Chair of MFA | Drawing + Painting | Mentor
M.F.A. | Otis Art Institute
At age six, Peter Zokosky peeled the outer layers off a dead bird to learn about its anatomy. What he discovered fascinated him and sparked his lifelong quest of probing layers to reveal the underworkings of the swirling universe. The painter chooses observation over interpretation. He suggests possibilities rather than answers. He contemplates, but never assumes. The resulting images, although garnered through a scientific approach, are strangely poetic.
Peter Zokosky lives and works in Long Beach, CA. He earned his B.A. from the University of California in Riverside, CA and his M.F.A. from Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles, CA. His work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally with pieces placed in many prominent collections including the Long Beach Museum of Art; The Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art, Roswell, NM; Eli Broad Family Foundation, Santa Monica, CA; Chemical Bank of New York, and most recently the Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art, Bermuda. Zokosky is also a regular guest instructor for the “Drawing From the Masters” series at The Getty Center, Los Angeles, CA.
Full-time Faculty | Mentor
Academy of Fine Arts Vienna Austria
Baltimore, Maryland, was the city of my birth in 1955, but I never really lived there. I began to draw intensely at the age of seven after my parents divorce in Florida, and continued that practice growing up in a small Wisconsin town. My Bachelor of Science in Art from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1977) was for drawing and printmaking. Attracted by the intense psychological content and technical skill displayed by artists in Prague and Vienna, I moved to the Austrian capital in 1978, attending the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts for five-and-a-half years. There I learned Old Master painting techniques, studied paint chemistry, drew thousands of figure drawings from life, and completed a year-long course at the Anatomy Institute. Vienna hosted my first solo exhibition in 1979, quickly followed by exhibitions in Austria, Germany and France. In 1981 I received one of Austria’s most prestigious awards for artists, the Theodor Koerner Award. By 1984 I had moved to my current home of Los Angeles and in 1985 had my first American solo exhibition, followed by of over one hundred group and solo exhibitions, including venues in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. My work is included in the public collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Orange County Museum of Art, Oakland Museum, San Jose Museum of Art, and the Smithsonian Institute, among others. In 1990 I received a Western States Art Federation award, and in 1991 a J. Paul Getty Fellowship and a National Endowment for the Arts Visual Arts Fellowship. Funds from the latter allowed me to live in Post-Revolutionary Iran for one year in 1992-93. The national tour of a massive six-year project, The Paternal Suit: Heirlooms from the F. Scott Hess Family Foundation, was launched in 2012 at the Halsey Institute in Charleston, SC, and will end at the Long Beach Museum of Art in 2014. A career survey of works will be published in 2014, accompanied by an exhibit at multiple venues. I am represented by Hirschl and Adler Modern in New York and Koplin Del Rio Gallery in Los Angeles.
Funny, I have always been able to draw but never thought it would lead to a career as a painter. My early interests were in science and film but art per se was something I enjoyed on the side of intended pursuits toward a life in movie special effects. But at the same time I was interning at George Lucas’s Industrial Light and Magic I was also taking art courses from the likes of Wayne Thiebaud, Roy DeForest, Robert Arneson, and Wally Hedrick at the University of California at Davis. To say that this experience under their energies was influential would be an understatement. At Lucasfilm I was always working on someone else’s ideas but painting of course afforded me a foray into my own warped and wonderful thoughts. Who might you ask was addressing the notion of future income at this time?! Nobody. But I digress. Looking back it is clear that my affinity for the cinematic has very much made its way into the imagery with which my work is concerned. I began to get into storm chasing and the results are a slew of tornado paintings for which I am best known. However, keep your eye out as some new things are creeping up over the horizon…
Faculty | Mentor
BA Redlands | MFA Claremont University
I have served on the LCAD faculty since 1994. I received my B.A. in Art from the University of Redlands and my M.F.A. in Painting from The Claremont Graduate University. My paintings have been featured in 13 solo and 58 group exhibitions. Exhibit venues have included the San Jose Museum of Art, Nevada Museum of Art, Laguna Art Museum, Riverside Art Museum, Frye Museum (Seattle), Arnot Art Museum (Elmira, New York), and Loyola Marymount University. I have also illustrated two published books, and in 2004 one of my paintings was selected as the cover artwork for D.J. Waldie’s book, Where We Are Now: Notes from Los Angeles. My work has been reviewed in over 40 publications, including Artweek, American Art Collector, Los Angeles Times, San Diego Union-Tribune, and the Santa Barbara Review. The Koplin Del Rio Gallery in Culver City, California has represented me since 1997. My current work chronicles the rapidly changing suburban landscape of Southern California. Small-scale images of reconfigured hillsides laced with new roadways, terraced knolls, ridge-top trophy houses, concrete drainage channels, freeway pillars, and land moving equipment depict a landscape in transition. Alluding to old, religious icons through the use of wood panels, gold leaf, and the arched form, I create beautiful images that suggest history and age, while depicting contemporary imagery. By employing golden-hued light and dramatic clouds, I attempt to coax beauty out of the banal and, in so doing, allude to romantic 17th century Dutch and Italian landscape paintings.
Faculty | Mentor
BA Colorado College | MFA LCAD
Robin Smith, born in Denver, Colorado in 1985, received her BA in English at Colorado College on a prestigious scholarship from the Boettcher Foundation. She later completed the post-baccalaureate program in Studio Art at the Burren College of Art in County Clare, Ireland, and most recently received her Masters of Fine Art degree from the Laguna College of Art and Design.
Robin has been an artist in residence at the Burren College of Art, the Watershed Research Station (a division of the Science Museum of Minnesota), the Eastern Frontier Educational Foundation, Hypatia-in-the-Woods, Spiro Arts, Anderson Ranch Arts Center, and the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation. She received a $15,000 artist grant from the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation in 2012 in support of her unique encaustic work. She has spent time as guest lecturer with Colorado College, and is currently utilizing both her literary and artistic backgrounds to teach undergraduate drawing and graduate writing at Irvine Valley College and Laguna College of Art and Design.
Robin is represented by Gallery 1261 in Denver, CO, and Lora Schleshinger Gallery in Santa Monica, CA.
Chair of Post-Baccalaureate | Mentor
BA CSUF | MA CSUF | MFA CSULB
I obtained my BA and MA degrees in Drawing and Painting, graduating with honors, from California State University at Fullerton. After receiving my MFA degree, I was the recipient of the Outstanding Graduate Project Award in the College of the Arts at California State University at Long Beach, and I was selected as the University of Texas at San Antonio’s Visiting Artist in 1987. I’ve taught and traveled through out the western states, and Europe. I’ve been on the faculty at the University of Texas in San Antonio, University of Denver, Metropolitan State College, Arapahoe College, Irvine Valley College, and California State University at Fullerton University. I began teaching at Laguna College of Art & Design in 1995, and I’ve served as Interim Dean and Chair of the Drawing and Painting Department. Currently I teach full time, I’m the Chair of the Post-Baccalaureate Program, and I’m the Director of the European Summer Program. I’ve taken our students to Italy, France, Belgium, Austria, Czech Republic, Holland and Greece. My realistic figurative paintings continue to be inspired by my yearly pilgrimages to the great museums of the world. Among the many master artists who’ve motivated me are Caravaggio, Rubens, Michelangelo, and Tiepolo. The small-scale, intimate and detailed paintings of Vermeer, and Rogier van der Weden are also very influential on my work. Since the 1980’s, my artwork has received awards and been exhibited in solo and group shows throughout the United States. In addition to teaching, I’m currently working on commissioned portraits, and maintaining a studio in the historic “Ice House” in Orange. I feel blessed to be able to share my experience and skills with my students at LCAD.
I was born in Los Angeles, California, where I continue to reside and work. My graduate studies at California State University Long Beach included working with international realist painters Alfred Leslie and Lynn Foulkes, as well as art critic and painter, Peter Plagens. Upon graduating, I received the CSULB Art Department Outstanding Graduate Award for my MFA thesis exhibition, and began teaching at the college level and traveling during breaks to study the painting collections of London, Paris, and Italy. I have shown in solo and group exhibitions regionally and nationally and have won numerous awards including a grant from the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, to live and work at their Taos, New Mexico artist colony. My paintings depict scenes inspired by the vast desert regions east of my home in Los Angeles. Although characterized by great specificity in clarity of realist detail, it is my intention is that my images remain – as with poetry – open to individual interpretation. I have been teaching at LCAD since 1992, and see my role as that of facilitator, dedicated to enabling students to achieve their finest creative potential within the inexhaustible viability of the figurative realist tradition.
After high school Twitchell joined the United States Air Force and was stationed in London, where he served as an illustraator. Upon his discharge, he studied art at East Los Angeles College (AA, 1968), California State University, Los Angeles (BA, 1972), and the Otis College of Art & Design (MFA, 1977).
In the late 60’s he began doing what became known as “Street Art.” His ambitious series of murals, “Monuments to American Cultural Heroes,” started in 1971 with “Steve McQueen Monument” near downtown LA and “Strother Martin Monument” in Hollywood.
In 1973 Kent painted a five-story “Bride & Groom” followed by “The Freeway Lady.” He has painted over 100 portraits within some 30 exterior murals including the “Julius Erving Monument”(Dr. J) in Philadelphia; monuments to visual artists including Ed Ruscha, Jim Morphesis, Lita Albuquerque and Gary Lloyd. Also the LA Chamber Orchestra on three eight story walls overlooking the Downtown Los Angeles Harbor FWY. His murals, studio paintings and drawings most often depict a lone figure standing and looking straight out at the viewer.
BFA | MFA LCAD
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.
SDSU | UCSB
I have always been fascinated with dreams, while intrigued by the beguiling and hilarious absurdities of my human experience. In my work, I endeavor to put the two together in strange and otherworldly narratives. I try to move people out of a comfortable “knowing,” and into the sublime fancy of imagination and personal exploration. The haunting physical and emotional isolation of my characters is the heart and hallmark of my work. Though primarily a painter, I have explored and created in many mediums, including lithography, photography, and assemblage.
Talent is vital but a classical education exposes an artist to techniques and philosophies that influence and hone individual style. My education began with classes at Colorado State University and Brigham Young University, including studies abroad in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and Florence, Italy. My degrees are from San Diego State University and the University of California, Santa Barbara. I have been exhibiting consistently since 1992 at galleries in New York, Chicago, California, Miami, Philadelphia, and SantaFe. I am currently represented by Sarah Bain Gallery in Anaheim, CA, and Evoke Contemporary Gallery in Santa Fe, NM.
Joseph Todorovitch is a young contemporary painter who has developed a reputation for his highly representational figure paintings. Growing up in Southern California, he became interested in traditional drawing and painting at an early age. His training introduced him to many artistic influences including notable ateliers and instructors.
His work is a culmination of these forces with a deep respect for the knowledge and sensitivities of the past. Joseph has been able to sift through the vast amount of information, be selective, and utilize what’s necessary to achieve an impact that speaks about a personal experience with his subjects. His paintings emote, and convey a care and sensitivity that is reminiscent of the naturalist painters of the 19th century. Utilizing subtle value and temperature shifts, fine draughtsmanship, and pure intuition, Joseph weaves a world of breathable air and psychological nuance in his work.
D.J. Hall’s paintings are inspired by the artist’s visits to Palm Springs’ pools and resorts and Los Angeles’ posh Westside and beaches. Depictions of priviledged, beautiful women grinning with self-satisfaction against the inevitable ravages of time became the basis of Hall’s imagery. Emplying a realist style of painting, the artist celebrates the color and quality of light in sunny environments. Yet, these emotionally charged works pack compelling thoughts for viewers who choose to look beyond faces and scenes. Beneath the surgace beauty lurks a certain “edge” evoking an uneasy feeling that something is amiss. In revealing herself through these poignant and personal images, the artist lures us into deeper consideration of our own yearnings for eternal youth and our inability to face what inevitably comes with human mortality. Combining a skill for capturing intense color and light and portraying women, her images often feature other genres within the painting- including still life, landscape, and water studies. Reflected in her artwork is her pre-occupation with fleeting youth, aging, and the cultural expression of self-image. (from D.J Hall’s Thirty-Five Year Retrospective curated by Katherine Plake Hough)
Jon Swihart has been a vital part of the LA art scene for over 30 yrs. He is well known for his intimate figurative paintings, as well as his formal portraits, which include American presidents, Supreme Court Justices, astronauts, sports figures and Hollywood notables. Swihart is a huge fan of Jean Leon Gerome and has used the model of the French Academy, both to teach himself how to paint and as a foundation for his own artistic expression.
I’m drawn to landscapes that provide layers of intertwined foliage where the forms and architecture lie below the surface of what is first seen. Standing in such spaces, I interpret the dense, visually complex environments where various elements work for attention and the active eye must weave around the elements. The process leads to drawings that are the sum of marks made over sequential sessions of sustained observation. I look and translate adding lines in graphite and subtracting lines with erasures; their sum make images that parallel my visual experience.
I use erasures as an active technique in my work. Erasures help me interpret the space between concrete objects, they aid to reclaim and adjust tonal values in the drawings as well as act as a corrective function. Technically the erasures and pencil marks contribute equally toward the work.
Drawing, as a developed skill, is the way I continue to express and understand the world around me. Although landscape has been a recurring form of expression throughout cultural history, each individual artist displays his own way to interpret the visual sensations. In this way, each landscape is unique in time and space.
Laurie Lipton was born in New York and began drawing at the age of four. She was the first person to graduate from Carnegie-Mellon University in Pennsylvania with a Fine Arts Degree in Drawing (with honors). She has lived in Holland, Belgium, Germany, France, the UK and has recently moved to Los Angeles after 36 years abroad. Her work has been exhibited extensively throughout Europe and the USA.
Lipton was inspired by the religious paintings of the Flemish School. She tried to teach herself how to paint in the style of the 16th century Dutch Masters and failed. When traveling around Europe as a student, she began developing her very own peculiar drawing technique building up tone with thousands of fine cross-hatching lines like an egg tempera painting. “It’s an insane way to draw”, she says, “but the resulting detail and luminosity is worth the amount of effort. My drawings take longer to create than a painting of equal size and detail.”
“It was all abstract and conceptual art when I attended university. My teachers told me that figurative art went ‘out’ in the Middle Ages and that I should express myself using form and shapes, but splashes on canvas and rocks on the floor bored me. I knew what I wanted: I wanted to create something no one had ever seen before, something that was brewing in the back of my brain. I used to sit for hours in the library copying Durer, Memling, Van Eyck, Goya and Rembrandt. The photographer, Diane Arbus, was another of my inspirations. Her use of black and white hit me at the core of my Being. Black and white is the color of ancient photographs and old TV shows… it is the color of ghosts, longing, time passing, memory, and madness. Black and white ached. I realized that it was perfect for the imagery in my work.”
Kent Williams has built up a formidable reputation as a powerful contemporary painter. His is a bold realism with combined attributes of abstraction and neo-expressionistic sensibilities. His work is characterized by strong gestural forms combined with areas of arresting detail, rendered with rich dynamic brushwork.
Williams’ approach to his subjects is often subjective and intense. Whether through multi-figured compositional complexity and suggestive narrative, or with the straight-forward lone human form, there is often autobiographical narrative at play. Favorite models, friends, and the artist himself all play a role in the human story of his paintings.
Williams lives in Los Angeles.
Adonna Khare is an America Artist mainly focused on carbon pencil on paper drawings. She received her Masters of Fine Art from California State University Long Beach. Her work has been collected by prestigious public and private collections throughout the world. In 2012 she won the world’s largest art competition ArtPrize, competing against over 1500 artists from all around the world.
She has been featured in the Los Angeles Time, NPR, The Huffington Post, Daily Mail, Juxtapoz Magazine, Mashable, My Modern Metropolis, Saatchi Gallery as well as thousands of blogs, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram pages.
She has had group and solo shows throughout the country. Long Beach Art Museum, City of Carlsbad Art Gallery, Nassau County Art Museum, Yellowstone Art Museum, Grand Rapids Art Museum and Crystal Bridges.
Kathryn Jacobi is a classically trained, contemporary realist painter and printmaker who has been working professionally for over 40 years, exhibiting in galleries and museums throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. Over her life as an artist, she has always worked on two consecutive bodies of paintings that are distinct and separate from eachother. The first group is from direct observation or based on old photographs and relates to her experience of the world. The second group derives from her imagination, the paintings collectively weaving a narrative of her inner life and its journeys. Over the past few years, she has also become more and more intrigued with the creative possibilities for making images inherent in digital photography and the computer darkroom, and now considers this a third avenue of practice and exploration.
Kathryn was born in Manhattan in 1947. Her father was a writer, her mother still is an portrait painter, her one brother is a teacher, and her husband, Richard Dysart , is an actor. She has one son, Arie Wolf Jacobi, who is an accomplished sculptor and inventor. She attended UCLA, UCBerkeley, and California State University Northridge where she received her BA in 1978 and her MA in 1980. While Kathryn has spent much of her life in California (she presently lives in Santa Monica and has a studio in Los Angeles) she has also spent much of the past 2 decades in the forests of British Columbia where she had a second home and studios.
I grew up on the upper eastside of Manhattan, in New York City, in a large Italian family. As far back as I can remember, I was always painting and drawing as a child. My parents bought me all manner of sketchbooks, crayons and paint sets, and took me to all the wonderful museums of the city. The Metropolitan Museum of Art was my favorite, and when I was old enough, I often went there alone on my way home from school, spending countless hours studying and drawing the incredible works there.
When I was 15 we moved to Malibu, California, and a year later I began my formal training as an artist at UCLA. I studied a wide range of relevant styles and media; realism, impressionism, expressionism, minimalism, conceptual art, photography, film, etc. An extended period of study with hyper-realist painter James Valerio had the most impact on my technique as a realist. In 1979 I completed my undergraduate work at UCLA and received a B.F.A.
John Nava studied art at UC Santa Barbara and did his graduate work in Florence, Italy. His work is found in numerous private, corporate and public collections throughout the United States, Europe and Japan including the National Museum of American Art in Washington D.C. His work is represented in such publications as Post-Modernism: The
New Classicism in Art and Architecture (Rizzoli, New York) by Charles Jencks who coined the term “post-modernism” and American Realism (Abrams, New York) by Edward Lucie Smith, a comprehensive history of realist painting in the United States. Nava has done large-scale public works including a 45′ wide mural for the Tokyo Grain Exchange in Tokyo, Japan and a 56′ wide fountain sculpture at 100 Brand Blvd. in Glendale, California. In 1998 he was commissioned by the Seattle Symphony to paint a life-size double portrait of Jack and Rebecca Benaroya for Benaroya Hall in downtown Seattle. In 1999 Nava was commissioned by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles to create three major cycles of tapestries for the new Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. The primary cycle of 25 tapestries depict The Communion of Saints and comprise 136 saints from all parts of the world. The tapestries were woven in Belgium and range in size from 18′ to 48′ high with figures averaging 10′ tall. Our Lady of the Angels, the largest Catholic cathedral in the United States, opened in September of 2002. In 2003 Nava’s tapestries for the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels won the National Interfaith Forum on Religion, Art and Architecture (IFRAA) Design Honor Award for Visual Art.
Astrid Preston was born in Stockholm, Sweden. She received a B.A. in English Literature from UCLA in 1967. Her work has been exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the United States and Asia, including solo shows at the Laguna Art Museum, Saginaw Art Museum, Wichita Falls Museum, Ella Sharp Museum and Arts College International. She has had articles and reviews of her work published in the Los Angeles Times, Art in America and ArtForum. Preston received an NEA Fellowship Grant in Painting in 1987 and an artist residency from Lux Art Institute in 2008. Her work is in many public and private collections, including the Orange County Museum of Art, Long Beach Museum of Art, UCLA Hammer Museum, McNay Art Museum, Oakland Museum and Nevada Museum of Art. She lives and works in Santa Monica, California, where she is represented by the Craig Krull Gallery.
BFA Art Center
Born in 1989 in Seoul, Korea, Soey Milk moved to Southern California in the year 2000. A recent graduate of Art Center in Pasadena, CA, Milk has carefully developed her elegant style over the years. The young artist has shown in numerous group shows, as well as a solo exhibit in 2014 at the Corey Helford Gallery in Culver City. Milk will also make in appearance in an upcoming documentary titled “Temple of Art.” Milk lives and works in Hollywood, CA.
Van Arno was born in Chattanooga, TN and grew up in St. Louis, MO where he attended a Christian Science school from K-12. While attending Otis Parsons School of Design in Los Angeles, he supported himself by working as a bouncer at “Club Lingerie.” By the early ’90s, his illustration resume included storyboarding for “Robotech,” deck designs for “Powell Peralta,” and box art for “Bandai Games,” but he found a niche in the music industry where his illustration and design credits are too numerous to mention.
Shifting his focus to fine art, he began to create heroic figurative works featuring religious, folk, pop culture, and mythical heroes. His “Olive Oyl” series captured much attention as he documented her life as a waterfront floozy. Van’s work has since been shown nationally in Los Angeles, Seattle, Santa Fe, Nashville and New York. Museum shows include the “Juxtapoz” exhibit “Land of Retinal Delights” in 2008 at the Laguna Museum of Art and in 2010 and 2011 at the Riverside Art Museum. International representation includes solo shows at “Feinkunst Kruger” in Hamburg, Germany in 2004 and “Yves Laroche Galerie D’art” in Montreal, Canada in 2007.
Van has been featured in Art News, Juxtapoz Magazine, and Hi Fructose, as well as several compilation books and “Volume,” a book of his collected works from 2000-2008. Collectors of his work include Patricia Arquette, Perry Farrell, Mark Parker, Morgan Spurlock and Lydia Hearst.
Currently preparing his second published volume, Van is creating on an increasingly larger scale as he pushes the human figure into more extremes of posture, design and color.
Nicola Verlato was born in Verona, Italy on the 19th of February 1965. He started to paint about the age of 7, and to sell his paintings about 9. His artistic education has been quite unorthodox, he consider himself almost self thought, however, from 9 to 14 ,he spent every summer at the studio of a monk-painter ( Fra’ Terenzio) in the monastery nearby his village in northeast Italy, he consider that the place where he learned how to drawing in the academic style.
His first serious show was at the age of 15 in the town hall of Lonigo, a 3 person show in collaboration with other 2 artists of the area. Nicola has been also trained in classical music from the age of 9 ( classic guitar, Lute, piano and composition) at the conservatory in Verona, later, he drove his attention toward rock music playing electric guitar, bass, sinths, composing song, jingles and soundtracks for documentaries. He also studied architecture at the university of Venice where he lived for almost 13 years painting portraits and allegorical scenes for the local aristocracy and the affluent foreigners living in that city. During this period in Venice he worked on almost everything that was connected with drawing: stage design, temporary decorations, illustrations, comics, storyboard etc. Around 28 he started to be interested in contemporary art, and, consequentially, to show in numerous gallery in Italy and abroad in solo and group shows.
After spending 7 years in Milan, where he created his well grounded notoriety in Italy, in 2004 decided to move to NY city. In these last years he showed principally in NY city and in various galleries and museum around the States, Italy and Norway, but also in India as well as Germany, Holland and other Europen countries. He participated with an installation of paintings and sculptures as a representative of the Italian Pavillion at the 2009 Venice Biennale. Since 2011 Nicola Verlato lives and works in Los Angeles.
M.F.A. | LCAD
My recent work, Kinesis, is inspired by the strange realities of quantum physics scaled to the visible world and the perception of reality and experience through new neurological discoveries into the processing of our environment and memory. The figures occupy multiple states within a dynamic environment, creating visual analogues of the phenomena of quantum decoherence and superposition. These works also reflect the compilation of visual and physical experiences over time.
My current work, Figure Compositions, consist of single- and multi-figure compositions which eschew narrative in favor of non-objective structure. The use of the figure enables infinitely varying shape, color, and form as it is deployed in the pictorial matrix, while my examination of the nude is in search of its materialism within an absurdist view. The work is constructed as an assemblage of discontinuous forms that create abstract space through recognizable imagery.
Steve Galloway graduated from the California Institute of the Arts 1974 with a focus in drawing. Galloway was the recipient of a prestigious grant from National Endowment for the Arts in 1987, and has original works in the permanent collections of the Contemporary Museum, Honolulu, Hawaii; the Franklin Mint, Philadelphia; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. He lives and works in Santa Monica, California.
Set somewhere on the outskirts of our recognizable galaxy, the universe of painter Steve Galloway is scattered over numberless chunks of swampland where grotesque events transpire in bizarre, bucolic tropics that William Henry Hudson might have imagined in a paranoid, malarial dream.
Though it may resemble our own world, Galloway’s is really a parallel universe, beholden only to laws of its own. Familiar images – corks, pulleys, anthills, and tikis – lure us into thinking we are on home ground, but the similarity ends abruptly when the artist subjects these objects to incongruous juxtapositions that defy normal rules of physics. An image-maker par excellence, Galloway constructs dramatic pictorial situations that couldn’t possibly exist outside a poet’s imagination.
Dan McCleary is an American artist, and founder and executive director of Art Division, a nonprofit organization offering professional arts training and academic and career support to young adults in the underserved MacArthur Park community in Los Angeles.
The subject of McCleary’s paintings, drawings and prints is individuals, often alone and rendered life-size, engaged in daily activities at home, the office, a hair salon or restaurant. Los Angeles Times art critic Christopher Knight has called McCleary “among the finest figurative painters working today.” “McCleary is the David Hockney of ordinary moments,” wrote Los Angeles Magazine.
Christopher Murphy, was born in 1977 and grew up in Irvine, earned his bachelor of fine arts degree from Art Center College of Design in 2002. His work consists of photos from his own travels in addition to found ones (from family albums and antique stores) as the basis for his work, Murphy aimed to create new realities by dramatically re-staging the action, recontextualizing figures, or inventing scenarios.
Through his drawings, Murphy searches for the aesthetic beauty in the power of a violent conflagration, or depicting the placidity in the aftermath of a flood, or using composition to portray an explosive moment as both furious and tranquil. The satiny grays of the graphite nod to the often black and white photographic origins of the pieces.
By rendering figures as diminutive in an expansive landscape, from behind, or completely absent, Murphy aims to either invite the viewer into the environment directly or provide a mediating perspective through which to experience these places or events. Christopher Murphy has had several gallery and museum exhibitions, including at the Lora Schlesinger Gallery. Several works by the artist have been sold at auction, including ‘The marshes at milsby lane house, Savannah, GA’ sold at Ivey-Selkirk ‘Spring Gallery & Fine Jewelry’ in 2012. There have been Several articles about Christopher Murphy, including ‘Paintings By Christopher Murphy’ written for JUXTAPOZ in 2014.
M.F.A. | LCAD
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.
M.F.A. | LCAD
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.
“Dubin’s art stands out, as it depicts a psychological edge, revealing the prevalent angst of current society. Besides, the artist has become so skilled, his brushwork sure and his characters real, that each portrait seems to come alive; not as an exterior reality but the reality of the inner state of each being he portrays.” -Roberta Carasso for the Laguna News-Post
Class of 2015
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.
Class of 2014
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.
Class of 2013
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.
Class of 2014
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.
Class of 2014
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 2013
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.