Michelle Wilson – Oakland, California

Fragment, Linoleum blocks on handmade papers in triptych format, 9" x 30", 2014

Fragment, Linoleum blocks on handmade papers in triptych format, 9″ x 30″, 2014

Briefly describe the work you do.           

My work fluctuates between contemplative activism and personal narrative. It takes the form of handmade papers, prints, artist books, sculptures, installations and social practice interventions.

In the nonlinear narratives I present, landscape and location play a role. They are more than setting; they are characters and catalysts for transformation. The exterior landscape depicted is an embodiment of an interior landscape explored, a manifestation of my cognitive environment. Much of my work concerns the crossroads of human political actions and ecological systems, and how social and environmental justice often go in unison. Many of the narratives I explore have a duality or interconnection of ideas: the crossroads of politics and the environment, colonialism and natural history, wordplay, migration, vegetation, and the loss of diversity.

Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you as an artist.

I grew up in Central Pennsylvania, a rural and fairly conservative part of the country. My family didn’t travel much, although when we did, my parents made sure to take us to museums. However, much of the art I was exposed to as a child was children’s picture books, where both image and text contribute to the narrative. Since then, narrative is always an integral part of visual art.  

True North, Collage of handmade papers, found and printed matter, 9" x 24", 2013

True North, Collage of handmade papers, found and printed matter, 9″ x 24″, 2013

The concept of the “artist studio” has a broad range of meanings, especially in contemporary practice. The idea of the artist toiling away alone in a room may not necessarily reflect what many artists do from day to day anymore. Describe your studio practice and how it differs from (or is the same as) traditional notions of “being in the studio.”

As part of my papermaking practice, I harvest invasive plants to California, such as French Broom, Pampas Grass, even Ice Plant.  These plants serve as a base fiber for paper. Invasive plants tend to take over the ecosystem, creating monocultures and driving out native plants, which are often the basis for the food web. When the foundation for the food web falls apart, it creates a domino effect to other participants in the system. So a part of my practice takes place outdoors, as a means of clearing space for native vegetation.

The handmade papers made from these plants are more than just substrates. They are a signifier for the content, documentation of place and history, and embodiments of site-specificity.  Currently I am working on an artist book about endangered languages, which will be printed on papers made from invasive plants. In that work, these plants, which are also aggressive colonizers, serve as a metaphor for colonialism and the loss of diversity.

What unique roles do you see yourself as the artist playing that you may not have envisioned yourself in when you first started making art?

As a young artist, I never imagined myself doing interventions or performative actions. I was a naturally shy, awkward person, I never saw myself having the confidence, and I always saw myself as working on images that would be hung on the wall because I thought that was what Real Art was supposed to be. Yet now I see such interventions as creating a narrative in real time, and they make sense to me. My practice has opened me up to so much possibility. Who knows what’s ahead?

Frieze Detail

Frieze Detail

When do you find is the best time of day to make art? Do you have time set aside every day, every week or do you just work whenever you can?

For the first time in my professional career, my studio is outside of my home. Keeping it in my home felt right for financial reasons, and while I loved being able to do my work in my pajamas sometimes, I’ve noticed that when I go to my new studio, I get to work as soon as I enter the door. I was always afraid that if my studio was outside of my home, I wouldn’t be able to justify the cost with the amount of time I spent there. So this has become a motivator for myself – I have to go there enough to justify the expense. As a high school teacher, I make a point of swinging by the studio after school most days working for an hour or two. I also usually spend one of my weekend days there doing the more focused, time-consuming work, such as printing a large edition or pulling sheets of handmade paper.

How has your work changed in the last five years? How is it the same?

I recently realized that I go through certain behavior patterns in the work I make. These patterns usually take place over the course of months, where the work swings between being very precise, minimal and distilled, which actually is more time-consuming, such as my series, “Corn, Incorporated.” After the year I spent making that, without thinking about it, my work shifted to a series of collages that came together quickly and are more heavily detailed, layered and complex. Looking back, I think these behaviors were always present, but have become more pronounced as the work has become more exacting. After I dedicate myself to a conceptual and technical challenge, I need the release of simple cutting and pasting.

Are there people such as family, friends, writers, philosophers or even pop icons that have had an impact on the work you do?

Where to begin? I was fortunate to attend a both an undergraduate and graduate school program with several people who I admire: Amanda D’Amico (http://www.tinyrevolutionarypress.com/), Sun Young Kang (http://www.sunyoungkang.com/), Mary Tasillo (http://www.citizenhydra.net/), Marie Elcin (http://colored-thread.blogspot.com/), to name a few.  My first printmaking teacher, Shelley Thorstensen, (http://printmakersopenforum.org/) also had a large part in me becoming the artist I am.

Another influence has been ecological philosophers, starting with Aldo Leopold of early and mid-twentieth century, to more contemporary luminaries such as Joanna Macey, Edward O. Wilson and Glenn Albrecht.

I listen to a lot of podcasts, particularly NPR’s “On Being,” (http://www.onbeing.org/), which I would describe as interviews with people who are trying to understand the nature of the universe, whether it be science, religion, poetry, art, history, or how these fields overlap. The ideas presented there are also shaping my practice as an artist.

A final influence is poetry, particularly that of Rainier Maria Rilke, Pablo Neruda and most of all, Mary Oliver. Without their words, I would be a different person.  

If you had an occupation outside of being an artist, what would that be and why?

I think I would study the possibilities of solar energy. There is some amazing science developing right now in that field, and I think it will prove to be some very necessary innovations in the future. As global warming increases, who wouldn’t want to be part of the solution?

About

Michelle Wilson HeadshotMichelle Wilson is a papermaker, printmaker, book, installation, and social practice artist. She is also one-half of the ongoing collaborative political art team BOOK BOMBS. Her works are in various collections, including Yale University (New Haven, CT), the National Museum of Women in the Arts (Washington, DC), and the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, in Alexandria, Egypt.

She is a past recipient of grants from the Puffin Foundation, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and the Artist-Investigator Project from San Francisco’s Triangle Arts Lab, an a previous resident of the David and Julia White Colony in Ciudad Colon, Costa Rica, and the Jentel Artist Residency Program, in Banner, Wyoming.

Her extensive teaching experience includes San Francisco State University, Bryn Mawr College, Moore College of Art and Design, the Kala Art Institute, the San Jose ICA Print Center, and Magnolia Editions. In addition, she served as a hand papermaking consultant to Signa-Haiti, a NGO in the process of developing a sustainable and bio-dynamic economy in Haiti. She currently teaches Sculpture and Design through the Summit Public Charter School System, and printmaking and collage classes at the Berkeley Art and Design Extension.Wilson has a BFA from Moore College of Art and Design, and an MFA from the University of the Arts, both located in Philadelphia, PA. She currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

 Frieze, Woodblock on handmade abaca paper, 12" x 42", 2014


Frieze, Woodblock on handmade abaca paper, 12″ x 42″, 2014

www.michellewilsonprojects.com

All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission. 

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Marcy Rosenblat – Brooklyn, New York

 "Column", Acrylic on canvas,  48"x48"  2013

“Column”, Acrylic on canvas, 48″x48″ 2013

Briefly describe the work that you do.

These paintings are essentially process paintings that bring to mind aspects of concealment and revelation. The subject is left intentionally ambiguous in order to initiate associations of what it means to cover or uncover, to feel familiar or to feel remote. The familiar is embedded in the painting by using the pattern of a household paper towel, both as part of the process and metaphorically. For the most part, the pattern functions as a structural devise, a curtain situated between the viewer and the subject.  I’m interested in the tension between photographic illusion and abstraction and believe that our understanding of either is fleeting and that what is imagined or seen may be about the subjectivity we place on any given event, including painting itself.

At what point in your life did you decide to become an artist?

 I wanted to become an artist very early on. It’s hard to remember an exact time.

Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you as an artist.

 My education as an artist was primarily painting through observation and I am still very influenced by the things around me. My work reflects my surroundings at any given time, whether that be the light, the location of my studio or an event. Although, I am particularly interested in things that are covered or draped, for instance the shape a bridge assumes when under construction or a motorcycle with it’s cover on it. I  A shape derived from obscuring a form is provocative to me.

"Untitled Blue ", Acrylic on linen, 48"x 60"  2013

“Untitled Blue “, Acrylic on linen, 48″x 60″ 2013

What types of conceptual concerns are present in your work? How do those relate to the specific process(es) or media you use?

In addition to being drawn to layers that both reveal and cover, I’m intrigued by the transformative quality of paint. I purposely use common paper towels to print a pattern onto  my paintings. This process takes away the mark of my hand  which in turn allows the paint to speak without  my interference. The towel also provides a pattern that most people take for granted and re-contextualize it. For me that’s the magic of painting.

"Yellow Weave" Acrylic on linen, 48"x48", 2012

“Yellow Weave” Acrylic on linen, 48″x48″, 2012

We once heard Chuck Close say he did not believe in being inspired, rather in working hard everyday. What motivates you in your studio practice?

 I agree with Chuck Close.

When artists living or non-living influence your work?

Really, there are too many to list. A few are Piero Della Francesco, Morandi, Gary Stephen, Moira Dryer and many of my artist friends.

When you are not making art what types of activities and interests do you engage in? 

I enjoy looking at art, films, walking my dog and being with my family and friends nothing terribly unusual

About 

DSC_0108 copyMarcy Rosenblat was born in Chicago Illinois and lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She received her B.F.A. from Kansas City Art Institute and her M.F. A. from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Selective exhibitions include: Fordham University, The Rawls Museum, Galerie Berlin am Meer, Smith College, Oresmon Gallery, Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, Kouros Gallery, Salisbury University, Frumkin Gallery, Metaphor Contemporary, Morehead Gallery, Richard Anderson Fine Arts, and The Painting Center. Ms. Rosenblat is currently an Adjunct Professor of Fine Arts at The Fashion Institute of Technology.

The Studio

The Studio

www.Marcyrosenblat.com

All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission. 

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Pamela Anderson – Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Untitled Abstract XVIII, Acrylic Oil Pastel on Infrastructure Canvas, 36 in x 60 in, 2014

Untitled Abstract XVIII, Acrylic Oil Pastel on Infrastructure Canvas, 36 in x 60 in, 2014

Briefly describe the work you do.

I am an modernist abstract expressionist painter. My work relates to the great abstract expressionists but my work is created in bold vibrant saturated colors.  

At what point I your life did you want to become an artist?

I love to tell the story about how I realized at a young age of 4  that working with color, form intrigued me. I would sit on our back stoop of our home in Kenosha, WI and would look at the large elm trees blowing in the wind and color for hours. I had a large repurposed Ice Cream bucket filled with crayons. Each fall my mom would take me to the store to buy a new box of crayolas. I would buy the biggest box with the most colors. Color has always inspired me. It felt as natural to me then as it does now to create. 

Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you as an artist.

I am a self taught artist. I have studied at times at MIAD, The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, MAM taking classes. I also studied in the studio of Terrence Coffman. An artist never stops learning. Each day brings new ideas to your practice and evolution of your work. 

Untitled Abstract 65, Acrylic on Infrastructure Canvas, 84 in x 54in, 2013

Untitled Abstract 65, Acrylic on Infrastructure Canvas, 84 in x 54in, 2013

What types of conceptual concerns are present in your work? How do those relate to the specific process(es) or media you use?

I don’t have conceptual concerns. I love trying new materials, processes. The best “accidents” have created new techniques in my process.  

We once heard Chuck Close say he did not believe in being inspired, rather in working hard everyday. What motivates you in your studio practice?

I create to make myself happy, productive, honoring my process, my growth as an artist. My happiest moments are when a viewer appreciates my work, acknowledges that I have created my own identity and that they recognize the work as mine before they see a signature or label. That to me is success. This is a mark of success to me. I might not paint everyday but I believe that there are so many different processes that are involved in developing a creative practice. The very process of activating your brain, thinking of the simplest actions, visioning your work is “working”.  

Untitled Abstract 16, Acrylic on Canvas, 36 in x 48 in, 2013

Untitled Abstract 16, Acrylic on Canvas, 36 in x 48 in, 2013

What artists living or non-living influence your work? 

Kandinsky, Picasso, Kline, Pollack, Frankenthaler, DeKooning, Gorky…. I love studying the greats from all movements, eras. It’s the mark making that intrigues me. I love studying prehistoric marks that have been made in caves, runes, marks made by children. Children have the purest sense and freedom with mark making. It all inspires me. 

When you are not making art what types of activities and interests do you engage in?

Reading, Walking, Gardening, Cooking & Baking with my husband and sons. They are all amazing chefs. Spending time with family  and friends. I work hard and I play hard. Although the “work” that I do does not feel like work. It’s more like play. I just had a great conversation with a fellow artist, Clive Promhows last night about this very subject!  I work and being an artist is a job. I honor that I can make a living with my creativity because I develop my practice and believe in myself. 

About

pamela headshotKnown for her bold, colorful strokes and gestural movement, Milwaukee, WI – based artist, Pamela Anderson, brings a modern dimension to Abstract Expressionism. Working with large brushes, spatulas and rags, she applies paint to the canvas in vibrant colors, allowing the image to emerge spontaneously as her imagination wanders, experimenting with expressive strokes, perspectives and angles. Leaving her work untitled, Pamela allows her work to be experienced without judgment and is therefore open for interpretation at will by each individual that encounters it.  She leads the viewer into a dimension where their mind can imagine emotions and experiences through windows of negative-space, motion and color. She is a full time artist, an Affiliate of Plaid Tuba and a two-time finalist for the Artist-in-Residence Program at the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Pamela’s work is included in many collections both private and public, including five pieces recently acquired by Northwestern Mutual.

Pamela is also President/Lead Designer of Contemporary Pull, a high design cabinet hardware company newly launched in 2014, learn more at contemporarypull.com. Additionally, as an exhibiting artist and strong advocate of the arts, she is active in local and state organizations including Milwaukee Artist Resource Network (MARN) where she holds the Executive Position of President.

In the Studio

In the Studio

www.paintmysky.com

All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission. 

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Nora Rolf – Denver, Colorado

'Useful Things 2', cardstock,graphite, 3"x5", 2012

‘Useful Things 2′, cardstock,graphite, 3″x5″, 2012

Briefly describe the work you do.

Much of my work embodies aesthetic intuition and blanket understanding. What is sincere, what is genial? How does micro repetition lead to customary practice taking root for an individual independently and socially?

Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you as an artist.

I stem from both a german immigrant family and a midwestern nuclear family. My parents grew up in homes where they had to do it yourself attitudes, they were also artistically encouraged; these attitudes were sustained in my upbringing. Artistically my inherited ideals have translated into hands-on work, improvisation with ideas and materials, and together plain and conscious projects.

The concept of the “artist studio” has a broad range of meanings, especially in contemporary practice. The idea of the artist toiling away alone in a room may not necessarily reflect what many artists do from day to day anymore. Describe your studio practice and how it differs from (or is the same as) traditional notions of “being in the studio.”

I gain motivation for work from my surroundings and often feel that I am simply immitating life in fragments. I would say that I spend time in the “artist studio” when there is a deadline but am, for the majority of the time, learning and gathering outside of the studio.

NRimg2

‘Find and Replace’ with artist Heidi Bartlett, construction foam, lumber, plywood, 18′x8′x10′, 2014

What unique roles do you see yourself as the artist playing that you may not have envisioned yourself in when you first started making art?

My first job out of undergrad was working with youth and elderly at an art center in Lincoln, Nebraska. I learned that art, and the reputation of being an artist, can allow you to be a motivator and an inspirational authority. Artists can use art and a language that softens the difficult of day to day life for some.

When do you find is the best time of day to make art? Do you have time set aside every day, every week or do you just work whenever you can? 

My practices have varied greatly over the years. When I have a studio, I love to wake up in the morning and first thing, devote time to working on projects or just writing down idea.

How has your work changed in the last five years? How is it the same?

NRimg1

‘Living Space’, Taskboard and Cardboard, 5″x5″x5″, 2011

My work has become visually refined and concise. I have also broadened my subject matter from exclusively personal delving, and have incorporated ideals and practices that I have learned from others.

Are there people such as family, friends, writers, philosophers or even pop icons that have had an impact on the work you do?

Tamara Zahaykevich, Andrea Zittel, and  Ursula von Rydingsvard, to name a few artists. The people who have shaped my appreciation of the pursuit of all things different are numerous.

If you had an occupation outside of being an artist, what would that be and why?

I have always considered being a teacher, or going to work for the national parks service. I like obtaining new information and in turn sharing it. I like the process of breaking down information for education purposes, and I like the immediacy and instinctual nature of working outdoors.

About 

NRHeadshotNora Rolf graduated from Corcordia University, NE in 2009 with her BFA in Studio Art and an emphasis in Collage & Mixed Media. Just out of undergrad Nora participated in a summer residency with Tiny Circus artist collective in Grinnell, IA during the summer of 2011. Nora was a resident artist and art instructor at the LUX Center for the Arts in Lincoln, NE from 2009-2013. This past winter Nora spent time at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts in Nebraska City, NE with friend and fellow artist Heidi Bartlett, and will be heading to A-Z Institute of Investigating Living in Joshua Tree, CA during the spring of 2014. Nora is currently living in Denver, CO working as an independent artist and gallery assistant.

In Process

In Process

www.Nlouisarolf.tumblr.com

All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission. 

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Ben Grant – Madison, Wisconsin

Briefly describe the work you do.

Untitled #43, Acrylic, Automotive Paint, Enamel, Flashe, Metal flake, and Spray Paint on Panel, 72 x 38 x 9”, 2012

Untitled #43, Acrylic, Automotive Paint, Enamel, Flashe, Metal flake, and Spray Paint on Panel, 72 x 38 x 9”, 2012

My paintings explore the potential for meaning in simple, bold, and colorful combinations of shape and dimension.  I look at my paintings as an evolving whole whose constituent components will continue to shift, drop out, or be added to as I explore the boundaries of my process.  I paint the modular units that make up the pieces separately and then combine them in the studio to create strings of information that take on the form of a visual syntax.  As I combine the elements of my pieces, I am building relationships that speak not only to the internal logic of the single piece, but also to the larger structure of the abstract language that is present in the whole body of work. 

Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you as an artist.

I have worked a lot of different jobs in my pursuit of a career in the arts.  I have bartended, bussed tables, worked in a bookstore, painted houses, made archival enclosures for books, worked in a hardware store, been a studio assistant, taught high school kids, worked in a neon lab, and painted some more houses.  I believe that by struggling to make a living while at the same time finding space for my painting practice, I have had to really focus on what is most important to me about painting.  Many of the repetitive actions that produce my paintings are a crucial part of my formal and conceptual framework. I can now see that they have arisen partly as a kind of antidote to the pressures of a working life and as an extension of the repetitive gestures that were central to my daily routines as a house painter.

The concept of the “artist studio” has a broad range of meanings, especially in contemporary practice. The idea of the artist toiling away alone in a room may not necessarily reflect what many artists do from day to day anymore. Describe your studio practice and how it differs from (or is the same as) traditional notions of “being in the studio.”

Unlike the prevailing wave of “post-studio” artists, I find that the physical place where I make my work is absolutely integral to my painting practice.  For me the studio is a refuge; it allows me to build, paint, nap, and to think.  I look at my studio as a laboratory where I can experiment with different processes without worrying about their application and explore what it means to make paintings.  My studio practice has given me discipline and it has given me a space within which to inspect myself and the world around me.  As an educator, I feel that the most important thing I can give my students is a desire to get into the studio and make work.  

Untitled #44, Acrylic, Automotive Paint, Enamel, Flashe, Metal flake, and Spray Paint on Panel. , 24 x 38 x 10”, 2013

Untitled #44, Acrylic, Automotive Paint, Enamel, Flashe, Metal flake, and Spray Paint on Panel. , 24 x 38 x 10”, 2013

What unique roles do you see yourself as the artist playing that you may not have envisioned yourself in when you first started making art?

As a younger, more headstrong artist, I believed that success meant bursting onto the New York art scene at a young age.  I felt that success was linked to a large life, a life that took on the art world head on.  As an artist now, I try to live a small life and believe that making my mark is much less important than discovering the intricacies of painting and passing on my love for the medium to my students. 

When do you find is the best time of day to make art? Do you have time set aside every day, every week or do you just work whenever you can? 

I work around my teaching schedule.  The days that I teach are dedicated only to teaching, the other days of the week are dedicated the studio.  I work in the studio from around 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM.  I find that after 8:00 PM I lose focus.  For me being an artist requires a large amount of discipline and I find that by making myself dedicate as much time to the studio as I can, the greater the chances are that I will make something worthwhile.

Untitled #59, Acrylic, Automotive Paint, Enamel, Metal Flake, and Spray Paint on Panel, 36 x 24”, 2013

Untitled #59, Acrylic, Automotive Paint, Enamel, Metal Flake, and Spray Paint on Panel, 36 x 24”, 2013

How has your work changed in the last five years? How is it the same?

My work has undergone quite a transformation over the past five years.  I received my MFA last spring from UW Madison and my three years there really changed my perspective on what my paintings can be.  Being at UW gave me the opportunity to work with an amazing group of professors who helped me to focus my energy on a formal and conceptual trajectory that has led me to where I am now.  My current paintings seem to me to be a distilled version of their predecessors.  In my earlier work there was always a vestige of figuration underlying the largely abstract compositions.  This has completely disappeared from the paintings I am now producing.  They contain the processes (repetition, combination, precision, experimentation, etc.) that my paintings have always had, but they deploy these processes in a much more direct and simplified manner.  Rather than feeling restricted by the simplification that has overtaken my work, I feel that it has helped to open up a much larger group of concerns that will provide fodder for future paintings.

Are there people such as family, friends, writers, philosophers or even pop icons that have had an impact on the work you do?

My family has been crucial to my development as an artist; they have always supported my artistic endeavors and helped me to be persistent in my pursuit of painting.  I also have to acknowledge an interest in and a debt to semiotics, particularly to the work of Ferdinand de Saussure.  As for writers, while I do not consciously include any references to the authors’ work that I read, I have a sneaking suspicion that the constant flow of trashy mystery audiobooks that I listen to is slowly influencing the work I make.  

If you had an occupation outside of being an artist, what would that be and why?

When I was in the third grade I wanted to either be an artist or a heavy metal guitar player.  I can’t play the guitar at all but what the hell, heavy metal guitar player for sure.

About 

bg head shotBen Grant was born in Canton, NY in 1980.  He is a painter and a Lecturer in Painting and Drawing at University of Wisconsin Madison.  Ben’s paintings have been included in exhibits across the country including Wisconsin, Chicago, and New York.  Most recently his work has been included in The Wisconsin Triennial at The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art and at Tory Folliard Gallery in Milwaukee Wisconsin.  He is represented by Tory Folliard Gallery in Milwaukee and lives and works in Madison, Wisconsin.

The Studio

The Studio

www.bengrantart.com

All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission. 

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Jamie Bates Slone – Kansas City, Missouri

Protastatic Homeostasis, Coil built white earthenware clay and digital video projection, 17.5"x36.5"x13", 2013

Protastatic Homeostasis, Coil built white earthenware clay and digital video projection, 17.5″x36.5″x13″, 2013

Briefly describe the work you do.

The focus and significance of my work lies in the state of the human condition, the delicacy and fragility of the human construct in an emotional and physical sense. My experience is that of being part of an extended family that has endured a history of cancer and high mortality rate. As I have become more aware of my family’s history with illness through the examination of my memories, I have become wary of the future and empathetic of the past. I often find myself attributing to others my own unease in relation to cancer. This projection of my anxieties onto others acts as cancer does in metastasis, spreading from one location to another. My work is an examination and reflection of the memories, emotions, and anxieties caused by my family’s history with cancer with an emphasis on the relationship between human biology and human emotion.

I have developed a process utilizing my knowledge of various casting methods and glaze chemistry to create forms made entirely glaze. The color and texture is appealing and repulsive at the same time. When viewed through a magnifying glass the surface resembles Scanning Electron Micrographs of cancer cells. The fragile and fleeting appearance of these pieces symbolizes the transient nature of human life. Projected onto life size, coil built figures, are a series of macro images of my casted work. The projections engulf and overwhelm the figures, as do my anxieties and fears for my health, the health of loved ones and cancer itself.

Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you as an artist.

I was born and raised in a small town in Missouri. I received my BFA in Studio Art at the University of Central Missouri and shortly after attended graduate school in Lawrence, Kansas and received my MFA in ceramics. It is funny to look back on what might have led me to where I am today. As a young child I was always drawing or creating. I loved drawing portraits of others, which I feel fully, translates into the work I make today. As I grew older I became more and more drawn to the sciences. I desperately wanted to become a biologist or a doctor of some sort. Human biology and life science were my favorite subjects and I knew every single bone and muscle in the human body. In high school I fell in love with psychology and thought that was going to be my path. I began my college career as a psychology major and after a few changes became a studio art major. Although I am not a doctor today I still find my work has so much to do with human biology and psychology. My family’s history with illness is a huge conceptual influence in my work. Not until I had spoken with others about my family’s medical history had I known that the amount of death and illness had been perhaps abnormal. I had begun investigating my memories as well as the affect that these instances have had on me psychologically. 

PhenotypeVII, Cast ceramic glaze, 6" x 3.5" x 3.5", 2014

PhenotypeVII, Cast ceramic glaze, 6″ x 3.5″ x 3.5″, 2014

The concept of the “artist studio” has a broad range of meanings, especially in contemporary practice. The idea of the artist toiling away alone in a room may not necessarily reflect what many artists do from day to day anymore. Describe your studio practice and how it differs from (or is the same as) traditional notions of “being in the studio.”

I have worked in both private studios and communal studios and I find both to have their advantages and disadvantages. In my private studio I was allowed to truly make a mess, close my door, and play my music as loud as I wanted. This is great for a certain amount of time but I need some sort of human contact to give myself a break and to be sane. The communal studio is great when is comes to having human contact and being able to ask for feedback on the spot, but you must always be conscious of others and your surroundings. I suppose being in a communal space forces me to clean up after myself, which is never a bad thing.

BIO, Coil built white earthenware clay and digital video projection, 34" x 22" x 70", 2012

BIO, Coil built white earthenware clay and digital video projection, 34″ x 22″ x 70″, 2012

What unique roles do you see yourself as the artist playing that you may not have envisioned yourself in when you first started making art?

I feel that I have become a bit of a therapist for others. Because of the concepts I deal with in my work people often want to tell me their story. I absolutely love this aspect of my work. I am allowing myself to be vulnerable and express my fears and so it makes others examine how they might feel. Everyone has had an encounter with cancer, illness, and loss at some point in their life and for some reason viewers want to speak to me about their experiences. Perhaps they find it therapeutic. Whether they do or not it makes me feel better to know I am not alone. 

When do you find is the best time of day to make art? Do you have time set aside every day, every week or do you just work whenever you can? 

I would love to be in the studio everyday. Unfortunately this is not possible at the moment. I do have entire days where I can set aside a large chunk of time to work, but mostly I just work whenever I can. I have never been a 9 to 5 person. My best working time is between Noon and 10 pm. That is when I find myself really wanting to do nothing but make work without any distraction.

How has your work changed in the last five years? How is it the same?

It has changed so much. I just finished graduate school less than two years ago. It was time to experiment and discover new ways to work. I began school working with the figure and dealing with a lot of the same conceptual ideas that I am now. At some point I realized I wasn’t ready to address these ideas yet so I began another body of work that was almost a way for me to ignore these issues. At one point I was growing grass on organic clay forms and making hints at the human form without replicating it. It wasn’t until my third year of graduate school that I had begun the kind of work I am making now. One of my thesis committee members even drew a diagram of how I had come full circle in my graduate career to make a point in a meeting!

Are there people such as family, friends, writers, philosophers or even pop icons that have had an impact on the work you do?

My family obviously has a huge impact on the work I do. My husband is my rock. He balances me out and allows me to spend long hours in the studio with no complaints. My fellow art colleagues are my motivators. Seeing them do well only makes me work harder. Books such as “Autobiography of a Face” by Lucy Grealy and “The Anatomy of Hope: People Prevail in the Face of Illness” by Jarome Groopman have influenced my work greatly on speaking about the psychological effects of illness and loss. And the more fact based book “The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer” by Siddhartha Mukherjee keeps me in check when speaking the more scientific aspects cancer and illness. 

If you had an occupation outside of being an artist, what would that be and why?

Like I said before, I left high school wanting to be a psychology major. I think I could see myself somewhere in that field. Perhaps helping people who have experiences with great loss in their lives. I find the way the brain and human body work to be fascinating!

About 

jamiebatesslone-april-portraitJamie Bates Slone is a ceramic artist known for her figurative work in clay paired with with projected imagery as surface as well as her experimental work in the casting of ceramic glazes. Her most recent work addresses the fragility of the human spirit in the midst of illness and loss in relation to her family’s history with cancer. Jamie earned her MFA with honors in Ceramics at the University of Kansas in Spring of 2012 where she received the Professional Development Assistance Award. She earned her BFA in Studio Art with and emphasis in Ceramics in 2008 at the University of Central Missouri. Jamie is currently a Foundation Resident Artist at Red Star Studios in Kansas City, Missouri and adjunct faculty in ceramics at Park University in Parkville, Missouri. Jamie has exhibited work in galleries throughout the U.S. including the Spencer Art Museum in Lawrence, Kansas, Jacob Lawrence Gallery in Seattle, Washington, First Street Gallery in New York City, New York, and the St. Petersburg Clay Company in St. Petersburg, Florida. She most recently won first place at the Clay3 National Juried Exhibition juried by Kurt Weiser.  

In the Studio

In the Studio

www.jamiembates.com

All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission. 

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Christopher McIntyre Perceptions – Milwaukee, Wisconsin

American Scene, Fine Art Photography, 12x18, 2012

American Scene, Fine Art Photography, 12×18, 2012

Briefly describe the work you do.

Art to me an acronym; A Reality Transcribed. My art is life so I often say on social media #ARTLife. I speak life, I create life, I birth life with my artworks in various mediums, mostly known for my fine art photography.

Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you as an artist.

Given my background, life inspires me because at one point I was extremely close to the opposite of it. I am a self taught artist with various mentorships. I took the unorthodox path into the art world. No family connections to institutions, no art school, nothing that would make one be at ease in reference to the ‘typical’ artist because my life has been far from typical. My father was a drug dealer. My mother is apart of an active Christian church. So, in these separate homes I would live in two different worlds which shaped a lot of my art as well as my worldview; my perception is of the big picture as well as the little pixels. My art is riddled with codes due to that & my passion is far beyond what a ‘typical’ artist can have. I am driven by my desire to be successful in the rite of cultivating / manifesting my own perception with 100% artistic control as well as to profit from what I create. Even when I was living in my art studio for a moment in time in the past, this has never been a hobby. This is my life. I inked ART Life on my chest in blood, I’ve sweated with building my brand & I’ve surely cried tears due to it. I’m beyond invested & this is my ministry from the Most High God to the people of the earth.

Waterfalls, Fine Art Photography, 20x30, 2012

Waterfalls, Fine Art Photography, 20×30, 2012

The concept of the “artist studio” has a broad range of meanings, especially in contemporary practice. The idea of the artist toiling away alone in a room may not necessarily reflect what many artists do from day to day anymore. Describe your studio practice and how it differs from (or is the same as) traditional notions of “being in the studio.”

The world is my studio. All I need is a space where God’s peace can rest & space for my tools then I can work. I’ve lived a nomadic life in reference to studios but as I mature, I see myself owning spaces & being connected to spaces that I can occupy for the sake of art. Being an alumni RedLine Milwaukee artist, I grew to value the idea of feeding off of a community of artists of various mediums. It stimulates creativity that can manifest in different ways & collaborations can be birthed in communal studio spaces, as long as respect is kept high with communication as a must.

What unique roles do you see yourself as the artist playing that you may not have envisioned yourself in when you first started making art?

I see my power to influence people within society. My position as an artist is to make people think. If I don’t make people think then I’m not doing my job. Think in your mind. Think in your heart. Think in your soul.

Beauty Pageant, Fine Art Photography, 20x30, 2011

Beauty Pageant, Fine Art Photography, 20×30, 2011

When do you find is the best time of day to make art? Do you have time set aside every day, every week or do you just work whenever you can? 

Nowadays, all of the above. I am always ready to make art because the flow of creativity is never peaked for me. Sometimes, life just comes first. Family & the analytical side of art, which is business, often take precedent over the creative because the imbalance of these things in an artist’s life will utterly destroy you in the end so I take time to focus on those things then I get to the ARTLife. :-) My life’s creed is “God, Family, Business” & I feel closest to God when I’m creating. The first five words of the Bible are ‘In the beginning, God created…’ so the first act of the Triune Godhead is creation. I must create.

How has your work changed in the last five years? How is it the same?

The essence of my work is the same because I am C.M.P. as my logo often brands. I legally changed my name to “Christopher McIntyre Perceptions”, which also meshes with my company “CMPerceptions”. When you invest in my artwork, you are receiving a piece of me, literally. I was once told that change is the only constant thing in this world so we are always changing. I’m changing how I express  via mixed media, painting, spoken word, documentary film, etc…but the essence of my expression is the same, to shine LIGHT…true light, not artificial light. Art is my ministry.

Are there people such as family, friends, writers, philosophers or even pop icons that have had an impact on the work you do?

God, my family & people whom I respect in actions / principles influence me but life in general impacts my work. We gain from the world around us then give back to the world what we perceive as it processes inside of us to be birthed into art. This is the duty of an artist.

The Studio

The Studio

If you had an occupation outside of being an artist, what would that be and why?

Honestly, whatever I’d be…I would be miserable to a point. I worked for Apple for two years & I loved it but I longed for more in my art career. I worked part time for AT&T making a few thousand dollars almost every pay check & hated it due to meeting numbers rather than creating work that I could sell for numbers. It would always go back to art for me. I knew since I was I child that I wanted to be an artist & work for myself. Thanks be to Jesus Christ, prayer works & dreams come true with hard work.

About 

Self PortraitChristopher McIntyre Perceptions, an artist, uses life as his canvas
as he is mostly known for fine art photography, cultivating art for 10
years.

www.CMPerceptions.com

All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission. 

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