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IGNITION 2: Second Annual Hamilton Artists Inc. Award for Distinction in the McMaster Studio Art Program

March 01, 2014Updates

Hamilton Artists Inc. is pleased to announce its second annual Award for Distinction in the Studio Art Program and accompanying exhibition, IGNITION 2, which honours three outstanding graduating students from McMaster University’s Studio Art Program.

The recipients of this year’s award are Miguel Chavez, Sarah Paisley and Jennifer Shamo.

WEBL: Miguel Chavez, Adam [Expulsion] (detail), Acrylic, Wood Inlay, Snakeskin on wood panel, 2014.
M: Sarah Paisley, Bird Being, acrylic and oil on canvas, 2013.
R: Jennifer Shamo, Untitled, mixed media on paper, 2013.

IGNITION 2
Miguel Chavez, Sarah Paisley and Jennifer Shamo

March 6 – 29, 2014
Reception and Award Ceremony: Thursday, March 13, 7:00-930pm

Miguel Chavez
Born in El Salvador, Miguel Chavez emigrated to Toronto with his family at the age of two. Art has always held a special place in his life and in his own words, he has furiously pursued it after years of doubt. He has no doubt that creating will always be at the centre of his life.

STATEMENT
My artwork explores the human figure through visual art and multimedia. My aesthetic is fuelled by popular culture, specifically film, fashion, photography and comic-book art. I often use graphic detail and colour, as well as a combination of stylized and cinematic approaches to narrative.

My practice is thematic, and often involves series which convey emotions, stories or design elements. I create dynamic and provocative images by integrating diverse media, while retaining an affinity for graphic design and advertising to broaden accessibility. I find unconventional combinations and innovative experimentation to be the most satisfying use of media.

Story-telling is a critical aspect of my work. Active elements of the human figure infuse motion and gesture within the scheme of the composition, overlapping and integrating complex ideas of sexuality. My goal is to create artworks that satisfy my creative appetite and relate to my experience and interpretation of life, sex and beauty.

Sarah Paisley
Sarah Paisley was born in Mississauga, Ontario. She moved to Hamilton in 2010 to begin her studies at McMaster University. She graduates with an Hons. B.A. in Studio Art in May.

STATEMENT
My works combine two major ideas: personal insecurities and invented visual mythologies. They present the internal struggles that come with an identity that exists between dichotomies, specifically the struggle associated with the feeling of alterity that comes with being both white and Sami, queer but in a straight relationship and Canadian but ultimately cultureless.

In my pieces I pair simple icons and imagery with complex painting and compositions. The colours are chosen through unchallenged intuition and instinct. This method is enhanced by haptic impulses that create gestural, textured brushstrokes. The colours and the process are chaotic in nature but ultimately complete a harmonic balance of cool and warm on top of the painted surface.

Intellectual, physical and physiological disability is something I encounter among my friends and family, but is also something they encounter in me, being disordered myself.

My paintings reflect a desire to communicate without written language, which is a medium I personally find difficult for expressing my ideas. The paintings are a visual reflection of how relationships, particularly friendships, are affected by disability, and how different people in these relationships provide different reactions of support/isolation.

Jennifer Shamo
Jennifer Shamo is currently in her fourth year of Studio Art and Art History at McMaster University. She is a first-generation Canadian living in Hamilton, Ontario and intends to attend teacher’s college and graduate school in the future. Her involvements include artist workshops, commissions and working with youths in art-related fields.

STATEMENT
Over the last four years I have come to the realization that process and exploration are important to my art practice. This then has pushed me to embrace the materiality of my work.

I attempt to create an ethereal place that draws influence from the natural world through a spontaneous process. Only after completing my work do I analyze and make connections to plant biology, life cycles and a fluidity of motion.

I combine neutral tones and intense colour with organic shapes, to make viewers feel as though they are within the reality of nature.

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The Award:
The Hamilton Artists Inc. Award for Distinction in the Studio Art Program

Established in 2013 by former staff member and McMaster graduate, Reg Gilmore, in association with the Studio Art Program at McMaster University, this prestigious annual award honours three talented graduating students with the opportunity of a professional exhibition in Hamilton Artists Inc.’s Cannon St. Gallery. The award  provides a critical platform to launch their artistic practice. The students also receive a one-year membership to Hamilton Artists Inc. and a certificate to commemorate their achievement. This year’s students, Miguel Chavez, Sarah Paisley and Jennifer Shamo, have been selected by faculty from the McMaster Studio Art program based on their outstanding studio practice. One of Hamilton Artists Inc.’s primary objectives as an artist-run centre is to support artists at all levels of their careers, and to empower their artistic expression and research. The exhibition space becomes the point from which each of these emerging artists can begin to launch their professional practice, the presentation of their work acting as the vehicle through which audiences can engage with the idea of activating or igniting the imagination, within a critical, multi-layered experience.

The Hamilton Artists Inc. award for Distinction in the Studio Art Program provides a perfect setting for McMaster University to celebrate its commitment to community engaged learning by involving young, talented, emerging artists within the greater Hamilton art community. McMaster University is historically tied to Hamilton Artists Inc. with art graduates from the University being among the founding members of the gallery some thirty-nine years ago. The gallery’s purpose built exhibition facilities on James Street North offer a highly professional exhibition experience for these three recipients and provides an opportunity for sustained connections.

Download exhibition brochure HERE

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