Briefly describe the work you do.
My artwork embodies my personality by offering a fun exterior visual impression in an effort to obscure a darker inner narrative stemming from personal experiences. I am fascinated by pop art and its tongue and cheek sarcasm. I employ this aesthetic as a means to express emotions about my deficiencies, fears, and shortcomings by poking fun at societal ideals.
My most recent work reflects upon the idea of multiple intelligences and childhood experiences while subversively exposing cultural norms. As I discovered my creative interests, I began to understand my artistic role, talents, and intelligence.
Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you as an artist.
I grew up in a small town called Titusville, which is located in historic Washington Crossing, NJ along the Delaware River. I was fascinated with the history and the antique environment I was immersed in. My parents instilled the importance of a strong work ethic and receiving a good education. One area I excelled at as a child was working with my hands, this led me to discover art.
There is a direct correlation between my upbringing and my individual experiences that has influenced my identity as an artist and my work. In graduate school, I began to confront darker memories and experiences I had tucked away, focusing specifically on personal relationships. At the time I was concentrating on Trompe l’oiel and illusionism. Mementos from my childhood became the springboard for the concepts of my present practice.
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 traditional notions of “being in the studio toiling away” directly, reflect my studio practice.
My studio practice by nature takes a great deal of time. When making plaster molds I plan to be in the studio all day, this takes a great deal of “toiling.” I usually slip cast consistently for about two months, scheduling it around teaching and general life events. Once I begin surfacing the work and preparing for installation the practice slows down. I reorganize my thoughts and reflect on the final outcome.
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 an artist I never envisioned myself playing the role of the activist. Contemporary art as a catalyst of change is used as a mode of confronting personal, social or political issues through criticism of what the world might be. It mirrors contemporary culture and society, offering a rich resource through which to consider current ideas or rethink the familiar.
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?
The best time of day to make artwork is when I feel the most inspired, which comes randomly to me. I love waking up early, when it is quite in my house and in the world, working in my pajamas while drinking coffee. Lately I have been working for longer periods of time. Intensely producing for about 3 months than taking time off to reflect. The reflection phase is imperative to my process; it is when I have my most inspirational moments.
How has your work changed in the last five years? How is it the same?
In the past 5 years my work and process of making has changed a great deal. While in graduate school I was producing work at a faster pace, not concentrating as much on the final installation. Now I allow myself more time to play, slowing down the making and letting the work breathe. I have taught myself to work backwards focusing on the installation process first. In terms of content, the work has been consistently evolving from the same thread.
Are there people such as family, friends, writers, philosophers or even pop icons that have had an impact on the work you do?
Yes of course, there are many people that have impacted my work. The concepts presented in On Longing by Susan Stewart have heavily influenced me. She examines the ways in which souvenirs are objects mediating experience in time and space. Also my family members, specifically my mother and father are huge sources of inspiration. As far as pop icons, I adore Bob Dylan’s poetic style and find great inspiration from his music.
If you had an occupation outside of being an artist, what would that be and why?
The occupation I would pursue outside of being an artist or an art educator would be a nutritionist. I believe in taking care of one’s body, forming health habits, and practice a healthy life style.
Angela is a ceramic sculptor based in Laredo, Texas. A native of New Jersey, Angela holds an MFA from Rhode Island School of Design and BFA from Green Mountain College. She received a Sheridan Teaching Certificate from The Harriet W. Sheridan Center for Teaching & Learning at Brown University. Angela has extensively shown her artwork regionally around Texas. Recently, she won 2nd Place at the Hard Ware, 2013 National Ceramics Exhibit in Ingram TX. She participated in the 19th and 20th San Angelo National Ceramic Competition at the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts. Angela has also participated as an Intern at Greenwich House Pottery in NYC and at Frog Hollow Vermont State Craft Center in Middlebury VT. Currently, Angela is an Adjunct Art Professor at Texas A & M International University, where she teaches foundation design and ceramics courses.
All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission.