We are pleased to announce our upcoming Feature showcasing the work of the artists who were added to the Sorelle collection this year. The Class of 2022 Feature includes ten fine artists and photographers, whose combined work highlights a talented group of creators with a wide range of styles, sizes, and media. The Feature opens on the main wall of Sorelle Gallery on Saturday, September 10th, and will remain on view through Sunday, September 25th.
“Our goal is, and has always been, to represent emerging and established artists and help our clients identify the artwork that they love and want to live with,” Sorelle Owner Sandy Pelletier says. “In order to do that in the most effective way, we made a concerted effort to diversify the work we carry at Sorelle this year. This Feature really demonstrates that diversity of work, and brings together individually stunning bodies of artwork to be shown alongside one another. I am thrilled about this year’s new artists, and I think they each add something special to this show and the Sorelle collection as a whole.”
Work by our Class of 2022 Featured Artists can be found in the Class of 2022 Collection.
To learn more about each of the featured artists, read on below.
Deborah T. Colter
Deborah T. Colter is a contemporary abstract painter who lives on the island of Martha’s Vineyard. Born in Ithaca, New York, she has been fortunate to live and work on the idyllic island off the coast of Massachusetts for most her life. Deborah graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design with a B.F.A. in 1981, and has been a full-time studio artist since that time, with work widely represented in private and corporate collections throughout the United States and overseas.
“Discovery comes through the process of painting,” Deborah says. “Inspiration starts with a mark, a color, a form, a layer, and it builds from there. I refuse to be bound by a specific direction or an expected outcome. Each of us is profoundly different – peace begins when expectations end. We are all on our own path, and I choose to walk the path of creativity. My work speaks to this path of discovery; it speaks of the unknown, of the pure pleasure of form, of line, of color. Subtle layers and hidden memories peek through in my work. In creating something out of nothing, I seek a balance of complex simplicity that fires my imagination and lights up my soul. I find the exploration of non-objective abstraction deeply gratifying. My work is a continual evolutionary journey of discovery and I believe I am simply along for the ride.”
Bri Custer was born in southern New Hampshire and raised with a love of the seacoast. She received her M.Ed. in Secondary Education (2019) and B.A. in Studio Art (2014) from the University of New Hampshire. She is currently a full-time artist based in Concord, New Hampshire with her husband, Bryan and hound-lab mix, Vinny.
“My practice is rooted in plein air landscape painting, but even when painting directly from life, I consider it painting from memory,” Bri says. “In the few seconds between looking from the landscape to the canvas, my brain has taken the light reflected by the world, translated it to electrical impulses, and formed an imperfect short-term memory of that subject. Some artists use measurements and tools to close the gap between memory and reality, but I’m more interested in exploiting it. I use the lapses that occur between observing my subject and marking my canvas as opportunities to invent color and space. I relish the opportunity to lay down a wildly bold pink or exaggerate a slant of light to the point of distortion. By the time a painting is finished, it is more a representation of feeling a landscape than it is a record of seeing one.”
In high school, Sarah Finucane cut classes and hid out in the dark room. Occasionally, she’d take art classes at the local arts guild instead of going to school. According to the principal, she set a new record for the most cut classes. That said, she still made honor roll her senior year.
She went on to graduate from Savannah College of Art & Design, and later moved to the beach in Venice, California. At the time, Venice was said to be where “art met crime.” She invested twenty unforgettable years into helping brands create fans as a Creative Director and Product Design Strategist by day, and evolving her palette and skill as a painter by night.
She now feels she’s come full circle in her artistic career. She returned East to the lush green (and snowy white) landscapes of her early years, and set up a private art & design studio not far from the arts guild to where she once escaped.
Alyssa Fortin studied the art of black and white film photography while earning a BFA at the University of Florida and later a Master’s Degree in Art Education at the University of Georgia. For several years following that she taught photography and fine arts.
Fortin’s extensive scope includes portrait, travel and fine art photography. Known for her intimate black and white portraits and vibrant color travel photographs, Fortin has over the past thirty years focused on capturing powerful images of the everyday lived experiences of those around her. Inspired by the natural, unfiltered beauty of the people and the world we live in, Fortin is a visual storyteller who documents the journey of her subjects, friends and their families from birth, through growth, aging, and even death.
Three years ago, Alyssa shifted her work into the production of large format museum quality fine art. Traveling along the New England coast, she explores the female form in liminal spaces – where land and air meet water. It is there, under the water with her dancers, that Fortin taps into something unique, offering a glimpse into another realm. To say that her work captures the female form, in all its strength and grace, as it glides, floats and balances, is to minimize her message. Through her unique visual storytelling in which she resurrects the lost heroines of classical and western tragedies, Fortin has thrown away the lens, and pulled us in with her, to witness and experience of all things – hope.
Nealy Hauschildt is a Brooklyn based artist. She obtained her BFA from the University of Michigan, during which time she spent four months studying at the Academy of Arts, Architecture, and Design in Prague, CZ. Her work has been featured in Thought Art Magazine and CandyFloss Magazine, and has been included in shows and private collections across the country.
“Color plays an enormous role in my work and in how I experience the world,” Nealy says. “My paintings are a combination of what exists in nature and how I experience my environment. I aim to capture the soul of the landscape through minimalistic, emotive color planes. Just as planned as it is exploratory, my process includes layering transparent washes and allowing room for the paint to evolve on page. I hope for my work to provide a moment of reflection and inspire sight; to reconnect us with land, sea, and sky and ignite an emotional response to color.”
Laerta Premto is a multidisciplinary artist who inspires others to push their boundaries by embarking on travel adventures and self development through her whimsical illustrations. Her personal adventure began at a young age when her family immigrated to the United States from Albania. The challenges and struggles of learning a new culture and language only fueled her curiosity and desire to see more of the world. She graduated with a BFA from University of Hartford and earned her masters at CCSU where she studied in China. Since then, she has united her passions for art and exploration by working as a designer and illustrator and traveling the globe. She is currently learning French and publishing a book.
Alma Ramirez’s paintings capture coastal scenes with vibrant planes of fragmented pastel colors. Originally from Mexico, Alma is now based in St. Augustine, Florida, the location which largely influences her colorful coastal scenes.
“Inspiration for my style came from an unlikely conspiracy between nature and technology when I accidentally fumbled my camera into the water while capturing a panorama,” Alma says. “I was disheartened, but the images on my card were wonderfully broken and distorted, showing me the landscape from a different perspective that deeply resonated with me as an artist and storyteller. Over the years, I have honed and further developed this new way of seeing.
“Studying the harmony of colors and light, I layer acrylic paint onto canvas or wood panel, articulating the feelings and mood transmitted by a scene. Through this vision, I share my artistic journey and love of nature with the world.”
Cameron Wilson Ritcher
Cameron Wilson Ritcher is a swiftly emerging artist who graduated from James Madison University in May 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Studio Art. He accepted the school’s award for a graduating senior with a concentration in painting, among numerous other awards and scholarships. Cameron’s notable clients include Crate and Barrel, The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, The JMU School of Integrated Science and Technology, Della Watkins, Director of the Columbia Museum of Art, and Braden Holtby, former Goalie of the Washington Capitals.
“The icons and shapes in my work often reference board games,” Cameron says. “Games, like art, serve no functional purpose, and yet are central to culture and a life of substance. The visual languages developed in board games and other forms of play throughout time and geographical location are at the core of any society’s striving for meaning-making.
“Of course, it is only responsible for me to think of what impact my work may have on the world. I know, at my core, that I was designed for a very specific job: making paintings, simply for the sake of making paintings. I feel an intense and spiritual excitement and curiosity while making my work. Maybe it is a glimpse of heaven. My hope is that the viewer would feel at least a fraction of that.”
He currently works from his home studio in Richmond, VA, where he lives with his wife, Emily, and their cat, Louie.
Pete Sack is a Raleigh-based artist. He got his start drawing sports figures at an early age. Depictions of baseball players later gave way to other figural work. When he discovered that his creative endeavors were more than just a hobby, he left his home in Seattle to attend East Carolina University where he received a BFA in Painting in 1998. It was during his time at ECU that Pete began experimenting with ways to join his two favorite media – watercolor and oil paint.
Pete’s current work comprises both abstract and figurative pieces. Each allows for a different expression of himself. His abstracts are about flow, both mechanically and emotionally. He uses masonry tools to drag paint in methodical ways that create visually appealing palettes and patterns. His figurative and portrait work still rely on the fine detailing skills he developed in his youth but also contain new depth as they combine multiple faces and abstraction, giving the work a richer, more complex feel.
“While my abstract work continues to evolve, I am consistently drawn to an expressionism style with a heavy focus on color field painting, layering and modern shapes,” Pete says. “I use color relationships to create depth on canvas. This allows me to infuse moods and emotions into my work. Each new series I develop is a focused reaction to a personal experience in my life.”
Arielle Zamora is a Portland, Oregon-based painter and printmaker. Her painting practice features layers of paint and joint compound as an exploration of line and form. These mathematically-informed, hand-carved patterns contrast with softer elements like subtle color and chance imperfections in her ground to create unexpectedly tender ruminations on shape. She is intensely drawn to relationships between line and form, and she draws inspiration from architecture and its surroundings to help assign structure, repetition, and function to the two dimensional plane.