After graduating from Bradley University, a series of jobs led Bethany to a career within the interior design industry. While painting privately in her home, she held a long-term position at Gary Lee Partners, a Chicago based architecture + design firm. After working as their Furniture Procurement Director and overseeing installations for some of Chicago’s premier residences, she saw firsthand how artwork can transform a space. This experience furthered her enthusiasm for art and interiors, becoming a stepping stone in her development as an artist.
Bethany relocated to Peoria, IL with her husband and two kids in 2014. Peoria’s supportive arts community and studio space accessibility sparked Bethany to devote more time and effort into her work as an artist. This devotion allowed her to truly find her own language and growth as an artist which has resulted in representation by Agora Gallery in NYC and publications in ArtisSpectrum Magazine, Aesthetica Magazine, Current Masters World Art Book and ArtPlatform NYC.
Bethany still sees the necessary marriage between art and a living space however her focus has evolved towards an emphasis in process and self-reflection. Bethany paints out of her studio in Peoria, IL inside of a rehabbed millwork warehouse that has been converted into artist lofts. Stay connected on Bethany's upcoming gallery shows and market participation around the country, by joining the mailing list
ARTIST PROCESS + STATEMENT:
Bethany's paintings are guided by improvisation and begin without much conscious thought beyond a potential pallet. Each layer unintentionally evolves upon the next and grows into a layered composition that becomes a record of her current situation or state of mind, informed by her acute observational nature. Once enough layers are formed, a more intentional process begins and Bethany decides what layers to reveal or conceal, until she has eliminated any unrest in the piece.
Bethany believes that her process is very similar to the human experience and the subconscious reactions that form it. Primary themes that show up in her work are layers, contrasts and circular patterns. Bethany is interested in the layers that form us, both emotionally and physically, and how they inform a conditioned and cyclical lens that we see ourselves and the world thru. Much like her process, these layers evolve unintentionally, but form intentional reactions in what we decide to reveal or conceal to others, sometimes creating a strong contrast between our inner and outer worlds. These interests play a strong role in the personal reactions and reflections that Bethany finds in her own work. She hopes that each viewer will have his or her own unique reaction + reflection.
TEXTILE PRINTING PROCESS:
Bethany's fabric patterns are created from small sections of her original paintings that are digitally repeated and then printed onto fabric. Bethany is proud to collaborate with a printer that uses water-based pigment ink set, which has been chosen for its environmentally friendly characteristics, compared to the ink formulas of reactive, dispersed and acid ink. Her printer's operations are designed to minimize wastefulness. For example, the ink cartridges are refillable and create minimal waste (absolutely no hazardous waste!). The small amount of printed fabric waste due to flaws, misprints, sampling and color work is donated to animal shelters to be used for pet litter absorption, or donated to schools for use in their art and theater departments.
Other benefits of using water-based pigment ink set include consideration of the environmental impact of the printing process and the human community impact of the printer's business practices. Other printing methods (such as rotary screen printing) are incredibly wasteful. Their methods create large overruns, significant and often polluting wastewater, high energy consumption and other issues that result from the types of inks, batch sizes, machinery and labor used in this type of printing.
Minimal fabric flecking is normal and the nature of water-based ink set printing. Think of it as "Wabi-Sabi" - the discovery of beauty in imperfection! A statement that Bethany loves to live by and an important and intentional element in her work.