Bloomington photographer Grace Schafstall empowers women to love their bodies while exploring representations of feminine beauty. Through her boudoir photography, she examines the subtleties of the female form allowing the audience to experience intimate moments reserved for the camera.
“You are so used to your features, you don’t know how beautiful you look to a stranger.”
Self-taught photographer Grace Schafstall developed a love for photography 6 years ago when she was gifted a hand-me-down camera from an uncle. It had fallen off the roof of his car and he had upgraded. Scuffed and old as it was, Grace loved how it felt in her hand. She photographed as a hobbyist until January of 2018 when she discontinued her degree in Nonprofit Management at Indiana University to pursue her dream as a full-time photographer. Grace and her partner, Kevin, work together at GS Photos photographing weddings, families, and boudoir. They reside in Bloomington, IN with one roommate – Kevin’s 87 year-old grandmother. They spend much of their time improving their home, spoiling their 4 cats, and nurturing their dozens of plants.
Inner feelings made tangible via brushwork and extravagance. Representative and abstract works in acrylic by Milton Knight.
Milton Knight graduated from BOCES Cultural Arts Center (Syosset, N.Y.), then took a few college classes in art at Hofstra University while beginning a freelance art and writing career. He left home at seventeen, eyeing out what some would call a semi-living at through crafts while enjoying a lovely semi-homeless existence on Manhattan’s waterfront. He finally landed in a Brooklyn brownstone where he spent seven water buggy years.
Knight spent the 1980’s on the outskirts of the “radical art scene” of Greenwich Village. A challenging time, if not always a happy one. Labor on Ninja Turtles comics allowed him to get up a grubstake to move to the West Coast in 1991, lured by prospects of a more healthful existence. “There I followed a riot and a few earthquakes while working in animation as a designer, animator, and debuting as a director thanks to a good friend Felix the Cat and yes, I did a spot of work for Disney.
Today Knight works on a stream of independent projects, which have included a first novel, independent animation, and painting. He became a Bloomington resident in June of 2018.
Jeanne Smith is a transgender woman Artist living in Bloomington since 1972. Her art and crafts include:Avant-garde, sound effects recordings,Bicycle frame design, and building photography, Trashion/ Refashion ,sculpture, performance art including costuming, lighting hula hooping and burlesque.
Felicity (Young) Nahas is a 30-year old artist, living in Bloomington Indiana, who likes to work with a variety of media, but primarily focuses on using watercolor and ink throughout her pieces. She has a BFA with a focus in drawing, from Ball State University.
You will see her play with line weights heavily throughout her works, and her use of a watercolor process creates vibrant backdrops to her paintings. Many of the pieces feature a sense of buoyancy with hints of gravity to that keeps the pieces grounded. She enjoys working with a variety of colors that are warm and inviting.
“Through my pieces I hope to find that people enjoy the sense of “getting lost in the moment” and get a sense of beauty and calming.” -Felicity Young Nahas
Brandon Hamilton is a multi media artist who creates abstract textural pieces from a wide array of material. His art is deeply textured and uses physical processes such as air, heat and fire, water, velocity, and gravity among others to create works from recycled and found objects; commonly using organic materials, rocks, glass and metal in his paintings with a chaotic, yet purposeful layering approach that generally assumes forms reminiscent of ethereal landscapes of the universe and a hint of more earthbound geomorphic designs.
By using the forces of nature and physics to create these pieces he often likens his art as representations of the evolution of the universe and life itself. His interest in art began early in life, inspired by a very creative family environment, and his father, Walter Hamilton- who was not only a fine arts professor, but an accomplished impressionist artist.
It wasn’t until working his way through college as a house painter that he started noticing how certain mistakes created interesting patterns; taking mental notes on how, for example, paint splatters formed, the separation or bubbling of paint that dried in the sun too fast, or different stages of drying paint that was rained on. Taking what would normally be a negative in the professional painting world and creating a positive. Mr Hamilton now owns and operates a high end painting and decorating business in Bloomington Indiana that specializes in faux and decorative painting called Rogue Renovation.
I paint things and dream of butterflies. often the two intermingle to create the surreal existence of life and death, beauty and the macabre that showcases itself in hidden glances and tangible whispers. There is an unsettling nature about my work that frequently shows in the detached expressions and passivity of my characters juxtaposed against the chaos of their world. As an artist, it is my job to bring the dreamscape to reality, to touch upon the unseen fantasy world that we live in. my hope is that you will share in the journey, even if it is just as a passerby, and perhaps take a piece of the glimpses I offer with you.
The exhibition “Form and Fantasy- A Hero’s Journey” depicts realistic bronze and aluminum life-castings, as well as printed black & white comics as a narrative about heroes, humanity, and the fight between good and evil. Nahas enjoys utilizing the human form because they are beautiful as stand alone forms, they are also figures that the viewer can relate to and engage with. By making the figures without faces, it becomes more mysterious and fantastical; the forms begin to create a relationship with its viewers, and allows the viewers become vulnerable to the expressions the art provides. This susceptibility gives them a sense of malevolence and/or benevolence that is often the range of one’s associations. Nahas uses this vulnerability as a source of power. It takes a brave and confident person to make themselves vulnerable, for they must have the strength to withstand the consequences, to become a hero.
“The narratives are purposefully ambiguous as there are many ways to interpret a single piece. Concrete gender roles no longer exist. Females can be more like males and males can be more like females. Upon closer inspection, one realizes that the piece is conceptually more complicated than the figures they assume. I blend the beautiful with the sad, fantasy with reality, idealism with truth as well as the deviant with the innocent. I decidedly leave these compelling dualities open for the viewer to draw their own conclusions. The fictional elements juxtaposed with non-fictional bodies are there to turn the world up-side-down and to leave the viewer off balance. Fantasies become realities and dreams become actuality. ”
“Mayan Dignity”, by Yucatan photographer Pedro Tec, is a redefinition of ancestral identity, a re-imagining of life, and a magical cast of characters that complete a narrative within the photographer’s dreams. Tec has exhibited in Spain, Venezuela, Mexico, Guadalajara, Puebla and Veracruz. As the featured guest artist of the second annual “Viva! Maya Culture Festival,” created by the ÓperaMaya Foundation, with the help of a community of Bloomington creatives, and the Secretary of Culture for the State of Yucatán, Mexico, he brings his hauntingly fantastical imagery to Chicago, Bloomington and San Angelo Texas throughout the month of April.
Inspired by his research in social cognition and his work directing theater, Willats uses the tools of the body, the camera, and video to interrogate language, and its absence, as a mediator of memory, technology, and ritual. Part dance, part video-art, the central performance of the exhibit will cycle twice through the evening and builds from the paranoia of the late 19th-century.
One must travel through a variety of landscapes physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. This collection of work represents the range and terrain of the artist’s expedition into the known and unknown. These paintings reflect and project a story of questioning, self reflection , unraveling, letting go, rebuilding and remembering. The conclusion of this chapter signifies a re-emergence into a present projection of desire to communicate and connect past experiences in a tangible way with gratitude and benevolence.