Briggs, Devyn, (Yucatán In Translation)
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"Yucatán in translation" by Devyn Briggs
18 x 24 inches acrylic, hand painted paper, yarn on canvas, (2018) --unframed
Devyn Leonor Briggs was raised in Bethlehem, PA and studied at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore, MD. There she studied drawing, painting, sculpture, fiber arts, and ceramics and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a major in Ceramics in May 2013. She then amplified her fine art education with a masters degree in the Business of Art and Design, gaining experience in creative entrepreneurship before returning to Bethlehem to work as a full-time artist.
Devyn’s work is often characterized by the use of bright, saturated colors that hint at her mixed Colombian, Jamaican, and African American heritage, and she often draws direct inspiration from those cultures to inform the imagery and aesthetic of her work. Some of her most recent paintings explore the use of collage to create dense and animated abstract compositions that subtly reference the African textile traditions that inspired them. She is also working on an ongoing series, Mythos Series, that explores her perception of and relationship with Colombian culture as a 2nd-generation American removed from but deeply attached to her maternal roots.
Devyn is an artist, educator, and fine art consultant. She maintains a studio and teaching space at the Banana Factory in Bethlehem, PA, and current consultation roles include Collection Manager for the Petrucci Family Foundation Collection of African American Art and Sales and Marketing Representative for Raven Fine Art Editions. She is also actively engaged in the Bethlehem arts community, teaching in local schools as a visiting artist and working to bring public art and improved streetscape design to Southside Bethlehem as a member of the Southside Arts District Design Committee.
My work is a means of capturing, distilling and cultivating the aesthetic structures and harmonies that fascinate and satisfy me. It’s an obsessive exercise through which I carefully filter through my daily visual experience to find those raw materials of color, texture, pattern, and rhythm that resonate profoundly and incessantly in my mind. Only then can I unceremoniously cut them up, scramble them, and rearrange them into a visual language that strains to translate and explain the origin of that aesthetic impulse.
Why is it that certain things capture my attention and create that buzz of anticipation and pleasure? Are these perceptions of beauty merely cultural? Genetic? Spiritual? What is it about the bright colors of hot lands, the imperfect and dense geometries of ancient craft traditions, and the vibrant unorganized fullness of tropical foliage that nourish me? Every piece I make gets me a little bit closer those answers, and in the meantime, I enjoy the process. Whether I’m working in paint, fibers, clay, or all of those at once, my explorations are consistent, and each material and process informs another.