See more of her work here:
What got you interested in the arts?
I’ve always been very hands on, in a way. As a child, during my free time or when I was supposed to be doing chores, I would always find myself drawing or finding things I could sculpt with. In high school, I got more into the arts and found my passion for the visual arts as well as the performing arts. I learned how to play guitar and wanted to pursue a career in it, but my fear for performing in front of others got in the way.
What drove you towards ceramics and photography?
It wasn’t until I transferred to ASU from Durham Technical Community College (DTCC) that I discovered ceramics and photography as the best way to express myself. Both of these were areas that I felt more comfortable and felt most passionate about expressing themes such as vulnerability or identity. They were like pieces of a puzzle, they just fit together.
What is your biggest inspiration?
For a while, every time that someone asked me “who is your favorite artist?” the first person that came to mind was Nick Cave. He’s not my only favorite, but I just love the interaction that his wearable pieces have with community and with the persons wearing his work. What I’m referring to specifically is his body of work called “Soundsuits.” I am captivated by the origin story of Cave's Soundsuits: in thinking about what it feels like to be discarded and dismissed, he noticed a twig on the ground that fit this description. After collecting and assembling twigs into a wearable sculpture, he found that the suit made sound. Because Cave is a artist/dancer/performer, it was exciting for me to see how he could take art out of the gallery context and turn it into a wearable outfit while connecting to the community as well.
What music do you listen to while you’re creating?
I have a lot of favorites, where do I even begin? One of my favorites is Lianne La Havas. She’s from the UK, I love her voice and the way that she plays guitar because I also play guitar, so I feel that connection. In general, I usually just hit shuffle on playlists online. I like to listen to a lot of Jazz, such as Bossa Nova, or Indie music.
What is it you want to say through your art?
My work is generally relating to vulnerability of self and accepting this vulnerability and embracing it. It is about accepting the little things of daily life. As far as identity goes, it’s interwoven with feeling vulnerable. It’s not something that’s comfortable, but it’s definitely something I embrace. Through my work, I’m able to not only express myself, but also find myself. I want to allow others to see themselves through the pieces in my work and express themselves through my visual representations.
Do you have any advice for other artists?
Since high school, it was a personal mission of mine to make people understand that art can be taken seriously. For a while every time I told someone I wanted to be an artist, it was so hard for me to even get those words out because of the stigma behind being an artist. I was always hesitant when talking to others about my career choice and was discouraged by others about pursuing this career, yet I have always felt passionate about doing it. To other artists, I advise them to recognize their passion and embrace it. Keep exploring and experimenting. One’s art form or ability to express oneself doesn’t come easily. I think it's very important for people that want to come into this career to know that it can be fun, but it’s also a lot of hard work. If you’re passionate about the work you’re doing, it’s not going to feel like a burden. It won’t be like you’re living to work, but rather you’re working to live. Work should not feel like something that’s dreadful, it’s something that you'll always want to come back to. I always feel refreshed every time I’m able to create a body of work that I feel is going in a good direction. Journaling and sketching are probably my most personal way of processing my work and I think it can work as an outlet for other artists as well.
What do you put in your sketchbook?
I like to write myself little questions and I like to mindmap off of them. I explore the meaning behind little phrases that I hear or questions that pop up about life. I write poetry or do a drawing that is based on what I write, or write around my drawings.
Mary Parker is Artist of the Month for May! She is a senior from Raleigh, NC and has an Alumni Ceramics show called Ten Years of Appalachian State Ceramics at the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum (BRAHM) later this month following graduation.
Follow Mary on Instagram: @marydeadtooth_
< See photos from the interview in the photo tab!
1. How long have your been doing pottery?
About three years now. The first clay class I took was a modeling and casting class and I fell in love with it. I took my first throwing class a year and a half ago and that's what I've been doing since.
2.What are your plans after graduation?
I'm going to Spain for the summer with the ceramics department. After that I plan to move to Asheville. I'd like to potentially be a potters assistant to start out and then work me way up to be able to do pottery for a living.
3. What is your biggest inspiration?
Ever since I was little, I've been obsessed with the pinup, which led to the idea of reclaiming female sexuality. When I was a kid my dad got me this book of photographs by Bunny Yeager, a pinup photographer and she's just really bad-ass. I've always been drawn to that vintage aesthetic, especially when it comes to the female body and these themes of reclaining female sexuality.
4. Would you classify your art as feminist?
That's what I'm trying to get across through my work through the language I've been using, like "reclaiming femininity." Ceramics itself has such a feminine history, so I think it's important to own it.
5. Tell us a little bit about your style.
Pink is my favorite color. I made this glaze that led to a happy accident. It was made by firing a pink glaze to a temperature that was too hot and it burned out some of the color. It made a flesh-tone, which i think works really well with my content.
6. What kind of marketing do you do?
I mostly do everything through Instagram and social media. I've been really fortunate with this collection because they've been selling really fast. Especially because they've caused some controversy, which was unexpected. I'm going to be a part of the Alumni show at BRAHM in late May, so I've been really busy creating. I've got mugs scattered all around the studio.
7. What is the Appalachian Ceramics Association at App like?
The community in the clay department is unlike any other I've experienced. It's such a positive feminine area. There are men, but I've never experienced such strong close-knit group of women that do art together. It's weir to call it the Clay association because it's really a bunch of friends that come together and try to get involved in the community. We have clay sales and this past march we went to Pittsburgh, PA for NCECA, the largest clay gathering in the country. It's really fulfilling to be in such a strong group.
8. Do you feel that this group inspires your art?
This collection started about the same time I got involved in this community. I've gained such a strong confidence being part of this group and I think that's what inspired me to do such an empowering collection.
9. Do you have an inspiring quote or moto?
I don't know if I have an inspirational quote, but I think it's just important to work hard and get in the studio as much as possible. If I have a free minute, I come to the studio. That's what I try to live by everyday. Throwing is like the opposite of riding a bike, if I don't throw everyday, I can tell. And make friends. Create art with your friends!
Special thanks to Art Management Organization members Faith Blume and Abbey Adams.
Felicia Sutton is April's Artist of the Month! Felicia is an artist from Charlotte, NC. This is her third year in college, but she is already a senior.
< See her artwork in our photo tab!
-What’s the biggest source of inspiration towards your art?
I'm very inspired by people and human interaction and trying to find ways to kind of traverse those interactions. I'm a psychology/anthropology double minor, so a lot of my inspiration comes from my passions in those fields.
-What supplies do you learn towards using?
When I paint I mostly use oil, but I'm kind of sentimental about oil paints I guess. I also do video work, and I do some ceramics right now. I also paint with a lot of other mediums. I sometimes do watercolor, and I've done some digital painting. So, it's kind of just more about what I want to say or what I want to make, and choosing the right medium to do that in, as opposed to having a favorite medium.
-Who is an artist that you look up to?
I feel like I have a lot. As far as performance goes, I love Marina Abramović. I think there are a lot of different painters that I'm inspired by. Jenny Saville is a major one. I know this sounds cheesy, but I love Vincent van Gogh just because he was so passionate.
-What types of themes can be applied to your work?
Because I'm interested in the way humans interact, I'm also interested in the way that we view each other and the implicit power structures within that. And then via that, how we can maybe rethink or combat them in certain cases. I can only really speak from my experience and a lot of my work kind of deals with my experiences with these things: being a woman, being queer, etc. It’s about my experiences within those realms of power dynamics between people and how to traverse those interactions.
-What kind of music do you listen to while you work?
I listen to a lot of music when I'm working. Sometimes I listen to singer-songwriter stuff. Frequently when I'm painting I listen to jazz I love Billie Holiday. I'm mostly really into Louis Armstrong, Muddy Waters, and Ella Fitzgerald. But, I definitely love Jazz when I'm painting.
-What advice would you give to an art student just starting out?
I think one of the hardest things with making work especially when it’s your work, if it’s your major or your job, is allowing yourself to screw-up and make "bad work". For me, that's one of the best ways to learn. If I was going to give someone advice, it would be to not self-judge your stuff so much and to let yourself screw up sometimes and try to learn from those instead of being discouraged by it.
-Are you currently working on any projects?
I'm working on a ceramic bust right now. It's kind of like a 3-D iteration of a painting I did 2 years ago. This is also the first piece that I made in a series that I'm working on more mentally than physically on my own time. It's about the story of Adam and Eve, so those are the main things on my mind right now.
Follow @feliciascribbles : https://www.instagram.com/feliciascribbles/?hl=en
Special thanks to Art Management Organization members Abbey Adams and Hannah Palladino
Each month, AMO will be promoting an Artist of the Month! A nominated ASU student artist will be chosen and featured on social media, Plemmons Student Union, the art department, and more!
This month's artist is photographer Harrison Cribb. He is from Winston-Salem and currently a Sophomore at ASU. We had the pleasure of sitting down with Harrison to find out more about him as an artist.
-What’s your biggest source of inspiration towards your art?
My biggest source definitely comes from other photographers. David Alan Harvey, he’s always been the biggest impression on me and my work. Also my friends always motivate me like Carly Owens and Nolan Sullivan. They’re both like constant inspirations to me. Other artists are Larry Towell and Henri Cartier-Bresson is another big one. Just the classic photographers. All the old-school guys have had a lot of influence on me.
-What’s your go to camera to shoot with?
That’s hard I have too many cameras. I have a Canon F-1 that’s a film camera, that’s my go to camera for sure.
-What does your work aim to say? What are some major themes used in your work?
I’m an anthropology major so I tend to focus on interplay from humans to humans, humans to the environment, whether that be natural or constructed. I’m very interested in how humans interact with one another and the environment around them. And I think that kind of shows through the mundane things I tend to photograph, that don’t really say a lot but may be a speck of something that you don’t normally think about.
-What kind of music do you enjoy listening to while you’re working on something?
Radio Head is a big one, Flaming Lips, sometimes I’ll listen to classical music. It depends on the mood I’m in.
-What advice would you give to art students that are starting out right now?
It’s definitely something you have to keep at day to day. Whether it be a camera or a paint brush or drawing, constant practice day in and day out. It’s not something you can just pick up every now and then. If you’re attracted towards it, you have to just keep doing it over and over again.
-What projects are you working on right now?
I don’t have necessarily a large project in mind right now. The stuff I photograph does tend to combine into a larger narrative because the things I see tend to relate to one another. Like something from last year or two years ago I can piece together to kind of form a narrative. As of right now I’m freely shooting. At the point I’m at right now I don’t necessarily see myself to be accomplished per say or like in a kind of mindset where I think I’m ready to pursue some type of long term project. Right now I’m just fine-tuning my skills as much as possible in order to apply that to some sort of long term narrative someday.
More of Harrison's work here: https://www.instagram.com/harrisoncribb/
Special thanks to Art Management Organization members Abbey Adams and Muzammil Syed.
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The Arts Management Organization or AMO, seeks to promote professionalism and networking within the arts fields by increasing awareness of the arts on Appalachian State University's campus and in the community.