Welcome to April Sunami Studios. You will find my studio in a brick building near a bustling coffee shop and nestled between two creative spaces. You will enter through Open Heart Creatures studios to access my area. Once in my studio you will notice large and small original paintings covering most of the wall space in addition to art materials and inspiration boards. You will observe my mixed media art making process as I will be working on paintings throughout your visit.
Painting, mixed media
Columbus based artist April Sunami focuses mainly on mixed media painting featuring strong and spiritual images of women. Sunami holds a Master of Arts Degree in Art History from Ohio University and a Bachelor of Arts Degree also in Art History from the Ohio State University. Sunami is also an award-winning installation artist through the 2012 Columbus Arts Pop Up Project sponsored by the Greater Columbus Arts Council. Sunami is involved in various arts and community groups including Creative Women of Color, Creative Arts of Women, and the Eastside Arts Initiative. April’s work has been featured in several museum exhibitions and is represented in private collections throughout the country.
For nearly a decade I have painted women with fanciful hair and/or body coverings (i.e. burka, hijab, veil, etc). When I first started painting this theme I was interested in exploring the beauty of the female face and combining it with flowing shapes to represent hair or the covered form of a body. I’m still engaged in the idea of coupling the abstract with the figurative, but now I’m also preoccupied with the larger theme of contrasts. Representational/abstract, light/dark, high/low, decorative/substantive, symmetry/asymmetry, material/idea, intuition/intellect, power/impotence, Western hegemony/marginalization, universal/specific and process/result are few of the dichotomies to which I attempt to bring balance.
As a foundational base of my paintings I utilize oil and acrylic mediums. I render the faces and flesh in oil and I use acrylic to paint the ground palette of the body, clothes, and background. I love the organic and sensual quality of oil paint, but I also appreciate the fast and flexible properties of acrylic. To build texture I use everything including paper beads, collage, fabric, cork, post it notes, potpourri, mirrors, stones, breakaway glass from car accidents, and anything else I can affix to a surface.
Like most artists, making art is a means of creating emotional and spiritual harmony and thus a means of staying sane. My paintings are an expression of my attempt to bring internal conflicts into balance and agreement. I present it to other people in hopes that it might be a cathartic experience for them. It is my overall objective to create the kind of unity in painting that has a visceral effect on the viewer.
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