As an experienced artist, it’s important to me to stay current and relevant. This is why I was honored to have been invited to be a part of FabrianoInAcquarello 2022, a meeting place for the international watercolor community. I attended watercolor demonstrations, meetings and painted with these artists. It was one of the most comprehensive and fulfilling watercolor events I’ve ever attended. Over 1400 of us were included in an exhibition that was on display so visitors could enjoy seeing each artist’s original watercolor representing their home country. It is a community of friendship, sharing knowledge through demonstrations, working towards the same goals through our world of watercolor. FabrianoInAcquarello 2022 was an experience of a lifetime. I hold a Master of art education, taught art at all levels in Mississippi public schools, and retired after 25 years. I am a lifelong resident of Mississippi. Growing up in the Mississippi Delta has had an influence on my art, but it does not define my work. Wherever I travel, throughout the United States or throughout the world, every place has an influence on my art. How can it not? Whatever my subject, my work process is the same. I paint in my studio, but I reference on location sketches, photos taken by me or my wife, and notes generated from these on site references. My paintings include transparent watercolor on paper and 2Dimensional works on paper and canvas. They are created using gathered materials, symbols, compositions and elements stemming from experiences which can be personal, social, political and environmental. This passion, or my desire of artistic creation, began at a very early age. I paint. My work changes. It evolves. My vision is to create art that makes a strong visual statement that is unique. I achieve this by designing compositions with realistic images juxtaposed with abstract designs that can contain collage elements, textures, geometric hard edge shapes, and free flowing lines and areas of color that range from bright and bold to very subdued earth tones. At times, I use gold and silver metallic paint and apply it by dripping, pouring, and spreading it randomly over parts of the surface, This technique creates an interesting visual effect. I want the viewer to walk up to my work and discover elements of interest that may not be apparent from a distance. Whether on watercolor paper, canvas or illustration board, the results do not vary.
Using a bold selection of different mediums to craft vibrant stand-out pieces; Eric Hawkins is a visual artist from Mississippi. He brings together daring explosions of color through various techniques to create gorgeous textures that demand attention. Influenced by the likes of Mike Giant and Shepard Fairey, his aim is to transfer energy through art. To evoke deep moving emotions in people through visual imagery.
Dustin Bailey B.F.A. Graphic Design, Mississippi University for Women, 2017, Columbus, MS Associates Degree Fine Arts, Itawamba Community College, 2014, Fulton, MS The goal of my subject matter is to communicate a personal feeling or experience, to evoke some kind of personal and emotional response to the viewer, and create a melodic blend of chaos and order. My work makes no attempt to push a certain agenda or theme, but is open to each individual’s own interpretation. My compositions are formed using collage, mashing together many images to form a spontaneous harmony and balance between technique and medium. They are a juxtaposition of creativity and contrast for an interesting and/or emotional effect. The challenge of collage is like solving a puzzle, finding the right piece to create the image and how to execute the final results. Typically, I use the collage to function as a reference to be recreated, but have also created entire compositions using nothing but the collage. My collage work can be seen in several mediums including Illustration, graphic design, screen printing, and painting. Collage is the most interesting to me due to its randomness and unexpected outcomes – much like life.
Christian Bailey is a husband, award winning artist, and art teacher living on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. He has a BFA in sculpture and a Masters of Education from the University of Southern Mississippi. He has been a high school art teacher for the past 16 years, teaching art 1, 2, 3, 4, Advanced Placement Studio Art, and ceramics. In addition to teaching high school art, he is also a studio artist, specializing in functional and sculptural ceramics. He regularly teaches workshops about Raku, surface decoration techniques, glaze mixing, sculpture and alternative firing techniques.
Artist Rah Lowry, 27, was born in Brooklyn NY and has lived in several US states including Atlanta and Miami, where he attended the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. After marrying his beautiful wife Brie and the birth of his first son Rah, he moved to Mississippi in 2021. Rah’s innate desire to express himself creatively nurtured his curiosity about different artistic tools and mediums including becoming a tattoo artist at the age of 16. He continues to reflect his artistry through the use of clay/wax (sculpting), markers, ink, pastels, watercolor, pencil and the manipulation of technology and software programs. Rah and his works have been featured in various outlets including: The Little Yellow Building's podcast, various newspapers around Mississippi, New York and Atlanta, and numerous events around South Florida including Art Basel for 5yrs. Love for life, its challenges and family are great motivators for Rah, “I admire my wife. She’s my biggest inspiration…to keep showing the world my passion and who I am. Not only as an artist but as a person. What motivates me is the unnoticed creativity around me and my kids motivate me on a daily basis ". Rah has an eye on the future and his goals are to impact the youth internationally, offering art that can be multifunctional, accessible and imagined in various settings and life experiences. He aspires to be the founder of a creative, interactive-experience school
Olive Branch, MS
I am a person who loves to explore. Nature is the place I go for wonderment and perspective. For me, that perspective includes great beauty, both in the physical sense and the spiritual sense. I find myself closest to my spiritual path when I am surrounded by nature. Indeed, when I learned about the Lakota phrase Mitakuye Oyasin, translated as “All my relations” or “We are all related”, it was as if a consciousness light bulb had been turned on. Life is interwoven. Everything has its place. One thing begets another. That’s why I’ve always found it interesting that a lot of us start with a love of nature and animals in our childhood, but somewhere along the way that love gets pushed aside as other life issues take precedence. During the pandemic, I have found that my love of nature gained a renewed importance. I drew upon it as a coping mechanism and it has provided much needed strength. As an artist, I am also filled with endless curiosity. I imagine it is the same for scientists, as they study, discover, and make connections. I explore some of these ideas in my work, especially the complex relationships we have with animals and their ecosystems. Our relationships with animals run the gamut: we love them, dote on them, protect them, communicate with them, work with them, make them work for us, hunt them, eat them, fear them, misunderstand them, study them, learn from them, and spend lots of hours watching videos of them on the internet (though without much guilt!). We share the same blue planet and a special interconnection with millions of other species yet we continue to carve up the earth to suit our own needs regardless of the other life forms inhabiting it. In doing so, will we be able to honor these ecosystems that have sustained themselves for millennia? I don’t have any answers or solutions, but I am a singular force trying to express my awareness through imagery that I hope is both thought provoking and consciousness raising. Through my illustrations, interpretations, and use of animals in allegory, I want to inspire people and compel them to seek their own connections to nature, to see the commonality we share with all life on our planet. I believe that in our behavior we can continue to strengthen these links to the natural world, and protect ecosystems for the benefit of future generations, so that they too, can cultivate a childhood love of nature. Angi Cooper BIO I was born in Memphis, TN and graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from Memphis State University (University of Memphis). In addition to being a professional mixed media artist, I am also a practicing Teaching Artist. My roster of artist residencies includes: DeltaARTS in West Memphis, the Memphis and Shelby Country Library system, the First Regional Library system of North Mississippi, Texarkana Regional Arts and Humanities Council, the Center for Arts Education, the University of Memphis, the Memphis College or Art, the West Tennessee Art Education Association, Germantown Parks and Recreation, Arkansas Learning Through the Arts, and Germantown Performing Arts Center among others. Painting, sculpture, photography, collage, jewelry, fiber, mixed media and print are some of the media I have shown in group, two-person, and solo shows within Memphis and the mid-south region. My work is part of private and public collections across the United States including "California Dreaming", a mixed media work at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. I have also worked with students on collaborative murals in Texarkana, AR and West Memphis, AR, and have solo mural designs at the Kroger Store Café in Hernando, MS, a triptych mural at the Germantown Community Library, and backstage murals at the Orpheum Theater. National and regional publications in which I have appeared include: Cat Fancy Magazine, The Commercial Appeal, DeSoto Magazine, The Animal Times, The Pet Gazette, Writers on the River, Grandmother Earth VII, and 7DV7 Exhibition Catalog. My practice generally begins with sketches created from my ideas, which come from different sources: something that catches my eye, something I notice in the world, things I capture in my photography, or revisiting older sketchbooks. Themes are uniting forces for my work and some of the things I muse about are the complex relationships we have with wildlife and ecosystems, and the interconnectedness of life on our planet. I make connections through design, composition, imagination, use of materials, and many times a sense of humor. I often use animals as protagonists, narrators, and allegorical figures for our human conditions. I work in different styles and media from contemporary graphic stylizations, humorous illustrations to figurative and naturalistic renderings, sometimes working on abstract pieces alongside my more figurative work. My media/processes include: acrylic and mixed media on canvas, board, found wood. I also work in: box assemblage, collage, found objects, fiber, photography, drawing and illustration. I am also a hiker and amateur birder. Exploring trails in state and national park systems is a lifelong joy, and I always have my camera and binoculars in my backpack. My bird sightings have inspired me to create a series of zines based on the birds from my life list. One of my favorite songbirds is the Wood thrush which can be seen in my piece "Like Minds".
Claire Christine Sargenti is an interdisciplinary artist whose work is largely inspired by the intersectional feminist movement. Bright and bold in nature, Claire’s mixed media work brings a message of change and love while using her signature color set of black, white and pink. Some of Claire’s most notable works include Origin, the world’s largest spinning vulva sculpture, Vagina Book, of which she is both the artist and author, and Let Love Be Viral, a multi-city mixed media project ranging from street art to fine art. Her artwork has been seen in the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, Angela King Gallery, Huntington Beach Art Center, Chinatown Soup NYC, and Hell’s Kitchen Artist Space (among others) and featured in the publications Art Hole, Witches Magazine, Le Freak Magazine and Zine Without A Crown. She is the creator of this the upcoming Blushing Moon Tarot Deck and owner of Shop of Wonders. Artist Statement Through my art I seek to celebrate the human experience through visual storytelling that inspires thought, compassion, and positive change in the individual and collective viewer. Working at the intersection of mysticism, gender identity and psychedelics, my mixed media and cross-genre work calls into question the status-quo while promoting a message of love, all in my signature color palette of black white and pink.