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Gen Gaines A&M1

I am a Native Washingtonian.

I can’t remember a point in my life when I wasn’t creating some form of visual art—magazine collages, clay sculptures,pastels, pen and ink drawings; silk-screened and lithographic prints; watercolor, oil and acrylic paintings. Even computer graphics.

I have an extensive formal education in the fine arts—having attended Moore College of Art and graduating with a BA Degree in Arts Management from Howard University (studio art courses and business electives) in 2007.

Soon after I graduated, my thyroid gland was severely damaged as a result of a botched medical procedure and my health became increasingly worse. I soon became abysmally out of touch with all aspects of my life. I continued to work but, I then sought out primarily clerical roles — far removed from what I went to school for. I eventually closed the door to all artistic pursuits.

In 2010, I was challenged with a professional diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder Type l. In 2016 I was diagnosed by an Endocrinologist with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. This news was devastating but, extremely helpful. Now,at least, I understood what was making me so unwell for so long and, I was armed with a protocol to treat it.

I discovered Art Enables in 2017 and I volunteered as a staff aid. They then offered me a resident artist Fellowship and I slowly began to switch back on the right side of my brain. The AE program helps disabled emerging artists (of all stripes) to free up their mental and emotional baggage to produce exceptional works of art.

I began to plumb the depths of my imagination with representational and abstract forms of acrylic painting and I have not looked back. I am currently inspired by the figurative mastery of Chloe Piene and the no tan draughtsmanship of Alphonse Mucha.

As of April 2019, I am also a resident artist with Artists & Makers Studios located in Rockville, Maryland. My studio hours vary.

gengaines.com

Paola Luther A&M1

Paola Luther’s delicate touch and sense of light and color infuses her broad range of art styles and mediums.  Paola has been painting since childhood. As an adult she became a professional artist in fine arts and continues to expand her skills under the tutelage of artists from Washington DC, Los Angeles, Spain, Peru and Central America.  Paola has attended multiple workshops with talented artists around the world. Traveling is a large part of Paola’s artistic inspiration. She has produced colorful plein-air pieces, commissioned paintings and portraits.  Paola’s original works can be found in private collections in the United States and Europe.

paolaluther.com
paola@paolaluther.com

Kathy Moore Wilson A&M1

I love to draw more than just about anything, and I draw and paint nearly every day.  I have been drawing since I could hold a pencil, but it took me years before I considered doing it full time.  In my upbringing and education, it was more of a pastime or hobby, but not a stable profession.  I started my professional career as a cartographer.  It took a long time to evolve from cartographer, to fine artist and illustrator, graphic designer, and then animator.  But the artist in me would not be contained and found a way out.

I started out by drawing maps, using traditional tools such as pen & ink. I later moved on to coloredKathy Wilson smiling_elephant 6x9 72 dpi pencils and paint.  I found I had a special love for drawing portraits of children and animals.  These are the subjects I draw and paint the most.

Over the years I began to learn to use a camera, and software such as Adobe Photoshop and Corel Painter to create drawings and paintings.  I then learned Adobe After Effects and Adobe Premiere to create animations and videos to make my drawings move.  This eventually led to my going back to school and earning a Master’s Degree in Motion Media Design.

I have been greatly influenced by children’s book illustrators, particularly when the illustrations are rendered in pen and ink, or black and white pencil.

Chris Van Allsburg, Brian Selznick, and Brett Helquist are three of my favorite illustrators.

The painters who have influenced me are too numerous to list.  I will always love all of the French Impressionists, but Mary Cassatt will always be my favorite.  I love how she took simple domestic scenes and managed to show the wonder and contentment in the everyday.

I love Andrew Wyeth for his emotional, limited palette watercolors, and the illustrator and painter Alan Lee for his pencil, pen & ink, and watercolor forest imagery.  I am also inspired by Edward Hopper for his use of color and light and for also for his ability to capture emotion and to tell a story with everyday scenes.

There are many animators who I admire: Brad Bird, John Lasseter, Glen Keane, Chuck Jones, Joanna Quinn, Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas.  Their stories are flooded with emotion and feeling, and their characters are very real to us.  These fine directors, producers and artists all motivated me to first dip my toe in the world of animation and video, as well as simply inspiring me to be a better artist.

It is important that to me that I express emotion and tell stories and teach with my art.  If I can get an emotional response, then I feel that the art I have created has fulfilled its purpose.

Creating art brings me joy.

Boris Lermontov: Why do you want to dance? [Vicky thinks for a short while]
Victoria Page: Why do you want to live? [Lermontov is surprised at the answer]
Boris Lermontov: Well I don’t know exactly why, er, but I must.
Victoria Page: That’s my answer too.
—From “The Red Shoes”

pendragonartstudios.com

Tova Shpantzer A&M1

As a person who loves art of all kinds, I studied art history and visited countless museums all over Europe, Israel and North America. As a young working mother, I took enamel and metal art classes – years later these art forms evolved to be my main artistic expression.

My collections are informed by elements found in nature and by Middle Eastern and Asian cultures as well as motives from ancient art and architecture. After studying for years with master metal smiths, I now enjoy inventing my own metal smithing and enameling techniques to create raw, organic looks for hand forged objects such as jewelry, sculptures and decorative vessels. I like taking risks in my designs and try to create pieces that are truly one of a kind and invoke strong reactions through use of color, shape, detail and texture.

I thrive on the creative process of bringing an idea to life and, as a result, my works tend to have a sense of movement and continuous evolution.

TovasDesign.com

tovasdesign@gmail.com

Jennifer Rutherford A&M1

Jennifer Rutherford, a multifaceted artist, is also a singer with a Master of Music Degree from Canada in Voice Jennifer Rutherford Portait of Heather MERGED LAYERSOpera. Her work is inspired by her love of American impressionist John Singer Sargent. In posing and photographing clients with her romantic eye, Jen seeks to portray her subjects’ beauty in a poetic light. 

Still life, abstracts and fantasy paintings round out Jennifer’s body of work. She began painting in 2000, studying with many well-known local artists. Jennifer was tapped to use her skills for graphic design for three years in a publishing position in Reston/Herndon VA. 

Jennifer shares her love of music and art with inner city kids, co-founding and teaching a Monday night arts program in Anacostia for 11 years. Her award-winning work is hung abroad in Edmonton, Vancouver, and Toronto, Canada; in Australia; and in the Eastern United States.

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