By EMILY GROTTLE
Recent University of Mary Washington graduates Maria Joranko and Lindsay Coffman recently co-founded Slayer Gallery, an online art gallery. Each graduated from UMW with a BA in studio art, Coffman in 2014, and Joranko just one year later in 2015. After graduation they had just one question on their minds: “What now?”
As aspiring artists usually do, Joranko and Coffman struggled to find galleries that would showcase their work.
The two friends recalled a night they spent conversing on the topic, both wishing there were more places for up-and- coming artists to showcase their work. Out of that passion and frustration, Slayer Gallery was born.
“We wanted to break into the art world by opening our own gallery,” Coffman said. “It really started out of passion and frustration for art.”
Because Joranko and Coffman live a good distance from each other, Joranko in Ohio and Coffman in Virginia, it made sense to create a public online gallery. Unlike a traditional gallery, Slayer is accessible to anyone.
“We wanted to create a community for artists,” Coffman said. “An online gallery will hopefully create a closer relationship between audiences and artists,” Joranko added.
In addition to showcasing the work of new artists, Joranko and Coffman wanted to create easier access to art. In contrast to a physical space or museum, the online gallery allows for easy accessibility and every piece is archived on the site, making it easier for artists to track down their work and share it with others.
August 1 marked the grand opening of the online gallery and a new artist is featured every week. In addition, throughout the month of September, Slayer will be showcasing art from its new show, Garden Party.
A statement on space, composition and form, Garden Party is a reaction to the environment, setting and landscapes.
Both Joranko and Coffman discussed the object of the Garden Party, saying, it involves space and spatial technique.
Taylor White, a current senior at UMW and studio art major has two pieces featured in the gallery’s show, Garden Party. The title of each piece is “Atmosphere for Kingdom” and “New Lambs.” White said he played with the idea of layered space. Further, he wants the viewer to leave with more questions after seeing his piece.
In the future Joranko and Coffman are interested in taking the gallery to a physical space. But for now, Coffman believes it is important to urge artists to, “Do something every day, even if you don’t feel like you have an inspiration.” Similarly, White suggested to, “Allow failures to be present in your work, and acknowledge the difficulty of art. But don’t conceal your struggle as an artist.”
The team plans to add photography to the site in the near future. You can visit Slayer at slayergallery.com or through Instagram and Twitter using @slayergallery.