2020 Award – Nichole Schiller, BFA

Congratulations to Nichole Schiller who has been named one of the 10 recipients of the Mid-South Sculpture Alliance 2020 Dianne Komminsk Scholarship!

The 2020 Dianne Komminsk Scholarship is made possible by a generous donation from Ohio Art patron and philanthropist, Dianne Komminsk. MSA is honored to continue her legacy of giving though this scholarship award. This year’s competition received applications from twenty-nine institutions nationwide. The work submitted was strong, diverse, and compelling. MSA is excited to announce this year’s winners! We look forward to sharing more about these talented sculptors in the coming months. 

This is a national competition and students currently enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs are eligible.  The award includes a $1,500 scholarship and during the next MSA Conference which is in Cincinnati, Ohio in 2021, the 10 scholarship recipients will participate in a group exhibition and present about their work in a formal panel session.

Visit the MSA website to see all 10 scholarship winners and learn more about opportunities with this organization. https://www.midsouthsculpture.org/2020-Scholarship-Competition

Below are a few images of Nichole Schiller’s work. For more information, please visit: https://nicholewschiller.wixsite.com/portfolio

Spring 2020 – BFA Thesis Exhibition

BFA Thesis Exhibition – online
May 4 – May 17, 2020
Celebrate the culmination of these graduating seniors!
Victoria Morales, Nichole Schiller, Elizabeth Smith, and Caroline Wilson

This exhibition was scheduled to be on display at the TAMU-CC Islander Art Gallery. Unfortunately, the BFA Exhibitions will not be opened to the public as Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi is complying with the Stay at Home Emergency Declaration issued by the City of Corpus Christi.

Continuing to work remotely, the seniors adjusted their exhibitions and have made their exhibitions available to audiences digitally.

To visit the online shows, check out in the links below:

Victoria Morales

Nichole Schiller

Elizabeth Smith

Caroline WIlson

OSO BAY BIENNIAL XXI: TAPPED – Student Invitational Exhibition

Exhibition Dates: March 30-July 1, 2020
Due to COVID-19 protocols and university guidelines, this exhibition was installed in the Weil Gallery but was not open to the public. It is available online below.

For more information, please visit TAMU-CC updated frequently asked questions.

Special Thanks to all the faculty and academic institutions who TAPPED recent students and these specific artworks to be included in this exhibition.



Austin Community College – Jill Bedgood
Baba Yaga, Kaylixan McAuley
Sodom, Paul Schuster
Interconnected, Sienna Stolte


Houston Community College – Jessica F. Kreutter
Los Diablos de Teloloapan, Bryan Lagunas
An Empty Seat and Lost Traditions, Mellany Medina
I’m Not Allowed To, Yolanda Osagie
You Want Some Drugs?, Janell Pesquera


Del Mar College – Amorette V. Garza
Sweet Tooth, Rianna Kirkham
Succulent, Rianna Kirkham
Masterstudy of Cellini’s Head of Medusa, Kyana Gallaher
Mastersudy of Chinard’s Jeanne de L’Orrne de L’Isle, Victoria Gibbons


Texas A&M University – Commerce – Josephine Durkin
Lib, Jane Cornish Smith
Hive, Jareth Arcane
Modified, Katie H. Ritche
TBA, David Namaksy

Texas State University – Jennifer Ling Datchuk
Serpent, God of Wind (Serpiente, Dios Del Viento), Joel Nieto
Everyday Joys, Theresa Sawczyn
Lucy, Karly Schlievert
I am Broken Down Again , Hentan Stevenson


University of North Texas – Liss Lafluer
Sirens of Memory, Sean Lopez
Ni la Vida, Ni la Muerte, Diana Rojas-Ponce
Broken and Bruised #2, Stephanie Gerhart


University of Texas at San Antonio – Buster Graybill
Lineage, Omar Gonzales
Santa Sebastiana, Gabi Magaly 
Nocturnal Observation #1, Chris Moncivias
22 ways to wear a belt, Eric Ryberg

Nocturnal Observation #1, Chris Moncivias

Victoria College – Debra Chronister
Holy Nature, Erica Estrada
Windows of Perception, Renee Raven
Crocheted Fossils, Renee Raven
Pent, Ben Sartor
POP Art, Ben Sartor, Natalie Brown, and Design II students 


OSO BAY BIENNIAL XXI: MATTER MATTERS – Juried Exhibition

Please note changes in programming due to COVID-19 protocols. For more information, please visit TAMU-CC updated frequently asked questions.

RESCHEDULED Juried Exhibition:
Weil Art Gallery
August 28-September 26, 2020

A primary component of this year’s biennial will be a national juried exhibition at the Weil Art Gallery, co-sponsored by TAMU-CC, Texas Sculpture Group and Midsouth Sculpture Alliance, and juried and curated by Sculpture Month Houston founder, Dr. Volker Eisele.

Dr. Eisele is the director and founder of ArtScan and directs the Rudolph Blume Fine Art/ArtScan Gallery at 1836 Richmond Avenue, Houston, Texas.  In 2016, Dr. Eisele co-founded the city-wide festival Sculpture Month Houston.
http://sculpturemonthhouston.org  
https://www.rudolphblume.com

Postcard image featuring: Amelia Key, Deidre Argyle,
Jennifer Crescuillo,   Jason Makepeace, and James Wade

The Islander Gallery invited artwork that utilizes traditional and/or contemporary methods of creating objects. Entries considered a third dimension (even if a narrow or variable one) and were created in a manner that the matter, materials, and techniques used matter to the concept, experience, and outcome of the artwork. Artwork selected by juror Dr. Volker Eisele will be on exhibit in the Islander Gallery August 28-September 26, 2020.

Below are the artists’ names and images of their artworks that were selected by juror Dr. Volker Eisele to be included in this juried exhibition. Several of these artworks will be on display during the upcoming rescheduled exhibition in the TAMU-CC Islander Art Gallery.

Artist: Deidre Argyle
Title: Temporal Landscape 3
Dimensions: 18inW x 14inD x 18inH
Media: porcelain, acrylic, light, baltic birch plywood
Year: 2019
Artist: Deidre Argyle
Title: Recomposed
Dimensions: 72
Media: porcelain, thread, steel
Year: 2018
Artist: Jill Bedgood
Title: Soliloquy
Dimensions: 8 ft x 10 ft x 10 inches
Media: Mixed Media: cast plater, hair, watercolor
Year: 2015
Artist: Silas Breaux
Title: Construct #3
Dimensions: 50in x 52in x 9in
Media: Relief Prints, Beeswax, and Wood
Year: 2018
Artist: Silas Breaux
Title: Construct #6
Dimensions: 25inx35inx5in
Media: Relief Prints, Beeswax, and Wood
Year: 2018
Artist: Geofffrey Broderick
Title: Oceanic
Dimensions: 12in x 24in x 9in
Media: Cast Iron
Artist: Jason Brown
Title: Survey
Description: A triangulated landscape set atop a tripod, this object combines a surveyor’s tripod with a fragment of a mountainous landscape. It was motivated by reclamation projects on abandoned mining sites. 
Dimensions: 48 x 18 x 8 inches
Media: cast iron, steel, flocking, paint
Year: 2020
Artist: Susan Budge
Title: Bronze Bird
Dimensions: 24in x 8in x 5in
Media: stoneware
Year: 2019
Artist: Green A Studios Collaborative
Title: Despeciation Study: Bearded Saki Habitat Fragmentation Aluminum Smelting Plant
Description: Cast aluminum tree stump, cast bronze replica of a Bearded Saki skull from a 3D print of a digital scan.
Dimensions: 36in x 6in x 6in
Media: Cast Aluminum, Cast Bronze
Year: 2019
Artist: Green A Studios Collaborative
Title: Conservation Study: Kemps Ridley Sea Turtle USDFW Hatchling Program Padre Island
Description: Styrofoam coolers containing local Texas beach sand and cast porcelain egg forms.
Dimensions: 42inx17inx12in 
Media: Styrofoam, spray paint, local sand, porcelain.
Year: 2019
Artist: Green A Studios Collaborative
Title: Despeciation Study: Kemps Ridley Sea Turtle Commercial Fishing/Habitat Destruction
Description: Wall mounted aluminum frame, with fishing net, cast bronze object from a 3D printed digital scan of a Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle skull.
Dimensions: 42in x 12in x 30 in
Media: Aluminum, Net, Bronze.
Year: 2019
Artist: Caroline Covington
Title: Vincible: Roach
Dimensions: 3in x 2in x 2in
Media: fabric and shelf
Artist: Jennifer Crescuillo
Title: TI-108
Description: made from recycled vitrolite
Dimensions: 7in x 4in x 1in
Media: kiln cast glass
Year: 2017
Artist: Jennifer Crescuillo
Title: Calcified Panasonic
Description: made from recycled factory glass
Dimensions:12in x 16 in x 7in
Media: kiln cast glass
Year: 2019
Artist: Jennifer Crescuillo
Title: Cassette Impression
Dimensions:3in x 5in x 2in
Media: kiln cast glass
Year: 2019
Artist: Kelly Curtiss
Title: Surmount
Dimensions:19in x 12in x 12.5in
Media: Cast Aluminum
Year: 2018
Artist: Kelly Curtiss
Title: Iron Knot
Dimensions: 5.5in x 5in x 7in
Media: Cast Iron
Year: 2017
Artist: Kelly Curtiss
Title: Knot 3
Dimensions: 6in x 6.5in x 4in
Media: Raku Ceramic
Year: 2018
Artist: Josie Del Castillo
Title: Healing, Learning, and Growing
Dimensions: 40 1/2 in x 48 in
Media: Oil on cut wood panels
Year: 2020
Artist: Janye Duryea
Title: Memory
Dimensions: 16in diameter X 8in wide
Media: Hot sculptured glass
Year: 2018
Artist: Kurt Dyrhaug
Title:Small Vertical Wing
Dimensions: 218in x 8in x 7.5in
Media: 3d print and metal coating
Year: 2019
Artist: Jeff Foster
Title: Antiquated Apparatus
Dimensions: 26in x 19in x 29in
Media: Ceramic
Year: 2019
Artist: Jack Gron
Title: Hard Rain 1
Dimensions: 13in X 5in X 8in
Media: laminated red oak
Year: 2019
Artist: Jack Gron
Title: The Great Sphinx and the Endless Enigma
Dimensions: 13in X 6in X 16in
Media: mixed woods, laminated and charred
Year: 2019
Artist: Stephen Hawks
Title: I too am in America
Dimensions: 33 in X 12 in X 7 in
Media: ceramic
Year: 2019
Artist: Meghan Hendley
Title: Requiem for the Corals
Description: This is a video of the sculpture signifying the haunting coloration of coral that is dying. The silicone acts as the fading structure while the lights show the life that once was there. By being on a female body, the connection between mother and mother earth is made.
Dimensions: 3 ft x 2 ft x 1 ft
Media: LED Lights, Mannequin, Silicone
Year: 2020
Artist: Haley Inyart
Title: Meat Table
Description: This piece started as a kitchen table and was transformed into the shape of a steak referencing the act of being more in tune with the food we are buying and eating. Each chair has an image of a cow hand carved on them. Two cows are dead, while the other two are alive.
Dimensions: 78 in. x 78 in. x 43 in
Media: wood
Year: 2019
Artist: Norman Kary
Title: We work the Black seam together
Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 6
Media: cast figures and threat and wood
Year: 2019
Artist: Amelia Key
Title: Bloom
Dimensions: 5ft 4in x 8ft 4in x 10in
Media: mixed media
Year: 2018
Artist: Felipe Lopez   
Title: Purification System
Description: During The duration of the exhibition this piece a will grow a plant through the top of the sculpture using dyed water, over time the water will loose its coloration due to the purification process thus changing the nature of the plant.
Dimensions:10 ft x 4in x 6in
Media: acrylic pipe, wood, rocks, water pump, sand, metal, soil, flowers, organic cotton, charcoal
Artist: Jason Makepeace
Title: Deeply Embedded Aquamarine Kayak
Description: Sculpture is carved from one single log of Oak and then painted.
Dimensions: 22in x 14.5in x 15in
Media: Single Carved Log of Oak and Paint
Year: 2019
Artist: Jason Makepeace
Title: Tandem
Description: Sculpture is carved from one single log of Oak and then painted.
Dimensions: 32in x 9in x 9in
Media: Single Carved Log of Oak and Paint
Year: 2019
Artist: Peter Mangan
Title: Still Standing
Description: Abstracted figurative sculpture.
Dimensions: 36in x 16in x 11in
Media: steel, glass, copper, brass, and juniper wood
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Artist: Wells Mason
Title: Umasi Sculpture (‘Chopsticks’)
Description: This is ‘Chopsticks’ from The Umasi Collection. This is one of three pieces that are part of this installation. Since this installation suggests that art can’t be contained – it bursts out and enters your mind – this is the only piece of the installation that is wall-mounted. 
Dimensions: 36in x 27in x 13in
Media: wood, metal, paint
Artist: Wells Mason
Title: Umasi Sculpture (‘Chaos’)
Description: This is ‘Chaos’ from The Umasi Collection. This is one of three pieces that are part of this installation. Since this installation suggests that art can’t be contained – it bursts out and enters your mind – this piece of the installation rests at an angle on the floor against the wall. 
Dimensions: 25in x 23in x 11in
Media: wood, metal, paint
Artist: Wells Mason
Title: Umasi Sculpture (‘Spine’)
Description: This is ‘Spine’ from The Umasi Collection. This is one of three pieces that are part of this installation. Since this installation suggests that art can’t be contained – it bursts out and enters your mind – this piece of the installation rests on the floor. 
Dimensions: 25in x 23in x 11in
Media: wood, metal, paint
Artist: Christopher McNulty
Title: Thirty Pieces (Exhuming Charles Kettering)
Description: This sculpture of 30 lead teeth commemorates the mark left on our blood and bones by Charles Kettering and other executives at GM during the 60-year period in which tetra-ethyl lead was added to gasoline.
Dimensions: 8.5″ x 6.5″ x 6.5″
Media: Lead, plexiglas, wood
Year: 2012
Artist: Steve Murphy
Title: Remembers Everything
Description: free standing sculpture.
Dimensions: 22in x 32in x 18in
Media: oxidized steel
Year: 2016
Artist: Joseph Ovalle
Title: Talk To Your State Representative
Description: This piece references local society. It questions acts of violence, as a mean to influence a change.
Dimensions: 96in x 48in x 6in
Media: wood
Year: 2019
Artist: Christyn Overstake
Title: #73. 41.6764 N, 86.2520 W. Cherry. 
Description: Small iron sphere with fabricated components.
Dimensions: 6in x 6in x 4in
Media: Cast Iron, Silicon Bronze, Steel
Year: 2019
Artist: Christyn Overstake
Title: #66. 39.0834 N, 86.7561 W. Lady D.
Description: Iron column with fabricated steel and bronze elements.
Dimensions: 30in x 18in x 6in
Media: Cast Iron, Bronze, Steel
Year: 2018
Artist: Bill Raney
Title: The Legend of Johnny Onetoebro
Description: Contemplative Vessel
Dimensions: 17in x 7in x 7in
Media: 3D printed plastic (PLA) and wood fired stoneware
Year: 2020
Artist: Bill Raney
Title: Dusty Too
Description: Contemplative Vessel
Dimensions: 9in x 6in x 5in
Media: Steel, cast bronze, cast iron and wood fired b-mix
Year: 2019
 Artist: Greg Reuter
Title: Black and Blue
Description: One country map hanging, one country map on floor
Dimensions: 84in x 96in x 7in
Media: Cast Iron and School Map
Year: 2015
 Artist: Kristen Tordella-Williams
Description
: Burnt reference book pages embedded in cotton paper
Dimensions: 10′ x 8′ x 16″
Media: Artist made cotton paper, burnt book pages, wood, clothespins
Year: 2018
Artist: James Wade
Title: Incoming!
Description: Laser drawing on powder coated cast iron from digital drawing
Dimensions: 18 x 10.5 x 0.75
Material: cast iron, powder coat
Year: 2018

OSO BAY BIENNIAL XXI: A 2020 VISION – Symposium

Please note changes in programming due to COVID-19 protocols. For more information, please visit TAMU-CC updated frequently asked questions.

RESCHEDULED Symposium Dates: September 25-26, 2020

Each and Every, Beili Liu
photo credit Amos Morgan

Beginning 42 years ago, the faculty of the Department of Art + Design at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi have coordinated the Oso Bay Biennial, representing the various disciplines practiced in the department.

For 2020, Oso Bay Biennial XXI will focus on artworks and techniques that connect and contribute to the interdisciplinary nexus of Sculpture and three-dimensional artmaking, including installation and ceramics. 

On Friday and Saturday, September 25-26, the Oso Bay Biennial XXI: A 2020 Vision – Symposium will include a closing reception, three panel discussions, several art bursts featuring the creative community of Corpus Christi, a talk by Houston-based curator and Oso Bay Biennial XXI exhibition juror Dr. Volker Eisele, and a keynote address by artist and UT Austin Professor Beili Liu. 

SYMPOSIUM SCHEDULE

Friday, September 25, 6:30-7:30pm  
at the Weil Art Gallery on campus at TAMU-CC    
PANEL SESSION: FOUNDATION MATTERS
A panel presentation and discussion about 3D teaching philosophies, approaches, and goals emphasizing teaching experience at community colleges in South Texas.
Austin Community College, Austin – Jill Bedgood
Del Mar College – Amorette Garza
Houston Community College – Jessica F. Kreutter

Saturday, September 26, 9:30-10:30am
at the Art Museum of South Texas
9:30-10:30am    PANEL SESSION: NETWORK MATTERS
A panel presentation and discussion about opportunities for connecting, exhibiting, and developing by seeking communities and collaboration locally, regionally, and nationally. 
Matt Manalo, Founder at Filipinx Artists of Houston and Community Organizer at Alief Art House
Sabine Senft, president of Texas Sculpture Group 
Kristen Tordella-Williams, vice president of Midsouth Sculpture Alliance 

Saturday, September 26, 11am-noon
at the Art Museum of South Texas
KEYNOTE SPEAKER – BEILI LIU

Born in Jilin, China, Beili Liu now lives and works in Austin, Texas, USA. Liu received her MFA from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and is a Professor of Art at the University of Texas at Austin.

Beili Liu is a visual artist who creates material-and-process-driven, site-responsive installations. Oftentimes embodying transience, fragility, and the passage of time, Liu’s immersive installations are engaged with multifaceted dichotomies: lightness contrasted with heft; fierceness countered by resilience; and chaos balanced by quiet order. Working with commonplace materials and elements such as thread, scissors, paper, stone, fire, and water, Liu manipulates their intrinsic qualities to extrapolate complex cultural narratives. Janet Koplos spoke of Liu’s works as “materially simple but metaphorically rich” (Art in America Review, April 2009). 

Saturday, September 26, 2:30-3:30pm 
at the Islander Art Gallery on Doddridge Street
2:30-3:30pm      PANEL SESSION: MATTER MATTERS
a panel of artists who explore an interdisciplinary approach to media, craft, and engagement.
Jennifer Ling Datchuk
Liss Lafleur
Josephine Durkin 

Saturday, September 26, 4:30-5:30pm 
at the Islander Art Gallery on Doddridge Street
4:20-5:30pm      CLOSING PRESENTATION FROM THE VIEW AS A CURATOR, DIRECTOR, AND JUROR
Dr. Eisele is the director and founder of ArtScan and directs the Rudolph Blume Fine Art/ArtScan Gallery at 1836 Richmond Avenue, Houston, Texas.  In 2016, Dr. Eisele co-founded the city-wide festival Sculpture Month Houston.
http://sculpturemonthhouston.org  
https://www.rudolphblume.com

Saturday, September 26, 5:30-7pm   
at the Islander Art Gallery on Doddridge Street       
CLOSING RECEPTION FOR JURIED EXHIBITION


The symposium and all related events are open to the public. 

For more information, please visit the Department of Art + Design website at: http://cla.tamucc.edu/art/Events.html

Exhibition – Leticia R. Bajuyo

TAMUCC Assistant Professor of Sculpture, Leticia R. Bajuyo and fellow Land Report Collective artist Jason Brown, Associate Professor at University of Tennessee, Knoxville were selected for a two-person exhibition at Jacksonville University at the Alexander Brest Art Gallery in Jacksonville, Florida.

Exhibition Dates: February 6-28, 2020
Opening Reception and Gallery Talk: Thursday, February 6, 5-7pm

Titled Exurb, this exhibition focuses on the subject of landscape in which Bajuyo and Brown extend their investigations beyond formal aesthetic elements to include questions of historical context, politics of ownership, and environmental impact.

Leticia Bajuyo transforms suburban stereotypes into symbols and visual markers that delight and at the same time spur a critical stance as she crafts an irony inflected dystopian vision of the suburban fantasy.

Jason Brown creates artwork that engages viewers in a conversation about the environmental cost of energy extraction from the earth as it relates to wants and needs in a consumer culture.

In addition to exhibiting their individual artworks, in response to the Jacksonville area, Bajuyo and Brown created collaborative, site-sensitive installations to facilitate a conversation about landscape in suburban/exurban developments.

The Weil Gallery presents – TAMUCC graduate students

Work in Progress is an exhibition of work by current graduate students enrolled in the TAMUCC MFA Studio Art program. The exhibition will display work in progress across a range of disciplines spanning painting, sculpture, ceramics, photography, printmaking, and installation by MFA candidates Maclovio Cantu IV, Clarissa Gonzalez, Payton Koranek, Laura Monahan, Robert Neal, Jacqueline Negreros, Emmanuel Sanchez, Jamie Speck, and Carlos Israel Villarreal.

Exhibition Dates: February 6 – February 21
Opening Reception: Thursday, February 6, 6:00 – 8:00pm

TAMU-CC OSO BAY BIENNIAL XXI

ABOUT THE TAMU-CC OSO BAY BIENNIAL

Beginning 42 years ago, the faculty of the Department of Art + Design at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi have coordinated the Oso Bay Biennial, representing the various disciplines practiced in the department.

For 2020, Oso Bay Biennial XXI will focus on artworks and techniques that connect and contribute to the interdisciplinary nexus of Sculpture and three-dimensional artmaking, including installation and ceramics. 

TAMU-CC OSO BAY BIENNIAL
DELAYED and RESCHEDULED 
due to Covid 19 

Student Invitational Exhibition Dates: March 31-April 25, 2020 (Online Only)
Juried Exhibition Dates: August 28-September 26, 2020
Symposium dates: Friday and Saturday, September 25-26, 2020


OSO BAY BIENNIAL XXI: TAPPED
Student Invitational Exhibition

For the Weil Gallery exhibition of Tapped, faculty at 8 community colleges, colleges, and universities in Texas were invited to “tap” students or recent graduates to be included in this invitational exhibition. This exhibition will be on view in the Weil Art Gallery March 31-April 25. However, due to the closure of campus in respect and recognition of the “Stay at Home Emergency Declaration issued by the City of Corpus,” this exhibition will only be available online. 
To see images, please visit TAMU-CC Oso Bay Biennial – Tapped .


OSO BAY BIENNIAL XXI: MATTER MATTERS
Juried Exhibition

A primary component of this year’s biennial will be a national juried exhibition at the Islander Art Gallery, co-sponsored by TAMU-CC, Texas Sculpture Group and Midsouth Sculpture Alliance, and juried and curated by Sculpture Month Houston founder, Dr. Volker Eisele.

This exhibition has been rescheduled for August 28-September 26 and will be on display in the TAMU-CC Islander Art Gallery . To see a list of all selected artists and images of artworks, please visit TAMU-CC Oso Bay Biennial – Juried Exhibition


OSO BAY BIENNIAL XXI: A 2020 VISION
Symposium

The Juried Exhibition at the Islander Gallery will conclude with a symposium on April 24-25 September 25-26 and will include a closing reception, three panel discussions, several art bursts featuring the creative community of Corpus Christi, a talk by Houston-based curator and Oso Bay Biennial XXI exhibition juror Dr. Volker Eisele, and a keynote address by artist and UT Austin Professor Beili Liu. 
To see a tentative schedule of the rescheduled symposium and a list of all speakers, please visit TAMU-CC Oso Bay Biennial – Symposium

The symposium and all related events are open to the public. 

For more information, please visit the Department of Art + Design website at: http://cla.tamucc.edu/art/Events.html

Interview – Steve Prince

On Friday, October 18, Steve Prince welcomed us to his exhibition ‘Kitchen Talk’ at the Islander Art Gallery. Before his lecture, I had the opportunity to sit down and interview him. He opened up about his personal life, religion, culture, politics, and most importantly, his work. Prince is a Virginia-based artist whose work exemplifies his interests in art, music, and religion, addressing issues of social injustice through a metaphorical language of faith, hope, and creativity

A lot of your works deal with love, social injustice, and faith. Were any of these paintings based on personal experience?  As far as love and faith, I do not see those things broken apart. Personal experience is what I create with. This is my faith, my love for humanity, and my love of self. My work is dealing with historical facts and truths through a spiritual lens. I have created my symbology for my work to communicate this and challenge our ideas. I want people to challenge themselves and others on how they look at the world and how we look at each other.

What is your creative process for starting a new drawing or print? A playground for the creative process I go through is my sketchbook. This is where I practice my drawing daily. I draw anything I see: people, places, nature, etc. Most of my days, I interact with people, so a lot of my drawings consist of people I meet, my girlfriend, my friends, world events. My work has a lot of information compacted into a space that tells a narrative. This forces the viewer to have to sit through and analyze my drawing. My drawings tell stories that each viewer may see differently.

When starting your career in art was there an event, a person, or idea that inspired you to pursue this dream?  Yes, several people helped inspire me. The very first person to inspire me to become an artist was my brother. He is an artist as well. When I was young, I would constantly watch him draw. Then fast forward to high school, I had an art teacher. She saw that I had talent, so she would pull me aside and work with me. Then in college, I had a mentor named John Scott. He was the key person to pull it all together for me. I saw him as a family man, a professor, and a person who was involved with the community. I quickly saw the impact he had on others, which inspired me even more.

Has the current political, cultural, or religious climate influenced your artwork? I see the past, present, and future as an ongoing continuum. I see the past five years just the same as I see the past 10 years or 30 years. Let me know which decade you think is good. Each decade you go back had its own challenges. You can’t go back to America’s infancy and think those are the good days. They were all warped with a lot of challenges, and some deep philosophical social issues that this nation was built upon. So, if I say what has happened in the past two years as far as social and political issues, they are no different than what has already been going on. What is important is being conscious and aware of things. I think too often in the President Obama years everyone thought we had moved to a post-racial era. Then with this past presidency, it seemed that we went back in time. This idea of the post-racial era never existed. This was a time of smoke and mirrors, and people fell asleep on what really was going on around us. My work aims to bring awareness. I am going back in time and forward in time to show people connections. I do this to show the work that we must do to overcome these obstacles.

In your designs, I have noticed a frequent amount of symbolism. Does this come naturally or is it a conscious effort? It is a conscious effort. So much of what I do to develop in terms of symbolism comes from reading, studying, looking at other artist’s work, hearing stories, and spirituality. I take all this information and create my own symbolism.

What advice would you give to an aspiring artist trying to make it in the industry? When I talk to a lot of students, they often express to me a level of fear of the unknown, what comes next. Students often ask themselves what the purpose is of being an artist and what should I say as an artist. These are all great questions you should be asking yourself. These questions allow the opportunity for you to be open and honest with yourself. You will be able to realize who you are and what questions you will want to answer as an artist. As a college student, I continue to work and study. You are very fortunate to be able to take time and study this stuff. How many other people who want to be artists have the time to study this stuff? Many aspiring artists do not have this luxury of being in college. With this privilege of being an artist comes a lot of responsibility. What are you going to say through your work? What are you going to speak to? The first person you should speak to is yourself. You are the first recipient of the work.

Interview done by Wes Jones