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Monday, December 2, 2019

#Meettheartist
Meet Susie Matthews 








Tell us your artist story, some biographical info, when did you decide to be an artist? Why do you make art? Where did you study? Etc.

I declared my major in studio art while I was a sophomore at Brown only so I could get into the popular art classes, but then when it came to ‘really’ declare a major I realized I was in the right place already. Since that time my commitment to my art making has waned and waxed.  I have taken some detours in order to study wooden boatbuilding, to get my captain’s license, to focus on teaching art, and to have children. Since getting my MFA in ceramics from RISD fifteen years ago I have become increasingly focused on making sculpture. I ask myself often why I make art and I’m honestly not always certain I should, but I love making things and I love thinking about what things mean.  


What do you want people to walk away with after experiencing your work?

Questions. A sense of familiarity, combined with uncertainty. Maybe a smile. 

What influences your work? Why?

I used to spend more time looking at man-made objects (tools and toys), the natural world (shells, seeds, flowers, fruit) as well as other artists. Eva Hesse and Richard Deacon, were important early influences.  I also studied the history of ceramics and thought a lot about the role objects play in our lives, how intimate we are with some things.  These ideas and images have become imbedded into my consciousness and now as I get older I find myself looking inwards more than out. That probably has benefits as well as drawbacks.

What does it mean to you to participate in Hera, either as an artist member OR as an exhibiting artist?

Hera is a wonderful community of serious, dedicated artists. My life is warmer and richer thanks to the support, encouragement and high standards of my fellow members. 







instagram: @smmartmaker

Monday, November 11, 2019

#Meettheartist
Meet Matthew Coté

"I enjoy sparking discussion because, even though I may not be able to change someone’s mind of create empathy, a discussion lasts. A discussion reverberates from person to person and reveals hidden truths to people either a part of or observing the discussion."


Tell us your artist story, some biographical info, when did you decide to be an artist? Why do you make art? Where did you study? Etc.

I was born and raised in Tacoma, WA, and I am currently residing in Erie, PA. Finding my way towards an interest in art was a long process of discovery. I was always interested in art when I was younger, but I never took it seriously until much later. Art took a serious hold on me during college. When it came to working with metal I first became interested while attending Tacoma Community College’s sculpture program. My professor handed me a MiG welder and basically said, “Have Fun.” I was fascinated by the welding process and enjoyed producing work almost as quickly and spontaneously as I came up with them. That fascination led me to my initial focus in producing large-scale sculptural installation projects, mostly in steel. 

Eventually, after graduating from community college I lost interest in sculpture and installation shortly after taking my first metalsmithing class. Making work quickly and in large-scale had its benefits but I never attained any real satisfaction from the process or the end result. Metalsmithing allowed me to focus my ideas. I enjoyed the process more, and the end result was satisfying unlike previous attempts made on my early work in steel. I eventually attained my Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art from Central Washington University (2011) and then my MFA in Metalsmithing from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania (2018).  

I produce art because I enjoy interaction. I enjoy the dialogue I can create with others who view my work. I enjoy the interpretations people take from my work and the discussion that stems from those interpretations.


What do you want people to walk away with after experiencing your work?

Initially, I thought the goal of my work was for a viewer to maybe learn something new about themselves, or to discover empathy towards the issues of others. Now, I have come to understand that true value is in the discussion that is sparked from my work. I enjoy sparking discussion because, even though I may not be able to change someone’s mind of create empathy, a discussion lasts. A discussion reverberates from person to person and reveals hidden truths to people either a part of or observing the discussion. 

Sometimes a piece of mine is a reactionary critique on an event or perception, other times it is a calculating paradox that stides the line of an issue. Sometimes I strike a cord of humor, other times I am dead serious. No matter what tone or intention in design the goal of my work is to be a spark towards something more.

What influences your work? Why?

What influences me is manipulating the various implications behind how jewelry is perceived. I came to find that Jewelry was a better way to convey the messages of my work. Jewelry and metalsmithing are my tools for political activism, as well as to broaden art outreach within a community. When jewelry is worn it is a statement. Depending on the placement on the body it can imply feelings, such as sexuality or arrogance. Jewelry is influential, and sometimes subliminally so. I enjoy that jewelry has a chance to breach outside the gallery walls and be worn as a statement or critique. The person becomes the gallery. Even when displayed off the body a piece of jewelry bares implications of value, eccentricity, and stereotypes related to value and desire. 

What does it mean to you to participate in Hera an exhibiting artist for the In God We Trust exhibition?

I was excited to be accepted into the exhibition, because it is a profound honor. The topic of the exhibition is controversial and provocative. As a venue itself Hera has a history of being ahead of the curve and pushing boundaries, the topic of this show is no exception. To be apart of such an exhibition allows my work to be viewed and critiqued in a new way, with other work exploring the same topic.

To see more of Matthew's work visit his website: https://www.matthew-cote.com

Friday, November 8, 2019

#Meettheartist
Meet Tamara English


"My paintings may be considered portals to interior spaces, to inner realms beyond the physical, and outside the rational; referencing nature and different cultures as a way to expand our sense of reality."





Tell us your artist story, some biographical info, when did you decide to be an artist? Why do you make art? Where did you study? Etc.

I have been an artist as long as I can remember. To me, each person has a reason for being here, a purpose, a life mission. Mine is being an artist, exploring themes of awakening to the presence of the divine, re-enchantment, and nature as a catalyst for discovering the sacred in life. I graduated from Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Oregon in 2004. Since then, my work has been exhibited extensively in the US and internationally, including at the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Seattle Art Museum, and the US Embassy in Riga, Latvia. My work also appeared on Season Three of “Portlandia’  and was featured in a film about Portland artists called “Art: PDX, Artists In Their Studios.” 

What do you want people to walk away with after experiencing your work?
Throughout the last 400 years of history rational thought has been pointed to as the ultimate tier of the mind’s capability. This romanticizing of the rational has meant the deconstruction of the enchantment of everyday life. Yet there are, as is now being discovered, levels of thinking and knowing that transcend rational thought. What happens when one accesses these new paradigms of thought that allow mystery and the inexplicable to exist in our day to day lives? What happens when one is invited to cultivate enchantment, the expanding of what is possible and even miraculous in life?

My paintings may be considered portals to interior spaces, to inner realms beyond the physical, and outside the rational; referencing nature and different cultures as a way to expand our sense of reality. The work invites the viewer to enter a contemplative state. Here one may find a sense of upliftment and well-being, and the experience of being nurtured by beauty. 

What influences your work? Why?

The visual vocabularies of Islamic tile-work, Christian illuminated manuscripts, and 20th century particle physics serve as references for my work. The patterns found in the decorative elements of places and objects of worship reveal the movement of the energies of the inner worlds, making visible what transpires behind what appears. The interior of the Sultan Ahmed Mosque in Istanbul is enlivened with intricate patterns. The tile-work transports one to a place of awe and wonder. One can’t help but to feel the infinite raining down. 
Elements of natural world also inform my work, through the felt senses such as the experience of the atmosphere of a lush forest or the beauty of a rose. The aliveness of the forest connects one to the aliveness inside oneself. Here, beauty of the world allows a quieting inside to invite contemplation of something greater than oneself.

What does it mean to you to participate in Hera an exhibiting artist for the In God We Trust exhibition?

It is an honor to be participating in the In God We Trust exhibition. I appreciate how art helps to get people talking and thinking about things that may not come up in everyday conversations. Religion in America is such a wide reaching and topical subject. It feels important to be talking about now. My hope is that the exhibition will also encourage individual reflection about our own relationship with what has sacred meaning to each of us. 

With reverence and respect for the many ways that people worship and find connection to what has sacred meaning, my work explores what happens when we seek a relationship with the sacred outside any particular path or tradition.This is a dialogue inside oneself, seeking to understand. Is the Divine that I seek to be in relationship with kind and compassionate? How do I feel the presence of the sacred in my life?

Some people say artists are chroniclers of what is happening in the world. Yet, I consider my role as an artist to show what is possible for the future, a future that includes peace and respect for each other. If the visual vocabularies of these different traditions and cultures can harmonize on the canvas, perhaps they can harmonize in the world.



You can view more of Tamara's work on her website: http://tamaraenglish.com


Thursday, November 7, 2019

#Meettheartist
Meet Lee Tonks

"I hope that my art will raise awareness and create dialogue between opposing views and hopefully one of those debates will change someones mind."


Tell us your artist story, some biographical info, when did you decide to be an artist? Why do 
you make art? Where did you study? Etc.

Since the age of 15, when I came across a camera and started experimenting with photography, I have always had a camera with me and was always that person clicking away, at the age of 30, I came across the Julia Dean Photo workshops in Venice beach California and started taking fine art photography classes with the likes of Julia Dean, Douglas Kirkland and many other notable professors in the world of photography.  My first series "Behind closed doors" won an exhibition at LAGMA at the Municipal art gallery.  Since then I have exhibited and been published across the globe and won most of arts most prestigious art competitions.

What do you want people to walk away with after experiencing your work

I don't want them to walk away, I want them to stay there and stare without knowing exactly what it is that draws them, I say that, because this was what an art historian once told me about my work, he said "I can't stop looking at this piece and I can't put my finger on exactly why that is, I'm just drawn to this work"

What influences your work? 

Social injustice.  When I see social injustice, like the recent murder of Philando Castile, eric Garner, Michael Brown and Laquan McDonald, To name a few, the list is endless, I feel sick to my stomach, how can one human being do this to another? it's barbaric, cruel and unnecessary.  I use my art to speak for me and for those afflicted, I have seen my art in different galleries around the world and it always has an impact on people, it always creates dialogue, which I hope can affect change.

What does it mean to you to participate in Hera an exhibiting artist for the In God We Trust
exhibition? 


When I saw the exhibition title "In god we trust" I thought it was a perfect fit for my series depicting Jesus Christ on a cross, with the distinction that Jesus is depicted with a skin color that is the same as my daughters skin color and hair type the same as my daughters hair type.  I thought that it might be a little too risque for the gallery to exhibit, from the series that I shot, there are other images with my wife on the cross and police officers with guns drawn and the title "Drop your weapon", I felt sure that these images would not get selected as they definitely push some buttons that people do not want to push, people mistakenly think that the series is anti police or anti religion, which could not be further from the truth.  I have many friends who are in law enforcement and they are as sickened by these acts of social injustice as I am, this is not saying that all cops are bad cops but it is saying that when a person in a uniform shoots an innocent young black male, it destroys the very fabric of our society. I hope that my art will raise awareness and create dialogue between opposing views and hopefully one of those debates will change someones mind.  No one should be scared of art or what it represents.






To see more of Lee's work visit: https://www.leetonksphotography.com




Wednesday, November 6, 2019


#Meettheartist
Meet Sonia Peterson

"I want my work to make the viewer question social norms and ideas, preconceptions and traditions. I want the viewer to ask new questions and seek new answers."


An economist by education, I studied at Moscow State University of International affairs, most of my classmates are working for the Russian state department now. I have 4 citizenships (USA, Israel, Grenada, Russia), so that road was never open for me. I’ve always been more interested in commenting on politics, rather than being involved in them. I worked as a journalist before becoming an artist, that job took me all over the globe, I was immersed in a completely different world.

So many people I met have a narrow view of life, and as they’ve gotten older, they’ve become more and more sure of the righteousness of their opinions. But one who doesn’t question will never learn! That is why children learn so well, they question everything, are not afraid of being wrong. I want my work to make the viewer question social norms and ideas, preconceptions and traditions. I want the viewer to ask new questions and seek new answers. 

Exhibiting at Hera is an awesome opportunity, and I am very thankful for my work to be placed next to so many other talented artists, in such a creative space. The work that is on display is part of a series called ‘In god we trust’, so this exhibition is the perfect opportunity to showcase this piece. 



Visit Sonia's website to see more of her work:

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

#Meettheartist
Meet Eric van der Vlugt

"By elevating the things we take for granted to an iconic, epic scale, make the otherwise unremarkable into things of wonder."






Tell us your artist story, some biographical info, when did you decide to be an artist? Why do you make art? Where did you study? Etc.
 I was born in The Netherlands and grew up in Laren, a small village outside Amsterdam. The village was made famous by the “Larensche School” of landscape painters (like Jozef Israels and Anton Mauve) who flocked there because of the vibrant purple heather and silver birches. Even the streets were named after painters. So at a very early age I knew wanted to be an artist - how could it have gone differently? I studied traditional printmaking Atelier Mashuff in Brussels, Belgium, before coming to Philadelphia College of Art, where I graduated with a BFA in printmaking. I have taught at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), West Chester University and Philadelphia College of Art, and today my studio practice is primarily focused on drawing and painting.
What do you want people to walk away with after experiencing your work?

I would like people to remember what it was like to be curious, to discover in ordinary objects and simple human situations the quiet grace we knew had been there all along. To remind them that old, simple truths live on. By elevating the things we take for granted to an iconic, epic scale, make the otherwise unremarkable into things of wonder.

What influences your work? Why?

The question for me really is how to make sense of the world and my place in it, and how to filter, synthesize and express the beauty I see through my work. 

What does it mean to you to participate in Hera as an exhibiting artist for the In God We Trust exhibition?
                                                                  
In as much as America is the great melting pot (until recently), it stands to reason that it also represents the great blending of religious precepts. The idea for the show excited because I painted Maia and her mother Adrienne willfully in the Christian tradition of Madonna and Child, but instead of the iconic golden halo, I introduced the zodiac with its sign positions exactly as they were at Maia’s birth. Maia and Hera also moved in the same circles in Greek mythology. In short, the show begs the question whether dogma or spirit will come to rule the day - after all, Maia’s intellectual growth is going to be informed by her immediate and unfettered access to mankind’s collective knowledge, traditions and spiritual beliefs. 


Eric's website has more of his work for you to see: https://www.ericvandervlugt.com/


Monday, November 4, 2019

#Meettheartist
Meet Stephen Spiller


Tell us your artist story, some biographical info, when did you decide to be an artist? Why
do you make art? Where did you study? Etc. 
I’m convinced that life experiences, difficult or not, have an impact, certainly psychological (indirect/unconscious) if not otherwise (direct/conscious), on one’s decision to make art. And
so I’m certain that social, cultural and political issues dominate my work because, for example, my sister was killed by a drunk driver, my brother-in-law committed suicide, family members died in the holocaust, my children are adopted, and more. 

I am self-educated, as an adolescent hardly being even aware of art which was not a family
pursuit. Then, about age forty-five, I visited Kenya and became utterly enthralled with photographing
animals, landscapes and people, shooting some fifty rolls of color film in a few days! For years thereafter I worked at street photography, haunting locations mainly in Los Angeles and New York City. Pressing the shutter was an instinctual matter. My approach was to shoot first and consider the metaphor later. 

Eventually, I began digitally manipulating my work to better express my thoughts. For example I manipulated my submitted image, “You Have To Be Catholic To Get To Heaven” to try to maximize scorn such an idea. 

The second image attached, one of many I’ve done on the subject of rape, also comes about from personal experiences, both as an attorney expressing outrage at legal defenses to that crime, and as man horrified by those denying rape as a crime of violence. 

My work has been exhibited in over seventy-five gallery and museum shows in the U.S. and internationally, including Los Angeles (I’m a member of the Los Angeles Art Association), New York, Bejing, Tokyo and many more locations. I’ve also been published several times in Musee
Magazine. 

What do you want people to walk away with after experiencing your work?
I care primarily about just one thing - that people will look at my work and think critically about their own beliefs on whatever subject is being portrayed. I ask others to consider: What does your own voice say on this matter? I challenge people to make an effort to think for themselves. 

What influences your work? Why?
Of course, from what I’ve said above, developing my thinking and then being heard on subjects I have directly experienced is what drives me forward. Additionally, I am so often offended by superficiality in many arenas, e.g. politics, advertising, entertainment that depends on ever greater showing of violence, money as the report card on life, etc. I always want to make artworks on all these subjects.  

What does it mean to you to participate in Hera an exhibiting artist for the In God We Trust exhibition?
I just returned from a show in Barcelona. It was the inaugural exhibit of a new gallery called Foto Nostrum in which I showed three images. I had lunch with the gallery owner and met a number of the artists. This experience created for me an opportunity to go beyond my zone of comfort showing my art and being with artists. It is the same with Hera Gallery. I am so happy to be recognized in a new venue and connect, even in a limited way, with new artists, particularly when the subject is of religious, social and psychological importance. I always love the idea of being the messenger in a new situation, and try to challenge the audience to unravel my message.





Stephen's work is available to view on his website: https://stephenspiller.com/home.html



Friday, November 1, 2019

#Meettheartist
Meet Sally Chapman


Tell us your artist story, some biographical info, when did you decide to be an artist? Why do you make art? Where did you study? Etc.

Sally Chapman is a photographer living in Lowell, MA. She earned a BFA in ceramics and photography from Michigan State University. For over twenty years she worked as a ceramic artist in Colorado showing extensively in New Mexico, Colorado, and Wyoming.  Moving to California and Massachusetts her attention went to spiritual pursuits seeing that the desire to create art is the same as the desire for spirit. 

The magic of capturing images at night inspired her to begin creating artwork again with the camera. Her photographic subjects are often of the urban landscape and neighborhoods. Recently she has been shown in exhibits at the Cambridge Art Association, Springfield Art Association in Springfield, IL, Griffin Museum in Winchester, MA, Barrett Art Center in Poughkeepsie, NY, Fort Collins Lincoln Center, MIT Rotch Architecture Library, Gallery 93 in Brookline, and The Sanctuary Gallery in Medford, MA. She is a member of the Boston Camera Club, and Greater Boston Night Photographers.


What do you want people to walk away with after experiencing your work?

I hope that people come away with a fresh look at what they may have considered mundane. In my series that I am working on “Alters and Shrines” I am photographing in people’s homes that which they regard as sacred. Many friends have at first said that they didn’t have a shrine but in seeing what I am doing they realize that they do.


What influences your work? Why?

Currently I love finding unique events that tend to take place in smaller towns. Looking at street photographers, both current and twentieth century inspire me to keep looking at to dig deeper. The small towns offer some fresh material not shown by more urban photographers. 


What does it mean to you to participate in Hera an exhibiting artist for the In God We Trust exhibition?
I am grateful for the exhibit “In God We Trust” as many venues don’t want to exhibit work with a religious theme. This is exactly what I am exploring in this series; the fact that we are a more secular society but at the same time we still hold an inspiration to something higher. It is not something we wear openly especially in New England. 





You can see more of Sally's work here: https://photographyatelier.org/artist/sally-chapman/

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

#meettheartist
Meet Neville Barbour

"I want people to appreciate the syncretic nature of humanity."






Tell us your artist story, some biographical info, when did you decide to be an artist? Why do you make art? Where did you study? Etc.
 I grew up in two separate worlds. Feeling accepted and rejected by both, I wouldn’t change the experience for the world. 

Art has been the only steadfast thing that I’ve held onto throughout my life. In some ways, my commitment to art has taught me how to commit to others. 

I studied at the Academy of Art in San Francisco. 

What do you want people to walk away with after experiencing your work?

I want people to appreciate the syncretic nature of humanity. 

 What influences your work? Why?

History and religion influences a lot of my work. I’m very interested in what “different” people do under similar circumstances. I think there’s more commonality than people would like to admit.

What does it mean to you to participate in Hera an exhibiting artist for the In God We Trust exhibition?

Religion is one of those things that can be essential to a person’s wellbeing yet is often not talked about it. In some ways, it seems that we hide our faith in fear that people will judge our irrational thoughts. After all, religion is one of the few perspectives that can’t be proven. And in a lot of ways, it relies on our blind faith to stay relevant. 

Honestly, I’m just flattered to share my perspective. 




Tuesday, October 29, 2019


#meettheartist
Meet C.B. Murphy

"I am interested in mystery. I don’t like propaganda."


Tell us your artist story, some biographical info, when did you decide to be an artist? Why do you make art? Where did you study? Etc.


I’ve always been creative as far back as I remember. At first I thought I wanted to make films, but then gave that up.  I didn’t get serious about painting though until later in my life. Once I started it has only grown in my passion for it. I also write fiction and it seems to support my painting, going back and forth from words to images.


What do you want people to walk away with after experiencing your work?

I am interested in mystery. I don’t like propaganda. I like to make things that that have many interpretations, even if they are opposites. I think encountering art that is confusing is a positive thing. I do like using representational imagery in ways inspired by circus posters and outsider art generally. I do also like the experiences of delight and awe. I don’t shy away from “dark” imagery as I think it is useful to be reminded we are mortal.

What influences your work? Why?

From the classical art world I would say Surrealism—artists like Magritte and de Chirico. There is a category people use now called “popsurrealism” or “low brow” that takes its inspiration from movie posters, comics, advertisements, signage, street art, movies, anime, etc. I feel like this is the category I belong in if one needs a category. 

What does it mean to you to participate in Hera an exhibiting artist for the In God We Trust exhibition?

I think it’s a good thing to wonder about the universe and how it works. Lots of people have ideas about this, but in the end we know very little. 


Monday, October 28, 2019

#MeettheArtist
Meet Jenny E. Balisle

"Fascinated by alternative realities, disorientation, and flight, I combine disparate experiences to create new narratives, perspectives, and theories. "





1. Tell us your artist story, some biographical info, when did you decide to be an artist? Why do you make art? Where did you study? Etc.

My education consists of a B.A. in Art and Communication from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and a M.F.A. from the Academy of Art College in San Francisco.  Selected exhibition highlights include the de Young Museum Artist-in-Residence, Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, Chicago Cultural Center, Korean Cultural Center, Harvard University, Farmington Museum, Museu Brasileiro Sao Paulo, and Shanghai Oil Painting & Sculpture Institute Art Museum.

Have been fortunate to have my artworks featured in The Huffington PostWOMENCINEMAKERSA5 MagazineZYZZYVAThe Drum Literary Magazine, and Sculptural Pursuits Magazine.  Public art experience consists of The Cube Art Project, Hearts in San Francisco, and South San Francisco Utility Box Mural Project.

Currently, I work as an artist, curator, advocate, writer, lecturer, and instructor at the Academy of Art University and UC Berkeley Extension.  Advocacy is an important part of my life and practice.  As a result, I serve as Chair on the Richmond Arts & Culture Commission and as a Public Art Advisory Committee member.


2. What do you want people to walk away with after experiencing your work?

When creating art, the focus is how to best implement a concept.  Viewers have diverse backgrounds and to predict reactions can be a challenge.  The goal is share a researched perspective that explores a version of truth.  The art is a tool for communication by facilitating conversation and fostering awareness.  


3. What influences your work? Why?

My art practice investigates diverse, interdependent, and symbiotic relationships within natural and manmade environments.  Fascinated by alternative realities, disorientation, and flight, I combine disparate experiences to create new narratives, perspectives, and theories.  The goal is to identify how patterns and symbols of influence impact perception, social behavior, institutions, history, and truth.

Mediums are repurposed by altering function to explore identity, ideology, and inequality.  As a multidisciplinary artist, my practice incorporates drawings, sculpture, site-specific installations, objects, digital, video, and audio.  Inspiration, investigation, research, writing, and discovery dictate the final form. 


4. What does it mean to you to participate in Hera an exhibiting artist for the In God We Trust exhibition?

Equality in the art world circumvents reality.  In a recent The New York Times article titled Female Artists Made Little Progress in Museums Since 2008, Survey Finds, the byline is clear: “In the past decade, only 11 percent of all work acquired by the countrys top museums was by women.  Artists must support and participate in venues that encourage diversity and critical thinking!

In God We Trust: Reflections on Religion in America explores how faith permeates our culture.  The exhibition becomes a vigorous investigation beyond aesthetics.  My artwork DOES YOUR GOD APPROVE? serves as a historical marker to how the perversion of religion justifies abhorrent behavior and policy today.  Its an honor to exhibit at HERA gallery whose legacy is rooted in education and advocacy.  

Links:






To see more of Jenny's work visit her website: http://jennyebalisle.com

Thursday, October 24, 2019

#Meettheartist
Meet Armando Zirakzadeh
"When people view my work, I want to reveal myself to them.  First, I want them to begin to understand me, and then I hope they can find a relationship between their lives and mine."

  
Tell us your artist story, some biographical info, when did you decide to be an artist? Why do you make art? Where did you study? Etc.

 My name is Armando Zirakzadeh.  I was born in Tehran, Iran in 1955 to an Iranian father and a Guatemalan mother. My family moved to Boulder, Colorado when I was 6 months old; I became a citizen at the age of 9. I have been married since 1979 and have two children.

I studied art at Colorado State University, where I received my BFA in printmaking in 1981.  In 1984 I started Master Screen Art Silkscreening, which I ran until 1990, when I switched to teaching art for a career.  I taught art from 1990-2012 in the Boulder Valley School District, and began at Bird Studios printmaking upon my retirement.   I have exhibited in shows both locally, nationally and internationally since 2012, and was part of the Artnauts Global Artist’s Collective from 2012-2019.
I am excited to have opportunities to continue to work on and develop my printmaking skills both now and in the future.

What do you want people to walk away with after experiencing your work?

 When people view my work, I want to reveal myself to them.  First, I want them to begin to understand me, and then I hope they can find a relationship between their lives and mine.
This contact between the artist and audience is paramount to the artistic process.  If one person questions their experiences or beliefs, or is enlightened in any way, my work has been worthwhile.

What influences your work? Why?
I am influenced by the world around me and sharing my personal view of the world with my audience.  As a printmaker I start with black and white, and soon begin developing ways of combining multiple printmaking techniques to expand my palette. Presently I am using intaglio techniques on layered paper to create textures and colors.  The exploration of printmaking techniques excites me and keeps my work fresh.

What does it mean to you to participate in Hera an exhibiting artist for the In God We Trust exhibition?
The “In God We Trust” exhibition allows me to examine my personal spirituality.  The subject matter requires honesty because you can not lie to yourself or to God.  The relationship between my Gid and myself is extremely important to my life.  I was raised as a Catholic, my father was a Muslim, and my wife is a Protestant pastor’s daughter.  This allowed me to explore the relationships of multiple religions in America.





To view more of Armando's work visit his website http://fatbirdstudios.net/index.html