The four artists featured in this issue work in different media, but their work shares an autobiographical element and they draw themes from nature and a dichotomy of fragility and strength.
Lettie Jane Rennekamp is an illustrator and artist who works in both commercial and gallery spaces and the creator of Many Queens, a gender-inclusive tarot deck. Her work, He Speaks So Loud, which is the cover of this issue, features a femme figure that fills, yet is confined by, the space. This figure is supported by an abstracted sunflower that weaves up the figure’s legs. A small child resides on the figure’s side and their head explodes into delicate lines that escape the page’s edge. There is a stoic sense of power, yet sadness.
Kellette Elliot is a professional collage artist and educator whose work has been published in magazines, featured on album covers, and displayed in galleries. Her work is autobiographical and the process is therapeutic. In her work, Birds of a Feather, a figure with feminine features is seen in profile with their braided hair wrapping around their shoulder. The figure’s head blends into the circular backdrop that evokes a deep sea explorer’s helmet. Filling and breaking the boundaries of this sphere are birds.
Lorren Lowrey is a ceramist whose work explores the themes of religion and otherness. In Horn of Plenty, a porcelain lamb lays with its head and front legs on the table. Its hind legs stretch upwards as if in a yoga pose. The stark white lamb is contrasted by the colorful fruit that pours from the incision that runs along the belly of the lamb, and now the beauty of the pose turns into one of pain and torment.
Amy Reader is a fiber artist who creates colorful abstractions inspired by flowers, coral reefs, and forest floors. Like Elliot, the process of making holds significance and meaning for Reader—most of the stitches are intentionally left visible. Her two works found in this issue, Tide Pool 6 and Verde, have a prevalent use of circles, which invoke the continuation of life and new growth.
We have all experienced struggle, but new growth and hope remain constant. I hope you enjoy the works in this issue and explore more of these artists’ works. More information about each artist can be found on their respective pages.