Meet Our Artists 2023 Part 4
As we approach Furnished for Good, we will be featuring our artists who have created pieces for the upcoming event and auction. This year we are working with 24 local artists selected by our Guest Curators, Damon Reaves and Lawren Alice. All of our artists work with different mediums, have diverse styles, and bring new perspectives through their artwork. This week we are featuring Kate Stoler, Hannah Taylor, Jihan Thomas, Anthony Torcasio, Nina Valdera, and Emily White.
Kate Stoler is an artist, writer and cultural worker who lives in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia. Her work is influenced heavily by her experiences with addiction, housing insecurity, and recovery.
Kate values community, creativity, and collaboration. She plans to open the Juggernaut — a community art & networking space and bookstore on Allegheny Avenue— within the year. The space is meant to provide a brick and mortar location for 12 step meetings, meditations, bookclubs, writing workshops, art classes, job training, accountability groups and housing opportunities. Another aim of the project is to create a safe space for the community of Kensington to engage with people who struggle with addiction and homelessness.
Hannah Taylor received her BFA from University of the Arts in 2009. She is a cultural satirist 'zine maker turned art nouveau muralist. Singer and crooner by night.
Jihan Thomas is a Black Women, visual artist, artivist, mother, community, and museum arts educator from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Inspired by the textures of life. Whether it’s people, Jihan sees every day in the neighborhood, or the way the light shines through the leaves in the trees she is forever inspired. Her works uses elements of figure drawing, surrealism, symbolism, color, and patterns. Themes in Jihan’s work include Black womanhood, history, pain, Afrofuturism, motherhood, Black parenthood, and joy. These ideas are expressed through various mediums such as painting, drawing, ceramics, and printmaking.
Anthony Torcasio was born and raised in South Philadelphia, where he currently lives. A 32-year veteran of the local graffiti culture, his passion for leaving ‘tags’ and ‘pieces’ on buildings and walls in this city haven’t always garnered favorable public attention. After the birth of his daughter, Anthony refocused his creative energy to protect his relationship with his family, moving from marking property to constructing canvasses prepped with help by his 5-year-old daughter, Adrianna.
Anthony’s passion for visual texture and mastery of his medium are abundant, each piece including familiar and unfamiliar palettes of color and compositional elements that abstractly engage and reference graffiti culture. Layers of contrasting lines challenge the mostly flat and linear aspects of traditional graffiti.
Nina Valdera received a BFA in Art Education from Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and a MFA in Visual Arts from Vermont College of Fine Arts, Montpelier, Vermont.
Nina was awarded a micro-grant by Mural Arts of Philadelphia for Site Sound: Revealing the Rail Park where it was described as a striking LED sculpture of a Railroad track that appeared to illuminate into the horizon. Nina’s light sculpture Synchronicity was featured on Billboards throughout the greater Philadelphia area for Moore College of Art and Design’s rebrand. Her works have also been shown in group exhibitions, including Pathway to Housing, Atria Center City Gallery, Da Vinci Art Alliance, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia Sculptors, Spillway Collective, Wilma W. Daniels Gallery, and Wharton Esherick Museum. Nina currently resides in South Jersey, but was a long time native of Philadelphia. She continues to work at Nemours Children’s Health as a Medical Assistant.
Emily White is a sculptor, painter, and muralist from Brockton, MA. She received her BFA from Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston in 2011 with a focus in sculpture. White has received awards, including the Wind Challenge (Fleisher Art Memorial), the Helen Blair Crosbie Sculpture Award (Massachusetts College of Art and Design), she was nominated for an Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award (International Sculpture Center) for two consecutive years, and she is a Visual Arts Fellowship Finalist (Center for Emerging Visual Artists).
Currently residing in Philadelphia as a muralist and sign painter. Emily’s artwork has been exhibited in public spaces such as the Philadelphia Zoo, the Entrance Garden of the Philadelphia Flower Show, and in the Philadelphia International Airport. White has had solo exhibitions at Arch Enemy Arts (Philadelphia, PA), Hotbed (Philadelphia, PA), View Art Center (Old Forge, NY), and Penn State Altoona (Altoona, PA). Her 2D and 3D work has been in group exhibitions in the US and abroad, including shows at Harvard’s Peabody Essex Museum (Salem, MA), The Philadelphia Art Alliance, Fleisher Art Memorial, and The Royal Castle (Warsaw, Poland).