2022 Graduation Portfolio Exhibition
My name is Stephen Wisebaker, aka Iche. I am originally from Crown Heights, Brooklyn, NY and now live in Dayton, OH. I like to be able to control my life, but it doesn't always turn out that way. I use art as a creative outlet and to manage my mental health. My working process comes from my desire to find comfort and order in chaos.
I am a mixed media artist working with pencils, pens, pastels, paints, and inks. I begin my artwork using automatic process such as decalcomania, a technique of transferring splattered ink from one sheet of paper to another. Next, I try to impose structure on these spontaneously created surfaces by adding triangles, lots of circular motions, vibrant colors, and heavy textures. In this way, my art becomes a diary of my life.
My artwork represents illusions of reality like our own. I shift that reality through each art piece depending on the mood I am going for. I often close my eyes, escape to that small place in my mind, and explore these weird ideas that I try to capture in my artworks. I have found that I do not always have control of the world around me and I take great comfort in what I can control. Similar to an Orchestra, I conduct the lines, colors, scale, mood, patterns, and so much more in a piece as an artist.
Within my artwork, I use characters primarily to be viewed as shape and pattern within the composition. Those characters also lend themselves to an open-ended narrative for my audience to interpret. Despite the horrible truths that can be encountered in our reality, I like to create vibrant escapes to put minds at ease when viewing my work. My artwork is primarily very cheerful, but occasionally ventures into a darker theme. My palette is almost typically saturated and fun. The lines I create explore different textures and rhythm within my work. I open my art with bright colors and happy characters to give an escape to the grey world we live in. I hope my art can give a bright moment to people having a bad day.
I’ve always gravitated towards drawing portraits of people. There are countless
stories that can be told just through the figure or a person's face. Each person carries
themselves and their emotions differently, I could spend countless hours studying them.
Drawing portraits means I get to highlight and appreciate different facial features. I’ve also
learned how sad a person can look without even seeing their face, just the back of their
head and an arm can appear lonely.
Charcoal has also worked its way into my heart. I feel I can get the lightest and most
saturated expressions with charcoal. I often find myself mindlessly grinding it into the
background of my pieces, alleviating any stress. No matter how many times this versatile
medium stains my carpets and fingernails, I’ll keep reaching for it whenever I make
This body of work is made up of exaggerated self-portraits that look at the body in close up sections, highlighting flaws, and making colors much brighter than they are in real life. This project was brought about by the pandemic. Being stuck at home, I became my own model, and I could not look at my whole body and draw or paint unless it was from a photo. The photos would erase a lot of the detail, so I decided to focus on specific pieces of my anatomy at a time. Also, having a pin-point view on an area made it easier to include every detail that I may have felt ashamed or embarrassed to include, like zits or body hair.
The reason I chose to highlight flaws like stretch marks, pimples, and body hair is that they became fun to draw. All through this process, I had to stare at my own body, and it was hard to do because the only times I would do something like that before was when I was feeling self-conscious and hyper focusing on everything I thought was wrong with myself. Doing this changed the association I had with looking at myself that way from degrading to empowering. Using myself as a model started out of the pandemic for lack of other people to draw, but without that being the case, this project would not have happened. For example, I do not think I could ask anyone else if they would model their armpit for me. I am the only person I would be able to draw so critically and be able to examine so intimately and the project benefitted from it.
I like to use bright colors, so I exaggerated all the different shades I could see in my skin tone and added a darker background when needed. This led to the pieces all having a warm color scheme with dark blue incorporated. In the piece, “Up Close and Personal,” I used markers and the illustrations are much more detailed; for this reason, I included some detail images. For the rest of the pieces I used acrylic paint, so the mark making is active and more visible. It ends up making a contrast between the drawings, and the paintings you can tell are painted. Although it is in different ways, they are still connected through layering of color, visible mark making, attention to light effects, and heightened naturalism.
My work is influenced by the things around me, in my life and environment. I try to capture family moments, the various moods I feel, and the things in nature that I feel connected to. I focus on nature and portrait photography in both film and digital. In my work I’m drawn to plants and flowers as well as family dynamics, expressing that with colorful and nostalgic themes. I like to capture simple things, like flowers, making them more dramatic by the contrast, color, and lighting.
My work is very colorful, delicate, spontaneous, dramatic, detailed, and ethereal. I get inspiration from many things, especially editorial magazines. One thing I see can set off my ideas for a piece, I pick up my camera as soon as I can to work all my ideas out. My best work is probably the ones I didn’t really plan out. I want to convey to those who see my work a sense of thoughtfulness, wonder, and appreciation.
My work has a lot of natural colors but can be enhanced by more dramatic lighting. I tend to focus on my subjects through details and posing. When I take pictures of nature, I like to focus on flowers, almost like a portrait of them. I like to bring a lot of natural elements into my photography like light, color, and details like flowers.
In portraiture I photograph with the intent of seeing the truth in people and seeing them like I first did, as strangers to me. I try to capture the differences and personality in how I see them. I strive to capture the small details in nature and overwhelming landscapes that give a sense of hope.
My name is Levi Gibbs. I was born in Middletown, Ohio and currently live in Hamilton. I
have been interested in art since I was a kid. Until recently the only medium I was interested in
was drawing. I loved to draw cartoons and abstract characters. Once I started at Sinclair I
My work is mostly done in oil paints or pencil drawings. The loose and free nature of oil
paint has allowed me to express myself through art more fluidly. The theme of my work is
typically focused around human connection. I believe connecting to others is the most essential
part of the human experience.
I visually represent the feeling of human connection by abstracting figures to the point
where it is indistinguishable where one figure ends and the other begins. By using solid
undertones and placing variation of color on surface layers, I am trying to communicate that we
are all one and our differences are surface level.
My artworks are combinations of painting and calligraphy. It goes back to the culture I have grown up with. I learned about calligraphy when I was very young. I could see the art of calligraphy in historical buldings, mosques, and even on the billboards for advertisements. Back in the day, we had calligraphy class in primary school in my motherland Iran, which was my first experience with this art.
Usually, I do paintings according to the subject of calligraphy I pick, which could be a poem, a phrase, or a word. It is a challenge that I really enjoy doing it.Calligraphy has a long history as 206 BCE in China during the Hun dynasty; in Islamic countries started in the 7th century which started with Coofy inscription for the Quran to be written. It was developed for several types of writing such as Naskh, Nasta’liq, Divani, Tuluth, and Reqa. Calligraphy has been used as a decorative element on the façade of some religious and historical places.
I am inspired by the paintings of Audrey Kawasaki, an American, Japanese artist. Her style has been described as a fashion of art Nouveau. The second artist that I’m influenced by is Hossein Ahmadi Nasab, an Iranian painter. I can see the strong tendency to pour colors and quick impromptu sketching. The subjects of his paintings are mostly Nomadic people especially women around the Persian Gulf.
I really enjoy painting and used different media in my works such as oil, charcoal, ink, watercolor, crayon, and acrylic. when I Write layers of calligraphy and keep busy with Painting, I forget the pressure of daily life and forget about my loneliness.
I have been exploring new methods of art recently. Basketry, needle felting, oil painting, ceramics, wire sculpting, and collage have now been added to my methods of creative expression. I have found that utilizing these new art forms are a comfortable way for me to experiment.
The past two years have granted me time to slow down and focus on home life. I used my time in the kitchen to make foods and then photograph or draw those kitchen items. The primary subject matter and concepts portrayed in my art relate to the domestic interior. I discovered ways to utilize the simple pleasure of being in the kitchen preparing breakfast, into my artwork. For example, the “Stirring Hands” oil painting, along with “Stack of Pancakes” ceramic art, are reminiscent of my efforts to make enough pancakes on weekends, for brunch with my grandchildren before the pandemic restricted visits.
My current artistic efforts build from the interplay of varying mediums. The kitchen has always been my haven and a source of comfort. The heart of the home is full of opportunities and ideas for artistic expression, representing things that connect me to the nurturing experience.
In my collection, the selected pieces were all chosen to help express my focus on the
human figure. While each piece captures a different focus in more than one medium, you can
find some common themes. All together, in this collection, you will find each piece can be found
as its own individual as well as find a cohesiveness throughout the entirety.
The artwork within this exhibition can be divided into two groups depending on the
chosen mediums: charcoal and acrylic paint. Not only are they separated by this, but you can find
that the charcoal pieces lean more towards specific focuses on the human anatomy and it’s
structure. Meanwhile, the acrylic paintings were made to simply capture the models in a more
natural environment. Each medium was chosen for those respected focuses due to their different
abilities and uses and how they reinforced the pieces better than the other medium could.
Charcoal helped reinforce the process of studying the human figure due to the medium’s ability
to easily blend and manipulate different tones of light and shadow along the body’s plains. The
contrast between black and white gives a more informative and disciplined theme to the
drawings, and helps reinforce the realism approach. Meanwhile, acrylic paint is known for it’s
quick dry time, which is helpful when it comes to adding several layers of paint. Whether it was
for establishing foregrounds and backgrounds, or if it was to make a correction, the acrylic can
be found very easy and forgiving. Having multiple layers of colors can help add more to the
themes and tones of the pieces despite those colors not being found in the still life itself.
In conclusion, the exhibit was organized to showcase my artistic focus on the human
body. Each piece is simply a different approach towards observing these figures, whether it’s in a
natural and realistic scene, or through a unique and reimagined perspective.
Diana May Rice
My artwork consists of acrylic paintings on canvases. I use a technique of layered spontaneous mark making to give my pieces movement, rhythm, and energy. My work is a colorful abstraction of the world through my point of view.
The intention of my work is to show how ordinary objects and landscapes can be transformed through technology and the human mind. I photograph my reference, edit the image, and then use my own interpretation of the edited image to bring a work to life. Using bright colors conveys my mood and brings me joy.
I find myself trying to entertain while creating art, filming with one hand and making marks with the other. This gives me the freedom to leave thick brushstrokes just as they are, frozen in time on the canvas. I want to inspire young artists by having fun, while allowing mistakes to become part of the process
I spent my life looking through the lens of one camera or another; they were always with
me. During that time, I came to understand not only what it takes to make a good photograph; I
discovered what it takes to make a good camera. The stabilizing heft; the stippled grip; that feel
when you press the button causing the shutter to actuate and capture that moment forevermore.
That moment may be a kiss, a flap of a wing, or the evening light hitting the flower just right. I
choose cameras as my subject because of that tactile memory. Where once I saw the world
through a camera; I now see elements of the world in a camera.
I strive to harmonize the original purpose of found objects with their new symbolic
functions. Using a nightlight for a flash, associating dental floss with a bright smile, or I make
buttons from, well, buttons. Assemblage connects me with the ongoing, and vibrantly diverse,
process of creation. Shaping matter to more perfectly order it into pleasing and beneficial forms.
Art is a transactional process, where I give of myself to create something; presenting it to
another for their enjoyment. It intrigues and invigorates me when someone looks at my
creations and gives me back a meaning I never intended. Those exchanges allow both of us to
see the world in new ways. They help us understand that everyone has a different perspective,
and we are always learning from each other. Those brief, fulfilling moments continue to mold my
artistic expression and drive me to continue to recreate.