I believe everyone has a story to tell. These stories are comprised of families, conflicts, acquaintances, friendships, loves, loss. The human experience often seems fragmented, marked by unexpected interactions, situations, and emotions that sometimes feel out of place, useless, and random at best. And yet, there is often a strange and captivating beauty that grows from these fragmented places. We find ourselves drawn into the stories of others because we identify with the disjointed spaces revealed through honesty and vulnerability. What once felt pointless, begins to hold meaning and beauty. As we listen to each other’s stories, we discover connections, hope, and a reminder that we don’t traverse this life alone. It is a representation of these beautiful discoveries that I attempt to paint.
My current work incorporates structures that are both intriguing and structurally impossible. Set in their own landscapes, they speak to the experiences of community both in urban and rural settings; more specifically to the combination of the two, and the dialogues that that combination entertains. In the Pacific Northwest, we live in a beautiful location, surrounded by the wonder of nature and the ever-changing growth of urban development. We live in community. We cannot escape how we affect one another. Our consideration—or lack of consideration—for our fellow human beings and our world makes a difference. While we may not agree with the beliefs of our neighbors, we can affirm the story of every person, recognizing that our value and worth lies not in our beliefs, but our personhood. Just as no human being or geographic location is perfect, so the shapes that I create in my paintings are not measured or “correct”, rather they serve an invitation to stop and consider. My hope is that these works will challenge the viewer to emotionally interact with and speculate about these shapes and their environments; that they would hold the attention and consideration of the viewer, offering a space to consider the responses they might evoke.
Bontrager has her BA in fine arts from Taylor University, Indiana and studied painting/drawing at Studio Art Centers International in Florence, Italy and at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. Her MA in Art Therapy from Hofstra University has contributed to the integration of emotion and intimacy in her creative process.
Jazz Brown is an autodidact who uses acrylic paint to create vivid, expressive compositions. His artistic approach presents intense vibration through contrasting hues, shapes, and textures. He is inspired by both the Minimalism art movement and the Bebop jazz offspring from the 1960s. Brown describes his technique as "consciousnesses on canvas."
Exercising geometric proficiency, Brown explores the contrast between the eternal nature of reality and the false perception of duality. Using the present moment as a point of reference, he reveals both formlessness as truth and form as a vehicle of awareness to experience the wonder of the infinite.
Described as a philosophical painter, his work has been exhibited at CoCA, Bellevue Art Museum and Martyr Sauce and was featured in the 2018 City Arts Future List in City Arts Magazine. Brown lives and works in Seattle, WA
“Boundaries Lost and Found” series of abstract paintings considers the boundaries of our physical and energetic bodies in relationship with others at the energetic level. Most of us operate as if there are defined limits to what we think of as "self" but what happens when we scale down and see that we're made of atoms that are mostly made of space? Or that there are far more bacterial cells holding our body together than human ones? A feeling I’ve tried to capture in my work is the moment when I’ve kept so still and have become so relaxed that I can no longer feel where my body ends and the space around me begins. Like all my atoms are spreading out and floating away. Maybe this is why setting emotional boundaries is so hard. There’s not a strict “us and them,” “this or that,” “me vs. you.” Energy is fluid, we are space and we are movement. It’s not in our nature to be contained. I paint what I would want this tiny science to look like. The beautiful, awe-inspiring energy of it all. The boundaries, the membranes, the movement and scale of life. All of my work is about energy and movement- the essential elements of existence. It’s the movement of energy as emotion, in life, in death, as light, and as information. I visualize the peaks and valleys of emotion and imagine inner landscapes of our bodies, our cells, our psyches. I wonder how knowledge moves between membranes and how chemicals help us grieve. It’s this inner space that feels so tiny and mysterious and yet so all-encompassing that I want to explore.
After graduating from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco in 2007 with a BFA in Painting, her focus has been on creating large-scale abstract paintings with a rich history of complex and fragmented information via color and shape. Tara’s work explores the intersection of art, science and spirituality and is inspired by quantum subject matter and the movement and conservation of energy. She has adapted these topics for private commissions and both gallery and museum shows. Her work has been included in several print publications and national exhibitions, including several in New York, Los Angeles and Seattle.
Growing up in North Florida and years of travel through the West and Northwest have filled my inspiration cup full to overflowing. As I walk miles of wilderness trails, I find myself enraptured with the way the fog settles between mountains, how the light finds its way through the tallest of Redwoods, the kiss of sun glistening on coastal waters. It is these moments that capture my heart and my imagination and move me to put paint to canvas. I carry them with me in photographs and memory until I am ready to allow them to spill forth in color.
Through paintings in acrylic and watercolor, I am seeking to capture the feeling not just of a place, but of a moment. Pulling forth from those memories, I begin each painting, building up layer upon layer of color and transparent glazes, allowing the composition to emerge as it will, until the surface is transformed into a representation of an experience of locale and moment in time. It is my goal that these surfaces convey the sense of atmosphere and mystery I find in these wild and untamed places, mirroring the wildness in us all.
Emily Gherard is a Seattle-based painter, draughtsman, and printmaker. She received her MFA from the University of Washington, and her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. Her work has been included in exhibitions at The Museum of Northwest Art, Whatcom Museum, The Henry Art Gallery, Gallery 4Culture, SOIL, Francine Seders Gallery, Cornish College of the Arts and Bridge Productions. She received the 2006 PONCHO Special Recognition Award and a 2014 GAP Grant from Artist Trust. In addition to being a finalist for the 2006 and 2010 Betty Bowen Award, Gherard was also a finalist for the 2013 and 2019 Neddy Art Awards at the Cornish College of the Arts. Awarded with residences at Jentel Artist Residency Program, WY and the Ora Lerman Charitable Trust Artist Residency, PA, Gherard continues to create while teaching throughout the Puget Sound area, including University of Washington, Western Washington University, North Seattle College, and Bellevue College.
Of her work, Gherard says : '“Over time my imagery has developed from literal depictions of rocks and walls into abstracted blocks of composition built from the accumulation of smaller elements. Despite this evolution, my intentions have remained the same: to use composition, color, and experimental materials to depict forms and structures in a way that enables the viewer to empathize with them as if they were living. In my work, these hulking wall-like forms may be made out of paint, shimmering graphite, plaster or thousands of industrial staples. These large masses become human stand-ins and the unstable compositions of them sagging, crumbling, and dissolving are a metaphor for human fragility and vulnerability. “
Untitled (Lack All Conviction No.2), 2016, Acrylic Ink And Graphite On Panel, 10 x 8 inches. Inquire about this work
Meggan Joy is a self-taught photographic artist primarily focused on digital collage. Joy combines fragments of the natural sciences with her narratives and allegories; often weaving in symbols and motifs from art history to create a new surreal vision.
She fabricates this staged imagery from the ground up, growing most of her subject matter in her garden, documenting the growth, beauty and decay. Each piece is created by assembling thousands of individual photographs of botanicals, insects and other wildlife - resulting in a final image that is bursting with life and layered with hidden details and anecdotes. VIEW CV HERE
EARTHLY DELIGHTS You are full of fragile and fleeting life. You grew in imperfect seasons. And when cut back, you arose better for it. Eventually, you splintered and declined, gracefully and rotten. I made space in your absence, yet whatever of you was here, still lingers. Your thorns still catch my hair; your scent still gives me direction. It was dark, and then it wasn't. The portion of you that is gone is the home to my fresh growth. And our ghosts smell of wet earth and honey.
An Attempt Was Made, 2019, digital collage 30 x 40 inches, edition of 5 36 x 46 inches, edition of 5 Inquire about this work
Shaun Kardinal is a conceptual artist creating form from repeating parts—one from many, many from one. His cross-disciplinary art practice manifests as altered objects, modular structures, collaborative exhibition platforms, and interactive physical-digital installations.
Born and raised in suburban California, the artist moved to Seattle right out of high school. He began working in the arts a few years after, running a not-for-profit gallery in the frame shop he also managed—where he first exhibited his own photography. In his roles since, as a web developer and graphic designer, he has collaborated with dozens of artists, galleries, and arts orgs.
He is the recipient of two grants from 4Culture, has served as a member of SOIL artist-run gallery, was an organizational member of Crawl Space Gallery, and co-founded Some Space Gallery. His work has exhibited from Seattle to New York to London and in between.
I am interested in the compression of ideas on and into a paper surface. My hand-printed collages and artist books integrate personal narrative with a more formal curiosity for edges, layers, depth and space. I create texture and color through various printmaking methods including woodblock, drypoint, monotype, lithography, and chine collé. From these prints, I fold, bind, draw, cut and collage to create new compositions. Many of my prints incorporate paper elements that lift beyond the two-dimensional plane. In recent works, my textures reference the Pacific Northwest landscape, and my childhood experience living with wood and woodworking. With both prints and artist books, collage is at the center of my practice. Collage is a useful tool for it serves as a direct way to manipulate the paper, and to explore the metaphors that arise through the colliding of imagery and collapsing of material qualities.
Kelda Martensen is a visual artist working in printmaking, collage, book arts and murals. She has been an Artist-in-Residence at Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, France and at Pratt Fine Art Center in Seattle, and is an continuing participant in the Artist Residency in Motherhood, a project organized by social practice artist Lenka Clayton. Her prints and artist books are in private and public collections including King County, City of Tacoma, Google, Special Collections Library at Washington University in St. Louis, Southern Graphics Council International Archive, Bokartas Contemporary Art Center, Nancy Spirtas Kranzberg Studio for the Illustrated Book, University of Missouri and Willamette University. Martensen is a tenured faculty of art at North Seattle College, where she teaches full time. Her classes include drawing, printmaking, book arts and mural art. Martensen earned a BA in Studio Art from Willamette University and an MFA from Washington University in St. Louis. She now lives in Seattle, WA.
The uncanny landscapes of science fiction seem remote from the world we inhabit. Yet as the climate changes—environmentally, culturally, and politically—we find ourselves in a zone that is all too real. My work imagines what we will encounter: visions, illusions, and distortions that may lead to our own mutation and eventual evolution.
Guy Merrill received his BA in Mixed Media Studio Art from Western Washington University. He has shown in Seattle at The Alice, The Factory, Vulcan, Fred Wildlife Refuge, and at the Tacoma Art Museum. He was an artist in residence at Vermont Studio Center in 2016. Guy Merrill lives and works in Seattle, WA.
Exhibiting consistently since 2002, Saya Moriyasu’s intriguing sculptures are beautiful forms that beg to be asked their story. Of her work, Moriyasu says: “My hands have touched, brushed and molded the art. Figurative elements connect the viewer with an emotional alliance and an implied story. The plot is open to interpretation and embellishment. Exploration reveals cultivated references: animism, Americana, class, history, consumerism, humor, decorative arts, Buddhism, and love of beauty”
Transformation of space, whether public art or a museum, invigorates my spirit. I incorporate drawing, ceramic sculpture, oil painting, wood, bronze, concrete, light, and other materials, bringing a feeling of warmth and connection to magnify experiential qualities.
The artist begins with a canvas or plywood surface and laboriously applies plaster, acrylic, oil, ink, paper and graphite layers. This process achieves a distinctly rich, subtle and shifting texture. The viewer senses the uncertainty and contradiction inherent in memory and perception, and her reluctance to commit to a definite and final moment. The physicality of Muirhead’s work reflects the visceral complications of our experiences.
“The intricacies and anomalies that occur with persistent layering are deeply compelling. I love how the viewing is affected by the light, one’s mood and interpretations of the text. I am interested in the tension, in life and in art, between change and permanence; and why we reject or internalize particular beliefs”.
“In creating a piece, I am motivated by the pursuit of beauty and an eventual resolution. Often, I incorporate texts that are personal narratives or transcriptions of actual experiences. As a piece progresses there is a revelation of intimate truth or aesthetic knowledge that allow me a respite from the past and the future”.
They say we die two deaths: the first is our actual passing; the second is when the last person who remembers us takes their final breath. Family photographs, vessels of memory, are integral to extending this quasi-life. They show a mother, a child, a past self, full of in-jokes and the mundane meaningful only to a select few. But divorced from their origins, these emotion-ridden images become unknowable and lost in translation, for they are intrinsically entwined with the intimate memories of someone. These images are timeless because photography can forever capture a moment—so much so that they have outlived their families and purpose, becoming orphans. As we drown in an overwhelming visual culture, what place does an old family photo have outside their original home?
In Forgetting is so long, I collect abandoned, anonymous family photographs, enlarge them past their familiar size, and paint over them. I paint to disrupt, to reimagine, to re-enliven these individuals until I can either no longer recognize them or their presence is too piercing to continue. Family photographs are sacred relics to their loved ones, but unmoored the images become hauntingly absent. Taussig states that defacing these types of objects forces a “shock into being;” suddenly we perceive them as present, revered, and piercing. By mixing painting with photography, I lengthen Roland Barthes’ “moment of death” (the photograph) into some semblance of purgatory. Not alive but not quite dead, each person’s newly imagined and altered portrait straddles the lines between memory, identity, and death. They are monuments to the forgotten.
Daisy Patton received an Honors BFA in Studio Arts from the University of Oklahoma with minors in History and Art History and her MFA from The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston/Tufts University. Patton received the Montague Travel Grant for research in Dresden, Germany, and has completed numerous artist residencies at Minerva Projects, Anderson Ranch, the Studios at MASS MoCA, RedLine Denver, and Eastside International in Los Angeles. Her works have been exhibited widely throughout the US and 2018 marked her first museum exhibition at CU Art Museum at the University of Colorado.
Clyde Petersen is a Seattle-based artist, working in film, animation, music, installation and fabulous spectacle. He is a proud member of the transgender and queer communities in Seattle. Clyde is the director of Torrey Pines, an autobiographical stop-motion animated feature film, which premiered in October 2016 and toured the world with a live score for 2 years. He recently had a solo exhibition at the Bellevue Arts Museum, featuring a life-size Ford Econoline tour van built entirely of cardboard.
He travels the world with his band Your Heart Breaks and hosts the internet film series Boating with Clyde, in a small handmade boat in the Washington Park Arboretum. His award-winning work has been featured around the world in museums, galleries and DIY venues.
Clyde is currently working on two new feature films, expected to be compete in 2020. In addition to all of this magic, he is establishing an artist residency program on an island in the Salish Sea
Beeramid 1, 2019, Cardboard and India Ink, 19 x 11 inches, created in collaboration with Jennifer Zwick. Inquire about this work
Beeramid 2, 2019, Cardboard and India Ink, 20 x 11 inches. created in collaboration with Jennifer Zwick. Inquire about this work
Beeramid 3, 2019, Cardboard and India Ink, 20 x 11 inches. created in collaboration with Jennifer Zwick. Inquire about this work
For The Times, 2017, Serigraph, 26x40 inches, created in collaboration with Kerstin Graudins. Inquire about this work
Queer Pledge, 2017, Serigraph, 26x40 inches, created in collaboration with Kerstin Graudins. Inquire about this work
Based out of Seattle, WA, Joseph Steininger is an artist and innovator. Using intricately detailed and hand-cut stencils applied with spray paint, his personal work is influenced by street art culture and printmaking. Using traditional and time-honored forms of fine art, his pieces are remarkably complex and masterfully represent this contemporary medium.
Spray paint is still seen by many to be an artistic medium incapable of creating fine art. Joseph, through his work, aims to bridge the gap between preconceived notions of what can and cannot be defined and exhibited as fine art. By using a contemporary medium, like spray paint, and creating a body of work using traditional subject matter, the artist forces the viewers to expand their assumptions about the ever expanding possibilities to be found in the fine art world.
Similar to many forms of printmaking, the artist creates his work by meticulously hand-cutting intricately detailed stencils. The stencils are then layered to create a distinct body of work which displays his mastery of the craft.
My work references the idea of building. The structures and forms that I make are secondary to the investigations of balance, believability and kinetic potential of that which is inanimate. As a printmaker, I am drawn to the texture of paper, the permanency of line, the act of the hand, and the significance of white space. The construction of the forms that I make are a series of unplanned reactions; a notion which allows me to both implicate and complicate an idea. Through measured mark-making, subtle color, and odd angles, the push and pull of weight distribution and dimensional collapse becomes apparent. Some of the things that fuel my work are agricultural and construction equipment, play structures, and stacked/lined up things. Through these and other unexpected forms, I allow the structures I create to be and be constructed out of that which is animate.
Kim Van Someren is the Instructional Technician in Printmaking, Painting + Drawing and IVA at the University of Washington. She holds a MFA in Printmaking from the University of Washington (2004) and a BA from the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse (2002). She has taught Printmaking at Pratt Fine Arts Center, Kirkland Arts Center, the Frye Art Museum, the Seattle Arts Museum, and University of Washington. Van Someren has exhibited locally and nationally; her work included in several collections including the New York Public Library, the University of Iowa, the University of Washington and Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.
Jennifer Zwick creates artwork which deliberately requires the viewer to reorient themselves, using optics, one-point-perspective, in-camera techniques, site-specific construction, and sculptural installation. She approaches photography sculpturally, building things which are meant to be seen only from the specific vantage point of the camera, depicting nonlinear narratives depicting the fraction of a second where something fundamentally concrete is shifted just enough to turn an ordinary moment into something gently surreal. She says: “By presenting ordinary items and spaces in ways that open a tiny crack in the object permanence around us, we can explore our strong definitions of reality and unreality, exposing where these can break down, where the lines can be blurred, giving an opportunity to question how much of the world we really need to accept, and how much we can prod until it gives way. I firmly believe that by making art which looks fantastical but is constructed rudimentarily, "in real life", an opportunity is created for the viewer to think about what we will accept as real; about how much our brains miss when we move through the world; about what we take for granted and how much power we truly have to reshape our reality.”
Trained in photography, Jennifer Zwick works in a variety of media, including large-scale installations, wearable sculptures, painting, interactive video installation, printmaking, and photographic processes. She is particularly interested in optics, symmetry, humor, one-point-perspective, anxiety, repetition, repetition, and repetition. Her artwork is included in Seattle’s King County Permanent Arts Collection, was featured three times on the cover of The Stranger, was a 2018 Artist Trust Arts Innovator Award Finalist, and she has received numerous grants and awards, including two 4Culture Arts Special Projects Grants, two Artist Trust GAP Grants (including the Jini Dellaccio GAP Grant), a CityArts Projects Grant, and an Artist Trust Fellowship.