Joseph Ovalle – America Closed

Joseph Jesse Ovalle is a multi-media artist who investigates the meaning of an object through material use, process and symbolism. He graduated from Southern Illinois University of Edwardsville in 2020 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and a minor in Art history. Joseph references historical and contemporary in his work to speak about topics such as: religion, race, politics, culture and American society.

He has shown across the United States at various galleries, museums and educational institutions and currently has public sculptural work up for view at Kellogg Community College, Scovill Sculpture Park, and Southern Illinois University of Edwardsville. Joseph is currently the Co-Director of the ‘In Art Gallery’ which is an online venue for artist to exhibit there work.

He is pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree as an Assistant Instructor at the Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design in Bloomington, Indiana with his dog Jefferey.

“War is life for people across the globe. Surveillance, weapons and police surround us. Race, Religion and a limited access to essential resources are used as mechanisms of division. This work is a message for those with power who believe our democracy can be purchased, you are outnumbered.”

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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.”

 

Isaiah

“To keep it short I knew that I wanted to be a photographer since I was 16.

I didn’t do that well in high school and I dropped out of college after my first year, shortly before I was told by my photography professor that my photos weren’t up to par with a current project. No amount of negativity or setbacks I’ve had in life has ever stopped me from continuing my journey as a photographer.

The process of shooting film has made me become more patient with documenting photos, and becoming more comfortable with myself. Also knowing that I can’t look at the photo right after I hit the shutter always leaves me with a mystery. Whether it’s portraits or out in the streets, I tend to slow down and observe how people operate and maybe even interact with them. My work is always made for me, I never shy from a personal project because it’s “too weird” and rarely find myself overthinking on how the audience will view my work. however I am beyond happy that many people can relate to the content I do put out.

I feed off the fact that I can go from shooting colorful portraits or B&W street photos that leaves my viewer with a sense of calmness, to a video or photo series (that was inspired from an old horror film) that has the viewer disturbed or left with sense of weariness, but intrigues them & leaving them wanting more. To any creatives reading this, I encourage you to make what’s in your heart. Dig deep into yourself and put out the most outlandish, craziest work that you can think of.

There are billions of people on the planet, you are not the only crazy one. Someone is waiting on you to do it.”

Instagram: @fluoresceeie

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.

Haley Inyart – More Meat More Problem

Haley Clancy Inyart is currently Co-Director of The In Art Gallery. Haley received her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Art and Design with a focus in Drawing at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

She had a solo exhibition at The Governor French Gallery in Belleville, IL titled ‘Fridges and Freezers’. She has shown work in numerous shows including, the 28th Cedarhurst Biennial Juried Exhibition, the 16th Regional Juried Exhibition at Freeport Art Museum and The Edwardsville 200th Anniversary Show at the Edwardsville Arts Center. Haley has also completed a large-scale sculpture for SIUE’s Sculpture on Campus Competition, she received the ‘Dennis De Toye’ Award’ for her 8-foot sculpture of a steak which can be seen on the SIUE campus. The environment and the meat industry are concepts which her work revolves around.

Haley is an avid runner and spends most of her time outdoors.

“Eating meat has a direct correlation to climate change and it is one of the biggest contributors. It also causes enormous amounts of deforestation, water and air pollution and the unethical treatment of animals. Animals in factory farms are forced to live in confined spaces, barely able to walk around and some don’t ever see sunlight. The next time you eat a piece of meat, think about the suffering, resources and money it took to raise, kill and transport that animal to you. 

Using colored pencils and oil paint allows me to bring out the vibrant colors of meat and food packaging and emphasize the advertising that comes along with the food and meat industries. This advertising seems to cover up the issues and horrifying processes that animals are forced to endure. I encourage you to consider the impact of each person on this planet and how your choices affect the planet. “

Karen S. Holtzclaw

Karen S. Holtzclaw began painting in 1968 and continued in a realistic style until a couple of years ago, where she transformed into a fantasy style with an environmental context. She has also ventured out into book cover design and illustration.

“These paintings represent my feelings in the manifestation and celebration of two souls finding and loving life and each other”

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.”

Lydia Burris – Fantastic Journeys

“Fantastic Journeys” is an exploration of the in-between spaces in our hearts and minds. The work is imbued with the sense of dreams, where the rules of physics are insubstantial, and images, words, memories, and imagination dissolve into one another. These journeys are captured with a mix of media starting with collage as the main inspiration. “Working with collage allows me to deconstruct the known world and rebuild it in new ways. Fantastic Journeys is a love letter to a great yearning inside myself tofind deeper meaning in life, to explore places both known and imagined, and to discover the magic in everything”

Lydia Burris was born in Columbus, IN. She attended Indiana University in from 1998 -2002 where she received a double major in Fine Art and “Illustration of Mythology”. Lydia moved to England from 2004-2005 to pursue and receive her Masters of Art, Fine Art from the Norwich School of Art and Design (now called the Norwich University of the Arts). Lydia then moved to Indianapolis where she has been engaged in the art community since 2007. She participates in multiple art events annually and teaches art classes at Ivy Tech Community College. In 2009, she was awarded the Stutz Studio Residency, and continued to have a space at the Stutz from 2010 till 2019 when she moved her art studio to the Circle City Industrial Building.

In 2019 alone, Lydia participated in 6 local art events or markets (such as the Monster Drawing Rally at the SunKing Brewery), 6 Indianapolis gallery shows including the Tiny Show at the 924 Gallery, 4 gallery shows outside of Indy (Bloomington, IN, Chicago, IL., Los Angeles, CA), 5 open studio events, and 3 pop culture conventions such as GenCon. She was also prompted to create a public art installation at the local venue “Healer”, and was invited to be the photographer for a special celebrity event in Detroit, MI.

In the past, Lydia has been involved in illustration for independent books, games, albums and movies, as well as movie prop fabrication. In 2013 she curated a contemorary fantastic art show called “Conjure” at the Stutz Gallery, and in August of 2015 and 2016, she organized a 4-day art market called “Bizarre Bazaar” at the Indianapolis Artsgarden.

Lydia is dedicated to the art process and experimentation. She also holds a vibrant passion for travel and exploration. In May and June of 2019, she took a 26-day solo adventure to California and New Mexico, for the purpose of art inspiration, reflection and contemplation. She partially funded this trip by offering creative rewards to her art patrons.

If you are interested in purchasing one or more of her pieces, please browse through the gallery below.

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An extensive list of Lydia’s schedule, shows, and accomplishments can be seen on her website at Lydiaburris.com.

Jack Donnelly

Jack Donnelly was born in Portland, Oregon in 2001 but after a few years he moved with his family to Bloomington, Indiana where he grew up. As a twin, Jack always tried to be independent of his twin sister and become his own person, developing interests personal to him; the most prominent being his interest in art. Jack started with an interest in realism, drawing graphite portraits as detailed and true-to-life as possible, even selling pieces to friends at school for extra practice.

With an emotional drive, Jack let his heart lead his work, taking on darker topics like death and mental illness. Jack would surround himself with as many types of art as he could, taking an avid interest in researching musical art as well as designing and thrifting clothing. Jack drew inspiration from many movements and periods including, the postmodern movement, the surrealist period, the cubist style, and the neo-expressionist movement where he found great inspiration from Jean Michel Basquiat.

Jack excelled in the use of digital applications like photoshop and became the top graphic art student in his high school. This graphic art has become Jack’s primary medium.

“I have always been interested in how when you construct a figure it is considered art but at some point, you are imitating life. I think that everything is art, but I like to mix realism with more abstract styles to express the complexity of our world. This mixing of styles is my way of commenting on how fascinating it is that we have so many ways of expressing the same idea. I could draw a detailed figure of a man; blending shadows and highlights, measuring every precise angle, or I could carefully combine colors and circles and curved lines, with seemingly no meaning on their own, to create the figure of a man so the same. I have fun using both tactics, like painting while wearing mis-matched glasses; the right lens a piece of broken, orange-tinted glass from a bottle, the left lens a clear, clean-cut piece of glass from a microscope.”

Diva Armas Luther

Diva Armas Luther is a digital artist and illustrator, she creates colorful prints of varied themes.  

Having a graphic design background, her work is inspired by typography and architecture magazine layouts. She grew up with influences such as, late 80’s to early 2000’s Japanese manga, international haute couture editorials, and contemporary political art from her home-country, Indonesia. After spending more than a decade being in different countries in Asia, she found comfort in Bloomington’s art scene and is excited to bring her own culture to the colorful B-Town. 

“Illustration is my way of untangling the messy concepts in the mind and turning it into a neat and tidy theme. Coordinating colors is therapeutic to me. Instead of painting what I actually feel, I improve my emotions by beautifying them. Typeface plays a big role on that as well. The words I’ve chosen for my artworks tend to explain what I’d rather keep in private” 

She signs all the artworks with her name, but her handle is Komik Taksa. 

Instagram: @komiktaksa