MARY, MARY: Artists' Biographies
Carolyn M. Abrams
Carolyn M. Abrams is a mixed media artist from upstate New York, an area well known for its rolling hills and amazing light and sunsets. Her work explores the wisdom of art that she finds as a passionate artist who is always guided by intuition in her investigation of the spiritual and physical worlds.
An enthusiastic learner, Abrams’s new techniques and unique art materials drive her work to best express her passion for creativity in ethereal and peaceful nature-inspired paintings. From the natural world that surrounds the area where she lives, to the bell that is rung by a lyric, poem, or prayer, each of Abrams’s works reveals the elements of impressionism and abstraction. Feelings of hope and harmony are ever-present in her work.
A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design who also studied in Rome with the European Honors Program, Trine Bumiller explores in her paintings and installations the relationship between memory and experience. She draws inspiration from the mountains and landscapes of the American West and from her many world-wide travels.
Bumiller has had numerous solo exhibitions at University of Wyoming Art Museum, Las Cruces Museum of Art, Fort Collins Museum of Art, and the History Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In addition, she has shown her work at the University of Colorado Museum, Cincinnati Art Museum, and DMZ Museum in Korea. Abroad, she has had exhibitions in Italy, the Netherlands, Uganda, Colombia, and Cambodia.
The recipient of a variety of grants and fellowships, Bumiller also has enjoyed artist residences at Yaddo, Denali National Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, and Rocky Mountain Women’s Institute, among other venues. Her work has been reviewed in such publications as Art in America, ArtNews, New Art Examiner, Christian Science Monitor, Denver Post, and Rocky Mountain News.
Trine Bumiller resides in Colorado, where her life as a full-time artist began.
Kathy Burke Daywalt
Kathy Daywalt is an award-winning and prolific working artist with 40 years of successful experience in a variety of mediums. Her works have been included in numerous juried exhibitions and one-person shows. These works are in private collections from New York to California.
In 2011, Daywalt began to revisit her original art interest: watercolor. She has been studying the effects of the medium on Yupo (polypropylene plastic), which originally was used for permanent outdoor signs. Her interest in figures and beautifully patterned compositions is evident in her new works. More important, her long experience with linocut printmaking has carried over to this endeavor as she employs artist-made stamps, as well as found objects, to create her richly textured, patterned paintings.
Daywalt worked in 2014 with the Linda Jones Enterprises in celebration of the 75th Anniversary Edition of the digitally re-mastered and 3D version of Warner Brothers’ “The Wizard of Oz.” A selection of her paintings was featured at the premier of the film at TCL Chinese Theater (formerly, Grauman’s Chinese) and traveled to the three Chuck Jones Galleries as part of the celebration.
Daywalt began following her calling as a child. Working full-time while being a wife and mother, she continued to make time for art. In 1995, she graduated Summa Cum Laude from Anne Arundel (Maryland) Community College with an associate of arts degree in fine art, and she has continued her education in serious study with a variety of successful professional artists.
A Signature Member as well as a Board Member of the Baltimore Watercolor Society, Daywalt also is a member of the Maryland Federation of Art and Baltimore Creative Alliance. She is represented at Gallery C in Raleigh, North Carolina; Main Street Fine Art, Annapolis, Maryland; Benfield Gallery, Severna Park, Maryland; and Crystal Moll Gallery, Baltimore, Maryland.
A painter and digital photographer who also works with mixed media, Palestinian-American artist Manal Deeb divides her time between the Washington, D.C., area and Ramallah in Palestine. After studying studio arts at the University of Illinois, Chicago, Deeb was awarded a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies, with a concentration in the psychology of art, from George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia.
Deeb’s many solo and group exhibitions have taken place throughout the United States, in cities including New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Dallas, Spokane, Santa Fe, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. In addition to exhibiting at the opening of the first Museum for the Palestinian People, in Washington, D.C., Deeb exhibited in 2020 at Taubman Museum of Art and in a solo show at Gonzaga University Law School. Internationally, she has shown in Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Ramallah, Paris, Rome, Cairo, London, Doha, Islamabad, Amman, Malaga, and elsewhere. Her artwork also has been featured in magazines, journals, and newspapers, and she has been interviewed on radio and television and in newspapers throughout the world.
Deeb’s principal focus and subjects are, broadly, humanity, Palestine and its people, global cultures, creating bridges among religions, Arab women, and freedom and identity.
A full-time painter, Dana Ellyn creates “stories to tell, opinions to profess — all with the goal of starting a dialogue” about her work, whose hallmarks are careful research and planning. Her style, she says, “sits on the fence between social realism and expressionism.” Ellyn, who lives in Washington, D.C., where she maintains a downtown studio, has been exhibiting since 2001, both in the United States and abroad; most recently, her work was included in the exhibition “Radical Fluidity: Grotesque in Art” at the St. Petersburg Museum of Art in Russia.
Lisa Harkins studied art history in college but it wasn’t until her daughter Devon was in middle school that Lisa began making art herself. On a whim, Lisa made postcard-size collages for Devon’s lunch box every day. The collages got quite a response from everyone, and eventually led to Lisa successfully creating, showing, and selling her work in various venues, including Art-O-Matic in Washington, D.C. Lisa also has done a few commissions for private clients. Her Marian painting “The Mother Load of All Sorrows” appeared earlier in a St. Michael’s exhibition.
Lisa is Director of Equestrian Programs at Congressional School in Falls Church, Virginia. When not working, she can be found riding one of her two horses on the trails of the Manassas Battlefield.
A resident of Arlington, Virginia, Lisa and her husband Wil have been members of St. Michael’s Episcopal Church for more than 25 years.
Cheryl Ryan Harshman
Cheryl Ryan Harshman wears several hats, sometimes all at the same time. Professionally, she has been a librarian for more decades than she would like to admit, first as a children’s librarian and later as director of a university library. Her early years in the library world were centered on children and books for children. She told stories every day in the library and at folk festivals around the region. Those stories helped launch her writing career. She is the author of four books for children, including “Sally Arnold”, “Red Are the Apples”, and “Christmas Morning”.
More recently, Cheryl has turned from the black-and-white world of libraries and books to the full-color world of making art. She started her years of artmaking as a girl with a needle and thread, working first as a seamstress and then as a quilter. A workshop on clay monoprinting changed her life.
Harshman’s clay monoprints have won her berths in numerous regional juried exhibits, including “Cross Currents” at Oglebay Institute, the “West Virginia Juried Biennial”, and Tamarack’s “Best of West Virginia”. Her paintings have been shown at the Westmoreland Art Museum, Greensburg, Pennsylvania; and the Zanesville, Ohio, Art Museum, as well as in local state juried exhibits.
In civic affairs, Harshman serves on the Ohio County Public Library Board.
E-mail: [email protected]
Note: To learn about clay monoprinting, see the link for Mitch Lyons (1938-2018), who developed the process and was Harshman’s mentor.
Devoted to “reestablishing painting that can be called Christian,” painter James B. Janknegt attended art school at the University of Texas and, during graduate school in Iowa City, worked with artists Mauricio Lasansky and Joe Patrick, among others. Painting in his off-hours, Janknegt worked as a billboard painter, drove a taxi, sold hardware and plumbing supplies, ran an offset printing press, and, among other jobs, taught art as a private instructor; he retired in 2015 from Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas, where he was the building manager. He continues to paint at his Brilliant Corners Art Farm, where he also offers summer art camps for children. Janknegt’s paintings have appeared in magazines, books, textbooks, church bulletins, and brochures, and on album covers. His output includes paintings and prints, drawings, murals, and illustrations, as well as two books, Lenten Meditations and Stations of the Cross.
“McKenzie reflects our time’s awareness of suffering and injustice. In just those depths she celebrates our common humanity.” ~ Lois Eby, Vermont Public Radio
Contemporary American artist Janet McKenzie celebrates diversity, making paintings that are inclusive rather than exclusive. She believes that we are all created equally and beautifully in God’s likeness.
Born in New York City, she studied painting at the Art Students League of New York and was one of the youngest recipients of the Edward McDowell Traveling Scholarship, which provide a year in Europe. She is the mother of one son, Simeon, and now lives and works in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont.
Janet McKenzie is known for “Jesus of the People”, First Place winner of the National Catholic Reporter’s “Jesus 2000 International Competition. Revealed for the first time on the Today Show, McKenzie’s dark interpretation, modeled from a woman, raised against the painter a firestorm of hateful reactions and threats. “Jesus of the People” toured the United States for three years, and it was on exhibit in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on September 11, 2001, after which the exhibition space evolved into a chapel. Now established as a true icon of this era, “Jesus of the People” invariably encourages conversations about social injustice and inequality. “Jesus of the People” has been featured worldwide in print, online, and in documentaries, and it is regularly carried in protest demonstrations and vigils in support of social justice and the rights of women, immigrants, and the LGBTQ+ community. [Note: See the “Hope” video on YouTube. It is referenced in the Resources section of this exhibition.]
Orbis Books published “Holiness and the Feminine Spirit — The Art of Janet McKenzie” (2009), the 2010 First Place Award Winner for Spirituality from the Catholic Press Association.
Janet McKenzie was the 2013 William Belden Noble Lecturer at Memorial Church, Harvard University. In 2017, Memorial Church commissioned “The Divine Journey — Companions of Love and Hope”. Harvard University produced a documentary, “Divine Journey — A Painter’s Mission”, about the commission. [Note: See the Resources section of this exhibition for a link to the documentary video.]
An extensive biography on the artist, “A Sacred Artist’s Life in Creative Activism”, was written by Elizabeth Ursic and published in “Claiming Nobility for Women Activists in Religion” (Atla Open Press, Chicago) in 2020. [Note: A link to Atla’s Webpage for the book can be found in the Resources section of the exhibition.]
In 2019. Janet McKenzie was a presenter at the “Universal Christ Conference” held at the Albuquerque, New Mexico, Convention Center and sponsored by the Center for Action and Contemplation, which was founded by Franciscan Fr. Richard Rohr OFM. McKenzie spoke about her inclusive art before 2,300 attendees, with another 2,800 webcasting.
In July 2021, the Basilica of Saint Mary acquired McKenzie’s “Sanctuary”, a new interpretation of Mary and Jesus. Director of Liturgy and Sacred Art Johan van Parys discussed the acquisition on his video series “Art That Surrounds Us”. [Note: See the Resources section of this exhibition for a link to the van Parys’s post with the video.]
Custom Prints: https://janetmckenzie.com/prints.html
E-mail: [email protected]
Margaret Adams Parker
Margaret Adams Parker, a resident of Virginia, is both an artist and a theological educator. An artist with an extensive exhibition record, Parker has completed numerous commissions for churches and church institutions across the country, including Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS), Duke Divinity School, and Washington National Cathedral. She has served as an adjunct instructor at VTS since 1991.
Parker is the co-author, with Ellen Davis, of “Who Are You, My Daughter? Reading Ruth through Image and Text” (Westminster John Knox Press, 2002) and, with Katherine Sondregger, of “Praying the Stations of the Cross — Finding Hope in a Weary Land” (Eerdmans Publishing, 2019).
Aisha Renee is an artist and graphic designer whose relationship with art blossomed while working in graphic design. She found her voice, she says, in creating raw and gritty digital illustrations that explored Pop Art, the pulse of her city, and the Black American experience. After becoming a mother, Aisha Renee pivoted into painting portraits on canvas and murals, and now celebrates motherhood and femininity in addition to promoting the visibility and representation of people of color. Notable attributes of her paintings are her intentional focal details and exuberant use of brush strokes and blending to create hyper-realistic images of people with skin tones that vibrate from the surface. Her current body of work is a testament to her ability to reflect herself and her existence in her paintings.
Aisha Renee’s most affecting murals can be found at the History Colorado Center, a museum about Colorado and the American West, and on the walls of buildings in Denver’s historic Five Points neighborhood.
Trained formally in fine art, Aisha Renee earned a bachelor’s degree in graphic design in 2009 from the Art Institute of Colorado.
A visionary and forward thinker, Aisha Renee is a native of Denver.
Elise Ritter, an award-winning artist based in Arlington, Virginia, and Portland, Oregon, paints with water media and inks to create luminous landscapes and abstracts. Her art is shown in many settings throughout the United States and internationally, including in England, Germany, Portugal, China, New Zealand, and Canada. Ritter’s paintings have been juried into numerous national art exhibitions and have been shown in Virginia’s State Capitol, as well as galleries in Virginia, Washington, D.C., and New York.
Ritter has curated and participated in many solo and group shows, including “Ambient Light”, “Divine Feminine”, “Vienna Gold”, “Luminous Grace”, “Illuminations”, and “Reflections”.
A member of Studio 10 Artists, Ritter also belongs to the juried Potomac Valley Watercolorists society and the Arlington Artists Alliance. Currently, her artwork can be viewed at Sterling Gallery and Framing in Arlington.
Collections at Fine Art America: https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/elise-ritter
E-mail: [email protected]
Kathleen Stark has been an active artist for more than 35 years. She studied art at The Corcoran School of Art and Design, The University of Hawaii, and privately in the many countries where she has lived. She is a member of The Fairfax Art League (FAL), The Fredericksburg Center for the Creative Arts, and The Episcopal Church Center for The Visual Arts.
Stark has shown most recently at a FAL group show at the Ice House Gallery in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia. She was accepted into the Art Impact International juried shows “The Pandemic” and “Joy Within” in the summer and fall of 2020. In addition, she was accepted in The Fredericksburg Center for the Creative Arts October 2020 juried show, where she received an Honorable Mention for her painting “Open Heart”. In February 2020, Stark exhibited with other regional artists in the Lenten show “Contemporary Artists Interpret Stations of the Cross”, at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, Arlington, Va. Stark is very happy to be showing again at St. Michael’s; the exhibition’s theme is one close to her heart.
Painter Lauren Tilden, a graduate of the University of Delaware at Newark, was awarded a master’s degree in fine art from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, where she studied with Sidney Goodman, Vincent Desiderio, and Patrick Connors. Her style, containing remnants of the Philadelphia tradition with roots in Eakins and Wyeth, is distinguished by her use of a limited palette and selective detail balanced by a painterly application supporting her distinct life-affirming and poetic vision.
A three-time recipient of grants from the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation, Tilden also has been honored in articles in Fine Art Connoisseur, The Artist’s Magazine, The American Art Collector, and, among others, American Painting Video Magazine. In addition, her work is in the collections of Museu Europeo de Arte Moderno, Barcelona, Spain, and Rockwell Museum, Corning, New York.
Tilden, who resides in West Virginia, is represented by Haynes Galleries and F.A.N. Gallery.
Randall David Tipton
Randall David Tipton, an avid walker, explores, studies, records, and remembers the various landscapes of northwestern Oregon that he moves through. This activity is the basis of his work, which he describes as “the result of trial and error, and though I have sincere regard for my subjects, my intentions are aesthetic ultimately.”
Drawn to the landscape from an early age, Tipton acknowledges in his work the profound influence of American abstract expressionists, particularly their belief in improvisation as “a way to something unique and meaningful.”
A mostly self-taught artist, Tipton studied with the painter Richard Diebenkorn in the first master class at the Santa Fe Institute of Fine Art — “a pivotal experience.”
E-mail: [email protected]
Self-taught painter Jeanie Tomanek began working as a full-time artist in 2000, at age 50, beginning what she calls her “second act”.
Tomanek’s work reflects themes she first developed in her poetry: exploring feminine archetypes from myths, folk tales, fairy tales, and her own experiences. She grew up on a farm in the Genessee Valley, in New York, and her exposure to nature generally strongly influences her art. Trees, flowers, birds, and snow stand as her symbols for emotional states or elements of story she narrates in her work. Dogs sometimes accompany her protagonist — a pale, bald “Everywoman” journeying often beneath a star-filled, moon-lit sky. Hers are the ancient stories that never grow old.
Numerous paintings of Tomanek’s have appeared as cover art for literary journals and poetry collections, including, most recently, “From Nothing” (2016), the cover for Saint Agnostica (Louisiana State University Press, 2021), a collection by the late poet Anya Krugovoy Silver. Her painting “Thoreau’s Pumpkin” was included in the Hudson River Museum’s exhibit “Paintbox Leaves — Autumnal Inspiration from Cole to Wyeth”; and three images were made a part of the “Re-enchantment” project produced for Australian Broadcasting Company. Her paintings can be found in many private and public collections throughout the United States, Europe, and Australia.
Tomanek, who lives in Marietta, Georgia, is represented by Jack Meier Gallery, Houston, Texas; Art Alley, Birmingham, Alabama; The Loft, Marietta, Georgia; and Watson MacRae Gallery, Captiva Island, Florida.
E-mail: [email protected]
Ann Tracy (1951, Waltham, Massachusetts, U.S.) is an artist who works in a variety of media, including installation, digital art, photography, painting, encaustics, video, and theatre (actor, director, playwright). She is a native New Englander, though her family moved south to Massachusetts and then west to Colorado in 1969. After decades of living in Colorado, Wisconsin, and California, Tracy now calls Rockport, Maine, her home with her husband, dog, and cat. She is a member of the Union of Maine Artists, Professional Women Photographers, Digital Arts Guild, and Webists International Artists.
“I’ve been a big fan of ambiguity and chance in making art since my salad days as a modern dancer (early 1970s) and my happening upon Merce Cunningham’s theory of “Chance Dance” and the work of the Dadaists. I also use conceptual and methodological approaches borrowed from my other life practices of performance, theatre, dance, and journalism. In calling myself a “digital alchemist” I’m trying to reference both a classical past and a forward-reaching future in which images with one meaning are combined with others to create new and poetic meanings. It’s as if I’m being called home to a dream world in which fiction and reality meet, meanings shift, past and present fuse. Sometimes I like a photograph the way it is; then the manipulations are more focused on heightening the impact via color, design, and emotional context. But other images call out to be a basis for combining unrelated aspects, which many times lead to surprising analogies.”
Tracy’s fine art has been exhibited from Japan to Maui, to New York City, to Spain and Budapest, Hungary. Tracy was chosen as one of the Winter 2016 artists in the CSArts Project in Portland, Maine. She was a 2014, 2015, and 2016 finalist in the Julia Margaret Cameron competition, and was invited to exhibit at the 3rd Photographic Biennale in Malaga, Spain, as well as the 4th Photographic Biennale in Berlin in the fall of 2021. In 2003, Tracy’s work “Stop” was included in the catalogue of the “Violence Against Women” exhibition, Group 78 Amnesty International, Tokyo Japan. Tracy’s digital paintings “The Power of Romania Lies in Its Artists” and “Message 3” were juried into the 2010 and 2008 editions of American Art Collector.
In 2008, Tracy presented a creativity workshop to feature writers at the Sacramento Bee, a daily newspaper. She also worked as an art expert for KVIE CH 6 (PBS Sacramento) for the 2010 Art Auction, and was featured in Sacramentomagazine in November 2010 (https://www.sacmag.com/media/Sacramento-Magazine-November-2010/City-Sketch-Ann-Tracy/).
E-mail: [email protected]
Hans Versteeg a.k.a. Hansa
Dutch painter Hansa (Hans Versteeg) combined his art academy education at Academy HKU Utrecht (Utrecht School of the Arts) with studies at the Grafisch Lyceum Utrecht, a school specializing in media, design, and communication training and emphasizing the technical and aesthetic principles of the Baus, a German art movement of the 1920s.
After studying with such teachers as Simon Levie, a former director of the Rijksmuseum, and Ata Kando, a Dutch photographer, Hansa pursued a successful career as a graphic designer and, having rapidly developed a set of versatile artistic skills, he subsequently moved on to photography, and from that to oil painting, the medium in which he discovered his true gifts.
Hansa’s “artistic voice is grafted in centuries of European artistic and spiritual tradition,” according to cultural historian, art curator, and writer Anikó Tóth. Yet, rather than paint representations of glass or satin, or beautiful still lifes and portraits, which reflect his masterful, perfected technique, Hansa challenges himself to visualize and portray realistically but unsentimentally, and wholly without detachment, the complex social, ethical, and political issues of our time, such as climate change and the environment, loneliness, refugees, and aggression. Moreover, he does so by painting contemporary materials — cellophane-wrapped flowers, mouth masks, refugees’ gold-colored foil blankets.
Although he began exhibiting decades ago as a photographer, Hansa showed photographs and paintings together for the first time in 2016, thereafter exhibiting only paintings. He has participated in numerous group exhibitions, including in various venues in The Netherlands, and has presented his work in the exhibitions “Peace Week” (Utrecht, 2018) and “Art Stations of the Cross” (Amsterdam, 2019).
Hansa’s first solo exhibition of paintings was in 2020, at Bethel Church in The Hague. His next show was “Compassionism” at Galerie 44, which ran from April 16, 2021, to May 12, 2021.
Hansa resides in Amsterdam.
Hansa’s Book Compassionism and Limited-Edition Prints
Diane Walker is a contemplative photographer, painter, and writer with an extensive background in journalism, religion, and marketing. She is the former communications director for the Episcopal Diocese of Western Washington, and has served on the faculty of the Diocesan School of Theology.
Walker has lived on four different islands in Washington State, and has served as the volunteer exhibitions director for EVA, a national artists registry with online exhibition space.
A regular practitioner of mindfulness meditation and centering prayer, Walker pairs her writing and spiritual practice with her art, producing a daily blog of photographs, paintings, and mediations at Contemplative Photography. She is the author or several books of contemplative photography, including Illuminating the Mystery: Photographic Mediations on the Gospel of Thomas.
Susan M. Webb
Emerging artist Susan M. Webb dabbles in many art forms, from basket-weaving to quilling to paint-pouring. Most recently she began working again with a natural material, the palm frond, which is readily available where she lives.
Webb became interested in all things art during her formative years. She was fortunate enough to have a high school art teacher who opened her eyes to the myriad of possibilities she could explore through art.
Born in Washington, D.C., Webb lives and works in Ft. Myers, Florida.
Kreg Yingst received his bachelor’s degree in studio art from Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas (1983), and his master’s degree in painting from Eastern Illinois University (1996). He taught art for 13 years and has been a full-time artist since 2003.
Yingst’s works can be found in international private and public collections, including the collections of Purdue University, The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, Janus Corporation, and Pensacola State College.