Introducing a few of the fresh faces in downtown’s newest collaborative arts space
Sherleelah, a digital designer and illustrator, is the new kid on the block in terms of the collective that served as the core for the newly forming Blockfort—she made her introduction by way of an open call for artists. Brouillette and company wanted to ensure that new artistic blood flowed through their halls, and Sherleelah made the cut. Blockfort will be Jones’s first studio outside her home, which will provide her space to focus and continue to grow as an artist. With her compelling digital collages of altered photos and original illustration, Sherleelah presents a style that is evocative, inspiring, and chillingly relevant. Keep your eye on her in the coming year.
Marshall Shorts is an artist with an entrepreneurial and activist spirit. Along with studio-mate David Butler, Shorts is responsible for developing events such as the Creative Control Fest and other engaging opportunities for artists of color. Shorts also creates and encourages artistic expression not only as resistance to oppression, but also to support those who have been oppressed. He’s crossed artistic paths with Brouillette in the past, and his strong work ethic and outspoken advocacy for the arts makes him a natural fit at Blockfort.
Schmitt produces illustrations that could be described as “woodland esoterica.” Through his portfolio of tour posters and promotional materials for prominent bands like Old Crow Medicine Show, The Melvins, and The Devil Makes Three, as well as local staples like Four String Brewing and the Craftin’ Outlaws, his subject matter is greatly influenced by his love of the wild. His attention to detail is precise, with his creatures and skulls drawn as if from a textbook. Yet his figuration and composition can border on grotesque, giving the impression that the image was inspired more by an arcane, mystic tome.
Remember back in high school when there was that one kid who effortlessly drew unreal figures and characters on their notebooks and you always wished you could do that? Lucie Shearer is that kid, and she’s not just doodling in study hall. Shearer is an illustrator whose delicate pencil drawings are ripped from childhood memories and re-imagined in 21st century terms. Her focus has been taking a thing of beauty, specifically the female form, and juxtaposing it with disturbing and/or surreal imagery that evoke a visceral reaction in the viewer.