Monday, December 28, 2009

Article in the Argus Leader

[caption id="attachment_287" align="alignleft" width="242" caption="Page One of the Argus Leader article"]Page One[/caption]

This weekend the Argus Leader published an article about some of my recent work, focusing particularly on the Seven Days of Creation that I wrote about several posts ago.  Click on the pictures to read the full article.

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For more photos and news, go to my website.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Cello Dream

The Cello Dream, 8' X 2 1/2'

Detail of the cello Layers of oil paint create a dynamic texture

The Cello Dream  8’ x 2 ½’

One of the projects I’m working on now is a musical concept inspired by one of my earlier ideas.  This painting is eight feet tall by two and a half feet wide, and will be displayed at Avera McKennan’s new Cancer Institute.

As I thought about this painting, it reminded in some ways of the paintings of Marc Chagall , especially the way he treats some of the human figures.  In this painting,The Birthday Gift, the viewer receives an unmistakable cue that this is more about dramatic movement than realistic portrayal.  The people represented are not rooted in reality, planted on the floor, but floating unhinged and unanchored.  The way they are depicted allows us to see them in the motion of the moment they are living.

In this painting, my cellist plays under a full moon and we are carried by the composition, by the musician’s movement and position, through his dream up to the moon itself.

Works of art are able to communicate across a broad spectrum of people.  Regardless of the viewers’ age and culture, education and economic situation, a piece of art affects its audience.  My hope for this painting, as it communicates with people of all different backgrounds, is that it will open a window for the viewers to drift into their own thoughts.

P.S.  A word about an upcoming event:  I have a month-long solo show at Augustana College, going up on February 11th.  It’s going to be one of my more experimental shows.   For more photos and news, go to my blog.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

7 Days of Creation: Final Design

The 7 Days of Creation is finally coming to an end with the design finalized. The project consists of 8 mosaic panels each  measuring 23 ft high and 7 ft wide.  The images above are a photoshopped view of what the outcome will be when the project is totally finished. This is the vision I had for this project and the design has me very excited.

This kind of art is not just made for business but for awareness and change that will give birth to a new kind of creativity for our city as well as mature the influence of art in society. It has been a very busy and difficult month but the outcome is like a light itself bringing excitement, hope, and anticipation. I feel like this project is a representation of the kind of thing I have always wanted to achieve in my life and one of the most influential imprints I have made in art. It makes me feel like I have given back to the world like it gave to me.  Nevertheless, There is more to come!

Click on the images to enlarge!

For more detailed pictures of the design, visit my website.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Seven Days of Creation

This new piece of mine will have alternating glass areas and mosaic tile wall panels. Each panel measures approximately 23ft high x 7ft wide. There will be a total of eight panels. The theme, The Seven Days of Creation, will be expressed in abstract. The design is already selected by the church, Our Saviors Lutheran Church, and the whole piece is still under major development. One of the best things about this piece is that, like Genesis, it is great for incorporating into graphics, oil paint and even relief. This is one of the latest projects I am doing for 2009.

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

You may click on the image to see the entire painting!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


I have been working on this 29 by 8.5 ft drawing this spring as part of  my research and preparation for a  mosaic and tile project on spiritual art.

This drawing entitled Genesis intends to show Light/Darkness, Word, the Universe, Creation, Civilization, Religion and Spirituality, Birth, Imagination, Form, the Mystery of other Dimensions, and the Human Soul.

In the Beginning was the Word and the word was with God and the word was God! John 1:1

-- Click to enlarge the images.--

Eyob Mergia: An Ethiopian artist rising in America

Local Painter Showcases Ethiopian Culture and Artwork

Spring 2011 Issue of SD Artwork

Thursday, March 5, 2009

March 6th Show at Perspective!


Ark of the Covenant

           Ark of the Covenant was one of the longest projects I have ever completed and yet it still remains a concept that will remain a lifetime for me. It has lead me to many other spiritual concepts that I still practice presently.  For many years, I have been training myself to create realistic drawings and paintings from life. However, within this idea, I challenged myself as a painter, to go into the depth of the idea people have of the Ten Commandments, hoping to portray a much deeper sense and emotion of the story. One of the hardest parts of portraying this concept, however, was the fact that there was such little information about it. I had to travel to Ethiopia to really get an image of its history, majesty, and mystic that I may show it clearly in the piece along with my imagination and skill. From my perspective, I feel as if I am representing Ethiopia and its art. Nevertheless, as an artist, the idea of the Ark is very spread out in much of my work. What is special about this painting is that it tells a part of the story, in detail, in each panel of the piece. Furthermore, it explores the foundation of spiritual artwork with a combination of dynamic compositions to invigorate the mind and soul.

March 6th is the date  of the show. It will be at Perspective starting at 5:30. It will include many drawings and a Jazz Band!

Friday, February 20, 2009

March 6th Trolley Tour and More...

The_rhythm_of_jazzRhythm of Jazz

            After roughly three years, I have finally got the opportunity to move my studio downtown again. For personal reasons, I had used the studio to escape from the public and do art for myself, developing different aspects of my technique and idea. Nevertheless, most of my time spent confined was great and I believe that it has opened more doors for me to work with other professionals such as Perspective Inc. For the next two years, I am planning to work with them in different projects and collaborations in hopes that their architectural influence and concepts might be incorporated within my own art. It will be a fun year!

            Herewith, the March 6th Sioux Falls Trolley Tour is approaching soon and some of my pieces will be displayed throughout the Perspective Inc. building starting at 5:30 P.M.  My exhibit will differ from my past in that I will be displaying much more drawings and sketches than paintings. As an artist, when I look at my paintings, I try to see them through the eyes of potential viewers which allows me to truly judge the sincere skill of my work. Thus, I believe that paint alone cannot make a piece beautiful, but the skill of the composition, sketch and drawing that is in its backbone.

            Personally, my goal is not to be a famous or “great” person but to leave behind a legacy that is not defined by who I am but of the skill of my art. Though art may change according to time and place, the reason behind its existence will always remain. It exposes yet has the potential to guide the culture and era that produced it. Therefore, I want, not my identity, to be kept within changing time but the existence and concept of art as a language.  

            Also, one of the most beautiful instrumental artists, Nebiyu Kebede from Washington D.C has decided to cover his latest album with one of my paintings, The Vine of Axum. His music is inspirational and serves as a language itself though now words are used. The whole album is a great experience and unlike any other type of music. 

            In addition, I wanted to thank Carl Grupp and Rob Robinson for the comments they made in the PBS documentary that aired earlier January.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Welcoming The Year 2009!




Alpha Omega 100x70 oil paint       

                                                               Alpha and Omega

For me, 2008 was not a productive year; however, I have witnessed a lot of progress within my work as it had matured. I have put a lot of focus and emphasize on the concept of Axum, as in the painting above, with cultural design in which I have learned a lot about myself as an artist and began to see my identity protrude out of a long process of incorporating Axumite designs.Since I started alot of my artwork, within the last ten years, on a realistic and modern perspective, my main focus is to now incorporate those perspectives into the ancient and iconic history of Ethiopian Christian Art. However, Although I have focused on the concept of  Axum for the last 5 years, I am still planning to remain there for the years to come.  All this will be for the Augustana College solo show in 2010.

            In addition, I will be featured in is a PBS documentary film on art in my life. This film will also include the students, teachers and other critics as they comment on my work. The programs and times of when the episode airs will be included in the PBS link above. I am anticipating a very good outcome on the film and believe that it is a good way to listen on what others think about my work. It will be fun!