Spotlight Program

Since its launch in 2016, the Spotlight Program has continued to be a highlight of Art San Diego’s programming and events. Check back in August for information on the Spotlight Program for Art San Diego 2020.

2019 Spotlight Recipients


Santa Fe, New Mexico
Booth 513

1228 Parkway Art Space, centrally located in the vibrant Santa Fe Si Di Arts District, is the studio home of painters Julie Schumer and James Koskinas. The pair have painted side by side for the past 19 years. They also teach risk taking, expressive abstract painting workshops designed to challenge and loosen up both the beginning and experienced artist alike. They are co-creators of the award winning feature length film, written and performed by James, “The Twilight Angel,” a story of the artistic process and struggle. Julie and James’s goal for the art space is to provide an exciting, avant garde art experience for the Santa Fe as well as for an online community.

Julie, born and raised in Los Angeles, was an abstract expressionist at age 5 and painted through high school. She became a lawyer instead of an artist, but reconnected with her art after being encouraged to do so by James, an old friend. The two joined forces and relocated to Santa Fe from California in 2002. Largely self taught, Julie’s work is in many private collections across the United States and is shown in multiple galleries, as is James’s.

Julie’s most recent work combines a more neutral palette with moody, almost ethereal passages and more impassioned mark making that toy with a viewer’s senses. She uses acrylic paint and a variety of mark making tool to explore appearing and disappearing lines and shapes, resulting in multi layered works that are mysterious, luminous, elegant, yet raw and powerful that range from the contemplative and atmospheric to the stormy, reflecting her own interior landscape.

James has been a creator all of his life. As a child, he painted and drew continuously and designed and fabricated his own puppets. He served in the Navy in Vietnam, which experience provided the fodder for his one man play, “Even if the Mountains Burn,” as well as the movie, “The Twilight Angel.” He has owned a construction company as well as acted and danced with the Constantin Stanislavski Theatre of the West in San Francisco. His numerous and varied life experiences continue to inspire his creative expressions.

James, who works exclusively in acrylics, is a master of the contemporary, psychological portrait, often in large scale, as part of his quest to explore the human condition in all its beauty and bumps. These portraits do not reference anyone specifically, but are painted over and over until a personality appears. Once that happens, the painting is quickly finished.

A chance meeting with a lost stallion on the highway in Arizona set in motion Koskinas’ lifelong obsession with painting horses to which he has added a rider. The riders have become self-portraits and a search for unity between the horse and man.

During Art San Diego, Julie will be demonstrating her painting process at designated times.

Contact: Julie Schumer
P: 505-603-1259

Gedion Nyanhongo

Phoenix, Arizona
Booth 105

Releasing the Spirit of Stone

My Shona Art Sculptures are a tribute to enduring life values in enduring stone; I communicate some of life’s softest, most cherished concepts in some of world’s most hardest of materials.

I release the spirit inside the stone.” explains Nyanhongo. Gedion Nyanhongo’s sculptures offer to the viewer treasured elements of his Shona culture – the traditional values of the importance of community, positive and respectful human relationships, the sacredness of life – with the intention to seek, evoke and inspire these same values in their own families and cultures.


Born in Nyanga, Zimbabwe, Africa; Gedion currently lives in Phoenix, his sculpture studio is in Carefree, Arizona. Gedion’s father was a driving force of the innovative Shona Sculpture movement of 1950s. “I watched my father sculpt and I remember loving it and knowing that it was what I wanted to do,” he says.

Gedion’s career began in 1988. His sculptures are in private collections around the globe and publicly at Atlanta International Airport and the Phoenix Zoo. His vision and technical skills have earned him international recognition as a Shona Art sculptor of excellence.

Many artists create by building – I create by subtracting. The natural configuration of a stone calls to me and I remove what doesn’t belong,” he details. Gedion creates his sculptures using traditional carving techniques used for generations by the Shona people of Zimbabwe. Each sculpture is one of a kind. He exclusively uses stone mined in Zimbabwe, such as serpentine, springstone, opal, lepidolite and verdite, which he imports to the United States. Using the basic hammer and chisel to carve the stone, he also scrapes, drills, files and sands–all by hand, and only by himself.

Artist Statement

I want my sculptures to speak to the sameness of people all over the world—the nature of human relationships, family, love and life. I create my sculptures using traditional carving techniques used for generations by the Shona people of Zimbabwe.

Contact: Gedion Nyanhongo
P: 480-255-4184

Jennifer LaPierre

Sonoma, California
Booth S322

If I were a writer, I would use fewer exclamation points and more commas. I would engage the reader with layers of descriptive nuances that would be familiar to some and leave many intrigued. I would use stories from the past and infuse with liberating expression. I would use as few words as possible. I would feverishly jot down ideas on napkins and scrap paper, blanket with mechanics, compose and then return to make love to the piece.

If I were a writer…

Receiving an atmospheric and evocative reaction, my work is meant to move—that may be to calm, complement or add tension within the environment and one’s self. It is my intent to suggest imagery and for the viewer to complete it. Discovery, interpret, dialog.

Deconstructing the traditional figure, I am enamored with the boundaries of cohesion and tension. Thirty years of painting has empowered me with a body of techniques; response to color and lyrical nature of each piece, layering and revealing detailed vignettes, reduction and economy in editing, manipulating texture and form, negative and positive reaction, and line intention. Rooted in a graphic design background my passion for line work is explored with this series; The expression of the line, be it gestural, tentative, structural or definitive.

Third generation Californian is reflected in my artwork; palette, nuance and strength. The landscape and seascape series were created this past year in reflection of our land healing from our recent fires with regrowth and a new compassion and memory. This body of work celebrates resilience.

…using abstraction to distill visual, physical, and maybe metaphysical sensation into color and form, without the stumbling blocks of identifiable objects. La Pierre finds her potential allusive landscape/skyscape through painting, giving sway too instinct and imagination.” —De Witt Cheng

Contact: Jennifer LaPierre
P: 415-297-8992

Walter Redondo

Spring Valley, California
Booth 627

Walter Redondo, a native San Diegan born in 1958, was ranked the number one tennis player in the United States as a junior and has been recognized in the Hall of Champions and the Hall of Fame in San Diego for his worldwide tennis accomplishment. After traveling throughout the world with great success as a tennis professional, Walter felt the need to focus more time in his artistic endeavors. Painting has always been a burning passion of Walter’s coupled with his outstanding tennis career. As a self taught artist, Walter began drawing as a small child and burst upon the local art scene in the fall of 1998. Influenced by Robert Motherwell, Willem de Kooning, Cy Twombly and Joan Mitchell, Walter started experimenting with the abstract techniques which has become his unique trademark of today.

The similarities of art and tennis are so much alike Walter says. A tennis match and a painting begin and end with one stroke, everything which occurs between that first and last stroke are familiar in focus, creativity, perspective and temperament. Just as many matches have to be played to complete or win a tournament my paintings are resolved and finalized after much application of paint lending itself many times to a textured finish.

Much of my work emanates from an internal dialogue, but some of it comes from my own expression of more overarching themes that I return to again and again. I am interested in the interactions we engage in as humans, the struggle for enlightenment, and the search for our place in the world. I’m inspired by the lives and vision of others, their destinations and growth, as a people and community.

This exhibited series of works is titled “Sharing Ground”. These paintings are intended to convey the end result of the seed’s struggle, purpose and growth and the special connection that we as seeds share together. All life comes from a seed and the ground is common to us all, whether the soil, a thought or the womb.

While exhibiting at Art San Diego 2019, I will be doing a live art demonstration in my booth. I will also be involved with the Access to Art project, working with the kids at Monarch School to teach them what a difference art can make in one’s life.

Contact: Walter Redondo
P: 619-890-9976

2018 Spotlight Recipients

European Design & Art

Hallandale, Florida
Booth 423

The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” – Pablo Picasso
Love of beauty is taste. The creation of beauty is art.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

We are extremely proud and honored that we have the opportunity to represent our select, contemporary European artists. Our artists are a solid value on the European continent. Most of them have had expositions in different countries and are represented all over Europe. Every artist has his story and puts his soul into his works. Every work has its own story, and we want to tell that story!

Contact: Alain Luckx

Philippe Timmermans studied sculpture in Gent, at the Royal Academy for Fine Arts. For more than thirty years, Philippe made three-dimensional prototypes, performed sculptural commands for museums and provided for design and publicity work. Since 2011, he has especially been focusing on his own free work. His figurative sculptures are a contemporary attempt to incarnate non-tangible emotions and reflexions. The more realistic statues find their roots in the tradition of the classical sculpture and they try to give cautious, vulnerable answers to ranging questions and considerations.

Philippe Timmermans | European Design & Art
Philippe Timmermans | European Art & Design | Booth 423

Chantal De Block created a foundry with her husband using lost wax casting (also called “investment casting”, “precision casting”, or cire perdue in French) where they create bronzes for many other artists. Chantal also creates her own works and her imagination leads to her two very different styles: children and nymphs. After more than 20 years of working for other artists, they now dedicate all of their time to Chantal’s personal creations. She has watched the attitude of her young daughters with great sincerity and inspirational interest. In her works, you often will see naive children with multiple attitudes. Her sculptures inspire much joy and innocence.

Patrice Murciano is a visual artist born in 1969 living and working in the South of France. He has regular exhibitions all over Europe and in New York, Osaka, Los Angeles and now on permanent representation by EDA Gallery. Women are his muses that he represents with a style he has termed “Courbisme” or curvism in homage to women’s curves. They are highly colorful women—exaggerating the elements that he likes most, an overstated mouth and expression, an African curved back, and more. He exhibited his new style for the first time in New York in 1998 at the Soho Rez Namasi Gallery. Ten years later, he fell in love with the artistic style of American painter, Jackson Pollock, and his dripping technique emerged. He found it highly erotic and it enabled him to apply a different approach to his permanent quest for feminine beauty. Murciano then called his new style “Pop Grunge.”

Sol Hill Studio

Santa Barbara, California
Booth 210

Sol Hill was surrounded by the arts his whole life. His parents were artists and opened the first contemporary art gallery in Santa Fe, NM. His early memories were of his parents in their studios and of Hill’s Gallery. The mysterious objects that pervaded the gallery intrigued him. Looking at those artworks felt like observing some secret alchemical language that he yearned to understand.

In college Hill wanted to major in art, but in the end studied International Affairs and German Studies at Lewis & Clark trying to “do something practical” as his parents wished. Afterward he built earthen and straw bale homes before co-founding Zen Stone Lighting, a lighting design company, with his wife, a former paper artist from Brazil.

After an intense medical crisis, Hill dedicated himself to pursuing art full time. He earned an MFA in Photographic Arts at Brooks Institute and has been working full time as an artist since 2010 still seeking to decipher that alchemical language, or at least to invent his own. His artistic practice is divided between working with contemporary digital imaging technology to create what he calls Metagraphs, a mixed media hybrid blending the use of artifacts, generated by digital photographic technology’s recording of energies other than light, with the aesthetic valuation of painting and by using art as a form of social activism through creating hard hitting social justice art projects and installations with strong presence.

Sol Hill
Sol Hill
Sol Hill

Contact: Sol Hill

LDX Artodrome Gallery

Berlin, Germany
Booth 319

LDXArtodrome Gallery, managed by the art historian Christine Kunkler, focuses on Enigmatic Realism—a kind of art, music or literature that acknowledges that there is an enigmatic or mysterious component of our life. The artwork explicitly demonstrates this component. The name covers the contemporary work of many artists whose work intends to guide their viewers’ aesthetic perception towards a reflection on metaphysical issues. Artists of the Enigmatic Realism movement seek to question what they see as the scientific consequentialism of the modern world but without rejecting the importance of science. This art movement embraces the idea that despite the scientific advances of the past millennia, the great philosophical questions remain unanswered.

Contact: Christine Kunkler

Ulrike-Riggi Hinterleitner studied decorative painting and graphic design and worked in the area of media illustration and graphic design for many years. All her paintings reflect the kind of approach she has taken in the arts right from the beginning: reduced, figurative forms, which because of few colour gradations and clear outlines lead the viewer directly to the essence of her paintings. Despite her images being critical towards general culture, they spread a great sense of humor. Hinterleitner’s art is based on the interplay of image and text: texts, sometimes only titles, point directly to the contents of her paintings. Thus they limit the possibility of interpreting her paintings and anchor their reading within the scope of our times. Her works have certain features in common with pop-art. Primarily graphical, they are in the great disegno-tradition, which has always been rooted in reason and rationality as the basic principle for representations in art. The easily detectable wit in her paintings evokes a critical view on our Western society.

Ulrike-Riggi Hinterleitner
Ulrike-Riggi Hinterleitner | LDXArtodrome Gallery | Booth 319

Gunter Langer’s initial training was in the field of electrical engineering, then moved on to drawing and painting with Rosso Majores at the TU Dresden, as well as the study of drypoint-technique. Since 2007, he has worked intensely on ‘color in painting’ and ‘nude-painting’. Langer feels especially inspired by artists with highly developed technical skills and exceptional inventions. One may notice the influence of Matisse and Egon Schiele in his drawings. And yet, his paintings speak a language of their own. He captures his models in swift and adept line drawings while paying special attention to their posture and look. Some seem to be more aggressive or outward going, others are more introvert, shy or dream-like. Gunter Langer studies the body in a very classical way, full of artistic expression and verve. Often he makes more than 100 sketches before he considers one good enough for exposure to his collectors.

Gunter Langer | LDXArtodrome Gallery | Booth 319

Katrin Alvarez initially study law, worked as an editor and issued several satires and a novel. But simultaneously, she has also worked as an artist. The much awarded artist sees life through the eyes of an editor; however, as artist she does not use words, but describes life with color and line. Alvarez includes and finds artistic expression for all aspects of life, both the beautiful and positive sides as well as the dark and negative sides of being. The Neurologist Dr. Gosciniak once wrote about her works: “Alvarez paintings neither want to explain, nor educate, nor teach—they do not contain any message either. However, they leave a strong imprint on the viewers’ mind. As if a stone cast into a lake, the emotions and dreams disseminate like ripples, and a new way to the Inner self inside opens up.”

Katrin Alvarez | LDXArtodrome Gallery | Booth 319

Chuck Thomas Studio

Brooklyn, New York
Booth 108

Chuck Thomas lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Born in Glendale, California, he earned an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and a Bachelor of Arts from Center for Creative Studies in Detroit, where he studied painting and sculpture. He also attended the New York AICA Studio Program. Thomas’s paintings have been exhibited in solo and group shows throughout the United States and Europe, and held in private collections and foundations around the world.

He describes his vision and inspiration behind his work: “Sometimes I think of an asteroid covered in frozen water hitting a molten rock, forming oceans with captured microbes set free, that are nurtured by the sun, the formation of life. Painting is my medium of choice for capturing these primordial images that exist in my mind. My work lives in this intersection of the terrestrial and the imagined, a portal between this world and perhaps an unseen parallel world.

I utilize references from places I have been to in different parts of the world to create forms thereof, materializing. These new forms have their own specific realities, imbued with an inherent spirituality that is nevertheless grounded in “the real world” around us. The possibility to make this connection between the seen and the unseen is what drives me to the studio, each day.”

Contact: Chuck Thomas

Chuck Thomas Studio
Wavelength | Chuck Thomas Studio | Booth 108

Chairborne Arts – Victory

Englewood, Colorado
Booths C1—5

Chairborne Arts, presents the Victory, an unique exhibit of gigantic sculptures created only from chairs. Victory is a collection of six sculptures that reach a maximum height of 28 feet. The collection of sculpture consist of: Victory, Brother Love, The Guardian, The Soulman, The Sentinel and The Creator. On a national tour after winning the Best Sculpture Award at Artexpo New York in April 2018, Victory will amaze you with its creativity and message.

Victory is the tangible presentation of Steve Farland’s vision in collaboration with artist Brian Sartor to evoke the latent power within the chair, an everyday object Steve has worked with over his entire career. Steve’s intimate connection to the chair allows him to understand its presence as deeply rooted in an historical journey from tree, to seat, to junk, and then to an artistic space beyond. Playing on the themes of fragmentation and rebirth, Victory creates bold enigmatic characters out of dull, used chair pieces, demonstrating how fragmentation, ruin, age, and pain can be reshaped and presented as brave, evocative figures. In its refusal to let chairs be an idle seat of comfort, Victory activates these discarded chairs to redefine their function. These chairs no longer offer a place of repose, but rather they reach out reminding us to find solace in action and the ability to stand up and lift ourselves from the rubble. The sculptures beseech us to offer up our seats in the efforts to build something with compassion and empathy which may then provide great comfort and support to humanity.

Victory, by Brian Sartor with Stephen Farland of Chairborne Arts, presents an immense warrior-like depiction of life emerging from rubble–constructed entirely out of recycled wooden chairs from Poland.

Contact: Stephen Farland

2017 Spotlight Recipients

Our 2017 Spotlight Artists have been posted. Find out more about them below!

Rose Tanner, Rose Tanner Fine Art – Booth 315

Rose Tanner

Rose Tanner is an award-winning artist who loves spending time outdoors studying birds. She is dedicated to portraying her subjects using traditional oil painting techniques, and with each delicate brushstroke, Tanner tries to show something about the bird’s beauty, life, and character. A nature enthusiast, she travels widely for her subjects and is active in supporting endangered birds and their habitat.

“Birds sing, dance, fight, court, breed, and fly,” Tanner says. “They claim territory, pair for life, hold funerals, have socials, eat fermented berries, and perform mating rituals that leave us baffled. The subject matter is endless. When I sit quiet and stay patient, the birds eventually let down their guard and carry on their daily life. I capture a range of emotions and actions. It’s those moments of humanlike behavior that inspire me to paint.”

As a professional artist, Tanner has dedicated years to the arts and is constantly seeking ways to develop new skills. She studied illustration at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and oil painting with Daniel Keys as well as other contemporary master painters. She is an active member of the Canadian Federation of Artists and shares her passion with aspiring and experienced wildlife artists by teaching them her own techniques to bring beautiful bird moments to life.

Lori Ryerson, Focalocity – Booth 516F

Lori Ryerson

Spending 16 years on the flying trapeze and traveling the world has had a profound influence on how Lori Ryerson sees the world. Finding the narrative in abandoned urban landscapes, conveying the wonder of our universe, capturing what silence looks like—these are the stories she tells through her lens and interprets into her art.

From a background revolving around communications—from music to performing arts to writing—she continues to communicate her stories through fine art photography. Today, Ryerson’s photographs are usually the result of serendipity—keeping her eyes and mind open for an alignment of things that convey their story. Whether printed on canvas, metal, or an older technique such as gum bichromate, the presentation of the artwork becomes as much a part of her artistic consideration as the composition. The decision is dictated by the mood of the piece to create a final result that enhances the story.

Ryerson lives in Toronto and captures her stories with a Panasonic Lumix mirrorless camera.

Kate Taylor, Kate Taylor Studio — Booth 226

Kate Taylor

Kate Taylor’s journey as an artist has taken her from Cambridge, England, to Toronto, Ontario; from the organic lines of photography to the unexpected color combinations of painting; from the tutelage of internationally renowned artist Paterson Ewen to the private collections of abstract art lovers around the world. Known for her abstracted versions of flowers, landscape, and seascapes, Taylor’s work explores the unique forms and colors of nature and how they are an integral part of our lives, bringing contentment, grounding, and joy.

In her studio, Taylor works solely with a palette knife, pulling multiple colors on both sides of the knife and mixing the colors directly on the panel. Working flat, she creates from all sides, ensuring that the piece works compositionally from all directions. The stained wood grain of the birch panel becomes an integral part of the composition and, like a watercolor, is left untouched, creating a dynamic play of positive and negative spaces. The resin enhances the colors and, at the same time, reflects the viewer, incorporating them into the piece and encouraging them to be encompassed by nature and to be more thoughtful of their place within it.

“Humanity is connected to nature, our place within it and the energy we derive from this relationship,” Taylor says. “As the world around us becomes more and more fraught with stress and uncertainty, there is an even deeper need to connect with the earth and consciously integrate joy in our lives. Viewers are encouraged to enter the work and reflect on their current state, reconnect with the natural world around us, and move forward with positivism.”

2016 Spotlight Artists

Jeremy Sicile-Kira – Jeremy’s Vision Gallery, Booth 119

Jeremy Sicile-Kira | “My Future Girlfriend” | Acrylic on Wood

Jeremy Sicile-Kira was born in Paris, France in 1989 and diagnosed with autism at an early age. He did not discover his gift for painting until he was 24, when he began to communicate to his parents about the colorful abstract portraits he was painting in his dreams. As a young child, Jeremy’s interest in color was obvious: he spent hours looking at brightly colored fabrics, images in picture books, and the patterns in rugs. He loved visiting museums to look at the paintings, and cathedrals to follow the patterns on the floor tiles.

Jeremy discovered he had synesthesia in 2011, when he explained to his mother for the first time that he saw letters, numbers, words, and emotions in color. In August 2012, Jeremy began to communicate about the dreams he was having, dreams that he was painting the emotions of people he had met into colorful portraits. One night he had a dream that he painted 10 of his paintings and had an art show. He asked his mom if this could come true, and she encouraged him to paint in real life. In April 2016, his first curated solo art show was held at Space4Art in San Diego and was covered by national media outlets, including, NBC, ABC, Good Morning America, and, as well as local media.

Currently, Jeremy meets people in person at his art studio at Space4Art or online, and then paints to recreate the portrait envisioned while dreaming. Jeremy uses acrylic paint on wood panels and large canvases.

Michael Carini

Carini Arts: The Art of Michael Carini, Booth 415, DW-1, DW-2

Michael Carini | "Foreverandever" | Acrylic on Canvas | 60" x 96"

Known as the Acrylic Alchemist, Michael Carini received his artistic training in Los Angeles, studying at Loyola Marymount University while simultaneously serving as an apprentice under respected artists Jane Brucker and Roland Reiss. Graduating at the top of his class in 2006 with honors, including the Scholar of Distinction Award in Painting, Carini returned to his hometown in San Diego, where he currently maintains his studio.

Michael Carini’s creative visions will play with your senses and illuminate the human condition as he delves into the uncensored depths of his mind and invites you to catch a glimpse of the other side. Transmuting his medium through what he describes as a poetically alchemical process based upon the principles of equivalent exchange (Acrylic Alchemy), it is Carini’s hope that you will completely lose yourself within these labyrinthine experiences, only to discover a new sense of self and emerge reborn.

Erin Hanson

Erin Hanson Fine Art, Booth 200

Erin Hanson is a lifelong painter, having begun her study of oils as a young child. Born in Portland, Oregon, in 1981, Erin Hanson was raised in a family of Boy Scouts in Southern California’s Mojave Desert, and camping in the beautiful surrounding landscapes was a staple of her youth. In elementary school, Hanson painted across many mediums, including pastels, murals, oils, and watercolor. At the age of 16, she was accepted into a special scholarship program at the Otis College of Art and Design.

Taking pause from her artistic passion to pursue her ongoing fascination with the world of science, Hanson graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Bioengineering in 2003. Clearly armed with the grit and determination to take on any ambition, Hanson reconnected with the world of art through her love of nature and adventure. Immersing herself in the red rock of Nevada and exploring the rugged terrain of the west reinvigorated her desire to recreate the beautiful sites with powerful oil paintings.

Through her many travels—photo safaris, backpacking expeditions, and rock climbing trips alike—Hanson has been inspired to transform vistas familiar and rare into stunning interpretations of bold color, playful rhythms, and raw emotional impact. Her unique painting style has become known as Open Impressionism, with hundreds of collectors spanning the globe eagerly anticipating her work. As an iconic, driving force in the rebirth of contemporary impressionism, Hanson is quickly recognized as a prolific, modern master.

Erin Hanson | "Into the Woods" | Oil on Canvas | 40" x 40"

Art San Diego Spotlight Artist Archive

View amazing collections from past Art San Diego Spotlight Program exhibitors on our archive page!

Art San Diego Programs

Art San Diego features a wide platform of cutting-edge programs highlighting established and emerging artists.
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