Artist Spotlight

October Artists
- Chela -

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.

You may contact Chela at chela.chelinski@gmail.com | Instagram: @chelinski.art

- Edgar 8ahau Fernandez -

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.

You may contact Edgar 8ahau Fernandez at www.8ahau.com | Instagram: @8ahau | 8ahau.edgar@gmail.com

September Artist
- Hector D. Llamas -

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.

January Artist
- Darlene Ritter -

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.

December artist

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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