Explore the fresh art work of our juried, distinguished artists and writers

View the full bodies of work, artist profiles and art pricing in the ArtAscent Art & Literature Journal magazine issues. For commission and purchase inquiries, contact artists directly.

Introducing the artists and writers of the “Gardens” issue of ArtAscent Art & Literature Journal:

ArtAscent Gardens exhibition Distinguished Writer

Susan Nickerson

Stepping Stones

1980’s

Purple crocuses pop their heads out of the recently defrosted earth and raise their fresh, new faces to the sky. The warmth of the sun’s rays in April are weak at best and today the faint breath of spring feels cool against my skin. The scent of hope and renewal lingers in the air and I inhale it deeply. Hello, old friend…

Distinguished Writer of the ArtAscent Gardens call for entry. To see the full body of work, grab a copy of the ArtAscent Art & Literature Journal Gardens issue.

ArtAscent Distinguished Artist of the 2021 Garden call for artists.

Kerry Milligan

ArtAscent Distinguished Artist of the 2021 Garden call for artists.

Distinguished Artist of the ArtAscent Gardens call for entry. To see the full body of work, grab a copy of the ArtAscent Art & Literature Journal Gardens issue.

https://kmstudioart.com

ArtAscent Distinguished Artist of the 2021 Garden call for artists.

Stephanie Mercado

ArtAscent Distinguished Artist of the 2021 Garden call for artists.

Distinguished Artist of the ArtAscent Gardens call for entry. To see the full body of work, grab a copy of the ArtAscent Art & Literature Journal Gardens issue.

https://stephaniemercado.com

Krystle Vermes

The Golden Hour

I snuffed out my cigarette and looked up at the sun to gauge the hour. Noon was quickly approaching, meaning the gates to the garden were about to open. After stamping out the lingering flame with my left hoof, I started walking toward the center of the maze. I let my mind wander for a few minutes, thinking about who I might meet today…

Distinguished Writer of the ArtAscent Gardens call for entry. To see the full body of work, grab a copy of the ArtAscent Art & Literature Journal Gardens issue.

https://krystlevermes.com

ArtAscent Distinguished Artist of the 2021 Garden call for artists.

Merana Cadorette

ArtAscent Distinguished Artist of the 2021 Garden call for artists.

Distinguished Artist of the ArtAscent Gardens call for entry. To see the full body of work, grab a copy of the ArtAscent Art & Literature Journal Gardens issue.

https://merana-cadorette.pixels.com/

ArtAscent Distinguished Artist of the 2021 Garden call for artists.

Sean Stone

ArtAscent Distinguished Artist of the 2021 Garden call for artists.

Artist Statement

It is no coincidence that my interest in photography has pretty much walked hand in hand with my interest in theatre. I purchased my first SLR camera at age 17, the same time that I began to delve into high school theatre. The connection is this: I like to tell stories. In theatre you get to tell that story over a significant length of time. A photograph tells a briefer story but can be no less powerful. I have been telling stories now for about 30 years as both a photographer and a theatre artist.

About My Work

My work is still evolving, but more often than not ties into my love of travel, and my love of stories. (And if you love travel, I firmly believe that you have a love of stories!) My first photographic project was in high school. A Day in the Life of Canada had just been published. Multiple photographers across Canada shot from midnight to midnight on a single day to capture the story of Canada across hundreds of photographs. An inspired idea that our Photography Club adviser adopted for a day in the life at our high school. This changed the way I looked at photography. I was no longer taking a snapshot, I was telling the story of a moment. And the series of photos that I took that day just told a longer more involved story.

Travel is all about stories. When you return from a trip, the first thing that you want to do is tell stories of your adventure. My pictures, whenever possible, attempt to show those stories in a single image. I like photography that includes people, a necessary ingredient for any story. Also, I believe that the human ingredient is what connects all stories. Even in pictures that don’t contain people, I want to know about the people that made that scene possible: The person who lived in this chateau. What were they like? This Greek amphitheatre. What was it like to see a show here? Or act on this stage? Ultimately, I find that these stories from across the planet have more in common than they have differences. That’s comforting.

The stories I tell need little embossing. I don’t use Photoshop and I do minimal processing. What you see is pretty much what I saw. Certainly, I have chosen what it is you see, in the same way that a story-teller picks the details that they wish revealed, but the details are unembellished. What you see is what you get.

In my travels, I ‘ve seen ancient petroglyphs drawn meticulously on cave walls. A story of their times. While I’m not so bold to think that my images might last so long, I hope that you can also weave a story or two from my images. Ultimately, it’s stories that bind us together as people on this planet of ours, and it’s those common bonds that I hope will show us that we are more alike than different.

Distinguished Artist of the ArtAscent Gardens call for entry. To see the full body of work, grab a copy of the ArtAscent Art & Literature Journal Gardens issue.

ArtAscent Distinguished Artist of the 2021 Garden call for artists.

Harper Zee

ArtAscent Distinguished Artist of the 2021 Garden call for artists.

Distinguished Artist of the ArtAscent Gardens call for entry. To see the full body of work, grab a copy of the ArtAscent Art & Literature Journal Gardens issue.

https://www.harperzee.com/

ArtAscent Distinguished Artist of the 2021 Garden call for artists.

Hikaru O

ArtAscent Distinguished Artist of the 2021 Garden call for artists.

Distinguished Artist of the ArtAscent Gardens call for entry. To see the full body of work, grab a copy of the ArtAscent Art & Literature Journal Gardens issue.

www.hikaruo.com/

ArtAscent Distinguished Artist of the 2021 Garden call for artists.

Nikki Raitz

ArtAscent Distinguished Artist of the 2021 Garden call for artists.

Distinguished Artist of the ArtAscent Gardens call for entry. To see the full body of work, grab a copy of the ArtAscent Art & Literature Journal Gardens issue.

www.nikkiraitz.com

ArtAscent Gardens exhibition Distinguished Writer

Kate Greenway

Roots and Wings

As departing geese cry mournful farewells, I plant tulip bulbs a spade deep in the loose, sandy earth, a promise of spring. In places, the tangled overhand of dying perennials prohibits getting close enough: tansy with its pungent, faintly repugnant smell, yellow pompons melting into brown, wiry stems and needle thin leaves…

Artist Statement

As an artist, I engage with many mediums to explore ideas, often combining them in unusual ways. My writing and artwork usually center around two threads. One is the experiences between individually embodied life and social knowledge, the personal within the historical, using individual lived experience as the vehicle for connection. The other is perhaps less academic but not less political. It follows my love of flora and fauna, and the beauty, but also the fragility, of the world around us.

About My Work

I work both as a writer and a visual artist. I begin any piece with exposure to a multitude of visual, auditory, sensory, and often historical or topical prompts and primary sources to serve as springboards for imaginative exploration. My favorite style of writing is creative non-fiction, a style that marries truth, memoir, and reflection with lyric elements. This combination allows the storyteller and reader to connect on an emotional level, perhaps revealing a truth that is universal, even in relating a very singular experience. I have written about remembrance, history and loss in micro and macro contexts. What I became aware of during the process of putting work together is that when there is too didactic a message, it does not allow for the exploration of ambiguities or missing pieces. Instead, when people read my work, or view my art, I would like them to have an emotional response, an epiphany, or a sense of identification, as well as an appreciation of the content and the context into which it is presented. I try to find ways to personalize the experience of something large into something manageable, connecting the literal with the lyric, the affect with the intellect. I like to include a variety of writing and approaches, and to be open to possibilities. To do this I often use collages, vignettes, poetry, and, frequently, visuals, as part of my writing, and textual elements in my painted and glass visual work. Using real history, events, and experiences as springboards for imaginative exploration takes the facts and makes them accessible, and hopefully more resonant.

When I create visual art, I work in either watercolour or various forms of glass – fused, stained, and mosaic –frequently combining mixed media and photo-transfer elements. In both mediums, light and transparency are key. I am fascinated by the way these mediums can carry literal and metaphoric weight in their ability to be transparent, translucent, or opaque, allowing us to consider what we can see through, see beyond to, or not see what is obscured. These themes were highlighted in several solo shows about my adoptive experience, including the award-winning Family Tree, containing photos and ephemera rendered in fused glass documenting my lost connections to family. A short time ago, I completed a tetraptych of the four elements of earth, air, water, and fire utilizing stained glass, mixed media, and photo/print transfer to present an environmental warning about lost and endangered species in Canada. Most recently, during COVID, I have been contemplating the delicacy of my avian visitors, and the strength that my animals and garden give me while painting now.

I hope in all cases the themes presented in my work resonate with others and serve as a starting point for reflection and ongoing conversation.

Distinguished Writer of the ArtAscent Gardens call for entry. To see the full body of work, grab a copy of the ArtAscent Art & Literature Journal Gardens issue.

ArtAscent Distinguished Artist of the 2021 Garden call for artists.

Diane Rakocy

ArtAscent Distinguished Artist of the 2021 Garden call for artists.

Artist Statement

I’m as surprised as anyone by the final image that shows up on the canvas.

A blue elephant, a field of flowers, a colourful bird. I never know. I step aside and let the painting emerge as it wants to.

When I paint and listen, I am led.

Painting this way is exhilarating and I feel honoured that I’m able to do it. It feels like I’m stepping aside and letting an outside force work through me, guiding my brushes and paints to bring something beautiful out into the world. I’m humbled every time.

About My Work

I start by connecting to Spirit.

I begin with the brush by painting positive words directly onto the canvas which gets the positive energy going. I write whatever energy that I want to bring out into the world through the painting.

Next, I begin to play. I drip colours, make marks with all kinds of different tools, from a paintbrush to a bottle cap or piece of bubble wrap. I write words, I change directions or colours. I let it all dry and start again. I add another layer, being careful not to cover what is already there. I do this layer after layer after layer with no particular direction or concern. It’s a really fun part of the process.

When the layering process feels finished, I take a look at the mayhem that was created. Like a Rorschach test, I step back and determine what I see is there and figure out what wants to emerge. Then I begin what I call the “excavating” process. I paint around whatever shapes or images that I see in order to bring them forward, leaving the rich layers underneath intact.

This part of the process is one movement at a time but not in any particular order. I’ll paint around a flower that I see in the corner and then move to another part of the canvas to paint around a shape that looks like a butterfly. If I’m not sure what to do next, I pause and tune in and then I’ll do something. Or I’ll sit with it and come back to it. It’s always about making just one next move and seeing where that takes me.

It’s a lot of trial and error and trusting my inner guidance. At some point along the way, I’ll know where it’s all going and then it begins to flow easily and effortlessly. When the painting is done, I often wonder how it got there. Honestly, it’s like magic to me every time.

What I want to say with my art is that beauty is always there amidst the chaos. When we follow our inner guidance, no matter who or what we are, we show up in the world in all of our beautiful radiance.

Distinguished Artist of the ArtAscent Gardens call for entry. To see the full body of work, grab a copy of the ArtAscent Art & Literature Journal Gardens issue.

www.dianerakocy.com

ArtAscent Gardens exhibition Distinguished Writer

Christopher O’Meara

Where the Creatures Meet

I arrived in Los Angeles as excess baggage, riding shotgun in a station wagon bound for dreams further south. Its driver, a loose and uninhibited soul, had dumped me somewhere along the Sunset Strip as requested…

Distinguished Writer of the ArtAscent Gardens call for entry. To see the full body of work, grab a copy of the ArtAscent Art & Literature Journal Gardens issue.

www.christopheromeara.com

ArtAscent Distinguished Artist of the 2021 Garden call for artists.

Alex Steiner

ArtAscent Distinguished Artist of the 2021 Garden call for artists.

Distinguished Artist of the ArtAscent Gardens call for entry. To see the full body of work, grab a copy of the ArtAscent Art & Literature Journal Gardens issue.

ArtAscent Gardens exhibition Distinguished Writer

Kim Nolywaika

From a Secret Place

It is our first summer without him, an astonishingly beautiful day, and a Sunday, which makes it worse. I step outside to take a turn around the garden. That is where I go to think, to feel, and to remember…

Distinguished Writer of the ArtAscent Gardens call for entry. To see the full body of work, grab a copy of the ArtAscent Art & Literature Journal Gardens issue.

www.youcantrusthim.com/

ArtAscent Distinguished Artist of the 2021 Garden call for artists.

Suzan Mandla

ArtAscent Distinguished Artist of the 2021 Garden call for artists.

Distinguished Artist of the ArtAscent Gardens call for entry. To see this in print, grab a copy of the ArtAscent Art & Literature Journal Gardens issue.

ArtAscent Distinguished Artist of the 2021 Garden call for artists.

Sally Chapman

ArtAscent Distinguished Artist of the 2021 Garden call for artists.

Distinguished Artist of the ArtAscent Gardens call for entry. To see the full body of work, grab a copy of the ArtAscent Art & Literature Journal Gardens issue.

www.sallychapmanphoto.com

ArtAscent Distinguished Artist of the 2021 Garden call for artists.

Olga Zamora

ArtAscent Distinguished Artist of the 2021 Garden call for artists.

Distinguished Artist of the ArtAscent Gardens call for entry. To see the full body of work, grab a copy of the ArtAscent Art & Literature Journal Gardens issue.

https://olgazamora.com

ArtAscent Distinguished Artist of the 2021 Garden call for artists.

Crystal Thorburn

ArtAscent Distinguished Artist of the 2021 Garden call for artists.

Distinguished Artist of the ArtAscent Gardens call for entry. To see the full body of work, grab a copy of the ArtAscent Art & Literature Journal Gardens issue.

https://www.crystalthorburn.com

ArtAscent Gardens exhibition Distinguished Writer

S.B. Borgersen

Adam and Eve and their Garden of Delights

”It needs to strangle itself,” a gardening advisor said.

“Root prune could work better,” said a second.

“But she hasn’t flowered in fifteen years,” said Eve to the team of experts. “I thought…I hoped…”

Distinguished Writer of the ArtAscent Gardens call for entry. To see the full body of work, grab a copy of the ArtAscent Art & Literature Journal Gardens issue.

http://www.sueborgersen.com

ArtAscent Distinguished Artist of the 2021 Garden call for artists.

Kate Greenway

ArtAscent Distinguished Artist of the 2021 Garden call for artists.

Artist Statement

As an artist, I engage with many mediums to explore ideas, often combining them in unusual ways. My writing and artwork usually center around two threads. One is the experiences between individually embodied life and social knowledge, the personal within the historical, using individual lived experience as the vehicle for connection. The other is perhaps less academic but not less political. It follows my love of flora and fauna, and the beauty, but also the fragility, of the world around us.

About My Work

I work both as a writer and a visual artist. I begin any piece with exposure to a multitude of visual, auditory, sensory, and often historical or topical prompts and primary sources to serve as springboards for imaginative exploration. My favorite style of writing is creative non-fiction, a style that marries truth, memoir, and reflection with lyric elements. This combination allows the storyteller and reader to connect on an emotional level, perhaps revealing a truth that is universal, even in relating a very singular experience. I have written about remembrance, history and loss in micro and macro contexts. What I became aware of during the process of putting work together is that when there is too didactic a message, it does not allow for the exploration of ambiguities or missing pieces. Instead, when people read my work, or view my art, I would like them to have an emotional response, an epiphany, or a sense of identification, as well as an appreciation of the content and the context into which it is presented. I try to find ways to personalize the experience of something large into something manageable, connecting the literal with the lyric, the affect with the intellect. I like to include a variety of writing and approaches, and to be open to possibilities. To do this I often use collages, vignettes, poetry, and, frequently, visuals, as part of my writing, and textual elements in my painted and glass visual work. Using real history, events, and experiences as springboards for imaginative exploration takes the facts and makes them accessible, and hopefully more resonant.

When I create visual art, I work in either watercolour or various forms of glass – fused, stained, and mosaic –frequently combining mixed media and photo-transfer elements. In both mediums, light and transparency are key. I am fascinated by the way these mediums can carry literal and metaphoric weight in their ability to be transparent, translucent, or opaque, allowing us to consider what we can see through, see beyond to, or not see what is obscured. These themes were highlighted in several solo shows about my adoptive experience, including the award-winning Family Tree, containing photos and ephemera rendered in fused glass documenting my lost connections to family. A short time ago, I completed a tetraptych of the four elements of earth, air, water, and fire utilizing stained glass, mixed media, and photo/print transfer to present an environmental warning about lost and endangered species in Canada. Most recently, during COVID, I have been contemplating the delicacy of my avian visitors, and the strength that my animals and garden give me while painting now.

I hope in all cases the themes presented in my work resonate with others and serve as a starting point for reflection and ongoing conversation.

Distinguished Artist of the ArtAscent Gardens call for entry. To see the full body of work, grab a copy of the ArtAscent Art & Literature Journal Gardens issue.