Viviane Rombaldi Seppey

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Artist’s Statement

My work is informed by my nomadism between countries, languages and ways of seeing or thinking. My Maps Series in particular explores my identity and heritage through geographical and road maps found in my childhood home after my father’s death. The maps I use are the carrier of my personal and family migrant history. They are the support of my individual experience and of our collective knowledge.

In the artwork, the maps are drawn, cut, painted or assembled to create three-dimensional objects and works on paper. The printed matter that I transform retains its integrity as a public document, while it simultaneously holds fragments of my personal migratory journey. In an age of technology and electronic tools, the maps reflect an in-between world. By examining the tactile quality of paper in the creation of sculptural objects, I explore my own personal displacement experiences and question the inherent transience of the surrounding world.

My work becomes the witness to my migrating life and my interaction with individuals, places, and memory. The long, fastidious, repetitive action of my creative process both physicalizes and metaphorically reflects the time that it takes to integrate into new environments.

Viviane Rombaldi Seppey’s work explores personal and collective understandings of place, and is informed by her migratory upbringing and experiences. Born in Switzerland of Italian descent, Seppey has lived on four continents and is based in New York. Her work incorporates maps, phonebooks, photographs, magazines, and other materials into intricate installations, collages, sculptures, and drawings. She holds an MFA from RMIT Melbourne, Australia, and has exhibited at numerous institutions worldwide, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, FL; the Bronx Museum of the Arts, NY; the Hunterdon Art Museum, NJ; and the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australia. Please visit vivianerombaldi.com for more information.

Matthew Schommer

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Artist’s Statement

Through my work I’m aiming to evoke a feeling of hazy nostalgia. To create an atmosphere reminiscent of elusive, lingering dreams. Iconic imagery and found photographs serve as a spring board for me to explore mankind’s foggy past and uncertain future. With watercolor and acrylic paints and layers upon layers of graphite, my work prompts the viewer to analyze the human condition and society at large.

Born in Michigan, Matthew Schommer started learning drawing and painting from his father Dennis at an early age. After studying art at a local college he moved to Chicago to study film and then onto New York to work for Christies auction house and to further his art career. Matthew’s work is exhibited in galleries in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and Miami. He currently lives and works in Chicago.

Cheryl Molnar

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Artist’s Statement

In my most recent body of work, I continue to construct my paintings with an engineer’s sensibility and rigor, but the architectural structures come from the world of leisure and recreation—and of memory. The structures and patterns seem borrowed from an earlier generation, evoking nostalgia and yet also inspired by autobiography. My paintings collapse both geography and time. What at first appears to be an intricate painting reveals itself, upon close examination, to be finely cut slivers of paper on wood veneer, hand painted and then laboriously collaged together to create fields of grass, multifaceted rocky cliffs or lush botanical growth. The architectural structures are often incised directly onto wood panels and inserted into these wild landscapes.

My process begins with documentation: I photograph locations newly traveled, as well as well-known and loved. These photographs are digitally stitched together, combining landscapes with structures from various “memories.” I collage photographs the way we experience memories: we confuse the place and time, the structures bleed together, places patched together in our minds. Like concretized memories, my photographs give physical shape to the improbable landscapes of our memory.

Cheryl Molnar’s work has been exhibited nationally, including solo exhibitions at Smack Mellon in New York and The University of Arizona, as well as group shows at C24 Gallery in Chelsea, The Islip Art Museum on Long Island, and the General Electric Headquarters in CT. She recently completed a permanent ceramic tile instillation for PS19Q in Queens, a commission from Percent for Art and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. Currently a member artist at the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, her other art residencies include the Winter Workspace program at Wave Hill, Smack Mellon, Weir Farm Art Center and Cooper Union. Cheryl received a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design and an MFA from Pratt Institute. Notable collections featuring her work include Cantor Fitzgerald and Microsoft. She is a longtime resident of Greenpoint, Brooklyn and splits her time between NYC and the North Fork of Long Island.

Teresa James

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Artist’s Statement

 

Printmaking and making art in general have been a part of my life since I was a small child. I grew up in a family of artists and my father and mother were very supportive of this calling I had. The moment I new I wanted to make prints was after seeing an exhibit of Whistler’s etchings at the Art Gallery of Ontario. I was intrigued by the process and once I got my hands in the ink and was mesmerized by all the beautiful papers there was no turning back.

My studio White Wings Press is located in Chicago’s historical Logan Square, where periodically guest artists are invited to collaborate on print projects. I specialize in multiple color etching, photogravures and cyanotype prints but also create unique drawing collages with hand painting. My interest in combining many techniques and processes has lead me to a new series involving found engravings.

Still keeping ties with my printmaking background, these works require cutting out old impressions of birds and collaging them onto vintage book covers, allowing me a space for my drawn winged hands. These hands remain a dominant motif in my work, chosen for their uniquely expressive and creative powers while the wings connote mobility between worlds. Juxtaposing these images and blurring distinctions with technique, creates an unseen realm coexisting with the physical world to remind us that our corporeal life is the fragile one.

Teresa James has been a printmaker in Chicago for almost 30 years. In 1991, while studying at the School of The Art Institute of Chicago, she was approached by artist Tony Fitzpatrick to assist with his studio, Big Cat Press, and soon became the workshop’s master printer. In 2002, she left Big Cat to establish her own print atelier, White Wings Press, where she continues to make prints and her one-of-a-kind drawing collages. She is represented by Hofheimer Gallery in Chicago.

Alexis Duque

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Artist’s Statement

The chaotic and unavoidable process of urbanization in our globalized and over populated world are the central focus of my work. I am interested in depicting clustered spaces and precarious constructions that seem to multiply and overflow with crowded objects in one continuous urban sprawl, at the same time as such structures begin to crumble and decompose from within. Through the use of exaggerated drama and distortion, my work attempts to challenge the way the viewer confronts the idea of consumerism and urbanization within contemporary culture and draw the viewer’s attention to the isolation of the transitory residents, like semi-nomads that emigrate hoping to find a better life on the outskirts of large metropolises.

Newly globalized economies have engendered major changes, from expanded trade networks to new methods of commodity production and the shifts in the labor force these activities require. In recent decades, new patterns of migration have emerged and significant populations have moved to rapidly expanding urban centers, transforming the individual’s relationship to the city. I investigate the conditions of metropolitan landscapes, including the effects of gentrification and urban renewal, political expression, and power.

Alexis Duque holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from The University of Antioquia, Colombia. His work has been exhibited in numerous venues including: at The Heckscher Museum Of Art, El Museo del Barrio, The Drawing Center and Praxis International Gallery in New York; The Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA), Long Beach, CA; Champion Contemporary, Austin, TX; The Alden B. Dow Museum of Science and Art, Midland, MI; RudolfV Gallery, Amsterdam, Netherlands and Galleri Oxholm in Copenhagen, Denmark. Duque’s work has been featured in several publications, including: “Imagine Architecture: Artistic Visions Of The Urban Realm”, “Caribbean: Together Apart Contemporary Artists from (part of) the Caribbean” Imago Mundi – Luciano Benetton, Blue Canvas Magazine, LandEscape Art review, Beautiful Decay, Artistaday, New American Paintings, Studio Visit Magazine, The East Hampton Star, The East Hampton Press and El Diario of New York. Duque currently lives and works in NYC.

W. A. Ehren Tool

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Artist’s Statement

“I just make cups” is the only statement I am comfortable making about my work.

In the Marine Corps, the gap between what I thought I was doing and what I did was vast and painful. I joined with a desire to serve and I still have that desire. I don’t think anything I do will change the world, and nothing in the world releases me from my obligation to try. Making cups feels like a pretty impotent gesture, in the face of all of the horrors surrounding us. Peace is the only adequate war memorial. Any other “memorial” is at best a failure and usually a lie, promoting war as a good and noble thing. War is not a good thing. I still love the Marine Corps and Marines, which makes it harder to watch young Marines kill and die. Wars never end they ripple and echo forever. After serving in the “91 Gulf War” I have lost my ability to point fingers. The line between good and evil is a line in every human heart. We choose every day. We live with the consequences, even when we are ignorant of how our actions affect others. I believe there is some kind of judgment or karma, even if it is not the satisfying cinematic ending many people might picture. Judgment is not mine.

My opinions about my work and what I do feel unimportant. I just make cups, and if they are ever anything else it is because of the generosity of people who take the time to look at the cups. The cups are only something more if something resonates with the viewer or, better yet, the user of the cup. I am very grateful to people who see something in the cups.

I have given away more than 21,500 cups since 2001.

I hope the cups can be touchstones to start conversations about unspeakable things. My father and grandfather never talked about their wars until I came back from mine. I didn’t understand why they didn’t talk until my son asked “how come you were bad and now you’re good? You were a soldier right?” I didn’t say anything. I changed the subject and held back tears. To be demonized or idolized for something you did or didn’t do in a context you can never explain, by someone you love, is too much. It seems easier to just not talk — to “suck it up” and “move on.”

I just make cups. Making ceramics means I have five hundred thousand to one million years to find a receptive audience for my work. I hope a few of my cups will make it through these times. From my hand to your hand to some point hundreds of thousands of years in the future. Cheers!!! I hope you always have enough to eat and drink….I love you. Blah blah blah

Strength to love, + E

W.A.Ehren Tool was born in Charleston South Carolina in 1970. Raised in Sunny South Central Los Angeles, South Dakota (3 years), then back to Los Angeles, Tool joined the Marine Corps in 1989, serving in Desert Shield and Desert Storm (Gulf War One). Tool was a Marine Embassy Guard in Rome and Paris, 15 months each, and was Honorably Discharged as a Sergeant after just over 5 years of active duty. He attended Pasadena City College, received his BFA from the University of Southern California in 2000, and his MFA from the University of California at Berkeley in 2005. Tool has made and given away over 21,500 cups since 2001. He is married and has one son.

Fran Shalom

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Artist’s Statement
I am a modernist abstract painter with a pop sensibility.

My work balances the formal with the playful, paring down shapes and ideas into their most basic forms. To counter the chaos of everyday life, I instinctively gravitate towards elemental shapes, with defined edges resulting in an appearance of control and order (however illusionary it may be).

The shapes reference the human body but are open to interpretation. Animated by bright, cartoony colors and figure/ground relationships, I think of the paintings as ambiguous characters who inhabit my studio keeping me company and often engaging in silent conversation.

In writing about my work, art critic John Yau said, “Can we see things for what they are, even if we cannot name them, cannot in in that regard have dominion over them? I love that statement for it speaks to ambiguity and being comfortable with not knowing.

In Zen there is a wonderful saying: Not knowing is most intimate”. It suggests approaching something with open-minded and whole-hearted curiosity. I try to begin my paintings in this way, with a willingness to be present with uncertainty, and with the confidence that the process will result in work that both satisfies and inspires.

Fran Shalom has exhibited widely throughout the United States, including John Davis Gallery in Hudson, NY and the Kathryn Markel Gallery in NYC, the Fogg Art Museum in Cambridge Mass, and the Newark Museum. Her work is included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the Rose Art Museum, and the Biblioteque Nationale in Paris. She has been the recipient of a Pollack Krasner Artist Grant in 2019, a MacDowell Colony Residency, and an Art Omi Residency. She is represented by the John Davis Gallery in Hudson, New York and the Kathryn Markel Gallery in New York City.

Scott Kahn

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Artist’s Statement
 
I consider my work to be a visual diary, a record of my life, a reporting of the places and people I encounter. It is not easy to begin a painting, despite the variety and complexity of the world. It is important to me to have a reason to paint, for the impulse to be strong. If I do not feel compelled to work, how can I expect the viewer to respond to what I am reporting? If I am successful, hopefully, the painting will have depth, poetry, and honesty. The effect should be direct and clear. To achieve this result, a creative person calls upon every tool available to him: technical, emotional, intuitive, and intellectual. The act of creating, therefore, teaches us and reveals to us who we are and our relationship to life. This is why I paint.

 

Scott Kahn is an American painter with a long exhibition history, including numerous one person shows, primarily in New York City, and a retrospective in 2004 at the Arthur Ross Gallery, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. His work is included in corporate and private collections in the U.S. and abroad. He is the recipient of two Pollock-Krasner Foundation grants and spent three summers at the Albee Foundation in Montauk. His most recent solo exhibitions were with Nicelle Beauchene in New York and Harper’s Books in Easthampton, L.I.

Jaynie Crimmins

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Artist’s Statement

What I do: I fabricate objects with meticulous handmade details that are counterpoints to the banality of their materials. Repurposing marketing tools from consumer culture, I shred and create with solicitations, safety envelopes and catalogs that are difficult to recycle because their inks have high concentrations of heavy metals. Deconstructing these materials reshapes their formulaic messages into narratives of personal interest. As interpretations of natural structures and architectural elements, my forms are indelible impressions from recollections and observations. Rolling, folding, sewing and fabricating the shreds into intimate sculptural reliefs produces works that explore surface and texture, becoming meditations on consumerism and waste.

Why I do it: nothing seemed to make it into the trash in the apartment of my Eastern European grandparents. Discarded clothing became crocheted rugs. Old curtains became aprons. Leftovers became the ingredients for new meals. Nothing was wasted, everything possible was reused. Castoff items became novel and compelling in their metamorphosis. Combining this sensibility with the shredding of junk mail illuminates the physical acts of deconstructing and repurposing. The power of transformation, frugality, ingenuity and handmade quality drive my practice.

Jaynie Gillman Crimmins, a Brooklyn based artist, creates alternative narratives from quotidian materials. Her work has been exhibited at ART on PAPER; SPRING/BREAK Art Show; Governor’s Island Art Fair and the National Museum of Romanian Literature in addition to museums throughout the United States. Crimmins has a long history of community work, currently volunteering in the Guggenheim Museum’s Learning Through Art Program. She holds two degrees in Art Education – a BS from the State University College at Buffalo and MS from the College of New Rochelle, with a minor in Art Therapy. She is represented by K. Imperial Fine Art, San Francisco, CA and shows at Mason Fine Art, Atlanta, GA.

Marie Watt

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Artist’s Statement

My work draws from storytelling, proto-feminism, Indigenous teachings, and biography. It addresses the interaction of the arc of history with intimacy of memory. Blankets, one of my primary materials, are everyday objects that can carry extraordinary histories of use. In my tribe and other Indigenous communities, we give blankets away to honor those who are witness to important life events. In working with blankets, my process is both solitary and collaborative. Small works are personal meditations. Large works are often realized by community sewing circles: participants range from 3 to 93 in age, and no sewing experience is required. The intercultural fellowship around the table is as much a part of the work as the resulting artifact.

Marie Watt is a cross-disciplinary artist who makes Indigenous knowledge visible by drawing from obscured history, biography, Iroquois protofeminism, and Native Futurism. Her practice resides at the intersection of history, community and storytelling. Her site responsive work spurs individuals and communities to engage in dialogue surrounding their own histories and experiences of the world. These multi-generational, intercultural and cross-disciplinary conversations create a lens for understanding connectedness to place, one another, and the universe in its ancient and modern condition.