A Look Back at 2016’s Artists and Their Studios
It would be no exaggeration to say that 2016 has been a roller coaster of surprising loops and turns at every corner. But, as always, in all the hubbub we can find organization among the chaos. Through the In The Studio Artist Interview Series we have been introduced to a spectrum of creatives in Charleston, Gatlinburg, New York and NC. These 15 artists work in a range of media from ceramics artists, painters, jewelry makers, and taxidermists to name only a handful. In every studio, we learn something new about the creative process through the eyes of the artists and their innovative, unconventional, or surprisingly conventional ways they craft the spaces they call home. Read on for some of this year’s highlights as you take a stroll through the 2016 Artist Studio Round Up.
“It’s a benefit of working from home, getting to be around things that inspire me, including my dogs and my collection of taxidermy and artwork.” – Becca Barnet
“I realized in my 30’s that I had been one my whole life.” – Joanne Davis-Woods on when she realized she was an artist
“I feel as though an awakening has begun in me as an artist since the day I moved in. I wish I had known what playing well with others was like years ago.” – Stephen Elliott Webb on working at Redux
“It all evolved organically, my new studio was so different than my past studio, so it did not influence my new space; a new vision, a new label, a new space – liberating!” – Leigh Magar
“I do have a little altar and I keep several talismans which have meaning to me and tiny objects d’art I like, the green daughter goddess, Tara, and fabric patterns designed by William Morris. I also hang quotes that represent concepts I want to digest. It’s just a little corner but it has lots of meaning for me. I keep fresh flowers around, too.” – Mary Carol Koester on the inspirational oddities in her studio
“I have a lot of rocks and books and records, but this is part of my journey. It’s my home so none of it overwhelms me. I like to be reminded of my family and my past, even if it’s painful.” – Lala Abaddon
“I didn’t know I was an artist until maybe last year. It’s always a question in my mind, but lately I stopped judging whether I am an artist based on my output and realized that it’s a state of mind and a permanent fixed part of my existence.” – Tim Hussey
“Limitations and discipline are essential to success more in the outside world in terms of exhibiting. In the studio I have a pretty focused aesthetic so projects are paused immediately when I see them going a different direction than the original intent.” – Andrew Guenther on limitations to fuel the creative process
“I use true classical dyes and processes that have been used to color fabric throughout history. The plants I use In my process are ones that have been proven over time to to age beautifully and with integrity. It is also important that the body of work I leave behind was made without harming the planet.” – Barbara Zaretsky on leaving behind a legacy
“I felt like people saw me as an artist, or the guy who made art, from an early stage, but I didn’t fully embrace that until I went to Italy for the first time. It was a gut punch in a good way.” – Case Jernigan
“Everything is in sight. I find materials to be very inspiring and having them in sight is important. In fact, when designing the space for the fiber studio at the college I teach at, I specifically requested yarn shelving that was visible and accessible from all locations of the room. ” – Amy Putansu on studio organization
“I have always found comfort in objects, and that’s a huge part of why I make functional pottery. I collect vintage melamine dinnerware which I have in my studio and find constant inspiration in. I am a sucker for old rusted tin and metal objects. These objects have such an incredible embedded history through its weathered surface, a surface that I seek within my own work.” – Austin Riddle
“I don’t like to limit myself to any certain material, but I typically work with a lot of paper, fabric, and other easily accessible and relatively inexpensive supplies. I try to be conscious of my footprint when I make, so I really enjoy reusing things and turning ordinary found objects into something a little extra-ordinary. ” – Emily Schubert
“I like covering my working surfaces in butcher paper and then writing notes and lists on the paper. I can also section off pieces on different parts of the paper and write notes or sketch around the piece. ” – Maia Lepo on keeping the process in check
“I do tend to wander for two or three days before getting to work when I have been away from the studio. I call it the “dog bed-making process” – circling several times before settling in!” – Lese Corrigan on personal artistic rituals
Each studio visit leaves us with a new perspective and appreciation for artists and their work. As 2016 comes to a close it is wonderful to be able to look back at the wonderful artists who were so gracious with their time and space. This compassion and energy excites me for the studio visits to come in 2017. Stay tuned for even more inspirational artists as we gear up for the In The Studio Artist Interview Series for 2017.
Know of an artist that you think should be featured in the new year? Perhaps it’s you! If so, drop me a line. And, of course, happy holidays and see you in the New Year!