Rachel Yurkovich – Cleveland Heights
I frame instances of uninhibited consumption and the damaging consequences they often bring. This involves the use of insects and animals as allegorical stand-ins for human situations of desire, indulgence and self-destruction. I experiment with the conditions of the life of these beings by setting up situations in which allegories occur. For this I use the symbolic as material, shifting one’s perception between content that is visually unnerving and intriguing. I look to the story of Adam and Eve with their forbidden consumption of the fruit that brought sin and death into the world, as the original occurrence of the instances I am investigating.
The organisms portrayed in my work lack self-awareness of the fact that the consumed substance may be harmful. The desired substance ends up in a way consuming the living organism through gaining control over their actions or luring them into a trap. This is evident in the way the fruit flies in Eat, Drink, and be Merry follow their peers’ same mistakes and fall into the wine to drown. Through the work people will be exposed to another way of seeing themselves and their actions.
I advocate for thought to happen behind decisions that could have negative consequences on one-self or others. To not spend one’s life seeking out ways to fulfil desires of the flesh, but to take advantage of the cognitive ability we have as humans and be self-aware of what we choose to spend our time indulging in, and how deep we let ourselves go.
Michael Griesgraber – Las Vegas, NV
I was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, attended Cretin High School and the University of Minnesota. My major was Fine Arts (BFA), studying under Peter Busa, Ralph Brown and Cameron Booth. While in college I became assistant to Peter Seitz, Walker Art Center’s design curator. In the early 70s I was elected president of the Minnesota Chapter of Artist’s Equity. Below I’m pictured (with hair) at the National Artist’s Equity Conference in Boulder Colorado in 1971, talking with a representative from the Southern California chapter. I earned my Master of Fine Arts Degree from Syracuse University in New York in 1977, and subsequently spent several years in the advertising field (MAD MEN).
Frances Elson – Somis, CA
My professional career(s) over the past thirty years certainly speaks for my willingness to re-invent myself. Beginning with a Masters Degree in Social Work, I worked as a clinical therapist, then as an administrator (both in Michigan). Then a move to upstate New York led me to teaching at the State University of New York. After my husband, Ed, and I settled in Ventura, California I taught Social Work at UCSB extension and did some clinical work but finally gave in to my love of architecture and design. True to my character, I jumped into that world at the retail furniture level while learning about the field of interior design. In 1975 I opened my design studio, soon tested to qualify as a professional member of the American Society of Interior Designers, and ultimately opened Gold Coast Design Center, a resource for other designers in the area. In the meantime my daughter Cheri had given us the gift of two incredible grandchildren, Jonathan and Tari, and I had become very involved in volunteer work. It was clear to me that the time had come for another change, so, in 1998, when my fabulous husband and I moved to our own little paradise in Somis, I felt the time had come to add some fine art activity to my life. Maybe the interior designer in me demands that I “redocorate” my life every now and then. Wouldn’t want to get bored!
Having always loved any art form involving glass, and having wished often that I had the time and opportunity to pursue this passion, I finally took the plunge into classes and, after an introductory class at Focus on the Masters in Ventura, California, I was smitten! I enrolled for a four-day class at Pacific Art Glass in Los Angeles and never looked back. Thank goodness for my husband, Ed, who has always been supportive and who truly challenged me to “just do it”. So here I am, another incarnation of Fran as Frances Elson – glass artist !
Please feel free to browse at the photos of my work, and contact me with any questions or comments. I’d be happy to talk with you about designing special projects: tableware, tiles, gift items or any other items that you dream of and that I can find a way to fabricate in glass.