Interview with Anna Charney

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

 

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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.

Thanks, Anna!
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!

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Interview with Lynn Whipple

Last week, Cherry Creek Arts Festival had their kickoff party in celebration of this year’s event AND commemorative poster artist Lynn Whipple. Between poster signings and preparing for the arts festival, we asked Lynn a few questions and really get to know this year’s poster artist!

Lynn Whipple is a full time artist, who favors collage/mixed media and painting.

From her website:

“I am deeply grateful to live my life as an artist. Play and discovery are my dearest and most constant companions. There are a zillion tiny challenges in each art making experience, and so often I find, just as many small, sweet victories. Without a doubt, living creatively is the most enjoyable and satisfying game I know.”

PERSPECTIVE: First question is.. Easy? Please share with us what you do, and why you do it.
LW: 
My name is Lynn Whipple and I am a visual artist and creativity teacher. I love what I do!! I paint, draw, write, work with collage and generally get to experiment and make interesting combinations out of color, line, shape and mark! It is creative play, the thing I enjoy most.

PERSPECTIVE: How do you work?
LW:
When I am not outside drawing or painting, I go to my studio which is a big warehouse that I share with my husband and 20 other artists called McraeArtStudios.com I have a big messy space with dozens of paintings and drawings going at the same time. There are loads of interesting things pinned up on my walls that I find inspiring. I start with layers of paint, then charcoal drawing, then more paint, more drawing….. you build a surface and the imagery goes on top.

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Photo of Lynn’s Studio

P: How’d you get to where you are today? What’s your background?
LW: 
I spent many years working at Nickelodeon Studios making children’s television. I worked every job in the Art Department, from Prop Person, to Scenic Painter, to Set Decorator to Art Director.

P: What?! Nickelodeon! Pretty sure that’s every kid’s dream at some point. With so much experience, what work do you most enjoying doing?
LW: 
I love it all! I love color, spattering paint, drawing, abstracting forms, designing. I also love teaching and encouraging others to “move their hands” so they can enjoy their own creativity.

P: Who is YOUR favorite artist?
LW:
Good one… I am a huge fan of Tim Hawkinson and of Andy Goldsworthy 

P: With so much collaboration between drawing, collage, painting, etc. we have to ask, what inspires you?
LW: 
Nature, music, words, other artists, flavors, colors, flowers, travel

P: What would be your dream project?
LW: 
Working really large and loose and designing interactive artwork that can allow folks to be a part of it. I would love for anyone who came across the work to be able to participate in some way that they can see the effects of their ideas happen immediately. To let them be engaged in the creative act as well.

P: Final Question…Do you have any advice for new or young art collectors?
LW: 
Go for what speaks to you. Something that sparks your interest, that makes you lean in and appreciate or learn…. Go for what feels right and excites your brain.

Lynn was selected at this year’s 2016 Cherry Creek Arts Festival Commemorative Poster Artist. Her prints/commemorative posters of her piece, titled “Wild Fresh Flowers” is available available at the Cherry Creek Art Festival’s “Art Shop”– Enjoy and buy art from Arts Festival artists, as well as our popular annual posters! www.CherryArtShop.org

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Interview with Nikki Nation

We took a few quick moments out of Nikki’s day to ask a few questions before we join her at her studio on May 15th for the first ever PERSPECTIVE: Shift jewelry edition.
Nikki is a full time jewelry artist/bench jeweler here in Colorado.
From her website:

Nikki has always had a strong interest in jewelry and body adornment from a young age. As a child she would create jewelry using a variety of materials and found objects. She found inspiration while exploring her grandmother’s jewelry collection,  from the different styles, materials, patterns, and shapes of every unique piece.

While studying Interior Design in college, she took a metalsmithing class and fell in love. She switched her area of focus  and in 2006 recieved her BFA in Jewelry & Metalsmithing.

eb951b_d1a85a4b8a9248bfb16688a9a5246dc7PERSPECTIVE: This is a really broad question, but why do you do what you do?
NIKKI: I don’t quite know how to answer this…. I guess I’ve always been creative and I’ve explored many creative outlets. After trying multiple mediums and art forms, I found that metalsmithing was the best way for me to communicate my ideas and to express myself. I really enjoy using techniques, tools, and metals that have been used for thousands of years. 
 
PERSPECTIVE: How do you work?
NIKKI: I tend to work a little different than some artists. I don’t really sketch or come up with full collections and lines based on one thing that inspires me. I normally start by working with metal in the raw form. While working on a piece, I normally get an idea. From there I sketch it out, and then go back to it later when I have time. I have stacks of designs and ideas and photos on my phone from “sketching” out with metal pieces that I can later reference. In the end everything has a cohesive feel, but comes from an unplanned place. I normally think of one of a kind pieces while working on production work. I also randomly get ideas in inconvenient places such as while driving or when I’m out being active.  
 P: How’d you get to where you are today? What’s your background?
N: I received my BFA in Jewelry & Metalsmithing in undergraduate school, and after graduation went on to manage a jewelry store, teach at multiple non-profit arts organizations, and I started figuring out a production line. A few years out of college I moved to Colorado and took a unplanned break from making and teaching. So jewelry in general. I started to pursue a Master’s degree in Arts Administration, and after getting into that decided that I really missed making jewelry. I found a new job as a bench jeweler for a small local jewelry company, and that inspired me to get back into jewelry. I started renting a studio space in River North Arts District, and worked on developing some new ideas. I finished my Master’s last summer and from there I launched my business and I pretty much make jewelry full time. I do still work a few days a week as a bench jeweler for someone else, and I also run my own business on the opposite days.

 

P: Congrats on getting your master’s! That’s a HUGE accomplishment! With so much experience, what work do you most enjoying doing?
N: My favorite thing is making one-of-a-kind statement pieces where I can experiment with my ideas on a slightly larger scale. 

 

P: Who is your favorite artist?
N: This is a tough question. I don’t really have one favorite. I would say Piet Mondrian, Mark Ryden, SWOON, and Richard Serra, Alexander Calder, Victor Vasarely, and Bridget Riley to name a few. 

 

P: As we discussed a little earlier, your inspiration comes from a lot of different places, but we’re still going to ask, what inspires you?
N: Another hard question, since there are so many things that do! I think I’m really inspired being around other artists who work in a variety of mediums and medias, and are really pursuing a full time career. It’s really inspirational to be around such a strong support group across the country.  Other things that I draw inspiration from are geometry, industrial spaces and landscapes, patterns, textures, and nature. 

 

P: Final question… What is your dream project?
N: One dream project is be collaborating with another artist, or a few artists, and creating a body of work that is left open to play. Nothing being preplanned. Another would be creating one of a kind pieces, or a body of work and presenting it for a museum exhibition. 

 

You can learn more about Nikki by visiting her website or her Facebook page.
Meet Nikki in person on May 15th and make your own jewelry at PERSPECTIVE: Shift – Jewelry Edition