After 25 years as a graphic designer and illustrator, Dan Michael began painting full-time in 2008. The majority of his work is produced on-site at locations near his home in Hanover County, Virginia. His approach to painting involves hundreds of scumbled strokes and marks of pigment, organized into patterns of shape and value, the result is a representation of reality. These arrangements of pastel marks go beyond a mechanical process, they are orchestrated to try and capture the elusive qualities of light and atmosphere that display the extraordinary characteristics of common subject matter.
Ashley Hawkins is the executive Director of Studio Two Three. She Graduated in 2007 from VCU with a BFA in Painting and Printmaking, and was awarded a masters of Public Administration with a concentration in Nonprofit Management from VCU in May, 2014. When not busy running S23 in all its awesome glory, Ashley enjoys designing props for movies that will never be made and dressing her newborn son in adorable outfits that he will grow up to resent.
Born in Washington D.C. and raised in Alexandria VA. Constant exposure to public sculpture led to his decision to become a sculptor at the early age of nine. Starr enlisted in the Marine Corps and served a 13 month tour in Vietnam, which would remain a deep secret from fellow students at VCU as an art major, after his return. Moved to New York to experience the real NY art world while living with accomplished artist Larry Zox. Starr has now returned to Richmond and is about to have his second solo show on first Friday in October.
Ashley Kistler directs the Anderson Gallery at the VCU School of the Arts, having previously served as exhibitions curator at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond and associate curator of modern and contemporary art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Over the past 25 years, she has organized dozens of exhibitions presenting the work of regional, national, and international artists, as well as significant new commissions.
Jorge Benitez has an impressive array of expertise across various disciplines. He is a master in painting, drawing and printmaking. He has a deep understanding of art history and critical theory, communication arts practices, design arts, linguistic arts, as well as a comprehensive knowledge of digital technology. He has also had a career as co-founder and creative director of C5 Communications, an advertising firm specializing in business-to-business accounts. As a fluent French and Spanish speaker he developed advertising and collateral materials for the European and Latin American markets and designed ads for Japanese software publications and packaging for products sold throughout Asia.
Noah is an artist and designer based in Richmond, Virginia. He is the creator of the Webby Award winning project Skull-A-Day. His fine art has been exhibited in museums and galleries internationally, including the Mütter Museum in Philadelphia, The Museum of Death in Hollywood, the International Museum of Surgical Science in Chicago, and Krause Gallery in NYC.
Professor emeritus and former assistant chair of the Communication Arts + Design Department at Virginia Commonwealth University. BFA degree from the School of the Art Institute in Chicago, Illinois and an MFA degree from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. Chuck currently teaches courses in collage and assemblage at the Studio School in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Virginia.
Reni Gower has over 30 years of professional experience in the fine arts. Her work has been showcased internationally in Qatar, UAE, Australia, Italy, Peru, Korea, Israel, Belgium, England, Moldova, and Moscow. Reni currently resides in Virginia where she is a professor in the Painting and Printmaking Department at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Diego was born in Bogotá, Colombia, South America, and arrived in the United States in the summer of 1980. He obtained an MFA from the Painting and Printmaking Department from Virginia Commonwealth University and has been teaching art classes for the past sixteen years to people of all ages. He has taught at The Virginia Museum, The Visual Art Center of Richmond, VCU, VUU, and currently at St. Catherine’s School.
“One frustration I have overcome is disposing paintings that I could not resolve. Now, I’m able to rework surfaces so the pieces have a deep history. Some paintings take as long as five years to complete. What I let in are the impulses feeding my immediate physical, intellectual and emotional world. What I keep out is a planned agenda, signature style and pre-conceived painting formula. It is about problem solving and that moment of inspiration.”