the chef and the artists

 
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Eric Rivera

Olympia, Washington, native Eric Rivera started his career in business. But cooking was always his passion, and he wasn’t afraid to hustle to get where he is today.

His journey to Eric Rivera Cooks, A Restaurant Group, has taken many noteworthy twists and turns, including a three-plus year stint at Alinea restaurant in Chicago, where he was Director of Culinary Research Operations working alongside chef-owner Grant Achatz. After that he moved on to Seattle’s Huxley Wallace Collective, where he opened the Thompson Hotel Seattle, plus four restaurants, in just one year.

Eric, a graduate of the culinary school at the Art Institute of Seattle, traces cooking back to when he was a small child. Growing up in a Puerto Rican family that celebrated food, Eric often cooked with his grandfather. Despite his early connection with the kitchen, Eric pursued jobs in mortgage and insurance. But eventually he found himself drawn back to food.

Grassroots tactics led him to his first job: Eric knocked on doors for jobs when he was beginning culinary school. “I would walk into restaurants wearing a suit and holding my resume. Nothing came of it,” Eric explains. “But when I finally took off the suit and simplified my resume to say only, ‘Culinary Student’ then people started paying attention. I got my first job.”

Starting in the kitchen at Seastar in Seattle, Eric moved on to Blueacre Seafood, where he eventually became sous chef while still in school. When the opportunities at Alinea and Huxley Wallace Collective presented themselves, Eric seized them.

Now, with his own restaurant group,  Eric plays to his guests’ sense of discovery. “It’s an exploration of the whole flavor spectrum, where you can go from sweet to savory to sour in one bite,” he says. “We have all these great local ingredients at our disposal, and we’ll be highlighting flavors of the Pacific Northwest."

erica ciganek

Erica is a painter currently pursuing her MFA at the University of Washington in Seattle. She graduated in 2013 from North Park University with a BA in both Art and Conflict Transformation.  She continues to paint mainly portraits with an emphasis on the power of truly seeing people in a world that is quick to dehumanize.  

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jennifer ament

Jennifer Ament’s linocut prints and encaustic paintings have been featured in solo and group exhibitions throughout the West Coast and in New York City, including; Out of Sight, Gage Academy of Art, The Vera Project, Starbucks, Maker/Agent and Maison Luxe. Ament also has permanent collections at SeaTac airport, in luxury high rise condominium buildings and notable restaurants throughout Seattle, WA.

Baso Fibonacci

Baso is an artist currently living in Pioneer Square. He shows his work on the streets, in the form of street art and public murals, and in the galleries, cafe's and restaurants around the city.

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Brennan Coyle

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matthew ryan herget

Born December 21st, 1990; Matthew Ryan Herget is an emerging self-taught artist from Miami, FL.  Herget's work is what he calls, a "constant collaboration" between himself at all points in his life. The evolution of his work mimics the evolution of his own self - a student of life, the mind, nature, and spirituality; Herget continues to explore anew without losing the childlike confidence that propelled him to the person he is today. Earlier paintings consist of juxtapositions of visual metaphors that tend to represent overcoming personal fears and limitations. These juxtapositions mix serious tones with playful imagery: an ode to finding who he is while at the same time never forgetting where he was. 

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Bisco Smith

BISCO SMITH (b.1980) is a contemporary visual artist with roots in music, graffiti, and street art, currently residing and working in Queens, New York. Bisco works in a variety of formats, including canvas and large outdoor murals, and is known for his “visual freestyle”—characterized as a blend of graffiti deconstruction, gestural abstraction, and lyric-based stylewriting. Made predominantly with a black and white color palette, his art visually captures the rhythms of music and the energy of the moment through its spontaneous marks and abstracted text. 

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Duffyleg

Patrick “Duffy” De Armas is an artist, maker of things, and creative force majeure. His personal work is a steeped in the influences of American classic car culture, Motorcycles, hot rods, and mid 20th century advertising design.  Anchored by undeniable design principles, his pieces are remarkable and driven by an unharnessed creative soul. The artist makes beautiful mixed-media collages which layer fragments of various designs on top of one another in the pursuit of building a contemporary understanding of a niche cultures and time periods. He is also the entrepreneurial might behind the art based creative firm - Electric Coffin CS Co. and gallery spacePiranha shop. Duffy curates and organizes the annual and hugely popular traveling group show Boxes of Death, which all continue to grow beyond the wildest dreams of from where they began.

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Bk The Artist

Brian Kirhagis, aka “BK The Artist”, is an internationally renowned painter whose unmistakably unique work and strikingly original concepts are laced with socially conscious messages. These qualities combined with unparalleled consistency and production have elevated BK into one of the art world’s brightest stars. Inspired by the human experience and armed with an uncanny ability to make the viewer feel and see art, he deftly sifts through an impressive range of substance matter utilizing several distinct styles.  Brian’s signature technique of weaving together double images and hidden elements using shape and color allow him to tell a story on canvas with paint. The viewer’s mind deciphers several layers while simultaneously following a broader narrative within the same piece. BK is fearless and brazen in his approach; often tackling the most complicated aspects of our society with equally complex compositions. His voice and perspective on current events and social issues are a vital part of today’s lexicon as he has become widely regarded as one of the leaders of his generation.

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denial 

DENIAL is a Canadian artist whose work critiques consumerism and the human condition. Though based in Windsor Ontario, DENIAL spends much of the year traveling and exhibiting throughout Canada and USA, having done solo shows in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Toronto and Vancouver.

In 2000 he adopted the moniker ‘DENIAL’ as a means of poking fun at advertising, politics and media messages that contemporary society is often ‘in denial’ about. Since then he has maintained an on- going global street-campaign of over 500,000 stickers, placards and murals, using the alpha-numeric characters ‘D3N!@L’. Intended as a conceptual means of marketing absurd-ism, DENIAL also challenges traditional notions of graffiti and public art through his bold and often satirical visual subversions.

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joe nix

Over the years Joe Nix has become one of Seattle's most celebrated muralists. Working on a number of corporate commissions, Nix is responsible for some the most iconic walls around town. Whether it is historical imagery on the side of Brass Tacks, or the favored portrait of Patrick Swayze in Fremont's Addabal, Nix's art is admired by all.

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Teyha Sullivan

Tehya Sullivan grew up in the Pacific Northwest and started drawing at a very young age. Passionately driven, she makes jewelry, sculpture, woodwork, metalwork and is a creative seamstress. Her paintings are inspired by friends family and all aspects of life. Her work has been shown in a number of galleries, coffee shops and clubs in the Seattle area and her murals can be seen scattered across the city. 

 

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Jay riggio

Jay Riggio, a self-taught visual artist, was born in Long Island, New York in 1978. Utilizing original source material from discarded magazines and books, Riggio’s work brings new life to once forgotten imagery through complex, handcut and pasted, mixed media collages. His works depict dream-inspired stories through unique, surrealistic visual pairings: a reflection of the artists interpretations on life, love, humor and the human condition.

In addition to exhibiting work in galleries around the world, Riggio has done commercial illustrations for brands likeGather JournalThe New York TimesBrooklyn Magazine, Alice McCall, A24 Films and more.