Hi Anne, I’m so excited to get the chance to learn more about you and your work as a teaching artist! Let’s dive right in, can you tell us a little about your background and what art form you teach?
My background and the art forms I teach are painting and wire sculpture. I grew up in a small town painting wildlife, then, I moved to Minneapolis to go to school at MCAD. It was there that I learned what more art could be. The possibilities were endless. I explored abstract art especially in painting all through college. After graduating, I started my own business making art jewelry, colorful wire sculpture, and lamps.
When did you first become interested in the arts? Who were some of your influences?
I became interested in the arts at a very young age. My mother recalls me climbing out of my crib to color/draw in the middle of the night, by the light of the fish tank, on the floor in the kitchen. She and my dad always encouraged art endeavors of any kind. Another influence was my high school art teacher, Marge Johnson, she helped me believe that I could really be an artist.
You create both 2D and 3D artwork, is one more difficult than the other? Is the process the same for working in both or does it change?
They each have their own set of challenges, but I think I put more pressure on myself with painting, which really just means I make it harder than it has to be! The process of creating starts out the same; choosing subject matter that I love, deciding on a palette or mood that I would like to communicate, and then getting all the materials ready to go. In my sculpture, that part is a bit more involved because I need to mix and pour a palette of paint and let it dry first. So, to sum up, painting is mentally and technically harder, but sculpture is physically harder.
What is the best thing about teaching art? What is the best thing about creating your own art?
The best thing about teaching art is being present for the moment when a student turns a corner and their art work comes alive! When they are beaming with pride. The story that accompanies the piece is equally important. In my own work, it is when time drops away.
What do you think is the most valuable thing creating visual art can teach someone?
The most valuable thing creating can do is open a door for personal connection. The sharing, listening and exchanging of ideas is where great learning takes place.
What do you see as the benefits of working in Minnesota’s art community?
Minnesota’s art community is vibrant and alive. It is an ever-changing landscape of new young artists and well-established seasoned artists from way back. Many Minnesotans are from distant lands while some of us have only moved here from a neighboring state. We continue to be the melting pot America is famous for. As a result, our art work here in Minnesota comes in so many forms, rich and full of life, with a million stories to tell.
You have been on the COMPAS roster since 2009, why did you want to be a part of COMPAS?
COMPAS really is that wonderful art community I described earlier. It is important to me to be part of something greater than myself. I continue to be very proud of being a COMPAS Teaching Artist.
How do you practice creativity in your everyday life?
Actually, teaching and preparing for teaching (although not everyday) is a way that my brain gets practice thinking of new ways to see or approach a new problem.
Dancing, painting, drawing, listening to music, seeing shapes, being quiet, cooking, gardening, trying something new, are all ways I practice being creative.