WGS Featured Artist: Cheryl Derricotte

CLICK IT! Featured Artist: Cheryl Derricotte

Cheryl  Derricotte is a visual artist and her favorite mediums are glass and paper. Originally from Washington, DC, she lives and makes art in San Francisco, CA.

Cheryl Derricotte

Cheryl Derricotte

She has an extensive background in the arts and community development. Cheryl holds the Master of Fine Arts from the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), the Master of Regional Planning from Cornell University and a B.A. in Urban Affairs from Barnard College, Columbia University. 

Recent awards include the Windgate Artist Fellowship at the Vermont Studio Center (2020/2021); Antenna Paper Machine Residency; San Francisco Individual Artist Commission, and the Puffin Foundation Grant, (all 2019/2020). She is also the recipient of the Hemera Foundation Tending Space Fellowship for Artists; the Rick and Val Beck Scholarship for Glass; Emerging Artist at the Museum of the African Diaspora; Gardarev Center Fellow; Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass’ Visionary Scholarship and a D.C. Commission on the Arts & Humanities/ National Endowment for the Arts Artist Fellowship Grant.

Washington Glass School blog catches up with Cheryl as her work is part of the WGS Contemporary online exhibit “CLICK-IT!

Washington Glass School (WGS): Describe your artwork method/process.

Cheryl Derricotte: I make art from research. This type of inquiry also leads me not just to economic but also environmental concerns. Observations of current events, politics, and urban landscapes are my entry into these issues. Cheryl_Derricotte_Working.In.The.glass.Studio.art.sculpture.american.clickit.wgs_contemporary

To make my work I use a variety of glass and printmaking techniques. My cold glasswork (unfired) often takes form as sculptural mixed media, involving books and found objects. Warm glass means work fired in a kiln up to approximately 1,500°F. I enjoy layering images and text onto warm glass pieces, featuring public domain historical photographs, drawings, or my own photographs. My preferred techniques include screen-printing with glass enamels or powder printing. My work on paper employs the techniques of image transfers, ink stamping and collage. Over the past few years, I have been enjoying learning the craft of bookbinding. I recently exhibited my first artist book, entitled “Emily” about a runaway slave’s journey along the Ohio River.

WGS: Describe your work in the show and highlight aspects that the viewers should understand about the work.

Cheryl Derricotte:  Most often I create work in series. “Oil and Water,” looks at communities that live in the shadow of oil: California places like Richmond, Los Angeles and Manhattan Beach. The two pieces in the show use historical images from Los Angeles.

Cheryl Derricotte, "Red Alert"; glass

Cheryl Derricotte, “Red Alert”; glass

 

WGS: Do you do a lot of planning in your work – or is there an element of chance while working?

Cheryl Derricotte: I do a lot of planning! Text is an important component of my artwork. I often say that I live under the tyranny of title. A phrase will get stuck in my head, such as “21st Century Capital” and I wrestle with it until an artwork is created. Thus, many of my pieces have titles before I ever make a schematic drawing, much less cut a piece of glass.

WGS: How have you handled the Covid lockdown?

Cheryl Derricotte: The lockdown has been tough. My studio building – where I do my glasswork & house my kiln – closed in the first week of March. In order to stay in touch with my creativity during the lockdown, I took short online classes in printmaking & bookarts; I developed a sketching practice.

My studio building recently became accessible again under San Francisco’s phased re-opening of businesses, and I am excited to get back to glass in July. I have been invited to participate in an upcoming show at the French Embassy in San Francisco, and I am going to make some new works appropriate to the show’s theme.

WGS: What artwork/event has moved you and got you thinking about your own work?

Cheryl Derricotte: The returned societal focus on police brutality, has made one of my series on paper more relevant than ever before. “The Blue Wall Project” maps people killed by the police using data from the Guardian UK’s “The Counted” and the Washington Post’s “Fatal Force.” Thanks to funding from the Puffin Foundation, I am moving this work online so activists can use my visuals for posters and postcards in support of efforts to #DefundThePolice and re-invest that money in more meaningful community programs, including the arts.

WGS: if you were not an artist – what would you be?

Cheryl Derricotte: That’s easy! I already have a dual identity. I am also a licensed city planner. I have worked “day jobs” in real estate development and facilities management for many years in both non-profits and corporate/tech spaces. I make art and creative places. I have never met a warehouse space I didn’t like.

Click HERE to jump to Cheryl Derricotte’s work in CLICK-IT!

WGS Featured Artist : F Lennox Campello

CLICK IT! Featured Artist: F. Lennox Campello

F. Lennox (Lenny) Campello

F. Lennox (Lenny) Campello

Florencio Lennox (Lenny) Campello was born in Guantanamo, Cuba and studied art at the University of Washington School of Art in Seattle, Washington from which he graduated in 1981. While there Lenny helped to create the Arts NW Student Gallery in Seattle, the area’s first art gallery focused on student artwork. He also organized several exhibitions at the School of Art.

In that same year that he graduated from Washington, he won the William Whipple National Art Competition First Prize for Printmaking, the silver medal at the Ligoa Duncan Art Competition in Paris and the French “Prix de Peinture de Raymond Duncan,” also in Paris. In addition to numerous galleries, his work has been exhibited at the McManus Museum in Scotland, the Brusque Museum in Brazil, the San Bernardino County Art Museum in California, the Musee des Duncan in France, the Frick Museum in Ohio, the Meadows Museum of Art in Shreveport, Louisiana, the Hunter Museum in Tennessee, the Sacramento Fine Arts Center in California, The Art League in Alexandria, The Museum of Contemporary Art in DC, the Rock Springs Art Center in Wyoming and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Boulder, Colorado, the Popov Museum in Russia and the Museum of Small Art in Malaysia. In 2009, world famous American art collector Mera Rubell selected one of his pieces for her 2010 “Cream” auction at the Katzen Museum in Washington, DC. In 2016 The Washington City Paper called him “one of the most interesting people of Washington, DC.

Washington Glass School blog catches up with Lenny as his work is part of the WGS Contemporary online exhibit “CLICK-IT!”.

Washington Glass School (WGS): Describe your artwork method/process.

Lenny Campello: I usually draw with either charcoal or graphite, generally on paper and for the last few years on reclaimed, broken, unfired Bisque. The drawings are most likely part of an ongoing narrative series, some of which I’ve been doing for decades, where I tell and retell stories, or express ideas through the means of contemporary realism. Over a decade ago, inspired by the marriage of embedded video in the glass sculptures of Tim Tate, I started to embed video in my narrative pieces, where I employ the video to further the narration process.  This has further progressed over the years to embedding miniature spy cameras, motion detectors, video recorders, etc. into the artwork.

f.lennox.campello.art.ceramic.charcoal.wgs.contemporary.clickit

F. Lennox Campello “Suddenly, She Wasn’t Afraid Any Longer ” charcoal & conte on unfired bisque. Lenny’s artwork is part of WGS Contemporary online exhibit CLICK-IT!

WGS: Describe your work in the show and highlight aspects that the viewers should understand about the work.

Lenny Campello:Suddenly, She Wasn’t Afraid Any Longer” is part of several of my processes. This charcoal and conte on Bisque is part of my “Obsessive” series. I have probably repeated this image, in various variations and incarnations, over 200 times since the 1980s. The subjects which draw my obsession are diverse and varies. Some of them are iconic people and often comic book superheroes – Frida Kahlo was the first around 1975 when I first saw her works in Mexico City, Elvis, the racist murderer Che Guevara, Monroe, The Batman, Catwoman, Spidey, Superman, etc.  Others, such as “Suddenly, She Wasn’t Afraid Any Longer” is just an image that keeps returning to the blank paper. This one exemplifies lack of fear, taking a chance, a leap forward and away from indecision… freedom.

WGS: How have you handled the Covid lockdown?

Lenny Campello:  Not well… I have not adapted… It sucks! All my time is occupied around the ripple effects of the draconian lockdown and I have not created many new pieces… the ones which have emerged are dark and foreboding.  I am concerned that more people will die eventually because of the Covidian lockdown effects than from COVID-19 itself.

WGS: What artwork/event has moved you and got you thinking about your own work?

Lenny Campello: John Singleton Copley’s dramatic rendering of a shark attacking 14-year-old Brook Watson in Havana Bay – depicted in his painting “Watson and the Shark” has always struck me as one of the greatest narrative paintings of all time! And it made Watson into a celebrity!  Tim Tate’s worldwide impact on art history, in being the first human on the planet to take video away from video players and embedding it into artwork, so that the video became a component of the artwork, not an “artsy movie” to be played on a screen, had the most profound effect on my artwork. I stole his idea – which he developed into glass sculptures – and deployed the same concepts into my drawings and paintings.

F. Lennox Campello "North Atlantic Mermaid (Syreni Caldonii)" artwork in the CLICK-IT! online exhibition.

F. Lennox Campello “North Atlantic Mermaid (Syreni Caldonii)” artwork in the CLICK-IT! online exhibition.

WGS: if you were not an artist – what would you be?

Lenny Campello: Running a food truck outside some Midwestern University or running a small Cuban restaurant in Brechin, Scotland.

WGS: Do you do a lot of planning in your work – or is there an element of chance while working?

Lenny Campello: Very little planning – other than compositional… and there’s always an element of chance – especially in the blurring of the charcoal, which often reveals unexpected new forms and figures.  Sometimes that leads me to include a double-encrypted form of writing that I’ve developed over the years, where I’ve married ancient Ogham writing with the Navy’s verbal Falcon Codes. I use this to “leave” messages hidden as cracks on the backgrounds of some drawings – these almost always start by “accident”, when I see a shadow or crack developing into a phrase.

WGS: What is your rule of thumb in determining when a work is finished?

Lenny Campello: No rule of thumb – I just know…

Click here to jump to F. Lennox Campello’s work in CLICK-IT!

Artists To Watch – Jeff Wallin

Jeff Wallin “Improvised Mirror” detail, kilnformed glass. Photo:
Michael Schmitt.

Our second profile in the “Artists To Watch” series is Jeff Wallin.

Jeff has spent his life in the Pacific Northwest. He studied under Professor Keiko Hara at Whitman College, graduating in 1995 with a B.A. in Studio Art. Jeff continued to pursue drawing and painting after moving to Portland, OR. 

Jeff began working directly on glass using live models, eliminating the intermediary step of charcoal/conte drawings which he’d previously used, working directly with glass powders on a glass sheet surface. No preliminary drawings are used, no tests or experiments. Each new work is itself the test, the experiment, the first impression developed and pushed to a final form.

Jeff Wallin’s  introduction to glass came in 1999 at Ray Ahlgren’s FireArt Glass studio, where Jeff continues to work, gaining new understandings in how to apply the challenging medium of glass to his ongoing exploration of the human form. Jeff’s work has been reviewed in the Urban Glass Quarterly, and his work was selected for publication in the Corning New Glass Review. In 2013, he was a teaching assistant for Jessica Loughlin and Kirstie Rea at the Pilchuck School of Glass.

Jeff Wallin and Ray Ahlgren of FireArt Glass create the glass door panels for the US Library of Congress. Photo: Charlie Liebermann. Click HERE to jump to American Craft article on the historic architectural artwork project.

Says Jeff of his work in an architectural glass studio: ” I feel my work [with Ray Ahlgren's Fire Art Glass Studio] impacts my personal art work, and vice versa.  I often say that working with Ray and being constantly exposed to new projects (even though the work may not apparently have a direct bearing on my approach to art) leads to a level of familiarity with the material that allows me to work more intuitively without getting hung up on the highly technical nature of glass. It helps to understand when being precise is critical to success, and when it’s just getting in the way.  Plus, I think it keeps me looking with fresh eyes at both the projects at Fire Art and my own studio artwork.” 

Jeff Wallin, “Lucretia – After Rembrandt”, kilnformed glass. Photo: Michael Schmitt.

Taking inspiration from emotionally and psychologically complex figure painters such as Francis Bacon and Lucien Frued, Jeff’s portraits have the marks of a painter’s perspective and a painter’s intuition, the relaying of an idea by brush– all that expressed in the language of glass. 

Jeff Wallin, “Judgement (Study from Gentileschi)”, kilnformed glass. Photo: Michael Schmitt.

Talking about how he uses glass to create painterly works of art, Jeff said: “For my investigation of the human form, glass offers an incredible medium for exploring my relationship to this subject. My methods of kiln forming purposefully ignore most of the strict adherence to process normally associated with the medium. The work is driven to completion as part of a dialogue, which begins as a response to the model and then develops in unexpected ways as the work matures over multiple firings in the kiln. My intent is to maintain an attitude of spontaneity and preserve the raw moment when the piece first began…There are no conclusions, only possibilities.”

Jeff Wallin, “Classical Study”, kilnformed glass. Photo: Michael Schmidtt

Jeff has a solo show that opens at Stewart Fine Art in Boca Raton, Florida that opens this week. 
Gallery owner Sonny Stewart said of Jeff’s work: ” [Jeff] is a classically trained artist – the compositions of his work show his knowledge and sensitives… His artwork explores many of the concerns of contemporary painting, but does this exploration with glass. Painting exists in a continuum with centuries of tradition while simultaneously embracing aspects of sculpture, installation and collage… [Jeff's art] goes beyond pigment on a surface; it’s an approach to making imagery that encompasses the ways in which a material is used to construct the work, how the subject is approached, and even how the idea of the subject is concieved.”

Stewart Fine Art
608 Banyan Trail, Boca Raton, FL 
Jeff Wallin “Glass in the Classical Sense
November 14 – December 11
Opening Reception November 14, 2013