Monday, April 25, 2011

Stephanie Guidera - Painter

Party Girl, Oil on Canvas 28” x 24”
Stephanie Guidera

Stephanie Guidera

Stephanie Guidera is a artist, dreamer, and full time worker (on the side of course). Spending most her childhood in a Roseville MN rambler, she moved 6 miles South East to get her BA in Studio Art from Concordia University, St Paul, and has remained part of the Twin Cities art community ever since. Although there has been little movement in residence, she travels as much as possible to try to catch that oh so elusive worldly perspective.

Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects?
I would say I’m an expressionistic oil painter. People have always fascinated me, especially strangers. In the past, most of my work has been based on these strangers. I would snap a picture or do a quick sketch of a woman on the bus or a boy playing in the street, and then make up a complete life for them. I’d give them a name, personality and story, and paint it. This concept still intrigues me, and I’m sure I’ll come back to it in some way, but currently I’m working on a more posed and premeditated portrait. I’m working on a set of current stereotypes with either poses or compositions based on the portraits of history. I’m trying to portray the individual sameness that we have time after time, culture to culture. Dress it up a little differently, but it boils down to the same thing.

The other way in which I’m departing from earlier work is that I’m using the same model for all my pieces in this series. Regardless of the stereotype’s physicality, I want to illustrate the idea of limitless opportunities in America, by showing anyone can be anyone. It probably makes more sense with visual aides (for those and explanations of each piece, please see my blog:

Portrait of the Model, Oil on Canvas 11”x14”

"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?
Art is communication. It is exploration. When we’re stagnant, we’re designing, not creating. I think that learning, growing, and speaking visually is the goal. Finding a way to communicate and really reach people across whatever divides is incredibly difficult, but it is crucial.

I would hope that my art makes people feel something, anything really. I definitely judge an art show on if I left the same as I entered. Whatever the emotion or knowledge I gained, it makes the work successful. I hope for my work to have this impact on people.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
A wonderful professor told me to live with my art. Don’t just come check in for an hour and paint or draw, etc. But live it. For me the leap was when I was doing art for hours on end in my limited free time, not just as homework. Then the obsession began….

The Gamer, Oil on Canvas 30” x 30”

Tell me about your work space and your creative process?
I’m currently residing in The Tilsner building in Lowertown (St. Paul) which enables me to create where I live. This has been incredibly convenient and wonderful. I don’t need too much space to work, but what I do need is music (Radiohead is my favorite painting companion), good lighting, and whatever references I’m using for the piece.

I paint in layers, starting with loose wash-like paint and slowly adding details and undertones. After each layer dries, it’s like starting a whole new painting. This technique is the only one I know, working slowly and meticulously until I feel right about it.

Who are some of the Minnesota artists you enjoy?
Alonso Sierralta
Lisa Loudon
Luke Hillestad
Genevieve Mariani
Kara Hendershot
Hilary Lund and Emilie Hitch

The Profile Pic, Oil on Canvas 20” x 24”

If I were to follow you around to see art in Minnesota, which places would we go? What would we see?
I think the best art in St Paul is in the artist lofts. It’s really a wonderful experience to live and work down here, The Tilsner and The Northern next door never disappoint, and The Carlton Lofts have some very diverse and talented residents as well. I’d also definitely suggest The Soap Factory in Minneapolis. My favorite spot for gallery/studio exploration, however, is NE Minneapolis. The countless studios there, as well as Rogue Buddha and Altered Esthetics are great places to start!

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?
Juxtapose ( is my favorite place to view new artists/projects.
For events and resources in the Twin Cities, I’m a huge fan of Springboard for the Arts ( it’s a wonderful and very valuable resource for our area!

The Intellectual, Oil on Canvas 24” x 30”

Do you have any exhibits to promote in the near future?
St Paul Art Crawl – April 29-May 1, 2011
The Tillsner Building #506
Lowertown St. Paul

No comments: