Exhibiting Artists: Eel Costello, Haleigh Givens, Amina Daugherty, Cheryl Kinderknecht, David Isakson, Sharon Dowdell, Hannah Ayers, Matt Elliott, Luke Abdallah, Nitiksha Dawar, Kaushlendra Pratap Singh, Abhishek Kumar, Lori Dunsmore, Ellen Mansfield, James Betts, Lizz Hamilton, Leo Tujak

Curated by Aleatha Lindsay

This exhibition examines the color’s global similarities, its impact on society, and unique meanings across cultures. While most colors conjure tangibles (a red rose, orange fruit, yellow lemon, or green grass), blue often brings to mind the sea and sky, and the dreamy space where the two meet. Blue transcends cultural boundaries and is considered a color of calm worldwide. It can soothe us the way sitting in the sand to watch gentle waves wash ashore soothes us. Blue is said to be the most liked color on the spectrum.

Special thanks to our staff, volunteers, and donors for making this exhibition possible. Our gratitude to the exhibiting artists for allowing us to share their work. Consider making a donation to The Ikouii Creative and adding any of the available works to your collection.

Stay awhile and enjoy the exhibition!

Nitiksha Dawar
Citation (Left)
Etching and aquatint on paper. 10 x 20 inches. 2021


Luke Abdallah
Studio Detritus #2
Found and re-used objects, natural detritus,
pva glue and acrylic on canvas. 24 x 20 inches. 2020

Luke Abdallah
Deep Blue
Acrylic on Canvas. 24 x 24 inches. 2020

Kaushlendra Pratap Singh
Blue Rust #1
Mixed media on paper. 13 x 16 inches. 2021

Kaushlendra Pratap Singh
Blue Rust #2
Mixed media on paper. 13 x 16 inches. 2021

Lori Dunsmore
Incomplete Insomnia
Collage/acrylics/oil pastels. 16 inches, circular. 2021

Abhishek Kumar
Petrichor II
Oil pastel on paper. 13 x 16 inches. 2020

Abhishek Kumar
Glow of Swamp
Oil on board. 12 x 12 inches. 2019

Abhishek Kumar
Acrylic on Canvas. 22 x 31 inches. 2021

Sharon B Dowdell
Once In A Blue Lagoon
Photography. 20 x 30 inches. 2016

Leo Tujak
Iceberg Blue
2021. Photography. 11 x 14 inches

Haleigh Givens
Conversations with the cumulonimbus has gotten to bb grl
(Above) Mixed media on paper. 24 x 20 inches. 2021

Haleigh Givens
2 Blue 4 U (Left)
Mixed media on paper. 12.75 x 6 inches. 2021

Eel Costello
Cyanotype. 54 x 80 inches. 2019

Lizz Hamilton
– his eyes seemed to be multiplying, now four, now eight
Raw lapis, jackdaw wing, habotai silk. 17 x 28 inches. 2021

Nitiksha Dawar
Etching and aquatint on paper. 10 x 15 inches. 2021

Nitiksha Dawar
Etching and aquatint on paper. 10 x 15 inches. 2021

Amina Daugherty
Plaster, Resin, Ink. 8 x 6.5 inches. 2020

James Betts
Study in Phenomenon #1
Jewelry/Brooch. 3.5 x 3.5 x .5 inches. 2020

David Isakson
Cocktail Shaker for Fascists
Boot, Steel, Cocktail Shaker, Paint. 22 x 12 x 8 inches. 2016

David Isakson
Activity Log
Automobile Flywheel, Gramaphone Horn, Typewriter,
Dark Blue Paint. 12 x 15 x 22 inches. 2021

David Isakson
Wooden Baseball Bat, Hardware, 10 Afro Picks,
Dark Blue Paint, Paint. 33 x 8 x 3 inches. 2017


Hannah Ayers
Oil on Cradled Wood Panel. 17.5 x 22 inches. 2021

Hannah Ayers
Oil on Cradled Wood Panel. 12 x 16 inches. 2020

Hannah Ayers
Neighborhood Mood
Acrylic on Cradled Wood Panel. 15.5 x 19 inches. 2020

Cheryl Kinderknecht
Making Friends with the Blue Dog, Step 2
Acrylic Mixed Media Collage. 11 x 14 inches. 2021

Ellen Mansfield
Aura in Reservior
Ceramic. 9 x 9 inches. 2020

Ellen Mansfield
Blue-ti ful Sea
Ceramic. 6 x 6 inches. 2017

Matt Elliott
A collaboration with Luke Abdallah
On the Beach
Acrylic, dye pigments, pencil and oil stick on
unstretched canvas. 41 x 50 inches. 2020

Matt Elliott
Where I’d rather be
Mixed media on art board. 12 x 9 inches. 2021


Hannah Ayers was born in Cassopolis, Michigan. She graduated with her MFA in Painting from Miami University in 2019. She holds a bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Studio Art from The College of Wooster in 2016. Her exhibitions include After Before in Hiestand Gallery Oxford, Ohio, Waterloo Arts Juried Exhibition in Cleveland, Ohio, and Our Women Before Us at Gibney Dance in New York New York. My work comes from a desire to bear witness to self. Therefore, I feel that artistic content must be genuine and honest to my personal experiences or observations. Memory is a common theme within my work; the purpose memory serves, as well as its emotional content, is related to the way I select and assemble materials within each series. My subject matter usually has its origin in landscape, but I am more concerned with the feeling and atmosphere of a piece.

Brief Description of Work: This artwork was painted from my at-home studio while being confined to my home for the past year. I was always on the looking for something that stuck out to me because of the repetitiveness and tedium of everyday life during the pandemic. For me, the color blue represented the slowness, confinement, and constant self-reflection of how life felt during this time. 

Eel Costello is a queer visual artist residing in the mountains in Southern California. Their work often speaks about representation and censorship, while also documenting the queer community.

Brief Description of Work: This is a wall hanging that is part of a series of Cyanotypes of queer couples that I am working on. It can be hung on the wall, hung from the ceiling either perpendicular or vertically ( to be looked up at) laid on the floor or a bed, or hung in front of a window like a full panel curtain. 

Haleigh Givens is an artist living and working out of St. Louis, Missouri. She received her BFA in painting from Southeast Missouri State University in 2017 and MA in fine art from Eastern Illinois University in 2019. Her work primarily focuses on two-dimensional materials with an interest in both the natural world and psychological studies.

Brief Description of Work: I am an artist living and working out of St. Louis, Missouri. I received my BFA in painting from Southeast Missouri State University in 2017 and my MA in fine art from Eastern Illinois University in 2019. My work primarily focuses on two-dimensional materials with an interest in both the natural world and psychological studies.

Amina Daugherty is a sculptor whose art studies how Black Americans have been shaped by colonization, displacement, stereotyping, and racism. Her art depicts the confusion felt within the Black community after being separated from their home continent of Africa. She also explores how this separation has led to a mass erasure of the diaspora’s cultural connection. These pieces highlight the remarkably intrinsic ways in which the Black American community still connects themselves to their past through their culture. In doing so, she attempts to bridge the gaps in the Black identity by exploring the theory that Black Americans have behaviors and ideas that have carried over from the past lives of their ancestors into modern life. She also depicts the complex array of emotions they must confront daily due to racial injustice and generational trauma to create spaces of understanding and unity.

Brief Description of Work: This piece was made during the protests following the murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. It reflects the deep sorrow Black people across the country felt watching these events unfold along with the added strain of the COVID-19 pandemic making it difficult to protest safely. There is an unavoidable depression that sets in due to the trauma of repeatedly seeing one’s own community being murdered. It incorporates elements of self- portraiture, as it was inspired by my own face when tears are welling up in my eyes. This piece gives Black people the time they deserve to feel this emotion, and it allows viewers outside of the community to recognize that behind the strength of the Black community, there are emotional scars that we are grappling with.


A mixed media artist, Cheryl Kinderknecht received an undergraduate degree in art from Fort Hays (KS) State University. Regardless of medium or subject matter, her work is influenced by the colors, patterns and visual textures of the Great Plains where she grew up. Emotions, dreams, symbolism, and memories further anchor and inform her work. Over the years, Kinderknecht’s vision and artwork have been increasingly impacted by retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative retinal condition. Kinderknecht says, “The creative process has always energized me and continuing to create art despite vision challenges makes me feel connected, grounded and relevant in my own life and within the world.

Brief Description of Work: In my artwork the presence of a blue dog symbolizes challenges, adversity or vulnerability. Approaching the blue dog in this scene is a person with no eyes and naked except for silly socks and a skullcap. Despite any trepidation and vulnerability, the person risks reaching out to and maybe even taming the blue dog. This work celebrates the perseverance, cautious optimism and resiliency within all of us. Incorporating acrylic paint, ink, graphite and collage materials, this is a mixed media work on watercolor paper which has then been mounted on a a cradled hardwood panel. 

David Isakson is a Jewish schizophrenic emerging outsider artist who lives and works in Oak Park, CA In 1996 upon returning to the US from Amsterdam, David built a workbench with recycled wood and started working. In 2012 David Isakson began to exhibit regularly, Winning prizes in juried group shows for his work, he developed his sense of deconstruction humor and continued to refine his assemblage work. With over 80 shows and 100+ pieces of art to his credit, he has exhibited at BG gallery in Bergamot Station, Santa Monica CA. The Sylvia White Gallery in Ventura, CA and a solo show titled Relics of the Civilization of Myself at The Blackboard Gallery in Camarillo CA, among others. His work is collected in the United States, and he is published internationally.

Brief Description of Work: I make problematized objects. They are not what they should be when seen at first. It’s almost like you have to take them apart and make them for yourself in order to arrive at the same place where I am at the end of the dopamine cycle. I rush. I hurry. I don’t take time. I’m rushing towards a conclsion, but there is none. Just Being.The finished product is a husk, a shell of the life energy that went into making it. But some of it hangs around just enough to brush off on you, even through a photograph.

Upon retirement Sharon Dowdell, re-invented herself to become a photographer, which was personal and driven. Sharon is self taught and is a recipient of several awards and accolades from Atlanta Celebrates Photography, Fulton County Arts & Culture Collection, The Clothesline Fine Arts Gallery, Art Station Gallery STN MTN GA, Johns Creek Art Center Johns Creek GA, Lou Walker Senior Center Stone Crest GA, Roswell GA City Hall, Stonecrest GA Library, Johnson Ferry Art Center (JFBC), BUZZ Wine & Coffee House Atlanta GA. The Art X Change Newnan GA. Currently she is working on a body of work from several counties that she has traveled to, with the purpose of photographing each trek as a body of work: Japan, France, Amsterdam, Belgium, Iceland, England, Cuba, Cayman Islands, Panama. She is honing works in Fine Art which will highlight even more of her intuitive skill sets.

Matt Elliott is an Artist from Sydney Australia, living with Cerebral Palsy. As an abstract landscape painter he has a fascination with dream states, creating lucid mindscapes with a range of media that draw inspiration from the natural environment. Harnessing his entire physicality to paint and draw on both large and intimate scales, Matt’s powerfully emotive dreamscapes are as alluring as they are compelling in their depiction of the natural world. Matt has been an active member at Studio ARTES since 2000 and was selected for the Hill End Art Residency program (2019) and the Bundanon Trust Art Residency (2021). Matt Elliott is a Studio A Professional Pathways Awardee (2018) and is working towards his first solo exhibition.

Brief Description of Work: This is a collaborative painting between Matt Elliott and Luke Abdallah, who both create at Studio ARTES – an assisted art studio for adults living with a disability in Sydney, Australia. Matt and Luke have sequentially built up the composition, informed by each others’ layers beneath to create a vibrant and energetic depiction of the colours, movements and sensations of the Australian coastal landscape. ‘On the Beach’ has been painted predominantly on the floor, with both Matt and Luke using brushes attached to long poles. Overlapping Matt’s meandering golden expanse, Luke’s signature ‘push-and-pull’ cane painting technique is visible in white acrylic (middle), along with white splashy dabs (top left corner). Matt has also utilised Luke’s cane in this painting, creating dabs of his own in gold acrylic (top right corner). Finally, the gestural oil stick marks in yellow and blue were made by Matt.

Luke Abdallah is an emerging artist with a disability living and painting in Sydney, Australia. Luke was born totally blind and has total elective mutism, meaning he is unable to speak. Luke loves the process and tactility of painting and his beautiful artworks capture his energy and movement. Luke has developed his art practice at Studio Artes since 2009, has exhibited in solo exhibitions and features in the documentary ‘A Guide Through Abstraction’ – nominated at the Focus On Ability Film Awards in 2019. Luke received an Honourable Mention Award in the 2020 Ikouii Open (‘Cane Painting #8 (Golden Cane)) and he also features in the Ikouii Creative book ‘Inside Their Studio’. Luke Abdallah has recently been awarded an art residency in rural NSW by Accessible Arts NSW and Bundanon Trust, which he will undertake in March 2022.

Brief Description of Work: ‘Deep blue’ is an homage to the colour blue, expressing the colour’s ability to represent both a calm stillness and dynamic fluidity; characteristics that Luke embodies as an artist. Using rhythmic vertical strokes, Luke has developed the layers within the painting by continuously rotating the square canvas, giving the artwork a whirlpool-like sense of depth and motion. Studio Detritus #2 is a sensory painting created with the by-products from Luke’s hands-on painting practice. Luke enjoys the feeling of using waste as art – preventing this trash from ending up in landfill – or even worse – in our deep blue sea!  

Nitiksha Dawar (1988, Delhi, India) is an artist who mainly works with Printmaking. Her prints demonstrate how life extends beyond its own subjective limits and often tells a story about the effects of global cultural interaction. It challenges the binaries we continually reconstruct between Self and Other, between our own ‘cannibal’ and ‘civilized’ selves. Her works are based on formal associations which open a unique poetic vein. Multi-layered images arise in which the fragility and instability of our seemingly certain reality is questioned. Nitiksha Dawar currently lives and works in Greater Noida, India.

Brief Description of Work: Universe is the creation of Nature and Woman is the ultimate gift and missionary of Nature. They both go side by side for the evolution and promulgation of the universe but rarely join each other. Belike nature, no survival is possible in absence of feminine. It conceives the whole universe, nurtures in its womb, sacrifices itself for initiating a new descent. Our work is more than a reflection of our ‘self’ and ‘ideas’.  Be like nature, no survival is possible in absence of feminine. It conserves the whole universe’s nature in its womb, sacrifices herself for initiating a new descent. Our work is more than a reflection of our ‘self and ideas. It delineates this rare combination of female and naturalism.

Kaushlendra Pratap Singh is a freelance abstract artist based in India. He sees the changing forms of life and nature as my manifestation and it is painted on my canvas. Singh expresses the abstract thought of his mind through expression in abstract form.

Brief Description of Work: My, altered and own drawings are being confronted as aesthetically resilient, thematically interrelated material for memory and projection. The possible seems true and the truth exists. This personal follow-up and revival of a past tradition is important as an act of meditation.

Allow yourself to vanish into a preprocessing colour-filled abstracts with artist Abhishek Kumar. Abhishek defines a fragmented reality of landscape abstraction and natural beauty in this exquisite personal practice. Abhishek leads the viewing mind through a world created in textured colour, expressing more than beauty and emotional resonance. Talking about his practice, Abhishek states that “[My] paintings sometimes radiate a cold and latent violence. At times, disconcerting beauty emerges. By emphasising aesthetics, [My] works seduce the viewer into a world of ongoing equilibrium and the interval that articulates the stream of daily events.” Let your imagination to create links and lines through reality and abstraction of this idealistic world. Experience a sense of belonging in the created landscapes of remarkable Indian artist.

Brief Description of Work: In this series I explore the changing of landscapes and seasons together, including the manipulation of its effects and the limits of spectacle based on our assumptions of what landscape means to us. rather than presenting a factual reality, an illusion is fabricated to conjure the realms of our imagination.


Lori Dunsmore is a self-taught visual artist specializing in photo montages, analog collages, acrylics, and oil pastels. Her expressed work is largely a reflective of her ability to look at scenarios with depth that some may choose to look away from such as exposing the rawness of the bare soul, emotions, and milestones. Like every human, Lori’s path went through all sorts of evolved moments which allowed her to express interpretations intuitively through visual mediums, as it continues to be human awakenings. Time is devoted with her continuation to acquire varieties of interpreted creativity and originality by making it meaningful as a Deaf female artist. In a desirable way, Lori Dunsmore believes that humans do want to combine their intuitive experiences with events and surroundings from their lives. Brief

Description of Work: Blue light disrupts your body’s ability to prepare for sleep. Insomnia occurs and the higher levels of cyan needs to be reduced. Blue is beneficial for daytime, not nighttime. 

The painting shows a human struggling to sleep, while the background is causing the insomniac behaviors. The eye seeking for sleep and answers while the human’s story needs to be continued like the tree of life and it is cherished. The multicolored lines surrounding the eye, the picture and the arms are REM blocks to help support sleep.


Born Deaf in Manhattan, NY, Ellen Mansfield survived many miserable years in school without sign language. Despite that, she earned a BFA in illustration from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Ellen has led a life filled with art and experiences, using her background in drawing, painting, batik, ceramics, and many other media. When she moved to Maryland, she began to recognize just how much her Deaf identity had always been part of her artwork. Life began to blossom as she became surrounded by Deaf culture and sign language, leading to increasingly colorful images in her work, including watercolors, oil paintings and tile paintings in her artwork. She owns Ellen’s TileStroke Studio in Frederick, MD.

Brief Description of Work: Having lived in a gray world with limited language for so long, each piece is filled with vibrant, bright colors to represent the beauty of communication, identity, and community. Even with constant audism, Deaf people have continued to emerge victorious through sign language, shared experiences, and most importantly, love. With so many identities within the Deaf community, each artwork explores different themes through repeated motifs and emphasis on the eyes, hands, and heart. As Deaf people pursue equality, we also pursue a place in our communities, in the broader public, and in humankind — and each artwork shows how we do that. 

James Betts is an artist and designer currently living and working in Philadelphia. Pursing an MFA in Metals/Jewelry/CAD/CAM at the Tyler School of Art and Architecture, his current body of work utilizes digital technology to both illustrate psychological and visual phenomenon.

Brief Description of Work: This piece is an exploration of pushing 3D printing techniques to its limit: Forcing the printer to essentially draw out a digitally rendered form that is technically impossible to print. The result is a piece who communicates a digital language of the form, and its translation to digital to tangible.

Lizz Hamilton is an interdisciplinary artist from Los Angeles, California. She received her BFA from University of the Arts London: Central Saint Martins, and her MFA in Studio Art from the University of Kentucky. Her studio practice uses textiles, antique taxidermy mounts, and natural materials to explore human/animal relationships in the face of ecological devastation. She collaborates with Samantha Hensley to write and illustrate The Museum of the Vanishing Dog, a podcast that explores museum culture, relationships with official archives, and the limits of curation. She lives in Idyllwild, California and works as a drawing and painting teacher. Her work has been shown both nationally and internationally.

Brief Description of Work: My art practice investigates animal/human connections during moments of personal and ecological disaster and the ways in which bodies can meld and reform together. I use textiles, animal products (skins, fur, teeth, claws), and pieces of antique taxidermy to explore Western cultural relationships to dead bodies, and the necessity of interspecies strategy and survival during periods of catastrophe and devastation. My work looks into the cultures of anxiety and longing surrounding nonhuman animals, and the ways in which they reflect our deep tensions with nature and with our own bodies- and, ultimately, with the bodies of our dead. I use the products of animal bodies as a physically similar stand-in for the human body: we are allowed to approach the dead body in a way that is empathetic, familiar, and deeply unsettling in a way that is often impossible in day to day life. 

Leo Tujak‘s interest in photography began in high school, taking a course in photography and contributing to the yearbook.  In college he was photo co-editor of the yearbook. After moving to North Shore Towers, many years later, Leo joined the camera club, reviving his interest in photography. I’ve gotten more into photography since retirement. It allows me more time for traveling (one of my favorite things). Also introduces more things to photograph. The diversity of lands, countries, scenery, peoples, mores is just astonishing. They are there to enjoy, to photograph and to experience and remember. Think that photography is a great thing, it allows you to see something and transfer it to a photograph, but with some input from the person taking the photograph. By controlling the composition, lighting, angle at which the photo is taken, etc., one can alter many things. But the outcome all photographers are looking for is a “good” photo Hope that you enjoy the photos as much as I did in taking them. Leo has published in the OBSERvICA magazine; hung in the Islip Art Museum.


Aleatha Lindsay is an Atlanta based award-winning multi-disciplinary artist, independent curator, disability advocate, and published author. She is a graduate of Georgia State University, Russell Sage College, as well as Savannah College of Art & Design where she holds a Master of Arts in Creative Business Leadership.

After completing her studies, she went on to pursue posts in the mental health, arts community development, and special education arenas. She has held curatorial and leadership roles at several arts organizations in the metro Atlanta area including Kudzu Art Zone, Art Center and Gallery. Lindsay is a member of the Board of Directors at Kickstart Disability Arts and Culture (Vancouver, Canada) and is a representative on the Disability Advisory Board in Gwinnett County (Georgia, USA).

Deaf from the age of 2, she credits her early exposure to the arts with helping her overcome the challenges related to her disability. Her work has been purchased by collectors nationally and exhibited in Atlanta, New York, Spain, Morocco, and Norway. Lindsay is the Founder and Curator of The Ikouii Creative, a disability-led organization committed to providing opportunities and support for artists with disabilities as well as transforming cultural institutions into meaningful spaces for all visitors. The Ikouii Creative serves artists worldwide, in countries including the United States, Canada, The Netherlands, The United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, Israel, and India.