City/State: Minneapolis, MN
MNartist.org profile: http://mnartists.org/artistHome.do?rid=180043
Stephanie Glaros is an Art Director and Photographer based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A.
Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects?
I’m a magazine art director by day, but my first love is photography. The medium satisfies my desire to share the way I see things, and I try to present my subjects as naturally as possible. The majority of my subject matter is found spontaneously, so I carry my camera with me almost everywhere I go.
Recently, I’ve begun documenting the interesting people who I encounter in my everyday life. In the past, I’ve mostly photographed objects and places I find interesting (and I still do), but my involvement with Wing Young Huie’s photo salon propelled me into the realm of documentary photography. It’s something that has taken me completely out of my comfort zone, and has enabled me to face my fears and really stretch my artistic muscles. I live in the Warehouse District of downtown Minneapolis, where many different “types” of people intersect: 9-5 office workers, nightclubbers, sex workers, baseball tourists, homeless, and hipsters. By photographing people how and where I find them, I am attempting to share my specific viewpoint within my environment.
The project I’m currently focused on is called “The Girls Next Door” (http://jpgmag.com/stories/16143). I live next door to a strip club and across the street from Sexworld, so I encounter the girls who work there on a daily basis. As a feminist, my impression of the sex industry had changed dramatically since I began photographing and speaking to these women.
"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?
The statement I hope to make with “The Girls Next Door” is that just because a person takes their clothes off at work doesn’t mean they don’t deserve respect. I think feminists should empower all women to decide for themselves what choices are right for them, not just the women whose choices they agree with. Sex work has always been around, and is not going away anytime soon, so the question is, how do we deal with it as a society?
What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
I had the honor of meeting the great illustrator and designer, Milton Glaser, when I was in school for graphic design. He said “Don’t be afraid to do something you’ve never done,” and it’s become my mantra. I learn more by trying new things than I do from staying where everything is safe and familiar.
Tell me about your work space and your creative process?
I live in a simple loft space with my artist husband, Corey McNally (http://www.blogger.com/www.myinvisiblefriends.com), and we are lucky to have lots of beautiful natural light. I am currently working on creating a home photo studio where I can do more formal portraiture. My creative process is simple: Get out there and shoot!
Who are some of the Minnesota artists you enjoy?
My Minnesota photo heroes are Wing Young Huie (http://www.wingyounghuie.com/) and Alec Soth (http://www.alecsoth.com/).
If I were to follow you around to see art in Minnesota, which places would we go? What would we see?
I find art in my everyday surroundings, particularly the urban environment. I enjoy finding beauty in unexpected places. The most decrepit and neglected spaces are usually the ones I find most compelling. So if you followed me around, you would probably think I am weird (and you’d be correct).
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’m a magazine art director by day, and I hire a lot of illustrators, so when I’m looking for artists, I go to Illustrationmundo first (http://www.illustrationmundo.com/). When I want to find great contemporary photographers, I check the blog Mull It Over (http://www.mullitover.cc/) or another one called Conscientious (www.jmcolberg.com/weblog).
Do you have any exhibits to promote in the near future?
Yes, I’m extremely excited to have had one of my photos from “The Girls Next Door” series chosen as part of MPLS Photo Center’s “Woman as Photographer: Documenting Life as a Woman” exhibit (http://www.mplsphotocenter.com/). The opening is March 11, 2011.
What can we expect to see from you in the future?
I plan to continue expanding my “Girls Next Door” project, and build upon another project I call “Minneapolis Strangers,” where I take portraits of strangers on the street (http://jpgmag.com/stories/16323). Thanks for looking at my work!