Tuesday, August 7, 2012

2012 Recipient Named

News Flash!  The New Hampshire Charitable Foundation recently announced that digital media artist Bear Kirkpatrick of Portsmouth, New Hampshire has been selected as the 2012 recipient of the Artist Advancement Grant. Joining Mr. Kirkpatrick as finalists this year are Lauren Gillette, a mixed media artist from York, Maine and painter Rose Umerlik of Kittery, Maine.  Congrats Bear!  Read more here

Interview with Lynn Szymanski

This months interview is with 2009 AAG recipient Lynn Szymanski of Rollinsford, N.H. 

How would you describe your work?

I make sculpture mostly in wood. I am trained as a furniture maker and utilize the techniques and processes from furniture making in my sculpture. My work is becoming increasingly organic both in form and in process. While in art school, I studied the life and work of Eva Hesse, who still today is a strong influence. Like a lot of young female artists who are influenced by her, I was attracted to the way she expressed so much vulnerability in her work which is something you can’t do in furniture.

What was your grant proposal?

My grant had two components. I wanted to do a new body of work based on traditional Japanese shop signs. I had never done a series of pieces based on one idea before, so that was a big step for me as an artist. Second, I wanted to be able to set up a space to work at home.

Did you stick with your grant proposal or did you make adjustments to your plan?

I had thought about this idea for a long time and was very specific about the concept and the resources needed to execute it, so I did exactly what I said I was going to do.

What kind of impact did receiving the AAG have on you and your work?

Number one it gave me some validation and from that greater confidence to keep plugging away every day. At the time I received this grant, I had reached a stage in life where the sacrifices required to continue my practice were getting too great and the rewards fewer and fewer. It also made me realize that moving forward, I am ready to go deeper into subject areas I already know rather than always exploring new areas.

How has your work developed in the years since receiving the AAG?

My project was successful in that it helped me to make the transition from furniture to sculpture. However, I still identify myself as a furniture maker and probably always will. I admire the sensibilities of furniture makers such as their daily pursuit of quality, attention to detail and generosity of knowledge. That said, I have also let go of a lot of the perfectionism that furniture makers strive for and instead have focused on highlighting imperfections. There are a lot more 
victories that way!

What are you working on now?  

I am still working on the shop signs and building some furniture for my house.