Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Altered Esthetics Featured Interview - Katie Parr - Photographer

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Katie Parr

Altered Esthetics presents "Flesh and Form,"
Artists depict what it means to posses, exists, and appear in human form.
Show runs from 3/31/2011 - 4/21/2011

Katie Parr
Saint Paul, MN
Email: parr.k11@gmail.com
Website: www.katieparr.com
MNartist.org profile: www.mnartists.org/Katie__Parr

I currently reside in Saint Paul and will be graduating from the College of Visual Arts in May with a degree in photography.

Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects?
My work typically centers on emotional states of being, and ranges from traditional photographic prints to more experimental photographic installations. The project I am currently working on is for my senior thesis exhibition. This project is by far the most self-directed project I’ve had, and it’s a bit more personal than any of my previous work, as I’m photographing in my personal space, focusing on loneliness and self-isolation.

I’m also using a more experimental display and printing techniques to create more of an installation with this body of work. My pieces will be printed on plexi-glass coated in resin and suspended from the ceiling. I want to get away from more traditional photographic displays and create a body of work that really confronts my viewer.

"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 want my audience to think critically about the topic that I have presented them with. I’m not looking to answer big questions or give solutions, I simply want to offer my work as a springboard for contemplation and discussion.

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What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
The best advice I’ve been given came from my high school ceramics teacher. She told us that “there are no mistakes in art, just opportunities.”

From then on, I’ve been able to look at a piece of work that I may have considered a “mistake” and think of it as a learning experience. It’s really just information that can only make my work stronger and more successful in the future. I also find it’s much more positive to think of your work in that sense. Artists can be their own worst critics; it’s healthy to give your self a break and view your work as an ever-evolving process, not something that’s a cut and dry success or failure.

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Tell me about your workspace and your creative process?
My workspace is my apartment combined with the darkroom facilities at school. Hopefully after I graduate I can find a space of my own and let my dining room actually be a dining room.

I carry a sketchbook with me at all times. I am constantly writing, and this allows me to record any and every thought or idea that pops into my head. Much of the basis of my work comes from personal experiences, so having a sketchbook as a constant companion gives me the chance to record those experiences and memories before I forget them.

I also like to paste images I find interesting in with my writing as inspiration. I’m also frequently on the Internet researching other artists and finding work that appeals to me. If I really like their work I’ll buy their book if they’ve published one. As a photographer I find it helpful to be surrounded by images, so I enjoy purchasing art books to use as inspiration or reference.

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Who are some of the Minnesota artists you enjoy?

Alec Soth : www.alecsoth.com
Ellen Skoro: www.ellenfitzgerald.net
Carrie Thompson: www.carriethompson.com
Rhea Papppas: www.rheapappas.com
Justin Newhall: www.justinnewhall.com
Joshua Carter: www.joshuajamescarter.com
Todd Deutsch: www.todddeutsch.com

If I were to follow you around to see art in Minnesota, which places would we go? What would we see?
I’d hit up Altered Esthetics, Franklin Art Works, Form and Content Gallery and the Soap Factory for starters. I also think it’s important to see what’s coming out of school, so I would make a trip to the MCAD gallery, Katharine Nash Gallery, and the College of Visual Arts gallery. It’s exciting to see what’s fresh and new, and important to support those with brand new careers.

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 big fan of City Pages. I also find www.mplsart.com to be very helpful because it has listings for everything and anything. I’ve found that there is no shortage of events going on in the Twin Cities, and there is something to fit everyone’s taste.

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Do you have any exhibits to promote in the near future?
I have a few exhibitions opening in the near future, which are:

"Flesh and Form" Altered Esthetics, opens April 1

"Momentum" A to Z Gallery, opens May 6

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