Fine Art

Artist in Focus: John Sebelius

John Sebelius is a local Lawrence artist who uses his interest in people and their expressed individuality to create artworks inspired by human diversity.

John Sebelius is an interdisciplinary artist currently living in Lawrence, KS. John earned his Masters of Fine Art from the University of Kansas, as well as a Bachelors of Fine Art from the Rhode Island School of Design. His work has been featured in such magazines as: Harper’s, The Washington Post, and DETAILS, as well as mentions on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. He has exhibited his art internationally and locally, including: Gallery Two in Sydney, Australia, Woods-Gerry Gallery in Providence, RI, Kansas City Artists Coalition, and the Chicago Art Institute.

 Not only is he a prolific painter and illustrator, he is also a successful filmmaker. His documentaries have been shown at major film festivals, like the Austin Film Festival and the Free State Film Festival, and at The American School of Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Due to his achievements and skill as an artist, Sebelius has been voted the Best Artist of 2014 and 2015 in Lawrence, KS.  Currently, John teaches art at Washburn University and he is the Artist-In-Residence at The Stress Disorder Treatment Program, where he teaches art therapy to those suffering from PTSD.

For this week’s artist profile, the Cider Gallery interviewed the artist about the artistic direction for his most recent work. In this Q&A, the artist provides a personal reflection on his inspirations and his goals as an artist, as well as his current projects. During our discussion, he detailed his sources of inspiration, his current exhibition’s narrative, and his passion for teaching. Following this paragraph is the email correspondence, with minor grammatical corrections, between the Cider Gallery and the artist himself.

 

"Smooch." 2015.

 

CG: What would you say is your primary source of inspiration?

JS:       “One of my largest inspirations is people. A majority of my work focuses on lived experience amongst individuals from unconventional communities. This all began when I followed around Providence cab drivers for a year while at RISD. There was something unfamiliar and intimate about that type of investigative work I was drawn to. That process has continued in my work with investigation of residents of Slab City, CA, the American Biker, and Greek Life at KU.“

John Sebelius and Chris King, "You Had Your Chance," spray paint, acrylic, pen, ink on watercolor paper.

 

CG: Is there an underlying narrative that your current pieces follow?

JS:       “My upcoming show at Cider Gallery this April Final Friday is "Superfans", a collaborative and experimental exhibition with artist and friend Chris King. We were both intrigued by the mania surrounding sports and political fans. It is a “with us or against us” mentality that we all experience, especially in today's caustic political landscape. Merging those two worlds together with color and texture was exciting for both of us. We didn't plan any of the pieces, shipping our large paper works back in forth from KS to Louisiana gave them a life and spontaneity that couldn't be planned.” 

Dorothy XI, spray painting.

 

CG: Is there anything you wished to tell our readers about you or your work? Any recent recognitions you wished to discuss?

JS:       “I am currently teaching Drawing and Design at Washburn University, but my real passion is teaching art to veterans suffering with PTSD at the VA. I created an art course "Artistic Expressions" at The Stress Disorder Treatment Program in Topeka a 7-week inpatient program for veterans who have experienced trauma. Over 200 veterans each year will participate in the course. It was important to provide the veterans with a non-verbal form of expression and establish a safe mental and physical space to explore their emotions and stories through a creative healing process. "Artistic Expressions" was recently awarded ARTSConnect TOPArts Access Grant to expand the program and create a gallery on the unit.”


We wished to thank the artist featured this week, John Sebelius, for this glimpse into his creative process. If you wished to see more of his work, he is featured in collaboration with Chris King in the up-and-coming Cider Gallery exhibition “Superfan,” opening this Friday the 28th. Come by between 5-9pm on Friday and enjoy the show!

All information provided by the artist. Check out his website for more information on his current projects. http://www.johnsebelius.com/index.html

Artist in Focus: Susan Grace

Susan Grace is a local Lawrence artist who uses her immense knowledge of classic literature to express notions of instability, memory, and human communication and connections.

Susan Grace is a professional painter living and working in Lawrence, KS. She has a long and illustrious career exhibiting in art galleries throughout the U.S., including: the ARC Gallery in Chicago, Riverside Art Museum in California, the World Trade Center and an assortment of local galleries. In addition to her frequent showings, the artist has garnered acclaim and various awards for her paintings. Most notable of these are special recognition and honorable mention by The Artist Magazine and the Upstream People Gallery Online in Omaha, NE. She is currently showing in the Re: Solution group exhibition on display at the Cider Gallery.

 While not formally trained, her education on painting began in Athens, Greece. Before becoming a professional painter, she used her education in theater and literature to teach Literature courses to curious students. As such, her life-long study of the works of both American and European authors is considered by the artist to be a major source of inspiration for her artwork. She often describes her works in the form of poems and quotes from famous authors. As seen on her website, the artist draws her major inspiration from the works of Thomas Pynchon and Samuel Beckett, stating:

“In my paintings I explore issues related to disintegration, disorientation, instability, and attempts to communicate using some kind of written sign, including text translations and asemic writing [writing devoid of semantic context]. From shifting perceptions, unreliable memories...we construct an identity and a personal and sometimes briefly shared narrative of the past and a possible future.”

 This notion is reflected in the most recent works of Grace, displayed on the walls of the Cider Gallery. These pieces, which merge and flow with sweeping lines and a muted color palette, are often punctured by swirling script. The script reflects writing, but is not recognizable as such. Instead, the juxtaposition of pastel text over shades of brown and orange expresses the artists ideas of textual translations that are both unreliable and yet fixed, reflecting the imperfection of memory. In the instance of these images, the following passage picked by the artist best describes the tension between recollection and the blankness of unconsciousness.

 

“She could, at this stage of things, recognize signals like that, as the epileptic is said to—an odor, color, pure piercing grace note announcing his seizure. Afterward it is only this signal, really dross, this secular announcement, and never what is revealed during the attack, that he remembers. Oedipa wondered whether, at the end of this (if it were supposed to end), she too might not be left with only compiled memories of clues, announcements, intimations, but never the central truth itself, which must somehow each time be too bright for her memory to hold; which must always blaze out, destroying its own message irreversibly, leaving an overexposed blank when the ordinary world came back.”

― Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49 (1966)

"Blue Ciggy #2," oil on canvas.

"He's In Town Again," mixed media on canvas.

"Staring Too Long," mixed media on canvas, triptych.

Visit the artists webpage here: http://www.susangracestudio.com/ 

Artist in Focus: Jeromy Morris

Jeromy Morris is not only the curator of the Cider Gallery and the director at SeedCo Studios, he is also a mixed media artist living and working in Lawrence, KS.

Jeromy Morris was born in Denver, CO and he received his Bachelor’s degree in Visual Communications and Graphic Design from the University of Kansas. Since that time, he has co-founded the Fresh Produce Art Collective, is the Director at SeedCo Studios (a venue that merges art and music which was founded by the Fresh Produce Art Collective) and is our very own curator here at the Cider Gallery.

Morris has shown in a variety of galleries and special exhibitions, such as the show: “More Than Meets the Eye,” a collaboration with John Sebelius at the Cider Gallery in 2014. Most recently, he is participating in the current exhibition at the Cider Gallery, “Re: Solution,” with fellow Fresh Produce Art Collective artists: Jeremy Rockwell, Erok Johanssen, and Yuri Zupancic.

His artwork, which has been featured in numerous private collections, emphasizes the relationship between two or more disparate mediums. In this way, Morris finds inspiration through his exploration of multiple mediums that are continually infused with movement and emotion. This tendency toward movement is especially obvious in his video art and installation pieces. Despite this, he is most known for his two-dimensional works on panels. These two-dimensional works often emphasize mood and the recollection of memory. They are a motley of various materials. Epoxy, acrylic, toner transfers, spray paint, and found objects vie for space on found-wood pieces or panels. Morris’ works are primarily inspired by the interactions between opposing forces; consumerism and advertising are pitted against urban ruins and the forces that exist between nature and industry.

"Rome." Mixed media on panel. 

"Nocturnal Mandala." Mixed media (toner transfer, spray paint, acrylic, polar panoramic) on wood.

"Ferris Wheel." Mixed media on wood.

 

 

All images taken from the artist's webpage: jeromymorris.com

Don't forget to visit: www.freshproduceartcollective.com and  www.seedcostudios.com for more information. 

 

 

'This Must Be The Place' Troy Moth & Adam Smith

Thank you to everyone who came by this past weekend for Final Fridays! We were extremely happy with the turnout and so excited to continue to have this show up until the end of November.

'This Must Be The Place' includes photography by Troy Moth and Adam Smith. The two artists are good friends that travel the world together while photographing the grandeur of nature along the way.

All of the photographs in the gallery can be purchased in three sizes: 16"x24", 24"x36" and "40x"60".

Cider Gallery. Tuesday-Friday. 1-5pm. 810 Pennsylvania.

The work above is 'Buffalo 01' by Troy Moth.

Artist Spotlight: Susan Grace

IMG_8612-2.jpg

Figure in White, 2007

Oil on Canvas

72” X 24”

Although the subject matter of Susan Grace’s paintings alternates between depictions of the human form and disintegration of rigid architectural structures, the theme of repeated fragmentation and influence of literature remains consistent throughout her work.

In her painting, Figure in White, the subject is easily identifiable as human, at first glance; however, the longer the viewer stares at the work the more they realize each limb is actually another object, form, or abstraction of the human body. The work, which undeniably portrays the female form, uses pictographs, script, and distorted objects to give the viewer a clue into the identity of the figure.

Make sure to stop by our gallery hours, Tuesday to Friday from 1-5 PM, during the month of October to see Fragments// Paintings by Susan Grace and Photography by Kyle Batson!