Brian Wagner (Philadelphia, PA)
In the portrait series Oil of Horizon, I investigated the harsh realities Gulf Coast residents have experienced since the 2010 BP Oil Spill. Contextual portraits were captured and printed. I then mixed oil produced by BP with gesso and applied it to the prints. The distressing process, depending on the means of application, never allowed the oil to completely dry. Thus some prints have continued to evolve, just as the true effects of the spill are yet to be determined. Many of these subjects continue to feel these effects on their daily lives.
Jonas Criscoe (Austin, TX)
Interdisciplinary visual artist whose work has been exhibited throughout the United States, most notably the International Print Center in New York and the Minnesota Museum of American Art. Criscoe has also been featured in various art publications, Including Art Lies and New American Painting and most recently was a Jerome Fellow at the Highpoint Center for Printmaking as well as a West Prize acquisition recipient. A native of Austin, Texas, he received his BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York and the University of Texas at Austin, and his MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2008. Currently, he is on the editorial board of DIALOGIST, a journal of Poetry and Art and on the Faculty at the Art School at The Contemporary Austin.
Thomas Macker (Jackson, WY)
The asterisk is used to mark date of birth, the objectionable, or make reference without interrupting the integrity of the text body. The Asterisk is a sign to many. You are only a memory of who you are before. It defines the grace of a dead language. It is sending text versus “sending a text.” The Asterisk can trace human migration patterns across the planet when everything was what it was. Asterisks transcend font, a beautiful distraction from the content. Asterisks smile at grief. The Asterisk is already gathered information. It does not show you how to gather information. Asterisks remind you in the morning that you gripped the headboard during sleep to remain in contact with the real. It is transparent and manipulative. Asterisks are always new with the evolving surrounding text. It requires one to read the fine print of my will: * if my death should ever be a mystery – track down the last song I listened to in my car and play it at my funeral.
I am complicit; natural gas is piped into my home. I am compliant; I accept with resignation the Fracking industry has forever changed the place I live and raise my family. I mitigate my complacency through my practice. My work seeks to place you in proximity with my observations while leaving you room to seek meaning, understanding and potentially re-evaluate your response/relationship to the ethical dilemmas we each face.
Liz Appling (Austin, TX)
These works are made as daily meditations. They are very much Zen influenced. When I’m working I don’t have a single image in mind that I’m trying to translate on to the page, and I don’t always know the direction I’m moving in on any particular day. I try to paint without thinking. I am inspired by ecology and natural processes. My strongest visual influence comes from my career in a natural science library (Life Science Library at UT Austin). Many of these works were inspired by rural Texas landscapes.
They are made by marbling pigment (graphite and homemade watercolor) on to paper. This technique fascinates me, because I can very clearly articulate an image on the surface of the bath' but, depending on how I rock the paper on to the surfaced ink, I will pick up an entirely unexpected image. I think of marbling as an alchemical process, and I think of these works less as made things as they are discoveries I’ve made through a mass of trials and excavations.
William Messimer (Dallas, TX)
I have painted a suite of pictures entitled, PRAY FOR RAIN, depicting the effects of the oil and gas industry (and coal). Pray For Rain signs can be seen throughout drought-ridden central Texas, and offer up all that the state of Texas is willing to do to fight climate change. Acrylic versions of evaporated stock tanks, dying corn, dried up reservoirs, and forest fires are, probably in the end, a futile way to communicate my anger & sadness on the destruction of a beautiful state, but not anymore a waste of time than writing to politicians. VANITAS is my climate change take on the classic still life trope - Later Florida! WEENIE ROAST is my interpretation of fracking enhanced well water.