press release: StartingBlock Madison is committed to supporting local artists, and you can help! Join us for holiday shopping at the StartingBlock pop-up art fair.


Jennika Bastian

“Much of my work is a personal folklore of motifs and characters who share stories of navigating through the darkness and light of my psyche. Over the past few years, I have become very interested in creating works of art inspired by the study of folklore and mythology in different cultures. One of my favorite quotes is “Myths are public dreams, dreams are private myths”, by Joseph Campbell. I consider my works like a dance between these public dreams and these private myths. My aesthetic is inspired by the intermediate spaces of my mid-world: the conjunctive flow of dreams and awakening, of growth and decadence, the ebb of ephemeral. I have been freelance since I was 16, selling my personal artwork and creating commissions. My freelance work includes illustrating a fantasy series for young adults, designing installations for the festiva l Burning Man, outdoor light sculptures for Madison Olbrich Gardens, live painting and murals. After graduating from UW Madison in 2013 with my BFA in 2013, I was also employed at Madison Children’s Museum as an exhibition artist, creating murals, sculptures and various exhibits. In 2018, I was selected by Dane Arts to participate in the artist residency, EUARKA + as an oil painter, in tandem with the Documenta 14 exhibition, in Kassel in Germany (brother county of the Danish county) . I have exhibited my personal work regionally and internationally. “

Angelique Contreras

Angelica Contreras is a Latinx artist interested in exploring the relationships between identity, tradition and pop culture, across its many layers. She incorporates techniques such as acrylic, oil and collage into her pieces, offering a palette of colors and textures for the subject’s environment. The use of materials is both calculated as a coincidence, creating unusual cultural combinations. Her work seeks to act as a bridge between diverse communities and cultures and thus to reflect on itself.

Visit to see additional work.

Rodrigo Carapia: Visual artist / Muralist

Rodrigo Carapia Art is a self-taught artist from Mexico City. He first started with street art, which allowed him to experiment with his art on a larger scale. When he moved to the United States, he began to perfect his art on canvas and paper. Once his brush touches the canvas, the artwork he depicts becomes the embodiment of his rich Mexa culture.

Now, as an artist, Mr. Carapia uses his work as a form of self-expression and resistance by offering art workshops in schools, juvenile correctional centers, which has given young people a form expression and a sense of freedom. Her work has also been donated to grassroots organizations that help the undocumented community and labor unions. You might spot his Wisconsin art in murals, restaurants, and in several storefronts.

Issis Macias

Issis Macias is an artist based in Madison, WI. She is a first generation Mexican-American autodidact, born and raised in Los Angeles, California. In 2012, a meeting with a community of avant-garde artists in Los Angeles triggered an exploration of “self”, which catapulted her on a journey of artistic expression.

His paintings come in various styles, reflecting an intuitive process. She works primarily with acrylics and oil pastels on canvas to achieve abstract paintings of various textures, shapes and shapes. These are derived from his free-form methods of spreading and scraping paint with canvas wrenches, wedges, and bare hands. For Issis, painting is a meditative process, where the texture of each pigment guides the movement of the hands as it enters the canvas. The result is a distinctive set of vibrant and emotional abstract artwork.