DAR A LUZ (bring to light): a celebration of life and creativity


Nikol Drouin was born and raised in Ottawa, Canada. She began painting at an early age then attended York University's School of Fine Arts, where she studied with Chilean master printer Eugenio Tellez and woodcut artist Antonio Frasconi. After art school, she settled in Montreal. There she became involved in the Latin-American community, which led her to travel extensively in Latin America and learn Spanish and Portuguese. Her painting style owes a great deal to latin influences. She has exhibited her art work and painted murals in Montreal, New York and Cuba.

Nikol is presenting a series of acrylic paintings and gouaches, portraits of 'Wayward Angels', winged and wingless angels on an unholy quest-rising through dark waters, waltzing through fire and winter lightning, celebrating love at the heart of chaos. Also featured : verses by T.S. Eliot and the sound of winds across the continent.

Jennifer Maya Luz Pliego was born and raised in NYC. Her family life was as diverse as the city itself as it was both multicultural and interfaith: her maternal side of Eastern European decent and her paternal side from Mexico. She received her BA from Bennington college in 1992 where she studied photography with Neil Rappaport. During this time and for a few years after graduating, she was a freelance photo assistant in NYC where she gained insight into the fast pace of commercial photography. Between 1994 and 1996, she was studio manager to David Seidner where she was able to learn more about the fine art side her craft. She has shown in many small galleries in NYC but, found a home at The Latin American Workshop where she felt she could explore her roots. This exhibit, "Dar A Luz - bring to light" will be her second showing at The Latin American Workshop. Her first, "God Space", in December 2000 explored the icons and statues in churches and cathedrals throughout central Mexico.

In my work I am searching for an "equivalent" from the external world for my internal questioning process. The answers come from the experience of taking pictures itself. The images are made in collaboration with whatever subject matter I behold. In this way I am not a director, but a confident. I am given a unique opportunity to participate in moment as well as observe it. There is a metaphor found in the external landscape that can describe the internal one.

This work in progress, "Dar A Luz - bring to light" began as an investigation into my own desire to give birth, both literally and metaphorically. I wanted to behold modern models of maternity (sheros) as I contemplated this choice for myself. I also wanted to explore the idea of birth as a continual journey of creativity and renewal that we embark on as individuals. The process of maturity occurs as we give birth to ourselves.

This work is also a dedication to my mother who died in 1995. Through this work I am able to thank her for her motherhood. It has been through this work that I have been able to palpate the delicacy of life and the importance of creativity or renewal despite change.
J.M.L. Pliego