The saying goes that a life well lived is Under Pressure from the universe to find the meaning of our existence. Linda Vredeveld, Melissa Wilkinson, Rebecca LaTourette, Joelle Storet, and Kai Drachenberg present interim results of their response to the universe as they discover why they are alive. Art Ventures submits that these artists are responding well to the universe. Come see the show. All are welcome. Free of charge.
Linda Vredeveld is an abstract figurative painter whose work has been exhibited in Chicago, St. Louis, and Albuquerque, as well as other cities in the Midwest. Born and raised in Ann Arbor, she graduated from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and received her Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Vredeveld lives in Alton with her husband, Eric Shultis, also an artist, and their two children, Arlo and Zora. She is an adjunct professor at St. Louis Community College, Florissant Valley.
Melissa Wilkinson received her BFA in painting from Western Illinois University in 2002 and MFA in painting from Southern Illinois University in 2006. Her work has been featured in publications throughout the country including two editions of New American Paintings. She has shown in various galleries nationally and internationally including South Korea and India and has received numerous awards throughout her career. She serves as Assistant Professor of Art-Painting at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro. She lives in Bono Arkansas with her three dogs.
Joelle Storet was born in Brussels, Belgium and lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas. She is an accomplished emerging artist and the current Gallery Manager of Art Ventures NWA. Störet is a graduate of the University of Arkansas with a background in Cultural Anthropology, Semiotics, Linguistics and Art History. She has had exhibitions in Fayetteville and Bentonville, Arkansas, USA, Vienna, Austria and Berlin, Germany.
Rebecca LaTourette has a BFA in painting and did post graduate work
in costume design at University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign. She creates art that reflects her appreciation for the hard work and thrift embodied by the farm families she grew up with in Arkansas. The materials in her installations are used or second-hand, much of it gleaned from a farm in Gilham, Arkansas. Rebecca uses recycled materials as it reflects her desire to reduce her consumption of new goods, and she also loves the challenge of restrictions.
Kai Drachenberg was born in 1990 in the state of Hawaii where he lived for eight years before his parents moved the family. They lived in Nepal, Fiji, and even Kashmir, India for a year while the war between Pakistan and India was in process. Kai’s parents eventually settled down in in the US, first California, Kansas, and finally, Arkansas in 2010. Kai picked up photography in 2012 and has yet to hang it up, saying, “Photography enriches my soul and drives me forward into the unknown.” Drachenberg hopes to shed a new perspective on the way we see what a camera can be and how much further we can take it.