Yevgeniya Mikhailik will receive an Emerging Artist Award this month from Arts OC, the nonprofit county arts council, but she has been in the public eye for several years as an illustrator and curator. Born and raised in Siberia, she immigrated to the U.S. 16 years ago and earned her BFA and MFA from Cal State Long Beach. The experience of being an émigré informed her early work, with its rich color palette and memories of Russian folk tales. Her current works have moved away from the traditional, but still focus on nostalgia for other places. In “The Unknown,” a rocky planet floats in the air, as cilia branches from tiny trees drift in the blank white background. The spiral of gray and black gives the mass a cavernous texture, the smooth, watery, oil-slick rainbow of color in the monochrome drawing our eye to the bottomless pit at the center—the hole in its rocky heart.
See It! Mikhailik’s Santa Ana studio, Mutual Aid, is open by appointment; she is represented by Raw Salt Gallery in Laguna Beach. yevgeniyadraws.com