Brown and Hammer

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James Brown Biography: 

Even as a fan of art, James never really considered himself an artist until a few years ago. Living a majority of his life in Dubuque, James has always been a fan of movies and animation, and considers them to be some of his earliest influences as a child. Most of the artwork he produced during his youth were simple doodles of the cartoon characters he had grown up watching. Eventually, he would become influenced by artists such as Salvador Dali, Terry Gilliam and Patrick Nagel. Through his teens and young adulthood, James had experimented with a few creative outlets such as writing and theater, but was unable to mold his creativity properly to produce a fully developed piece of work. Eventually, James enrolled at Loras College in 2008 and after receiving professional guidance and a newfound passion for art, he received his BA in Art and Digital Design. Along with an ever growing desire to produce more art, James has recently become a volunteer member of the Dubuque Area Arts Collective and will present more of his art this February at the Quad City Arts Center. 
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James Brown Artist Statement: 

A theme that ties my pieces together is the celebration of the stranger aspects of life. My work, just like the rest of the world, is full of oddities and while art in general can provoke thought, it can also be plain whimsical. I tend to find an appreciation for things in life that other people find strange or revolting. There can be a certain sense of beauty in some things people don’t usually find beautiful. 

The subject matter that has become a large part of my work is a discussion on social commentary. Many of my pieces talk about how we interact with others, how we see ourselves as individuals and how the world works around us. Some of the messages are hidden in the visuals, but share common ideas when deciphered. 

If there can be any sort of process in the creation of the art I present, it would be that spontaneity takes control in the planning stages of my work. Most of my ideas come from whatever is on my mind at any given time. While thought is indeed given to what the finished piece will be, the basic concept is never dwelled upon for too long and rather comes to me naturally. Inspiration comes from any source and I never force myself to create a piece around a particular object, event, or message simply because it's a hot topic that others are talking about. Instead, I let the thought process happen at will and if an idea is created as a result, so be it. 
“A Tribute to Artist Lisa Hammer” 
Artist Biography 
Lisa A. Hammer, also recognized as Trixie Kitsch, age 53, of Dubuque, Iowa, passed away at on Monday, February 17, 2014, at home, after a brief illness. Lisa was born on February 12, 1961, in Dubuque, daughter of David and Audrey (Lowe) Hammer. 
Lisa was a wonderfully unique woman. She was a voracious reader, published authoress and painter. Lisa's mind was vividly colorful, she had an encyclopedic memory powered by a quick, whip-smart intelligence. She studied fiction writing and fine art at The University of Iowa. Lisa had many interests including music, art, writing and criminal law. She was kind and caring, artistic, loyal, generous and diplomatic. Lisa appreciated so many aspects of life, especially the simple things, such as laughter, love, music, dancing, beauty and witty cleverness in any form. She had a wickedly wonderful sense of humor that could reduce an entire room full of people to uncontrollable laughter. Lisa's spirit will be remembered and cherished for decades to come. 

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