Artist Interview: Georgia Costigan shares her inspirations and aspirations

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What direction is your work currently heading in? / Where do you want it to go?
I’m hoping to experiment more in my sea life paintings and develop a style that is completely my own. I also want to create a story using some of these paintings to publish them into children’s books.

What other artists or things (music, performances, family, friends, etc…) influence your work?

Scuba diving in particular has greatly influenced the paintings I’m currently working on. Most of my immediate family members and I became certified divers over the past seven years and our scuba trips have greatly impacted our lives. In my case, being exposed to all the marine life we’ve seen gave me the passion and drive to create fish and other sea creatures by painting using bright and vivid colors.

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

I was working on a painting that was frustrating me and my professor, Greg Scheckler, came up to me and asked why. I told him I hated it. I had no idea what colors to choose, how big my brush strokes should be, and how to make the painting look good overall. He simply told me to go for whatever your mind allows you to. Paint whatever happens and if it works, great! If not, then you can always go back and try again. Art is so forgiving!

What are your plans for after graduation?

After graduation, I’m planning to finish my Education degree and complete my student teaching next fall semester. I’m hoping to find a teaching job afterwards or possibly work at Kidspace in MASS MoCA. Hopefully the road of life will lead me in the right direction!

Do you plan on being a fulltime artist or do you plan on having a separate career along side of your artistic practices?

My dream is to become a Kindergarten teacher at some point in my life. If and when I achieve that dream, I will also spend time working on my art and try to master other techniques and possibly creating some of my own.

See more about Georgia 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.

 

Artist Interview: Jessica Wheeler on making art and where it fits into living life

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Why did you choose to be an artist?

Ever since I can remember, I have had an appreciation towards the arts. I loved making art, and learning about it. My art teacher on the other hand, would use my work as an example of what not to do. After years of being told that I wasn’t talented, I started to think that my teacher was right. My grandmother on the other hand thought otherwise, and gave me the confidence and skills that I needed to pursue art as a lifelong career.

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

I would like to incorporate natural elements into my work. For instance, using actual birch bark in some of my paintings. I haven’t decided how I am going to do this, but it is something that I would like to experiment with in the near future.

What are your plans for after graduation?

After spring graduation, I will have my Art Degree, and I will be returning to MCLA in the fall to finish my Education Degree. After, I plan on finding a teaching position, ideally 1st grade, and plan on attending graduate school. Even though, I will be a teacher, I still have aspirations to continue to paint, and exhibit my work.

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

Besides being an artist, I have been many of things. This year I was a Resident Advisor in Townhouses. It is a demanding job, but it was worth the experience. On top of being an RA, I am a substitute teacher for several school districts around the Berkshires. I love having the opportunity to go into a classroom and interact with children, it makes me excited to have my own classroom some day.

Do you plan on being a full-time artist or do you plan on having a separate career along side of your artistic practices?

I don’t plan on being a full-time artist. My other passion is teaching. I plan on being a teacher full-time, and an artist part-time. Being a teacher has its perks, because I will get weekends off, winter, spring, and summer breaks off to give my full and undivided attention to art making.

See more about Jessica 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.

MCLA’s senior art majors collaborate to curate: Elemental Connections

Elemental Connection focuses on combining ideas, showcasing how each artist portrays connecting elements throughout their body of work. It is a manifestation of metaphors and conceptualizations to entice reflection and provoke thought within the audience. Each of these themes are further explored as the artists express their individual elements across a multitude of subject matter, conveying literal, figurative, and metaphorical connections within their bodies of work.

Kayleigh Brand uses illustration and the written word to explore fantasy as a means of escape and explanation.

Georgia Costigan paints expressionistic fish developed from memories, images, and her imagination. She creates her own unique underwater world based on her experiences in the sea.

Justine Curly alters her personal interpretations of her zodiac signs and reshapes them into modern surrealistic caricatures.

Aria Hatfield employs the elements of dot and line designs to connect and create bonds of meaning for herself and the viewer. The connections within her pieces represent the way people interact with one another and create stories in their own lives.

Marli LaGrone’s work captures inherent movements in the world to convey the passing of time and the intangibility of our emotions.

Amy Modesti uses her sky sign to preserve memories through the study of weekly horoscopes, digital photographs, and the creation of realistically altered paintings

Stephanie VanBramer’s paintings juxtapose words and images together that spark conversations, moments of reflection, and provoke thought from the viewer.

William Reymond’s artwork explores the element of fire, its geometric and captivating nature, and how it can contain a mysterious world where many things are possible.

Jessica Wheeler connects her memories, creating impressionistic, detailed, layered birch trees that showcase the textures in nature and represent elements of her past.

Elemental Connections opens on April 24, 2014, with a receptions from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m that is free and open to the public, and runs through May 25th. MCLA Gallery 51, a program of MCLA’s Berkshire Cultural Resource Center, is 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.

Come see the show!