I am one of the artist and I’m sponsored for the month of October to create a string based installation. The title of my installation is Bridge. It plays around with the idea of the definition of a bridge; a connection from point A to point B. It’s also building connections with people in the community as I interact with them and they help me build the installation. It’s about bringing the East Lake Artist Village project and the community of East Lake together through the creation of this sculpture.
2. What brought on your interest in art?
I’ve always been interested in art. Even as a kid, I would steal lipstick and write all over the walls and it’s really grown from there. In high school I was very involved with theatre and built a lot of sets. I realized that my interest in theatre wasn’t so much the performance side as it was the building of sets and designing costumes and whatnot. When I realized that I really started to focus on art.
I ended up going to Auburn and got a BFA in painting and drawing and followed that with a Masters in Art Education from UAB.
3. Are there any particular artists that inspire you?
The first artist that really struck me and got me thinking about art in a different way was Albert Oehlen. He combines so many different styles and loud languages and brings them together. I feel like that’s where I started to find my voice. I remember being at the High Museum and getting in trouble for touching a Gerhard Richter. I just really needed to feel how thick the paint was.
I use my sketchbooks as idea collections more than drawing spaces. I collect and compile different things and draw inspiration from a lot of different places.
Locally, I’ve really been enjoying working with Julianna Richey on this project. She’s doing the dream catcher hive and our projects kind of bridged into each other. It’s been a lot of fun working together and bouncing ideas off each other. Christina Daniel and I have art nights together as well. I love the natural qualities of Doug Baulos work.
4. How do events like Revive and the East Lake Artist Village help support you as an artist?
It has really helped me network which in turn has helped me grow in ways I did not expect. I’ve had people approaching me about shows and I’ve met a ton of great artists. I’ve also had great interactions with people in the community. This is the first really big project I’ve done and it’s been interesting to see the ways that it has evolved as it goes along.
5. As an art teacher, why do you think it’s important to integrate art into education?
It really helps kids think creatively. When I was first starting to teach last year I had kids tell me that they couldn’t draw a circle. The letter O is a circle, but they had never thought of it that way. Even if my kids don’t become artists, I’m still helping them to think differently and to solve problems differently. I see their confidence growing.
6. How can parents help support arts education outside of the classroom?
That’s a good question because so many parents just view art class as a time for their kids to have fun or a break from math and english. I’ve seen that if there are opportunities for family activities the parents are more involved. If we as a community can continue to have events and workshops that involve both adults and kids that would really help.
I also think it’s important to make real life connections in my art lessons. I’ve noticed that if you can find ways to tie in things that parents find valuable it’s a good way to get them to pay attention.