Kelly S. Williams

 “Yes . . .” that peculiar
affirmative. “Yes . . .”
A sharp, indrawn breath,
half groan, half acceptance,
that means “Life’s like that.
We know it (also death).”
–Elizabeth Bishop, from “The Moose”

Vanitas painting of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries is certainly reblooming in the still-life paintings created today. Grief for our lives lived pre-pandemic is tangible in my paintings. Objects as benign as board games, houseplants, and tarot cards become signifiers of futility, doubt, and fear while simultaneously offering moments of respite.

Thomas Walton

 My artistic philosophy is one of slowing down, listening, and letting the moment guide the painting. The psychology of perception is at the forefront of my interests. My work explores the dreamlike space between body, emotion, and culture. I am deeply engaged in how the act of painting can reveal my own feelings about a subject. Ultimately, this process is what enables me to create paintings that transcend simple depictions of physical appearance.

Christina Renfer Vogel

 I pursue interaction and perception from my role as observer, occupied by the unremarkable and informed by our everyday exchanges. Reflecting direct encounters within my environment, I work with still life, portraiture, and landscape—the pillars of perceptual painting. Drawing from the quotidian and familiar, I navigate the space between seeing and describing, interpretation and invention.

Laura D. Velez

 I feel moved to explore the unknowns and mysteries that propel human nature to keep thriving and searching, to move forward no matter the circumstances. In this body of work, I explore a dystopian narrative about the deterioration and atrophy of the earth that resulted from the human-created climate crisis. Through the medium of paint, I explore what it would be like to resurface from underground and find that the earth’s ecosystems had evolved to support new life.

Saba Taj

 It is an odd thing to be inside a body, to be known within that body, read as a race, a gender, an ethnicity. These identities are activated by the gaze of others, invented by the gaze of power. We are lacerated into largely binary categories; these classifications determining the material realities enacted upon us.

Andre Bogart Szabo

 As a visual artist, I am fascinated with the inherent beauty of physical materials themselves, unmediated and unrefined. These works on canvas feature repurposed, foraged, and composted objects; a material vocabulary that follows no hierarchy. My paintings challenge the rhetoric of purity, refinement, and expressionism bound to painting by means of a “soil over oil” approach. Tapping natural materials as alternatives to brush and gesture, my paintings have a sense of immediacy that directly engages the social, cultural, and ecological concerns of the region from which they are sourced.

Marisa Stratton

 I am a representational painter exploring the collective digital experience and its relationship to painting as documentation. How do we ascribe meaning to interactions and experiences that only exist on screens?

Jered Sprecher

 As an artist, I make paintings that exist in the sliver of space between abstraction and representation. I look to the lived daily experience of the present coupled with the artifacts of the past. My work compresses time into the surface of painting, that old technology. Increasingly, flora, fauna, and natural phenomena hold my attention, as I wrestle with this imagery that we daily experience through our technology. Birds, plants, flowers, stones, and fires dissolve into the light of the screen, the digital lens, and the glowing tablet.

Dianna Settles

 In 2014, I traveled to Vietnam, beginning my indeterminate synthesis of traditional Vietnamese painting styles and the European canon. The marginalized bodies I depict render conflicting, complex feelings into sources of power and reclamation. My paintings materialize ephemeral experiences in order to reflect on and remember them in their ecstasies and agonies. They are ways of processing my identities and celebrating the worlds my friends and I construct and inhabit.