The 135 artists selected for Artisphere’s Artist Row include an artist from Cuba who escaped in a boat he built himself, an artist whose watercolor and colored pencil drawings are smaller than a thimble and an artist named beer.
Artist Row will also include some familiar faces — 17 of the artists selected by a panel of five jurors out of the 1,136 that applied are local and 94 have exhibited in Artisphere before.
Artisphere appeals to performing arts fans, too. Dozens of local and regional acts will perform on four stages. Headlining is Marc Broussard and Houston-based soul band, The Suffers.
Artisphere is May 12-14.
Hallie Bertling worked as a children’s book illustrator and her watercolors feature the feet of faerie tale characters and hidden objects from childhood favorites. Judy Verhoeven made her first collage with gum wrappers she collected from family and friends. Jerry Maxey started building things and refinishing furniture at his father’s upholstery shop. When he found himself without access to a workshop, he started making baskets. Now he combines both in his art.
Rey Alfonso Santana, forced into Castro’s Army at age 16, set out for the U.S. in a boat he built himself from found and traded materials. His work can be found in collections in more than 40 countries.
Karen Libecap creates detailed historic scenes, animal portraits and book covers in watercolors and colored pencil drawings that are 1.25 inches by 1.25 inches.
Paveen “Beer” Chunhaswasdikul used to operate an auto repair shop. He makes “manly pottery,” clay teapots shaped like Porsche parts and cylindrical mugs that look like grenades.
Performance artist Brian Olsen returns to the “Art in Action” stage. Artisphere will have interactive art demonstrations, a high school art exhibition and the Artists of the Upstate juried exhibition.
Details are available at www.artisphere.org.