Category Archives: Personal Work

#tbt 2009, My first Exhibition

I am a proud graduate from Umass Amherst. I left the zoo with a BFA, concentration in still digital imaging and a minor in art history. And my final send off into the art world was my BFA thesis project, “Borrowed Memories.” It was my first taste of being an administrator within the art world. I remember being so scared and very intimidated to call the Umass Fine Art Department to schedule a space for my thesis work. I was standing in my dinning-room-turned bedroom in a big purple house I rented with my best friends. I called and stammering out I was looking for gallery space and would like to request the gallery that was a northeast dorm, and for the reception brought a ton of wine and got in trouble. It was perfect!

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#30Under30 – Arsenal Center for the Arts

Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 12.33.33 PMI am so pleased to say that I was accepted into the 30 Under 30 Exhibition that is presented at the Arsenal Center for the Arts! The most exciting part about the exhibition was that my sister, Robin and her husband Paul were also accepted into the juried exhibition! Although the three of us have been involved in art our whole lives, we’ve never been an exhibit together. The reception was last Thursday, (January 22, 2015) and my sister had her first night of grad school – but Paul, my dad and boyfriend and my friend Noelle came out for the celebration.

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The exhibit space is unique in the fact that there are two levels with an intricate installation work in the middle of the gallery. My crew and I walked around upstairs reviewing the works and then moseyed downstairs to where my sister, Paul’s and my work was presented. And then I discovered that I was selected as one of the six spotlight artists! I thought my heart was going to explode, I was so excited! Below are some images of the evening.

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How to Make a North East Campfire | Process Explained

Earlier this fall I had some break throughs with my artwork, I got into the flow and created several new works. And of course, the first thing I did was show my art-teacher sister and soon to be art-teacher brother-in-law for their feedback. They are my artistic sound boards. I was working on some imagery that I actually took while I was with them – back in the summer of 2013 when we drove from San Diego across middle earth America, home to Massachusetts. Over the past year I have been mixing landscapes with some portraits I have taken of the beautiful women that come into my life (my Pretty Young Thing, Women Americana Series).

In every piece of artwork, one must first start at the drawing board, but in my case – the blank photoshop canvas. I wanted to make some work that reflected the warmth of the time; the temperatures and colors of summer slowly slipping out.

First, I came up with this gem:
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But it felt too busy, I was working in some mountains from Utah and two portraits I had taken from a cramped bathroom in Somerville, of my friend Grace (Dali, the best decor ever). I started moving towards highlighting the portraiture features – which lead me here:
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I got rid of the mountain and threw in a photo I had just taken on Labor day of my friend’s family compound (very new england esque, bistro lights strung across the yard, camp fires, egg toss, the works). And it started to reflect the feelings of nostalgia I was going for. But alas, it still wasn’t right…. then I started to play around with the contrasts/brightness factors as well as erasing certain portions of each layer of the photographs, and my final piece was born – drum roll puh-lease.

Introducing, PYT Woman Americana – North East Campfire

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The lighting is a subtle difference from the image above, it was exactly what I was looking for. Although there are only three examples I posted, I had many different versions of the same photo in the works. Some people look at Photoshop as a cheating tool – I look at it as my primary medium. Like I said earlier, we all start off with a blank canvas – mine just happens to be on a screen! 

(Please note, all imagery use in this post is subject to Copyright, all works belong to artist Cory Shea, 2015)