New alt_space Exhibition in March February 12 2019

Shelly Bradon & Ivan Riascos

On Exhibit: March 2 - April 13, 2019
Opening Reception: Saturday, March 2, 4-7 PM
Artists Talk: Friday, March 22, 11 AM


Central Florida based artists Shelly Bradon and Ivan Riascos have joined forces to present a collaborative exhibition that reflects their mutual interest in the firmament.  Bradon has been exploring clouds in her paintings for the past 12 years and Riascos has been photographing the skies since the late 1990s but it was only recently that they discovered their joint interest in this subject matter.  Their work embraces the ephemeral nature of the skies above, with an emphasis on distinctive cloud formations that they experience.  In a shared statement, Bradon and Riascos elaborate, “Ever changing but always consistent, the firmament holds endless variations, but the elements are limited to the physical realities of our atmosphere. Like dancers, these elements can move and shift, never repeating the same step.”  
Even though they share a thematic focus, Bradon and Riascos come from different disciplines and art practices.  Shelly Bradon notes that the inspiration for her cloudscapes come from many places, stating, “My paintings are based on direct observation and memory as well as personal photographs and inspirations.” Ivan Riascos, on the other hand, follows in a documentary tradition, presenting unaltered depictions of cloud formations as he sees them through the viewfinder in his camera. He elaborates, “there is not a specific time of day or season when I take pictures of clouds. When I have my camera on hand and see a cloud formation that is unique to me, I capture the image. I could be driving, working in the yard, taking a road trip, basically any moment the opportunity arises.  I have to be quick to catch a specific moment because the sky is constantly changing.” 
For this display, Shelly and Ivan’s artwork will be alternated throughout the gallery opposite a dedicated wall to be used to collaborate on a site-specific installation piece.  This piece is intended to encourage greater exploration of the theme, alluding to the way the firmament is in constant flux, never repeating itself.

Bradon and Riascos create their imagery separately, but by presenting it together in this space, their different perspectives converge to allow larger conversations to unfold.  As a whole, it is their hope that viewers take away a renewed appreciation of the expansive beauty of the firmament, while also being reminded of its fragile nature and the role humanity must play as its protector.
About the Artists

Shelly Bradon is a visual artist residing in Central Florida. With a BFA from The Mississippi University for Women and an MFA from the University of Central Florida, Ms. Bradon has exhibited in shows throughout Central Florida, Atlanta, Georgia and Munich, Germany, and has consistently won top awards at Sidewalk Chalk Festivals for the past 15 years. Much of Ms. Bradon’s work considers our humanity and our relationships with others.

Ivan Riascos is an interdisciplinary artist, and curator raised in Central Florida. He earned his BFA degree from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a MFA degree at the University of Central Florida. He has shown his work at various galleries in Chicago, Atlanta, Tampa, and Orlando, and curated shows in Orlando. He has attended the Rauschenberg Residency on Captiva Island, FL and The Headlands Center for the Arts in California. His interest in photography and its role in history to create specific perspectives is one of the driving forces in his artwork. As an artist he considers himself a diarist, and an anthropologist, who uses various mediums to address issues of identity, religion, family, memories, perception, and relationships, with the intention of starting discussions on how we relate as a society as a whole, or within sub-cultures, and/or as individuals. Ivan currently spends his time creating self-published photo-based magazines (zines).