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    Artwork by Taylor Bowers. Audio collaboration with Charlotte Pearse. Longing series Taylor Bowers Linoleum cut 12 inches x 9 inches unframed (each) 2020

    Artwork by Kylie Mericle. Audio collaboration with Sinead McDevitt. Lantern Kylie Mericle Intaglio print 7 inches x 8 inches 2019

    Things That Scare Me Colleen Mars Water-based paint 4 inches x 4 inches each 2020 -2021

    Artist Statement   Much of my work focuses on the fantastical. I make work that conveys a certain mood or emotion, such as the feeling of turning through the pages of an ancient book filled with secrets. I enjoy making visually pleasing work that echoes the feeling of an illustration in a book of fairy tales, especially the work of the Brothers Grimm. I’m also inspired by science fiction illustration, and the kind of storytelling often present in that kind of work. My work often includes a bit of an edge, or darkness to it. To me, fantasy needs to include a bit of darkness to hold a viewer’s attention. I enjoy working narratively as well, which lends itself to my illustrative story-book style. My work is also deeply intertwined with the natural world all around us. My piece Cicada is a testament to the constant cycle of transformation present in all forms of nature. My work is always carefully and delicately detailed. Creating these fine details gives me an opportunity to let my mind wander while working. There’s nothing better than coming out of this meditative state and looking at the work that I have done to reach my goal of a finished piece.  Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dryaddraws/

    Kylie Mericle (she/her) Biography  Kylie Mericle was born outside of Washington, D.C. to an elementary school teacher and a physical therapist. She has lived in Pittsburgh for most of her life and has always been inspired by its wet temperate woods and the life within. Since she was a child, she has loved fantasy and the escape it provides. Her work is heavily influenced by both of these interests.  Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dryaddraws/

    Taylor Bowers (she/hers)  Biography  Taylor Bowers is a native-Pittsburgher. She has grown up both north and south of the iconic city and its unique community. It’s no surprise that she ended up at the University of Pittsburgh. She is currently a senior, double majoring in Studio Arts and Psychology, to graduate in May 2021. Before settling on her majors, Taylor explored several different career opportunities, such as elementary education and occupational therapy. Although each avenue sparked her interest, art was always missing, so she finally started to pursue it during her sophomore year. And this pursuit shows no signs of stopping. A lover of animals, children, and yellow raincoats, Taylor draws inspiration from the world around her. Her practice mainly focuses on painting and drawing, but she recently delved into the world of block printing. Currently, her work has focused on merging fashion and interior design.

    Artist Statement  I see the world through color—hundreds of shades and hues coming together. As an oil painter, I strive to recreate everyday, mundane events and animate them through color. My focus is on stylization and reinterpreting the world around me and is inspired by photography. Throughout my life, I've experienced the highs, lows, and everything in between. Emotion is what connects us to others and nature and makes us human. There's a beauty in the deepest pain and the utmost joy that words too often fail to describe. My hope for any audience when experiencing my work is that they feel an emotion before they settle on meaning, that they see beauty in the mundane, and that any moment can be magical, serene, or awe-inspiring.

    Artist Statement  During the pandemic, I had a lot of trouble creating artwork. In such a complex, isolating time, I had no inspiration or motivation to make anything for nearly seven months. As a senior studio art major, this virtual year was not an ideal time for me to create new bodies of work. Eventually, I began to fear the blankness of a canvas. I knew I needed to take the leap and begin making things again. So, I bought a new set of paint markers and just started to draw. I set no rules for myself, and the outcome didn’t matter. I used small, 4”x4” canvas panels to make the act of “arting” less intimidating. These efforts resulted in this series of tiny worlds filled with colorful characters: my project, Things That Scare Me. Some of these drawings are humorous, but they draw directly from some of my greatest anxieties. Once I found my creative voice again, I realized a need to make art that explored playful spontaneity and surreal encounters, exposing the nuances of human emotion. Although I am particularly drawn to bright colors and bold designs in my work, I may also use softer tones depending on the context. My resulting efforts address joy and loss, rage and anxiety, and the fragile boundaries between these emotions.  TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@ctmars?lang=en

    Colleen Mars (she/her) Biography  Colleen Mars is an ever-evolving visual artist based in Pittsburgh, PA. Working in various media, she is most commonly drawn to photography, painting, and drawing. Recently, she has been compelled to create sculptural and installation works that exaggerate the nuances of everyday situations. Colleen is inspired by psychedelic/pop art, feminism, fashion, existentialism, and dark romanticism. Although many of her works contain humorous elements, Colleen also creates more serious artwork. A more somber side of the emotional spectrum is explored in her work A Light That Never Goes Out. This photobook is a reflection on grief after an unexpected loss. Colleen follows her artistic instincts to process life events and create alternate universes for herself to live in. Sometimes she would rather exist in one of her paintings or photographs than in reality. She finds joy in the process of making and often creates surreal environments in her work.  TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@ctmars?lang=en