Grant Recipients

Recipients of the “Christopher E. Burke Fine Art Grant", for excellence in the approach and quality in the visual arts. This grant is awarded as part of our exhibitions at Gallery 25N and is provided to visual artists worldwide

Briar Tucker(New Zealand) - "Grant Recipient - The Power of Color 2019"

Artist Statement:

Colour has the power to change the atmosphere of our emotions. Colour and light are integral elements explored throughout my artwork. I seek to create drawings that employ the dynamic qualities inherently found within various colour and light combinations. Regularly used in conjunction with the subject of water - through its movement and stillness - light and colour are affected; blurring, obscuring and reflecting its environment, giving each work its own unique aura. Whether it is a playful underwater world, or a brooding darkness, I consciously select images which work with these elements in an engaging way, endeavouring to evoke an emotional response to each work of art.

Briar Tucker (New Zealand) - "Fine Art Grant Recipient "

email: briartucker.art@gmail.com
Website: briartucker.com

Takeo Hirose(Japan) - "Grant Recipient - Solo Exhibition 2019"

Artist Statement:

I was born in Kyoto, 1962.  I started studying photography in earnest in 2011 when Japan suffered from the huge earthquake disaster.  Through the earthquake I understood that the beautiful sceneries are not eternal but actually very fragile, and noticed the importance of taking photos of the Japanese beauty.

My production concept is to express the world of traditional Japanese paintings and ink paintings with modern Japanese sensibility and the photo technology.  For the past few years I’ve produced the works with a motif of bamboo, which can be associated with Japan.

The chinese character used in my first name “Takeo” means “bamboo man”, and that is one of the reason why I chose the motif.  The soaring stalks and regular joints are really beautiful. Moreover, bamboo is considered to be an auspicious plant because it grows very fast and straight upwards. So it has been the traditional subject of paintings in Japan.  I think the distinctive characteristics of bamboo are even more attractive in monochrome images using the modern techniques of photography.

I've been trying to get close image to Suiboku-ga (Japanese ink painting).  One day I tried to change the monochrome photo of the lit up bamboo forest into black/white inverted image, then the black background turned to white space and suddenly appeared a fantastic scene like Suiboku-ga.  Some of the works (Vice versa) are made with this method. Reversing black/white results in rebirth of the works. There seems to be an element of yin-yang.

Takeo Hirose (Japan) - "Fine Art Grant Recipient "

email: takeohirose1207@gmail.com
Website: www.takeohirose-photography.com

Georg Douglas(Iceland) - "Grant Recipient - Flora 2019"

Artist Statement:

Artist statement I like my paintings to be strong, whether from colour, form and composition or something else. I want them to invoke an immediate reaction, either confronting the viewers or drawing them in to the work. They do not require much analysis or philosophical consideration, but rather appeal to the emotions and create an atmosphere. Icelandic wild flowers give me endless inspiration but I also greatly extend the field of view by incorporating microscopic and molecular elements. I like to obfuscate by ignoring scale and jumbling elements and I feel that the resulting abstraction comes closer to nature itself than realistic painting. More details on website at: www.artgeorg.com

Georg Douglas (Iceland) - "Fine Art Grant Recipient "

email: georg2103@gmail.com
Website: www.artgeorg.com

Katarina Caserman(Slovenia) - "Grant Recipient - Abstract 2019"

Artist Statement:

I'm interested in art practice as well as in theory. My fields of interest are constantly changing, but in general my works reflect my thought processes about space, the actual physical space, as well as fictional ones. Using computer programs I manipulate images and constructs new compositions.

Katarina Caserman (Slovenia) - "Fine Art Grant Recipient "

email: caserman.katarina@gmail.com
Website: www.casermankatarina.com

Louis Grasso(US) - "Grant Recipient - Local Views 2019"

Artist Statement:

My illustrations, when considered as a grouping, were thought of on the spur of the moment from quick sketches and foggy memories of my experiences of these great cities. All my work, recently, has been executed in acrylic medium. Due the mediums rapid drying time, it seemed to support these expressions of such fleeting moments.

Louis Grasso (US) - "Fine Art Grant Recipient "

email: 83artist@sbcglobal.net

Scott McIntire(United States) - "Grant Recipient - Blue 2019"

Artist Statement:

My hybrid style of painting comes from a courtship with photorealism, photography, Op art, fabric design, pin strip car painting, iconic object painting, and an indepth study of the creatures pollinating and procreating in my country backyard. These experiences inform my imagery and style: I use high-color enamel for glossy surfaces when depicting the flora and fauna that I encounter. I like to present my subjects as icons that are surrounded by an environment of energy fields that come from radio and cell transmissions, smells, sounds and the micro-biome. I want people to think about what is going on around them as I make the invisible visible.

Scott McIntire (United States) - "Fine Art Grant Recipient "

email: scott.mcintire@earthlink.net
Website: www.scottmcintire.com

Stephen Mangum(United States) - "Grant Recipient - Portraits 2018"

Artist Statement:

Stephen Mangum is a representational painter from San Francisco.  Born in 1954 in Mississippi and a graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute, he works out of studios in Sausalito and Geyserville.  His paintings have been juried into and won awards in numerous competitions as well as featured in art journals and other publications.  His work is in private collections across the U.S.

Stephen Mangum (United States) - "Fine Art Grant Recipient "

email: smangum154@gmail.com
Website: www.stephenmangum.art

Gary Aagaard(United States) - "Grant Recipient - Red 2018"

Artist Statement:

As a fledgling illustrator in Brooklyn during the 1980's, I took on any project thrown my way. I refer to that time as my "snack or famine days". Eventually, I zeroed in on editorial work and soon scored assignments at publications like The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, NY Newsday and The Village Voice (primarily covers). Since the early 2000's, I've concentrated on gallery work with an editorial, satirical slant. essentially larger oil paintings with conceptual content reminiscent of my illustration years. Lampooning politicians, pundits or spiritual leaders who specialize in alternative facts, manufactured outrage, false equivalents, convoluted conspiracy theories and tunnel-visioned tribalism (whew) is my form of protest and provides a satisfying outlet (i.e., it minimizes shouting at the TV, reduces those pesky nightmares & eliminates my quest to prove Jeff Sessions is actually an interloper from The Shire).

Gary Aagaard (United States) - "Fine Art Grant Recipient "

email: aagz@msn.com
Website: www.aagaardart.com

Dolores Kiriacon(USA) - "Grant Recipient - Moment in Time 2018"

Artist Statement:

As a fine artist with a background in painting, printmaking, and sculpture, I now use photography as a source of ideas and a tool to create. My photographs are portraits/still lifes of nature's forms, from flowers, dried leaves, twigs, the bark of trees, mushrooms and other natural elements in their various stages of growth and natural decline. I have been collecting and photographing these natural forms for quite some time and I am always looking for that special form of nature that inspires me. The camera brings out qualities that one cannot see with the naked eye. These photographs are taken indoors, using natural light and a reflective surface. When composing and taking these photographs the challenge is to create exciting and interesting compositions to entice the viewer to see these images in a new and different way. They created a new life of their own through the lens of my camera. I am not interested in taking an exact representation but more of an artistic impression and interpretation that I want to convey when one looks at the final image, allowing the viewer to appreciate them in their new beauty and transformation.

Dolores Kiriacon (USA) - "Fine Art Grant Recipient "

email: doloreskiriacon@icloud.com
Website: www.doloreskiriacon.com

Nicholas Zalevsky(USA) - "Grant Recipient - Open 2018"

Artist Statement:

I hate existential fears. My works hint on how to resist these fears. Maybe this experience will be useful for some of my spectators. And I believe in general that the mission (if it exists) of art is to prepare us to the rendezvous with eternity. We are immortal, are not we? And please: do not consider this a psychiatrist's diagnoses

Nicholas Zalevsky (USA) - "Fine Art Grant Recipient "

email: vzalev@gmail.com
Website: nick-zalevsky.com

Matthew Bailey(United States) - "Grant Recipient - Drawing 2018"

Artist Statement:

I live in the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I have a lovely supportive wife and two delightful daughters. I studied Commercial Art and Design in college, but ended up taking the fine art route instead. I like dogs. Some stylistic and thematic unity is starting to emerge in my work and I plan to augment that more and more as time goes on. At the moment, though, my work consists largely of stylistic and thematic exploration: high brow, low brow, colorful, monochromatic, beautiful, ugly, raw, refined, direct, vague, seductive, repulsive, serious, humorous, and much in between. My guiding precept, so far, has been (what I call) the why not? rule. When I encounter a possible course of action I don't ask myself why? instead - I ask myself why not? For me, the why not? rule embodies the very spirit of creativity. I am certainly going to endeavor towards a more unified body of work, but I will always try to keep the why not? rule close at hand. In my work I sometimes address issues of social justice, nonviolence, environmental concerns, etc. Sometimes I address these issues in a very direct way - while at other times I take a more oblique approach. Sometimes what I'm up to, though, is nothing more substantial than nonsensical fun and visual exploration. I work primarily in oil paint and graphite, but I'm also proficient in watercolor, colored pencil, casein, and acrylic. I hope you enjoy looking at my work as much as I enjoy making it.

Matthew Bailey (United States) - "Fine Art Grant Recipient "

email: msb19742003@yahoo.com
Website: https://matthewbaileyart.com

Simon Hjortek(Sweden) - "Grant Recipient - Dreams 2018"

Artist Statement:

I am a photographer and filmmaker based in the middle of Sweden with a keen eye for the surreal.

My interest lies in displaying beautiful and strange worlds often hidden in the mundane every-day life surrounding us all. While moving through life like everyone else, I focus on applying the impossibilities of dreams into common grounds with a photographic and often nostalgic touch.

Subjects are often strong women being in focus or at times men differing from the norm of masculinity. I want to create images that challenges the viewer and raises questions.

With a background as a freelancer I?ve been working with both musicians and brands which has pushed me forward in developing my style both as a photographer and a filmmaker.

I have been published in Cap & Design 2018 and won an award for "Music video of the year" at the Dalecarlia Music Awards. At the moment I'm focusing on upcoming art exhibitions.

Simon Hjortek (Sweden) - "Fine Art Grant Recipient "

email: contact@simonhjortek.com
Website: www.magnificentbeast.se

Barbara Gillette Price(Espana) - "Grant Recipient - Shades of Green 2018"

Artist Statement:

Painter, designer, and educator, Barbara Gillette Price has had a varied and distinguished professional career spanning 60 years. She has exhibited her paintings, works on silk and paper, and collages widely in Europe and the United States, including new work and an ongoing series of thematic retrospectives.

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, she studied art during her formative years winning a Board of Education scholarship to study at the Philadelphia Museum School of Art (University of the Arts). She married the abstract expressionist painter Melville Price and relocated to the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa where he served as artist-in-residence.

Barbara Price earned a BFA and MA at the University of Alabama. During her 13 years in the South, she and Price were very active in the Civil Rights movement, which is reflected in her paintings and drawings of the time. On sabbatical leave in 1968, the couple made an extensive research trip to Spain that left an endurable impression on her artwork.

Following the death of her husband in 1970, she began teaching at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, DC. where she became involved in the Woman's Caucus for Art and produced a body of work which focused on eroticism from a woman's perspective. In 1978, she took the position of Dean at Cranbrook Academy of Art and helped spearhead the development of the Arts District of Pontiac, Michigan.

In 1982, she accepted the position of Vice President of Academic Affairs at the Maryland Institute College of Art. During her 13 years in Baltimore, she was responsible for introducing innovative changes to the arts curriculum, initiated international programs, developed an artist studio complex, and showed her paintings in numerous galleries.

She accepted the position of President of Moore College of Art and Design in 1994, returning to her hometown of Philadelphia. She was responsible for raising the standards and sights of the only art college for women in the United States, reaffirming its historic mission.

In 1998, Barbara Gillette Price retired from academic life and moved to Southern Spain where she established a design studio and art gallery to devote herself entirely to her creative work and exhibitions.

Barbara Gillette Price (Espana) - "Fine Art Grant Recipient "

email: babsgp@gmail.com
Website: www.barbaragilletteprice.com

Denisa Prochazka(Canada) - "Grant Recipient - Faces Of Humanity 2018"

Artist Statement:

Denisa Prochazka specializes in the creation of large relief sculptures combining classical and contemporary materials and techniques. Large and imposing while poetic and feminine, Denisa's art is intended to be spiritually healing and influential in its symbolic intension. Using clay as the canvas on which she communicates, the artist offers us imagery that is vibrant with mystical and historical elements. Through her work, she offers a very personal look into the necessity to contrast past with present, personal with universal, reality with dream state.

"I became increasingly aware of my feminine perspective and reflection of the life around me. The need for creation became reinforced with the birth of my own child and the desire to heal, protect and empower. I felt the need to portray feelings, needs and a visual conversation within the sublime.  Many of my creations depict Universal symbols. Symbolism transcends the physical into the spiritual realm. My goal is to bring my art forward to public spaces so that passersby can find peace, beauty and healing connection for a moment in time in their life's journey."

Denisa Prochazka (Canada) - "Fine Art Grant Recipient "

email: denisaprochazka@hotmail.com
Website: www.denisaprochazka.com

Paul Gala(USA) - "Grant Recipient - Emotion and Energy of Color 2018"

Artist Statement:

I have long been inspired by the magical and luminous artwork of the Old Masters, the Hudson River School artists, and others. My artistic journey was fueled by studying French Art and History in Paris, France in the early 1990s. I?ve walked the same terrain of some of the great artists, and painted at some of the same locations they did. My artistic journey continues to expand to broader strokes of color and a deeper appreciation of what the paint demands of me on the canvas, not a reflection of the landscape that lays out before me. These places give my work an initial direction, but the paintings always take a life of their own.

My paintings are a reflection of how I see the world and I often get lost in the creation. Through the use of different techniques, including abandoning the brush and using my hands and rags, I directly connect with the painting. There is a kind of magic that happens when you are completely in the moment of painting. A viewer's enjoyment of my art is an individual experience. I provide an initial jumping off point, and then they are transported to their own special place.

Paul Gala (USA) - "Fine Art Grant Recipient "

email: pjvg@nc.rr.com
Website: http://paulgalafineart.com

Michele Johnsen(USA) - "Grant Recipient - Inspired By Nature 2018"

Artist Statement:

I've considered myself a landscape painter for more than a decade, but my Master's work has prompted me to inquire into precisely where my work fits into the landscape tradition and why I choose this particular motif as my primary focus.

The description of intimate spaces and sublime vistas are my response to the way the landscape reflects the light and creates patterns on the forms of natural surfaces. Through the use of graduated hues, abstracted mark-making and highly saturated color I am able to articulate a range of emotional responses that speak to aesthetic rationales, and to psychological and spiritual concerns, allowing access into the magic of those special places.

While producing my work, I find myself feeling nostalgic for childhood memories that revolved around sweet spots in the environment. In order to have a greater engagement with these ideas, I invited friends and neighbors to take me to the places that resonate most deeply with them. Along with the pure attachment to aesthetic qualities, my new work reflects an engagement with events that cause a disruption through the hand of man and nature. I have addressed issues concerning "saving place" through an involvement with installation that incorporates constructed sculptural forms, creating an environment that invites viewer interaction. Ultimately, this passion to articulate the landscape appears to be a long and never ending journey that brings attention to both beauty and responsibility.

Michele Johnsen (USA) - "Fine Art Grant Recipient "

email: art@michelejohnsen.com
Website: www.michelejohnsen.com

Jesse Lane (USA) - "Grant Recipient 2018

Artist Statement: I try to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary… to capture intimate moments and give glimpses of an inner world, suggesting a bit of mystery.  Emotion wrapped into a single instant.

My stories are open-ended.  I want the viewer to create those stories… and to feel the power and vulnerability of that instant.  My aim is to ignite the imagination.

I love the precision of colored pencil.  It can be as rich and nuanced as any other medium. My goal is to advance colored pencil in the world of fine art.

At best, I hope my work is both contemporary and timeless. If there's a theme, it's personal struggle.  This struggle is universal, but also unique to each of us.

Jesse Lane Award Winning Artist - 2018 Grant Recipiant

email: jesse@jesselaneart.com
Web: jesselaneart.com

Stefano Barattini (Italy) - "Grant Recipient 2017"

Artist Statement: Photographer Stefano Barattini, born in Milan in 1958, has focused his work on abandoned places for the past four years.

Like a modern explorer, he lets himself into deserted buildings and forsaken factories, run-down spaces that often echo with past and now forgotten luxuries. His goal? To create a photographic trace of the artistic and architectural heritage that is disappearing between demolitions, damages and intense renovations.

Stefano Barattini Award Winning Photographer

email: stefano.barattini@stefanobarattini.eu
Web: flickr.com/people/stefano_barattini

Kumi Hirose (USA) - "Grant Recipient 2017"

Artist Statement: My perspectives of arts is to express human events through paintings various emotions, thoughts, distress, anger, sadness and pleasure happening around me by deforming and restricting the chaotic world. My works of art are complex and mystical in a way, which come from my everyday existence that comprise dreams, imagination, memories and experience.

Painting pictures to me may be a way to escape from these realities and to get free from stress I feel.

My influences are people around me, friends, family and even acquaintances regardless
of racial background. Everyday interaction with others is very important to me because that is where i get inspiration from that includes ordinary and shocking things in life. I am very emotional and painting helps me everyday.

email: kumimi.art315@gmail.com
Web: kumi-hirose.com