Artscape Fall & Winter 2019 - 2020 Exhibition Artist Biographies
Alefa Afalava is a printmaker who was born and raised in American Samoa, and ventured to Riverside County in January 2017. Alefa has been creating art from the time she was 9 and is currently experimenting with lithography at La Sierra University. Alefa has shown her work at SGCI 2019 in Dallas, Texas as well as the Magnum P.I: Pacific Islander art exhibit in Seattle, Washington. She likes long philosophical talks with friends and soaking in the late afternoon sun. Alefa hopes to eventually own and provide a space for creative people to work, grow and share art.
Jesse Barlet is a multi disciplinary artist who was born and raised in Riverside. Jesse has been creating art from the time he was a child and is currently working as a freelance artist. Jesse has found refuge and inspiration in the mountains and beaches of California.
Iliana Becerra is a Riverside artist who mainly works with oils and watercolors. Her overactive mind and love for color led her to uncover her joy for painting. She uses her passion to paint her perspective and express her vision. Art allows her to transmit her emotions without the need for words. She has resided in Riverside County most of her life with a brief residency in Mexico as a child. Her Hispanic roots have influenced the use of vibrant colors and textures in all of her paintings. Art has always been a vital piece to Iliana’s life, since it interlaces her culture and traditions. She is constantly searching to develop an original perspective and style. Iliana currently works as a laboratory technician for Riverside City College after majoring in Biology at UC Riverside in her search to understand life’s mechanisms. Today Iliana continues to discover and experiment with new techniques in an effort to untangle her visions, while balancing a career in the sciences.
Carla Conti Bender is a photographer born and raised in Babylon, NY, who was brought to Riverside in 1985 after landing a job as a staff photographer at the Press-Enterprise. Carla has been passionate about photography since she held her first Instamatic camera at 6 years old. She was encouraged to “visually journal” her daily life and family trips…those experiences sealed her career choice and she has never stopped documenting the world as she experiences it. Carla currently teaches Beginning Digital Photography, Intermediate Photography and Photojournalism at Riverside City College; conducts private and semi-private photo workshops including instruction in the digital darkroom; is an on-location portrait/wedding/family/event/ movie stills photographer; is a member of IEPPV and has exhibited at RCAA as well as Artscape 2016. Carla is an avid adventurer and when not in the classroom she actively pursues photographic opportunities everywhere at all hours of the day or night in an effort to capture fleeting spectacles provided by Mother Nature - the shifting clouds, the night sky or rushing tides. To show the awe in her corner of the world, in all its beauty, glory and mystery is the epitome of her success.
Kelly Nicole Bryson is a mixed media artist who moved to Riverside when she was 12 years old and has remained here for the last 24 years. Her love for creating art has followed her throughout her life. She trained to be a graphic designer but through her training decided making art was her passion. Kelly took a part time job at a craft store and uses her spare time to paint, sculpt and sew. She creates art with many materials, and has spent the last five years developing her own unique style. Kelly’s work has been shown at previous Artscape exhibitions, as well as at Mind and Mill and the Riverside Art and Music festival. Kelly hopes to exhibit her art more places and only time will tell where her art will take her.
Ruben Chavez is a painter who was born and raised in the Inland Empire. Ruben has been creating art from the time he was 18 and is currently working as in independent artist all over the Southern California area. Ruben has shown his work at the Hive Gallery & Studios, Gabba Gallery and Roberta Nieto Gallery to name a few. Ruben has also had his work featured in three separate films which includes one that was executive produced by singer John Legend. Ruben hopes to one day have a gallery of his own in this area to help launch the careers of undiscovered artists.
Chick Curtis is a painter and printmaker who was born in Virginia. Chick has been creating art in various forms for most of his life and now teaches painting and life drawing in his studio. Chick has shown his work locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. In addition to painting and teaching, Chick also likes to cook, dance, read and play guitar.
Joe Gonzales is a mixed media artist who was raised in Riverside, where he presently resides. He started creating artwork approximately four years ago and he now attends Art Works Gallery. Joe has exhibited his work in Riverside and at the John J. Benoit Art Festival in Indio. He also teaches quilling classes in Riverside and Indio. Quilling is a type of ornamental craftwork involving the shaping of paper into delicate pleats or folds. Joe also enjoys painting and diamond art. In the future he hopes to sell his artwork and to expand his quilling classes.
Ana Guerra is a painter and sculptor who was born in Puerto Rico and came to the United States at the age of 12 with her family. Ana has been creating art for 16 years. When she retired, she went back to school to learn everything possible regarding art. Ana has shown her work through several venues including the Artscape exhibition, the Summer art exhibition at the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve and the Fallbrook Art Center. Ana also exhibits her work through several art associations. She is currently in the process of developing a new body of work that she hopes people will soon see in local galleries.
Neil Jenkins is a self-taught artist who was born and raised in Wales, UK. He first visited Idyllwild in Riverside County in 1999 with his then wife-to-be Donna Elliot, and in 2011 permanently moved there. Neil left the corporate world in 2007 to become a full time rock-climber and artist. He is now a professional artist and active member of the Art Alliance of Idyllwild. Neil has shown his work at Riverside County Artscape, Idyllwild’s Middleridge, Courtyard, Higher Grounds and La Casita Galleries and Idyllwild’s summer “Art in The Park” events. He has contributed two painted deer to the Idyllwild “Deer Sightings” public art project and is an award-winning member of the Art Alliance of Idyllwild. Neil works in many media including acrylic and pastel but his current focus is on watercolor and graphite/charcoal. He is a leading member of Idyllwild School’s smARTS program which provides more than 300 lessons each year by professional artists to elementary and middle school students in Idyllwild. When not producing art, Neil can usually be found on a rock face or mountain somewhere in the western USA, an activity which also provides inspiration for his art.
Robert Markovich was born in Munich, Germany and has lived locally in the Riverside area since 1978. His work has been published nationally and internationally in Japan, Italy and Great Britain. He graduated with honors from the University of California, Riverside with a major in Studio Art/Photography and a minor in Film and Visual Culture. Robert completed his Master of Arts Degree at California State University, San Bernardino. Local projects include an early color series of photographs focusing on suburban areas in the Inland Empire where the natural and man-made intersect. Robert worked on a three-year project photographing the transition of the Kress Building into the California Museum of Photography in downtown Riverside. He was later invited by Henry Coil to photograph the Riverside County Historic Courthouse renovation. Later, he was invited to photograph on the film sets of Babylon Five and Resurrection Blvd. Robert’s work has been exhibited and published in many venues, including the Academy Press of London, World Interior Design of Japan, Domus in Italy, UCLA, UCR, California Museum of Photography, Rizzoli International, Fullerton Art Museum, Rhode Island School of Design, Oakland Art Museum, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Artweek and the Whitney Library of Design. His work is in multiple public and private collections around the world. The combination of technical knowledge, historical referents and contemporary theoretical processes constantly inform his work as an artist and curator.
Amanda Millar is a mixed media artist who has lived and worked in Riverside for the last 30 years. She has been actively creating art since her elementary school years and is currently pursuing a degree in Art Therapy. In addition to being a student, full-time mom and working artist, she teaches sewing for the Riverside Art Council’s Arts & Minds program within the Riverside Unified School District. She has shown her work in various Riverside galleries over the past 12 years and was previously a dedicated art vendor during the monthly Riverside Art Walk. Currently, Amanda is working on creating art therapy based workshops to make the act of creating more attainable for all.
Okira Martinez is an artist, muralist and MC born and raised in Colton and Riverside. As a self taught visual and auditory artist, he has been creating pieces for over 20 years. Okira has shown paintings at such local galleries as Mind & Mill and Art Works, as well as part of the Riverside Artswalk. He has also shown in San Francisco and Los Angeles. He currently has murals at Riverside's Bobby Bonds Community Center, Riverside Community College, Alcott Elementary and the University of California, Riverside. His works primarily centers on improvised explorations of the expansion upon one’s spiritual and cultural being.
Chris Napolitano is an artist who was born and raised in Riverside. Chris has been creating art since childhood and is currently a professional artist and art educator. Chris has shown his work in galleries and at events throughout Southern California. Chris' love of local history has influenced his work, and many of his pieces depict Riverside's unique landscapes and architecture.
Kamelyta Noor is an abstract finger painter who was born in Malaysia, but has been residing in the Inland Empire for the last 20 years. She started finger painting about three years ago. Her work has been seen in several galleries, such as the Perimeter Gallery in the Downtown LA Art District and Joshua Tree Art Gallery. Kamelyta has also participated in various group shows and art festivals, including a solo show in City of Fontana. Her art is unique, bold, classy, quirky, vibrant and colorful. She has recently ventured into turning her colorful art into jewelry and merchandise such as phone cases, pillow cases, yoga mats, tote bags and much more. When Kamelyta is not painting, she’s busy hitting the heavy bags at a local boxing club or cooking spicy food. She has two wacky teenagers who keep her prisoner in the kitchen.
Linette Secoff is a mixed media artist was born and raised in Riverside. Linette has been creating art since she was 3, following her mother's routine of creating dresses and paintings. Linette attended La Sierra University, where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts and currently works as a freelance photographer and painter. Linette has shown her work at Brandstater Gallery in Riverside and at SGCI in Dallas, Texas. Linette enjoys traveling, literature and writing. She bases her artwork on stories she learns on her travels, as well as from people she meets and from her own experiences. Her artwork is usually accompanied by her poetry.
Martina Schrader is a mixed media artist and painter who was born in the small wine valley town of Traben-Trarbach, Germany. She moved with her husband and son to Riverside in the early 1980s. Martina has been creating art from her early school years and is currently working to expand her portfolio from her home studio, where she also teaches workshops and hosts other artists on a regular basis. Martina's work has been showcased at the Riverside Art Museum as part of the first 52 Project. She also regularly has her work on display at Mind & Mill. Through the years, she has both taught and attended art workshops for a variety of mediums and experience levels. Martina loves to travel, spend time with her family and friends, and collect vignettes of life with her camera phone. These pastimes influence her work, which often showcases the layering of small details that communicate a larger theme and express her view of life. Martina believes that creating art is a community experience and looks not only for opportunities to capture her own inspiration but to encourage others in expressing their creative sides as well.
Rosemary V Tuthill is an oil painter who was born in Orange and moved to Riverside County in 2010. She is the daughter of renowned artist Emigdio Vasquez, and has been creating art from the time she was in kindergarten. Rosemary is currently working on a 6’ x 14’ mural for the city of Eastvale, and also has a solo art show at the John Wayne Airport from July 18th to August 15th 2019. In addition, she has a painting in the Hilbert Museum in Orange and one painting accepted in the 2019 Orange County Fair. You can see more of her art on her website, vasquezart.com