The Artists We Carry
1) Originally from Casablanca, Morocco, Rachel Rusenko is a painter, muralist, vocalist, writer, thespian, and community organizer. They have been performing original ambient soundscapes since 2014.
In their art, Rachel explores a juxtaposition of crisp linework inspired by Islamic geometric patterns with softer, rounder forms often found in human anatomy and nature. All of their work is derived from a stream of consciousness flow state. They are exploring multiple forms of public performance, including acting, poetry recitation, and live music performance. They have been live painting for ten years in various cities and numerous types of events. They are a co-founder of mixed use creative community center Earth Space PDX located in SE Portland, Oregon.
2) Heavily influenced by their upbringing in Casablanca, Morocco, Rusenko's work clashes tessellations resembling Islamic geometric patterns with organic and yielding forms found in nature. Their stream of consciousness, as depicted by their ink, projects a dreamlike quality which induces a trance-like submersion. The intricacy of their line work invites the viewer to explore a multiverse living on canvas, with dimensional pockets permitting multiple reads and infinite possibilities.
Rusenko has taken an active role in community building and organizing arts spaces since 2013. They currently devotes much of their time to Earth Space PDX, a local art and permaculture community center which they are a co-founder of. They often discusses themes of femininity, nature’s cycles, and surreal dreamscapes in their work.
"When viewing my work, I'm hoping that people will feel some of the the peace, and ease of heart that I felt while creating it."
Peter Johnson, AKA Badger, is an artist living in Eugene, Oregon. He has exhibited and sold work at the Eugene Saturday Market, various retail locations in the Pacific NW, and online.
"I was always making things, even as a kid. My twin sister would make sure that I was equipped with paint and paper. The high school art studio was a dream shop for me. After that, there was a whole series of shops, and work spaces.
The advent of computer graphics has given rise to whole new possibilities. That has made it so much easier to create endless patterns, and experience shape and color like never before. Since 2004 I have been down the rabbit hole finding all the great images, and bringing them forwards ~ thanks to my art software, I can go back on decades old designs, and breathe new life, and color into them with the graphic programs. The good that it does for me to experience the "doing" of it has always been good for my heart."
Lesley Anne Burke
“If the artists cannot find the way, then the way cannot be found”
I have always used artmaking as a way to process emotions, ideas, and difficulties. After being inspired by Alex Grey’s “The Mission of Art”, I decided to become an art therapist and learn more about how art can heal. My current artwork contains themes that are also relevant to my work as a therapist, especially related to the transformation that can be catalyzed through the use of sacred plant medicines.
My work can be considered “Visionary Art,” including themes of transformation, spirituality, dreams, and visions. I often have the experience of art coming through me, rather than from me. I am drawn to art that expresses the inner world of the artist through the clarity and beauty of refined technique, and aspire to create art that evokes that experience in others. My intent with my current work is to merge interests in psychology, personal transformation, social change, and plant medicines through the medium of paint.
"Art is my church, Reiki is my prayer."
Lori Barker's work is an imitation of her life-an ongoing collage, deep with excitement and spiritual mysteries. As she explains it, "As a Reiki Master working with energy healing, there is always the desire to explore the other side of matter, and thus express what the artist inside sees."
Her mixed media work blends nature and spirituality into an exploration of the rhythms of life. Angels, in particular, inspire her and are Lori's trusted muse. The work is about the poetry that lives beneath the surface of things where layers of paper, paint, wood, fabric, metal and images come alive, creating an altered world.
Lori is a former teacher and graduate of Southern Conneticut State University, with further studies at Savannah College of Art & Design, Bennington College, and the Omega Institute. She has exhibited her award-winning works in spaces all around the New England area, as well as at art and craft fairs throughout the year. Her career spans 50 years of making, learning and teaching.
Carrie is an emerging artist who enjoys working with skeletal structures and natural materials. Her whimsical "bone garden" sculptures are made with ethically reclaimed animal bones, crystals, mixed media assemblage materials, and finds from her beachcombing expeditions along the Oregon Coast.
Beth is a mixed media artist who hails originally from New York State. During her career as a high school librarian, she fell in love with the look and feel of old glossy magazines from the 1950's-70's. She has found her creative "voice" in assemblage and collage, especially her signature altered book series, which also come with altered stories on the back of each sculpture that play off the title and intention of the piece.
Her themes range from the nostalgic, whimsical or absurdist, to an ongoing social commentary, delivered with visual puns and satirical word play.
Beth lives and works in Waldport, OR with her husband and their beach-loving dog, Hank.
"My work is an ongoing exploration of personal expression... I lose myself in art and I find myself in the process ~ and through finding, I reach through to bring forth the transpersonal."
SoulWise Art is the fine art and craft practice of Serena Blossom Appel. She has a rich and varied background in media of all kinds, learned over a lifetime of being around other creative, talented and expressive folk.
Serena holds a BFA from Columbia College, Chicago, IL and a Masters in Art Therapy/Counseling from Marylhurst University, Oregon. She has made, shown and sold fine artwork for over 35 years in the U.S. and abroad, and has a long history of organizing community around expressive arts projects.
Her intuitively-derived work draws from a variety of sources, with an emphasis on the visual and textural langauge of mixed media, exploration of organic forms; dream, symbolic and visionary imagery; creative re-use, deconstructed fashion, and social commentary through an Intersectional Feminist lens.
About the Artist: "Art has been my saving grace through incredibly difficult obstacles in my life. "Hayley is a psychedelic artist who tie dyes, does natural art including sea glass/driftwood, creates original acrylic pours, and designs various items such as fanny packs/tote bags. She is also a certified therapeutic art life coach and has a background in teaching. She plans to relocate to the Pacific NW some time in 2023.
About the Artist: Kimi Boylan loves to collect glorious found vintage treasures and salvage to turn into “Kimi Kitsch”- a wry, somewhat subversive commentary on retro popular culture. She works with reclaimed wood, often from old cigar boxes; ephemera, found objects, jewelry bits and resin. She describes her work as “super collectible, boho electric, whimsical collage, assemblage and Glamour Puss Wearable Art For You.” She lives and works in Portland, Oregon.