Jurors

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JAHMANE

JAHMANE’S career as an artist began in the form of Graffiti, or “STREET ART” and has evolved into a wide spectrum of mediums including works on canvas, photography, fashion design, mural painting, screen printing and graphic design. Through years of formal training and life experience as an “Artist of the People“, JAHMANE has developed a unique style that combines social awareness , spirituality, mythology and abstract language in a way that intrigues all who view his work.

Driven by the philosophy that Art should stimulate one's eyes and mind, JAHMANE's work is a reflection of his constant critique of the world around him fused with thought provoking concepts and imagery. Channeling inspiration from past, present and future influences including vintage posters, African-American quilt making, interior design, graphic novels, architecture and science fiction movies, JAHMANE creates a patchwork of visual collections that exemplify his passion to deconstruct popular norms and challenge cultural stereotypes. Currently,

JAHMANE works from his studio in Norwalk, CT and is a teaching Artist and Curator. While maintaining a healthy balance between public and private exhibits and commissions, JAHMANE always finds time to produce spontaneous artworks in the streets from which his creative energy flows.

Rene Soto

Rene Soto was born on September 1, 1986, in La Libertad Peten, Guatemala. In November 2011, Soto left Guatemala, to pursue a career as an artist, having worked as a Physical Education instructor up to that point. Since his arrival to the United States, Soto has been making art that reflects the life he left behind. He also draws inspiration from universal truths and commonalities that can only be communicated through his paintings.

Currently, Soto lives in Norwalk, CT, where he has established himself as a practicing professional artist, arts educator, and manager of Rene Soto Gallery in Norwalk. His work has been exhibited throughout the Northeast, including exhibitions at the Loft Artists Association Gallery (Stamford, CT), Blenheim Gallery (Greenwich, CT), and Queens Museum (NY, NY). In addition, he was awarded Latino of the Year 2017 in Stamford, CT and received the Connecticut Art Hero Award.

Soto's teaching experience includes King School in Stamford and Studio Arte in Norwalk. As a community activist, he created the citywide project, “Guatemala Everywhere,” which opened the door for other artists from Guatemala to exhibit their art throughout Stamford. Supporting his community is near and dear to his heart. He is an active volunteer and donor of local nonprofit organizations, including Stamford Senior Center, The Ronald McDonald House, Caring with Grace, Domestic Violence Center of Stamford, and the Kids Draw Free Program.

Amy Kaplan

Amy Kaplan is an artist, event planner, and an elected member of town government in Fairfield County CT. In addition to creating original artwork, Amy works as an independent creative consultant to various local non-profit groups, businesses, and municipalities to foster connections and opportunities to integrate the arts into the fabric of our communities. Amy has produced several Pop Up Galleries, exhibits and experiential arts events, and is passionate about the ways in which the creative arts can bring us together and help us hear each other.