While many of us can’t keep a decent castle together, Carl Jara, a Cleveland-based artist, creates surreal figures and scenes that defy the medium of sand sculpture. Jara has nabbed dozens of awards and world championships, traveled the world, and even been featured on the Travel Channel for his efforts. And while many take to sea animals, pirate imagery, and other ocean fare for inspiration, Jara uses sand to inject life into the unexpected.
Chapel Hill artist Antoine Williams, a.k.a. Raw, explores issues surrounding race and class through mixed-media installations, paintings, drawings, and collage. His work is semi-autobiographical, inspired by his experiences of a rural working class upbringing in Red Springs, North Carolina. “My art practice is an investigation of my cultural identity through the exploration of societal signs as they relate to institutional inequities,” Williams explains in his artist statement. View more of his work on his Instagram and Tumblr.
Even if the final representation of Georges Rousse’s work is a single-perspective photograph, the French artist is a man of several disciplines. He also considers himself a sculptor, painter, and architect, having transformed nondescript, soon-to-be-demolished spaces into transcendental pieces for decades. A Starbucks at The Cosmopolitan hotel in Las Vegas doesn’t share the same fate as those abandoned buildings, yet even in this bustling hub, Rousse creates a singular moment viewable in just one spot.
People packed on train platforms and congregated in public spaces – these images that are so familiar to the city dweller are the inspiration behind Lu Chao’s surreal oil paintings. The artist references the detailed, expressive brushstrokes of classical Chinese painting, applied to a contemporary subject matter, to provide an honest reflection of his personal experiences with living in some of the world’s most populated cities.
Born in Tibet and raised in Dharamsala, India, Pema Rinzin uses centuries-old thangka techniques to create contemporary works. The result are fresh, gorgeous renderings in ground mineral pigments, Sumi ink, and gold. Rinzin’s personal charge is to bring an education on Tibetan art to the public and schools across the world.
Vanna Bowles is a visual artist who creates sculptures, drawings, and installations with people and nature as her central subjects. The artist is fond of combining her pencil work with mixed media to create a three-dimensional, illusory effect, with pieces extending from the surface of her canvas and into the viewer’s surrounding space. Bowles has exhibited her work at the Lars Bohman Gallery in Stockholm, Malmö Art Museum and the Stenersen Museum in Oslo.