STUDENT ART EXHIBITION
Roost Studios is committed to helping passionate student artists realize their full potential. In 2020, Roost awarded $1,000 in scholarships to student artists who stood out among their peers.
2020 Roost Boost Award Winners:
Katie Tiley, Emma Hines, Amanda Greenfield, and Erin Dougherty
I’ve been trying to figure myself out for a long time. Every layer of paint is reminiscent of my innermost self. A thick layer of presentation masks the loneliness and sadness that comes with being in cycles of codependency and endless anxiety. When I paint, every layer is a different reflection of myself and I’m able to control what facades I want to keep and what emotions I want to show. It allows me to change my paintings in the same way that I change, and my feelings changes over time. My paintings are typically based on my thoughts, emotions, and dreams, and as I paint them out, I realize I don’t feel the same way about them as I did. So, I’ll instinctively paint over it with a new idea until I’m satisfied with the finished piece. Because my paintings develop as my feelings do, they act as a catharsis and an honest representation of my feelings and myself. My process makes my multi-layered paintings really personal to me and is the best way to express my innermost thoughts and feelings in a search for connection with the viewer.
As an artist, there is little I don't feel inspired by. I often see bits and pieces of art in everything- from how my cat is laying down to the colors of a sunset. Despite this, Perhaps I feel most inspired by my emotions. The beautiful thing about art is how you can use it to harness emotions- both negative and positive and turn it into something wonderfully beautiful. Often, I feel as if it is easier to express myself through art than it is through spoken words. I feel most inspired when there is something I feel I need to deeply express- often I find myself scribbling in my sketchbook trying to get my thoughts out. Art has helped me become more sure of myself. It has helped me express the grief I felt after my mom passed away, and has helped me heal from it. Without art, and the encouragement of my art teachers throughout my education, I would likely not be the person I am. Art has not only gave me the joy that comes with putting paint on a canvas, or simply doodling in a sketchbook, but also helped me grow. Due to this, I am currently studying Art Education. I realized I want to teach children about the joy brought from Art. Something fantastic I enjoy about art is that it doesn't matter if you are “good” or “bad” at it, as long as you enjoy it.
In a world where people will initially judge me based on the color of my skin versus the content of my character, my art allows me to eliminate that bias and gives me the freedom to express my ideas and worldview from a color blind perspective. We live in a country where we have been endowed with certain inalienable rights, one of which is freedom of speech and expression, however, there are often unspoken restrictions as to what a person can or cannot say, often times based on their race. Through my digital art presentations I have been able to express my thoughts around controversial topics such as body image, racism, and student voice concerning decisions made that impact the student body. I use my art to express myself, navigate life, and reflect to support my personal growth and development. Art is a powerful tool to have in ones arsenal when words are not enough to truly express one’s feelings or emotions. The ability to freely express your thoughts, and emotions without judgement or fear is important because it gives you the ability to express your true feelings, and allows you to be open and honest. My art allows me to express emotions of joy, pain, happiness, and sadness in ways that are liberating and creates the space for me to thrive and grow. It is my hope that people have the opportunity to see themselves in my art and connect with the concepts on a deeper level.
To me, art acts as an invitation. Through my work, I invite the audience into imagined landscapes through gestural marks, a gluttonous color palette, loneliness, tenderness, and love. The dynamism in my marks encapsulate emotions at their purest, and the works become a universal language of feelings. Driven by the inherent want to connect to others, art becomes a universal language, a determined attempt to share sentiments with the audience. My spontaneous process lends itself to a strong evocation of emotion for the viewer. By lack of premeditation, there is an allowance for the resurgence of the subconscious for a genuine catharsis. There is an irreplaceable vulnerability, honesty, & authenticity that comes with the artistic process of automatism. This leads to an emotional archaeology for the artist (me), and a similar experience for the viewer, bonding the two and creating a unifying atmosphere of existence.
What goes into the image of ourselves beyond our physical representations? How do we represent not just how we look, but how we feel? What can we use to represent our psychological makeup? I have been reflecting on these questions frequently in recent weeks and used it for the focus of my work. Childhood trauma combined with the loss of a close family member have disrupted my perception of my past, my personality, and my artistic practice. The aftermath of trauma occupies a space of its own—a grey area in between an ending and a beginning, reality and disillusion. The concept of an “in-between” space is something I have been considering and exploring as I investigate impact of trauma on myself and my experience in the space between reality, denial, and disillusion. I do not want to narrate my trauma to the world, but I make art about trauma to provide a space for conversation about the aftermath and impacts on one’s mental and emotional state. With so many people feeling disillusioned and lost, I want to strive to provide a visual for such an uncertain place so we may collectively discuss healing and recovery. I am inspired to use my art to build a platform for people who have experienced trauma and hardships to connect with others and recover together.
I am working on making space for the complexity that exists within us and various scenarios we find ourselves in. There is an interesting tension created by contradictions existing together and I use color combinations and textures that speak to this. I enjoy exploring the duality of creation and destruction, the feelings of things being serious and silly, and find these forces to strike a balance while also feeling uneasy. When synthesizing imagery for paintings, I process source material in Photoshop to create a color palette that is informed by my love of memes, particularly the deep fried variety. As a young person existing in the age of the internet, I find immense pleasure in the broad yet niche humor that exists on this platform. This, coupled with my deep connection to nature and specifically the intricate systems comprise many natural phenomena culminate into my visual language. I hope to imbue my art with a sense of familiarity that feels uncanny and difficult to identify. I am creating a sense of recognition while still leaving room for your imagination.
The search for satisfaction in the game of “success” draws me to be a landscape painter. I channel my want to create space in order to explore places to hide as well as places to climb within the landscapes. The term “escapism” comes to mind when questioning the painting. What will give strength, structure, and comfort during the search for something larger, greater, and empowering? I collide with you and nature collides with man. Thrill is the search for tranquility among the unity in the growth of human and nature while finding places to climb, soar, burrow, and hide in. Industrialization and organic growth happen equally simultaneously and haphazardly. It is overwhelming to figure out what works and fits best through all the change. An unexplored landscape made up of fluid marks bombarding each other in space. Color and brushstroke are my experimental tools as the progression of moments and color building creates a mindscape of fluid intentional, yet unpredictable marks. Lines are straightened, colors exaggerated, shadows enlarged, pathways found, yet the landscape becomes more unknown. All in a repeated attempt to map out tangible and exciting spaces.
I find so much comfort in the ability to create imperfection and find beauty in it. Breaking the norms of what is seen on a day to day basis and merging already independently beautiful concepts together is something that so deeply inspires me to continue exploring my art world to see what my brain can think of. With my art, I rarely go in with a purpose. I just create something and stop when it starts to evoke a strong feeling. I get inspired by nature and the chaos of time and tend to attempt to suddenly or not so suddenly overwhelm the viewer with multiple different textures or images going on at once. It helps me find a lot of peace in the so overwhelming world we live in. Nature is something that I tend to highlight in my pieces because I believe it is the first holder of beauty in the world.