Patrick Adams: Born in Worthington, Minnesota, Patrick Adams received his BA at Winona State University in 1989 and his MFA at the University of Kentucky in 1992. He received a Teaching Assistant position in 1990-92 at the University of Kentucky and the AI Smith Fellowship and Professional Assistance Award from the Kentucky Arts Council in 1998 and 2000. He has shown in solo exhibitions from 2001-2017 across the United States, as well as group exhibitions since 1999. His pieces evoke the idea that the natural world is not simply a background to people’s lives but the very heart of existence. From his artist’s statement, "the beauty of these forms is not just to delight us (though it does), but also to give us life. The exquisite beauty of nature is not simply reflective of surface values, but also of the essence and power of being."
Kevin Barton: With an artistic eye and impressionistic flair, Kevin Barton has been creating art professionally for more than two decades. One of Michigan’s most collected artists, Barton is an avid plein-air painter and is active in the art show circuit, where he is decorated well. He is a Signature Member of the American Impressionist Society, and his artistic statement is as follows: "As an artist, my goal is to promote the philosophy that appreciating life should be an everyday activity and in doing so inspire those who do not themselves create. I prefer to do my work from life and on location".
Suzanne Bonser: Transforming photographs of mundane objects, such as her series on old trucks, into incredibly realistic oil paintings, Suzanne Bonser has been inspired by capturing personal experiences and observations from her travels. Using literary or historical references in the imagery and switching around vantage points and composition into a more exciting viewing experience, her main goal is to convey the place or subject in her art as it appears in memory. Her still life series includes images of fruit overlaid onto pieces of fabric in order to introduce a level of unexpected depth to the piece.
Cole Carothers: A Cincinnati native, Cole Carothers received his BA from Colorado College in 1971 and his MFA from American University in 1978. While teaching in multiple universities (including the Cincinnati Art Academy) Cole Carothers continued to paint and participate in exhibitions across the country. He has permanent collections in the Cincinnati Art Museum, the University of Kentucky Art Museum, Georgetown College, Lakeland College, and the University of Cincinnati. From 2011-2013 his paintings were hung in the Ohio Governor's executive offices in Columbus, Ohio, and he has a current installation in the U.S. Ambassador's office in Nairobi, Kenya.
Cheryl Chapman: Since receiving her MFA from the University of Kentucky in 1995, Cheryl Chapman has been featured in many exhibitions from 1995-2017 throughout Kentucky, West Virginia, North Carolina, New Mexico, and has had her work exhibited in collections in Washington, DC, and India. She has co-owned and directed Chapman Friedman Gallery from 2001-2010, and also directed two separate galleries from 1997-2000. Her artist statement is as follows: “My paintings reflect a world view that recognizes the human desire to arrange, distill, and make sense of an infinitely complex and interrelated universe. What can be perceived is only an incomplete generalization of a vast network of information. Seeking the essence of things in this often overwhelming age of information, we assemble emerging bits and hints of pattern. As an artist of non-objective and abstracted form I see my process of art-making as a way to allow a visual vocabulary express, with color and composition in the material world, ideas for which words are inadequate. I find inspiration in the visual occurrences of everyday life where color, line, and form find just the right intersection to create a moment of satisfyingly raw beauty. It is those moments that offer the possibility of communion, not just communication, and are the elusive goal of the artist.”
Jolie Harris: While exploring the evocative powers of random patterns and visual events in nature, Jolie Harris captures emotion that is plainly displayed in her pieces. She uses many layers of paint to pull the viewer into her intricate, richly textured tableaus, vibrant and visceral compositions of organic and biomorphic shapes. The paintings are meant not teach a certain meaning but to allow the viewer to experience whatever emotion they may provoke.
Heidi Harner: Heidi Harner graduated from Purdue University with a BA in Visual Communications Design, after which she worked in graphic design, but the confinement of the cubicles led her to seek artistic expression through painting. Now a full-time artist, Harner works in many layers to encourage viewers to participate in the process of discovering elements underneath and within the painting, and each layer contributes to the piece.
Rodney Hatfield: A lifetime resident of Appalachian Kentucky, Rodney Hatfield’s greatest inspiration has been the rural and isolated environment in which he spent his formative years. His work has been described as ‘whimsical yet disturbing’ - as a self-taught artist, Hatfield’s art displays a freedom with media, allowing different textures and ideas to be developed on the canvas. Often, due to a scavenging habit, his pieces are embellished with found and weathered objects such as newspapers and napkins, punching up the background and even the figures within to add an interesting, graphic effect. Throughout his artistic career, Hatfield has been shown regionally in the Kentucky area as well as the southwestern United States and Ecuador.
Billy Hertz: A gallery operator for more than 20 years, Billy Hertz has evolved his semi-abstract landscapes to a pared down form and composition, allowing the balance of abstract and representational to exist with tension. Focusing on the relationship between land and water in natural harmony, Hertz displays earth from a bird’s eye view, creating beautiful aerial vistas.
Joshua Jenkins: Born in New Jersey and raised in Poughkeepsie, NY, where he was homeschooled, Joshua Jenkins was exposed to the diverse culture, urban life, and the acclaimed museums of the eastern US. Over the summers he would travel to live with his father in central Kentucky, where he would eventually move. The relaxed and easy-going backwoods of the south contrasted with the fast-paced life of the north and created a deeply-ingrained dichotomy that influences his artistic work. Jenkins’ work is a communicative tool; his art is a sort of therapy for coping with stress and emotions. From his artist’s statement, Jenkins claims his work “is not to create art at expense of my own or others miseries, but rather to shine a light on the commonalities between us all…we all feel similar emotions”.
Rick Koehler: Before discovering his love for painting, Rick Koehler worked as a contractor for Architects Plus, a firm he co-founded in 1979. At 61, he began taking art classes and workshops and only 16 months into this venture, he was accepted as a signature member of Cincinnati Art Club. He was awarded the Artists’ Choice award at his first show, ViewPoint 45, and took away Best in Show at the Hyde Park Art Show in 2016. Most of Koehler’s work showcases his love of nature and the inspiration he finds in painting plein air.
Susan Mahan: After graduating from Miami University, Susan Mahan taught art to high school students for over 30 years. She earned a Master’s degree in Art / Education from Xavier University where she later taught as an Adjunct Professor in the Art Department. She has won numerous awards such as the Lifetime Achievement Award at Art Comes Alive, a nationally juried exhibition. Her work is in many corporate collections, including the permanent collection of Proctor & Gamble, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, and the United coalition of Animals. She has exhibited nationally, and her work is in hundreds of private collections. She currently teaches “Painting with Paper” workshops.
Dewey Blocksma: After earning a B.S. in Chemistry from Wheaton College in Illinois, and graduating from Northwestern University Medical School, Dewey Blocksma worked as an emergency room physician for ten years before becoming a full-time artist. Intricate and witty, Blocksma’s work is an extension of his toy-making experiences developed in childhood while living on the border of India and Pakistan where conventional toys were virtually unavailable. This experience fostered a deep-set creativity and ingenuity that is reflected in his sculptures. During his years as an emergency room doctor, Blocksma put people back together, a skill transferred to his hobby of toy making and eventually his art; he began his artistic career as a way to relax and it slowly turned compulsive, a way of thinking with his hands, a complete departure from the intense requirements of his taxing day job. Considered one of the top 20th century American folk artists, Blocksma’s work exemplifies the genre. Dewey Blocksma marries his education, experience, and enormous talent into complex, beautiful, and empathetic sculptural pieces.
Len Cowgill: Len Cowgill creates his work with a painstakingly sure hand and meticulous design, creating a story with gesture and neat block lettering that borders on compulsive. His drawings are placed within various containers that give the work an emotional impact that belies their size or monochromatic nature. Cowgill’s work is about containment, to “explore some facet of the human condition and box it or put it in a bottle. I create a stage for the drawing and invite the audience to get close, look at and touch it. Sometimes the drawings are in the form of puppets and the viewer may tug the strings and make them jump. I put music boxes that the viewer can crank on some pieces, or I'll mount the drawing on a turntable so it will spin. The important part is that the experience is shared, that a story has been told...perhaps not the story I had in mind”. The story, the evocation of such rich emotion, and the beautiful imagery creates a work that speaks for itself.
Suzanne Fisher: Suzanne Fisher is a mixed media painter and mosaic muralist living in Cincinnati, Ohio. She received her BFA and MFA in painting, at Miami University and the University of Cincinnati. Fisher’s work expresses her love of color, diverse materials, the natural world, pop graphics, and art history. Suzanne Fisher’s work is represented by Art Design Consultants in Cincinnati and Gallery One in Naples, Florida.
Philippe Guillerm: Born in Paris, France in the 1950s, Philippe Guillerm travels the world on a sailboat with his wife and daughters, scouting for pieces of driftwood that can be transformed into beautiful sculptures. He also often works on art projects at the Black Pearl Museum in Tahiti, the International airports in Papeete and New Caledonia, and throughout Brazil to Australia. In warmer weather he creates new work in his studio and gallery located in a restored 1850s bank in Waldoboro, Maine. Guillerm’s music-inspired sculptures often feature stringed instruments, creating a sense of art and music colliding in wonderful harmony. Guillerm’s work can be seen in galleries across the world.
Stewart Gordon: A history writer by profession, Stewart Gordon creates skillfully produced and charming automotons - art that is not only amazing when still, but is an interactive, moving piece when in motion. "About my sculptures. I have always been fascinated with the interaction of color, light, scale and movement. Some of my first carving were whirligigs of various sorts. Over the years I have seen many automata, including quite complex gearing mechanisms, but I find the simpler and more spontaneous folk versions more interesting and more fun. My pieces are not toys (They are a bit delicate for rough use by children.) but rather intended to give joy to adults. They aim to catch a moment, freeze it and then melt it into action. I create worlds that you can claim and animate."
Sally May Kinsey: Mosaic artist, Sally May Kinsey has dabbled in painting, drawing, ceramic, metal, glass and fiber art, but found mosaics to be the art form that just clicked with her style. Kinsey is a member of the Society of American Mosaic Artists (SAMA), Contemporary Mosaic Artists (CMA). She has exhibited in juried and invitational shows, and won awards across the United States. Her work has been published in numerous magazines, books, and online journals in the United States, Canada and Brazil.
Joan Painter Jones: Joan Painter Jones creates pieces that capture the imagination using old scraps of wood, metal, broken things, and things discarded and given. The items in her compositions seem to have lived a full life before becoming integral to her art. Starting with a single piece, the scuptures evolve and grow until she sees a finished product. She encourages the viewer to take a big role in the process, intrigued by what they might see and take away from her work.
Stephen Palmer: A Michigan artist who has spent his life creating, Stephen Palmer attributes his love of art to an upbringing submerged in creativity; both parents were artists and poets in their own right. Palmer spent his early life in California but moved to the Midwest when he was in the fourth grade. For his mixed media works, Palmer uses everything from old crutches, yardsticks, glass, saws, and other found objects to create intriguing and slightly intimidating fish. His inspiration to transform these bits and pieces has a deeper meaning, too, since “we as humans throw away all this crap and we are doing damage to our oceans”, thus, he is giving life to artistic and real fish by recycling what might have become trash. Palmer's work has been represented in over 30 different galleries throughout the country.
Ursula Roma: Ursula Roma is a fine artist, designer and sculptor who studied art and design in New York, Ohio, and Connecticut receiving both a BFA and an MFA. For over 20 years, she has been doing commissioned design, illustration, and fine art work for local and national clients in various mediums including computer graphics, acrylic and watercolor painting, collage, and pen & ink. Roma also creates mixed-media wall art and sculptures using found objects and salvaged materials. As a seasoned salvager and recycler, she sees potential in all kinds of discarded shapes and found objects, and repurposes these objects into works of fine art.
Mark Wiesner: An art educator for 39 years, Mark Wiesner’s work exemplifies mixed media and innovation. His beautiful re-creations of natural scenes with corrugated cardboard and wood invite the viewer to question what they are seeing. His pieces display an interesting synergy between drawing and sculpture, nature and abstraction. Wiesner’s work brings a meticulous, technical rigor to delicate and mundane materials, springing them to life. His wall reliefs seem to move and flow, using lines, shapes, and textures.
Raenette Palmer: Raenette Palmer creates painstakingly intricate designs using hundreds of French knots, carefully combined into playful scenes and images.
Stephen Palmer: Finishing his elementary education degree at the University of Michigan, Palmer paid his college debts by learning how to make stained glass as well as working with pottery, batik, and photography. While working in Flint as a math teacher, Palmer struck a deal with his principal in order to use an abandoned art classroom for his work. Using the kiln in that forgotten space, he developed his methodology for creating beautiful fused glasswork.
Elizabeth Parrock: While in college, Elizabeth Parrock discovered an affinity for creating pottery; she was attracted to the functionality of the pieces she could make out of a multitude of shapes and colors. After receiving her Fine Arts Degree in 1983, she worked in accounting until the late 1990s, when she delved into jewlery design. Parrock learned Native American off-loom weaving techniques, peyote and brick stitches as well as the herringbone stitch, which originated in Africa. She incorporates beautiful semi-precious stones and metals in her unique jewelry pieces.
Kristin Perkins: Making jewelry for more than 25 years after being introduced to jewelry making and metalsmithing in high school classes in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Kristin Perkins later developed her designs while studying furnace glassblowing where she discovered her deep fascination with the craft. Each piece is made one at a time using the lampwork technique and is entirely made by hand, from the glass to the silver setting. Inspired by clean, simple design and emphasis on colors, these pieces are contemporary and vibrant while remaining easy for every day wear.
Bijou Graphique: Dawn Estrin, the illustrative artist of these beautiful, ethereal pieces of jewelry, describes her work as presenting the natural world through a prism of fantasy and mystery. Estrin studied jewelry making at the Cleveland Institute of Art during high school and has her BFA in drawing and painting. Inspired by her love of animals and nature as well as the art deco movement, Estrin uses a variety of creative computer tools to combine many elements into a photo-montage, with each design starting as an original, hand fabricated model that is then embellished with engravings, stamps, and patterned metal.
Laron Algren: Growing up on a farm, Laron Algren was introduced to carpentry at an early age while observing the building of barns and fences. He joined 4H and pursued woodworking throughout his childhood and adolescence; eventually earning a degree in Industrial Engineering. Shortly thereafter, Algren received a request for a pair of hand-made chairs, and discovered his niche in furniture making. Inspired by the works of Wharton Escherick and Sam Maloof, Algren creates works of extraordinary character employing organic shapes, unique designs, and his fresh and interesting ideas.
Nate Chambers: After wanting to learn how to carve a bowl, Nate Chambers stumbled into woodcraft and has spent ten years l earning and perfecting his work under the auspices of some of the best craftspeople working today - Jim Sannerud, Roger Abrahamson, Robin Wood, and Lissa Hunter. For the first three or four years, Chambers would throw out as much as he would keep, but he attributes this to the learning procedure in any artistic endeavor. Now, Chambers makes beautiful, handmade, functional tableware, fashioned out of thousands of years of tradition. There is a unique consideration that makes Chamber’s work truly spectacular; h ow does one make things out of chaos, or out of the doubt, sorrow, or joy that give our lives meaning? Chambers answers: “within traditional craft is a form and structure that helps to serve as a guideline while I seek to find my own voice. Within a piece of wood already exists the object I am trying to create, if I am skilled enough to bring it into existence. Within every bowl or cup I turn there is a little bit of my own narrative, however subtle, and this is something I can share with those who choose to purchase my items.”
Larry Fox: Artist based in Northern Michigan. He creates the three dimensional work by making a wooden frame and structure and using painting processes to embellish the form. Larry's work stems from his architectural education background and his love of the urban and natural environment. His work can be found in private and corporate collections around the country.
Robert Fry: After studying art at Thomas Moore College and Northern Kentucky University, Robert Fry’s work has been exhibited both regionally and nationally. His work is simple and direct, combining traditional woodworking and carving methods to create elegant pieces of functional art. Also a sculptor, Frye has been shown in several outdoor exhibitions, including the Chicago Navy Pier Walk.
Dylan Tennison: Woodworker and urban farmer, Dylan Tennison is a Cincinnati native.
Michael Warnock: A child consumed with creativity, Michael Warnock grew up in Cincinnati and was inspired by the music of Jimi Hendrix and guitars to look into the art within wood. After getting a degree in fine arts and education from Mount St. Joseph University, Warnock became interested in furniture design and studio woodworking, eventually studying at the Haywood’s Professional Crafts program near Asheville, North Carolina, before moving back to Ohio. Important to Warnock is the restoration of human connection to things that not only better our lives, but also age well and become a rich background to them.
Eric Jensen: Eric Jensen received his MFA in ceramics from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and has over thirty-five years experience in producing functional ware. In 1975, Jensen, along with several other artists, set up Lillstreet Studios in Chicago. “I come from a family of hand workers, so I feel I’m obeying my genetic code,” he says. “My goal is simplicity. If I were to name a source on inspiration, it might be water-smoothed stones and wood, Shaker furniture, or the writing of Wallace Stegner.”
Leif Sporck: The son of two artists, Leif Sporck grew up with a ceramic studio and a gallery in his backyard, leading to a life of artistic endeavors and skill. Formed in 2001, Sporck Tileart has created over 500 unique designs that are inspired by nature and a life outdoors. Leif also draws inspiration from his close biological connection to the Vikings of Norway; he believes that these Nordic ancestors have allowed him to carve designs into clay.
Jan Wiesner: After receiving her BFA from the University of Cincinnati, Jan Wiesner has spent most of her life teaching art a nd putting the love of creation back into her community. Her works have a distinct, ethereal atmosphere that instantly transports the viewer directly into the scene. Each work is crafted with an overarching theme and storyline into a collection, although they can also easily stand alone. Often these stories explore the many fairytales within our culture that affect women. Her pieces reflect the distortion between societal expectations and reality, as well as emotional responses that are often concealed . These sculptures embody both the natural and unnatural aspects of our lives.
Vicki Grant: Using natural objects she’s collected throughout the years from all over the world, Vicki Grant creates concentric ceramic pieces that reflect the forms, structures, colors, and textures that can be found in the natural world. Her work expresses her evolution as an artist; while practicing architecture for 30 years, she explored the complex processes of manipulating form, texture, material, and color to create emotional responses from people interacting with space. Thus, her artwork is an extension of this process on a more intimate scale: connecting with the viewer, at intellectual and emotional levels, is the ultimate goal.
Rodger Skinner: From his home just southeast of the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore, Rodger Skinner is within miles of the beautiful landscapes, shorelines, tiny towns, and tumbling hills unique to lower Michigan. About twenty years ago, Skinner began taking a serious interest in photography, first dabbling in film before hitting his stride with digital. The alluring part of photography for Skinner is the spontaneity and the rush of finding himself in the right place at the right time to capture the perfect moment.
Baabaazuzu: founded in 1994 and based in Lake Leelanau, Michigan, Baabaazuzu engages in the manufacture and sale of clothing from recycled woolen garments; a product of ingenuity and a laundry accident. Sue Burns, the CEO, was heartbroken when her husband ruined her favorite wool sweater in the laundry, but had the idea to transform the shrunken fabric into a pair of fashionable and cozy mittens. Each piece is unique and handcrafted from colorful textiles that are reclaimed and given new life as beautiful accessories and clothing.
David Goldhagen: Using traditional glassblowing methods thousands of years old, David Goldhagen creates each piece individually, working with molten glass at temperatures in excess of 2000°F. His pieces capture a palette that moves from subtle to bold by the incorporation of bits of colored glass made from various mixtures of metallic oxides and rare earth elements, such as silver, cobalt, gold, copper, dichroics and others. Each piece begins as a gathering of molten clear glass on the end of a five-foot blowpipe. Colors are then meticulously layered and manipulated on the surface, creating intricate patterns and movement within the sculpture. The design is then encased in another layers of crystal. Each piece is then either mouth blown or hand sculpted. His asymmetrical pods require unusual strength and mastery of technique, harnessing the fiery momentum, climaxing as the piece opens and spins out in one continuous movement. Some of these extraordinary pieces are in excess of 40” in diameter