Sonia Gutiérrez completed a BS in microbiology in 1996, and BA in graphic design in 1998, from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. While an undergraduate, she studied abroad in Salamanca, Spain and attended the Universidad de Salamanca to study art history and graphic design with a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship. In 2002, she completed an MFA in Design and Technology at Parsons School of Design in New York, New York. In 2003, she returned to Fayetteville and founded New Design School by 2006, and 3c21 Design in 2007. Her mediums include installation, sound and video having exhibited at the Sheila Parsons Gallery in New York, NY; Crystal Bridges Museum Short Film Festival in Bentonville, AR; Fayetteville Arts Festival entry installation; and Arts Center of the Ozarks in Springdale, AR. In May 2009, she was invited by Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan to lead the Creative Economy Action Group. Today, she practices and teaches graphic design, web design, and design busi- ness in her role as CEO of Atelier NDS, NDS Press and founder and chief of operations for New Design School.
Bryan Hembree is an Okie-Arkie, originally from Tulsa, but firmly planted in Fayetteville, Arkansas for the past 18 years. Bryan studied English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Arkansas and received a Fullbright Scholarship for a year of study at St. Catherine's College, University of Oxford in England. A performing musician and songwriter, he has toured professionally for the past 15 years. Bryan and his wife Bernice currently perform as Smokey & The Mirror. He is also the co-founder of the Fayetteville Roots Festival.
Sharon Killian's work melds the figurative and the abstract in a process that provides the artistic and aesthetic tension that feeds her creativity as an "art for art's sake" devotee. It also provides a sense of connectedness to the work as random viewers are drawn closer to her paintings seeking familiarity in the subject matter. The subject matter includes swaths of views of the sky during sunset and sunrise, of fog inter- twined with the valley forests and laid between the crevasses of the lower Boston Mountains that surround us in Northwest Arkansas. As viewers take an intimate study of the images, questions are posed as to the medium (even as the labels state its fact), formal aspects of the closely juxtaposed or floating shapes, sometimes linear or planar interruptions to the illusion of depth and three dimensionality the once familiar image devolves into pieces of color and pieces of shapes that are singularly defined.
Sharon Killian lives on the edge of a hill on the White River just east of Fayetteville, Arkansas, where the skyscape and landscape views fuel her work. She currently teaches an art education course in the Department of Art at the University of Arkansas, is president of the Fayetteville Art Alliance a nonpro t arts institution, and president of the Northwest Arkansas African American Heritage Association. Sharon also farms pasture raised cattle. Killian immigrated to Harlem, New York from Jamaica, West Indies as a girl and spent her formative years in the museums and galleries in Manhattan where she gained a respect for her affinity to the line as an artistic element. She is a graduate of the University of Rochester in New York, worked for a large medical education nonprofit in Washington, DC, was a teacher of art in a DC private school, and was a mentor for youth through art before relocating with her husband to Fayetteville, Arkansas. Sharon Killian's work can be found in several private and corporate collections including Tyson Foods, the University of Arkansas, and Northwest Arkansas Community College.
Matt Miller, a Native of Arkansas, received his B.S.B.A with an emphasis in finance, from the University of Arkansas, in 2007. Matt has been a working artist for the past 10 years. His works are featured in private and corporate collections throughout the United States as well as a few international commissions.
Growing up in a home of four siblings, Matt found his voice through creative thought and action. He gained much inspiration while living in Central America in 2005, his visit to Africa in 2007, and travels to Columbia 2009. Being a self-taught artist, his works are a recorded evolution of an artist. Working mostly with acrylic, Matt displays his vivacious outlook through thick texture application, bright, bold colors and curiously faceted lines. He prefers large canvas as that allows more involvement with the piece. Each work embodies different parts of his life, beckoning you to look further than the first visual experience and transfer the inspiration into your own thoughts and positive energy. He is currently focused on running his studio gallery, murals, and abstract conceptual works.
Erika Wilhite is founder and artistic director of the Artist’s Laboratory Theatre (ALT), an experimental, site-specific theatre that includes its community members in their process and productions in unique and meaningful ways. Wilhite is a writer, director, and performer for the ALT ensemble who strives to create relevant and personal performances that encourage community input and social progress. She holds a MFA in Theatre from University of Central Florida, and has received additional training in physical and devised theatre from SITI Company with Anne Bogart, and Double Edge Theatre (America's oldest "laboratory theatre"), and in civic practice methods of facilitation through Michael Rohd with Center for Performance and Civic Practice.
Kat Wilson is a Bentonville-based artist, received her MFA from the University of Arkansas and is the co-founder of Bentonville’s Bottle Rocket gallery. Wilson’s work has been exhibited and published regionally and internationally, including the Los Angeles Times, the Oxford American, the Virginia Quarterly Review, the Washington Post, Little Rock Monthly and Communication Arts. Wilson's "Habitats" series of digital photographs explore the lives and personalities of her sitters through elaborate orchestrations of the possessions and spaces that constitute their everyday environment. Employing centuries-old compositional devices, Wilson's theatrically conceived portraits transcend the quotidian familiarity of the personal belongings and spaces they depict, casting her subjects as both intimately vulnerable, and heroic.