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Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks. Simonides

Michaela Groeblacher

Born and raised in Austria/ Europe, Michaela worked as a physical therapist for ten years, before her family emigrated to the USA in 1989.

In 1995, living in the Pacific Northwest, she received a degree in landscape design, that let her combine her love for art and nature in her work. The first five years she exclusively designed gardens and landscapes, about two hundred of them. Her most notable accomplishment during that time was the win of a design contest for a prominent public garden at the Center for Urban Horticulture at the University of Washington, the Soest Garden.

In 2000, when moving to Kansas gave her the chance to concentrate on a relationship with the soil in a different way, she began working as a ceramic sculptor, influenced by the wide open spaces and the closeness to the land and the earth. As a result, she very early on was invited to join a group of McPherson artists, The Gallery, and started showing and selling her work in galleries area wide.

Michaela then received a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from McPherson College in 2005. During art classes her childhood love for painting returned. She started dividing her time between creating from clay and acrylic painting, eventually combining the two media and her experience as a therapist in her ‘clay people’

She has exhibited in numerous galleries throughout Kansas in group, solo and juried shows. Her work is part of multiple private and corporate collections throughout the USA, Austria and Germany.

Nan Smith

"The intensity of contemporary culture permeates the media and reaches out through technology to grab all of us. The complexity of this aggressive, layered reality has been growing for years. My sculptures and installations present social narratives that investigate inner consciousness and indicate rare and solitary moments of contemplation. The sculptures portraying the female as a young adult capture the time when there is great potential and the ability for self-evolution. The feminine body is a symbol of the intuitive self. In their form and whiteness the sculptures relate to Greek classicism. Each is an idealized composite where the idealized body reflects the purity of an ideal state. The sculptures seduce through aesthetics. Beauty creates and sustains visual memory. My installations combine photography with the ceramic figure set in architectural surroundings often punctuated with still life elements used to convey a sense of the outer world.

Three themes have been investigated. Early works are based on my concern with contemporary spirituality. The compositions in white are inspired by intimate yet universal memories of feminine youth; presented as nostalgic social narratives. My current sculptures focus on environmental impacts to human health.

Research combining science and art began with, “Garden”, completed and exhibited in 2010. This large installation incorporating over 350 sculptural elements with china paint photo-decals and hanging back lit photo-transparencies conveys issues about industrialized farming and the impacts of current farming practices to our food sources. In Garden, the female figure; carries a carefully balanced vintage American water pitcher on her head. A metaphor for cleansing and supported by her fractured arm the association is that of dysfunction. Fate, signified by her upturned hat, has landed within the field of cosmos daisies. The Kosmos flower has been found to actually remove toxins from the soil. Ceramic seed packets with artist created labeling display imagined “Seeds of Hope”. The figure walks toward a distant, floating window only to find on its reverse side pictures of farmland watered by industrial irrigation.

“Summers Over” completed in 2011 explores the effects of the Gulf Oil Spill upon aquatic biota, specifically the Gulf Menhaden. This artwork has been informed by research collaboration with UF scientists who worked on the Gulf Oil spill clean-up team. Gulf Fish and Wildlife scientists at Cedar Key provided menhaden specimens from which the fish were sculpted. The Gulf Menhaden, a small bait fish, called “the most important fish in the sea “, (H. Bruce Franklin’s most recent book), is the food source for larger species as well as the source for human used fish oil and omega 3 acids. It is thought likely that the impact of oil within the aquatic biota can bio-magnify from this species up the food chain."

1979 Degrees in Japanese Tea Ceremony and Ikebana, Japan House at the University of Illinois in affiliation with Dai Nippon Chado Gakkai and Ryu Sei School of Ikebana, Tokyo, Japan
1977 Master of Fine Arts, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio. (Ceramics; Sculpture)
1974 Bachelor of Fine Arts, Tyler School of Art of Temple University, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania. Summa cum Laude, (Ceramics)

1979-present Full Professor (1997-present), Associate Professor (1984-1996), Assistant Professor(1979-1984): School of Art + Art History, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida. Area Coordinator 1981-1993, 1995-1999, 2005-2006, 2009-2010. Teach undergraduate and graduate courses in UF Ceramics Program.
1977–1979 Visiting Instructor of Art; Department of Art and Design, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. Coordinator for the Beginning Ceramics Program; Taught Two Dimensional and Three Dimensional Design within the Foundations Program.

Heather M La Force

Artist Statement

Painting is one of the many ways in which I choose to embrace life. It is an act of translation and preservation through paint into memory. The human figure signifies for me with greatest potency our connection to life and it is the malleability of the face and its ability to contort into endless emotional expressions that I find most intriguing. With age these expressions become ever more interesting as a result of developing wrinkles and changing facial texture. Furthermore, when mature adults engage in what is considered youthful behavior, there emerges an element of strangeness that I consider to be humorous. My enjoyment stems from exploring the various nooks and crannies formed through these expressions. Over time I have developed close relationships with the individuals whom I paint and I consider painting their portrait a way to further examine these relationships and preserve their memory.


2008 SMFA Merit Scholarship

2007 Deans List
2006 Honorable Mention: Best of SUNY Student Art Exhibit
Notable Work: SUNY Art Exhibit
Canfield Scholarship
Kappa Pi International Honorary Art Fraternity

2005 All Academic Team
Presidents List
Omicron Delta Kappa Leadership Honorary Society
Art Department Award
Dean’s List

2004 Dean’s List
Commissioner’s List


Master of Fine Arts

School of the Museum of Fine Arts/Tufts University, Boston. In partnership with Tufts University (candidate)

Bachelor of Fine Arts, Painting

Bachelor of Arts, Psychology

State University of New York, College at Potsdam, Potsdam, NY, 2007

Painting Instructor Long Lake Camp for the Arts, Long Lake, NY, summer, 2006.

Responsibilities included teaching painting and drawing to children ranging from age ten to sixteen.

Served as part of bunk staff and lived with the kids to ensure their safety and a comfortable living environment

Justin Kane Elder

"As a teenager, the most frustrating thing about high school math is the suspicion that you'll never use it in real life, but as an adult you realize that you were totally right. Snag art from the one guy who is still using cosine, Justin Kane Elder.

Using simple geometric shapes to create vividly colorful pop portraiture, Everett-born JKE creates depth by assembling countless individually colored pieces into complex oversize compositions, an effect sometimes enhanced by combining smaller surfaces into larger three dimensional canvases, a technique inspired in part by his study of sculpture at Cornish, also the most flattering description of your unidentifiable contribution to the family potluck. Highly stylized portraits include the fuzzily pixelated Chels in which the spike-haired subject seems almost on the verge of dematerializing; a shadowy lo-rez self-portrait dominated by blue/purple squares; and more famous subjects like a sparkling-blue robed Macho Man Randy Savage complete with a swirling-ly pastel boa to add some (Ric) Flair. Other artiness ranges from a more traditional take on a smiling red-sweater'd Mr. Rogers, to an inky purple/black Southwest desert scene spread across 17 panels (brightened only by a sign for Taco Time), to an 8-bit Arnold For President poster boasting a black and white shot from Predator, which makes sense considering how politicians tend to drone. And hunt humans for sport."


Justin Kane Elder was born in 1978 and studied at Cornish College of the Arts, earning a BFA in 2002 with an emphasis on painting and sculpture. Since 2010, his exhibitions include Seattle International Children’s Festival (2011), Timesinfinity Gallery (2011), 619 Western Ave. (2011), Deli Presents Gallery (2011), Bherd Studios (2011), Eltana (permanent), Revel & Quoin (2010), Cupcake Royale (2010). Justin Kane Elder lives and works in Seattle, Washington.

Judith Eisler

Born 1962,
lives and works in New York City and Vienna, Austria.

Cornell University, Ithaca, New York BFA 1984

2009 Professor of Painting, University of Applied Arts, Vienna, Austria
2006 Visiting Critic MFA painting program, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
2004 Artist in Residence, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee

2002 John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship


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