This exhibition features an exciting collection of unique socially charged and inspired works representing the youth and spirit of today's culture. The gallery presents the work of seven innovative & emerging artists: Joshua Ghandi Arthur, Dreana Booke, Lottie Nyana Dyer, C. M. Lewis, Ja'Terius Newson, Klo Lay Pla and Tarmarick Williams. The tradition of the Graduating Seniors Exhibition celebrates the legacy of the excellence in the Department of Visual and Performing Arts at Texas Southern University. Check out the digital gallery below and watch to learn more about this inspiring group of young artists.
About the Artists
Bio - Lottie Dyer is a Houston-based artist who has always been influenced by art. As a child, she was fascinated with book illustrations and simple drawings her mother would create. Throughout elementary and middle school, she was active in Art clubs and excelled in classes. As a teenager a career in the arts seemed like just a dream and when it was time to begin her college career, she enrolled as a Pharmacy Major. But when she met Professors Tapscott and Robinson, a spark was ignited. After much debate between the two majors, in 2016, Lottie committed to pursuing a BA in Fine Arts. During her years at Texas Southern University, she gained skills in drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, and digital software. She visited museums, mentored youth, and volunteered with several organizations. Lottie was an Honoree at the Honors Day Convocation for the 2019 Spring/Fall Semesters. These experiences solidified her confidence as an artist and future educator.
In the near future, Lottie plans to complete her teacher certification and pursue a MA in Fine Arts. Her ultimate goal is to develop and host an after-school program for the arts.
Artist Statement - "Art is the ability to express your identity, navigating the complexity of mind and reality. I relish the idea of capturing the way I feel. My art is an expressive, abstract lens, that allows the viewer to see themselves within. I want viewers to understand my mental dialect through their own perspective. I create works that represent nostalgia, family lineage, and the fluctuation of experiences while navigating through life’s path. My work reflects my unique and bold personality. I use the medium of acrylic paint, ink, digital software, and photography to explore my ideals and communicate various reflections of myself."
Philosophy - "Art can be the external manifestation of self and the process to uniquely visualize one’s style. Art reflects reality in its connection between individuals and their interaction with the world. Art is a vessel of expression sometimes words cannot covey. When a viewer is drawn to a piece that artist has created something that resonated within them. The beauty of art is to have creations that evoke emotions, dialect, and perspective. As an artist, my philosophy is to make art that means something to me while using a symbolically abstract approach".
Bio - Tarmarick Williams is a multidisciplinary artist who uses a variety of techniques and mediums to create works inspired by African American culture. He was exposed to art at age 5 by an aunt, whom as he recalls, "breathed art”. He became his aunt's studio assistant and muse, sparking a passion for art in him, and she instantly became his role model. Tarmarick followed in her footsteps by joining the graphic design program at Crowley Technology, a technology center that allowed high school students to explore different career paths. Here, He spent three years in the program gaining experience printing and designing promotional posters for school organizations. It was through this program that Tarmarick decided that Texas Southern University was the place for him, after multiple college visits.
At Texas Southern University Tarmarick was granted the opportunity to pursue a BA in Fine Art. He gained interest in his heritage, culture, and self-identity. Tarmarick see's art as an outlet to simultaneously create and educate. Over the course of his college career, Tarmarick gained a solid foundation and understanding of multiple mediums. Becoming an interdisciplinary artist, trained in drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpting and digital art. Following, TSU Tarmarick would like to further his education of studio art practices and pursue a Master's in Fine Art. In future he hopes to one day own his own gallery space, allowing emerging artists a place to showcase their talents.
Artist Statement - "Art gives me a voice to tell my experiences and experiences of others. TSU taught me that culture plays an important role in art, and this is why my compositions center on cultural pride."
Bio - Klo Pla is an illustrator who has been influenced by art for more than fifteen years. At an early age, he was fascinated with and amazed by art. He first began exploring his love for drawing when he was five years old, and his biggest impact was his older brother who introduced him to drawing. He spent most of his childhood free time drawing for fun, and didn't take art classes until in high school. He participated in after school art programs and won many competitions. However, he didn't take art seriously until his last semester in high school when a friend told him about Texas Southern University. In the Fall of 2016, Klo started his journey at TSU, and over the past four years he learned about the history, design, elements, and fundamentals of art. He was exposed to many different art forms which broaden his perspective, as well as the avenues which he now uses to express himself as an artist.
Artist Statement - "My interest in the human figure is what drives me to create portraits and figure drawing. When I draw them, I am humbled by the beauty and complexity of the human body. I think it's because although the human figure is something very familiar to us, there are so many ways to interpret it."
I want to have a practical or a greater understanding of human anatomy, perspective, composition and the stages of drawing based on old masters techniques. I'm studying in order to be able to draw anatomically accurate figures from life, reference, photo or even from imagination. I believe that understanding human figures and drawing techniques are crucial and beneficial to many aspects of my work.
I am not limited by any medium and this allows more freedom in expression. Mediums that I used to draw are pencils, charcoal, and soft pastel. Soft pastels are one of my favorite because I can work expressively and boldly, they're very forgiving and offer very few limitations. My go-to drawing technique is Chiaroscuro. Chiaroscuro is used to represent light and shadow to define three-dimensional objects or space.
Bio - Christopher Lewis is one of Houston’s hidden gems. An artist with a background in graphic design and 3D animation, Christopher decided later in life that he wanted to educate and share his experiences by becoming a teacher. At Texas Southern University, he re-discovered his love of art, studying under Houston’s well-known artists, Leamon Green and Kingsley Onyeiwu. Both professors ignited a passion to create art using various mediums. Christopher is also influenced by renowned artists such as Henry O. Tanner and Norman Rockwell. Christopher plans to further his art education by pursing an M.F.A. at Houston Baptist University upon graduation. His goal is to educate future generations in traditional fine art forms.
Artist Statement - "My inspiration comes from historical events, everyday life and how they shape us. My vision is to create work that emotionally pulls oneself into these experiences. I like to highlight different aspects or points in life and the spiritual significance of these happenings. I want to re-introduce the old masters’ style of art that speaks to your soul. I do not merely aim to capture images with my medium; rather with careful colorful strokes, I want to give space to express the spiritual aspects of being, both past and present, to create impactful and thought-provoking compositions. Each medium has a unique nuance that speaks through the art."
Philophy - Art inspires me daily. My preferred mediums are pastels, charcoal, oil and acrylics, with them there are no limits as to what I can create. I draw from realism to spirit filled themes. I have often found that questioning nature drives me to achieve. I love exploring the unknown and tend to visualize things from a different perspective. Art allows one’s ideas to be expressed via a number of mediums and sizes. The bigger the better.
When creating I focus on precise balance of shading and gestures, in order to bring about the most dynamic statement. Using a vast array of bold colors to draw attention to things that may be overlooked.