Having immigrated to America from the former Soviet Union at an early age my work examines ideas of home, culture and the notions that distinguish personal histories from grand narratives. Relying on a wide array of approaches and aesthetic strategies my work swings freely from drawings of invented maps, large mixed media works based on historical photographs from Soviet Russia, to lyrical paintings that incorporate the traditional symbols of my youth with a personally invented vocabulary of images. By layering and overlapping such a broad range of references my work examines what it means to be both Russian and American while putting in to question our normative ideas of national identity.
Alex Yudzon was born in Moscow in 1977 and immigrated to the United States at the age of 8. After graduating from Chelsea College of Art and Design in London, Yudzon moved to New York to work as a visual artist. Since then, Yudzon has developed a complex and broad ranging body of work that speaks to his early experiences of displacement while raising questions about our notions of home, identity and change. Over the past decade Yudzon has exhibited works extensively both nationally and internationally. Alex Yudzon lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
Alex Yudzon joined the Artnauts in 2014.
I investigate defunct city blocks, rural communities, industrial landscapes and the subcultures that exist within them. My curiosity in these sites is a function of my interest in the spaces of abjection and class structures. Through architectural forms, drawings, and reclaimed objects I create a stage that reveals the way in which life emerges within these unexpected situations.
The exploration of so-called “dirty towns” is often my departure point. I gather roadside castoffs, imagining the life that these objects once led. In my hands, these objects are born again; the grim begins to contrast with the glam. Through their transformation, I engender circumstances that depict the space in between dreams and reality. The work is semi- autobiographical, exploring memory and the imagination in a nonlinear fashion. The underlying narratives within the work are a combination of my personal history, bar room tales, and “redneck” stereotypes as well as an amalgamation of abstract memories and appropriated stories.
Amber Cobb is a Colorado based artist, living and working in the Denver area. In 2011 she received her M.F.A. in Sculpture from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Since graduating she has created a diverse body of work that explores the duality of the attractive and the abject. Cobb has been exhibited in a number of exhibitions both nationally and internationally. This includes xiao shan xiao at the Hunan Province Art Museum in Kaifeng, China, Sweat Baby Sweat in Los Angeles, and Direct Connect in Berlin. She has shown in numerous exhibitions and institutions in the Colorado region including the Arvada Center, Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, and at RedLine where she is currently participating in a two-year artist residency.
In 2013 Cobb participated in an artist residency at Demiurge Design where she created her most monumental sculpture to date. Her full size concrete mattress, As I Adapt was included in RedLine’s Not Exactly exhibition. During this year she had her first solo show at the Gildar Gallery and was included in The Biennial of Americas. She has a forthcoming installation as well as an artist residency at 516 Arts in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 2014.
Amber Cobb has been with Artnauts since 2014
My research is informed by issues surrounding the relationship between individuals and the construction of identity. I am interested in intersections: child and adult, women and men, the dualities of living, success and failure. Ultimately, I am interested in how we as human beings experience ourselves; how we define ourselves and are defined by our relationships with each other. Storytelling and narrative are central to my work. The power and importance of the oral, written and visual story lies at the heart of culture. I am drawn to the power of the narrative to seduce, influence and transform. My portraits speak to the physical and psychological spaces that we inhabit simultaneously. They are a documentation of a personal journey, but one that is universal to human experience.
Andrea Wallace is the Artistic Director of Photography and New Media at Anderson Ranch Arts Center. She received her MFA from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Before coming to the Ranch, she worked as Assistant Professor at Lake Forest College and Willamette University. Her film, Rochell and Brian, a documentary about teenage pregnancy, premiered at the New York International Independent Film Festival. She exhibits nationally and internationally with numerous shows throughout the Americas, Europe, China and the Middle East.
Ardy Zirakzadeh was born in Tehran, Iran, in 1955 to Aboulghassem Zirakzadeh and Refugio Flores Zirakzadeh. The family moved to Boulder, Colorado, in 1956, where Aboul taught mathematics at the University of Colorado and Refy taught Spanish in the Boulder Valley School District. Ardy graduated from Boulder High in 1974, and attended Colorado State University, where he received a BFA in Printmaking in 1981. Ardy has been married since 1979, and has two children.
Ardy worked at Sears as a display manager from 1977-1984, when he left to found Master Screen Art, where he utilized silkscreening original images for clients. Ardy closed the shop in 1990, when he began a career teaching visual arts in the Boulder Valley School District. He remained with the district until his retirement in 2012. In 2013, after a long hiatus, Ardy opened fat Bird Studios, where he has began making his own art work again.
Ardy has been in the Artnauts since 2014.
My imagery is a collision of sources, styles, and subjects that operate as an open-ended and nonlinear construction of reality. Like the Internet, and a good soap opera, my art provides the viewer with a multiplicity of accessible inlets and subnarrative paths weaving a tangled cosmos. Crawling over, climbing out, hiding within, defacing and digesting its surroundings; these psychological environments filter culture through a feedback loop of the kitsch and banal to surface a grotesque comedy.
I work with readymade systems and personal narrative as a departure point. These structures provide me with parameters for finding, hiding, and projecting imagery. While I insert personal history within the work, I am less interested in autobiography than in viewers recognizing themselves in a hermetic complexity.
Donald Fodness earned a BA degree in Art History from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and an MFA in Painting from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Fodness has an interdisciplinary practice that includes drawing, sculpture, furniture and installation. His drawings have been exhibited nationally and internationally. Regionally he has created site specific installations for the Denver Art Museum, The Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, The Gallery of Contemporary Art in Colorado Springs, two Biennial of the Americas, and Harmony Hammond's Material Engagements at Redline. His work has been published in New American Paintings, Sculpture Magazine, Yahoo home page, Found Magazine, The Creators Project, and art LTD.
Fodness is an active community member, curator, and collaborator with The Flying OHNO Twins and The DMB Collective. He co founded Showpen Residency, is a founding member of Hyperlink, and is an Artnaut. He has served as an educator at the college level for nearly seven years at various institutions including University of Denver, Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, and Metro State University of Denver.
Donald has been in the Artnauts since 2013.
As one of a growing body of artists in the current field of environmental art, I have devoted myself to the investigation of contemporary notions of place. My personal artistic research not only addresses how we, as humans, culturally connect to the landscapes that surround us, it also focuses on the complexities of that connection in a world where the environment is loved and abused simultaneously.
Most recently I have been creating paintings based on the iconic visual language of the American Sublime landscape painters who traveled to the western United States and abroad. The imagery that I create addresses the role these artists played in the expansionism of Manifest Destiny by using their sublime visual structure to paint the artifacts of what their work helped bring about: the boom of industry, development and growth (and all its subsequent issues) that we continue to see today.
Erika Osborne received her BFA from the University of Utah in painting and drawing and her MFA from the University of New Mexico. Erika’s artwork deals with cultural connections to place and environment. She has exhibited extensively nationally and internationally, with over ten solo exhibitions and over 45 group exhibitions in recent years - including shows at the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Nevada Museum of Art and the Chautauqua Institute. Erika has also been the recipient of numerous grants and awards, locally, nationally and internationally. Her work has been highlighted in three books surveying the evolution of land and environmental art in the West. It has also been featured in regional publications along with international art magazines such as New American Paintings, Art Papers, Sculpture Magazine and Southwest Art Magazine.
As well as being a practicing artist, Erika Osborne has dedicated herself to university level art education. From 2008-2013 Erika worked as an Assistant Professor at West Virginia University, teaching painting and drawing along side two environmentally driven field courses titled, Art and Environment and Place: Appalachia. Erika is now teaching painting in the Art Department at Colorado State University. She is also developing place-based programming that will be offered in the fall of 2014.
Erika Osborne joined Artnauts in 2014.
My research and image making have deep biographical roots: I grew up between Haiti and Jamaica, two post-colonial cultures divided by very distinct languages and traditions. I was raised, after the death of my father at the hands of the Duvalier dictatorship’s secret police, by grandparents who were born and raised in Benin and were devote Muslims and Voodoo practitioners. I spent my youth with them, first as a refugee in Cuba and then as an immigrant in France. They shared parental duties with Jamaican and Israeli relatives, and this complex family network profoundly shaped my worldview. My work transforms these traumatic experiences of linguistic, geographical and social displacement into a multi-layered narrative in different media: first and foremost drawing and painting, but also film, performance, and experimental sounds. It recounts my own story of isolation and exile, and it aspires to be a meditation on the very act of storytelling.
My work is primarily in the traditional methods and history of image making. It builds a visual narrative by juxtaposing images produced through traditional mediums such as painting, drawing, printmaking and photography. Since 2009, however, I have been working more extensively in experimental video, and I have developed and introduced into my work performance art, with the creation of two satirical fictional surrogates, Queen Nappy and YoYo Yolanda. My videos are about painting as much as they are about filmmaking and a strong narrative. I regard them as narrative paintings with a moving-image component and a still-life component, and the added elements of experimental sounds, text, and performance contribute to an investigation of the complexities of memory and place, spoken and body language, cultural traditionalism and the shifting political realities of race identities.
Françoise Duressé is a multiethnic multimedia artist whose work is rooted in the traditional and non-traditional practice of painting and drawing, but also in the art and performance of oral storytelling, filmmaking, and experimental music. She is interested in the relationship between spoken and body language, the complexities of memory and place, cultural traditionalism, and the shifting political realities of race identity. Duressé received a BA in Psychology and a BFA in Painting and Drawing from Wayne State University in Detroit and a MFA from Tyler School of Art, Temple University in Philadelphia. She is currently Assistant Professor of Painting and Drawing at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She has taught at Zayed University in Dubai, the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, the University of Washington in Seattle and Drexel University in Philadelphia. Her displacement from her native Caribbean to the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Europe, and now the United States, has had a profound impact on her creative work and views of the global world. Recently, she was the recipient of a Yaddo residency and honored with the Donald and Genie Rice Filmmaker Residency Grant. She has exhibited her work in the Middle East, Asia, Europe and the Americas.
Françoise has been a member of the Artnauts since 2008.
Garrison Roots (Tribute)
Since the late 1970's, I have engaged in a variety of art and public art activities. Throughout this time I have held a particular interest in the integration of art, architecture and design as a viable way to connect humanity. I believe such endeavors help communities as well as individuals find solace, promise and excitement in the everyday activities that bring us together. At the same time individual and public artworks may provide a reflection or transcendence with respect to the current cultural frame-work. Given this, art can provide a generous catalyst for independent exchange. I believe it is my responsibility as an artist to provide vision and to take things noticeably further, always questioning the current cultural framework.
My interest and contributions in this arena may be more akin to that of an explorer than to that of an artist and I realize that the images of work I am offering within this web-site may not speak to this directly, but they do lend to a passable understanding of such possibilities. Regardless of what process is involved, my goal is to do everything possible to live up to this idea. I believe the art making process to be an opportunity for me as an artist to respectfully push beyond the reflection of a superficial common ground within a given context and to produce art that reflects an informed view, with regard to the multiple dynamics that make up our cultural frameworks, from individual, to family, friends, neighbors, city, and so on.
I believe the communities within in we work and live to be made up of many diverse individuals representing many different realities. They are places where varied individuals propagate discussion about their concerns for "our" larger community. My work is intended to activate a thought process that invites dialogue or conversation regarding subject matter that ranges in its investigation from history, beauty, reality, desire, and value to indifference, etc. I believe art can reach far beyond existing boundaries and act as a center-piece on the table of a larger "cultural family" where contemplation runs rampant through the structure of that cultural framework. I believe this can be done while at the same time reflecting on the composition of the very fabric that holds that community together.
In many ways I believe great art is like a “near accident”—that elicits a response similar to when one is driving and, just for a moment, attention fading, something crosses suddenly in front of the car and the driver slams on the brakes and is urgently “snapped back” to consciousness. There is a rush of adrenaline, the heart races, the imagination is piqued, and then soberness sets in completely and thankfully. Just for a moment after the incident, one feels fully alive again, shaking with life and thankful for “only” the reminder. We are built from such experiences and should with every opportunity allow them to resonate through our efforts. As one who produces as well as consumes art, and has served on a number of selection panels, design teams and other collaborative efforts over the last thirty years, I feel strongly this is what art can offer, a kind of “snapping back” without of course the actual "near miss".
Art allows us to know ourselves again. It prompts us to new discussions with our neighbors, creates new perspectives and helps us to make new friends. Most of all it has the potential for culture, through the artists eyes, to take a fresh look at itself. I attempt to do this by recognizing and confronting difficult issues that I feel are often overshadowed. I believe now more than ever it is a time to seek out original thinking and to explore the unknown. As an artist, I believe ours is not to make the statement directly, but to prompt the conversation regardless of how wonderful or complex the subject. After all, as a people we have and will continue to survive more difficult issues than that of a resilient “snapping back” might provide as a result of our art making endeavors.
Garrison Roots received his BFA with distinction in 1979 from the Massachusetts College of Art, and his MFA fromWashington University in 1981. Roots is noted for his large scale, site-specific sculptural installations and collaborative public works that are often allegorical and made to be walked through rather than around.
Roots has exhibited his work nationally and internationally since the 1980's, including projects in Chile, China, Mexico, Peru, Palestine, Russia and Spain and is the recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts individual artist fellowships. He is a founding member of ARTNAUTS, an organization dedicated to promoting a visual dialogue between economically diverse artists around the world and is the author of Designing the World's Greatest PUBLIC ART, Images Publishing Group, 2002.
Currently, Roots is Professor and Chair of the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Colorado, Boulder where he recently presided over the construction of the universities new 180,000 square foot facility, Visual Arts Complex.
In 2004 Roots was an Interdisciplinary Artist in Residence at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arts Institute, sponsored by the Department of Art and the School of Landscape Architecture. Roots taught a seminar called “PUBLIC ART; from Statues to the Internet” and hosted a symposium entitled "The Madison Project: Challenging the Public Art Paradigm."
Roots was recently awarded the 2008 Distinguished Alumni Award from the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts at Washington University and has just completed a large commission for the new Denver Justice Center. Additionally, he continues to explore ongoing ideas regarding patriotic nationalist icons, contradictions in popular world views and impending global calamities.
Garrison Roots was a founding member of Artnauts and passed away in 2011. The info on this page is directly from his personal website.
My work is a response to the effects of globalization on the natural environment and ethnic cultures. As globalization threatens to overwhelm the world via consumerism and environmental degradation, the question of how we preserve ethnic identities and natural environments has become a significant issue in my thoughts and artwork. During my travels around the world and time living in Mongolia, I have become increasingly aware of the conflicting relationship between nature and culture. The viral effects of globalization are rapidly destroying unique ethnic cultures and replacing them with homogenized consumer based cultures that expel vast amounts of unnecessary waste in our environments where it will remain for countless generations.
Recycling is a way of mitigating the disturbing amount of waste created by mass production and consumerism. Working with mass-produced discarded materials, I attempt to express the increasing impacts globalization has on us as well as our environment. I look to the way our natural landscapes are being altered as they are blanketed by our endless waste and through this, I work to create thought provoking and humorous sculptures from the heaps of discarded inner tubes, tires, and plastic bags I find.
Born in 1968, Jessica Moon Bernstein was raised in Ohio by a Nicaraguan Arab mother and an Irish German-Jew father. She earned BA degree in International Affairs and Visual Arts and an MA in 1995 from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She also studied art history and studio arts at the Instituto Internacional in Madrid, Spain. Following her undergraduate degree she lived in Mongolia for three years, working for the Peace Corps and the United Nations Biodiversity Project. She has traveled extensively in North and South America, Europe, and Asia. Jessica was an artist in residence at Anderson Ranch Art Center in 2007. Jessica’s work has been shown in Denver, Houston, Columbus, and San Francisco at Venues including the Biennial of the Americas in Denver, CO, Houston Art League, Ohio Craft Museum, the Dairy Center for the Arts, Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art and the Longmont Museum. She currently lives and works in Boulder, Colorado.
Jessica has been in the Artnaut since 2014.
My painting occurs in relation to presence – the presence in a room, in between things, in open space, in light. It is this quality of presence, always available within the phenomenal world, which my work investigates. I am interested in how this sense of presence shifts and adjusts as our experience of the world changes, in a daily way, from hour to hour and moment to moment; an ontological inquiry through a dialectic of the objective and the subjective. How does the attempt at the representation of presence and the accompanying form change as our apprehension of presence changes? How does a painting language change to accommodate those aspects of our changing subjectivity? Additionally, there is the parallel and interconnected problem of the work achieving and embodying its own presence, not merely as a reflection, but as an extension, adding to the fabric of the world. To the extent that this is achieved, the work may perform reflexively, focusing our attention back to the phenomenal world, in a state of inquiry and attention. While painting I am in a three-way dialogue, between the piece of the world that I am observing, my inner subjective response, and the accretion of marks and formal needs of the painting. I am exploring the world in front of me, a still life, flowers, an empty room with a few chairs, perhaps a person sitting. As I continue this investigation I find that there are different modes of transaction and translation, different modes of painting language that conjure up differing experiences of presence. When these different modalities are juxtaposed, as for example, distinct canvases within a triptych, they create a synergy of presence that I find not available by any one of them alone. The resultant appearance of the work may be seen as a postmodern attempt at the investigation of the juxtaposition of different painting languages. But my interest lies more directly in the investigation and apprehension of a pre-conceptual sense of presence; and in that sense my theoretical interests lie more in phenomenology than post-structuralism. I believe it is through the identification of the self with a pre-conceptual and pre-linguistic sense of being that actual change occurs. While our identification remains within the confines of discursive thought and language our model of the world remains one of fragmentation and conflict. The development of a progressive criticality based on current theory and discourse is necessary in order to participate in our contemporary cultural dialogue, but actual change occurs through a shift in our identification of the self and the growing awareness of the essential and indivisible fabric of reality. It is to an investigation of this sheer presence, which is not only pre-conceptual but also resides before and between form, that my work is committed.
Jordan Wolfson, Bio Jordan Wolfson is a contemporary artist, born in 1960, and raised in Los Angeles. He received his MFA from Yale University School of Art in 1991. Wolfson has exhibited extensively both in the United States and abroad and has received numerous awards including the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, the Ingram Merrill Foundation Grant and a Purchase Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; he was a fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA and the Ballinglen Art Foundation in Ireland. His work has been exhibited by Hirschl and Adler Gallery, J. Cacciola Gallery and the DFN Gallery in New York City. Wolfson is currently represented by Prographica Fine Works in Seattle, Rothschild Fine Arts in Tel Aviv and Artspace Gallery in Jerusalem. He lives in Louisville, Colorado. Jordan Wolfson has been in the Artnaut since 2015
Julie Poitras Santos
I am a storyteller working in relationship to materials and spaces. In my practice I employ diverse materials to create installations and site-specific actions that share a relationship with language. As both artist and poet, my research interests include areas where art and language intersect. From the ekphrastic to the sonic, I have investigated how we come to language, how we self-determine through story, and how we craft history. I work in different media and models. On the one hand, the work responds to a peripatetic movement and desire, extending horizontal pathways though action in different communities and locations. On the other hand, I have long made installation works, sometimes inhabited or enacted by an actor, dreamlike narratives that exist temporarily in relationship to spaces. There is a productive tension between these two models: navigating home and away, stasis and movement, meditation and pilgrimage. While the site of my work is variable – a city street, a rural pathway, an old mill, a hotel built to look like a ship – I work in response to the history and structure of each space uniquely. Through research and dialogue, and by looking to divinatory methods, I regard the potential for ritual gesture to create a separate place between known territories, allowing space for new narratives to be created. In lacing together site, memory, and local mythologies the work explores our desire for both belonging and difference through the stories we interpret and the stories we tell.
Poitras Santos' solo and collaborative work has been exhibited domestically and internationally, including exhibitions at the Urban Institute of Contemporary Art in Grand Rapids, Michigan; the Centre for Contemporary Culture in Barcelona, Spain; Reykjanesbaer Art Museum in Iceland; and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver, Colorado. She has attended residencies and created performances and projects in the United States, Spain, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Iceland. In 2012, Poitras Santos curated and created work for a five-person exhibition at the Coleman Burke Gallery in the Fort Andross Mill in Brunswick, Maine, accompanied by a catalogue with curatorial essay and supported in part by a grant from the Maine Arts Commission. A new project investigating relationships between textile and text is featured in "On Our Radar" on the Creative Capital website. Recent written publications include poetry and reviews in The New Guard, The Café Review and Glint. Julie Poitras Santos holds two MFAs, one in Visual Arts from the University of Colorado at Boulder, 2000, and a second in Poetry from the Stonecoast Creative Writing program, 2013. She received a BS from Tufts University in 1990. Poitras Santos has taught sculpture at Bowdoin College, the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, the University of Colorado at Boulder, and currently in the MFA program at the Maine College of Art. She lived in Barcelona, Spain from 2004-2007 and worked as the Artistic Director of the Art Residency program Can Serrat, in Montserrat National Park.
Poitras Santos was previously a member of the Artnauts in 2003-2004.
My intention is to reveal a truth that will draw the viewer closer to contemplate his or her own place. I am interested in discovery through imagination and the imprint we are left with as a record or a fragment of actual experience. My work references moments in history reflecting perceptions related to the idea of place. Perceptions of place can instill comfort even when danger and uncertainty exists. For me place is not merely a reflection of the imagination, but also a reflection of experience contextualized by nature, and the ideas motivated by a history. With my work I pursue themes of nature that are active throughout the urban environment. The city is moving, breathing and fluid with energy. I am interested in the interaction between the city and its inhabitants, how people adjust to and affect their own soundings. My drawings, installation and sculpture are pathways for exploration. Through the act of making I work to gain insight that may ground me to my experiences. I make work that reveals my response to nature, my ideas and perceptions of the world around me.
In 2010 Kevin Bouck earned his Bachelors of FineArt in Studio Art from Rocky Mountain College ofArt and Design, and in 2012 earned his Masters ofFine Art from Rhode Island School of Design. Aftermore than two years living in the ATE (Ah-Tey)district of Lima, Peru he recently moved back to the United States where he lives with his wife and Children. As a child Kevin spent time living inLagos, Nigeria. He has more recently spent a considerable time living in Poland, Denmark, Mexico and Peru.
Kevin Has been a member of Artnauts since 2015.
Rob Rix is an individual whose drifting and stumbling has often lead to accusations of artistic production, whether or not materials are associated. Due to the continued accusations, he has chosen to embrace the opportunities made present by that which is know as art, while maintaining a solid position of confusion.
Rob Rix graduated from the RMCAD in the Spring of 2010. After a year of unemployment he went on to the UNM and is expected to graduate in the Spring of 2014. He is soon to emerge.
Rob Rix has been in the Artnaut since 2014.
The value of photographs was apparent to me at a young age. The recollection of my family arranging and re-arranging themselves in front of the camera to memorialize happy events had a profound effect on the way I perceive the world. Since 1965, with varying levels of consciousness, I have been using photography to construct realities that challenge perceptions about what and where I am.
Roddy MacInnes is an Associate Professor of Photography in the School of Art and Art History at the University of Denver. Since leaving Scotland at age 15, he has worked as a merchant seaman, a fur trader, a bush pilot and a minerals prospector. He received a Master of Fine Arts degree in photography from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in photography from Napier University in Edinburgh, Scotland. Roddy has been documenting life through photography for over forty years. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. His latest photography project was inspired by two albums of photographs he discovered in an antiques mall in Denver, Colorado. A North Dakota woman made the photographs in 1917. Through this project Roddy is exploring issues surrounding the relationships between photography and the construction of identity.
Roddy MacInnes has been in Artnauts since 2007.
Ceas’ work evolves around global social issues where tension exists, especially religiously. Her work is interdisciplinary and expressed through various mediums to include installation, drawing, collage, juxtaposition of objects, street art public intervention, and observational photography, with an aim to contrast cultural incongruities for collective discourse. Often Ceas leads collaborative social practice projects with students and colleagues.
Sandra Jean Ceas lives in the foothills outside of Denver, Colorado, creates in her home studio and exhibits internationally. She is a Professor of Art and Religious Studies, teaching as adjunct when the time permits and speaks internationally about art and spirituality. In the last five years, Ceas has experienced an annual artist-in-residence in Italy, Morocco, New Mexico, New York and Mexico.
Sandra Jean Ceas has been in the Artnaut since 2013.
Shadi Mirmohammadi was born in March 1980 in Isfahan, Iran. She received her Diploma in Human Sciences, Bachelor in Persian literature (University of Isfahan-2002) and Master of Painting (Isfahan University of Art-2010). She has also received Design Certificate from Pardis of Isfahan University of Art. She defended her master dissertation in 2010 entitled “Meaning of light and color In Panj Ganje Nezami”, a comparative work between Persian literature and painting. Since then, she has been working in various art institutes including cultural & artistic association at University of Isfahan. As a member of Visual Art Association, she gained miscellaneous experiences in professional make up as well as Theater & Concert Scenic Design for which she has also received honored awards. Shadi has been teaching in design and Persian literature in eight different art colleges and schools for years. She has become an honored member of Isfahan Committee of Painters where her work was selected as finalist in 2006. Her selected works were published in Isfahan University of Art Annual Book and were exhibited in Contemporary Art Museum of Isfahan. Shadi has held two Solo and five Group Exhibitions yet. She is the author of art critic and newspaper article. Furthermore, Shadi has served as editor and translator for one book.
Shadi Mirmohammadi has been in the artnaut since 2015.
Susan D Hopp
My work is rooted in media image proliferation and collage. However, my collages work outside of the picture plane. I adjust the scale of the image and let pieces of the images hang off the wall, referencing the uncontrollable and often unruly nature of media images. Choosing photographs that display a specific organizational structure, such as packaging, emphasizes my need to physically control an uncontrollable amount of media information. The interdisciplinary nature of my work grows out of disorientation and deception: disorientation around what the original image is and deception by turning the image into an abstracted deconstructed version of itself.
My studio process involves collecting images, re-photographing or documenting media images with my portable phone camera, digitally resizing them, and then professionally printing them for the sole purpose of physically cutting them apart to collapse their original intended meaning. The process of taking an image that conveys organization, and then deliberately disorganizing it, addresses the deception around image proliferation in media: you never know what you are really looking at or where it originally came from. I use the photograph as a tool; that is to say, I play with the space between an images manipulation and its believability.
b. 1970 Erie PA
Currently lives and works in Denver CO
Susan Hopp recently earned her MFA in Visual Arts from Lesley University College of Art and Design. Previously she obtained a BFA in Painting from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and an MA in Sculpture from West Virginia University. Hopp exhibits nationally and was awarded a scholarship to attend a residency at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson Vermont.
Her work is interdisciplinary and uses appropriated images, drawing, and collage to investigate the relationship between digital media and the hand-made. The nature of her work grows out of disorientation and deception: disorientation around what the original image is and deception by turning the image into an abstracted deconstructed version of itself.
Hopp currently teaches advanced drawing at Metro State University of Denver as well as foundations studies at The Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design in Lakewood Colorado.
She has been a member Artnauts since 2016
My work is supposed to be about ‘everything’. About people, about the universe, about absurdism and metaphysics and the tarot and the occult and the internet and all other reasonsI constantly question my perception and existence.
I am overwhelmed by the universe. I am overwhelmed by my relation to it, by your relation to it, by the fact that we have no idea why we are actually here, as, as like beings. Why the fuck are we on this little rock hurtling through space, a giant infinite expanse of unknown, and there are SO MANY of us and even if I read about Bohm’s holographic model of the universe and allow myself to see the interconnectedness of everything and to accept and explore the idea that we might be a projection of a deeper level of reality, or that tarot cards really do work, or that who I am is somewhat determined by the position of the planets when I was born - there’s still no answer to the why.
We literally don’t know anything. If you look at how human modes of perception and representation have evolved over time, even just the last 200 years, what we are perceiving now is not ‘actual reality.’ It is only what our brains are capable of perceiving at this time. It’s an illusion and ultimately your own subjective consciousness is the only thing you will ever know and then you will die and ultimately have no idea why you or anybody else ended up playing.
Taylor Balkissoon was born in Toronto to French Canadian and Jamaican parents and Immigrated to The United States as a child. She grew up in Denver and received her BFA from the University of Colorado Denver in 2014. She is a regular curator at DATELINE and a guest curator at MCA Denver.
Throughout history, artists have responded to social concerns around them with artwork that depicts culture, social injustice, human rights, environmental degradation and political power. Artists have created artwork as extensions of their caring hearts and concerned minds to explore the aesthetics of interconnectedness and social responsibility. I believe that there is a link between art and social justice. My goal as an artist is to create artworks that are personal and which also express a sense of social responsibility.
In my creative process I use distortion and exaggeration for emotional effect. I apply vivid and dynamic color, overlapping transparent color with opaque color. I combine flat space with cubical space. My work interweaves, juxtaposes and superimposes unlikely images from American and Mexican popular cultures that include icons, symbols, history and the contemporary world to foster opportunities for the bending of meaning.
Tony Ortega holds a MFA from the University of Colorado and is currently an associate professor for Regis University. He received the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts in 1999 and the Mayor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts in 1998. Tony Ortega’s lifelong project is to contribute to a better understanding of cultural diversity by addressing the culture, history and experiences of Latinos through his art. His work can be found in Denver Art Museum, Los Angeles County Museum and the Colorado Springs Fine Art Center. He has exhibited extensively in United States, Latin America and other parts of the world.
Tony Ortega has been in the Artnauts since 1998.