Talented Graduates

Five young local artists are featured in Sensory Overload, an exhibit at Lulubell Toy Bodega.

All five artists graduated from the UA in 2009, said featured artist Alex Riegert-Waters.

"All of us featured in the exhibit are old friends," said Riegert-Waters. "This gives us the chance to show off all the work we've been doing since we graduated last year."

Riegert-Waters' work was featured at Lulubell earlier in the year, and he offered input on this show.

"Alex was the first to be picked; then he brought our attention to beK Davis," said Sensory Overload curator Dave Carender. "The man I replaced as curator, Phillip Hilliker, picked most of the artists from there."

The other participating artists are Angela Suk Montgomery, Christi Rochin and Andy Steinbrink.

"All of the artists involved are college friends who have styles and techniques that are similar and work well together in a gallery," explained Carender.

Riegert-Waters specializes in both illustration and character design. He combines the sensibilities and abstractions of surrealism with traditional means of illustration to create characters that "speak purely to the imagination."

"I have backgrounds in both graphic design and illustration," he explained. "But I am unwilling to choose one or the other. The type of art I create involved both the free-form styles of illustration and the fine lines of graphic design."

He claims his biggest influences are "how it works" books, which show systems behind an object or image. He said he tries to create characters in similar ways, with a sense of quirkiness that makes the images seem to leap off the canvas.

beK Davis seeks to bridge the gap between the highbrow world of fine arts and the lowbrow world of illustration. She said she "doesn't take her work seriously, and expects you to take her very seriously about that." Davis' "Splatter Cat Blankets" is described by Carender as one of his favorite pieces in the entire collection.

Angela Suk Montgomery's art is described as "weird and happy, created through the use of various mediums, lines bright and murky colors and good feelings." Her work is wild and full of color, with a strong attention to even the most minute details. Some of her interesting pieces featured in Sensory Overload include "Painted Nesting Dolls": She painted five nesting dolls representing the five senses.

"World Conquest" is another beautiful Montgomery illustration, featuring a gigantic young girl leaping over a beautifully colored and detailed magic land of sorts. Montgomery's work seems to be a bit DayGlo; she claims to be influenced by commercial art, animation, pop-culture, manga, her mom's doodles, love, toys, girl things and life. She attributes the psychedelic characteristics of her recent work to her current interests—as well as the sunny weather.

Christi Rochin's work has been described as a combination of Dr. Seuss, LSD and late-night soft-core porn on Cinemax. Her work seems to feature many female characters displaying influences from anime and other mediums. She has designed hundreds of websites in addition to her illustrating work.

Andy Steinbrink will also bring interesting art to the event; he's known for working with strange and unusual objects in the past.

"I can only hope the viewers have as much fun looking at these images as I had making them," said Riegert Waters.