Erika Marie Carter
Painter Erika Marie Carter, whose work has been shown nationally and internationally for more than 25 years, received her Fine Art degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Nine years ago Erika made her first visit to her ancestral home of San Miguel de Allende, in the heart of Mexico, where she took her marriage vows. Exploring the pueblo’s vibrant beauty she discovered the fold art of Retablos and Ex-Votos painted by the local artisans. Her distinctive translation of the small devotional paintings on tin or wood that flourished in Mexico during the 19th century has lead to her painting more than six hundred of her own pieces. In 2010, XO GREETING was founded with the hope of sharing these inspirational works with a greater audience. The small greeting card and fine art print company sells to more than 70 stores worldwide.
In June 2011, Erika partnered with eight other artists to create The Project Fine Art Zone, a unique gallery in Santa Barbara, California, that donates 20 percent of sales to Girls Inc. Today Erika remains deeply influenced by the inspiration she finds in San Miguel and returns two to three times a year to rejuvenate her imagination and gather ideas for future work.
Inhabiting an ever-widening gap between intention and achievement, Philip Koplin has managed to evoke the image of an art career by masquerading his shortcomings as aesthetic choices. He has shown widely in Santa Barbara and elsewhere, and was the 2007 recipient of the Santa Barbara Arts Fund Award for Work on Paper, a medium he prefers because of its easy disposability. Although he believes the “creative” is accorded far more credit and attention than is due, he continues to draw, collage, and miscellanicize, in the hope of at least mildly diverting the casual gallerygoer from the darker realities to which flesh is heir.
Virginia McCracken is a Santa Barbara-based artist who creates small-scale works in various media, including assemblage, collage, and acrylic paint on panel. Her paintings include both abstract formalist images and miniature still-life tableaus. Many of her assemblages are inhabited by papier-mache (chewed paper) characters, which she skillfully places in small boxes. The creatures are quirky, sometimes grotesque, but have sympathetic faces. Detail, minutiae, and make-believe inform her work.
Virginia has been making art for more than 30 years. Her work has been shown both nationally and internationally, and is represented by Gary Gibson Design in Los Angeles and Wendy Foster Upstairs in Montecito. She is one of nine owner operators in The Project Fine Art Zone, in Santa Barbara.
Insightful, curious, provocative, outrageous, and filled with humor and passion, the mixed media and sculptural assemblage work of Susan Tibbles is complex, multi-layered, and diverse in content. Susan’s assemblage often use composition sculptures more closely linked with work on canvas or paper. She moves fluidly between sculptural and collage formats that unmistakably share the same conceptual lineage. Meticulously constructed form a distinctive admixture of found objects, her art pieces demonstrate the psychological complexity of the objects that populate the known physical and psychological world. Much of the strength of her work lies in the deconstructuralization, reconditioning, and enshrining of bits and pieces of American culture, creating idiosyncratic icons of multifaceted experience.
Since 1989, Susan has exhibited in one-person and group exhibitions throughout the United States and Europe. A self-taught artist, she has achieved a high level of recognition among peers, galleries, collectors and museums. Susan is the curator of 2ND Fridays Art @ SBTC and is a partner in The Project Fine Art Zone Gallery located at 740 State Street at De La Guerra Plaza in Santa Barbara.