Posts tagged Art
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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May 1st is Collectors Day at Moniker Art Fair
Moniker London 2016. Photo courtesy of Moniker Art Fair.

Moniker London 2016. Photo courtesy of Moniker Art Fair.

We’re just a few days away from Moniker Art Fair and in addition to all of the exciting things planned throughout its run, this year, the fair will be kicking off with a special opening event called Collectors Day. Read on to learn more!

Moniker Art Fair is pleased to introduce Collectors Day, a unique concept designed to encourage art buying from fairs, galleries and artists alike. Taking place on opening day, May 1st, 2019 at the fair’s new NoHo location, 718 Broadway, this exploratory initiative challenges and defies the traditional VIP vernissage for art fairs. Providing more than a VIP preview, the day fosters education and accessibility to art collecting through a series of talks and Q&A’s led by collectors, gallery directors, curators, and artists. Moniker’s second New York edition will take place on May 1-5, 2019.

Collectors Day will feature tours across the expansive, multi-level fair lead by Moniker Director Tina Ziegler. Special programming for the day will include panel discussions with art world professionals on a wide range of topics that matter both to veteran and emerging collectors including: how and why to collect contemporary art, the best way to approach building a collection, and investment opportunities and elitism within the art world.

Fair Director Tina Ziegler says, “Collectors Day means real, mature discussion on subjects that matter to our collectors. What are the pros and cons of buying direct from artists? How long can it take for art to mature significantly in value? How do I even begin collecting? These are all things we can and should answer, and we can’t wait to see the effect Collectors Day has on our guests.” Collectors Day will also host talks led by accomplished collectors, gallery directors, curators and artists. Moniker’s approach to the new programming for this New York edition is the latest in a series of initiatives that Moniker has undertaken over the last 10 years to make art collecting accessible to the public.

Photo courtesy of Evoca 1 and Moniker Art Fair.

Photo courtesy of Evoca 1 and Moniker Art Fair.

As part of the Collectors Day program collectors will have a chance to hear short presentations from galleries and Spotlight Artists. The 2019 New York edition continues to exemplify the fair’s commitment to exhibiting the depth and breadth of urban contemporary art from across the globe. 2019 New York edition participating galleries include Vinyl on Vinyl Gallery, Philippines; Mazel Galerie, Brussels; Damien Roman Fine Art, The Hamptons; Fousion Gallery, Barcelona with Spotlight artists WK Interact, Christian Boehmer, Evoca 1, ICY & SOT who are recognized leaders in the urban and new contemporary art movement.

Partners for the Collectors Day include: Art Money, Art Law, Barnebys Auction House, Greenpoint Innovators, It’s a Small World, Juxtapoz Magazine, Norwood Club, Soho House, and Tagsmart among others.

Opening of Moniker Art Fair 2019 | 3pm

Drinks Reception and welcome to the fair | 3pm - 4pm

Fair Tour with Fair Director Tina Ziegler | 4:30pm - 5:30pm

Each person will receive headsets for the tour so they can hear the tour throughout the fair. Each exhibitor will get 5 minutes to introduce their collection to the tour. This gives collectors a guided one-on-one with each gallery and artist.

Collecting Art 101: Starting a Collection | 5:30pm

This program explores questions every new collector should ask themselves: how do you define your personal taste as a collector? What type of collector are you? How to purchase art for passion and purpose?

Collecting Art 101: Investing in Art | 6:15pm

A round table discussion on how collectors control the market, why it’s important to collect in today’s climate, and the good and bad aspects of buying art on Instagram. Guest Speakers include: Derek Gores, Professional Artist, part of the Open Studios Program; Jonathan Levine, Director of Jonathan Levine Gallery (New York); Evan Pricco Editor-in-Chief of Juxtapoz Magazine; Damien A Roman, Director of Damien Roman Fine Art Gallery, The Hamptons; Yasha Young Director and Curator of Urban Nation Museum, Berlin; Tina Ziegler, Director and Curator of Moniker Art Fair.

Additional speakers and programming to be announced.

Mural program, Moniker London 2015. Photo courtesy of Moniker Art Fair.

Mural program, Moniker London 2015. Photo courtesy of Moniker Art Fair.

Dates:

Wednesday, 1st May
VIP Collectors Day: 3pm - 10pm
Ticket price: $75 (Including a $50 credit towards any purchased artwork)

Thursday, 2nd May
Public Opening: 12pm - 9pm

Friday, 3rd May
Fair Open: 12pm - 9pm

Saturday, 4th May
Fair Open: 11am - 8pm

Sunday, 6th May
Fair Open: 11am - 6pm

FREE Entrance Times:
Access to the fair is free to all members of the public for 90 minutes each day.
Thursday 12pm - 1:30pm
Friday 12pm - 1:30pm
Sunday 11am -12:30pm

Location
718 Broadway, NoHo, Manhattan, New York, 10003

Website
www.monikerartfair.com

Hashtag
#monikerNY19 #monikerartfair

Twitter
@monikerartfair

Instagram
@monikerartfair

Facebook
www.facebook.com/monikerartfair

Paradigm Gallery at Art on Paper 2019

For their fourth showing at Art on Paper, Paradigm Gallery will be presenting artwork by Alex Eckman-Lawn, Drew Leshko, Evan Hecox, Hyland Mather, and Seth Clark. The artists have all created their artwork using their own unique methods, but will be coming together for a fair display not to miss. Click on the artist names below to see their collections. The newest pieces by each artist will be added to their linked collection pages on Friday, March 8th. Email sara@paradigm-gallery.com if you would like to see a preview of the collections prior to that date.

Paradigm Gallery | Booth 105 | Featured Artists
Alex Eckman-Lawn
Drew Leshko
Evan Hecox
Hyland Mather
Seth Clark

Fair Dates/Hours/Location
March 7 - 10, 2019 | 299 South Street - Pier 36, Downtown Manhattan

OPENING NIGHT
Art on Paper Preview
Thursday, March 7, 2019 • 6:00pm to 10:00pm

PUBLIC FAIR HOURS
Friday, March 8 • 11:00am to 7:00pm
Saturday, March 9 • 11:00am to 7:00pm
Sunday, March 10 • 12:00pm to 6:00pm 

Podcast: Giving a Voice to Artists with Christina Nafziger
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On this episode of Art & Cocktails, Kat introduces you to Christina Nafziger who frequently contributes to Create! Magazine. We chat about working in the arts, studying in London, navigating side hustles and more. Christina shares her journey so far and gives insights to help artists get more press. 

Christina is a freelance writer, journalist, and editor focusing on contemporary art and visual culture. She regularly contribute to Sixty Inches From Center and Create! Magazine. Her writing writing has also been published in places like THE SEEN: Chicago’s International Online Journal of Contemporary & Modern Art, and Exhibitions on the Cusp.

Christina received her BA in Art History from Herron School of Art & Design and my MA in Contemporary Art Theory from Goldsmiths University of London, where her research focused on performativity within photography as well as the imprint of digital image archiving on memory and identity. Her current research centers on gender performativity within virtual platforms and the development of alternative spaces as a means of reimagining identity and reclaiming agency.

Work by  Sara Anstis

Work by Sara Anstis

Helga, A Film by Making Art and Bo Bartlett

Making Art (Jesse Brass) and Bo Bartlett just released a short film worth checking out.

American artist Andrew Wyeth secretly made over 240 drawings and paintings of one model between 1971 and 1985. The secret was kept even from his wife. When the story broke, it was a national sensation gracing the covers of Time and Newsweek. The model was Helga Testorf.

This is the story told for the first time by Helga.

“Helga Testorf, a middle-aged woman in pigtails who was Mr. Wyeth’s neighbor in rural Pennsylvania, has the curious distinction of being the last person to be made famous by a painting.”

-James Gardner, Art Critic

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“He was at a point in his career where he had to produce, produce … and along came this free spirit, running over the hills … he thought he was chasing himself, because that’s what he did as a boy, running over the hills. He was always painting himself in me.”

- Helga Testorf

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Watch more from Making Art at makingarfilms.com

Madison Parker
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In 2013, Madison Parker or “MADPICS", graduated from the Art Academy University with a BFA in Photography. Her college years in San Francisco set the trajectory for her to move to LA to pursue the entertainment industry, an almost gravitational pull for any photographer. There she interned and assisted for photographer, Art Streiber. Learning the ins and outs of the industry, she decided to relocate to San Diego, where she currently works and resides.

While my diploma may be camera-centric, my heart is anything but. I revel in the wonder of exploring all mediums as ways to capture the feelings, ideas, people, and moments that make up life. I embrace creative challenges, encouraging change. The world around me, something wild yet comforting to behold... something you really need to open your eyes to. I've been lucky enough to grow up in an environment that has inspired me throughout life to try and capture everything I find enticing- whether it be the way sunlight leaks through a window, the shapes of shadows, or what lurks between what we can and cannot see.

Madeline Zappala

Madeline Zappala is a Brooklyn-based interdisciplinary artist driven towards creating conceptual archives of our digital experiences. She received her MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts/Tufts University after studying American Culture at Vassar College. Her work is largely informed by her background in photography and her interest in the intersection of collective cultural consciousness, technology and identity. Her recent projects rely on generative and conceptual writing methods to extract alternate narratives hidden in everyday digital interactions.

Mental Health For Artists: Podcast Interview with TJ Walsh

On this episode of Art & Cocktails, artist and psychotherapist TJ Walsh shares his story, how he found his way back to painting and the moment that inspired him to help others through therapy. TJ talks about overcoming emotional difficulty, depression, creative burnout and offers practical insight for creatives going through a hard time. We discuss his approach to painting and recent exhibition as well.

Bio

TJ Walsh, BFA, MA is a Counselor/Psychotherapist, Painter, Art and Higher Education Administrator. Prior to receiving his M.A. in Clinical Counseling Psychology from Eastern University in Saint Davids, PA, TJ received his BFA in Graphic Design from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.

TJ has deep experience working with young adults, university students and young couples with a focus on artistic and creative personalities. He typically works with young couples who are struggling to connect with one another and individuals who find themselves stuck in place. In addition to his work in group and private practice, TJ is a seasoned Student Affairs/Student Life professional with foci in the areas of Counseling, Conduct/Judicial Affairs, Title IX.

Originally trained psychodynamically, TJ has since obtained or is working toward certification in Emotionally Focused Therapy, as well as Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). No matter the therapeutic theory that may be running through his mind, the primary focus is to build a strong, therapeutic alliance and to instill hope in the person(s) who sits across from him so that they may live a life worth living.

TJ writes and speaks about topics of art, culture, faith & mental health. His work has been exhibited and published internationally. He is on faculty at Eastern University in the graduate school's Counseling Psychology department teaching Personality and Psychosocial Assessment and Psychopathology.

Statement

TJ Walsh explores the inner realm of the subconscious through abstract paintings. As he states, "This work focuses on the hidden conversations that course through the undercurrent of our minds, unconsciously giving form to who we are as human beings. I work fast letting my emotion and intuition drive the painting. It is through this process that I hope beauty reveals itself.

For other artists, beauty is revealed through striving for technical perfection. These artists desire to make any sign of the human creator disappear. For me, the opposite is true. I want my hand to be very evident in the work for it's the human experience, the struggle, the failures, the successes, which is most beautiful to me.

The process of creating is an intimate practice. Art making is a meditative, reflective, physical, emotional and spiritual practice. Creating something that comes out of ourselves, releasing part of us into the world to be experienced by others is something that many people in our culture do not experience. This intimate practice of pulling from within and connecting with the deepest parts of our beings is beautiful because it's natural, pure and uninhibited. It's being human on on of its most raw levels."

Links:

Instagram: @tjwalsh 

Private Practice: www.tjwalshtherapy.com

Art site: www.tjwalshartist.com

Exhibition:

TJ’s exhibition will open on December 8 at Darlington Arts Center

www.darlingtonarts.org




Ewelina Skowronska

Ewelina Skowronska is a visual artist and printmaker, who was born in Poland and currently lives and works between London and Tokyo. After having an accomplished career in advertising, Ewelina decided to fully dedicate herself to art in 2013. She retrained and specialised in visual arts at University of The Arts London where she graduated with distinction in 2015. Ewelina’s work continues to explore the interplay between colour, shape, perspective and pattern. Her work is usually between the abstract and the figurative.

Ewelina's work has been exhibited in London, Ireland, Poland and Tokyo. In 2017, she was awarded with Print Prize by ST Bridge Foundation;. her prints are in the collection of VA Museum London; she was shortlisted for RA Summer Show 2017, and for the Ashurst Emerging Artist Prize 2018.


Statement

My interest lies in developing a contemporary dialogue between form and colour, art, illustration, and graphic arts. It means carrying on the tradition of the post-modern, while re-thinking my own approach and aesthetics to it. Recently, I am very much interested in the human perception, its particularities, and the subjective burden associated with it. For me the act of perceiving always implies creating. 

I use mostly screen-printing as a medium. I am fascinated about ways of pushing its boundaries, wondering how the process of mark making together with all limitations can influence the artwork and at the end tell the story. With strong design and illustration background, my art practice focused on a strong sense of colour play and form, exploring the line between the abstract and the figurative. I am inspired by everyday human experiences and the fluidity and movement of the human body.  

As I am currently based in Japan, I see how its culture influences my work, bringing new ideas, ways of seeing, as well as new skills, like ceramic practise. 

Order the Art Miami 2018 Edition!

Create! Magazine Issue 12 | Art Miami 2018 Edition 

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

(Ships after on or December 9th)

Pre-sale price valid until November 30, 2018

 

180+ ad-free pages of interviews and features with established, mid-career and emerging contemporary artists for you to discover and be inspired by!

Issue 12 Contents


On The Cover 

 

Madison Parker

 

Interviews



Waves, Waterscapes and Wanderlust 

Interview with Artist Nina Brooke 

By Alicia Puig 

 

Postgraduate Plans 

Interview with Emerging Artist Rosabel Rosalind Kurth-Sofer 

By Alicia Puig 

 

James Bullough 

The Voices of Street Artists 

By Christina Nafziger 

 

Edra Soto 

Creating Community Through Artistic Practice 

By Christina Nafziger 

 

Reimagined and Remembered 

Interview with Charlotte Keats 

By Ekaterina Popova 

 

Standing up for Women Artists 

Interview with Liezel Strauss, Art Girl Rising 

By Ekaterina Popova 

 

A Glimpse into Another’s World 

Interview with Anna Shukeylo 

By Ekaterina Popova 

 

Spot on 

Neo-Pointillism by Pj Linden 

By Alicia Puig 

 

Adam D. Miller and Devon Oder Creating a Gallery Through an Artist’s Perspective 

By Christina Nafziger 

 

The Beauty and Complexity of the Natural World 

Interview with Alonsa Guevara 

By Ekaterina Popova



Art Miami Fairs Highlight Exhibitors

 

A unique perspective from galleries exhibiting at Art Miami Fairs 2018

 


Artists Selected by Guest Curator, Kaly Scheller-Barrett, Associate Director of Hashimoto Contemporary

 

Stacey Beach

Isabel Chun

Ben Dallas

Scout Dunbar

Lesley Gold

Raul Gonzalez

Erica Green

Elizabeth Jung

Thomas Kelley III

Lydia Kinney

Huanying Koh

Forrest Lawson

Megan Magill

Amy Meissner

Aly Morgan

Hedda Neelsen

Yuria Okamura

Madison Parker

Anastasia Parmson

Diane Pribojan

Sara Allen Prigodich

Meganne Rosen

Molly Scannell

Lindsey Schulz

Max Seckel

Val Shamma

Anne Cecile Surga

Andrea Taylor

Anna Teiche

Sophie Treppendahl

Charlotte Urreiztieta 

Jimmy Viera

Ellie Ji Yang

Madeline Zappala

Angie Zielinski

Spotlight Artist

 

Andrew Salgado

 

Highlight Artists

 

Andre Bogart Szabo

Valentina Sarfeh

Ambera Wellmann Exhibition Opening at Projet Pangée

Artist: Ambera Wellmann

Exhibition title: (Wo)man and Beast in the Round of Their Need 

Opening: Thursday, October 11, 2018, 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Exhibition: October 11 to November 17, 2018             

Ambera Wellmann is a Canadian artist working in painting, assemblage, photography and video. Wellmann graduated from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (2011) and earned her MFA from the University of Guelph, Ontario (2016). She is the recipient of the Joseph Plaskett award (2016) and the recipient of the RBC Canadian Painting Award (2017). Her works have been exhibited at the Power Plant, Toronto, the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, and the National Gallery of Canada. She currently lives and works in Berlin. Wellmann gratefully acknowledges the support from the Canada Council of the Arts. In this recent series of paintings, Wellmann continues her investigation of porcelain as a bodily substitute and a vehicle for perversion, manipulating the sensuality of painted surfaces to blur the distinctions between material and flesh. Wellmann’s paintings hybridize a range of canonical motifs, transposing the grandiosity of historical figuration into intimately realized, darkly humorous works.

projetpangee.com

Feminist Ceramics: Podcast Interview with Jen Dwyer

On this episode of Art and Cocktails, Kat interviews Jen and learns about her creative journey, the inspiration behind her latest ceramics and her upcoming exhibition in NYC. Kat and Jen chat about overcoming creative fear, taking risks and self care. 

Jen Dwyer is a ceramicist artist who makes socially engaged ceramic sculptures and functional art objects. 

Upcoming Exhibitions: 

Not For Your Bunny, Lucas Lucas Gallery, opening Oct 18 6-9pm (On view through Nov 18, 2018). Co-curated by Stacie Lucas and Nathalie Levey.

Femme, Juxtapoz at the new brick and mortar gallery and bookstore in Jersey City (March 1st, 2019)

www.jen-dwyer.com

 

On Curating: Podcast Interview with Margaret Winslow, the Curator of Contemporary Art at the Delaware Art Museum
Photo by  Lindy Powers

Photo by Lindy Powers

Join us for a fun and informative conversation with Margaret Winslow, the Curator of Contemporary Art at the Delaware Art Museum. Margaret shares her journey of becoming a curator, offers advice for those interested in pursuing museum or curatorial work and shares tips for interested in getting a museum exhibition.

Margaret Winslow currently lives and works in Wilmington, Delaware where she is the Curator of Contemporary Art at the Delaware Art Museum. Margarethas curated for the Neuberger Museum of Art and The Delaware Contemporary and assisted with exhibits for the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum. Her recent exhibitions at the Delaware Art Museum include Dream Streets: Art in Wilmington 1970–1990Retro-Active: Performance Art from 1964–1987Anne Truitt: Luminosities, and Once Upon a Time in Delaware: In Quest of the Perfect Book, the most recent installment of Nina Katchadourian’s Sorted Booksproject. In 2010, she attended Independent Curators International’s Curatorial Intensive in New York and in 2015, she served as juror for Art of the State: Pennsylvaniaat the State Museum of Pennsylvania. Margaretholds a B.A. in Art History from the University of Mary Washington and an M.A. in Modern and Contemporary Art, Theory, and Criticism from SUNY Purchase College.

Resources:

https://www.delart.org
http://www.mdartplace.org
https://www.nationalservice.gov/programs/americorps

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Addressing Social Issues Through Art: Amy Scheidegger Ducos

By Sarah Mills

I earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting & Drawing from East Carolina University in 2005 and a Masters of Science in Arts Administration from Drexel University’s graduate program in 2010. 

Originally from North Carolina, I relocated to Philadelphia in order to join the Drexel graduate program to pursue a more multi-faceted role in the world of art and culture.

In 2011, I founded the Artistic Rebuttal Project – a grass roots art advocacy initiative that strives to, through story-collecting and story-telling, emphasize the power and necessity of the arts. On the project’s behalf, I periodically travel around the country speaking with university students in art programs, creative adults and kids, imploring them to become active in their communities in order to better serve the places in which they are rooted. It is only when the public knows the importance of art and art’s way of connecting our past to our future, can the arts act as a civic lesson to citizens everywhere. That same year, I was nominated a Creative Connector, a recognition pioneered by Leadership Philadelphia. Creative Connectors are “hubs of trust, seen as trustworthy and credible who use art and design to mobilize people around an issue.” 

In March of 2017, I moved to Quito, Ecuador to study how arts and culture are managed and appreciated in an older, foreign country. Living here, I am able to carve out a lot more time to create my own work.

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My work is largely social issues-centered, ranging from global warming, mental health, immigrant rights to body positivity.

My recent body of work was sparked by a myriad of issues that were once at the center of a progressive government and leadership - broadening women’s issues and mental health policies, immigrant rights, LGBTQ rights, and confronting police brutality and many more - that are now being rolled back by an administration run by greed and ignorance.

Now that I am living abroad in Ecuador, I am seeing these issues from what is considered a third world country. In this third world country, the class of person who would be considered the minority in the States is the majority that runs the country. In turn, women and the poor are treated on the whole and with a lot more respect in my particular third world country than the United States. 

My intent with the images enclosed is to explore the experiences I’m having watching and learning how Ecuador deals with these issues in contrast to my country of origin.

My work is created through a variety of mediums. I work initially with graphite and ink on paper as a first layer, then watercolor and acrylic on paper, as well as non-traditional materials like coffee (from the Galapagos). After scanning in these traditional/non-traditional mediums, I inject more color and detail digitally, creating a digital painting using a tablet.

www.amyartisticrebuttal.com

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How did you first start creating?

I first started drawing when I was 2 years old and I haven’t stopped! My mom saved everything (including the attached photo what "what mommy looks like when I'm bad"), put me in every after-school art class my parents could afford, art teachers from elementary to high school (I was lucky enough to have art classes every year) all encouraged and nurtured my inherent urge to make art and it blossomed into a skill that I’ve sharpened throughout the years.

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Travel obviously plays a big role in your work, can you talk about your experience and the impact it had?

I didn’t travel much until I was 17 - the first time I ever got on an airplane. But since that first flight, I’ve tried my best to see and experience as much as I could afford. As fate may have it, I met an extraordinarily kind man from Ecuador while we were both earning advanced degrees in Philadelphia, PA. Pedro, by the end of his student visa, had to return to Ecuador, so after about 2 years of dating and living together in Philly, we took the leap of faith that we were going to work out and I moved to Ecuador with him in 2017. The shift to a completely different culture where I was now the minority took a long time to adapt to. In the States, I felt like things were “made” for me. Everything was in English, almost everything on tv and online is marketed towards women because women do the shopping...like the world catered to me and I had access to everything I needed, even when money was tight. And I wasn’t rich by any means - I grew up lower middle class in a very rural town. Once I moved out of state I had my struggles not being able to find full-time work after I got my Masters in Arts Administration and yet I feel I excelled because the society I was in was some-what tailored to help me, a young white woman, succeed. Therefore, to be taken out of that environment and placed in a city where I couldn’t understand one conversation being had on the street, needing my fiance to tag along everywhere I went to translate, I ultimately, after 9 months needed to fly back to the States because I had overstayed my time Ecuador without getting the proper documentation. I was a legit illegal immigrant for 5 of those 9 months. (Americans can stay in Ecuador for 4 months until needing to register with the government and we had a crap lawyer who didn’t do her job). It gave me a completely new look at the America I grew up in and I have to tell you, it’s not a positive new look. I think my South American now-husband and I are lucky to not be living in the United States at this specific point in time. We would be in constant fear that his status would be in question and that we might be separated. I have learned that all Latin Americans - from Mexico to Chile to Spain - are all lumped together when Americans in power talk about them. When the current administration started calling Mexicans rapists and Venezuelans criminals as they stood in line for asylum at the border, I listened as my husband, an Ecuadorian, called all of them “his people” as he watched in agony as the United States continued to perpetuate harmful myths, vow to deport them all, and separated children from their parents. And for me, who has always had art as a form of therapy, expression, and retreat, my subject matter naturally becomes a portrayal what I’m feeling in response to my husband and his family’s current state of shock surrounding what the United States has become - for them. I can always return and I have thousands of good memories of growing up in North Carolina and finding my voice in Philadelphia. America will always be my home but when you’ve never lived outside if it, you don’t know the true impact and role it plays as far as what direction the rest of the world is headed. As Mark Twain once wrote - “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.”

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Much of your work involves observations on social, political, and cultural events, how did you get started creating this type of work?

My first major move, long before I moved to Ecuador, was moving from North Carolina to Philadelphia - which completely opened my eyes to how different races are treated across the country. I grew up in a somewhat mixed community, had friends of all colors, but we were in a rural town where law enforcement (from the point of view of a teenager who maybe wasn’t clued into politics quite yet) was community-led, everybody knew everybody. So there was a sense of justice and fairness spanning all ethnicities because if you were caught doing something you shouldn’t have been, no matter the color of your skin, the town sheriff knew your momma and knew she raised you better. Once I got to Philadelphia, things couldn’t have been more different. Avoiding eye contact with strangers was paramount because if you did say hello, more often than not it would turn into a creepy guy trying to follow you home from the subway or an arrogant man feeling entitled to let you know your tattoos are “unbecoming of a lady” and “your job should fire you” for letting one peek out underneath your shirt sleeve. And because none of those experiences are against the law, sometimes you have absolutely no one to turn to. From rural North Carolina where you go from home to car, to work, back to the car, back home, to Philadelphia where you feel you’re exposed on a regular basis - I became very hardened myself yet very aware of what women and men of color are subjected to on the daily. I could endure someone talking shit about my tattoos or my weight on the bus, at least I was never spat on because of the hijab being worn, or followed around a drug store simply because my skin was black and I was wearing a hoodie. Living in such proximity to racial profiling and racial biases has made me more empathetic and aware that racism is alive and well - and that I’m always working on my own biases that I wasn’t fully aware of having grown up in the South. That emotional work shows up in my artwork now - that idea from Mark Twain about travel, I’ll amend it to say that proximity is also fatal to prejudice. If you can SEE what happens to people of different races and backgrounds and be able to compare that to how you’re treated - your world will be flipped on its head if you think equality or equity has been reached in any way shape or form.

What is your favorite part of your creative practice?

My favorite part is I guess what you would call the middle part, where idea meets reality. Once you’ve conceived an idea and you begin sketching it - for me the first few sketches are never what I had envisioned in my head, but by the 3rd or 4th, it starts coming out the way it should. So when I’m able to step away from my work and say “YES! That’s what I was going for,” I get really excited to keep going and finish.

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How has making art impacted your life?

That’s a difficult question, considering I’ve never NOT had art as a critical part of my life and being. I would say, having this ability has been the greatest gift, no doubt, but it has also been the root of some sadness as well. I’m currently writing a children’s book about my childhood where I was used for my skills and then discarded when my skills/I myself wasn’t “needed” anymore. Or times in my life where I wished I could have spoken my mind instead of keeping quiet at the moment and instead of painting about it later. Both are valid ways of communicating but I think I always wanted to be more vocal but didn’t know how which is something that maybe comes with age and experience. My voice is a lot larger than it ever has been - my family can attest to that - and now that I’m almost 35 I’m finding a better balance between speaking vocally and speaking through my artwork.

What is a piece of advice that was given to you that you would like to share with our readers?

The main thing for me, when I was in art school, I had a teacher named Mr. Hartley, who has since passed, but he told me being an artist had nothing to do with talent: it was all about practice and sharpening your skills. I had a lot of people tell me when I was growing up that I’ll be an artist, no doubt, it’s a talent I was born with and I shouldn’t waste it. But the work you have to put into it is NOT something the average person realizes. The amount of artwork that doesn’t see the light of day because it’s not up the artists’ ridiculously high standards is not something the average person realizes. So yes, you can be born with talent, but don’t let that for a minute make you think that being an artist isn’t all about the work. “Love what you do and you’ll never work a day in your life” IS A LIE!

What is the most important thing you have learned from your creative journey thus far?

I have learned that the world and all its creatures are so complex, it’s beyond all of our practical comprehension. I grew up thinking being right was more important (to me) than anything else. In Philadelphia, I thought hustling and being busy from sun up til sun down meant I was doing all the right things. I learned that everyone’s got baggage so stop judging. In Ecuador, I am learning that the world was not made just for me, so I need to adjust-adjust-adjust myself on a regular basis and not be afraid of how other people see me. Through my journies of becoming an Ecuadorian resident, my own personal difficulties of learning how to speak Spanish, and now at the beginning of my marriage, I have learned that trying to be right all the time and trying to come off like I know something about everything is exhausting, arrogant, and won’t work for me or the important people in my life anymore. I’m settling into a place where most things are new to me and there’s no way I could have prepared for them or knew about them. Personal evolution is my current mindspace and I have to leave all the doors and windows open.

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