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Shannon Bonatakis “Keep Magic Alive”
August 11th – September 15th, 2019
Opening Reception with the artist: Saturday, August 11th, 2018, 6-8pm

Northport, NY– Haven Gallery is pleased to present “Keep Magic Alive”, a solo exhibition of new paintings and drawings by Colorado based artist Shannon Bonatakis. “Keep the Magic Alive” details the artists archetypal, brunette, female protagonist as she journeys through dim worlds to bring back color and life to what was perhaps once lost. Bonatakis’s new body of work is full of beauty, hope and revival from the darkness. Her travels and endeavors are gracefully painted through precise acrylic rendering; her hand is steady and focused on meticulous details and thoughtfully expressive appearances. “Keep Magic Alive” reminds us that there is light within the darkness and beauty in the most shadowy of places.


For all of human existence we have been seeking meaning through art, music, storytelling, exploration, stargazing, and daydreaming. As the modern world rapidly progresses in undoubtedly amazing technological ways, it seems like the innovations that were meant to connect us have actually isolated us from one another. It feels like a bit of the human spirit has been lost along the way. As I find myself growing older, I find myself growing more anxious about our increasingly emotionally disconnected world. Creating this body of work served as a personal reconnection with the foundations of the human spirit, as well as a respite from modern anxieties.

“Keep Magic Alive” is something that was said to me by a close friend that has since grown into a personal mantra. It serves as a reminder to keep working in ways that fill the soul, to keep celebrating the pursuits of creative expression that humans have been drawn to since the very beginning, and to keep watching for the quiet magical moments, both internal and external, that this existence provides.


Shannon Bonatakis seeks to create emotionally charged visual stories that convey authentic emotional moments. The female form is a consistent focus of her work, largely due to her life experiences growing up in a family of seven sisters and one brother. Her imagery is often autobiographical in some capacity, but is deliberately left open for the viewer to find their own story within. Shannon’s pieces live in that weird dreamy space between waking and sleeping, where the melancholy of real life mixes with a dash of magic.

Shannon has a particular obsession with storytelling, preferring the fantastical people and pictures from stories as a lens through which to view our reality. She is fascinated by dreams, where the magical and the absurd are commonplace, and draws inspiration from these fleeting glimpses of an alternate reality that comes from within. Shannon has sought to replicate this same sense of fantastical realism from the first time she created art as a child.

Shannon learned to focus her love of all things fictional and imaginative while studying illustration and painting at Columbus College of Art & Design. Since graduating in 2004, she has maintained a career working as a painter and illustrator. Shannon currently resides in Denver, Colorado with her husband Josh and their part black lab, part dachshund, part dragon puppy, Enid Coleslaw.

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