Ben Ripley is an artist working primarily in extended photography. In the inventive spirit at the dawn of photography, he devises new and unexpected ways of recording, rendering, and looking. In particular he is interested in reimagining the mechanisms and values of established media such as text and analog photography as a way of reorienting histories. His work often seeks a harmony between the physics of the material world and inner feelings. Other concerns are definitions of race, the limits of language, and explanations of visual experience. He is currently finishing his MFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC).
Nyugen Smith draws heavily on his West Indian heritage through work committed to raising the consciousness of past and present political struggles through his practice which consists of sculpture, installation, video and performance. He is influenced by the conflation of African cultural practices and the remnants of European colonial rule in the region. Responding to the legacy of this particular environment, Nyugen’s work considers imperialist practices of oppression, violence and ideological misnomers. While exposing audiences to concealed narratives, he aims to destabilize constructed frameworks from which this conversation is often held.