Artist Interview: Stephanie VanBramer on pursuing art and the direction she’s heading in

312946_3793087220324_578215685_n                 VANBRAMER_Still

1. Why did you choose to be an artist?

I chose to follow the art path because I was never told not to. Instead, I was encouraged by the people around me to keep pursuing the visual arts. Some aspiring artists aren’t so fortunate. I would like to think that I would have stuck with art regardless, but with support from my family, friends, and educators, I have really been able to do what love, which is art. I have put so much time, energy, and practice into making art and developing skills that it wouldn’t make sense for me to give it all up now.

2. What direction is your work currently heading in? / Where do you want it to go?

I currently use three different elements in my painting: imagery, text, and newspaper. I like to combine and explore what happens when different imagery is paired with specific text and how that can potentially create stories or start conversations among viewers. I aspire to make pieces that make viewers stop and think about what they are really seeing, and that requires them to be willing to dig through the layers that I present to them. From this, I hope that they can eventually develop their own meanings from my work and come to understand how the relationship between words and images can shape the messages. I would like to continue on this path because I think that there is still a lot for me to explore.

3. What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?

My mom once told me to ‘never settle’ and now that’s something I always remember every now and then. At the time she said it, it didn’t strike me as advice, but thinking about it now, it has been one of the most remembered lessons I have learned from my parents. If you feel like you’re settling, than you probably are and I believe that you should strive for and strive to be the best you can.

4. What other jobs have you done other than being an artist?

Other than working on my own art, I have interned at the Norman Rockwell Museum and at IS183 Art School of the Berkshires. Norman Rockwell is one of my favorite artists and being around his work was constantly inspiring. IS183 allowed me to experience more of the art education world and was a big help for me in realizing what type of career path I want to travel down. Both jobs were great opportunities and I am happy to have been a part of both organizations.

5. Is there a technique or medium that you haven’t tried but want to?

One thing that I want to do with my artwork is try it on a bigger scale. My current work consist of medium and smaller size pieces and it would be interesting to see what I can do with a larger canvas or surface.

 

See more about Stephanie here. And be sure to check out her work in Elemental Connections: MCLA’s Senior Art Show!

Opening reception Thursday April 24th from 5pm to 7pm. Elemental Connections runs through May 25th  at MCLA Gallery 51, open daily, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call the Gallery at 413-664-8718, or go to www.mcla.edu/gallery51.

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