Ellen Dieter, Shala Dorafshan & Richard Allen Messenger

Ellen Dieter's continued quest of expression and knowledge, gained her admission to the Cooper School of Art in Cleveland, Ohio, then the Cleveland Institute of Art, and finally L'Ecole des Arts Appliqués in Paris. In San Diego's creative and performing arts communities since 1989, Dieter has facilitated art workshops, taught art, facilitated art therapy groups, performed dance, and been the company manager for the Old Globe Theatre. Influenced by nature, her own travels, and her deep intra-personal relationships, creating, and putting paint to canvas are what Dieter lives for. Dieter's paintings are a rare and extraordinary fusion of technical skill and artistic abandon - vital organic compositions that capture the ephemeral fluidity of life. Dieter is currently an active member and exhibits with SDAI, SDMAAG, and SDVAN.

At once pensive and dynamic, Shahla Dorafshan's paintings bestow a strong emphasis upon the faces of her subjects whether solemn, contemplative or contented. While her figures seem to pose a certain composure and a dignified air of calm, the vigor of brush strokes suggest an underlying complexity or volatility of emotion from a seemingly impulsive and unrestrained gesture technique. Dorafshan describes convincing anatomical structures, potent facial expression through a liberally applied medium and a great freedom of expression. She captures the subtlety of hue in skin tones even while enhancing natural color for a bolder more striking palette. Working in colorful strokes of acrylic on paper or canvas she achieves a compelling depth of feeling in her emotional portraiture. She has participated in many exhibitions and won awards for her work including her recent Red Rose Best of Show from the Western Federation Water Color Society, Agora Art Gallery, New York

As a painter and photographer, Richards's interest in art began very early with the creative influence of his mother (who held a degree in fashion design) and an aunt who was a painter. He went on to study with and mentor under the direction of Charles Swank and Cliff McRenalds. In recent years Richard has focused on a series of paintings that explore the human face and its complex underlying emotional content. Many of these painting were shown at the San Diego Art Institute as well as a number of other venues in San Diego. As a photographer, Messenger has worked on a series of 35mm prints that look at a vanishing architectural aspect of downtown and the surrounding area that perceives the beauty in what might be dismissed as unattractive. These photos won two awards last year at SDAI from the jurors Ric Todd and Kevin Freitas.

Tim Field, Andrea Chamberlain, & Kerstin Robers - Ellen Dieter, Shala Dorafshan & Richard Allen Messenger