Monday 2/13/17 time 10:05 AM
Background as an artist
Hello all! I am a recent graduate of Alfred University School of Art and Design in Upstate New York, with a degree in Fine arts and a minor in Art History. While my concentration is in Art Photography, I have begun reaching into the world of sculpture and video art pretty enthusiastically!
I have only recently begun my trepidacious journey to become a working artist, and Haihatus was the first of what I hope will be many residency/programs that I will take part in!
How did you end up choosing your media?
It was a weird road, but I began school as a primarily 2-D artist, focusing on drawing, life drawing, and painting. However, I ended up have a weird relationship with oil painting in college, and after a long interest in photography, I took up my first film photography class sophomore year of University. I fell in love with photography, only transitioning to digital photography this past year! My school encouraged multimedia practice as well, so I wound up finding my love also existed in jewelry making, metal and wax casting, and video work too. Which is great, because I personally believe a lot of contemporary artists are finding multimedia to be the best language for their concepts, and it is the most exciting place to be in.
What do you find as the best and worst sides of being an artist?
The best is easy; it’s being able to find your passion as a never ending, continual process. Being an artist means you are always fighting something one way or another, which is great, because I think I’m pretty angry a lot of the time. I love that I never have to question my calling, art is my one true love. The worst? You can never leave your job, as an artist, you carry the burden of your work around with you constantly, even when you’re out at a park you may find yourself worrying about when to apply for something next, or to email that curator, or to find a solid chunk of time to dedicate to studio practice per week. Unlike a 9-5 job, you can’t just go home and relax. It’s kind of maddening, I know why so many of us go crazy.
Is this your first time in Finland? What kind of expectations did you have about Finland/ Joutsa?
Well, I was good friends with a girl from Helsinki a few years ago, and she introduced me to Moomin, but It was my first time in Finland! The expectations I had about Finland were that I thought it would be a country mixed between Iceland and Sweden, but instead...it seemed to be more like a mixture of Russia and Norway? If that makes sense? I also thought it might be more queer, just because of how progressive nordic countries are. But, I loved it for what is was. I just wish I had seen the northern lights!
What are the best sides / opportunities in having an art residency?
I feel as though there are many ways to measure opportunity, and at an art residency you have to take into account that most residencies are practically art vacations. You can take a break from your money day job, and just have pure time to dedicate to working in a studio, around other artists, and get inspired and work hard at your art. The opportunity lies in networking, and meeting others as well as developing your body of work richly in a foreign place!
What are your plans after Haihatus?
After Haihatus, I will be moving with my two friends and peers from University to either NYC or Chicago, where we will continue to live, make work, strive for recognition and success, and apply for more programs and residencies! We simply are going to go, and continue to meet great people and artists, and I’ll be trying my best to keep moving forward at all costs.
How does Haihatus meet your expectations?
Haihatus met my expectations and exceeded them. The availability of studio space and the materials that were afforded us around the residency house were amazing. Having my own room and kitchen and yet also having a communal kitchen to cook in as well were all great factors. Having such a large studio space for my photography was excellent, as I need to be able to move quite a bit when doing my photo work.
Meeting Finnish artists, Merja, and the other residents at the house was such a great experience. There was nothing but hospitality, saunas, art making, and new faces at Haihatus, and I feel richer for that being given to me as an artist. Thanks Haihatus!
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