Interview with dog in grass
How has your work or working process been affected by the pandemic?
Because I mostly work in the print shop and the wood shop, the loss of those spaces has been a big adjustment for me. I have a lot of pictures of myself from the past year wearing gloves and a mask to mix silkscreen emulsion, which is funny because it was a novelty to don those things then and now it’s the new normal. All of my furniture is still in the art building and of course no one knows what the future looks like, but I am excited to put the finishing touches on those when I can, take pictures of them, and give them to new homes. Thankfully, woodcut is a more portable medium that can be done at home, so I have been doing plenty of that and the carving is very relaxing. A new exciting update is that I am freely and joyfully painting! I previously shied away from painting in the past because of its ‘solidness’ as a medium- painters are painters and they know other painters and there are ‘rules’ and distinct styles - I felt like I daren’t break into it. But now I am working with cheapo acrylic paint on mixed media paper and the inside of cereal boxes and enjoying it. Ignoring how things are supposed to fit in to a teleology of painting and painting like a child has been really liberating. I’m actually really excited about the prospect of making art outside of the New York ecosystem, using my grandpa’s garage tools and house paint.
Does your art have an objective?
Most of my art could fit under the umbrella of “useful,” obviously the 3D stuff like furniture and bowls are useful, but I find that even the 2D stuff like illustrations, paintings, and prints that are intended to be put on someone’s wall have the utilitarian purpose of brightening or enriching someone’s space. what you put on your wall is crucial to making your home a home and is thus useful. Everything I make can go in someone’s home, I don’t think I’ve made anything yet that has to live in a gallery space and I don’t want to.
What are you looking at, reading or listening to?
Recently I have been looking at a lot of folk art environments. In quarantine when we are bound to our homes it seems like the perfect time to begin one and keep adding to it if you’re settled in a place. I don’t have a space for one, but if you have a back or front yard I definitely suggest you look it up. spacesarchives.org has a great collection of pictures. When I’m writing, I need wordless music so I have been listening to a lot of techno and industrial music. When I am drawing, painting, or printing at home, I like music with words. Seeing as I’m graduating soon, I’m going to finally get to read what I choose to, and I’m gonna start by reading all the theory I didn’t get to - I survived four years of Sarah Lawrence without having to read an entire Nietzsche book! I’m also reading Lynda Barry’s books which are amazing for illustrators, comic artists, and writers. I really suggest them!
How has your experience at Sarah Lawrence shaped you as an artist?
Working with the printmaking tech Amy Gartrell has been amazing, she has taught me so much about printmaking and art in general. Asking Francis (the sculpture tech) for advice has always proved to be so helpful, and i feel like I’ve really grown in my technical skills this year because of his suggestions. When I first came to college, I had close to no “official” art experience. The first-ever “legit” art class I took was a silkscreen workshop with Amy and I was instantly obsessed, and I got the confidence to start making work when previously I was positive that I wasn’t talented enough to do college-level studio art. My art history background is of course been extremely important. The art history department at Sarah Lawrence is really amazing and I am so grateful to have Joe Forte as a don. He has been really supportive of my art making and would often come visit my studio downstairs. And Kris Phillips was my first art professor at Sarah Lawrence, and I am so incredibly grateful that I got to study with her before she retired. She was so helpful and would go above and beyond to support her passionate students.