If you haven’t heard about YoungArts you are behind the times. And if you have never been to Miami for The National YoungArts Foundation Week to see what the most talented seniors in High School from every artistic discipline are doing, you are neglecting the present and the future. Surely you have seen Emmy-nominated HBO series YoungArts MasterClass, in which masters such as Plácido Domingo, Wynton Marsalis, Edward Albee, James Rosenquist, and Julian Schnabel mentor young artists.
A room at MoMA was named for the YoungArts visual arts finalists. The Flomenhaft Gallery is proud to give several visual arts finalists the opportunity to step up their careers. The artists we are including in our exhibition are Caroline Erb from Alabama, Ardis Graham from Texas, Kathia St. Hiliare and Allison Hoffman from Florida, Michael Rider from Virginia, and Lathan Vargason from Kentucky.
The works chosen are very diverse; the only criterion was their excellence.
Kathia St. Hiliare says, “Learning and connecting to my Haitian culture has been my primary focus the past two years. With the tragedy that Haitians have suffered, they still find a way to strive and hope for a better future. I show their narratives through printmaking, making huge linoleum reductions with intricate patterns and collage.”
According to Ardis Graham, “Concentrating in my medium of wood, my aim is to change the world through designing and creating furniture, revolutionary and innovative.”
Michael Rider’s drawings “are inspired by the unconscious mark, the type of line that lingers between writing and drawing.” The process he uses is one of creating a number of drawings in different sizes and media, a variety of materials including watercolor, gesso, graphite and charcoal, and layering them together on a larger piece.
Lathan Vargason explains that in his work he longs to find answers, dealing with identity and relationships. The art that he creates seeks to find connections.
Caroline Erb “attempts to represent the introvert, something sensitive and withdrawn, often perplexing and sometimes very beautiful.” She says that the work begins intuitively and the process becomes a meditation.
Allison Hoffman’s digital paintings are “discussions of sexism and gender roles in the media. They show the humor of how ridiculous pin-up girls are portrayed by changing them into males. The works started when seeing how Gentlemen’s Quarterly magazine depicted males as regal and professional, but a June cover portrayed Kate Upton in a tiny bikini eating a popsicle.” She asks, “Would a man be portrayed in a bikini with a phallic symbol in his mouth?”
The National YoungArts Foundation identifies and supports the nation’s next generation of visual, literary and performing artists. In its 32 year history, YoungArts has honored more than 16,000 young artists with over $6 million in monetary awards and facilitated in excess of $100 million in scholarship opportunities. YoungArts winners who have gone on to become leaders in their fields include actors Viola Davis, Adrian Grenier, and Kerry Washington; writers Allegra Goodman and Naomi Wolf; Executive Director of American Ballet Theatre, Rachel Moore and dancer Desmond Richardson; musicians Eric Owens, Terence Blanchard, Chris Young, Nicki Minaj, and Jennifer Koh; and visual artists Hernan Bas and Doug Aitken.