Artwork from the exhibit. Left to Right: A pastel portrait of a woman with long dark hair in a light top and dark jeans sitting on a stool, a painted portrait of a woman in a blue jumpsuit with a gold background, a pastel portrait of a woman in a green tank top and blue jeans holding a chair and a painted portrait of a woman in a yellow dress with a blue jacket around her waist with a gold background.
Art Exhibition

Conversations of Portraiture

Apr 26 – Jun 8, 2024
APRIL 26 | 5:30-7:00 p.m.

exhibit description

The main gallery features portraits from Vitus Shell’s Gold Everything series. The Louisiana artist’s large-scale mixed-media collage portraits are geared toward the black experience, giving agency through powerful images; deconstructing, sampling, and remixing identity, civil rights, and contemporary black culture. In contrast, the lobby gallery Windsor artist Yuki Horikawa offering an intimate glimpse into his subject’s inner lives by capturing their posture, expression, and clothing through the complex layered color of pastels.

Vitus Shell: Gold Everything

My current works are geared toward the black experience, giving agency to people from this community through powerful images; deconstructing, sampling, and remixing civil rights, identity, and contemporary black culture. My layered, mixed media paintings examine parallels between present day behaviors and attitudes that date back to African roots.

These portraits were created to not only give blacks a chance to just be, but also with the attempt to interject these works into the conversations of portraiture. With this work, I experiment with acrylic paint, oversized photocopies of early 20th century advertisements, and the incorporation of a foam-cut printing technique. The use of vintage advertisements allows me to create narrative based environments that comment on stereotyping, bigotry, and oppression.

Yuki Horikawa: Inner Lives

I prefer to work only with live models. By working this way, others can also see the diversity and beauty of friends and strangers alike that I meet in life. It is my hope that through my work, and its use of diverse subjects, that viewers will not only have an opportunity to experience the beauty of pastel painting but also glimpse into people’s inner worlds through capturing their posture, expression, and method of dress.

Pastel painting has a special appeal, though it is a traditional medium, in the right hands it’s also a modern one. The medium’s need for layering color uniquely reveals complexities in skin tone and textiles.

My background in fashion illustration allows me to carefully render my subject’s clothing, helping to communicate the unspoken messages that a person’s outfit can convey. In the fashion world it’s often said, “How you dress is who you are to other people.”


Yuki Horikawa

Windsor, Colorado

Born in Yokosuka, Japan, Yuki Horikawa attended the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and earned his degree in Fashion Illustration. He has worked on several projects for prestigious companies such as Cartier, Ballentine Books, McCalls Patterns, among others. He has produced illustrations for Carole Jackson’s Color Me Beautiful series of books, and had a solo exhibition at the Loveland Museum of Art. After having an extensive career as an artist and graphic designer, he has continued to explore and refine his techniques using traditional mediums.

Yuki currently resides in Windsor, CO, and has been making portraits of Colorado residents since retiring in 2018.

Vitus Shell

Monroe, Louisiana | Website

Vitus is a mixed-media collage painter born in Monroe, LA, where he lives and works.

His work is geared toward the black experience, giving agency to people from this community through powerful images deconstructing, sampling, and remixing identity, civil rights, and contemporary black culture. He received a BFA from Memphis College of Art, 2000 and an MFA from the University of Mississippi, 2008.

Vitus Shell has been in residence at Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Anderson Ranch Art Center, Hermitage Artist Retreat, Mass MoCA, Joan Mitchell Center, Skowhegan School of Art, and Masur Museum of Art. To date, he has accumulated an impressive list of achievements, some of which include: participating in exhibits at universities, museums, and private galleries across the country including The McKenna Museum of African American Art, New Orleans, Stephen F. Austin University, Nacogdoches, TX, Miami University, Oxford, OH ; painted murals for the National Civil Rights Museum’s NBA Pioneers exhibit in Memphis, TN, Indianola City Pool in Indianola, MS, Union Parish Elementary School in Farmerville, LA; and being commissioned to do public art by the Memphis UrbanArt Commission. Vitus has received numerous grants including the Joan Mitchell MFA Award. 

Vitus is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at the Louisiana Tech University.


Always Free

Gallery Hours

1 – 6 p.m.

The gallery is also open for most performances at The Lincoln Center until immediately after intermission.