This exhibition features artists from our recent Shoebox Arts 6 month intensive workshop. We are proud to bring together this eclectic group of artists who have come together, grown in friendship and have expanded their ideas of what it means to be an artist in the world today.
Featured artists: Adrienne Cole, Alison Hyman, Alison Woods, Anne M. Bray, Aurora Beswicke, Barrie Gosko, Dave Clark, Debra Vodhanel, Julie Williams, Kathryn Pitt, Lucas Novak, Marta Feinstein, Natasha Rudenko, Paul Wescott
Adrienne Cole is a painter who paints on anything, using paper, wood, clay, canvas, fabric, walls and more. She creates drama with these paintings, combining color, revealing layers, small details and broad gestures, taking risks with unpredictable choices regardless of the mediums she uses. She searches for a visual poetry, uncovering the secrets and mystery in every shadow, the texture and nuance in every form. Calling her work emotional, playful, and unpredictable, the artist is always seeking to entice, amuse and surprise. Cole wants her viewers to see the world as she does, from a new perspective, one as unique and vivid as any drawn from dreams, while remaining firmly rooted in realistic landscapes, feelings, and subjects.
Cole’s latest work on paper, Above and Below, was started during the pandemic. These half portraits are based on what people saw or what people missed seeing while wearing masks. As the face below the mask is either never seen, or only seen by a few, they are darker portraits, painted mostly in black in white pastels. Above the mask faces are brightly colored acrylic and oil portraits as they are out in the public eye.
About the Artist: Adrienne Cole’s passion for art began early in New York in a home filled with crafts and eclectic music. After receiving a BA from the State University of New York at Oneonta, the artist began studying textile design, and graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York City. She worked as a textile designer, stylist, advertising and marketing executive before moving to Los Angeles.
Returning to her first love of fine art, she received her MFA in studio art from Claremont Graduate University. Most recently, Cole has exhibited in the National Juried Exhibition of Works on Paper at The Brand Library in both 2021 and 2018, The Loft at Liz’s 2021 group show; and was featured in a solo show at Cerritos College Art Gallery’s Window Dressing series. @adriennefcole.com
My paintings are representations of freedom: freedom from societal norms; freedom from the constraints of motherhood; freedom from other peoples’ expectations. When I paint, I am consumed with feelings of joy, panic, exultation and pure passion. There is fear, but at the same time sureness, in every mark I make, as I am painting from somewhere deep in my subconscious. It is not an easy measured, well-planned route, but full of diversions and stumbles as I add areas of color, erase some, while creating a visual narrative of my inner soul. Some paintings take years to resolve, while others seem to come together very quickly.
This last two years with Covid (yes, been there, not pretty!!!) lockdown, severe travel and personal restrictions, have totally shifted my perspective and priorities. For me, my life and work is now much more about forging and strengthening relationships and my work is also shifting, exploring new avenues and techniques to try to show that change.
About the Artist: Alison Hyman was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 1976 with a BA(honors), majoring in textile design and printmaking, and Strathclyde University in 1977 with an MA in education. She exhibited in solo and group shows in Glasgow, Edinburgh and London, while teaching drawing, painting, photography, design and art history at colleges in both Glasgow and North London. She also taught at Barlinnie prison in the high security Special Unit. (Her most notable student in Barlinnie was the infamous Jimmy Boyle, who went on to become a professional artist.)
After immigrating to the USA in 1997, Alison gained her MFA in Painting at Laguna College of Art and Design, raised 6 children, and has participated in many group shows and some solo shows in Los Angeles and Orange County, and throughout California. She now lives in the desert, where she maintains a studio, and spends most of her days painting. @alison.hyman
My images discuss the relationship between the human mind in all of its complexities and technology with its persistent ramifications on culture. I create images that allow technology with its digital non-human binary mark to become a co-author alongside organic human mark-making to create a final work of art.
I consider myself an alchemist and my painting process is chaotic and baroque. The final results are overstimulating, haunting works that contain a barrage of information that is not perfectly arranged or pleasing. The images appear to be leaning towards an impending collapse meant to capture the collective angst of our times.
I begin the process by researching, collecting, and manipulating digital images. A composite image is completed and transferred to canvas using a wide variety of techniques. Finally, the canvas is approached with poured and spray paint, rollers, stencils, and brushes to complete the image.
About the Artist: Alison Wood’s images discuss the relationship between the human mind in all of its complexities and technology and its ramifications on culture. Her process is informed by the intersection between the work of Wassily Kandinsky and the hidden world of our intuitive senses, C.G. Jung and his research regarding the collective unconscious, and the use of modern technology.
She has exhibited Internationally — in Rome, Greece, Berlin, Stockholm, Luxembourg, Australia, Budapest, Johannesburg, Mexico City, Iceland — and closer to home at The Torrance Art Museum (2021), The Korean Cultural Center (2018), Stanford University Art Spaces (2013), and featured on Art Critic Charles Desmarais’ Blog (2011).
Woods was an Artslant Showcase winner and was selected for Art Trends, Artist of the Year and Art Trends Artist of the Year 2013 edition, Pardee Publisher, Canada (2013).
She founded the Bridge Residency, an invitational for artists wishing to explore the Los Angeles art scene and put together international curatorial projects at Durden and Ray. #alisonwoodz
Anne M Bray
I create maps of my memories through my art. This can entail use of photography, collage, or textiles. This recollective wayfinding runs through most of my work, ranging from small photographic souvenirs of road trips to tactile knotted squares of textiles that hold my history.
I tend to work small and serially. The discrete units can work either individually or as parts of a larger installation.
Traffic is eternal in southern California. In the Traffic Maps, I weave photographs of rush hour with maps of each location. The photo and the map pixelate into a gridded pattern, dazzling and confusing the eye. The viewer can transcend the sensation of being stuck in traffic and find an open lane.
About the Artist: Anne M Bray lives and works in the Los Angeles area. She studied painting at the College of Creative Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara and received a BFA in Fashion Design from Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles.
Day jobs include designing prints for mass-market apparel, and teaching Digital Design at Otis.
Working in layers, this series weaves together paper, paint, cloth, and three-dimensional objects. Layering obscured background texts and images with abstracted scenes of daily life, I seek to highlight the contrast between broader world events and personal, lived experiences.
Inspired by the energy of rough sketches, these works are intentionally gritty and imperfect. Stains, tears, and fraying edges rebel against the photoshopped perfection of social media. Recycled found objects, deteriorating materials, and used clothing, strive for eco-consciousness in a world of materialist waste. A heavy emphasis on fabric and stitching pays homage to a long lineage of womxn artists.
The selected pieces focus on pandemic life, my path to adoption, and notions of home.
About the Artist: I’m a queer feminist, work-in-progress, on the path to adopting as a single mother in her forties. Originally from Upstate New York, I have lived and worked on four continents. Currently, I am based in San Diego, California. Apart from being a semi self-taught artist extraordinaire, I am also an imperfect human rights professional, trying to do a bit of good while also devoting time to the pursuit of personal exploration and joy. @aurora_bewicke_art
“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul.” —Emily Dickinson
The world is tragic, dark and chaotic but also beautiful and full of possibility.
It is important to remind myself (and others) of that.
I draw to explain the world to myself and me to the world.
I draw to control my anxiety, my destiny, my universe.
I draw to understand my reality, and to alter it.
I draw to illuminate possibility.
My practice is hybrid. Digital and analog. Moving between the two spaces, I layer pixels and ink and thread.
I alter scale. My images evolve and shift. Possibility. Carefully observed nature mixed with imagination. What is. What could be. In drawing I leave a mark. Evidence that I am here. Evidence that here is here. It reassures me. My process allows me to revisit imagery building an intimacy with my subjects similar to the manner in which one knows a surrounding landscape as a child. It is both explored and created. Secrets are revealed but they change depending on how, when and by whom they are discovered. As quantum physics tells us, the simple fact that something is observed can alter its reality. In drawing, my world emerges.
About the artist: As a native of Marblehead, Massachusetts, Barrie Goshko has New England roots but relocated to Los Angeles, California over 35 years ago. She received her BA magna cum laude from Harvard College, with a concentration in Visual and Environmental Studies (emphasizing printmaking).
On relocating to Los Angeles after college, she worked at Gemini G.E.L. as an assistant printmaker on Roy Lichtenstein’s Imperfect Series . Her fascination with multiples and printing led to a job at a color separation house where she learned about the technical aspects of commercial printing. A long career in graphic design and digital imaging followed beginning as the industry morphed from an analog craft onto computers and became what it is today. The combination of techniques have informed her practice throughout combining digital techniques with traditional media in both commercial and personal work.
As a designer, Barrie created pieces for many record companies including A&M Records, Warner Bros. Records and Virgin Records, finally lending her talents to Smog Design studio in Silverlake for several years, where she worked on projects for Cher, Janet Jackson, Sheryl Crow and many others.
Early access to digital technology influenced the direction of her work. For many years, she was fortunate to print with Nash Editions in Manhattan Beach where they allowed her to experiment freely and create works on experimental substrates, including painted canvases and aluminum foil, as well as traditional Iris prints in small editions. As technology became more accessible, she began creating large format prints in her own studio. Her current work focuses on drawing and combines digital processes with ink drawing and hand stitching to create unique works that speak with one another through their roots in shared imagery.
She is a member of Los Angeles Arts Association. Her work is in The Long Beach Museum
of Art and The Forward Thinking Museum. It is represented extensively within the Wonderful Companies
collection (Lynda and Stewart Resnick’s corporate holdings) as well as other corporate and private collections. @barriegoshko
Dystopian Architecture Series. These are from a group of work reflecting “views” of building facades from some “other” time. Perhaps even some “other” place. Other than that, they are what they are. I tend to make things, whether they be 2D or 3D, that more or less might tell a story, cause one to think of a story, serve some practical purpose, or maybe none of these.
My 2D is about color, shapes, patterns, application, and perhaps figures or symbols to make people think or see more than there is. I don’t really have a message or statement – the pieces are what they are. But they are fun to do and by using dyes on paper, the end is always a surprise as the various dyes “settle” in with each other. And I am clearly not a painter since I see myself as more of just a “moving this over that with this tool or thing and let’s see how that turns out when it dries” sort of artist.
My 3D pieces range from being more “functional,” as seen in my tables, to those that are simply more “sculptural.” In various pieces there is clearly some whimsy or “story” happening, of which a friend claims to have had images of these pieces in his dreams. None are meant to make a statement about the world, though a number are created with some sort of “imagined” meaning or representation – as in being an artifact of some lost culture. Either one that was lost in the past or in the future. The 3D pieces use various materials that are chosen for how they can be manipulated (burning is always good as is aging), have a texture or “presence,” or simply because they work together in other some way. Or perhaps because they don’t work at all together.
I am a Los Angeles artist, born and bred. I received my training as a painter at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, Maine; Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, California; and Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux Arts, Atelier de M. Nallard, Paris, France. I have a BA in Philosophy from U.C. Santa Cruz, Masters Degree in Human Development from Pacific Oaks College, Pasadena, California. I’ve worked in graphic design, magazine publication, website management, and education.
I love painting. Painting unlocks for me a visual language that describes experiences of an emotional, interior life about which I am so incredibly curious. I wonder about attachment, identity, and reparation of our fragile but resilient world. My work is abstract, intuitive, process oriented. The subject matter spirals around questions of who we are, and where are we going? I work toward unwrapping the idea that the world can get better, people can heal, people are innately good. I reject recognizable imagery in favor of a deeper imagining of what reality could be, what may hover just below our conscious identification. May be just pretense, or maybe more than pretense?
This series of small mosaics are an attempt to work quickly and playfully in a classical art form known for its tedious consumption of time. Working with the luscious forms of ceramic plates, broken china and stained glass to create miniature images framed in vintage baking tins. These works are about the small everyday moments, domestic settings and looking for a bit of lightness and joy.
About the Artist: Julie Williams is an artist with interests in sculpture, mosaic, public art, and collaborating with under-resourced communities. She received her MFA in Sculpture from California State University Long Beach. Her work has been exhibited in group shows in the Southern California area and she has received two public art commissions for the Arts Council for Long Beach. She has taught with several non-profit arts organizations including, the Eye On Design Program, Optimist Youth Homes, ArtworxLA, and the social enterprise Piece By Piece. Julie lives and works in North East Los Angeles.
My paintings could be categorized under three headings: figurative, still life and abstract. It is easier to put work in such boxes. With more careful thought and new eyes, defining my work is not so clear cut. There becomes obvious connections and symbiosis between my paintings that could be encapsulated into two themes – Life and color. Both of these I celebrate and as I get older I treasure more and more.
I often paint figurative and still life paintings. This comes from my love of art history. The human form has been portrayed from the moment people started to create. It is in our need to represent ourselves and tell stories. I enjoy the struggle to portray the figure believably and with emotion and personality using the brushstrokes to convey movement and the color to illustrate the myriad of tones I can see in the flesh.
My still life work is usually on a smaller scale. I tend to do these whilst doing bigger works or in between bigger works. They are vignettes of my everyday life. Objects that surround me that I am familiar with in my domestic setting. Often fruit appears in my work as the colors and textures are too tempting not to paint. Also they work well sitting side by side with my figurative paintings with obvious parallels. I find these still life paintings are a calming influence, a meditation away from the uncertainty and fear of the world. In both my figurative and my still life work the background is vitally important. I love bold, strong backgrounds that accentuates the subject, and brings drama to the piece.
The color continues to be important in my encaustic work. A technique that I have been learning. The encaustic practice gives me the freedom to become looser, less conventional, more abstracted. My source of inspiration still comes from the real: still life, landscapes etc. but as the wax colors merge into one another the painting refuses to adhere to boundaries I have in my mind and the contours and colors become ones that I could not even imagine. Using oil pastels on top of the wax paint I can restrain the paintings independence and contextualize the work. the pastels also add texture and a pop of color to an already saturated vivid work.
My encaustic work has led me to complete abstraction where the color is front and center. Clashing, merging and contrasting everywhere even when using a restricted color pallet. Using already used canvases on which to work gives me a foundation and inspiration on how to proceed not only in direction I take but also the colors to use. The layering of color and texture makes the painting an indulgent feast for the eyes and creates movement and flow as though the painting is alive. The freedom that abstraction gives is very liberating for me as an artist and extends the bounds of possibilities – such as life itself.
The truth of emotion is what is real on a deeper level than what the eye can only see. Creating art allows me to connect with primal emotions and express that reality. I always want to go deeper; reality is an emotion or expression detached from conformity or social expectations. Despite our increasing integration with computers and technology, humans are imperfect creatures. Representing these emotions and imperfections through scribbles, exaggerated or muted colors, or puppets with cracked heads that move in a disjointed and choppy manner, are metaphors that connect to that deeper reality of what it means to be human.
Some of the themes in my art are about melancholy, mystery, isolation, and laughter to the point of crying. Rejection. Despair. Solitude. Life is suffering. And yet, perhaps this can all lead to a gentle or quiet spirit.
About the Artist: Lucas Novak was born in Southern California and currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California. He has been creating art prolifically since before the turn of the millennium. From 2004 to 2007, he lived in New York where he won first prize in professional painting at the New York State Fair while completing his Master’s degree (in experimental film production) concurrently with his law degree from Syracuse University.
His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally at the Los Angeles Art Show, CA; Orange County Museum of Art, CA; Jangsu Art Museum, South Korea; Schema Art Museum, South Korea; CICA Museum, South Korea; Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, CA; Santa Clarita City Hall, CA; bG Gallery, Santa Monica, CA; Gestalt Projects, Santa Monica, CA; Art Depot Gallery, Fontana, CA; El Dorado Nature Museum, Long Beach, CA; San Diego Art Institute, CA, among others. His works are included in the collections of California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, CA; Clinton & Clinton Law Corporation, Long Beach, CA; Harris County District Attorneys Office, TX; The Workplace California, Santa Ana, CA; and numerous others.
He believes there comes a large responsibility with labeling oneself an artist. For him it requires a respect for others and an interest in the planet and its life forms. He thirsts for knowledge and experiences, visiting new places and meeting people, learning about local events and global trends. He enjoys nature and the outdoors, washing his spirit clean on a mountain or at the beach. @lucastnovak
My artworks are inspired and informed by physiological processes, the body, botany and other
sciences. I live with a visual disability that affects being in sunlight, or other brightly lit areas. Any
type of light can cause intense pain and sensitivity to my eyes. When my injury occurred, I stopped
making art completely. A few years later, I needed to begin taking photographs again, and it was
then that I began to create and photograph my own miniature, indoor, imaginary botanical
environments, which are all created in-camera.
In Beyond, botanical elements at later stages of their lifecycle represent different states of being
within the body and mind. I use macro photography to explore the dichotomies of strength within
fragility, moments of stillness and transformation, and beauty in decay. Documenting and altering
the random lifecycle processes, I reveal that grace and strength remain, even as imperfect fragile
elements, which are beyond their lifespan.
My botanical photographs represent more than simply flowers or flora to me. They are a metaphor
for the passage of time, ephemerality and impermanence. They are my escape photos and
imagined worlds, where I see the uniqueness, beauty and value that exists in the ordinary throughout
all stages of life.
About the Artist: Marta Feinstein is a fine art photographer and art educator. She creates botanical and abstract color and black and white images that explore the passage of time, dichotomies of strength within fragility, stillness and transformation, and beauty in decay.
Bodies of work include printmaking, digital imagery and fine silver sculpted jewelry. Related
experience includes work as an art educator creating, developing, coordinating and teaching
education programs for museums, galleries, schools, non-profit community centers, festivals,
hospitals and senior care homes. Marta has worked in theater, film and music production, graphic
design, as an art registrar, archivist, and research assistant. Her passion is teaching art to
neurodiverse, physically disabled and chronically ill, youth, adults, seniors and at-risk communities.
Marta has exhibited her artwork locally and nationally in galleries and in virtual international
exhibitions. Marta received her art degree from the University of Southern California with several
honors and awards. She lives and works in Los Angeles, California. @martafeinstein.art
Longing to belong or to simply be present, seen. The title of this project encompasses my reflections on those words and the experiences they describe. What is longing? Defined as a “yearning desire” it leaves out both the nature of the object of that desire and the reasons behind it. The object of longing seems irrelevant and the yearning – directionless. It resembles a physical desire of thirst in its angst but there is no easy way of quenching the longing, since the object of longing remains undefinable even if it can be named. Longing for home, for love, for acceptance, for recognition, for friendship. The concepts that through their platitude deceive you into familiarity but that in fact persist in their ambiguity.
Susan Stewart in her book On Longing quotes the 1748’s Anson’s Voyage Around the World: “Our native country, for which many of us by this time has begun to have great longings” and thus places the narrative of the “yearning desire” into the narrative of homesickness; and socially and colloquially the two experiences are still connected.
For an immigrant, and I, myself, am one, defining home becomes a task of a lifetime. But for me, the longing for home started long before I left what now official documents call a “country of origin”. My being originated there, but what does it really mean? What non-severable ties did that event create in the process? Has it so happened that I am destined to long for home or rather for that sense of belonging with the unquenchable thirst of a traveler stranded on a raft in the middle of the shoreless ocean? How is the relationship with a place created to form a bond that would make one say “I belong here”?
In this project, I am not so much looking for answers to these questions but rather reflecting on them and the experiences that posed them. The angst of presence, of “being seen” is resolved through creating photographic self-portraits that loop the “looking” and the “being looked at” in a perpetual echo and turn them into evidence of presence.
About the Artist: Natasha Rudenko was born in Moscow, graduated from the Higher School of Economics with a BA in International Business and started photographing shortly after that.
Rudenko studied photography at the British School of Art and Design in Moscow and then continued her studies in the US, where she graduated with an MFA in Photography from the New York Film Academy in Los Angeles in 2016. Natasha Rudenko currently lives and works in Los Angeles. In addition to being an artist she is also an educator currently teaching degree and certificate programs in her Alma Mater and certificate programs in the UCLA Extension.
Natasha Rudenko has exhibited her work in the US and internationally as part of various group shows including New York, Los Angeles, Athens, Tempe, Budapest. Her work was also in a number annual publications of feminist and queer art, including Issues II and Femme Fotale Volume III Analog and Femme Fotale Volume IV Leafless.
As an artist Natasha Rudenko interprets her personal experience and growth as a human being. She engages in self-reflection and investigates the realms of feelings, personhood and identity constructs through photography.
Natasha Rudenko often uses her own body as a tool to express personal experiences and journeys. Using herself as a subject matter creates an additional tension juxtaposing herself as a subject and object of the creative process. Rudenko self-portraits are performative in their nature; they are constructed specifically for the camera and through embodying the duality of being both a subject and the object of the photographs she aims to re-claims and re-recognizes her identity. @nata_of_amber
The exploration of relationships is fundamental to my art. The dialogue of Color, form, line and repetition are the elements of language that I use. Like characters in a visual play, these elements can be quarrelsome or agreeable, in conflict or harmony. Whatever their condition the drama is always to be found in their relationship to each other. For me the real joy and challenge of abstract art lies in the exploration of these open ended relationships. To ask questions, rather than provide answers, inviting a multidimensional response with no “right” or “wrong” interpretation. Leaving the viewer free to own their individual relationship with the work based on their own perceptions and experience.
Recently I have started to incorporate more computational methods into my work. Writing simple computer programs which use rule based algorithmic methods to create images, based on varying “input” parameters. These inputs can be absurdly simple or relatively complex, defining the basic structure of the artwork allowing for more or less variation or randomness. The results can be predictable or surprising based on the criteria specified in the program. Working in this way and relinquishing a degree of creative control to a machine collaborator has challenged my inherent notions of what it means to be an artist and creator. This has been simultaneously disconcerting, energizing and liberating. It challenges me to breakaway from the habitual and the preconceived and allows me to open myself to new possibilities.
In Collaboration with Dave Clark
Anne M Bray, Debra Vodhanel, Kathryn Pitt, Kristine Schomaker
Anne M Bray