2019 Exhibiting artists
A Creation Story in Cinematic Verse.
For many of us, abstraction as an overall approach to cinema is a problematic affair, and can sometimes leave us as audience members in a state of alienation from those who seem to be tracking right along with the program. When this happens, a profound sense of isolation and self-doubt is the only take-home of an honest attempt to engage with the avant-garde in film. But there are types of abstraction that can have quite the opposite effect – to connect us with the world, to orient us the right way round and at its best, to heal our vision. When such constructive abstraction is achieved all things become new, especially things that remain rooted in normality. Meaningful discovery is possible when the ordinary everyday scene shocks us into dismay or euphoria. It can be a means towards reality, where all things shimmer in their newness.
Live; You Are Loved
Graphic Art on Acrylic and Baltic Birch Plywood
The themes of love, inclusion and recreation are individually used in all of my work. By putting these messages front and center I hope to leave audiences feeling loved and valued. I also hope to send a message that Christians should show love towards different faiths and orientations. My hope is that the large acrylic prints will cause investigation, the repetition of art from floor to ceiling will grab attention, and the familiar text and reworking of biblical prints from over 100 years ago will compel viewers to think about the stories being told and the questions being asked.
Water Is Life
My goal as an artist is to draw out the beauty which God sees in others, down to the smallest details, through portraiture. Rather than studying artistic techniques before I start a new piece, I study my subjects, in hopes of capturing a bit of the soul shining through their eyes. I create because of my Creator, and attempt to showcase His attributes through both my life and my art. This particular piece was created as part of a fundraising campaign to provide clean water to Mozambique through charity:water. Reference photo by Esther Havens.
The Things We Carry
Surrender is usually seen as a negative word in our western culture. It admits defeat. In order to surrender, you have to give up something. You have to give up your ideas or ideology, property or person, and maybe your aims and ambitions. But the things we hold onto, the things we won’t surrender often seem precious to us. Perhaps it’s a relationship, or a dream, or a possession that we won’t relinquish. The things we carry in our hearts and prayers and worries often reveal the things we won’t surrender to God.
I believe as an artist the best one can strive to accomplish through one's work is provoking an emotion, a feeling, empathy, etc. But how does one convey the closeness of the One who holds the universe in His hands yet cares enough about you, you can physically feel His embrace? The One Whose eyes are mirrored with tears as He wipes your tears away. The knowing that He is enough. I chose black and white to help draw attention to what is happening internally in each participant as they experience this photo. I hope to create the framework to help change the viewers perception of God's posture towards us. Shortly after this photograph was taken, this lady's husband passed away. She remembered this image being taken, and it was a comfort and constant reminder to her of just how close He is, especially to the brokenhearted.
Am Adam Dam
I enjoy the creative process of using typography as a means to discover and say something new by connecting, extracting and reworking words and letter forms. I love the idea of illusions, the element of surprise, delight and wonder that it projects. Exploring and capturing this in my art and sharing it with my viewer is very important to me. I create with words and images because they have the ability to communicate to the senses and encourage you to rethink, question or be persuaded towards a particular point of view. To change one’s mind or reconsider someone’s position or point of view by guiding them to see in words and images what they might otherwise not have seen or considered before is rewarding. I am increasingly thinking of creative ways to play a constructive and redemptive role through my work, becoming a catalyst for positive change in my community and beyond. Ultimately, I want to reach out and invite people to participate in the mystery, the wonder and sense of discovery of using words and images that will compel them towards truth and beauty.
As an artist I’m extremely passionate about beauty and creativity and how they gracefully interact and compliment one another like a sweet melody. Beauty is powerful. It changes things. Within beauty you can find everything good...love, wonder, delight, peace, hope, joy, rest, miracles, grace, healing, etc. My passion is to produce artwork that captures these elements of beauty. We live in a world that tirelessly tries to steal these things. I want to give them back through the gift of art.
Acrylics, Mixed Media
Abstract painting is a vehicle to outwardly express the deep inner work of the Spirit in me. When I begin to work on a piece I do not usually have a finished work in my mind. I may have a shred of an idea to start from, but I never have a plan. I am inspired by emotions, relationships, current events, the natural environment, and most centrally, my faith in relationship to all of these things. I work intuitively, moving among my paints, charcoal and collage papers as the piece develops and tells me where it wants to go. I am not sure that my pieces are ever really “finished,” but they come to a resting place that seems to make sense within the framework of the story being told.
His Eye Is On The Sparrows
Painting and Mixed Media
“S E E N” is a current series of paintings that showcase the vulnerable or overlooked souls due to mental illness, disability or skin color. There are many issues that cause someone to feel less than, and my desire is to spotlight the beauty and value of these precious ones. I hope this series is a catalyst for conversations and awareness of the resulting isolation and loneliness.
I have always believed that as Christians we should be the most creative people in the world - that through art we can worship, connect with others and express the heart of God.
Ode To Billy
Mixed Media on Paper and Board
Ode to Billy is an invitation to the shared experiences of my childhood. Both of my grandmothers died while I was away at college studying art, ironically from dementia. This work is in a way my attempt to stitch together memories of them both.
In this piece I wanted to face my own fears of the disease that stole from them the very thing that I cherished the most. Embracing hope in the midst of confusion. I wanted to untangle the web of frustration and return to the simplicity of what life was like watching these women who played such an important role in my life as a young artist. Juxtaposing their bright lives with the darkness that slowly overtook their mind. I wanted to use a montage of material to honor their memory in a way that is timeless and beautiful just as they were.
This piece is based on the Frank Sinatra song, Little Stars. “Before Lord God made the sea or the land
He held all the stars in the palm of his hand
And they ran through his fingers like grains of sand…”
To me, this piece speaks of creation and the unlimited creativity of God.
I’ve wanted to illustrate books for as long as I can remember. In saved drawings from the age of five, I was already focused on archetypal characters and themes, especially those in power using their advantage to alleviate the suffering of others. I drew queens and beggars weeping together, servant girls advising kings, and I devoured Grimms’ Fairy Tales and multicultural mythology as true guidebooks for life.
As I got older, I was able to articulate the reason for that focus. Books, for me, were a window into different realities and possibilities from the ones my fractured and traumatic childhood seemed to be setting up for me. I saw characters who went through hardship emerging stronger than before, so I believed that I could, too—and I wanted to give that gift back to children like me.
For over twenty years, my own work as an illustrator has centered on the exploration of the fruit borne from trauma. In 2018, my Young Adult illustrated novel, What the Night Sings, was released, which tells the story of two teens emerging from the aftermath of the Holocaust, and how they rebuild their lives from scratch. What the Night Sings was nominated for the National Book Award, was a finalist for the Morris Award and the Golden Kite Award, and is the winner of the Sydney Taylor Book Award for Jewish children's literature.
The works on display here are from an upcoming illustrated Young Adult novel (Knopf, Spring 2020) which tells the story of a young peasant girl sent to be a laborer in a convent. Her experience of synesthesia (a neurological condition in which sensory perceptions overlap) leads her to extraordinary discoveries, as she falls in love against the backdrop of the emergence of the Great Plague of 1348.
Follow Vesper on Instagram @vesperillustration.
Dare To Dream
Acrylic On Canvas
My hope is that my artwork will evoke a sense of wonder and curiosity to find and capture beauty in the everyday. “Dare to Dream” is a declaration of just that—that as humans, the ability to dream and believe in beauty beyond what our physical eyes can see is such a valuable muscle to strengthen within our own mind's eye.
In this piece, the layers of light over darkness and specks of gold speak to the fact that our lives consist of both—darkness and light. It is when we choose to dream that we can truly see in living color.
Oil and Cold Wax
I take in the beauty and color in nature and and allow it to inspire me. My art is colorful and expressive; and expression of my appreciation for the world around me. I utilize oil and cold wax on panels, which allows me reveal the beauty and depth of color and abstraction.
For as long as I can remember, I have enjoyed drawing and making things. Most frequently my process begins with observing and collecting things such as marks, plant forms, and textures. These I keep on my desk or record in my sketchbook. My drawings develop in response to this collection. For me, making is a process of discovery, a conversation, and a way to experience life more deeply. Drawing forms a vital relationship with the world of my everyday experience – the habits, personality, rituals, litergies, and people. It is a process of listening and responding. It is discovering mundane glory in the commonplace.
Jean Sbarra Jones
My current work is narrative, mysterious and fragile. The dress is a metaphor representing renewal by light and water, also a baptism of sorts.
pigmented powder, colored pencil, acrylic on paper
This piece is a part of a series I completed with my two year old son. As an artist and mother, I’ve intentionally decided to invite him into some my work. I can recall a decade ago an influential professor in my life stating, “you become an artist or you have a family, you cannot really do both wholeheartedly.” Although I respected and admired his work, I’ve found that his words fall flat, and do not ring true in my world. My son has had a great influence on me, his presence opening doors of inspiration I’ve never encountered within myself. This piece is a response to the truth that family and creativity can walk hand and hand. Although some of my private work that I create away from my son may be more refined and focused, it wouldn’t exist without the gift of his life.
Mary Elizabeth Miller
Just Say No
The harsh, heartbreaking reality of our time is this: virtually all women have experienced some form of sexual harassment - in the local supermarket, on an early morning run, at their corporate offices, and even in the supposed safety of their homes. No amount of social healing, radical and empowering feminist revolution, and incredible societal restoration that takes place will EVER justify the fact that one little girl had nightmares for years after the first time a man stole her innocence and sparkle. I was that 12-year-old girl. Then that 16-year-old, budding, freshly re-traumatized young woman. That 21-year-old female victim of sexual harassment on her college campus. And then that 25-year-old-survivor of various forms of harassment from various men and women… The past three years of my life have been the story of my heart, mind, soul, spirit, and body being wrung of all those years of pain and deceit and trauma and lies, and gently put to soak in the waters of healing and truth. I have been humbled enough to believe that God truly, truly can make all things new. I hope this series, at its very least, will instill in you a mustard seed of faith - the size of faith that can move the mountain of injustice and bring freedom to silenced and shattered women across the earth. May it be so.
Red & White Explosion
Simplicity. Elegance. Redemption. A dance of positive and negative space in red & white. I love the exciting contrast and simplicity of two color quilts. I love red, I love to applique and reverse applique by hand, and I love to hand quilt. This original quilt design with 17 unique bursting design blocks inspired by architecture of the Victorian Era, brings together all these loves, just for the fun of it.
Dawn After Darkness
Oils on salvaged wood
Woodworks is a series of sky landscapes that commemorate cycles of redemption found in nature. These unconventional diptychs are painted with oils on salvaged wood, and display cycles of nature in the sky that signal redemptive motions, such as the passage of time throughout the day, or seasons of the year. Though these passages of time are easily taken for granted in daily life, they speak prophetically of a greater mystery: that darkness will always be outshone by light, and death will be overcome by life. These paintings are oil on red cedar, black walnut, and maple wood planks, with exposed bark and untampered natural cut to represent how trees bear witness to every season.
Finding The Deep End
Inadequacy: Stuck in the between moments, and feeling invisible, this piece explores the feeling of inadequacy and feeling unseen Pressing, Crushing: This piece represents 2 Corinthians 4:8-10. Representing the light and beauty found in dark and difficult seasons of life. Finding the Deep End: This piece was brought to life in the midst of many breakdowns and breakthroughs. From learning that reaching the bottom of the deep end gives you the chance to push up to take a breath of fresh air.
Whether I’m at the coast, the mountains, or somewhere in between, I linger, learn, and process with paint. My paintings are my shorthand notes in this course of life. I paint because it engages my senses, my mind, my soul, and stirs a passion in me unlike anything else. My aim is visual poetry: simultaneously elusive and evocative. I want the viewer to look into the painting, not merely at it, and send them on a journey that speaks life to the soul. My art exploration parallels my faith: there’s no end, but the ongoing reward is a wellspring of revelation that helps me know myself, the world, and my God more fully.
My desire is to create images that make you feel something; to draw you into the story being told through a photo. The world can be ugly and hard. My hope is to provide a small corner of beauty and softness to give respite against that ugliness.
"Fragrance" references the scripture II Corinthians 2:14, which states that followers of Jesus are used by God to "spread fragrance of the knowledge of Him". It is a reminder of this facet of the Christian Life. The image contains a bouquet of flowers being held loosely by a hand. The horizontal orientation of the bouquet, along with a number of air-born petals, gives a sense of release and movement. As the Spirit of God moves through His people, they are carried to times and places, to bring awareness of His presence. The painting "Fragrance" was birthed out of a domestic mission trip to New Orleans, LA. In 2018, a group of students carried various flags through the French Quarter, during Mardi Gras. "Fragrance" was the concept of one of these flags and was used as a joyful declaration of the teams presence in the area, and as a constant reminder for the team that they are, in reality, an aroma to the people around them. Earlier this month, those very flags were raised again in the streets of the French Quarter.