Days go by, rain comes and goes; buildings are built, occupied, and abandoned. Walls that were once so vibrant with life are eventually silenced. Generations upon generations witness the same subject with different eyes, perspective, and time. Minds are stimulated with excitement through the curiosity of our senses. Restorilazation and revitalization are a necessity to honor the enchantment that has once taken place. Constructing an infinite memory out of what was once a fleeting location is the goal to be achieved throughout the artwork.
As a community we cannot let the walls be silenced or forgotten. The sounds heard, textures witnessed, and the industrial infrastructure itself that once held such importance must be esteemed. The buildings and structures alone in them self is of art, the linear patterns, the geometric depth, the shape, and forms standing alone are mostly overlooked. Bringing these sites into the contemporary context with digital photography lets the unoccupied location have a new life, in a new era.
Personal influence was cultivated within a small blue-collar county, of Carmi, Illinois. A town full of momentary dreams. The remote town forced creativity and appreciation to be pushed beyond the stereotypical. One child might find peace, beauty, and comfort in the subway, or surfing in the ocean; however, for me, it was found in my own back yard. Watching my father work in his collapsing metal shop with his worn-out equipment. Waking up to the sound of a diesel engine running, a chain rustling, or an air pump accelerating might displease a stranger but to me, it is a lullaby and alarm clock. To me it is what I call home.
Curiosity is an innate human drive that is often lost in childhood, but easy to find if one looks. I find a strange beauty in examining the broken wings of a dying butterfly. Within my work I hone in on these beautiful moments, and have found textiles to be the most diverse medium to show what I see. Within textiles, I’m able to emphasize the glimmer with glitter and the soft textures with felt and silks. When taking a road trip in Kentucky, we often pass by hills that’ve been blown to pieces, exposing the layers of rocks and opening opportunities for new growth within them. This growth is glamorized, but the slow decay of those rock forms and the fossils within is often ignored. Mistletoe feeds off of a tree like a parasite, yet these blemishes and natural diseases are admired. While negative at first glance, it consistently reveals hidden value and beauty upon closer examination.
This process of transformation within the natural world inspires me to create work. I use imagery like bugs and fungi to show they are as beautiful as they are necessary. By using a textile medium when using this imagery, I create a relationship between decay. It’s important that textiles degrade the same way. The transformation from growth to decay is part of a beautiful bigger cycle.
This balance of growth and decay and how nature creates an environment that causes people to closely examine their surroundings. I spark the viewer's interest by using vibrant colors and eye-catching material to depict macabre imagery. Disease and parasites are heavily associated with my consistent theme of growth and decay, as it is a growth that causes decay– like many other diseases. All too often, people tend to go about their days on autopilot ignoring much of the world around them. My goal is to encapsulate the viewer in an environment and push them to comprehend new subjects and perspectives by bringing attention to the world around them.
Stay curious and observe the beauty of our world that has always been there.
We all want a place to call home where we get to put our roots down. For some, this place is the state they were born in, and for others, it is a place they stumble upon along the journey of life. Some of us are lucky enough to live in such unbelievably special places, however, we don’t always seem to notice or appreciate this. The seemingly endless nature of our bustling society seems too often keep our focus shifted away from the natural beauty around us. This thought prompted me to begin this series of paintings and prints that highlight not only everything I love about my home state of Kentucky, but also all that it has to offer, from land to resources. Roots to Ridges stands for many things; from the roots we put down, to the roots of the agriculture that provides for us all, to the ridges that our livestock roam, to the ridges we explore. To bring this to life, I first focused on my hometown. These works explore multiple facets of the Kentucky landscape, from the rolling hills of horse country to the lush forests, rivers, and small towns that shape The Bluegrass State’s identity. This visual story creates a balance between our breathtaking geography to the agriculture that provides so much for us. My mission behind doing this is that I hope it brings the viewers to appreciate all of our untouched natural beauty. Our society's constant need to expand is consuming not only miles of land, it is consuming wildlife, habitats, and scenery that can’t be replaced. Through the appreciation I hope to spark, I also hope it sparks the conversation of conservation. Conserving what we have is important for so many reasons; the most obvious reasons are to protect wildlife and to promote biodiversity but also so that we can preserve what we have so future generations can enjoy it as a reality and not a distant memory.
In these works, I address many components of the Kentucky agriculture system from the industry overall to livestock and crops. My lithographs take a scientific visual approach. The choice to complete these works monochromatically in black and white allows the viewer to get lost in the realistic detail used. Through my careful attention to rendering, I work to capture the essence of what is and what once was and to intimately appreciate all that our agricultural system provides for us. In contrast, my screen-prints and paintings incorporate a more colorful and playful approach. Vast and bold color bring life and energy to my oil paintings. I use these heightened color palettes to convey my feelings of love and gratitude for the landscape’s generosity and never-ending beauty.
I take inspiration from printmaker Stephanie Berrie’s ability to render subject matter with attention to detail and for her compositions. Ioana Villatoro also inspires me with her acrylic paintings of the natural world that she enlivens with intuitive, expressive decisions about color and mark making. Highlighting all that Kentucky’s environment provides is important for those that live here because in a world that is so fast paced, we could all use a reminder to slow down and take a look around, Hopefully, Roots to Ridges inspires us all to take pride in the wild spaces our Southeastern state of Kentucky.
We live lives that revolve around consumption and buying more than we need. Past fashion preys upon our laziness and encourages our rather prodigal spending. Why repair something when you can just buy a new one? We have become disconnected from how the clothes we wear are made and distanced from the people who make them. Fast fashion companies are more concerned with profit than creating durable products, paying their workers a living wage, or protecting the environment.
I want to contrast current fast fashion trends with older and more thoughtful practices, some of which are coming back. A century ago, people took great care in creating garments that would last a very long time. They also went to the almost insignificant (to them) trouble of mending their clothes, rather than throw them away as is common practice now. Visible mending, a new wrinkle on an age old practice, makes a statement through extending the life of a garment while also making that garment desirably unique.
Wearing used and thrifted clothes can be a way to make a difference and an easy habit to acquire. I myself wear secondhand and vintage clothing on a daily basis. In my experience, the vintage clothing community is a safe and supportive place for people of all ethnicities, genders, and sexual orientations, allowing them to merge aesthetic appriciations of the past with contemporary activism. This is exemplified by the popular motto and hashtag: "vintage style not vintage values,"
My work is spread over multiple media: painting, printmaking, and ceramics. The square format throughout much of my work alludes to social media interfaces influence our self fashionings. The juxtaposition of historic and contemporary ways of "consuming fashions" should invite the viewer to reflect upon their own practices to fashion a sustainable self.
Gabby Gillette and Gabby M. Gillette
For 20 years I experienced physical, emotional, verbal, and mental abuse at the hands of my biological mother. At an early age I had to face the harsh reality of my situation and develop skills that helped me survive day-to-day, but that left me with a very skewed idea of who I was as a person. But the one thing that I knew for certain about myself was that I loved to create. I would write stories and draw characters as an escape, and as I got older I would build bigger and more elaborate worlds to explore until it turned into my passion. Writing and drawing were an intertwined part of me that I could never be without; everything I wrote had to be drawn and everything I drew had to have a story behind it. Introspection: Another World, is my exploration into who I am, both as a person and as an artist. The central piece in this show is a book, entitled “Introspection”, which features a collection of short stories and illustrations that explore themes of identity, family, self-discovery, and trauma. Some illustrations are a visual representation of what is happening in their story while others are more figurative as an emotional response to their story. These illustrations and these stories serve as a place of healing for me, allowing me to look inside myself and explore who I am and what I once was. As an artist, I’m inspired by the world around me, with things like music, and culture, but movement is a big inspiration for me. I find it interesting seeing movement in texture and trying to create a texture out of movement itself. Junji Ito’s illustrations are what I strive for when I’m creating a piece, something that’s very detailed and that’s moving in some way with the lines. Bob Masse is a designer who’s posters combine Art Nouveau and Psychedelic styles with influence from Alphonse Mucha. His line art and figures have been a major inspiration to my practice. With all this inspiration and a mind full of never ending worlds and stories to explore, I’m putting my true self on display in another world.
When I was 7 I was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) which is a debilitating neuropsychiatric disorder that affects men, women, and children. But, most people often use it as an adjective to describe when a person is organized or a perfectionist. My designs attempt to inform and demonstrate to viewers who do not have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder what it is like to have OCD. Through package, product, and layout design, I have created boxes and informational materials that not only raise awareness about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, but also demonstrate the repetition and overwhelming, chaotic nature that is associated with living with OCD into tangible experiences for viewers.
The work in my show begins with a moire pattern that illustrates the brain scans of a person with OCD and a neurotypical person, and the subtype of OCD that is typographically illustrated using a decoder design on the interior of the box. Inside of the larger box I designed interlocking compulsion boxes whose exterior matches the chaotic, overwhelming decoder design of the larger box they are in. These boxes are meant to demonstrate the repetition of obsessions and compulsions. Also inside of the boxes are various informational materials including, decoder filters, stickers, a brochure, and an informational booklet. The materials on the inside of the box are meant to be a way for viewers who don’t have diagnosed OCD to begin learning about what OCD actually is while also dismissing the trivialization that is often associated within the disorder. Because OCD is a diagnosed medical disorder I relied on factual information from the International Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Foundation, which is a foundation that is chaired by medical professionals who have researched and/or treated OCD.
Stylistically, my work consists of minimal illustrations and typography. Throughout my designs I only use 5 colors and black and white. I chose these 5 colors for my work because they are bright and overwhelming while still having the ability to overlap and contrast to make the layered typography designs. The 5 colors I use in my works help me to complete intriguing and educational layered compositions. While choosing these colors I was inspired by Massimo Vignelli’s Knoll designs in which he uses bright, saturated colors, bold sans serif fonts, and typographic overlay. For the overall typographic designs I chose Futura, a bold sans serif font, to make the designs seem overwhelming to the viewer while still being readable. Paula Scher’s use of typography as an illustrative element, especially her work with typographic overlay and her “How are you?” posters inspired the layout designs of my informational materials and posters. Overall, while designing the pieces in my show I drew a lot of my inspiration from minimalist designs often seen in modernist typography design.
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As an Asian American, I am always dealing with racism. The racism worsened during COVID-19, not only for me but for the AAPI community as a whole. There was an increase in hate crimes because we were considered the cause of the pandemic. There were attacks, harassments, and threats made against Asian Americans. People tried to help on social media with the #stopasianhate movement. However, like other trends, this one soon disappeared. The unsettling nature of social media that allows people to apathetically scroll onto the next post and the acceptance from both communities fuel my show. My works discuss what it’s like being Asian American. In the past, I was hesitant to speak up about my racial problems because of my docile nature. However, it is time to stop living in fear because I deserve to have my voice heard.
#representasian combines graphic design and photography to raise awareness about the issues I face as an Asian American. There are typography works, illustrations, and package designs. The typography posters use soft colors and bold sans serif fonts to highlight racist quotes that people have said to me in the past. Next to them are kinetic type videos that animate other quotes. Both works are scaled large to force the viewer to pay attention to what is being said. The illustrations and milk carton designs depict my fondest memories of my trips to Korea. They also use soft colors to create a soothing quality that expresses how I felt when I was there. My photography is used for a similar purpose. The film photos document my trips to Asian American towns to show proper representation and to convey the warm feelings associated with each place. Lastly, is a documentary video on my parents’ immigration story. Having my parents and myself as the focal points bring attention to what we have done to accomplish the American Dream and the struggles to get there.
I’m constantly inspired by designers and photographers who shake the art world. Jessica Walsh is an unapologetically loud designer who uses bright colors and funky typography. Her color choices inspired the color palette of my show. She also incorporates a lot of display fonts, which influenced the font choices for my posters. Victore’s works are rebellious and defy perfection. He’s influenced by racism and comments on its destructive quality through the usage of erratic, handwritten fonts. My type videos comment on racism while encompassing an unstable feeling with overwhelming animations. Nikki S. Lee is a Korean fine art photographer who explores the struggles of understanding American culture. By conforming into different stereotypes, she found herself constantly changing her identity. Instead of finding the need to change myself, I embrace and display a representation of my Asian American identity through my show.
Sonder- the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own. -John Koenig, The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows.
I find comfort in realizing everyone’s lives are as terrible and fascinating as my own. Dealing with stigma about mania and depression has affected me throughout my interpersonal relationships- I have felt and often still feel isolated. I’ve learned a lot about myself through my research in clinical psychology and by creating art about my bipolar disorder. I’ve set myself the goal to make other mentally ill people feel less misunderstood and isolated.
In my prints I display identity, depression, and pressure through anthropomorphized figures. But, the figure never has a human head. It is replaced with an item that aids in telling the story of the individual’s mental state and complex emotions. I use unrestrained lines similar to blind contour and portray the figures in varying sizes- often large- to take up space with the viewer. My surrealist style is inspired by Mark Ryden and Kathryn Polk, using imaginative freedom to explain the figure’s story. They are alone, unobstructed by an environment except for objects they are engaging with and key momentos around them that form an idiographic synopsis of their state of being. Their isolation creates an invitation for the viewer to join in and take up space in the piece, providing the figures company.
Whether studying psychology or dealing daily with my own mental health, this body of work visually portrays mental health fluctuation in hope to create oneness and solidarity. I present an opportunity for viewers to evaluate mental illness and its impact on our fascinating, detailed, terrible, and happy lives. I encourage you to sonder and realize how simultaneously unique and analogous a stranger truly is.
From an early age, I was exposed to the detrimental effects cancer can have on individuals as well as their families. One after another, I experienced the passing of family and friends. The heartbreak that I endured during these times inspired me to push for more advocacy and change in the cancer world. Through my design work, I am exploring the human connection, how humans interact with each other, and how art and design can influence the way we see challenging situations. This connection is explored in my senior BFA show, driven by my passion for fundraising and advocacy in the nonprofit industry that I've continuously pursued.
The Advocate project is an awareness campaign that combines my graphic design education and skills with my passion for advocacy and awareness for cancer research. Through design, I educate viewers about Advocate - a campaign that focuses on the discrepancies in stage 4 breast cancer treatment and funding. Breast Cancer has the highest percentage of received funding over all other cancer types, yet only 2-5% of this funding is allotted to stage 4 research. Stage 4, or metastatic breast cancer, is breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body and is incurable and deadly.
Advocate reaches multiple constituents. The patient, caregiver, and fundraiser all have a role in making up what Advocate promotes. These three channels work together through awareness, support, and assistance. Advocate is made up of elements of branding and poster design, advertising, digital marketing and research. It combines shades of blue and green; representing knowledge and growth. The focal point of my show is four posters, which give a glance of the reality of metastatic breast cancer. In these posters, statistics of the disease are spread across the majority of the page, which are highlighted around the broad range of patients it affects. The posters aren't meant to give the viewer the full answer, but to want to learn more about the subject - as advanced cancers can be complex and easily overlooked.
Much of the inspiration of my work stems from both Corita Kent and Massimo Vignelli. Through both Kent and Vignelli’s use of active designs with color, lettering, leading lines, and more - I was inspired to create digital and moving graphics for Advocate. Each highlight the work Advocate brings to the table, and the people that help support them.
The Advocate project aims to educate the viewer about the complexities surrounding terminal cancer diagnoses. To help those better understand the discrepancies in awareness and research of those going through a journey much overlooked. To encourage advocacy for not only their own health, but others. And to know that with great courage and perseverance, there is always hope for the future. I hope by viewing my show, you too are impacted by connections made through interactions with one another, and inspired to make a difference in your own community.
My work focuses on themes of identity and personal history, the things that make us who we are. Whether that is what kind of
childhood we had, the trauma we have endured over the years, the thoughts about ourselves that we believe to be true, or just simply the environment we grew up in. I’m interested in the psychology of metacognition and how we can become so analytical and aware of our own thoughts or the thoughts others have of us. This internal investigation of why myself and others are so critical of ourselves has been one of the driving forces in my work.
Using food and human anatomy in unexpected ways, I question the causes and outcomes of unhealthy perceptions of our bodies. I cover heavy subjects like eating disorders and the detriment they do to your mental health and your way of thinking. Such as, the idea of craving to be able to see your own bones, or the unhealthy thought expressed by an acquaintance, imagining how skinny they could be if their intestines were removed from their body. I believe clay as my medium helps me bring these ideas to fruition by the malleability of the material and how it is both visceral and fragile.
These concepts in my work have been very personal to me, which has made the creation of these sculptures more of a healing process for myself. Digging into my own eating disorder as part of the inspiration for my work was something I never thought I would do, but now realize it was necessary for my artwork. I hope the viewer can gain a greater understanding and perspective of what it’s like to experience these disorders and not be hesitant to discuss them as well.
Throughout my childhood, my parents often took me out into nature to go hiking, camping, and just explore. Now when I am in nature, I am reminded of my childhood and reflect on the memories of safety and comfort that I experienced, but through the lens of the person that I am today. As I have learned about and engaged with people in my community, I realized that their experiences and views of being outdoors and in the environments that I grew up feeling comfortable in are much different than mine. These different experiences are based on factors such as family or community, external factors, social location, and their personal experiences.
My work is a way for me to reflect on and convey my own experiences as a child as opposed to how I feel today, and also to be an advocate for others who feel unsafe in outdoor environments. I reflect on the complex relationship between people and their surrounding environment in two different media - painting and graphic design. In my paintings, I explore my personal and experiential relationship with the natural environment, as well as how my relationships with family have affected my experiences. I think about what it means to be a woman in nature alone, and how I can sense that with the comfort I feel, there are also feelings of uncertainty and a lurking danger. Through graphic design, I create influential advertising campaigns and posters about inclusion and safety, and visual identities and branding that present a welcoming and inclusive environment.
To show the tension between the comfort I feel in nature in relation to danger that exists, I place myself in paintings as a child and as an adult in situations where the feeling of lurking danger is present, or where the figures are vulnerable in some way. The images that I paint feel precarious and unsettling, but comforting at the same time as I often appear happy in nature with my family. The figures in my paintings interact with recurring symbols and elements such as fog, water, or roots. I use elevated, dark colors and gestural mark making to show opposition and emphasize an unsettling mood. A few of my contemporary painting influences include Shannon Cartier Lucy and Teresa Dunn. Shannon Lucy paints unsettling or uncomfortable scenes that can also be intimate or inviting, as a lot of these scenes are in familiar, everyday spaces, and this is a balance that I also strive for in my own work. In Teresa Dunn’s work, I am mainly inspired by her mark making, use of color, and level of resolve that she achieves in different areas of her paintings, as well as the ways that she uses figures. Her mark making is very gestural, and she also brings in a lot of non-local colors in order to create more conflicting scenes.
The colors that I use in my graphic design work are warm, natural, and tonal colors that visually communicate feelings of familiarity and comfort. I use bold serif typefaces such as Gastromond and Freehouse that appear adventurous and lighthearted, paired with wide sans serif typefaces such as Avenir and Effra because these typefaces appear approachable, friendly, and dependable. I am influenced by the ways that the designer Jessica Hische creates importance and draws attention through her bold and elegant typography. The flat and minimalistic illustrations and icons that I use in my infographics and advertising designs also make them easily digestible and welcoming for the viewer. In the design of the logo for my national park system, I used a shape that resembles an arrow as well as a minimal illustration of a mountainscape. In this logo and in my illustrations, I am influenced by the designer Chester Don Powell. Specifically, I am inspired by the flat and intricate illustrations and bold typography that Chester Don Powell used in his designs of Works Progress Administration posters for national parks.
Sports design is marked by the ability to unite people behind a communal message. Growing up, athletics and art became anchors in my family. Most of my time was spent playing outside with my dad and brothers, while my mom taught me how to stretch my creativity and make art, seeing things for the end result and finding the beauty in the process of creating. Later on, I witnessed sports and art build community and cultivate creativity, functioning as something more than just entertainment, but a key part in bringing people together. This project entwines the energy and unity of sports culture with the essence of clean design.
Britt Davis’s work and my own experience as a St. Louis Blues intern serve as the inspiration for this portfolio. As an intern, implementing new brand guides highlighted the paramount role branding plays in the sports industry and within a community. Through design, teams create personality and cohesion, a story that fans can rally behind. This project series combines these formative experiences with Britt Davis’ use of creative strategy in drawing inspiration from a city’s people, culture, and history to create a unifying and cohesive brand.
The Kansas City Beasts brand is built on the foundation of intentional design–utilizing typography, texture, photography, and a strong color palette to create a cohesive identity system. The construction of the team’s culture and fan experience inspired a design that would connect the essence of the team to the community. The brand features unified yet bold, modern typography, which sometimes interacts with the layout or photo itself to create an illusion of depth or abstraction within a design, invoking the city’s trueness and grit. The brand maintains a balance between clean and complex relationships, relying on textures and patterns to break up space within a composition. These formal elements result in work that is both functional and communicative. The designs present information in a comprehensible way regardless of fans’ knowledge of sports, highlighting the city’s collective people rather than individuals.
The digital and print project series communicates the identity of the Kansas City Beasts through manipulating contrasts within the foundation of the design. The poster series in particular centers on cut-out photography on top of vivid, textured backgrounds, combined with bold typography to form an engaging composition. These eye-catching projects brim with impactful visuals, intentional movement, and a lively yet subtly gritty tone.
Exploring and embracing my Filipino heritage has not only inspired the work I create, but changed my perception of cultural identity and traditional art. Being bicultural, half white and half Filipino, and learning about the migration that my mother and others experienced has allowed me to connect to my identity. I encountered a new space as an outsider and began to realize how much my identity was impacted through an adjustment process. Questions like, “Am I Filipino enough to be this? Who am I to know anything about what it means to be Filipino?” constantly arises. The consequences of displacement and ongoing conflicting questions that arise in everyday life have dominated my way of thinking and creating. This body of work is not simply to celebrate my culture but to bring attention to experiences of feeling different and isolated, but also finding connections within an unfamiliar environment. As time goes on, those experiences are constantly changed and intertwined with each other to create a new cultural identity.
My work reflects a multicultural perspective, bringing together Filipino American undertone and abstraction. The importance of intangible elements, the feeling of emptiness, alien-ness, through patterns of absence and in-between spaces is heightened within each drawing. Combining topics such as colonization, racism, community, family, history, traditions, finding a safe space, and love, individual experiences become visible. Beneath what is seen on each of the surfaces are layers that are overlaid by another layer and parts that are destroyed and covered. As with many untold stories, they become invisible and I incorporate references to cultural details and symbols familiar to Filipinos such as food, fashion, family, and folklore to resurface varying histories. Aspects like textiles, assemblage, real food, and using found objects are used to further push the conceptual ideas in the work. I use color to represent specific ideas or historical and cultural aspects. For instance, in one of my recent pieces titled Take up the Brown, I reference the border from a manuscript called Boxer Codex. This manuscript was made during the late eighteenth century when the Spanish colonized the Philippines, so I reference the flat, floral lines they used in combination with the way I draw and collage contemporarily to give back that power to the Filipina posed within. I arrange objects and forms in a way that is considered and complex, but still accessible to the viewer. Each element is placed to provide visual movement and multiple details to look for, as if the viewers must follow along to a map of Filipino culture and discover it as I am doing at the same time.
The figures depicted are representational and often include members of my family and at times myself who actively pose to enhance the narrative. It is important to include different womanly bodies who personify my American side and my Filipino side, and referencing old photographs to flesh out new meanings. I incorporate my mother, presented as a woman with a carabao (water-buffalo) head, who represents the positive characteristics of Filipinos as hardworking, strong, and graceful.
The more I explore my culture and the impacts colonization has on bicultural individuals, the more information and layers I build from. My desire to use the power of visual language transcends national and cultural boundaries and alters how I am shaped as a person of mixed history. At the heart of the work is an attempt to harmonize the contradiction between past and present, invisible and visible, Filipino American.
I’m constantly surrounded by sports. Between playing sports and attending many sporting
events, sports became a part of my identity. The sport that quickly formed a central part of my identity as a sports fan was hockey. My father introduced me to hockey after I had already begun my own athletic career; like any sports fan, watching games together, cheering on our favorite teams, and experiencing the excitement was an invaluable experience. I found the speed, agility, and tenacity exhibited by hockey players on ice to be an absorbing display.
Outside of the game itself; the personality, appearance, and history that defines each team is something I’ve been equally fascinated with. I find sports design to be edgy and aggressive with bold typography, agile movement, and formidable body language in its imagery. One notable difference between major and minor league hockey is the creative liberty allowed in minor league branding. This creative liberty allows for fun, extravagant branding. By meshing my love for sports design with the subject of a minor league hockey team, Richmond Apparitions was Created.
Choosing the location of Richmond, Virginia. I wanted to explore a city that is deeply rooted in American history as well as paranormal history. Paranormal history has always sparked my curiosity and imagination. When creating my logo for Richmond Apparitions, I knew I wanted a ghost as my mascot to be more playful. In my designs as a whole, I incorporate a palette of grays and blacks with a singular statement red. This allowed me to build a playfully darker aesthetic within the branding, while maintaining visually appealing designs through fun typography, bold hierarchy, and strong use of imagery and design throughout.
Inspiration for the identity work I’ve built for my Richmond Apparitions, comes partially from the branding by the creative team consisting of Jeff Ipjian, Wes Tiongco, Bryna Taylor, and Amanda Le, for the 2019-2020 NHL Anaheim Ducks. This system includes a monochromatic palette paired with a bright color dynamic which I found very appealing. With the addition of gritty layers to add a paper-like aesthetic. I am also inspired by graphic designer, Alex Flick. His designs mix colorful illustrations with bold yet fun typography that add a playful approach.
While making this body of work I focused on the idea of worth. To be more specific, how undefined, personal, and perpetual this task of assigning value is. Using the curation of objects as a convoy to discuss how and why we assign this value. Our current knowledge of the objects, assumptions, whats adjacent, the attention the items have been given. Focusing on the conversations had between the subjects and as a result the viewers. I was recently brought to the idea that intelligence can be measured by the amount of connections one can make. With this in mind, my goal for this work is to have potential for a multitude of responses, an intelligent piece of art.
Through dealing with the found and curating what's available, new perspectives can be associated with this imagery while also benefiting from its familiarity. I enjoy contextualizing things that have already been recontextualized. Finding that many things at this point have already been re-recontextualized. The addition of Miss Piggy who has already been set the context of a chess piece, or a vandalized cardboard Maude from a Louisville alleyway to a Murray gallery. Turning things on their head that have already been faced down.
Working in this way creates a balance between improvisation and planning. Having the general idea of the work and while allowing the art to appear in accidents during the process. Attempting to maintain an enjoyable state of surprise and control. The self actualization of some work through found objects in juxtaposition with objects containing clear hints of time and craft is what points the conversation towards value.
The why is more ambiguous— I am less willing to disclose. My why would only dilute others thoughts when asking questions or make their own connections. When clay is propped like an angel or wax poured into a lion, does it have more inherent worth? I suppose that would depend on how the viewer values me as an artist.
I often find myself overwhelmed when I look back at history and see the pattern of violence against women. It can feel as if this is the way that things will always be, but I don’t want to accept that. In the Church of My Girlhood is a body of work birthed from these feelings of powerlessness. Instead of shrinking back in fear, it aims to make and take up space and fight back against these systems in ways I wish I would choose more often in my own life. The pieces reflect on my own experiences as a woman while acknowledging that the subject matter, often relating to the unease accompanied by being perceived as an object, is shared by women and femme presenting people all over the world.
Through these works, I am addressing the history of female objectification in paintings. Many before me have played into or challenged the way the viewer looks upon the female subject. I am continuing the conversation. I control gaze in the works to create confrontation and to give the figure more agency in how it is viewed at times, as well as to convey vulnerability when that eye contact is dropped and the figure is in turn passively being viewed. There is discomfort and a question arises whether we should even be allowed to see the body in this intimate setting. All of the works teeter between empowerment and vulnerability. That tension is what I’m interested in expressing.
There is consistent messaging being shared, primarily from men, telling us that our nude bodies are shameful as a way of gaining control. For women especially there is a burden of blame put on our shoulders for distracting, misguiding, and tempting men into making poor decisions. That is the supposed power our naked bodies hold. While the shedding of clothes can be seen as metaphorically releasing oneself from this burden and empowering, the imagery of discarded clothes and that symbolic and physical barrier to one’s body being released can also create a sense of vulnerability that can be unsettling for the figure. The tension of opposition is presented in the works in this way.
The show’s title is borrowed from an excerpt in the book All About Love, by Bell Hooks. It implies that the lessons I’m learning and the questions I’m wrestling with have culminated to create a sacred space of learning and growing. There is a level of sanctity to these works and their content that I have not always honored, and as a whole the input of girls is not always valued. I am honoring them now. These pieces hold anger and sadness and awe for the strength of the collective female, as well as a desire to keep creating, so as to open the door for more conversations about what we can do differently in the future and to find sanctuary in relatability.
Kay Yount and Kay Yount
Eden is a show based around the concept of love. Love can be clean, messy, warm, cold, good, bad,it can be conditional or unrequited. Love is enigmatic— no one understands or experiences it exactly the same. I wanted to find a way to capture a part of this thing that I crave, something that is so close and yet so far out of reach. This exhibition is my way of giving to others my conception of Love in my own way.
Eden is a garden occupied by the two lovers, a cyclops and a blind prince. In secret, the two lovers meet in this garden of Eden, have tea, and read. Although their love has been forbidden, they are here at this moment, and as a participant in the space, you have been given an opportunity to share in that..
In this show, you will see cut vinyl and paper come together to create an immersive environment for you as the viewer to step into and be a part of. Having this space allows me to bring you into my world and showcase my interest in creating a narrative environment.. The use of illustrator and photoshop along with the meticulous process of plotting and weeding, allowed me to create these vignettes, showing you what it is like to be a part of this world. Atop pedestals, there are a set of five zines, three of which tell you the story of these lovers together, and one for each lover by themselves. Each have been hand stitched and carefully displayed for you to peruse.
The inspiration for Eden comes from many places; one example beingLouise Fili. Inspired by her gorgeous typography and limited color palettes, she is what inspired me to first make a handwritten title. Something one of a kind, just like my other two inspirations. Luba Lukova and Kacey Slone. Inspired by her use of negative space, Luba Lukova stands as a perfect example for the technical concepts in the work on display; The use of line, color, and space and how it interacts with the world. Kacey dives fearlessly and deeply into some of the emotional development and expression I am also hoping to convey.
Born too late for the space age, too poor for space tourism, and too early to explore the galaxy, I’ve turned my obsession with sci-fi pop culture into a design career. A steady diet of bad films and cheesy sci-fi left me feeling like the world lacked something. It lacked pageantry and fun. We all share pop culture, and it gives us a sense of a world that’s more fun than the one we live in now. The movies, toys, and games of my youth helped shape my sense of what the world could be, a world that could be something more. That sense of wanting to make the world more than just the day to day is what made me go back to school at 37 and pursue an art degree.
Too often design is merely functional; despite being intended to tell a brand’s story those stories can be flat. Instead I like to use bright colors, simplified forms, and nods to other works to make even an annual report into something of an experience. Even a logo can become a character in and of itself, turning a brand into a story. I also use images and tropes of sci-fi and fantasy to bring a sense of fun to life. There’s something rewarding about creating an ad that makes the world seem more adventurous and full of possibility.
This is what my show, Life Isn’t Fare, is about. I wanted to show off my layout skills and packaging design skills, as well as my logo designs, but in a realm that allowed me to build a sense of fun, too. The astronaut is something I’ve always sort of identified with, exploring spaces that are strange while isolated from his environment. The astronaut with his taxi image was a recurring piece from my past works, and so I decided to build a toy line about that sense of fun I wish reality had. A bit of adventure, a bit of silliness, and a world and show defined by logos and icons, similar to our own daily life. It’s a show about exploration into new spaces, a work a bit about myself, and a way to show that design can be fun.
The comic and animation work of Vaughn Bodē and Ralph Bakshi are heavy influences on my work, especially their off-beat questioning of society. The wild colors and cartoonishness of Frank Koziks’s poster work was what first made me consider becoming a graphic designer. Discovering Lester Beall’s use of vivid color and master of using and breaking the grid was a pivotal moment in my development as well, and countered my fascination with Romek Marber’s near-scientific cover designs. Mieke Gerritzen’s typography has also been a big influence and helped me rethink my own use of typography and how to make it stand on its own. My show’s work was also very much in the footsteps of Larry Hama and Ron Rudat’s work in toy package design and illustration; their world building on GI Joe is one of the biggest reasons my show even came to be.
Please enjoy the little slice of the toy aisle I’ve presented, and the figures and characters in it, and hopefully leave feeling a little happier, and a little more weird, than you came in.
Kieran Beasley Monarch Skateboards
Monarch Skateboards is a company that designs and produces skateboards and skate merchandise for a primarily teenage and young adult demographic. This diversity of skate style and culture allows me to blend experimental imagery and themes with my personal design style which is often structured and patterned, with designs and illustrations both monochromatic and exploding with color. Skater personalities and tastes are always varied and individualistic. I design with that in mind, to appeal to everyone in and out of the skate park.
To fill my designs with more personality, I incorporate a mxture of darker, grunge inspired designs and illustration with bright colors like pinks and blues, which allows me to build off of traditional skateboard trends while adding my own personal flair. I use gritty textures for classic looks and bright patterns for more modern looks. Blended into the designs are also patterns to consistently lead the eye across the boards and posters. The skateboards I design are made with blank decks that print my designs onto using vinyl.
To aid me in brand consistency and bringing life to skate culture in my designs I took inspiration from a few sources. Santa Cruz Skateboards has been a big inspiration for me; their designs mix colorful illustration with a consistent brand look, even when their designs vary to include photography. Aesthetic Apparatus is another place I get my inspiration from; their bright colors and gritty textures always look great paired with their bold typography which I try to emulate in my skateboards, posters, and other merchandise. They have everything from posters to packages to storefronts and keep brand consistency even if the design styles vary from project to project.
I was raised in a community that was raised to not empathize with queer people or their struggles. I was hyper-aware of my differences growing up, both internal and external, and spent a lot of time pondering identity and how people perceive one another. My work is the result of that introspection; sequential artworks depicting characters in states of transmutation or duality that explore both beautiful and repulsive facets of identity alike. I encourage my audience to join me in questioning the way we categorize ideas like gender, sexuality, and self image. I manipulate familiar multidimensional surfaces, primarily ceramics, mixed media videos, and zines, to create small narratives. The work provides a unique opportunity to form a relationship with the viewer as they interact with it. The tactility of my work grounds the experience in the relatable, while the integration of humor and empathy encourages people to understand both themselves and each other. The viewer’s ability to enjoy my pieces, regardless of their prior experience with the subject matter is my priority. I want my audience to see themselves depicted in my work without shame. By doing this I hope to alleviate the stigma associated with “otherness.”
I am influenced by Lisa Barcy and Lisa Hanawalt for the ways that their art practice mirrors my own. Barcy integrates and manipulates found objects in her animations in a way that inspires both my still and motion-based work. Hanawalt parallels the way I use lighthearted imagery to speak on deeper and more sensitive topics, all while managing to keep a humorous tone.
Steve Burdine Artist Statement (50+n)-20=T will be how much longer I have lived than I ever expected to. I believed that Reagen was going to lead the country into a Nuclear Holocaust. Instead it has been a trickle down erosion of freedoms through neoliberal capitalism and the steady march of deregulations that once protected the working class, such as Reagan's attack on the PATCO Strikers and the war on drugs. Existing in a neoliberal capitalist society has always been frustrating in a fundamental way. On one hand, I want to earn a good living and make enough money to not have to worry about basic bills. On the other hand, I do not want to support a system that continues to create monsters. Artists like Keith Morris and Chuck D were making music that critiqued neoliberalism as well as Reagan. Their complex soundscapes influenced my Art. I add visual elements in a way that represents sampling(in Hip-Hop) and hardcore chord structure (or the lack of it) and recognize that my path to abstraction was through doing graffiti in my youth, driven by the push for aesthetic beauty over legibility of the words. These marks I made on the decaying buildings in my city was the first expression of my angst in my art in an abstract way. My current work makes tension with basic shapes and the layering of paint, often with remnants of things in my house. I learned this language from artist Bing Davis. As a mentor he taught me how to use decay in my art by using unconventional items to make art from. The layering of these materials in my work reflects the sedimentation of trash as each subsequent layer of discarded things builds on top of the next. Some elements that extend beyond the ground, or even start to peel, create a feeling of the deterioration. I have some obfuscation of the layered images so the viewer may feel the curiosity or frustration of the almost recognizable. This restriction of access is one I feel when I work hard but yet am still blocked by class or other external systems. Often I will try to constrain the tension with more formal shapes like rectanglesbut, as with life, this constraining often fails. My work can be like seeing a pile of refuse where some parts are recognizable but it never actually resolves to a recognizable whole. The color choices I begin with, primary colors and/or earth tones, are the color palette of the Unions and of labor. When I feel like my work has become too precious, I either stop working on the piece or I do something to it that renders the precious part dead. I want some elements to remain unclear, feeling like a fleeting thought or memory, which is how I often feel--distracted by daily inputs from marketers and social media which amps up my need for self-preservation. The work is a way to filter all of this information barraging me and distill it down into something less disorienting. My conversation with neo liberalism and the frustration I feel is what I aim to express in these works. Leaving the viewer with the feeling of apathy, disgust, disorientation, or darkness while interacting with my work. Overall it is not as important for the viewer to walk away with a working definition of neoliberal capitalism as much as with a sense of the tension and frustration many of us feel because we do not even recognise we are living in neoliberal society.
I thrive through the creation of minimal and concise designs. To me, I find the beauty not only in the finished design or shape but throughout the process as well. Through my delicate lines and dramatic forms, I am able to create connections with my clients to not only fuel my passion but cultivate their dreams. My love for design is found in illustrations, branding, and typography. These are the skills that I have been honing the past few years. Illustration allows me to combine the commercial use of design while also having creative freedom. Through delicate lines that vary with length, width, and distance apart; I have been able to create a stylized form of imagery that adds to the overall theme of a brand. Being able to understand the rules to design is the foundation to be a designer however, knowing how to manipulate the rules to create not only a dynamic but also a balanced design is what produce a more diverse design.
Due to it’s organic element with endless possibilities and functions, clay has been a medium I have enjoyed working with. Currently, I find myself being drawn towards the minimal shapes with sharp lines paired with a black or white glaze. It is the dramatic forms such at the lengthy straight lines or interesting curves that I highlight by only having few design elements to keep the attention on the functional yet modern shape.
The process of branding a coffee shop has been an encouragement to finding the middle point of where both my passions can be seen in the same idea. I have been inspired by Radim Malinic’s work due to his package design and brand identity. His depth in this field and his ability to create eye catching work due to his great sense of color, has been an influence if my current work.
A ceramicist that has inspired my work is Branan Mercer. His work is interesting due to his dramatic shapes that could not only stand-alone but also works beautifully with his thick glazes.
We often do not value moments until they become memories or we do not value memories that come from difficult moments. Within Lost and Found, I explore how we lose, gain, or fabricate memories to protect ourselves from traumatic events. My constructions present these difficult experiences through the comfort of repurposed objects and handmade soft sculptures. Both of these artistic processes have become a way for me to cope with the loss of many loved ones. The women I have lost used sewing to help others feel comfortable in their own homes, to make the discomforts comfortable. The discomforts being negative experiences that impacted my family, loss of a loved one, financial struggle, emotional disconnection, and more. Through the act of building a living space and filling it with organic stuffed pieces, I commemorate the work the strong women from my family did to help others when they fell on hard times, creating comforting memories with their quilts, homemade toys, and homey charm.
My found object assemblages and soft sculptures also mimic how memories are formed, we subsciously pick and choose what we remember, which is the same nature I used when creating these works. My works reclaim objects others have discarded much like Joseph Cornell’s assemblages, I want my objects to spark the memories of others as they seem them both individually and in relation to one another. The collection of found objects to represent the memories we forget being a representation of this mentality. The use of soft sculpture comes from a place of struggle with personal discomforts. Experiencing these events that are universal such as; loss of a loved one, financial struggle, and emotional turmoil and presenting them in a similar way that helped my family cope with them.
Within Lost and Found there is upholstered furniture and objects, not only are these staples in any living environment, they are objects that many people have a sentimental memory about within their own personal context. This ability to create relatability between the viewer’s own memories and the ones I am trying to create further pushes the idea of these memories being universal to everyone. The pieces in the show are mundane in nature but gaudy in texture, the majority of the pieces and objects have a treated surface, being treated with anything from beads, glitter, string, plastic bags, and beyond this my use of multiplicity makes these objects seem mundane rather than special.
Growing up, I always hated moving. Every moment leading up to that move is a celebration, then a goodbye, then a memory. We wonder what we will do with the things we take with us, as well as what will happen to the spaces we leave behind. The first time I moved I didn’t know any of these things, nor did I think it would change my life completely.
My work is a reflection on my experiences from moving to America and what I have learned. I strive to challenge people to think about what makes a house a home through my lens as a Salvadoran immigrant. My work displays the emotions and items I associate with my move and reimagines the spaces from my youth. The wide assortments of color and naked terra cotta are a nod to Mayan folk art and Hispanic artists before me. I play with scale and saturation in my pieces to remove the items from reality as a reminder that they are sacred, yet distant memories. The work looks familiar yet feels unsettling; posing questions about how we view the immigrant experience. What is it like to see your loved ones for possibly the last time at an airport or as they walk towards the U.S-Mexico border? When I.C.E officers slash jugs full of water or take backpacks full of survival essentials in the Sonoran desert are we obligated to do something about it? How do we show compassion to those making life-changing transitions?
Inspired by the testimonies of millions of Latin-Americans in this country, I take what I learn from my community and highlight the differences and similarities in where we come from and the places we go to. My symbolisms and thematic choices are influenced by Mexican-American artist J. Leigh Garcia, whose work deals with the ‘residual racial discord’ of major historical events between the U.S and Mexico, particularly Texas. Though my work is more personal to mine and my family’s experience, I feel it’s important for me to acknowledge and learn from the heavy end of the Latine diaspora. Moving to America is riddled with obstacles no matter the method of doing so. Having moved so young and not knowing when -or if- I would return, I struggled with remembering all my ‘lasts’ and preserving those memories as I age. It’s a celebration of what I had before boarding that plane, and a tribute to those who unfortunately don’t get to have that choice.
Kiley R. Cox
Content Warning: Trauma
Birds are beautiful, fragile, yet strong species that defy the laws of gravity. Birds have been used as symbols throughout history, and have been a huge influence within my work. To me, birds are the most relatable and enviable animals to humans. We long to adopt their risk taking behaviors, their romantic way of mating with one another for life, or even just their ability to fly and go wherever they wish. To be a bird and not care about anything in the world would be liberating. People as a whole are a lot like birds; we are both strong and fragile.
For young adults, it is this liberation and freedom that we crave so much and strive for in life. So when it is taken away from us, it is painful. As a woman, to be put in situations that take away our power over our own bodies, which has been done since the beginning of time, is nauseatingly painful. “Fight or Flight” is a representation of that power and control being taken away by creating this malicious interaction between birds and human hands.
Using charcoal, I am able to capture beautiful and soft textures of the birds while also emphasizing the harsh shadows and tense angles of the hands which are harming the birds.
The content of the work in this exhibition is very heavy and personal for me, as well as anyone else who has experienced the feeling of helplessness and feeling trapped in a situation or relationship that is destructive, unhealthy, manipulative, or even violent to be in. While particulars of transgressions against our physical, mental and spiritual autonomy differ, trauma does not exist in a hierarchy. I offer these images to survivors to validate their experiences and mourn for their own loss of self-worth and power, and to other viewers as a means to communicate the intensity and impact that traumatic experiences have on people. I hope that viewers empathize with these birds being mistreated and relate to them in ways that might help them to not only recognize their own self worth, but also to underscore the importance of acknowledging, preventing, and stopping this kind of treatment.
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