Where There's Smoke
Merissa Mann is a fine artist and costume designer living and working in the Bay area. The granddaughter of the famous interior designer Phylliss B. Mann, she spent her formative years immersed in the visual and performing arts. Since the age of five, she has taken countless art classes and attended numerous exhibitions and performances. These experiences spurred her to graduate with honors from UC Berkeley with a BA in Practice of Art and a Certificate in Design Innovation (Ms. Mann was the first recipient of this distinction). After graduation, Ms. Mann pursued her love of theater by becoming a costume designer in the Bay Area. Within a year of working in the Bay Area, she began costuming her own shows for professional theater companies such as Marin Shakespeare Company, Broadway by the Bay, and the San Francisco Mime Troupe. While working on her theater career, Ms. Mann has continued to create new works of fine art.
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Karen Amy Finkel Fishof
Born in the Bronx, NY, Karen was heavily influenced by the NY art scene, hanging out in clubs with Andy Warhol and Keith Haring in the 80’s. She apprenticed under artist, Marylyn Dintenfass and was greatly influenced by her thematic color schemes and work practice. Karen attended Syracuse University as a painting major, where she received a BFA in painting including a year abroad at St. Martins School of Art, London, UK, where she first started creating photograms under the same professors that worked with Gilbert and George and showing her paintings in New York.
Karen has been working as a painter, photographer, window dresser and graphic designer creating window designs for Macy’s, Lord & Taylor, Dress Barn Stores and major music labels as well as design for licensed products for Kraft Foods, Simon Malls, Crayola, Nickelodeon, Imax, Cartoon Network and Gameboy after receiving a second degree in Graphic Design.
By pushing the boundaries of conventional black and white photography, I produce large scale, life size, one-of-a-kind photograms, using a variety of techniques, creating imagery as no one has done before.
Photograms provide the medium I need to tell my stories. Through them, I can express ideas about society and mass media. I love the creative process of these works, from the exposure to the development. The magic of seeing the image appear when the photo paper is placed in the chemistry, knowing it was a moment captured with no negative. I relish the anticipation in the darkroom of seeing how various objects live in the light and how light wraps around them and capturing that living dance on 2D, still, photo paper.
I am influenced by all artistic mediums including interior design, film, music, fashion and social media. I've worked in all these areas professionally, and draw from their current trends. The photogram process, the way I'm doing it, allows me to collage these areas together into one cohesive image statement.
L. Aviva Diamond
Aviva Diamond began taking photos as a teenager, inspired by the works of Minor White and Paul Klee. She spent many years as a journalist, reporting and shooting for The Miami Herald, winning a local Emmy in St. Louis, and becoming a network correspondent for ABC News. She later established a successful corporate media training business. In 2014, Diamond joined the Los Angeles Art Association and began exhibiting her work. Her art has been included in shows at the Griffin Museum of Photography, the Palm Springs Art Museum, Annenberg Space for Photography, Neutra Institute Gallery, The Center for Fine Art Photography, the Latino Art Museum and various Southern California galleries.
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The Dortort Center Galleries are located at Hillel at UCLA. The public is invited to view our exhibits Monday through Friday from 10:00am to 4:00pm (or at other times by special request) when school is in session.
For questions, please contact Perla Karney at 310-208-3081 x108 or [email protected]