Sunday, July 15, 2012

Barbara Gilhooly - Painter - Minnesota-ExPat

Barbara Gilhooly
MN to Fort Collins, CO

Barbara Gilhooly
Location: Fort Collins, CO

Why did you leave Minnesota?
I moved for a change and for love. It’s an advantage to be self employed, I can work anywhere.  I knew the area from when I went to Grad school here for my MFA degree.

Tell me about your new city of residence?
Fort Collins, CO is a college town, set up against the foothills and has beautiful weather, sunshine 300 plus days a year. And very low humidity!  It’s an hour and a half north of Denver.

How has your art changed since moving from Minnesota?
I have been more productive in some respects due to my show schedule.  Since arriving in August of 2010, I have had 2 solo exhibits each year and several group shows. I also am buying pre-made birch panels instead of building my own from scrounging for wood or using heavy plywood.  Due to the need to ship more work back and forth to Minneapolis, I need to have panels that weigh less. This has been a great boost in time saved, as well.  

A friend of mine used to joke that I should sell my work by the pound!  The heavy panels are phased out.  My Imagery has evolved and I am working on a series of cityscapes and bridges.  After living in downtown St. Paul for 21 years surrounded by the patterns and bridges of the city I am finding inspiration and exploring these memories in my work.

If you come back to Minnesota for one weekend and you need to see your old favorite places, where would you go to see art?

Mostly Circa Gallery and Gallery 360, because I am represented at both and love to see what their other artists are doing.  MCAD, the MIA and the Walker are all frequent spots.

Who are some of your favorite artists still living in Minnesota?

If you could transplant one aspect of the Minnesota arts community home with you, what would it be?

The Art Crawls. Living in the Lowertown area for 20 plus years allowed me to grow my career and stay in touch with collectors and friends.  Ft Collins has a Studio Tour in June and my partner and I are hosting our Annual “Hanna-Hooly Holiday Open House” in December. It’s smaller, but I’m hopeful for growth over the years. 

However, I also see that because of the art crawls the galleries in the Twin Cities have decreased.  I was fortunate to participate in both the crawls and still am in the galleries of Minneapolis.  In comparison, I was surprised at how much the Denver gallery scene has grown since I had been here in Grad school.  They do not have the wonderful artist loft/living studio spaces like in MN and therefore the artwalks are run through the gallery districts.

What has been going on for you recently?
In May 2012, I had my 2nd solo exhibit in Denver, CO. at 44T Artspace and will be up through June.

Then in Minneapolis, I have a solo show at Gallery 360, opening Nov 10, 2012.

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