Tag Archives: caitlyn shea

Artist, Caitlyn Shea Embraces the Uncertainty

CShea_BlogPicBy Jenna Weis

The unknown and sense of uncertainty can make one anxious and even fearful. It is definitely something that is often avoided, but artist Caitlyn Shea desires the uncertainty when creating her powerful paintings, even manipulating various mediums to distance herself from intention. Painting and re-painting, configuring and re-configuring the composition in the midst of the creative process, Shea produces figurative artwork with the spirit of Abstract Expressionism. As a female delving into a style dubbed long ago as “masculine”, Shea summons a new, strong sense of femininity to abstract art.

The actual process of building up and breaking down the image are critical elements in Shea’s work. Her paintings consist of meditative yet lively colors applied in an action painting aesthetic with an animal, insect, or a human being as her muse for the visual complexity they can offer. For this artist, inspiration is often found in a photo of a natural being in a unique pose or from a unique perspective, giving Shea a compelling layout to explore the anatomy. Through a gestural array of colors the subject seems to be formed through the abstraction that gives the being life and energy.2_RavenHiRes

“I like to take risks and will sometimes bring a painting to a place where I completely dislike it. Then a spark will come back again and I will rework the painting.  Figuring out the balance between form and abstraction keeps me engaged and excited – and keeps me up all night very often!”

Utilizing charcoal, acrylics, spray paint, and even house paint helps Shea generate the out-of-the-box results that she strives for. She says “These mediums give me unpredictable results and bring an element of discovery that makes painting more exciting…In many ways I allow the mediums to dictate the work, and I pull the form out of the materials.” This method allows the viewer to witness the process of change as it unfolds throughout the painting, creating a state of sublime.

10659022_879263097663_2796195771679992064_oOver the summer Shea experienced her greatest achievement as an artist when she completed a massive humming bird mural on a vacant building in Riverhead thanks to the East End Arts Council’s program “JumpstART”. After an enormous amount of work, proving her capability, and fundraising, Shea created her own opportunity to display her work to the public. She says “In the end it is my greatest achievement because it will continue to stand in Riverhead permanently and offer hope to a community that is eager to revitalize.”

Shea will be making her art a public affair in Huntington as well at SPARKBOOM’S JINGLE BOOM: HOLIDAY BASH event on Saturday, December 20th at Huntington Arts Council’s Main Street Gallery located at 213 Main Street from 6-10PM. She has decorated a window display of whimsical animals in chaotic holiday environment consisted of 2D and 3D elements. Along with great artwork to see there will be craft beer courtesy of Saint James Brewery, treats from Stella Blue Bistro, Hint water, prize giveaways courtesy of Sip Tea Lounge, Lotus Vintage, Kilwins Huntington, and Escape Pod Comics, and live music and poetry. RSVP here via Facebook.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

rain roomJenna Weis grew up on Long Island and graduated from Commack High School in 2007. She received her Associates Degree in Visual Arts from Suffolk Community College then went on to receive her Bachelor’s Degree in Art History and Criticism from Stony Brook University. This is her second summer working for SPARKBOOMTM, first as Lead Blogger. She hopes the blog will really engage readers to want to see more of the artists work at our SPARKBOOMTM events and help further promote the artists themselves.

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Maria Macedonio-Ritter – Intimacy Knitted in a Quilt

MariaMacedonio-RitterIslipMuseumBy Caitlyn Shea

Maria Macedonio-Ritter is an artist that is uniquely skilled in both traditional painting and conceptual quilt making.  In her newest work, Come Unity-A Quilt For One Another, Macedonio-Ritter took on the unique challenge of creating a quilt that incorporates human hair.  In this project she reflected on the extremely intimate nature of working with the hair of both strangers and loved ones, and chose to also include notes from family and friends that remain illegible in the work.  When installed as part of Islip Art Museum’s It’s Getting Hairy exhibit, the quilt will be hung parallel to the gallery’s fireplace.  Macedonio-Ritter states: “The fireplace, a feature that we welcome in our homes, represents a delicate balance, as it is potentially aggressive, however, when controlled provides warmth and security.”  The overall finished product is very innovative and the fresh-perspective on the tradition of quilt making exposes the vulnerability of those who donated a part of themselves to it.  It also speaks to the vulnerable nature of humanity as a whole.

Macedonio-Ritter explains:

“The hair was donated by family members and friends and even some people who I don’t know. I left a description of the project for my hairdresser at The Cutting Club in Blue Point, and people donated their hair.  When I told people about the project they were excited to donate their hair because they felt as though they were a part of a piece of art.  As I created the quilt it became something bigger. Everyone struggles with something in life and the quilt became more of a prayer, it was quite an emotional project.”

When she is not working on conceptual quilts, Macedonio-Ritter paints vibrant, expressive paintings in a variety of different styles and techniques.  She is successful at capturing the essence of many different art genres and shares her knowledge as an art teacher in the Connetquot Central School District and as Director of The Center for Visual Arts in Blue Point, New York.  Creating gestural paintings of animals is where she feels most at home, and hopes these paintings inspire viewers to examine their relationships with animals.  Her figurative and conceptual works are unified by a strong sense of gesture and color that are apparent throughout her bodies of work.MariaMRQuiltEastEndArtsResidency

When I asked Macedonio-Ritter where her inspiration stems from, she replied: “I have always loved the work of Grace Hartigan. I also admire the way she stayed true to who she was as a painter rather than following what was popular.   My quilt works address another concern of mine. My primary goal in these works is to push the limitations of how painting is defined. I decided to eliminate the surface for pigment so that the painting could be viewed on either side.  I feel my father, who is not a painter, but a very creative person, has influenced me by always showing me how to take the road less traveled.”

Macedonio-Ritter’s work is on display from October 1st to November 1st at the Islip Art Museum. SPARKBOOMTM will co-curate the show along with Beth Giacummo, including the closing reception on November 1st, “Things Are Getting Hairy”, featuring a Hair Sculpture Show, food, music, Mythological Costume Contest, and of course, all of the amazing artists on display.  Visit islipartmuseum.org for more info and check out the official FB event.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Caitlyn SImagehea is a professional fine art painter. She studied Studio Art and Art History at Pratt Institute and Skidmore College before graduating with a BFA from Adelphi University in 2011. Outside of her studio, Shea is captivated by the pluralism that exists in art today, and the ways in which individual artists define themselves and their practices in order to carve out a unique career. By interviewing participating SPARKBOOMTM artists, Shea looks to develop a dialogue between practicing artists and an audience that does not only include other art experts, but people who have a newfound urge to become involved in experiencing the work of fresh, exciting artists.

 

 

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Meishan Pan – Connecting with Human Emotions

CPan3By Caitlyn Shea

Meishan Pan creates striking, large scale paintings of the human face and body.  I was fortunate enough to view her work as it was being installed at Artspace Patchogue earlier this month.  Her powerful works have an immediate and strong presence in the gallery.  The paintings are left raw and unapologetically unframed.  Using a limited palette of black, white, and grays, human faces become the main focus of her paintings.  The facial expressions she chooses to portray run the gamut from tranquility all the way to pain and anguish.

Allowing rCPan2oom for drips and splatters, Pan says her paintings are inspired by her memories.  She works from photos that she takes herself.  She will have two paintings at Artspace Unplugged.  One is of a woman’s face from her series entitled “Because of You.”  The figure’s eyes meet our gaze and create a confrontational, yet elusive effect.  She describes the series as being about: “different emotions human beings face nowadays. Because people come into our life and cause us to be happy, frustrated, depressed and many emotions.”  She will also be showcasing a painting of an elderly man; she is fascinated by the narrative written across his face.  She says: “I personally like to draw old faces because of the attractions behind those faces. The lines and wrinkles left on their faces tell stories they have experienced in their life, it is a celebration of life.”

CPan1Pan learned to draw in China, where she was born and raised.  Her paintings are beyond portraits, capturing remarkable emotions and energetic mark-making.  Her work must be seen in person to be fully appreciated for their painterly quality and large scale magnitude.

Join us for Artspace Unplugged on August 9th at Artspace Patchogue. SPARKBOOM™ will be featuring over 40 artists and 4 live musical acts, delicious Craft Beer courtesy of Saint James Brewery and tasty Food courtesy of Mia’s River Avenue Deli. It is a free event open to all! RSVP here via Facebook.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Caitlyn SImagehea is a professional fine art painter. She studied Studio Art and Art History at Pratt Institute and Skidmore College before graduating with a BFA from Adelphi University in 2011. Outside of her studio, Shea is captivated by the pluralism that exists in art today, and the ways in which individual artists define themselves and their practices in order to carve out a unique career. By interviewing participating SPARKBOOMTM artists, Shea looks to develop a dialogue between practicing artists and an audience that does not only include other art experts, but people who have a newfound urge to become involved in experiencing the work of fresh, exciting artists.

 

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Eric Araujo and his “House Project”

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Credit: Terry Carroll

By Caitlyn Shea

Eric Araujo is a meticulous craftsman that bridges the gap between utilitarian objects and conceptual art.  His drawings of the human body read like anatomy textbooks overlaid with practical mechanical renderings.  He seamlessly brings his attention to detail into 3-D works as well.  In his ongoing series House Project, Araujo salvages discarded materials in order to build impermanent housing structures for homeless people.  Beyond a major act of kindness, these houses mimic the pre-existing houses in the neighborhoods they are placed in and make a powerful statement about the unspoken rift amongst the area’s “haves” and “have-nots.”

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Credit: Terry Carroll

In the eyes of homeless people and neighborhood residents, Araujo’s houses must seem to appear and then disappear out of thin air.   The artist does not usually have any interaction with the fortunate receivers of the homes or nearby homeowners as he drops his handmade structures off in the darkness of night.  He does recall his first drop off in San Francisco and the suspicious feedback he received from a man named Wallace that had been living on the street.  “He thought I would harm him, like set it on fire! It was shocking as I never considered that as a possible reaction. Ultimately it resulted in his exuberant gratitude remarking;

‘This is the first time I’ve owned a house in all my life. THANK YOU!'”

ConductorAt first glance, Araujo’s human body renderings and houses may seem unrelated; however they speak to the inner-workings of pinnacle human structures.  He explains, “Whether it’s a house or the human body they’re both utilitarian and both impermanent.  They both require maintenance for longevity and a sound skeletal structure to exist well.”  He also notes that our possessions define us the same way that our bodies do. Our objects act “as prosthetics and extensions of our bodies and one could consider our human relationships as reflections of ourselves.”

It comes as no surprise that Araujo works tirelessly in his studios on multiple projects at the same time…

“These days my studio practice is divided between my apartment where I draw and a separate wood shop where I can use power tools and make a mess to build things.  It becomes a practice of time management and patience . . . Making things is like exercising a muscle, just a little bit helps keep muscle memory.  Before I know it I’ve got a body of work.”

During SPARKBOOM‘s2009-0917-113520 kickoff event, viewers will have the opportunity to see and engage with a house boat called “Debbie Sue” first hand.  It speaks to the human need for refuge, especially in the wake of natural disasters such as Sandy and Katrina. Join us at Walt Whitman’s Birthplace for Beards, Bards, and BOOM on June 21st from 7-11PM to explore “Debbie Sue” before it sets sail! RSVP here.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Caitlyn SImagehea is a professional fine art painter. She studied Studio Art and Art History at Pratt Institute and Skidmore College before graduating with a BFA from Adelphi University in 2011. Outside of her studio, Shea is captivated by the pluralism that exists in art today, and the ways in which individual artists define themselves and their practices in order to carve out a unique career. By interviewing participating SPARKBOOMTM artists, Shea looks to develop a dialogue between practicing artists and an audience that does not only include other art experts, but people who have a newfound urge to become involved in experiencing the work of fresh, exciting artists.

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Bill Shillalies – Working with the Elements of Nature

By Caitlyn Shea

billAs a student at Adelphi University I knew Bill Shillalies as an almost permanent fixture in the ceramics studio. He would be teaching, assisting students that were struggling to make their pottery stand up straight, or watching over the huge Anagama kiln. I could never fit his class into my schedule but every time I would be hollowing out a sculpture or standing over buckets of glaze with a worried look, he would appear as if by magic and give me practical guidance so that I could come to a good decision on my own.

I vividly remember seeing a new sculpture hanging in the studio one day. bill3In structure it resembled an iconic beehive. It was a larger piece and many students took a break from their work to crowd around it. Upon closer examination, the surface had a rough organic white texture floating and obscuring the view of a deep dense blue shine. Immediately it took on the enormity of constellations in the night sky, yet still made one contemplate organic and earthly form.  It was unmistakably Bill’s signature aesthetic.

Bill5Conjuring elements of nature, Bill is influenced heavily by his time spent outdoors hiking, camping, snowshoeing, and being near lakes and beaches. He says that he is fascinated by seeing his outdoor works relate with their surroundings. He states “Every time I put them down on the ground it is different, I like to see them change with the seasons.” Elements like snow, dew drops, and rain play with the surface of his sculptures in their respective environments. His wall hangings and pottery also brings a sense of the outdoors to the indoors.

Bill takes pleasure in the surprise elements of sculpture. “I enjoy the things that I have no control over.  Sometimes it hurts and I have to do it over again, but then I might get it to where it makes me smile.” He is most easily defined by his passion for making new work and for his delight in being surrounded by excited sculptors at Adelphi University and Nassau County Community College.

When I asked him where his passion came from he answered:

“Passion is the key word! I was doing very poorly in school because I could not read well or spell. Teachers just did not understand me and wrote me off. I met a teacher whom realized I had dyslexia and another that suggested I major in Ceramics. My life changed and I have been making art every day to keep my hands moving. Lucky me, I love teaching, so my life is whole!”

During SPARKBOOM‘s Kickoff event, “Beards, Bards and BOOM”, Bill Shillalies will have two sculptures in the Walt Whitman Birthplace garden. He has left them untitled and open to the viewer’s own interpretation.  Check it out on June 21st! Click here to RSVP.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Caitlyn SImagehea is a professional fine art painter. She studied Studio Art and Art History at Pratt Institute and Skidmore College before graduating with a BFA from Adelphi University in 2011. Outside of her studio, Shea is captivated by the pluralism that exists in art today, and the ways in which individual artists define themselves and their practices in order to carve out a unique career. By interviewing participating SPARKBOOMTM artists, Shea looks to develop a dialogue between practicing artists and an audience that does not only include other art experts, but people who have a newfound urge to become involved in experiencing the work of fresh, exciting artists.

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Dave Rogers – Celebrating Eastern Ideas on Long Island

daverogersstudio

Rogers, working in his studio.

By Caitlyn Shea

Dave Rogers is a major contributor to the Long Island visual art scene and the art world at large. His artwork delivers a worldly fusion of Eastern and Western culture; which makes it unique when compared to the mainly Western perspectives we are used to seeing. Recognizable marketing icons, such as the Coca-Cola logo, collide with ritualistic terra-cotta warriors in his recent work “Coca-cotta.”

During college Rogers traveled east, to China, for an exchange program. There, he learned the fine art of paper cutting and Chinese calligraphy. Rogers says “The hardest part of learning Chinese art is the idea of 中 (balance). It is not just a way of making the art, but the manner in which you approach what you are doing.” While living abroad, he began exhibiting at major shows and teaching classes in a variety of art techniques.

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“Ronald McCotta” (2013)

The concept for the terra-cotta warriors came to Rogers organically in China. He recalls “…while at the site of the terra-cottas you could buy Coke, there were bobble head terra-cottas, and t-shirts, and even 3D art of the warriors. People were spending more time in the gift shop and food lounge than actually looking at the impressiveness of these warriors themselves.”

Rogers works in paper cutting, sculpture, painting, metal, clay, and more. He juggles these mediums simultaneously. He says “While I am waiting for the varnish or primer on one painting to dry and the clay to leather on a piece, I am also laying out designs for my found objects, drawing out plans for paper cuttings or designing ideas for public projects.” The common thread between all of his work is his Neo-Pop sensibility and his twist on combining traditional mediums with the overarching reach of consumerist culture and marketing.

terra_cotta_card (1)

“Coca-Cotta” (2013)

On his website, Rogers prominently features a manifesto section. Manifestos were frequently written by groups of avant-garde artists to define their collective intentions. They are written less commonly today, yet Rogers has a well informed opinion of what he believes needs to change in the way artists perceive their role within the art market. “What I found sad is that artists no longer really control the movement of art. This is cautionary tale that POP art was meant to warn us about, and yet instead of questioning the art world, we have come to be labeled by it. In order for us to move forward we actually have to go back to when artists formed schools of thought and told the art world what the next movement was.”

Rogers’ internationally intriguing sculptures will be featured at SPARKBOOM‘s 2014 KICKOFF EVENT – “Beards, Bards and BOOM” on Saturday, June 21st, at The Walt Whitman Birthplace. For more info, visit sparkboom.org. RSVP to our FB event here.

To view more of Dave’s work, visit davesstudio.wordpress.com.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Caitlyn SImagehea is a professional fine art painter. She studied Studio Art and Art History at Pratt Institute and Skidmore College before graduating with a BFA from Adelphi University in 2011. Outside of her studio, Shea is captivated by the pluralism that exists in art today, and the ways in which individual artists define themselves and their practices in order to carve out a unique career. By interviewing participating SPARKBOOMTM artists, Shea looks to develop a dialogue between practicing artists and an audience that does not only include other art experts, but people who have a newfound urge to become involved in experiencing the work of fresh, exciting artists.

 

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MEET THE TEAM – OUR BLOGGERS ARE ON THE BEAT!

As a new, exciting season arrives in the SPARKBOOMTM world, we are proud to have a team of talented writers who are in-tune with Long Island’s emerging, creative talent….So, without further ado, meet our bloggers:

ImageJenna Weis grew up on Long Island and graduated from Commack High School in 2007. She received her Associates Degree in Visual Arts from Suffolk Community College then went on to receive her Bachelor’s Degree in Art History and Criticism from Stony Brook University. This is her second summer working for SPARKBOOMTM, first as Lead Blogger. She hopes the blog will really engage readers to want to see more of the artists work at our SPARKBOOMTM events and help further promote the artists themselves.

MImageoe Tompkins, a native of Islip, New York, holds a double degree in jazz studies and music education from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM). Upon acceptance to the College-Conservatory of Music he began simultaneous study both with Ray Charles Orchestra alumnus Marc Fields, and Tim Anderson of the Dayton Philharmonic. For several years he worked as a highly-in-demand trombonist on the Cincinnati scene and beyond playing everything from salsa, to reggae, neo-brass band sharing the stage with the likes of Streetlight Manifesto, The Aggrolites, and Foxy Shazam, just to name a few. He currently resides in Islip, working with the Long Island Arts Alliance and finally pursuing his own musical vision with his original group Slang (facebook.com/slangthebandli). When not making music, Moe can typically be found enjoying horror movies, fusion jazz, or White Castle.

Caitlyn SImagehea is a professional fine art painter. She studied Studio Art and Art History at Pratt Institute and Skidmore College before graduating with a BFA from Adelphi University in 2011. Outside of her studio, Shea is captivated by the pluralism that exists in art today, and the ways in which individual artists define themselves and their practices in order to carve out a unique career. By interviewing participating SPARKBOOMTM artists, Shea looks to develop a dialogue between practicing artists and an audience that does not only include other art experts, but people who have a newfound urge to become involved in experiencing the work of fresh, exciting artists.

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Darryl Maraj graduated from Five Towns College with a degree in Music Education. At Five Towns, he worked with the great vocal professional and renowned educator, Stephen C. Pagano in jazz, classical, Broadway and pop styles of singing. Currently, Darryl splits his time between his job at the Islip School District, his church- where he is the Music Coordinator, and his band, Slang (facebook.com/slangthebandli). When taking a break from music, Darryl likes to draw, play video games and attempt cooking.

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Steven T. Licardi (The Sven-Bo!) is the author of “Death By Active Movement” (Local Gems Press, 2013) and is a spoken word poet, actor, artist, and public speaker from West Islip, NY. Steven uses his many projects to raise awareness of social issues, for advocacy, and as a means to educate others to be compassionate. He hosts as blog called “Cross My Heart And Hope To Write” that explores the relationship between love, beauty, and the human condition. Find out where he will be performing next at TheSvenBo.com.

ImageErin Corrigan is an aspiring writer with an open mind. She believes that music, art and poetry are the essential nutrients for every soul. Giving a voice to the budding faces of the literary and fine arts community is what she’s here to accomplish!

Be on the lookout for fresh, weekly articles from our Bloggers, as they cover the local scene and expose the best talent that Long island has to offer!

– SB

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