North Loop: Roukaya Ouhiba
Roukaya Ouhiba is an artist from a small, Saharan town named Bousaada, Algeria. The flower you see on her contact card represents her first foray into creative expression; high school sketches of tulips and floral arrangements were the spark that ignited her journey. She moved on to calligraphy and many decades later, began painting. The paintings at Epoch today include a range of works dating back to her first canvas all the way up to her most recent outputs.
2020 brought upon many hardships and wonders for Roukaya, from the loss of her father to the birth of her granddaughter; what you see is an honest depiction of family, love, grief and everything in between.
Instagram ~ Venmo: @oguetfa
Village: Ruby Powell
For the longest time I dreaded writing my artist bio. In fact, I rebelled against it. But today, as I show my 86 year old mother my process, I find myself wondering about her take on my crazy colors and mis-shapen figures. This gets me thinking about my process Here are my thoughts. I hope you enjoy!
It falls into place. Pieces never look good till they’re complete. I intuitively knew that early on, which kept me going and exploring. I’m self taught, so there’s a childlike, naive essence to my pieces, which is one of my signatures. You’d be surprised…it’s not as easy as you’d think to let the innocent side of yourself be free and messy. We all fear judgement “Is this sophisticated enough?” “The lines aren’t straight,” and on and on and on. But for me, art is about expression, not results. It may seem counter-intuitive, but the times I’ve achieved greats results are those times I stopped caring about great results. So, I paint only what my eyes crave to see and the rest falls into place.
Inspiration. To be inspired and to inspire others—that’s my north star. And sometimes it takes being hit over the head with something bold in order to wake up and feel. I believe this is why my pieces have a simple form and bold color. Then I build out lots of texture to add interest. When I see something pop off the canvas, it gives me a jolt. I like contrast, things that are a little “off” and I like exaggeration. So, when I do a new piece, I trust that if I like it, there’s bound to be someone else who likes it. Because, after all…we’re all connected, aren’t we?
Far West: Aliza Orent
My work is influenced by my connection to my heritage, Torah, Hebrew language, Proverbs, Mussar, the teachings of the Baal Shem Tov, and Israel. I listen to music that inspires my soul with creativity, and often find myself deeply moved by Idan Raichel, Avraham Tal, Yonatan Razel, Neshama Carlebach, and the Hadar Ensemble.
For those of you that are old enough to remember “The Aleph Bet Story Book” by Deborah Pessin, her illustrations of children as aleph-bet letters led me down a path of loving how each letter had its own meaning and responsibility in creating language. I loved those stories as a child and now love the design work of Laurence Kushner and Mordechai Rosenstein.
During the pandemic, I had the opportunity to reconnect with my passion for the holy letters in the Torah and I began to study with renowned soferet (scribe) Julie Seltzer. Now, as I create commissioned works of art, I incorporate Hebrew calligraphy which brings me a tremendous amount of joy that I hope passes on to others.
Living in Israel for seven years and traveling there with as much frequency as possible has also informed many of the choices that I make with color, style and atmosphere of each piece.
I use acrylic based ink, watercolor, and acrylic paint and have now begun to explore the art of mosaic and silk painting.
Aliza Orent is a graduate, with honors, of Rochester Institute of Technology with a BFA in Fine Art, and has an MSW from the University of Michigan. She worked for over three decades in the Jewish communal world, and continues to teach Hebrew and Judaic Arts in Austin.
Aliza has exhibited her photography, ceramics, and paintings in St. Paul, MN., Rochester, NY., Jerusalem, Israel., and Austin, Texas. She has been mentioned in The Forward, and published in a variety of publications.
Commissions are welcomed! Please send an email to email@example.com with greetings, questions or to discuss the perfect meaningful piece to create for you.