Favianna Rodriguez is a transnational interdisciplinary artist and cultural organizer. Her art and collaborative projects deal with migration, global politics, economic injustice, patriarchy, and interdependence. Rodriguez lectures globally on the power of art, cultural organizing and technology to inspire social change, and leads art workshops at schools around the country. Favianna’s mission is to create profound and lasting social change in the world. Through her bold and provocative art, she has already touched the hearts and minds of millions. In addition to her fine arts and community work, Rodriguez partners with social movement groups around the world to create art that’s visionary, inspirational, radical and, most importantly, transformational. When Favianna is not making art, she is directing CultureStrike, a national arts organization that engages artists, writers and performers in migrant rights. In 2009, she co-founded Presente.org, a national online organizing network dedicated to the political empowerment of Latino communities.
James Gayles is an Emmy Award winning artist based in Oakland, California. James attended Pratt Institute in New York, where he studied under renowned painters Jacob Lawrence and super realist Audrey Flack. James has won public art commissions from cities across the US and Asia. He is very committed to cultivating artists and sharing his work in the Bay Area where he has lived for the last 20 years. As a commercial artist early in his career, he established himself in New York as a Graphic Designer and illustrator, becoming Assistant Director of Graphics at NewsCenter 4, NBC-TV. At NBC he won a television Emmy Award for design and illustration. James is also a two-time winner of Art Direction Magazine’s Creativity Award, one for the NewsCenter 4 logo redesign, and the other for an editorial illustration for the New York Times. James has illustrated for McGraw-Hill, Random House, Essence Magazine, Black Enterprise Magazine, as well as several advertising agencies on both the East and West coasts.
Elena Kulikova has journeyed from east to west for over two decades. Born in Russia, Elena moved to California at age 10. She began modeling at 17, and immersed herself in a world of commercial photography while simultaneously experimenting with it on her own. Self-taught but mentored by well known photographers that she assisted, Elena launched her photographic career in Amsterdam in 2006. Elena's feminine sensibility and creative processing push her photography to deepen the subjects she photographs.
Elena Kulikova’s clients include Wired Magazine, Hi-Fructose, Swarovski, Marie Claire, Allure, L’Officiel, Virgin Airlines, Samsung, Lomography, Yahoo, NY Times, Laqa&Co, Vanya Spirit, Society6, musicians & record labels. Her fine art photography has been sold at the world-famous boutique Colette Paris, Urban Outfitters Apartment Print Shop, and art galleries.
Mark David Noel was born and raised in the Greater Los Angeles Area. In his youth, he longed to see the world and so decided to join the United States Navy. Upon discovering that most of the world is water, he left the Navy and used his GI Bill benefits to enroll in the Academy of Art, San Francisco. Initially an illustration major, it wasn't until a summer spent in Italy that Mark David finally discovered his true calling in the form of open air painting. Inspired by past masters such as Emile Gruppe and Edgar Payne he decided to pursue landscape painting professionally. Now an award winning open air painter, he continues to work outdoors, excited by the immediacy that comes from being immersed in nature.
Manar Harb grew up in Ramallah, Palestine, a city located 22.3 KM (approximately 14 miles), North of Jerusalem. There, she learned Arabic and English simultaneously and encountered a number of languages, including French and Hebrew. She was also exposed to an entrapment of identity as a direct result of interpretations on language, or lack thereof. The experience intrigued her curiosity and language became a central part of her research and art practice. She moved to Oakland, California, in 2011 to pursue her higher education and completed her MFA in Book Art and Creative Writing at Mills College.
Emily Maddigan grew up in the suburbs of North East Metro Detroit. She and her mother used to make sequin ornaments together. They would take a pin and put a sequin on it and pierce it to a Styrofoam sphere, a process she implemented onto damaged taxidermy and evolved through her practice into an intricate body of work. The largest she is currently creating is the Sequin Safari. Emily shows at Start Up Art Fair in Los Angeles and San Francisco that take place respectively on January and April of every year.
“Art gives us power,” is a motto Ollie has taken to heart, ruminating on how vital the creation of art and sharing art is to the sanity of our world. “I think it's one of the noblest and purest of human endeavors.”
Ollie Glatzer grew up around his mother's art practice, which left a tremendous impact on him. “She encouraged art making and supported free interaction around it without expectation,” says Ollie. “Oakland and the surrounding Bay Area was an amazing place to grow up,” he says. “The diversity of culture, both harmonious and tumultuous, provided many valuable opportunities to self evaluate and also embrace differences.”
Kelly Ording grew up in the Bay Area. At the age of 18, she embarked on a mission, to move people through her art. Her paintings derive inspiration from geometry and architecture. Lines, curved and straight, create the dynamic in her paintings. Blues, Grey and White tones with a pop of color, like saturations of Red, Pink and Magenta, she approaches her artwork in a meditative kind of way and experiments with color to create a magnitude of work. Series of explorations, her paintings indeed carry a moving motion, from the lines she draws that have no ending or beginning to the water marks of coffee she uses to dye the paper or canvas.
Hugo César is a self-taught multi-media artist. Influenced by his music background and the urban landscape he surrounds himself with, through film and photography, he captures symphonies that transcend through the contrasts, angles and subjects he chooses. His precision illuminates depth and sharp imagery in harmonious compositions that reflect his perspective on life and his environment. César is a music producer, filmmaker and photographer based in Oakland, California, a city he has called home for the last 22 years after relocating from Mexico.
Of her process, Gabriela Gonzalez Leal, says, "I start mainly from the metaphor but also from the concept of PLAY as a process of symbolic creation and representation of reality; then, as a constructive field of identity, through traditional toys that are an important part of popular culture."