Connect with yourself, your neighbours and your environment in this Connection themed exhibition. Join us for the full collection in the October 2021 issue of ArtAscent Art & Literature Journal.

Gold Artist of the Connection 2021 exhibition

Luan Quach

Gold Artist of the Connection 2021 exhibition

How can one reconcile the rationality of realism and the emotionality of impressions? This is what Luan Quach achieves in his paintings. His art embodies high accuracy and the freedom of imagination at the same time.

Looking at one of Luan’s artworks you can lose yourself in the minutia of detail. His portraits are almost photographic; the faces hollowed out by wrinkles, the tactile skin, the rendering of fabrics…everything seems like a faithful representation of reality. But his hyperrealism goes beyond that. Something remains unresolved, evocative, that comes to us directly from the territory of imagination. Luan creates a palpable connection between reason and feeling.

This artist manages to approach the theme of connection with delicacy. He unveils it to the viewer by showing unexpected angles. The connection becomes, for example, the bond of respect between humans and animals in Untold Past, but it can also be even more spiritual, a direct connection with universal love. This kind of relationship is detectable in I Look to You, where the protagonist is physically projected with his gaze upward, establishing eye contact with his God. I Look to You seems to be a sort of contemporary conversion, where the beam of divine light is embodied in a bright blue brushstroke. However, the connection is also what an artist may feel towards his work of art, as seen in Feeling Felt. Here again, the intimate bond with the artwork takes shape through an intense gaze. Self-satisfaction and joy: Luan’s painting tells us what it means to be an artist from an emotional point of view.

The art of this painter deserves to be observed with eyes and heart. Eyes wide open in the first place to grasp the skill and technique that distinguish his paintings. Luan creates hyper-realistic and meticulous artworks, but he evokes feelings through the use of colour. He manages to do all this with the evocative medium par excellence: watercolour. Liquid, with delicate hues and an impalpable mark, watercolour allows Luan’s imagination to run free. Stylistically, his art authentically reconciles realism and impressionism, pushing boundaries.

It is no coincidence that John Singer Sargent is one of the artist’s most beloved painters. A painter at first glance traditional but who used watercolour with grace and innovation. His works and portraits, such as those of Luan, are loaded with symbolic lights. They create connections between the figures represented.

Luan Quach is a painter to be discovered. Growing up in Southeast Asia, he approached art at an early age. His training as an engineer, however, never clashed with his passion. From engineering, he obtained the ability to analyze, which also emerges in his paintings. The art of Luan Quach is capable of authentically connect, with a spontaneous thread, left and right hemispheres of the brain.

Luan Quach is the Gold Artist of the ArtAscent Connections call for artists. To see the full body of work and profile, get a copy of the ArtAscent Art & Literature Journal Connections issue.

www.luanquach.com

Gold Writer of the Connection 2021 exhibition

Karla Linn Merrifield

Dyptych: Ultimate Connectivity

I swear by my intel® Centrino® Inside™, she’s got the hots for me. I can feel it in her nimble fingers as they tap dance across my shiny quiet keyboard.

And I, a sleek new Dell Inspiron® 1520, feel likewise. She turns me on and murmurs Bertie, my Bertie, let’s do it

Imagine humanity disappearing from the earth. Our computers, smartphones, and audio-visual relics would last to echo our past. Poet Karla Linn Merrifield tells us about the intimate connection to our technological gizmos. All with a sagacious and unforgettable irony.

Numerous writers have investigated our almost addictive link with the technology of our hyperconnected world. In particular, the digital world has been a huge source of inspiration in this historic moment of emergency. Well, forget what you have read so far. How Karla talks about technology and our relationship with it is another story.

Technological devices in her poems come to life in a rhythmic and hilarious dialogue. Cyberspace becomes a terrain to be explored, to understand how we inhabit it. Karla shows what impact physical connections made of wired cables and virtual ones made of e-mail exchanges and socials have on our daily lives. And so, it happens in Diptych: Ultimate Connectivity – Wired that we can experience a real love affair with our personal computer.

A surreal and funny liaison passes through the ticking of fingers on the keyboard, in the nights spent writing before the screen. Karla wittily gives her computer the power to deliver an amorous monologue. The lovesick protagonist is in the geek dreamland now. And the computer is aware of its charm, of the compulsive addiction it creates in its user. It is not a mere connection but cyberlove. The result is a grotesque vow of love: I swear to be your sole user, your one and only named.

Karla’s writing style is striking because of its freedom of expression. Like her computer, which has a life of its own, the words she types seem to be independent. Her poems take unexpected directions, arising at the exact moment of her creative writing. The poet uses every poetic form in her writings, and her vocabulary is also extremely free. Karla uses registered trademarks, brands name, URLs and technological neologisms, such as Wired and The Shit We Go Through for Our Gizmos. It is a new and hybrid language. Hybrid as our bodies, where gizmos are like prostheses. A language as complex as our lives that are navigating in what Karla calls a techno crapola.

As Karla’s language is eclectic, she draws inspiration from equally eclectic sources. Contemporary American poets such as William Heyen, with whom she shares a passion for dialogue poems, or authors of prose-poem books such as Jericho Brown or Scot John Gerard Fagan are a reference for her, while she maintains a very strong personal identity.

Karla Linn Merrifield has 14 books to her credit and several contributions. She is currently working on a poetry collection inspired by famous guitarists and their instruments. Her poetry is connected to the world, to human beings, to their objects. It is internal to life.

Karla Linn Merrifield is the Gold Writer of the ArtAscent Connections call for writers. To see the full body of work and profile, get a copy of the ArtAscent Art & Literature Journal Connections issue.

www.karlalinnmerrifield.org/

Silver Artist of the Connection 2021 exhibition

Sean Stone

Silver Artist of the Connection 2021 exhibition

For many of us, the worry-free simplicity of two beings physically connecting is no longer the norm. Seeing touch—captured in seconds—can make us pause, especially these days.

Through photography, Sean Stone captures many forms of connection, just two beings interacting. He takes photographs around the world, from Nairobi to Newfoundland and even from his own backyard.

This body of Sean’s work visualizes touch—skin on skin. Possibly the urgent connection our society craves after the structured distancing we experienced due to the pandemic of Covid-19.

Mother 1 and Mother 2 show the effect of touch in a way it naturally happens between two animals. At the same time, these photographs visualize the importance of being connected to our humanity. We all, including animals, need physical and emotional attention, and these images make it easy to understand how simple and native affection can be. The simple intention of being here for one another. Listening, caring, or as in Generation Jump, lending a helping and supporting hand.

In all these four samples of Sean’s work, you cannot miss the authentic playfulness, the lifelines you can feel, the joy of being present in this exact moment, and the possibility of sharing it with another person. The curiosity and joy of wanting to capture one specific moment of connection can be observed in A Moment Captured. We withness both a bond between two friends and also between a cat and its kitten. Every living being in this photograph is fully in their moment, aware of the created connection.

Sean’s specific, almost nonchalant way of capturing life happenings reminds us of the work of the Hungarian photographer André Kertesz (1894-1985). Both artists have a unique sense and talent of seeing and locking a timely moment that many other people might not even notice.

In high school, Sean Stone started his photographic journey, shooting and developing his black and white images for his school newspaper. He continued this passion throughout university, shooting special events for Simpsons Department store. Throughout his career in theatre lighting design and 30 years of teaching Theatre Arts, his love of photography has never diminished. Sean enjoys capturing beautiful images more than ever.

Sean Stone is the Silver Artist of the ArtAscent Connections call for artists. To see the full body of work and profile, get a copy of the ArtAscent Art & Literature Journal Connections issue.

Bronze Artist of the Connection 2021 exhibition

Harper Veresiuk

Bronze Artist of the Connection 2021 exhibition

The classical approach towards art is built around the idea of harmony. However, the concept of interconnection—the relationship between things—is still of interest today for young artists like Harper Veresiuk.

Looking at Harper’s images, one cannot help but notice a possibly unplanned resemblance with the aesthetics of the works by 16th-century Flemish artist Joris Hoefnagel (1542-1601). Joris was a gifted miniaturist known for his still lifes with amazingly accurate nature studies; regarded as the creator of one of the earliest samples of still life as an independent image. Placing flowers, insects and mice almost symmetrically on neutral white background, he gave them slightly heraldic symbolism and outlined their decorative, ornamental qualities that contrast the realism of their rendering. Some of the details of the featured watercolours by Harper points to a similar taste for trompe l’oeil details (a French term derived from the French “deceive the eye” for the illusionistic depiction of objects in painting). In this way, the artist combines anatomic elements (like brain and heart) with the minor visual accompaniment of figs, butterflies, and orange slices.

Harper artist positions her work to be a purely intuitive visual exploration and expression of her connection with mind and body. She explains, “Each piece represents my emotions during a stage in my life, without being able to fully understand it myself.” One of her mentors, David Jamieson, inspired this series. His extensive knowledge of anatomy nurtured her love and appreciation for the human form.

The author sees the pieces as subconscious selfportraits. Although the watercolours indicate no clear narration, they do contain deeply personal symbolism. Resultantly, the organic patterns point at the indivisibility of emotional and corporeal, challenging the common perception of our bodies as something separate from the mind. Seeking to eliminate that gap and demonstrate the connection of our minds with the substance of the tangible, she chooses the imagery of organs as the equivalent of her emotional processes.

Harper Veresiuk is a Chicago-based visual artist. She graduated from the University of Illinois Chicago. She has been participating in numerous fairs in the U.S. and abroad since 2014, namely, in the 3rd International Watercolour Biennial in Shanghai, China and the “All Watercolours” show at the International Watercolour Foundation. Her works were on display at the Trevimage Gallery in Rome, Italy. Harper was a member of the American Watercolour Society from 2012 to 2013 and, since January 2018, is a member of the National Watercolour Society.

Harper Veresiuk is the Bronze Artist of the ArtAscent Connections call for artists. To see the full body of work and profile, get a copy of the ArtAscent Art & Literature Journal Connections issue.

https://www.instagram.com/harper_veresiuk/

Distinguished Artist of the Connection 2021 exhibition

Keri Fisher

Distinguished Artist of the Connection 2021 exhibition

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

http://www.kerifisherart.com

Distinguished Artist of the Connection 2021 exhibition

Jim Baab

Distinguished Artist of the Connection 2021 exhibition

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

http://jimbaab.com

Distinguished Artist of the Connection 2021 exhibition

Moti Bazak

Distinguished Artist of the Connection 2021 exhibition

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

www.motibazak.com

Distinguished Artist of the Connection 2021 exhibition

Stu Bloom

Distinguished Artist of the Connection 2021 exhibition

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

www.stubloomphotography.com

Distinguished Writer of the Connection 2021 exhibition

John Nixon

Quinn and the Boxcar

We’re not much to look at, I know. Getting a bit yellow now, and our pips aren’t so easy to make out. But we’ve stories to tell. Or I have

Call me Quinn. Short for Quincunx, if you must know. I try not to think about it. My partner over there, that’s Boxcar. I’m the garrulous one. Boxcar never did have much to say and since the crack, not a word…

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

https://thesupercargo.com

Distinguished Artist of the Connection 2021 exhibition

Janay Nicole Bookhart

Distinguished Artist of the Connection 2021 exhibition

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

https://janaynbookhart.myportfolio.com

Distinguished Artist of the Connection 2021 exhibition

Aimée Jeanne Bourgon

Distinguished Artist of the Connection 2021 exhibition

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

https://www.aimeejeannebourgon.com/

Distinguished Artist of the Connection 2021 exhibition

McKayla Evanovich

Distinguished Artist of the Connection 2021 exhibition

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

Distinguished Artist of the Connection 2021 exhibition

Jan Creelman, MLIS, CFS

Distinguished Artist of the Connection 2021 exhibition

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

www.jancreelman.com

Distinguished Artist of the Connection 2021 exhibition

Theodore Heublein

Distinguished Artist of the Connection 2021 exhibition

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

www.theodoreheubleinart.com

Distinguished Writer of the Connection 2021 exhibition

Christopher O’Meara

From the Ground Up

There’s always that one drawer in the house. Or sometimes a shoebox crushed under the weight of a love-worn mattress. Perhaps it’s a milk crate or even a cinched trash bag. Whatever the vessel, it’s there, full of stuff, ticket stubs, a lone earring, greeting cards, wilted clover pressed in wax paper, grandma’s signature scent fermenting in glass…

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

www.christopheromeara.com

Distinguished Artist of the Connection 2021 exhibition

Alex Victor Ihnatenko

Distinguished Artist of the Connection 2021 exhibition

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

Distinguished Writer of the Connection 2021 exhibition

Paul Eric Johnson

Reimagine New England no. 14

tenuous the traces
fractured
to disappear at a sun breath
fragile is the balance…

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

www.reimaginenewengland.com

Distinguished Artist of the Connection 2021 exhibition

Paul Eric Johnson

Distinguished Artist of the Connection 2021 exhibition

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

www.reimaginenewengland.com

Distinguished Artist of the Connection 2021 exhibition

Aaron Krone

Distinguished Artist of the Connection 2021 exhibition

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

Distinguished Artist of the Connection 2021 exhibition

John Laue

Distinguished Artist of the Connection 2021 exhibition

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