YWCA Featured Artists Info Gallery

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YWCA Featured Artists Info Gallery

Categories: Other

November 2023

Cynthia Brown

Cynthia Brown has been an active artist in the community for over thirty years beginning in the early nineties showing her paintings and ceramic sculpture around the city and the region.

A Tulsa native, she earned her BFA in Painting from TU in 1985. In 2001 she earned her MFA from TU in Ceramics. Cynthia taught art in Tulsa Public Schools for ten years including 3 years at Booker T Washington before resigning in 2013 and pursuing her life-long dream of being a full-time painter. In 2014 Ms. Brown was awarded a 3-week residency in Daugavpils, Latvia at the Mark Rothko Contemporary Art Centre where three of her paintings are in their permanent collection. From 2015-2019 she taught adult expressive painting workshops and also worked with Women in Recovery, and from 2017-2019 was honored to be chosen as one of the George Kaiser Tulsa Artists Fellowship recipients.

Today, Cynthia continues her painting journey from Rosedale Studio in Owen Park where she lives with her poet/photographer husband, Walt Kosty.

April – May 2023



Aunj is a Painter, Muralist, and Mixed Media Artist based in Tulsa, OK. Her work primarily centers around her lived experiences, spirituality, and self-preservation. Much inspiration is drawn from the lives of her loved ones, introspective contemplation, and the human condition.

Aunj graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2018 and early in her career she exhibited at Oklahoma University, IAO Gallery, and her home University in Edmond. After her move back to Tulsa in 2019, she joined an all Black Artist’s collective called Black Moon. Through her involvement with the collective, she has participated in group shows at TAC Gallery, Living Arts, the Gilcrease Museum, and the Philbrook Museum. At the Philbrook, Aunj was featured as the Lead Artist in the creation of the temporary 60-foot mural installation, “Time Travel” and her work, “Inseparable”, was featured on the May 2021 cover of Tulsa People Magazine.

In March 2022, she resigned from her role within the collective and has since been featured as a muralist for the Sunny Dayz Mural Festival, exhibited work at MAINSITE in Norman, been commissioned for a 75′ mural, and is now serving as Program Chair and Development Co-Chair of the board for Sunny Dayz—an arts non-profit dedicated to serving women working in the arts.

As her career reaches forward, she is staying actively invested within the arts community of Oklahoma and she is optimistic that the art scene will continue to be more diverse and inclusive in the future.

Jessica Davis

My name is Jessica Davis and I was born in Bristow, Oklahoma in 1979. I’ve spent the bulk of my life in the Tulsa Metro. When I was in kindergarten at Bristow schools, I drew a picture of our house with our car in front of it. This was when I first learned about perspective because I distinctly remember thinking about how the house wasn’t flat and that I needed to give it depth. My kindergarten teacher called my mother and told her I was a little artist and I have lived up to that ever since. I won my first award in the first grade for a drawing of a clown. The paintings I have on display here make me feel nostalgic about my first art supplies and the memories I have of coloring with my great grandmother who taught me how to color.

Ashlyn Faulkner

Butterflies, cicadas, blooming flowers, movement and transformation. The only constant in life is change and we all shapeshift gradually – daily and beyond. With this in mind, I let my hand and gut in the driver seat instead of my usual over thinking. It feels delicious to shed my former skin and I hope these works will be a stepping stone to your own transformation.

Ashlyn Faulkner is a painter, muralist, and multidisciplinary creative. Her work blends painterly realism, juxtapositions of nature, and cerebral imagery. As a 90’s kid, her imagination was strengthened by playing in the woods, reading fantasy books, painting, and drawing. At age 16 she had an operation to correct scoliosis of the spine. This event served as a catalyst for her art and imagination. It was during this period Ashlyn saw the work of Frida Kahlo and it inspired her to pursue the life of an artist.

“Art is a wave in which to navigate the ebs and flows of today’s fast paced digital society.”

Whytnie Price

“Art is the mirror of who we are, and what we want to become.”

My objective is to be bold enough, to expressively challenge the intellect, and delight the visual senses, using my narrative form of visual communication.

Beyond my daily employment I actively pursue my artistic passions. If I do my job properly, you will see as I do, that every moment has a different color. Every time you look at one of my paintings, you should discover something new, and as the secrets of the language and symbolism reveal themselves to you, the process of creation becomes a magical experience. The artist becomes the viewer, and the viewer becomes the artist.

Whytnie is a Self taught mixed media artist from Wichita, Kansas. Who recently moved from west Texas with her wife to Tulsa, Oklahoma.


January – February 2023

Rick Bartholomew

Email: rickl.bartholomew@outlook.com
Phone: 918-704-1104

I have 45 years of professional practice in interior and architectural design, with a focus in furniture/product design and development, millwork, and interior construction detailing. My educational background consists of a Bachelor of Architecture and Master of Science in Interior Design from Oklahoma State University.

I have a passion for hand sketching, pen and ink, and color rendering illustrations for the built environment, as well as acrylic and watercolor painting. I enjoy collaborating with homeowners, design firms, builders, and city organizations that promote their unique architectural and landmark history through the visual arts. I had the pleasure of creating color renderings for Reba McEntire’s new music and restaurant venue in Atoka, Oklahoma through Ambler Architects in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, and included these in the exhibit for the YWCA.

I am originally from Pennsylvania, but an Oklahoma resident since 1975. I was a tenured faculty member of Design, Housing and Merchandising at OSU with 20 years of teaching experience in the Interior Design at OSU. I enjoy conducting illustration workshops at various design schools in the region and Zeigler’s Art & Frame Galleries here in Tulsa.

I have published two books over the last ten years; the first titled: Design Process-Hand Sketching for Interiors, and the second titled: Hand-drawn Renderings of Architectural and Interior Design.


September 2022

Bonnie Gibson

My name is Bonnie Gibson and I am an artist living in Owasso, OK. Growing up my mother was an artist and art teacher, and encouraged me to learn a variety of artistic mediums, I have experience with photography, watercolor, acrylic, pastels, and pottery. Most of my life thus far, I have explored these different mediums as a hobby while pursuing another one of my passions as a career.

I received a degree in Wildlife Ecology at Oklahoma State University, I then spent 11 years working in zoos and breeding facilities across the country. My most recent position in this field was managing a breeding facility for an endangered species of bird. The goal of this work was to breed and release enough of these birds back into the wild to keep their population in existence in their native range. Although this work will always have my heart, I chose to become a stay at home mom when my daughter was born prematurely during the pandemic.

During this time at home, I’ve felt drawn to express my passion for nature through my art, leading me to a new and very unique medium – dried preserved moss! Spending time working with these natural materials has helped me to feel grounded in this transitional phase of my life. My hope is that these creations provide viewers with a sense of peace and calm, and can serve as a reminder to respect, appreciate and protect the beauty of our natural world.


August 2022

Nadia Shahwan

As an acrylic artist, I create unique, original paintings on stretched canvases and other materials such as glass, plastic, cardboards, acrylic pads, and plywood. This art reflects the great love of mother nature to all creatures and the unique love in its unpredictable beauty.

My medium of choice is the acrylic water base, blend often with glow in the dark powders, fine sands, glitter acrylics, spray paints, and the painter’s pens to emboss depths and shades, and I also use needle applicators to assemble detailed musical notes and to define the finest details of my fauvism and minimalist paintings.

The inspiration permeates from the peaceful scenery of the Caribbean beaches and of my surroundings. My God-given talent is nurtured by my dedication to art and the love of those who surround me.


June 2022

Susan Palmer Foust

Blog: https://susanfoust.com
Contact: foustsu@gmail.com
Facebook: Susan Foust Aluminum Photography
Instagram: @foustsu

My professional career began with a series of photos taken in a drive-through car wash. The play of water flying in the air, the light streaming through it and the violent colors got me hooked.

My photos deal with what most people don’t take time to see. I try to stop and consider what I’m being shown, then use my photography to renew perceptions of the hidden potential of beauty in our daily lives.

I digitally edit photos into strong architectural, botanical, industrial and abstracted works that are saturated with color. I print most of my art on aluminum sheets which have a deep luminescence.

I had my first show at the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center in Tulsa in 2013. Over the years, I have done everything from Art in the Square, First Fridays in Downtown Tulsa to hanging in salons, spas and yoga studios.

Lilian “Lili” Arriaga

Lilian (“Lili”) Arriaga was born in San Luis, Argentina in 1950. From a young age she developed an attraction for the arts: from taking ballet classes to playing the piano since being as little as 5 years old. Even though her dancing aspirations did not reach far; she is a piano virtuoso who graduated as piano teacher at the young age of 15 with an invitation to become a soloist. But the strict routine and long hours of practicing made her want to enjoy performing recreationally only. Thus, rejecting the invitation and pursuing instead a career as social worker. She worked in that field for 25 years but kept constantly art crafting as a hobby, focusing mainly on portraying nature.

Although she did not receive formal education in painting, she developed a natural talent fueled by her attention to details and her desire to retransmit her vision as true as possible.

Only a few years ago, she started painting animals’ close-ups when her daughter sent her a picture of her cat “KitKat” which she thought it would make for a good canvas. She was immediately fascinated by the challenge and since then she’s been asked to portrait pets for family and friends.

During the pandemic, the long and rigorous lockdowns in Argentina pushed her to take shelter from solitude in painting. Spending hour after hour painting, she realized this was her true
vocation. Finding that unique brushstroke that would bring an animal’s look into live would
fascinate her!

One of the many talents of Lili, is being a loving mother of 4 and a grandmother of 6. A family she built with her late husband and lifelong companion for over 43 years, Osvaldo.

Lili is in the US visiting her daughter and this is her first time exhibiting her art.

If you have a loving pet you would like to be portrayed in a canvas, contact Lili at: mvirgeniag@gmail.com or (918) 506-2335.

September 2021

Dr. Babette C. du Plessis-Biddlecombe

Dr Babette C. Du Plessis-Biddlecombe grew up under the shadow of Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa, which is a coastal city encased by the beautiful Atlantic seashore, fittingly known as The Cape of Good Hope.

In her youth, Dr Babette loved to draw and paint beautiful pictures, studied  art after school hours, and entered many art competitions. Upon graduation from high school, she attended art school and went on to work as a graphic designer and photographer  in an advertising agency in Cape Town, serving large newspapers  and magazines. In 1987, she opened her first art studio and worked mainly from home, where she raised her two beautiful children alongside her husband, Jonathan Biddlecombe, who is also an artist. While there, she coordinated an orphanage for street children and did sketches of their faces. This is where her love for portraiture started developing and became a passion.

Then in 2000, Babette and Jonathan moved their family to Dallas, TX to further their education. They fell in love with the USA and decided to settle in beautiful Tulsa, OK, where they now operate their own nonprofit organization, Eagles Glide Ministries, helping people improve their lives using various tools  such as teaching. They also own and operate a graphic design company, Smart Art. Their talents are displayed on advertisements, menus, book covers, etc. While still in South Africa in the late 80s, Babette started creating delicious protein burgers in response to a Lyme disease outbreak, as people needed a healthy alternative for meat. Seeing the need to share these healthy foods with Tulsans, she recently opened Heavenly Health Foods at The Mother Road Market on Lewis & 11th street and distributes them to restaurants around town. She also does public speaking and loves encouraging people when she isn’t painting and working with pen & ink.

Obviously, Babette loves people. Life has been remarkably busy for her, but she still feels that she has not reached her full potential in her painting and is now moving toward a more impressionistic season of art and is excited to see how that goes.

Jonathan Biddlecombe

Jonathan Biddlecombe was born and raised in beautiful Cape Town, South Africa. After graduating from high school, he spent seven years studying graphic design and fine art. Later, he and his family immigrated to the United States of America and have made Tulsa, Oklahoma their home.

Jonathan has exhibited his art internationally at notable galleries, including BMW Waterfront Gallery and Beit HaMatanot Gallery, both in Cape Town, South Africa; the Museum of Biblical Arts in Dallas Texas; and  the Willow  Brush and TCC galleries in Tulsa, Oklahoma. His watercolors, both originals and prints, are in private and public art collections globally.

Jonathan says, “Many of my art themes are influenced from life and culture around me. A variety of subjects interest me, from religious high ho(v biblical holidays, to seasons, to the wondrous lives  of birds  and  insects.  My  emphasis  is on vibrant, pure colors and all the tones in betvveen, together with visual balance, shape, and contrast. As a naive artist, I enjoy including symbolism in my paintings, such as symbols of angelic forces, spiritual promises, and GOD’s provision of basic needs, nurture, and wellbeing. Global community, together with ‘tikkun olam’ (repairing the world) for the greater good, is the essence of my work.

June 2021

Kristal Tomshany

Here is one of my favorite places in the world…my studio! Another one of my favorite places is in the classroom at TCC where I teach art, and, of course, at the YWCA where I enjoy Zumba, Pilates, and Yoga classes!

I attended college at OSU and got my MFA in Fine Art from T.U. many years ago. I have shown my art at the M.A. Doran gallery, Living Arts, Liggett Studio and the AHHA here in Tulsa. I’ve also had several solo exhibitions at the Tulsa Artist Coalition gallery and the Performing Arts Center.

Here is a link for my website, if you would like to see more of my work: www.sorghumsentinel.org.

I’m also a musician! I play Irish whistle, bodhran, tambura, harmonica, wooden flute, and cello with a Celtic group called “Finnegans Awake”. We have played at the Gathering Place, Woody Guthrie Center, Philbrook, Gilcrease, and many local pubs.

My paintings range from “everyday” still life objects to landscapes to abstractions to more narrative, symbolic work. My paintings are always evolving and changing, which keeps it interesting for me, and for my viewers as well, I hope. Hope you enjoy the show.

Donna Urmeneta

My name is Donna Urmeneta and I have always loved art. Even as a child I knew I wanted to be an artist when I grew up. However, the most I could hope for as far as art materials go back then was a pencil, and Indian chief tablet and a cheap box of watercolors from TG&Y.

Junior high and high school expanded my world. I was able to try new materials and more complicated projects. There were no art schools or college for me as anything beyond high school was unaffordable. I got married right out of high school and had my first child. Two children and two divorces later I was able to go to TJC (as TCC was known back then). I received an associates degree in art.

That was my first experience at having a live model that I really began to develop some skill, but having to work full-time took it’s toll after that and I didn’t really keep up with my art until I was retired almost 3 1/2 years ago. Since then I’ve taken an oil painting class at Ziglar‘s Art and Frame and portrait sessions at Whiteside Park. I set up an art studio in a spare room in my home. I developed an interest in pastel painting several years ago and that’s where I’m focused for now.

Other than getting older, retirement has been one of the best things that could’ve happened to me. The time I spend in my studio working on a painting has increased this past year, and my passion for being an artist has increased. I hope to be able to continue this pursuit for the rest of my life.