Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Shannyn Joy Potter - Sculpture

so close, detail. oak. 2010
Shannyn Joy Potter

Cult Status Gallery Featured Interview for
Exhibit Dates: 2/11/2011 through 3/4 2011
Opening Reception: Friday 2/11 7pm- 1AM

Shannyn Joy Potter
City/State: minneapolis, mn
Email: info@shannnjoypotter.com
Website: shannynjoypotter.com

Shannyn Joy Potter received her B.F.A. from College of Visual Arts in St. Paul, MN with a focus on drawing. Her interest turned to wood sculpture in the mid 90’s where it is still held today. She lives and works in Minneapolis where she exhibits sculpture and curates and organizes art events.

Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects?
My work consists of abstract, wood wall reliefs. They tend to be large, averaging around 8 feet for the horizontals lately, with the smaller ones around 4 feet. They're minimal in aesthetic and composition. I'm currently working on finishing one smaller vertical piece for the show VD11 (Cult Status Gallery), which I am also curating. It has been a huge, really fun, project that I've been working on for months. The show will be similar to other local events that we have had, (VD09, and Eleven on Eighteen of '08), multi-media art events. One significant difference is that we will be having the show at Cult Status instead of the Northrup King building this year. Erin Sayer's two story gallery is especially conducive for creating a separate space for video artist and music, which will make a great entrance to the show.

connect, detail. maple + steel. 2011
"What is Art?" is certainly too big of a question to ask here, but what do you hope your audience takes away from your art? What statement do you hope to make?
I'm not trying to make a statement with my work. I do it because I have to. I don't feel like myself without making it. I see beauty in nature, and life, and that has created a dialogue within me that is expressed through a material. That dialogue expands when the work is exposed and exhibited. I welcome whatever response that may arise as a result of that.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
My grandmother Lucille who told me, 'no matter what, never stop.' It haunts me when I feel lazy.
Tell me about your work space and your creative process?
I've been working out of the Northrup King Building (http://www.northrupkingbuilding.com/) in NE Minneapolis on and off for the last 20 years. My first studio space was there. Although I moved out of Minnesota twice, every time I've returned one of three spaces in row has opened up. I love that building. Regardless of the time of day, there's always someone working. Despite all of the working artists around, it's still quiet.

That is especially useful for me when I am starting a sculpture. I spent a lot of time, often in silence, often sitting on the floor, just looking at a roughed planed board. I look until the composition becomes clear, which may take hours or months. The next phase is the subtraction of material through chiseling, grinding and sanding. Then layers are added. I often use stains, paints, venetian plaster, and lately have been incorporating steel wires, plates and rods, through and around. I continue adding and removing until the piece is quiet, or at least resolved.

unfold, detail. elm. 2011

Who are some of the Minnesota artists you enjoy?
I've always admired the work of sculptor and now public artist Randy Walker (http://www.randywalkerarts.com/index.htm). Robert Brown is also a sculptor who has had me in awe for years but is fairly private about his work. Then also you must also look to everyone who is in VD11. Gina Louise (http://www.divergentlayers.com/) does amazing things with pom pom's. Caroline Keefe (http://carolinekeefesculpture.blogspot.com/) has changed the way I see felt. Whitney Tuthill's abstract ceramics are stunning. John Erste's (http://www.kierans.com/Erste/Erste-Resume.htm) twisted paintings will burn in your brain. Tara Costello (http://bcexhibitions.com/costello.html) paintings must be experienced. So many more, I know I am forgetting.

If I were to follow you around to see art in Minnesota, which places would we go? What would we see?
Soap Factory is one the best galleries by far. They're always showing a good range of fresh work. I also appreciate Burnett Gallery at the Chambers Hotel. The MAEP gallery at the MIA is a local treasure. I try to attend openings at the Circa Gallery, Rosalux, Midway Contempory Art, Fox Tax, the SOO Gallery and the Highpoint Center for Printmaking. As well as the big shows at the wonderful Walker and the Weisman. There's so many great art venues here, small and large.

one, detail. cedar + steel. 2009
Where do you go online for good art resources, whether to find a new artist, or to see what is going on in the art world locally and otherwise?
I tend to follow links through Twitter which often tends to lead from one link to another. I regularly visit the NY times art section often on my phone, and the Huffington Posts arts. Facebook has also been really useful for sharing and finding out about local events as well.

relent, detail. oak + steel. 2010
Do you have any exhibits to promote in the near future?
Yes, very, very soon VD11, http://www.vd11.com/ will be happening. Opening reception will be Friday, February 11th, 2011 7pm at Cult Status Gallery at 2913 Harriet Ave. S. Mpls. Then Art-A-Whirl is right around the corner in May in Northeast Mpls.

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