Artist Republic 4 Tomorrow is thrilled to a part of the LCAD mentoring program for its 3rd year. This year the program paired Amanda Raynes with Artists Republic 4 Tomorrow. AR4T’s Sam Crane spoke with Amanda about the program, her art, and what its like to be an emerging artist.
Amanda Raynes’s work is currently up in the Artists Republic 4 Tomorrow Gallery along with the Lovely Vagabonds show. Amanda will also be in the gallery for Art Walk, this Thursday December 5th, come check out her work and ask her some questions for yourself!
Your art ended up on the walls of Artists Republic 4 Tomorrow as a result of being paired with the gallery through the Mentor Program, part of the Fine Arts Professional Studies Class. What is it like transitioning to thinking about the business part of art making? In other words, from thinking about making art to thinking about selling art?
This transition has definitely been challenging, luckily LCAD has provided me with many resources and recent graduates are always willing to offer advice. Something that I try to avoid is thinking too much about the commercial aspect of the art world. Although it is important to consider your audience and potential buyers, it is always more important to remain honest with yourself and always create what you enjoy making.
What are some of your big fears about leaving the safety of the LCAD artists community and stepping into the professional world?
The thought of completing my undergrad is both exciting and terrifying. I know that art school has prepared me for a successful art career but it will require a lot of independent work once I am outside of the LCAD community. When deciding what my next step is, I know that I will have to put a lot of research into that area’s artist community and opportunities. It is also important to remain in touch with fellow students, since there is always a chance to help each other out and create a strong network.
Tell us about your current work. How is it or isn’t it the culmination of your years at LCAD?
I transferred to LCAD my junior year after completing two years at Lyme Academy College of Fine Art in Old Lyme, Connecticut. I think that my current work is a combination of what I have taken from both programs. The program at Lyme allowed for a lot of freedom in both concept as well as medium. I declared myself a drawing major so much of my focus was on achieving value and most of my work was done in charcoal. When I transferred to LCAD they provided me with vigorous technical training, therefore allowing me to successfully translate the ideas that I had began creating at Lyme. This is clear through my use of charcoal while incorporating elements of design and abstraction along with the realism taught in both schools.
Your work along side the ‘Lovely Vagabonds’ show made, coincidentally, for a great pairing. Your work seems to deal a lot with ancestry and memory. How do you see travel playing into your idea of lineage?
The fact that my pieces fit so well with the other works in this show really excited me. The work of Chantel de Felice is inspiring, and knowing that she also graduated from LCAD is encouraging, as she is showing in many galleries and curating shows. I think when dealing with this ancestral imagery it is inevitable to touch on the theme of traveling. I aim to deconstruct space as well as use these old images in a way that breaks up memories and moments in time, creating a new experience. Another factor that ties in with travel is the fact that I grew up in Connecticut and decided to drive across the country to attend school in California. This drastic change in everything around me led to so much inspiration and the excitement of many new experiences, both in life and in my art.
Beyond exposing artists to the professional world, the Mentor Program benefits the galleries because they get a sneak peak of what the next generation of artists are making. So I have two questions:
As an up and coming artist, what do you have in store for the future?
As a new artist I am filled with excitement as well as anxiety. I have come to find that this anxiety is actually the good kind, where I am faced with so many decisions and opportunities. My main goal is the take advantage of any chance to meet artists, collaborate, and create as much as possible. I want to travel and see more of the West Coast, always keeping in mind being a part of a strong artists community.
What do you think the next wave of artists have to offer, how do you think the art world might change?
Something that I have noticed, especially after transferring to LCAD, is that many emerging artists are equally talented in multiple areas of art making. With so many chances to explore different mediums, traditional and digital, it seems that artists are taking advantage of everything that they can get their hands on. The art world is definitely going to change in a way that there will be hybrid art forms, with combinations of traditional techniques as well as graphic, digital approaches.
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For more information about the LCAD Mentoring Program go here:http://ar4t.com/2013/11/lcad-mentoring-program-brings-amanda-raynes-to-ar4t/
Don’t forget to stop by for Art Walk, December 5th.