Connecticut based artist, Chey Bridges, is most known for her bright, saturated portraits and landscapes that encapsulate her Hawaiian heritage and progressive views. She attends Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, where she has honed her oil painting, watercolor and gouache skills. Her interest lies in personifying diversity, women’s empowerment, and Polynesian culture. In her illustrative work, Chey uniquely combines Polynesian history with her own creative fantasy ideas to produce visually interesting twists on traditional paintings of landscapes and portraits. In her fine art, she expresses her liberal opinions on controversial pop culture topics.
I am an African-American and Polynesian artist. My current bodies of work show an illustrated fantasy story influenced by 15th century Polynesia, an exploration of the female body, and the full embrace of that body, along with diversity and feminist opinions.
In Huna, utopia, seen through my eyes, is illustrated by painting people of various shapes and sizes naturalistically, doing day-to-day tasks. My figures gather native fruits like juicy mangoes and ripe bananas in forests full of big, wet trees and vibrant red hibiscus, or fishing in a grand canoe over turquoise, twisted waves, under a saturated golden sun. Queens keep their shoulders straight and chin up, with eyes that pierce through to the viewer. Culture is scattered through my work in obvious ways like tribal tattoos and thatched huts, and also subtly, like the significance of familial bonds.
Both Flesh & Bones and Figuratively Speaking are commentaries on authentic body positivity, self-expression, inclusivity, and sisterhood. While experiementing in the early makings of Flesh & Bones, I developed a style, being bold illustrative portraits that highlight the women I paint. As I progressed, I fleshed out my voice, and have since been refining it through research and hearing other's political and cultural opinions. Portraits of real women are saturated in colors of blues, pinks, yellows, purples, etc. to exuberate confidence and care. Illustrative changes are made to each piece to increase visual appeal and communication, by way of symbology and line quality.
2019 Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts of the University of New Haven | Old Lyme, CT
Bachelor’s of Fine Arts (pending) in Illustration
(expected graduation: May 2019)
2016 Portfolio Scholarship from Lyme Academy
2015 Best Mixed Media Artist from Fitch High School
2015 Academic Scholarship from The Odd Fellows of Stonington
2015 Sophie E. Szopa Art Scholarship Fund from the Sophie E. Szopa Organization
2015 Rhode Island School of Design Annual Art Award
2015 National Honors Art Society Certificate
2019 Senior Exhibition, Chauncey Stillman Gallery, LACFA, Old Lyme, CT
2019 43rd Annual Student Exhibition, Chauncey Stillman Gallery, LACFA, Old Lyme, CT
2018 42nd Annual Student Exhibition, The Hygienic Gallery, New London, CT
2017 41st Annual Student Exhibition, Chauncey Stillman Gallery, LACFA, Old Lyme, CT
2016 Essex Art Association Student Exhibition, Essex Art Association, Essex, CT
2016 Lyme Academy Pop-Up Exhibition, Florence Griswold Museum, Old Lyme, CT
2019 Freelance Artist
2019 Volunteer Chaperone for Field Trip to Boston Museum of Art at Fitch High School, Groton, CT
2018 Volunteer Instructor at Art Night, Lyme Consolidated School | Old Lyme, CT
2016 Art Teacher’s Assistant, Norwich Free Academy | Norwich CT
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