Posts tagged Mixed Media
Julie Liger-Belair
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Julie Liger-Belair lives in Toronto, where she attended the Ontario College of Art and Design (now OCAD University). For the past 20 years, she has participated in group and solo shows in Canada, the United States and Europe.  When not doing her artwork she likes to go camping with her partner, their three creative kids, and little black dog, Frida.

Statement

Fairy tales, legends, dreams and the surreal worlds they evoke have always been a part of the human experience, a way to make sense of our surroundings and explain our fears.  As a child these captured my imagination and wove themselves into the fabric of my personality.  Because of this, I am today a collector at heart, constantly collecting fragments of ideas and objects, each with their own little stories to tell.  Combining them in different ways in my work, they form new narratives and meanings.

I create mixed-media works using acrylic paint, wood, metal, Japanese paper, and found photographs.  I use Victorian era photographs I’ve collected over the years, finding that these evoke imagined histories and feelings of nostalgia.  Their serious and stern faces provide an ironic counterpoint to the humour and levity I try to inject into the work.  Alternatively, my pieces make evident a playful fascination with all forms of iconography, creating alter-pieces for everyday life, making sacred of the mundane.

In my latest work I’ve been attempting to combine these vernaculars – the ironic and the sacred – to tell a story about the disconnect between our private and public selves.  That is, who we are is often at odds with what we project to others.  What do we choose to reveal, conceal or fabricate?  More importantly, I explore the toll exacted by this ‘duplicity:’ specifically the feelings of sorrow, resentment, anxiety, and martyrdom it engenders.

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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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Lael Burns
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Artist Statement

Drawing from my personal spiritual experiences and daily life as a mother, my work investigates the way playful craft materials such as glitter, fabric, and pompoms can be manipulated with other fine art components as a means of exploring connections between the visceral, graphic, sublime, and carnal. The organic forms I describe are synthetically adorned organs, wombs, and hearts that display the external evidence of internal rebirth and are a physical manifestation of things intangible and infinite.  

I utilize material and sensory experience as a means to explore meaning. Material is worked until there is a shift into another realm: fabric becomes flesh, a sack, or an embryo, pins become candy, paint becomes a skin of strawberry ice-cream or bubblegum, a pom-pom becomes a microorganism or disease. My work strives to have a visceral presence by virtue of formal aesthetics, often riding the line between what is beautiful, grotesque and delicious.  This speaks to various dichotomies I often reference in my work, such as light and dark, spirit and flesh.

 Bio

Lael earned her BFA from Southern Methodist University and her MFA from the University of Iowa, both with a concentration in painting and minor concentrations in printmaking and sculpture. She exhibits of her work extensively both locally and nationally. Her work has been written about in Peripheral Vision Arts Salon 2017, Studio Visit Magazine, Art Habens Contemporary Review, and on the International Fine Arts Fund and Create! Magazine blog. Lael has taught at the secondary and college level and currently lives in the Dallas/Fort Worth area with her husband and children.

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Stories of Love and Loss: Interview with Nanci Hersh
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The overarching theme of my work is a personal narrative about home and family. Stories of love and loss; both letting go and losing, are interwoven and explored with mixed media. This newest body of work is a return to printmaking as a centering prayer and meditation on process. Lines, fragmented patterns and assorted textures are part of my visual vocabulary to honor the ephemeral and make space for the tangible and intangible to coexist. 

Nanci is a professional mixed media artist, illustrator, educator, arts advocate and administrator as Executive Director of the Delaware Institute for the Arts in Education. 

Her work has been exhibited throughout the United States including “Eons Beyond the Rib,” at Seraphin Gallery in Philadelphia, PA, “Navigation Puzzle,” at the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, “Paper Work”, at the Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie and “The Demoiselles Revisited” at Francis M. Naumann Fine Art, NYC, along with solo exhibitions in PA, NJ, DE, and Hawaii. Nanci has received numerous honors including three purchase awards from the State Foundation of Culture and the Arts, Hawaii and three Leeway Foundation Art & Change Grants. Her work is included in the Public Collections of Johnson & Johnson, Herspace Breast Imaging, Leland Portland Cement, and OSI Pharmaceuticals to name a few

With her cousin and author, Ellen McVicker, Nanci illustrated and co-created the children’s book Butterfly Kisses and Wishes on Wings: When someone you love has cancer… a hopeful, helpful book for kids. Having sold over 10,000 copies in English and now with a Spanish edition, Nanci and Ellen were invited in 2015 to participate in 798 ICAF, International Children’s Art Festival in Beijing, China in 2016.

www.nancihersh.com

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Initially, my work was influenced by the tropical beauty of the landscape, but I began to find my voice as an artist as the work became more personal.
— Nanci Hersh
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In your artist statement, you reflect on the idea that your work is a personal narrative about home and family. Can you tell us about your experience creating work that is so deeply personal?

From my first pale pink padded diary at age 11, complete with lock and key, to my current expressive mixed media paintings, collages and sculptures, my compulsion has been to chronicle, gain understanding and find the magic and connection in the everyday.

In 1985, I moved to Hawaii, far from family and friends on the East Coast. What was to be a six-week vacation led to a 12-year journey of living the dream; making art, surfing, managing an art gallery, studying, teaching and traveling. Initially, my work was influenced by the tropical beauty of the landscape, but I began to find my voice as an artist as the work became more personal. Through subsequent series that both examined and celebrated relationships at home and in my rural plantation neighborhood on the North Shore of Oahu, I began to feel a deep connection to the people, the place, and my work that felt more authentic. It also became cathartic and healing in many ways.

What are you currently working on?

I am working on a new series of monotypes and mixed media prints. This is a return to my undergraduate and graduate work in printmaking. Following the passing this summer of my mother, I am finding comfort in the rituals and process of working with a limited palette, my love of an expressive line and layered textures. Primarily black and white, with limited color, some encaustic and collage, they are a meditation on the transitory nature of life and death and the fine line between the two states of being.

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How has your creative process changed throughout your career?

It has evolved more than changed. A new series seems to dictate a particular medium or material that I am either practiced in or need to learn. For example, years ago, I had a dream about butterfly nets. Shortly after, I came upon some children’s butterfly nets at a gift shop at the beach which I purchased and began to manipulate by dipping them in the overly beaten paper pulp that dried like a skin, freezing them in time. This led to creating my own net forms from chicken wire, pulp, encaustic, pantyhose, and collage. Then I began finding and collecting different types of nets and netting which I use as stencils on my paintings and drawings. Often I circle back and incorporate elements of a prior series. The process builds upon itself more than changes.

What is your favorite part about creating mixed media works?

I love discovering found or repurposed objects or materials, seeing beauty in the juxtaposition of the elements and the surprises in how they speak to each other. I have always found peace walking along the beach and appreciate the flotsam and jetsam that wash ashore entangled, each part originating from somewhere else with a different unknown history coming together and shaped by the journey it has taken.

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What do you view as your greatest strength as an artist?

One of my greatest strengths as an artist is my perseverance. I keep making art, through raising my family, teaching, well-being or challenges, sales or not, recognition or not, just keep making it because it is who I am and how I find a deeper connection to nature, to others, to myself and a Higher Power. I also appreciate how I am able to see beauty and possibility in everything- and everyone.

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Along with your two-dimensional mixed media work you create three-dimensional sculptures, how does your studio practice accommodate both mediums?

The work informs each other. It is an ongoing conversation. There are times when what I need to explore is two-dimensional, other times it is three dimensional. This can be determined by a subject, a found object, a dream, a beautiful vine found on my walks with my dogs, or a cast shadow. Most often, there is a piece of one in the other or one is the jumping off point for the other. It is a fluid process that meanders with intention, to see how I can look at something in a new way and see where that takes me.

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What has been the best part of your artistic career thus far?

It has to be now. I am able to look at the scope of the work that I have created and see how the work has been an expression and an extension of my life experiences. I also appreciate how the work has led me to people, to conversations and experiences that deepen our connection and appreciation of the richness of this life.

Interview with Megan Magill: Venus with Folds 
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Megan Magill is an artist based in Chicago and Maine. She received her Masters from Northwestern University and her MFA from Maine Media College. Her work has been exhibited in group and joint shows nationally and she was recently a semi-finalist in the Print Center's International Competition. My Business is Circumference was featured at the Detroit Center for Contemporary Photography and The Habit of Winning was featured in F-Stop Magazine’s portfolio issue with an interview by William Cox and in a print publication with LDOC . In the fall of 2017 her was published in American: Authors, Interpreters, and Composers a book series created by Patricio Binaghi of Paripe Books and designed by Matt Wiley of the New York Times Magazine. 

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Statement: Venus with Folds 

I begin each piece with a xerox copy of a woman's painted portrait. Most of the paintings are well known, and others were found through a google search for 'famous portrait paintings' which I then narrowed down to paintings of women. So far all have been painted by men and folded by a woman but this is not a requirement...it's just what predominates when you search for 'famous.' I don't have a preconceived idea of how each piece will look...I just start folding and re-folding until I've made something that feels right to me. The process is in part a visual exercise is seeing something new in something that already exists. A way of keeping my options open and my optimism up. Photographing them after I've folded them extends the process. 

How did your artistic career begin?

I started making art in 2009 after taking a class on the history of photography at my local art center. I realized pretty quickly that art was a long lost friend that I had lost touch with years earlier for reasons of ‘practicality.’ Photography was my entry into art and remains an integral part of my practice as the majority of my work springs from found imagery.

In your artist statement, you mention that you begin most of your work with existing imagery, where do you tend to find this imagery? Do you have any criteria that you look for?

For about 2 years I collected imagery somewhat obsessively. I bought crumpled up old photos primarily at antique stores, huge lots of old Kodachrome slides through eBay and also a number of old college yearbooks from the ’40s and ’50s. I am still amazed at some of the images I was able to find. I am drawn to collect images that speak to our shared humanity from a somewhat demented point of view.

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What is the first thing you do when you start a new piece?

At the moment my entry into a piece is to draw over an existing image digitally. I start on my iPad and just see where it goes.

What is your favorite part of your creative process?

The excitement I get when something that I have created surprises me and makes me gasp just a little.

In a few statements describing your different bodies of work you reflect on the idea of not having control over every aspect of your work, how does this mindset affect the way you work?

I think this mindset helps me keep an open mind to where a piece might want to go. I spent a good portion of my life (before I started out as an artist) trying to control my life to the nth degree. What I realized is that not only did this suck the joy out of living but often I would end up in places that I no longer wanted to be and would wonder how in the hell I got there. Staying open to the process keeps me in the moment of making and lets a piece evolve like a collaboration. This doesn’t mean that every piece will work out but they do have a better chance of surprising me and taking me to places that my logical brain might not have mapped out ahead of time.

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What has been the most challenging part of your artistic career?

Hmmm. I went to a school that was primarily for photographers and filmmakers to get my MFA. It was a great education but I realized pretty quickly that I wasn’t really a photographer and so finding my place in the art world has maybe been more challenging because I’ve had to forge new relationships outside of the ones that I made in school in addition to teaching myself new processes. But this is also part of the fun…so challenge=fun.

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What should we be on the lookout for in 2019?

I am SUPER excited about some of the things I am working on. I have a series of sketches I am calling ‘you me and everyone we know.’ I have plans to turn these into hook rugs (I have one already started) and oil paintings. I hope to have the first hook rug completed this month.

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Andrew Wapinski "Transmutation" at Callan Contemporary

Born in Saint Clair, Pennsylvania, Andrew Wapinski is a visual artist whose current practice is rooted in the memories of interacting with the environment of the historic coal mining town in which he grew up. His work places great importance on the physicality of material and its relationship to artistic process. Melting blocks of pigmented ice, hand-ground anthracite coal and the collection of dust from his reductive painting processes lay the foundation for Wapinski to investigate interwoven themes of liminal space, reclamation and material significance as they relate to shifting environments and sense of place.

He will be presenting a solo exhibition entitled "Transmutation" at Callan Contemporary in New Orleans from September 1 - 30. The opening reception will be held on Saturday, September 1 from 6 - 9 pm.

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Fluidity and change—the waxing, waning duet between human beings and nature—are the subjects of Andrew Wapinski’s formally elegant, conceptually rich mixed-media paintings on linen-mounted panel.  In his debut exhibition with Callan Contemporary, Wapinski presents a suite of evocative abstract works, which project a contemplative, Zen-like serenity while encapsulating personal and anthropological narratives.  The paintings flow from a time-intensive process that Wapinski first developed in 2013, in which ink- and pigment-infused ice melts onto canvas in controlled fashion, imprinting organic forms.  “This establishes a foundation to open a dialogue between natural process and personal interaction,” the artist observes.  “For me, the melting ice is symbolic of geological process and a metaphor for the passage of time.”  Wapinski adds and excavates thin layers of gesso, responding intuitively to the shapes.  A hard dividing line, or scission, emerges along with the forms through myriad additive and subtractive strata.  This creates a texture differential reminiscent of the strip-mined hills he grew up around in St. Clair, Pennsylvania, and evokes the moment of potentiality when natural environment and human interaction, in cycles of construction and deconstruction, evolve together into something new.  Organic gesture and geometry become interwoven in a mélange of personal memory and socio-geological critique.

Wapinski earned a B.F.A. in painting from Kutztown University (Pennsylvania) and an M.F.A. in painting from the University of Delaware.  His work has been reviewed in publications such as The Washington Post, New American Paintings, and Artline and has been exhibited recently at Elmhurst Art Museum (Illinois), as well as galleries in New York, Washington, D.C., and Cincinnati.  The paintings are included in significant private and corporate collections throughout the United States.

Influenced by minimalists Agnes Martin, Richard Serra, and Donald Judd, Wapinski’s sensibility also evokes the Land Art movement of the 1960s and 70s.  In materiality and technique, the paintings allude to the primal call-and-response of man and nature, the shaper and the shaped, each altering the other’s trajectory from prehistory through the present day.  In poetical greyscale tones and washes they speak to the dialectics of permanence and impermanence, the local and the global.  The artist sees the works not only as metaphors for geologic processes, but also as embodying “a kind of alchemy:  the idea of transmutation; the forms changing from one state to another; the shaping of material with intent.”

                                                                                                                          by Richard Speer

All images courtesy of the artist.

"Body Rock" Exhibition at Central Tattoo Studio

Central Tattoo Studio and Create! Magazine are pleased to present the opening of a group exhibition titled "Body Rock".

The show includes the work of five artists inspired by tattoo culture. This exhibition includes work by artists that interpret the theme by using their unique style, subject and creative approach. 

Opening: September 22, 6pm

Where: 

Central Tattoo Studio

171 W Girard Avenue

Philadelphia, PA 19123

Exhibition dates: September 1 - October 28, 2018 

About Central Tattoo Studio

Central Tattoo Studio is a fine art forward, custom tattoo studio in Philadelphia, PA. Our first floor gallery space features rotating exhibitions from local and emerging artists whose work bridges the gap between fine art and tattoo work. Our second floor tattoo studio hosts tattoo artists with a strong understanding of the foundations of fine art; color, form, line, space and composition. Our tattoo artists specialize in watercolor tattoos, abstract/graphic tattoos, geometric tattoos and black and grey realism tattoos.

Participating Artists

Tracy Kerdman

I was born in Huntington, West Virginia. A city now known as the heart of the opioid epidemic. At the age of five I moved to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. I studied painting at the College of Charleston where I earned a BA in Studio Art. In 2010, I moved to New York to continue my study of painting at the National Academy Museum and School and MoMA, where I would take extensive lecture classes. My paintings have been exhibited in Germany, Canada, New York and throughout the United States, from the Korean Cultural Center in Los Angeles, to the Museum of Fine Arts in Tallahassee, Florida. I live and paint in Hell’s Kitchen in NYC with my husband.

My work largely draws from the cultural inconsistencies of my background of growingup on the Grand Strand of South Carolina, a place recognizable for its hospitality, and paradoxically, its bigotry. Figurative painting is what drives my interest and helps me to explore contradiction and anxiety buried in normalcy. The work aims to be familiar and within the realm of conventional, figurative oil paintings only at first glance. Working within the context of traditional representational work and portraiture, the goal is to create something unsettling and more disconcerting than an academic, technical representation.

www.tkerdman.com

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Brandi Merolla

Born: NYC

BFA: Photography & Drawing, Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University.

Art Director Tower Records 4th St./Broadway, NYC 1983-1986.

Merolla Displays; Custom 3D foam-core displays for record companies, FAO Schwarz, Howard Stern Show. 1986-2018.

The ritual art of tattooing has been practiced since ancient times. Then in 1876 Thomas Edison invented the "Electric Pen" in the age where electricity began to make it's way into our culture. Famed tattoo artist Samuel O'Reilly then used this new modern invention to tattoo in NYC. 

At that time, mostly sailors got tattooed. They had their bodies marked with patriotic, nautical and religious symbols. For the next few decades tattoo designs expanded to include memorial, sports and romantic symbology to a broader audience.

In my new body of artwork, I take tattoo flash from the years 1900-1940 and I blow them up from 2" high drawings to 3'-4' high 3D foam-core sculptures. I stay true to these primitive line drawings and make them larger than life just as they are remembered historically. My reverence for these original designs explains the scale shift. 

https://www.scenesfromtheattic.com/tat-art

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Brandon Straus

My paintings are a visual dialogue about the contemporary and historical relationships between art and commodity fetishism. With respect to traditional subject matter such as still life, interiors, and portraiture, my paintings explore the material world and question their current cultural implications and narrative potential. Modernism, fauvism, and orientalism mingle in my compositions in flattened rendering, brush stroke and color, and still life objects. 

My source images come from online shopping, design magazines, social media, and personal objects. In their combination they create a visual archeology of personal identity. My compositions use vocabulary that addresses themes of queerness, Judaism, and historical modern painting with humorously self-aware nonchalance.

https://www.instagram.com/brandon_straus/

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Mishal Weston

Mishal Weston (1988) is a Zimbabwean born designer and artist based in Cape Town, South Africa.

As I walk through the streets or meander down the beach, my eyes wander from side to side looking for little treasures to collect. Things that are beautiful in my eyes, but that some may find strange. Through a shifting lens, I capture objects from a different perspective, looking closer than most seeing more than the naked eye would care to take in.

But then I look up and see the marked collections of stories adorned on flesh. Stories that within their marks tell a story, each line, dot and shadow overlaying a crease, a blood vessel, a mole or even a story past and now covered. Now collecting the collectors.

https://www.instagram.com/mishalweston/

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Julianne Merino

Julianne Merino (1991, Hickory, North Carolina, United States) is a New Orleans based visual artist. Combining sewing, collage and painting, Julianne juxtaposes the process of painting, that has a predominantly masculine history in western art, with sewing –considered women’s labor. She graduated from Pioneer Valley Performing Arts with a concentration in costume design in 2010 and with a BFA from Massachusetts College of Art + Design in 2014. Julianne has worked as a printmaking instructor and as a journalist of art in New Orleans. 

I take dolls very seriously. I started making paper dolls from magazine cut-outs and scraps of fabric as a child. Using these materials as an adult, my work reimagines the definition of what a doll is. As marionettes, paintings, or collages, these female figures sit waiting for something to happen to them.The passive female figure is an enduring theme from old master paintings to fashion magazines to vintage pin-ups. 

I work on translucent vellum, painting, collaging & sewing from front and back to create layers with a distorted sense of depth, reminiscent of skewed perspective from the medieval period. A visual hierarchy emerges that subverts traditional power structures. Rather than a scene the viewer might step into, these landscapes feel more like a reverie, replete with all the non-linearity of a sleepy-eyed subconscious. 

Through collage, I juxtapose classical symbols and quotidian commercial imagery, challenging culturally inherited assumptions about femininity. The disharmony between these two extremes allows me to critically explore and decode their meanings & create a cipher of personal iconography. 

Sewing & embroidery, which I first learned from my mother, has historically been women's work passed down through generations. I have expanded my craft amid costuming culture in New Orleans, specifically learning from the work of a Mardi Gras Indian chief, and now employ these materials as a visually stark departure from my collage and painting, an art form dominated by men throughout western art. I engage these mediums to complicate gender dynamics of not only theme, but process. 

I will further develop my process, including threading into paper, printing onto fabrics, and deepening the relationship between textile and mixed media works. I want to focus on making interactive pieces, like marionettes, and sculptural work. I’d like to incorporate family heirlooms, sewing and putting them into new works, creating a sense of femininity through generations. I want to juxtapose this familiarity and intimacy with the dark, satirical, & extraordinary imagery of Mardi Gras culture. 

I’d like to create tapestries and/or wearable art that combines embroidery and 2d imagery, reminiscent of secret fraternal banners, but through the classic iconography of women throughout different history/ religions. What if women had their own secret orders? What would their traditions and symbols be? I’m drawn to this double standard because secret fraternal orders were considered to be wise and ritualistic, whereas women were considered to be heretics and witches. These were the archetypes that capitalism had to destroy. 

Using embroidery looms, silk-screening and beading, I’d like to create 3d fabric pieces, reminiscent of medieval hell mouths and the faces on old Mardi Gras floats. Creating pieces that viewers can interact with is important to me, whether through puppetry, wearing, or unveiling something hidden under a piece of cloth.

This residency is an opportunity for growth — not just spatially or methodically, but also a growth in the sense of community. I feel excited thinking about this residency as a chance to be surrounded by like-minded and supportive people. 

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Reconstructing Experiences: Interview with Lisa Wicka

Lisa Wicka received her BFA from the University of Central Florida, and MFA from Purdue University. Her work has shown both national and internationally in solo and group exhibitions, and is in many public and private collections. She actively participates in artist residencies around the world including Sparkbox Studios (Canada), Ålgården Workshop (Sweden) and Officina Stamperia del Notaio (Sicily). Her experiences traveling and living throughout the US have greatly inspired her practice. Wicka currently resides in Marinette, WI where she is the Assistant professor of Art at the UW Colleges. 

Statement

We live in the spaces... 

between past and present, 

between empty and occupied, 

between mind and body, 

between physical and virtual, 

between tangible and lost, 

between loneliness and love, 

between exposed and hidden. 

Through the breakdown and rebuilding of the in-between, my work mimics the everyday navigation of these realms. Temporary moments of clarity come together and fall apart, creating a self in motion, evolving through experience, place, failures and successes. My work is a surface where this dialogue becomes visible explorations of my surroundings and my identity, a surrogate self with limitless possibilities. 

Often referencing architectural spaces, wallpapers, and raw materials, my work brings into question the solidity and accuracy of things we hold true. Printmaking, drawing, and mixed media methods allow me to acknowledge my experiences, dissect them, and reconstruct them into something concrete, if only for a moment. 

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Interview by Sarah Mills

What are you currently working on? 

I am currently working on a new series of work Along the Way while continuing to work on my series, Focus. Along the Way is made up of fragments that incorporate patterns, textures, and in most cases, some little legs interacting with the construction. Focus is a series I started a few years ago, where I build miniature abstracted domestic spaces and photograph them in various locations. These photos then become a part of an interactive piece that invites the viewer to have their own intimate experience. (See short video clip.)

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What is the inspiration behind your current series? 

In my artist statement, I talk about my work as a surface where the dialogue between my surroundings and myself can take place, as if a surrogate form. With this new work, I am reflecting on transitional spaces, and how one functions in them. These spaces are in-betweens, such as trains, cars, etc… but I also draw connections to the space that exists on our digital platforms. Both types of space feel heavy and physical; they take up space and time and are often occupied, but at the same time can be lonely. This new series is about existing within them, recognizing their rules and limitations, and finding yourself (even if only temporarily) in those moments. A number of things have brought me to this series, but primarily it stems from my last three years in a fairly remote location in the Midwest. This being my first location post grad school, I went from having a network of artists, friends, and resources within my reach to having a lot of physical distance from these things. I am learning to rely more on communications online, staying up-to-date through Facebook, and other resources, and traveling whenever I can. This means that I am mostly isolated, with bursts of New York, Philadelphia, or Chicago, where I try to soak up as much of my surroundings as much as possible, as if I could store it like a camel. This approach has given me the time to reflect on both ends of this experience and evaluate this balance that we all try to create in one way or another.

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Tell us about your process when you start a new piece. 

At this point, very rarely am I starting a piece totally from scratch; I have built up a large collection of screen printed patterns, monoprints, drawings, wood shapes, etc. and they often make their way into my work. The patterns I create are often reflections of past experiences or are reminiscent of an existing pattern from my everyday. I work like a collage artist, so for the most part when I am drawing or printing my patterns, I am creating flat sheets that will be cut up, folded, layered along the way. My sketchbook is filled with shapes and notes more than anything, and I can pretty confidently say I never know what the piece is really going to look like when I start it. I have found this way of working allows the more controlling side of me to have a say in the creation of the individual collage pieces, then I rely on experimentation and instinct when I start to combine things together. I intentionally make room for happy accidents, which sounds strange, but that is the place where the good stuff happens.

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In your artist statement you talk a lot about how your surroundings and identity influence your work. Can you talk about some of the biggest influences in your life?

I think moving around and traveling has had such an impact on my work and my life. I have experienced small towns, big cities, and some in-between, and finding who I am in those places has challenged me to questions what is important to me: what to keep, and what to let go. For me, embracing the uncomfortable has offered me the opportunity to try new things, meet new people, sometimes fail, but learn more about myself along the way. I can see the fluidity in which I change from place to place, recognizing changes in career, age, and priorities. But each location also offers me the opportunity to try something new. This playfulness allows me to find new parts of myself and has become a very important part of my process. I work hard to keep embracing the uncomfortable in my practice; it is where I am the most vulnerable and honest.

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What advice would you give to artists looking to find their voice and technique? How did it happen for you? 

That is a big question! I think my suggestion would be to experiment and do what keeps you engaged. It took me a lot of work, writing, reflecting, and bad art to really start to feel solid about what I was doing. I thought for a long time that once I “figured it out” then I would be stuck in it, which scared me a little. For me, I have found a way of working that lets me move, experiment, twist and turn, while still staying true to what is important to me. Once I got to that point, I felt so much better because at the end of the day, if you are not interested in what you are doing, why would anyone else be? My way of working constantly gives me to new problems to solve, and I enjoy figuring them out.

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You work in multiple different mediums, is there a medium you are most drawn to? Why?

 Printmaking plays a large role in my work by allowing me to create multiple versions of the same image. I enjoy the spontaneity that arises through the print process. I can change colors, use painterly approaches and embrace the unexpected results that will later often get cut up, and mix and match with other images and materials. Outside of the process of printmaking, I enjoy working with materials that have a physicality to them and they often include some sort of building materials such as wood, house paint, or enamel, mixed with delicate materials, such as paper, gold leaf, wax, etc. The combination of these materials can feel solid and temporary at the same time. It is important to me that my work feels as if it is in motion, possibly coming together, or falling apart, and my choice of materials help to reinforce this concept.

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Because you use many different mediums, your series are all pretty unique. Is there one body of work that you are the most fond of? Why? 

This is a complicated question. Although some series may look unique, they are very closely related. Some are a response to a particular time or location, while an ongoing series can show the growth within a particular idea. I can appreciate both ways of working; I do feel I need to have some more spontaneous work along with the controlled because they reinforce each other. An example of this would be In-between series, which was made during the time I began the Focus series. Although this work does not look too similar, In-between allowed me to explore shape and space in a way that can be seen in the Focus series. There are also some repeated patterns between the two.

Natural Habitat at Spoke NYC

Dual artist exhibition by Jeremy & Jayde Fish

Opening Reception: June 2nd, 6 - 8pm
On view: June 2nd - 23rd, 2018.

Spoke NYC is pleased to present Natural Habitat, a dual person exhibition by San Francisco-based artists Jeremy and Jayde Fish. Natural Habitat will be their inaugural exhibition at Spoke NYC, in which they both look towards the past and present to draw inspiration from their lineage of artisanal histories, memories and interpersonal relationships.

Jeremy Fish’s body of work draws inspiration from his ancestors, looking to the master craftsmen and creatives in his family. Notably, Fish’s great grandfather, was the personal tailor to Theodore
Roosevelt, making both his matrimonial and burial suits. As an homage to his kin, Jeremy Fish has created a series of pen and ink drawings in his signature vintage anthropomorphic style, working in a limited palette of black, white, yellow and sepia. Each drawing is like a snapshot or portrait which tells a story about the artist’s love for his wife Jayde Fish, their cat Mrs. Irbis Brown Fish and the various artistic branches of his mother’s Italian family tree.

Jayde Fish’s work references memories of her past as well as stories of adventures that she has taken along the way. Her grandmother was an embroiderer and quilt maker, and instilled a deep appreciation for intricate detail. This influence is readily apparent in Jayde Fish’s ink drawings, who uses meticulous line work to create complex cage like animals and structures. The artist’s highly stylized environments appear to be from an alternate realm full of surreal adventures featuring unicorns, aliens and elaborate fashion.

Additionally, the artists will be exhibiting his-and-hers pajamas, slippers, bags and additional accessories, as well as a sitting area, allowing the viewer to daydream what a typical day in the artists stylized world is like.

Please join us Saturday, June 2nd from 6 - 8pm for the opening reception of Natural Habitat. The artists will be in attendance. Brand new limited edition letterpress prints will be available in person at the opening.

For more information, or additional images, please email us at nyc@spoke-art.com.

Clare Celeste Börsch

Clare Celeste Börsch has been assimilating to different cultures and environments her entire life – having lived in Brazil, the US, Italy, Honduras, Argentina and Germany. Rich with texture and detail, each composition pays tribute to her capacity to transform her archive of experiences into hallucinogenic ecosystems of their own. The lush assemblages of fauna and flora exude a visceral and intimate fragility. They speak to the mutable nature of memories as reconstructions that border on mythologies.

Kaylee Dalton

Kaylee Dalton is an award-winning, mixed media artist living in northern Indiana. Her work focuses on the fascinating consistency of new plant growth and the expressive characteristics natural forms exude. Abstracting the intricacies of leaves, blooms, and the unseen world beneath the soil of roots and earthly formations. Beginning with an encaustic monotype she collages parts of hand-painted papers, ink drawings, and occasional textiles, creating a whimsical interpretation of lush landscapes. She strives for strong textural differences reflective of the various surfaces found in nature.

Mark Bradley-Shoup

Mark Bradley-Shoup earned his BFA from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in Painting and Drawing and his MFA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Studio Art. He has exhibited his work in Los Angeles, Boston, Atlanta, Nashville, Knoxville, Omaha, Miami, Birmingham, Santa Monica, New Orleans and Vancouver, B.C. In addition to his extensive exhibition record, Bradley-Shoup has been the recipient two Make Work grants, the Individual Artist Fellowship from the Tennessee Arts Commission, an Individual Arts Grant form Allied Arts of Greater Chattanooga, and a Pollock-Krasner Grant, as well as nominated for the Dedalus Foundation, Joan Mitchell Award and a George Marshall Fellowship. His work has been published in New American Paintings, Backwards City Review, and the New Orleans Gambit Weekly

Currently, Bradley-Shoup is based in Chattanooga where he lives with his wife and two children and is a Lecturer at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga. 

Statement

When it comes to studio practice, I consider myself a pluralist, meaning that I do not dedicate myself to a singular vision or practice of creating images. The intention of my abstract and representational work is to address the theme of expansion and recession, consumption and growth, and in short, the elegance of brutality. The majority of my work is derived from my observation and interaction with the natural and constructed landscape and how we respond to our sense of place in the world, as I am deeply intrigued by how we inhabit and utilize space. Such work is often derived from my own photographs, as well as mapping systems and architectural schematics.

Given my response to consumer relationships and waste, I dedicate a third series of work that is derived from discarded items that culminate in the form of collages and mixed media. The images in this particular body of work are a form of aesthetic play and experimentation of media. While the majority of my work has distinct conceptual underpinnings, this series of work presents a more sincere discourse with the concept of ‘play’ within the confines of studio practice where I allow the images and compositions to present themselves throughout the course of experimentation. While these images are not directly addressing the concepts embedded in my other work, they are directly linked and continue to influence one another in ways that are not always obvious or apparent to the viewer. My collage and mixed media work is the truest form of studio research as many of the techniques and compositions that are fleshed out within these works often find themselves residing in my more traditional painting practice.

Jemma Lock

Hi, my name is Jemma Lock and I recently graduated from Loughborough University in fine art. A combination of unconventional techniques is used to create a hybridisation of traditional and contemporary art styles. My concept is fuelled by dramatisation, in an aim to re-characterise individual women. These models may be holy, honorary, or worshipped individuals who have been made apparent to society through the work of other artists, such as Giorgione’s Sleeping Venus. However, in my recreations they are placed in scenarios that allow them to be socially reachable and touchable in modern society. 

Incorporating different mediums in my work, oil paints, neon lighting, and glitter makes an overwhelming experience for the viewer. The use of phallic and vulva symbolisation entices the spectator to look past the composition of oils, and search for the reasoning and understanding behind the artist’s thought. This series of work, features Venus - the goddess of love, sex and fertility accommodating a Playboy vajazzle. Eve, the first woman to exist in primeval history was depicted to have a drinking problem. Madonna, the loving mother with bleached roots and chipped nail polish. This concept plays on the notion of camouflage; you become distracted by the surrounding and not on the figure itself, taking an infamous figure and hiding it in modern life.

Claire Brewster

Since I could first pick up a pencil, art was the only thing I was really interested in. My journey to become a professional artist has involved living in Spain and Romania and working for a high-profile architects’ practice, amongst other things, whilst always working on my art. I have been living and working in London for over 25 years. My work has been exhibited and published widely and is in private collections all over the world. 

My process involves collage, painting, pouring, stippling, and layering paint on paper or card. My aim is to test the limits of the paper and paint. I am looking for reactions between the paint and the paper and how one layer of paint is impacted by the preceding layers. There is often buckling, cracking, and distortions in colours. The unpredictability of this is a thrill to me. I am always testing the materials, colours, and textures to act beyond what I expect and can control. I encourage the paint to do things it’s not supposed to do to create happy accidents. 

I use figures cut from glossy magazines such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Tatler, as an act of subversion I cut up the magazines, collecting pictures of women, taking them from their original context. I transform them beyond recognition to create ethereal yet provocative works that question our notions of identity.

www.clairebrewster.com

JoAnn Goodman

My work allows me an undertone in a quiet moment. A tiny easement into a larger visual dialogue that exists within a given physical space. The weight a line carries, when color consults imagery, when balance is achieved in form. 

I am a collector of visual artifacts, both past and present. These relics include photographs, paper scraps from books and magazines, cardboard, textiles, and weathered wood and metal. 
These "found objects", often lost and discarded, tell a story beyond their material history. They evoke feelings of nostalgia. 

What does the sum of elements suggest to us? What is hidden and what is seen? 
My intent is to recognize these moments of sensitivity and elevate them. To encounter and absorb, stretching them out as long as possible... creating a visual postponement.

http://joanngoodmanart.com