Elliott Katz, Sculptor, Photographer

7below_barn
Seven Below’s Barn Studio, Vermont

Multimedia Sculptor Elliot Katz is my guest this month. He recently graduated UCONN’s MFA program and he is currently the Studio Manager at Seven Below Arts Initiative, a residency program in Burlington Vermont.

Mountain 2015, Courtesy Elliott Katz
Mountain 2015, Courtesy Elliott Katz

Check Elliott’s portfolio and as you can see, photography plays a significant and unusual role in his work.

We discussed a variety of topics from being a citizen of a global nation, to the sense of self sufficiency gained in childhood that continues to define his work and process, to the difficulty and rewards of being an artist.

During our conversation we discussed an article: Women Artists: the Creative Process which was used by Elliott and his co-exhibitionmates to unify the diverse range of work they presented in their MFA exhibition in the Spring of this year. The show took it’s name, “A World Still in the Making” from this article, written by Bell Hooks, the pen name of Gloria Jean Watkins, an American write,  teacher and social activist. In the article she considers the social discrepancies between men and women in their pursuit of the arts, the social pressure put on women artists by other women and the difficulties being recognized by the art community, not only as a woman artist, but a black woman artist.

still_2015The heart of her essay is that time is an essential element in creativity. Time to reflect, time to experiment, time to share ideas. All these things are available to men, but not kindly offered to women.

Owl 2014, Courtesy Elliott Katz
Owl 2014, Courtesy Elliott Katz

My personal response to this essay is the here is a clear description of the difficulty in pursuing a life in the the arts. I am grateful for the insight into the creative process that she offers.

Dustbowl 2015, Courtesy Elliott Katz
Dustbowl 2015, Courtesy Elliott Katz

I’ve included links below relative to topics discussed during the interview. Early in the conversation I mentioned a documentary short, Handmade in America, I produced several years ago that put me on the path to creating this podcast.

Links:

Walter Benjamin
Lars Fisk
Trey Anastasio
George Nakishma
Bell Hooks – Women Artists: the Creative Process

Talking about documentary films and the struggle of women artists, I just watched “Who Does She Think She Is?”, a documentary film by Pamela Tanner Boll about the difficulties women must overcome in pursuing art as a career and a life.

The film follows the lives of several women artists over a period of years and presents their struggles, victories and the strong personalities they possess that allows them to endure. It’s a compelling story about life in the arts.

:: Music by The Beatles – Hard Day’s Night


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