Working Art – Meet the Artists

Daniel McCormick creates work that actually intervenes in the environment with the goal of reestablishing the natural equilibrium.

Daniel McCormick creates work that actually intervenes in the environment with the goal of reestablishing the natural equilibrium.

Kristi Ryba, Painting & Printmaking, John's Island, SC

Kristi Ryba creates paintings, prints, books, and stop-motion animations using dolls and related objects, including family photos. She graduated from the College of Charleston in 1988 and received her MFA from Vermont College in 2006. She works out of her home/studio in Johns Island near Charleston. Since 1990, her work has been in exhibitions throughout the Southeast (most recently at Corrigan Gallery in Charleston and SOHO20 in New York) as well as in other parts of the U.S. and internationally.  

Excerpt from Artist Statement: “My interests and concerns revolve around the concept of women’s roles—home, family and the domestic sphere. My project is to explore and understand how the gendered messages and myths about these roles are embedded in our unconscious. The work, (video, painting and printmaking), is comprised of many types of dolls and related objects such as dollhouses and furniture, (the embodiment of all that is female), and more recently, manipulated family photos, which serve as the iconography through which I examine cultural roles, relationships and common experiences related to the domestic sphere. My intention is to inspect, relive and question the role of domesticity in all its forms: wife, mother, caretaker, and home keeper.” 

Sonja Hinrichsen, Video, San Francisco, CA UNCC AIR

Sonja Hinrichsen is a UNCC-sponsored Artist-in-Residence. She graduated from the Academy of Art and Design in Stuttgart with state exams in sculpture and performance/video. She then went on to the San Francisco Art Institute, graduating in 2001 with an MFA degree and a McMillan Award for her thesis piece “31 MUNI-Rides.” Hinrichsen has exhibited at both national and international galleries and art centers, and has been invited for numerous artist residences, film festivals, and symposia over the years. Most recently, Hinrichsen co-curated a traveling exhibition of artists from the San Francisco Bay Area titled “Gold Rush: Artist as Prospector.”

Excerpt from Artist Statement: “My artworks are art/research projects in which I examine natural, urban, and industrial environments and respond to my perceptions of them. I map them photographically, with video and sound recordings, while at the same time researching their specifics. These may be historical details, cultural, societal, or anthropological backgrounds and/or environmental issues of these places. With the materials collected during my mappings and the results of my studies I create media installations using video projections, sound collages and narrative, and/or photography … While their focus goes beyond the reality observed, and ventures into fantasy, my projects relate to issues pertinent in our modern, consume-oriented society.”

Erin V. Sotak, Performance/Installation, Scottsdale, AZ

Erin V. Sotak is an installation and performance artist whose work explores absurdity, futility, consumption, labor, and aesthetics. She received a BFA from the University of Arizona and an MFA in photography from San Jose State University, and has exhibited both nationally and internationally at institutions ranging from the Dallas Center for Contemporary Art to the Centre de Artes a La Universidad Eafit. Her work can be described as a moving tableau that is re-rendered through the photographic process. A recipient of various grants and awards, including the Arizona Commission on the Arts Artist Project Grant, Sotak uses materials such as wood, raw silk, pomegranates, and wall coverings.

Daniel McCormick, Sculpture/Installation, Fairfax, CA

Born in Oakland in 1950, Daniel McCormick, studied sculpture under James Turrell at UC Santa Barbara and received a degree in environmental design at UC Berkeley. McCormick creates work that actually intervenes in the environment with the goal of reestablishing the natural equilibrium. He creates public art experiences in unlikely sites such as open spaces, urban waterways, rural and agricultural lands, and wilderness areas. His “restorative art” uses materials from the watershed, mainly branches and cuttings from plants and natural materials that conform to the contours of eroded stream banks and gullies. His art both frames and restores an impacted watershed, with the goal that after a period of time, once the restoration process is established, the artist’s presence is no long visible. McCormick has installed large-scale sculptures in Golden Gate National Recreations Area, Olema Creek, Marin Headlands, CA; Glen Helen Nature Preserve, Yellow Springs, OH; and in the Lower Arroyo Seco, Pasadena, CA.

Khaled Hafez, Video/Photography, Cairo, Egypt

Born in Cairo in 1963, Hafez took evening art classes at Cairo Fine Arts while studying medicine, and lives and works as an artist in Cairo today. His work can be found in the public collections of museums in London, Antwerp, and Sarajevo, among others, and he is represented by various galleries around the world. He has worked as a visiting artist in Italy, France, and Pennsylvania, and has participated in a wide range of exhibitions and group shows internationally.

Excerpt from artist statement: “In my painting, I use imagery of body perfection and treat them to reflect metamorphosis and the movement from one state to another; for the male figures I appropriate images of body builders, and for the female figures I use images extracted from advertising and from cheesy commercial tabloids. The images are enlarged archival color and black and white photocopies and silk-screen prints. The choice of the image reflects always the perfection of body proportions, a criteria used in all Mediterranean mythology, and a trait that does not represent a significant proportion of ANY population; this provides for my desire to mingle fiction with reality.”
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