Artist Spotlights







SEREN MORAN
What is the most challenging aspect of being an artist? The most rewarding?
It is simultaneously terrifying and liberating that art has no set path and every artist has to create it for themselves. Finding my own path without any ​concrete milestones is certainly one of the most challenging aspects of being an artist. Occasionally I wish there could be an easier path, maybe benchmarks to see where I stand, how I can improve, or to have someone tell me what the next step is. But it’s also wonderful to be who I am, embrace my dreams, and follow what feels right without being restricted by ​expectations or limited by results and socially accepted achievements. It takes a lot of trust and self reflection to figure out what path I want for myself as an artist. But as challenging as this is, it’s also so rewarding when my hard work pays off.

Have you ever stepped out of your comfort zone as an artist? How did it turn out?
All the time! How can any of us continue to grow if we aren’t stepping out of our comfort zones and challenging ourselves​, regardless of if we self-identify as artists or not? In fact, I usually know when I’m done with a series when it starts to ​feel ​routine. ​My work evolves just as much as I do as a person, I grow and change and learn and adjust and mature, and so does my art. ​And just like in life, sometimes the risks work out and sometimes they don’t. And when they don’t, it can be frustrating and disappointing, but I honestly don’t see remaining stagnant as an option anyway. My work reflects who I am and I’m always changing. Plus, being vulnerable or in discomfort can create some of the most raw and exciting work.



ALBERTO YBARRA
Have you ever stepped out of your comfort zone as an artist? How did it turn out?
It is very important to step out of your comfort zone as an artist because it makes me question what I’m feeling, my values, and my anxieties. Stepping out is a scary place but, in my experience, the fear and nervousness I feel in doing so allows me to tap into something more honest. Working through that fear and putting something out there for people to see not only allows me to grow personally, but ends up producing some of my strongest work.

What does Vitality mean to you, in relation to your art career?
Working on art is what gives me vitality in my life. Being in the studio, working hard on a painting, and knowing that I’m surrounded by so many people working creatively at what they love gives me so much energy and focus. On the flip side, though, being stuck in the studio for too long drains your vitality. All the lonely hours spent away from friends and loved ones does take its toll. So learning how to balance the time is essential.


DOLORES R GRAY
How do you describe your artwork?
I enjoy working in multiple medias. A wide variety of mediums and processes appear in different aspects of my assemblages, sculptures, book arts, and collages. The appeal of blending and melding natural organic and machined tools into whimsical flights of fancy or mystery is irresistible. Because many of my pieces are intense in the making process, I often take breaks away from them as they pickle in my thoughts and work on a different project. I teach a variety of classes to students in elementary and middle school and often find that what I am creating in my studio is often what I am teaching my students. The dialogues I have with students inform and shape what I do as an artist.

What is the most challenging aspect of being an artist? The most rewarding?
I love the process of making art with my hands, not just building a thing but trying to construct it in a different fashion. At a very young age I was taught how to sew by my mother and I continue to make clothing today. Like any seamstress, I save my dress patterns because you plan to make that outfit again, but you don’t. These patterns have accumulated over the years and I had more than five full boxes of saved patterns, but I can’t bring myself to throw any of them away. I love the amber color of the tissue, the black graphic lines and text displayed on the patterns. I began my “Ad-dressed Series” using the tissue patterns to create paper dresses on dress forms. Using the dress form to build and style the paper dresses gives different connotations to both the form and the dress. It wants to be worn but is unwearable and fragile, yet strong. The plasticity of paper is dramatic and elegant, lending itself to be shaped by creasing, folding, and twisting.



BRETT WALKER
What drives you to create art?
It’s a natural response to my life and environment, a way to make sense of my world and existence. I think I am unable to live any other way now, I approach everything I do from the mindset of an artist and seek solutions and answers to my world through the process of art-making.

How do you describe your artwork?
I am largely known for making photographs and short films that chronicle my daily existence. The work stems from either a specific point in time, such as work made during an art residency or a road trip, or some other particular moment in time. Often times I’ll make something that either responds to questions or articulates thoughts that I am currently having, or things I find myself curious about in my day-to-day world.



KAY WEBER
How do you describe your artwork?
Most of my artwork begins with sketching forms and figures, drawing lines, which later I cut out with scissors or X-ACTO knife. Slowly I expose a web of image elements telling a story or describing a force or deity who points out the direction of our origins. These paper cuttings are cut in intricate layers or not, it all depends on the concept I’m working with. Most of my cuttings are of single sheets of paper. They are delicate, figurative, at times, ornamental. I use all kind of papers, from plain, watercolor, Japanese rice paper to a variety of colorful prints. Metal foil pieces I might rust, oxidize, age, or use just it fresh, new, and shiny. It is always the content that defines the final appeal that I display on shadow boxes.

What is your favorite subject matter and why?
Storytelling and mythical journeys inspire my work. Mythology connects all of us with our spiritual ancestors and appears in the ever-changing stories of our rich cultural history. With all of our stories we are forever connected as large fabric of the interwoven threads of our lives. My travels through the continents expose me to a range of materials and cultures that renew the manner in which I display my views about this planet. Come by my studio and allow me to introduce it all to you!




DANIELLE SATINOVER
How do you describe your artwork?
I take inspiration in the line, shape, color, and texture that is around us everywhere. I allow my work to grow like organic matter, repeating, contrasting and comparing, and harmonizing these simple elements. I strive to find new order, to develop new complexities. The driving force comes from my desire to figure out how it all works, so I experiment and give myself puzzles. My work is the results of combining all these aspect together.

What is your favorite subject matter and why?
My favorite subject matter is the details and intricacies of life. I find nature to be endlessly variant, full of surprises, beautifully unexplainable, and mysterious. The details of the natural world and its building blocks mixed with the thoughts and mental puzzles I give myself creates my art. At the end of the day nature and art making quiets my thoughts, soothes my soul, and revitalizes and rejuvenates me.



SANDRA YAGI
How do you describe your artwork?
I’m a realist/surrealist; my work is grounded in intense observation of the natural world, but as a surrealist, I take anatomical structures, or various organisms, and put them together into a vision that would never occur in the real world. I love science and nature, so my work revolves around anatomical and zoological imagery.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Don’t wait to do your art. You don’t know what tomorrow will bring, and before you know it, you’ll run out of time and will have missed your chance to create. This advice was given to me by a woman who did sculpture, yet waited until she retired to seriously pursue it. I received the advice when I was 30 years old. She had just retired and said she did not have the needed energy level to make sculpture. She waited too long. I immediately enrolled in art classes after I talked to her, and have continuously made art since that day.




ROMY RANDEV
What drives you to create art?
I enjoy experimenting and testing new techniques and ideas. Creating artwork is a way for me to test those ideas and bring them to reality. They may not always turn out as expected but I enjoy the process of experimentation. It’s fun to start down a path and see where it might lead you.

Have you ever stepped out of your comfort zone as an artist? How did it turn out?
I like to push myself to try new techniques and methods that have the potential to open new avenues for my work. In the spirit of experimentation I like to force myself to step out of my comfort zone and try new things. If I didn’t, my work would not evolve and I would be creating the same types of work over and over. I see my work as a progression. I’m constantly experimenting and learning new glass techniques and integrating them into my work.