Sparkle + Shine
December/January Scintilla Art Box Project Featured Artists
Curated by Artist Ingrid V. Wells
"Artists Emily Bayless, Betsy Enzensberger, Justin Schwartz, Daniel Valenza and myself (Ingrid V. Wells) present SPARKLE + SHINE, an exhibition of five small curious and colorful works, both 2-D and 3-D in nature. Resin, ceramic, found object, oil, acrylic and other media, join together to build a unique showing of bright artworks.
Works from this exhibition resist the mundane and indulge the unexpected. Imagery depicting shiny surfaces married with actual reflective metal, glaze and resin, lull the viewer’s eye into a luxurious state. Each work in this collection is approachable in scale and deceptively simple. Daring to engage with methods of play and a history of the decorative, the artists in this exhibition recognize that tiny work can have a large impact."
— Ingrid V. Wells
Emily Bayless (b. 1988) received a BFA in Ceramics from Arizona State University in 2011, and received her MFA in Ceramics from the University of Colorado Boulder in 2015. Her work has been exhibited across United States and she has given artist talks at the San Francisco Art Institute, Dickinson College, University of Florida, and Adams State University. Currently, she is an instructor of ceramics at Millersville University. She lives and works in Lancaster PA.
"Utilizing historic decorative forms, via non-traditional content and use of materials, the ceramic forms manifest to mock a hierarchy within art and the indulgent value placed on the ornamental that exists in western culture."
Betsy Enzensberger sculpts works that create a visceral longing and remembrance of the most nostalgic delights from childhood. The artist uses the familiarity of those sweet treats to help us remember the simplicity, value and culture of desserts so often associated with positivity and joy. Betsy has become quite well known for her realistic, larger-than-life sculptures of dripping, frozen treats. Resin looks like candy. It appears delicious and sweet. The shiny exterior has a wet, melting quality. Her "Melting" series plays with the desires of everyone’s inner child. The lure of sweet, sticky popsicles artificially instills intense longing. The colorful confections practically beg to be rescued and consumed. Enzensberger was born and raised in New York. She graduated from Tulane University in 2001 and is now a Los Angeles-based artist with a studio in Mar Vista. She has shown with galleries domestically in Los Angeles, Miami and New York, and internationally in Hong Kong, London, Stockholm, Hamburg and Byron Bay, Australia. You can find her sculptures in multiple public and private art collections.
"Resin - I love it. It’s beautiful, sexy, mysterious. It’s also toxic, messy, and annoyingly exhausting to create. However, I enjoy the challenges that resin presents. There’s just something about it I can’t resist. If the process was easy, I wouldn’t be doing it."
Justin Schwartz (b. 1989) received a BFA in painting from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2011. His work has been exhibited across the continental US in venues such as Sykes Gallery at Millersville University, School 33 Arts Center, Jordan Faye Contemporary, and Red Raven Gallery. Schwartz has work in collections in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Atlanta. He lives and works in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
"Through the traditions of craftsmanship that accompany painting, in addition to the tradition of ignoring them, I strive to achieve this fundamental process. My paintings stress the accumulation of marks and materials to demonstrate that reality can leave traces but is transformed by both time and circumstance. They are expressions of the human nature to make constructs."
Daniel Valenza primarily works in sculpture and assemblage. He uses a mix of found and new materials to create visually engaging musical objects. Valenza earned a BS in Architectural Design from Arizona State University in 2010. Valenza joined the arts collective SF Artists Studios in August of 2016. He currently lives and works in San Francisco.
"This assemblage gives joy in the surprise offered upon closer inspection. Constructed to look as if the flashlight began life as a speaker and not the outdated, non-functional spotlight it was, the viewer is invited to move closer and spend an extra minute taking in the details.
For this piece, I worked to hide the hand of the artist from first look to better showcase the precision and aesthetics of the kevlar speaker. Don’t be fooled, the transformation is not merely superficial; the 'Spotlight' is a fully functioning bluetooth speaker."
Ingrid V. Wells earned her MFA from San Francisco Art Institute and her BFA from Arizona State University. Her work fancies the fantastic and humorous in theme and the charming, the kitschy, and the celebrity in subject. Wells's paintings investigate the world of gendered consumerism and the ethics of fascination. Her work has been featured in The Huffington Post, Daily Mail, BUST Magazine, El País and Teen Vogue, among others. She manages San Francisco Artists Studios, enjoys teaching with SFAI's Public Education program and runs TWIRL: A Decade of Artists Interviews. Wells currently lives and works in San Francisco.
"This oil painting comes out of a thirty-paintings-in-thirty-days challenge I gave myself. Each title from the series "Little Beauties" echoes of beauty pageant trophies and snarky commentator remarks. The personification of the objects, with the metaphor of beauty pageant contestants being cast as glimmering medals, points to the larger idea of women being viewed as objects.
The paintings in this series are small in size, and many in number as a reminder that voices of underrepresented groups are stronger together. One small voice can soon become a chorus and now is the time to sing."