Brian O’Leary produces beautifully dynamic street photography that reflects on the decay of architecture. Primarily photographing in Flint, Michigan, his urban landscapes include sharp focus, clarity from foreground to background, and a distinct interest in abandoned buildings, as well as industrial scenes.
Self-taught and born in Flint, his familiarity with the area works to his advantage. “In 2013 I picked up my first DSLR camera and began to train my eye and perfect my photographic skills.” Quick to hone in his skills, his personal style quickly became recognizable. East Village Magazine’s article about O’Leary discusses his style of “dynamic symmetry” which he strives to achieve in his work through patience and observation. Inspired by photographers Vivian Maier and Henri Carier-Bresson, he emulates their in-the-moment street photography and conscientious detail.
Working security at the Flint Institute of Arts, O’Leary has been able to study all the paintings for inspiration, and transfers this into his photography. Hoping to pursue more photography and film in the future, he has been featured in Buckham Gallery, with hopes to gain more recognition the more he produces art.
Rachel Oakley is an acrylic painter based in Michigan. Her work is bright and vivid, allowing colors and shapes to create motion and emotion. With duo bachelor’s degrees in Studio Art and Marketing from Oakland University, she is skilled in painting, photography, and journalism.
Rachel paints with intention of “celebrating the color of existence.” She sees the world in a pixelated, technicolor way, due to the condition known as Visual Snow Syndrome. She uses this as a strength in the color application and pointillist techniques she employs in her paintings. She explores ways in which to see the world differently, yet also creates realistic renderings with conceptual backgrounds.
Rachel’s vibrant personality and optimism toward life are reflected in her artwork. Her interest in math is noted when her paintings contain multiple lines and shapes that divide the realities featured in her imagery. Rachel is dedicated to creating visually stimulating paintings that “elicit joy and wonder in nature, geometry, and mathematics”.
As a member of the Ocean Artists Society and an artist for Ocean Geographic Society, Mary Sayre’s passion for aquatic life is evident. Painting oceanic wildlife as early as ten years old, Mary creates illustrative paintings with oil on canvas and, most uniquely, acrylic on marble. Her selection of marble as the foundation to her work stems from an interest in the color and texture that marble provides to add depth to her paintings.
Mary Sayre studied Illustration at Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids, MI. She proceeded to live on the island of Port Aransas, TX to study reefs, fish, and participate in dive exploration and sailing to completely embrace her passion and inspire her paintings. Mary combines “fascinations with art, scuba diving and marine ecosystems” to raise awareness on the environmental protection of aquatic life.
Eana Agoean is an artist, printmaker based in Southwest Michigan. She studied art education and fine art photography at Western Michigan University’s Gwen Frostic School of Art, followed by a seven year stint organizing art, music and food related events in and around Kalamazoo, Michigan’s vibrant cultural scene. In May of 2016 she graduated from Kendall College of Art and Design with an MFA in Printmaking. Her thesis exhibition, Occultation earned the Urban Institute of Contemporary Art’s Fresh Pick Award for 2016, and her work will be on exhibit there through August 6, 2017.
Eana says of her work:
The process of creating this artwork embraces the progressive nature of transformation. Inspired by the transformational aspects of the creative process, this work draws upon themes of alchemy, psychology, and various modes of sensual perception to explore realms of the unknown, as well as magical and mysterious spaces. Allowing the materials and processes to guide the creation, a great depth of insight into the unseen aspects of the mind can be revealed, as if creating a new philosophy; illustrating visually that which cannot be explained through written language or science. Embracing the unknown from the initial stages, process and intuition to guide the work. Building layer upon layer, each one is distinct, and a reaction to the previous stage. Mysteries are not solved by the final work; in many ways the work asks the viewer to question similar notions in their own psyche. To create this type of work is to embrace the natural power of metamorphosis, the distinct stages along the way, and the acceptance that outcomes are not always known.
Matt Thomas prudently ordered a reference print of his photograph of Elk in early morning light before ordering the large canvas he was interested in. Based on this first print, he asked us to make adjustments–particularly to lighten the shadowed area on the right side of the image. This required a bit more than the overall adjustments to color balance, contrast, and tonal range that is included in our basic image processing service–though that was our starting point.
Once we had made these overall adjustments to Matt’s image, we thought the shadowed area was still too dark. So we created an additional adjustment layer to lighten the shadows further and then used a gradient mask so that the adjustment would only impact the shadowed area.
Once these adjustments were made we realized that a blue smudge that had been hidden in the darker image was now quite prominent. This was probably a lens flare caused by the intense morning light. We selected that area and then used Photoshop’s content aware fill command to create a realistic patch over the flare. A bit of extra work with the healing brush finished the fix.
Here are the original image and the image after our adjustments revealed the smudge: