In Conversation with Artist Amber Henry

Amber Henry

It’s always such a pleasure to meet inspiring artists and be exposed to their wonderful work.  Amber Henry is one of those artists who, aside from being an excellent painter, has highly admirable aspirations to assist charities and agencies supporting those affected by cancer. A former Laguna Beach gallery owner, she relocated from Southern California to Salt Lake City in 2011 to take care of her mother who was suffering from breast cancer.

Amber graduated from Laguna College of Art + Design with a BFA in Fine Arts and Illustration. She went on to show in local Laguna art galleries such as Fingerhut and Orange County Creatives. While in California, she was a leader in the Laguna Beach art community, served on various committees such as First Thursday’s Art Walk, and Laguna College of Art + Design’s mentoring and alumni committees. She recently featured in a solo exhibition at Alpine Art Gallery in Salt Lake City. Amber kindly agreed to talk further about her art, career and future objectives.

I love your artwork. What’s your story and how did you become an artist?

I have always been consumed by imagination and creativity. Wandering, wondering, sensitive to unique patterns in everything and the many levels of colour and beauty these created. As long as I can remember, unique stories and ideas would play out within my imagination. It was as though these stories were so real I could reach out and touch them. As the creative environment travelled with me, so did my crayons, markers, pencils and torn pieces of paper. My pockets would overflow with drawing utensils and various “fascinating” objects which had been collected throughout the day. At one point, the discovery that I could create a world with paint and canvas lead to the realization that art has always lived within me and that I was destined to share this with the world and make my impression.

Do you specialize in portraits or do you work on different commissions?

Though I am passionate about portrait painting, I have and will work on any custom art. I tend to pour my soul in whatever I do, so creating custom art that will make a deep impact on anyone viewing the art, is an important to me and a large part of what I do. All of my art must evoke some sort of experience in the emotional sense. Otherwise, I feel as though my work is not complete.

I had the privilege of first seeing your work via Twitter. Can you provide further insight on how you managed to develop a theme of patient portraits?

I feel that people make an impression on the world. Every crease, wrinkle, scar and expression, tells a story and reveals pieces of a unique journey. Eyes reflect all kinds of emotion, from love, joy, pain, passion, and in many cases more than we can ever fathom. For me, to tell a story is to create a portrait and capture every one of those details in that moment. Storytelling in a single moment in time. A moment that can appear to be only what you see on the surface, yet gives a glimpse into what lies beneath the surface. I want my art to inspire people to use their imagination to interpret a particular piece and its story.
It all began with a portrait of my mother who passed away of cancer. I used this as healing process for myself. I wanted to capture the inner light and positive outlook she most often carried. From there, my hope was to capture likeness in a deeper sense. Yes, likeness can be captured by the artist in the physical sense. One can take a photo of a person and create a version that looks just like the person on the outside, but how many are able to successfully capture the inner person as well? It is the little nuances that matter. A certain depth and twinkle in the eye, a slight turn of the mouth, an eyebrow raised slightly higher than the other.

Amber Henry, David Emmanuel Noel
Mom- Portrait by Amber Henry

I don’t wish to only go skin deep when painting people. Capturing the soul is what I strive for whether it be painting a portrait of someone who has passed or one that is still physically with us.

An impression of the soul and capturing that moment in time…the essence of a person.

Are there any charities or agencies you would like to work with to develop this project further?

I would love to work with any non-profit organizations which promote healing for those affected by cancer in some way, survivors, caregivers and family of those afflicted. Currently, I am looking to raise money larger organizations like Komen as well as smaller, community based non-profits. Since giving back is such a big part of what I am trying to do, for those who mention this interview when ordering any of my artwork, I will donate 25% of the proceeds to a charity such as Komen or one of their choosing.

Amber Henry, David Emmanuel Noel
“Hands of Love”, charcoal and pastel drawing on paper, 17.5″ x 12″ (commissioned art) *A wife’s loving hand with the hand of her dying husband.

Progress has been made in how the health sector uses art as part of the healing process. Do you have any ideas how this can be furthered?

I’m no doctor, but I believe that by raising awareness on how utilizing the arts can promote healing and can bring hope and joy to so many. There is so much focus on treatments in the physical sense, like chemo, radiation and nutrition, and exercise. What about the fine arts, music and dance? Even if it provides a creative distraction from whatever treatment a person is going through, I do believe our emotional health and personal fulfilment directly reflects our outlook and physical wellbeing. If someone can get lost in imagining the story behind a piece of my art, it’s certainly better than thinking about their battle with whatever illness or challenge they are facing. I believe anyone affected by any sort of physical challenge can be positively uplifted by creativity whether it is through their own, or experiencing and enjoying the creativity of others.

Seth

What other projects and activities should we look out for?

I’d like to further examine people. People affected by a variety circumstances, like homelessness, poverty, etc. Based on their story, I would paint them, striving to re-create the moment in time in which their story was told. Even if is a painting of a space with no people, this would reflect a specific experience or story told.

 

 

I wish Amber the very best for the future. For further info Amber can be contacted via the following links

mailto:akhenryfinearts@gmail.com

www.akhenryfinearts.com 

Facebook: AKHenry Fine Arts 

Twitter: @akhenryfinearts 

 

 

 

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It’s August already!

David Emmanuel Noel, Art by David Emmanuel Noel, Jazz & Art, Pictures at an African Exhibition, Darryl YokleyIt’s August already! The year seems to be flying by. The summer has been a mixed bag of events but it’s also been a period visiting galleries, gaining inspiration and working on a few pieces including the musical themed works above. Part of my ‘art of music‘ collection. This follows  the recent work with Darryl Yokley on ‘Pictures at an African Exhibition.’  Please visit Darryl’s site for the CD and further details. I’m looking forward to sharing a wider spectrum of work with you over the coming months. So, for the time being, just keeping up appearances and reaching out! Wishing you and yours a happy, healthy and relaxing month ahead.

david emmanuel noel, art of music, music and art, david emmanuel noel art, music and art

 

Release of CD-‘Pictures At An African Exhibition’

David Emmanuel NoelThe result of my collaboration with Darryl Yokley is released this April 20th and all involved are excited with up and coming performances and promotional events in New York and beyond. Keep an eye out on Darryl’s website for updates. I hope to see some of you at these gigs! The first single ‘Ubuntu’ will be streaming on band camp. You can download the single by visiting this link and pre-ordering a physical or digital copy of the album. Wishing you a great day!

My Latest Show- Unfold at London’s Espacio Art Gallery

David Emmanuel Noel
Figurine 3- Acrylic on canvas

Hoping you’re all well and the year is being good to you so far. I’m happy to announce that I’m participating in Unfold, the forthcoming exhibition at London’s Espacio Gallery. I’ll be exhibiting some of my recent figurative work which I hope you’ll like. The exhibition  is a fascinating journey into the creative mind of several artists. It reveals the creative processes that are essential to the development of their art. They allow the viewer a glimpse into sources of inspiration, and invite the onlooker to watch their ideas unfold, evolve and eventually develop into finished works.

The exhibition, curated by Carlos de Lins,  showcases a variety of interpretations and mediums reflecting their different styles. The private viewing is on Thursday 1st February. The show runs from January 30th to February 11th 2018.

Featured artists are:

Tanaz Assefi, Elena Brand, Andrea Coltman, Evaldas Gulbinas, Ekaterini Koliakou, Charvi Jain, Benjamin Nyari, Renee Rilexie, Pierre Verluca, Claire Weinstock, Sara Wickenden, Lewis Albert Williams

For further info please visit the gallery website.

 

Around the World in 80 Washing Lines, with artist Mahlia Amatina

This week I had the pleasure to  meet conceptual abstract artist Mahlia Amatina at the Menier Gallery near London Bridge. Until this weekend, you’re invited to visit Around the World in 80 Washing Lines, an interactive autism-friendly art exhibition depicting unique washing lines across the globe. The exhibition will tour both galleries and launderettes in the South of England, inviting visitors to discover the story behind each garment and washing line. The exhibition will also feature free, educational workshops for primary school children.

Around the World in 80 Washing Lines explores the connections and similarities of each washing line using a combination of photographs, textiles and a multi-sensory catalogue of effects including touch, smell and sound. Artist Malia Amatina explains the reason behind the project; “The project started as a means to highlight similarities between us as human beings, in a world where we often focus on differences. The universal washing line is a perfect means to do this: we all have laundry to do; irrespective of who, what or where we are in the world.”

Visitors can interact with each installation of clothes and get a glimpse of the person behind the garment by reading a short blog with real quotations. The exhibition reaches out to a wide and diverse audience, including those suffering with autism, alongside those to whom art is not fully accessible. As an autistic artist, Mahlia is keen to create an exhibition that is appealing and available to those across the spectrum. The campaign has already gained fantastic acknowledgment thus far having been recognised for its charitable efforts by the prestigious Arts Council, receiving funding earlier this year. The project has also recently been backed by The National Autistic Society.

For further information about the Around the World in 80 Washing Lines exhibition or Mahlia Amatina’s artwork please get in touch with Mahlia Amatina on mahliaamatina@gmail.com or 07725 366966, or Jessica Alley at Little Red Rooster on jessica@littleredrooster.co.uk or on 07506756914.