Metal, spring steel, magnifying glass,
Look(again) residency: Low tech/high joy collaborative, 2013
Name: Marlaine Cox
City/State: Minneapolis, MN
MNartist.org profile: http://www.mnartists.org/artistHome.do?rid=186466
Etsy Page: Scrap Yard Siren
Marlaine Cox is a Miami born metal artist who transplanted to Minneapolis in 1990 because her car broke down while driving through. After settling in to the eternal winter she began constructing found object assemblages, finding inspiration in the broken tools, farm implements and detritus around her. She never managed to fix the car but continued her life anyway.
Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects?
My work is mostly about transforming salvaged bits and metal scrap into functional objects. I like the challenge of turning a broken tool into a new and unexpected use while trying not to manipulate the objects too much, letting beauty of the original forms show. My goal is to fit as few parts together as elegantly as possible. If the objects become humorous or absurd by my subtle manipulations then even better.
Right now I’m working with artist, Karen Kasel, as part of a creative placemaking team called low tech/high joycollaborative. We are in the middle of a six month artist residency called Look(again) at TuckUnder Projects . We created scoping devices from salvaged metal, inviting visitors to peer into the yard, finding unexpected oddities and small surprises.
Karen and I have collaborated in the past(The Shanty of Misfit Toys) http://www.artshantyprojects.org/ so formalizing this partnership is very exciting. We explore details in the environment that are often overlooked.
I’m also working on a series of wall sculptures for an upcoming exhibit at Gallery 360, opening on August 24, 2013. My compulsion is to inject a ‘function’ into everything I create so these purely decorative sculptures are a departure for me. To combat this, the pieces will have some kinetic component in them, a pulley or a hook, so they still ‘function’ just a little.
How did you decide to become an artist?
When I was a kid I was preoccupied with manipulating my environment. I built hidden book shelves and cubbies in the bottom bunk & I transformed our patio into a ramshackle greenhouse, building shelves into the screen walls and filling it with plants from the yard. I carpeted my high school locker. Since I was a bookworm I just thought I would be a writer or teacher or work in publishing. It wasn’t until I moved to Minnesota when I was 23, disgruntled that college sucked all the fun out of reading and writing, that I realized how much I loved working with my hands. I loved the immediacy of it, and getting out of my head.
What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
Try to create something beautiful every day, no matter how small or ephemeral. The artistic process doesn’t need to be filled with angst and suffering, it can sometimes be simple creative activities that have nothing to do with theory or art history or big ideas.
Many artists struggle to find ways to sell their art. How do you sell your work? How do you market yourself?
I sell my line of post-industrial accessories at Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/scrapyardsiren
and in local shops: http://www.ilikeyouonline.com/
I accept commissions: http://marlainecoxmetalworks.com/
Who are some of the Minnesota artists you enjoy?
Karen Kasel http://www.mnartists.org/artistHome.do?rid=2485
Julie Buffalohead https://www.facebook.com/pages/Julie-Buffalohead-Artist/191704760864481
Faye Passow http://fayepassow.com/
Peter Haakon Thompson http://www.peterhaakonthompson.com/
Jan Elftmann http://www.corktruck.com/
If I were to follow you around to see art in Minnesota, which places would we go? What would we see?
Franconia Sculpture Park http://www.franconia.org/
Chicago Ave. Fire Arts Center http://www.cafac.org/
Art Shanty Projects http://www.artshantyprojects.org/
The Ledge Gallery http://www.theledgempls.com/
Walker Art Center http://www.walkerart.org/
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?
MN Artists http://www.mnartists.org/
What can we expect to see from you in the future?
August 1, 2013: Low tech/high joy collaborative continues the Look(again) residency at TuckUnder Projects
August 2, 2013: AlteredEsthetics-Time Honored Exhibition-I’ll be showing three pieces from my post-industrial accessory collection
August 24, 2013: Gallery 360- Wall Sculpture Series