We are always impressed by the submissions we get during our Call for ART.

In this month’s Artists to Watch, we’re featuring 10 talented artists that use a range of materials, techniques and motivations to bring their creations to life.

Contributors from all over the world share the inspirations behind their work and express their desire to connect after a year spent mostly at home.

Read ahead to meet these fantastic artists. Follow their pages to get updates on their work (and maybe take home an original piece yourself!)

1Stephanie Vanicek

coming back (left), shared, (right)

Stephanie Vanicek’s paintings and drawings mainly deal with memory and personal relationships and the way those entities connect to physical spaces.

“My inspiration for creating comes from wanting to turn a personal desire, memory, or imagined way of being into something concrete.

This has become especially important to me over the past year as we’ve lost a lot of interpersonal, 3D, physically tangible experiences to the pandemic. Where home used to feel like an escape from the world, home can now feel overwhelming or confining.

To escape that, I’ve turned to replaying memories of past homes and imagining different versions of home, which became a theme within this set of paintings. Since memory is subjective, my paintings reflect this, and I allow emotions and errors to find their way in.”


2Andrea Muñoz Martinez

Floating Dog Head (Papo)
Chispitas/Little Sparks with Opera Pink (left), Chispitas/Little Sparks (right)

Andrea Muñoz Martinez was born and raised in Uvalde, a rural Texas town 45 minutes from the U.S.-Mexico Border and Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico, where her mother was born.

She paints a colorful imaginary space she calls Borderlandia.

“I am inspired by my loved ones, the vast landscape of Uvalde, TX, and by the writings of the theorist Gloria Anzaldúa, who described the border as a “1,950 mile-long open wound.

It’s not hard to motivate myself to keep going. It’s in my blood.”


3Sludge Thunder

A Glorious Day at the Studio
Hot Dinner Date (left), Bountiful Tray at the Ocean (right)

Helen Houghton goes by the moniker ‘Sludge Thunder’ and creates art with a DIY attitude.

“Up until recently, most of my art supplies have been scavenged and scrounged from yard sales, thrifts stores, garbage heaps, dumpsters, and art classrooms in college after everyone has left for the summer.

There’s something about using up a thrown-out paint tube on an abandoned canvas that releases the anxiety of creating: when you’re working with trash, the bar starts pretty low, and when you can somersault over the bar, it feels pretty good. All of these paintings are done on used canvases that otherwise would have ended up in a landfill.

When I can latch on to an idea, the desire to bring that idea into fruition is strong. Glee and stupidity are powerful motivators for me. For example, inserting crocs into a painting brings me a very giddy feeling. Off brand crocs are my footwear of choice for their extreme versatility and low cost but have become a joyful and inspiring symbol of lighthearted mania.”


4Rayden Lawrence

Rayden Lawrence is an lgbtq+ emerging artist from Canso, Nova Scotia, who uses unconventional and repurposed materials.

“The Tactile series is a series of paintings made of various materials such as fabric, paper mâché, and shale. The paintings were created by layering a sculptural base onto the canvas and painting on the three-dimensional surface.

I have created these repurposed and other found materials as sustainability is something that is very important to me.

Accessibility is also something that is important to me; I encourage the audience to touch the paintings which allows for the inclusion of visually impaired individuals, who are often excluded from the fine arts world given the visual nature and the “don’t touch the paintings” rule present in most galleries and museums. The series is playful and allows for a more broad range of audience participants, including children and the visually impaired.”


5Polly Moorwood

Lucadendron Nude
Gum Nude

Polly Moorwood’s work and aesthetic revolves around the female figure and flora.

She’s constantly exploring ways of expressing the beauty and insecurity of being a woman through her art.

“What inspires me most to create is my ability to speak through my work. We all have something to say on behalf of ourselves and for others. Our creative expression and art practice enables us to send powerful and meaningful messages.

My messages will always revolve around being a woman and the ways in which I learn and embrace everything that encompasses.”


6Shaun Haugen

Jungle Pounce
The Hidden Life Within Looking at Me Looking at You (left), Original Flower (right)

Austin-native Shaun Haugen experiments with the portrayal of exotic forms in nature in his artwork.

“I depict not only exotic plant life, but sensual images and colors that relate to nature in its prehistoric state.

My paintings are an imaginary environment where viewers can immerse themselves in an alternate condition that existed at the beginnings of humankind. My paintings also offer themselves as a way for viewers to remove themselves from the demands of the present day by seeking out an “other” environmental habitat.

As humans have moved into the Anthropocene period, we have been alienated from nature in its purest form. I explore what it might be like psychically to live in our most original and pure environmental state.”


7Kate Wade

Third Eye Opens
Aries (left), Tokyo Drifting (right)

Kate Wade is an Austin artist passionate about meditation, yoga and personal development.

“I create art with an awareness to spiritual living. Working with my hands is the most gratifying means towards healing I have found. I am inspired to create works that are reflected in the energies brought on by doing yoga and meditation.

On and off the mat, I am always finding pockets of peace in the mind and bringing them to life. I do yoga so I can make art that reflects a higher state of consciousness.”


8Amanda Zindler

Amanda Zindler, turned her passion for tie dye, screen printing and painting into a thriving new business: Cry Dye By Amanda.

“I was inspired by seeing my two children in the tie-dye I made for them. I thought it would be cute if other kids would wear it too. I designed a T-rex logo, named Ty Tyrannosaurus, that’s friendly and gender neutral for all kids to enjoy. It’s been a hit with children and adults alike.

Seeing the reveal of the tie dye, the anticipation of waiting to see how a creation comes out 24 hours after, is an amazing feeling. It’s been a huge year for me. I’ve never put myself out there in the world like I am now.”


9Gerry Niemierowko


Gerry Niemierowko is a painter and multi-media artist from central Connecticut.

“My recent body of work references the intimacy of interior space. Everyone is affected by the pandemic is some shape or form. For a lot of artists this means repurposing your personal space into a work space, as not everyone has access to a studio at the moment. We make do and a bedroom suddenly becomes a studio and business front.”


10Claire Johnson

Visual artist, sculptor, and local business owner Claire Johnson and her brother created The Ploppet Art Car over 6 years by sculpting, gilding and with boat loads of plaster.

“My brother and I took his first car, a ‘97 Caddy Deville and sculpted it into what is now known as the “Jester of the Streets” locally in our city of Scottsdale, AZ.

We’re constantly creating, making poured resin stained glass, sculpting, gilding, and running a local all-purpose courier/delivery service with our crazy car.

We started the delivery service in 2014 to help out our local community and do something we enjoyed too, driving and thriving in the local area. We stay busy creating visual art in the AM and running deliveries in the PM.

This is our way to combine our love for visual art and the ability to bring art to unexpected venues. We marketed our delivery service with the art, and now local customers can specially request The Ploppet for any deliveries.



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