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Art in the Park: An Interview with Sofia V. Gonzalez

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See more of Sofia’s work at sofiavgonzalez.com

How do you describe your subject matter or the content of your work?

The subject matter of my work always seems to return to exploring my sense of place and how others define and relate to their own sense of place. By using traditional textile techniques and mixed media, my practice creates a space of meditation and reflection for myself when I make.

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What mediums do you work with?

I work primarily with textiles, using traditional processes like crochet, embroidery, and natural dyes. I have strong feelings about collecting my own plant and vegetable materials to be used in dye. I want to have an emotional connection with the colors and materials I use. The process is important to me: observatory walks around my neighborhood, collecting materials like hulls or leaves, and subsequently making the dye.

Besides your art practice, are you involved in any other kind of work?

I spend my days at Wildwood Park for the Arts as our Educational Programs Coordinator. I also facilitate and curate our Art in the Park exhibition program. I have taught a few workshops in natural dye techniques, but would love to get more into teaching. I am passionate about creating community events and arts education opportunities for all ages that relate art to our environment.

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What are you presently inspired by— are there particular things you are reading, listening to or looking at to fuel your work? 

Since moving to Little Rock from San Francisco last year, I have become completely enamored with the variety of birds and their differing songs. Recently I’ve used this obsession as a means for inspiration. I have started a new practice where I wake up early each morning and spend 30 minutes to an hour recording the bird sounds outside my house with quick markings in charcoal on watercolor paper. I am interested in how I can translate the songs and patterns into marks on a page. I’m calling these new sketches “soundscapes.” I am interested to see where they will go.

What do you hope your work will accomplish? How do you want people to be affected?

My biggest hope for my work is that it will cause pause or reflection in the viewer. By using natural dyes to create the colors I use, I hope to encourage a more observant and respectful way to look at the environments we live in. It’s important to me that in my work the connection between the artist and the materials is able to tell a story.

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How do you navigate the art world? Do you have a motto you live by?

I try to navigate the art world by creating genuine connections and conversations with other artists. I am always excited to hear about other artists’ processes, and I think collaborations and opportunities are born out of this mutual relationship.  Recently, I realized that if you build opportunities for others, opportunities will come back to you. I live by the words on the necklace I wear every day which was given to me by my grandmother before she passed away last year. It reads, “Dar mas y pedir menos,” or “Give more and ask for less.”

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Art in the Park: An Interview with Barbara Cade

Meet Barbara Cade, exhibiting artist featured in Symbiotic: Art, Nature & Spirituality April 2 – May 10

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Learn more about Barbara at http://barbaracade.com

How do you describe the subject matter or the content of your work?

My landscapes celebrate Nature.  I define “landscape” as anything that exists in the natural world.  Sometimes I make traditional landscape scenes and sculpture, but also close-ups of ordinary things such as leaves, rocks and tree bark.

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What mediums do you work with?

I make handmade felt to construct my artwork.  I also work with clay in a limited way to make rock/rattles.

Besides your art practice, are you involved in any other kind of work?

I am a full-time   studio artist.  However, a few weeks a year, I work in the schools under contract with the Arkansas Arts Council as an AIE artist.  

What are you presently inspired by – are there particular things you are reading, listening to or looking at to fuel your work?

Inspiration for the landscapes is Nature—natural forms are fascinating.  Nothing is ever the same. 

What do you hope your work will accomplish? How do you want people to be affected?

In this busy world, I hope viewers find some peace and serenity when viewing my work.  I hope viewers feel some of the mystery, beauty, drama and amazing variety of animal and plant forms.  Ultimately, I hope my landscapes inspire people to take care of the earth.

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How do you navigate the art world? Do you have a motto you live by?

Goethe wrote:  “A master he who bridles his ambitions.”  The only way to navigate the art world is to persevere.

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Shobana’s Krishna – May 4, 6:30pm

With songs by Oscar winning legend A.R. Rahman of Slumdog Millionaire. The foremost exponent of classical dance in India, the danseuse and actor Shobana is coming with 22 performers from India for a magical show that will be the first ever musical show in Little Rock directly from India. Please come out and enjoy the show. Free Indian food box dinner for all attending.

Click here to purchase tickets.

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Art in the Park: An Interview with Artist Lisa Krannichfeld

Meet Lisa Krannichfeld, exhibiting artist featured in Symbiotic: Art, Nature & Spirituality April 2 – May 10

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How do you describe your subject matter or the content of your work?

My focus is mostly on women. I find them to be so complex, playing so many roles throughout their lives.  The women I paint aren’t necessarily specific people but rather specimens of emotions that relate to viewers in different ways based on their own life experiences. Putting the emphasis on the emotional expression in my work is also kind of therapeutic for me, since I’m such a naturally reserved person. 

What mediums do you work with?

Currently, Chinese ink, watercolor, and resin are my main mediums of choice, although I love trying to mix new materials in when I can.

Besides your art practice, are you involved in any other kind of work?

I teach art full time in addition to making my own art. Sometimes it fuels me, and sometimes it just wears me out! 

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What are you presently inspired by— are there particular things you are reading, listening to or looking at to fuel your work?

I find the most inspiration from my failures, ironically. The process of trying something and failing at it is the best way to find new doors to walk through.  

Learn more about Lisa at http://lisakrannichfeld.com.

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Art in the Park: An Interview with Featured Artist Nichole Howard

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How do you describe your subject matter or the content of your work?

The subject matter of my work is centered around food production and its historical and contemporary relationship to ceramics. I’ve been experimenting with growing food for about three years and I’ve found a way to fold this intense curiosity into my artistic practice.

What mediums do you work with?
As a traditionally trained ceramicist, I use clay and ceramics in a lot of my work, but I also have work that doesn’t use ceramics at all and centers entirely around food production, like my hydroponic garden system. I also use lots of seeds, microgreens, seedlings, succulents, anything living!

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Besides your art practice, are you involved in any other kind of work?

Gardening and education have been my main pursuits. Contemporary art is fabulous in that it allows non-traditional mediums to enter by way of the DIY craze and looking at the ordinary aspects of life that have the capacity for extraordinary communion. Thereby my obsession with gardening is a perfectly acceptable hobby to make into a serious artistic exploration. My career as an art educator also seeps into my work by allowing audiences to see entire plants cycles, exhibiting companion gardening or DIY hydropnic gardens. All of my exhibitions have an education component and I allow my successes and failures in the garden to be present also in the gallery.

What are you presently inspired by— are there particular things you are reading, listening to or looking at to fuel your work?
The Young Farmer’s Movement is a huge inspiration to me – a college roommate and long-term friend makes her living as a farmer and her participation in the food movement is significant to my practice. Her courage to take on such a risky career and her fierce commitment to proving an organic and engaging farm give me permission to seek out similar questions in my work, in a gallery context.

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What do you hope your work will accomplish? How do you want people to be affected?
I try to avoid answering this question, as my hope is generate a response. Any response is acceptable, negative or positive, but my main questions that I’m asking in my work is if food and live plants can be used as an artistic medium. I think most folks will say no, but my hope is to change their minds.

How do you navigate the art world? Do you have a motto you live by?
I navigate the art world by applying myself frequently. My motto is probably borrowed from Amy Pohler, “Yes, please!” which means apply a lot and always say yes to every opportunity that presents itself. This seems to work, as I am getting a lot of opportunities as of late, but I am seriously tired! So finding a balance between work, my artistic practice, always saying yes and rest is a challenging one.

Click here to learn more about Symbiotic. 

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Art Connection visits Wildwood to prepare for upcoming Art in the Park Exhibit

Art Connection, a non-profit, after school and summer visual arts work program for North Little Rock High School students, visited Wildwood Park in March to gather inspiration for an Art in the Park Exhibition this summer. Art Connection’s young artists spent a day taking inspiration from Wildwood Park’s natural scenery in March. Working in the Plein Air tradition, artists will spent a morning sketching, photographing, or responding in some way to the environment at Wildwood, such as up-close photographs of rocks, or more traditional Plein Air drawing or painting while outside. Art Connection artists will bring their sketches, inspirations and ideas from Wildwood back into the studio at Art Connection to develop their ideas to finished pieces. These finished works will be exhibited and for sale at Art in the Park in June and July.

You can see photos of the visit here.