THE ARTS ISSUE 2021
giving voice to the visual arts WES BROWN Co-Host PHOTOGRAPHER
TODD PIERSON Co-Host PHOTOGRAPHER
@tenet â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Subscribe anywhere you get your podcasts.
MELISSA RICHARDSON BANKS KAT NECHLEBA ALEXANDREA PANGBURN DANIEL SPRICK RON HICKS DENNIS SCHOLL KRISTA LEA - ARTBY13 CHARLES RAGINS LISA DIAMOR SANCHEZ GARRETT ELLWOOD LEE LABIER DEAN SOBEL - CLYFFORD STILL MUSEUM LOUISE MARTORANO - REDLINE TODD GUSTAFSON TOPHER STRAUS LISA GARNESS MALLORY FRITZ ANDERS W. MAX THOMASON LISA SICILIANO DAN DROSSMAN MEGHAN WILBAR LORENZO CHAVEZ ED DWIGHT KRISTA HANLEY DETOUR JK DOOLEY TOM RASCH PEGGY DETMERS JOHN LOPEZ GEORGIA AMAR JOE ZIEGLER COORS WESTERN ART EXHIBIT MICHAEL OME UNTIEDT CHRIS SESSIONS LEO TANGUMA CYNTHIA RAMU STEVON LUCERO JERRY & JAY JARAMILLO BOB RAGLAND CHERRY CREEK ARTS FESTIVAL
Melissa Herrington's new abstract series debuting in Boston at Lanoue Gallery, explores the ideas of expansiveness and continuity reduced to its purest essence. Each work functions as both an individual entity and as a part of a larger theme. Herrington explores gestural marks and subtle forms through this abstraction. Layers are fundamental to her imagery and process; she employs underpainting, graphite lines, and subtractive techniques to infuse a work with multiple surfaces. At the heart of her artistic practice is an unmistakable relationship between distilled color and form. Melissa Herrington is a contemporary abstract artist currently living and working in Los Angeles, California. She has called Southern California home since 2005. She received her MFA from Otis College of Art and Design. Prior to that, she spent most of her early career in Atlanta, Georgia and has a BFA from Florida State University. She has exhibited both nationally and internationally. Herrington creates large-scale, gestural paintings that are built up through layers of paint on canvas overlaid with mark-making using graphite, charcoal and pigments. Herringtonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s recent paintings explore the complexities of transformation. Each work
functions as both an individual entity and as a part of a larger theme. Herrington explores spontaneous marks and subtle forms through abstraction. Layers are fundamental to her imagery and process, infusing each work with multiple surfaces. Loosely sketched forms blend into whites and grays, contrasted by whole abstracted fields, as colors exhale forth an intimate narrative.
At the heart of Herrington's artistic practice is an unmistakable relationship between distilled color and form. Standing before a singular canvas in this series, one is immediately drawn in by a strong and powerful feeling of transformation. As contoured shapes emerge from the abstract, the viewer is witness to form unfolding, creating new visual possibilities, evoking a sense of wonder.
TWO WEEKS IN MARFA
A Unique Exploration of the Self By Lee LaBier Walking along a dirt road, the sun bright and warming the day, I steer off the path to photograph an unfamiliar tree. A photographic idea coalesces; it pushes through my mind so clearly it jolts me. Nature jutting up against the empty bluest of blue skies that I have come to know during my morning walks in Marfa, TX. This is the elation of an artist residency. As 2020 progressed, my scheduled art exhibitions and a writing residency in India were postponed directly related to COVID. Resolute to continue my art practice, I began online classes and building a home studio. I reached out to Denver artists to collaborate and fortuitously, they were reaching out to me. Constructing two portraits with Courtney Cotton for her Littleton Museum exhibition came into focus. Artist interviews with Voyage Denver in their Trailblazer segment and an episode with Tenet Podcast followed continuing the momentum.
Revitalized, a First Friday art walk through Denver’s Santa Fe Drive art district, I visited Rule Gallery. I expressed my interest in their Marfa, TX artist residency. Soon after I was invited to attend and I couldn’t think of anyone better to do this with than my collaborator of six years, Courtney. A residency equated to time, time to disconnect and dedicate to creating art. Experimentation with new mediums, reading and writing for two weeks would be indispensable. Scattering in every direction, my mind filled with developing new ideas and some uncertainty. Gathering art supplies and re-packing my trusty travel case equalized an internal pressure in me. The shapes and textures of tubes of paint, brushes and canvas converged under my fingertips, a tactile exhalation. Reaching out to reserve art tours and meet ups with select gallerists, artists and curators the days pass quickly and our November departure arrives. I heave my overstuffed bags of food and art supplies into Courtney’s jam-packed Honda Fit.
Laughing, we pull out of the driveway, “Well, we’ll either understand each other on a deeper level after this or never talk again,” Courtney says. Our core focus is simple, be open to new experiences and allow opportunities to flow. Leaving a few days early gave way to long talks and pausing in small towns and meeting people who send us on more exploits. Museums, outdoor sculptures and an artist commune, Drop City, were among the first stops. Detouring off the main road through Trinidad, only one of Drop City’s abandoned dome structures remained. It lay in an open field holding random contents and the verve of a counterculture artists’ community. Farther down the road, the tug to photograph abandoned cars and antique machinery placed on exhibit in overgrown fields has me jumping from the car and over fences. Zigzagging through the streets of Trinidad we stop for coffee and in various shops. Shirley’s thrift, where we procure wood panels, soon to be repurposed into art, and
back across the street to view the Art Cartopia Museum truck. Back behind the wheel, the shifting landscapes from mountains to open flat lands and blushing magenta skies flash by the windshield with an evening check-in at the Plaza Hotel in Las Vegas, NM. Over dinner we ruminate that the delay of our initial June date has transformed into a force of kismet. An evening arrival at Rule Gallery, our new home base for the next two weeks, we unload, survey our new digs, have a celebratory shot and set out to the Lost Horse pub. Locals and transients reveal stories about their journeys and how we all came to be sharing this moment. We watch bits of the Presidential election, after very little persuasion with drinks, to a local to fetch his TV. Waking with anticipation, I’m eager to begin. There’s some adjustment finding a rhythm to my morning routine. Making the bed into an exhibit space becomes performance art.
from each other is a significant asset we contribute throughout our various collaborations.
Tuck in here; stuff the sheet under there and plumping the pillows pass for a pseudo made bed. Resuming my routine, my walking meditations within the unknown landscape round out my morning before opening the gallery. Immersed in my new surroundings visually sparks inspiration and over the next two weeks transition into new work. As a live/workspace, the gallery is a renovated house exhibition space, in which visitors seem comfortable, contains two main front exhibit rooms that lead through the rest of the house. The bedroom, to the living room, and then to the kitchen, each having represented artists’ work on view. This ‘at ease’ gallery model contributes to open conversations and immediate connections. We promptly turn the kitchen into a studio. Setting up on the kitchen floor I spread out my art supplies. I decide to use this time for creative experimentation rather than focusing on an end product. It has been a long time since I painted and the blank surface is daunting. Gifted palette knives, acrylic paint and canvas from an esteemed friend, I trust in their energy and I begin with my wood panels. Painting a layer of black gesso is enough to break the anxiety of the first paint stroke. I’d forgotten the allure of mixing paint and how the hues satiate my vision. The mountains and skylines consigned in my memory along the drive spill out. I discover that it is challenging for me to create with the intermissions needed to interact with visitors and find a balance of reading, writing and research between these moments to be fully present. Studio time is also filled with conversations about artists and a list of places to go and people to meet. There is a trust that is exceptional and we openly exchange resources, techniques, and whatever each of us may need. Learning
Between gallery and studio time, we wander through the neighborhood finding remarkable places. There is graciousness and support within this art community that I felt as soon as I arrived. “Are you the new Rule Girls,” someone asked as we walked down the street. They knew we were arriving and I suspect not hard to spot a newbie in this closely-knit small town. “Yes we are,” we responded. Introductions made, we were off to meet more inhabitants in secret locations in this quirky place. A subsequent day wandering for coffee takes us across the train tracks. The trains’ rickety rack passing through placed itself in my mind and childhood nostalgia that I impart to Courtney. Unfamiliar to her, we dig through our pockets for pennies. We listen for the train’s whistle as the day drew to evening. Hurriedly, we lock the doors to recover our flattened coins. Sorting through the rocks, I hear Courtney, “I found one!” There are days that I struggle with productivity, however, exploring outside of the studio; peering through temporar-
ily closed gallery windows and the studios of Donald Judd and John Chamberlain are inspirational. An early morning walking tour at the Chinati Foundation fortifies my spirit. Walking through Judd’s permanent large-scale works, I observe shadows moving through the concrete structures creating sharp angles along their interiors. The emphasis - works in which art and the surrounding land are inextricably linked. Standing in the stillness, I think about those who were here before me, and the bold endeavor to create this, a sensation analogous while roaming Drop City’s dome. Judd’s concept that everything coexists and therefore should be considered resonated with my current creative intentions. What happens between you and the space, the location, the landscape and creating outside of the usual spaces for art? I realize at the end of each day, triumphs or trials, that it was filled with incredible interactions, walks in which I collected objects and printed materials from hotel lobbies and coffee houses, that will later be collaged and oneon-one time with exclusive artists and curators. I come to appreciate that these moments are as significant and constructive as creating. A residency is more than producing a body of work. Days were laden with world events, morning meditations, walks for coffee, wading through the Rio Grande River to hike the trails at Big Bend National Park, off-roading in the Honda Fit, border patrol run-ins and placing pennies on the train tracks. And of course, ART! Attaining my ambitions of painting experiments and being published (Magical Waters: An Unexpected Love Journey of the Mind with Inspired Writers) are among a few of my creative breakthroughs along with planting seeds for new projects. Our last night in Marfa, we gather our new comrades for
libations and laughs about not leaving as others have stayed after their residency, and the mysterious Marfa Lights. Sitting in the silence of the stars with a blanket wrapped around me, I took part in the phenomenon. Our kismet had followed us to Marfa. There is something to be said about the energy of this place. From the first hello to the final hug (and jump start of our car) I felt a part of it and left feeling fortunate to have had this extraordinary affair. brendalabier.com
AN ARTIST’S TRILOGY The Work of Daniel Oropeza
Part 1: “A Horse of Distinct Color” by Mark Kaufman of Local ARTS, edited by Lisa M. Berman It’s one thing to express in words one’s vision and quite another to physically execute. As Thomas Edison said, genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. Daniel Oropeza, a sculptor invited me to his two-story Warehouse to view a piece that he would only describe as “a significant undertaking”. A I entered the studio, I discovered him welding a steel bar framework- a concoction resembling spine of very large creature -the buzz spark of his TIG welder casting a shadow on the framework on me. He tipped his helmet up and greeted me with “Meet Lux, my latest. He’s going to be a life-size Friesian. I’m going to take him to Artprize next September (2017)”. Then added with a quiet confidence, “I’m going to win”. ARTPRIZE, offering a half a million dollars in various allocations of prize money and now held bi-annually in Grand Rapids Michigan, is a mere 2,232 miles from his
studio in Costa Mesa. Largest of its kind, the festival hosts thousands of entries spread over 200 venues for a 19 day event. I didn’t take Daniel’s prediction as anything more than an objective; a focal point meant to drive him forward and not at all boastful. I know his work ethic so I had little doubt he’d make this effort a personal challenge; turning, burning, crafting and toiling to some physical construct. I do know I wasn’t certain it would lead where it did. I felt he was on a good path with regard to materials and technique, utilizing his proprietary mix of copper sheeting and steel framework and poured glass. After several years of trial and error, often being characterized as the “Scientific Sculptor”, he had found himself at the point where he could simply go for it. Over the next 14 months we watched him through Winter chill, Spring rain and summer sun, for a total of 1,720 hours while he mastered, molded and hammered without ever constructing a maquette and finally created an elegant creature 9ft tall, weighing nearly a one ton! Daniels love, labor and wonder had crafted a true show-stopper. Big, shiny and commanding, Lux now clad in the skin of
custom glass poured onto the hundred or so sheets of hand cut patterned copper, complemented with illuminated core and a flowing glass mane had found life and certainty of presence. Their cross-country journey began, a man and his art, fashioned with a reference to Picasso’s painting, Boy & His Horse to an event foreign, to first time entry Oropeza. As the early days of light attendance gave way to a more frenzied first weekend of Artprize, so grew the admiration for LUX MAXIUMUS. Day after day, the crowd surrounded the sculpture, majestically posed, as it stood for endless photo-ops as the news crews of the Midwest media outlets clamored. There was a effortless buzz - Daniel was in demand and more importantly, LUX was in demand. The artist confessed a “weird mix of exhaustion and bliss”. One week turn into two, two turned into three - the crowds continued their admiration and interviews. The competition prizes were being announced, and damn it, Daniel seemed to be in the race. The judging is part juror and part popular vote. The ART critics were not enamored by LUX, yet the people were inspired by the horse and Daniel was named
as a finalist in the popular vote in his category. Translated, this meant that hundreds of thousands of attendees had independently voted for LUX, including other artists. The results were broadcast live via TV, then came the winner of the 3D dimensional ARTPRIZE: Daniel Oropeza…. Drop the mic. It happened, actually he made it happen – his inspiration had taken form and forged a reality. Full circle, hard work and experience all collaborated. The results were more than physical, they were emotionally charged. And another surprise – when most artists are at an age and point of their career seeking their lifetime achievement award, Daniel was voted “Best New Latin Artist” at age of 61. Daniel and Lux arrived home in late October of 2017, both still glowing from the experience. And then a man and his horse were ready for another green adventure – the making of a namesake Sculpture Garden. Part 2: Oropeza Sculpture Garden by Lisa M. Berman It’s not often that an artist is able to procure his own sculpture garden, but synergy seems to be a place in which Oropeza thrives. Now, that the artists illustrious award winning sculpture, LUX MAXIMUS is back in CA, the next question is where to place it while it awaits its’ new home? A museum? A gallery? or perhaps its very own garden? Most lush gardens are painstakingly cultivated over decades, yet this one was launched over a single meeting by Oropeza, Berman Arts Agency and the Nursey by Southwinds in Irvine CA. The namesake Oropeza Sculpture Garden, managed by BAA is located in a beautifully landscaped 5 acre wholesale nursery with its green energy award winning “Casa Del Sol” designed by UCI Students (2nd Place Winner in the U.S. Solar Decathlon) of the and hosts a discerning collection of artwork for sale by Daniel and other award winning sculptors: Craig French, Jon Seeman,
Doyle Reno as well as guest artists. Even though Lux is the destination attraction, Oropeza’s Dragon “Fear & Curiosity”, is another stunning example of his proprietary process of melding glass and metal seamlessly, with thousands of bronze beads strategically added drop by drop. Berman, having placed works in Museums and noted Art collections, feels this is “One for the Smithsonian”. Tall in stature at 6ft 3”, Oropeza has an affinity to create in large scale…His recent 16ft commission of a metal and illuminated glass Hummingbird is an example of the dichotomy in which he reigns. His work ranges $2,500 $350,000. Part 3: The Confidence of Ignorance by Daniel Oropeza Here I am again, creating my own medium, which I thought the first time was preposterous and arrogant. This time I’m ready! I will now count on the confidence of ignorance to guide me through. The new idea: Shattered glass and the structure to contain it. That’s my self imposed challenge. This need to create an original medium presents a new set of problems to be solved and a different skill to master. I’m overwhelmed knowing I am the furthest away from my “Objet d’art “ then I will ever be. So just begin, leap. My sculpture, or a series of calculated experiments with a surprise ending, are a shattered glass show in pulled into unexpected curved shapes. These curvilinear elements both reflect and refract light, as well as colors. Enough technical. I found this to describe what I love about light: “Across cultures, light is an ancient symbol of understanding and intellectual thought: it is the opposite of ignorance, or darkness. Almost universally, the dark is considered to be frightening and sinister, associated with things we cannot understand. Light is said to conquer darkness and to bring order out of chaos.” emich.edu ___________________ Daniel Oropeza; the “Scientific sculptor” has yet another fantastic idea to propel his inspiration. What’s next in his world of art is anyone’s guess.
RANDI RUSSO In my work, interior emotions meet the landscape we find ourselves in: the movement, the color, and the shapes represent what we hold inside, and how all that we hold inside finds its place in the outside world. My art is about belonging; it’s about questioning where we belong, not only in our immediate space, but in the existentially abstract. It’s about where you’re coming from and where you’re going to, and those moments in between, which is the moment. Sometimes we are “stuck” at that fork in the road that Frost poetically wrote about, but which road is really the one less traveled? That’s where following the line comes in. Following line in lyrical abstraction is walking down one of those roads, as well as the chance to go back and travel many of the roads present, depending on how long you sit with the piece. Patience and savoring are important in life; they increase its quality. I still find new roads, even when I look at older works of mine. My hope is that my audience engages with my art in a similar fashion. Keep looking, keep questioning, “Where am I in space? In my environment? Where do I belong, if anywhere? Is this home? Am I at home here? How do I feel now?” These universal questions can be so intimate that only the viewer can answer them quietly through his/her own senses. They don’t even need to be asked with actual words; the shift in feeling does the asking. By asking the viewer to “keep looking,” following a line or shape in a complex composition will make one notice that she/he is getting pulled into another direction. The tug allows him/her to discover a shape as part of another shape, as if entering into another realm. Just when you see something, you see something else, like picking up little hidden notes on a treasure hunt, and the play between foreground and background echo the illusions that are present in our lives. This is not all haunting and dripping in angst. Capturing minds and spirits with beauty and being able to shift the way the body feels, the way you exhale, or tear up, or smile, or feel “at home” is the lure… or perhaps the elixir.
My works emphasize multi-layered systems of abstraction within time and space. All of my paintings have a geometrical component, but also have an emotional relationship of meaning. The paintings are either from the gestural action painting part of my career (energetic, chaotic, free form) or the newer body of works that are narratives, a vocabulary if you will, of the “language of shape”. They are called “The Geometrix”. They are a shift and a departure from the gestural work, but also contain residual remnant styles, shape, thought and emotion form prior works. I design them digitally and then draw the shapes on the canvas, then the painting process begins. I have been a graphic designer for over 25 years——the two mediums have now become a collaboration... a marriage of the digital virtual world into a two-dimensional surface world. The source of imagery comes from the choreography of metamorphosing organic shapes which embody and influence a formal relationship between structure, form, movement, tension, transparency, hierarchy, flotation and emotion. They are a ligature between contemporary art and mid–20th-century design.
I'm most concerned as both a human being and an artist by the abuse of power and the injustice in the world. I studied and grew up in Germany so my work is very European in style. My main artistic influences include Beckmann, Kandinsky, Gorky, Ernst, Paladino, Polke, Dix, Dubuffet, Gabriel Munter, Eva Hesse, Meret Oppenheim, Duchamp, Tapies, and Andre Breton, as well as the Americans Cy Twombly, Helen Frankenthaler, Lee Krasner and Joan Mitchell. Writers of great influence on me are Theodor Adorno, Hannah Arendt and Bertram Russell because they write about the development of fascism and abuse of power. Also, Jean Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Albert Camus,
Thomas Mann and Goethe, as well as Kafka, Rilke and contemporary American poet and curator Lee Spiro for their poetic and imaginative quality. Psychiatrist Sigmund Freud, as well as Jung, Adler and Rank, who were pupils of Freud, are important influences as they defined the human condition on the most personal levels. Here I should certainly include Erich Fromm. There is a cinematic quality to my work which comes from my film background. In my paintings I create characters, stories, and images. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m most influenced by the directors Federico Fellini, Ingmar Bergmann, Akira Kurosawa, Robert Altman, Fatih Akin, Theodor Kotulla, Fassbinder, Bunuel, Osu, Monte Hellman, Lars van Trier, and Antonio Antonioni. For me, a strong piece of art should reflect its times. I do think a strong piece is also personal, which makes it timeless and universal because emotions are universal and all humanity can relate to this.
Kristinaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s paintings reflect her passion for abstract expressionism, both non- representational and figurative. She allows the creative process of gesture, paint and movement to guide her in a meditative flow. Color, shapes and figures begin to emerge. Often a narrative unfolds, or an idea she had been pondering comes through in a subtle but powerful way. There is no way to duplicate the process... each layer, each addition, each brush stroke, each deconstruction, each mark...they all work together to create something new; to represent a joy, an injustice, an idea, a truth, a passion. When she paints, it is a spiritual, rhythmic, and intuitive dance. A key component to Kristinaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s artistic mission is socially engaged art, knowing the transformative power of expression through artistic experiences. Bringing the arts to a community is an essential aspect of her work as an artist. She is passionate about making the arts accessible to ALL and creating positive social change in areas such as LGBTQ rights and
racial justice. She believes in the healing power of the arts and its ability to bring communities together. Recently, Kristina has created a series called Flying Solo paintings. “The black and white painting in the background of this photograph is entitled Flying Solo, and I painted it on a very large piece of raw canvas in my studio during the quarantine. Using the language of abstraction, I thought about the effects of the pandemic and visualized the Covid-19 virus. My first layers represented all of the feelings of fear and uncertainty and isolation. Then I would paint another layer on top of that one with the intent of cancelling it all out, literally painting over those feelings with a layer of peace and healing on top. Using gesture, intuition, movement, music and paint, I just kept creating layer after layer in this same manner over the course of a month. The painting has at least 20 layers of paint on it, as well as lots of scratches, drips and mark making.” This summer, on a very hot 95 degree day, I took the painting outside, leaned it against a building next to my studio in Globeville, and had a fellow artist snap a few photos of me in front of the painting. I specifically painted a mask to mimic the colors and layers of the painting, and I changed into my black and white “psychedelic” dress because I thought it would look fantastic with the painting and the mask. I then struck a pose that reminded me of those 1950s style Creature From the Black Lagoon Hollywood movie posters. The word “Pandemic,” can evoke feelings of fear and helplessness, so this is a very stereotypical “feminine” pose that I was creating with sarcasm and irony. Other recent work includes Social Distance, which she says “represents where we are as a society, as a whole world, with this pandemic.”
I work in many mediums which include, but are not limited to painting, poetry, photography, stop motion animation, digital art, and clothing design. I am always exploring new ways to express the different worlds I envision. My most recent series explores self portraiture through collage. The series dismantles each character using symbols and a very specific setting. The characters give you allowance to veiw them in their very own unique purgatory. They feel as if they are somewhere in between the realm of the dead and the living.
These characters are about female roles, and how women are represented so often in our books, art, film, mythology, and just history in general. A portrayal entangled with our long history of sexism, and violence against women. We are often portrayed as lustful temptresses, and unsalvagable beings, and it is often romanticized. I have reimagined myself in certain narratives, books and films often inspire these pieces. One I use a lot is Sharp objects, and Little Red Riding Hood. facebook.com/ashley.flynn.9822
The characters are women who have been consumed by men, or creatures that represent a male identity. They are riddled with a tragic essence, a traumatic past. They are starving for sex, sometimes violence, and ultimately love. They want to continue to be consumed, because thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all they know. You never see the men, but the remininance of a lost woman in inescapable space, never getting the love she chases, left empty, as someone who is only desired momentarily. Sometimes she does have company, but it is just another version of herself. They usually are trying to nurture each other in some way. I imagine my characters as witches of sorts. Someone that would be sacrificed or outcasted for the greater good of society. As if they were a danger to both men and women. A danger to those that were lucky enough to feel they are still innocent. If you can look past that ravaging quality in her eyes, the sometimes blatant sexuality, there is still a sense of innocence, a light, an inner child shining through. There is a girl searching for her stolen freedom.
You will see she isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t dangerous at all, and instead is begging you to rescue her. I also want you to feel like each characterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s spirit is enormous enough to save itself, but she is too desperate to be that aware of her own strength. This series is a tribute to women.
Donghwan Kimâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s artwork examines the transformation that we see, but donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t always recognize. Referencing his own transformation from Busan, South Korea to New York City, his eyes are in tune with recognizing the beauty of the transformation both physically and emotionally. In the chaotic world we live in, people do not stop to appreciate the beauty of transformations. A frozen body of water transforms into a pond full of natural wildlife. A simple sprout transforms into a vibrant bloom. A garden transforms from a blank palette of soil into a landscape full of colors. Even emotionally, Kim celebrates the transformation of people who grow as they move from one stage in life or geography to another. Kim uses a wide variety of colors, various geometric shapes and organic patterns to showcase how transformations are seen through his eyes. His work focuses on basic materials and acrylic colors to demonstrate the beauty that can emerge from simplicity.
Painting Her Experience Mary Sams Exposes the Raw Truth I received my BFA from the University of Georgia and currently live and work in Athens, Ga. Over the years I’ve dabbled in different mediums, but it wasn’t until I found painting that I felt like I had found what I was meant to do. I feel that I am able to express myself most clearly, and color speaks to me when I paint. Life is about relationships; Relationships both with ourselves as well as with others. My paintings come from my heart, so it seems only natural to paint my experiences. The biggest challenge I face as an artist is to maintain humility. Humility allows me to see the truth. Without that, a painting doesn’t possess heart, and you risk not connecting with your audience.The truth isn’t always
pretty but it is always the foundation of real relationships. I do my best to be honest with myself first, then apply it to my art. Sometimes it’s embarrassing, but it is what it is. Paintings can be raw admissions of our deepest insecurities as well as areas of our life that need attention. These paintings can be hard to share, but vulnerability is a super power. It’s where I’m able to make connections. Knowing that, momentary fear no longer controls me. Truth is, my art is my voice; My paintings are a peek inside my mind. It’s in these moments, I find my strength and art happens @marysamsfineart
ANNE ABUEVA The Human Experience
My studio practice stems from a need to express myself visually where words often fail me. A therapist once told me to "let it out on a cellular level" and that instruction still guides me in the studio. I edit, experiment, play and work until the end result expresses a raw, authentic truth. Each piece hopefully touches on some strand of human experience that sparks emotion and connection.
Lisa Penz isn't interested in reality. As a young Artist, growing up in Canada, the winters were long. Worn-out VHS tapes of The Little Mermaid and Aladdin transported her to fantastical places, full of color, full of warmth. The canvases her father bought her quickly crowded her room, and she would paint the backs of them to save space. In 2004 Lisa moved to Australia, where she was enchanted by the tropical sensibility and the Great Barrier Reef. Rainbow parrots were her natural alarm clock, emerging daily to the scent of flowers in the air, Lisa felt the freedom to explore her artistic voice. Lisa's cinematic style evolved into evocative Abstract paintings as she grew in confidence with each signature gesture. In 2015, an
international hotel agent discovered Lisa's work through her energetic brush strokes and thoughtful color palettes. Back in Vancouver, Lisa paints acrylic pieces ~rich and warm~ for hotels and resorts in the Southern US. Presently, Lisa is excited by her new collection 'Modern Myth' which is a tribute to her original inspiration: fantasy.
Photographer: Trevor Brady Vintage outfit, Golden Goose sneakers
The Song of the West
There is a place inside of us that wants to run free. We dream of scouring the mountain trails and communing with the deer. To stumble upon abandoned mines or find treasure in bones and feather is the adventurer’s way. Artist Lisa Nevot has captured that journey in her paintings. With subtle hints of wood spirits, conjuring up memories of lifetimes past, one feels transported into another realm. This is a place of coming together and coming apart. It’s grounding yet revealing, something so very cosmic one can’t help but look a little closer. With the unexpected findings of old mining towns, metal decay is a delicacy for the eyes. The old and worn has a lovely patina and the memory fades like an old photo from long ago. A Nevot painting brings you into the now, sharing beauty created through the ravages of time. Lisa Nevot has spent over 40 years living and painting in the west. From California, to Colorado, to Utah, Lisa has explored the back roads and landscape. Hiking and road
trips bring her peace and her work directly reflects the grit and polish of being exposed to such sacred lands. She is impassioned about helping mother nature heal. With the trees being burnt, replanting is so important. Her message to anyone listening: “Listen for the song in the trees. They will sing to you. Stand in their nest, with the moisture beneath your feet, and the musky smell of deep rich earth filling your lungs. You will know how supported you are. The clear water is such a gift. The clean air is so precious. Honor this. Earth will always find its way back. How do we fit? Who do we want to be?” Lisa Nevot is an advocate for human rights. The right to dignity, clean food, clean air, and clean water. She is a messenger for compassion, asking that everyone work towards empathy for our neighbor. Remember to love. Her work is a voice for that. She paints what she feels, not what she sees.
Ms. Nevot has been painting since 1986. Her work ranges from Indoor and outdoor wall murals to fine art. Graphic design and illustration are in her portfolio. Pencil, watercolor, pen, oil, are included in her mediums. However, for the last several years she has preferred works in acrylic and has recently discovered painting on wood. Upon getting closer she sees images in the wood. Beings and places reveal themselves. Her brush loves to follow the character of the tree. She says now she has become a bit obsessed. It haunts her to continue. The trees have such long beautiful lives, to capture that through the rings and bring it to art is a gift. She often feels humbled by the power of the earth and the gifts so generously offered up. “If only we could see how abundant the earth is in her giving, maybe we wouldn’t always be so afraid there isn’t going to be enough. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we saw the beauty and listened to her song? We would nurture her, the way she nurtures us, and there would be a bounty of love.” lisanevot.com
ART BY 13
Artby13 is a visual exploratory project that is ever evolving, branching out and revisiting new territories as the happening unfolds. Although we are each unique individuals, we are all tied to the collective, and as such share a collective understanding. The visual images are meant to be a fluid and uncontrolled channeling of consciousness converted to a tangible art form. Each piece reflects a dynamic human artist with a mental, physical, and emotional perspective located in non-static space time. Despite our undeniable individuality, we are one. There is no target audience or specific style. I myself am however, drawn to
illustration, word play, and both free ranging substrates and mediums. Currently, I am primarily working in acrylic paint concentrated on small scale canvas, metal, recycled trash, and wood panels. I find delight in play/experimentation, and ongoing studies of my favorite visual artists. This project inspired by divinity and necessity, was birthed on Friday the 13th, 1987, my birthday. My interests include music, philosophy, iconography, history, literature, science, religion, mythology, art, culture, sociology, Jungian psychology, and the great unknown. These works exist between tragedy and humor, truth and fiction, boundaries and full absorption,
insecurity and self-validation, love and hatred; all driven by non-censored free thinking. The artistic endeavor seeks to both verbally and non-verbally question the audience and myself simultaneously. Do we speak the same language? I utilize artwork to allow empty space within myself to practice control in a chaotic reality. A blend of intentional and subconscious desires is released in a therapeutic display of concepts, emotions, and statements imperative to the heart and soul. Each piece pays tribute to evolution with a basis in the mathematical concept of infinity. artby13.com
Rochelle Irons is an abstract/fluid artist from Florida that was raised in the Islands of the Caribbean and South America. She has been painting since she was a child but found her passion as an abstract artist in 2010 when she found herself overnight trying to raise 2 small boys on her own with many long, quiet nights to fill. Her work has a strong energetic influence and she expresses her emotions through color, pattern, and texture. Often drawing inspiration and tying in her connection and love of the ocean. She uses a wide range of mixed media to give her work depth. Her biggest challenge as an artist is finding the balance between the side of her that thrives in chaos and the intense need for tranquility and solitude. She believes that her art is an expression of both of these sides, and a driving force within her to find beauty in even the darkness of life. Her colors are both bright and calming, bringing a sense of energy and harmony to the viewer. Most recent projects include the art design and concept for waterfront destination restaurant, the TideHouse in Stuart,
Florida. Her original fluid-art-fish are something exciting and unique. Using fluid art paint, resin and taxidermy fish forms she creates beautiful abstract visions from the ocean. Rochelle has limited edition prints from her original artwork on everything from bikinis and beach bags, to athletic wear and home decor. Her next upcoming project is an entire line of housewares including bespoke pottery. She accepts commissions for custom paintings, sculptures, murals, and
fish art. Catch her upcoming solo exhibition â&#x20AC;&#x153;Sinking to New Depthsâ&#x20AC;?, with the City of Palm Beach Gardens June 8th, 2021.
Photos: Jillian Brooks Nicolson instagram.com/jillybehindthelens Swimwear: mermaidbungalow.com Models Jana Angel / instagram.com/jana.k.angel Serena Nashells / instagram.com/serenashells