Growing up with parents who were teachers, and one of them an art teacher, I didn’t know every other kid didn’t visit art galleries and fine art fairs as part of their family vacation. In 1975, on our way to California, we traveled I-80 to experience the Nebraska Bicentennial Sculpture Celebration – 10 sculptures at rest stops in 1980 – stopping at every one for pictures. And I vividly remember the first piece of ‘art’ I bought, a poster from the Sam Francis exhibit at the San Francisco Museum of Art. I was raised appreciating the value of the arts and artists.
That appreciation expanded for the 13 years I served as a volunteer co-chair for the Peoria Art Guild Fine Art Fair in Peoria Illinois. Along with my co-chair, Cathi Hawkinson, we elevated the fair to one of national distinction. We both had backgrounds in marketing and public relations and a love for art. Our focus was exceptional artist’s treatment, high quality art and artists, and an appreciative and buying audience. There was an also an awards dinner that had its own reputation. And in 2007, we were thrilled to be recognized as the best Mid-Size Fine Art Fair by the NAIA (National Association of Independent Artists). The St. Louis Art Fair has always been one of my favorite fairs in the country, except for Peoria of course, and I’m honored to be a part of it in 2018.
New York, NY
Ella is a working artist from Greenwich Village, NYC. Originally Ella was trained as a watercolor artist, but her interest in minimalism and simplicity made her change the course of her art. Working in black and white on paper, she developed her own unique art form she calls scissors drawings. Ella believes simplicity is the beginning or a way of finding out what the truly important things in life are. Each picture has its own story which touches memories and dreams and becomes part of the experience of the viewer. Ella calls her pieces Snapchats of people standing still.
For the last 10 years, Ella has been touring the USA from coast to coast with her art. She has won numerous awards and commissions. Ella was honored to have been selected to do a mural for Facebook in Silicon Valley. It was a 16-foot hand cut of a poem she wrote. Ella also has an artistic mission to inspire children to be both artists and to have an appreciation of art. While travelling the country she brings along art books for children to pick up and browse to engage children in conversation about art. She encourages children to create their own drawings which she displays next to her artwork. Ella attended Tartu University in Estonia and Columbia University in NYC. Ella is excited to take her design experiences to a new medium, she is embarking on a new adventure in iPhone street photography. She is sharing her daily walks around the Village and recording what she sees around the country.
Yellow Springs, OH
Justin has been designing and creating ceramic vessels for nearly 20 years, working exclusively in porcelain for the last eight years.
His driving force is visual simplicity, which attempts to create a sense of tranquility. His current body of work is about surface tension. The pieces are created and displayed in compositions of two or more objects. The interplay and negative space are as important as the objects themselves.
St. Louis, MO
Solomon Thurman is an artist, researcher, teacher and co-owner of 10th Street Gallery. He is the Missouri Arts Council’s 2018 individual artist of the year. He received a liberal arts degree from Forest Park College in 1978 and graduated from Graphique Commercial Art Institute in 1980. He is a 2002 St. Louis Regional Arts and Webster University “Community Arts Training” program graduate (CAT) “ Fellow”. Painting for more than four decades, Solomon’s painting style can be categorized as conceptual realism and contemporary abstractions. His art interest focus primarily on the American experience with an emphasis on the African Diaspora. He has been featured in numerous one-man and group exhibitions in United States, Canada and Brazil.
Solomon was commissioned by the “Committee for the Aviation Mural Project Success” (CAMPS) to research and paint the historical contribution of African Americans in aviation. Working with his late partner, Spencer Taylor, they created the aviation mural, titled, “Black American’s in Flight” located at Lambert St. Louis International Airport. The eight feet high, and fifty one feet wide aviation mural, depicting the Tuskegee Airman, has been viewed by more than 100 million people, since it’s unveiling in 1991. Solomon was commissioned by prominent St. Louis civil rights attorney, Mrs. Margaret Bush Wilson, to paint a portrait of “Celia”, a slave from Fulton, MO. The larger than life size painting was unveiled at the Missouri Historical Society in 1995. He compiled two booklets on the subject; the first booklet, the “The Face of Celia”, documents his experience while he painted the portrait; the second, written ten years after the unveiling, depicted Celia’s life, titled “Celia, v.s. the State of Missouri” . In the past four decades, his body of work continues to be a journey of artistic growth. Solomon remains dedicated to bringing art, history and the community together. He is co-owner of “10th Street Gallery” with his wife Pat.