2017 was quite a year, to say the least. As a way to respond to the major events of this year past, we asked several of our artists what moments of 2017 most inspired their work. Through internal thoughts, a heightened sense of awareness, health kicks, and discovered paths for new artistic endeavors, our artists have shown how their practices have paved a path for 2018 that is hopeful, progressive and uniting. We hope that their stories can inspire a happy new year!
John Y. Wind, Installation, Mixed Media, & Sculpture Artist
“For me, 2017 marked a turning point in my dual careers as artist and jewelry designer. The heightened commodification of fashion, coupled with the Etsy and Amazon revolutions, have created a highly competitive new normal. They have pushed me to explore a stronger bridge between my art and design, with the goal of bringing more meaning and art into my business—along with a more integrated studio practice. To that end, I am also in the middle of moving my two studios into one new space—a physical manifestation of these changes.”
Eric Toscano, Collage & Mixed Media Artist
“The one thing that impacted my work more than anything else in 2017 was my InLiquid show at the Painted Bride. Having my work on display in such a prominent location and for it to be so well received was inspiring. It gave me the confidence to continue exploring that line of thinking. As a result, things continue to look up!”
Carole Loeffler, Fiber Arts & Installation Sculptor
“It’s the toxic environment that the “Commander in Chief” encourages, allows and fosters that worries me the most. Some folks have lost the ability to show kindness, compassion and be decent human beings to each other. The lack of humanity, in general, is what inspired me the most this year.
As a result, I’ve been thinking about individual people and their stories, folks whose voices cannot be heard (or listened to) for whatever reason. I started using text with vintage clothing to help tell stories of women and the expectations placed upon them. Some of the stories are my own and others are of family members and friends. By learning about others, it has helped me find my own voice and to use it to fight, to soothe, to question, to support, to encourage and, most importantly, to connect.”
Scott Schultheis, Painter
“Being hosted by a university to give a presentation about some of my work and do some group crits with students—feeling united in my detest for this compassionless, weak-minded fraud—cooking for mom a pot of spaghetti with fresh clams on Cape Cod—and hearing the voice of James Baldwin.”
Coleen Keefe, Illustration Artist
“While I was pretty obsessively tuned into politics (like everyone else), I think what had more of an impact in my life was some choices to live healthier. I exercised more, worked less (for other people), and tuned into what I was doing for me versus what I was doing because it was expected of me—basically, I tried to break out of living patterns I had developed over years that were holding me back. That freed up space for me to be more creative and productive, but it’s an ongoing process.”