COVID MASTERPIECES 3

27 May - 26 June 2021

opening 27 May at 11 pm

Artists:

Annie Tong Zhou Lafrance

Doris Schamp

Judith De Simone

Nadja Shkirat

Alex Spragens

Carol Loeffler

Carolyn Brann

Discover Artists:

ANNIE TONG ZHOU LAFRANCE, CANADA

Annie Tong Zhou Lafrance is a Chinese-born multidisciplinary artist. She was adopted from Anhui, China in 1999 and is currently based between Tiohtià:ke/Montreal and Quebec City, Canada. In spring 2021, she obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Concordia University with a major in Studio Art and a minor in Chinese Language and Culture. Her current visual research focuses on the different methods of display enabling the transportability of intimate belongings from one location to another. Since 2017, her work has been exhibited on several occasions all over Tiohtià:ke/Montreal, namely at Visual Arts Visuels Gallery, Eastern Block, Rad Hourani Foundation and many alternated spaces. As of 2019, she has begun sharing her narrative in relation to her transnational adoption to raise awareness about transcultural identity and the Chinese Adoptee diaspora in Western territories. Her writings have been published by L’Organe, the Fine Arts Reading Room, and soon by the Concordia Undergraduate Journal of Art History. In the near future, she will be moving to China to bridge the language barrier and pursue graduate studies in Fiber Art.

CAROLYN BRANN, GERMANY/USA

Is an abstract artist living and working in Berlin, Germany - WITHOUT an assistant.  She has been there since August 2020, prior to that she was in San Diego, California.  She has been painting regularly since about 2013 and is mostly self-taught, however, she worked individually for several years with Masters level instructor, Nasser Pirasteh.  She meditates daily and practices kundalini yoga regularly and these spiritual modalities influence her work - She gets visions of colors, patterns, or other imagery which show up in many of her paintings.  Some of her favorite women painters are Yayoi Kusama and Helen Frankenthaler.  Both of their styles influence her work - Kusama with repetitive dot patterning and Frankenthaler with soak staining/layering.  In December 2020, she challenged herself to create 100 pieces of work by 31 March 2021 by using the soak staining technique Frankentahaler championed. 

CAROLE LOEFFLER, USA

is an artist, mother, and educator based in Philadelphia, PA, USA. She imbues vintage textiles with the spirit of nameless foremothers to create a variety of narratives that reflect her lived experience. She holds a BFA from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University and an MFA from the University of South Florida. Carole has exhibited her work in over 100 group and solo exhibitions across the US. 

ALEX SPRAGENS, USA

(b. 1997) Alex Spragens was born and raised in rural Southeastern Kentucky, USA. He is a

classically-trained oil painter with an emphasis on portraits and figures. He received his BA in

Studio Art from Centre College in Danville, Kentucky in May 2020. He is currently living in

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where he balances his time between painting and working as a

teaching artist with 6th – 8th grade students.

 

He strives to explore and express the value of “the simple things” through his art. Natural

observations, momentary bliss, meditations, memories... all of these and more fall under the

umbrella of the simple things. His paintings often combine life studies with imaginations –

striking a balance between the objective and the subjective, the observable and the unseen – to

capture moments holistically. His art has the ability to catch an impatient eye while still

rewarding long-looking with the play between layers and brushstrokes, precision and

spontaneity, and seriousness and silliness.

DORIS SCHAMP, AUSTRIA

Doris Schamp is an Austrian artist, cartoonist and art teacher working across drawing, painting,

photography and installation. Schamp´s focus is mankind. She portrays society in a critical way,

often with a humorous twist.

In her latest series she portrays and questions the throwaway society by using wrapping material for

mosaics and collages.

Schamp´s works have been shown at Building Bridges Art Exchange Gallery, Los Angeles, the

Austrian Cultural Forum New York, the Mahalla art festival Malta and at numerous Cartoon

museums. Her works are part of collections Helmut Marko, Oren Peli, the County of Lower Austria

and the County of Burgenland.

Before working as a fine artist, Doris Schamp drew cartoons for Red Bull and for Austrian

magazines and newspapers and has won the International Cartoon Prize of Aachen in 2013

Doris Schamp lives in Vienna and in Bramberg in the Alps and calls Los Angeles her second home.

Her works are currently on display in Venice and Salzburg.

NADJA SHKIRAT, GERMANY/JERUSALEM

is a Jerusalem-based professional photographer, visual artist and educator from

Germany. She studied art education at the University of Leipzig, Germany and continued her

artistic education in photography at the Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design Halle

(Saale), Germany, where she learned to work with various photographic mediums and techniques.

She is participating in photography courses at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design Jerusalem,

Israel to intensify her artistic research and knowledge. She also worked as a photography lecturer at

the Dar Al-Kalima University College of Arts and Culture. Currently she is working as a freelance

product photographer and visual artist.

Her visual art presents a surreal, vivid and vibrant imagery. Mainly focussing on analog photography

and digital art, she creates bright, colorful and contrasty photographs mixing the grotesque with the

beautiful. To her, photographs are more than just a copy of something, they are an entrance to a

world and a story that she is creating with her own eyes. Commenting on ideals of beauty, sexuality

and consumerism, Nadja Shkirat´s visualizes questions about ideology, aesthetics and social

behaviors.

This particular work represents her inner mind during the times of Covid-19.

"During quarantine I could not walk more than a few kilometers from my home, that is why I

decided to walk in circles. From my house, up to the hills to a destroyed house, down the mountain

to a valley filled with olive trees, through the neighborhood and back to home. I did this circles

many times, from time to time I also took certain objects with me to create a new imagery. My

analog photo series is a collection of still lifes from the outside and the inside. By combining my

intentional placed still lifes with the coincidental discovered compositions I aimed to create a

fascinating tension between the opposites."

JUDY DESIMONE, USA

is an American ceramic artist living and creating art in West Chester, Pennsylvania, USA.

She earned a bachelor of science degree in art education at Moore College of Art and Design in

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her degree allowed her to pursue a career and vocation as a middle school

art educator with 6th, 7th and 8th graders, (11-, 12- and 13-year-old students), at a public school in the

state of Pennsylvania. It was in this classroom Judy taught herself various ceramic hand building

techniques leading to a love of the medium. Her ceramic enthusiasm was shared yearly with her school

students.

For thirty years, Judy’s ceramics were realistic wall pieces consisting of animals, flowers, leaves and

personal diary scenes executed in bas relief. With public school retirement came a shedding of the old

and a blossoming of the new to the quick, spontaneous, “why not art” she currently pursues. The “why

not” view was reinforced in her retirement job, teaching art to kindergarten, (5-year-olds) through

eighth graders at her local Catholic school. The inhibitions of the younger students’ ideas and techniques

reinforced Judy’s personal philosophy of, why not, which she applies to her ceramics. What luck to have

had three-hundred-part time muses at one’s disposal. After 39 years of teaching art to Kindergarten

through 8 grade students Ms. DeSimone hung up her classroom apron to pursue personal artistic

endeavors.

Building on what my faith teaches, to love your neighbor as yourself is my artistic inspiration. In my art I

strive to relate to my neighbor as myself. We as people are uniquely joined in spirit and all have

particular stories. Making a visual connection that conjures a memory, an association or an expansion of

the familiar is my goal. Currently, daily life and people are my muses be it a man-made or natural

setting. With an ever-expanding quest of, what can I glean from life tomorrow, only the passage of time

will reveal the answer.

White mid-fire stoneware clay painted with underglazes, gloss glaze and oxides fired to cone 5 are my

mediums of choice. Hand building enables me to express my conceptions through my sense of touch. I

experiment with shape and color with an attention to playfulness, quirkiness, and an unexpected left

turn. The clay attachments and manufactured adornments for each of my ceramics I liken to clothing

people wear, they dress up the piece and define a mood.

Judy exhibits her work in the United States.

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Judy’s artistic goal is to strive for a quirkiness in shape, texture, color and a feeling of the primitive that

will bend to her whims of the present moment.