Exhibition - Figure, Form and Formless

Wednesday, Oct 7, 2020 at 10:00am

Green Door Art Gallery
21 N Gore Ave
Webster Groves, MO 63119

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Featuring  figurative works by Cbabi Bayoc and Maxine Thirteen, fiber and printed forms by Carla Duncan, jewelry by Laurie Van Mondfrans,​ and abstracts by Mark Witzling

Cbab i Bayoc - Acrylic
Cbabi (pronounced Kuhbi) Bayoc is a visual artist and illustrator residing in St. Louis,

Missouri. His work can be identified through unique, bold and colorful artistry, while adding some “phunk”. Bayoc, whose given name is Clifford Miskell, Jr., adopted his name CBABI (Creative-Black-Artist-Battling-Ignorance) during his time at Grambling State University (‘92-‘95).  BAYOC (Blessed-African-Youth-Of-Creativity) provided a unique and deep connection that could be one day shared with his children.
Following the name change, Bayoc was approached to exhibit artwork at an organization called Dignity House in St. Louis, which was a beneficiary for Prince’s Love 4 One Another (L4OA) charity tour. The volunteer team recorded the food donation event on July 27, 1997 and took the footage back to Prince. The rest, as they say, is history. Prince liked what he saw and collected Bayoc’s art for many years. On October 20, 2000, the day Bayoc’s first child was born, Prince’s management called to request samples of new work. Prince used one of the pieces he acquired during that round, “Reine Keis Quintet”, as the cover art for his 23rd studio album, The Rainbow Children, which was released in 2001. The artwork was also the centerpiece of Prince’s first Celebration event held at his Paisley Park complex in Chanhassen, Minnesota, June 13-17, 2001, celebrating The Rainbow Children album and the re-claiming of Prince’s name after the expiration of his Warner Brothers contract.
 After working as a caricature artist at Six Flags in St. Louis, Bayoc pursued a career as an illustrator. Motivated by his love for art and hip-hop, Bayoc obtained his first notable client, Rap Pages magazine.  During the entire year of 1998 he was given the RPM section on a monthly basis to display a caricature of the featured artist. Through that exposure, he was contacted by Violator Management to create the artwork for the cover of the Violator Compilation, Vol.1 album, featuring the likenesses of Busta Rhymes, Missy Elliott, Foxy Brown, Q-Tip, LL Cool J, Mobb Deep, Fat Joe and Big Pun.
 Bayoc continued to excel throughout the years where he draws inspiration from personal experiences, community engagement, world issues, education and so much more. Creating art is a strong passion where he is able to highlight important messaging, while at the same time providing hope. His cool and culture changing creativity can be backed by years of a variety of projects from murals, customized portraits, and even children’s book illustrations.
 Many of his masterpieces allowed him to receive opportunities to contribute to the world and has allowed connections with influential figures, such as creating a customized piece for Muhammad Ali. In addition, Bayoc has created murals throughout Saint Louis for the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of East St. Louis, The Children’s Defense Team, and was selected as the featured artist for the Missouri Arts Awards (Missouri Arts Council). Other recognitions include being an illustrator for a Top 150 recommended children’s book, Young Cornrows Callin out the Moon and album cover art for well-known musical artist group, Field Mob In 2012, Bayoc began his 365 Days with Dad series, that continues today. This was a resolution to paint a positive image of black fatherhood each day for the entire year resulting in a journey that was inspiring.  Ultimately, this established a relationship between fathers in the sharing of many stories of good experiences, no experience and hopeful experiences of Dads of all life stages. The project started a dialogue within the community about the importance of a strong foundation and support system for all children, no matter the age.
 If you were to visit St. Louis, you will probably see Bayoc’s masterpieces on/in homes, buildings, within small business and major corporations, throughout schools, in libraries and other areas  where appreciation of art can be acknowledged. A few things that Bayoc holds near and dear to his heart includes enjoying family (embarrassing his teenage children) and supporting family-owned and small businesses. He also maintains his dedication to support his community and take action to help shift the narrative for African American culture and establishing the breakthrough for black artists. Bayoc continues and will always use his platform and talents to voice the need for equality, social justice and economic fairness, systemic  changes and development for African Americans.

Carla Duncan - Fiber
​Carla Duncan grew up around fabric. When she saw and felt nuno felting for the first time, she knew that she wanted to experience making felt by combining wool with her fabric of choice: silk. With the launch of her Art on Tall Tubes series following the completion of her first giraffe animal painting, mounted on a four-foot mailing tube, it was natural for Carla to start putting felt on mailing tubes. Tall Tube Art is ideal in a hallway or any room with limited space.

Maxine Thirteen - Oil
​I’ve never really fit in with my own generation. My figurative oil paintings embrace the aesthetic appeal of glamorous, vintage expression while sometimes incorporating macabre or mysterious undertones. By portraying my subjects in vibrant, expressive colors, they stir emotions and encourage a certain mystique and individual presence to be felt by each piece. My paintings often introduce unknown figures and stories to newer generations, and explore shared interests with past generations.

Maxine is a self-taught, figurative painter with ten years of experience creating and selling a variety of artwork. She has been displaying her vibrant oil paintings in numerous spaces throughout the Saint Louis area since February of 2019, when she transitioned to being a full-time artist focused on painting and exhibiting work locally.

Laurie Van Mondfrans - Silver and Semi-Precious Gemstone Jewelry
​My work is inspired by nature: I design and fabricate settings in Argentium Silver with intriguing cabochons and semi-precious gemstones, creating one-of-a-kind jewelry. My metalsmithing skills have evolved to generating a stylized imagery and incorporating cast botanicals and found objects into designs.

Mark Witzling - Oil and Cold Wax
My inspiration source is multi-layered, creating beauty with layers of paint while approaching technical challenges with a passion.  Rarely using brushes, I embrace a variety of tools like pastry scrapers, brooms, and even old credit cards to activate the surface. Building up layers of color I then excavate back into these layers to expose the underlying history of the painting. The result is often bold, sometimes subtle, and always, at least to me, optimistic, delightful and engaging.

Mark Witzling’s path to artistic memory keeper has been decades in the making. As a branding strategist, Mark spent his professional career around writers, designers and artists who visually shaped his ideas. It was on a trip to Italy that moved him to helm his own creative trek. Stirred by the frescos of Rome and Florence, where art was intended to be part of the landscape, he picked up a brush when he returned home, diving headfirst into a variety of creative experiences to unleash his own artistic ambition.  His foundation began in representational oil painting, but the combination of oil and malleable cold wax together with more introspective subjects steered him toward abstraction. Studying in the studios of various artists he began to hone his craft.  He has studied in studios across the country, from Santa Fe
and Albuquerque to Wisconsin and Montana.  Through these experiences the landscapes he encounters continue to influence his work.  His work appeared in the 2017 book Cold Wax Medium – Techniques, Concepts, Conversations.  In 2017 he was selected into the prestigious St. Louis Art Fair Emerging Artist program, and in 2018 he was selected as an artist-in-residence at Chateau Orquevaux in France.  In 2020 he is included in Artfolio 2020, A Curated Collection of the World’s Most Exciting Artists. He continues to paint regularly in the same studio where he started over 15 years ago.

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