Framed! Senior Juried Exhibition
April 16 – May 22, 2011
Monday - Friday: 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m
Saturday, Sunday: Noon - 6:00 p.m.
Closed Easter Break: April 22 – 25
April 16, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Gallery & Events Are Free & Open To The Public.
Cartooning has always interested me because there´s no limit to what one can do in a world that they create. I like making my own interpretations on the things I love, like making whimsical vampires and witches or creating apocalyptic renditions of fairy tales like Alice in Wonderland. At a young age, I was captivated with Japanese Manga styles, especially the characters of Sailor Moon. I loved how the faces were extremely expressional, with big eyes and mouths, but their bodies were still proportionate to real human anatomy. From then on, I was hooked and began exploring this style and creating my own short stories and characters.
I began working on my own graphic novel, Snowed In! in the fall of 2010, and I fell in love with the process and challenge of bringing my story to life. I wanted to make an entertaining story with characters that other people would enjoy and want to see what happens to them next.
Growing up, my mother always marveled at how keenly observant of people I was. In a split second, I could see the smallest of details. Every part of a person has meaning, and it inspires me. Because of this, I prefer to draw or paint portraits. Not only is a portrait the representation of a person, it is my interpretation of how all those details look to me. In a portrait, you can omit the features you do not want to see and glorify the ones that you wish were better.
My Portraits generally start from photographs. From there I like to work with twodimensional media such as acrylic paint, pens or graphite. My colors are bright and my shading is smooth. When I draw, my lines are full of emotion. Drawing and painting has been the glue that has held me together over the past twentytwo years. It is the way that I know how to best articulate myself and the easiest way for me to express the things I cannot say.
In my most recent body of work, I seek to embrace the indescribable tension that color creates while focusing on intersecting geometric forms and lines. Color has a unique quality in its ability to attract and excite the human eye. I try to paint with a quick instinct, allowing my color choices to continuously layer and control what results on the canvas. It is my passion for color that speaks my feelings.
Furthermore, I aim to express houses with vibrant color usage, and look to brighten the life and loosen the concrete physical qualities of particular homes. Painting each house is a process. I consecutively build up many geometric forms of color to express the growing layers and memories of emotional connection that people have with a home. I find the playful color intensities in my house paintings bring out true energy and excitement.
My work is typically driven by line, exploration, or humor. I love line, from nearinstantaneous gesture drawing to meticulous but inexact blind contour, to the precise mechanical line of architectural drawings. Working with wire is an extension of this, because it allows me to create tactile 3dimensional drawings.
I have a passion for things like pipes, dismembered electronics, and objects one might find in a hardware store. I sometimes go looking for interesting plumbing and old, broken down machinery or buildings. I don´t pay much attention to the actual functions of these objects, and view them more in terms of aesthetics. My constructions are based not in utility or practicality, but in discovering new forms and meanings.
My 2dimensional collage operates similarly. I create a surreal and illogical space or story based on the interactions and new realities I discover in the process. I´ve always felt drawn to absurdity and humor, and my work in this media especially reflects that.
I am passionate about the truth of the art materials, and the vastly different ways that they each communicate. Photography has allowed me to hide behind a lens long enough to see a deeper truth than I knew, and to reflect on my relationship to the world around me. Painting has afforded me the opportunity to see color and fluidity as an emotive tool for healing, whereas clay has challenged the control that I seek to have over my materials, and the beauty that is found in surprise endings.
The natural world and my relationship to it is undoubtedly the strongest influence in my work. The handbound book that I created entitled Bike Farm is composed of photographs taken on a farm, inspired by my interest in the relationship between individuals and the land. The photographs were taken as I watched the land disappear beneath the snow and the people retreat indoors, and experienced the solitude in the changing seasons.
The incorporation of natural materials into the actual work has slowly become an important component of my creative process. It is a world through which I wish to communicate, through which I wish to seek inspiration, through which I find a source of understanding.
My admiration of nature´s beauty started my interest in art. The brilliant colors of trees, grasses, flowers, rivers and rocks created the strong relationship that I have with nature. Shapes, patterns, textures, and colors of my surroundings in my native village in Liberia were my first inspiration of creativity. As a little girl in Kakin´s Town, Liberia, I watched the old men in my village carve canoes and wooden sculptures, while the women braided tiny strings of bamboo threads into fishing net. These daily activities triggered my imagination. At the age of eight I started braiding my own nets and weaving baskets.
The process of my digital painting starts with photographing various fruits and vegetable, ones that I eat regularly such as: melons, onions, and papaya, seeing how they are uniquely painted and sculpted by nature. Colors, shapes, textures, and patterns make each vegetable and fruit distinctive from the others. In this project, I am exploring the inner and outer layers of these everyday objects to create abstract images that place them in a world apart from their functionalities. These works are my way of saying that every functional aspects of life, including what we find aesthetically pleasing, are the products of nature. Regardless of what media and style we as artists use, we are all influenced by nature, which I believe is the greatest artist of all time.
I´m constantly drawing it´s my escape, my hobby, my way to purge the characters and ideas from my head and get them on solid paper, and I´m never without a sketchbook on hand. My themes run the gamut my recent work explores fantasy themes and illustration, while other works display a more downtoearth, quieter sense of nostalgia and fascination with history, places and ruins. My figure drawing is immersed in the creation process itself, reveling in the movement and expression of lines.
My paintings reflect my interest in urban landscape, ruins, and the local history of St. Paul, such as the sealed up entrance to the old Selby streetcar tunnel, the abandoned Hamm Brewery, and some mysterious stones found in Swede Hollow a park which formerly housed ramshackle dwellings of Swedish immigrants. By choosing to paint these subjects, I hope to infuse them with a sense of nostalgia and reverence not something one would normally think about when passing by streetcar tracks leading to a filledin tunnel, or an old, crumbling brewery.
As an artist and graphic designer, I am excited about the exploration of process, visual communication and detail. I find inspiration in the way settings on a camera react in different situations, the methodical breaking down of objects into simple shapes, and the ever evolving ways society communicates through words and images.
We live in a society that is rushed; there is a lot we glance over and ignore. Individuals are no longer prone to sit and think or explore on a daily basis. As an artist I see my work as a way to present my findings and observations. I tend to ask myself what is it that we need to see in order to fully recognize an object and relate to it. What happens when I readjust setting A and move object B? Does a written word say more than its literal meaning to us when we see it? What I see in the world informs the answers to these questions and what I choose to visually explore through my art. I seek to show the world what I see and to find new ways of communicating it.
Everywhere I go, I look for orders and gradients. From the colorcoding in my closet to the gradual change from purple into green on my palette, these shifts show visual movement and time passing. How do fashion trends morph through time? It is easy to see something shiny and new, and then something decaying and rusty, but where do we see the inbetween stages? I seek to see the shift from one extreme to the other, the middle ground.
Process is very important to me. I like to take pictures at every stage of my paintings, to show a spectrum of progress and time. I need my work to be a tactile investigation throughout, which is why I build my own frames and enjoy the feeling of stretching my own canvas. I paint with the seasons as well. In autumn I cannot remove myself from the beauty of natural color, especially in trees that are transitioning from red or pink to yellow or orange.