ELEMENTS OF CREATION
Meet the jurors (and host)!
Ruby Gonzalez Hernandez:
Ruby Gonzalez Hernandez is an Indigenous Zapotec artist, educator, and curator born on Quinnipiac land (New Haven, Connecticut). As a lens-based artist, she uses photography as a tool in printmaking, woodworking, and other media to dissect and create language for: religious exploitation, spiritual salvation, redemption, oppression affecting BIPOC, and more.
She is passionate about work that serves the New Haven community, grassroots arts ecology, and currently runs an annual international print exchange to serve those aims called Lunch Money Print. Ruby's work has been supported and recognized by the National Basketball Association, Facing History and Ourselves, United Way, and the Arts Council of Greater New Haven.
In her curatorial practice, she organizes exhibitions concerning themes and ideas surrounding community solidarity. Ruby is currently working towards an exhibition for the Yale Gallery of Art and Artspace, New Haven 2021–2022 Happy and Bob Doran Connecticut Artist-in-Residence program, opening at Artspace in April 2022.
Steven Yanicke was the founder and President of MakeHartford, Hartford’s first 501(c)3 non-profit makerspace; The Hartford UAV Challenge, Hartford’s first UAV race event; TEDxBushnellPark, the cities’ first TEDx event; and many businesses in the fields of web development, information technology, digital advertising, and real estate development. In 2016 he was Team Lead of the award winning (“It’s All Here”) SC2 Development plan which recommended increasing economic development and civic engagement with pedestrian focused complete street digital signage and information centers, live event production support, additional food truck and vendor opportunities, and increased access to capital for immigrants and previously “unbankable” businesses and startups.
Steve was a University of Hartford and Tunxis College adjunct professor for several years where he taught graphic design and web development classes. A Leadership Greater Hartford Quest graduate, class of 2014, and alum of the University of Hartford Art School, class of 2006, where he majored in Illustration with a triple minor in graphic design, web development, and art history.
Artistically, Steve has always been interested in creating "impossible perspectives" within biomechanical fantasy and sci-fi horror with influences from HR Giger, MC Escher, and Guy Aitchison. His favorite medium is black and white charcoal, but especially enjoyed his time as a tattoo artist in college.
Current projects include: learning about water filtration, solar energy, and hydroponics for possible deployment in an agricultural startup as well as completing various home improvement tasks for a loving wife in their first home – plumbing, cabinetry, electrical, drywall, roofing, etc.
Born and raised in Connecticut, David moved to San Francisco in 2005 to further his artistic ambitions and received an MFA in sculpture at the Academy of Art University. He continued to explore concepts of design while expanding his skill sets in fabrication techniques that he learned while studying at Syracuse University in New York where he received a BFA in sculpture and a minor in jewelry in 2001.
In 2010, David helped to establish and worked in a shared design and fabrication workshop in the Dogpatch neighborhood of San Francisco. Although David has extensive experience in working with a variety of materials, he prefers to incorporate metal in his designs and fabrication processes.
David also spent his time teaching several classes throughout the Industrial Design, Sculpture, and Jewelry Departments at AAU. He understands the importance of cross-departmental integration and utilizes these skill sets in his own work.
David moved back to Connecticut and began working as a shop manager at MakerspaceCT in 2021 where he enjoys working with an innovative staff in a state of the art facility.
Ben Parker (Elements of Making host):
Ben has been an active origami artist and maker since 2007, specializing in complex geometric patterns. In 2005, he published his first book on origami tessellation techniques - entitled Six Simple Twists: The Pleat Pattern Approach to Origami Tessellation Design - with a second edition release in the fall of 2020. He has exhibited his works and given talks internationally on the intersections of art and mathematics, and in 2021 started Ben Parker Studio - an endeavor to bring an origami curriculum into the classroom as a vessel of alternative mathematics instruction. Today, Ben operates his studio gallery in Essex where Elements of Making will take place.
Ben’s history with the maker movement extends to MakeHartford, which he joined in 2013 to learn the basics of 3D printing. Since then, he has acquired skills working with a variety of machines and materials, and is currently an active member and 3D modeling and 3D printing instructor of MakerspaceCT.
He became a part of the maker community to experiment with artistic processes, manifest new projects, and diversify his skillset. After seeing the amazing projects of makerspace members, he wanted to elevate those projects in the public eye with an art exhibition. He is ecstatic to plan and host Elements of Making: Ideation to Creation!