"I believe in searching for the positive side of things. I am often inspired by quotes, music, a genuine smile, or a simple act of kindness. I strongly support organizations and individuals that strive to improve the human experience. My hope is to utilize my works to make some small contribution to good every day."
Abstract artist Erin McGrath Rieke's works are like painted canvas windows that allow viewers to peer directly into her heart and soul. Each work of art is a visual projection of a raw emotional state she experienced. Finding solace, comfort, freedom, and peace in the uncertainty of her own process, she revels in the unpredictable outcome welcomed by a blank canvas. Prompted by a wide range of music and focused on the process instead of the end result, each work exposes her to the world-and to herself.
Erin was raised just outside Chicago and spent her formative years studying art, theater, and music. After seven years of singing, acting, and modeling in Chicago and New York, Erin focused her energies on visual art. Erin McGrath Rieke has exhibited in over thirty group shows throughout the Midwest. She has been a featured artist during dozens of live, interactive exhibits, installations and events throughout St. Louis and has had four solo exhibits within the past five years. Many of Erin's large scale abstract paintings hang in private, corporate, and retail locations across the country.
Megan Hutt is a St. Louis native who, like most new parents, picked up her camera soon after her first child was born. What started merely as a desire for documentation quickly progressed into a love beyond that for her memories sake. She is moved most by a natural approach to photography while paying close attention to roles of lighting and angles in a playful way.
S. Jewell S. McGhee
S. Jewell S. McGhee likes to call her art “painting with pencils.” She first started using colored pencils to help her mother write names on lunch bags for school. “My mom would pick matching themes for the names on our bags; all balloons, or sunrises, or sometimes just geometric shapes. She always made them so beautiful; a plain brown bag lunch was, all at once, a love note, a story, a hug, and simple colors to enlighten us for the rest of the day.” These bags also became a constant reminder that art was simple, attainable, and a necessary part of every day.
“I always start with a story.” Every time you hear a story you have a physical (tears, a chuckle, or a smile) or mental (confusion, contentment) reaction which is unable to be explained in words alone. “I like to use abstract art as a medium to dive deeply into the complicated mess of a story and discover something more about it and about myself.” She follows the flow of a story and finds the shapes and colors that express its fundamental emotions and questions. Jewell uses her art to interpret the stories of Shakespeare, the newspaper, the Bible, and her own life. “As I grapple with Hamlet, I see lines-sharp and violent-cutting through relationships and into love. There is red: obviously for blood, but also for love (a riddle itself). A golden crown, a golden son; a golden sun breaking through ghosts, clouds, and lives to reveal blackness and blood.” How black is the blackness of hate? What texture is grace? What shape is confusion, or desperation, or promise? These are the questions these pieces ask.
Holly Anderson is a self-trained, abstract painter who currently resides in Phoenix, Arizona. While Holly has been creating art in various forms throughout her life it was not until February of 2009 after recovering from ten back surgeries due to her debilitating muscular skeletal disease, that she started creating art on a full-time basis. Her work is exhibited via solo exhibition monthly ( Arizona ), In several established on-line galleries and featured in private and public collections worldwide. Holly is known as real, natural artist. She has an intuitive mind and eye when it comes to materials and color and form that borders on the spiritual. In each of her pieces you will find composition, abstraction, organic movement, emotion, fluency, texture and light. Most of her paintings and ideas are inspired by bikram yoga practice , Internal Arts ( natural healing ), human emotions, water, and theories of Carl Sagan. When Holly is not painting she spends her free time volunteering for the Arizona Humane Society, serving as Artistic Director for AZ Culture, teaching abstract painting classes at Arizona Art Supply and is busy collaborating with photographers, architects and other artists around the valley on multiple community projects.
I’m a self-taught photographer and I reside in St. Louis, MO. After leaving a medical career in 2013, I decided to explore my library of photographs and alter them with texture and color. My concentration of work is abstract urban from areas I’ve traveled - St. Louis, New York City, Chicago, Memphis, and Florida. I sell my work as reproduction and fine art.
I’m intrigued by lines and architecture, and I manipulate these components in a photograph into a complex abstract or interpretive expression. I'm transfixed with color and the projection of displaced symmetry and movement, provoking deconstructed elements and balance.
At age eight, Mark Swain would accompany his father to his job as groundskeeper for Forest Park, and sit for hours by the waterfall drawing. Today, he continues to interpret the world around him through various artistic media – music, floral design, jewelry making, painting, drawing, photography and sculpture – turning often to the human form for artistic inspiration. Indeed, the human form has been a life’s passion for Mark, who is a licensed cosmetologist, esthetician, national board certified massage therapist, and holistic health and massage therapy instructor.
Excited by photographers such as Skrebneski and Edward Curtis, and artists such as Michelangelo, Bernini, Hieronymus Bosch, Salvador Dali, Botticelli, and Rodin, Mark also knew that the emotion and experience of past generations are inherent in the seemingly unconscious entwining of cellular being, and readily express themselves through the artist’s hand when the artist has the sensitivity to touch that mystery within.
Of Native American descent, Mark walks “the Red Road,” observing Native traditions and sacred ways. His intense love of the natural world, his fluency with mystical experiences, and his awareness that “everything is alive” lend depth, intensity, and anima to his pieces. Mark’s Native ancestry informs his artistic vision and in particular, his brilliant works in leather and on canvas. The spirits of his Native elders breathe their inspiration and regard for the sacred earth into him, and work through him to shape each unique and powerful piece. You can feel their presence as their stories come to life through his craft.
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I have been a working artist for over thirty five years. I hold two studio degrees, I create my art fabricating wood into wall pieces, useful boxes and sculptures. I finish my work with a variety of painting techniques. I am also an illustrator and I have created set designs, murals, large exhibit design and fabrication. I am well rounded and enjoy creating in all mediums.
I think it is important to keep art alive and thriving. I believe art is the one thing that can unite people and help nourish a society. Art has always been a dominating element in my life that I am extremely passionate about. My ultimate goal with my art is to translate emotion through imagery and to create an aesthetic atmosphere.
Brendan Carrick is from Chicago but spent several years living on both the East and West Coasts. His works incorporate a blend of topography and geometry, in a constant battle to reconcile Midwestern flatness with the diverse terrain of New England and California. His path to becoming an artist was not a direct one. He became infatuated with music at an early age, developed an obsession with rock stars (and their biographies), began writing poetry in high school, and eventually found himself living alone in a studio apartment in Berkeley with a set of unopened oil paints. He is self-taught and, after being influenced by many along the way (Soutine, Pollock, Hartley, Van Gogh, Klee, Bontecou, etc.), he eventually found his voice. He has gradually moved from traditional oil painting to mixed media assemblies, as well as pencil and ink sketches, and has become especially fond of working with wood and found objects. He strives to always approach a new work in a new way.
Drawn to the immediacy of charcoal and pastels, Jeffrey Randolph Richter is an artist whose work deals with “Industrial Humanity,” and the corporeal fusion of humans, machines, animals, and plants. In his grey, somewhat somber vignettes, we see human figuration transmogrified, enhanced and disturbed by elements of everyday objects and organic forms. Challenging and raw at times, Richter considers each work an “inner” self-portrait. His oeuvre is one which clearly conveys the artist’s unique perception of contemporary society in industrial flux.
Jeffrey Randolph Richter is an American artist currently living and working in Missouri.
“I create photographs to remind myself of how rich it is to experience being alive. I approach photography as a three dimensional art in a two dimensional world. I see it as my job to build the visual layers of texture and color within the subjects. It is my deep desire for viewers of my work to walk away with a stronger sense of connectedness to the little things in our daily lives that make us feel whole and awake.”
Julie is a teacher and artist in St. Louis working primarily in photography. Julie's artwork has been greatly impacted by her time working with clients and students in social services and as an educator in St. Louis City and County. She is most known for her photographs of urban landscapes, street art, and city streets that depict the broad spectrum of experiences that occur within city life.
In addition to photographing the city, Julie loves to turn her work into a personal experience by organizing photo walks around the city while also teaching participants the basics of photography, smart phone photography and how to use photography as a meditation tool, among other things. Julie received her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Art History and Photography from the University of Kansas. She has studied studio art in Ireland and Italy, displayed her work in several galleries around St. Louis and Kansas City and teaches community based photography classes.
Jeffery Sass is a life-long photographer. Some of his earliest memories involve a camera in his hand. His work is based in traditional and historic photography. Sass feels very strongly that film and darkroom techniques are art forms that need to be preserved. To create his images, he uses antique and vintage cameras as well as ones that he has created. Each image is one of a kind because the film and photographic papers used are many years past their shelf life and often yield interesting and unpredictable results. Materials of this sort are often discontinued or not manufactured for decades.
The past shapes Sass' view of the present. He finds his images in iconic things of yesterday and tries to re-imagine them for a contemporary audience. As an artist that uses photography as a primary means of expression, he believes that the historical processes are even more significant to contemporary art than they were years ago. Today they are aesthetic choices, the means to an end. Sass wants his current work to redefine what is considered a photographic image and how the viewer engages with a photograph.
Kyle Braun is a 32 year old multimedia artist from the St. Louis Metro area. Photography and painting are his two primary forms of exprerssion with a narrative style that typically portrays a polarizing mix of beauty and destruction; not dissimiar from the ups and downs of depression and anxiety. Having battled Type I Bipolar disorder both with and without medication for most of his life, Kyle's goal is to bring a familiarity to the emotion of mental illness, so that sufferers can find comfort in no longer feeling alone.
Jessica Leighton grew up in St. Louis MO where she is currently based. She works as a photographer and recently made the transition from film photography to digital photography. Jessica also works as a designer and she creates her original, one-of-a-kind pieces of wearable art from paper, broken jewelry, random items from hardware stores, and discarded items from friends, family, and thrift stores.