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.
Aubrie Costello is a fiber artist from Philadelphia working to blur the lines between fine and street art. Known for her ephemeral site-specific silk installations, Costello’s work explores the tension between what’s kept private versus what’s shared publicly. Her process utilizes the expressive nature of silk to personify her growing collection of found phrases, verses, mantras, and quotations gathered from the world around her. These words are intuitively written in yards of hand-shredded dupioni silk and sewn into large-scale silk flags. Costello has exhibited her work extensively in Philadelphia and abroad, most notably at International House University of Pennsylvania, Chemical Heritage Foundation, Moore College of Art & Design, Main Line Arts Center, Bucks County Community College Hicks Art Center Gallery, The James Oliver Gallery, Projects Gallery, in politically and socially charged exhibitions Truth To Power, Into Action, and WE RISE, and was a co-organizer of the 2017 citywide public art project, Signs Of Solidarity.
My work revolves around drawing, specifically making marks with the body. It’s about the process and physicality involved in embroidering marks to make a statement that vacillates between the poles of vulgar, violent, gorgeous. The texts come from personal musings, found internet memes and aphorisms, fragments of forgotten poetry, or the banal, pithy, heartbroken musings of icons and strangers alike.
The practice is largely intuitive and physically demanding. In drawings up to 30 feet long, text melts into a vibrating, hallucinatory design sourced from a 1885 French wallpaper sample, which harkens to Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper.” In creating them I invoke a similar physicality to the story's protagonist, often on my hands and knees for hours and weeks at a time, using a 0.5 mm mechanical pencil to make marks. Drawings are smudged, worn and covered with fingerprints. Many drawings comprise a palimpsest of sketches where masked figures, erased words, or traces of knotted and tangled fabric bleed through.
I am a self-taught artist and the daughter of a Charismatic Christian minister who grew up in rural Kansas and Texas before moving to Seattle in my early 20's. I wanted to be a missionary as a kid but lost my faith as an adult. I see my work as a task of both consciously and subliminally sorting out the experience of a female trying to make expressive marks—a task that has found uncanny resonance for me with the history of female hysteria. I am fascinated by history, art, the politics surrounding the female body, and by art that borders on obsessive, meditative devotion. I sometimes have a dirty sense of humor.
Manitach's work has been exhibited at venues including Tacoma Art Museum, Frye Art Museum, Bellevue Arts Museum, Winston Wächter Gallery, Bryan Ohno Gallery, Roq la Rue and Lawrimore Project. She is represented by Winston Wächter Gallery. From 2012-2015 she served as curator of Hedreen Gallery at Seattle University. She co-founded and co-directed multiple mixed-use arts spaces in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood, including TMRW Party (2014) and The Factory (2015-16). She holds a BA in Literature (2001) from Oral Roberts University, Tulsa, OK. Her work is included in the permanent collection of Tacoma Art Museum.
Lauren Bierly is a visual artist and arts professional living and working in New York City. Her artwork has been exhibited in New York City; Portland, OR; San Francisco, CA; and Kolkata, India. She is also Manager of Special Exhibitions and Projects for The Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Bierly holds an M.A. in Modern Art, Connoisseurship, and History of the Art Market from Christie’s Education, New York (2010), and Bachelor of Architecture and Minor in Art History from Pennsylvania State University (2009).
My work is an investigation into sensory perception on both personal and communal levels. Through artwork, I identify visual languages and systems to draw out commonalities between people and the differences that make people unique.
Using invisible differences, like neurological conditions, I unpack subjectivity and the mental space of feeling. Synaesthesia—a neurological condition in which sensory modalities, such as taste, sound, and vision, are cross-wired—is an entirely subjective experience. Subjectivity rendered it taboo and thought-to-be-impossible to diagnose until a resurgence in neuroimaging with MRIs in the 1980s. "Color Translations" is a tangible exercise in translating my neurological experience of grapheme-color (word-to-color) synaesthesia into reality. The series is a study in color theory, form, and spatial perception governed by one process: translating essays, letter by letter, into color.
Lori Hyland is an abstract painter who has lived her entire life in Los Angeles. She took her undergraduate degree at the University of Southern California and then attended Pratt Institute and School of Visual Arts in New York. Additionally, she studied with Koho Sensei in traditional Japanese Sumi-e and Tom Wudl. Lori's work has been shown in galleries in Europe and the U.S.
I have always been fascinated by two important concepts: visual meaning and transformation. Painting is very satisfying as every canvas brings new and unexpected relationships. I may start out with a very particular vision or meaning in mind but other forces bring me to an altogether different place. It is this element that draws me into abstract art rather then the representational form, offering endless fascination with the revelations that take place.
Ironically, I worked primarily with the human figure. I was never entirely satisfied with this method of creative expression and began to explore abstraction going after the reality that reflects my true spirit. One may think abstract art is totally undisciplined but to the contrary, it has a truly classical framework and find it necessary to explore all options within a classical framework as one would in a work of music of the classical genre.
My work is a deep reflection of my inner life. The creative process is deeply intuitive with no evading Its’ intensity causing me to reveal myself in ways that I do not understand on an intellectual level. What we are expressing as artists is the universal language of life. Replicated infinite times in infinite forms we can only grab a small piece as manifested in our dreams and reveries; unformed but "playful" in mind and art.
I work in several media, principally oil on canvas often on air-brushed canvases that are virtually complete in themselves bringing an extra layer of color and meaning to my work. Occasionally I grind my own pigments of semi-precious gem-stones and find it to be the real, sensual and pliable in creating my compositions. In itself, this preparation becomes a meditative practice and draws me closer to breathe and creating life.
Painting then becomes a matter of discovery and investigation as well as destruction. At every moment a new vision takes place and the old one destroyed; it becomes something – a metaphor for life itself.
Much of my work is constructed by small grids of color placed closely together to refract colors of the natural world. In working this way I am able to convey pictorially that which would otherwise be unavailable to me. The colors and structures by themselves have little significance but placed in the whole reveal several levels of symbolism leading to a meaningful oneness. These grids develop into symbols and gestures that reflect my physical, spiritual and emotional state that on a subconscious level tell a story that I may not realize until the work completes itself.
My latest work is based on permutations of words that provide building blocks; and advantage in which to take the word out of its literal meaning and furthering its possibilities into other realms not inherent in the word itself.
I do not sign my work with a signature itself but use what I call a “color-bar.” It is a series of colors taken from the visible light spectrum with each one unique and different and coded to a data-base providing me with all the information I need about the work.
Undeniably, there is a magical quality of transformation. My paintings then become adventures of the soul, representing real meaning in life, recorded and expressed not in thought, words nor intellect but of spirit; the true avatar.
Beverly Hills, California - 2016
Stephanie Hirsch appropriates iconoclastic images and sayings and infuses them with the anarchistic spirit from whence they came. Through her use of beads, sequins and embroidery, Hirsch's canvases are literally 'illuminated' with words of enlightenment and hope. Her simple text and quips often cause the viewer to question their moral standings and beliefs, all the while offering aesthetically charged images that are simultaneously foreign and familiar.
Hirsch states, "Mental and physical blockages in life are often self-inflicted, both literally and figuratively. I explore my journey through life as a quest to uncover the truth around me and to express my position through the multifaceted meanings inherent to the words we use and actions we do."
Stephanie Hirsch is currently the PS3 artist in residence through Art Production Fund at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. Her residency runs from April 15 – May 10.
When did you first start using text and positive messages in your work?
In 2008 I had a dark night of the soul where literally and figuratively my life shattered and my shell cracked open. I desperately needed to pull myself out from the darkness. Words have power, and spirit guided me to put the eternal truths of hope and enlightenment onto the canvas.
It's refreshing to see such inspiring words and sayings in the midst of the current art world chaos. Does your work have a personal meaning to you?
Yes, it is everything to me (besides my kids). It is my meditation, my soul, my lover, my friend. I read a beautiful saying that "art reflects the times and it is the job of the artist to speak of the eternal truths." In these times of darkness and chaos where so much negativity bombards us, I use my gift to connect to a higher consciousness. If my work resonates and uplifts others, I am blessed.
How long have you been an artist? Tell us about your creative journey.
I was born an artist. I don’t know any other way than to create from what soars within my soul. My first endeavor into the artistic world was as a fashion designer. I created works of art on a resort and swimwear. When I sold my company in 2008, another form of artistry came to me, and that was to work on canvas.
Congratulations on your recent success at Art Miami. What would you say helped push your art career to the next level? What tips would you share with our readers?
Thank you! I authentically live from my truth. If this inspires others and gets them to gravitate to my work I am grateful. Each and every one of us is given our own divine gift. It is our job while in physical form to find it, devour it and release it into the universe.
How important is fun and experimentation to you? Describe a typical day in the studio.
I deeply love what I do. I am constantly reading, meditating and connecting to source. Experimentation and joy are a constant in my life and art. My studio is my solitude.
What are your plans for the near future? What should be we on the lookout for?
I am finishing up my 5th solo show at Lyons Wier Gallery in NYC this winter. I have a busy spring ’17. I am participating in 2 group shows and have a solo show out West (details shortly). I am also working on a public art installation.