- Andrea Perusquia -
Andrea Perusquia is a Mexican artist based out of Phoenix, Arizona. She received her BFA at the Autonomous University of Queretaro in Mexico and later earned a master’s degree in Elementary and Art Education. Andrea has been teaching Art and Spanish for over 15 years. She enjoys creating mostly paintings and other two-dimensional artwork that brings joy, peace, and hope. Her artwork belongs to several private collectors, The School of Transborder Studies at Arizona State University, and The Children's Museum of Phoenix. Andrea's artwork has been published in calendars and books. Recently she illustrated a Diane Mylod Rodriguez book titled "First Generation Gratitude".
Andrea finds creating art a powerful discipline to share the beauty and the transcendent aspects of life and culture. Learning about different topics inspires her to explore different techniques to share the richness of Mexican culture and traditions.
Find more of Andrea's creations: andreaperusquia.com
Follow her on Instagram: @andreaperusquia
- Ariana Enriquez -
Ariana Enriquez (b. El Paso, Texas) is a visual artist based out of Mesa, Arizona. She received her BFA in painting and MA in art history from Arizona State University. After working in art museums for a decade, Enriquez became a full-time artist in 2022. Finding meditative and self-healing qualities in the outdoors, Arizona's natural landscape serves as Enriquez's largest source of inspiration. The botanical and ornithological subject matter portrayed in her work is reflections of her experiences, metaphors for her family, and extensions of her identity. Enriquez primarily works with acrylics in her studio and mural practice. Her clients have included Tostitos, Shane Company, and South Phoenix's beloved flower shop, Baseline Flowers. Seeking to honor the nuances of nature's details, Enriquez hand-paints every aspect of her work. She hopes to show how beauty can be found in the small things that surround us.
Find more of her work on: arianaenriquez.com
Follow her on Instagram: @arianabelen.art
- ILYA MOKHOV -
Ilya Mokhov is a Phoenix-based painter. Ilya has been developing and evolving his skills in artistry for over a decade. Ilya obtained a Bachelor of Science in International Business at California State University. While blending his business expertise and passion for painting, he created a perfect marriage between the two: business and art. Ilya's bold use of colors in his paintings creates a positive emotional vibration through the powerful use of his expression.
Contact Ilya: (916)607-4466
- BIANCA INEZ -
Artist Bio: Bianca Inez is a mixed-media painter who creates both non-objective and figurative abstracts. In addition to painting, Bianca often enjoys incorporating poetry into her paintings to add another vehicle for the viewer to create their own meaning or story from the work. Primarily motivated by the transformative potentiality of art, Bianca seeks to make work that is thought-provoking and open-ended so viewers can imprint their own emotions, memories, and epiphanies into their viewing experience. Bianca started painting in 2018, after leaving college and choosing to pursue what really gave her a sense of purpose and fulfillment. Through this intimidating but highly rewarding decision, Bianca has been able to make priceless memories that have encouraged her to continue to pursue art and use it as a vehicle to positively impact the world.
Artist Statement: In both art and in life, I am continuously inspired by what brings people a sense of bliss and serenity, despite hardship and adversity. In my art-making practice, I endeavor to make an honest examination of the wide spectrum of human emotions, both acknowledging pain while remembering the intangible but real existence of hope. I believe that everyone has innate beauty, complexity, and worth, and it is because of this belief that I am motivated to make art that can potentially inspire people from all walks of life. I'm honored to be able to utilize the power of creativity to make art that inspires emotional introspection, as well as makes people feel less alone on their life's path.
Artist website: www.biancainezart.com
- HECTOR FERNANDO -
The local downtown Phoenix art scene might be able to recall Hector Fernando's earlier work back in 2016. However, the inception of his career happened further back. He describes himself as a self-taught artist, only this is not quite the whole truth. The little instances where he had tutelage for his craft during his early life were enough to cement in his mind that he was a natural-born artist. Although he struggled to define his work in one word, he stumbled across the term “maximism” and has adopted it as his genre. Most pieces start off as paper, canvas, or wood panels, but the finished product might include glitter, stickers, cellophane, and mirrors.
Hector draws inspiration from his own life story as a proud Mexican queer man whose upbringing in Sonora has designed a particularly unique identity. As a kid, he watched his aunts embroider images of the Virgin of Guadalupe; he witnessed their hands create something beautiful and stood in wonder and awe. He was surrounded by strong women, who like the seasons, would hastily get to work on “coronas” (wreaths) as the Day of the Dead approached early November. Hector Fernando also witnessed his father build their first permanent home from the ground up. This gave him his visionary ambition and taught him that no project is too big.
Hector, just like his art, is complex. The imagery found in his work tells you a lot about him personally. It tells you about the love he has for animation. Iconography shifts from the literal to the subconscious all at the same time while creating new pop culture. He is not afraid to be silly or sexy, all with the sophistication of an intellectual.
- León Santiago -
Artist statement for the “29 Songs” series that will be featured at Fair Trade Café in March 2023: Balance, texture, form: the same concepts and principles that inform my music are at work in my watercolors. When I paint, I am basically a songwriter trying to sing a theme over an underlying accompaniment; to match a melody to a harmony, so to speak. Over time, one develops a sense of the major and minor modes, of how and when to use them, and how to distinguish a verse from a chorus… warms versus cools. I usually start by sketching a few versions of a theme, inspired by some memory or by an old photograph, or perhaps by the title or the words of a song I’ve been listening to. Once a composition appeals to me, I then choose a color triad (with maybe one or two additional hues) and, alternating between bouts of concentration and reflection, I just try to be honest about what I see and feel. Watercolor has some unique properties. The most crucial is its transparency, which allows early glazes to affect how overlaying ones reflect the white of the paper beneath. There’s something about the physical way that cotton paper accepts pigment and the way that clean water dilutes and disperses it that I viscerally enjoy, and it delights me when that distinctive glow that can result from this kind of layering comes through in a finished piece.
- DON GRAY -
I have always tried to understand and paint reality. I have found this an incredibly difficult task. How can an artist, especially in a time of weakened artistic
tradition, significantly express the pungency of reality, its intensity of color, structure, light, and shadow, as well as our feeling for its beauty and poetry, its ugliness
and horror? It is a daunting challenge to try to express the three-dimensional world on two-dimensional paper and canvas.
I have primarily used still-life to study and interpret reality because one can look intently at, and study, objects that do not move. And I have a natural feeling for real objects that are the subjects of still-life. But, I'm not a camera. I've never been interested solely in the surface appearance of things, but also in their inner structural and emotional core, their density of form and feeling.
I personally see spiritual significance in this density of matter - there is something timeless, immortal about it - whether an apple, rock, the human head, or the planet itself.
The greatest art is always both timeless and contemporary. It is timeless in its pursuit of the unchanging values, truths, aspirations, and needs of humanity. It is contemporary in its expression of the changing particularities of our experience of these truths from person to person, and era to era.
-Excerpt from extended artist statement
- Veronica Verdugo-Lomeli -
Veronica is a Fine Artist and Graphic Designer based in Tolleson, AZ. She was born in Montebello, Ca and raised in west Phoenix. Veronica has been an artist most of her life but started exhibiting and selling her work in 2010. Her primary mediums are printmaking and acrylic painting. This exhibition highlights her work in various forms of printmaking.
Her storytelling images are created in bold and vivid colors reflecting the southwest and Mexican-American-Chicano cultural traditions. She has created paintings, digital illustrations and murals for non-profit organizations, cultural events, private commissions and public spaces.
- Sabrina Rivera Prudencio -
Sabrina Rivera Prudencio is a visual artist, mother of three, and the proud daughter, sister, and wife of Salvadoran immigrants. Born in Houston, Texas, and raised in Hempstead, New York, she studied Studio Art and Latin American & Caribbean Studies at Hunter College in New York City. Her colorful art focuses on the beauty, strength, and interconnectedness of women and nature. She has called Phoenix home for nearly a decade
- Kay Grams -
My art is informed by my studies in Mythology and Depth Psychology and by the understanding that it has its origins in the unconscious. After years of constructing assemblage and collage, I have recently been using paint as a replacement to the materials of found and outdated objects previously used.
My pieces sometimes employ elements that congregate into a tale of sorts. I'm particularly interested in the innate urge to fabricate story; an almost involuntary push to coalesce and make sense of what is not available to us. I am intrigued by how we seek to understand and find answers; in short, how we attempt to resolve ignorance.
In the Passage paintings, I began with the abstract and then added the element of the passport page. I feel a strong sense of story for each one. I imagine the feelings and circumstances that accompanied, and maybe instigated, the sea voyage of the immigrant. For each viewer the story will be different.
I like the interplay of the literal item in juxtaposition to the abstract. Yet, I am drawn to purely abstract paintings as well. For me they create a sense or a congregate of feelings and unconscious ideas that are a shadow of an imagined tale.
See more of Kay's work at: www.kaygrams.com
Kristin Wesley, aka YoMama, is a mixed media artist using installations, assemblages and murals to connect with communities, invigorate spaces, and inspire others. Living and working in Phoenix, Arizona, Kristin holds concurrent Bachelor’s Degrees in Fine Art Intermedia and the Interdisciplinary Studies of Psychology and Philosophy from Arizona State University. She studied Art Therapy at George Washington University in Washington, DC and has extensive experience using art in educational, therapeutic, entertainment and public settings.
Kristin works with a variety of materials, from paint and clay to steel and propane. Regardless of medium, there are commonalities that run through her work including compositional juxtapositions, entropically evolving patterns, and an expressive use of color. Kristin employs a visual language inspired by botanical motifs to celebrate and support the essence of “being”, exploring concepts like life, growth, strength, play, and creating work with an underlying message of hope.
Kyllan Maney’s work is rooted in the interactive process between the viewer and her work. She enjoys the inventive and creative process of discovering transcendence in patterns and forms found in nature. Radial patterns are a common theme in Kyllan’s work, she considers these pieces as centering mediational drawing moments. Her work is created on repurposed maps. She envisions these maps as fingerprints of our city and landscapes.
Kyllan shows her work across the valley in various galleries. She has created numerous commercial and residential murals for Scottsdale Public Art, MonOrchid, Downtown Phoenix, Intel, Paypal, The Dhaba, Mesa Public Library, and Roche Diagnostics. She also received the 2021 Influx commission for the City of Tempe where she created art for banners outside the Edna Vihel building. Kyllan has created large-scale vinyl decals for the windows at Tempe Center for the Arts. She was recently interviewed by KJZZ’s Made in Arizona where she discussed her newest mural on Mill Avenue in Tempe. Kyllan loves creating interactive community collective installations and interactive art throughout the year. Some of these projects include Canal Convergence, Desert Glow at the Desert Botanical Garden, and Spark! events at Mesa Arts Center. As a teaching artist, Kyllan shares her art knowledge as an Instructor and is the Visual Arts Coordinator at New School for the Arts and Academics.
See more of Kyllan's work at http://www.kyllanmaney.com/
Kathy Cano-Murillo is a Mexican-American artist, born and raised in Phoenix, AZ. Known as The Crafty Chica, she loves social media, runs a popular Latina lifestyle website, has authored seven craft books & two novels, and designs Crafty Chica product lines for stores, teaches workshops, and spreads the gospel of glitter far and wide as a public speaker. See more at craftychica.com
Patrick Murillo is a Mexican-American artist, born and raised in Phoenix, AZ. Known for his comical Dia de Los Muertos creations, he works in a variety of mediums including paint, clay, mixed media, and wood burning. When he isn't making art, he sings and performs his Chicano-inspired reggae music around the valley as "Ras Patrick." Patrick's artwork has been featured in national magazines, books, and in the collections of many! See more at www.facebook.com/mantasticartist
Abe Zucca and
our curator, Philip Talarico
Abe Zucca has been working in the Phoenix Downtown art scene for more than eleven years with solo exhibitions at various downtown venues.
His work is the most cutting edge art that has appeared on the Arizona scene in a long time! His “bad-boy persona” makes him an enigma and at the same time one of the most accessible artists with his infectious smile.
One of his first shows was here at Fair Trade Cafe. And he’s had several shows here over the years. We are pleased welcome him back once again.
He is the pre-eminent portrait painter in the valley.
At first notice of his work you are immediately captivated by his liberated drawing technique and the images he produces. Abe says about his inspiration for making art: “the irrelevant details about me supply emotions which, because of their irrelevance, inhibit the main effect. I am just a process of sensibilities and through my art you read yourself."
His current portraits at Fair Trade Cafe reflect our times as he portrays our heroes and villains. Don’t miss his show during the month of July.
my work is about texture, color, and how I alter the flat surface. it continues to be about me and my exploration of my psychological babble , emotions and anything else that distracts me at that moment as I try to express them on what seems to be endless flat surfaces.
Previous one man and group shows include:
"Intricacies” Explores the “Complex Magic of Feminine Identity”
Exhibition features 20 completely hand-rendered pen and ink drawings
With her first solo exhibition, “Intricacies,” artist Erica Clark has created a world in black and white, with much being said between the lines.
The 20 pen and ink drawings on display in “Intricacies” feature women draped in complex details, framed in exquisite filigrees, and occasionally accompanied by animal companions whose visages are equally enigmatic.
“I aim to create enchanting, ethereal imagery and symbolic expressions of the intangible to explore the complex magic of feminine identity,” says Clark, who devotes diligent hours to her hand-rendered works. Each piece is unique and imbued with hypnotic emblems and elaborate patterns.
The magical minutiae in Clark’s menagerie of drawings creates a mesmerizing optical experience for viewers, one in which every perusal reveals something previously unseen.
Clark, who describes herself as “artistically stirred by literal and conceptual intricacy and the mysterious,” will be present during the artist’s reception for “Intricacies” at Fair Trade Café in Downtown Phoenix on First Friday, May 6. The show will be up through the end of May and includes many previously unseen drawings. All of the works on display will be for sale.
High-resolution press images available upon request. See more of Clark’s work at erica-clark-art.webnode.com.
Loid Larson is a self-taught multimedia visionary artist originally from Los Angeles, California. He has lived in Argentina, Italy, New York, California and currently resides in the desert of Arizona. His journey around the planet has been a mission to discover the meaning of life and find proof of the existence of love. loidlarson.com@loidlars
When the Spring 2020 Coronavirus lock downs and quarantine began Loid purchased the iPad Pro, Apple Pencil and the painting app ProCreate. With those tools he invented a new form of Art.
After a month of frustration at being unable to draw or paint anything that he liked, Loid found ProCreate's radial symmetry guide. The symmetry guide is a tool that is present in every painting and drawing program that has ever existed. That is when he stopped TRYING to make art and instead began to slowly and deliberately PULL infinitely random abstract art into this world from some other dimension where they seemed to have already existed. As if these paintings are discovered on psychedelic archeological expeditions somewhere beyond.
All these Symmetrical Paintings began without intentionality as random abstract scribbles made while in a trance like state trying to deal with and survive a period in modern history that at times felt like the end of the world.
Joseph Szkodzinski, a NYC native, has been a photographer since the mid 70’s. A graduate of School of Visual Arts with a BFA in photography ’81, his photo thesis was on NYC Nightlife, mainly in the downtown NYC clubs. For 4 years he documented that scene and met many interesting people. While at school, he got a job working as a photographer for the Bronx VA, where he met John Sex who invited him to Club 57 to photograph Keith Haring at the Acts of Live Art Show. What he witnessed was an amazing group of artists in a church basement on the Lower East Side making art fun and not taking it too seriously. That night he decided to photograph these groups of artists and their friends, as well as many of the poets and musicians that visited the clubs.
In ’82, with the advent of AIDS sweeping the clubs, soon many closed down and he took a job as a civilian photographer for NYPD for the next 20 years. He was there that day on 911 where he witnessed his favorite buildings fall. A year later he moved out west.
His work has been published and exhibited worldwide and is in many collections including MoMA, The Tate, Schunck Museum, Lotte Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Keith Haring Foundation, Image Bank, Getty Library and Museum of NYC.
Joseph now lives in Phoenix, Arizona with his wife and works at Image Craft as an image quality specialist.
Downtown Artists Collective
50 W. Edgemont Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85003-1009
Allison Moyers is an oil painter and multi-disciplinary artist from Texas. She studied in France where she received her degree in Fine Arts and graduated with honors from ESAD de Valenciennes in 2015. When she finished her studies she and her husband moved back to the United States. She now lives and works in Phoenix, Arizona.
My work explores the subjects of stardom, vanity and excess within society with an emphasis on woman and the feminine. I am fascinated by western culture’s obsession with beauty in film, poetry and classic painting that have created idealized versions of reality. The stylized and romanticized art indispensable elements in my work and correspond to the methodic use of color that expresses human emotions through their psychological representations
I spent my formative art years in Europe where I got my degree. As an American, I was immersed in French culture while remaining somewhat idealistic and naive; inspiring much of the poetry and romanticism of my work. When studying art history I was always fascinated by the female figure and how it was betrayed through masculine interpretation. The male as the artist and the female as the specimen inspires the voyeurism in my work and is in direct connection to my own feelings of being watched and observed.
Much of my inspiration comes from navigating the world with the knowledge of my womanhood. Essentially, I am the women in my paintings and I experience their emotions in dreamlike environment where my feelings are acceptable. I am always making a voyage in connection to my characters and I am in a way expressing what is inside me, what is hidden and forbidden, and what I would never be able to touch in reality.
Phoenix, AZ-based artist, Carol Quijada works in oil, textiles and mixed media. Her focus in still life oils reveals her fascination with light, shadow and reflections, all integral elements in her work. For more than three decades, her work has been exhibited in galleries throughout Arizona. In 2008, she was honored to represent her home district and create an ornament for the White House Christmas tree and attend the reception held in honor of all the participating artists.
Carol earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in oil painting and figure study from Occidental College and her Master of Arts degree in textiles from Cornell University. She also lived, painted and studied in the Philippines, Ecuador and Peru.
“Emergence: The Art of Jason Hugger” probes deep headspace
Exhibition of 14 new oil paintings opens at Fair Trade Café on November 28
Open portals to strange new worlds at your local coffee shop. This winter, the walls of Fair Trade Café in downtown Phoenix will display an array of enigmatic scenes: visages of machine guts growing from rolling hills; exotic windmill shapes standing sharp and sentinel in a glowing desert; unusual tubes arching like aortas from assorted gears and gadgets.
What are they? Where are they? The viewer’s impressions become the stories in the exhibition “Emergence: The Art of Jason Hugger,” on display at Fair Trade Café from November 28, 2021 through January 1, 2022.
Organized by Philip Talarico of Downtown Artists Collective, “Emergence” showcases 14 new Jason Hugger oil paintings on canvas. Each scene reimagines discarded objects from Hugger’s collection of junk muses into characters that occupy curious landscapes with a plethora of potential purposes.
“The general basis of my work is painting as an exploration of the worlds in my mind. I love the desolateness and isolation of the desert, and it creates objects with a kind of anonymity to them,” Hugger says. “You don’t really know what their purpose was before they ended up in my paintings. I find that mystery very intriguing when creating a composition.”
Hugger has shown his work in dozens of shows at galleries around Arizona since the 1990s, but there’s something different about “Emergence,” he says. “In recent years, I’ve been using more dramatic scale, in terms of how the objects look in a space. I’ve made them look more… romantic, as opposed to classical. With classical space, everything is kind of in an enclosure. Romantic is more open. I believe these paintings are more open, they have more scenery, and the objects tend to be a little bit more mysterious than in past works.”
One of the paintings, “Starfarer,” depicts a box-shaped vessel that could have once been anything from a TV to some sort of compartment in a larger appliance. “I used an object that was very machine-like and organic at the same time,” Hugger says. “It’s reminiscent of some sort of alien spacecraft that landed on a deserted world and it’s been abandoned there for centuries or even eons. That in itself presents a kind of mystery to the scene.”
Another painting in the exhibition, “Amalgamation,” creates cohesion out of chaotic shapes and jagged bits, forming something familiar yet obscure. “The definition of the word ‘amalgamation’ is joining two or more elements to create stability,” Hugger says. “In that painting are a variety of machine parts that are separate, but they’re working together for a common purpose – whatever that purpose is.”
“Emergence: The Art of Jason Hugger” will be on display at Fair Trade Café, 1020 N. First Avenue in Phoenix from November 28, 2021 through January 1, 2022. A reception with the artist takes place on December 4 from 4 to 7 p.m. For more information, visit jasonhuggerart.com.
What: “Emergence: The Art of Jason Hugger”
When: November 28, 2021 through January 1, 2022 (artist reception December 4)
Where: Fair Trade Café, 1020 N. First Avenue, Phoenix
The son of Such Styles, Champ Styles has been around the Graffiti scene his whole life. A toddler in the train yards, Champ has aspired to keep his father’s legacy alive through his art. Even though the Spray can is his tool of choice, Champ does enjoy making cartoons in the format of *The Classics which were cartoons from the 1920’s all the way to the 70’s. Champ has many murals throughout the valley, some with his father and some without. He also has work owned by museums such as The MIM and the Mesa Art Center to being featured in various galleries across the US. Champ is also the curator for shows such as The Sticker Shogun, which feature all walks of forms of styles from Graffiti to stickers.
Downtown Artists Collective
50 W. Edgemont Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85003-1009
Edgar “8ahau” Fernandez
Edgar “8ahau” Fernandez was born in Los Angeles, California in 1990. In 2000 his family moved to Phoenix, Arizona where Edgar embraced his Xicano/x identity and his passion for creating resilience work that continues the story of his ancestors. It was through the process of collaborating with his community that sparked his motivation to be a full-time artist. Fernandez continued to strive towards higher education and recently completed his BFA in painting at ASU in 2019. Since 2013, he has accomplished public recognition in Arizona through solo exhibitions, group shows, awards, mural projects. Edgar's focus is to create artwork that inspires creativity, imagination, resilience, and liberation within his audience.
Chela is a self-taught community artist born in Durango Mexico based in Phoenix, AZ. Her favorite medium is watercolor and ink. Specializes in illustrations inspired by stories, feelings and poems. Chela has illustrated for Raquel Gutiérrez - ECONO TEXTUAL OBJECTS, Chef Maria Parra Cano – Sana Sana Foods, Luis Ávila author of Nómada Temporal and Fernanda Marroquín author of Bloom. Chela has collaborated with Gloria Martinez - Granados, Chandra Narcia, Carla Chavarria and Edgar “8ahau” Fernandez. Her illustrations were published on the Hayden’s Ferry Review Spring/Summer – Magic Issue 64. She has shown her art in Phoenix, Tucson, Los Angeles, New Mexico, Washington D.C. and New York.
Hector D. Llamas
Hector was raised in the small border town of San Luis Rio Colorado Sonora (Mexico). He lived there until his late teens and later went on to study in the United States. He earned an Associate degree in Arizona Western Collage. He always enjoyed art, and even though some of his work was published and he sold drawings and paintings throughout college. He never thought he would make a living at it, so he focused his energy on other things. His goal was to become law enforcement like his father, in fact, his studies focused in Criminal Justice and Sociology.
For the last 16 years Hector D. Llamas has acquired a modest yet innate reputation with firsthand experience of the art world from a unique perspective. From some of the best interior designer in Arizona to an endless diversity of artist and art collectors.
Don’t miss this special series of paintings created especially for Fair Trade Cafe.
On display and for sale from August 29th through September 26th.
Hector’s website is http://www.hectordllamasfineart.com/
Favio Ulises Ramos
Favio Ulises Ramos is a local artist, born in Phoenix, Arizona, and educated in Mexico and Arizona. He has been drawing since a very young age. At the age of 16, he moved back to Arizona and attended Desert Mountain High School where he took art classes and started painting in various forms including portraits, landscapes, and cubism. After graduating from Desert Mountain, Favio traveled to Italy and was amazed by the renaissance and modern art that he discovered. This experience reaffirmed that painting was definitely his passion. Upon his return, he continued to study art at Scottsdale Community College and ASU.
His biggest inspirations are Salvador Dali, Cezanne, Marcel Duchamp, Jose Clemente Orozco and Picasso. He has lived in Ogden, Utah where he participated in various art events and festivals and was a member of the Ogden Arts Community. As of 2014, Favio is currently an active member in the Valley of the Sun Arts Community. He regularly participates in Phoenix First Fridays, Mesa Second Fridays, and Scottsdale Artisan Markets.
Favio describes his style as “neo-cubisurrealism” – or a new form of expressing reality combining cubism and surrealism with a nice harmony of color.
Downtown Artists Collective
50 W. Edgemont Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85003-1009
Harold Lohner has created 18 exquisite monoprints especially for his show at Fair Trade Cafe in July. Harold says, "Faces & Vases is a whimsical series of monoprints on fabric that imagines vessels as human characters. Created with this exhibition opportunity in mind, these prints combine my love of layered color and pattern with an interest in portraiture. I hope that viewers connect with these quirky individuals, perhaps adopting them into their homes and giving them names that reflect their personalities. The framed works on paper are more typical of my work.
Harold Lohner is an artist and font designer. After a long career as a college art professor, he retired to Arizona to devote more time to his printmaking. His solo show “Forbidden Colors” at Mesa Arts Center was well-received earlier this year. Harold maintains a studio at Desert Sun Plaza on Grand Avenue in Phoenix that is open for visitors on most First Fridays. He lives in Phoenix with his husband, Al Martino
Born in Mexico City, Luisa Leon has always been connected to the culture and traditions of Mexico. Her passion for art has grown with the years and it transformed from a hobby to a full-time career in 2018 when she left her full-time management job to open AzLotusArt.
AzLotusArt provides art services to people through classes, workshops, events, public speaking, commissioned work, murals and more. The Vision is to provide art to those who may have not experienced it before. The process of creating art and experiencing it up close and personal can make a difference in people’s lives.
Luisa was ready to celebrate the 2-year anniversary of AzLotusArt in June 2020. With the news of Covid and closures, all her events and classes were cancelled. It was at this time that Luisa decided to turn into art to serve others during some difficult times.
In April 2020, Luisa began hosting “Painting Lives with Luisa”. A series of free Instagram Live classes for people to tune in each night and enjoy the calmness and healing art brings. The classes went on for 100 consecutive nights bringing people from all over the nation, Canada, Mexico, and even India to connect through art and become a community of artists.
This month, Luisa celebrates her two years of turning her dreams into goals and the blooming that comes from muddy situations in life.
Through the classes, some students found their passion and voice and are now creating on their own.
The space is shared today with original pieces by Luisa Leon and some of those students who are now inspiring others. Luisa hopes that other generations get inspired too, like her daughter, to become who they want to be in this life.
You can find information about Luisa, AzLotusArt, her community and future events at http://www.azlotusart.com/
IG – FB - Twitter - Tiktok: @azlotusart
CHICANO/LATINO ART shows BEAUTY, PAIN, POLITICS and HEALING
MARTIN MORENO was born in Adrian, Michigan where he grew up speaking Spanish at home and English in school. His parents, with Martin and sisters in tow, worked in the fields and later in the foundries. He remembers listening to stories about his past from his large extended family. He credits these experiences with providing much of the subject matter, which he depicts in his artwork these images come to life in his sculpture, murals, paintings and mosaics. But beauty is not the only thing Mr. Moreno paints.
Some of the murals he creates, while at first glance look beautiful and carefree, are often upon closer inspection, full of images that make up our reality in the 21st century. Images of our people losing their lives to drugs, alcohol, and other abuses, due to the hand they were dealt, are sometimes depicted amongst the Aloe Vera plants that provide us with healing powers. Political statements are made in his mono-prints, which spur conversation, heated or otherwise. Moreno states he will continue to produce both types of art, but his favorite by far are those pieces that make people think; make them wonder about past decisions, and make them hope for a better future.
Currently Moreno is an Art Instructor at NFL YET Academy and past Art Director of Las Artes de Maricopa County. He is a founding board member of ALAC (Arizona Latin@ Arts and Cultural Center) established in Phoenix, which was the first Latino Cultural Center in the State. He was one of twelve Chicano/Latino artists selected for the “Locals Only” exhibition at the Phoenix Art Museum. The exhibit is of historical importance because it is the first exhibit featuring Chicano/Latino artist in the museums history. In 2011 he received the Arizona Governor’s Artist of the Year award. Currently he is part of the Moreno/Costello, team, which has been commissioned to design one of the Valley Metro Light Rail stations in the South Mountain community.
Moreno’s thought provoking work is the perfect fit for a display this month at the socially conscious eatery, Fair Trade Café (1020 N. 1st Avenue), that serves fair trade coffee and baked goods, owned by Stephanie Vasquez. Stephanie was a public supporter of Arizona’s Proposition 206, a successful 2016 ballot measure to increase the state’s minimum wage and guarantee paid sick days for workers. She continues to welcome the community to her café and continues being an active supporter for equal rights for all.
Local artists Carol Roque and Aldo Jeffrey will be featured this month at Fair Trade Cafe.
Carol is a self-taught oil painter. Her work primarily consists of portraits of characters from her imagination. She has been drawing ever since she can remember. Art is a way for her to express emotions and feelings she can empathize with, as well as explore ideas she finds intriguing. She moved to Arizona from California when she was 11, and has been pursuing a career in art for almost a decade. As she puts it, “painting can sometimes be a coping mechanism, other times, a craft, an obsession, a way of life…sometimes, it’s everything.
Aldo is an aspiring game developer. He was born in Guyana but has lived in Arizona for over a decade now. While he has been making and selling art at First Fridays for over a decade, he sees himself more as a storyteller than a fine artist. Carol and Aldo collaborate under the pseudonym of Broke Bot. Together they create artwork that blends their styles and interests together seamlessly, creating something greater than the sum of its parts. The name BrokeBot comes from a combination of screen names they’ve used online. (Brokeneyeball and ChampagneRobot).
Carol’s website is https://www.carolroque.com
Aldo’s website is http://www.aldojeffrey.com
José Andrés Girón has been dedicated to art since early childhood.
From his father’s side his New Mexico roots can be traced to the first settlers on the Rio Grande. From his mother’s side to early Hispanic Arizonans and old Mexico rich cultural history.
Family and culture has influenced his choice of subject matter in deciding what is important to express in his art. His work almost always depicts the positive and beautiful things of the Hispanic/Latino culture.
“Andrés”, as he likes to be called, was born in Phoenix, Arizona and lived by the airport close to the Golden Gate Barrio.
His works speak volumes not only to the Latino culture, but to all cultures.
Enjoy the pleasing subject matter and the bold colors of Andrés work at Fair Trade Cafe during the month of March.
- A-Bomb -
JUST IN TIME FOR VALENTINE’S DAY, Adam "A-Bomb” Vigil, will feature his newest paintings, never before seen, from his series titled “Lover’s Lane”, featuring 20 acrylic paintings on canvas of 10 Chicanos and Chicanas at Fair Trade Cafe.
Adam “A-Bomb” Vigil was born in Phoenix, AZ in 1973. He has been creating works of art in all mediums from an early age, beginning as a graffiti artist in one of Arizona’s toughest neighborhoods.
Through his teens, he was creating flyers for parties, airbrushing clothing, screen printing t-shirts, and creating graffiti backgrounds for Rap music videos. His work evolved throughout the years as he continued to digitally design custom logos and develop clothing line brands in the hip hop community.
In 1996 “A-Bomb” lost vision in his left eye in a tragic accident. This event gave him a new perspective on life. Family and Art became his major focus.
A-Bomb’s colorful, Latino influenced, works delight all ages of viewers. His murals can be seen throughout the downtown area and his paintings are in major galleries around Arizona and California. Don’t miss this rare opportunity during the month of February to see his paintings at Fair Trade Cafe (1020 N. 1st Avenue, Phoenix).
A-Bomb’s Instagram site is www.instagram.com/abombtheartist/
This exhibit is curated by Philip Talarico of Downtown Artists Collective of Phoenix
- Chela -
Chela is a self-taught community artist born in Durango, Mexico based in Phoenix, AZ. Her favorite medium is watercolor and ink. Specializes in illustrations inspired by stories, feelings, and poems. Chela has illustrated for Raquel Gutiérrez - ECONO TEXTUAL OBJECTS, Chef Maria Parra Cano – Sana Sana Foods, Luis Ávila author of Nómada Temporal, and Fernanda Marroquín author of Bloom. Chela has collaborated with Gloria Martinez - Granados, Chandra Narcia, and Carla Chavarria. Her illustrations were published on the Hayden’s Ferry Review Spring/Summer – Magic Issue 64. She has shown her art in Phoenix, Tucson, Los Angeles, New Mexico, Washington D.C., and New York.
- Edgar 8ahau Fernandez -
Edgar 8ahau Fernandez was born in Los Angeles, California in 1990. In 2000 his family moved to Phoenix, Arizona where Edgar connected to his Xicanx identity and his passion for creating modern ancestral art. It was through the action of collaborating with his community that sparked his motivation to be a full-time artist. Fernandez completed his BFA in painting at ASU in Spring 2019. Since 2013, he has accomplished public recognition in Arizona through solo exhibitions, group shows, awards, mural projects. Currently, Fernandez works on his craft by developing bodies of work that empowers the viewer through his cosmovision. Edgar's focus is to create artwork that inspires creativity, imagination, resilience, and roots within the viewer.
- Hector D. Llamas -
Hector was raised in the small border town of San Luis Rio Colorado Sonora (Mexico). He lived there until his late teens and later went on to study in the United States. He earned an Associate degree in Arizona Western College. He always enjoyed art, and even though some of his work was published and he sold drawings and paintings throughout college. He never thought he would make a living at it, so he focused his energy on other things. His goal was to become law enforcement like his father, in fact, his studies focused in Criminal Justice and Sociology.
For the last 16 years, Hector D. Llamas has acquired a modest yet innate reputation with firsthand experience of the art world from a unique perspective. From some of the best interior designers in Arizona to an endless diversity of artists and art collectors.
Hector’s website is www.hectordllamasfineart.com
Vibrant, mysterious, and confrontational, “Las Damas de Llamas”
Hector’s engaging images reflect customs, beliefs, and lifestyle ideas handed down through generation, elaborate and simple. A modern and elegant, approach to tradition with a progressive attitude. With his nostalgic and iconic “Dames” Hector Llamas is relatable to the modern believer of traditions and stories. He uses every medium and technique in his arsenal, from printmaking and drawing to painting and glazing to obtain a visual hold on memories and imagination and beauty.
Born Pittsburg California and raised in the small border town of San Luis Rio Colorado Sonora (Mexico). He lived there until his late teens and later went on to study in the United States. He earned an Associate degree at Arizona Western College. In 2000 He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts with an emphasis on printmaking, drawing, painting, and teaching.
Local to Phoenix for the last 20 years Hectors work can be seen in various venues. Currently has art showing at the Herberger Theater, Univision AZ station, Think Art Gallery, The regional Museum of San Luis Rio Colorado Sonora Mexico, as well as in Think Fine Art Gallery, and more.
- Darlene Ritter -
After teaching for 40 years, it feels so good to create on my own terms. As a child, I wanted to be an architect and I loved playing with blocks. I had a whole room full of blocks that I did not have to put away. So I played with geometry. You will often see geometry in my work. I see geometric shapes everywhere and they often show up in my work.
I had fabulous art teachers in school. One particular art teacher that I had for several years really influenced me. He told us over and over again, “We invent, we create, we do not copy, we are artists.” My work is all about creativity. To this day I cannot allow myself to copy. My creations are made with a focus on the elements and principles of design.
I have a master’s degree from California State University in Los Angeles. Along with teaching many classes to educators on how to teach art education at the university level, I have also written several books for teachers on how to teach art to young people. I received many honors as an art teacher and was selected Elementary Art Educator of the Year for the fourteen western states.
I am now a docent for the Phoenix Art Museum and love to lead student tours focusing on math and art.
My art has been on display in many Phoenix/Scottsdale area locations and I have had several one-woman shows.
Shona Longoria was born in Montana but moved to Joseph city Arizona at the age of 9.
When Shona was a teenager her family moved to the other side of the “train tracks”. It was there watching the trains pass by, that she fell in love with spray paint and the old school writing of the late ’80s.
When Shona finally picked up a rattle can, the boys teased her so badly about making the paint “run”, that she put down the can and did not touch it again for 27 years, at least not until she fell in love with spray paint artist Jules Demetrius in 2016.
Unfortunately, Jules had been diagnosed with 4 types of stage 4 cancer before they met. Knowing that he would be worth the pain of losing him, Shona and Jules immediately started a life together.
After seeing her love for the spray can, Jules insisted that Shona learn how to paint. Although she resisted learning, she did insist on helping him save energy with every painting he did for the next 7 months and was always there assisting Jules somehow. Usually shaking cans.
After Jules passed, in order to avoid the silence, Shona started shaking cans again. In order to smell the spray paint in the air again, she started painting. Painting leads to stenciling, where Jules had given very detailed lessons before his passing.
Eventually, Shona’s survival techniques, turned into profit when she accidentally sold her first painting. By the end of Shona’s second year painting, she had secured 3 exhibitions. She sells an average of one painting a week. Although she does not have a website, she does have an Instagram page and can be followed @isprayflat
This exhibit was curated by Philip Talarico of Downtown Artists Collective