ARTISTS’ CO-OP FEATURES SEVEN FINALISTS FOR EMERGING ARTIST PROGRAM
The 2012-2013 Emerging Artist Mentorship program presents seven artists to display their works at the Artists’ Cooperative Gallery. The artists will gain experience by installing and hosting their own exhibition. Each artist also has a stake in marketing the exhibit. Patrons visiting the show may vote for the artist who will spend a three-month mentored membership in the gallery.
Gallery members will host an opening reception during Omaha First Friday at the Artists’ Cooperative Gallery, 405 S. 11th St., 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, January 4, 2013. A closing reception will be January 27, 2013 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Voting will close at 10 p.m., Saturday, January 26, and the winner’s name will be announced at the closing reception.
The group includes a wide range of style, subject matter, and media.
Robert Bauer “Art is a means to express myself with passion in an arena where words will not suffice,” says Robert Bauer, an illustrator who uses charcoal to produce bold drawings. Bauer’s works are driven by a passionate urge to express himself. The creative act of drawing is his way to discover why we are humans before a time of serving others…..”it is how every artist derives a sense of self.” Bauer’s images depict the symbolism of strength and will to achieve greatness. “An inescapable result of the need to create is the drive to pursue excellence.”
Hope Dendinger, originally from Hartington, Nebraska, now lives and works as a full time artist in Omaha, Nebraska. Dendinger is a self-taught painter and within the last five years has transformed and expanded her work, which presents sensual forms complimented by material and visual texture. Most of the pieces by Dendinger are dark and graphic compositions with rich color defining contours while bleeding into the surrounding design. Dendinger explains how and why she creates: “I specialize in abstract contemporary works that focus on Mother Nature, cityscapes, human figures and portraits. My creative approach to these subjects has given me a distinct style and flair. Ultimately, each work is emotionally striking, bold and unique.” Her works are inspired by her passion for fashion, modeling, beauty, travel and nature.
Jesse Medina, an immigrant from the Philippines, works in a traditional way of painting by laying out design and blocking out forms. The resulting oil paintings are like optical illusions. Medina can fool the eye with his calculated efforts to bring realism to a painted canvas. At first glance, Medina’s work looks like a photo, but then the particulate layers of brushstrokes on the surface become noticeable. At a distance, the work has high-definition. You will see the difference when you are near the painted surface. Preserving his work takes some time. “After the painting is complete, if needed I glaze the painting spot checking for additional details as I go. I wait six months before varnishing my work,” says Medina. Perhaps after the oil paint dries and cures, it is worth the wait to seal the work….and to see the brushcraft as an audience.”
Denice Peters “Life is too short to not follow your dreams,” says pastel painter Denice Peters. With “worker hands,” Peters prefers the pastel instead of a brush because of the direct interplay with the medium and fingers on the surface of the painting. The colorful glow radiating from her works remind us of how lovely the physical landscape is. “As an Iowa native, I believe the beauty that surrounds us every day, and many take for granted, is something I strive to capture before it disappears.” She captures the landscapes as a full time artist. For her, bringing serenity in one’s life through depicting our habitat is what joins us with happiness in protecting the terrain.
Erin Sanders Vibrant acrylic colors name the emotions in the work of Erin Sanders. The statement in Sanders’ work speaks of a distance between a melancholy past and the current restoration of a new pride. At the breaking point of an enduring time, Sanders work poured out of a passionate source. “I had created several different abstract pieces that appeared to mirror my emotions…I was literally throwing all my energy onto a canvas and at the completion of a painting, physically felt better about the loss of control I felt in my daily work. I found the end results to be the way I wanted to see the world amidst the chaos of pain.” The effect of Sanders work proves to her that converting the emotional vigor through a paintbrush brings relief in the most positive way.
Robyn VanLaningham The portraiture of VanLaningham develops from the opposite ends of value in what light reveals in a face. “From the time I was very young I can remember taking an interest in light and shadow.” A graphic application of blocking out the darks and lights nearly completes her works. Like sea foam edging a shore, the painted color on her canvases border the next hue and leaves minimal space for any gradient blend. VanLaningham’s emergence comes from a serendipitous meeting with her influential art teacher and longtime Co-op member Richard Markoff. Encouraged by her meeting with Markoff, VanLaningham begins her “scary and wonderful” task of feeding her fire to light a new direction.
Brian Winters As a nonconformist Winters prefers the mystery of bringing traditional photographic film out of the darkness. The element of chance seems to become lost and forgotten when it comes to developing your own shots in contrast with the contemporary immediacy and demand of digital photography. “I could go out and buy a digital camera and make super sharp, colorful pictures,” says Winters, but he prefers the technique inherent in older processes. Winters encapsulates more than a nostalgic aesthetic with handcrafted cyan and brown tones in his imagery.