Raised in the countryside of Kenosha, WI; Hector Acuna is an emerging artist working with oil and watercolor/gouache.
The studio paintings portray people, both fictional and non-fictional, in moments constructed to challenge definitions of society. Stereotyping, materialism, and family relationships inspire concepts for these bodies of work. Shifting between the artist’s candid family imagery to imagined portraiture as subjects provides room to discover conversations between developing paintings. Working “en plein air” informs and assists techniques used in studio work. Painting from life trains a painter’s eye by offering insight into understanding subtlety and the affect of changing light and color. The process of layering pigment offers opportunities for reflection and risk taking which reveal new directions for the artwork.
Hector earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point where he exhibited on campus and held a solo exhibition at the Scarrabochio Art Museum. As a student his paintings were recognized by the University where he received three scholarships and six awards including the Hipstamatic Entrepreneurship Award of $5,000. As a senior his painting “Portrait of the Poet: Emmitt James” won first place in the Gamblin Torrit Grey Competition. Since earning his degree, Hector has began building his career as a fine artist selling his paintings to collectors throughout the US.
My paintings are drawn from nature, inspired by it. In my work, I’ve reduced nature studies to pure moments. I am ever more attracted to the experience of being–the quality that transcends the organic to become the highest spiritual representation.
What I try to document is the magnification of distance—the play of natural light on foliage; keeping the image evocative, not instructive. I strive for harmony in every painting even when the subject is frenetically charged. The goal is always beauty represented through truth.
I focus on color and movement, and keep it spontaneous. I directly reference nature.
I’ve always been drawn to it as essential part of myself.
After studying at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, I lived in the city for ten years. Then I moved to New York. After eight years maintaining a studio in Manhattan, I was left with a new appreciation of green. Now, residing in the Wisconsin countryside and seeing it daily, it is never taken for granted – it always surprises and inspires me.
Brooke Newman was born in 1968 in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. Her parents, Paula and Jerry Heindl were both art majors at University of Wisconsin Stevens Point. Brooke was the eldest of twelve children. Her father’s work sent the family all across the country. The large family found themselves “home” in eight different states throughout her childhood; every move was a significant learning experience for her.
The majority of her youth was spent in the deserts of the Southwest, in the Phoenix valley. It was there that Brooke developed her sense of what art was; the vastness of the open skies, the simple, yet bold colors of the dry landscapes, and artworks of the rich Native American culture seen everywhere. Brooke’s father was a talented oil painter. Painting “fieldtrips” to the galleries of Scottsdale and Sedona still influence her work today.
Having experienced firsthand the financial struggles that come from the life of an artistic father, Brooke vowed to never use her creative talents to make a living for herself. She instead chose to take a more “traditional” career route. From her mid-twenties, her career was mainly in the hospitality business. Eight of those years were spent managing banquet departments for large hotel convention centers.
In 2010, at the age of 42, after deciding that there must be a more fulfilling work for her to do, Brooke enrolled at UW Stevens Point. Her intent was to study psychology. After taking an elective class, Survey of World Art, her focus quickly changed. Brooke decided to renege on that early vow and “take the leap” into art. She declared an Art major and graduated in May 2016 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a focus on 2D work. She found her passion in painting and photography and with this hopes to inspire many people to follow their dreams, no matter what age.
Brooke plans to pursue her Master’s Degree in Painting and to then teach art at a college level. She currently lives in Stevens Point with her teenage son, Seth.