Thursday, June 9, 2016

My Name is Lydia Spence, and I am now approaching my senior year in the Interdisciplinary Fine Arts program with an emphasis in Printmaking.  As a transfer student I originally started my art school education at California College of the Arts and Crafts in Oakland, CA.  I have always been drawn to craft based mediums like alternative process photography, printmaking, and ceramics.  I am interested in achieving a highly trained knowledge of my artist craft, and in the capacity of process based art to both chemically and conceptually transform materials. The IFA program at Quarts has been a place where this exploration has been encouraged.  Since starting at UArts I have become fascinated with non-silver photography, a process that is well taught here and has phenomenal facilities.  By working with traditional printmaking processes such as lithography and etching in connection with non-silver photography, and printing on fabric and other unusual substrates, I am able to make work which not only demonstrates my love of craft but allows for freedom and spontaneity.
            The Summer Fellows Internship has been an extremely rewarding and learning opportunity, I been interning with Kay Healy a Printmaker and Fiber Artist.  Before starting the internship, I was very inspired by her work and interested in learning more about her process. Kay Healy has an MFA from UArts in Printmaking and Book Arts, her work is rooted in process and research, her large scale screen printed and stuffed fabric installations explore themes of community, home, displacement, and other narratives.   Understanding her studio practice and approach to creating her work has been eye opening for me. Her daily routine is structured and productive and in.  When helping her with current projects and organizing and archiving past work, I have fully realized the importance of research, planning, and archiving in order to be a successful working artist. Her studio is inspiring.  It is a quant room filled with her art, light hard wood floors and high ceilings, with climbing hanging plants. I work alongside her her husband Greg an illustrator and their friendly puppy Eleanor. So far I have learned a lot about making, and am learning how to use a sewing machine, and create soft sculptures.  I have sewn and stuffed busts and arms, using found clothes, and utilizing the trapunto stich.  Along with diligent work and attention to detail comes the joy of natural conversation.  From the very first day I met Kay we connected over our families, astrology, and art history.  When in good company and consumed in interesting conversation, time consuming process based work such as sewing goes by faster.  I value each day of this internship.  The skill set required to intern for Kay is pushing me out of my comfort zone, and I am learning to improve my sewing skills as I create sculptural textile sculptures. It’s hard to find a job as a working artist but she is in constant creation, she possesses an unparalleled work ethic.  Her dedication to her work and busy schedule is something that I aspire to one day be able to maintain myself.   The works that I am helping create will be used in a two-person exhibition.  Below are photo’s of busts I have created, and some of Kay Healy’s most recent work.  In the coming weeks I look forward to improving my sewing and textile skills, and creating more soft sculptures.

Kay Healy’s Recent Work

Bust’s I made, while learning how to use the sewing machine

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