February 2023 Winners

This video shows the results of the 2023 February Art Dare: mushrooms. Discussion led by Art Prof Clara Lieu and Teaching Artist Mia Rozear.

Prize Winner

Neil Espinosa

This art dare was the perfect opportunity to start making art again after a semester-long break.

I began with warm-up paintings and drawings (the first three images) to get my creative juices flowing again. I used digital media and graphite for the warmups.

I also had the idea of making fashion sketches for mushroom-inspired outfits. I selected specific mushrooms and took inspiration from their shapes, forms, colors, and textures. For me, these are a marriage between fashion design and character design.

Lastly, these digital paintings play with mushrooms symbolizing both growth and decay. I took inspiration from my life reflections this year. These are inspired by how I can grow out of traumas from the past, how I deal with my current problems and looking forward to the future.

Neil Espinosa

Honorable Mention

Stacie Dowdy

In 2022 I graduated from my local community college with an AFA at the age of 49. My go to mediums are colored pencil and ink, but I enjoy exploring other materials and pushing myself to create with tools outside of my comfort zone. I am currently trying to decide if I want to return to school.

All of my reference photos are from posts by Amy Van Heerden in the Facebook group “Free Reference Photos for Artists”

Piece 6 “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” (12”x14”x4”) began as a charcoal drawing.I really hated the direction my background was taking so rather than scrapping my work, I cut out the mushrooms (reduce), gathered some sticks and bark from my yard (reuse) and assembled them all onto the base of a cardboard box I pulled from my recycling bin and painted black.

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