UGallery has partnered with BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® Gin and Russell and Danny Simmons' Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation to showcase the regional finalists of their annual Artisan Series. A select group of twelve artists are chosen from online submissions and local art gallery events for a chance to exhibit their work at the Grand Finale event at the Scope Fair Miami Beach Art Show.

KRISTINE MAYS uses hundreds of pieces of wire to express the human form. Her works take the viewer beyond the hard outer shell of the figure and point to the soul and spirit underneath. "I transform hard rigid wire into soft flowing movement, provoking you to see what’s within," she says. Kristine has been exhibiting since 1993 and has dedicated a portion of her proceeds to AIDS research.

HARRY W. SIDEBOTHAM II takes inspiration from math and science to create paintings with intricate organization and many different parts. He surrenders his artistic process to these systems, focusing less on perfection and more on the natural progression of the work. Harry received his BFA in painting from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and his MFA in painting from Illinois State University.

JONATHAN COLE explores mental illness and healing through carefully detailed artwork. While many of his works depict dark subject matter, Jonathan hopes to also portray the ability to overcome fears and conquer challenges. He strives to create realistic pieces so that the viewer is immediately engaged. Jonathan has a background in both art and business. After graduating from Oundle School in the United Kingdom, he attended the Rhode Island School of Design, Brown University and the Barbara Brennan School of Healing Science.

TI-ROCK MOORE tackles complex issues related to race through works in various mediums. Many of her pieces include found objects. Others use installation to address themes of privilege and identity. Raised by artist parents, she created art even while she worked in other fields. Ti-Rock grew up and currently lives in the French Quarter.

SUSAN ROTONDO infuses her work with a quirky sense of humor. She meticulously renders a variety of birds in creative outfits and model-like poses. Through drawing, she finds a unique stillness and confidence that guides her pencil. Susan graduated from Western Washington University with a BFA in drawing and printmaking.

BASIL WATSON focuses on sculpture to create figures that realistically capture the human figure but also the human spirit. With each piece he hopes to capture the unique energy of the human body. Basil was born in Kingston, Jamaica and attended the Jamaica School of Arts. In addition to indoor work, he has created public pieces displayed everywhere from China to Jamaica.

TOMO MORI was born in the countryside of Osaka, Japan. After living in the Caribbean, Latin America, and West Africa, she settled in New York City and focused energy on her collage work and mixed media installations. Her recent work focuses on the theme of fluidity; she creates a sense of movement with thousands of small bits of color inspired by the pixels in digital images, a process she calls both spontaneous and extremely meticulous.

NATE LEWIS combines the aesthetics of drawing, sculpture, etching, embroidery, and fabric in his paper works. Through a myriad of precise cuts, Nate carves and sculpts the paper to reflect themes inspired by anatomy and his experience in nursing. "Like my interaction with paper, the exchange between vulnerable subjects is fragile, mysterious, and beautiful."

MICHAEL SAVOIE is a photographer and painter, by way of fashion and graphic design. "I find myself emerged in a world of non-stop creativity and beauty that keeps me engaged at all times," he says. Michael focuses his art on interpersonal relationships and figures that are "flawed but beautiful in their own respects." There is always a deeper connection to be made with his work than the bright colors you see at first glance.

WALTER BAILEY'S work captures bold themes that reflect African American Experiences. He is active in REVOLVE Detroit, a program that strives to activate Detroit's vacant storefronts with transformational businesses and art installations. "Through art as well as mentoring, I wish to pass these experiences to a next generation of visionaries."

ALEX AVILES has been surrounded by art all his life. His creative side was particularly inspired by his father, an architect, when he was growing up in Puerto Richo. Alex's style is heavily influenced by the subtle nuances of graffiti, which he says "isn't always visible to the naked eye."

MORDECAI RAY is a pop-inspired artist living in Miami. He runs Redd Flamingo, a t-shirt company that specializes in artistic and fashion-forward designs. "Redd Flamingo is for the creatives, the passionate, the artistic, the beach bum, the dreamer, the dare to be different, and above all, those who love life."


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