The Arts Foundation of the Mid-Columbia is pleased to present our “Artist of the Week” profile recognition!
As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, one of AFMC’s missions is to celebrate the vibrancy of arts in our region. Arts bring comfort and inspiration at the time of crisis and uncertainty. “AFMC’s Artist of the Week!’ intends to highlight artistic excellence and creative inspirations.
The Arts Foundation of the Mid-Columbia is proud to recognize Nathan Robles as this week’s “Artist of the Week!”
In June 2015 I quit my job as a pattern maker at a bronze foundry in eastern Idaho. My wife Nina and I packed everything up and moved ourselves and our four boys back to Kennewick, WA, our hometown. I graduated from BYU-Idaho in 2014 with a degree in studio arts and a focus in sculpture. My goal was to become a professional sculptor and in 2015 we made our big leap to pursue this dream. I had intended to work mainly in bronze, but quickly discovered that working with steel had some very intriguing potential. During these five years we have had numerous adventures and another son added to our family.
When I first began welding steel to make my sculptures I was intrigued with the possibilities of what I could create. Each piece is a one-of-a-kind original. There is no mold making or casting involved, but I try to give my work the same quality and detail that is common in bronze sculptures. The methods and technique I’ve developed through this medium have given me the freedom to create pieces that would be nearly impossible to actualize in any other material. This ability has helped depict the themes that give my artwork meaning. One of the recurring themes of my work is the journey of life. I am continually striving to depict the struggles, triumphs and relationships that guide us into being the individuals we are.
The human figure is an important part of my work. I frequently place my figures in “landscapes” in which the person is interacting with their environment. The environment might be a giant wave they are sailing on, or a cliff they are climbing. Sometimes the landscapes are symbolic shapes, such as a large circle representing eternity. Part of the purpose of my work is creating something that can be widely interpreted. I’m interested in making sculptures that can be relatable to people on different levels. I hope others find new meanings from my work that even I hadn’t considered.
The Arts Foundation of the Mid-Columbia is proud to recognize Adam Whittier as this week’s “Artist of the Week!”
Adam Whittier is a cartoonist from Massachusetts. He draws pen-and-ink cartoons and illustrations for non-profits, cultural institutions, businesses, and news publications. He has a BA from WSU Tri-Cities and an MFA from the Center For Cartoon Studies in Vermont. He has provided artwork for the National Park Service, the New England Coastal Wildlife Alliance, The Nib, and Tumbleweird, among others. His work has been displayed locally at DrewBoy Creative and Spectra Art Gallery. Some of Adam’s past book projects include Phoenix: The Ford Pinto Story (nonfiction comic), My Friend Salt (nonfiction children’s book), Snake Rapunzel (fictional children’s book), and Born Under A Dark Star: The Lynn Hansen Story (nonfiction comic book). Adam is a member of the Tri-Cities Citizens’ Climate Lobby chapter, and often lends his efforts to local political campaigns.
Website link (to comics specifically): https://adamwhittier.com/comics/
The Arts Foundation of the Mid-Columbia is proud to recognize Bunneah Munkeah as this week’s “Artist of the Week!”
Bunneah Munkeah is a west coast artist who merges the world of dark macabre to that of whimsical fantasy. By creating dissections of cheerful pastel-colored unicorns and garden gnomes she manages to present a scientific look at the inner works of everyday life in a new and invigorating way. Examples of this designer’s work include Zodiac Zombies, Adorable Dissections, Articulated Fashionistas, and couture fashion just to name a few. Through a dive into this artist’s work, you’ll find a mix of gore and glitter as well as paper and fabric.
Coming from a heavily Hispanic area and having family in the south has created a very unusual blend of spirituality that can be found within her works. From Día de Muertos to VooDoo its clear that death and the commemoration of life are a big part of this creator’s intrinsic world. Her works have been summarized as both “strange and exotic” -that one homeless guy.
Bunneah is a mostly self-taught artist with no formal art degrees to brag about. Locally she learned to draw and paint by attending every art class offered throughout high school. As well as attending both Drawing and Painting at Columbia Basin College. While she did apply to The Seattle Art Institute, she stands as a valuable example of how one who dreams of being an artist can still be fulfilled after being turned down.
While it’s hard to pigeon hole this artists work into a category by medium it’s very clear that her style has a bright and inviting nature to it. Capturing subjects from formal still life sketches of models in draped cloth to sprightly decomposing corpses and everything in between. While her more recent works have primarily been watercolor, her resume includes everything from oil on canvas to 3d mixed media sculpture. Even custom cosplay and one of a kind hand designed t-shirts are in her wheelhouse. When asked what does this artist do, it’s far too easy to respond “what doesn’t she do”. It can be said that she considers herself a wizard of art supplies.
The Arts Foundation of the Mid-Columbia is proud to recognize Joel Nunn-Sparks as this week’s “Artist of the Week!”
Joel is a freelance photographer, artist, and overall creator at heart. He is a resident of Pasco, WA, and an employee of the Pasco School District. Nunn-Sparks teaches students at New Horizons High School daily that they each have a unique voice, and that their voice needs to be heard (or seen.) He loves this art community and wants to continue to be a part of its continued success. Joel finds inspiration in the people around him, and all that they are able to accomplish. “Everyone is creative,” he says, “they just have to tap into that creativity.”
Know an artist who is doing great things in our community? Message us with a nomination!