April in the Annex

The second "in the annex" exhibition will run throughout the month of April and closes on Sunday, April 29th. It features work by artists Patty deGrandpre, Amantha Tsaros and Samantha Dienst. Below we dive into these Annex Members work, studio and inspiration!

Patty deGrandpre

Broken Television 15

Broken Television 15

At first glance of Patty deGrandpre’s studio, one may think she is a graphic designer or perhaps does some kind of technical drawing professional. In actuality, Patty is an abstract mixed-media artist with a love of printmaking. In addition to tubes of printmaking ink, brayers, and glass plates, she utilizes a Mac desktop, a large format Epson inkjet printer, a scanner, and an array of vellum, drafting film, photo paper, and any other smooth surface media that inspires her. Patty produces one of a kind prints by using traditional mono printing techniques in conjunction with digital “plates” that have been created from scans of shapes, found pictures, hand-drawn images, and manipulated photographs. The digital “plates” are printed using her inkjet printer one at a time. Each image is allowed to dry before the next “plate” is printed. Using smooth media creates a final piece with many layers, saturated tones, and subtle details. The compositions she creates reflect a graphic design approach to her process. Patty’s work is often small creating an intimate experience between artist and viewer. 

Amantha Tsaros

Parades and Popsicles

Parades and Popsicles

As an artist, I make art that is an excessively exuberant that stands against today’s avalanche of negativity and hate. I’m an extremist - extreme in my love of color, kindness and love - and my paintings are an invitation to join the party. In my current series I am working with the contrast of optimism overcoming the darkness. Many of the works feature a range of color from screaming yellow to miserable grays.

A candy-colored palette is a nod to sweeter times, and the bright yellows I choose harken back to classic smiley faces and fields of sunflowers. Each painting is a celebration of life that’s seeking out colors and shapes that express joy, happiness or overcoming hardship.  And everyone of my color choices is a bold statement, telling the world that I am not neutral: I side with inclusivity, diversity and love.

Samantha Dienst

My current focus in the studio is Tapestry and weaving. I think my interest in tapestry comes out of a love of both drawing and textiles, tapestry being the child of both. In regards to content, I have been obsessively looking around at my belongings and also at myself. I suppose perspective on the more figurative level is a big focus of mine.

As far as materials go, I stick to yarn for my most of my works. However, within the realm of yarn there is quite a range and I enjoy incorporating the more unusual textures and gauges of yarn in with conventional styles. I find color extremely exciting and almost all of my pieces end with a wide array of color. This palette is sometimes on the brink of chaos, something that I believe comes from a feeling of being overstimulated and overwhelmed by the world today. Having bright and even artificial color feels like a more honest expression of my experiences in life and the intensity of existing.

I have had two main methods of constructing my tapestry images. One is completely freehand, starting with a single shape or ground and building around those shapes as I move up into the piece. The second method starts with a drawing, although I always have a lot of leeway on how closely the work sticks to the original drawing. Some of my drawings are directly observational, some a compilation between observation and imagination, and others completely fictitious. For me, the ability to distort, combine and alter my reality through drawing and tapestry is very satisfying. I think that art is empowering because artists have the ability to make the unreal real, and to potentially alter how others see their world.