APRIL 9 – JUNE 11, 2022

Consuelo Soto Murphy and 20 plus artists sharing their stories and visions through their art – pictorial, documentary and abstract. Come to the Carl Maxey Center at 3114 E. 5th Ave on Saturday April 9th. Youth can meet with the artists in the exhibition from 12 – 3 pm. Have wine and Lébakes cheesecake with the artists from 5 – 7 pm.

Consuelo Soto Murphy

Consuelo Soto Murphy studied Art and Art Education at Eastern Washington University and Spokane Falls in Spokane Wa.

In second grade, her teacher declared her an artist when she brought Consuelo up to the front of the class and she held up a drawing of a twisted and very large and brightly colored octopus. Consuelo believed her and from then on she was an artist.

Consuelo graduated from Sunnyside High School in 1979 and Graduated from Eastern with degrees in Art Education, Studio Art and K-12 Education. In 1989 Consuelo began teaching Art at Richland High School in Richland, Washington where she taught Art for 32 years while continuously pursuing her painting career.

Consuelo Soto grew up as a child migrant worker along with her family, doing field work across the United States, season to season, before eventually settling in the Yakima Valley of the Pacific Northwest.

Despite the grueling, backbreaking work, Consuelo’s art pieces are inspired by the positive memories of the beautiful landscapes, the flourishing crops, and the love and relationships forged with her family and friends. Consuelo was the seventh child of nine children. While the older ones worked all day in the fields, Consuelo was able to go to school during the day, working before and after school and during the summers.

While Consuelo works primarily in acrylics on canvas, she is far from limited to this medium. The magnificent pieces produced by Consuelo Soto Murphy have gone to homes all over the world. Her work has been featured in publications and galleries as well as featured on television productions.

https://www.sotoart.com/

Our Stories Our Visions Continued

Idee Umana

Idorenyin “Idee” Umana

Biography

“Idee” Umana is a bourgeoning artist from Nigeria, born in1995 and raised in the suburbs of Apapa, Lagos. He holds a bachelor’s degree in painting from the University of Uyo, Nigeria. From drawing as a child, he developed a niche in painting while growing up and also using various mediums to explore his thoughts and environment. His interests are based on his immediate African society and a means of giving hope of a better life to those who have lost theirs and a search for utopia. He has participated in numerous group exhibitions around Nigeria and his commissioned paintings are found within and abroad.

Artist Statement

“With each brush stroke, the artist expresses himself.” These words are born out of the concepts and basic needs of art in our African society. Post-Modernism being a recent paradigm in the art praxis since the1950’s, has triggered unconventional stylistic approaches in his paintings and Art generally, in which African Contemporary Art may be appreciated in its independent appearance. The muse of the artist relies deeply on the rich traditional exploits of the Nigerian environment and Africa. Presently, he’s a full time studio artist exploring materials, creating new approaches. In his words, “Painting brings me peace and offers me a place to meditate on the beauty in the world and my highest goal is to convey peace to the viewers, offering a moment of pause and a feeling of deep belonging”.

https://www.saatchiart.com/account/profile/1623274

Facebook @Idee Umana Twitter & Instagram @idorynin umana

Our Stories Our Visions Continued

Uriah De La O

Biography

Uriah De La O, 13, is an enrolled Spokane Tribal member and descendant of the Makah Tribe. He attends Shaw Middle School and loves to spend time sketching, hanging out with his paralyzed Frenchie Hoola, and playing video games. His art is inspired by nature, fictional characters and monsters, and his family.

He helped illustrate this 2-minute digital story (Cocoon Woman). It’s a traditional indigenous story used to process and discuss grief.

Our Stories Our Visions Continued

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/

Our Stories Our Visions Continued

Rachel Dolezal

Biography

Rachel Doležal has twenty years of experience as an exhibiting artist and art educator. Her works have been featured in The Artist’s Magazine, shown in 14 states, and displayed at the United Nations’ Headquarters in New York. She majored in art at Belhaven College (BA) and in sculpture & painting at Howard University (MFA). Her art is in the permanent collections of Tougaloo College, Howard University, Belhaven College and numerous private collections.
Doležal synthesizes history and cultural studies in her art and believes that the creative process is part of what makes us human and shapes our identity in the world. Doležal instructed art as a graduate student at Howard University and helped launch the Howard University Young Artist’s Academy (HUYAA) in 2001, winning numerous awards for her talent. She taught in the Art Departments at North Idaho College and Eastern Washington University. Awards in Art include: Visitor’s Choice Award, Best of Show, Experimental Media Award, and many other gallery awards for her drawing, painting, printmaking and collage work.

Artist Statement

“Anthology I” acrylic on distressed canvas, 24×36” 
This distress-textured word painting begins with “Emmett Till” and lists 54 names of individuals killed by police brutality or neighborhood vigilantes in the United States. Every 13th name is the name of a female victim, which symbolizes the lesser attention that Black women often receive in media and society than men in similar circumstances. An anthology is a collection of stories, and as we “say their names,” may we also remember the life story represented by each person who was taken from us.

“Anthology II” acrylic on distressed canvas, 24×36”
This distress-textured word painting begins with “George Floyd” and is an unfortunate sequel to “Anthology I” as a remembrance of 53 more names of individuals killed by police brutality or neighborhood vigilantes in the United States. Every 13th name is the name of a female victim, which symbolizes the lesser attention that Black women often receive in media and society than men in similar circumstances. An anthology is a collection of stories, and as we “say their names,” may we also remember the life story represented by each person who was taken from us. (Spokane’s own Lorenzo Hayes is included in this piece).

https://racheldolezal.com/

Our Stories Our Visions Continued

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/

Our Stories Our Visions Continued

Olivia Evans

Biography

Olivia Evans is a grant-awarded, multidisciplinary visual artist based in Spokane, WA, working in video, photography, drawing, and film. In 2018, she graduated from Eastern Washington University with her Bachelor of Fine Arts in studio art and a minor in film. Her work is heavily influenced by motherhood, the subconscious, nature, and social events — intertwining traditional and digital media to create narratives of the self. All these influences echo her eclectic cultural experiences of growing up in an economically challenged home with her Italian mother and in 2007 (once parents remarried), being reunited with her African American/Native American father.

Olivia is working with The Alliance for Media, Arts, & Culture as a local producer and social media manager. She co-produced the documentary film series Monday Movies at the Magic Lantern Theater, Native Arts & Film Events, and co-curates numerous events in the Pacific Northwest region. She actively participates in the Alliance National Youth Media Network activities and within her art community in Spokane. Her work has been featured in several student exhibitions, Saturate, a city-wide arts event in Spokane, at the Kress Gallery, Terrain 12 (2019), a large exhibition that features over 200+ artists in the PNW.

Artist Statement

As a mother, I have come to terms with having two living bodies develop inside me, feed off my nutrients, and be cut out of my stomach. What was once the essence of myself was now in physical form, staring at me and looking at me for answers, while I was still collecting what remained. It can be easy for people to hide behind their physical form.

In my work, I investigate our relationship with our subconscious, as well as the significance of movement relative to these fragmented states of mind. Within cultural elements, personal experiences, and recognition of gestural transitions are attached. For instance, the gestural use of walking that offers a meditative bind between the walker’s mind and body. Walking is a recurring theme in most indigenous cultures.

In my video work, I use frame by frame stop motion animations and drawing to create narratives based on personal situations and contemplations. Using inanimate objects, drawings, photographs, and silhouettes to help aid these ideas gives me freedom to choose a route that fits within the situation. In film, I comment on cultural and social meaning, and the sometimes clash of the two. In my still photography projects, I elaborate more on the misconception of memories, our reliance on subconscious thought, and the relevance of the people who we hold dear in our lives.

Our upbringing and cultural background are a huge factor in this. When entering the subconscious, one runs into their innermost desires and memories that convey an intense feeling of nostalgia. We attach these events constantly to our lives to assure ourselves that change is or is not happening – a comfort food to fuel our future endeavors. It’s natural to want to turn back time and relive certain snippets of the past. Is it possible to fully regain that sense of clarity, or is the inevitability of change going to constantly keep us on our toes?

Our Stories Our Visions Continued

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

Our Stories Our Visions continued

Miguel Maltos Gonzales

Miguel Maltos Gonzales

Miguel is an American born artist from San Antonio, TX currently living in Spokane, WA. He’s a Chicano photographer documenting the bicultural lifestyle of living in a monocultural world.

The illustrated people of color are drawn onto the photograph to resemble a memory, and the yellow circles represent the indigenous heritage. His indigenous ancestry is symbolized as sunbeams guiding the person in the image. They are known as the people of the sun of the Yanaguana river. This land is now known as San Antonio, TX. Drawing colorful people is symbolic of how people of color are vibrantly expressive as they navigate an ethnocentric world, and at times still struggling to connect their internal mixed colonized family history. Mixing film photography and digital illustration represents the mixing of American and Mexican cultures. Balancing the existence between multiple languages, social practices, and at times a conflicting self identity. As each generation develops there is a language loss, and disconnection from ancestral ties. The Chicano arte (art) of Miguel Maltos Gonzales hopes to reconnect Mexican culture, American upbringing, and honor the indigenous heritage from pre colonization in each composition for future generations to know they will always be connected to their ancestors. Somos de aquí y de allá (I am from here and there).

Film photography captures the beauty in the land, and preserves the world we all share for generations to come. Each photograph is a finished image derived from a trusty fifty year old 35mm camera. The illustrated people of color are drawn on to the photographs to resemble a memory. Drawing colorful people is symbolic of how people of color are vibrantly expressive as they navigate an ethnocentric world, and at times still struggling to connect their internal mixed colonized family history. Balancing the existence between multiple languages, social practices, and at times a conflicting self identity. As each generation develops there is a language loss, and disconnection from ancestral ties. The Chicano arte (art) of Miguel Maltos Gonzales hopes to reconnect Mexican culture, American upbringing, and honor the indigenous heritagefrom pre colonization in each composition for future generations. In the Pacific Northwest, Miguel is developing ¡Taller Firme! to express his arte y cultura.

www.miguelgonzales.com

Our Stories Our Visions Continued