Friday, 12 May 2017 02:50

Will Porter

Damn, from VA to NYC, multi-talented hip hop musician and artist (see here), Will Porter quietly released a dope a$$  8-track solid hip hop project in 2016 titled Mansa Muse. Literally every track made the head bop with stank face and all that. Straight fire. Beats dope (ohh especially Finger Painting), voice right, lyrics and flow right, with each track having an overal chill, soul grungy, hip hop vibe.

Before releasing this project however, this man has been working.  Within the span of only a few months releasing a few projects back to back, also containing straight - for instance 'Back to Basics'. I think those 17.9k listeners agree as well.  

Artist Bio: 

Will Porter is a multidimensional visual and performance artist. His strong knowledge of color, form and movement allow him to create moments that transcend the physical piece itself. His acrylic and oil pastel works both exhibit an overstanding of line manipulation that suggests movement, allowing the observer to navigate throughout them and experience something new in each direction. Building such a solid foundation in art allowed for these same attributes to permeate into his music and poetry. He has an innate storytelling ability, directly reflective of his ability to paint such vivid imagery, driven by a cadence reminiscent of his brush strokes. Ranging from sporadic to disciplined, as to create a controlled chaos.

Will was born and raised in Flint, MI. Being a sponge in such a vibrant and dynamic city as Flint in the 1990's, it's no wonder that his passion for art sprouted at such a young age. Will, affectionately known as Junior by family, began drawing at the age of 4. He was under the study of his older brother, Jeremy Cooper. Jeremy being very skilled in pencil and graphite, would instruct Will to recreate many different video game and cartoon characters. including, but not limited to, Mortal Kombat, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Super Mario Bros. This addition of technical drawing to his infinitely creative mind birthed a black and white framework that he was eager to fill with color. He took every art class available in school from first grade to freshman year in college.

In 2001, Will and his family moved to Stafford, VA. The significant contrast in scenery and aesthetic was yet another catalyst of growth for Will's creativity. His medium of choice shifted from tempura paint, to the more robust oil pastels, and oil and acrylic paints. He was able to transform his formerly flat, and one dimensional paintings into pieces that showed great promise of form and depth. Will worked tirelessly on projects both in and outside the classroom so that he could sharpen his talents.

In 2009, with encouragement and a letter of recommendation from his high school art teacher, Stephanie Athanasaw, Will was accepted into the VCU School of Arts program. He was quickly humbled by the advanced and ambitious work of the students there.Being forced to adapt, Will met the challenge head on. Excelling at times, while failing with confidence at others. His time at VCU would be short lived due to financial woes, but even after returning home to work, what he'd learned on that campus, remained in him.

He continued the path of self improvement, pushing the limits of his gift with each new piece he created. Creating works that were more personal and without parameters allowed for Will to extend his total body of works to upward of 500. He has been quoted as stating " became so fluid for me, to the point where it's easier most times to communicate through paintings than through words." This surgence of work catapulted Will to becoming a standard in the culture of art and not just a student. Needing a larger platform to showcase his large catalog of work, Will made the transition from Virginia to New York in December of 2015.

Since being in the big city, Will has landed full time employment as a dog walker while juggling art, music and poetry into all the time in between. He has worked alongside musician/curator Steff Reed in shining a light on police brutality and systematic oppression, collaborated with actress/vocalist and cinematographer Angelica Jackson in the creation of her groundbreaking docuseries "The Grind BK", while also making his presence known in multiple venues throughout New York; either by opening up the space with his artwork, or commanding an audience with his music and poetry.

One of those spots being Brooklyn's own Backdrop. A venue that focuses on providing the space and a welcoming environment for creatives to come inspire and be inspired. Will is only just getting started, so to avoid missing his amazing journey of self exploration, be sure to use the links available on this site to familiarize yourself with his social media, soundcloud, art gallery and more. Since I've caught you up to speed with the artist, I'd like to introduce myself. Hi, I'm Will Porter :) welcome to my page. Explore it with open senses. - Will Porter






Published in Music
Sunday, 02 August 2015 20:00

Erick Antonio Benitez

Erick Antonio Benitez

There is no denying that our rich, diverse cultures, help format how we all express our art. The Bronx-born Salvadorian artist uses vivid cultural themes in his paintings and sculptures. His "Gangster's Paradise" series embodies this wholeheartedly. In order to cultivate this unique skill-set, Erick has traveled to his native El Salvador and studied abroad at the "Metafora Tallers d'Arte" in Barcelona, Spain. The artist currently manages studios and curates shows at "La Bodega Gallery", a part of the Artists Collective located in Baltimore, Maryland. 


Selected Exhibitions 



"Emulsion" Annual Exhibition, Gallery O on H, Washington, DC. Juried by Adah Rose Bitterbaum

- Awarded 1st Prize (view article)


Academy 2014: Annual MFA/BFA Exhibition (ConnorSmith Gallery, Washington, DC)                              

"Tres Golpes", La Bodega Gallery, Baltimore, MD

Out of Order” Group Exhibition, Maryland Art Place, Baltimore, MD

Sampling” Group Exhibition, Bank Building 3rd fl MICA, Baltimore, MD



"All Small" Senior Thesis Group Show, MICA, Baltimore MD

"School 33" Group Show, La Bodega Gallery, Copycat Building, Baltimore Md

"Penny Royal" Solo Exhibition, Boho Gallery, Bohemian Coffee House, Baltimore, MD  



MICA Annual Juried Exhibition, Decker Gallery, MICA, Baltimore Md, Juried by Jack Livingston and Karyn Miller

"Seeing Red" Group Exhibition, Arena Stage Gallery, Washington, DC

"Themes & Narrative" Group Show, Fox 2 Gallery, MICA, Baltimore, MD


Published in Art/Design
Wednesday, 07 May 2014 00:00

Katy Shepard

With a Bachelor of Fine Arts in the Honors program at Virginia Tech also majoring in political science and philosophy Katy Shepard wishes to pursue a career in non-profit organizations’ promotion of international human rights through the use of mass media and community arts. It is her belief that the arts are a fundamental outlet for honesty with one’s self and others about not only the necessities of life, but also what can lead to happiness. Shepard has also previously studied at the Virginia Tech Center for European Studies and Architecture located in Riva San Vitale, Switzerland as part of the Honors Presidential Global Scholars program in the spring of 2013 as well as partaking in Korea University’s International Summer Campus program in 2012. These experiences have allowed her to study art and culture from around the world. 

Research & Community Works

Previously Shepard has worked on research on the Developmental Stages of the Child Artist with head of VT Perspective Gallery Robin Boucher. She has worked on numerous independent art studies with Professor Emeritus Robert Graham revolving around international gender issues.

Shepard is the president and founder of the Light Up a Life service organization at Virginia Tech which pursues the phrase “Kids, Creativity, & Community.” Through this organization Shepard was able to organize and develop the show “Once Upon a Time,” shown in the Perspective Gallery in the spring of 2012, which featured the future self-portraits of students kindergarten through 12th grade.

In Stafford County Shepard has taught private art lessons for numerous years. Students have gone on to win numerous awards at Dorothy Hart Children’s Art Show, CRRL Teen Art Show, and the State Fair of Virginia. 


Awards: Show and Exhibition History

  1. Fredericksburg Center for the Creative Arts (FCCA) Members' Gallery Show--Katy Shepard and Dave Bellard January 2015 
  2. 2015 Summer Residential Governor's School Visual Arts regional level juror November 2014
  3. FCCA November 2014 National Juried Show: Primary Colors (juried by Vaughn Whitney Garland) one piece
  4. The Artists' Cradle Young Artists' Exhibition Curator November 14th-16th 2014
  5. Where We LIV Stafford, VA Featured Artist November 9th 2014
  6. FCCA October 2014 Regional Exhibition (juried by David R. White) two pieces, one Honorable Mention
  7. Fredericksburg Via Colori participating artist September 2014
  8. Where We LIV Stafford, VA Featured Artist September 20th 2014
  9. FCCA September 2014 National Juried Show: The Human Factor (juried by Joey Manlapaz)
  10. XYZ Gallery Solo Show Blacksburg, VA May 2014
  11. Moss Center Group Show Blacksburg, VA May 2014
  12. Professional Artists & Artisans of Stafford County Group Show September 2013
  13. Simply Beautiful Spaces Group Show September 2013
  14. Perspective Gallery Blacksburg, VA "Once Upon a Time"
  15. Children's Show Curator May 2012
  16. Perspective Gallery Group Show December 2010
  17. Central Rappahannock Regional Library (CRRL) Solo Show December 2010
  18. CRRL Teen Art Show Spring 2010 Best of Show
  19. CRRL Solo Show December 2008
  20. CRRL Teen Art Show Spring 2008 Best of Show
  21. VA State Fair Fall 2008-2010 over 30 awards and scholarships.

source:Katy Shepard Facebook



Published in Art/Design