Artscape Fall & Winter 2017-2018 Exhibition Artist Biographies
Ricardo Alberto is an internationally-recognized artist who specializes in abstract art. He uses a wide variety of media to capture the energy, beauty and chaos of both the natural and the man-made world. He is a trained wood worker, and uses his expertise in resins, dyes and structural design to enhance his work. He has an immense respect and passion for the wondrous diversity of global cultures, and this is reflected in all his collections. Ricardo has shown throughout southern California, Peru, Ecuador and Spain.
Stephanie Boyer is an abstract painter who was born and raised in Riverside. She studied painting at the University of California, Riverside and has been creating abstract gestural works for the past three years. She has worked at various arts organizations across Southern California and is currently continuing her studies in studio art at Brandeis University in the Post-Baccalaureate program.
Ruben Chavez is a painter who was born and raised in Hesperia. Ruben has been creating art from the time he was a toddler and is currently working as an independent artist in the Southern California region. Ruben has shown is work at venues such as; Back to the Grind, Saturation Fest, various venues in Los Angeles, and has been featured in the films “Talons” and “Breaking Through.” In the future, Ruben plans to pursue a Master's degree in Art to one day become a college professor in the Southern California area.
Brock Essick was born in Ojai, California in 1975. Currently he lives in Winchester with his family. Brock is influenced by pop art, graffiti muralists and commercial illustration, making his artwork shift in style and technique from piece to piece. Black ink, spray paint, collage and watercolor are his favorite mediums to work in. Brock’s most frequent themes are whimsical and nostalgic, with a tendency toward fantastic and surreal images. His favorite art is one that is amusing, allowing for an escape into the imagination.
Marcia Gawecki is a journalist and painter who was born in Boston, Massachusetts, but has lived in Idyllwild for the past 10 years. Marcia has been creating art from the time she was 9 years old, and is best known for painting portraits on large, door-sized banners. Marcia has shown her work in group shows in galleries in Chicago, Los Angeles, Palm Springs and Idyllwild. Her new series on social justice combines her journalism and painting backgrounds. Her bright colorful palette draws people into the "discussion."
Hunter Johnson is a photographer who was raised in Chicago, Illinois and Tulsa, Oklahoma. He moved to Palm Springs in 1987 after living in the Bay Area for 20 years. Hunter began taking photographs while in college and used it to document his work as a builder and developer of affordable housing around California. He jumped into fine art photography with both feet several years ago and works to capture images of what is easily overlooked, showing the present and preserving the past through photography. These images are part of Hunter’s ongoing series, “Deserta in Desertum,” (Abandoned in the Desert). Inspired by Thomas Church’s “Course of Empire” and Byron’s “Childe Harold,” the series records artifacts of man’s attempts to exploit the natural world and how these survive (or don’t) over time.
Matthew Luther is a multi-media artist who was born and raised in Williamsburg, Virginia. Luther recently moved to Riverside to be near family after finishing a year as visiting professor of Art and Design at Hubei University of Technology in Wuhan, China. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Southern Oregon University and a Master of Fine Art at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He has exhibited internationally, including recent shows in China, Italy and South Korea. Luther has been a visiting artist-in-residence in Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Finland and locally at the Riverside Art Museum.
Robin Luther is a photographer and multi-media artist from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She moved to Riverside in 2016 to teach in the CTE Media Arts Pathway at River Springs Charter School. Prior to that she was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Art and Design at the Hubei University of Technology in Wuhan, China. Luther has had solo and two-person exhibitions in China, Norway, Wisconsin and Illinois, and has participated in group exhibitions worldwide, including in South Korea, Hungary, San Francisco, New York City and Chicago. Additionally, Luther has spent time as a visiting artist-in-residence in Trondheim, Norway and Korpo, Finland. Luther’s work consists of photographic, and time-based, multimedia installations that explore the multi-dimensional ways in which geographic locations and histories are experienced and remembered.
Michael Micalizzi, was born in Italy in 1932 and will be 85 years old in December. He came to the US in 1956 and retired in 2002 from his lifelong work as a researcher, first in plastics, later in pharmaceuticals. After his retirement, Michael began traveling extensively to Italy, France, Brazil, Chile, Switzerland, Eastern and Western Mexico, most Caribbean Islands, most Hawaiian Islands, and all of the United States. On his travels, he took a lot of pictures. At 80 Michael began to feel his age, he started to notice aches and pains that he never noticed before. At this point, he didn’t know what he was going to do anymore, until he remembered that when he was young he wanted to be a painter. His dream of becoming a painter had never gone anywhere because his parents did not support that as a career. Michael decided that now would be a good time for him to pick up painting again, and for his subjects he could go back the photographs that he took during his travels. Michael has just started looking into showing his work and Artscape is his debut exhibition.
Rukudzo Mutambara is a 21 year old artist studying fine art and illustration. Her artwork is minimalist in style and very loose. She uses bright colors to create different characters, placing them in simple backgrounds. She enjoys fashion, photography, exploring different places and listening to music. Marylucille Nunez is a self-taught artist whose focus is on Chicano art. She moved to Riverside in 2014 to care for her mother who has Alzheimer’s. Marylucille’s passion for creating and for pre-Columbian art have been an inspiration to her from childhood. Her work is a reintroduction of already existing ancient concepts and understanding as picture-windows into the past. It is influenced by stone, color and flower, and form a better understanding of the Maya, Azteca, Olmeca, Inca and other ancestral indigenous tribes and their beliefs.
Irene Swesey is an illustrator and painter who was born in Los Angeles and moved to Riverside County as a young child. Irene has been creating art from the time she was 4 and was influenced by her uncle who collected and drew comics. She attended Moreno Valley College and earned degrees in Game Art and Simulation, as well as Fine and Applied Arts, and now works from home as a freelance artist with her two baby girls. She enjoys watching Japanese anime and playing video games, which have a great influence over her subject matter. She is also fascinated with the idea that simple, clear lines allow us to project our identity onto inanimate objects and experiments with this in her artwork. She hopes to one day illustrate her own comic book and design clothing.
Maggie Tello Case is a native of Riverside, California. She was taught to sew and embroider by her mother, Yolanda, who is a talented seamstress in her own right. When Maggie was very young, Yolanda gave her a box of buttons that had belonged to her mother. Maggie would spend hours playing with the buttons, re-organizing them by size, shape and color, and making jewelry and other things with them. Later, Maggie began including buttons in many of her art pieces as a signature calling card and even named her craft business, “Button, Button, Who!” for her love of buttons. Inspired by memories from her childhood, pop culture and a love of color, she creates imaginative pieces which demonstrate her sense of humor and whimsy. Maggie is very involved in the Riverside local arts community, having participated in group shows at Division 9 Gallery, the Riverside Art Museum, Norco College Art Gallery, Saturation Fest and the Riverside Arts Council’s Artscape exhibitions. Maggie placed at the Riverside Mariachi Festival Art Competition in 2013 and 2014.
Rosemary Vasquez Tuthill is an oil painter who was born and raised in Old Town Orange and moved to Eastvale in 2010. Born into an artistic family, her father was renowned artist/muralist Emigdio Vasquez, who passed away in 2014. Rosemary has been an artist since she was a child, but put that aside while working as an Aerospace Engineer for many years. Now semi-retired, she picked up her passion for art again and reemerged into the art world. Currently she specializes in portrait painting and other commissioned works. Rosemary has shown in The Orange County Center for Contemporary Art galleries alongside her father’s works, Chapman University’s Musco Center for the Arts, at the Orange County Fair, where she received an honorable mention.
Al Walz is a multi-media artist who started producing larger abstract painting and pieces about 15 years ago while living in Florida. Now in Pam Springs, he continues to use discarded/found items and Styrofoam to create his works. Inspired by artists who "buck the system” and "think outside of the box,” Al stands by his convictions to create art from whatever has been thrown away. He never pays for canvas, and rarely pays for framing because he believes there is too much "trash" that can be re-purposed into something beautiful, plus he does not want to add more to our current landfills. With his abstract, mixed-media, 3D pieces, Al hopes to share his messages by creating interesting, provocative, sometimes controversial images to help others understand different ways of thinking.