“If you are a poet you will see clearly that there is a cloud floating on this sheet of paper. Without a cloud, there will be no rain; without rain, the trees cannot grow; and without trees, we cannot make paper. If we look even more deeply, we can see the sunshine, the logger who cut the tree, the wheat that became his bread, and the logger’s father and mother. Without all these things, this sheet of paper cannot exist. In fact, we cannot point to one thing that is not here–time, space, the earth, the rain, the minerals in the soil, the sunshine, the cloud, the river, the heat, the mind. Everything co-exists with this sheet of paper. So we can say the cloud and the paper “inter-are.” We cannot just be by ourselves alone; we have to inter-be with every other thing.”
–From “The Heart of Understanding”by Thich Nhat Hanh
Multi-media artist, Arica Hilton was born on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey. As a young girl, she studied architecture and design and has worked as a gallerist, interior designer, poet and artist since 1985. Whether it is visual art through paintings or the poetic expressions of language and music, every aspect of Arica’s life is geared towards one form of art melding into another.
Much like the Luminists, the poetic art movement that captured light as it moved across the American Landscape, Hilton’s works are inspired by the European Romanticists, who depicted cool waterscapes reflecting nuanced skies. She uses that as a springboard, not necessarily concerning herself with traditional landscape. While her work continues to share a feeling of tranquility, calm, and the sense of light piercing a soft, hazy “sky,” she takes on a “Post Luminist” feeling as she refers to a more ubiquitous aspect of nature, reaching beyond the tangible earth, water, sky, to the star forming galaxies of the universe. Hilton’s paintings and installations are intricately woven with her poetry and three-dimensional materials, (such as recycled plastic from water bottles she has consumed) which transports them to the present while still capturing a timeless quality that is ever present in her works.
"As an artist my interest lies in the expression of the inexhaustible combinations of a visually aesthetic and spiritual language that transcends worlds. Specifically, I explore free organic forms through the layering and sensual deployment of color by evoking the rich spectral underpinnings of the simplicity and richness of the earth and its universal counterparts. There is no set agenda for these ideas, as they are born of the immediate response of each brushstroke to another, catching the pure moment of expressionistic mixtures in harmony. The subjects evolve, transforming continuously in their meaning and complexity as the raw emotional presence that such techniques may evoke in the merging of hand, paint, eye and words. Thus, like the tonal qualities in music, my poetry and paintings attempt to touch something universally significant in all human beings, that meditative state of seeking their own light in the reflections and elements of nature and the universe."
Among her collaborations with other artists. Hilton curated the poetry and wrote the finale poem for "DIVINA NATURA,"a sound and light installation at the FIELD MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY with Italian artist Marco Nereo Rotelli, and "WORDS" at Northwestern University. Her painting, "UNIVERSE, Life Unlimited" was the backdrop for MYTHICAL PROPORTIONS, a one-woman play at Theater Wit in Chicago by actress, Nora Dunn. According to Ms. Dunn, "your painting became a character in my play."
Hilton's book, "Spirit of Ecstasy - The True Meaning of Wealth" will be released Spring 2018. Her works have been exhibited internationally including an exhibition at the Beirut Art Fair, a solo exhibition of her paintings and poetry at Galerie Qu Art in Brussels, Belgium (29 October 2015 - January 9, 2016). She is currently preparing for her upcoming solo exhibition at the venerable Union League Club of Chicago in October 2017 and Suzhou, China in 2018.
Hilton's works are in major collections throughout the United States, Europe and Asia.
Hilton lives and works in Chicago. Until recently, she was the president of the board of the Poetry Center of Chicago and was voted one of the LIT 50: Who Really Books in Chicago 2011 by New City. She has been featured in the following magazines and publications:
COLLECT - ARTS, ANTIQUES, AUCTIONS (French Edition)
CHICAGO SUN TIMES
CRAIN'S CHICAGO BUSINESS
MICHIGAN AVENUE MAGAZINE
FINE ART MAGAZINE
ART WORLD NEWS
WINDY CITY TIMES
NEW CITY ART