Kim Willcox_ Artist Statement

Short Statement

            Is there a way to open a mind to new possibilities? As children, we are all open to the world without any preconceived notions of what that world has instore for us. In my practice, I use my work as a tool to strip away the preconceived notions I have developed about my environment. I isolate materials that typically perform a function in everyday life, like cellophane or glass, and highlight the qualities about them that can only be activated by the body. When I engage these materials in my studio, I discover ways to communicate and cooperate with them to fabricate an experience of wonder or play. I then create installations and performances influenced by this research. These artworks immerse the audience in this sense of discovery centralized around one or many materials.

To me, how the viewer interprets the work conceptually is not as important as the viewer having engaged with my materials and gained an experience from that interaction. My work demands the viewer to be fully present. It brings them to that childhood level of getting lost in uncertainty or mystery. I believe that it is in this moment when a person’s mind is the most open to the possibilities of the world around them. I use this opportunity as a way to spark conversations about the world and the way that we exist in it, both as individuals and as a species.


Long Artist Statement

            Is there a way to open a mind to new possibilities; a way to influence a viewer to open themselves up to the world outside their own? As children, we are all open to the world without any preconceived notions of what that world has instore for us. We explore, play, and touch without hesitation as it is the only way we know how to experience our enviroment. This is the place and time where we are most vulnerable and susceptible to perceiving the other; the things within our universe outside ourselves.

In my practice, I use my work as a tool to strip away the preconceived notions I have developed about my environment. I find beauty in the everyday objects I encounter and look at every instance as a place to find inspiration. I often find myself exploring many materials for an installation or performance and become enamored with an individual material and it’s properties. I then isolate these materials that often perform an everyday function, like cellophane or glass, and highlight the qualities about them that I can interact with or cooperate with. When I engage with materials in my studio, I enter into a contract with them wherein I will not force upon it my predetermined notions of its duty in artmaking. I communicate with it to create the experience of wonder and play. I focus on the experience and gesture that the material and I create together and therefore that interaction creates something better than I or that material could have imagined alone. This research allows me to create installations and performances that immerse the audience in this sense of discovery centralized around one or many materials.

I create the work for myself. It is my way of exploring ideas of the human and nonhuman existing in a system where there is no hierarchy. From this mind space, I can enter into conversations and places that I would not normally feel comfortable because now there is no hierarchy, there just is the self and non-self. I investigate myself as being part of a system and not greater than the system. Through art, I practice accepting these new concepts in hopes that one day, I will replace everything I was once taught with that which I am trying to teach myself. Donna Harraway encourages us to “Make kin in the Anthropocene” in her book Staying with the Trouble and Rebecca Solnit implores us to “Leave the door open to the unknown, the door to the dark” in The Field Guide to Getting Lost. These two women have shaped my practice and my life with their words. I make art this way because in times such as these there is no alternative than to keep working against the things that make you want to lay down.

I do not ask the viewer to follow me down this rabbit hole. To me, how the viewer interprets the work conceptually is not as important as the viewer having engaged with my materials and gained an experience from that interaction. My work demands the viewer to be fully present and brings them to that childhood level of getting lost in uncertainty or mystery. As an artist, it could just be a moment outside of their everyday that I provide the viewer, but I choose to believe that in this moment of removal from reality and time is when a person’s mind is the most open to new ideas. This is where the greater conversations about the role of self, art, and environment can begin.

Christine Raposas _ Artist Statement

Short Artist Statement

I am a painting and ceramics artist. In general, I have focused on painting, but in the past few months, I have been drawn to pottery and ceramic pieces as well. My work has been inspired by vivid memories, memorable places, and spontaneous ideas. My inspiration has been driven by the work of Yayoi Kusama and ambiguous shapes, like that of bacteria. 

I have always loved vibrant colors. I tend to incorporate colors from places I have loved, like the coast of my father’s hometown. My work focuses largely on becoming a distortion of reality; I start with a somewhat realistic sketch, and then warp it using various color and blending. 

Long Artist Statement

My work is comprised of painting and ceramics. I create art primarily because I want to be able to experiment with multiple different mediums and various forms of imagery. In the past, painting has served as my main medium; however, recently I have become more captivated by creating functional and sculptural ceramic forms and in turn painting disorderly bright patterns and imagery on them using colored slip and underglaze.   

            Inspiration for most of my pieces originates from striking places I have travelled to, vivid memories, or just simple spontaneous ideas. A recent source of inspiration has been the shape of bacteria and viruses, their color, and their details; from those, I derive the ideas for my own patterns and repetitions. My style often parallels that of Yayoi Kusama, so in terms of inspiration, I often look to her. 

 I have always favored bright, vibrant colors, in both art and my surroundings. In my work, I often employ colors from some of my favorite places, for example, the brightly painted houses lining the streets of Manila where my father once lived. I find some of my favorite colors in our visits to the Philippines’ coastal towns, in the waves and the palm trees; the faint blue and green hues are a strong factor in most of my pieces.

            A large component of my work is a deviation from reality, whether through the colors, blending, or just odd juxtapositions. To begin, I start with a rather realistic sketch and then slowly warp it with composition and color, and with contrast when painting. The patterns I use are usually fragmented images, parts of a whole, like detached fingers or eyeballs. The repetition of these images both accentuates the details in the pattern and exemplifies the overall distortion of reality.

Andrew Yohn_Artist Statement

Andrew Yohn

Short Statement

I create my pieces with a focus on form, colour, and surface often coming from a strong desire to find something visually and physically pleasing. My intention is to create pots that not only provide a visual sense of beauty but respect functionality and utility. I make use of colour and form to find a theme of luxuriousness and value. I create works that are intended for use in the home, that remain comfortable and wholesome yet maintain a capability to extend into a warmer, more delightful surrounding.

As I unite colour and form, themes of elegance and play are created. My forms are derived from the figure, an emphasis on the human form and pursuing a voluminous contour. Through the use of cobalt, other dark colourants and their movement under stress, my work reflects upon the purity and sophistication of ancient styles of pottery alluding to a perception of grandeur. When juxtaposed with large swaths of vibrant colours and lustre the work rides the line betwixt the whimsical and the opulent.

Each passing work instructs me upon the next. As questions develop, so does my work. In my practice, the production of my work and the inquiries it disentangles, pushes me ever forward in my journey with clay.


Andrew Yohn

Long Statement

Clay is an ever changing and mutable material, from how we construct and to how we shape and mold the objects we intent to create. In that same vein, the pursuit of pottery is inevitably similar, curiously variable in every sense of form, colour, and surface and how it interacts with the notion of comfortable, meaningful objects within the home.

I create my pieces with a focus on form, colour, and surface often coming from a strong desire to find something visually and physically pleasing. Through this search, my intention is to create pots that not only provide a visual sense of beauty but remain functional within a modern utilitarian society. I work with the clay as a canvas, making use of colour and form to find a theme of luxuriousness and value. Through this I create works that are intended for use in the home, that remain comfortable and wholesome yet maintain a capability to extend into a warmer, more delightful surrounding.

As I unite colour and form, themes of elegance and play are created. My forms are derived from the organic figure, an emphasis on the human form and pursuing a voluminous contour. Through the use of cobalt, other dark colourants and their movement under stress, my work reflects upon the purity and sophistication of ancient styles of pottery alluding to a perception of grandeur. When juxtaposed with large swaths of vibrant colours and lustre the work rides the line betwixt the whimsical and the opulent.

Whilst focusing on the minute details and looking towards a greater destination, each passing work instructs me upon the next. As questions develop, so does my work. In my practice, the production of my work and the inquiries it disentangles, alluding to the new, pushes me ever forward in my journey with clay.

Julia Lauer_Artist Statement

Short:

As an artist and budding psychologist, I am compelled by the need to understand myself and others. I am inspired by the disorder, intrigued by the individual, and fascinated by the human experience. My signature work is characterized by abstract portraiture, embellished by dark, surrealist undertones. Through a meticulously involved process, I construct conceptual atmospheres and illusory environments that toy the line between realism and the imaginary. I am particularly intrigued by the idea of a split between realities: the normal, versus the disordered. My investigation of the soul comprises of a minimalist palette to construct mood, complemented by a concise depiction of physical emotion. This, combined with a dramatic flair and an evocative sense of gesture composes an image simultaneously fragile, yet commanding.

Long:

Humanity intrinsically fears what it cannot understand. Despite all our medical and scientific breakthroughs, the complex structure of the brain has yet to be decoded, let alone its defects. The human psyche has been a focus of study for centuries, and we are only just breaking through the surface. Unfortunately, this lack of knowledge or comprehension has led to the marginalization of mental health in current society. As an artist and budding psychologist, my interest in mental health is founded by my need to understand myself and others, while working to eliminate the surrounding stigma of disorder. 

My signature work is characterized by abstract portraiture, embellished by dark, surrealist undertones. I firmly believe that our experiences tie us together, and it is upon this basis that I create my work. Mental illness is just as complicated as neuroscience; it remains an abstract concept not yet fully understood. Through a meticulously involved process, I construct conceptual atmospheres and illusory environments that toy the line between realism and the imaginary. I am particularly intrigued by the idea of a split between realities: the normal, versus the disordered, similarly to the way that my dreams fluctuate and fracture. However, no matter how far I stray, I always find myself drawn back to the exploration of humanity and our intricate psyche. My investigation of the soul comprises of a minimalist palette to construct mood, complemented by a concise depiction of physical emotion. This, combined with a dramatic flair and an evocative sense of gesture composes an image simultaneously fragile, yet commanding.

Carrie Dugan_Artist Statements

Carrie Dugan 

Short Artist Statement 

With painting and mixed media, I investigate the female figure in a raw and gestural manner. I am interested in portraying the body in an abstract and distorted manner for visual and conceptual purposes. Within the background of my pieces, I explore the physicality of materials and mark-making in relation to the gesture of the figure. I blend suggestive and more finished components, as well as layers, to establish a sense of vulnerability and roughness. My figures highlight elements of the female body and identity that are seen as taboo or unspoken in American culture.

Carrie Dugan

Long artist statement 

During my undergraduate studies at the renowned Alfred University’s School of Art and Design in The New York State College of Ceramics, I have begun to develop a strong presence as an artist. I identify as a painter who utilizes oil paintings and mixed media in their work. Figure drawing is an essential aspect of my work and I frequently explore feminist concepts in my paintings.

 I enjoy working on a larger scale to reflect my innate absent-minded and scrappy qualities. With large work, I can truly investigate gesture and materiality. The magnitude of the canvas grants me a full range of movement and plenty of space to explore. My artistic process incorporates my indecisive nature by allowing me to change the scale of my piece. I start my paintings on a large piece of unstretched canvas. I do my preliminary sketches on the canvas and then continue on to painting. During this transition I often change my original proportions and scale, thus working on a large canvas allows me to adjust to the finished piece, stretching the canvas to the edges of the finished work.

Intrigued by mark-making, I blend suggestive and more finished components in my pieces, sometimes leaving the original sketches to show through the finished work. This along with layering, texture and mixed media emphasizes a raw and rough quality to my work. Other media I utilize with oil painting is charcoal and water-based mediums. Along with a brush I paint with varying sizes of squeegees. Within the background of my pieces, I explore the physicality of materials and mark-making in relation to the gesture that the figure is making.

My figures come from personal and intimate references giving me a greater connection to my work. Although personal, my subject and gestures reflect universal emotions or feminist issues. With aggressive gestures, loose mark-making, and specific colors I often convey strong emotions through my figures and abstract backgrounds. With bold paintings I like to bring forward concepts of the female body and identity that are often hidden in the general American culture, incorporating my interest in feminism and personal experience into my paintings.

Evelyn Varlan_Artist Statement

Short Statement

In Photography many times my ideas are stemmed from my own personal journey of turning my most insane inner thoughts, and offhanded jokes into viable works of art. Through this creative process, I ensure that I’m always having fun and finding humor in the work I am creating. My art is a focus on taking the strange, and absurd humor that is usually portrayed within a separate reality, or my own brain, and leaking it out into the real world. It is often thought that horror and comedy are two separate entities, but through my work, I highlight how they accent and strengthen each other. The ominous mystery of the work draws the viewer in, while the uncanny humor releases tension.


Long Statement

In Photography many times my ideas are stemmed from my own personal journey of turning my most insane inner thoughts, and offhanded jokes into viable works of art. Through this creative process, I ensure that I’m always having fun and finding humor in the work I am creating. My art is a focus on taking the strange and absurd humor that is usually portrayed within a separate reality, or my own brain, and leaking it out into the real world.

 In my work I put a strong emphasis on color, and how it affects the subject. Saturated and vibrant colors add a sense of play, and absurdity to each photograph, while the subject matters add a dark hilarity to each piece. I print all of my photographs of metallic glossy paper in order to accentuate each color used. I often find myself gaining inspiration from camp horror movies. One common theme in this genre of horror is using comedy as a way of giving the audience a break from the intensity of the scare. In my practice, I try to incorporate the break and the fright into one photograph giving the audience an experience of both apprehension, and absurdity.

AllisonShulman_ArtistStatements

Allison Shulman
Short Artist Statement

I am a soft pastel artist. I have been working in pastel drawing for several years, mainly focusing on landscape, skies and pet portraits. I recently moved from drawing landscape to focusing on clouds for my senior show as a Drawing, Painting and Photography major in the School of Art and Design in the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. I am particularly interested in the fluid movement of stormy skies in wind. I enjoy setting a timer for twenty minutes and attempting to capture the essence of it. I do not blend beyond the base layer, allowing the marks on top to create a sense of urgency similar to the approaching storm. After five drawings, a series emerges in which the passage of time is present. I then like to use those images as guides for more colorful work. I enjoy creating fantasy versions where the sky pulsates with glowing light and color, using high contrast and a palette where the colors enhance each other.
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Allison Shulman
Long Artist Statement

I am a soft pastel artist. I have been working in pastel drawing for several years, mainly focusing on landscape, skies and pet portraits. I recently moved from drawing landscape to focusing on clouds for my senior show as a Drawing, Painting and Photography major in the School of Art and Design in the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. I am particularly interested in the fluid movement of stormy skies in wind. I enjoy setting a timer for twenty minutes and attempting to capture the essence of it. I do not blend beyond the base layer, allowing the marks on top to create a sense of urgency similar to the approaching storm. After five drawings, a series emerges in which the passage of time is present. I then like to use those images as guides for more colorful work. I enjoy creating fantasy versions where the sky pulsates with glowing light and color, using high contrast and a palette where the colors enhance each other.
After much experimentation with other papers, I now work exclusively on U-Art 400 grit sanded pastel paper. My favorite brands of pastel are Schmincke and Girault.
When I leave Alfred University, I hope to teach pastel drawing at the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester, New York, as well as do freelance and commission work.