Work by Claudia Hollander-Lucas in the “By Others” Gallery at Board & Vellum
The Capitol Hill Art Walk is coming up again, and here at Board & Vellum’s By Others gallery, we are hosting a show by artist Claudia Hollender-Lucas. Read our Q&A with her to learn a little about her work and her process ahead of the August 9th opening reception.
August 6, 2018
Hey, everyone. It's happening: another new art opening in the By Others gallery at Board & Vellum! This show is called “Vanishing Point” created by artist Claudia Hollander-Lucas.
The show will run for a couple months, but on August 9th, from 6 to 9 PM, we will host an opening with the artist, and we’d love it if you joined us! And bonus – the artist plans to read a poem at 7 PM, so make sure you don't miss that.
Shown Above: The artist among lilacs. Lead Image: “SeeToRemember”
To get your interest piqued, here is a quick Q&A with the artist.
Hayley: Is there an underlying story behind your work, or a narrative or conceptual thread that you pull through this show?
Claudia: Good question! This body of work was a challenge on so many levels, one was to work within a circle instead of a square. Yikes – no corners to hide or rest in. The circle became a vortex for my meandering mind into thoughts about history, storytelling, nature, cycles, paradox, death… basically everything a poetically-inclined artist would find salient. Like, where do all the dead go? What makes me joyful? Why do we need to drink wine? Who invented angels? How can art change the world, or me? In my own studio practice, I want there to be a sense of peace and a connection to all time, somehow — to the birds singing outside my window, and to Jefferson re-writing the Bible. I grew up Catholic with its sense of mystery and magic; pattern, geometry, and floating organics usually permeates the work.
Hayley: What media do you work in, and why?
Claudia: Another good question. I am a material nut. There are few materials out there that I haven’t tried, or loved. I think this has been my blessing and curse. I figure out the material, use it a lot, then it leads me to other materials. In this series, I paint on a polypropylene surface called Yupo – have you heard of it? It was developed as a waterproof, unbendable gambling card in Las Vegas to fend off cheating. Artists like it because the surface is smooth, lustrous, and the paint appears to be wet — floating on the surface. I liked pooling watercolors of different viscosities and granulation onto the surface and let it evaporate over days — or weeks – into these evocative surfaces that appeared to make themselves naturally… like water rivulets, wind patterns, and erosion does over time in nature. I love paintings that make themselves! I’d also like to mention that I work in projects, like my book “Roots And Tendrils” here in the B&V Gallery shows many of my projects. They are all related to the way my mind works, but the materials and structures vary according to the concept of the project. For example, I did not use Yupo for any other project after “Vanishing Point” because that material did not match the ideas.
Hayley: Where are you from, and does it influence your work?
Claudia: Oh yes, biography and location deeply influence my work and who I am. I am a New England girl who grew up in post World War Two era, definitely a baby boomer. It was electric to feel liberated in college (Boston) after being fearfully sheltered from Communism, the devil, and starvation in a Polish immigrant household. To this day, I don’t throw much away – it is reused, or recycled, or not purchased at all. Don’t get me started! This does influence my studio practice in myriad ways that I don’t understand, and can’t explain… like saving 3-hole punch out dots!
Hayley: How do you hope that your audience interacts with or experiences your work? Is it passive or active?
Claudia: I like this question. I think about it a lot. Art on the wall can seem so passive, that people walk by without looking at it. That it is invisible somehow – that you are invisible. I think this is why I started making artist books – that people had to engage with an art object more intimately – had to turn the page, lift a flap, turn a dial, like little kids do with pop-up books. I like the surprises in books when you turn a page. The “Vanishing Point” series here in the gallery pulls you in with its painterly details and little photographic or drawn imbeds. You really have to look at them closely to see them. And this is how I became more cross-disciplinary as an artist – started taking my writing more seriously, that I can recite a poem at a party, or gallery opening, like I’ll do at the August 9th opening, at 7 PM, I think. I like to recite because it brings focus to what I find a loud and distracted gathering. I like it when people are quiet together. What you may not know about me is that I am a birder. I belong to the Audubon Society, and I love going out with strangers to listen and watch the birds that are all around us, but mostly hidden. We are quiet and observant together. We all get a chance to contribute to the sightings. I feel it is a real community moment, it’s peaceful, and fills me with joy.
Hayley: Fantastic. Thank you for sharing with us, Claudia. And, to everyone else, we hope to see you soon at By Others!