University of Alabama, BFA Painting, 1998
Philadelphia College of Textile and Design, continuing education classes, 2000-2002
I have been drawn to colors for as long as I can remember. I loved discovering color in new and unexpected places such as the rainbow in an oil slick, or the inside of a piece of fruit. It was incredible to learn to mix my own colors when I began painting as a child.
I start new pieces with an unprimed raw canvas. My process begins by soaking the canvas with water, and then pouring paint onto it. I continue this process of layering colors. I do not use brushes-my best tool is gravity. It’s amazing where paint wants to go on its own. Drying time varies with humidity and the thickness of the paint. I also work with resin which allows me to observe previously unnoticed colors-especially metallics-once covered in the crystal clear material. I was taught that a finished work of art should contain something uncomfortable, but I prefer to include something that is surprising.
As my life journey changes, so do my colors. I have gone through phases of whites and greys, but I always end upcoming back to bold and vibrant colors. As an artist, I want to always push myself creatively by exploring new techniques, experimenting with other mediums, and working with colors in new combinations. Lately I have been experimenting with metal, and have enjoyed working with the material making decorative sculptures.
Katie Robinson, May 2016
Meredith Pohland is the master colorist at Silicone Arts Labs. She graduated with a BFA from The Memphis College of Art in 2010. She dedicates her free time to making pyrography art.
For several years, local artist Merrill Skipworth has brought her skills to the Work Life classroom, working with participants to create a piece that is then sold at the Art for Jobs event. This year, artist Betsy Brown joined Merrill, and an enthusiastic group of participants collaborated on several pieces that will be available on September 15th.
We are grateful for the way these artists share their love for their craft with Advance Memphis participants.
Learn more about Art for Jobs at advancememphis.org/afj2016.
Advance Memphis is grateful to artist Rebecca Chappell for participating in Art for Jobs every year since its inception. The piece at left will be available at this year’s show. See more of Rebecca’s work on her site and visit advancememphis.org/afj2016 to learn more about Art for Jobs.
From the artist: Rebecca Chappell has been painting for many years, beginning with watercolor, then adding oil and acrylic work. Most recently, she has been working with encaustic (hot wax) and cold wax mediums. Rebecca has exhibited her work at Playhouse On the Sqaure and Circuit Playhouse, St. George’s Episcopal Church, and the Memphis Jewish Community Center. She takes pleasure in sharing her work to support the good work that the people at Advance Memphis do everyday.
Art for Jobs is grateful to local artist Priscilla Cunningham for joining us again this year at Art for Jobs. The below piece will be offered at the event on September 15th. Learn more about Art for Jobs here, and more about the artist below.
From the artist:
I’m sure that I am not unique in trying to do two things at once as an artist. For the past twenty years or so, my first love has been the medium of oils. I truly love the impressionism and the European locales of the early impressionists, and I have tried to interpret old world European scenes from the many photographs given to me by family and friends and also from photographs I have taken. I have also expanded my work with on location landscapes from the Mid South, an Alaskan trip and trips to Italy. With oils I am always trying to capture a scene, either from photographs or on location, although I may not interpret exactly as the scene appears, and I am always searching for and interpreting scenes that are interesting, beautiful and that I think others might enjoy.
Most of my work with acrylics is much different. Abstract impressionism comes close to what I am attempting to accomplish with my landscapes and floral’s. When in abstract mode, I am striving for a freer form of expression. I do love to paint with a realistic flair and I draw on my experience of several years in painting oils. I couldn’t have done the freer acrylics form without experience and training in the basics of oil landscapes.
I am still very much searching for my identity as an artist and truly feel that “much of the fun is in the hunt”. I don’t know exactly what medium of expression I will be using in ten years – God permitting – but know that I will still be experimenting and loving all of it.
You may see more of my artwork locally at Palladio Interiors, Memphis, TN., or in Hernando, MS at The Square Cupboard.
Ben Hancock is a sculptor who focuses on turning simple, utilitarian objects into complex artistic statements. He lives and works in Memphis with his wife Katherine. See more of Ben’s work on his site.
Artist’s Statement: As I work I am constantly within the tension of trying to make beautiful, thoughtful art while still affirming my own identity and outlook as someone of faith. I am usually stuck between sculpting my own idols as a heretic or falling into shallow, easy iconography. While I indeed use traditional forms, my goal is to hopefully bring out in the works something more incarnational, like it hasn’t happened yet. The patterns are old, but the object is not. I am trying to allow created, physical objects with the various kinds of baggage they carry speak and point to an unseen creative source, that be me, the actual creator of the work, or God, who created both me and it.
Art Hartwig has generously donated 3 hand turned bowls to Art for Jobs. Information about Mr. Hartwig and his work is below, and you can see more of his pieces on his website, onegoodturnbowls.com.
About the bowls: These bowls and other items use only ‘found’ wood, and are not the result of cutting down healthy living trees specifically for them.
The wood for a bowl is turned ‘green’ or wet to a rough shape, dried for six months, and re-turned to its final shape. It is then sanded to bring out the natural beauty of the wood and given the final finish.
After the blank for a bowl is cut from a log, smaller and odd-shaped leftover pieces are made into kitchen tools and desk accessories such as stir-fry utensils, cutting boards, business card holders, and letter openers, so very little of the wood is wasted.
The wood chips that result from turning are used as mulch on local walking trails where, over time, they become part of the soil. Therefore, these products have not created a negative impact to our local ecology or environment.
Artist’s statement: As a retired person, living at Medford Leas (retirement community) I have devoted more time to my life-long love of woodworking. Originally my attention was focused on furniture. However a chance viewing of a DVD on bowl turning by Bill Grumbine, created the courage to try it. Since the fall of 2006, I have been turning bowls from green (wet) wood and continue to be amazed and delighted by the diversity and beauty found inside these ‘stems of vegetables’. I hope you will enjoy owning or giving one of these ‘Special Gifts for Special People’.
As a third-generation Memphis builder, Art for Jobs Gold Sponsor Grant & Company, has been building new homes for Mid-South families for more than half a century. Carl Grant began building new homes in the early 1940s in northern Shelby County, then Richard and Milton Grant followed in their father’s footsteps in the 1970s with their own companies. Today, Grant & Company remains a driving force in the home building industry representing a large percentage of new homes built and sold in Arlington, TN, Bartlett, TN, Lakeland, TN, and Olive Branch, MS. Visit their website to learn more about Grant & Co.
Another of this year’s Gold Sponsors, The Workforce Investment Network (WIN), is a community resource that prepares job seekers for jobs and helps connect them with employment opportunities in Memphis, Shelby County, and Fayette County. They identify and pre-screen qualified talent for local businesses, and in some instances provide grants to employers to help defray the cost of training their workforce. They provide job seekers with a variety of services, such as assessments, resume development, job search assistance, and when a job seeker is suitable and eligible they help fund the job skills training needed to find and keep a good job. Working together, they believe we can make a difference-for our residents, for our businesses, for our community.
We are grateful for Grant & Co. and Workforce Investment Network to be involved in Art for Jobs. Thanks to partners like them we are able to continue our work in the 38126 community. To learn more about Art for Jobs, click here.
Photographer David Bunk works from his studio and shop at 523 South Main, which also serves as home base for his Real2Reel studios. Bunk’s work focuses on iconic Memphis scenery, from cotton fields to downtown cityscapes. Bunk’s love for the city is evident in his work.
David will be creating an Artist’s Wall for Art for Jobs 2016; to learn more about these walls, visit the blog.
Started in 2001 as a separate division of Hog Wild, A Moveable Feast offers gourmet food and upscale catering for a wide variety of events. From weddings to Memphis barbeques, A Moveable Feast offers unique, innovative menus as well as recipe recreations to meet the needs of each special occasion. A Moveable Feast seeks to work with each client to create the perfect menu with a fabulous presentation.