STRATIFICATION [the process]

CreativeRush & WSU SHIFTSPACE presents: “STRATIFICATION : an exploration in curatorial collaboration” featuring Heidi Cruz • Melanie Bindon (DEN) • Mike Miller • Tim Stone • Toby Dai • Trish Van Osdel  (bios below)

Four-time Co-Curators, Kylie Brown and Lisa Rundstrom, feature our artists in a multilayered installation exploring insight into our humanity through a responsive, shared and collaborative artistic journey. Each artist has been selected based upon their own strikingly divergent artistic aesthetics as well as their investigations into the human condition.

We want to be able to show you our process with how the show was built. We find ask that even in viewing the behind the scenes that you be open and view the entire exhibition as a whole and in its detail. Consider to try and deconstruct the relational decisions and developments of these artists. Their combined work is a product of a simultaneous response to one another through a series of divergent progressions. You never know what easter eggs you’ll discover…

This exhibition drew over 900 people and many at our January Final Friday Reception and was open to the public during gallery hours at WSU ShiftSpace during January – mid February 2016.

Bios & Prices below.


2016-FF_Stratification-25MELANIE BINDON

I am a multi­media artist working predominantly in painting, illustration, photography, and digital media. Since I was a small child I have been obsessed with imaginative stories and the spaces they take place in. In my work, I often fabricate an alternate reality to imply a non­linear narrative derived from ancient mythologies and their influence on contemporary experiences. Through a cathartic recreation of ambiguous reveries often inspired by dreams, my work connects memories to imaginative contexts. 

As an educator, I see the essential heart of the creative process as problem-solving and the purpose of education as fostering the implicit curiosity within all to understand and affect the world around us. I graduated from Metropolitan State University of Colorado with a BFA in Art Education, concentrating in Photography. Currently, I teach art at Beach Court Elementary, am Program Director for Make-­A-Movie Workshop, and am a Gallery Assistant at ArtGym.



My work begins by creating the first layer of a narrative in a photo shoot in which I give models a simple set of ideas about who they are and what they might be doing in their given setting, then allow them to interact as document. A part of my work is about situations in which my subjects choose to interact or reject contact. In this recent body of work my figures represent a sense of tranquility, confidence and celebration of the self. My mark making with this specific medium, watercolor on yupo, lends itself as another layer in what I am trying to represent. It is an involved process in which the water evaporates leaving layers of fleshy pigments with a sense of fluidity and the juxtaposition between the inability and ability of control. The end result are figures which are both hauntingly elegant as well as abject in appearance, engaging with each other in a narrative that exists between the models, the viewer and myself.


“A history stronger than the foundations of the earth”

(2 part series)

Watercolor on paper  –  $450 each


Stratification_05-TobyTOBY DAI  

Toby Dai was born in Guiyang, China, but now resides in the Midwest. Growing up with his grandparents, both actors, he was surrounded in childhood by costumed and painted artists. Although lucky to experience such a colorful upbringing, it was difficult to escape the surrounding environment—dirty trucks filled the air with diesel fumes and smoke stacks from the omnipresent factories towered over the landscape, hemming in the people like bars in a cage. He communicates through this unnatural space, invoking a sense of longing that is explored in the tension between physical and mental distance. His work forces a reaction to something alien, be it a physical closeness that seems uncomfortable or an emotional detachment that rises up from the surroundings. He speaks through technology, considering computer programming a second mother tongue. It’s a universal language, unlike the dialect from his hometown, and it’s one that expresses his desire to work methodically, making art in a way that resembles the meditative practice of an assembly line worker. By allowing the active mind to wander from the physical form, a new space emerges, one that allows for a clearer exploration of the distance between the two.


A photograph of my grandma in her army uniform taken on the day she was ordered to cut off her waist-long braids sometime between 1945 and 1956”

Pigment based ink on transparency film, rolled and sealed per contract  –  $50 per print



Wichita ­based sculptor Mike Miller cuts, grinds, bends, scavenges, makes mountains of sawdust and showers of sparks and merges Mike&Tobynature and machine to create art. He specializes in kinetic sculptures, installations, and photography.

Everything is a machine.

The interface where human­made machines and natural objects intersect is the subject of my current body of work. The singularity that exploded in the Big Bang creating our universe is a machine. There does not need to be conflict between human­made and nature­made machines.

Trees are natural machines that absorb carbon dioxide and create oxygen. When machines are fully examined; there are no mysteries that cannot be understood with enough time and persistence.A song is a machine constructed to activate the rhythms of life. As humans get better at building machines the difference between nature­built and human­built machines become less.Human built machines cause problems, but by solving those problems, humans learn to control their own evolution. A poem is a human­constructed machine that conveys emotional information.All human­built machines at their inception are art. Machines that fix problems will inevitably create new problems, but that’s okay; that’s how evolution works.


The quest to build a sentient machine is a beautiful and glorious thing. Bugs do almost everything humans do except create art, and that is debatable. The act of imagining something that has never existed and then causing it to be constructed is one of my definitions of art.

Sculpture is a machine that converts an idea into an object. Humans are the most complex natural machines ever to evolve on Earth.    



Tim Stone graduated from Wichita State University in 2012 with a BFA in Painting. He was accepted to the New York Studio School of Painting, Drawing, and Sculpture in 2014, and participated in a Drawing Marathon with Graham Nickson. This was an intensive, eight hour a day, two week course that focused on plastically depicting the human form and accurately mapping spatial dimensions. He is currently an Instructor at Wichita State University teaching Life Drawing. His work can be seen locally at Emprise Bank, and online at and

Tim’s work is created with acrylic on masking tape and canvas.   $1200



“All I need is One Good Idea”  –  Yarn, metal rods  –  $500 each

Growing up in a small family business, I have been exposed to a broad range of materials and modes of fabrication with a problem-solving goal.  Evolving and translating these same aspects to art was familiar.  Consistently exploring the different intrinsic qualities in a variety of materials and combining them with other materials of a somewhat opposing nature is ever present in my work. At the same time I look at the history or the common usage of a material and the responsive feelings one  may have to it due to their own personal background.  Although I use a lot of materials traditional to sculpture, I usually like to incorporate non­traditional or alternative materials.  Sometimes changing one’s perception of an object through the use of a variety of materials can lead the viewer to further investigate the idea of the art work thus creating more of a dialogue between artist and viewer.

Most of my work deals with socio­political issues such as consumption, loss, and the human condition.  Responding to the process in which society deals with such issues is commonly represented in the work.  In an ever mass consuming society we are sometimes blinded by the barge of images, events, ideas and objects that distract us from experiencing the here and now.  In a society where we are ever-connected to the next person via technology, and constantly inundated with activities or events leaves little time for contemplation, reflection and personal social interaction.  When society discards something in exchange for another or nothing at all how do we determine its value?  Is it determined after the loss?  Loss of social values and skills, loss of self through gender expectations, loss of innocence, and the most personal of all, loss of loved ones are key elements in the content of my work.  All these issues can cause us to question what we ourselves value


CreativeRush | STRATIFICATION [the process]
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