This month, we, Paolo Mejia Fine Arts and Design and Studio-FAB are so excited to showcase this new group art show entitled “Impromptu” by EPEKTO Art Projects.
EPEKTO Art Projects is a local Filipino-American arts group based in the Bay Area, California. The group was formed in 2011. The group will be showcasing their members’ dynamic and artistic creativity through their selected medium. “Impromptu” was developed to (in)formally introduce this locally based Filipino-American group and to share their skillful talents to the community. Their diverse collective engenders their prolific and persistent pursuit of creativity and camaraderie through showcasing, sharing and informing art in a non-verbal visual expression. Come pass by Studio-FAB this June, meet and greet the artists at the reception, learn about their art making and see their awesome artwork!
Art Show: JUNE 1 – JUNE 27
Reception: JUNE 3 (First Friday), 6 – 9pm
Location: Studio-FAB, 2525 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, Ca 94612
Participating Artists (Bios below):
Carlo Ricafort - Ricafort received his BFA degree from San José State University in California, US. His paintings emerge from the abstraction of memory, forming multi-layered contrasts of splashy color and jangly lines that give birth to obscure anthropomorphic shapes and other figurative elements. The works display a post-modernist cynicism over all things pure, yet acknowledging the inescapable connection with its own self, negotiating to make the personal over the philosophical, and to accentuate subjectivity over orthodoxy.
Jose Johann Bitancor - Jose Johann Bitancor is a Filipino painter and graphic designer with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Far Eastern University in the Philippines. Prior to his migration to the United States, his creative outputs were devoted entirely to the Applied Arts, particularly Exhibition Design and Collateral Design. Upon his first settlement in Memphis Tennessee, his innate inkling to work with hands and play with materials has led to experiments in woodcarving and wire sculptures. He pursued a short stint at the University of Memphis-Tennessee to further increase his knowledge and feed his then growing appetite for the Fine Arts. His efforts quickly led to his participation in local art groups’ events and managed to receive a Portfolio Merit Scholarship from the Memphis College of Art-Tennessee.
Kimberley Arteche - Kim was born in Silver Spring, Maryland, and grew up in the DMV. She currently lives in the foggy hills of Daly City in San Francisco’s Bay Area. Kim received her BFA in Visual Arts/Photography from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and is pursuing her MFA at San Francisco State University. She will complete her Masters in spring of 2016.
Leon Saperstein - Born in Oakland, California, a city of great cultural diversity. Leon has grown to enjoy the same rewards from seeking out these diverse experiences the world over. Having had the opportunity to travel to over 25 countries, Leon has developed quite an eye to find beauty in all places and faces. Leon professes, "I love being able to show people the beauty that is right in front of them, yet they have never seen." Leon got his taste for fashion during his 12 years living in Paris, France, and had the opportunity to work with many international editions of the most prestigious magazines in the world: Harper's Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, Tatler, Marie Claire, Elle, l'Officiel and many others. He's worked with some famous models, but still says that the greatest reward is when normal people tell him how they became more confident or felt more beautiful because of what they learned about themselves during their photoshoot with Leon. He has also grown to be a great teacher, and enjoys the psychology behind what inspires us to thrive and blossom as humans.
Along side Leon's commercial photography career, Leon has been producing a collection of spectacular art images with a very unique and difficult lighting technique called "light-painting". He has been exhibited in galleries in countries around the world and is now looking to publish his first art book called "Love and Light".
Maria Urbi - Maria is a freelance illustrator and exhibiting artist based in Oakland CA. She received her BFA in illustration at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco CA. She has exhibited in galleries such as 111 Minna, Wonderland SF, Warehouse 416, Cartoon Museum, Rock Paper Scissors to name a few, as well as an artist exhibitor for the Oakland Art Murmur, San Francisco Art Fair, and East Bay Open Studios.
Melanie Sangalang - Melanie Sangalang was born in the 80's, in the heart of Metro Manila, Philippines. Her fascination with the arts began at the earliest age she can remember. At the age of fifteen she migrated with her family to Oakland, California, which changed her life profoundly. As a young teenager, it was a difficult transition to adapt in this new environment. It was a tremendous change for Melanie, almost like losing one's identity. She found solace in arts putting her thoughts and emotions onto blank pieces of canvas, a place of catharsis.
Michael Sacramento - Learned how to draw from his father who owned and designed for his own shoe business in Manila, Philippines. Their artistic bond forged and continues to fuel Michael's interest for creativity. After studying painting and drawing at California State University, Northridge and San Francisco State University, Michael began his professional fine art career in 2003 with a sold out show in his first gallery exhibition.
In the same year, Michael received a training grant from the University of California, Berkeley to further his studies at California College of the Arts. Afterwards, he received another award to participate in Taking the Leap, a business school for artists. He continued his artistic journey through features in various media and more than twenty exhibitions including a solo exhibition in the U.S. national historic landmark International Hotel in San Francisco, California.
The themes in Michael Sacramento's work are based on the idea of memory and emotional connections. Each subject is tied to a particular experience - whether real or imagined. Michael's aesthetic style is influenced by traditional, pop, illustration and contemporary design. The resulting body of work forms the unique representation of his artistic perception.
Mel Vera Cruz - was born in 1964 in Manila, Philippines. He had two major migrations. His first migration was from the province of Quezon to the city of Manila, and his second migration was from Manila to the San Francisco Bay Area. These two major migrations had a profound effect on him.
As an effect of his emigration, he experienced discrimination and psychological displacement. Discrimination and psychological displacement were generally common experiences for emigrants. Mel had an ideal experience as a child because he spent it in the country where nature was his playground, but at the same time was a victim of discrimination early in life because of his provincial/rural background. However, his experiences fueled his desire to create. Mel’s attempt to exorcise his demons affected his art making process. This attempt of exorcism had a positive reaction from a negative situation. For Mel, this was the only way to take the baggage out of his system.
Just as he was beginning to adjust to the cosmopolitan life of Manila, he migrated to the Bay Area in California where he was labeled ‘fresh off the boat’ or FOB. This was another experience that displaced him further mentally and psychologically. However, Mel had one advantage on his side and that was using the esoteric power of art as a tool to confront his disadvantages. Not all his experiences were bad, and this reflects on his art making process and artworks. In Mel’s works, you can feel the spontaneity and joy in his creations. It is like a release of synergy that came from his overall vibe and experience.
Mel’s artworks illuminate in a chaotic but fun way. He has been interested in utilizing available materials or found objects because he likes to be self-sufficient, not only physically and mentally, but also spiritually. His surroundings definitely impacts his process and art making. Like a chemist, he can transform materials from his surroundings and then make them into pieces of art, because he believes it is integrated with his life and not separate or detached. Mel Vera Cruz, overall, believes in the freedom and independence in art making.
“You cannot reach your full creative potential when you’re subjected to those protocols“, as Mel Vera Cruz comments.
Pamela Ybanez - Pamela Ybañez is a conceptual artist that works in video, photography and painting. Her art deals with personal and social investigations as a way to discuss existing societal conditions around inequality and identity. Along with making art, she enjoys being a mom and biking around Oakland where she resides with her family.
Paolo C. Mejia - is a Bay Area native. He grew up without the interest in art. This all changed when he attended college. His interest and passion for art developed and expanded. Paolo’s inspiration and passion for art initially was brought out by a great mentor and friend, Barbara Bouchard and in the latter, Dickson Schneider, who continues to fill gaps to complete his love and devotion to and of art. With their encouragements and positive reinforcements Paolo continues to pursue his love for the arts. He decided to pursue art making as his focus because it is life fulfilling and what makes him happy.
Paolo is an experimenting artist who loves to paint and draw, make three-dimensional works, and create installations. He explores the realms of 2D and 3D art because it gives him a different feel and perspective in seeing things visually and conceptually. Two-dimensional works allow Paolo to see different perspective of things that are ineffable and intangible, and three-dimensional works gives Paolo the opportunity to handle art in tactile ways that goes beyond the two-dimensional form. Incorporating these dimensions enable Paolo to feel and understand the materials, processes, tactility and limitations of art. These are what make him interested about art and what he does.
Paolo’s oeuvre deals with the formality of art and the metaphysical state that deals withgestalt or automatism of the subconscious. He applies the formalism of art as he makes arbitrary subconscious choices, or gestalt, in his artistic processes, with a bit of chance. In Paolo’s art processes, ideas and inspirations are conceived from the abundance of forms, shapes and patterns from nature and materials. He also uses man made mechanisms and objects as his initial inspirations. Sometimes, innate sensibility is used to make art. All-in-all, these are the inspirational factors in Paolo’s art making.
As an experimenting artist, Paolo continues to explore things new, ephemeral and traditional. These are what drive Paolo to make art.
Rea Lynn de Guzman - Rea de Guzman is an interdisciplinary artist working in painting, print media, and sculpture. Originally from Manila, Philippines, she immigrated to the United States as a teenager. She received her BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2009, and her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2014. She has shown her work throughout Chicago and the Bay Area. Recently, her piece After Maria Clara’s Piña Fiber Sleeve was featured at Emergent Art Space and ARTslant, where it was awarded ARTslant’s 6th 2014 Showcase Juried Winner in the mixed-media category.
Willy B. - Bio coming soon