2011 PAF Award Winners
Marina Lee, Sculpture
2011 Best of Show · 2012 Featured artist
Beginning Dreams forever – the name place of my studio. This vision, this prayer, this way of living, this way of approaching art is to keep seeing new, seeing through new eyes, living for the surprises, living to keep possibilities always available.
I have created expressive abstract paintings of personal, yet universal journeys. I have created dimensional works portraying humor, healing color and integration of cultural pattern in spiritual guardian sculptures. And then I have experienced the creation of intimate works quietly documenting Native American historical points of view on hand-held ceramic turtle shells and the experience utilizing Adinkra symbols as universal forms and wisdom talkers as source for communal art alongside school children. Or I help create large scale works transforming social public space by bridging earth elements and orchestrated artistic elements with hundreds of artist’s hands and hearts as one visual transforming mind.
The birth of the idea can be as transformative as the birth of the form. The notion that the forms can change position and create a new dialogue, maybe with humor or a surprise of vulnerability and sincerity—the interactive viewer can create their personal dialogue for the playing forms, thus becoming part of the art.
Steve Tomashek, Mixed Media
Steve Tomashek grew up in Winona, Minnesota. He is a graduate of Indiana University with a degree in World History and Education. Part way through his university years his family’s house burned to the ground and with it his grandfather’s woodworking tools were lost. As a way of coming to terms with the loss Steve bought himself a knife and carved a chess set. The experience led him to take up carving as a hobby. Several years of practice and the hobby turned into a full-time gig. Fifteen years and thousands of carvings later, his work today has a devoted following around the world through his site ministeve. com and at art fairs and galleries in the Midwest and East Coast of the U.S. and now in Europe as well. In collaboration with the artist Glenn Gordon he also stages and photographs miniature tableaux of his carvings and he is now bringing his carvings even further to life through his video stop-motion animations, which he writes, produces, directs, and does all the sound effects for, as well as the catering, all solo.
Andrew Witt & Nancy Pizarro, Clay
Circa Ceramics is a two-person (Andy Witt & Nancy Pizarro) studio that came to be in the fall of 1999, when we began designing & making a line of tableware & accessories with an emphasis on functionality, colour, and fun.
One aspect that makes our ware unique is the fact that we make much of the machinery that helps produce our ware. We do everything in our studio, thereby ensuring the quality we have come to be known by – Every step of the process has to meet our high standards.
Our specialties lie in the form of the ware and its decoration – we make consistent, usable shapes that interplay the design elements of image and colour – Clay with the culinary in mind. We continue to create pieces in our Chicago studio and our work is available to the masses primarily through Etsy, select boutiques, art/craft festivals and the occasional open studio weekend.
Laura Christensen, Clay
I didn’t always know I wanted to be a potter. I discovered clay quite by accident and fell in love immediately. After discovering pottery in college, I spent 6 years with another potter as an apprentice learning all I could before setting up my own studio.
Working on the wheel is a very satisfying, somewhat meditative experience for me. I love watching forms come to life before my eyes. I am drawn to clean lines and graceful curves, with a need for order and functionality in my pieces that stems from a passion for math. I strive to make pieces that are calming, inviting and encourage frequent use.
Julie Crabtree-Pfannes, Fiber
Spirit Of Powderhorn
Julie Crabtree studied textiles, fashion, Art and embroidery at Mansfield College of Arts, Nottinghamshire, England. After completing a four year degree course she taught at the College before emigrating to Canada, and now calls Northern Wisconsin home.
Utilizing the sewing machine as a drawing tool she works freely over the canvas with stitches to build up textural landscapes, adding hand stitching and further textured effects with a number of experimental embroidery techniques. Which includes distressing, burning, felting, dyeing fabrics and threads use of soluble stabilizers and some painting, as well as the more traditional techniques.
Inspired by the ever changing landscapes throughout the seasons, a constant inspiration, to capture the texture into either realism or some abstract piece based on the color and texture of nature.
In addition to fine art for framing, Julie creates her textured and landscape pieces for accessories, cards and has work published in several magazines, books, cover for a CD, and was a guest on PBS tv, “Sewing with Nancy”. Her work can be found at juried art shows, where she has won numerous awards, galleries and locally at the Textile Center.