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Featured Artists

San Francisco Featured Artist: Sandra Purchase

San Francisco Featured Artist: Sandra Purchase at Red Union Hair Salon and Art Gallery San Francisco, CA

Sandra Purchase: I currently live and work in the South-West of England.

I have always enjoyed collecting and working with vintage material, postcards and general ephemeral from a bygone era. This crucial gathering of materials is a focal point of my work. This interest led me to complete a three year BA Honors Design Craft Degree at the University of Crafts which I completed in 2000.

Since then my work has been based on images taken from periods advertising, the glamour and glitz of the 1950’s, Mills and Boon cover titles of that era, old film posters and annuals. I select these images because they remind me of my childhood, the way my mother dressed, the books she may have read and the films I enjoyed as I grew up.

The glamours, sugary nature of these pictures are the main inspirations; immaculate hair, polished smiles and perfect faces, but I adapt them using my found reclaimed vintage fabric. The layering of printed material retains much of the original glamour but places the characters or scenes within a more surreal setting removed from the original context. The actors, with each piece, become embedded within the make-up of fabric and trimmings. A further application of paints and additional threads produces the final theatrical and frivolous results.

San Francisco Featured Artist: Luz Elena Castro – Photojournalist

Featured Artist Luz Elena Castro - Photojournalist at Red Union Hair Salon and Art Gallery San Francisco, CA

Luz Elena Castro- Photojournalist:
After receiving a Bachelors Degree in Journalism from the Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, Medellín, Colombia, Luz Elena Castro began her career as a staff photographer for El Mundo Newspaper in 1979. This led to a position as a photojournalism instructor for Bolivariana University in 1985, and freelance assignments for many different magazines and newspapers. In 1986 she won a scholarship from Navarra University in Spain, and worked as a photojournalist for the EFE News Agency in Madrid. She provided a weekly commentary for the BBC while in London, and in 1988, she was department director for El Tiempo Newspaper in Bogotá.

She was the personal photographer for César Gaviria during his 1989-90 presidential campaign, and through 1994 was director of the photography department for the Gaviria Presidency. Following a year as graphic editor of Cromos Magazine, she resumed her work as a freelance photojournalist.
Throughout her career she has shown her photos in the most prestigious Galleries and Museums in Colombia. In 1994 she represented Colombia in the Fifth Biennial of Art in Havana, Cuba, was chosen to participate in an exhibition at the Ludwing Forum Museum, Aachen, Germany, and served as a judge in several Salons of Photography in Colombia.

Living and working in California since 1996, she began to document homeless Sonoma County seniors in January of 2002. Her exhibit poignantly captured the new face of homelessness in an economically rich area, and opened at the Cultural Arts Council’s Gallery in Santa Rosa, CA.

In her “Lejos del Hogar” project, she gave cameras to members of West Marin’s Latino community, and taught them how to take photos, which were then used in weekly English lessons. An exhibition of Luz Elena’s documentary work opened in 2004 at Gallery Route One in Point Reyes, CA. Serving as a bridge between the Latino and American Communities; she developed a series of projects that empower the students to be part of the town through photography and literacy. Every year until now Gallery Route One exhibit those projects.

In March 2008 as part of the Fotofest Biennial of Photography, the Station Museum of Contemporary Art shows her Installation “Faces of Colombia”, a group of 8 Photos-Curtains making a circle that symbolized the circle of violence that Colombia has lived during the last 50 years. The project also had a bilingual voice over running during the exhibition. “Apertura Colombia” was a powerful show from Colombian Artists depicting the situation of their country.

A Retrospective of her 25 years as a photojournalist was opened in 2006 at the Museo del Oro Quimbaya, in Armenia, Colombia, and is part of the private collection of the Banco de la República, organization that sponsored it.
“As a photojournalist, I strive to capture ordinary moments that speak in extraordinary ways…”

Luz Elena Castro
luzelenacastro.net
(415) 747-0043

San Francisco Featured Artist: Zohreh Noorian

Featured Artist Zohreh Noorian at Red Union Hair Salon and Art Gallery San Francisco, CAZohreh Noorian: Photography is how I express myself. I am not naturally a talkative person, I share what’s important to me through my art. Nature is the preferred subject of my photography because it is humbling, provides me with clarity, and relaxes me. I love the vastness of nature because in it I see life revealing itself.

Photography is my way of expressing this view to others. When I take a photograph, I excitedly think, “I’ve captured this moment of life.” I hope others will experience that same fleeting moment and beauty when they see my photos. My photography style is vibrant and playful.

Through the lens, the spontaneity of nature is revealed. When I hold my camera, I see life’s beauty unfolding moment by moment. In my every photograph, life bringing itself, in all it’s entirely to my attention. Rather than using preconceived formulas and techniques to create art, I allow the art of that moment to decide the photograph that I take. In so doing, I capture instants of life as they happen. When one is present and in the moment, life in all of its fullness will reveal itself to you.

Featured Artist Zohreh Noorian at Red Union Hair Salon and Art Gallery San Francisco, CAI am a passionate photographer. While the process of learning the skills of ones craft is crucial, Art is an inspiration that comes from within. I believe we are all artists—photography brings out the inspired artist in me. “When you don’t expect anything and open to the possibility, everything is at your disposal.” ~Rumi, 7th century

San Francisco Featured Artist: Elena Achilli

Featured Artist Elena Achilli at Red Union Hair Salon and Art Gallery San Francisco, CA

Elena Achilli – Artist Statement:
“Painting for me is a love affair: I am profoundly passionate about it, it grips my heart tightly and I yearn for it when I am away. I am both a dreamer and a believer. I work very intuitively and instinctively, creating a space in which I allow the image to evolve and unravel. My practice demands that I am courageous and openhearted and it always involves risk. It is also an eternal search for truth. I feel things with a burning intensity and my canvas provides a haven for these huge emotions.

I am fascinated by chaos and order fragility and strength, existing simultaneously and the easy harmony that occurs in the natural world between these two forces. My canvas becomes a visual response to these elemental energies and polarities discovered within the environment and myself.

My work is a celebration of the colours and ultimate contrast, no gradients and embraces all that is mistery: the ambiguity is as relevant as the seen in the finished piece.”

Visit Elena Achilli’s website at:
achillielena.com

San Francisco Featured Artist: Jennifer Ewing

Featured Artist Jennifer Ewing at Red Union Hair Salon and Art Gallery San Francisco, CA

Artist Statement:
My themes of passage, transformation, movement in time and space are still with me and as vital to my work as they were when I began this series in 2005. For me, the boat has a dual purpose, It is the vehicle that keeps me safe as I journey but also offers an invitation for the viewer go on their own journey.

The work began as a tribute to my father’s memory. A powerful, motivating force came into my art that gave me a chance to go beyond myself into a bigger place to create from.

Today it is an exploration of each person’s ultimate journey- and the stages they pass through as they ride in the boats. The passengers stop to breath along the way and their breath contributes to the luminosity that I treasure. Along the way, the invisible passenger voyages near to the moon, planets and is guided by universal light through color fields.

Working and experimenting with various media in painting gives me a chance to layer materials and messages about spacial relationships; the boat to water, to the universe, or to the light. I love to draw on top of the paintings because the mark making gives rhythm and movement in addition to the color.

Visit Jennifer Ewing’s website at:
jenniferewing.com

San Francisco Featured Artist: Michelle Sixta

Featured Artist Michelle Sixta at Red Union Hair Salon and Art Gallery San Francisco, CA

Artist Statement:
My work comes out of an intuitive creative process and is inspired by the natural world. While enjoying one of my favorite pastimes, hiking, I photograph scenes and details along the way. I look for bold imagery, textures, colors, shadows and light patterns. I also bring motion into my images by purposefully playing with slower shutter speeds. As I review my digital images, I get a “hit” on the ones that I should use for my next creation. I proceed to play with the various images and transform them into bright, bold, iconic pieces that convey the luminescence and earthy textures found in nature.

Bio:
Michelle Sixta was born in Kansas City, Missouri in 1961. Throughout her art education she explored a full range of mediums, including drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, and interior design. During this time she was awarded a scholarship to the Kansas City Art Institute. It was photography that kept her interest, inspired in great part by her father who was an avid photographer when he was a young man.

Michelle received her degree in commercial printing at the University of Central Missouri in 1983. Her affinity for “hands-on” work drew her interest toward screen printing. While learning about the various printing processes, she continued to develop her photography skills and worked as a campus photographer for 4 years.

After college, Michelle worked in the commercial printing field for 6 years in various positions from production planning to sales representative. She started out at a major screen printing company that had Hallmark Cards as one of its main clients. It was here that she began to truly understand what is involved in taking an artistic creation from the drawing board to the finished product. In 1985, Michelle moved to Sacramento, California and became a sales representative for a high-end offset printer Fong & Fong, known for producing fine art prints.

In 1992 Michelle moved to downtown Oakland and lived near Lake Merritt. She was taken with the abundance and uniqueness of birds at this wildlife refuge, and got into “birding.” A multitude of birdwatching hikes helped her to learn more about the local terrain. She also took a wilderness skills class that opened her eyes to many of the details in the natural world.

In the late 90’s, while working in the Marketing Communications Group for a major corporation, she developed skills in email and website design. In the course of project work, she was exposed to an artist who did “composite photography” which inspired her to explore this media. It was a perfect conduit, allowing Michelle to combine many of her interests and skills to create artwork that reflects her vision of the natural world. She launched her first collection to the public in January of 2010.

Visit Michelle Sixta website at:
michellesixta.com

San Francisco Featured Artist: Maura Vazakas

Born and raised in New York, Maura Vazakas has been drawing since childhood, inspired by her artist mother. She studied music, with degrees from Juilliard, Oberlin Conservatory, and Univ. of Michigan, but had a passion for art and design. Her paintings are influenced by everything around her, but always end up being about humor, nature, nostalgia and pop culture.

The latest paintings are more minimal, and architectural in nature as lines merge as structures against a loose, painterly constructed background.

In keeping with her love of cities and architecture, Maura’s latest drawing series depict great buildings of the world, rendering some in daylight as well as buildings in a night scene. The latter plays with not only the buildings but with lighted windows, street lights, and their play with the night sky. Another series includes small graphite “knot” drawings and an ongoing series of photographs of the interior of refrigerators.

Maura Vazakas was a featured artist in the publication New American Paintings, Vol. 31., and her works have been shown in galleries in San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, New York and Dallas. Maura Vazakas is currently represented by G2 gallery in Scottsdale.

San Francisco Featured Artist: Georgia Dominici

Georgia Dominici is a San Francisco artist whose work interprets the female role throughout history. She explores how the expectations and standards for modern women are shaped by myths and fictional stories of the past. Her acrylic paintings place iconic females from mythical and religious narratives within contemporary settings. Her characters range from Venus to the Virgin Mary, each representing a specific female moral. Her work questions whether these morals remain if the figure is placed in a new time and space. They are stripped of their settings and relationships in order to see what sort of transformation takes place. By isolating these characters of the past within the cold realities of the present, she is able to examine to what extent their respective morals persist. Her work exposes that in the present, these female archetypes take on new and upsetting connotations. She attempts to prove that we continue to look to these archaic female models as the basis for today’s woman and explores this manifestation through her paintings.

Georgia works to imbue each piece with an instant mood by the over-saturation of a single color tone. While an austere shade of green may imply a rather sorrowful sentiment, a reddish hue can suggest a state of passion or fury. The style in which the paint is applied creates an almost puzzle like effect. Large areas of layered color is used to give an incomplete and fragmented state to her subjects. Her pop art asthetic reflects the contemporary interpretation of these classic figures. Through this visual exploration, she proves that their issues continue to be universal and timeless.

Georgia attended Hunter College in New York and earned her B.A. in Studio Art with a specialty in painting. She has shown her work in both New York and San Francisco.

San Francisco Featured Artist: Julie Jaycox

Featured Artist Julie Jaycox at Red Union Hair Salon and Art Gallery San Francisco, CAJulie Jaycox describes her work: These photos are my own intimate view of nature’s incredible creativity. An entire life cycle can be observed and documented in a garden through the growth and decay of plants, who both feed us and entertain us with their delightful blooms.

I was born here in California but raised on Sunset magazine in the Midwest, went to college in the geological beauty that is Utah, and enjoyed a 15-year stint in New York City before moving back to the Bay Area. I have been shooting botanically for more than fifteen years. I love plants and being outdoors, inheriting my interest from my father, a beekeeper and gardener. I grow my own cacti and succulents because they are beautiful and survive my occasional neglect.

I use a Contax RX 35mm camera with Fuji NPS 160 print film (now out of production, but filling my refrigerator), natural lighting (fog is a wonderful light filter) and no tripod. None of my images are cropped or altered in any way. They are printed straight from the negative.

My botanical photos have been exhibited twice at the San Francisco Botanical Garden at Strybing Arboretum in Golden Gate Park, they have been shown regularly at Canessa Gallery on Montgomery Street, and I have an ongoing display of my work at Mama’s on Washington Square in North Beach. I have shown a variety of photographic images (not all botanical) in venues around the U.S. and Europe, including a group show at The San Francisco Women’s Art Gallery.”

For more info, visit:
juliejaycox.com

San Francisco Featured Artist: Krishna Bhat

Featured Artist Krishna Bhat at Red Union Hair Salon and Art Gallery San Francisco, CAKrishna Bhat received his art education in England and San Francisco. He has lived in San Francisco for twenty years and has shown his work in various galleries throughout the city. With vivid, bold colors, his paintings, which are mostly in Oils, capture mood, energy and feeling in an absorbing manner- viewers often having very different interpretations of each.

As well as working as a Fine Artist, Illustrator and Photographer, Krishna also runs his own After School Art Program where he teaches Kids ages 8-18. In addition, Krishna is co-owner of Rock n Roll Babies, a line of organic and funky baby clothing (on which his illustrations can be seen).

Visit Krishna’s Website or contact the artist directly at:
415-552-7383
krisbhat@sbcglobal.net