Wall Street International // review

Through her Eyes: A Southern California Perspective of our World opens February 16th at Riverdale NY Gallery


Elisa Contemporary Art is pleased to present "Through her Eyes: A Southern California Perspective of our World ". This two-woman show features two Southern California Abstract artists Kimber Berry and Stephanie Cate. It will open on February 16th and run through May 25th. Our artists interpret the universe in art – revealing their impressions of our environment on earth both naturally created and impacted by our human interactions, as well as our surrounding planets.

The exhibit will include two series by Kimber Berry - Liquid Landscapes and Plastic Gardens. Berry’s work represents the intersection of technology, nature and humanity. Her paintings are boldly colorful, in constant motion and multi-dimensional. She masterfully integrates cut and layered digital elements imposed on paper and vinyl with pure paint creating a dance between the virtual world and the organic universe.

According to Berry, the Liquid Landscapes “are an organic somewhat abstract ocean-like environment selected for its peaceful calming effect and because it helps in opening up the mind to other levels of being. Our lives are made up of constructed environments.” These worlds are created with a combination of digitally altered photographs of her paint strokes collaged in with her actual Acrylic paint.

In the Plastic Gardens series, Berry explores the human impact on our natural environment – how we relate to and manipulate nature. “How are we, as a society, going to create harmony and balance with the Earth? Is the creation of plastic gardens enough to offset the damage we're doing?.. I've constructed this series of paintings inspired by these plastic gardens. Plastic refers both to the materials I use, but also to the flexibility of these organic environments to exist and take any form the gardener wishes. Continuing my exploration of digital and paint, reality and illusion, new and old technology to take a closer look into the duality of societal expansion and growth. Using digitally manipulated photographs of paint, natural and plastic organic plants and flowers along side and embedded in actual paint, the highly manipulated surfaces of my paintings illustrate how highly manipulated nature has become. We need to ask ourselves what is our true relationship with nature?”

From emerging Los Angeles artist, Stephanie Cate, we’ll be traveling far into space…approximately 390 million miles…and more precisely to the planet Jupiter. The exhibit will feature the Europa series, both paintings on Wood Panel, and studies on paper. This series is based on the moon, Europa and Cate’s fascination with this planet, it’s structure and the potential for life.

Europa (Jupiter II) is the sixth-closest moon of Jupiter and the sixth-largest moon in the Solar System. Europa was discovered in 1610 by Galileo Galilei and was named after Europa, mother of King Minos of Crete. Europa - an icy moon of Jupiter - is slightly smaller than Earth's moon. It is unique in the solar system, being thought to have a global ocean of water in contact with a rocky seafloor. If the ocean is proven to exist, Europa could be a promising place to look for life beyond Earth.

Its surface is smooth and bright, consisting of water and ice criss-crossed by long, linear fractures. This texture and movement is boldly captured within Cate’s brushstrokes. Like Earth, Europa is thought to have an iron core, a rocky mantle and an ocean of salty water beneath its ice crust. If this ocean exists, the tides might also create volcanic or hydrothermal activity on the seafloor, supplying nutrients that could it suitable for living things.

Kimber is a Los Angeles artist, who is part of the "Flow Movement," a term coined by Art Critic (and curator) Peter Frank. Her artwork is vibrant and dynamic mixed media combining acrylics, resins and digitally altered photographs of her paint-strokes. As a native of LA, Kimber loves to blur the line between what is real and what is illusion.

She has received a lot of positive attention from art critics and curators on the West Coast and has been featured in solo and group shows in New York, LA, Atlanta and London. She has been part of recent exhibits at the Riverside Museum and the Huntington Beach Art Center in California.

Her work is in public and private collections around the world. Kimber has been featured in Hamptons Cottages & Gardens, Ocean Home, Art Ltd, Luxe Interiors +Design, Flaunt, New York Times and CBS News.

She received her MBF from University of Southern California and MFA from Claremont Graduate University. In 2013, she created an installation at Terminal 3 at LAX. Kimber is also part of the Artists Pension Trust.

Stephanie Cate is an abstract painter based out of Los Angeles, California. She spent most of her childhood in France, before relocating to Los Angeles, California at fourteen. She spent a couple of years as an apprentice for a muralist in Santa Monica, painting large scale murals for casinos in Las Vegas and private residences before she decided to pursue her own artistic path. She attended Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston, receiving a BFA in painting.

Being surrounded by the history and architecture of France as a child and the grand decaying beauty of former centuries left an early impression on her that still influences her work to this day. After working for over a decade in a photographic based mixed-media process, Stephanie returned to her original love of pure abstraction to delve in further and reconnect with freshness and liberation of texture, line, shape and color.

Stephanie's work is in public and private collections including Kelly Wearstler, Renee Zellweger, Annabeth Gish Mr. Avi Amiel (President, Art Collector International Magazine), Rasa Center for Yoga (Oregon) and Wynn Tower Suites (Las Vegas)


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Riverdale Press // review

Two female artists from SoCal display contrasting views on life and nature

By Tiffany Moustakas


Amid the premature spring weather outside, Elisa Contemporary Art brings a heated Southern California perspective to Riverdale with its new exhibition, “Through Her Eyes.”

The exhibit, which is on display until May 25, features California artists Kimber Berry’s and Stephanie Cate’s different views on life.

“Both of them really bring to life very, very different abstract ways of our world, our relationship with nature and our universe,” Lisa Cooper, the owner of the gallery, said. “I felt like it was so important in this particular time where we are to also have a female perspective of our world. So that was also a key element for bringing this all together.” 

Berry’s pieces are bursts of colors created from a combination of paint and digitally altered images to create “multi-dimensional moving paintings,” according to Cooper.

“Kimber is really concerned with how we’re destroying nature, and potentially the only things that will be left with our relationship with nature are plastic flowers and things that we create and put here, as opposed to what nature has created,” she said. 

Meanwhile, Cate brings forth a perspective out of this world. Or at least from beyond this planet. Her works revolve around Europa––one of the moons orbiting Jupiter––and possibilities of life in other places.

“It sort of changes your perspective as you look at these very black and white pieces to then think this is all about that texture of the planet, that ability for it to have life, that fascination with something sort of new and exploring something that’s about 36 million miles away,” Cooper said.

Tucked away in a plain building on Mosholu Avenue, Elisa Contemporary Art has had a home in Riverdale since 2008. Cooper, a former Riverdale resident, initially established the gallery in 2007, and although she spent over 20 years in advertising and marketing, working for major companies such as Mercedes-Benz, Cooper’s true passion lies in making art accessible to others.

“Art really has a healing and transforming quality in all of our lives,” she said. “And it’s so important, so there’s always been––since the beginning––that ability to give back and support the healing quality of art therapy as well.” 

Cooper’s work goes beyond her Riverdale location. She’s an art dealer who works with artists and puts on shows in Manhattan, Miami and other cities. In the last year, she’s opened an art salon in Connecticut, and a portion of the money Elisa Contemporary Arts makes goes to philanthropic initiatives such as Free Arts NYC and the Art Therapy Project. But her decision to open a gallery in Riverdale came from wanting to tap into a niche that was lacking in the community.

“We have great, wonderful, smart people here who are passionate about the arts,” she said, “but there’s a little bit of that feeling in Riverdale that if it’s here, it’s not as good as it’s going to be in Manhattan or someplace else, which actually is an incorrect perspective.” 

And even though Cooper’s goal is to serve the arts to everyone, her own passion is the element that holds it together. She believes it’s part of her aesthetic to pick work she loves before exhibiting it to others.

“I’m such a firm believer that [art] needs to live somewhere between your heart and your emotion, and you take your head out of it,” she said. “But it has to make you feel something.” 

Cooper doesn’t know what the future of art will hold, but she’s intrigued by what artists will bring to her gallery and how her visitors will perceive it. 

“I hope their impressions are that they see something they’ve never seen before or experienced,” she said, “that it takes them into a different space that they have that feeling like, ‘this is something I would love to come home to every day and get lost and get out of this crazy world and just get lost into a piece of art’ into someplace that’s a little more healing, transformative and meditative.”

Santa Barbara Magazine // Artful interiors

Artful interiors

When interior designer Julia Mora was remodeling a Montedto home, she saw a need for custom paintings and commissioned artist STEPHANIE CATE. The great-grandniece of Curtis Cate—founder of the Cate School—Stephanie (who now lives in Los Angeles) has a strong connection to Santa Barbara and works closely with designers such as Mora to help homeowners and first-time art buyers move past framed posters and mass-produced art. Her abstract pieces now grace the walls of Gallery Montecito and a few local residences, lend-ing the "undeniable energy and presence" that she says only original art can. "When my work resonates with someone on a visceral level and they choose to acquire one of my pieces for their home, it's a great honor to me," says Cate. "You don't need to have a degree in art to understand abstraction. You just need to allow yourself to feel the imagery speak to you." .1.a . K. 


Artful interiors // Santa Barbara Magazine - summer 2016