Fine Art

Basilica del Voto Nacional - Quito

Dayana Flores

Mount San Antonio College

Art has been an essential element in my life since I was a child, and I have always tried to use it to represent myself and show different aspects that constitute me. This acrylic painting is inspired by my hometown, Quito-Ecuador, which is one of the most colorful and beautiful places that I have ever experienced. The Basílica del Voto Nacional (Basilica of the National Vow), which is depicted in this painting, is the largest neo-Gothic church in South America, and I consider that it represents Quito the best. Besides its astonishing architecture and kind people, I have always been in love and amazed by Quito’s unique sky, which is completely unpredictable and an important part of this work of art.
This painting was executed in a painterly realism style as I wanted to take some liberty with the shapes and colors and allow for the brush strokes to show. My art has focused on various forms of realism—from photorealism to painterly realism, and in this case, I felt that I could best represent the energy of the scene and reinforce the drama with small active brush marks. However, as important as it was to recreate this special place through the use of slightly loose brush strokes, it was equally critical that I capture all the details of the church and dynamic sky.

Sins of Memory

Yaxin Mao

Miami University (Ohio)

Sins of Memory explores the artistic representation of the memory’s malfunctions. As an undergraduate majoring in Psychology, I have been fascinated by the cross-disciplinary approach of self-discovering and self-expression. Being a fundamental building block of human life, memory allows us to store the information for reflection and future use. However, the process of recollection may sometimes become tricky. Recall a time when the details of a recent event started fading with the passage of time, when the next word was on the tip of your tongue, when the retrieval of information was unconsciously distorted by your values and beliefs, when you were zoned out, or when the unwanted remembrance stayed intrusive; this series of photographs portrays and transforms the lilies, lively yet fragile, resembling the occurrences of memory failure.

Highlights from previous editions

Confronting Internalized Transphobia My Own and Society's

Kaci Sullivan

Madison Area Technical College

This series emphatically insists on spectrums in a binary world. While I consciously know there isn’t anything wrong with being transgender—that there’s absolutely no shame in it, this knowledge hasn’t protected me from internalizing all the transphobic messages integrated into every aspect of our “progressive” society. Glittering glass slivers, they dig in deep, prepared to stay a lifetime. So I decided to sit with myself. Naked. In front of a mirror and canvas. I would paint my body until it became one grounded, plein-air-inspired stroke after another. Until I accepted that it’s a perfectly valid body. This journey isn’t mine alone. This series challenges viewers to address their own internalized transphobia. To ask themselves again, “What does it mean to be transgender?” or “What does a normal body even look like?” and most importantly “Maybe I should expand how I think about gender and sex.”

Mixed Media Collection

Jacob Smith

Westminster College

This body of work reflects on the two-dimensionality of visual art, specifically in the realm of illustration, painting, and digital art. The pieces address the increasingly strict guidelines imposed on the artistic community, what it means to be an artist, and how we define art. Furthermore, the body of work questions the temporality of visual art, specifically in a physical form. The work is very important to me as it illustrates much of my world view: people and places exist as different from one another, but have the ability and propensity to blend, interact, and harmonize.

1 in 4

Audrey Miklitsch

University of Denver

The statistic that 1 in 4 women are sexually assaulted has been repeated over and over again. I wanted to create a piece that allowed women to react to their experience with sexual assault. Through the Red Tape Project at the University of Denver, as well as my own friends and family, I found a variety of women to participate in the piece. Some participants chose to do it together, while others made their creation in private. Each participant was given six cardboard squares. They were simply told to react to their experience using the squares. They could do anything they wanted to the squares, with the only requirement that at least one shred of cardboard was left. They could add things, build things, take things away, draw, write, paint, whatever they wanted. It was powerful to see the similarity of the women’s reactions. The piece is also interactive when it is displayed. Viewers can pick the pieces up and as each piece is put back down in a different spot, the individual experience becomes woven together.

My Paintings Would Be No Different than a Picture in a Biology Textbook

Andi Kur

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

I find that there are innate balances in life, universal dichotomies that permeate our understanding of the world. My paintings are about a duality such as this that exists between art and science. We are told from youth that these subjects are poles in constant strain, as miscible as oil in water. I spent thirteen years in school believing that I must choose between the two, that it is unnecessary to carry both with me. Drawn between a distinct love of each, I realized how vehemently I disagreed. Everything: every rock to every tree to every person is suspended between the two and therefore requires both to be fully understood.