Friday, March 1, 2024


“Just as ripples spread out when a single pebble is dropped into water, the actions of individuals can have far-reaching effects.” -Dalai Lama

Artist Fredericka Foster believes that, at the very least, art can start the conversation. Throughout history, art has been a way for people to connect on an intimate level with what is going on around them. Often during times of political strife or personal distress, artists are at their most fruitful and inspired. Great art often comes from resistance to life and times. Art ripples out from center toward the sea of the wider world creating larger waves of inspiration and action. What may seem unpalatable in its raw state can often be fed to the masses through art.

Fredericka Foster lives and works in Seattle, Washington. At the time of the interview, she was experiencing the effects of severe wildfires throughout the region. Conversely, Foster’s work focuses on water. Through her investigations, Foster discovered that every major religion across all cultures reveres water in some way. Foster’s work takes on two personas. When looked at as a small image, the work appears quite true to life. Seen at a larger scale, the layering she uses is revealed lending an abstract quality to her paintings. Fischbach Gallery represented Foster in New York until its forced closure and relocation to Miami. During her years with Fischbach, Foster painted prolifically. She also curated a show at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City during this time. For a long time prior to this show, Foster had collected the work of other artists representing water. Her role became that of guest curator. She turned to her file of other artists’ work, filling the cathedral with 200 images of water by 40 artists. The exhibition was a runaway success giving rise to a number of side movements including a very large anti-fracking initiative that Foster believes was in part responsible for New York’s rejection of the practice of fracking. In 2015, Foster decided to take a sabbatical from curating and business. She used her time to take classes and exhibit her work in group shows. Foster continues to work with multi-disciplinary groups including environmental scientists on topics relating to water.

Lisa Blas has, since 2014, been working on pieces that explore the juxtaposition of art history and current events. Specifically, Blas is interested in events related to the environment and civil unrest. Blas works with collage creating large scale pieces she refers to as abstractions and “typographical fields.” One work currently on exhibit examines the political unrest in the U.S. right now. Four Corners refers to the four corners of the United States as well as the four corners of the paper medium itself. The work incorporates the American and Confederate flags as well as politically motivated words and the letters GOP. Blas explores the United States’ historical legacy in her work titled Meet Me at the Mason Dixon. The series Monday’s Image records Blas’s existence in time and space. The work is created via Blas’s blog in real time pairing the day’s news with art from museum collections. Blas incorporates a number of hashtags as part of the work. Hashtags, Blas says, ” is a another language used to connect in our world today.”

A Few Words to Keep in your Pocket:

Believe in the power of one small pebble of artistic inspiration to create ripples across time and space. 

Additional interviews include Sophie Yerly, Lisa Goren, Richard Chartier, and part II of our interview with Natasha Stagg

Interviews are available on iTunes as podcasts, and for Android please click here. All weekly essay pieces in a shareable format are here. The full archive of interviews here.

Books to Read

What are you reading? Add your titles to our reading list here. User Michael Clark has been browsing Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman and The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury by Neil Gaiman.

Opportunities / Open Calls

AIR Newfoundland invites artists in all media to apply for residency at The Rooms. Multiple residencies are available in several natural settings. Accommodation and studio space is available and an artist honorarium is supplied. Deadline for applications is November 1.


Weekly Edited Grant and Residency Deadlines – review the list here.






  1. Dear Brainard,
    Very timely as water is elemental in my art making, in its beauty. Now it shows its destructive force in the form of hurricane Irma, the loss of our house and a place of inspiration on the island of St. John.
    Moving forward….


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