Carl Maxey Center
OUR STORIES OUR VISIONS ARTISTS
Idorenyin “Idee” Umana
“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.
“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”.
Facebook @Idee Umana Twitter & Instagram @idorynin umana
I paint, I draw, play drums, cook and keep a clean house.
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.
Uriah De La O
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.
Stephen Marc is a Professor of Art in the Herberger Institute’s School of Art at Arizona State University, an ASU Evelyn Smith Endowed Professor of Art (2021-22), and a 2021 Guggenheim Fellow. Marc began teaching at ASU in 1998, following 20 years at Columbia College Chicago. He received his MFA from Tyler School of Art, Temple University in Philadelphia, PA; and his BA from Pomona College in Claremont, CA.
Marc’s most recent book: American/True Colors (2020) addresses who we are as Americans in a polarized country with changing demographics, from an African American perspective. It was a 2021 IPPY Gold Medalist for best book in the Photography category. Marc’s three earlier books include: Urban Notions (1983), addressing the three Illinois communities where he had family ties; The Black Trans-Atlantic Experience: Street Life and Culture in Ghana, Jamaica, England, and the United States (1992); and Passage on the Underground Railroad (2009), digital composites that provide insight into the historic sites, and the institution of slavery. His Passage on the Underground Railroad is registered as Arizona’s first and only Interpretative Program of the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom division of the National Park Service.
As a documentary/street photographer and digital montage artist, my focus is on politically and culturally relevant gatherings, as part of my ongoing work that collectively addresses who we are as Americans. Since 2019, I have been creating a series of digital “street story montages” along with photographs of public space events and everyday life that explore what is proving to be pivotal time in this country’s history.
American identity is a cultural combination of reality, idealism and myth. How we shape our environment, define ourselves and recognize each other as Americans is culturally complex, socially charged, historically layered, and constantly in flux. As a photographer, I am interested in the photograph as an interpretative document; and as a digital montage artist, exploring the ways and reasons to combine photographs to extend the visual narrative, considering the constructive nature of memory as an informed witness.
This selection of work focuses on the African American community, where most of the photographs come from my recent book: American/True Colors.
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.
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.
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.
“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