DECEMBER 2018 - STEVEN STODOR
Born in Detroit in 1983, Steven Stodor began working with Glitter on Canvas, at age 15. Stodor began supplementing traditional paint with glitter and glue in order achieve a ‘flat’, graphic effect, though the result was anything but flat. His first such work, which imagined a pink, female profile, created primarily on the kitchen table, was the catalyst for a decades long glitter era, which produced daring works on canvas representing popular culture figures and Catholic images.
Moving to San Francisco in 2001, Stodor returned to University at age 24, after a six year hiatus, to study Advertising. Fast forward a couple of years, he found himself back in the Fine Art Department, where he laid claim to a nautical point of view, especially that of International Signal Flags. This focus was derived from Stodor’s upbringing on Lake Michigan added with his now residence of San Francisco. Water, and life on and near the water, has always been an integral source of his self.
After his former Studio was compromised in 2014, Stodor’s practice was considerably altered and downsized. His nautical work, which were primarily representational, mixed media paintings, started to shift towards that of assemblage and installation. His color palette concentrated on primaries and black and white. Stodor acquired his current Studio space in late 2016. He has embarked on yet another evolution since January 2017.
Stodor’s current work is his response to Media incapacitation, and Art as Entertainment; be calm and cool; thoughtful. Through common mediums used, such as resin, paint, plastic, and canvas, a balance is achieved. In each work, representations of color, and O, encapsulated in resin, transform and shift with light. Optical illusions are intentionally offered. He usage of the circle recommends a universal symbol that predates recorded history. Stodor’s process is layered, and fluid; his goal is to create works that emit a desired coolness. Stodor considers himself an artist rather than a painter, one who looks deeper into one self and creates work that is bold and uniquely his own.
NOVEMBER 2018 - ARTURO MARTINEZ
Artist Arturo Martinez’s first solo exhibition is a culmination of music, culture, and ethnicity. His work reminds one of the great African American artist Romare Bearden’s artistic renderings of life, jazz, and people. Like Bearden, Martinez too praises his ethnicity and mestizaje without losing sight of the long struggle of the diverse ethnic communities of Mexico.
OCTOBER 2018 - WAQA VUIDREKETI
Fijian artist Waqa Vuidreketi explores the use of found and raw materials such as beeswax, tree resin, tapa cloth, and mangrove sap combined with oil pastel to reinterpret concepts of indigenous identity and the organic relationship between Pacific people and their land. He is particularly keen to explore themes such as the collision between modern and traditional values systems, perceptions of identity by young urban Fijians and addressing modern-day challenges using traditional methods of discourse, problem-solving, and knowledge.
SEPTEMBER 2018 - TADESSE ALEMAYEHU
Tadesse’s artwork deals with culture, landscape and music. They emphasize cultural clothes and styles used in different parts of Ethiopia . It touches on music, expressing various emotions of the soul. Most of them are realistic arts while some are non-realistic ones. I used watercolor ,oil color, acrylic and ink.
AUGUST 2018 - RICHARD-JONATHAN NELSON
Richard-Jonathan Nelson is a multi-disciplinary artist who uses textiles, video, and digital manipulation to create alternative worlds of speculative identity. His work is multi-layered, chromatically intense and mixes images of the natural world with reference to hoodoo, queer culture, and Afro-Futurism. He uses his constructed worlds to examine the overlapping spheres of culturally perceived identity and the emotional memory of what it means to be a queer black man, thereby creating a limbic space free from the weighted excepted western cultural reality, and able to examine the unspoken ways systems of power persist.
JULY 2018 - GURPRAN RAU
In her statement she mentions: "My imagination visits myriad images of our world with unknown stars and unknown futures. These worlds speak to me through unfamiliar colors and forms guiding me to places I have never been. They are the result of my reflections upon our place in the world, the migrations of my mind, connecting my physical journeys with the vast and mysterious universe we share. I work spontaneously, so the paintings take on a life of their own, drawing me into our collective cosmos." For her, cosmology deals with the origin, structure, and space-time relationships of the universe and in her personal cosmology, suns, moons, skies and stars play a significant role. She blends form and color, uncovering and revealing histories that lie hidden in space.
JUNE 2018 - JOSET MEDINA
Joset Medina was born 1984 in San Cristobal,Venezuela. As an introverted child, drawing his family and friends was one of his ways to communicate his thoughts and express himself and his empathy for others and the world around him. All of his artworks are "documented rebirths" of his personal transformation and experiences reflecting the growth and ability to blossom through the many layers of emotions and obstacles he has faced. It not only tells the story at various stages of his life utilizing natural elements but also gives homage to the familial female influences that have shaped and guided him to the man he was, is, and is yet to be.
MAY 2018 - “LIQUID SPRING” HALEY LANSING
Haley Lansing is currently a designer in San Francisco. She recently graduated in June 2017 from Savannah Georgia with a Bachelor's of Fine Arts From SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design). She grew up in France most of her life with her American parents, lived in six different countries (Africa, France, Qatar, Germany, Hong Kong, and USA).
Artist and tattooer from San Francisco/Bay Area. Specializing in watercolor, Jessica Petrie studied illustration at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. After graduating with a Bachelors in Fine Arts in Illustration in 2013, she has been freelancing and doing gallery work. After completing her tattoo apprenticeship in May of 2018, she is now a full time tattoo artist at Tattoo Lab in Dublin, CA.
APRIL 2018 - SHAKIBA
Shakiba is a 29 year old self-taught artist who is also a wife and mother to a nearly 2-year old son.
Her family fled Afghanistan where they lived in a region controlled by the Taliban. Shakiba was 7 months pregnant when she made the arduous journey on foot through Afghanistan, and then by dinghy boat from Turkey to Greece.
They have been living in a refugee camp since arriving in Greece nearly 2 years ago. Shakiba gave birth at the camp and her family has now been granted a three-year subsidiary protection in Greece. Although this is a desirable status, it also means that any assistance provided by the government (housing, food) has been withdrawn and the family must provide for themselves.
Shakiba's art is emotional, raw, and conveys her experience as a refugee fleeing violence and danger in her country.
Shakiba's current work is the first time she has shown her art to anyone other than her husband and immediate family. Her parents always told her that her art was "nonsense" and "useless." Her husband, however, supported her hobby and recognizes it for the true gift it is.
MARCH 2018 - SUZANNE MORENO BURKE
Her artistic passions extend to all areas of creative expression where brilliant color, texture, and image can contribute to Dia Los Muertos, (The Day of the Dead) and other cultural experiences that has influenced her art and expression. She loves to take canvas and add texture, surprise, and life to it.
Family is an essential element that grounds her art. She emphasizes that her 101-year-old Grandmother inspired her to see life always as a glass half full with endless possibility. Her family –two sons, daughter-in-law, a new granddaughter, and an extensive network of friends – forms a community of creativity that fuels her artistic process.
FEBRUARY 2018 - SUZANNE CERNY
After Suzanne moved to Santa Barbara, CA, she painted landscapes because with a large group of painters who focused on painting the central coast landscapes. She continued to paint Jazz musicians for 15 years as they performed and was hired by the well known jazz historian, Ted Gioia, to illustrate for articles written about jazz musicians on www.jazz.com. This collaboration allowed Suzanne to share her technical knowledge while imparting certain principles to the creator of the designs.
For the past five years, she has been an art instructor for seniors in residence homes. She considers it very rewarding and inspiring to see men and women who are upwards of 80 years old who didn't think they could draw, produce very accomplished and interesting artworks.
JANUARY 2018 - SALMA ARASTU
Berkeley based Salma Arastu, a native of India's Rajasthan, has been creating and exhibiting her paintings internationally since the 1970s where her art works, whether paintings, sculptures, and poetry speak of human universality. Her art form and techniques are greatly interwoven with Arabic calligraphy, miniature arts and folk patterns, and her major influences through her travels. Born into the Hindu tradition in native India and embracing Islam later on, she has enjoyed the beauty of these two distinctive traditions first hand. At birth, she was given the life-defining challenge of a left hand without fingers.
As a visual artist, she has almost 40 solo shows to her credit, won several awards including East Bay Community’s fund for artists in 2012 and 2014, City of Berkeley’s Individual Artist grant award in 2014, 2015, and 2016. Her three works are in public places and has published five books with her poems and paintings.