AMERISTAR GALLERY emerging ARTIST series


The Ameristar Gallery is home to the Foundry Art Centre's Emerging Artist Series.
Artists fresh on the art scene can display their work to introduce their style to the local art community. 


Traci Mims

Sole Food

January 4 – February 15, 2019

For this exhibit I wanted to create works that speak to being African American female. When you walk in someone else’s shoes you gain understanding of their experiences, challenges, and ways of thinking. My work in general usually focuses on self discovery, the human condition, and social realism. These subjects are presented thru the use of allegory, symbolism, and colloquialism. I attempted to created works that are about common cultural experiences and connections and that brought me to how “Soul Food” serves that purpose in my culture. It forms a spiritual and cultural connection and is derived from adversity and lack. The basic ingredients in Soul Food are not ideal but my ancestors took them and made something great and lasting that has been passed from generation to generation. The exhibit title “Sole Food” touches on the lives of the women who came before me and the road they trod, the struggles of their journey, their roles, practices, and rituals. The common struggle we still face in contemporary society. Sole Food is also an appreciation of the Matriarchal figure which is dominant in Afrocentric culture.

Artwork by Tracy Mims

Artwork by Tracy Mims


Upcoming Exhibition

40006844_zuania_muniz_4.jpg

Zuania Muniz-Melendez

40006156_zuania_muniz_1.jpg

Island Beauty

February 22 – April 5, 2019

My project is based on the philosophy of the aesthetic movement of the mid-nineteenth century in England, where the cult of beauty, the incorporation of floral elements and sensuality was sought. Within this framework I try to exhibit the beauty of the habitual and continuous interaction between the human being and the flora that occurs in the islands of the Caribbean.To achieve this, I used language, flora, and the human body as the starting point for creating photography with high aesthetic value. The combination of photographic technique, illumination, care for detail, precision, and manual confection of the floral arrangements allows me to provide the viewer with an experience of enjoyment and delight.

My creative process begins with the Spanish language, particularly the definite article that precedes the name of each flower. In Spanish, this article is gendered, varying between the male el and the female la. For example, while creating the piece that features an oak flower—in Spanish, el roble—I used male body parts to correspond to the flower´s definite article. On the other hand, while preparing the bougainvillea—la trinitaria—I used female body parts. My intention is not to make a statement on gender or sex, but to highlight the morphology of the language.

As to the flowers, I arrange them by hand to create compositions in conjunction with the human body. These meticulous arrangements are placed in situ when I create the photograph. The flowers themselves provide the beauty, grandeur, and glory inherent to tropical flora.

The human body—in its entirety or by its parts—supplies a sense of humanity to the composition. Each one of my photographs exhibits the symbiotic relationship between human beings and the flora, a connection widely experienced by all who live in tropical regions. The human body juxtaposed with colourful flowers is a celebration of our humanity and the joy of life.