Puig

Nick Pedersen is a photo-based digital artist and illustrator whose work focuses on environmental issues and political activism. He holds a BFA degree in Photography, as well as an MFA degree in Digital Imaging from Pratt Institute in New York. He has shown artwork in galleries across the country and internationally, recently including the Los Angeles Center for Digital Art, the Fleisher Art Memorial, and the NYC Affordable Art Fair. His work has been featured in numerous publications such as Vogue, Juxtapoz, Hi-Fructose, and on the covers of Photoshop User and After Capture. In the past few years, he has also completed Artist Residencies at the Banff Center in Canada, the Gullkistan Residency in Iceland, and the Starry Night Retreat in New Mexico. 

Statement 

My artwork is primarily inspired by my experience with nature and environmentalism. It is specifically motivated by my concern for the future due to the effects of climate change, sea level rise, deforestation, and many other environmental impacts humans have had on the planet. My goal with these projects is to visually depict this modern conflict between the natural world and the manmade world in interesting and provocative ways, to create elaborate, photorealistic images that carry a message of conservation and sustainability. Through my work, I want to show a glimpse into these hypothetical worlds and provide viewers a space in which to contemplate the future of our planet.

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How did you first become interested in art and can you explain a bit of how it led you to the work you create today?

Growing up, I was always interested in photography, documenting my adventures in the outdoors and all the places I travelled. I got my degree in photography and started learning how to use digital tools for photo editing, which was a revelation. I realized that instead of using photography just for documentation, I could also create whatever I could imagine. I did a lot of experimentation with digital photomontage and came up with my own style and conceptual motivations. A few years later I decided to pursue an MFA degree in Digital Arts at Pratt Institute in New York to really focus on these techniques and concepts. After taking everything that I’ve learned, now I’m working on various personal projects and commissions, showing my work in a few galleries, publishing my artist books, and teaching workshops on photography and digital imaging.

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Tell us about the inspiration behind your artwork or a specific series that you're currently working on.

The main inspiration for much of my artwork has been my experience with nature and environmentalism. I’m motivated by my concern for the future, due to the effects of things like climate change, sea level rise, deforestation and many other environmental impacts humans have had on the planet. My goal with these projects is to visually depict this modern conflict between the natural world and the manmade world in interesting and provocative ways, and create elaborate, photorealistic images that carry a message of conservation and sustainability. I portray this as an epic struggle and in my work these forces clash in “theatrical, post-apocalyptic battlegrounds”.

My newest series, "Floating World" is an ongoing project exploring the impending issues sea of level rise in coastal cities around the world, and depicting those most threatened by flooding in the future. With carbon emissions reaching levels not seen in 15 million years, the atmosphere is currently on course towards a ‘climate crisis’ where modern civilization could become unsustainable. From melting polar ice caps, ocean acidification, and sea level rise to historic droughts, stronger wildfires, and more extreme weather events, we are quickly approaching a strange and unpredictable future. This work explores the idea that the world as we know it might not be around forever, and questions the legacy that modern humanity will be handing down to the next generations.  

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What do you hope your viewers take away from seeing your art and how do you think working in photography and digital art specifically adds to the effect of your work?

All of my artwork is created using my own photography, so after researching and sketching out ideas to work with, the next step is to photograph everything I need for the project. For much of my past work I started with images from cities on the east coast like New York, Brooklyn, and Philadelphia which was perfect to collect photos of urban decay like buildings overgrown with vines and industrial ruins. The images of animals came from the wild, zoos, aquariums, taxidermy shops, and museums of natural history. Finally, many of the landscape images came from traveling around the US and to a few different countries over the past few years to capture the best source material. Then to create my images, I use a complex process of digital imaging and each image is actually made up of about 50 or more photographs meticulously pieced together. So I spend a lot of effort building up an image, figuring out the lighting, shadows, color, and other effects to make it look realistic and seamless. Each piece is carefully planned out and created as an intricately layered construction, which gives it such a hyper-real, illustrative quality. Through this work, my main goal is to show viewers a glimpse into these hypothetical worlds that I’ve created, and provide a space to contemplate the future of our planet.

Describe your current studio or creative space. What is most important about it or one thing that you definitely need in your work area?

Last year we bought a house, so I’ve actually been working to set up a new home/studio. So far, I have a desk station for my computer equipment, a photo space with backdrops and studio lights, and a large-format printer, along with a drafting table and flat-file cabinet. The studio space is set up really well for me to create my digital photomontage pieces and then print my own limited editions of the work. A large part of my creative time is also spent taking photos out in the wilderness, at parks, museums, or travelling to get all the source material I use in my artwork. So I would say the single most important thing for my work would be my camera, because I take it with me everywhere. 

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What one piece of creative or business advice would you give to your younger self?

In terms of business, it is really important to realize early on that you will be running a small business as a visual artist. I resisted that for a long time because I just wanted to create artwork, but I’ve learned a lot since then and I think I’m now at a place where I’m confident about what I’m doing with my career. Creatively, I think it is important to continuously learn new things and expose yourself to new situations so you have something relevant to respond to. I would say that the most important thing is to follow your own path, and create the artwork that you are actually interested in and care about. For me, it has been important to create artwork that is about the time I live in, that has personal meaning and raises significant questions.  

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Do you have any big collaborations, projects, exhibitions, etc. going on during the rest of the year that you'd like to share?

A few weeks ago I completed a great artist residency in southern New Mexico called the Starry Night Retreat. It was a really interesting place to work, and I gathered a huge amount of new source material taken from many strange and beautiful parts of the Southwest. With this work I’m thinking about creating a new series using the expansive landscapes I photographed at the White Sand Dunes, and combining it with my other imagery from the region showing astronomical research, space exploration, and weapons testing that has been a big part of New Mexico’s history. So this year I’m taking some time away from exhibitions to focus more on researching, experimenting, and coming up with new ideas for environmental series and other projects. One big thing I’m looking forward to is that I will be a Visiting Artist at Pratt Institute coming up this fall, where I will be doing guest lectures and critiques for the Digital Arts Department. 

Stay tuned for new work, and feel free to follow me at: 

https://nick-pedersen.com

https://www.instagram.com/nick_pedersen

https://www.behance.net/nickpedersen

Studio Sunday: Samantha Morris

It’s Sunday and you know what that means - another behind-the-scenes look at one of the artists from our community! This week we’re so excited to be sharing a brief interview with Samantha Morris, who we’ve had the pleasure of working with on our very first exhibition with PxP Contemporary.

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Bio

Samantha Morris was born in 1995 and grew up in Madison, Connecticut; she now lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Morris graduated from The University of the Arts in 2017 with a BFA in Fine Arts with an emphasis in Painting and Drawing. In addition, she will begin her graduate studies in the MFA Fine Arts program at Pratt Institute in September 2019. Recent solo exhibitions include:  Kanna Rými, Listhús Gallery in Ólafsfjörður, Iceland; and BFA Thesis Exhibition, The Space Between, The University of the ArtsSelected group exhibitions include Black and White, Site:Brooklyn, Practice: In Progress, NARS Foundation, and Space Invaders, Fountain Street Gallery among others. Morris’ work has been published in FreshPaint Magazine, Opción Magazine, ArtMaze Magazine, and Underground Pool.

Statement

In my artwork, I focus on the idea of an individual traveling through a space; exploring place through architecture and landscape, abstracted through line, shadow pattern, contrast, and negative space. I am interested in dynamics, what can and can’t be seen. The seemingly mundane aspects of everyday life, one light shining through the square of a window frame, or the corner of a plant casting shadow on glass. Influenced by photography and film, my work investigates the stillness of night; the frozen moments before something happens. It exists in the “in between”, the time when your eyes adjust to the contrast of natural illuminated light and the depth of darkness. I feel immersed, traveling through such spaces. Each piece has reference to an environment, while existing in its own space.

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How did you first become interested in art and can you explain a bit of how it led you to the work you create today?I have been passionate about art for as long as I can remember. I knew that it was what I wanted to pursue, which led me to earn my BFA from University of the Arts. There, I was able to develop my artistic practice that now informs the work I create today.

Describe your current studio or working area. What is most important about it or one thing that you definitely need in your creative space?

Right now I have a studio at NARS (New York Artist Residencies and Studios) in Brooklyn, NY. The most important aspect of my studio is having expansive wall space. I’m currently working on large wooden panels directly on the wall, which gives me the ability to step back and view my paintings from a distance. It’s also very important for me to have reference material surrounding me in the studio. This can range from drawings, collages, photos, and film stills, all of which inform my work.

Tell us about the inspiration behind your paintings.

In my artwork, I focus on the idea of an individual traveling through a space; exploring place through architecture and landscape, abstracted through line, shadow pattern, contrast, and negative space. I am interested in dynamics, what can and can’t be seen. Influenced by photography and film, my work investigates the stillness of night; the frozen moments before something happens. It exists in the “in between”, the time when your eyes adjust to the contrast of natural illuminated light and the depth of darkness. The work is influenced by Scandinavian architecture, from experiences in Iceland and Norway. Each piece has reference to an environment, while existing in its own space.

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What is your process like? Do you do a lot of sketching or make work more intuitively?

All of the work I create comes from places I have experienced first-hand. I start by using photography as documentation and reference, then drawing and collage to explore composition and space, which then translates into paintings on panel. I pay attention to the differences between being in an actual physical space, experiencing a photograph of that place, and then finally creating, and experiencing that space through a form of rendered imagery such as painting or drawing.

Do your works often undergo a lot of changes before you consider them complete? How long does a piece take?

I have found that painting with oil on panel most successfully captures the concept of the work. It allows me to build passages of color through the use of mediums and thin transparent layering. Through this process, a sense of internal light emerges from the work. Changes occur throughout the act of making, and painting in this way can take weeks, working in layers and accounting for drying times. I consider a painting complete when the space is compelling, and asks the viewer to enter into it through the depths of light and dark within the subtle differences in tone and value.

Are there any exciting exhibitions, projects, or collaborations going on this year that you’re currently working on or will be soon?

I am showing work in the exhibition Collage, at Site:Brooklyn from June 14th - July 13th in Brooklyn, NY, as well as Paperworks, at b.j spoke gallery in Huntington, NY from August 1st - 28th in Huntington, NY. I will also be exhibiting work in the MFA Welcome Back Show at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY from September 16th - October 10th.

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Brandon C. Smith
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Brandon C. Smith is an artist who works in a variety of media and subject matter including recent political paintings and sculpture depicting the outrage of contemporary American society.

Smith has presented work in over 70 solo and group exhibitions nationwide.  Solo exhibitions include Illinois Central College in Peoria (IL), Chadron State College in Chadron (NE),  Heike Pickett Gallery (KY), University of Redlands (CA), Southern Oregon University (OR), Berea College (KY), Pittsburg State University (KS), Perry Nicole Fine Art (TN), Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center (KY), Tennessee Tech University (TN), Georgetown College, Georgetown (KY), Pedro Moncayo Foundation (Ibarra Ecuador) with upcoming shows in Frostburg State University, Frostburg (MD) and Fontbonne University in St. Louis (MO).

Smith has been included in two-person and group exhibitions nationwide, most recently at the UK Art Museum’s exhibition “Frankensteinian,” “Contemporary Sculpture” exhibition at Site: Brooklyn and “A Contemporary Drawing Show” in Kokomo Indiana.  Group exhibition include San Joaquin Delta College (CA), Perry Nicole Fine Art (TN), Seminole Community College (FL), the Chazen Museum of Art (WI), Heike Pickett Gallery (KY), Perry Nicole Fine Art (KY), Bennett St. Gallery (GA), Amy Baber Fine Art (LA), The State University of New York (NY) among others.   

As part of the Smith Townsend Collaborative, Smith has presented exhibitions at the Sculpture Center in Cleveland (OH), Murray State University (KY), Miami University (OH), New Harmony Gallery of Contemporary Art (IN) Pellissippi State College Knoxville (TN) and most recently a Merit award recipient at Art Fields in Lake City S.C.

Brandon C. Smith earned a Bachelors of Arts degree from Eastern Kentucky University (KY) in 2000, and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Cincinnati (OH) in 2004. He was a recipient of the Al Smith Kentucky Individual Artist Grant and two-time recipient of a Great Meadows Individual Artist Grant. Smith is a Senior Lecturer of Art at the University of Kentucky and lives on a farm in Salvisa KY.   

Statement 

These works speak directly to the current political/social climate in the United States. Somewhere between elation and despair, our country seems to be moving toward tribal bifurcation. Passionate participation manifests as outrage and tumultuous emotional expression. The yelling and screaming figures found in these works have references in recent political rallies, concert attendees and moments of boiling anxiety. 

These works are also about painting and the language of paint. The space is simultaneously rendered and flat, while the paint runs and drips in layers of thin and thick paint. Through these works, I explore the space between beauty and the expectations of beauty with the unsettling transition into visual chaos. Sometimes beautiful and sometimes grotesque, these works speak to the emotional state of political and social extremism through the physicality of paint.

www.brandoncsmith.com

Rebecka Skog
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Born in Sweden, Stockholm in 1986.

She likes to travel, discover other cultures and fixation by all the colors found in culinary dishes, in music, and in any artistic discipline.

Rebecka has exhibited in different European cities, (London, Madrid, Barcelona, Vienna) and publications in magazines such as Elle, Cosmopolitan and Marie Claire.

She is currently living between the Canary Islands and Copenhagen working on different projects.

www.rebeckaskog.com

Crystal Latimer
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Crystal is currently a full-time painter based out of Pittsburgh, PA. She is represented by BoxHeart Gallery and Studio Director at Radiant Hall Susquehanna. Crystal completed her BFA Slippery Rock University. She then went to receive an MA and MFA from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2013 and 2016, respectively.

Crystal's work has been shown extensively in both solo and group exhibitions, including at the Pittsburgh International Airport, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Chautauqua Institution, The Mine Factory, George Washington University, and Framehouse and Jask among others. She has shown her work in Hong Kong, China, as well as participated in a residency at the Joaquin Chaverri Fabrica de Carretas in Sarchi, Costa Rica. Crystal's work has been featured in Local Arts PGH, Art Maze Magazine, Ruminate Magazine, and Fresh Paint Magazine. Her work is included in both public and private collections including those of Indiana State University of Pennsylvania, PNC Corporate, the Benter Foundation, and Wyndham Tryp.

Statement

I stood at a Wal-Mart in Escazu, Costa Rica, and felt like I was experiencing that moment in late autumn when you realize that all the fiery reds and oranges had faded and fallen to the ground. My life had been a staccato of visits to my mother’s native Costa Rica and, in that second, I realized that I was witnessing the dilution of the vibrant culture.

My paintings explore the hybridity of Western and Latin American identity. For me, understanding identity, and its existence within a historical context does not assume a position in words, but in shape. Embedded in my compositions is Latin American culture: its intricate folk arts, tropical flora, and warm hues; while graffiti tags, bold mark making, and images of conquest interrupt this patchwork of shape and color. Patterns, both traditional and commercial, are fragmented and pieced together. Colors infused with Latin flavor are diluted by a ubiquitous white. Organic, blooming forms are contrasted by flat or rigid fields. My paintings use the tools of paint and brush to consider the colonization of Latin America, and its continuing role as “colony” in Western society. Without taking a political stance, I aim to draw attention to the visual tapestries and unknown histories of this underrepresented area.

www.crystallatimer.com


It's Not Luck (& Other Reasons Why Creatives Need to be More Vocal About Their Accomplishments)
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You’ve been accepted to a juried show, received a prestigious award, had an incredible review written about your work, or made a major sale. Congrats! It’s one of the best feelings in the world to know that others are supporting what you do. So why are we often hesitant to share the joy that we’re experiencing? Perhaps you’re shy and don’t want a lot of extra attention or think that going on about your accomplishments is boastful. While there is certainly a line between updating your community with exciting things that are happening and oversharing, there are a few key reasons why creatives, and especially women artists, need to be more vocal about their achievements.

I’m sure many of us have fallen into the trap of brushing away compliments. Rather than thanking someone for congratulating us on selling a painting or landing a gallery to represent our work, we’ll come up with an excuse to make the accomplishment sound like less than it is. “Oh, I got lucky” or “It’s not really a big deal” you might say, but that’s not true! Too many of us operate under the strange, outdated notion that it is more polite to negate a compliment than accept it. Even if the circumstances surrounding a particular moment of success seem serendipitous, you likely played an active role in making it happen for yourself. You made great work that was recognized by the juror (or curator, gallery, collector, etc) and you put yourself out there by applying to the opportunity or perhaps through networking and being active online. So stop giving anyone or anything else the credit. It’s not luck, it’s you.

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Always remember that it is important for your peers to know about your achievements. Why? Because you never know who can introduce you to your next, big opportunity and it may only take one new connection to catapult your career to the next level. Success in the arts often occurs like a domino effect, where one person will find your work and from that perhaps another will share it, and then another, and it keeps going from there. It’s almost as if the tastemakers in the industry have ‘FOMO’ and if one magazine or curator is featuring a certain artist, then others feel they should be too. Yes, they want to try and find the ‘next big name’ first, but once one influencer has identified a great new talent, others often follow soon after. You can help this process along for yourself by making sure that your community knows when you’ve been featured in a magazine or exhibition so that they can help share it too and potentially build buzz and momentum.

Making others aware of recent accomplishments also helps with name recognition. I’ll share a story here to help illustrate about a friend who recently went to an awards ceremony in the advertising industry. When his team was honored with their first trophy of the evening, he opted not to join the group onstage and when his colleagues asked why, he cited the same feelings of not needing the attention or wanting to look too proud. But then he realized, it’s not just an opportunity to celebrate with his team, it’s a chance for everyone else in the room to see that they produce high quality work for their clients. If you see the same person going up to accept multiple awards, then you’ll start to remember them and likely associate that person with being great at what they do (and maybe want to work with them in the future!). Therefore, try not to be shy about sharing that you’ve won awards or been given other important recognition. You should want your personal and especially your professional contacts to remember you for all of the great things you’ve done!

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Most importantly, however, you need to be vocalizing your successes because if you don’t then nobody will know about them. It sounds obvious that you need to be your biggest cheerleader, but we often don’t fully realize the consequences of not sharing good news. I once had a boss who started giving me fewer shifts than my two other peers. Confused, I confronted her about what I might be doing wrong or what I could be doing better. She didn’t have anything negative to say. Instead, she simply told me that the other two girls spoke up more often about the projects they were completing on a daily basis or the sales they had made and I didn’t. I was so surprised to hear that I wasn’t actually doing anything wrong. Even though I was selling just as much (or more!), keeping up with all of my work, and often staying late to do a little extra cleaning or to take on additional tasks, this one thing was holding me back.

I also read an article around that time which stated that believing you’ll get recognized just from keeping your head down and working hard unfortunately isn’t true and it’s women who tend to suffer the most from this misconception. With that in mind, it made more sense. As my employer usually worked from home rather than in the office, how was she supposed to differentiate my sales and projects from what the other girls were doing if I didn’t tell her specifically? So now, even if I still sometimes feel a bit reserved about ‘tooting my own horn’, I try to think of it as an integral part of promoting myself and push myself to do it in order to keep my career moving forward instead of stuck in the same place.

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Finally, even though it might feel a bit awkward at first, it’s very likely that your artist community really wants to celebrate your successes with you. There will always be negative people and those who struggle with jealousy, but your core support group will stand by your side. Just like they will be there for you when you’ve been rejected or are having a slow period, they also want to be a part of your high moments, especially if you’re going to pop that champagne ;) Cheers!

Of course, none of this is to say that there aren’t instances where a bit of good fortune plays a part in our lives. Some people have parents or other role models who supported their careers while some don’t and certain cities or countries provide more opportunities for working artists than others. Instead of focusing on things that can’t be changed, however, remember that there are so many examples of people who have overcome difficult circumstances and achieved success anyway, despite their obstacles or limited resources. This is about cherishing exactly those people and those moments. I’ll bet you can think of several examples of when you had to ‘make it work’ too. Be proud of those efforts, show how grateful you are for what you have, and perhaps even try to pay it forward to other artists you know who may need help or guidance.

We all go through highs and lows and it’s a powerful thing that more artists and people in general are being authentic about when they’re not having their best day. We don’t always need to see perfect lattes and curated travel photos. But part of being real is sharing when good things happen too, even when they are little victories. If you’re starting out, having a small show at a local cafe or selling your first work are totally worthy and incredible accomplishments. Share them! Not because it’s bragging or trying to make others think that you’re this great, successful artist (you already are one and don’t need anyone else’s opinion to prove it). Rather, it’s the chance for you to share something that you’re genuinely proud of and that excites you, which your followers and those who support your work will truly appreciate and celebrate too!

-Alicia
alicia@createmagazine.com
@puigypics

Mother and Daughter, Lot Brandt and Sophie Holt, Ceramic Artists
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Interview with Sophie Holt by Alicia Puig

Mother and daughter, second and third generation ceramic artists, are collaborating for the first time.

Our genes, our treasure, our commitment results in a sculptural collection called ‘SoLo’ Lot, who lives in The Netherlands, came to visit her daughter in Motueka, New Zealand for nine months. And those nine months they have been working together, almost every day, on a collection of sculptures.

I love clay. It is a pure and honest material. People used it centuries before me. When I see work created by long lost civilizations, sometimes thousands of years old, I feel connected, and amazed…the tendency to tell your story through a hunk of clay is so ancient.

Egbert Brandt taught me to be a ceramist. From 1981 to 1985 I attended the evening academy in Utrecht; modern oil painting techniques, anatomy, and portrait drawing. The urge to transform experiences into ceramic forms, my creative energy, for me, it is innate. To listen to my passion and act upon it, to continuously evolve, are my rewards.

It is beautiful and intense that my hands make that what I take in from the world around me and in me. Because I work from a space where words do not exist, it is difficult to find the right ones to accompany my work. 

It is wonderful when someone comes by and identifies. While you do not know one another, it suddenly creates an intimate connection. I once read; you are the connections that you make. This always remained with me. And in those moments, I feel it is true. 

Sophie has watched me work on the kitchen table from the age of 2, and it is very special to have been working together as mother and daughter each our person but together one, SoLo.

www.instagram.com/studiosoph

www.lotbrandt.nl

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How did you first become interested in art, and can you explain a bit of how it led you to the work you create today?

S: I come from an artistic family. I have always been surrounded by art. My mother often took me to galleries and lucky for me, there are a lot of them in The Netherlands, where I grew up. What I love about art is that you can be free of what it means to you; the emotions you feel might not be the same as what someone else gets from the same piece.

I now live in New Zealand, the country where I was born, but I grew up in Utrecht, The Netherlands. Last year my mum came over for nine months so we could work together for the very first time. She taught me new techniques, and together we created 17 sculptures.

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We love that your illustrations and ceramics are so colorful and fun. Can you tell us about what inspires you?

S: I always find that a difficult question to answer. I think because I’m not very good with words and expressing myself verbally I like to do this visually. So everything that happens around/inside me, the good and the bad, I use as inspiration.

Can you talk about some of your favorite works, and what makes them special to you?

S: What I loved about making these big sculptures is that they take a very long time to make. That feeling when you open your kiln and everything is still in one piece- is one of the best feelings you can get. It was a new experience for me.

And what makes the sculptures even more special is that it was a collaboration with my mother, creating together in one room for those months was very special. I hope there will be a lot more of that in the future.

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Describe your current studio or creative space. What is most important about it or one thing that you definitely need in your work area?

S: At the moment I am working in the extra bedroom of my house.

What I need is good light, a good seat, and a table. And I work best listening to podcasts or have a documentary going in the background. I’ve always been like that, even in high school, I was always drawing while the teachers were talking to the class.

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What one piece of creative or business advice would you give to your younger self?

Don’t undersell yourself. And to my creative younger self- don’t freak out if you have a creative block. It will come back eventually.

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Do you have any big collaborations, projects, exhibitions, etc. going on during the rest of the year that you'd like to share?

We will exhibit all the sculptures we made at the Quiet Dog Gallery in Nelson, New Zealand. This will happen very soon- this coming July!

Genevieve Cohn
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Genevieve Cohn was born and raised in rural Vermont before attending Ithaca College for her undergraduate degree in Art and Culture & Communication. She received her MFA in Painting from Indiana University and was awarded the Future Faculty Teaching Fellowship following her graduate studies. Genevieve has shown nationally with works shown at ARC Gallery in Chicago and The Painting Center and Pace University in New York City. Genevieve has been an artist-in-residence at The Vermont Studio Center, The Ragdale Foundation, and AiRGentum in Seville, Spain.

Statement

My paintings walk a line between the real world and a world shaped by emotional perceptions. My practice and research focus on projecting possible communities of women by drawing from both a historical and imaginative past, present and future. In an age where the role of women continues to be examined, I am interested in challenging tradition to champion the full humanity and nurturing rationality of successful communities of women. I utilize imagery and ideology from the Women's Land Army and female separatist groups, as well as inspiration from literature and contemporary culture.

www.genevievecohn.com

 

Solo Exhibition by Artist Danielle Krysa at Mayberry Fine Art
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By Ekaterina Popova

Artist Danielle Krysa has been busy in the studio this year, and it shows. I have always been a fan of her collage work, but most recently she took her studio practice on a whole other level and released a solo exhibition filled with large scale paintings and mixed media pieces that will inspire you, take your breath away and even make you laugh.

Danielle's work is on view at Mayberry Fine Art from June 1 - June 28, 2019. To purchase or inquire about available work visit www.mayberryfineart.com or email toronto@mayberryfineart.com

Danielle's Statement:

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There are, and always have been, a ridiculous number of stories in my head - stories I tell myself, stories I share out loud, and stories that become my mixed media collages. My most recent work takes those narratives a little further, inviting the viewer into my mind. There are messes and moments of pure joy that exist in an ‘artist’s chaotic and abstract world. There are also quiet white spaces – completely void of ideas – but then somehow, someway the creative machine starts churning again. A juicy stroke of paint in the perfect hue, or just the right found image and, voila, joy is restored! These artworks are a glimpse into the never-ending treasure hunt that goes on in my head – a combination of humor, personal thoughts, rich textures, found images and vibrant color.
— Danielle Krysa

Danielle is the writer behind the contemporary art site, The Jealous Curator, and the author of "Creative Block", "Collage", "Your Inner Critic Is A Big Jerk" and "A Big Important Art Book". Her work is in private collections in Canada, The United States and Europe. She has a BFA in Visual Arts, and a post-grad in graphic design and lives with her family in British Columbia.

Complexity Through Minimal Expression: Interview with Yihong Hsu
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Yihong Hsu has an interesting multi-cultural background. She was born in Seoul, Korea as 3rd generation Chinese immigrants. She received American education since elementary school to college. She now lives permanently in Hong Kong.

 Yihong Hsu received her Bachelor of Art in Graphic Design at  Maryland Institute, College of Art, USA and later received her Master in Arts, Design Management, at International Design Advanced Studies Hongik University in Seoul, Korea.  

Her multi-national and cultural background lead her to have a successful career in design and branding industry for 18 years.

In 2018, she had a first break through as an artist, by being commissioned to do an art installation of 10 meter wide giant Panda and 7 meters tall Camellia tree - LOVE.FOUND. in Chongqing IFS mall (with co-artist Simone Carena of Italy). Ever since, she has found a new passion in contemporary art and have been painting for the past year. 

Artist Statement

Seed Series

The “Seed Series” was developed as a personal interpretation of nature and carries a deeper meaning of how that relates to us - humans. Flowers are portrayed as carriers of the seeds. All flowers carry female and male parts and thus self-reproductive. It is in all nature of things, a desire to reproduce and seeds are the beginning of that. My paintings are the exploration of seeds, seeds journey. Every seed will carry its own path, it may fall out sometime, it will one day be received, and it will grow.

Ball Series

Circles (balls) are very intriguing. They create movement and tension in the space and create odd spaces around them. They are so simple yet so powerful and I find myself using circles (balls) to interpret life, my own encounters, experiences, and emotion. Using the most minimal expression to interpret some complicated thoughts.

Interview by Alicia Puig

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How did you first become interested in art, and can you explain a bit of how it led you to the work you create today? 

I was a graphic designer for 18 years working in branding and advertising agencies. During those years, I always felt like there was an artist in every designer.

However, designers are very restricted, as they also have to be sensitive to the project's objectives, client's needs, market trends, etc. I was longing for freedom to express myself the way I wanted to and about things I was interested in. In 2018, I was lucky to be commissioned to do an art installation piece in Chongqing, China. A 10-meter long chrome finishing panda lying on top of Chongqing IFS shopping mall complex - named LOVE.FOUND. (co-artist Simone Carena) and a 7-meter tall metal-chrome camellia tree. During the project, which lasted one year, I did a lot of research on flowers and how to express them. I sketched a lot of camellias and ways to make it more interesting. It is during this time that I fell in love with flowers and nature and decided to quit my 18 years of career in advertising and start the journey of depicting flowers and nature. I have been painting ever since and find it very therapeutic and self-satisfying. 

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We love that some of your work is minimalist while other pieces have more complex layering and patterns. Can you tell us about what inspires you? 

It was a long train of thought and curiosity that led to these two very different types of paintings. I personally called them the "seed series" and "ball series." As I started to dig into and experimenting with different ways of expressing flowers, I became more curious about the anatomy of the flower. Something not everyone draws about when they draw beautiful outskirt of flowers. What I learned from the biological anatomy diagrams of flowers was that all flowers carry female and male parts and what I thought were the seeds of flowers were only pollens and that the seeds are carried deep inside the ovary and ovule. This was very intriguingand interesting to me, and it inspired me to start painting flowers always emphasizing on the seeds that they carry. I also started to imagine them all around us in nature, how they strive to survive and get transferred to other flowers, and so on. To me, it somehow reflects human life and what we go through in life. For the "ball series," it began when I started to draw a lot of circles for the "seed series." It was very fun and interesting to me how circles affect the space around it. It gives a sense of motion even in a still 2-dimensional space. It is a perfect round-edge shape but provides oddness. I was inspired to just use circles (balls) and the most minimal expression to depict this tension. When I want to tell a very complicated story and put a title to the "ball series" pieces, it makes perfect sense!

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What is your process like? Do you do a lot of sketching or make work more intuitively? 

I do a few sketches before just to make sure what is already in my head looks okay on flat surface. 

Describe your current studio or creative space. What is most important about it or one thing that you definitely need in your work area?

My creative space is an extra room at my place that I transformed into my workspace. There is no most important "thing" for me. I just need absolute silence and natural sunlight. I love my big window. 

What is your favorite thing about being an artist? That I can transform my thoughts and feelings into art. I don't need to organize my thoughts into PowerPoint slides and excel sheets and use fancy words to write about it. I just draw them. I feel free!

Studio Sunday: Huy Lam
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We hope that you’re enjoying your weekend! Here’s a new Studio Sunday feature with Huy Lam, who was selected for issue 15 and is also one of the invited artists for PxP Contemporary’s first exhibition! Read on to learn more about his work and process, then don’t forget to check out his available sculptures in “Pilot”.

Huy Lam is a multi-disciplinary artist. He was an aspiring painter when he was young but fell in love with photography when he was introduced to the darkroom in high school. After graduating from the Humber College Photography Program, he spent several years working as an assistant and traveled around the world honing his skills while shooting personal projects. Huy then worked as a professional photographer for over a decade in commercial advertising and has recently started to explore other creative outlets along with his photography work. Some of this includes his original love for painting and drawing, but his new passion is working with wood, for its natural, diverse, and malleable qualities. With the focus on employing reclaimed or recycled materials, his work includes custom furniture, lighting, and sculptures.

Statement

Touching the Void

The unexpected intersections of our lives have always fascinated me, how our disparate trajectories collide and create causal shockwaves across time and space. Although linearity exists neither in life nor in nature, the human mind nonetheless attempts to impose perfection upon an imperfect world. This series of wood sculptures with metal inlays explores that paradoxical impulse, as stark lines penetrate the natural flow of wood grain in an attempt to bring order to a random milieu. Just as I have carved out these paths in wood, collectively we strive to make our mark by blazing bright trails in a dark, dynamic universe. 

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How did you first become interested in art and can you explain a bit of how it led you to the work you create today?

I've been told by grade school friends that I use to draw pictures and give it to them as gifts. We immigrated to Canada when I was 9 years old and because I didn't know any english, I think I did this as a way to communicate and make friends. I've always wanted to be a painter and even took private oil painting classes with a tutor in my early teens but got into photography when my brother bought a camera. My passion for photography eventually led me to a career as a professional photographer, something I still do a little bit of today. But drawing and painting was always close and I've always had an interest in making things with my hands, whether that was diorama models or woodworking. The work I am doing today is a result of wanting to explore other ways to express ideas and using different materials like wood which is such a malleable and fun material to work with.

Describe your current studio or working area. What is most important about it or one thing that you definitely need in your creative space?

Like most major cities in NA where real estate and studio spaces are very expensive, my current studio is in my parents garage about an hours drive outside Toronto. It's working out really nicely because my parents are aging and this allows me to visit them more but most importantly, the act of preparing to go to the studio puts my mind and intentions into a creative space. That intention to create and enjoy the process is so fulfilling and that physical separation from city life means I have very little distractions. The result is usually very productive and when I am back in the city, I get inspired and work on ideas through drawing and doodling.

Tell us about the inspiration behind your work.

Besides what I mentioned before, I would also add, in terms of living everyday life, the process of having an idea or goal and going through the process of turning that idea into reality is pretty interesting. It seems like a linear line, a step by step process and sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn't but most of the time, it's rarely straight forward. It's a weird paradox because we do need some sort of direction but when does the planning become over thinking or procrastination? I think this back and forth is a moving target and we have to adjust our planning for each situation and so my work, the shiny lines are a metaphor of us trying to carve our way into a dynamic shifting world.

What is your process like?

My process is really about trying to bring my inspiration into practice. I do a lot of drawings and doodling and when I have a composition or idea I really like, I want to try and bring it into reality. By the time I get into the studio, I have a general direction as to what I want to create but I leave plenty of room for the process and I really try to enjoy the experience.

What one piece of creative or business advice would you give to your younger self?

This may sound funny because it doesn't really answer the question directly but my advice to my younger self is, when your dentist calls you for a check-up, call them back right away and make an appointment! It's really about dealing with things that needs attending to because avoiding the dentist does not make the situation better over time, ever! In fact it gets exponentially worse in the time spent, money wasted, the pain that could've been avoided and stress. And so I truly believe that by reducing and minimizing these "distractions" our creative juices will inevitably bubble up.

Anne Buckwalter

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Anne Buckwalter is a painter exploring female identity and the coexistence of contradictory 
elements. Inspired by the historic tradition of allegorical painting, her work arranges disparate objects and mysterious figures in ambiguous spaces. By imagining obscure narratives and embracing paradoxes, her practice examines how gender-related expectations are defined and disrupted. Anne has been an artist-in-residence at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Hewnoaks Artist Colony, and the Vermont Studio Center, and she received a Joan Mitchell Foundation Emerging Artist Grant in 2016. Her work has been exhibited in Boston, Montréal, Toronto, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, New York, and Rome, among other cities. She lives and works in Philadelphia, PA.

www.annebuckwalter.com