Opat provides writing services for international artists. Ask how you can get press, artist reviews, artist statements, artist biographies, and more.
Contact directly @ (219) 308-3954 or email Sarah Opat for press inquires, writing services, and more: email@example.com
Talking Stones Press Release // Featuring Donna Zarbin-Byrne
Art Heals: Public Art Installation Sculpture the "Tree of Life" by Artist, Donna Zarbin-Byrne
St. Philip Lutheran Church in Glenview, Illinois is pleased to announce the installation of their first public sculpture by artist, Donna Zarbin-Byrne May 28, 2019.
The public is invited to St. Philip Lutheran Church in Glenview Saturday, June 29th from 4pm to 7pm for the unveiling of the sculpture in the outdoor worship area. Sunday, June 30th from 8am to 9am is the first outdoor worship service of the year.
The public art installation the "Tree of Life” resides in the outdoor worship area honoring the Bilowich family and the loss of their daughter, Vikki.
The Bilowich family reached towards the art of healing and contacted sculptor, Zarbin-Byrne about creating a work of art to honor their daughter’s life.
“Public art connects the audience and the environment to open the possibilities; for a relationship of unparalleled intimacy between the artist, the viewer, and the on-site location,” said artist, Zarbin-Byrne.
The “Tree of Life” sculpture by Zarbin-Byrne connects the fragility and strength within the cycles of life. The sculpture is made out of steel and bronze. Zarbin-Byrne twists, heats and forges the metals and into a delicate expression to show strength in change and vulnerability.
“Vikki was such a lover of nature, the outdoors, and animals,” said Pastor Kyle, “She was always found in the outdoor worship area.” “Vikki was a former biologist, and then later worked the night shift at the airport. She would come straight to the 8 a.m. outdoor worship service after work,” said Pastor Kyle.
The “Tree of Life” connects the healing process to cycles of life within the community of St. Phillips in Glenview. This public art installation reflects on healing as a continuous pattern of growth.
“I am creating a site specific sculpture to honor Vikki’s memory,” said Zarbin-Byrne. “Throughout history, the tree of life is a symbol of immortality, growth and strength,” said Zarbin-Byrne.
The sculpture was made partly in Maui, Hawaii and Dallas, Texas. The installation brings forth an exquisite taste of a national traveling artist.
“I forged the branches into abstractions of wings in my studio in Maui, Hawaii,” said Zarbin-Byrne. “Then in Dallas, Texas hanging them from trees and testing out their ability to move. The thin gage of the metal designed to have a kinetic flow and move with the wind,” said Zarbin-Byrne.
“The wings are an important element within this piece,” said Zarbin-Byrne, “The wings symbolize the ephemeral, the fleeting and the fragility of life.”
“Donna has such a creative mind,” said Pastor Kyle, “She really makes this on-site installation connect to the location and community with deeper meaning.” “The St. Philip Lutheran Church is also fortunate to have this public art installation to serve as an honor to Vikki and her family in the community of Glenview,” said Pastor Kyle.
The “Tree of Life” sculpture was organized by Vikki’s parents and Pastor Kyle. As an artist, Zarbin-Byrne is honored to be a conduit of hope and healing in physical form for the community and family of Vikki in Glenview.
Zarbin-Byrne said, “Art has the power to heal. Art sets the spirit free, revealing signifiers of the human experience.”
The public art installation breathes life through kinetic movement in nature with the wind. Zarbin-Byrne’s artistic vision and in depth symbolism provide fertile ground for exploring personal healing narratives in nature.
The gift of public art by Zarbin-Byrne brings the community of Glenview together to honor the life and family of Vikki Bilowich.
- Sarah Opat for Talking Stones
Talking Stones Review: New Jersey Artist, Beth Lowell
East coast artist, Beth Lowell encapsulates figurative, impressionism into the world of realism. She infuses a breathable life-force into her pastel portraits, landscapes, and pet portraits. Each creation blooms with iridescent style.
Lowell’s imagination translates as a vivid fountain of color- using hard and soft pastels. She truly masters the skill of blending hues on canvas. Born a true artist in Denver, Colorado - Lowell then moved to Boston and trained as an illustrator. She lived in New York before settling in Morristown, New Jersey.
Lowell’s portraits breathe color and honor a dynamic imagination. Her influences derive from animals and the calm, oceanic fluidity of nature. As Lowell explores the shoreline with mindfulness, she enters the portal of oceanic atmosphere and allows impermanence to inspire her work.
The coastal flow runs through Lowell’s creative veins. She practices spontaneity, transparency, and trusting the process when creating portraits with hard pastels. Lowell allows time and space for her artwork to breathe in between the creating moments.
Lowell’s work dives deep into the patterns of nature. Her creations represent a non-dual philosophy of the individual and the connection with nature, visually translating the message “We are one”. Lowell builds a strong connection to expressing the energy of the ocean. The organic shape of crab legs become a new inspiration for Lowell’s creative mind. The intricate detail within her body of work resonates with a heavenly flow of glowing, iridescent color. Lowell’s pastel pieces strike the viewer as breathable, bold, realism mixed with impressionism.
Her paintings blossom with strong courageous style, placing colors in a brilliant manner. Lowell allows the viewer to jump or leap out of the mindset of worry and through her flowing aesthetics. The fluidity and organic shape of movement blends the color effortlessly. Each line of color threads itself into the interconnected web of the pastel piece.
Lowell expresses an internal fire and universal freedom through creating the spiritual energy of animals in portraits and landscapes. The essence of her pastel work captures brilliant color and a moment in time within the density of space.
- Sarah Opat, for Talking Stones
Talking Stones Artist Review: Hamburg Artist, Tina Berendsohn
Artist from Hamburg, Germany, Tina Berendsohn, paints an intuitive flow of electric wisdom on canvas. Her abstract, figurative style melts perfectly into German expressionism. Fresh and risky, Berendsohn’s oil paintings revive the psyche with organic movement and pops of color. Her latest series demands attention. The abstract layering within Berendsohn’s expressionistic work is powered by divine intuition.
Berendsohn pours raw emotion and universal human struggles into a flow of vivid color. Her expressionistic style dances between spontaneity and confident brushstrokes. Berendsohn’s paintings leave a healing taste of freedom in the mouth of conformity. Her work is the revolution to freedom within abstract figurative art; embracing the spontaneity of letting go within the creative process.
Berendsohn’s work challenges the idea of conformity and embraces listening intuitively. Her figurative, abstract, expressionistic style explores the essence of inner freedom. Berendsohn allows the movement of dance to inspire her work. Painting becomes a dance, a transferring of emotions and practicing the act of moving with the flow.
The mis-en-scene meets an abstract, daydream full of exquisite color within Berendsohn’s paintings. Her creative process embraces the act of listening to intuition when creating. Berendsohn channels a seamless flow of serendipity through her color scheme.
Her portraits bleed raw, expressionistic beauty. Berendsohn's work speaks a language based on listening to one’s intuition. The elegant movement of shape and color within her work releases emotion into dancing colors.
Berendsohn’s oil paintings connect freedom to inner wisdom and intuition. She visually expresses her emotions, struggles, and reaps the benefits of letting the ebb and flow of the universe breathe life into her creations. Berendsohn grew up in Spain and lives in Hamburg, Germany. She stays emotionally charged through creating. The creative process for Berendsohn encapsulates an intimate, brave space of trusting spontaneity. Berendsohn vividly expresses authentic, colorful truths and blossoms with expressionistic, abstract beauty.
- Sarah Opat, writer for Talking Stones
Talking Stones Artist Review// Artist Vicky Lentz // French Translation
Artiste visuelle canadienne, Vicky Lentz traduit, sans entraves, plusieurs perspectives de la nature. Elle crée des œuvres abstraites et contemporaines à l'aide d'acier, d'argile, d'acrylique, de peinture à l'huile et de techniques mixtes sur toile.
L'esthétique de la nature incite Lentz à créer à partir d'un lieu de silence et de mouvement organique. Elle crée des sculptures abstraites et sans limites, des peintures, des créations 2D dans son atelier en forêt, ainsi que des installations publiques exposées à Montréal, au Canada.
Vicky Lentz écoute profondément le bourdonnement de l'univers caché dans la forêt qui entoure sa maison au Canada. Le fait de vivre en pleine nature permet à sa créativité de prendre racine au sein de différents médiums pour ainsi communiquer une nouvelle langue vernaculaire de l’art abstrait.
Lentz participe régulièrement à des expositions dans l’est du Canada. Son travail a été exposé aux niveaux national et international, incluant aux États-Unis, notamment dans le Maine et à Chicago, en Illinois. Sa carrière artistique s’étend maintenant à un niveau national, à l’extérieur de sa province, le Nouveau-Brunswick. Ingrid Mueller Art + Concepts représente ses œuvres à Fredericton et à St. Andrews, au Nouveau-Brunswick. Lentz a également complété une résidence d'artiste à la Galerie d'art Beaverbrook de la capitale provinciale cette année.
Le processus de création de Vicky Lentz suit le rythme organique des cycles de la vie. Elle crée des vibrations colorées inspiré de l'abondance de son environnement. Un arbre tombé en forêt est devenu une installation artistique dans la nature. Elle a enveloppé chacune des branches de l’arbre de fils colorés. Elle associe à la toile, au papier, à l'acier et aux supports mixtes l'aspect fluide et en constante évolution des atomes en mouvement.
Ses choix de couleurs sortent du mur et charment le spectateur d’un sourire abstrait. Sur toile, l’artiste traduit son expérience de la nature en langage méditatif. Chaque tableau déborde de l'essence de l'accomplissement organique et projette un aspect spatial doté d’une sagesse démesurée.
Les formes organiques de son art proviennent de la juxtaposition de sculptures uniques dans la nature, de peintures qui débordent de texture spatiale et d'installations publiques qui permettent au spectateur de faire partie d’entrer dans son atmosphère créative.
Les couleurs choisies par Vicky Lentz émettent un éclat d’expression contemporaine exploratoire. L’artiste expérimente constamment avec de nouvelles techniques et de nouveaux matériaux pour communiquer son expérience de manière authentique dans le monde de l'art abstrait.
Je passe par des phases de couleurs dans mon travail. Parfois, j'utilise des métaux recyclés, des métaux rouillés, allant d'une palette de couleurs neutres à des couleurs vives », explique-t-elle.
Elle introduit une énergie abstraite à travers le portail de son expérience personnelle dans la nature. Un enjeu d’actualité dans la société d’aujourd’hui est l’absence de liens avec la nature. Vicky Lentz attire l’attention à ce syndrome du « déficit de la nature » et invite le spectateur à ressentir les qualités organiques naturelles de son art. Elle se concentre sur ces détails organiques et entrelace dans son travail des traces du mouvement naturel de l'univers.
Ses peintures débordent d'un flux créatif et laissent suffisamment d'espace positif pour compléter le négatif. Elle crée sur toile et à travers ses sculptures un dialogue silencieux d'images abstraites. Ses lignes simples et ses coups de pinceau évoquent à la fois la satisfaction et l’euphorie.
Vivre au fond des bois permet à Vicky Lentz d’accéder au silence dans l’espace de la nature pour entrer dans un flux alternatif. Cette énergie se transmet dans le travail créé par Lentz. Elle utilise sa communion avec la nature pour inspirer le va et vient dans ses peintures et ses sculptures.
La texture reste remarquable sur la toile. Elle parle une langue de rêverie en limonade rose croisée avec une touche moderne de blues soyeux. Le trait et les marques de pinceaux parlent un langage contemporain de l'âme organique qui rencontre l'espace arrêté dans le temps.
Alors que Lentz présente sa nouvelle série sur toiles, « Deep Listening-Écoute profonde », elle donne vie à la richesse du silence. Son utilisation de techniques mixtes dans son œuvre crée une impressionnante sensation d'espace.
Vicky Lentz considère la nature comme une image holographique transparente qui inspire son oeuvre. Elle entre dans les pétales des fleurs pour observer. Elle entre dans les cellules d'un pétale. Elle essaye de préciser en observant et en écoutant; tout devient vibratoire - une véritable connexion à l’environnement.
La condition humaine n'est pas ce que nous vivons. Aller plus en profondeur de ce qui nous entoure. Ne pas être pressé. Je suis un témoin. Mon but est d’être présente, explique-t-elle. En tant qu’artiste, je peux donc transférer ce que j’éprouve, ce que je ressens et ce que vis sur une toile ou en soudant de l’acier ».
Je crois que l'art original a des vibrations que nous pouvons ressentir. Je suis ici pour exprimer la vie autour de moi avec sensibilité. Mon art vous permet d'apercevoir cette connexion."
Art NXT Level a permis à Vicky Lentz de connaitre du succès et de continuer à s'épanouir en tant qu'artiste à travers une communauté de gens qui échangent des idées, qui lui permettent de poser des questions, d'obtenir des rétroactions et de nouer des liens avec des artistes à travers le monde.
Le réseautage est un élément essentiel dans l’évolution d'une carrière artistique et je dois avouer que ce n'est pas facile dans un petit milieu, explique l’artiste. J'ai cherché en ligne et j’ai trouvé le programme de Sergio, Art NXT Level. Je me suis sentie vraiment connectée à l’authenticité et à la sincérité de ces gens. »
Je suis membre de Art NXT Level depuis un an et demi. L’organisation m’offre des apprentissages constants, dit-elle. C’est très bénéfique d’avoir la chance de poser des questions, de recevoir des commentaires sur mon travail et de discuter avec d'autres artistes. Faire partie d’une communauté, c’est essentiel lorsqu’on fait des arts une carrière».
Le monde abstrait de l’art contemporain salue le succès et la profonde quiétude retrouvés dans l’œuvre de Lentz. Elle définit un nouveau sens pour les œuvres en techniques mixtes, abstraites et contemporaines en créant une tranquillité dans un monde chaotique. Chaque création reste fraiche et pure.
Vicky Lentz crée au coeur de la vérité, de la nature et de la beauté. Dans son œuvre, la vérité révélée dans la nature traduit parfaitement son message de ce qu’est la beauté organique.
Artist Review: Letty Del Val Peters
California artist, Letty Del Val Peters transcends time and space using visions from the spiritual realm to inspire her work. She practices mindfulness, transcendental meditation, and paints multidimensional patterns mixed with realism onto canvas.
Peters original roots touch base in Orange County, California. She currently resides in a small town called Friant in central California with her family.
Peters has a spiritual gift to channel messages, visions, and angelic figures in the spiritual realm roots in her daily practice of transcendental meditation and bible study.
As Peters celebrates her first solo exhibition with the “Symbol of Peace” series, she plans for her next series, “Messages from Heaven”. The success of her first solo exhibition ripples into her neighborhood in California. She sold over 25 prints and three original works within five hours from her “Symbols of Peace” series.
The genesis of the creative process for Peters “Is to stay present in the moment and allow the spiritual messages to come through.”
When the fires were running rampant in California, the news covered a story highlighting a family burning alive in their car and showed the burnt baby car seat. Peters was in awe of the terrors of the California fires. She found herself praying at night.
“I prayed for angels to protect the people and animals in danger,” said Peters, “Then a vision came to me as an angel standing on a cliff looking at the fires. I sketched the vision that night then painted it the next day and named it, Silent Watcher.”
The painting, Silent Watcher, sold during her solo exhibition. Peters shared personal stories, spiritual visions with other Californians during the exhibit. She received responses from the audience how they saw animals in the shape of smoke in her painting, Silent Watcher.
Peters creative process remains pure and authentic. She sketches visions and spiritual messages as they arise in the present moment then, paints on canvas with acrylic. Peters often infuses watercolor and markers to add a mixed media flavor to her work.
She starts with quieting the mind and practicing transcendental meditation. “I meditate before I paint,” said Peters, “I want to be completely present. I want to feel the energy come from within and transcend into physical reality.”
Visions of angels come to life on Peters’ canvas. Her personal story of touching the essence of angels began when she was young.
“When I was five years old, I got separated from my parents and lost in a market place in Mexico,” said Peters, “A young teenage boy saw me panic with fear when I was lost, walked up to me and held my hand. His face was glowing and his presence was so peaceful. I was no longer in panic. Everything was at peace once he took my hand. He then walked me into a police station, this glowing beautiful boy, and told me to sit here to wait for my parents. Eventually, my parents arrived. The police told my parents I walked in alone. They did not see the glowing teenage boy holding my hand. The young teenage boy was an angel.”
Peters, now 50, paints with the same peaceful feeling she had when holding the hand of the angelic teenage boy in Mexico at the supermarket. She sees angels. She paints angels. She is a channel for the spiritual realm.
“As I walk through this spiritual journey as an artist, I shine my light to others. Everyone has the same soul. We are one,” said Peters.
Spiritual visions reveal themselves to Peters through her practice of prayer, transcendental meditation in nature, and at her local Buddhist temple.
“I believe meditation is a portal. It helps with any type of anxiety or stress. I remain settled and centered to create from a place of peace,” said Peters.
Peters is active member from Art NXT Level and took on Sergio Gomez’ “small works” challenge. She was a computer programmer for 20 years and let go from her job two years ago. Shortly after, Peters found herself immediately buying new canvas. She then researched and found Art NXT Level to catapult her career.
“I started with a challenge Sergio gave us, the small work challenge,” said Peters, “This taught me a lot about persistence and diligence as an active artist. Art NXT Level has taught me how to meet my goals and to create a timeline as an artist. In essence, artists work for themselves.”
“Sergio guided me in the right direction. He gave constant feedback and answered all my questions. I am forever grateful,” said Peters, “He’s the catapult that pushed me out into my career in art.”
Her “Symbols of Peace” series comprised of ten different pieces, communicates the sound of the universe as vibration coming out to the masses.This series captures the movement and vibrations of sound within the universe. The piece within this series, “Primordial Sound”, came to Peters during meditation practice.
Peters art transcends time and rewires the viewer’s mind to see angelic visions and messages on canvas.
- Sarah Opat, writer for Talking Stones
Artist Review: Buenos Aires Artist, Beatriz Ledesma
Buenos Aires artist, Beatriz Ledesma creates a world of transcendent spiritual knowledge and wisdom. Her art goes beyond the physical realm and transforms into dialogue with the viewer. Bold and bright; Ledesma gives life to canvas and energizes the psyche. She embeds each creation with tribal messages and symbols. Ledesma shares her intuitive connection with tribal symbolism, harmonizing a language derived from the Diaguitas; a tribe from Northern Argentina in South America.
The meditation of Ledesma’s creative practice intuitively listens to the energetic, spiritual core of existence. She works in oil and applies a deep connection of Latin American indigenous culture into the depths of the canvas.
Ledesma’s art challenges the social issue of displacement on a human level of community in society. She initiates a symbolic conversation through the eyes of color and creation. Ledesma paints through her challenges while connecting symbols of Latin American culture.
She creates a world of dialogue through tribal symbols from the Diaguitas tribe. The ancestral symbols spread awareness of a less civilized culture representing a deep, authentic connection on a human level and appreciation of Mother Nature.
Ledesma’s work holds a powerful aura of tribal energy and represents a larger spiritual practice at work. She finds herself studying tribal symbols from both, Northern and Southern tribes from Argentina.
Ledesma works purely within the depths of her intuitive creative energy and her native Latin American roots. The symbols used within her body of work represent Latin American culture, connecting with the Earth, and respecting the planet.
Ledesma reveals a warm, colorful dialogue inspired by Latin American indigenous culture. Her work holds a sacred space for a more advanced metaphysical connection on a human level.
Ledesma’s art steps outside the rat race in today’s society and paints a world of honest symbols of Latin American community. Her work begs the question, “How do we learn from cultures less civilized and more advanced on a human level?”
The warm wisdom within Ledesma’s work represents Latin American culture embracing a collaborative energy. Her work shines light on Latin American culture cultivating a sense of belonging while moving with the cycles of the sun and the moon. As Ledesma continues to work with the ebb and flow of the universe, she creates a world of tribal messages embedded in the colorful depths of connectivity.
- Sarah Opat, writer for Talking Stones
Canary Islands Artist: Romana Brunnauer
Romana Brunnauer’s oeuvre brings abstract human figures to life, connecting the colorful depths of the subconscious onto canvas. She moves fluidly, changing concepts and hues into portraits. Her influences from the abstract world balance the chaotic simplicity of human experience. Unexpected twists of color pop into existence. The mis en scene embraces spontaneity in brush strokes, allowing the viewer to deeply listen to the hum of her subconscious. Her portraits bleed the life of tropical acrylic colors onto canvas. Brunnauer speaks the artist language of interpreting a visual, inward journey and embracing the ebb and flow of creation.
Based in the Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Brunnauer gains exposure internationally. She is recognized as an abstract figurative artist showing internationally in a group exhibition at the Zhou B. Art Center in Chicago and nationally through solo exhibitions. She recently tied up her portrait series “Facing the Wind”. Brunnauer’s continuous exploration to new abstract techniques visually connects vibrancy, human experience, and transparency.
Brunnauer’s artistic vision gives space to illustrate the courage of exploring new paths. “I work in layers,” said Brunnauer. She begins with wide brush strokes, using black and white acrylic paint. Transitioning into vibrancy, adding primary colors: yellow, magenta, and blue as additional layers. The creative process allows Brunnauer’s mind to linger in the subconscious whilst painting. Her approach digests the spontaneity of creating human portraits from her mind. Brunnauer’s series, “Facing the Wind” remains bold, precise, and commands style.
The abstract voyage of color drips off the canvas in unique layers and bold brush strokes. Brunnauer uses a whimsical touch of human life in abstract portraits while mesmerizing the viewer with a new world of color.
Find more artwork pulsing with color on Brunnauer’s website here.
- Sarah Opat, writer for Talking Stones
Artist Review: Liz Mares
Liz Mares catches one’s attention. From angles to curves, an endless sky of harmony blinks before us. A bilingual master of both organic and geometrical shapes. Swirling hard edged geometrics become the jungle of Mares’ mind.
This line wizard hums a new tune of truth we can all understand. Her wand takes various forms including: paintbrush, pen, fingertips, words, and more to come. Connecting one line to the next, Mares allows us viewers to take off our shoes and stay awhile to wander in her reality. Impressed and immersed in the orbiting, shifting, space twisting aspects of what is Liz Mares.
An adventurous, gypsy carriage lovin’, bad to the bone (or line) soul. Liz Mares waters her garden of solitude with self expression. Her art penetrates beneath the skin. Quite literally. Liz Mares leaves a geometric fingerprint within the world of contemporary artwork. As we all ride this planet caravan, we too often pass by what connects us the most: our fellow stars.
Chicago visual artist, Sergio Gomez paints the cycles of life utilizing the human figure mixed with washed hues of emotion in his exhibit, “Observations” at ACS Gallery, Zhou B. Art Center in Bridgeport this fall 2018. Gomez travels with his work internationally. The exhibit, “Observations” remains part of the larger, series “Cycles of Life”. The larger series has exhibited internationally in four museums, Mexico (Cuernavaca and Queretaro), Romania, and Italy. “This series represents the ending of a chapter,” said Gomez, “These paintings have traveled across the world with me, along with the changing seasons”. As the year transitions forward, the international series comes to a close. “Chicago remains this exhibit’s fourth and final location,” said Gomez. “Observations” ties up the stencil series for Gomez. The collection demonstrates the cycles of life from 2000 to 2018. Introspection in the mind’s eye remains the focal point for this series. Gomez makes his mark on this series with repetition using stencils as flowers inside the minds of individuals on canvas. He pours a pure mixture of soul and emotion into his creations. “I am throwing away my stencils after this series,” said Gomez, “I wanted to show how one idea can be done in different ways, transitioning through multiple seasons. Now, I am ready to move forward”. This series allows Gomez to create a temporary space of introspection inside a force of nature, improving the gaze upon the concept of life. Each piece overloads the viewer with sacred, organic geometric flowers infused with capturing the human experience. The texture Gomez releases onto the canvas remains forgivingly, ground breaking and humbling. Each painting drips with emotion and observational introspection on the self. The endeared focal point of the human figure has no defiance of race or age other than pure, natural existence. The exhibit, “Observations” challenges the act of introspection and demonstrates the cycles of life. Gomez drives the idea of inception and acceptance of blossoming reality to inspire his creations. “I find myself painting my own figure. I can almost trace my own likeness,” said Gomez. He paints the existential experience of organic transitions of life infused with emotion. The artist adds a transcendental wash of meditative colors in the background of his paintings. The auras of the human figures emit existential emotional bliss. Gomez said, “This series involved a heavy flow of water and drips for texture.” Gomez takes the viewer through the essence of time and captures the organic energy of the human experience embedded with flowers. The male figures in his paintings represent himself through inception involving the repetitive force of nature and use of shadow. Gomez captures the essence of stillness in time tied to flowers inside the Jedi mind of human connection. Gomez paints a captured moment, released with layers and drips of emotion onto raw canvas. The energy of each painting emits a divine washed away background of color mixed with a focal point of human perspective. Gomez has a way with creating texture using stencils to create paradoxical flowers and drips of elegance. “Sergio has a connection with expressing his emotions through art as a male,” said gallery representative and Director of ACS Gallery, Renee LaVerne Rose, “To express emotion through art amazes me, as a woman.” “The energy is bigger than life in his exhibit, Observations,” said LaVerne Rose, “Sergio is incredibly humble. If you see his work, you can see how he has evolved”. This series blooms with introspection and organically shows the transitioning seasons of the self. As the exhibit, “Observations” peels off the walls at the Zhou B. Art Center; the artist brainstorms his next idea. Find and talk to Gomez at his next art exhibit happening on every third Friday at the Zhou B. Art Center on the fourth floor.
- Sarah Opat, writer for Talking Stones
Talking Stones Artist Review: Kelly Mathews
Chicago artist, Kelly Mathews brings authentic truth, political, and social injustice frustrations to surface through her art. She works in layers of encaustic and large scale image transfers.
Mathews describes encaustic as “painting with beeswax”. She has exhibited at the Zhou B. Art Center, 33 Contemporary Gallery, solo exhibitions, group shows, holds space in private collections, and currently a feature artist at Highland Park Art Center.
Mathews artwork raises conversation in social and political injustices. Her recent project “Resist Fear” was a public engagement piece. She used large panels where people wrote down personal fears. The panels then go through a literal and figurative transformation. Mathews took the panel and buried everyone’s fears with black wax writing “Resist Fear”. She pours the letters using encaustic. The raised words jump of the page and into the psyche of the viewer.
This project allowed for Mathews to put fear in perspective and release the attachment to fears. “This was probably the biggest growing experience,” said Mathews, “I really got out of my own head and realized the things that control my life, my fear.”
She learned about the fears of others getting deported. People shared the fear of losing everything, their home, family, and jobs. This was a humbling and ground breaking experience for all members involved in the “Resist Fear” project.
Mathews is a recovering addict and bipolar. She uses these challenges to inspire and excel in her art career. “Art has been the most stable aspect in my life,” said Mathews, “I was not diagnosed with bipolar disorder until my late twenties”. She has recently submitted works to “The Ryan Licht Sang Bipolar Foundation”. Creating art allows for Mathews to see the beauty in challenges. “No matter how ugly that topic may be, there is beauty in the way it is communicated visually,” said Mathews. Mathews continues to allow art speaks volumes in the world of yearning for equality.
Art has allowed Mathews to break through the political and social injustices adding a whimsical touch of encaustic to share her truths with society. Utilizing the technical qualities of encaustic, half chemistry, half creativity, Mathews continues to grow and evolve as a professional artist in Chicago.
- Sarah Opat, writer for Talking Stones
Artist Review: Vicky Lentz
Canadian visual artist, Vicky Lentz translates unhindered insight from nature onto several mediums. She creates abstract and contemporary work using steel, clay, acrylic, oil paint, and mixed media on canvas.
The aesthetic of nature inspires Lentz to create from a place of silence and organic movement. She creates limitless, abstract sculptures, paintings, 2-D creations in her studio surrounded in the woods, and public installation pieces displayed in Montreal, Canada. Lentz listens deeply to the hum of the universe found in the forest surrounding her home in Canada. Living in nature allows for her creativity to connect through different mediums to communicate a new vernacular of abstract art.
Lentz shows regularly in exhibitions in eastern Canada. Her work has shown nationally, internationally and in the United States in Maine and Chicago, Illinois. Lentz continues her growth in her art career to a national level, outside her home province. Ingrid Mueller Art + Concepts represent her work currently in Fredericton and St. Andrews, New Brunswick. Lentz also completed an artist residency at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery this year.
The creative process for Lentz flows with the organic rhythm of life’s cycles. She creates colorful vibrations from the abundance of her environment. A fallen tree in the woods became her art installation in nature. She wrapped the branches in colorful yarn. She connects the fluid aspect of ever changing, constantly in motion, transforming, atoms in motion to environmental canvas, paper, steel, and mixed media.
Her color choices pop off the wall and satisfy the viewer with an abstract smile. Lentz translates her experience in nature as an abstract language on canvas. Each painting overflows with the essence of organic fulfillment and projects a spacious quality of measureless wisdom.
The organic shapes within her art comes through a juxtaposition of unique sculptures in nature, paintings oozing with spacious texture, and public installation pieces where viewers become a part of the creative atmosphere.
Lentz’s color choice beams a light of exploratory contemporary expression. She constantly tries new techniques and materials to express her experience authentically in the world of abstract art.
“I go through phases of color in my work. Sometimes I use recycled metals, rusted metals, bouncing from a neutral color palette to full on color,” said Lentz.
Lentz introduces an abstract energy through the portal of her personal experience within nature. The issue in today’s society highlights the lack of connection with nature. Lentz brings awareness to nature deficit disorder and challenges the viewer to feel the natural organic qualities within her art. She zeros in on the organic detail and intertwines lines of the natural ebb and flow of the universe into her work.
Her paintings drip with creative flow and allowance of positive space to compliment the negative. She creates a silent dialogue of abstract imagery on canvas and through sculptures. The simple line work and brush strokes evoke satisfaction and euphoria.
Living deep in the woods allows Lentz to access the silence in the space of nature to enter an alternative flow. This energy is transferable to the work Lentz creates. She uses communion with nature to inspire the ebb and flow within her paintings and sculptures.
The texture remains remarkable on canvas. She speaks a language of pink lemonade daydream meets a modern twist of honey dipped blues. The line work and jabs of brush marks speak a contemporary language of organic soul meets space captured in time. As Lentz introduces her upcoming series “Deeply Listening”, she brings the richness of silence to life on canvas. Her use of mix media patterns creates a satisfying feeling of spaciousness within her work. Lentz views nature as a transparent holographic image to inspire her vessel of work. She goes inside the petals of flowers with observation– Going inside the cells of a petal. Trying to refine by connecting and listening, everything becomes vibrational – A connection to the environment.
“Human condition is not what we live. Going deeper to what’s around us. Not being rushed. I am a witness. My purpose is to be present,” said Lentz, “As an artist, I can transfer what I’m experiencing onto canvas or by welding steel,” said Lentz.
“Original art has vibrations to pick up on. I am here to express the life around me in a sensitive way,” said Lentz, “My art allows you to glimpse the connection.”
The abstract world of contemporary art welcomes the success and deep rooted stillness found within Lentz’s work. She defines a new meaning for mixed media, abstract and contemporary artwork through creating stillness within a world of chaos. Each creation remains fresh and pure. She creates from the center of truth, nature, and beauty. The truth revealed in nature translates the message of organic beauty within Lentz’s work.
- Sarah Opat, writer for Talking Stones
Talking Stones Review: Henna Tattoo Artist Teala Marie
Teala Marie makes moves in the world of henna as she designs her own platform of opportunity, Miss Henna Marie, as an artist and entrepreneur in Chicago.
As a female artist, Teala shines an ancient light of inspiration as she intertwines the intricate beauty of time captured in henna designs. Through her business, Miss Henna Marie, Teala embraces the power of her amplified imagination and designs creations on human skin.
Miss Henna Marie has the soul of a gypsy infused with a brave artist full of courageous gifts and insights.
Teala works as her own boss. She started her own henna design business, Miss Henna Marie, in 2017 and gratefully looks forward to the New Year in 2019. Teala has taken her designs across the country while her boyfriend's band went on tour out west.
"In the summer of 2017 I was confident enough to leave my day time job and pursue my passion for Henna full time," said Teala, "I had countless events lined up and I made the leap to take my craft seriously. It was my most successful summer that built my brand and got my name out there. I couldn’t be happier".
For the wondrous and curious, henna is a plant based material mixed with essential oils to create a paste with the ability to stain. "Mahboob Salon in Naperville supplies me with the best all natural, high quality henna. They make it fresh for me every time and I have such a great relationship with the owners and employees. A truly wonderful business. Plus, if I purchase enough Henna I gain point to get my eyebrows threaded, who wouldn’t love that," said Teala.
Teala has a consistent flow of clients and weaves a busy pattern for future events. "I have worked at countless festivals, events, yoga studios, boutique shops, and in-home parties. Each year it grew bigger and bigger," said Teala, "I first began my journey as a Henna Artist in 2014 at Summer Solstice Indie Music and Craft Beer Festival in Yorkville, Illinois. Since then, this path has paved a way for many new and exciting opportunities".
The human body is a canvas for Miss Henna Marie. "What began as an experimental art form for festivals has become my livelihood," said Teala, "Using the body as my canvas and natural materials as my medium, I have been able to design works of art with a lifespan".
Teala has an acute focus to detail when it comes to designing henna tattoos. Her soul remains present and pulls threads of intelligence together from alternate dimensions as she creates each individual henna design.
Teala travels the creative realm to create a life of her dreams. She travels to the west coast to infuse private parties, coffee shops, yoga studios, and other events with her ancient form of art.
Henna Designs by Teala Marie offers custom temporary tattoos with an ancient medium, whether it is a special event like a festival, street fair, bridal or baby shower.
"Traditionally, when henna is used as a body art it has organically, detailed line work with intricate patterns and symbols," said Teala, "When I picked up a cone of henna for the first time it became very natural for me to create designs that could impress my customers".
"I believe what sets me apart are my larger designs. In the summer I have many customers wanting full leg, full arm, or both feet," said Teala, "The bigger works really seem to shock my viewers, and it is such a creative challenge for me".
The transcendence of henna allows the wearer to appreciate this form of art as a fading memory. "For me, the Henna’s lifespan is my favorite part," said Teala, "The movement of the body, the shapes and contours it creates- the way it has an ombre effect staining from dark to light. As it begins to fade the memories of its creation are brought back to life. Its spirit disappears into your body and you are a blank canvas ready to create again."
Teala shines as a divine, generous, wondrous, gypsy traveling soul transcending time with her divine, feminine energy, intelligence, and henna designs. Check out her next event here.
Book an appointment with Miss Henna Marie today and feel the elegance of wearing ancient body tattoos. Teala's design translates to an organic language of healing and embracing the divine flow of the feminine.
- Sarah Opat, writer for Talking Stones
Talking Stones Artist Review: Visions of Wayne
The artwork featured in Visions of Wayne exhibit is original black and white silver print photography. Visions of Wayne represents a personal connection with film in the rock n' roll era and the use of black and white paint splattered on canvas. Now is the chance to look inside the mind of Wayne Thomas Abell. He's a Sagittarius, artist, photographer, poet, and daydreamer for Trickster Studios in Downtown Hammond. The whole collection of paintings and film represent the edgy style of the rock 'n roll era. “This exhibit, Visions of Wayne, is a nice inflection of my past,” said Abell. “These photos represent a time in my life when I was making all this art in Florida. Years later, all the art comes together. I love creating something new and fresh cut with pieces of my past,” said Abell. Abell has been pushing the boundaries of what is considered art since 1997. The month of May marks the 20 year anniversary of Abell having six pieces pulled from an advanced photography show at St. Petersburg college in May of 1997 as offensive. Barton Gilmore stated his photography students work was “Superb. Technically speaking, that is. The photos were fresh. The quality of the lighting and exposure was unquestionable. But content? There was frontal nudity in sexual content.” Twenty years later Abell reveals expressive art on the walls of CHESS Art Gallery. “I think that my art shows that people are beautiful no matter what lifestyle they live," said Abell. “Everyone has something inside. Everyone has love. Everybody has a flow of emotions. I think my photography shows the different lifestyles most people don't get to see,” said Abell. Visions of Wayne artistically shows a hidden side of life. “Each canvas has a life of it’s own. The use of black paint mixed with raw film on each canvas speaks volumes,” says Gallery curator Sarah Opat. “When I was doing this photography is when punk rock began. Cool, edgy, and pierced became the streets of punk rock," said Abell. “The most interesting part about these photos are the people. I was able to catch these people in their most authentic punk rock way. They shared their way of life with me through the photo. Their emotional feelings came through,” said Abell. Visions of Wayne is also the first photography show in 20 years and his first solo show here in Chicagoland area. “Tampa Bay was the goth capital in the south, maybe outside of New York,” said Abell. “The vampire vibe made a influence on me. Seeing all these people apart of this scary type of music scene. Moving to Florida got me away from where I grew up in the region. I opened myself up to be more free and expand on different lifestyles,” said Abell. “The gift of free will is dynamically displayed in Wayne's use of wild locations and exposure of the human body, mind, and soul," said Opat. A diverse range of unique collage, raw photo cut outs and splattered black paint strike the viewer's eye. Each painting in the exhibit contributes to a cultural melting pot shedding light on unseen thoughts of the individual. Visions of Wayne presents a body of work that promotes open-mindedness, punk rock cultural awareness, and respect through creative expression.