Action in the Manicure; An Interview with upcoming Ringling Underground Artists

For the past seven years Ringling Underground has been bringing a mix of exhibition and live music to Sarasota. This Thursday, March 2nd, Ringling returns with its second Underground of this year, featuring an exhibit in the Ringling Courtyard titled: Action in the Manicure: Works by Nail Pop LLC & Porn Nail$. This exhibit features two regional artists, Rosemarie Romero and Erin Hart.

Romero is the founder of Porn Nail$ Salon, a mobile interactive installation and performance piece that doubles as a queer-feminist nail salon. Born in the Dominican Republic and raised in Miami, Romero’s art incorporates kitschy Latinx Caribbean themes that interlace with a desire to celebrate diversity, sexuality, and the human connection.

Hart is the founder of Nail Pop, a radical nail art company that focuses on community collaboration and working with local artists to make everything from nail decals, to stylish dust masks for the nail artists themselves. They’ve worked with many independent and local brands, their most recent collaboration being with Care Bears, celebrating the brand’s 35th anniversary.

Nail art has exploded in popularity in recent years. While single-color paint jobs and the ever-classic French Tip manicure never really went out of style; bold, bright, and blingy nails of the 80’s and 90’s, primarily birthed out of communities of color seemed to be on their way out in the 2000’s in favor of a more natural style. However, celebrities, and the rise of social media in the past five years have changed all that. Platforms like Instagram, Tumblr, and Youtube have allowed artists to share their work, while sites like Etsy and Kickstarter create spaces for new artists to sell their products and raise money for projects. Suddenly nail art that might have once been considered crazy, or even tacky, is everywhere and for everyone.

Leading up to Action in the Manicure, we sat down with both artists to hear more about the exhibit, their background in nail art, and what this art form- once relegated to the shadows and mystery of the salon- mean to them.

What first got you interested in nail art?

Rose: When I was doing my MFA in Creative Photography at UF (University of Florida) I was doing a lot of collages and paintings that focused on the female nude and femininity. So that sort of technical overlapping and focus on femininity led me to start doing simple nail art designs, very basic stuff. But I found that there was something really intimate and connective about doing nails and the space that is created in a salon between the artist and clients and I decided I really wanted to pursue it.

Erin: I’ve drawn and painted ever since I was little, so I’ve always drawn on everything, including my nails. I’d do them for different holidays and sometimes my mom would pay me to paint hers, too. In 2006, I went to school and got licensed to do nails as a full specialist. I didn’t start really developing my nail art until after I had heart surgery in 2010. I needed an outlet and I needed my friends while I recovered, so I’d invite them over and paint their nails.

Both of you started out with mobile salons, and Rose the mobility of your salon is central to your project. What appeals to you about the idea of a mobile salon?

E: I’m still primarily mobile, but I spend more and more time in my studio experimenting and doing editorial work. I started out working in stick and mortar salons/spas, but I really like having control over my schedule and clients by having a mobile salon.

R: Porn Nail$ is inherently an interventionist project. Part of the idea of it is to invade space and bring the experience and intimacy of being in a salon to people who might not ever walk into one. But it’s definitely a guilty pleasure of mine to think about having a stick and mortar salon. If it ever were to be, I’d love it to be a multi-purpose community space for performance, shows, stuff like that.

Speaking of intimacy Rose, you speak about Porn Nail$ and salons in general being a space where juicy gossip and intimacy emerge over the encounter. Erin, you talk a lot about building community in your work. How do you feel nail art can build intimacy and bring people together?

R: I feel like salons, and in the same way barbershops are a space where people come to share their personal stories and engage in cultural exchange. There is an intimate connection that happens in salons when you are working on someone and they are sharing with you about their lives. And I feel like salons in particular are places where historically women have and still do feel free to engage in conversations that are more raunchy, more free, more sexually explicit and to just, make jokes and have a good time. That’s part of what I’m trying to do with Porn Nail$, to make people feel more comfortable with their sexuality and sex in general.

E: Rose is definitely right about nail salons being a place for guests and artists to experience a closeness that I’ve never experienced doing other services. You’re face to face the entire time, holding their hands and taking care of them. Receiving a nail service can be a very disarming experience, so it’s important to be a good listener. Most of my clients are other artists that I collaborate with in the community here in Tampa. Anytime I find a local artist I like, I’ll offer them work designing decals. I think giving people work and a platform to express themselves is a great way to build community.

How do you see nail art empowering others? What empowers you as the artist about nail art?

R: With Porn Nail$ I feel like so many people have been able to experience this intimate salon setting. Porn Nail$ has been a way to bring people together and show them this [nail art] is for everyone. I’ve had boys come with their fathers to get their nails done, men who have never had their hands touched like this or nails done who were willing to come in and explore something and felt safe to express that with me. Because of the mobility and pop-up nature of the salon, it turns something that is hidden away into something with no walls and no barriers; it demystifies the salon experience. People come and feel like they can play with gender, play with the signifiers, and express themselves in a way they might not feel comfortable elsewhere.

E: For me, nail art allows me to be self employed, I get to choose my hours and my clients, there aren’t many jobs where you get to maintain that kind of control while still being creative and making money. I’m very lucky to be doing this for a living.

Both of you describe your projects as feminist. How do you see nail art as a feminist expression?

E: It’s probably one of the most diverse industries and we’re all here to make a living with our art. Giving that sort of autonomy and agency to people is feminist to me.

R: Outside from what I’ve said before about the salon being a place where people feel free to open up and express themselves, there’s this expression in Miami called Chusmeira, which basically means like radical shamelessness. And it’s this word that’s used when women sort of break traditional gender roles and norms of how they should behave and present themselves. It’s used a lot in the Latinx Caribbean community when, for example, a woman dresses too flamboyantly or acts a certain way. So it’s something that is put onto women from outside them and something stigmatized and with nail art and the space that’s created for women in a salon to express themselves however they’d like…it’s not quite an inversion of the word, but pushing these boundaries is something I keep in mind.

What’s your favorite kind of nail art to do?

R: I am all about glitter and rhinestones. I love sparkle, give it to me! I also like doing more eccentric stuff, nail piercings, things like that. And I really love using this Latinx concept in my work called “Mal de Ojo” and basically it’s like when someone looks at you with jealousy or like maliciousness and so to ward off this evil people wear eye designs called “nazars” and I love using these eye designs in my work.

E: Anything extremely intricate or ornate, the kind of nails few people have the patience to sit for!

Can you describe a little bit of what we can expect from the exhibit at Ringling Underground?

E: This year I’m collaborating with Care Bears, so you’ll see them included throughout the pieces. Each set of nails displayed is it’s own tiny universe to explore. Rose and I will be offering nail art manicures to the guests on a first come first serve basis. It’s going to be really cool.

R: As Erin said, we’ll both be doing nails in the courtyard, first come, first serve. We’ll also both be doing custom nail sets that will be on display and mine will definitely be playing off of the architecture of the building itself. I’ll also be bringing my Porn Nail$ aesthetic with me, rose garlands and Rococo objects decorating the courtyard.

Thanks so much for talking to us! We can’t wait to see the show!

E: Thank you so much!

R: Thanks!

Ringling Underground will be held this Thursday, March 2nd at 8:30PM. For more information visit their website: https://www.ringling.org/events/ringling-underground.

Interview conducted and written by Ashley Phelps

Featured Artist: Karen Arango

Karen Arango is an independent photographer, videographer and black and white gelatin silver printer. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Photography and Digital Imaging from Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, FL. She also completed the General Studies photography program from the International Center of Photography in NYC.

Shirley by Karen Arango
Shirley, 9, her mother is from Mexico and her father from the United States. Her parents work hard to give her the opportunities they didn’t have at their age. Photo by Karen Arango

Please tell me where you grew up and a bit about your background.

I was born in Colombia, and I moved to the United States when I was 9 years old. My family, parents and two siblings, was in danger because of the war going on in the country, therefore, we immigrated to the United States. When we arrived to this country my parents separated and my mother ended up raising us three alone.

From Abkhazia by Karen Arango
“From Abkhazia” – The mother of an Abkhazian refugee sits in her house in Tbilisi, Georgia while her daughter tell the story of how they immigrated. Photo by Karen Arango

Can you recall the first time you used a camera?

I can’t recall the first time, but I do remember using the old school cameras that my parents had brought with them from Colombia. They were film cameras and I must have been 10 or 11 years old when I got to use them for the first time. All I know is that around 2010 I used a panoramic camera with 110 film, and I took a photo of my brother and his friends while in ROTC in high school, I still have that photo and the cameras with me.

Abkhazian Play by Karen Arango
The Abkhazian refugee mother spends some time with her daughter in the hallway while the other kids of refugees play. Photo by Karen Arango

When did you know that photography was what you wanted to do?

I always loved art, I think almost every child does. I was lucky enough to have an art class at my school in Colombia and my parents had the means to get me art materials. In high school I decided to be an architect, and after doing the AutoCAD program during my junior year of high school I realized that it wasn’t for me. When I decided to study something more unconventional at the time, graphic design some friends and family members would tell me that I would not be able to live out of design or art but I was persistent with it, my mom supported me. I got certified in Digital Design, and after seeing Ringling’s campus and photography program, my boyfriend at the time suggested that I study photography. He would tell me I was very good at it, and I never believed him because he was my boyfriend and I thought he was just saying that. It seems like he knew me well cause since the first day I began studying photography, I fell in love with it.

Xiomara by Karen Arango
Xiomara, 9, her parents are both from Peru. Her mother was deported to Peru when Xiomara was three years old she now only gets to see her mother once or twice a year. Photo by Karen Arango

What are the biggest challenges for you being a photographer?

Self motivation, I think that as an artist I need to keep myself motivated all the time, mostly to do personal work. Then finding a balance between personal and commercial work and keep the spark in my own art. It’s important for me not to let it become an obligation because I’m making money off of it. When your art becomes your means of income it can become dull and you can forget why you started doing it in the first place, but I think that as long as there is a line between commission work and personal work and we stay motivated to do our personal work, then it can be extremely magical.

Helping Brothers by Karen Arango
Brothers help each other get out of the creek in the hills of Dosquebradas, Colombia. Photo by Karen Arango

What inspires you?

Life, experiences, family, friends, strangers, light, colors, compositions, music, traveling, love, nature, helping others, making mistakes, taking risks and the unknown.

Melissa by Karen Arango
Melissa, 6, both of her parents are from Colombia. The father left her mother with three kids to raise when Melissa was still a toddler. Photo by Karen Arango

Can you tell me about some of your projects?

I am currently working on a couple of projects. One is the Miss Behave series, which is about young girls born in the US and daughters of Latin American parents. I’m starting to expand on those series.

Another project I am working on is about women who were illegal immigrants and have been abused in the United States, and as a result they were able to get the Visa U. It’s something I just found out about and I think it is extremely important to talk about this. Many women, who have no immigration status, are being abused today and they are scared to say something because they fear deportation.

Water Transport by Karen Arango
A man transports water through the hills of Santa Rosa Colombia. Photo by Karen Arango

What is your dream situation? Is this a goal you’re working on, and if so, how’s it going?

Well when I was a child I wanted to be an actress. I’ve always loved performing arts, including dancing. I think everyone who knows me well knows how much I love dancing and every opportunity I have to do it, I take it. Deep inside I still would like to be a performance artist, but in some way I feel that I am connected to it, since I am behind the camera capturing the life performances instead of doing them.

Walk around hen by Karen Arango
A hen walks around a grave in the hills of Dosquebradas, Colombia. Photo by Karen Arango

Where can people find you?

People can find me through my website: karenarango.com, I have a contact page where you can write to me. Instagram: @karenarangor, and facebook: https://www.facebook.com/arangokarenr. I am currently living between Sarasota and NYC, so if I am not in those two cities then I am capturing a story somewhere!

Cheyenne Rudolph at Ringling Underground

In recent years, functional ceramics, a medium often shunted into the category of craft, has been accepted into the vast world of contemporary art. The February Ringling Underground features three artists living in Florida and exploring the medium of clay. Jenn Ryan Miller, Sharon Norwood, and Cheyenne Rudolph use ceramics to explore various themes. Their diversity will provide the Ringling Underground audience with a multi-faceted view of contemporary ceramics being produced in Florida at current.

For the first installment of Ringling Underground on February 4, 2016, Cheyenne Rudolph will be performing Lemon-Aider. Cheyenne, who received her MFA in 2014 from University of Florida, is both a ceramicist and performance artist. Her performances utilize subversive functional ceramics to explore childlike assumptions about domesticity and cultural expectations. Cheyenne graciously agreed to participate in an interview to provide the Ringling Underground audience with context about her performance, Lemon-Aider.

Cheyenne Rudolph performing "Lemon-Aider"
Cheyenne Rudolph performing Lemon-Aider

Please describe the piece you will be performing at Ringling Underground on February 4.

The Lemon-Aider is an interactive mobile beverage cart, designed as a traveling performance piece to challenge the collective assumptions surrounding gender identity for women. A nostalgic lemonade stand, the Lemon-Aider is a operated by a caricatured retro housewife, whose good intentions are peppered with indecorous insinuations brought on by the mechanics of operating the juicing device. This is not your childhood lemonade stand.

Citrus Juicer Stand and Cup
Citrus Juicer Stand and Cup

Why did you choose this piece to perform, and what are you hoping from the Ringling Underground audience in terms of participation?

The Lemon-Aider is a friendly piece, highly approachable, and participants come away with a more intimate encounter. The piece is mobile and flexible in how I perform it, as I make lemonade from scratch for one individual at a time. It is more like a conversation with a character than a timed performance in front of a live studio audience. Participants may watch as I demonstrate, or they may interact with me as I make lemonade.

When did you begin combining your ceramics with performance art?

I have a background in theatre, studying it briefly in high school and undergraduate school. As the art objects I made became increasingly ambiguous and absurd in their functions, it was necessary to explain their use. The element of control is important in how I design the work, so it was natural for me to demonstrate, and to essentially take over the use of the objects, so that now, I am the only user. It has blossomed into an engaging way to design and make work.

Saturday Apron
Saturday Apron

Where does a piece begin, the ceramics or the concept for the performance?

Definitely the concept is primary. As I have learned to design for my own engagement, I am liberated from making pedestrian-friendly functional objects, so I think of them as actors or overstated props in the performance. I think about whether I will be performing live or through video, which helps in how I design the work. I also think about the installation and visual context of the piece; because it will be informed by its surroundings and my own interaction, the object no longer has to carry the full weight of the concept. I can, in a sense, magnify my visual concept to installation proportions, letting the backdrop, the video editing, or my own script, bring in subtext. I then make the object with my preliminary performance idea in mind. After the object is complete, the performance may go through a series of trials and refinements, and at times, I need to remake the object to better suit the performance needs.

Lemon-Aider in action
Lemon-Aider in action

What is the relationship between the ceramics and the performance elements of your art?

The objects instigate, or provide the implications of the performance, yet in their complicated design and retro aesthetic, they draw the viewer in. They are designed to be appealing, as is my own costume, yet while in use, they become a source of absurd subversion. I am picking apart and drawing attention to the expectations placed on me, personally, and on women of a particular type.

What type of influences motivate your art practice?

1950s/1960s kitchen products, Chindogu and infomercials of the 90s/00s, parodies and satire, old SNL skits, calling attention to conventionally accepted, yet unjust paradigms. Lucille Ball, Amy Sedaris, drag performers, theatre scenic design techniques and methods.

 


Ringling Underground is series of one night only events combining live music and experiential artworks in the Courtyard. The artwork is curated by Natalya Swanson and Shannon Fortner organizes the musical performances.

Ringling Underground is always free for college students with a valid college ID. It is an extension of the Art After 5 program held on Thursdays after 5 p.m. After hours discounted admission is $10 for adults; $5 for children 6-17, children 5 and under and Museum Members are free.

Cash bar provided by Modern Events at The Ringling.

Ringling Underground is a rain or shine event.
Share your Underground experiences on social media using the hashtag:#RinglingUnderground

Nathan Wilson at Ringling Underground

Thursday, February 5, 2015
Ringling Museum of Art

Interview conducted with showing artist, Nathan Wilson. Taylor Robenalt and Tyler Staggs also on view during the night’s event.

Thursday, February 5, 2015
Ringling Museum of Art
8:00pm – 11:00pm

Ringling Museum starts 2015 with fourt mixed media artists: Nathan Wilson, Taylor Robenalt, Corbett Fogue, and Tyler Staggs. The event’s artist liaison, Natalya Swanson, conducted an interview with Mr. Wilson. More information on the event can be found following the interview below.


Nathan Wilson specialized in the field of mathematically inspired art at New College of Florida.

Photo courtesy of the artist, Nathan Wilson
Photo courtesy of the artist, Nathan Wilson

Conceptually, where does your artistic process begin?

Once I have completed my research on a body of data which promotes my imaginative and technical growth I begin to understand the variables and mechanics of that given system. I do not take credit for the discovery of natural forms and thus, I think my artistic process begins when I start augmenting the “perfect” forms that I have been researching. Without the knowledge of any descriptive geometric vocabulary most human beings can identify abnormalities in an object with rotational symmetries. Therefore, another part of my artistic process involves the disguise and vanishing of certain intended abnormalities through the manipulation of perspective. For many of my pieces there are special axes of perspective which yield symmetric two-dimensional projections. Experimentation with the expression of 2D projections through alterations to 3D structure and vice-versa is a large component of my process.

Photo courtesy of the artist, Nathan Wilson
Photo courtesy of the artist, Nathan Wilson

What initially influenced your decision to incorporate musical elements into your sculptures? In what way has this evolved?

I developed my idea for a multi directional speaker system after a collegiate study project, which focused on optics. I drew connections between the energy mediums of sound and light, which both manifest in wave fronts. If the physical orientation of lenses effects the dispersion or concentration of light sources, so should the physical orientation of loudspeakers effect the dispersion or concentration of sound in a room. To create a symmetric wavefront I designed my speaker cabinets using polyhedral geometry. “The Decagon”, one of my speaker projects, exhibits elements of sound focusing and sound dispersion by combining two polyhedral structures into a single volume. Through my studies I have worked to minimize the volume needed to house the maximum number of loudspeakers on a polyhedron with spherical curvature. Geodesic augmentation of the icosahedron provides the perfect framework to push the parameters of my sound devices.

What influence does architecture have on your artwork?

I believe that a door is closed in the imagination of a human being that only has exposure to cubic structures. I grew up in NYC and I can testify to the fact that after a while I just stopped looking up. Instead I found fulfillment in Central Park and at public museums. I was especially fascinated by the natural structures exhibited in the gems and minerals exhibition at the Museum of Natural History. Fast forward 15 years and I was writing a thesis regarding the applications of crystalline structure on the Arts and Sciences. Applications of periodic and quasi-periodic crystal structures are certainly present throughout Islamic architecture and design. The manipulation of perspective in the construction and decoration of these structures illustrates a clear mathematical understanding of tessellation in two and three dimensions. I am also inspired by the inventions and architectural contributions of R. Buckminster Fuller. Fullers’ applications of geodesics and tensegrity to housing and transportation are amongst many innovations concocted by this one individual over 40 years ago. I believe that technology has progressed to the point where we may be ready to implement some of Fullers revolutionary ideas. I also believe that there are still many undiscovered applications for the Sciences and Arts in architecture and technology.

Photo courtesy of the artist, Nathan Wilson
Photo courtesy of the artist, Nathan Wilson

Geometry is a strong element in your work. Can you discuss the relationship between mathematics and art?

I began studying geometry because I thought it would be a structured way to develop my physical vocabulary. Through my study of physics I have come to understand elements about the structure of solid matter and have come to respect the classical philosophies of shape. The catalogue of regular uniform polyhedra lists the symmetric the ways that 2D shapes can orient themselves about a single point to form a volume. My study of the crystalline atomic bonds in solid matter, which approximate polyhedral tessellation, has changed the way I view composition at all scales. Each form expresses unique characteristics such as surface area, volume, and dihedral angle, which I use to inform my decisions during the composition of my pieces. There are an infinite number of ways to subdivide a space and mathematicians have documented an impressive number of them. Mathematics helps me to break down large, complex forms into constituent pieces which I can handle easier. The more pieces I can break an idea into the greater level of detail I can articulate when I rebuild it. For me, mathematics is the language of form.

Has living and working in Sarasota influenced your artistic intent?

I am very grateful for the help I have received form my friends in the local arts community. I have them to thank most for the continued progression and evolution of my career in Sarasota. Through stage design I am hoping to work with local musical and theatrical acts. My work last December with Fuzion Dance Company was an incredible opportunity to push the functional parameters of my structures. The Ringling Underground presents a similar opportunity to explore the interdisciplinary possibilities of performing artists working with visual artists. I believe that collaborative projects, which source artists from multiple disciplines, yield the most dynamic results.


Additional details on the exhibiting artists can be found here:
http://www.ringling.org/meet-artists-feb-5-ringling-undergound

The music line-up includes: Hymn for Her, Geri X (Tampa), and Triathalon (Savannah, GA)

Admission is $10. The event is free for college students with valid college ID, members, as well as those with ‘Art After Five’ admission. Select galleries are also open until 11pm.

Facebook Event Page: http://goo.gl/xXyCWu

An Open Invitation: E-mail Collaboration Project

An Open Invitation e-mail project is a collaboration inspired by Miranda July‘s We Think Alone and mail art. AOI e-mail collaboration began September 2013 and was completed January 31st, 2014. Using text, image, video, sound, or a mixture of two or more, 17 participants — both local and nationally based — responded to an e-mail they received that was created by the previous participant. Below, each participant is organized into numerical order — indicating the order in which they participated and who created what piece, along with their bio.

 

1.

Transferring

A

Line

From

Kasey Lou Lindley

Your

Back

To

The

Wall

2.

AOI

3.

newpainting

4.

photo-366

5.

6.

1 two sketches for the sound seagulls make in slow motion

7.

8.

9.

10.

AOI2sm

11.

ghost (100dpi)

12.

cloud_an

13.

14.

OvernighT

15.

AOI-image

16.

trishriley

17.

benp

 

1. Kasey Lou Lindley
‘Transferring A Line From Your Back To The Wall’
Kasey Lou Lindley was born in San Francisco, California and raised in Utah. She studied at the New York Studio Program, received her BFA from the Ringling College of Art & Design, and her MFA from the University of Connecticut. Kasey currently lives and works in Sarasota, FL.

2. Egan Victoria Franks
‘Where Would You Like Me to Put This Window’
Egan Victoria Franks is originally from Detroit and recently completed her BFA at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a focus in painting.

3. Holly Jarvis
Weber State University ’12 BFA
Lives and works in Ogden, Utah

4. Shauna Lee Lange
Shauna Lee Lange is solely self-taught with no formal arts education (as a visual artist). She now has ten solo shows scheduled through 2015 for Charlotte County’s Public Art Program, featuring her Microcircles Series. Lange is a Rhode Island native, raised in Massachusetts.

5. Daniel Miller
Daniel Miller graduated from Ringling College in 2003 and currently resides in Sarasota, Florida. Professionally Daniel is a Creative Director for an international ecommerce company. Daniel also makes video art and realist oil paintings.

6. Reuben Kern
‘Two Sketches for the Sound Seagulls Make in Slow Motion’
Reuben Kern received his BFA from Ringling College of Art and Design, and he lives in Bradenton Florida.

7. Regan Stacey
‘Memo’
Regan Stacey holds an M.F.A in Visual Art from the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University in Boston, MA, a B.S. in Biology from The Pennsylvania State University, and a Grand Diploma in Pastry Arts from the French Culinary Institute in NYC. She retired as a world ranked open water marathon swimmer in 2001 with a solo swim across the English Channel. Additionally, she ran a custom cake business for ten years before committing fully to the arts. This diverse background continues to inform her art and visual language. Stacey is an award-winning photographer whose photograms have exhibited across the US and in Europe. Her most recent work has shifted from the photographic to the sculptural, allowing her a more direct approach to materials. Entropy is a common theme in Stacey’s work as it relates to a functioning breakdown of order and form, communication and perception. Her latest project addresses the conceptual relationship between the naming of colors and miscommunication.

8. Lani Asuncion
Lani received her MFA from the University of Connecticut in Interdisciplinary Studies. She has a working studio at Erector Square in New Haven, CT; and teaches Video in the Film, Video, and Interactive Media Dept. at Quinnipiac University. She creates abstract narratives that reference local stories and histories that indirectly reference her own multicultural background.

9. Jeremy Fisher
‘Somewhere Soon’
Audio: “March Into The Sun” by EveryDaySoundTrack
Jeremy Fisher received his BFA from the Ringling College of Art and Design. Jeremy currently lives in Los Angeles and works for Stoopid Buddy Stoodios.

10. Katie Lee Mansfield
BFA: Tufts University, School of the Museum of Fine Arts
MFA: University of Connecticut
Lives & works in Framingham, MA

11. Gregory N. Dirr
Gregory N. Dirr received his BFA from the Ringling College of Art and Design. Currently Gregory lives and works out of Boca Raton. thoughtcoalitionHQ.com

12. Nicole Shiflet
Nicole Shiflet is a tactile painter and a technological art geek, constantly searching for ways to balance both aspects in her work. She was born in Wisconsin, grew up in Georgia, and currently resides in Baltimore. She received her BFA from the University of Georgia in Drawing and Painting and her MFA from the University of Maryland Baltimore County in Imaging and Digital Art.

13. Sarah Viviana Valdez
‘Splicing Clouds’
Sarah Viviana Valdez is a Kansas born artist who lives and works in Tampa, Florida. Valdez graduated with class of 2010 from Ringling School of Art and Design Fine Art department, and participated in the New York Studio Residency Program, Spring of 2009.

14. Jorge Valenzuela
‘OvernighT’
Jorge Valenzuela received his BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. Jorge currently lives in Bradenton, FL.

15. Natalya Swanson
Natalya Swanson is a Senior at the University of South Florida working towards a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History. After she graduates, Natalya hopes to continue with her education, pursuing a Masters degree in Art Conservation. Although Natalya spends much of her time in Tampa at school and at the Centre Gallery where she is an Art Director, she currently resides in Sarasota, where she enjoys exploring new art mediums.

16. Trish Riley
Trish Riley received her BFA from The School of the Museum of Fine Arts & Tufts University. Trish currently lives and works in Bradenton, FL.

17. Ben Piwowar
Ben Piwowar Received his MFA from the University of Connecticut in 2011. He lives and works in Baltimore.

To participate in future AOI events and projects, you can contact Kasey Lou Lindley at: kaseylou20@gmail.com