Cynthia is a desert dwelling artisan jeweler, designer and contributor to Lummoxi
Corianna is a successful painter & artists in North Carolina. Contributor for Lummoxi.
Mike Sweetman, New York Photographer and Lummoxi Contributor
A Desert Gem
Cynthia Guilfoyle is an artist and entrepreneur in every sense of the word. One may say it’s in her blood as she hails from a family filled with Artists, Writers and a successful business owning father with an entrepreneurial spirit that didn't quit.
Cynthia herself has been making jewelry since she was a child. What started out as a hobby with her mother morphed into a lucrative career making vintage jewelry. Her artistry has been featured on two separate occasions in Jewelry affair magazine because of her unique style and attention to detail. She uses only the finest of materials and ensures that each piece lives up to her standards. The beauty of her pieces are timeless and can be worn for formal events as well as everyday casual looks.
Her artistry and creativity isn’t limited to jewelry. She is also a published poet and was featured regularly over the course of two years on THRU Media’s online publication. An interview and sampling of her work can be found here.
Cynthia has been in Tucson Arizona for the last five years but spent most of her life in the Northwestern United States, Including Alaska where she lived and worked on fishing boats in her late teens and early twenties. She states that while the work was hard it was a great experience, but not one that she would care to revisit.
This artist's goals for the future include continuing to further her online jewelry making business, enjoying more reprieves from the Arizona sun in Canada and a soon to be published book of poetry.
*From the Artist*
“The inspiration for my jewelry is always rooted in nature. I consider myself to be a self-taught naturalist, and I enjoy spending hours at a time in nature, sometimes taking photographs, sometimes just observing the natural world around me. Creating jewelry pieces using natural forms such as leaves, flowers and insects is such a joy for me. Whenever I am unable to spend time outdoors, I can be indoors making vintage-style, nature-inspired jewelry pieces while daydreaming about nature! I find the marriage of vintage and natural elements to be one that works amazingly well.”
A Painted Legacy
Hi! I’m Corianna Klepac:
I started making art as soon as I could hold a crayon. I was lucky enough to go to an arts magnet school in Palm Beach, Florida where I really honed my craft. I dabbled in printmaking, photography, bead work, tattooing, installation sculpture and philosophy. All of this led me to painting which is so fluid and forgiving. My parents are both artistic, my father is a master carpenter and my mother is a crafter and graphic designer. My sister is a writer and my brother is a guitarist in a band.
My husband and I are a blended family with 8 kids. I have 3 kids, he has 3 and we have twins adopted from Ethiopia. So at the moment we have 3 sixth graders. The youngest is 10 and the oldest 21. They are all old enough to entertain themselves and I have 7 hours a day to create while they’re at school. I actually love juggling housework, cooking, fitness and art. My art studio is right above where my youngest has his “gaming station.”
My husband is my rock, biggest inspiration and best friend. He owns a painting business, so we are both painters but he paints buildings. He’s a wonderful father and mentor to everyone who knows him. I know most people can’t say they have found their soulmate but I truly have.
I grew up in south Florida, we moved from Miami where I was born to Loxahatchee, where we lived off grid while my parents built our house. It was an amazing childhood full of golf carts, horseback riding, alligators and airboats. My parents sold our childhood home when I was a senior in high school and relocated to the mountains of NC where I live now near Asheville. The art scene here is amazing and I’ve painted a bunch of murals around town.
I’ve sold over 1500 original paintings worldwide and hope to be in art history books some day. I truly believe in legacy and what you leave behind can live on. Some of my paintings are personal to me but my joy comes from creating what I like to call “family heirlooms” for my collectors, paintings that are special for that family. You know, like if the house was on fire they would grab my original painting to save it.
Life Behind The Lens
Mike Sweetman was raised in midtown Manhattan on 48th street. Hell’s Kitchen, in the 70’s and 80’s, back when the neighborhood lived up to the name.
His love for photography began while participating in a five borough wide photo essay contest, a contest he ultimately won.
Life as it often does, led Mike down a different path and he began what turned out to be a 25 year long career in the culinary field. His dishes are no less artistic than his photography and his customers rave about his skills in French, Italian and Mexican cuisine.
While Mr. Sweetman still enjoys creating with food as his medium, photography remains his true passion and plays center stage in his life only coming second to his three children.
Mike states that when he looks through the camera it’s as if the world disappears and it’s just him and his subject, whether it be a live subject or him indulging in his love of street photography in his old stomping grounds.
When he is working with people he prefers to "capture moments" as they happen allowing people to see his perspective on life and humanity. He enjoys playing with light and scouting out amazing locations that turn a shoot into something really special. When he’s not working with people he can be found taking photos for new businesses or helping others manage social media photography.
Mike never has two days that are the same but one thing that is constant is his passion for breaking his own limits. No matter where you meet him, in the kitchen or behind the camera he will be sure to connect with you and you will leave having made a new friend.
Today, he can be found doing shoots all over the Tri-state area but, just like his work, he doesn't get hung up on boundaries. He can be reached via his website.
The Life She Was Meant To Live
Branwen’s love of art started at an early age. She comes from a creative family of woodworkers and crafters and was lovingly encouraged to pursue classes in the fine arts.
In 1969 Branwen entered the Navy as an Electronics Technician and then transferred to Community College and then Cornell University where she received a Bachelors in Wildlife Biology. Throughout her younger days she continued to hone her craft and take the occasional art class.
While working at the library at Cornell she decided to make that her career and returned to college where she received her Masters degree at Drexel College in Philadelphia.
In 1984 Branwen married and began a family, which soon included two children, a boy and a girl. Between 1985 and 2007 she worked at Morrisville College’s library and due to a rigorous schedule art took a back seat for a great number of years.
After her children were both in college she began sketching again and found art to be very therapeutic in dealing with the grief felt from the loss of her mother then years later, her father. All the while filling sketchbook after sketchbook trying to deal with depression and inner conflict.
In 2018 after 35 years of marriage, Branwen came out to her wife and family as trangender and explained that she had felt this way her entire existence. While this was the end of an old life it was the beginning of the life she was always intended to lead.
She now lives a very happy and fulfilling life as a Government contract technical librarian in an Air Force Base research lab in Upstate New York. Art now plays a major part of her life and she is involved in her community in a big way.
Branwen is the Secretary on the Executive Board of the Rome Art Association and her work has been featured in many places including; The Capital Gallery, The REACH Center, The History Museum/Historical Society, The Frame and Photo shop and The Pratt House Community Art Center. She has also had a one month show at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Utica, been artist of the month at City hall and various banks in the community and received an honorable mention from the Community Arts Council in Ithica . In addition she was also honored to receive an award at the Rome Art and Community Center from Jervis Library.
Branwen is currently working on a series of non-Christian holy places on scratchboard which is her preferred medium. She also enjoys using water color pens and pen and ink.
In the last 18 months she has begun writing poetry which can be found on Medium.com which is where she also writes for Empowered Trans Woman, an online publication.
Her work can be viewed and purchased on her website.
Life in Color
Robin is a 22 year old artist and Barista from Upstate New York who has been producing art for most of his life. It wasn't until highschool however that he realized just how important the arts were and the role that creating was going to take in his future.
He is primarily self taught minus instruction in school and some community drawing classes and has future plans of pursuing a Masters in art education hopefully beginning in the fall of 2020.
Robin’s life revolves around art. His circle of friends are all artists or artistically minded individuals who have become an extended family. With them all being imaginative and creative the perspective they each bring to the relationship is one that is truly valued.
The style of artwork that he produces can best be described as beautiful and unexpected. Colors, patterns and textures can be found in places where tradition has yet to find them which leads to works of art with tremendous depth and interest. You may notice a bit of the southwest in some pieces as it integrated it’s way into his style during a period living in Las Vegas.
Robin has been featured locally with the Rome New York Art Association and has future plans for a group show near the end of the year.