Who are today's most promising emerging artists? Each year, SF Weekly finds 10 of them for our Masterminds issue. You'll be able to see these artists and their work up close at Artopia on Thursday, Feb. 21, at SOMArts Cultural Center.
That night we'll also announce the three artists who will receive grants. Come out and meet them. But first, get to know their work.
As an undergraduate at the University of Arizona in Tuscon, Raven Ebner sublimated her artistic impulses to a regimen of courses in science. "I studied ecology and evolutionary biology and philosophy -- art was always on the side," she says. Now it's the opposite: At 29, Ebner is a full-time artist in Albany who puts her love of science into her artwork.
Among Ebner's creations: jewelry that incorporates the small bones of animals, and paintings that detail an intricate family of made-up plants. In one, a vine has a vascular system (complete with blood flow) that mirrors a mammalian system. With their odd life-forms and intricate detailing, her paintings resemble vintage scientific illustrations. Surreal and macabre, the intermingling of life and death is evident in her work. "As an artist," she says, "the idea of making up your own world, with its own natural history, with its own animals and plants populating it, is very appealing to me."
Ebner, who was born in the Bay Area and raised in Arizona, had few role models in both science and art when she embarked on her career. She's been designing it as she goes. "I've been drawing all my life," she says, "but it was purely at the hobbyist level. Science seemed like the more pragmatic career, but when I finally confronted my dissatisfaction, I realized I wanted to do art full-time."