Check out the artists featured in EVOLUTION: Art, Science & Adaptation, below. Read about the show here. Opening reception: Friday, January 12, 6-8pm at Seymour Conservatory in Tacoma. With musical guest Moon Age featuring Grammy-nominated musician/producer Hunter Lea, and vocals by Melinda Campbell!
Sean Alexander and Paul Cavanagh find inspiration from NASA to harvester ants. For this show, they’re tying two together in a living, neon-bright ant farm. Alexander is a Tacoma artist best known for his obsessively-detailed pen drawings. His work has been shown locally in Seattle, Portland and Tacoma, as well as nationally in Iowa City and New York. He co-founded the Helm Gallery (2006-2008), and founded the Squeak and Squawk Music Festival. Paul Cavanagh is a free-range creative, artist and builder.
Elizabeth R Gahan transforms environments with innovative installations that abstract natural forms, and activate them with light and color. In 2014 Gahan was selected and recognized in the Americans for the Arts 2014 Public Art Network Year in Review. She has been awarded a City of Seattle 1% for Arts commission, Artist Trust GAP Grant, Bellas Artes program at the University of Barcelona Spain, and a Helen B. Dooley Art Fellowship, among other awards. She earned an undergraduate degree at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Masters Degree in Fine Art from Claremont Graduate University. Gahan currently works from a studio space at Equinox in Georgetown, Seattle.
Don High is a landscape architect who manipulates space to achieve optical sleight-of-hand. “I have used visual effects to make a place appear larger and more expansive, or smaller and more intimate….To achieve these illusions I use many concepts from stage-set design.” High’s projects can be seen in Costa Rica, Palm Springs and Seattle. In 2010-11, he led 150 volunteers in Tacoma’s Hilltop to create a 9,000sq. ft. learning garden where community members can gather for enjoyment and learn to grow their own food.
Ed Kroupa is a Tacoma-based artist and co-owner (with Katrina Toft) of Two Ravens Studio & Art Foundry. He recently completed a $25,000 public art commission, “Floating Life Forms”, through the Tacoma Arts Commission’s Public Art: In Depth program. Kroupa is a sculptor who works in a range of mediums including bronze, aluminum, resins and plastic composites. His fine art is featured in collections in the US and Europe. With over 20 years experience, he is an experienced foundry artisan. Kroupa worked as a special effects whiz in the entertainment industry, and has been a designer for Disney.
Educated in Tokyo, with an MFA from the University of Washington, Yuki Nakamura brings an international aesthetic to Evolution. In “Trespass”, she treats a soaring tree as a microcosm of the world, recreating a project she first introduced in France. Nakamura’s artwork is in the collections of Tacoma Art Museum and Microsoft. A recipient of awards including the Pollock-Krasner Grant and the Artist Trust Fellowship, she has had solo exhibitions at SOIL Gallery and Howard House Contemporary Art, in Seattle, and has upcoming shows at MadArt in Seattle, and in Tokyo.
Elise Richman is having a moment. In 2015, she was a finalist for the Neddy Artist Award in Painting, and she was published in The International Journal of Arts and History. She is the recipient of the 2014 Foundation of Art Award (Greater Tacoma Community Foundation), and 2014 Davis Teaching Award. An Associate Professor at the University of Puget Sound, she makes innovative, process-based paintings that explore elements of the material world and states of flux. Richman co-programs the Art+Sci lecture series at Tacoma Art Museum bringing together expert panels from the sciences and arts.
Swiss-born artist, Claudia Riedener, wields solid clay like a mischievous goddess sculpting large forms to stand the test of time. A master gardener who once had a career in horticulture, she became a self-taught ceramicist 14 years ago. Her work is focused on tiles and architectural ceramics, with ventures into figurative sculpture. Riedener’s ceramic installations for public art can be seen from Seattle to Moses Lake, WA.
Phil Roach builds dioramas – incredible, sometimes shocking worlds that can be viewed through an oculus, or peephole. More than miniature stage sets, they are psychological vignettes sometimes encompassing whole rooms or street scenes, whose meaning must be unpacked by the viewer. Roach says the diorama’s appeal stems from the human appetite for voyeurism, as seen in reality t.v. He has an MFA from the University of Washington, and a BFA from California State University, Chico.
Plants provide a vivid palette for botanical artist, Jennifer Robbins. She revels in being “surrounded by, and sensually connected with, the elements of the earth. My art explores these connections, experiments with contrasts and combinations, and plays with form and structure.” Robbins’ work has been shown at Tacoma Art Museum, the Traver Gallery and by Spaceworks Tacoma.
Susan Surface is a designer and photographer, and a researcher of the politics of art, design and architecture. She earned a BFA in Integrated Design from Parsons School of Design and an M.Arch from Yale School of Architecture. She is Director of Design in Public, an initiative of AIA Seattle, the 6th largest chapter of the American Institute of Architects. Surface organizes the annual Seattle Design Festival, and will curate exhibitions in the new Center for Architecture and Design, opening in early 2016.
Brent Watanabe‘s artwork spans from the early 1990s when he designed poster art for punk rock bands in Seattle, to groundbreaking current explorations in how hand-drawn images can dynamically co-exist with video and audio. Watanabe is a two-time MacDowell Colony fellow, and among his awards and residencies has received an Artist Trust Fellowship (2011), and a “Visions of the U.S.” award from American Film Institute. His work has been screened in film festivals and exhibited nationally and internationally.
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“Evolution” curator Lisa Kinoshita is an artist and freelance curator specializing in unusual exhibition spaces. Social history and natural history shape her artwork which has been shown in this area at Tacoma Art Museum, Museum of Northwest Art, Vetri Gallery, Metro Parks Tacoma (through the Tacoma Arts Commission’s Public Art: In Depth program), Foss Waterway Seaport museum and Fulcrum Gallery. With support from a grant she produced a collaborative project with inmates at Montana State Prison. Her studio jewelry has appeared in the New York Times, ELLE, Seattle Magazine and other publications.
Moon Age is a Tacoma-based band led by Grammy-nominated musician/producer, Hunter Lea, with ethereal vocals by Melinda Campbell (left). Catch them at the opening reception Friday, January 15, 2016, 6-8pm!