Alla's artistic development was paved and fueled by the simple passion for creating. The artistic expression in her nascent years found its place not only on the walls of her room, but also on the neighbor's fences. This early passion for art led her to enter the Youth Art Academy in her home town Rivne, Ukraine, and later propelled her to move across the Atlantic Ocean to study fine arts in Memphis College of Art. Alla graduated with Bachelor of Fine Art in painting in 2010. In June 2013 she received my Masters of Fine Art degree from the Laguna College of Art and Design. Currently she lives and works in San Diego, CA.
Class of 2011
Her work comments on our longing for deep and meaningful relationships and how the home-the place where those intimate relationships are developed-has potential for both comfort and risk.
Kari came to LCAD from Portland, OR in 2011 and completed one semester in the Post-Baccalaureate Program before moving into LCAD's MFA.
Recent exhibits include the JUSTart Exhibit at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois and the MFA'13 Show at the Laguna Art Museum in Laguna Beach, California. Kari is also a summer faculty member for the Grunewald Guild in Leavenworth, Washington where she has taught for four summers.
Lani Emanuel was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. As a girl she lived in the Mojave Desert and as a teen, in northern California. She attended the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, (FIDM), in San Francisco and Los Angeles, graduating with a degree in fashion design. She enjoyed an exciting 15 year career as a fashion designer before starting a family.
Wanting to explore her childhood passion for creating art, she studied privately over the course of seven years before attending Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. While there she focused on contemporary portrait and figure painting and printmaking. Lani earned her BFA degree from ACCD in 2008, graduating with distinction. Over the next five years, she honed her skills in portraiture at Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art. Relocating to the Laguna Beach area in 2013 enabled Lani to earn her MFA degree in painting at Laguna College of Art+Design. While there, she was advised and mentored by Betty Shelton and D. J. Hall, respectively.
Lani's paintings have won awards, including first place in the prestigious SCORE VIII 2010 Southern California Open Regional Exhibition for her painting, "Boxers", and most recently, first place at the SOCALPAPA Paints OC Parks and the Back Bay 2013 plein air competition and show for her painting, "Early Morning Reflections". Her paintings and commissions hang in private collections throughout the US and Australia.
Zoey Frank received her MFA from Laguna College of Art and Design, and completed a classical art training under Juliette Aristides at Gage Academy. Frank works primarily from life and is captivated by both the idiosyncrasies of the individual objects and people she paints, and the larger archetypes that they can represent. Some of her influences include Rembrandt, Vermeer, Sargent and Wyeth.
Michael Harnish earned his bachelor and master degrees in painting from the Laguna College of Art and Design, finishing his education in 2010. Since then Harnish has been developing his craft, exhibiting his work in notable exhibitions in Orange County and Los Angeles. Recently, the artist has taken up residence in Los Angeles with a studio in the Arts District downtown.
I am drawn to certain conditions of light and space, which usually contain elements of isolation, reflection, or atmospheric perspective. These come together in various genres - the space interior, the figure in contemplation, and atmospheric cityscape or landscape. Within these I try to articulate the feeling I get in transitional low light conditions. The light is the focus of the paintings, creating mood, but with a lively varied surface. Location influences my paintings tremendously. I travel to reinvent the subjects I paint, seeking a fresh eye abroad, or upon return.
I have never been one to follow a narrow path. During my time as an undergrad at USC, I completed a double major in Fine Art and Neuroscience, and was a member of the women's rowing team. I went on to receive an MFA in Painting at Laguna College of Art and Design, where I am now an adjunct faculty member in the Fine Arts and Liberal Arts departments. By teaching two courses that I proposed and developed for LCAD, I am fortunate enough to entertain my own eclectic combination of interests ranging from gender studies and aesthetics to oil painting and neuroscience. As a working artist, I have exhibited my paintings in locations across the country including Washington DC, San Francisco, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Irvine, and Laguna Beach. I recently received the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant for emerging representational painters. As a representational artist and a scholar, I bring a wide variety of experiences and a broad knowledge base to my teaching. I consider it a privilege to teach other artists, and to be actively involved in an exciting and ever shifting conversation. When I'm not lecturing about fractal geometry in art or perspective drawing, you can find me running, hiking, traveling, or simply enjoying the great outdoors.
I've heard it said that choice is our one true possession. Choice, coupled with the idea of vulnerability and tempered with hope or viewed through the lens of weakness, is more appealing to me than idealization. As a contemporary representational painter my art deals with life's experiences as expressed through the physical form, but while I'm passionate about portraying the human struggle regarding choices - rather than providing answers - I am more inclined to ask questions.
Having spent most of his life in a small town in Southern Indiana, Julio Labra moved to Ohio to attend the Art Academy of Cincinnati where he earned a degree in Illustration. During that time he studied for four months in Florence Italy where he became deeply influenced by the works of Caravaggio and Bernini. Returning to the states, Labra moved to Laguna Beach to attend the Laguna College of Art and Design. Labra now lives and works in Santa Ana, CA out a studio in the historic Santora Building.
Koplin Del Rio
Judy Nimtz was born in Taiwan and raised on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. After completion of her MFA in 2008 from the Laguna College of Art & Design, Judy decided to make Southern California her home. She promptly moved to Venice Beach, where she is near the ocean and the city of Los Angeles. When working on studio paintings, the conception is entirely Judy's own. This is different from painting en plain air, where her surroundings have a say in the imagery, narrative, and composition. In both she attempts to capture the likeness of a location or subject, but also something intangible. The way light falls and creates shadows, or air particles accumulate over a distance and shimmer, or an unanticipated pose is struck by the model, all effect her experiences as she works and the outcome of each painting.
Born in 1981, Carolin Judith Peters, grew up in a small, little known town in Bavaria called Vilsbiburg. To this day she is heavily influenced by the impressions made on her by the idyllic beauty of southern Germany. Fascinated by nature?s overwhelming beauty and power Carolin started processing these impressions at a very young age through pencil drawings of animals and people. In 2002, the intrigue of learning representational art making techniques and an unceasing urge to get away from her native surrounding's small-town mentality, triggered her move to southern California. There she completed six rigorous years of study in Fine Arts and graduated from Laguna College of Art and Design in 2008 with her BFA and MFA degree.
Her most influential mentors during her studies were renowned figurative painters F.Scott Hess and Stephen Douglas. Although she is fresh out of school her exhibition record is already notable and includes group and juried shows all over California. Galleries and other venues she has exhibited at include Koplin del Rio (Culver City), Arena 1 (Santa Monica), I-5 Gallery (Los Angeles) and the The Look Gallery (Los Angeles). Currently she is represented by Ann Nathan Gallery in Chicago. Awards she has won include The Art Renewal Center Merit and Purchase Awards, Best of Show Award from the Pacific Art Foundation, Excellence in Arts from the Peter and Masha Plotkin Foundation, the Passport to China Scholarship from the Contemporary Chinese Fine Art Gallery and a 2nd Best in Show at the Fairhaven Mausoluem Exhibit "Sotto Voce". Art, for Carolin, holds the unique opportunity to engage with life's experiences on a primarily sensual level. She focuses her often large-scale, figurative paintings and drawings on psychologically and emotionally saturated moments, staged in nature?s beauty. By creating art that needs to be felt rather than understood she focuses on the sensual aspects to life. With these works she hopes to offer a quiet room for the viewer's spirit to discern itself with the presented image.
Serena Potter's work focuses on themes of private pain vs. public persona, fight and submission, sex, dreams, interpersonal connections and identity. Her paintings are notable for their use of chiaroscuro inspired by the dramatic cinematic lighting and compositional elements used in film noir. She creates paintings in oil on birch panel or canvas as well as drawings with mixed media charcoal, pastel, china marker, on cotton rag paper.
Potter attended the Laguna College of Art and Design, from which she graduated with her MFA in Painting and is currently teaching in their Fine Arts program. She also teaches at National University and Mt San Antonio Community College.
Born in 1983 in San Diego, California, Brittany Ryan received her formal education at the Laguna College of Art and Design. Graduating in 2005 with a Bachelors of Fine Arts, majoring in Illustration and a minor in Sculpture. After working as an illustrator for two years Brittany began work toward her Masters of Fine Art in drawing and painting, at the same institution. In 2008 Brittany had the opportunity to study portrait painting at Florence Academy, in Florence, Italy. She graduated in the spring of 2010 with a MFA, culminating with her show "The Dress Makes The Girl". Brittany currently lives and works in Southern California and is periodically involved in group shows and is an instructor at Laguna College of Art + Design. She is available for commissioned sculpture and painting.
As an artist and mother, Sitton paints pictures of people, using inspiration from those around her. Her daughter is one of the main people who inspires her, as they have overcome much together and their experiences seep into Sitton's work. Her daughter struggles with mental illness, but Sitton has taken a lot of time out of her creative life to give her daughter priority and attention to get through difficult trials.
Timothy Robert Smith is a Los Angeles based oil painter and muralist, using observational techniques to portray a multi-dimensional perspective of the universe. Since graduating from Laguna College of Art and Design with an MFA in studio art, Timothy has had three exhibitions at Copro Gallery in Bergamot Station, one being a solo show.
"Fusing elements from classic art forms such as cubism, realism and expressionism, Smith pulls together a multi-dimensional rendering of our world from different times and perspectives onto one canvas. The work also somehow makes you feel that you are both watching a film and viewing a dutch master at the same time". -Sugar Press
Class of 2011
I am no doubt lucky. I have had many opportunities to test myself and to explore various interests. I have served in the military, worked as a firefighter, created short films, competed in martial arts tournaments, spent hours with my nose in science and philosophy books, and been a dedicated stay-at-home dad. Throughout these experiences, two things have remained constant. First is my unyielding interest in the nature of our existence and reality. Second is my natural drive and excitement toward creating representational art.
I received my BA from California State University, San Bernardino in 2004 with high honors. After a short 10 year break to stay at home with my kids, I headed back to school. I was lucky enough to find my way to LCAD's post baccalaureate program and am currently an MFA candidate in LCAD's MFA program.
Ben Sowards is an artist and illustrator whose diversified portfolio includes official portraiture, gallery painting, fully illustrated picture books, and young adult fantasy. His works are included in public and private collections internationally. He loves the preparation, research, and travel necessary to create artwork worthy of the individuals and themes he strives to represent. Ben completed his graduate and undergraduate studies at Laguna College of Art and Design (MFA) and Brigham Young University (BFA).
When he is not working on his own projects, he is teaching others how to paint both traditionally and digitally at Southern Utah University, where he has directed the Illustration Program since 2001.
Class of 2012
Teacher | Exhibiting Artist
The central fixation unifying my current paintings is the significance sports has towards life changes. I believe that sports offer an alternative perception of life. My work shows the ups and the downs, the glories, the memories, and the ending of a career. I offer an exclusive view of the sports world.
I was raised in the east side of Los Angeles and to keep out of trouble I was exposed to sports. Through the sports setting I got to learn the values of life. As I moved forward in my education, sports came hand in hand. I matured as a student but I credit sports for molding me into a man. I've been in the spotlight when times were great but I also experienced the lows. I have broken bones in my body and had numerous surgeries during my sports career and I hold no regrets, I cherish these lows because this is where I learned to overcome adversity, never settling for less. I apply this work ethic to my production of art. I will stop at nothing to complete whatever I set my mind to and right now my goal is pursuing my art.
It wasn't until my ending years of college football when I felt the urge to embody my art into sport subjects. You can't fully understand the intensity and overwhelming adrenaline rushing through your body until a 300lb+ Defensive Line is chasing you down in pursuit of a tackle. I have and there is certainly a stressed emotion that I want to expose.
My application of paint is heavily induced and essential to achieve passion and movement through my work. Most of my paintings are from imagination but when I do work from a photo I take the first session as my sketching period. Once this process is complete I stop working from the photo. Pulling away from the photo I find allows me to rely on pure intuition. I also use figures from historic paintings such as Caravaggio's, "The Entombment of Christ" and take a modern approach by depicting them in a sports scene. Recently, my work has evolved from depicting life as an athlete to now observing life after sports.