Since the age of four, Stephanie Blank knew she was an artist. Throughout her entire elementary and highschool education, she was heavily focused on art. The dedication to technique demonstrated in classical art led her to develop a meticulous style and a focus on realism in her work. She later became enamoured by surrealist artists like Salivador Dali and their imaginative concepts. She admired the surrealists because they combined the awe of fantastical creativity and photo realism, which are usually separately recognized styles and can be difficult to combine. She honed her painting and conceptual skills at the University of Michigan where she obtained a bachelors degree in Art. After completing her formal art education, she became deeply focused on her spirituality and that phase of introspection is reflected in her current body of work. For the past several years she has been deeply inspired by other visionary artists who express their interconnectedness with the universe through their artwork. In this way, complicated and seemingly inexplicable concepts may readily be conveyed and understood by others. Through her paintings, she strives to unite the audience by evoking universally understood yet unexplainable concepts of the human soul.
"The twentieth-century was the era of specialization while the twenty-first is the era of multidisciplinarity, of combining all the arts in new and ingenious ways. This is precisely what Stephanie Blank does. A master of realist sculpture, she also excels at photography, creates dresses with beautiful embellishments and striking pop art paintings. What is most creative and surprising about her art is the way she combines all these elements in a harmonious and innovative fashion. This is the art(s) of the future."
-Claudia Moscovici, cofounder of postromanticism.com and art critic (Romanticism and Postromanticism, Lexington Books, 2007)
Rita was born in Queens, New York. She received an undergraduate degree from Cornell University in Communication Arts, with a concentration in Photography and Publication Design. She earned a Masters in Organizational Media from Ithaca College and pursued private instruction with Jeanne Carbonetti, in Chester Vermont.
Rita moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan in 2008 from Woodstock Vermont. She began exhibiting in the early 80's and has shown in Vermont, New York, Cape Cod and New Hampshire. Since her move to Michigan, she has been represented by several galleries in the state and continues to exhibit in Ann Arbor. She has enjoyed teaching children privately and most recently in a Montessori environment.
Her work appears in private collections across the country in New York, California, Michigan, Arizona, Wisconsin, Oregon and Georgia.
Rita's work consists of abstract acrylic and ink paintings and multi -media collage. The work has often been called "spiritual", as it comes from a place that is not in concert with imitating tangible people, places or things. A quote from her teacher, Jeanne Carbonetti sums it up beautifully:
My name is Tricia Hampo and I've been creating art since winning an art contest as a child. I went to the University of Michigan School of Art and Architecture and earned a BFA in Graphic Design, then went on the Eastern Michigan University for a teaching certificate in Art Education. I taught for a few years until I decided to stay home and raise my lovely 3 children and support my hardworking husband. While at home I fueled my creative desires by making glass bead and selling them to jewelry designers. Most recently, I have been blessed to have a new home with a large, light-filled studio where I create anything and everything (I believe I have art A.D.D. - I want to try it all!). My current passion is painting. I also have a great passion for learning (especially about art) and have taken and continue to take workshops from professional artists around the country. Thanks to the internet, I have been able to share my artwork with others around the world. I have sold over 550 prints of my artwork. I LOVE to create and I LOVE to share my passion, skills and experience with anyone who just opens their hearts and minds to the endless possibilities of creative expression. Come explore those creative possibilities with me.
"Love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is done well." - Vincent van Gogh
Kylie is a dramatic artist from Ann Arbor, Michigan. Her performing arts studies at Savannah College of Art and Design focused on improv, which is one of her biggest passions. She attended high school at Ohana Institute in Inlet Beach, Florida where she later returned after college to teach drama and musical theater. Her experience at this alternative school instilled in her a great appreciation for creative and project-based learning environments.
Kylie is very happy to be back in Ann Arbor where she has the opportunity to foster a sense of play and creative expression in her community and in each class she teaches.
Brynn Higgins-Stirrup a visual artist working in drawing and sculpture from Toronto, ON. Brynn has had the opportunity to study art in the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada and recently received her MFA from the Penny W. Stamps School of Art and Design at the University of Michigan.
Her work has been exhibited internationally in solo and group exhibitions in Canada, the United States and Europe. She has attended workshops and residency programs at Anderson Ranch in Snowmass, CO, the Banff Centre in Banff, AB and the Wassaic Project in Wassaic, NY and received many grants to support her work. In 2018, she spent eight weeks in Switzerland and Japan researching paper-making and paper-arts. Brynnâ€™s love for making and working with materials has led her to engage with almost all artistic disciplines, including wood-turning, printmaking and â€” of course â€” paper-making!
I believe in playing with your food, asking all the "why's", and always feeding curiosity.
Art is just like any other skill and that's why I'm a huge advocate for continuously, cultivating creativity. I love helping everyone think through new ways to solve problem and in that, there is a special pride in something you've made, not just for the end result but also because of the effort spent to make it.
I grew up in Michigan's thumb nook, loving all the nature and reading many, many books. Since I was a kid, I've been creating, from pinecone bombs to monster plushies to wire jewelry. Continuing my journey to Maryland Institute College of Art, I focused in Book Arts and Ceramics. While working in Baltimore, MD I learned the amazing arts of Glassblowing and Jewelry-making through working with local business owners. Although I must say that my current passion is Ceramics. I'm currently living in Ann Arbor, MI and baking lots of seriously strange but delicious sweets.