Leon Alesi | Amy Bench | Darcie Book | Carlos Carrillo/Yevgenia Davidoff | Jonas Criscoe | Kate Csillagi | Erin Cunningham | Bug Davidson | Rachelle Diaz | Brooke Gassiot | Terra Goolsby | Sarah Hirneisen | Mark Johnson | Dameon Lester | Teruko Nimura | Matt Rebholz | Tammie Rubin | Lana Waldrep-Appl | Alyssa Taylor Wendt | Jenn Wilson
Leon Alesi is an artist living in Austin, Texas using photography to cultivate a deeper connection with those he photographs and the world around him. Leon has exhibited both locally and nationally. He is also a co-facilitator of the in-house gallery Blackbox, which seeks to exhibit, share and create discussion surrounding a variety of work and artistic endeavors. His interest in theatre and dance fosters his collaboration with organizations such as Forklift Danceworks, Fusebox, Paper Chairs and Body Shift.
Amy is a cinematographer and filmmaker based in Austin, Texas. She took a circuitous path to filmmaking, first working as an engineer for Eastman Kodak before pursuing an MFA in directing at UT (2010). She has been twice nominated for the Kodak Excellence in Cinematography Award and won grants from the Texas Filmmaker’s Production Fund, Women in Film- Dallas, and the Department of Education’s Jacob K. Davits Fellowship, and is a member of the multidisciplinary artist group ICOSA. She was recently named a “DP on the Rise” by Paste Magazine. Her camera work has screened at festivals including Berlin, SXSW, Sundance, The New York Film Festival, and at MOMA/PS1.
Her first documentary film HOUSE OF ELEGANCE, about the transformative powers of a historic beauty salon in Austin’s diverse and ever-changing East Side, was featured on the Independent Lens online shorts festival, and was part of a Lonestar Emmy winning episode of the KLRU series “Docubloggers” in 2007. Her film THE VILLE, about one of St Louis’s most racially charged yet historically significant neighborhoods, won a Juror’s Citation the Black Maria Film Festival, “Best Local Documentary” at the St. Louis International Film Festival, and numerous awards at other festivals. It was described as “lyrical” and considered a “totally captivating look at contemporary urban America” by the Missoula Independent.
She is currently working on a multidisciplinary project, "Things We Left Behind," documenting the immigration experience of refugees and asylum seekers.
Darcie Book (Austin, TX) is a sculptural painter and installation artist whose work explores paint as object and architecture through innovative processes using acrylic paint. She was awarded an unsolicited grant in 2017 by the Belle Foundation for Cultural Development for achievement in the arts and humanities. Book was a finalist for the 2016 Sondheim Prize with a corresponding exhibition at the Baltimore Museum of Art. She attended the Vermont Studio Center Artist Residency in April 2015, and is currently working on a permanent 700 SF installation piece through the Facebook Artist in Residence Program in Austin, TX.
Carlos Carrillo/Yevgenia Davidoff
Carlos Carrillo and Yevgenia Davidoff are a husband and wife visual artists team. In 2007 they founded CCYD Studio in Brooklyn, NY. After 20 plus years of living and working in NYC, they relocated their studio to Austin, TX. Since they met, they have been combining their experiences, skill sets, and curiosities to create fine and applied art projects. Their works ranges from traditional to experimental, often blending styles, ideas, and mediums to create images, paintings, sculptures, functional objects, and installations. They appreciate and respect the wondrous and challenging process of idea development, material exploration and the execution of making something new.
Carrillo earned his BFA from the School of Visual Arts and CTS Credentials (Certified Technology Specialist) from InfoComm|AVIXA. Davidoff earned her BFA from the School of Visual Arts and MA from the Fashion Institute of Technology. Carrillo & Davidoff have exhibited their works throughout the greater New York City area, including the Governors Island Art Fair, Brooklyn Museum Open Studio Project, Dumbo Art Fair, The Annex Gallery at White Box and Deitch Projects.
Jonas Criscoe is an interdisciplinary visual artist whose work has been exhibited throughout the United States, most notably the International Print Center in New York and the Minnesota Museum of American Art. Criscoe has also been featured in various art publications, Including Art Lies and New American Painting and has been a Jerome Fellow at the Highpoint Center for Printmaking as well as a West Prize acquisition recipient. A native of Austin, Texas, he received his BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York and the University of Texas at Austin, and his MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2008. Currently, he is on the editorial board of DIALOGIST, a journal of Poetry and Art and on the Faculty at the Art School at The Contemporary Austin.
Our lives are a bustling landscape of emotions and information that we use to make thousands of decisions. While navigating this cacophony, we often forget how to recall our primal instincts and make decisions based on innate wisdom. Kate Csillagi’s work is a beckoning for the symbolic reasoning around us.
Csillagi collects objects and fabric that strike a nostalgic and discarded chord. Using materials ranging from basket skeletons to your grandma’s drapes, Csillagi recounts occult folklore through painting and assemblage. Most recently, her work is influenced by shamanic rituals, tarot, and romance podcasts.
Csillagi hails from Austin, TX. Raised by bawdy southern matriarchs and cultured at The Art Institute of Chicago and Evergreen University, Csillagi began making art in the form of zines and graffiti. Aside from exhibitions in Austin, she has shown in Nevada, Kentucky, Washington, New York, and Tennessee.
Erin Cunningham is a Texas based artist living and working in Austin. She received her BFA with a focus in metalwork from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2003 and her MFA from the University of Texas in Austin in 2007. Through the use of material combinations and the female figure, her sculpture work explores dualities of masculine and feminine, disposable and precious, fragility and strength. She has shown both nationally and internationally and has been the recipient of several residencies including BAER Art Center in Hofsos, Iceland. Erin is currently a member of ICOSA Collective, an artist run exhibition space in Austin TX. She is an instructor at Texas State University and at the Art School at The Contemporary Austin.
Bug Davidson is a motion image artist and film director interested in communicating through visual language intersections of: gender & representation, anti/social corporeal choreography, and the enchantment of cinematic gesture.
Rachelle Diaz is a mixed media artist living in Austin, Texas. She graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in Studio Art and a minor in Graphic Design from St. Edward’s University in 2002. Rachelle also studied printmaking and sculpture at SACI in Florence, Italy. In Austin, she was a founding member artist of the AVAA Gallery & Studios in 2003 and Pump Project Art Complex in 2005. After moving to Tucson in 2008, she started Tu Scene, the city’s only art blog, and co-founded Pop Up Spaces, an interactive/performance art/design activism collective. Since returning to Austin in 2010, Rachelle has participated in and curated group exhibitions and continues to produce work in various media including drawing, painting, sculpture, and graphic art. Her work features a variety of subjects and varies stylistically from project to project, the common threads being femininity, nature, death, and humor.
Brooke Gassiot grew up west of Austin, Texas on a 2000-acre ranch. Without television or urban distractions, her early years were filled with unstructured time, usually chasing armadillos, wading in a spring-fed swimming hole or herding her ten rabbits in the garden. Brooke’s father was a carpenter and her mother a textile artist and their family home was constantly being reinvented and built out, embedding a maker's mentality early on. As a teenager, she would often work alongside her mother in her textile studio painting silk, scrubbing tables and implementing designs.
Brooke received her Bachelor of Fine Arts with a focus on sculpture and painting from University of Texas at Austin in 2006. While at UT, she had the opportunity to travel to Italy on full scholarship, where she visited the Venice Biennale and took in the wealth of art in Rome, Florence and Milan. Upon return, she was granted a fellowship to complete her first large-scale installation.
Her current work, a series of sculptural light boxes and large scale installations, has been displayed at Lawndale Art Center in Houston, The Contemporary Austin, Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum in San Antonio and SXSW Interactive HQ, to name a few. The Austin Chronicle chose her solo exhibition at Co-Lab Projects as the Top 10 Visual Arts for 2013.
Terra Goolsby is a multi-media artist who draws upon mythologies, mysticism, science fiction, religious lore, and psychology. Her self reflexive examination of these subjects connects aspects of the grotesque with feminine strength and sexuality while exploring the tensions between creation and destruction, interiority and exteriority, as well as collectivity and singularity. With a focus on the unbridled and primordial nature of specific characters in the narratives that she draws upon, her work harbors an aesthetic that is both dangerous and sensual. She acquired her BFA at the University of Texas of Austin and her MFA in Sculpture at the Rhode Island School of Design. She has been an artist in residence at West Dean College of Sussex University in Chichester, England, Vermont Studio Center, and I-Park Foundation in New Hampshire. Her work has been exhibited in Texas, England, New York, Rhode Island, Boston, and Connecticut.
Sarah Hirneisen is an Austin based artist using three-dimensional materials and processes to elevate familiar and everyday objects. Born and raised in rural Pennsylvania, Sarah lived in New York, Rhode Island, and California before settling on the great state of Texas. She received an AAS with a major in Glass from Rochester Institute of Technology in 1998, a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design in 2001, and her MFA in studio art in 2011 from Mills College with a concentration in Sculpture. Sarah was awarded a residency through the Hungarian Multicultural Center, has received an Individual Artist Grant through the City of Oakland’s Cultural Art’s Program and the Phelan, Murphy & Cadogan fellowship from the San Francisco Foundation for graduate students in the arts. She has taught Sculpture at Mills College, Cabrillo College, and City College of San Francisco. Sarah has exhibited her work extensively throughout the US as well as Hungary, Korea and England.
Mark Johnson was born in Xenia, Ohio in 1979. He works predominantly in painting but includes video and performance in his installations. Johnson completed a BFA in Painting from Savannah College of Art and Design in 2001. He currently lives and works in Austin, Texas.
Through the use of modest materials and repetitive minimal shapes, Dameon Lester’s artwork abstractly focuses on our cause and effect with nature. Raised in rural Southwestern Virginia, his life as an artist has taken him to many parts of the U.S. and abroad—to live, study, research, work and exhibit.
Motivated by his newest body of work, he has most recently traveled to both Alaska and Iceland multiple times in a personal search to view, listen, and document the effects of climate change as they are locally presented to him. These direct experiences that help to inform and create his art are the motivation and inspiration into the study of our own self awareness and connectivity to the planet.
Teruko Nimura is an Austin based artist with a diverse multi-media practice. She did her undergraduate studies at San Francisco Art Institute and received her MFA from University of Texas at Austin. She is inspired by the traditions of Asian and Indigenous cultures, and explores issues of interconnectedness, memory, cultural and feminine identity, ritual and multiples. She is a member of MASS gallery, ICOSA art collective, and serves as an Arts Commissioner for the City of Austin. She has shown throughout Texas, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, and California and is a former fellow and resident of OXBOW school of Art and A.C.R.E. residency. She recently completed a public art project funded by Art Place America that culminated in an outdoor participatory ceremony and installation for the community.
Matt Rebholz is an artist and educator from Austin, TX where he is a Lecturer at Texas State University. He has shown nationally and internationally, recently exhibiting work at the Southwest School of Art in San Antonio, TX, the Till Richter Museum in Buggenhagen, Germany, the Bulgarian Triennial of Graphic Art in Sofia, Bulgaria, and pump project in Austin, TX. He is currently hard at work on a Psychedelic Sci-Fi/Cosmic Western graphic novel titled The Astronomer.
Tammie Rubin is a ceramic sculptor who investigates the tensions between the readymade and the handcrafted form; she transfigures familiar trivial objects into mythic relics. Using intricate motifs, she examines widely diverse themes relating to consumer culture such as, magical thinking, animism, ritual, domestic and liturgical objects, artificial nature, and sensory desire. Rubin is a recipient of grants from Artist Trust Grants for Artist Projects Seattle, and an Artist Project Grant from the Illinois Arts Council. Her work has been featured in journals such as Artforum online, fields, Ceramics: Art & Perception, Ceramics Monthly, and newspapers such as The Seattle Times, and The Austin American-Statesman.
She has exhibited widely in solo and group exhibitions, some selections include Gallery4Culture, Seattle, WA; Charak Gallery at Craft Alliance, St. Louis, MO; Mulvane Art Museum, Topeka, KS; San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts, San Angelo, TX; The Sarah M. Hurt Gallery at the Indianapolis Art Center, IN; John C. Hutcheson Gallery, Lipscomb University, Nashville, TN; Rockford Art Museum, IL; Lillstreet Art Center, Chicago, IL; Art and Design Gallery at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS; and de stijl Gallery, Austin, TX.
Rubin received a BFA in Ceramics and Art History from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and an MFA in Ceramics at the University of Washington in Seattle. Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois Rubin currently lives in Austin, Texas where she is an Assistant Professor of Ceramics & Sculpture at St. Edward’s University.
Lana Waldrep-Appl (b. Fort Worth, Texas 1985) is a painter, teacher, and mother. She received her MFA in Painting from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2010 and her BFA in Studio Art from the University of Texas at Austin. She has participated in residencies at the Vermont Studio Center and Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts. Waldrep-Appl teaches Painting, Drawing, and Art Foundations at Texas State University. She lives in San Marcos, Texas with her husband and her young son and daughter.
Alyssa Taylor Wendt
Alyssa Taylor Wendt (b. 1969, New York City) works as a filmmaker and multimedia artist in Austin, Texas. Earning her MFA from Bard College, she constructs both films and installations that speak about monuments, spiritualism, ritual, performance and animism using video, sculpture, soundscapes, staged photography and interactive performances. Showing in both national and international exhibitions, she has also performed at The Museum of Art and Design in New York, envoy gallery, Location One, The Fusebox Festival and Deitch Projects and completed residencies in Iceland and Norway. She just completed her first feature film, HAINT which she wrote, directed, produced and production designed herself. The piece is currently being developed into a multichannel video work.
Jenn Wilson (b. 1981 Galveston, TX) is an artist, art historian, and curator that lives and works in Austin, Texas. She has shown nationally and internationally with Corbett vs Dempsey (Chicago), Beca Gallery (New Orleans), Packer-Schopf Gallery (Chicago), Eggman & Walrus (Santa Fe), Thomas McCormick Gallery (Chicago), American University of Beirut (Lebanon), University of Arkansas Fine Arts Center Gallery, and Kohler Art Museum in Wisconsin. She received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2008.