Holy Family University Art Gallery

Julie Brylinski

Julie Brylinski

Asleep in the Deep is a body of work that explores the idea of mental illness as a slumber at the deepest darkest part of the ocean, where one has become so accustomed to the deep that one has achieved aquatic respiration. I have taken inspiration from my own mental illness and the fragile beauty of the deep sea to create each painting. This work was made with acrylic paints to allow me to quickly capture the feeling of each painting before it dissipated.

Artist Bio:

Julie has extensive experience in both acrylic and oil painting, and will switch between mediums depending on what she feels the painting needs. Her work is largely figurative with an otherworldly element. Eyes will often be missing or blacked out completely, and faces may have an appendage, missing features, or the feeling that something is “off”. Her work explores themes such as mental illness, trauma, addiction, grief, dread, and the subconscious. Julie infuses a part of herself into every painting she does, often making it hard for her to let go of a piece.

Julie lives in Philadelphia with her dog Bonesy, where she paints out of her home studio.

www.instagram.com/juliebrylinski

www.juliebrylinski.com

Andy Needle

Textures

an exhibition of oil paintings

September 15 through October 10, 2021

Virtual Gallery Event: Wednesday 22, 2021

noon-2:00 pm

Via zoom the artist will give an artist talk and answer questions about the work.

Anatomy
Oil on canvas 22×24”
  • Entitled “Textures”, this exhibition of meticulously rendered oil paintings depicts close-up views of the natural world. Needle holds an MFA in painting from the University of Pennsylvania, and studied with the acclaimed landscape painters Neil Welliver and Rackstraw Downes. His paintings have been exhibited at such venues as the Albany Institute of History and Art, and the American Embassies of Costa Rica, Austria, and Israel. He recently retired from Wagner College, where he was Associate Professor for 20 years.

Artist Statement

Part of what I do is document another surface and sort of translate it.

They’re like translations, and then part of it is fiction, which is invention.

– Vija Celmins

Most of the pleasure is in getting the last little piece perfect.

– Chuck Close

In the spring, the grass grows by itself.

– Bhagwan Rajneesh

My paintings portray natural forms that have been marked by the elements and this exposure creates color and texture on surfaces that, over time, become increasingly subtle. My brand of painterly realism was influenced by the scientific observation of Constable’s meteorological studies and the obsessive patterning of more contemporary painters, such as Chuck Close and Neil Welliver. Bernard Berenson wrote that the tactile quality gives an image its life. This implied sense of touch results from painting the constant and minute changes on the object’s surface, and creates excitement as the 2D is rendered to give a 3D illusion. These ordinary forms are reordered in order to (hopefully) depict a more perfect abstract world. These “improvements” are intended to go unnoticed and this artist aspires to give the finished composition a sense of completeness.

The Exhibit
  • Please join the Holy Family Art Gallery at the artist virtual event for light refreshments and engaging conversations.
  • Holy Family University Gallery is located on the Lower Level of the Sister Francesca Onley Education and Technology Center.

Contact: Pamela Flynn  pflynn12@holyfamily.edu

Spring 2021 Senior Exhibition

Matthew Briscella  Marks and Textures

Artist Statement

It is important for me to have an overall look and feel I am happy with in my work than it being technically perfect. I like to try different things and allow colors, marks and textures to form organic but still graphic pieces. I want to embrace what I am working with to create something that is engaging.

 

Statue
16”x20”
Oil on Canvas
Self Portrait
18”x24”
Oil on Canvas
Model as Cardinal
30”x40”
Charcoal on Paper
Portrait of Model 
18”x24”
Graphite on Paper 
Pattern
5”x7”
Spray paint on Paper
Honeycrisp 
12”x12”
Oil on Canvas 

Sabrina DeOliveira Manipulation of Shapes

Artist Statement

I have learned over the last four years that everything is made from shapes and colors. With the manipulation of shapes, you can bring any vision to life. That is why the focus of my gallery is the manipulation of shapes. With the manipulation of shapes, I can do work in every sense, such as through my physical artwork, logo designs, layouts, and pattern designs. Shapes allow endless possibilities to create something beautiful.2

Fabric Designs
Medium: Digital – Illustrator
Collage Size: Image 1 – 15” x 202
Design Squares: 30” x 25”
Couches: 16” x 10”
Collage Size: Image 2 – 18” x 15”
Applied Designs: varied
Personal Stationary – Greek
Digital – InDesign and Illustrator
Collage Size: 20” x 15”
Letterheads: 8.5
Business Cards: 3.5” x 2”
Envelopes: 9.5” x 4”
Personal Stationary – Retro
Digital – InDesign and Illustrator
Collage Size: 20” x 15”
Letterheads: 8.5” x 11”
Business Cards: 3.5” x 2
Envelopes: 9.5” x 4”
Blue Glass
Oil on Stretched Canvas
36” x 24”

 

Alexandra Lipscomb Inspired By Nature

Artist Statement

Alexandra Lipscomb is a senior at Holy Family University majoring in Graphic Design and minoring in Business Administration. She has always loved art from the time she was a little girl and fondly remembers creating art projects at home and in school. During her junior year of high school, Alexandra was introduced to graphic design when she enrolled in a graphic design class. She fell in love with the class and the ability to create art digitally. After graduating high school and taking some time to adjust to college, she declared graphic design as her major during her sophomore year at Holy Family University.

Over the last four years, Alexandra has been able to broaden her artistic abilities through a variety of classes. Her senior art exhibit is titled “Inspired By Nature” and depicts artworks Alexandra created in her graphic design, digital illustration, printmaking, drawing, and painting classes. She believes that each of these classes has enhanced her artistic abilities, and the skills and knowledge she has gained through these classes play an important role in her current graphic design work. By looking at these pieces, it is clear that nature is a form of inspiration when it comes to her art.

Swan Hotel Business Card (Front) – Option 1
3.5 in x 2 in
Adobe Illustrator and Adobe InDesign
Swan Hotel Business Card (Back) – Option 1
3.5 in x 2 in
Adobe Illustrator and Adobe InDesign
Swan Hotel Business Card (Front) – Option 2
3.5 in x 2 in
Adobe Illustrator and Adobe InDesign
Swan Hotel Business Card (Back) – Option 2
3.5 in x 2 in
Adobe Illustrator and Adobe InDesign
Swan Hotel Business Card (Front) – Option 3
3.5 in x 2 in
Adobe Illustrator and Adobe InDesign
Swan Hotel Business Card (Back) – Option 3
3.5 in x 2 in
Adobe Illustrator and Adobe InDesign
Butterflies and Dragonflies
8.5 in x 11 in
Adobe Illustrator
Sea Creatures
8.5 in x 11 in
Adobe Illustrator
Lantern Fly
8.5 in x 11 in (each)
Adobe Illustrator
A Cactus
5 in x 7 in
Collagraph Print
Butterfly
11 in x 8.5 in
Intaglio Print
Fly Away
11 in x 8.5 in
Intaglio Print
Snail
8 in x 12 in
Woodcut Print
Flowers
18 in x 24 in
Charcoal Drawing
Sunflower
28 in x 22 in
Acrylic and Oil on Canvas
Lighthouse on a Gloomy Day
24 in x 48 in
Acrylic and Oil on Canvas
Kalyn McCann It’s a Party! 

Artist Statement

Throughout these five pieces of art I really tried to channel the inner child in myself. In these five children’s party invitations, you’ll see little illustrations that go along with the five themes which are Dinosaurs, Space, Under the Sea, Circus party, and a Covid friendly car parade. Each invitation is filled with loveable characters and vibrant colors.

Dino Bash 
digital art using iPad Pro, Procreate, Adobe illustrator 
Blast Off! 
digital art using iPad Pro, Procreate, Adobe illustrator 
Under the Sea 
digital art using iPad Pro, Procreate, Adobe illustrator 
Circus Party 
digital art using iPad Pro, Procreate, Adobe illustrator 
Covid Friendly Car Parade 
digital art using iPad Pro, Procreate, Adobe illustrator 

Casey Schachner

Casey Schachner is an Assistant Professor of 3D/Fine Art joining the Department of Art at Belmont University in 2019. She received her BFA in Sculpture from Baylor University and her MFA in Studio Art from the University of Montana. Casey was born and raised in the southeast United States, growing up in Florida and coastal South Carolina.

Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, ranging from temporary site-specific installations to permanent public artworks. In 2011, she served as an Artist in Residence at the University of Georgia Lamar Dodd School of Art in Cortona, Italy and in 2012 as an Artist in Residence at the Carving Studio & Sculpture Center (CSSC) in Vermont. She was selected as the 2017 UM Emerging Artist for Blackfoot Pathways: Sculpture in the Wild (BPSW), an International Sculpture Park in Lincoln, Montana. In 2018, she exhibited at the Public Art Exhibition on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina, where she received a People’s Choice award. Casey currently lives in Nashville, TN with her husband and their two dogs.

Artist Statement

My artwork is a reflection of my roots in the tropical vacationland of Florida, a place for which I feel both nostalgic and conflicted. Growing up in southern tourist destinations, I was confronted daily with the extreme contrasts of living in paradise. In my artwork, I am translating the cacophony of Florida through the lens of materiality. By re-configuring commodified objects of the tourism industry, my sculptural works out of metal, glass, stone, and found objects, exhibit the relationships that exist between materials and place. I have lived across the Sunshine State for most of my life, born in central Florida, raised in south Florida, and even owned a business in northeast Florida. I’ve also moved quite a bit, from Texas to Vermont to Italy to Montana and most recently Tennessee. While nostalgia for my home state is strong, I often wrestle with the dichotomy of Florida’s identity. I find myself comparing each new place to Florida, no place quite as uniquely beautiful nor as bizarre. Much like the avant-garde Surrealist Object, or the assemblage of found materials in provocative combinations that challenged reason, I am interested in drawing parallels between the irrational juxtaposition of objects and ideas. My research is relevant within the context of contemporary artists like Elizabeth Turk, Maurizio Cattelan, and Tara Donovan who are creating politically and socially engaged art, critically exploring concepts of materiality, and reinterpreting traditional craft techniques and processes. This body of work explores the realities and misperceptions we all associate with the Sunshine State, and in doing so, has allowed me to dig deeper into my personal history with a place.

The Interview

  • At what point in your life did you know that you wanted to become an artist? Did the realization emerge slowly?  

Looking back there were certainly signs that I was bound to be an artist (I was always the first to volunteer to build a set for high school theater productions and church events), but I would admit that this realization emerged slowly overtime as I began to develop my own artistic voice. I actually started college as an architecture major and was required to take a sculpture class – at which point it all sort of clicked that I loved the ‘hands-on’ nature of being an artist.

  • How did you evolve your style and favorite mediums?  

I would say I really developed an interest in traditional mediums like stone carving and casting processes from my artist residency experiences in Vermont and Italy – both places with a rich history of marble carving. Being submersed in the culture of a place so consumed by a material was fascinating to me! I was also fortunate to observe mentors who had mastered the tools of the trade and work alongside them as a developing artist. Their mentorship certainly gave me the confidence to pursue this medium.  

  • What are your time management techniques? Do you have regular working hours…or any favorite times to work?

Time management has recently changed for me as I’ve just had a baby girl – she will be 4 months old on February 1st. Being a mom certainly changed my outlook on what ‘regular’ work hours look like. Prior to having a child, I had my most effective work time in the morning. It was a time for me to drink my coffee, plan projects, be alert with any tools or machinery I am using and feel like I’ve accomplished something early on in the day. Now with a baby, this has flipped, and I usually have free time to work in the evenings. For me, it is most effective to have everything lined up and ready to work since my work time is so limited. That might look something like having all of the materials measured out and ready to go ahead of time for making a plaster mold that way when I have time during the baby’s nap schedule, I can be the most productive with my time. Basically, this early riser is converting to a night owl.

  • Do you work on more than one piece at a time, or primarily just on one?

Since my pieces are usually labor and time intensive with materials like stone carving and glass casting, I usually have multiple pieces that I’m working on at any given time. This also helps me in terms of motivation. If I hit a wall with one piece, I can shift gears and work on another one.

  • What would you say is your biggest influence —  that which keeps you working, regardless of all else, your most steadfast motivation?

Honestly my attraction to materials is my biggest influence. I love textures, surfaces and patterns of naturally occurring materials or found objects. Sometimes just stumbling across something interesting at a salvage shop or ReStore is enough motivation for me to starting thinking, “What if I made a sculpture with that?” If I’m feeling stuck, usually the most reliable form of motivation for me is to go searching for materials to feel inspired.

  • Does trying something new and not knowing the rules —  the boundary-pushing —  create anxiety or excitement in you?  ( Or both? )

Absolutely exciting! I love trying something new, pushing the boundaries, breaking the rules of materials and processes. This is a double-edged sword though. Sometimes my eagerness to learn something new results in a lot of unfinished attempts. This is something I’ve been working on lately. If I decide to learn a new process, I make myself commit to completing at least one piece in this process before moving on to the next exciting new thing.

  • Do you enjoy having the “duality of both chaos and control” or are you happiest with a set plan?

I prefer to start each new project with a plan but allow space for chaos in the process. I think a lot of artists work this way – allowing ‘happy accidents’ in an otherwise well formulated plan. I admit though that at least having a plan in place helps me get started.

  • Do you have any projects or events forthcoming? 

I currently have a sculpture on view in a group exhibition titled “Unveiled” in the Leu Art Gallery on Belmont University campus. I am presenting at the College Art Association’s 2021 virtual conference for the Student and Emerging Professional’s Committee (SEPC). The events hosted by the SEPC are free and open to the public to encourage students to attend. I am also working on a new series combining handmade and digital techniques. Essentially, I am 3D printing objects in a PLA filament that can be manipulated, such as a filament with a stone or wood base. I want to ‘alter’ these objects in a way that leaves the impression of handmade. I’m really interested in this space between the manufactured and the handcrafted.

The Artwork

Leisureville
36” x 24” x 18”,
2 glass lawn chairs, kiln cast glass & aluminum framing,
2019
Par for the Course
kiln cast glass & Astroturf,
2019
Par for the Course
kiln cast glass & Astroturf,
2019
The Grass is Always Greener
18’ x 24” x 5”,
laser cut patio carpet & plastic sheeting,
2019
The Grass is Always Greener
18’ x 24” x 5”,
laser cut patio carpet & plastic sheeting,
2019
The Grass is Always Greener
18’ x 24” x 5”,
laser cut patio carpet & plastic sheeting,
2019
Wish You Were Here
cocktail umbrellas, hot glue, monofilament,
2019
Wish You Were Here
cocktail umbrellas, hot glue, monofilament,
2019
I Hear the Ocean
dimensions vary, 4 cast resin conch shells & sound,
2019

Contact the artist directly

http://caseyschachner.com/new-page

casey.schachner@belmont.edu

ROBBII WESSEN

Robbii Wessen’s family was influential in his decision to pursue art. His father was a commercial artist, and by the age of six, Robbii was drawing, using an airbrush, and trying his hand at lettering. At an early age, he and his twin brother chose not to compete. His brother became a rocket scientist, and Robbii credits his brother’s insights as integral to his own development, as he went on to become a successful graphic designer.

In 2002, Robbii went to Burning Man, a bohemian arts festival in the Nevada desert, culminating in the burning of a human effigy. It proved to be a life-changing experience for the artist. Inspired by the abundance and intensity of creative energy, Robbii created his first assemblage: an homage to the event in the form of a shrine.

Robbii’s development as an artist was also informed by concepts of Eastern Mysticism, such as the inevitability of the life cycle, and Taoist contemplations of contrast and duality, which he has harnessed to heighten the sense of beauty and the passage of time in his work.

THE INTERVIEW

1.   At what point in your life did you know that you wanted to become an artist? Did the realization emerge slowly?
As stated in my biography, I started drawing by age six. The realization of wanting to become an artist was a given. I never thought of doing anything else so the realization was all I have ever known. 

2.   How did you evolve your style and favorite mediums?  
I always had hand skills but my “voice” was always missing. What would I draw or paint? What was my style? What did I want to say? It wasn’t until I discovered the satisfaction in making assemblages did I discover my artistic path. This direction also gave voice to the contradictions in life and their importance in understanding our world.

3.   What are your time management techniques? Do you have regular working hours…or any favorite times to work?
I am typically very disciplined and greatly enjoy getting lost in most creative pursuits. I usually work between late morning to late afternoon, five to seven days a week. I have learned, however, that it is best to recognize the ebb and flow of my creative energies. Sometimes I just need to take a break from working.

4.   Do you work on more than one piece at a time, or primarily just on one?
I do tend to work on several projects at a time. Since the creation of each Foundling has several stages (the “creative” phase; the “engineering” phase; the staining and drying phase; and the final construction phase), this leaves room to set aside a piece and work on another. This also keeps my eyes “fresh” as I find it all too easy to have a kind of “aesthetic blindness” working on only one piece for an extended length of time.

5.  What would you say is your biggest influence — that which keeps you working, regardless of all else, your most steadfast motivation?
When I am working, I am lost in the moment. I am completely engaged in the project at hand. Worries, distractions, stresses disappear and the time flies by. This is less about an influence or motivation but more of a joyful experience and is about being completely “present”. An experience that is so satisfying.

6.   Does trying something new and not knowing the rules — the boundary-pushing — create anxiety or excitement in you? (Or both?)
If I thought about what I was doing, it would be both exciting and anxiety producing. Fortunately, when I am creating my mind is clear. Creating something new is a process of possibilities. A process to stay engaged with the world. To appreciate that an object that goes into my work has a story to tell. To appreciate this object for its intrinsic beauty, it’s form and its history. I especially like giving a home to broken, discarded and basically “unloved” objects. There is an important life lesson in seeing things in a new way and seeing the worth in objects discarded. That is why I call them Foundlings.

7.    Do you enjoy having the “duality of both chaos and control” or are you happiest with a set plan?
I think both chaos and control are subjective terms. Although I am controlling by nature my creative process is about letting go and listening to where a particular piece “wants to go”. I don’t feel “in control” and yet the process is not chaotic. I would describe the process as a fluid, spontaneous and yet methodical approach. As the Zen koan says “the only way to throw a ball is to let go of it first”.

8.    Do you have any projects or events forthcoming? 
No. Due to the pandemic most shows have been cancelled and any events are virtual.

Clair de Lune II
Assemblage
Maralyn
Assemblage
Ghost Flowers
Assemblage
The Bells
Assemblage
Gothic Fluke
Assemblage
Radiant I
Assemblage

Contact the artist:

Robbii Wessen

5015 244th Street, Douglaston, NY 11362

917-699-3787

Website: foundlings.us

Instagram: robbiifoundlings

Blog: foundlings.org

Mark Mcleod

Mark Mcleod is an Associate Professor of Art and Design at Middle Tennessee State University with research interests in the fallibility of memory and the use of new technology in the creation of sculptural works. Before moving to MTSU he served for 10 years as the only full time art faculty at Cleveland State Community College where he was awarded 12 grants to support both his own works of art and the self directed international artist residency Accessibility.

Having earned an MFA in Sculpture from Syracuse University, Mark’s most recent work makes use of digital and CNC technologies to create layered sculptural drawings. These works explore the error prone and ever changing nature of memory and its effects on how we come to understand ourselves.

Mark currently lives near Nashville with his partner Audra-Kelly, 2 kids and 2 puppies.

INTERVIEW

At what point in your life did you know that you wanted to become an artist? Did the realization emerge slowly?

I knew I liked art when I was in middle school but it wasn’t until high school that I realized I couldn’t do without it. I was fortunate enough to have an art teacher with extremely high standards who wouldn’t accept anything other than my best work. She also recognized how difficult it was being a teenager and how the arts could help students like me get through those awkward years. Her nomination for an intensive art camp during my junior year with some of the area’s best college professors helped reaffirm what I always knew – I didn’t just want to make art. I needed to make it.

How did you evolve your style and favorite mediums?

My current work comes out of a 20 year investigation into memory. I wasn’t aware of the consistency of the work I’ve been making until looking back through slides and reading through old sketchbooks. For the last 20 years the overall theme has always been linked to an exploration into the fallibility of memory. That’s one of the best things about keeping tons of sketchbooks – you get to see a progression that you might otherwise miss.

Over the last 4 years I have moved from traditional sculpture techniques to using an iPad Pro and CNC machine to create my works. This shift came out of a physical necessity more than anything. After 8 hour long days using a hand router to cut shapes and patterns the muscles in my hands and arms wouldn’t respond. I could not open my hand to let go of the tool I was using. Getting older made me realize that I needed to take better care of my body and find a new way to make work.

I’m a perfectionist when it comes to making things. I like corners to meet up perfectly and edges to be sanded. Moving to digitally controlled machines allowed me to reach a level of perfection that I couldn’t previously while also keeping me healthy.

What are your time management techniques? Do you have regular working hours…or any favorite times to work?

Time management seems to be a struggle for most artists and I’m definitely no different. I can lose myself for hours in the studio where it becomes easy to forget about the “paperwork” required to be an artist. The exhibition proposing, grant writing, marketing and social media tagging stuff easily takes a backseat to making work but it must get done.

The best and worst part about being an artist is that you get to set your own hours and your own expectations. What has worked well for me is using the calendar and reminder app on my phone every day. As soon as something comes up that must be done I put in on my to do list with a date and time to do it. It is also a way that I learned to manage pretty severe ADHD. Everything I need to do has a time and date.

I block out time for studio work early in the morning and don’t allow anything to interfere with that time. My phone gets put on top of my toolbox so I’m not distracted and I allow myself to get lost in making work.

Do you work on more than one piece at a time, or primarily just on one?

I work on multiple pieces at the same time for a couple of reasons. If the works are all part of a larger body of work it saves a little time to sand or paint them all at the same time before I move onto the next step. I also work on multiple pieces at the same time that may be very different from each other. Some of my projects take months to complete and the sanding, painting, fixing can get tedious. I use other ideas that I might be interested in as a way to break up some of that monotony. Doing this helps me stay motivated to finish longer, more involved projects without burning out. It also allows me to continuously explore new ideas.

What would you say is your biggest influence —  that which keeps you working, regardless of all else, your most steadfast motivation?

I’ve thought a lot about why artists do the things that we do. For me, it comes down to this inability to fully express myself to those around me. I think that’s the case for a lot of artists. We want to say something but the traditional methods of communication fail us. It’s the reason we have paintings by Monet and writings by Walden. It’s the muddiness of communication that keeps me up late and gets me up early in the morning. I’m sure there are other people out there that struggle with the same ideas I do. I want to find a way to say something to them.

Does trying something new and not knowing the rules —  the boundary-pushing —  create anxiety or excitement in you?  ( Or both? )

Trying something new is exciting if I allow myself to fail. With anything new there will be some failure. We are getting to know a new material or developing a new idea. Being aware that failure will be part of the process eliminates some of that anxiety. Knowing that I need to see those failures as possibilities rather than inadequacies allows me a freedom to explore new materials and new ideas. Some of my most successful bodies of work have come out of failures.

Do you enjoy having the “duality of both chaos and control” or are you happiest with a set plan?

My studio best illustrates my working process and what’s happening inside my head. I go from periods of intense creativity when there is stuff everywhere, nothing is put back in its place and the floors are covered with scraps, paint, and dust. When the floors and table tops are covered I know I’m on to something. At some point I do a deep clean and reset – everything goes back to its respective spot, tools go back to their labeled boxes and floors are swept. Deep cleaning the studio every now and then helps me reset and organize my thoughts for new ideas. When I’m in the midst of creating though, I could care less about cleaning or having control.

Do you have any projects or events forthcoming?

I just finished building a much larger CNC machine that will allow me to make works that are almost 4 foot wide. These new works will be part of a solo exhibition at the Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts in Wisconsin in 2022. I was also recently included in the Southeastern College Art Conference’s virtual exhibition at Virginia Commonwealth University and a solo show at the Hall Gallery at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi.

Untitled
MDF, Paint
21″x 31″
2020
Untitled
MDF, Paint
21″x 31″
2020
Juneau
MDF, Paint
20″x 28″
2019
Ferry
MDF, Paint
24″x 24″
2019
Untitled
MDF, Paint
21″x 31″
2020
Untitled
MDF, Paint 31″x 21″
2020

Please contact the artist directly

Mark Mcleod

markmcleod.org

markmcleod50@gmail.com

Suesan Baehr

This Is Us

Studio Art Senior Exhibit

Artist Statement

After four years of fine arts education, I’ve been lucky enough to experience the proper skills to make my future brighter. I have learned painting, printmaking, ceramics, sculpting, drawing, sketching  and more. Along with those skills, I have learned time management, self-reliance, and presentation skills. As a mother and a veteran, Holy Family has given me a chance to improve myself and make creations from my own mind. This experience taught me the importance of expressing myself instead of just being a mother and wife.

 I struggled my first year with art, but it took me a while to find what works for me. I have gained strength and confidence in my art, no longer feeling unsure. Most of my art is influenced by pop art, abstracts, Bahamian artists, street art and murals. I prefer bold, bright, vivid colors and vibrant images with an expressive narration. I choose to create art based on happiness and celebration as opposed to sadness because life is better enjoying the beauty in life. My work explores the relationship between my culture and the beauty and power in women. These four years have challenged me to learn more about myself through my art.

The ARTWORK

click on image to enlarge

Keith Buswell

Keith Buswell graduated with a BFA in art University of Nebraska–Lincoln. He works with various printmaking processes such as screen-printing, intaglio and mono printing and dabbles in drawing and multimedia. He currently is a member of Karen Kunc’s Constellation Studios where he creates his prints. His work has been shown in the United States, Egypt, Dubai, France and Italy. Notably, Keith received the Perry Family Award in 2018 and second place in the 40 Under 40 Showcase in Annapolis, MD and third place at the Under Pressure print show in Fort Collins, CO. He is a contributing artist to issue 23 and 28 of The Hand Magazine. He also attended residencies at The Kimmel Harding Nelson Center in Nebraska City, Nebraska and at Pyramid Atlantic Art Center in Hyattsville, Maryland. Originally from Council Bluffs, Iowa, he currently lives in Lincoln with his husband Brad and his dog Max.

The Interview

At what point in your life did you know that you wanted to become an artist? Did the realization emerge slowly?  

My path to becoming a visual artist was slow. As a kid, I loved to draw and always had a sketchbook on me. But I had also had other interests in music and theater. In high school, I found a community in theater and, after graduating, went to college to pursue a degree in theater at Northwest Missouri State University. And even though I did not finish my degree, I continued to act in community theaters in the Omaha area, before finally ending that part of my life. This was followed by almost a decade of self-loathing and addiction issues where I finally hit rock bottom in my life. I had no job, basically homeless, full of anger and sadness, and completely lost before I met my now partner, Brad, who encouraged me to seek counseling and completely change my life for the better.

He encouraged me to go back to school to get a degree, but I knew that theater was not the path for me. I was at a crossroads concerning what to do so I took a few classes in subjects I was interested in like biological science, communication, and, remembering my sketchbook as a child, art. My art history class won me over, not only in my interest of creating, but also inspiring me to create a legacy to leave behind. To make something bigger than my own life.

How did you evolve your style and favorite mediums?  

When I first started my undergraduate courses in art, I was interested in screen printing. While I was interested in making and the bohemian artist lifestyle, I was also concerned, at the age of 35, of the practical implications of being an artist. One idea at the time was that I could start a business creating t-shirts. This got me involved with the print department at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln under the tutelage of Karen Kunc and Fransisco Souto. They were instrumental in guiding me towards etching. And while I do enjoy the repetitive nature and ease of screen printing, the building up of line and hazy quality of the copper plate brought me back to my childhood sketchbook.

 I feel my style is still evolving. My interests have always centered on the nexus between natural science and sociology. I have a keen interest in what    nature can tell us about ourselves. In this I came to terms with larger ideas of community, the natural self, and the impact humanity has, not only to the environment, but also to itself. I think my work is becoming more Surrealist. It is a concept I have often rebelled against, fearing that my work become denigrated to just one style, but I have learned to embrace that stigma recently. As it turns out, fighting my true nature has always been one of my downfalls.

What are your time management techniques? Do you have regular working hours…or any favorite times to work?

I am a morning person, so I find I am most efficient after breakfast and coffee. I think this also follows how we are trained as students within the arts. As a part time student with a night job waiting tables, I found myself working during the day when I was out of class. After graduating, I quit the food industry to work part time during the day at a local art store. This made working in the morning more difficult, so now I consider myself an early afternoon artist, but I like to work whenever my schedule allows. I feel like I have gotten to point now where I know, or have an idea, of how long I need to get something done, and I can attribute that to my experience as a printmaker. In printmaking, timing is everything; we have to time how long to keep our copper plates in an acid bath, how long to soak our paper, how long it will take to produce just one print in our edition, etc. Being aware of time has just become ingrained in our practice, so it is not surprising that we have maintain high levels of time management.

Do you work on more than one piece at a time, or primarily just on one?

I think this goes back to how we are trained as artists, when we asked to not only create art for painting or printmaking class, but simultaneously in ceramics and sculpture. It also has to do with creating a cohesive body of work that can be presented on its own. It is important to produce work that not only reflects a common theme, but also works that speak to each other. For me, I love duality, so having more than one work, either in different stages of production or worked simultaneously, being worked in tandem is very important. I have had to rein it in at times, like when I find myself working more than three plates at a time, as that is the point where I start making mistakes.

What would you say is your biggest influence —  that which keeps you working, regardless of all else, your most steadfast motivation?

As I pointed out before, I am interested in the biological world and what we, as the human race, can learn from nature. There is a conversation found in human discourse concerning what is natural; from sexuality, technology, even crime, we have an obsessive need to define what is regenerate. But in most cases, our actions and beliefs can be traced back to other aspects of nature from tools used to by apes, the working nature of ants, or, in this case, the communal nature of trees. So a lot of my inspiration comes from articles, podcasts, and books concerning nature. Right now I am enamored with the podcast “Ologies” with Allie Ward. Every episode is devoted to a specific field of science, wherein she interviews professionals in the field. It is an exciting look at science in layman’s terms, making it accessible to a multitude of people.

As far as artists, I love the work of Paul Klee and MC Escher. And recently I have started following Andrew Levitsky and Michael Barnes, two printmakers who explore surrealism. I love to discover new printmakers, so going to conventions and participating in printmaking shows is very important to me. Probably the sole aspect that keeps me working is seeing other people’s reactions to seeing my work. I love participating in a show and standing back and watching other people look at my work. I don’t even need to hear what they are saying, just knowing that they are interacting with my work is enough form me. It’s almost like I can have a conversation with them without saying a word.

Does trying something new and not knowing the rules —  the boundary-pushing —  create anxiety or excitement in you?  ( Or both? )

I totally embrace the new. I am always looking for ways to bring new ideas and techniques into my prints and drawings. Not only is it a way of keeping my work fresh and learning something new, but it strengthens my work. Artists have an obsession, or compulsion, to create. Often times I think this creates tunnel vision when producing new work. We get complacent in what we know will succeed. Over time, this causes boredom, whether we realize it or not, and our work becomes stale. So trying new things, exploring the uncomfortable, is a way to challenge ourselves to review our practice. For example, I found myself getting tired of how I was framing my work. I took a step back and realized that I was missing an important aspect within my art’s theme, the thread-like fungus that connects the roots of trees that they use to communicate. I had this crazy notion that I could back my frames with fabric and fur to make that connection. I think without doing that, I would have ceased this project a couple years ago.

Do you enjoy having the “duality of both chaos and control” or are you happiest with a set plan?

I enjoy a duality of both chaos and control. I start out with an idea, make a game plan, then let spontaneity take over (to a certain degree). I would like to think I have control, but there are always variables that push, pull, and divert my attention to other interests, ideas, realizations. To a certain extent, my style of working models the themes of my work. From the seed of imagination sprouts new life (a drawing, say), and that idea spreads deep into the ground of my interests forming roots into my body of work. It also branches out beyond my interests towards the nourishment of the sun, or how I am feeling in the moment. So, like a tree, my work starts out the same, but grows in any direction that helps it grow.

Do you have any projects or events forthcoming? 

Everything is in disarray because of the global pandemic. I was scheduled to have a solo show in Omaha, Nebraska through the City Lights Art Project last April, but of course that fell through. Supposedly it has been rescheduled for December 2020, and with the new mask mandate, I am hoping that it happens. I have never shown in my hometown area (Omaha is just across the Missouri River from my hometown of Council Bluffs, Iowa) so this is an important opportunity for me. I am also scheduled for a solo show at the Lux Center for Arts in 2021 and I will have a show in Clear Lake, Iowa at the Clear Lakes Art Center in September of 2021.

In the meantime, I am showing work at a few locations around the country in various group shows such as the “Aborescent” show at the Alex Ferrone Gallery in New York and the Southern Printmaking Biennale IX International at the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega, Georgia. I have also focused on my online presence during this time of solitude. But it has been tough. Sales of my work is way down with no way of showing and selling my work in person. It has been quite the learning experience; I know that I will be glad when it is over.

Downtown,
Etching mounted on fur, 34” x 29”, 2018,
$1250.00
Orvieto, ,
Etching, 20” x 19”, 2019,
$650.00
   Siena,
Etching, 20” x 19”, 2019,
$650.00
   Hawley,
Etching mounted on AstroTurf, 38.5″ x 33.5″, 2018,
$1500.00
Rue,
Etching, 25.25”x27”, 2019,
$650.00
  Melbourne,
Screen print and graphite mounted on fur, 34″ x 29″, 2017,
$1250.00

Please contact the artist directly:

Keith D. Buswell

(402) 817-9171

Alador24@yahoo.com

https://www.keithdbuswell.art/

Steven Bleicher

Steven Bleicher is a tenured professor of visual arts and former chairperson of the visual arts department at Coastal Carolina University. He has also served as the associate dean of the Thomas W. and Robin W. Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts at the university. Previously, he was a senior faculty member in the arts and humanities program at The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. Bleicher received his B.F.A. and M.F.A. from Pratt Institute. He has worked and taught at the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture, the State University of New York, Brooklyn College and Marian College. In addition, he has served as the assistant dean of the School of Art and Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT).

Bleicher is an accomplished artist. His artwork is included in many major collections and is widely exhibited both nationally and internationally in numerous solo and group exhibitions. Bleicher collaborated as the color specialist with fellow artist and Pratt alumna, Jennifer Wen Ma, on Man and Nature in Rhapsody of Light, a permanent public art installation at the Water Cube in Beijing. The work combines traditional Chinese philosophy with contemporary aesthetics and digital technology. The lighting installation opened in June 2013 and can still be seen at the Water Cube every evening as it has become a major Beijing cultural arts attraction.

In October 2004, Bleicherʼs book, Contemporary Color: Theory and Use, was published by Cengage Press and Thompson Learning. It is a comprehensive text on color, and focuses on digital color and its relationship to other new technologies as well as traditional color theory. Other chapters include color psychology, perception and dimensional aspects of color. The second edition, published in April 2012 is updated and contains a new chapter with a focus on global color and multiculturalism. Currently, Bleicher is writing a book on basic design for Oxford University Press that is tentatively titled, Art and Design Foundations. It is planned to be the most extensive and comprehensive text of its type and will include pedagogical areas such as conceptual thinking, digital color, as well as all aspects of two and three-dimensional design. The book is scheduled for publication in January 2021.

Bleicher often provides interdisciplinary lectures on color psychology and has spoken to marketing and anthropology classes at Coastal Carolina University. Additionally, he was a lecturer for the Nancy Smith Endowed Speaker Series and Celebration of Inquiry events at the university. He has also been invited to other colleges and universities to speak and was a visiting professor and artist at the Nanjing Art Institute.

As a result of his expertise on color, Bleicher is often interviewed and has been quoted by notable publications such as the New York Times and El Español, as well as other local, national and international publications. Additionally, he was a guest contributor to a local television program, Today in South Florida, for a series of segments about using color effectively. Bleicher is also a consultant on color psychology and theory for major corporations including Tilson Communications and Staples, Inc. He is actively working as an expert witness on color and copyright infringement.

Bleicher is a member of the College Art Association (CAA), Foundations in Art: Theory and Education (FATE), International Council of Fine Arts Deans (ICFAD), Southeastern College Art Conference (SECAC), Mid-America College Art Association (MACAA).

The Interview

At what point in your life did you know that you wanted to become an artist? Did the realization emerge slowly?  

In high school I became interested in photography. I had a darkroom and bought a 35 mm SLR camera. My best friend Joey was interested in sculpture. I was always giving him ideas for new sculptures and one day he turned to me and said if it’s such a good idea, you do it. I thought “your right” and started working in all forms of sculpture including stone and wood carving and some direct plaster work. At that time, I became interested in Constantine Brancusi and his ideas about truth in materials. I applied to art school, Pratt Institute, and majored in sculpture as an undergrad. In grad school I was working in both painting and sculpture. I continued doing both after grad school until I was assistant dean at FIT and was asked to bring the new personal computing into our curriculums. As a part of this effort I had to learn Photoshop and worked with the faculty on developing new courses using this new technology. That radically changed my direction and artworks.

How did you evolve your style and favorite mediums?  

When I started working with Photoshop and combining my photographs with altering and working into the images. That really wasn’t satisfying. I began to play round with using my photos, making monoprints with them and working back into the images with graphite. My first few series were a combination of the images, a map of the locale and a three-dimensional item taken from the area. That started with the Route 66 series. Since then, I’ve done commissions for a Vegas strip series and Bourbon Street series. With this new series, The Harriet Tubman Byway, I began to open up my style and move away from the image and maps and just started to concentrate on developing more complex and fragmented images. I got this freedom from Tubman’s influence. How can you not be influenced by Harriet’s passion for freedom and her bravery without it affecting you? Her willingness to bold and take chances has influenced my artwork and how I approach this series. It is much more experimental than my past series.

What are your time management techniques? Do you have regular working hours…or any favorite times to work?

One thing I do to keep on track is make lists. What I want to accomplish that day, ideas I want to explore and keep in mind as I go out on the road, etc. Mornings are for more technical aspects of the work which include going into the printmaking studio to pull prints. Also, mornings are good for any writing. I tend to work on the drawings in the afternoon and evening.

Do you work on more than one piece at a time, or primarily just on one?

I work on a few pieces at a time. I make the monoprints and then start working into them with graphite. As I work on a piece, I stop put it up to look at it and live with it for a bit and decide where it needs more work, more detail or values. I do this process several times through the creation of one artwork. I do only work on one series at a time. Each is a separate entity. Although in this last instance, while working on the Kings Highway series I became aware of the Harriet Tubman Byway. So, there is a bit of overlap between the two.

What would you say is your biggest influence — that which keeps you working, regardless of all else, your most steadfast motivation?

It’s an internal drive – I’ve always been a type A person. I got some of it from my father who was a scientist. He did both his masters and doctorate while we were growing up. I saw him use every spare minute to do his work while still finding time for his family. I make notes and lists to keep on track. I even sue the alarm on my iPhone to make sure I don’t forget meeting s or other important things when I could get sidetracked.  I like to have several projects going on. These currently include are finishing up the production for a new textbook on art and design foundations, creating my artwork, teaching at Coastal Carolina University and working as an expert witness on color and trademark infringement. Proposing a new color theory book to several publishers. It just comes down to loving what you do.

Does trying something new and not knowing the rules — the boundary-pushing — create anxiety or excitement in you?  (Or both?)

Pushing be boundaries and starting new work is what excites me. In this new series I’m trying a number of new things. I’m adding bits of color to some of the images and opening up the work to be less narrative and more abstract. I’m moving away from using maps and souvenirs with in the work and now I’m just concentrating on the image itself. I’m working with some limited color and fragmenting the images. I’m trying to have the images tell their own story without the more narrative elements I’ve used in the past. I want to really open up this new body of work and see where it takes me, without preconceived unified formatting of past series.

Do you enjoy having the “duality of both chaos and control” or are you happiest with a set plan?

The idea of embracing chaos came when I was a grad student at Pratt Institute and studied with George McNeil and Calvin Albert. They were both members of the Abstract Expressionist school. I was reading the Myth of the Sisyphus and the work I was creating had some abstract expressionist underpinnings allowing things to happen by chance and then developing what I saw.  Serendipity. This concept is translated into my new work by first hitting the road and never knowing what I will find. The second, is the monoprint process is not exact, there are variations to every print. It’s looking at what results from the print process that directs where I will develop each piece. That’s where the control comes in. My drawing skills in developing the work – knowing where to add something or adjust the values or place spot colors.

Do you have any projects or events forthcoming? 

I have a number of projects this coming year. My new foundations textbook, Art & Design Foundations is due out January 15th published by Oxford University Press. I’m also discussing with a few publishers putting out a new edition of my color book, Contemporary Color, Theory and Use.

I want to continue work on the Harriet Tubman Byway series that I received a grant to create the series. I can’t wait for the virus to subside and take a trip back to parts of the byway that I haven’t visited. That part is very frustrating. As part of this series, I will have more exhibitions of this body of work over the year or two.

Additionally, I am working as an expert witness for a color and trademark infringement case. This is the second time I have worked as an expert witness. It’s very challenging and I enjoy the research aspect of the work. Though, it is very different to be quizzed in a deposition for up to 8 hours. Especially when the other side is doing whatever they can to trip you up.

Oysters (Reclomation)   2018
Graphite & Mixed Media on Paper           11 X 14
Bucktown General Store     2020
Graphite & Mixed Media on Paper   11 X 14
Oak Alley – Combahee Raid      2020
Graphite & Mixed Media on Paper   11 X 14
The Doll Maker’s Rocker     2018
Graphite & Mixed Media on Paper   11 X 14
Cambridge House   2020
Graphite & Mixed Media on Paper   11 X 14
Tubman Byway Diptych      2020
Graphite & Mixed Media on Paper   11 X 14

Please contact the artist directly: stevenbleicher@gmail.com http://www.stevenbleicher.com

 

Kirk Maynard

Kirk Maynard is a mixed media artist who is originally from Brooklyn, New York. A second-generation Guyanese-American, Maynard’s work focuses on the political undercurrents of culture and identity in America. His work has been exhibited in solo and group shows in New York City, San Francisco, and New Jersey. He has also given artist talks at the New Museum, Queens College, and Princeton University. Maynard currently lives and works in Orange, New Jersey.

Maynard’s artistic practice focuses on social, political and cultural issues through the lens of portraiture and composition. Often referencing American social history, his work explores the intersection between identity and politics, while using juxtaposition to highlight different social justice themes.

INTERVIEW:

1. At what point in your life did you know that you wanted to become an artist? Did the realization emerge slowly?  
I knew that I wanted to become an artist when I was in elementary school. When my cousin would come over to visit me when I lived in Brooklyn, NY, we would always draw cartoons in a notepad I took with me everywhere. I think the first realization that I actually wanted to create art continuously was when I drew Beauty from Beauty and the Beast from the back of a Kellogg’s cereal box.  It was done in colored pencil. And I really liked how it came out! And from then on I drew almost every day. 


2.    How did you evolve your style and favorite mediums?  
I can talk about my style first, since I was mainly a fan artist before I became much more political in my work. The decision to develop a style to my work was a direct result of my desire to focus on political work and the idea of the portrait. Faces have so much meaning in our society and how we code them tells us a lot about our culture and the broader social signals of race in America. For example, my Periphery series interrogates the way that the black body is stereotyped in broader society. And the face is part of this interrogation. So I began to incorporate the face and side profile heavily in my work. 
My favorite mediums are drawing and painting. In my drawings, I use oil pastels. I love pastels as a drawing medium because of the ability to create wonderful textures and vibrant colors through blending and color layering. When it comes to painting, I use oil paint as my painting medium because I like the longer drying time and blending as I paint. 

3.    What are your time management techniques? Do you have regular working hours…or any favorite times to work?

I really like to plan my day in advance. Because I generally have a busy schedule I don’t set specific times to create artwork, but I set an agenda of what I want to do for a specific day. So if I am working 3-4 days per week on a drawing (which is my usual schedule), I would use one day to just focus on the initial sketch. And another day to add oil pastels and start blending colors together. That is a system I feel has worked well for me. 

4.    Do you work on more than one piece at a time, or primarily just on one?
I usually work on one piece at a time. This gives me a chance to give my full self to the work that I am creating without any distraction. 

5.    What would you say is your biggest influence —  that which keeps you working, regardless of all else, your most steadfast motivation?
My biggest motivation in my art practice is my desire for social justice and understanding. The entire reason why my work is political is because I care about the issues that affect me as a black man in America. I feel like my work serves as a vehicle that allows me to communicate the issues that this country is still wrestling with, whether it relates to stereotypes, discrimination, or social coding. And I seek to educate anyone who will listen. And the way I educate is not just with words, but my art. 

6.    Does trying something new and not knowing the rules —  the boundary-pushing —  create anxiety or excitement in you?  ( Or both? )
It creates both! It is always a challenge within myself to try new things and break out of the comfortability of what I have always done. For example, when I first started the Periphery series, I thought about adding a colorful, patterned background to my work. This is something that I always added to work that I created in the past. However, the entire point of the Periphery Series was the focus on black personhood, and adding to the background felt like a distraction that was not needed. So I kept it white. And it was a new revelation for me to break down my work to only its essentials so that the message could get through to the viewer.  

7.    Do you enjoy having the “duality of both chaos and control” or are you happiest with a set plan?
I like the idea of having a set plan. However, I will say that when I am starting preliminary sketches or ideas for a new series, there is a lot of chaos in my notes! I am constantly interrogating my own thinking and determining what I want to mention in my work. The Periphery series is the result of many months of research, notes, and sketches. And I think that is the beauty of art.Control can come out of chaos. 

8.    Do you have any projects or events forthcoming? 

I have an upcoming solo exhibition at Montgomery College in Silver Springs, Maryland. If anyone is interested in following up on my future events and projects, they can subscribe to my newsletter through my website. 

Periphery Series Oil pastel on paper 30″ x 40″ 2019

Periphery Series Oil pastel on paper 19.5″ x 25″ 2019

Periphery Series Oil pastel on paper 16″ x 20″ 2019

Periphery Series Oil pastel on paper 16″ x 20″ 2019

Periphery Series Oil pastel on paper 16″ x 20″ 2019

Periphery Series Oil pastel on paper 19.5″ x 25″ 2019





Please contact the artist directly :

kirkmaynardart@gmail.com

Instagram – @kirkmaynardart

Facebook –  Kirk Maynard’s Art

https://www.kirkmaynardart.com/