Welcome to BLAM! Studios in Raleigh, NC. We are a group of local artists sharing a beautiful, historic studio space just beside the Boylan Street Bridge! We hope you will check back to our new site in the coming weeks as we add new content and you are invited to join us every First Friday to see what we have been up to. This September stop by to see the recent work and chat with Julia Feldman during our First Friday Open Studio tour.
We are a working group of eight artist, from many different backgrounds and practicing a variety of mediums. Click on the links below to visit our individual websites and come see evocative art in a creative, fun environment during Raleigh’s First Friday Art Walk!
Julia Feldman My work is contemplation of employing art, specifically fiber materials, to incorporate social engagement and public interaction. The topics expounded include my commitment to issues encompassing indigenous people, global politics, and sustainability.
I am working on an installation of a wall made of fused discarded plastic bags and pieces of tossed out scraps from bags and boxes. The wall has its roots in the California-Mexican border, not far from my childhood home in Los Angeles. Desperate families tunnel under or climb over heavily guarded walls to enter the United States looking for work. The jobs they find are unskilled and physically demanding and monotonous: the kind of work that most U.S. citizens will not do. I am incorporating many of the goods that traverse the border crossing between the two countries.
Jen Coon My recent work explores the potential of salvaged wood as a printing matrix as well as sculptural building blocks. I combine fragments of furniture with printed cloth, which when taken together imply private space, personal presentation, and biography. This approach exploits the worn (or pristine) quality of the elements and references our haptic, or touch-related, experience of specific environments. During the past 6 years, household and military campaign furniture have been at the center of my inquiry. These long and varied traditions point to the socially constructed nature of home, family, tribe, and gender while also holding up for consideration the evolution of design for provisional living.
Phoebe Briley My work is currently about discovering abstract spatial relationships inspired by nature. After years experimenting with photography and mixed media, I am again fully committed to painting. Only now, I find myself drawn to the lightness and fluidity of watercolor, which for me is so magical. The lightness and simplicity of the medium has allowed a “loosening” of my hand and spirit, which is reflected in the organic shapes and dreamy scapes. And the fluidity has set me free of heavy, structural spaces…ironic because nature itself is actually highly structured. But, my perceptions are much more grounded in a transient, ever-changing landscape which is constantly morphing as seasons revolve. Although my palette is once again rich in color, I am exploring the weight and depth of hues…allowing the subtle layering of color and form to allude to spatial density. This is an exciting time of discovery for me as I feel like I’ve reconnected with an old, lost friend.
Sys Oppenlander to exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.” ~ Henri Bergson
I grew up in a colorless, flat, windy and cold environment. I started to wander, both literally and metaphorically, at a very early age. I was seeking anything and everything that was different from what my stark world had to offer. Through my travels, I found breathtaking new surroundings – in which vibrant colors, exotic flavors and sizzling temperatures flourished. Today, my paintings are visual expressions of this new found world. Acrylic paint is fast, flexible and fun to work with. Bold colors combined with a partially textured canvas reflect the abstract kaleidoscope of life’s internal rhythms, its inevitable challenges and ever increasing complexity.
Elke Brand‘s work is a symbiosis of photographs of organic images, digital drawings, and digital manipulation. Most of her pieces start out with images of people, which then are drawn on and manipulated until she reaches the final image. She mounts the final images on wooden board to maintain the original organic character she started out with. Through the symbiosis of organic and digital materials and images she creates a form of cyborg that shows the evolution of nature with the help of technology. She prefers the use of bright colors to draw attention, similar to mother nature when she shows some of her most dangerous creations. Our lives become influenced more and more by technology. Her hope is that people get provoked to question the use and benefits of technology in their natural surroundings. She has exhibited her work in numerous galleries and museums including the North Carolina Museum of Art, Cameron Art Museum Wilmington. Elke is an exhibiting member at the Visual Art Exchange, The Durham Art Guilt, and the Los Angeles Digital Center of Art where some of her work is archived and shown on regular basis.
Patrick Fitzgerald is an artist, designer and educator working at the College of Design at NC State. I hold an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art and have exhibited (with our interactive team) at a number of museums and galleries including SIGGRAPH 2013 Art Gallery, the North Carolina Museum of Art, CAM, The New Britain Museum of American Art and the Mint Museum of Art and Design. My interests include a wide array of new media technologies. I am interested in the innovative application of these technologies toward artistic/design related projects. Drawing and storytelling are great passions of mine. The creative space that is the intersection of various disciplines and technologies is where I most like to work.