Farida Hughes

Farida Hughes is an American abstract artist working in mixed media, oil, and resin on panel. She developed her mixed media style after many years of painting with oil paint and experimenting with oil painting mediums. Originally from New York and New Jersey, she studied Studio Art and English at Fordham University in New York, and received an MFA in Painting from the University of Chicago. Her work is exhibited widely in galleries and art centers and is included in several private and corporate collections, including Target, United Health Group, and Chesapeake Capital. Hughes is a 2013 recipient of an Artists’ Initiative Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. She has worked with many arts outreach groups and grass-roots community arts endeavors including as a past Board Member of the Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts. She currently maintains her studio in the city of Baltimore, Maryland.

"Through abstraction, my work explores macro- concepts of human behavior and group energy, often imagined from above, and micro- stories of individuality. I examine relationships created in temporary spaces, either staged or spontaneous, at public areas used for passage, performance, exhibition, protest, and celebration. Inspiration derives from intimacies developed and discovered with-in groups whether we come together by coincidence at street crossings, or gather with common conviction and intent. Individual stories intersect, creating landscapes of synchronization, self-segregation, and inter-dependency. As I learn people’s stories, I introduce new media, telling a greater history through the layers. Capitalizing on the transparency of resin and oil paint allows the elements of painting, collage, and drawing to remain distinctive contributors to my overall compositions. I blend areas of tension and negative space with energized forms, ultimately looking for harmony and balance.

My most recent Blends series of paintings serve as a way to explore multi-culturalism and blended-ness of individuals by collecting and responding to stories from friends and acquaintances. Utilizing content as a way into abstraction, the paintings develop from solicited lists of real peoples’ cultural and ethnic backgrounds, as well as the stories that come along with the lists. The blended-ness of people creates interesting identity issues that my abstract “portraits” explore through formal investigation: colors are clean, but layered together they become new shapes, and the paintings develop as I incorporate the parts into harmony. Each piece is slowly developed in layers, and is carefully composed as I consider the shapes that the individual stories evoke.”