Maude Kerns Art Center offered me the opportunity to make my art installation for A Day in the Life a reality this year. With special help from my amazing and talented friend, Katrina Henry, the project came full circle and was installed and exhibited.
Artist Statement / A Day in the Life
Please do 3 things for me:
- Write down the details of one day of your life.
- Send me a photograph of you.
- Tell me your favorite color.
What is a relationship? From the past to the future, one human to the next, to an artist with the materials she uses. Mundane moments make up the majority of our day. Dependence on strangers occurs more than most of us would like to admit. Every moment is significant as it leads us to the next. Every person matters and their actions create reactions that affect the world. My art expresses my ideas about chaos and coincidence. From the extreme mundane activities of eating, sleeping, and brushing one’s teeth, to dramatic and historical events that centuries will continue to hear about, they all hold meaning. We are all connected by moments in time.
Tomorrow I will be driving out to the Chehalem Cultural Center in Newberg, Oregon to see my artwork next to several other artists’s work. It is my first group exhibition since moving to Corvallis last September. This will the 20th time my work has been exhibited. I am anxious, excited, nervous, giddy, satisfied, prideful, and lots of other feelings all at once.
I have heard artists compare exhibiting their work with standing in the middle of a room naked. If you are genuine when you create, I can imagine the two activities are comparable. I have never stood in front of a group of people while nude and allowed them to talk about me as though I am not there, but I imagine the feelings you would get are similar to the feelings you get when someone stands in front of your artwork.
I love and I hate showing my artwork to other people.
I love it because it’s a way for me to connect with someone even if I never meet them. I can speak a language that crosses lingual boundaries. I can influence the world (hopefully in a good way).
I hate it because I’m afraid people won’t like it. As I age, I care less and less about what people think, but there’s still a part of me that wants everyone to like me and wants everyone to appreciate what I do. I hate it because it is all of me. It feels like an open door to all of my thoughts, ideas, wishes, dreams, my soul.
But, I have to do it.
And, I’m so happy I get to make it.
And, most of me is ecstatic that some other people get to take a peek at the work and hopefully get something out it.
I take myself too seriously. I worry too much about the work I make. And, in the end, it is extremely detrimental to the art I attempt to create. Having successfully distracted myself from creating visual art for the last 4 or 5 months while making upcycled clothing and purses I have had a hard time trying to “get back in the studio” as they say. It is not as though I don’t consider the community art projects I have been organizing and participating in and the new upcycled path I have been taking is not art making. It’s just a different type of art making. It does not fulfill a certain part of me that I can’t really define for you. Vague, I know, but honest.
So, for the last month or so I have been standing in my studio staring at an empty table with nothing to say and nothing to make. I was scared and am still scared that I don’t have anything meaningful left to contribute. What I find most interesting about my struggle with my own art making is that the artwork that made me want to be an artist is the same artwork I am afraid to create. I consider myself a conceptual artist and want my viewers to walk away from my work with a certain thought, idea, emotion, or message. The main goal is to shake people out of their own reality for just a second. Slap them across the face visually to see what happens. But, the work that influences me and gives me butterflies is not labeled conceptual art.
I would argue that all art is conceptual because all artists think about what they are going to make before they make. Even if they are not thinking at the time they are creating. But, that is a whole other topic.
What I am trying to communicate is that I love work that looks awesome, that’s beautiful. A painting of a woman walking across a plaza. A photograph of a store window. Art that captures everyday moments in time so that they can be truly appreciated. Although this artwork is fulfilling for me, the viewer, it does not seem to be fulfilling for me, the artist. Seems pretty silly to me. As usual, my concept about art is being challenged by me.
As far as I still have to go as an artist I have made one step forward today. I actually made a print. It was inspired by a photograph I took in San Francisco this week.
It’s a start!