new voice banner 2.jpg

2021 New Voice Exhibition

February 13 - April 3

in the Hayloft Gallery

The Floyd Center for the Arts is once again pleased to welcome several emerging artists in our region as they display their work in the Ninth Annual New Voice: Emerging Artists Exhibit. The exhibit will be on display in the Hayloft Gallery from February 13 until April 3, 2021.

Every year the Center invites regional university art instructors to recommend current and former students who are either just starting along their artistic paths, or who are somehow changing their artistic journey in a significant way. The Center also seeks recommendations from its board members and gallery committee members, in order to include a wide variety of new talent in the exhibit. This year’s referrals came from Radford University, Virginia Tech, New River Community College and Floyd-based Ceramic Artist, Silvie Granatelli.

New Voice Virtual Exhibit.jpg

Get to Know the Artists

1/1

Zack Blevins-Goad

Christiansburg, VA

Referred by Stuart Robinson

of Radford University

"In my work, nature has been my main focus and muse. Growing up in small town Appalachia, I was surrounded by the woods; I would climb trees as a child, and imagine them to be sentient beings, holding me up, standing tall and graceful for decades, battered through storms and time. I feel like I'm now creating an “ideal reality” by making nature sculptures with humanoid features and characteristics, imitating what I experienced and imagined as a child.

 

Sometimes, when someone is looking at my art, they only see the main part of the piece; they see leaves and a trunk, and automatically assume they are looking at a tree and nothing more. If they keep looking, they will see the smaller details. The tree trunk is shapely, it has hips and a torso; those aren't just branches, those are arms with hands and curled fingers; it has a neck, a face, and the branches on top are growing from a head. The viewer is able to see the whole product, slowly break down and notice the small pieces and details, and then put it back together as the whole, finished product.

 

Though my pieces look like they are natural, and possibly living, they are all made from unnatural resources. The base being steel wire, with layers of aluminum foil, masking tape, hot glue, and paint, it somehow comes together to give the illusion of something organic. I think that if we were to search ourselves and contemplate where our species came from, and then think about the urban lifestyles that we now find ourselves in, we would recognize our natural instinct as humans to feel connected to Mother Earth, and nature; some of us have lost that connection. I like to think when someone looks at one of my pieces, they can connect with the little face looking back at them, and then feel a little bit more connected to what it represents, which is nature.

 

I've been working on my craft for the past 17 years, and currently I attend Radford University where I am working towards my BFA, and I expect to graduate in 2022."

1/1

Noah Bower

Floyd, VA

Referred by Tammy Parks of

New River Community College

"Born and raised in Floyd, Virginia, I have been blessed with this beautiful Appalachian region, kind neighbors, and small-town living. I am currently a student at New River Community College, and I am working on obtaining a degree with a double emphasis in Fine Arts and Graphic Design. As an artist, I have not bound myself to one medium; I have worked in paints, pen and ink, and, most recently, I have been able to create digital art for the screen. I have no elaborate words for why I create my art. I simply make my art for myself and others to enjoy. The main goal is for my art to bring a reaction, and I strive to make people think and laugh when they see my work. One way I have been trying to spread a little joy and reach out to people is through my own comic strip, Oh, Help Us. Since October 2020, I have been thankful that my comic strip has been running in the new Floyd-focused newspaper, The Floyd Beacon. I hope that my comic strip can bring laughter to people in good and bad times. In most of my art, I tend to focus on realistic subjects, and, if possible, I would like my art to remind people of home and of times before."

1/1

Bobbie Rhea Daniels

Bedford, VA

Referred by Jennifer Hand

of Virginia Tech

Bobbie Rhea Daniels is an active fine arts student in Blacksburg, Virginia where she started her formal art education in 2017 at Virginia Polytechnic and State University. While exploring a variety of media, she brings her new life experiences as a city-dwelling hayseed to each of her creations. Hoping to highlight her love of all things quaint and rustic through her art, she is constantly exploring and revisiting themes of the feminine, body positivity and self-love, coming of age, memory, home, nostalgia, abandonment, and strength.

 

Her most recent work has revolved around abandoned structures and the longing they must feel to no longer be in use and to become soon forgotten. She hopes that her viewers will choose to see the love and memories that fill these places instead of feeling spooked by their current state of loneliness. She feels it is important to highlight their power, character, and the thousands of stories they could tell us.

1/1

Alexandra Leonetti

Dublin, VA

Referred by Stuart Robinson

of Radford University

"I am an artist whose influences are from the classical period. The Dutch masters of the 17th century Golden Age have mostly, amongst others, guided my style with their traditional approach to painting. Some of the subject material of these masters, specifically in their landscapes and still lifes, spark memories that can connect us to our past; where we are from and who we are. These objects and snapshots of time can be representative of our lives. Realism, naturalism, and romanticism are words that connect me to a style I desire to paint. I’ve often read the criticism that 'the still life genre is generally thought to be devoid of narrative.' It is my belief that when one looks beyond the symbols and showy artistic tricks, a certain personal, deeper meaning comes into focus. 

 

I keep my technique sharp with small studies, color exercises, and alla prima (wet-on-wet direct painting). One of my newfound activities is painting animals. I am an animal advocate and find it fun to break up the time during long, sustained projects to pop out a few pet portrait commissions."

1/1

Isabella Linkous

Radford, VA

Referred by Stuart Robinson

of Radford University

"As a child, I felt a great deal of comfort by diving into art and entomology- the study of insects. I would seek solace in the wonders of the outdoors looking low to the ground, on flat surfaces, and on or around many species of plants in search of insects and other curiosities. As a very observant child, I would note the texture, form, contrast, and colors of all there was to discover out there. This desire to observe nature sprung from the immense comfort I took in the study of insects as well as a strong need to understand and connect with the world around me. As I developed as an artist and continued to observe nature and things of interest to me, I realized that I was actually a heavily visual thinker. As time went on, I discovered that my brain and thought process worked differently from others around me. 

I was first introduced to sewing and embroidery by my Granny when I was young. She expressed how important it was to make sure the stitching was clean and well thought out. I remember her describing how, when you turn around your embroidery work, the stitches on the back should never overlap, and you should remain consistent in working from the left to the right always keeping this in mind. This left a long-lasting impression on me. I was able to pre-plan all of my embroidery steps due to my highly visual thinking process. This is a significant part of my creative process.

The primary technique in my pieces is embroidery and stitching. I have labeled myself a multi-media artist due to my pieces being crafted with various techniques and mediums. The subject of my pieces is the technique itself, as well as various elements of nature that are often manipulated to have a more whimsical appearance. I want my viewers to focus on the technique, details, colors, textures, and contrasts, much like I do when observing my subjects throughout the creative process. If it were safe, I would encourage touching my pieces because, to me, the sensory experience of interacting with my work is one of the most important qualities, especially as an autistic individual who uses textural stims as a way to calm and center myself as well as to focus. I encourage looking at my pieces and imagining what it would feel like to be able to touch certain parts, such as the beading, the embroidery, and the various fabrics. 

I believe that my artwork is a direct extension of myself and my mind. My work is crafted with meticulous care, focus, and mental visualization. I hope that by viewing my work, having all this in mind, you leave with a different perspective of something that is very personal to me and that you were able to, even for a moment, take a step into my mind and my mental process when it comes to my art."

1/1

Kevin Meredith

Christiansburg, VA

Referred by Stuart Robinson

of Radford University

"My name is Kevin Meredith. I am a 48-year-old, non-traditional student currently enrolled at Radford University. I am a thirty-year veteran of the beauty industry and co-own a salon in Christiansburg. I am currently pursuing a degree in Fashion Design; fashion is my passion!

 

As far as art is concerned, I have always been an artist, really. As early as I can recall, I have felt a driving need to create. I love the act of using one’s hands to make something out of nothing! I read many bios that refer to a deep angst or a need to express some deep feelings but, honestly, I just want to make pretty things. The greatest compliment, to me, is to hear someone say, “Oh! That’s pretty...”

 

I have an interest in so many different forms of art. I draw, paint, sew, crochet and knit, make jewelry, etc... If it involves your hands, I’m sure I’ve tried it!

 

I am drawn to bead and sequin embroidery, in particular, as a medium. I really enjoy the process of deciding where to place each and every stitch. The dazzling effects are so satisfying to me.

 

When not in class, I can be found at home, working on whatever project has recently caught my attention. After a class in Adobe Photoshop, I have been designing and uploading fabric designs at spoonflower.com. A class in ceramics has me wanting a potter’s wheel of my own! And another class in jewelry-making
has led to the purchase of a small kiln for firing enameled
pieces.

 

Having been a hair stylist for so many years, I feel my journey as an artist is really just beginning. Where it will lead, no one can say. I am just enjoying the process of discovery. I do know, with certainty, that wherever I wind up, it will be a very pretty place..."

1/1

Charlotte Middleton

Floyd, VA

Referred by Silvie Granatelli

"While growing up in an old farmhouse in rural Maine, I came to believe in the process of creating preciousness from materials surrounding me. My father would take my brother and I into the woods to dig through the Earth to find old bottles. While he was stunned by the blue bottle stoppers, I was usually more drawn to the clay surrounding us as the shards and bottles bubbled to the surface. I am currently exploring clay as the substance that both contains and reveals our human history. The elemental qualities of the clay allow me to connect to my past while creating functional pottery for the celebratory, banal, or triumphant hours that design our days.

My intention while making is to pay homage to the symbols and visual iconography from my existence as a girl becoming a woman. As I grapple with this metamorphosis, forms shift from delicate and shy to rooted and buoyant. In my work, the tension between soft and strong, touch and trust, and user and maker are the complex dualities that inform what I make. Serving, sharing, and gathering are the rituals I consider as the forms reveal themselves."

1/1

Jack Miles

Radford, VA

Referred by Stuart Robinson

of Radford University

"As a lens based digital artist, the camera as a tool gives me an opportunity to document my own history. Each body of work I create begins with an archiving process of a place that has significance in my life. This archive is the source material and inspiration for my work and a large part of my process.

 

Through the reorganization and reinterpretation of the personal archives I create with my camera, I am able to build memories that would otherwise be forgotten or remain invisible. My work is an attempt to visually convey the psychological atmosphere and hidden histories of the spaces and places where I live my everyday life. This sense of place is what ties all of my work together. My work does not revolve around past memories, but is created in the process of making new memories. 

‘Home on the Little River’ explores the discovery of the life of my great grandfather, and his life by the river. I am creating memories through the archival process and working with projection in an attempt to understand a man I never met. This body of work exemplifies self-realization and the responsibility of carrying on a bloodline. ‘Home on the Little River’ is the product of thinking through my camera, and learning by creating.

 

Developing archives of his belongings left behind becomes like evidence for me to profile who he was. I find myself uncovering my family's history and understanding my great grandfather more as I am building this body of work."

1/1

Alejandra Moral

Blacksburg, VA

Referred by Ken Smith

of Radford University

Alex Moral is a women’s portrait photographer based in Blacksburg. Alex’ photographs capture her interest in embracing womanhood & understanding women’s emotions. Prior to moving to the USA in 2105, she worked for six years in Spain, Germany & England as a professional photographer specialized in women’s portraiture.

 

She started her artistic career in 2017, performing group exhibitions in the New River Valley. In 2018, she presented her first solo exhibition called “We the Women: Portraits of Empowerment,” which received a grant award by The Puffin Foundation. The New Voice Exhibit displays part of this series. Through these portraits, Alex endeavors to capture female empowerment in different forms, embracing diversity and celebrating womanhood. 

The women photographed live or have lived in the New River Valley area and come from around the world. They make their ordinary lives extraordinary by being strong and inspiring others through their expressions and their personal experiences. This body of work is a reminder that we can overcome every obstacle if we feel empowered. Because empowerment is the fuel for change.

Currently she is pursuing an MFA in Photography at Radford University.

---

Artist Statement:

"I am inspired by womanhood and women’s emotions. I create photographs that speak beyond the standardized beauty of women, and tell stories of growth, embrace, and celebration. My work is a tribute to the brave women that brought us all this far and an inspiration to feel empowered and accept ourselves the way we are.

In a world where achieving gender equality remains a challenge even in developed countries, I believe that empowerment is the fuel to step forward, believe in ourselves, and be part of the change we wish to see. Being a woman and having a daughter of my own nurtures my commitment to inspire others through photography so that each of us can feel empowered no matter our age, color, or social condition."

1/1

Brittiany Rorrer

Barren Spring, VA

Referred by Tammy Parks of

New River Community College

"Hi, my name is Brittiany Rorrer and I’m a 22 year old artist from Southwest Virginia. I specialize in digital art ranging from fine illustration to Graphic Design Some of my favorite subjects to illustrate are wildlife, landscapes, and of course foliage."
 

----


Artist Statement


"As an artist I have always loved to create work of a whimsical nature that is practically overflowing with nature. However I also love to share my artwork with others. This aspect of my work is what led me to prefer the medium of digital art making. As it is this art form that has allowed me to reach an audience all over the world."

1/1

Mikayla Spivey

 Virginia Beach, VA

Referred by  Jennifer Hand

of Virginia Tech

"Growing up, my mom and I would make afghans or cross stitch together to  keep our hands busy while watching TV at night. I never considered it to be  anything more than something to do to stay busy. As I got older, I started thinking  more about how traditional practices are increasingly forgotten and overlooked.  Scrapbooking, sewing, and embroidery are thought of as skills, but not ones of  artistic value. I find myself thinking more about this when I color with my younger  nephews. In a similar vein, fish are often considered to be unimportant, disposable  pets. They are often forgotten about, put in small tanks, and used as decoration.  Who decides what is important and what isn’t? Is art really just a sum of what it is  made of and who it is made by?

 

My work explores the dynamics between craft and fine art, human and sea  life, and grace and power.

 

My process starts with layering. I use scrapbook paper, scrap fabric, or a  loose drawing or painting as my base. I use female body imagery with strong color  accents to imply lively movement through the work. Aquatic animals are over  layed on the human figure to draw parallels between their fluid, adaptable motions.  The use of different textures and media creates a sense of play and draws a  connection to the movements of a school of fish swimming past. I use materials  that are easy to identify to create a link between the materiality of these collages  and the imagery depicted in the piece. Utilitarian materials can feel rigid and cold  but juxtaposed with the overtly hand-made qualities of the work, I create a  conversation between craft, fine art and recycled materials.

 

My work evokes a feeling of play and discovery, like that of walking  through an aquarium. I create a sense of overwhelming power in a peaceful manner  by enmeshing figures with fish and other aquatic species. Schooling fish are a  perfect representation of the idea of power in numbers. They use schooling as a  way to overcome predators, so while we see this as a graceful underwater  movement, it is a powerful survival tactic. The women in my paintings and collage  works occupy their own space on the panels, but in a way, are also grouping  together to create an army."

Floyd Center for the Arts

220 Parkway Lane South

Suite 1

Floyd, VA 24091

Email: info@floydartcenter.org

Phone: 540-745-2784

Normal Business Hours:

Mon - Sat, 10 am - 5 pm

2021 Floyd Center for the Arts