Maker x Maker with Linda Celestian
Maker x Maker with Linda Celestian
Artists from our community introduce you to the makers they adore.
Maker x Maker is back with another full week of featured artists. This round is presented in collaboration with NextFab, a network of makerspaces in Pennsylvania and Delaware that's acting as a launchpad for craft entrepreneurs. Our curator, Linda Celestian, is a NextFab member and is shining the spotlight on some of the other talented makers in this community. See who's featured below, with a new artist added to the lineup each day.
About the curator
Linda is a multi-media artist working in acrylic paint on canvas, textile sculptures, and acrylic suspended sculptures. She grew up in upstate New York and spent her summers living on the water with her family in a 31-foot boat. She went on to attend Moore College of Art, receiving an MFA in Fashion Design.
Linda is a member of NextFab, a network of makerspaces that provide access to machinery, education, community, and professional services. Having access to cutting edge technology like laser engraving has pushed her work into new territory. Linda enjoys learning and being inspired by a diverse group of creatives that connect at the NextFab facilities.
"Whether working with fluid paint or sculpting with fabric or acrylic I am interested in depicting the life force energy I feel in nature. To me, nature is alive, constantly moving and evolving. This energy inspires all of my work."
Meet some of Linda’s cohort from the NextFab community.
Growing up in Madrid, Maria was surrounded by so many amazing buildings and a city full of history, she found herself always looking up and wondering what stories the buildings could tell if they could talk. She believes that constructed environments create feelings and that buildings hold memories.
Maria's background is in law and finance, and she worked in the corporate world before becoming an artist. She took classes and worked in traditional mediums like oil painting and loved how art could express ideas that words could not. She is inspired by the architect Bjarke Ingles and his mastery of blending architecture with nature and technology. Another influence is artist Anslem Kiefer, whose powerful work will no doubt make you feel something that will stay with you for days if not years.
Maria’s hungry mind loves cities and the way you can discover new things about them all the time. One of her discoveries was the maker space NextFab and everything it had to offer. After touring the facility, she remembers immediately envisioning how lasers could play a role in her art. Her work is made of literal layers – drawings on transparent plexiglass panels illuminated with LEDs – that describe virtual layers of history. These layers of meaning and memories are there to leave room for deeper interpretations. Her pieces intentionally create a dialogue between the past and the present, inviting you to look again, see a place with new eyes, ponder the beautym and discover something different each time like good music.
Dennis Beach arguably took the long road to becoming an artist. Some woodworking in high school, time in the Navy, and then dropping out of college where he was majoring in engineering. Luckily, he found his way to a community college where he took every art class they offered which led to finally majoring in art for a BFA at Maryland Institute College of Art and an MFA at the University of Delaware.
While in college, Dennis fell deeply in love with abstraction and minimalism. It is not hard to see how Elsworth Kelly, Bridget Reilly, and Ann Truitt influence his work to this day. His work is based on repetition of patterns he finds in nature, such as ripples in sandbars or snow drifts. He works every day in his colorful studio filled with machines and tools, but at NextFab, he can fabricate the components that make up his work faster with the help of the Universal Laser and the Shopbot.
With his sculptures and paintings, Dennis strives to elicit the feeling of wonder one gets when the sun slips down below the horizon and lights up the sky with brilliant color. When you see his work, you know he has arrived at a destination even he probably never predicted.
Yemina has a background in dark room photography and identifies as an old soul. With a degree in business under her belt, she thought her life was on a good path – then she became ill. She was diagnosed with a rare medical condition that prevented her from using traditional hair and body products that were laden with chemicals. That is when she truly embraced her inner maker, embarking on a journey to educate herself that continues today. There is a wealth of knowledge hidden in old books on ways indigenous people cared for themselves before the use of chemicals. She believes it to be a worthwhile pursuit to bring back this tribal knowledge.
Everything Yemina makes through her brand, Addi Naturals, is handcrafted including all her signage, packaging, and display items for her pop-up shops. Early in her life, she was influenced by her grandparents, and teachings from her grandfather about how to survive off the land still resonate with her today. These lessons serve her well as she has learned to marry book knowledge with the practical aspects of being a farmer, beekeeper, and businesswoman.
Underneath her love of making lies a real concern for the general health and wellbeing of humans. She is in the business of helping people enhance their lives without sacrificing their health. Educating people about her products is part and parcel of this mission, with her work being handcrafted from things she grows with love, zero false claims, and uncompromising quality control. At the end of the day, she believes in the positive effect of energy that is passed from the maker to the customer when products are made with natural ingredients and lots of love.
Cody comes from a family of makers. His mom taught art, his dad is a painter and engineer, and his siblings are creatives as well. As a kid, he was always tinkering around and adopted an entrepreneurial spirit at an early age. He took classes in life drawing and wood carving and learned how to weld in high school. He went to Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and enjoyed making kinetic sculpture. After graduation, he found it hard to continue making without the tools and resources he had at school. Eventually working in the art handling business, he saw a huge amount of material used in making art crates go to waste and decided to crafting it into beautiful, functional items. This led him to participate in his first craft show, and he was encouraged by the customers' reactions to his products.
Many of Cody's mentors today are makers who are running their own craft businesses. He is also inspired by the Dutch artist Mark Manders, who is fascinated with the relationship between the evolution of humans and objects. Cody found that people were interested in knowing his story and felt good about buying functional items that are imbued with artistry and passion.
In the beginning, there was Olivia making things with her hands. Her father was a sculptor and lawyer who filled their house with his work, which used found objects and dealt with movement engaging the space. With this influence, she went on to major in sculpture, printmaking, and art history as an undergrad and landscape architecture in grad school. When she eventually moved to Philadelphia and found NextFab, she was introduced to a community of makers that inspire her every day. At NextFab, she was able to learn jewelry making skills that dovetailed nicely with her skills as a sculptor. Having always been inspired by Andy Goldsworthy’s land art and the minimalism of Donald Judd’s work, she has used a wide gamut of materials over the years, such as string, live grass, plastic bottles, paper, floral, wood, and metal, and believes the ordinary can be transformed into extraordinary.
Her recent collection of driftwood pieces are adornments for the home. Driftwood has its own story of evolution, and her job is to tell that story. The process may involve many iterations before the piece settles into its final configuration – reminiscent of a sunset, the mountains, or just the feeling of being enraptured by the natural world.
She likes to highlight something ordinary and give it new life by bringing your attention to its inherent beauty. Her hope is that her work causes one to pause for a moment and notice the beauty not just in the work but in everything.
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