Crit Group Crew: Beth & Kate

Mentor: Beth Welch

Location: Baton Rouge, LA, USA – CT

Mother to one young child


IG: @bethwelchstudio

Mentorship Style: I am a very devoted mentor who constantly seeks to encourage her mentees to make work with care and thought. I also bring a good deal of practical knowledge of art handling (packing and shipping) as well as a museum professional perspective. I tend to be very direct and have really enjoyed helping my mentees get to the core of their message within their artwork.

Bio: Beth Welch is a visual artist working and living near Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Welch was born in Monroe, Louisiana in 1992. She graduated from Louisiana Tech University School of Design in 2015. Through her current drawing series she explores motherhood and the mutable remembrances of childhood in the context of memory. She is the recipient the Best in Show award for the 55th annual Motherlode show at the Sacramento Fine Arts Center and the national 2D juried competition at the Dallas Metro Arts Contemporary Gallery. She also received an Honorable Mention for her work in the 33rd Competition at the Alexandria Museum of Art. Her work has been exhibited at the Alexandria Museum of Art, The Culture Center of Cape Cod, Dallas Metro Arts Contemporary, The Masur Museum of Art, I Like Your Work Podcast Summer Juried Competition, The Stay Home Gallery in Nashville Tennessee, Woman’s Work.Art in Poughkeepsie, New York , the Baton Rouge Court House, Southern University Innovation Center, The Firehouse Gallery, Kellwood Contemporary Gallery, Commercial Interiors Group Baton Rouge, and Brownsville Museum of Fine Art. Welch has been published in Issue 20 of Create! Magazine. Today Welch works as the Preparator at the Louisiana Art and Science Museum in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She maintains her studio at her home in Geismar, Louisiana.

“No one teaches women how to be mothers. It is a skill learned through memory and emulation. A woman follows the teachings of the women who raised her, but only her own recollection of the lessons. Her memory is unerringly altered in the retelling of time. The maternal figures who so influenced her own course to motherhood are now only ghosts, hazy, their voices faint. By creating drawings of mothers in charcoal and their offspring in pen and ink I reflect on the blur of motherhood and the divide of the clarity of child rearing. The layers of vellum depict the separation of the past and future generations of women. Like memory, vellum slightly clouds and obscures the mothers. The images of the mothers are rendered in charcoal, which can be fuzzy, messy, and imprecise, like a child’s impression of a parent. On the other hand, the children are drawn in pen and ink, which is tedious and painstaking and permanent – much the way parents view childrearing. Pen and ink requires study – every line deliberated upon and purposefully chosen, much like every decision in parenthood. A child does not notice a new line on a parent’s face, or a new gray hair; a parent notices every scrape and scratch, the precise shape of a new tooth or the tremor of a closed eyelid. These mediums explore simultaneously what it means to be the child of a mother, and the mother of a child. Through this series I explore motherhood and the mutable remembrances of childhood in the context of memory.”

Visiting Artist: Kate Nichols

Website & IG: @kate_nichols_studio

Bio: Oakland-based artist Kate Nichols synthesizes nanoparticles to mimic structurally colored animals, grows artificial skin from microorganisms, and makes her own paints following fifteenth-century recipes. The long tradition of painters as material innovators inspired Nichols to become the first artist-in-residence in the Alivisatos Lab, a nanoscience laboratory at UC Berkeley. Following this, Nichols was named a Richard Diebenkorn Teaching Fellow at the San Francisco Art Institute, a Jacob K. Javits Fellow, and a TED Fellow. Her artwork has been featured on the cover of the journal Nature, in the Stavanger Kunstmuseum in Norway, and in The Leonardo Museum’s permanent collection. Nichols has been a fellow at the Vermont Studio Center, and an artist-in-residence at the Djerassi Resident Artist Program, Stochastic Labs, and the Innovative Genomics Institute at UC Berkeley. She is currently creating paintings inspired by her experiments with CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technology.

The Biological Significance of these Sequences is Not Known 2 (Xerces Blue). Oil on panel. 23 x 23 inches. 2016