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Carl Maxey Center

OUR STORIES OUR VISIONS ARTISTS

OUR STORIES OUR VISIONS

Whitney Evans

Whitney Evans graduated with a BFA in Ceramics from Eastern Washington University in 2018 and currently resides in Spokane, WA. She is a multi-disciplinary artist that continues an evolving development of her “Toast” themes, autobiographical, and surrealistic narratives that she applies to functional and fine art ceramics, sculpture, mixed media and digital works. She attempts to engage viewers with content that’s directly subject to personal thoughts, hidden interpretations, with pop art and minimalist influences.

Website: weceramics.bigcartel.com
Instagram: whitneye.ceramics.and.stuff

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Sarah Torres

Biography

Sarah Torres is a multi-disciplinary artist based in both Spokane and Seattle, WA, working in painting, video, photography, and digital art. Sarah holds an Associate’s of Fine Arts degree from Spokane Falls Community College and is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of Washington. Sarah’s work has been included in numerous group exhibitions including “Express Yourself” and “Power to the People – Stick it to the Wall,” at the Terrain gallery (Spokane, WA) and the Apostrophe 2021 Exhibition at Bridgepress Cellars (Spokane, WA). Public works include projection and net-based work for the Black Lens’ Creating Health Initiative and numerous collaborative murals around the city of Spokane, including the BLACK LIVES MATTER mural commissioned by Seven2 + 14Four. Sarah’s illustrations have been published on the cover of The Inlander, an Inland Northwest newspaper based in Spokane, WA.

Artist Statement

Exploring the implications of living in a highly digital world, I am investigating the intersections of video, digital photography, painting, and printmaking. I regularly question how materials can be transformed through an extended process, both digitally and physically. Highly inspired by texture and pattern, both naturally occurring and artificially created, I create high contrast motifs that reflect this interest. The source material is typically taken from nature and abstracted to create familiar but non-representational patterning. Interrogating the relationships between human and non-human life is the content of much of my work. There, in the content of my work, can also be found an interest in the function and purpose of language as well as how language can be manipulated and subverted. I explore the meanings and context of visual, verbal, and digital/computer language as well as how they can be used in art to engage different audiences.

Transcription #1 Oil on Canvas 13×13
Transcript #2 (Erasure of Memory) Oil on Canvas 24×25

These paintings are from a new series of work titled Transcriptions of Memory. This body of work explores the mutability of memory, both mental and digital. Do people of the digital age depend more on their devices versus their minds to store their memories? Are our photos, notes, contacts, and even language more or less secure when stored on a piece of hardware? Is there just as much room for manipulation and transformation of our memories when they are digitally stored? The paintings titled Transcription 1 and Transcription 2 are representations of a single video still, or a memory. They were painted in differing manners to emphasize the tendency of experiences to be recalled from memory differently, depending on circumstance. This visually exemplifies the potential for memories or past experiences to live in the body, or device, as an essence or representation of the truth; always subject to change. As some formal elements of the video still were transcribed by hand with paint, some visual information has been selectively omitted.

https://www.instagram.com/art.storres/

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Ruben Trejo

Biography

Ruben Trejo (1937–2009) was born in a Chicago, Burlington & Quincy railroad yard in St. Paul, Minnesota, where his father, a mixed Tarascan Indian and Hispanic from Michoacán, Mexico, and his mother, from Ixtlan in the same Mexican province, had found a home for the family in a boxcar while his father worked for the railroad. Trejo became the first in his family to graduate from college, and in 1973 he moved to the Pacific Northwest, where he began a thirty-year association with Eastern Washington University as teacher and artist.

His isolation from major centers of Chicano culture led him to search for self-identity through his art. Influenced and inspired by such writers and artists as Octavio Paz and Guillermo Gómez-Pena, he explored a dynamic, multidimensional worldview through his sculpture and mixed-media pieces and created a body of work that deftly limns his identity as an artist and a Chicano. Throughout his long teaching career, he worked tirelessly to create opportunities for young Chicanos through tutoring and mentoring.

Artist Statement

“Multiple backgrounds can form such two- and three-dimensional ideas that they take you to the brink of lunacy, but I have used this rich background and ethnic landscape for creating art. As a student at the University of Minnesota, I often wondered what the study of Russian history, Shakespeare, English literature, or Freud . . . had to do with cleaning onions in Hollandale, Minnesota, picking potatoes in Hoople, North Dakota, or visiting relatives in Michoacán. This diversity of ideas can produce a three-headed monster or an artist, and I chose the latter.” -Ruben Trejo

https://marmotartspace.com/art-for-sale/ols/categories/ruben-trejo
https://uwapress.uw.edu/book/9780295990040/ruben-trejo/

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Pok Chi Lau

With high intentions to go fishing, Pok Chi Lau has traveled to 36 countries, and he has ended up with more photographs than fish at the end of his fishing poles. Through the years, he has come to the realization that in the history of China, stretching from around 1700 to 1950, her poor coastal fishing villagers experienced some of the first Diasporas to different parts of the world, especially Southeast Asia.

He was born in British Hong Kong in 1950. Since 1967, Pok Chi Lau 劉博智, has been a documentary photographer.  His work on migration focuses on the Chinese Diaspora in the Americas, Cuba, and Malaysia and now Myanmar. For a decade, he also documented the Diaspora within China, where rural peasants/migrants from all over China moved to seek factory work in coastal Made-in-China regions.

Pok Chi Lau is Professor Emeritus of PhotoMedia in the Department of Design at the University of Kansas, which has provided him with numerous international research opportunities, and through which his work has been exhibited and published broadly. Besides his work as a documentary photographer, Lau’s work as a poet and essayist has led him to collaborate with professionals in East Asian studies, journalism, ethnic studies, anthropology and social science.

https://pokchilau.format.com/

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Sironka

I am Nicholas Sironka, (I go by Sironka) a Maasai batik artist, with a God given talent. I was born and raised in Kenya, a country in East Africa. We have 42 different tribes in Kenya. Each tribe speaks a distinctively different language from the other. There is however a national language that helps all these tribes communicate with each other – Kiswahili. (Remember ‘Hakuna matte” in the movie Lion King?). I am Maasai, a small pastoralist tribe living mostly in the southern plains of Kenya known as the Rift Valley.

In the year 2000, I was awarded the prestigious Fulbright Scholar-In-Residence Award from the U. S. Government to com teach batik art and Maasai culture at Whitworth University in Spokane Washington.

Ever since childhood I was always fascinated by my Maasai culture, a culture that was very much misinterpreted and misunderstood. It is then that I made it my life’s ambition to find a way to tell the truth about my people and to do so with dignity and truth. With my God given talent I determined that batik was the medium I would use to make good of this quest.

Today I sell my original art and enjoy teaching batik art classes and also continue to hold lectures on the Maasai culture whenever I am invited to do so.

My passion to speak on the facets of my culture portrayed in my pieces has many times been impactful emotionally for those buying my art or simply coming and listening to my explanations of deeper meaning for the paintings. Many asked if I was a counselor, and after much thought, I decided to go to school. I am happy to say that today I hold a degree as a certified substance abuse counselor!

You can also see more on my work at https://youtu.be/aC0mhiCCZ18
In 2016 I published a book “Feed me with words – A journey through Maasai culture in batik art” https://youtu.be/qs9IhkUirRk 

My philosophy: “If I can use my talents to touch another life, and make it better, then I will be fulfilling the purpose for which God put me on this Earth!”

https://www.madcolabstudios.com/sironka-batik-artist

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Afaria Duke

man mythical poet, hue man 

Artist Statement

I want to express my feelings rather than illustrate them.

I channel my medium for creation through various tools such as, paint brushes, thread, metal, wood, earth, and copper.

My motto “my art 🖼 does not fit into one box 📦”

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Jacob Johns

Biography

From: SPOTLIGHT: NATIVE ART CONTEST WINNER JACOB MAURICE JOHNS by Helen Oliff May 24, 2019 NativeKnot.com

Jacob Maurice Johns:  Hometown: Mesa, Arizona  Tribal Affiliation: Akimel O’otham (Gila River Pima) and Hopi

Jacob attended cosmetology school in Washington state and then worked as a hairdresser and rave promoter/DJ before discovering his passion for social issues and completely shifting gears in his career. Jacob became serious about his social activism in 2016 after the presidential election and contributed greatly to movements such as the water protection protest at Standing Rock. Today, Jacob contracts as a Community Supported Organizer for the nonprofit organization Backbone Campaign, where he focuses on organizing front-line and non-violent direct action.

Art has been a passion of Jacob’s for as long as he can remember — his mother was a portrait artist, so he grew up in an environment that nurtured creativity. Jacob’s skills are mostly self-taught, but his mother provided some tips and tricks on portrait drawing once that became his focus in 2002. Early on, Jacob focused mainly on black and white paintings but has since incorporated more color into his work to create a “gritty urban feel that brings light to darkness” and connects the past to the future.

Artist Statement

We as a society crave new models for progressing the consciousness of humanity. As a community organizer, my work stems from this effort to innovate new ways of moving society forward. The out-dated models of how we live on this planet are failing, and we need new paradigms that uplift the planet to a higher state that heals our world. My organizing efforts have focused on multiple interconnected issues involving social justice and minority rights, as well as environmental protection. Currently, I immerse myself in progressing society in a multitude of ways.

I draw from my cultural heritage continuously as I work, using traditional ceremonious concepts, combined with art and activism with each event, rally and movement, taking us one step closer to a mindful planetary consciousness. I am stepping full time into this work in order to help co-create tangible goals instead of adding to opposition. We as human beings need to create new ways of connecting that break down imagined walls of separation.

https://www.facebook.com/studio1eleven111

https://www.backbonecampaign.org/jacob

https://www.nativeknot.com/Professional-Science-And-Tech-Se/Marketing-Consulting-Services/NativeKnotcom.html

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Ginny Zermeno-Brennan

Artist, Life Coach,Watercolors, Acrylics, Mixed Media

Having grown up in Sunny Southern California, into a very colorful and artistic Latinx family, Ginny has been exploring art since early childhood. Her father would spend time drawing animals for her and encourage her to know both Spanish and English names of each animal they would draw together. Life and career allowed the fortune of living in the beautiful western cities of Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle and Spokane all bringing on the continued exploration with art. While also residing in the central US in Chicago brought a new connection to urban appeal for painting buildings and lastly while thriving in Southwest Virginia where there is sunny, natural beauty abound provided more exploration in beautiful Appalachia.

Ginny has spent over twenty years painting and studying art. Her art has also been influenced by her early introduction to use of color with her mother teaching her how to sew and the colorful selection of fabrics that were used. Ginny’s love of visiting Mexico and wonderful artist studios and museums, while vacationing in Mexico she schedules studio art time with local artist to continue to learn more about Mexico and local art. Ginny’s background in commercial interior and furnishings career allowed her to continue to study the use of color. Throughout her adult life Ginny has studied art study with art instructors, as she moved around the country and all the while studying the works of her favorite artists, Winslow Homer, Roldolfo Morales, Charles Reid, as well as English Artist, Richard Taylor.

During her residence in Seattle Ginny was part of the Seahurst Co-Op Gallery and participated in one of the largest watercolor societies in the country, the Pacific Northwest Watercolor Society also taking advantage of the many great local artist workshops that were available. She also welcomed and is still a member of the Arts Depot in Abingdon, VA during another career move there.

Now a second-time resident of Spokane, Ginny has become actively involved in the art community not only with her art but with her work in advertising sales with Art Chowder Magazine and is a member of Avenue West Art Gallery, Spokane Watercolor Society and River Ridge Association of Fine Arts .

The uncertainty and excitement of watercolor and the challenges of new artistic directions keeps Ginny striving for an even better composition or capturing a great light or finding just the right color. Ginny is always searching for a beautiful landscape, a great human interaction, or a lovely flower.

http://mimanomiarte.blogspot.com/

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