Val Porter

I built a three-dimensional Exquisite Corpse. It seemed like a fun challenge: exploring all the different possibilities with different perspectives in a three-dimensional Exquisite Corpse. I made a giraffe on one side and a rhinoceros on the other. I laughed hard when I found the arms of the Mona Lisa to collage on the interior of the box I used to build this sculpture. It is a comical surprise and a connection to art history in a new way. The sculpture is divided into three parts—head, body, feet. Their differences make a humorous combination. Fun and play were definitely alive in me while creating this art piece named Nomafizzal.

Thank you, MAJ, for providing this opportunity for fun in a world with so much unrest.

porter 2 nomafizzal 2

Valerie Porter, Nomafizzal 2, mixed media, 14 x 12 in., 2023.

porter 3 nomafizzal 3

Valerie Porter, Nomafizzal 3, mixed media, 14 x 12 in., 2023.












porter 4 nomafizzal 4

Valerie Porter, Nomafizzal 4, mixed media, 14x 12 in., 2023.


Joseph A. Miller
Miller 1 Compound

Joseph A. Miller, Compound, charcoal, 28 x 23 in.

I focus primarily on the human figure depicted in environments that create a context for psychologically charged, open-ended narratives. Many of these narratives explore ideas about power and vulnerability, about enchantment and play. Children are often featured because children often play.

Miller 2 Drone

Joseph A. Miller, Drone, charcoal and pastel, 28 x 18 in.

Quality of light is a common theme. In particular, the way in which atmospheric light and locale can suggest a sense of mystery and silence. These works are dark, humid, and hopefully, at their best, memorable. For me, the most successful are those that evoke the feeling that an event is about to happen or has recently happened.

Miller 3 Cassandra

Joseph A.Miller, Cassandra, charcoal, 21 x 24 in.

Images of figures or figures in landscapes, in groups or in isolation, share a common feeling of significance. Wholly absorbed within themselves or the dialogue shared between one another, they wait for the unfolding of their private story.

Miller 4 Flood

Joseph A. Miller, Flood, charcoal, 21 x 21 in.


Sharyn Paul Brusie

I believe my heart was wide open with joy when I arrived in this world. There was a magical kind of awe I felt naturally about life. I soon discovered there was significance in play as well—it touched on what it feels like to be alive. Childhood was close to ideal—dreaming, creating, and playing with my many sweet friends. Let’s put on a skit! Such good fortune I knew I had. Yet, there was another side to this story, of course.

Cubs Gone Wild, 2023, Acrylic & Oil on Canvas, 48" x 48"

Sharyn Paul Brusie, Cubs Gone Wild, acrylic and oil on canvas, 48 x 48 in., 2023 (photo: Kevin Brusie).

In a quick flash, everything could so easily come crashing in as if the world might end. That’s what it felt like. And it played out . . . over and over again. Terror would reign inside the walls of our lovely home. My mother, brother, and I were living with a borderline personality amongst us. We witnessed a mad man, my father, who could also be the kindest, most brilliant, and most generous human of them all. Confusing? You bet.

I looked to my TV idols, Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, and Dick Van Dyke, for things to make more sense, while my happy little spirit helped me to thrive. And I chose, more often than not, to adore my complex dad. All of my core family has passed on now, and I have immense gratitude for the countless fun times with each one of them, where we all had the ability to laugh and play. It just came with a price.

Queen Seal Sings a Sea Shanty to Jr , 2023, Acrylic & Oil on Can

Sharyn Paul Brusie, Queen Seal Sings a Sea Shanty to Jr., acrylic and oil on canvas, 48 x 48 in., 2023 (photo: Kevin Brusie).

So often, it’s the toughest challenges that shape us for the better. My funny bones have only grown stronger, and I do include meaning and truth in all that I do. Festering emotions are dangerous. Play is sublime, mighty, and necessary for me to breathe. I continue my search for freedom and my quest for play. In my personal experience, I’m aware that there will be dark storms looming as much as I know that the sun will always come bursting through.

Passengers, 2023, Acrylic & Oil on Canvas, 48" x 48"

Sharyn Paul Brusie, Passengers, acrylic and oil on canvas, 48 x 48 in., 2023 (photo: Kevin Brusie).

In my painting, Sometimes You Feel Like A Nut, people have shared their giggles with me. There is also a primal scream—fright—within that character. Both coexist. With my work, at this present time, I find myself letting go of the perfection reins and relaxing more into my process. When I trust myself, play takes over and I feel free. I let the paint speak. I let the marks dance. And I sing in my studio with my speakers on high where I can feel it all and express it.

Some Times You Feel Like A Nut, 2023, Acrylic & Oil on Canvas, 8

Sharyn Paul Brusie, Sometimes You Feel Like A Nut, acrylic and oil on canvas, 8 x 10 in., 2023 (photo: Kevin Brusie).



Image at top: Valerie Porter, Nomafizzal 2, mixed media, 14 x 12 in., 2023.