My work is an attempt to communicate how I observe, think and feel through my personal perception of beauty. I’m fascinated by the relationships between lines and surfaces, the intersections of seemingly disparate forms, and the way light transforms them all. The individual shapes, materials and textures used in my abstract sculptures should be familiar to the viewer, yet I’ve arranged them in ways that are uniquely my own. A common theme in my work is the dueling effects of fluidity and points of tension — a combination that I believe produces the greatest interest and strongest overall sense of movement in abstract forms. Because I strive to achieve interconnectivity and flow between various design elements in my work, there is no distinct front or back to my sculptures. My passion for truly three-dimensional designs helps me to create sculptures that, I hope, will be worthy of detailed scrutiny from any viewing angle.
My background as a geologist gives me a rich appreciation of the properties and physical histories of the stones that I carve. Different types of rocks have different hardnesses, sometimes even within the same stone. They fracture in a variety of different ways, and have diverse distributions of minerals, veins, fractures, pore spaces, inclusions or bands, as well as color. These properties affect the way that each stone can be carved, and contribute significantly to the appearance of the completed sculpture. I consider each rock that I carve to be a different artistic medium that requires not only different tools, but also different design strategies. I hope that those who observe my artwork can feel my lifelong interest in both the geologic history and the natural beauty of rocks, as well as in my primary love for design.

BIO: Lauren Browning

Lauren Browning was born in Miami, Florida in 1959, but lived most of her life in the Texas Hill Country. Before becoming a full-time artist in 2007, she earned a Ph.D. in geologic sciences and worked on projects for NASA and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Lauren studied sculpture and drawing at the Southwest School of Art, but most of her artistic studies have been conducted at the private studios of professional artists she admires. Learning is a way of life for Lauren, and will always continue.

Lauren shows her work regularly in Texas, and has given numerous public lectures and stone carving demonstrations in conjunction with local museums and art organizations. Her artwork has received multiple awards, including a Certificate of Congressional Recognition from the U.S. House of Representatives, as well as Certificates of Recognition from both the State Senate of Texas and the City of San Antonio. Recently, Lauren was selected to participate in the prestigious, five-year long Texas Contemporary Artist Series hosted by the Institute of Texan Cultures Museum in San Antonio, Texas. Lauren’s sculptures are generally collected by other Texans, but her audience has recently to other states, as well as Brazil.

Sandy Whitby

Artist Statement

By allowing an intuitive approach to guide me in my efforts as an artist, visual fragments of my past seem to appear in my work at a basic level. Growing up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a city of steel mills, I saw the vestige of years of smoke and soot spewed from the steel mills create a dark aged patina on many of the old buildings. This gritty, industrial city and its long winters of overcast skies have left an unmistakable and indelible mark on my aesthetics and subsequently in my work.
The limited use of color and raw textural surfaces apparent throughout my work offer further evidence of those early visual experiences. My colors are generally more muted and gray, seldom bright and pure. But within that range of hues, I explore their subtlety and energy. The textural quality of my paintings relates to a feeling of attachment to history, substance and timelessness. It conjures a sense of evolution…rather than just the present.

I continue to seek the balance between unexpected accidents and deliberate intention… and the seemingly magical transmutations that can occur. Using tar, metals, enamel paints, and other mixed media materials, the heavily applied and energetically reworked surfaces create a gritty and tactile base from which organic abstract forms appear below and above the surface. For me, the act of creating is simply about the energy of discovery.

BIO: Sandy Whitby

Sandy Whitby was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and studied fine art and graphic design at the Ivy School of Professional Art and Laroche College before working for several television stations, including WQED, where she was an art assistant on the “Mister Rogers Neighborhood” show. After moving to San Antonio, Sandy worked at several advertising agencies before rekindling her love for fine art. While studying with the accomplished artist Alberto Mijangos, Sandy discovered her interest in abstract painting, using texture and a sophisticated color palette as part of her signature style.

Her paintings bring the viewer into a world of textural abstraction and rich colors. They evoke a dream-like etherealism, blending abstract representations with a raw textural quality. Her late mentor and painter, Alberto Mijangos said, “Her experience as a graphic artist, her selection of color as spiritual reference, and her use of materials request my participation in her dreams of mystical geometry.”