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LOST SUMMER MIXTAPE VOL. 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SIDE A AMY BOONE-MCCREESH

 

AMY BOONE-MCCREESH is a Baltimore-based artist with an interest in the connections between aesthetic leanings and economic and cultural status.

Amy completed a two-year fellowship for emerging artists with Hamiltonian Gallery in Washington D.C. (2014), where she exhibited and was included in Scope, Miami and (e)merge DC art fairs (2012/13). Her work has also been included in exhibitions across the country including Mixed Greens (NY, New York, 2015), Transmitter Gallery (Brooklyn, NY, 2015), and Transformer (Washington DC (2015). Recent collections include the Department of State in the U.S. Consulate in Monterrey, Mexico (Art in Embassies, 2013), Facebook (2019), and Capital One (2018). Recent publications and features include BmoreArt, New American Paintings (issues 106 and 118) and Handmade Life, published by Thames and Hudson (2016). Amy is also a two-time recipient of the Maryland State Arts Council individual artist award for works on paper.

In addition to her own studio practice, Amy has a committed relationship to education and visual arts as well as curating and running INERTIA , a website dedicated to studio visits and providing a voice for artists to create context for their work outside of critical dialogue. Amy is currently adjunct faculty at Maryland Institute College of Art.

                 L: Animal Skin Rug, 2018; R: The Dance, 2017

The signifiers of status and class present themselves culturally in overt and nuanced ways. Logos of high fashion, cars, and grand architecture are predictable ways to display wealth, even if it is only perceived. What about the subtle visual ways culture and society delineate class?

Highly saturated colors and a rich variety of textures create an initial attraction, while at the same time questioning assumptions of “good” taste. With this work, I push against the cross-cultural ideas of beauty and perception of class. This maximal and decorative aesthetic is partnered with detailed and hand-driven processes often associated with craft. The utilization of technology and digital components are combined with the handmade processes to create a direct shift in value and labor. These decisions aim to mimic the seemingly arbitrary lines that are drawn to signify cultural markers of luxury, mass production, and the defining features of access.

 

L: Sunrise and Sunset in the City, 2020 ; R: Palma, 2020

 

       L: This Landscape, This Place; R: Animal Confetti
                                        Everything We Own (Part of the exhibition More or Less), 2019, Mixed media and collage on paper, 87” x 103” x 4”

  Objects of Desire, installation views, 2018, Custom wall painting, works on paper, custom linoleum flooring, 12’ x 10’ wall

At the start of the pandemic, as all of my classes shifted to being virtual, I really didn’t go to the studio. Making art felt frivolous and there were just so many big questions looming. My studio is also in a larger building outside my home so I didn’t go at all for about 3 weeks. As I returned, I really felt different and noticed that my focus and ability to work longer days like I used to just wasn’t there. I’ve decided to be easy on myself and whatever time I can do – whatever I can get done – is fine. Funnily, in the past month or so I’ve been able to carve out a little world of production. My focus and ability to work for long periods of time still isn’t there, but now I feel like the studio acts as a cocoon universe that I can step into for a time.

I have, of course, also really been thinking about the “why” questions about my work and what I want to ask of viewers. At the end of 2019 I started making works on paper about views and views out of windows. Who knew that would compound the way it did during stay-at-home orders! I think a lot about living in the city, what it means to have access to nature, access to beauty and beautiful spaces.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SIDE B
AMY/ART ENABLES

The mix below features Amy’s work alongside work she chose by our resident artists Eileen Schofield, Michael Schaff, and Helen Lewis. Amy says she responded to the use of pattern, repetition and color in Eileen and Helen’s work, and that “the line quality and feathery look to Michael’s work is so interesting and unique.” Click images below for artwork info.

Michael Schaff

Amy Boone-McCreesh

Michael Schaff

Amy Boone-McCreesh

Egbert "Clem" Evans

Amy Boone-McCreesh

Eileen Schofield

Eileen Schofield

Amy Boone-McCreesh

Helen Lewis

Amy Boone-McCreesh

Helen Lewis

RECOMMENDED READING

 

I am a huge fan of Da Corte, I think he is a really inspiring contemporary artist. I had a chance to visit his studio in Philadelphia a few years ago with a class I was teaching. His approach to art-making really locked in for me; he embraces what it means to be an artist. In a video interview with him that I often show students, he talks about the need to suspend disbelief to be an artist and I really believe that is true. To question yourself too much is really to close doors. Artists have to forever live in a grey area – the area that allows for discovery and growth.
John Steinbeck, Grapes of Wrath

I am currently reading this book and am really struck by how relevant and contemporary the issues of U.S.A in the 1930’s are to today. Migrant work, police brutality, and unfortunate barriers in socioeconomic status. I think about access a lot in my own work: access to beauty, access to luxury, what that looks like and how it manifests. So I am really pleased with the timing of reading this classic for the first time right now.

Jeanette Walls, Glass Castle

I read this book during quarantine and loved it. I had already read and loved Half Broke Horses, the “first” book in her family’s life story. It was a safe read for me during a really emotionally tumultuous time. I knew I already liked her writing and found comfort in the strength and resiliency of the family members. Like Grapes of Wrath, this story is also about poverty in America.

Tools for Titans, compiled by Tim Ferriss

This book might fall under the guilty pleasure or unexpected category for me. It is a collection of short interviews with “successful” people about their daily habits, diet, exercise routines, etc. I have a secret fascination with business, stories of perseverance and what it takes to be mentally strong. Most of the people interviewed in this collection are extremely successful in some capacity – business, investing etc. While I do think that certain aspects of the American Dream are a lie (generational wealth), I still am really interested in the roles of risk taking, flexibility, and decision making in one’s life. Being raised by an immigrant has really put these ideas under a magnifying glass for me and probably explains my first two picks for books!

Martha Graham – writings on creativity

This snippet is similar to what I admire about Alex Da Corte’s relationship to being a creative person. We have to constantly reevaluate and let our thoughts and ideas run through us, constantly asking questions of the world we inhabit. Martha Graham and Twyla Tharp readings are often a part of my teaching, and I always encourage students to ask themselves what is unique, interesting, weird about themselves, because ultimately, that is what will make their work interesting – their world view. In a really reductive way, what does it mean to be a person in the world? How do you process that visually?
PLAYLIST

I listen to a lot of BBC Radio 1’s programming for house and dance music. My family is from England, and British DJs treat music and genres differently than in the U.S. BBC Radio 1 does some great shows on Fridays that are live with Annie Mac and Pete Tong’s essential mix – I highly recommend that BBC radio 1 iPlayer app. They never went off the air, even during the pandemic, and it was such a comfort that they made it happen and were speaking in real time, playing music for everyone struggling at home. That being said, my first two tracks are from Jamie xx’s recent essential mix, which I have been hammering in the studio. From there, it bounces between my musical tastes of electronic and house, and my punk rock roots into the hybrid electronic rock form that it takes in contemporary music. I intentionally organized the songs to build and flow between light and bouncy to harder and darker, though kept it pretty light overall. The last track is a really epic track by Liturgy and I think ends the playlist on an intense and pensive note, appropriate for summer 2020.

 

[If playlist doesn’t load, click here ]

 

 

A lot of these research images are photos I have taken of interior spaces – what are the signifiers of an important space, of a powerful space, of a “beautiful” space? I am also thinking a lot about how this combines with function. For example: decorative window bars. Why do we need bars on windows, and then the decision to decorate them, etc. Color and material choices also send a lot of signals about cost and taste, this is something I am currently researching. This is now swirling with the already established aspects of my work like decoration, maximalism, and taste.

I am thinking about installations that really poke at the questions around how spaces make us feel welcome or unwelcome, how decoration choice can make us feel like we belong or don’t. My process right now is focused on works on paper, large scale collages and in the next month or so I will transition back into planning installations. I am scheduled to have two exhibitions in the fall,  but who knows at this point!?

 

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SECRET TRACK

INERTIA – Keep Going // INERTIA is a platform that works to bridge the gap between artists and their audience by demystifying studio processes. Looking behind the scenes, INERTIA aims to highlight the struggles of a regular studio practice and the drive that keeps artists and arts professionals moving forward with their work. INERTIA also strives to provide a voice to artists beyond critical dialogue, allowing them to create conversation and context around their work. We are committed to representing marginalized artists, including women, POC, and members of the LGBTQIA+ community. INERTIA is based in Baltimore, Maryland and maintained by visual artist Amy Boone-McCreesh.

 

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