Emily Stroud is currently working out of Birmingham, Alabama. She has received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a concentration in oil painting. Her work has been exhibited in southeast region galleries such as The Birmingham Museum of Art, Abroms-Engel Institute for Visual Arts, and The Wiregrass Museum of Art. Her work focuses on the attitudes surrounding gender and sexuality that still exist in the south. By painting soft realistic figures that do not fit into societal norms, she makes the viewer think about the ways gender and sexuality inevitably vary. Her work challenges gender norms and stems from her own experiences growing up as a woman from Alabama.
As a young artist supporting and engaging in intersectional arts and movements, I’ve been able to work alongside some passionate arts activists doing a wide array of creative resistance work in the Twin Cities. Art has added energy to advocacy, resonating with people at deeper emotional levels, while conveying what cannot be said with mere facts. I have found my voice and comfort in the arts. Through body art and multimedia sculpture, I try to capture life's beauty in the many faces, shades, and shapes it comes in, while highlighting environmental issues that impact frontline communities.
When I paint, I paint on people because a person communicates so much through their body language. My body of work explores the relationships women have with their surrounding environments and the natural world. I center my work around women because there is a strong connection between the violence inflicted on those who identify as female and Mother Earth. The extraction and exploitation of Earth’s wealth also parallels the displacement and commodification of black, brown and queer bodies. My art is often ambiguous, which allows viewers to interpret in their own way. Each piece serves as a silent tribute to the fragility and resilience of nature and humanity.
Efrat Arielle Peleg is an Israeli artist who moved to the US as a young adult. She graduated from Bard College, NY, in 2015, with a dual degree in Fine Art and Asian Studies. Efrat studied abroad at Kyoto-Seika University, Japan, where she discovered how deeply connected she was to her own Israeli culture and the conflict embodied in it. This understanding urged her to return to Israel to work with human rights and peacebuilding organizations such as Solidarity of Nations and Seeds of Peace. Working in Jerusalem for the past three years, Efrat has combined art with education in a way that has allowed her to build meaningful relationships with both youth and adults, Palestinians and Israelis, in a variety of frameworks. Art helped her foster these relationships and go beyond spoken language. Therefore, Efrat sees art as a universal language, a powerful tool to communicate and share the stories that all people, anywhere, carry within. While in Jerusalem, Efrat pursued working on her personal artwork is local studios. She expresses her own stories and learnings through paintings, printmaking and imaginative illustrations.