Meet EMULSION 2016 Artists: The Ws

By East City Art Editorial Team on April 4, 2016

McKinley Wallace


How long have you worked as an artist?  When did you start?

I went to an art magnet middle school and high school and graduated from Maryland Institute College of Art in May 2015.

Discuss your process—what medium do you use?  Do you work with other mediums?

I am a mixed media artist, constantly experimenting with new materials and methods, traditional and nontraditional. My process is devoted to forming weathered objects by layering, sanding, and burning.

After Ecstasy 20.25˝ x 16.37˝ Acrylic, Charcoal, Conte Crayon, Ink, Oil and Print on canvas on wood panel

What would you like viewers to know about your piece?

After Ecstasy is an artifact that represents ideal beauty and its ephemeral nature. The idea of beauty is an intergenerational and intercultural topic in every society. Its definition is impermanent and varies on an individual level. This piece unifies my interest in classical beauty and degradation.

Artist Statement

We can never truly define ourselves, but we try to make peace with that knowledge by using our body to project a temporary character. It is in our nature to identify others for self-assessment. While looking at each nameless individual, I ask myself, “Do I relate to what I am seeing, or do I feel excluded?”

Our primal need to identify has been corrupted by prejudices. Is there value beyond the signifiers? Has being judged by others made us violent and vulnerable creatures?

Inheritance led us to obscurity, pessimistic recesses of the Earth with deafening winds, putrid soil, and blistering fire.

My mission, as an archaeologist, is to uncover the damaged pieces of us that remain and address humanity’s aggression.


Brian Williams


How long have you worked as an artist?

Professionally for 10 years.

When did you start?

I grew up absorbing lessons in school, summer programs and from my artist mother but switched from art to math in college, returning to informal art classes after graduate school.

Bird Brain 24˝ x 24˝ x 2˝ Oil on aluminum panel with embedded video hardware

Discuss your process—what medium do you use?

My paintings are all oil and mostly on aluminum (Dibond) panels but sometimes on canvas. I have recently begun cutting the dibond myself using a computerized, CNC, router. I have also started incorporated microcontrollers and micro-computers, such as Raspberry Pi, into the paintings for displaying video.

Rose with Hook 42.38˝ x 36.38˝ Digital Photograph

What would you like viewers to know about your piece?

The piece, Bird Brain, wants us to imagine what it must be like to not understand everything you are seeing. The video of the eye, shiny and moving, is from a two-year-old child watching Sesame Street.

Artist Statement

I use the “paint it, then see it” approach: the search for a composition from undirected painting and contemplation. Current events or experiences usually surface in the compositions. Increasingly, I am looking for ways to include technology in the artwork.


Andrew Wohl


How long have you worked as an artist?  When did you start?

Started in 2010

Discuss your process—what medium do you use?  Do you work with other mediums

Photographic Process: Regarding my still life photographs, I use a very rudimentary studio set up consisting of a black velvet or other backdrop and no more than two work lights to illuminate the subject.  The subjects chosen must possess certain qualities to make an engaging still life with good tonal range or color.  The qualities I look for are shape, texture and surface finish.  I do not necessarily have an object in mind, in fact, most of the time I don’t.  My procedure is simply to visit grocery stores, antique shops and hardware stores perusing each aisle until something magical jumps out at me.  My most recent find includes an unlikely object; an oversized cupcake mold with fantastic geometry and detail.  But ladies vintage hats and balls of kite string have also resulted in fascinating images.  After the discovery, I spend time in the studio orienting the newly found object to capture its most interesting perspective and deciding how to light it for the most dramatic shadows or brilliant color.  And finally, once the perfect shot is made, I use Photoshop or NIK collection software such as Color Efex or Silver Efex to turn a seemingly mundane object into a captivating work of art.

Rose with Hook 42.38˝ x 36.38˝ Digital Photograph

What would you like viewers to know about your piece?

Intent of “Rose with Hook” photograph: The original intent of my “Rose with Hook” photograph was simply to juxtapose a very delicate object with a fierce and threatening object.  What could be more delicate than a pink rose and what could possibly be more menacing than the terrible barb of a fish hook?  I wanted to create a visceral feeling of tension, apprehension and discomfort in the viewer while still creating a beautiful photograph.  I love the fact that this image is both classically beautiful with lighting found in traditional still life photographs and yet highly unconventional. But I also see psychological meaning in this image having to do with the vulnerability and fragility of innocence.  Why that theme became important to me I am not sure, but I think it has to do with a realization that I am, as we all are, very vulnerable to injury both from global events and our personal situations.

Artist Statement

Whether the subject is architecture, still life, nature or portraiture, I try to create highly unconventional images. Rather than photograph an entire building, I focus on a spider web like arrangement of electrical wires clinging like vines to the side of a building or a deep crack in a wall held together by huge clamps and threaded rods. My still life images do not contain the typical arrangement of bottles, fruit and dishes but rather consist of balls of kite string, or a single, large, highly geometric cupcake mold or a set of calipers. A typical nature shot is not a bird on a branch but rather a highly abstract shot of milkweed seeds against a black velvet background. And finally, my portraits avoid the gauzy, soft focus, smooth skin look typical of many portraits but rely on a harsher portrayal that accentuates the model’s imperfections but captures more of their true character.

I have always believed that the only way to discover something new about the world is to take a path that no one else has blazed. Whether in my chosen profession as an engineer or in my photographic pursuits, the goal is to explore, investigate and avoid the conventional in order to develop a unique vision and honest self-expression.

Elizabeth Wyrsch-Ba


How long have you worked as an artist?  When did you start?

I started exhibiting my art in 2005.

Discuss your process—what medium do you use?  Do you work with other mediums

I mostly use wood and recycled papers.

Woodstack #1 8˝ x 5˝ x 3˝ Wood, paper and glue

What would you like viewers to know about your piece?

I would like viewers to know that this piece was originally part of a solo exhibition in Dupont Circle, entitled Origins.

Artist Statement

I consider myself an ecological artist, integrating environmental principles into visual art. Using the artistic media of paper, wood, ceramics and steel, I strive to bring materials back to their origins.

Among my work is my wood stack series.  Each stack juxtaposes pieces of real wood with paper mimicking wood’s properties.  After collecting stacks of junk mail, I glued page by page together, put them under high pressure and sculpted them into a wood-like appearance – returning the paper to a likeness of what it once was.  Though I lost count in the process, each paper stack is comprised of nearly 1500 pages and represents several weeks’ worth of magazines and junk mail.