I live in the village of Newark, NY with my husband John and two cats Rudy and Fleur. My studio is nestled into a portion of our attic and it is where you’ll often find me lost in some sort of creative process with my feline studio assistants.

Long story short, art has always been a part of my life. As a child, I was always creating something! Truth be told, I always wanted to “just be an artist” whenever I grew up. When it was time to apply to colleges, my father imparted his words of wisdom and guidance saying, “you can be an artist, but you also have to make a living”, which translated to, he and my mother would support a degree in Advertising and Design, but not a degree in Fine Art. I accepted the challenge, found a college that passed their inspection, and earned my BFA in Graphic Design from the Ringling School of Art and Design (now the Ringling College of Art and Design) in Sarasota, FL. I had the best of BOTH worlds, taking required fine arts and graphic design classes for three glorious years! I put that degree to good use, working as a graphic designer for several years.

Now, my desire to make art has taken me in a variety of directions. I have taken an exploratory approach with a few different mediums. I enjoy drawing with pencils and ink, painting with Casein, Gouache and watercolors on a variety of surfaces, creating digital photo collages as well as creating collages using traditional techniques. I love texture, lines and loose patterns. As a painter, I enjoy creating small, playful, abstract and dreamlike paintings filled with little buildings, houses, busy shapes and colors.

I found a whole new medium through a Photogravure workshop with Pat Bacon! I’ve learned how to create images that take on a different sort of beauty and storytelling quality using the combination of photography and printmaking. The process from creating plates to printing the image – Oh my gosh I can’t tell you how exciting it is!

Photography seems to be a foundation for me and an inspiration for some of my art making. Though I love film and Analog photography, Digital has been my go-to simply because it provides instant gratification, and, well, I take too many darn photos to afford the cost of processing! I also like the freedom I have to enhance and alter my digital images. I would say that I lean towards fine art and street photography.

My photography documents anything from what simply captures my attention, or, prompts me to think or feel in a particular way. Some of my photographs tell a story. I am distracted and inspired by all that is around me. I look at people, places and things with various levels of curiosity, feeling what is already there, or searching for what it is that has drawn me in, but I haven’t discovered.

I love texture, shadows and light. I’m drawn to figures, faces, old buildings and places that make me feel as if I’m the only one there. Sometimes, it is an actual moment I’m compelled to capture because it provokes an emotion that resonates within me.

Socially Distanced, digital photograph by Michele Vair (included in Adrift at Main Street Arts)

My photo titled Socially Distanced is part of the 2021 Adrift Exhibit at Main Street Arts. My work was also part of the 2019 and 2020 Small Works Shows at Main Street Arts, 2019 and 2020 Made In New York Exhibits at the Schweinfurth Arts Center, Auburn, NY, 2019 Cut & Paste Exhibit as well as the 2019 and 2020 Members Shows at the Rochester Contemporary Art Center, Rochester, NY and 2019 Art Through the Lens Show at the Wayne County Council for the Arts, Newark, NY.

Several of my fine art photographs may be seen at Craft 120, a restaurant in Newark, NY. You can find me, and several photos of my cat Rudy on Facebook (Michele Vair) and Instagram (mvair).

Michele Vair is one of 36 artists from 10 states who’s work is included in Adrift, a national juried exhibition which is on view at Main Street Arts through June 11, 2021.

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