Avery Martin Smith

Avery Martin Smith uses painting and photography to visually convey what he cannot verbally communicate. His art is a patchwork of layered images, sampled patterns, colors, and language to make an image reminiscent of growing up in rural Indiana.

His work is a personal commentary on his thoughts, feelings, and memories of rural Indiana, discussing themes of money, racism, blue-collar work, addiction, and violence. He explores these themes through his influences in music, literature, fashion, and history, using them as elements in a visual language that accurately depicts how rural Indiana shaped him as a person and an artist.

Instagram

Jennifer Herrold

Jennifer A Herrold’s paintings create an unnatural narrative or an accumulation of short occurrences beyond a decorative surface. They capture when a bird or airplane were in the sky or when a curler fell at the salon- caught in midair.

“If these objects were animated, the birds would fly by, the plane would continue on to its destination, the curler would fall, but the rest of the painting would remain relatively still. People, animals and objects appear by some dictation of timing. As a visual artist, I dictate the migration of the birds, the flight pattern of the airplane, the time of day- when they appeared within the picture frame. I do not stray from the form we know represents a bird, an airplane, an ordinary object, but often their treatment and tension together tells a story that does not exist in nature.”

Website

Instagram

Karen Leong

Karen Leong is a writer of poetry, prose, and nonfiction. Her works mainly involve Hong Kong, women of colour, and her lived experience in straddling both. She has been featured on Cantocutie, ZAMI, Doof Magazine, and Vice Asia. She plucks inspiration from reclamation and desire.
In her spare time, she scrapbooks, performs, and waxes poetic about being an Aries sun.”

Instagram

See her poetry below, titled “thrice alone”

I. on waning

full bellied moon
what is mid autumn to you?
dangle on the precipice low hanging bloom
I, wasting away runny like the yolk like the
Mooncake guts velvet on my tongue
balm on my soul and splits my lip
My grandmother wears red and her head
lowers thread by thread low hanging bloom

yesterday I was cinder like
carry smoke and weight
stained reflections in formed gutters
now my face is the moon
shucked off all its hard lines
Let myself be round cheeked pockmark and smile
crowning here the crowning joy of it all
can a motif be exhausted if it belongs to people, me, us?
slat the beams where the rabbit princess dangles
my grandfather seated next to her; home spun on waxy planes
and today of all days i can see
lucid clear are their eyes while mine glisten
dyed yellow in the low hanging bloom

II. land-locked sea


Silver bird twitching into gear
the pews pin drop against the low whine
engine oil that sputters take me, me
loosely assembled for a passengerless plane
I, the same
I, pared down

These aisles could be glided down
My mother shed less of her for me
The four chambers of my heart cleaved less severely
North east for auspicious roots
South west where I will be
There is no view so I settle in my skin
I am no love child of the east
and west I am Writhing
against inhabiting a place
only to be wrested away when I just start to ripen
start to wrap the word home in my mouth
Even the cantonese is stilted and tinny
from above my head, cajoling
Time to fasten
Let the words drip
Collected and bagged,
until they too curdle
stretched like whey across the sea

III. a response of sorts


On bad days, are we meant to wield?
pen like gunmetal
kiss the sword of those who spit
flecks dusted like snow on our cheeks

we are in praxis
But we bruise like fruit
online today I yell pretty nothings at what
it means to be slope and valley
Keyboard tiles are not an armistice for eyes that don’t crease
but wilt

under attack is a light way to put what unclenches inside
when i hear my garbled tongue
from gooseflesh and wrinkled skin
He hurt me, smoothed over like a worry stone
He hurt me, the lines past and present
vivisect as I watch mes crumple, wind out of sail
sorrow is borrowed and sowed
Sowed and borrowed from those who came
landlocked and spread forth
wear, tear or worse yet — seeking home
An immigrant story is one that refashions itself
Temporal, shining
Beacon of spittle adorned as a badge
Twelve months and insurrections later
caution is thrown at the wind
and we grab at it with empty hands

Malik Davis

Malik Davis is a photographer and videographer from Indianapolis, IN. He graduated from Anderson University and currently working at IU: Kelley School of Business as a Learning Media Producer & Videographer and also Freelance Concert, Wedding, and Landscape Photographer & Videographer.

Instagram: @malikdavisphotos

“I never thought that I would be labeled as an artist until quarantine happened. Before I started my deep dive into photography and self-portrait work, video was my first love – and the only reason I started to get into photography more was because at my first job with the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps. I would make bi-weekly videos highlighting their weeks of training and give the fans updates on what the band was doing. And while I would be on the field shooting with the band members they would joke and say “Malik take my picture!” and I would remind them every time that that I was specifically video based and they should talk to the actual photographer for action shots. It was all fun and games until one day it dawned on me that maybe I should try and be versatile with my skill set, which is what helped get me to where I am today in the photography world.

When I shoot self-portraits I usually have a song or a concept in my head that I, personally, think would be cool to see while scrolling on Instagram. My approach to shooting self-portraits is “what is it that I want to make clear to the audience?” Or “How can I express how I’m feeling while I’m looking at this photograph?” And usually while I’m editing them – I do the coloring first and once I’m done, put them away, and then after a day or so of not looking at them, I pull them into Photoshop and see what other element or elements could add to sort of amplify the shot in a unique way.

I never really got into the self-portrait thing until I found a handful of self-portrait photographers on Twitter and Instagram and sort of studied how they posed and everything —  and then during the Black Lives Matter protests in the summer — I, as a black man, have faced racism a number of times and I wanted to get my message of frustration, sadness, and anger out in a healthy way, but also pushed that narrative of “We Black people want equality.” And after seeing that people’s lives could be put in danger if I went out and took photos at a protest, I took it among myself to use myself as the subject and voice all of those things through my artwork.

And once the protests slowed down and things were beginning to settle a little bit, I started experimenting with different concepts for self-portraits and landed on this space theme that I seem to be stuck on and I’m the type of person who welcomes trial and error as an approach to a creative piece of work because it’s helped me learn and get better at my craft.”

 

Xakilah Daniel

Xakilah Daniel is a student at Indiana University. A fine art student, majoring in photography. She is a part of Black Lives Matter movement and based her artwork from intersectionality. Xakilah expresses the importance in sharing art tips within the art community, because she seeks fairness for everyone.

Nick Luther

Nick Luther - Artist

Nick Luther was born September 3rd, 1993, as the second of four boys. Growing up with a father who loved comic books and horror movies was a huge factor in developing his favorite artistic subject matter and preferred styles. 

Nick has been drawing for as long as he can remember. His father was always drawing when he was a small child and seeing this as well as the art of Doctor Seuss books and the fun colors and characters of Looney Toons had him drawing by the age of four on a regular basis. One of his favorite subjects as a child was creating and drawing monsters with movies such as Alien and The Thing being heavy influences. He also became interested in drawing his own comics as a young child in daycare and remembers copying from Calvin and Hobbs books before he and his eldest brother started making their own stick figure comics that continued on into middle school. He also began using pipe cleaners to create simple stick figure characters to play with which eventually developed into elaborate monsters of varying designs and the ability to make stop motion movies with these homemade creatures.

He started to refine his own artistic vision in high school when he began to focus more on proper human proportions and anatomy instead of simple stick figures. Some of the inspiration for his own characters and how he draws anatomy in his own way comes from the dark and exaggerated styles of Tim Burton, Gris Grimly, and Jhonen Vasquez. While art classes in school introduced him into new mediums he hadn’t experienced before, his favorite style remained very much illustrations and character creation and his love of comics never wavered; some of his favorite comic book artists he’s known about since childhood such as Todd McFarlane and Sam Keith. 4 years of art classes introduced him to painting and charcoal and in that time he also pursued experimenting with acrylic paints in his own time. He says that in that time he went through at least 2 sketchbooks a year and most were full of his own caricatures of various people he knew or favorite characters and actors. He still has those sketchbooks and various other works he’s done in his possession to this day. 

In 2013 while working a warehouse job he hated he began a passion project with his eldest brother and a good friend of theirs. The Bounty Project. They each created their own original characters as the trio of protagonists and the plot of the book they came up with together. This comic is still an ongoing project to this day with hopes of one day being published. 

In recent years, Nick has gone back to working with charcoal and watercolor paints and broadening his skills in those mediums as well as continuing to fill various sketchbooks with anything and everything that comes to mind. He has also begun to develop his skills in the digital medium as well, allowing him to experiment with colors in his illustrations beyond the grey shading of pad and pencil. Instagram has allowed him to keep track of some of his favorite artists such as Carlos Huante, Ben Templesmith, and Rob Guillory and more easily find inspiration in the things he loves and takes influence from. He eagerly awaits Inktober each year and the horror themed prompts that embody some of the things that have always been a major part of his life and his art. Creativity is the driving force of his life and he looks forward to a day when he has unlimited time to focus on his artistic dreams. This will be the first time that his work has been featured in a gallery.

“Art is a way of life. Cliche as it sounds it is the ultimate form of expression. What emotions are you feeling? Joy, sadness, rage, lust, panic? Literally anything you want to express, you just find some paper and let it flow. Art can say what you can’t find the words to say. Art is therapy in that way, it has the ability to help you come to terms with things in your life in a way that you don’t have to show or explain to anyone; it can be for you and only you in any way that you need. It’s the only form of medication I’ve ever been able to maintain and it works better than any breathing exercise ever could. It’s just relaxing. Peaceful. There’s a strange sense of power that comes from being able to see and pull something from the ether that no one else can even begin to envision until you make it real. On a less existential level, there’s the limitless potential for comedy in art. I’d simply point to anything by Chuck Jones for his incredible exaggerations or Gary Larson for his brilliant simplicity. Art simply can’t be contained or defined to just one thing. It’s paintings, it’s stories, it’s music, it’s movies, it’s poetry. If it moves your heart and calls your soul, it’s art. When you see it, you recognize it everywhere; from the ridiculous storytelling possibilities of comic books to capturing the truth of life in portraits and landscapes. Art is life; it’s my life, it’s your life, it’s all our lives. It’s as simple as that.”

Amber Robinson

Amber

Amber Robinson is a local artist that loves trying different mediums and encouraging others to make something new. From stage management for theater to starting her own food truck, Amber now hopes to make it her life’s mission to help as many people grow spiritually, artistically and financially as possible. Stay tuned for new projects, classes, and chats with local artists and local entrepreneurs at the “We Came to Create Studio” page on Facebook. Video and Audio Interviews and Content Coming Soon.

Ruth Y Liu

Ruth Lui

Ruth Y Liu: I used to be a university lecturer in China, teaching graphic design. My husband and I ran a photography studio for over 10 years since 2003. In 2014, my family came to the United States and settled in Bloomington, Indiana. Although the living environment and language environment have changed greatly, it has not changed my love for painting. At the same time, the local artists in Bloomington have given me a lot of encouragement and inspiration. I am honored to be a member of the local artists in Bloomington.

Artistic Style

I love painting, and like to try different painting materials and styles, which makes my works show a strong diversity. In painting, I focus on the use of black and white painting, watercolor painting and acrylic painting materials, but I also do not refuse to try other new materials. In terms of painting subjects, I also try to create figures, animals, landscapes and abstract expressionistic paintings. Meanwhile, I also try to use new materials to create abstract paintings with Chinese and Tibetan culture as the theme. After settling in Bloomington, my interest in classical music inspired me to create some relevant abstract works. Therefore, I would like to say that my works are constantly changing with the change of living environment, and the diversity of my works is still growing.

Felicity Young

Felicity Young Nahas: Artists Spotlight

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.


https://felicityyoung-blog.tumblr.com/
https://society6.com/felicityyoung
https://www.facebook.com/ArtworkByFelicityYoung


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




Nicholai Cox

Nicholai Cox: As Artist, we subject ourselves to criticism; both external and internal. There is that tier that were are always trying to reach, that next level that always seems out of our reach. Because of this constant chase, we often leave art behind, deemed failures and mistakes that should be hidden away from the world. This show is to explore the idea that unfinished pieces, disappointments, and frustrations should be celebrated for what they are; beautiful works of expression and lessons learned. There is always someone that will appreciate what the artist creates in some shape or form, and as the creators, we must be proud of what our hands craft.