With the opening of the Cherry Creek Arts Festival this weekend, we wanted to highlight the Colorado born and raised, Anna Charney.
Anna recently received her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the School of The Art Institute of Chicago with a focus in Painting and Drawing. Currently, She is living and working in her hometown of Denver, Colorado, and will be exhibiting at the Cherry Creek Arts Festival July 1-4 as a Mixed Media artist, booth #171 – be sure to check it out!
In this video by Eric Schwartz, learn about Anna’s growth as an artist so far, how she came to where she is now, and what her art process includes. WATCH IT HERE
PERSPECTIVE: Who are you and what do you do?
ANNA: My name is Anna Charney and I am an artist – currently living and working in Denver, Colorado. I was born and raised here, but moved to Chicago in the fall of 2012 to go to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. I’ve been back in Denver working in my studio for just over two months now and have been developing a large body of acrylic paintings to show at CCAF this summer. I’m really excited about my new body of work and have been having a blast busting it all out in my Denver studio!
Besides being a passionate and dedicated artist, I’m also a great traveler and a regular concert go-er. Travel has been so important and influential to me throughout my whole life and I’ve continued to seek out new and foreign experiences as a young adult. I spent the first couple months of this year teaching art and English in Peru and am planning an extended trip to Thailand at the end of this summer.
PERSPECTIVE: Why do you do what you do?
ANNA: I love everything about painting and all the things in the art world that accompany it. We’re all told to pursue a career where you love what you do because then you’ll wake up everyday and work won’t feel like work – well, that’s exactly what I’m going for! For the past few months I’ve been working in the studio here in Denver it doesn’t feel like work at all, I love what I do and am happy to be there all the time.
PERSPECTIVE: How do you work?
ANNA: I use a large variety of image making tools/processes and media in my work. Although almost everything I am doing now is a painting, I am educated in several forms of art and have great interest in printmaking – I’ve used screenprinting extensively in mixed media paintings throughout my time as an undergrad at SAIC and it’s had a great affect on how I make work now. I use collage (of my own screenprints) in some of my works. A large majority of my more recent body of work that I’ve made since moving back to Denver, is made using freehand drawing, and also drawing on photoshop, where I then project my patterns and trace them onto my canvases. I use acrylic paint and airbrush.
I work in my studio in my home right now – always with a mug of hot tea and loud music or a radio podcast playing in the background.
PERSPECTIVE: What work do you most enjoy doing?
ANNA: My artistic process is very labor intensive, especially including the airbrush technique that I use. It requires a lot of masking and stenciling, so I spend hours tracing and cutting many shapes or dots, then airbrushing over them and peeling off the tape after. Although it takes a long time to get to this point, the taking off of the stencils and revealing of the image is definitely my favorite part. It’s incredibly satisfying to all of a sudden see all of my hard work pay off.
PERSPECTIVE: Who is your favorite artist?
ANNA: Right now my absolute favorite artist is Felipe Pantone – he’s a graffiti artist/painter/sculptor/installation artist who is based in Spain. Other favorites include Crystal Wagner, Clark Goolsby, Geoffrey Todd Smith, and of course, Bridget Riley.
P: What inspires you?
A: All of my work is driven by my interest in optical art and illusions or tricks of the eye.
P: What is your dream project?
A: I don’t think I could yet explain the absolute dream project, but I am very intrigued by installation work right now. For my thesis project for my BFA in the fall, I did a painting installation called Cybercycling (which you can see on my website: www.annacharneyart.com), it was my first installation ever and was really exciting for me. This is definitely the direction that I want my work to grow in. Right now I’m imagining a lot more installation pieces, and if I get to dream big, it’ll be the bigger the better. Since my work is all about an immersive and overwhelming viewing experience, that is so much more powerful at a greater scale.
P: Do you have any advice for new or young art collectors?
A: My best advice for new or young art collectors would be to scout out young and promising new artists and support them early in their careers.
You can view more of Anna’s work on her website, www.annacharneyart.com
Visit Anna’s booth (#171) at this year’s Cherry Creek Arts Festival!