Female Artist Collective Splendor Device Opens New Show in Laguna Beach

The exhibition at Artists Republic 4 Tomorrow Gallery runs through March 30.

Submitted by Artists Republic 4 Tomorrow Gallery:


THIS WILDE ABYSS: A selection of works from female artist collective Splendor Device

ARTISTS RECEPTION: Saturday, March 2, 2013 // 6pm-9pm

Live Painting from guest artist Michelle Orozco and model Rachell Rellik

Special Musical Guests to be announced

ON VIEW: March 2 - March 30, 2012


Artists Republic 4 Tomorrow is proud to present for the first time in Laguna Beach new work from female artist collective Splendor Device. With over 70 members strong and growing, Splendor Device brings together young women artists from across the globe, sharing gallery walls, friendship, and artistic inspiration. These ladies are influenced by themes of the natural and supernatural, mythology, history, science and the occult,  and they are often introspective about what it means to be a young woman blazing a path in the world today.

With the help of Splendor Device Founder Kelly Castillo, Artist Republic 4 Tomorrow has invited 18 members of the collective to create work for a new show titled "This Wilde Abyss." The roster of artists includes, Kelly Castillo, Amy Kaplan, Sara Haase, Jennie Cotterill, Allison Peairs, Kristi Bockrath, Elizabeth Caffey, Jennifer James, Jasmine Worth, Tyoni Aragon, M, Jel Ena, Amy Hood, Jennifer Hood, Valerie Lewis, Irene Garcia, Cory Benhatzel and Cody Raiza.

The theme comes from the relationship of a quote in John Milton's Paradise Lost to the Phillip Pullman Trilogy His Dark Materials. In the Pullman trilogy, the protagonist of the story is a young female adventurer who's travels through parallel universes allude to questions of physics, philosophy and theology. While new worlds are being created around her, she navigates the undulating landscape between good and evil, each chapter more tightly tying the bonds that Pullman seeks to make with Paradise Lost.


Paradise Lost - Book 2, lines 910-920:

Into this wilde Abyss,
The Womb of nature and perhaps her Grave,
Of neither Sea, nor Shore, nor Air, nor Fire,
But all these in their pregnant causes mixt
Confus'dly, and which thus must ever fight,
Unless th' Almighty Maker them ordain
His dark materials to create more Worlds,
Into this wilde Abyss the warie fiend
Stood on the brink of Hell and look'd a while,
Pondering his Voyage; for no narrow frith
He had to cross. 


In "This Wilde Abyss" 18 artists from Splendor Device examine Pullman and Milton and inject them with female energy and a modern twist. The ladies are adventurers standing on the edge of a new world, breathing in fire, shore, sea & air, navigating the chasm between good and evil, while using their own materials to create new realms and beyond.

THIS WILDE ABYSS runs March 2 - March 30, 2013 at ARTISTS REPUBLIC 4 TOMORROW, 210 North Coast Hwy. (between Broadway and Cliff), Laguna Beach, CA. Opening reception Saturday, March 2nd from 6 to 9pm, and Laguna Beach 1st Thursdays Art Walk, Thursday March 7th from 6 to 9pm, are free and open to the public. Parking Meters free after 7pm. Works are for sale. Gallery hours: Fri-Sun noon to 6pm. www.AR4T.com.



Splendor Device was founded in June of 2012 by Southern California artist, gallery owner, and arts activist Kelly Castillo with the goal of creating a network for women artists across the globe to come together in strength and unison. In a short few months, the Splendor Device female artist collective has expanded to over 70 artists worldwide and is growing. Each artist brings to the group an individual style and skill set - from fine art, photography, illustration, graphic design to fashion and beyond. The primary idea is to gain exposure and experience for member artists through group shows, live art exhibitions, monthly meetings, and group travel adventures. What Splendor Device has developed into is a tight knit group of women artists who elevate each other through growing camaraderie and mutual respect for each other as artists and people - everyone welcome.



Kelly Castillo is co-owner and curator / director of Rothick Art Haus in Anaheim, CA, and is the city of Anaheim's Arts Commissioner. She is the Dr. Sketchy's Anaheim founder, founder of the Splendor Device female artist collective, one of the leaders of the Anaheim Art Crawl Experience (A.C.E.) as well as a fabulous artist and all-around amazing person.

Kristi Bockrath graduated Magna Cum Laude from Laguna College of Art and Design (LCAD). She  received her Bachelors Degree in Illustration with an emphasis on Drawing and Painting from LCAD. Kristin has developed techniques that blend both traditional medium with unconventional new methods, such as a combination of Pyrography followed by traditional Oil Painting. After Graduation Kristin began participating in Art Shows in Los Angeles and Orange County. www.kkbock.com

Amy Kaplan rethinks normal, and takes a fresh look at traditional photography by adding her own unique twist and style. Amy primarily shoots using natural light, natural poses and minimal props and costumes. She lets the body become the story and lets your own imagination fill in the blanks. She takes her subjects from her growing pool of fans and friends alike preferring untrained models to emphasis the natural feel to her images. She rarely directs subjects but rather watches them move and freezes a candid moment. Amy lends a vintage style to her portraits, which reflects her own personal asthetic taste. Her laid back and sarcastic personality help's to relax even the most nervous subjects, and capture their unique personality.

Sara Haase is a proud member of Splendor Device and is known for painting images of powerful women with strong, moody bodies. Bewitched by the slow, steady movements in tribal belly dance, her women twist and contort their postures, emotions physically manifested.  Splendor Device has introduced the camaraderie and excitement among fellow artists that she always wished for. Currently, she is studying illustration at Cal State Long Beach and enjoys showing her art while dabbling in curating local art shows. Since studying healing and massage, her art has become much more about exploration rather than communicating in silence. With her very recently stabilized heath, the messages in her paintings are quickly transforming. Its members have surrounded themselves in only the most supportive and encouraging company; 2013 promises to be a brilliant year for Splendor Device.

Jennifer Marie James born 1985, is a mixed media artist based out of Philadelphia, PA. She grew up in the woods of New Jersey and New York, making her imaginary room of canopies and vanities out of wild flowers and the mossy tree stumps of Black Maples. She later moved to Virginia (her original birthplace) and eventually ended up back on the northeast where she now resides with her 3 cats and 3 dogs and her red bearded boyfriend Lee.

Elizabeth Caffey is a self taught artist from Quartz Hill, California. Her oil paintings are a mixture of imagination and realism inspired by nature and fantasy. She uses female characters, flora and fauna to express moods and create metaphors.

Jennifer Hood is a mildly tortured creative based out of Newport Beach. She is the co-founder of creative firm Hoodzpah Art + Graphics with her twin sister Amy Hood. Together they have cultivated a unique design aesthetic focused on illustration, editorial, and logo design. When not doodling lines, slinging paint, or manipulating anchor points, Jennifer is working on art projects, tinkering on a piano, reading smelling an issue of Esquire on the beach, attempting to hustle pool to no avail, or singing a pitchy rendition of Blondie's "Heart of Glass" at the local karaoke bar. According to The Velvet Underground, Jenny's life was saved by rock 'n' roll. That's debatable.

Amy Hood is a tiny blonde who loves a good laugh, great tattoos, and only the best rock n' roll. Based out of Newport Beach, CA, she is a graphic designer and artist. She co-owns Hoodzpah Art + Graphics, an exciting up and coming art and design firm, with her lovely twin sister Jennifer Hood. Check out their work and read more at www.WeGotHoodzpah.com. She is a Lakers fan, an amateur fashion enthusiast and among the many items on her bucket list are getting into a bar fight, making the popular page on instagram, and selling a piece of art to a B-list celebrity and/or athlete.

Mandy Graeves aka M has been displaying her uniquely cryptic visions in galleries and conventions across Southern California for several years. Her imagery often incorporates a mixture of sculpture and fabrication resulting in pieces that look like moments frozen in time.

Irene Garcia is an illustrator and painter, living and working in Los Angeles. The figures she paints are drawn from her fascination with ghost stories, mythology, history, science and her muses, Blythe dolls.

Allison Peairs: My name is Allison, and I was simply born to illustrate. My passion and my purpose is to bring light to your thoughts and ideas and then translate them into the universal language of imagery. When I'm not in my work space drawing or painting, I'm thinking about drawing or painting.

Jennie Cotterill is a painter/sculptor/illustrator/musician from the Midwest, living in Southern California. She received her MFA in illustration from California State University Long Beach and is currently working as the community outreach artist coordinator for Hurley, curating and installing art shows and painting murals throughout Orange County. www.jenniecotterill.com

Cory Louise Benhatzel was born and raised in the town of Amherst, New York. She loved her cats, drawing, and the magical forest that was her backyard. At eighteen she moved to Los Angeles where she earned her Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts from Otis College of Art & Design. Cory's artistic love has always been painting and drawing, but has also tried her hand at tattooing, photography, experimental video and art gallery work. After eight years in Los Angeles, she decided to return to Amherst with her husband Justin and daughter-cat Moogle. She lives in a house guarded by gargoyles and paints most of the time.

Born and raised in Texas, Cody Raiza relocated to Southern California in 2009. She works as an artist in Los Angeles and Orange County while pursuing her other interests which are Biology and Neuroscience. Cody's artwork often reflects a strong bond with the natural world, drawing the viewer to real-world issues through vibrant colors and intriguing creatures. She currently resides in a bungalow in Anaheim with her boyfriend, their dogs, and pet roaches.

Jasmine Worth crafts scenes from fairytales gone awry-swirling seamlessly between the sweet and surreal, inevitably dipping into the valley of the morbid. Jasmine studied formally at Studio 2nd Street in southern CA, and earned her BFA from the Laguna College of Art and Design. While she possesses the credentials, the product of her toils clearly pours from the cobwebbed corners of her mind, not the classroom. Her paintings-a cabaret of vibrant hues-are a blend of soft textures and colorful characters, juxtaposed against gloomy themes. Created in her home of San Diego, Jasmine combines dark influences and subtle-yet-serious undertones with raw artistic talent and a rarely seen creativity. Her work exudes a strong bearing of individuality, manifested through characters that speak almost vocally and give a new element of depth to an otherwise two dimensional medium. Each scene tells a story and every story is as diverse in emotion as it is in appearance.


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