Kiana is a traveling nature photographer who is inspired by natural and simple beauty. She photographs things in nature that may otherwise be overlooked, and transforms them into complex pieces. For example, these images were curated from a photo of an icy cliff in Shenandoah National Park, VA. She really wanted to take the image and make it essentially unrecognizable, with accents of what it was.
The theme of “Darkness” is prominently displayed throughout this piece; From the dark and intense color scheme, to the bizarre figures you can see throughout. It gives a cold and eerie vibe, perfectly connecting to the vibe of the original image.
Gabriela Diaz Garcia
Gabriela Diaz Garcia is a local artist residing in Providence, Rhode Island. Founder of GBYART, a brand all about artistic freedom, and a Fine Arts student. Working primarily with acrylic and oil paint, many of her paintings are a representation of abstract and
realism. The feeling of creating something impactful, something that makes people pause, reflect, and engage with her work is when she feels successful. In her artistic exploration, she delves into Darkness, far from being a void, is a tapestry of emotions, experiences, and mysteries waiting to be unraveled. Through these pieces, the main feelings would be jealousy, bad energy from others, and Embracing the Shadows.
Yienajye Nawan (she/her) has been working in the education sector for 17 years, serving young people from the cities of Boston, Providence, and New York. She trained in Outdoor Education with Outward Bound, Museum Education at Providence Children’s Museum and has worked in schools. She has determined to give young people the tools they need to think creatively, discover the outdoors, and be inquiring.
Her artistry took off in the pandemic when time stopped and she could use it more desirably. This led to discovering it was therapeutic and satisfying for her to paint. Her art speaks to the resurgence of power after the disturbance of the psyche. She creates from a place that knows suffering is part and parcel to achieving happiness.
When she is not painting, she is reading a book about Black culture while taking a bubble bath.
She currently lives in Providence, Rhode Island, where she is an artist and works as a Youth Worker designing games for her students to challenge themselves while having fun.
This series of paintings explores an intimate journey that delves into the profound nuances of darkness. Through the complexities of the human psyche, where the intersection of our inner and outer worlds defines our thought process, behavior, and sometimes affects our bodily makeup, each painting is a display of the effects the psyche has on the distinct levels of our experience.
In these canvases, I expose the human mind undergoing the torment of an unhealthy psyche that also highlights its fragility. The brushstrokes speak the language of the turmoil within, as the boundaries of sanity blur and fray. Each stroke is a whisper, a cry, an echo of the struggles that manifest when the mind succumbs to its own shadows.
Detachment from reality becomes a recurring theme in this series, a reflection of the delicate dance between the senses and the reliability in trusting them. The figures in these paintings exist in a realm of distorted perceptions. Through the distortion of reality, I aim to provoke contemplation on the nature of existence and the elusive boundaries that define our understanding of self and place.
Body changes, both physical and internal, play a pivotal role in this exploration of darkness. The latter becomes a struggle that traps you into darkness through further isolation from the naked eye. Through this body of work, I invite you to join me in a contemplative exploration of the human condition—a journey that navigates the obscure corridors of the mind, questions the truth of reality, and seeks to unveil the profound beauty that emerges from finding a way to navigate your relation to darkness and its potential within your existence.
Jennifer A. Ugarte Amaya was born and raised in Guatemala, and later in life, discovered her Colombian heritage. Her journey in photography began in 2022 as a means to document her travels. A few years ago, she met the love of her life—a Rhode Islander whose family migrated from Guatemala and Colombia many years ago. Little did she know that this encounter would lead her to marry and embark on a new life in Rhode Island at the age of 33. However, this decision came with unexpected challenges and emotions. Migration takes on various forms, unique to each individual. In her personal experience, she founds herself confronting one of the darkest periods of her life. Grappling with depression, loneliness, suicidal thoughts, and anxiety—emotions she had never before encountered or comprehended. Feeling trapped in a space between being no one and doing nothing and striving to become someone and achieve something. Feeling lost between who she was and who she aspires to be.
Darkness, whether within us or in our surroundings, can be overwhelming. Yet, someone once observed a small flame burning inside and urged Jenni to protect it from extinguishing. She clung to that flicker within, returning to it whenever she felt unable to move forward. There is always a light, and it's crucial never to let anyone, not even yourself, extinguish it. Darkness is simply the absence of light; don't let your light fade away.
Nikki Silva is an artist living and working in Providence, Rhode Island. She received a BA in Political Science and Sociology from Providence College and received an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from the School of Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University. Even though their practice is interdisciplinary, she describes herself as a printmaker first and foremost, primarily focusing on silkscreen processes and Risograph printing. Through printed medium, they primarily work in themes of constructed familial histories, generational grief, and reconstructing narratives. She is currently an Adjunct Visual Arts Professor at Roger Williams University.
Untitled (Kitchen Table) is a screen-printed resin coated preserved kitchen table that displays familial archival imagery. After the loss of multiple family matriarchs, my family’s kitchen table has become increasingly less populated. The domestic space of sharing has shifted, all the extended family (that at one time were not “extended” but immediate) are succumbing to their desire for their individualized American nuclear family fantasy. We no longer add the leaf to the table and folks are no longer gathered around the pot of Sunday Gravy bubbling away on the stove. A table that once was energized by laughter, sharing, and community is now growing dim serving us dishes of grief. This piece is made to exemplify that grief but also remind us that even in the darkness of loss, the table is re-energized when we spill the family drug store photographs across the top of it, reminiscing, and telling stories.