featured artists

Rose Paratore

~Piece of Me, Piece of Us~

80 hours of artwork that captures my, and our, “Shelter-in”

Mediums: mixed-media paper, oil pastels, 0.38 black pen, felt markers, water color, acrylic, eco-glitter

This series of paintings (below) intends both to showcase my own experience with, and my response to, “shelter-in”, as well as to speculate on potential similarities that the diverse populations of the world may share, in midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

I loosely collaged six distinct paintings together afront my backyard plants, as each segment of the entire series aims to advocate for “shelter-in” protocol, demonstrate the unpredictable spread of the virus, as well as prompt thinking on a number of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The “quarantine self-portrait” (trending as #quarentineselfportrait), depicts my immediate social environment, being a full-time graduate student working remotely, relying heavily on my Macbook and wifi for teleconferencing meetings, lectures, and research. The entire series is not only about myself, and I found it important to acknowledge the art supplies, spare time in my schedule, and financial safety net, all of which allowed me the eighty hours of unpaid, off-screen time to art-based advocacy.

The noses exhibit the unpredictability that the virus has, just as we can spread it by exhaling on someone or something. On a more symbolic level, I intended to depict the aspects of community response to the pandemic. Many of us are being uncontrollably affected by this pandemic, and many of us have turned to our support networks to get through it together. For me, the noses suggest this idea of “communal breaths.” The world has never felt so small, feeling like we are all breathing the same air, and responding, for many on an individual basis, and for many, on a communal basis.

Lastly, the heart is fairly simple to grasp. I would not have taken the time to submit a series of my paintings to the United Nations, if the messages I intend to get across, were not coming from my heart. Part of my personal journey through this time of shelter-in has been reaching out to the people that matter to me; not out of obligation, but out of desire, as I long for human connection; not a logical revelation, but an internal longing for love and empathy. Lastly, to reach as many people worldwide as possible, I invited four of my dear multi-lingual friends from all over the globe to help translate my statement into Spanish, French, Chinese, German

Belinda Chlouber-"Union"

22"x30", Mixed Media on Paper

When I think about “life” I think about a world that is alive. Alive with insects and animals, with trees and plants. For my mixed media art piece, Union, I integrated images of life, insects and flowers, into the images of two figures kissing. For me this represents our finding a balance and love for other creatures (life) and living harmoniously with them on the one planet we have.

Ian Paratore - "I Spy"

Black and white figures from 1980s book proofs on National Geographic rips on color paper from summer camp on the back of a map of Portland, Oregon.

I wanted a lot of green to serve as untouched nature, so I went to Community thrift on Valencia street and got some National Geographic magazines. I went border to border with only room for some lightning bolts of toxic color. The tree started with a strong trunk, then down to the delicate roots, then branched out. The images that make up the tree invoke an array of ideas surrounding sex and women's rights.

The tree is diverse and beautiful, and independent of the world underneath. Neon color is out of place, but the cracks are growing.

Julie Smiley *Absent*

“Walking, Late Afternoon” 2019. Oil on Panel. 36”H x 48” W. To purchase contact artist juliebsmiley@gmail.com

Needs to be hung or displayed on an easel (can you rustle one up?).

Smiley’s Statement: “Walking, Late Afternoon” depicts several figures on a sidewalk, possibly a public square. Long shadows fall to the foreground as each stride busily on and off the scene. Central, are three figures: a maternal person accompanied by two young children, one with whom she is holding hands and the other turning towards or following her. Each child seems distracted as the adult form leads forward. The coloring, the motion, the subject matter combine in an air of both romance and threat.

As we face increasing infertility rates and escalating socio-economic challenges in an era of overpopulation and “Lean In” messages, how do we manage the decision or opportunity to have children?

Who cares for our children as their parents chose or work out of necessity? Who cares for the parents themselves, an impactful consideration as so many single parents manage, living far from family. A support network and sense of belonging isn’t automated in our communities.

As progenitors, how do we balance the exchange that occurs in our contemporary American culture of a lowered perceived sexual value traded for some tenuous and slight increase in our perceived contributions to “the future generations”?

How do we raise the next generation in a world that is so actively and loudly fearing its own demise?

How do we instill hope and love in young children for something that will inevitably bring them pain and joy of their own?

Roland - "The Bicycle Wheel Partner Silhouette"

A recycled bicycle wheel that captures the re-purposing of an already eco-friendly mode of transportation (#bikelife), and imagining a partnership of male and female