Club Works Artists
Rayna Noel is a fiber and mixed media artist. A Johnstown native, she is a full-time work at home mom of three. Rayna learned crochet from her paternal grandmother 30 years ago and taught herself to knit around 12 years ago. She makes custom fiber creations to sell online and at local shops. Her recent series of Cryptids combines the art of folklore with her talent in the visual arts. She also makes mixed media creations for local exhibits. She has taken many online drawing and painting courses. Some of her favorites are the loose mixed media styles of Juliette Crane and Joan Martin. She is currently working on her primitive rug hooking, punch needle, and slow stitch embroidery skills.
Matt Lamb is an award-winning artist and the Creative Director of the Bottle Works Ethnic Arts Center. He also serves as the Membership Drive Coordinator for the Allied Artists of Johnstown and is the co-leader of the Arts & Culture Priority goal for Vision 2025.
Matt is an illustrator with a BFA from Edinboro University. He also works with the human form in charcoal. Many of his charcoal works turn to the realm of fantasy. Matt recently designed and executed, with the help of a team of consultants/volunteers including: Michael Allison, Chris Tower, Glenn Klimeck, Carol Churchey, and about 250 community volunteers, the first public art mural honoring Steve Ditko in his hometown of Johnstown PA.
Exploring the relationship between the strange and beautiful drives my work. These two contrasting features work together to create a form that is intriguingly odd. Through my work, I am interested in the human experience and our connection with each other and nature. We are and have come from nature and there is a clear relationship that can further be explored by connecting these ideals. We have a collective experience that also breaks down to exist on individual levels.
The body is a repetitive form and image throughout my work. The representation of the body is both for aesthetic interest as well as for conceptual reasons. Distortions of the human form are used to create the sense of a loss of identity. The figures can be interpreted as an entity, not representative of a person per say, but the soul or consciousness within. It is a goal of mine to reverse the roles of inner thoughts and exterior expectations. This is done by altering and manipulation of the physical identity of the body and covering the exterior with collaged imagery.
I incorporate symbolic layers within my work to create a sense of depth and emotion. From a distance, the collaged surfaces appear to be a pattern, but as the viewer moves closer to new imagery, and meaning can be revealed. The colleges are composed of found paper and drawings, combined with the physical buildup of paint and imagery mimicking the process in which we create our identities. As we go through life, we are constantly collecting experiences and changing, and this process is critically important to my work.