Posts in Art
Interview with Chris Kotsakis, Founder of Artistacon
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Chris lives in Southern New Jersey in the same house where he first discovered his passion for art after doing an extraordinary job drawing his favorite characters from Greek Mythology at age 5. His 27 year professional illustration/creative direction career has been influenced by his love of comic books and adventure heroes like Sherlock Holmes and Indiana Jones. Former collaborators have commended his professionalism and ability “to deliver superior work from concept to completion.”In a fully equipped studio, he utilizes various mediums combining traditional art techniques and digital technology.

Artistacon 2019 was founded by Chris and Janet Kotsakis after the first successful iteration of Artistacon 2016, founded by Enrico Botta, Chris Kotsakis, and Janet Kotsakis.

Artistacon is a conference for seasoned and aspiring artists celebrating the creative process and the mentorship of a new generation, it will be held in Philadelphia, PA on March 22, 23, and 24, 2019. Hosted by Moore College Of Art and Design.

This event promises to be a unique and intimate engagement featuring well-known Guests of Honor and Featured Creators. They will be conducting workshops, educational symposia, portfolio reviews, demonstrations, and displays from featured guests, all willing to share their expertise with those looking to build and expand professional bridges or pursue a career in the Arts.

Join the cast, crew, and special guests for a weekend of creative growth and inspiration is one of the oldest and most culturally important cities in the United States. Level up your creative game and explore America's founding city.

WHEN/WHERE:

Friday, March 22, 2019 – Philadelphia Sketch Club: Meet and Greet , Drink And Draw

Saturday & Sunday, March 23-24, 2019– Moore College of Art & Design : Conference Venue

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Tell me about yourself and what you do. 

I’m a life-long artist myself, drawing since age 5. In 1992, I graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration from the University of The Arts in Philadelphia. Since then, I worked as a full-time freelance illustrator for many years, with diverse clients in all genres of illustration including advertising, editorial, and publishing. 

What inspired you to start Artistacon? Tell us about the event and why you decided to create it. 
My colleague and I were guests of NY Comic Con’s Artist Alley in 2012, and while we were speaking to people, as we promoted our own art and product, we noticed we were getting just as many questions from people asking how to get into the Art field – how did we get work, where were the best resources for learning, etc. We decided to help people who are eager to learn, and Artistacon was founded. We held the first one in 2016 in The Lyceum in Burlington, NJ.  

What can attendees expect from Artistacon? What are some topics that will be covered by your guest speakers? 

We use the word “intimate” quite a bit when we speak about Artistacon. This is not a “con” with 5,000 people, this is an intimate educational experience where people who are either just beginning their journey into a career in the Arts or are interested in doing so can actually meet and speak with professionals who are experienced and successful in their respective fields. Attendees can get portfolio reviews, mentorship or advice from Art Directors, publishers, Fine Artists – you name it. We have worked hard to ensure there’s something for everyone, and that is evident in our programming. 

Our topics are geared to those exploring a career in the Arts. Many artists and writers have a great deal of talent, and they have to work to continue developing their craft. We will have workshops and panels from Fine Artists like Dave Palumbo, Neilson Carlin, and John Wellington, as well as writers, illustrators, and comic artists to help them continue that part of their process. But there’s a business side that many art professionals have to be knowledgeable about too, and we are providing information on subjects such as social media, self-promotion, what Art Directors are really looking for, self-publishing and many more. 

How do you choose your guests of honor and presenters? 

We are artists, too, and we know who we admire in the industry, and we aren’t shy about asking the best of the best to be a part of Artistacon. Most people we speak to jump at the chance to give back and share their wisdom. We also want to make that we have a diverse group of people with a variety of talents, from a variety of genres and disciplines to ensure that we are providing attendees with a great experience. I think we have accomplished that – we have 40+ presenters among our Guests of Honor, Featured Artisans, and panel participants. 

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What is your favorite quote or mantra that helps you on your creative journey? 

All ships rise with the tide. I support a lot of artists and am passionate about the importance of the Arts, whether as a field of study, career or simply as a hobby. It has fed my soul throughout my life, and I see what it does for others who share their talents. We as an industry need to be there for each other, support each other, teach each other and ultimately, mentor the next generation by sharing what we’ve learned along the way. When we work together, all of us will succeed.

What are you most excited about in regards to your event? 

Personally, I am excited about seeing many of my friends in the industry, and, in turn, watching as they share their experience and expertise with the attendees. I recharge being in an environment with other people who are as passionate about art as I am. My team and I have been working on this event for two years, and we are excited about seeing the attendees learning, networking and collaborating with our guests and presenters. Having it all come to life.

Any tips for creatives inspire to create their own conference or event? 

Don’t be afraid to try. Introduce yourself, ask the hard questions – you never know what will come of it if you just take the chance.

Learn more about the presenters

Saskia Fleishman
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Saskia Fleishman b. 1995 graduated Rhode Island School of Design in 2017 with a BFA in painting. Fleishman is based in Brooklyn, NYC. Recent residencies include Vermont Studio Center, Trestle Art Space, and The Otis Emerging Curator Retreat.

Curious about curating other artists’ work, as well as exhibiting her own, Saskia continues to collaborate with peers around the greater New York area. In addition, Fleishman has exhibited her work in Miami, Providence, Rome, San Juan, and Milwaukee.

Statement

This series of paintings is generated through photographs of American landscape taken on recent vacations and images sourced from my family’s collection. These photographs are then composed as geometric abstractions, op-art, or color studies from  ”The Interaction Of Color” by Joseph Albers, in order to deconstruct, reflect upon, and rebuild early memory and perception. I pair flat, smooth, hard-edge paint applications aesthetic with textural materials such as sand, resin, and paper clay, to add unexpected dimension and reflection. The paintings explore nostalgia while contemplating moments in time, perception, and our relationship to memories embedded in landscapes.

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Sell and Market Your Work in 5 Simple Steps

By Ekaterina Popova

When I first committed to my art career, there was a lot of mystery and confusion about how to make sales as an artist. I waited for a gallery to do it for me and truly thought I didn’t have the permission to do it on my own. In fact, I didn’t even think it was possible to sell paintings directly. I was miserable, waiting for some magical opportunity or an art dealer to come knocking on my door.

As you can imagine, no one ever came and I had to figure it out on my own. Through a series of life lessons, investing in additional education and personal development, I discovered that I do not have to wait for anyone to make me qualified to promote my own art. Regardless of whether I have a gallery or not, people may be interested in collecting my work.

As scary as it was putting myself out there, I learned a few simple things about what it takes to make direct sales to collectors online and through exhibitions. Even though I work with a gallery now, I still use these tools to support myself and advance my art career.

When I was just starting out, I truly believed that having an art gallery would eliminate my struggles and somehow would outsource all the sales and marketing for me. I imagined that having a gallery would allow me to paint in a far away cabin in the woods and never have to worry about any other part of my art career. This is far from the truth, but that’s definitely not a bad thing. Over the years of doing it solo, I took back a lot of power and independence when it comes to selling my art, and this has relieved a lot of the pressure of finding a gallery to represent my work. Even if things don’t work out with a gallery, I know I have what it takes to do it on my own.

Working with a gallery has been wonderful so far, but I think part of why this is the case is having the understanding and respect for what they do and how they can potentially elevate my image. I also love to approach galleries as a partnership instead of expecting them to “do something for me” and continue to market and push my work to help sales. This creates a healthy relationship and multiplies the efforts, so both parties win! So don’t be like the past me and think of it as “giving up” if it is your ultimate dream to be represented by a great gallery. You can still work toward that goal and market your work until that happens. Chances are, you are much more likely to get noticed if you are putting yourself out there and sending a message to the world that you are ready to be seen and your art is for sale.

Here are five tips that transformed my mindset around selling and promoting my art. Stop waiting for permission and come up with a plan to inspire new collectors and make some sales:

1. People want to buy art. Help them!

A simple trick that changed everything for me is actually announcing that work is for sale. This is silly, and I write and talk about this all the time, but often when it comes to online marketing you need to nudge your potential collector in the right direction.

Create an album on Facebook that says “available work” and send a newsletter announcing any new collections, limited edition prints or work you recently got back from a show! Be excited and give your audience a way to contact you. Be sure to only post work for sale that you are TRULY proud of. If something in your gut tells you that are not quite there yet, and need to polish up your skills, don’t rush in. Take the time you need to develop a strong body of work and then start selling with confidence.

A caption such as “work available for sale, dm or email for details” or something along those lines makes a huge difference! This is obvious, but if you are represented by a gallery and only sell work through them, direct your buyer towards the gallery and you both win! Remember that people want to buy art and you are not being annoying by giving them that joy. People shop for expensive shoes, purses, and cars. Art brings a lot more meaningful pleasure to a collector than a lot of any other items might. Don’t deprive a potential collector!

2. You are the CEO of your art career. Invest in your business!

Creating a small budget to pay for affordable advertisements on Facebook and Instagram ($10-$50) per post is a fabulous way to push out your work to new collectors that are not in your immediate network. Invest a few dollars each month to grow your audience through ads, reputable Instagram shoutouts, and other creative ways of advertising to get great results. Do a little research on ads and how to find your target audience by doing a quick Google search. Instagram has an “automatic” audience feature to explore as well.

Other ways to invest into your are career include taking additional workshops (both art and business or anything else you want to gain skills in), applying to juried exhibitions and publications, reading educational literature, and of course, using any free resources online. You have to be willing to trust in your dream and invest in your future. This also sends a message to the world that you are serious about your art career. It doesn’t have to cost a lot, but don’t skimp on developing your future!

3. Have a commerce platform ready before you announce your sale.

Whether it’s selling on Etsy, getting paid via PayPal directly, having an e-commerce platform such as Shopify or a page on Squarespace, make sure you set up your shop and test it out for seamless customer experience. If you are shipping originals, your shop structure will be very simple. Just make sure you calculate your shipping cost both domestic and international. Invest into a simple scale (you can get one for under $30 on Amazon), order shipping supplies in bulk to save money and pass on the shipping cost to your buyer, especially if it’s a larger work. I offer free shipping on small works and works on paper. If you are stuck on how to pack artwork, check out this article on Saatchi that I frequently use as a guide for my own shipments. Pricing your art can be challenging, but you just have to get started and stay consistent. Look around at local galleries that show artists at your career level and get an idea for what your type of work is sold for. Just pick a number for each size of work based on the material you create and stick to that price consistently for at least a year.

4. Be great to work with.

Whether you are represented by a gallery or not, be a great person to work with. Offer payment plans to potential clients who may not be able to pay full price right away, be courteous, and respond to messages or questions. I think being a great partner to your gallery can multiply your success, but even if you are on your own, your collector will remember you and will be more likely to add more pieces to their collection in the future. I consider this a win-win, because if they loved buying from you - they will recommend you to a friend and do the marketing for you.

I remember even during my first few art sales, I got a compliment from an older gentleman collector who happened to be a lawyer. He told me how impressed he was with my professionalism, quick replies, and having a seamless sales process. Mind you, this was in 2012 where I was using a simple e-mail invoice and he was sending me a paper check. Do the best you can with what you have and it will pay off!

5. Fix your mindset around marketing and selling.

A lot of us learned to associate selling with sleazy and pushy businessmen portrayed as villains in Hollywood films. This can obviously be the case, but when it comes to your approach to selling and promoting yourself, you can truly make it your own. People will only respond to you if you are true to your work and yourself and develop a way of sharing what you create that works for you and FEELS GOOD. Don’t try to use marketing techniques that feel weird or inauthentic. Share your story and be excited about a work of art that makes you proud. Buying and collecting art is an intimate and personal process. Be confident, follow up, but don’t be offended or take things personally if they don’t go the way you hoped. Like any relationship, you are looking for a good fit, and you want both you and the buyer to be happy with the outcome.

As you continue to grow and develop your craft, your audience and circle of collectors will grow. Sometimes it takes years to get there, and that is ok. I don’t know about you, but I would rather have someone truly LOVE the piece they get from me than be pressured into purchase something they aren’t 100% excited about.

Marketing and sales are amazing as long as you learn ways to make them fun and deeply fulfilling experiences for yourself.

Remember that your priority will always be in the studio. Making art comes first, but it’s a really amazing time to use marketing to take your power back and enjoy the freedom of being an artist without having to ask anyone’s permission or approval.

Cheers!

P.S. if you are just starting out and need some basic art career tips like applying to galleries and marketing on Instagram Alicia Puig and I recently wrote a book called The Smartist Guide which can help!

Tiny Room For Elephants Festival in Philadelphia | April 19th-21st
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After speaking with the organizers, Create! Magazine is thrilled to be supporting TRFE and their upcoming event in April! Learn more about this exciting festival in Philadelphia that combines art, music and more below.

Tiny Room for Elephants Festival (#TRFE19) is a month long, collaborative, multi genre art and music experience, held throughout the month of April at Cherry Street Pier.  It is a living art ‘gallery’ that incorporates styles and mediums of 25+ Philadelphia artists painting/installing live from April 8th-April 17th. The finished works are celebrated on April 19th, April 20th and April 21st with live music, djs/producers, panels and interactive elements. 

The organizers, Dame & YaYa

The organizers, Dame & YaYa

The schedule of events is as follows:

Opening Exhibition 

Date: Friday, April 19, 2019

Time: 6:00pm-10pm

Fun Stuff:  Standing Room Only, A Wearable Art Show

Sounds: Camp Candle, Club Crusades, Eric Boss, Johnny Popcorn, Joshua Lang

Music Series

Date: Saturday, April 20, 2019

Time: 9:00am-9:00pm

Fun stuff:   Day Breaker (Tickets sold separately) "1000 Ways to Make It", panel moderated by Cosmo Baker; Live screen printing w/ Do It Now; Sticker Make & Take (Sticker Stampede); DIY Donut Station w/ Federal Donuts

Sounds: Aime, Cierra, Drew Mills, Emynd, Eric Boss, Expo, Femi, Jabair, John Morrison, Kayin x Sylo, Killiam Shakespeare, Kingsley Ibeneche, Mellowbastard, Pierson, Rover Rover, Shane tha Great, Suzanne Sheer, Tha Riva, The Bul Bey

Family Fun Day

Date: Sunday, April 21, 2019

Time: 12:00pm-6:00pm

Fun Stuff:  Easter Egg Hunt, World's Largest Kid's Sip n' Paint (tickets sold seperately), Sticker Make & Take (Sticker Stampede)

Sounds: Lee Jones & Friends

Sponsored in part by: YARDSPhiladelphia Weekly, HabithequeDo It Now T ShirtsFederal Donuts, Joe Werner ProductionsBlickTru WaveThe ParlorBeauMonde OriginalsChampionDWRC

Annie Scull
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Annie Scull is currently studying photography at the Southeast Center for Photographic Studies in Daytona Beach, Florida. She has been in love with the medium from a young age, and has always seeked visual imagery for allegory.

The body of work submitted for this contest depicts the relationship of societal standards which are shrouded on woman’s identity. The feminine imagery suggests the role of women, whereas the cloth represents her restraints granted by society, as she deters from the past.

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Lucie Duban
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Based in Marseille, France, contemporary painter Lucie Duban deals with the unseen, astral plane of existence and the common bond by shared by every living being on the planet earth. Pulling influence from her studies of quantum physics and cosmology theory, she transports views into a dreamy, meditative realm of vibrant hues and translucent shapes interspersed across an unresolved oblivion. Each scene depicts the intimate connections shared between individuals that give way to all energy and light, as opposed to the materialistic, tech-obsessed world of tangible conveniences we immerse ourselves in today. In all, her work gives form to what she views as “a mandatory revolution of the collective consciousness” and “a quest for shamanism”. Throwing cynicism to the wind, she presents a beautiful re-interpretation of human existence on planet earth, guided by dream, escapism, and idealism, divorced from the tangled web of excessive commodification our modern societies choreograph themselves around.

Text by Nathalie Levey

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Charlotte Brisland
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Throughout her career, Brisland has used the snapshot to record the landscapes she has lived in, often for months and years, yet sometimes they are made within a fraction of a second on a train or in a car. Fragments of these snapshots are collaged in the studio to retain an essential element of fiction. At once part of the displacement the Artist feels in the world, the spaces become overlapped by past and present. There is a sense of performative storytelling within the painterly description of the image as broad brushwork structures scenes that echo genres within the painting tradition and create a majestic tension that transcends the figurative content. A single building in space, lit from without and concealing what is within is no literal object in this work. What is hidden remains so; nothing and nobody emerges. The scenes promise human presence and permanently banishes it. Familiarity is omnipresent while the absence of so many possible elements is comparable to a stage, paused and vacant.

Charlotte Brisland graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2004 and has exhibited in London, New York, Japan, and Berlin.

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PxP Contemporary: Sell Your Work Through a New Gallery and Online Platform

Sell Your Work Through a New Gallery and Online Platform

PxP Contemporary is pleased to announce an open call for emerging artists looking to sell work via a new online gallery and curatorial platform, launching in 2019. 

Working with Create! Magazine over the years has introduced co-founders Alicia Puig and Ekaterina Popova to incredible artists and collectors alike, and we are thrilled to be connecting the two through PxP Contemporary. Our gallery will feature rotating exhibitions along with themed collections and we are planning additional curated projects as well as art fairs for the future. Initially, we will be seeking to represent a small group of approximately ten artists. These artists’ works will be promoted during the launch of our first group show and then regularly via our website, email newsletters, solo or group exhibitions, and social media channels.

Information and eligibility 

  • Artists 18+ working in any medium are welcome to submit work that is currently available for sale and is priced between $100-$2000 retail value. 

  • A fine art degree is not required to participate in our open call. 

  • Please only enter artworks that are not reserved by any other gallery or booked for exhibitions within a six month period. If work is selected by our curatorial team, artists will be contacted for additional information, images and also be asked to sign a contract. 

  • Gallery artists should prepare quality photographs of each work that will be featured on our website, including images of the sides and details, in order for potential buyers to have a complete visual representation of your piece. 

  • On any works sold via our platform, the gallery will charge a 30% commission and the artist will receive 70%. 

  • The buyer of the artwork will cover shipping costs based on a calculated formula of weight and the intended destination. 

  • Artists will then be responsible for properly packing the sold work according to our specific instructions and industry standards as well as taking it to a postal location. 

  • Artwork will be sold as is with no refunds (hence the emphasis on accurate, high-resolution images of your work) and artists will be paid promptly upon the buyer receiving the piece. 

  • All art will be insured when shipping to protect both parties. 

  • Works will be offered unframed unless it is a part of the piece or is requested by the buyer. In this case, we will coordinate the extra costs with the client. 

PLEASE PREPARE THE FOLLOWING FOR YOUR APPLICATION:

  • Artist Statement and Artist Biography 

  • Artist Resume

  • Up to ten (10) images of completed past artworks

  • Please submit only jpg files

  • Images should be no more than 5MB in file size

  • File Name: Images should be titled in the following manner: Last Name, First Name, a number corresponding to the image description sheet (For example: DoeJane01; DoeJane02; etc.)

  • Annotated Image List: Title of work, Dimensions, Medium, Year of Completion, Price

  • A non-refundable submission fee of $10 for up to ten images is required

 

We will continue to review applications on a rolling basis, but the deadline for the initial round of represented artists and the first group exhibition will be May 1, 2019.

 Thank you and we look forward to reviewing your work. Email questions to: alicia@createmagazine.com

Website coming soon: www.pxpcontemporary.com

Andrea Castro
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Andrea Castro is a visual artist from Spain with a thing for odd and unusual stories. She began taking art lessons when she was 14. Later she studied Fashion Design and discovered she would never befriend the sewing machine, so she ditched it and committed herself to full-time painting in 2015. In her recent series of work, Andrea paints all those strangers we spot at the street but never pay closer attention to, asking herself the most bizarre questions about those people. "How many times did I walk past a killer in my life?" Questions that lead to even more peculiar stories she makes up in her artwork. Her paintings are featured in several online and printed magazines and owned by collectors from all over the world.

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Artistacon 2019
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ARTISTACON 2019
MARCH 22–24, MOORE COLLEGE OF ART & DESIGN

Artistacon is the only art conference designed specifically to bring established artists together with emerging artists in an intimate gathering to celebrate the creative process and mentor a new generation. We pull back the curtain on the path of art as a career with workshops, educational symposia, portfolio reviews, demos, and displays from featured artists, illustrators and writers; all willing to share their expertise with those looking to build and expand professional networks or pursue a career in the arts. You’ll leave energized, inspired, and empowered!

A limited Registration Event

1.609.232.2645

info@artistacon.net

Guests of Honor

Lauren Panepinto
Mark Morales
Dani Hedlund
Neilson CarliN
Carl Potts
Chris Oatley
Dave Palumbo
John Sideriadis

Create! Magazine International Women’s Issue 2019

We are honored to highlight incredible female artists from our art community In our latest print edition.

We will be donating $1 from each magazine sale and subscriptions to National Museum of Women in the Arts.


Please allow 2-3 weeks for domestic delivery and 3-5 weeks internationally. 

(Ships after April 10, 2019)

200+ pages of interviews and features with established, mid-career and emerging contemporary female artists for you to discover and be inspired by! We are proud to celebrate women in our art community!

Order the new edition via the link below or visit the full site to subscribe.


Cover Artist

Naomi Okubo   

Artists Selected by The Create! MagazineArtists Selected by The Create! Magazine

 Yvette Arendt

Ciele Beau 

Charlotte Brisland 

Ivana Carman

Andrea Castro 

Hollie Chastain 

Natalie Ciccoricco 

Maggie Evans 

Camila Fernández 

Erin Fitzpatrick 

Saskia Fleishman 

Katherine 

Fraser 

Orit Fuchs 

Rachel Grobstein 

Lindsay Hall 

Chloe Hedden 

Daina Higgins Emma Hill 

Monica Ikegwu 

Christina Klein 

Julie Liger-belair 

Eliana Marinari 

Jelena Marjanovic 

Tracy Murrell 

Lauren Mycroft 

Carrie Pearce 

Loreal Prystaj 

Teklė Pužauskaitė

Simona Ruscheva 

Denise Sanabria 

Natalia Savinova 

Annie Scull 

Lauren Shaw

Jamie Bates Slone 

Shamona Stokes 

Jenni Stringleman 

Claire Sweitzer Hawkins 

Jessica Tenbusch 

Jennifer Terrell 

Patricia-lee Wilson

 

Interviews

 

Naomi Okubo

Charlotte Edey

Kayla Mahaffey

Nadia Waheed

Nicolle Cure

Olympia Antoniadis

Yvette Mayorga

 

Women Working in the Arts

 

Cassandra Fiorenza

Founder and CEO, Collective 131

 

Devon Turner

Arts Educator

 

Rebecca Moore 

Director, Somerville Manning Gallery

 

Olivia Jia,

Arts Writer & Painter, Hyperallergic | Title Magazine | Artblog

 

Zoe Zarember 

 Director, Tambaran2 Gallery 

Art New York 2019 Highlight Exhibitors

Soojin Choi
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Collage is very similar to poetry. Images are used like words of a poem that transcend their original usage and form creative, imaginative, but not universal mediums of interpretation. Poets sculpt words and structure them into a poem. I choose images and arrange them into artwork. Where and how images get placed is the way to create the relationship that entails unique expressions.

Space can be used as a setting and also as an object by utilizing the interaction of images within the composition on both two and three-dimensions of my sculptures. Space consists of two-dimensional surface, three-dimensional structure, and negative spaces. In my artwork, there is perspective on surfaces, there are flat images on voluptuous structures, and silhouettes exist between the surfaces and structures. Spatial recognitions are made when they multiply and coexist within relationships of each other. By repeatedly layering flat and structural components I bring images and enumerate them into existence. I assemble space and parade them into a poem in the name of art.

Soojin Choi

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Young Shin
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Born in Seoul, South Korea, and raised in Los Angeles, California, Young grew up loving art, spending hours at end drawing and painting, and making and sewing her own dolls and clothes.  After receiving a B.A. in Philosophy and a minor in Studio/Visual Arts focusing on oil painting, she proceeded to studying law and graduating with a J.D.  However, it was only a matter of time that she returned to her love of art and design, eventually receiving her degree in Fashion Design from Parsons School of Design.  After a stint in a career as a fashion designer in NYC and Chicago, Young spent several years making and selling handmade, hand-painted, and silk-screened clothing and accessory line through her own label. 

 In her body of work, melding her past experiences and passion together, Young combines elements from art, design, and craft.  The distorted and abstracted geometric shapes and layered and uneven textures in her paintings encompass such idea.  Stylistically, applying paper as her main medium and adopting simple geometric shapes as her main form of expression – empirically giving the impression of respite and airiness – Young’s studio practice strives to achieve neo-minimalist aesthetics.  She appreciates the balance between unornamented austerity in the physical form with complex and nuanced nature of the craftsmanship involving layering, molding and sanding paper by hands.  Young resides in the San Francisco Bay Area where she works as a full-time painter.

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Sarah Flood-Baumann
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Sarah Flood-Baumann is from the place that races horses every first Saturday in May. She recently snagged her MFA degree from Vermont College of Fine Arts’ Graphic Design program and she lives a semi-nomadic military-spouse lifestyle in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Currently operating as a one-woman design shop, she freelances and wears many design hats that include everything from branding to book design.

Statement

In the book Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories that Heal, author Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen wrote,

“As light represents the archetype of masculine energy, darkness suggests the power of the feminine, and it makes an intuitive sense that the experience of healing may be associated with darkness. Darkness is a condition of the beginning. The body first comes into being in darkness. It is nurtured, as a seed, in darkness.”

These charcoal and water prints were the result of the battle with chronic migraines and literally living my days in darkness. I did not trust my body or my self to heal or to be whole. After a strange grounding exercise that went bust, I discovered the beauty of charcoal mixing with water in my tiny apartment bathroom sink. Noticing that this mixture wasn’t innately beautiful or considered traditional graphic design, I still felt connected to the movement, darkness, and moodiness of the the mixture. It felt right and of my own. Beautiful. I pulled out my camera and began photographing what I saw. I finally trusted myself that even if something isn’t traditionally beautiful, it can be. I trusted the process of making, exploring and finally felt some light in my darkness.

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Jackie Leishman
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Leishman grew up in Georgia, moving to the Los Angeles area after completing her Masters of Fine Arts degree from the Academy of Art in San Francisco. Originally trained as a photographer, she now works in collage.  Her work investigates the interrelationship between painting, drawing, and collage. 

 She has shown her work nationally, won awards, and taught photography and fine art at universities in Utah and California. She has participated in art residencies at The Anderson Center in Red Wing, MN and PressWorks in Claremont, CA. She was most recently commissioned by Emily Henderson Designs, and was exhibited in the Downtown LA Arts District, had a solo show in Utah, “If We Ever Wake At All”, and continues to participate in the ever-evolving art collaboration, “The Fourth Artist.” 

Statement

The world is collage to me. What happens at the edges and among the layers, where two different materials or ideas meet — that’s where I’m drawn. I have bins and bins of paper and scraps in my studio. It is important to my process that I not use virgin working materials but rather fragments of older work and found materials. Something from something. Beauty from ashes. It’s also important for me to show the sometimes-raw joints, the roughness of their coming together, to be candid about the process of layering and to leave the hand of the artist apparent. 

The push and pull between two ideas intrigues me most: the animating tensions between destruction and creation, expansion and contraction, and explosion and implosion. These ideas are embodied in the wilderness. The only constant in the wild is that it will change, that an element can and will be both violent and passive, opposites held in a balance. In a world that is increasingly contentious, the need to feel peace within the chaos becomes more desperate. By drawing, painting and collaging, I seek to find an equivalent to the peace found in wild places. 

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