Questions for Artists

In March 2015, I joined the Fine Arts Commission in our community. The Commission has the following goal.

"This Commission has served to provide a forum where enthusiastic supporters of the arts can meet and discuss innovative new strategies to promote art in order to improve the community."

Dark to Light, 2014. Part of the Public Art Program in 2014.

I was asked to submit an application to this Commission because my art was selected the previous year for the Public Art Program. I have included images of both pieces to show how my art has changed over the years. These are the last pieces where I used printed fabrics as now I exclusively use Kona solid fabrics. 

It has been a rewarding tenure at the Commission so far as the Commission is up for new ideas and committed to promoting a diverse array of arts in the community from large public murals to community theater and local arts programming at the public library.

This week I need to think of three questions to ask the artists at our Open House next week. The Open House is for artists in our annual Public Art Program. Every July, artists from our community and beyond submit images and descriptions of their work for the Commission's review. The Commission selects the art we would like to display for the year in our public buildings like the Village Hall, Library and Park District. 

At this Open House we invite the selected artists and the community to see all the art displayed together at our public library. After the Open House, the art is transported to the public building where it will reside for a year. This event is to help promote our local artists and really, the arts in general.  To help the artists gain a wider audience, it seemed the Commission could facilitate the audience getting to know the artists better. The best way to get to know the artists is to ask some questions at the Open House. These discussions will provide a focus on the artwork and allow us to get to know the people who made it. We all gather around each artist in front of their art and I ask questions.  So last year I came up with the following three questions to ask each artist:

How did you decide to become an artist?

Blue Joe Shibori, 2014. Made with my hand dyed shibori. Part of Public Art Program 2014.

Could you talk about your art selected for the Public Art Program?

What are you working on now?

It was absolutely fascinating to me. And it seemed to go over well for the people at the Open House last year. So I was asked to do the same thing for this upcoming Open House next week. I thought I would mixed up things up with some new questions. I have been writing over the past few weeks about how art evokes an emotion and how the emotion is the real product of art, what pulls the viewer in. So I'm very interested in hearing what emotions the artists feel their art evokes.  

Here are my preliminary questions for the artists at the Open House:

How long have you been an artist and what has changed over that time in your work?

What emotions do you think your art evokes in the viewer?

What are you working on now?

I will report back next week about some of the insights I know I will learn from all the talented artists who will share about their art and creative processes at the Open House next week.