Four guest artists aim to make their mark this season at the Armory Art Center.
The competitive nine-month program attracts a diverse group of emerging artists from a variety of disciplines who have at least a bachelor’s degree in fine art.
First: John Lark
Mr. Lark joins the Armory as an artist-in-residence in painting, drawing and 2D media. Mr. Lark is a figurative painter who creates oil paintings that depict the interactions between figures and environments.
In 2012 he earned an MFA from the New York Academy of Art. His interest in art dates back to his childhood in Michigan, where he frequently visited the Detroit Institute of Art and the Cranbrook Art Museum.
After earning a BFA, cum laude, in 2005 from the University of Michigan School of Art and Design, where he focused on figure painting and printmaking, he studied abroad in Florence, Italy, where his appreciation of the Renaissance and Baroque periods flourished. He moved to New York and completed a post-baccalaureate semester at Columbia University. He realized his main interests lay in figurative painting and began graduate studies at the New York Academy of Art, where he developed the style for which he is known today. Mr. Lark has participated in numerous group and solo exhibitions with New York galleries, including the Ethan Cohen Gallery, Untitled Space Gallery and Van Der Plas Galley.
Hanna Scrima is the Ceramic Armory’s 2022-2023 Artist-in-Residence.
Born and raised in western Pennsylvania, Ms. Scrima earned a BFA from Slippery Rock University. She was employed at the Brockway Center for Arts and Technology for four years. Working at a non-profit art center, Ms. Scrima found a passion for building relationships with students that begins with art but extends beyond the confines of an art studio. The process of exposing students to new techniques forms a comprehensive experience of who inspires whom and is a driving force in their creative process. She says she hopes to continue building these symbiotic relationships at the Armory Art Center. Ranging from unfired sculpture to functional pottery, Ms. Scrima uses the intimacy of clay as a coping mechanism.
Tony Baker joins the Armory as an artist-in-residence in sculpture. Mr. Baker grew up in a very poor Sacramento neighborhood along a highway littered with heroin needles and crack vials. As he traveled from lower- to middle-class neighborhoods of the city to attend school, he experienced noticeable cultural dislocation. He never felt like he fully belonged to either cultural subset. As a result, he was an observer, living between cultures.
The experiences of those formative years sparked in Mr. Baker a desire to create work that could be a voice for people who have none, people who are struggling to survive in this world and who can relate to this story of living a life with little control over circumstances. He received his BFA in ceramics from California State University, Long Beach in 2018 and his MFA in ceramics from Alfred University in 2022. His work is in several prestigious private collections, and he will have a personal exhibition at the Torrance Art Museum in California in the fall of 2023.
Maria Camera-Smith returns for a second year as artist-in-residence in the field of jewelry and metalwork. She is a designer of jewelry, functional hollowware and large wearable works, which focus on humanity’s relationship with its environment. Ms. Camera-Smith uses traditional and contemporary silversmithing techniques alongside precious metals, enamel, industrial, natural and synthetic materials. She earned her MFA in Jewelry, Metals, and Enameling from Kent State University in Ohio in 2021 and a BFA in Metalsmithing from Slippery Rock University in 2015. Her work has been exhibited nationally and is part of collections private and public, including the Brockway Center for Arts. and technology. Ms. Camera-Smith is a member of the Allegheny Metals Collective (AMC), Ethical Metalsmiths Students (EMS) and the Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG).
“We are very pleased to have these four exceptionally talented performers at the Armory this year,” Armory General Manager Tom Pearson said in a statement. “We look forward to offering their classes and workshops and sharing their work in our galleries.” Interested students can find their courses online at www.armoryart.org. The Armory offers each resident artist studio space to develop their own work.
The work of these artists is on display at “NEW & NOW: Artists-In-Residence and New Faculty Exhibition” at Armory’s East Gallery until October 21.
The Armory Art Center is located at 811 Park Place, West Palm Beach. Gallery hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday. FREE ENTRANCE. Info: www.armoryart.org/calendar/ or 561-832-1776. ¦