PULSE PROJECT ARTIST 2017
Could you revisit your piece Never Stop Dancing that was featured at PULSE Art Fair 2017? How did the piece develop over time and how did you end up choosing the materials you used for the work?
When I heard the news about the Pulse nightclub shooting, I went straight to the Stonewall Inn. By the front door there was a growing pile of flowers on the sidewalk. Here, I found a small note accompanying a bouquet that simply said, “Never Stop Dancing.” Those words were the inspiration and ultimately the title to my work in memory of those who were lost.
In this large-scale porcelain installation, I suspended 49 bone white disco balls, one for each of the victims. The individual disco balls were slip cast in several sizes, some taking up to ten gallons of porcelain slip to fill. Each piece was then suspended at various heights with monofilament in a swirling celestial cluster. This work directly relates to my research on the everyday objects that bear witness in scenes of violence. I was honored to show this work in Miami as a curated project of Helen Toomer and Katelijne De Backer at the PULSE Art Fair.
How have you noticed your practice evolving over time? How did your experience at PULSE affect your methods of art making and your path in art creation?
As a research-based artist, my arts practice and materiality is varied and constantly evolving. I allow the specifics of the subject matter guide and ultimately determine the processes employed. For example, my current show at Victori+Mo Gallery titled “Shame is the First Betrayer,” is inspired by research and artistic wanderings in the Lesbian Herstory Archives, which is the largest archive dedicated to preserving lesbian voices and lives. Since the collection is so varied, the materials I used are also. Works include metal etching, screen printing on wood veneer, ceramics, and weaving with found text.
My experience showing at PULSE continues to strengthen my artistic voice and community. I was able to speak to many visitors, gallerists, collectors, and other artists. Additionally, since the work was in honor of the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Miami, I also connected with people who were directly affected by the tragedy, who told me their stories and that the work was a healing experience.
The art world has changed drastically in the past decade and a half, how has access to the Internet and various social media channels affected that way that your art is viewed and how you view art?
I love that I am able to share the behind the scenes images of installs, studio time, and the messy parts of making. Art can be so focused on the final piece or production, but as a studio artist, I make countless tiny decisions that ultimately become the final outcome. Social media helps demystify the process.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received?
“Some Rules for Students and Teacher,”, is a list of 10 rules attributed to John Cage. When I am in the studio, I lean on rule #8: Don’t try to create and analyze at the same time. They’re different processes.
What’s coming up next for you?
My calendar is jam packed with Pride events this month! I am currently a Fellow at Greenwich House working on ceramic sculptures to honor and celebrate the Stonewall Uprising. After which, there will be a group show at the Jane Hartsook Gallery. Details forthcoming.
This is also the last week to see my solo show, “Shame is the First Betrayer,” at Victori+Mo Gallery which examines lesbian culture through the Lesbian Herstory Archives. I am also showing work this Saturday June 22nd from 2-5pm at Art in the Park Pride Celebration organized by artist Sarah E. Brook.
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Exhibitors are eligible to participate in PULSE Prize, Projects and Play by applying either with a solo artist or a survey.