New York was finally treated to some true Spring weather this week, just in time for our newest exhibition, From Here to There. The exhibition is aptly titled, as this past Thursday, March 10th, 17 different artists came together at the opening reception to share their stories and their art, whether traveling from the distant Upper West Side or the even further Belgium or Colombia. But they all had one thing in common – as artist Mark Hellweg put it, they all brought their work to “New York City: the middle of universe.”

Gallery Director Angela Di Bello speaking with the exhibiting artists before the reception

Gallery Director Angela Di Bello speaking with the exhibiting artists before the reception

Each work takes the viewer on a different journey, and we had the chance to speak with some of the artists about where their artwork has taken them.

Jorge Russinke

Artist Jorge Russinke with his kaleidoscope inspired works

Artist Jorge Russinke with his kaleidoscope inspired works

Jorge Russinke’s vibrant kaleidoscope paintings captures the eyes of many people passing them by, pulling them into the gallery to try and unfold the details of each work. He is always working on a project and is very controlled in his process, usually starting with a particular shape and building upon that core geometry.

“The colors and patterns that I use are all inspired by the memories of my childhood and my dreams,” says Russinke. Emotions are the fuel for his process and are what allow him to bring life and energy to each patterned piece.

 

Mark Hellweg

Artist Mark Hellweg with the people who started it all - his parents

Artist Mark Hellweg with the people who started it all – his parents


“I fell in love with the stars,” says artist Mark Hellweg when asked what prompted him to begin astrophotography. “When I was six years old, my parents finally bought me my first telescope.” However, things didn’t go so smoothly in the beginning. He started using the telescope and even tried to take photos through the small eye lens, and when that didn’t work, he decided that he needed to find a way to see more. 

Although Hellweg photographs much more than the stars, it is when he brings to life the various nebulas and galaxy that he is truly taken into a new world.

 

Insider Tip: Mark Hellweg works out of his own fully-automated astronomical observatory, equipped with highly sensitive astronomical cameras, which he will be writing about for the upcoming ARTisSpectrum Magazine, published May 2016!

Stephanie E. Graham

Stephanie Graham, Core, Oil & Embroidery Thread on Canvas, 30" x 48"

Stephanie Graham, Core, Oil & Embroidery Thread on Canvas, 30″ x 48″

Manitoba artist Stephanie E. Graham paints works that are purely inspired by her love of nature, but one subject that seems to pop-up again and again is something a bit more unique: bees. Graham’s mother was a bee farmer, and from a young age, Graham has been drawn to how misunderstood bees are. “They’re a necessity that everyone ignores,” she says.

 

Her favorite part about painting these creatures? “People have come up to me and said that they’re scared of bees, but loved my work so much that they wanted to buy multiple paintings!”

Gerd Dagne

Artist Gerd Dagne with his work "The Finish Line," Oil on Canvas, 60" x 30"

Artist Gerd Dagne with his work “The Finish Line,” Oil on Canvas, 60″ x 30″

New Jersey artist Gerd Dagne is a first-general American son of German immigrants, and while learning English as a young boy, he became obsessed with American culture. Now, those logos, branding, and colors of the 60s are featured in many of his surreal works.

Dagne loves experimenting with these dreamlike images and wants each viewer to look at his paintings and think, “What am I looking at? What can I find?” And he hopes that if given enough time, the viewer will walk away having discovered some truth about themselves in his work.

 

Gregory Maroun

Gregory Maroun, "Fine Line," Giclee Print, 22" x 30"

Gregory Maroun, “Fine Line,” Giclee Print, 22″ x 30″

Gregory Maroun’s intricate drawings are always on his mind. “I have hundreds of photos saved on my phone that I’ve seen on Tumblr or elsewhere that I love and that make me want to paint the image right away,” he says. He starts each drawing with a particular image in mind, draws the basic outline, and then goes about filling in the pattern to create one-of-a-kind pieces.

 

One thing Maroun loves to do is utilize common phrases that tie into the image as a part of the pattern, like the phrase “It’s a fine line between pain and pleasure” that is featured in one of his exhibited works, “Fine Line.”

 


 

These artists and more are currently showing in Agora Gallery’s first and second floor spaces. You can see their work until March 29th, 2016 or view their art at ARTmine.com.

Agora Gallery is open from 11 AM – 6 PM Tuesday-Saturday. Admission is free.

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