HOME: Artists Statements

Jonah Criswell – 1st Place Winner

1BDM with Large Kitchen, 2010

graphite on paper


Great 2BDM for College Student, 2010

graphite on paper


Nice 2BDM with Great View, 2010

graphite on paper


In a culture that is concerned with the value and significance of material objects to construct a vision of the self, it is my opinion that the most important of those objects is our “home.” These three drawings were made in response to images of apartments I found on Craigslist.org. I want to call attention to the act of renting a home as opposed to owning one. The “digital” feel of the image is built in to the low-resolution images that are used to describe the spaces as they become available. The “empty” quality of the spaces is filled with the digital noise from the poor quality source image, while the space’s distinctiveness and title (also taken from Craigslist advertisement) call attention to its history. Given the recent economic shifts in the U.S. I feel that this work presents a relevant insight into what we consider “home” and “ownership.” From the look of these spaces we understand that it takes very little to make something a “home” and that “ownership” is far more fragile than previously thought.

Yulie Urano – 2nd Place Winner

Geta, 2011

pine, hair, twine, aluminum


As a first generation Japanese-American, I am attempting to realize and balance these two different cultures and their effects on my art. My lineage is the base of my identity, just as interlacing structures are the base of my work. Although not all of my pieces are specifically about my roots, they never cease to be apparent in my work.

My work reflects how I felt growing up within two cultures. It addresses my issues of cultural identity, combining my Japanese heritage with my American roots and background. My work is influenced by family relationships and cultural tradition. Growing up in Kansas, there was a harsh difference between my life at home and my life in the real world.

This Geta piece is about the support my family gave me as I transitioned from my home life to the outside world. The thongs on the geta sandals are made with my own hair. The hair used was cut off at over 10 inches, representing the passage of time and my childhood. The fingers supporting the sandals are castings of my family member's fingers. All 6 members of my family are represented, supporting my weight as I walk to experience the world outside of our home.


Kate Clements – 3rd Place Winner

Home Coming Court, April 2011

kiln-fired glass

$700 each

Homecoming is an autumn tradition whereby alumni, students and friends are welcomed “home” to their school, college or university for a warm and wonderful nostalgic weekend. Though Homecomings are focused primarily around sports and parties, the most exciting and anticipated part of the ceremony is the announcement and crowning of the king and queen. This honor, bestowed by one’s peers, reflects the student’s contribution to the school, but perhaps more-so their popularity and attractiveness.

There is an absence and sense of anticipation, here, as we wait for the winners to be announced. The delicate glass tiara, although a symbol of power, calls attention to the transparent and superficial expectations of perfection and popularity that so often accompany it.

Roberto Lugo - Honorable Mention

A Fat Man's Burden: Tuesdays

Stoneware platter with decal and china paint


“Tuesdays” is a platter that illustrates my struggles with obesity. By creating an oversized plate, I hope to allow insight on those moments in life we spend with ourselves, in my case the Tuesdays many obese people spend looking at their bodies in disgust. By using a decorative pattern I hope to reference the delicate qualities of china while confronting the viewer with the notion of overindulgence and my struggles with its effects.

Art for me is being able to bring art to those that do not believe they need it. Growing up in Philadelphia the only art I was exposed to was Graffiti. Street art is the most influential of arts to me but I use it as a catalyst to experiment with the types of art that "I’m not supposed to be involved in" e.g. Pottery. My ultimate goal is to teach alternative art as well as pottery to inner city students to be able to expand the creativity of those children that come from where I do. Teaching in itself is an art, bringing all of the cumulative experience I have and sharing it with others, to add just one piece of their artistic experience.

Teal Wilson – Honorable Mention

Eddy and Mary (diptych), 2011

watercolor, gouache, ink on BFK

$200 for the set or $150 each

Precipice, 2011

watercolor, gouache, ink on paper


I am an extrovert, I thrive on social stimulations, and the more art I make, the more I relate to my social arena. When I work, my hands tell me things I wouldn’t have otherwise known. I work with ink because it makes bold, irreversible decisions for me. Although I often work from photos I have taken and collected, I am not interested in recreating a scene. I am interested in creating a moment of understanding myself and the relationships around me. It is the distortion that makes images more specific and powerful- a picture of a dog is a picture of a dog, but a picture of a scary dog, or a timid dog communicated through minimal distortions tells a completely different story. I draw what I see and my hand tells me what I know.

I stipple and build textures with tiny lines because it slows me down. It allows me to think without external distractions and stimulations. It gives me time for my head and my hand to have a conversation. My head tells my hand what to do, and my hand tells my head how to do it, and then my head responds with why it was done in that way. Through understanding why, I understand myself, and through understanding myself, I understand other people, their insecurities and victories, the internal reflections of their external actions.

Erin Noël Russell

Untitled, 2011

photograph, gold leaf, thread


Untitled, 2011

photograph, gold leaf, thread


Untitled, 2011

photograph, gold leaf


Home, rather than a static place, is to me a deeply personal and unique perception. Memories make up the defining factors of home. Ultimately though, memory is a subjective perception of past experiences that alter through time. Due to this alteration, the past, memory, and home are all precious things, rarified and reserved. They are the museum objects that only exist within our thoughts; a heritage to be preserved in the white walled area of our thoughts.

The photograph attempts to enclose these things, these feelings, within paper borders. Yet, a single photograph is not an adequate memory in itself always requiring more photos or descriptions written on the back. But, every photographer has selective vision, and can never fully reveal the meaning of home. Past memories and eventually home fades to make room for new experiences, and nostalgia sends us back to hold the precious artifacts of our past .

Ernest Wedoff

L'existence, Nov. 14, 2011

oil, acrylic, enamel, on Birch panel


Home is a starting place, the point from which we all emerge. Home is not always the place we live, but rather the place we are from. It is where our ideals and beliefs are established. Though we may move, there is always a connection to the place where we began. Home may not always be a place, but may also be an understanding, or common perspective. Home is tied to family, but not exclusive to family.

I have created a visual metaphor for this ‘home-feeling’ of origin- a hybrid of the two images included in this proposal. This piece has a pop linear aesthetic and materials consistent with my most recent work, acrylic, vinyl, and enamel. My style is abstract, but the pure energy of the colors and forms convey emotion in my mind. Much like Kandinsky, I use colors and compositions as symbols that relate to my life, memory and experiences.

Sara Bogosh

Hand-Me-Down Disposition, December 2011

graphite, ink


My current studio work explores the idea of family and family’s history, of ancestors, heirlooms, and the things that are given to us from our parents, our grandparents, and their parents before them. Our hand-me-downs can be good or bad, but either way we much accept what is given to us that we did not choose. Depending on our feelings and actions, what we do with what we are given and how we decide to live out lives, we may have different feelings about our family, and the people who surround us in our ‘homes’ as we are growing up. It may also determine the way we think about our homes, in warm glowing lights or in dark and repressed memories. The circles in my work often represent specific people in my family, or the family unit as a whole, and reflect my feelings towards them.

Jasmine Zelaya

Icon: Guardian of the Terrariums, 2011

Mixed Media on panel


I draw inspiration from religious iconography, Egyptian and Mayan mythology. The Xoloitzcuintle was a dog revered by the Ancient Maya and Aztecs, as a sacred being believed to guide the soul into the afterlife. The Xolo is surrounded by a silver orb, which suggests a halo and the sun. Acting as a guardian of the succulent offerings (which are housed in precious metal terrariums) the Xolo awaits the departed to guide the spirit to his final home.

Ashley Lugo

Untitled 2, 2010

hand-dyed and woven linen


I am always finding connections to objects and ideas; often these are related to my past. These connections shape the person I am, what I think, and what I remember. My concept of home derives from these memories. My personal narrative is also a major factor in how and what I decide to create. By using craft based fiber elements, my work has a dialogue with tradition and history in womens’ work. My work delves into the idea of home through nostalgia, memory, personal narrative, and how these are all connected. The end result is a comforting and beautifully hand-crafted piece. A home is created by many moments and objects, such as this one, that make up an individual’s private space.

Maegan Stracy

Creature Comforts, 2011



My work focuses on experimental garment design, applying new materials and forms to the body that are uncommon in fashion. Currently my work is involved with adding padding to the body as a way to hide the shape of the body, and mask gender. The wearer is allowed a sense of comfort as the piece creates a barrier between the body and the rest of the world.

Creature Comforts, seen here on the monitor, uses rip stop for the construction of the garment, which is a material used for inflatable structures. Once air is allowed into the garment, the garment will begin to inflate; this creates a personal environment for the wearer, which only the wearer can experience.

This video shows the progression of the garment expanding. As the garment expands, the wearer becomes overtaken by the garment. I chose the title Creature Comforts for this piece because the term creature comforts refers to the material items or luxuries that give us a sense of comfort and allow us to focus on ourselves and what we find pleasing.

Zac Miley

Decay on 136 #2, Decay on 136 #3, Decay on 136 #4, 2011

Graphite on paper

$350 each or $1,000 for the set of 3

This series of drawings, titled Decay on 136, are a visual essay on the state of rural Missouri and Southeast Iowa, particularly along Highway 136. The state of these buildings indicates a past human presence, yet they have their own objectified, distant status in the drawings the same perspective any traveler would have if they drive past. The care in the drawings defies that perspective and signifies respect for the former home and shelter of humanity.

Laura Blumenberg

Remnant of a Home, 2010



In My Father's House (Remnant of a Home II), 2010



Remnant of a Home III, 2010



Memory involves piecing together information gathered from past experiences. When all the pieces don’t fit together, we subconsciously invent what we want to believe was true. For several years now I have been exploring the relationships between memory and idealistic reconstruction and how this relationship affects our lives and shapes much of who we become.

The house form and topographical tiles are constructed on the basis of a universal idea. Houses and the land they occupy are containers, objects in which we place our most precious items, our most beloved friends and family. It is also where we hide our strongest memories, good or bad. When we confine these emotional attachments to the house or a particular territory, it transforms instantly into a “Home.” These associations lead us to recall earlier homes. Childhood is often when we encounter the first feelings of familial warmth and personal connections to an architectural structure that, if unoccupied, would be simply a house. Anecdotes, photographs from my family’s collection and my own recollections were used to construct both the structures themselves and the imagery on their surfaces. The combination results in what could be the truth or what may be idealistic interpretations of the truth. This is my attempt to discover reality. I believe that only through this discovery will I truly begin to understand the roots of my past and who I am now.