Name: Michelle Runyon
City/State: Minneapolis, MN
Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects?
I am a Conceptual and Fine Art Photographer. As a Conceptual Artist, I use the inspiration I get when I am faced with challenging situations in my own life. These challenging situations would include coming of age, pregnancy, navigating through a "man's world", to name a few. These were all challenges I found difficult to talk about, express and even make sense of. So, I took what I was feeling and experiencing and staged a photo of it. This way, I don't have to talk about or try to make sense of it, the photo does it for me.
As a Fine Art Photographer, I take photos of things that evoke positive movement inside myself. I am currently working on creating a new photograph about how it feels to be pregnant. I hope to have it completed by end of summer 2013. This photo will be different as I plan on including other people in the photo--something I've never done or dared before.
Deliverance-In the Site of the Beautiful Ruins
How did you decide to become an artist?
It wasn't a conscious decision. Being some sort of artist has always been in me. Whether it was acting, modeling, singing or writing. But, photography has been my silent constant. Not many people around me know of all the work I've done with photography.
The Landlocked Surfer Girl
What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
The best advice I was given was more about self esteem than being an artist. It was my seventh grade teacher Mr. Brown. He pulled me aside one day and told me that he could see that I'd been bullied by my peers for a long time and that he could also see that I believed the things these bullies told me--mostly that I was stupid and ugly. He reassured me that I was neither stupid or ugly and I need to believe in myself. Of course, the bullies continued to affect me, but a strong belief in myself started to rebelliously grow.
Many artists struggle to find ways to sell their art. How do you sell your work? How do you market yourself?
Though I've been doing photography for 20 plus years, I have only recently began to emerge in the art world as a photographer. So, I am in process of figuring out how to market and sell my work. So far, I've circulated only two of my photos that have been shown in galleries, a magazine, and an upscale spa. I have a website www.michellerunyon.com and this is also linked to my www.mnartist.org page.
Who are some of the Minnesota artists you enjoy?
I tend to not pay attention to names because I sometimes become intimidated by names and it causes me to second guess EVERYTHING I do. Instead, I pay attention to works that I like and move me.
If I were to follow you around to see art in Minnesota, which places would we go? What would we see?
I like to go off the beaten paths and visit places that you wouldn't expect to find great or even good art. I love to go to little towns and visit the one shop that sells local artists' work. You can find everything in these shops, useful gadgets, handmade quilts, toys, self published books. photo greeting cards and inspiration. I like to see what the 'every person' is coming up with.
After the Rain Storm
In addition to www.Local-Artist-Interviews.
com, 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?
So far, I like to view artists on www.mnartists.org and I like to spend sometimes hours looking through www.etsy.com.
Do you have any exhibits to promote in the near future?
I have an "Untitled" Conceptual Art Photograph that will be featured in the Altered Esthetics' show [Insert Title Here]. Show runs from May 2nd through May 30th with an opening reception on
Friday, May 3rd from 7pm-10pm at
1224 Quincy Street NE Minneapolis MN 55413.
Viewers of this show are invited to name the "Untitled" works that are displayed. More information is at www.alteredesthetics.org/
Winter on Minnehaha Parkway
I also have a solo show from July 20th through September 5th at Lynnhurst UCC Church at 4501 Colfax Avenue South Minneapolis MN 55419. More information will be available closer to the event at www.michellerunyon.com or http://www.lynnhurstucc.org/