Artscape Spring & Summer 2020 Exhibition Artist Biographies
Allyson Allen is a textile artist, author, instructor and curator. She was raised in Los Angeles and moved to Riverside County in the mid-1980s. Allyson's work has been featured in numerous books and publications, and has been exhibited in galleries, museums and embassies around the world. https://kuumba421.wixsite.com/quilts421
Raymond Argumedo is an artist based in Riverside. Raymond started drawing at the age of 7 with his older brother George. His brother passed away at the age of 21 in a fatal shooting on Gramercy Place, the street they grew up on and now Raymond’s business name. Since that time, Raymond has been creating and imagining art that is primarily inspired by ancient cultures, gods, mythology and astronomical beings. It is then blended with a 1900s art nouveau, old soul feeling. His art has served him as a platform to express his feelings when words cannot. “Gramercy” is also an archaic term which is used to express “gratitude or surprise.” Gratitude is what keeps Raymond grounded and growing with his art and in his everyday life. www.gramercyartcompany.com @raymond.argumedo
Fernando Blanco is an expressive creator that works with a variety of mediums. He was born in Paramount and moved to Riverside in 2016. Fernando has been expressing himself since he was a young child, starting by learning the drums and guitar. From producing and playing music he also plays with a psychedelic style of visual arts, literature and painting. Fernando is currently working as the junior curator at Mind & Mill’s Toil Gallery, and is also coordinating a collective show called “Solitude.” Fernando has had a solo visual art show at Toil Gallery, and from that show has been working with some great local artists and working to develop his figurative polymer painting style that he now works on. Fernando’s main motivation is to keep raising awareness on mental health and to break the stigma that has taken hold of it by practicing creative art therapy. @fernvndo__
Jon “Roach” Brosius is a post-psychedelic artist who was raised in Riverside, CA. Jon has been creating art from the time he was born and is currently teaching drawing in the Riverside Arts Council’s Arts and Minds program. Jon has shown his work and curated art shows at various galleries around Riverside. Jon’s artistic style combines elements of screen printing, graphic design, collage and fine art. The creation of his artwork begins with the canvas as the creativity flows through and spills over, holding back intent and reason. Geometric shapes and patterns formed in each of his pieces can create hidden landscapes and characters telling each viewer a different story. @roachez
Ashleigh Clayton is a digital composite photographer who was born and raised in Rancho Cucamonga and moved to Riverside in 2016. Ashleigh has been creating art from the time she was 15 and is currently completing her Masters of Fine Art at Claremont Graduate University. Ashleigh has shown her work at Claremont City Hall, Claremont University, ConDor Convention in San Diego, The DA Art Gallery in Pomona and Anaheim PetCon. Ashleigh started out as a photographer but over the years has come to enjoy making installation art. In the near future Ashleigh hopes to scale up her art making and begin to show in larger galleries. Her MFA in studio art will round out her education and be her third master’s degree, with other degrees including a MA in national security and a MA in museum studies. When not creating artwork, Ashleigh spends the majority of her time running her own business and hanging out with her dog, Quentin. Ashleighclayton.com @ashleigh_clayton_creative
Rachael Dzikonski is a multimedia visual artist based in Riverside. Born and raised in the Inland Empire, Rachael has been creating artwork since childhood and has spent her life working and learning within the realm of the arts. She earned a BA in Art Education with a focus in Ceramics, and most recently received her MA in Art History, Theory & Criticism in June of 2019. In 2009, Rachael was hired on as the Program Manager of the Riverside Arts Council, later to be promoted to Program Director. In her art administration position, she has consistently been a curator, gallery manager, critic, arts education supervisor, event coordinator, and has implemented many programs throughout the County of Riverside. Over the last few years, Rachael has begun to focus her artwork on woodworking, building custom furniture as she tries to master the medium. Rachael has exhibited her ceramic art, drawings and photographs extensively throughout the Inland Empire, and has also been curating and coordinating exhibitions outside of work in order to offer opportunities for her fellow artists. www.rachaeldzikonski.com @rdzikonski
Derek Fickes was born July 11 in the year 1980, to a roving band of travelers near Chicago. At an early age he fell in love with the American landscape and graveyards, which are a constant muse for his artwork. Whether it be in photographs, paintings, wood carvings or boxes, Derek allows the inspiration to guide the creation of his work.
Bill (Balvant) Gorajia is an artist who was born in Tanzania, Africa and raised in Africa and India. Bill came to the United States in 1959 and in Riverside County in 1989. Bill has been creating art from the time he was five years old. He is currently retired but is still painting as a hobby. Bill is a member of the Corona Art Association where he is participating in art shows at CAA, as well as various other places in the communities, and has received numerous awards. He enjoys working and experimenting with all mediums (oil, watercolor, acrylics and pastels) and all subjects (portraits, still life, landscapes, wildlife, etc.). Besides artwork, Bill enjoys photography, gardening and listening to Indian and western classical music. He has a degree in mechanical engineering, the field in which he worked until he retired in 2005 from UCI.
Maurice Howard is a Moorish American, who was born in Waco, Texas. At 69 years of age, he enjoys working in oil, acrylic and color pencil. His goal is to become a successful artist who is totally financially independent. He has been creating artwork for over 45 years, and his style contains elements of surrealism, cubism and realism. Maurice gives credit to his mentor Charles Bibbs for his support and guidance.
Matisynn Johnson is a multidisciplinary designer and photographer with a background in fine arts. She was born and raised in Riverside. She currently attends California Baptist University, where she is wrapping up her Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design with a concentration in Digital Media and anticipates graduating this coming spring. Matisynn started creating at 4 years old, and since then has had work shown at various galleries. Matti enjoys trying to emphasize a certain mood or theme when planning a project. Sticking to theme is important in her own creative work as well as her work as a Marketing Associate at Mind & Mill. She enjoys taking on new opportunities as they come, and works diligently to achieve anything and everything that she possibly can. @matisynn.johnson
William S. Myerchin has been a photographer in the Inland Empire for thirty-five years. He owned a commercial photo studio in Riverside from 1981 to 2006, providing services for local businesses, manufacturers and educational institutions. After graduating from the University of North Dakota in 1970, William taught in Rialto until being drafted into the US Army the following year. While serving in the army, he was stationed in Viet Nam where he worked as a combat photographer, photo journalist and general staff photographer, documenting various events at the very end of the war. His service as an Army photographer nurtured his passion for taking pictures. Upon leaving the Army, William decided to make photography his life’s work and attended the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. Finally, in 1979, he opened a studio in the Inland Empire and has been shooting photos ever since. Now semi-retired, William’s involvement in photography has become a fine art discovery of self and the world, with a photo being a fixed expression of that perception.
Estelle Shay is a painter who was born and raised in New Jersey, and came to Riverside to live in 1978. Estelle has dabbled in drawing and painting for many years, strictly as a hobby, while working in hospital public relations. She later worked as a writer/editor for her husband, who published Cinefex, a magazine on movie special effects. Over the years, she has taken numerous art classes to explore various mediums, but is currently focusing on acrylic painting. Now that she is retired, she attends weekly art classes at the Janet Goeske Center. Estelle and her husband Don spent twenty years traveling extensively throughout Africa, photographing the wildlife, and she particularly enjoys creating wildlife paintings based on the photography from their travels.
Maria Vega is a gouache and oil painter who moved to Riverside when she was 18 to attend UCR. Maria has been creating art for the past five years and is currently taking online art classes and workshops to continue learning. She will keep creating with the hopes to further share and exhibit her art. Apart from art, Maria also loves to dance and spend time with her animals. @mariavegapaints
Steve Walag is a photographer who was born in Mesa, Arizona. He came to this area in 1968 to attend UCR, and later also received a BFA from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. Steve has been creating art from the time he was about 23. He is currently semi-retired and concentrating his time on his artwork. He has shown his work at various art shows and galleries in the local area. His art pays homage to the Japanese painters who inspired his current style, which is a hybrid that mixes the methods of photography with the touch of traditional Japanese painting. He is also deeply involved in music and is now working on guitar-piano duets with his talented wife Barbara. www.stevewalag.com