J.D. Hillberry at the Bellevue Arts Museum ArtsFair

Today I stopped by the Bellevue Arts Museum ArtsFair in Bellevue, Washington, just as it was right about to close. The works on display spanned the gamut of art — from fine arts and furniture to pottery and facemasks. Most of it seemed targeted towards housewives or those with families, though, and not much of it was that particularly gutsy or out there. Nonetheless, there were some gems. The works of Colorado artist, J.D. Hillberry, were some of them.

This piece here is the original, sold at $7,300.00! Reprints were available for $25.00 and up, because Hillberry understands that his originals might be too expensive for some people. A great way to look at things, if you ask me. Art should be for everyone.

Each original drawing is rendered on white 100% acid free paper or watercolor board. I use a combination of charcoal, graphite, and carbon pencils in each piece, which adds texture and depth. Many of my original drawings have taken over two months to complete. Some of my drawings are considered Trompe l’Oeil. These images are rendered so realistically they “fool the eye” into thinking that real objects are displayed in the shadow box frame. Even the masking tape that appears to be holding these objects is part of the illusion.

Because of the time involved in creating my original drawings, the price of my original drawings is out of the range of some customers. There for I produce high quality limited edition reproductions of some of my work using either offset lithography or Piezograph Giclee printing.

Written by
Vee Hua 華婷婷

Vee Hua 華婷婷 (they/them) is a writer, filmmaker, and organizer with semi-nomadic tendencies. Much of their work unifies their metaphysical interests with their belief that art can positively transform the self and society. They are the Editor-in-Chief of REDEFINE, Interim Managing Editor of South Seattle Emerald, and Co-Chair of the Seattle Arts Commission. They also previously served as the Executive Director of the interdisciplinary community hub, Northwest Film Forum, where they played a key role in making the space more welcoming and accessible for diverse audiences.

Vee has two narrative short films. Searching Skies (2017) touches on Syrian refugee resettlement in the United States; with it, they helped co-organize The Seventh Art Stand, a national film and civil rights discussion series against Islamophobia. Reckless Spirits (2022) is a metaphysical, multi-lingual POC buddy comedy for a bleak new era, in anticipation of a feature-length project.

Vee is passionate about cultural space, the environment, and finding ways to covertly and overtly disrupt oppressive structures. They also regularly share observational human stories through their storytelling newsletter, RAMBLIN’ WITH VEE!, and are pursuing a Master’s in Tribal Resource and Environmental Stewardship under the Native American Studies Department at the University of Minnesota.

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Written by Vee Hua 華婷婷
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