Posted August 9th, 2017 | By A4A.admin
CSMA is excited to welcome Heidi Lubin for her exhibition /kän strəkt/ on display in Mohr Gallery from August 4 through October 1. Join CSMA for the artist reception on Friday, September 15 at 6pm, featuring an interactive art activity related to the work on display, as well as a cappella songs throughout the evening. Get to know the Heidi Lubin as she discusses her background and gives advice to aspiring young artists.
Heidi Lubin, Artist and Art4Schools Program Manager
DID YOU HAVE YOU ACCESS TO ART EDUCATION IN SCHOOL? IF NOT, HOW DID YOU FIND YOUR WAY INTO ART?
We did not have art classes during the day at my school but my after school program offered classes like West African and Jazz dance. In 4th grade I took flute lessons which encouraged my interest in music. My parents were key to encouraging my art making just through the simple act of providing supplies and quiet time to do so. They always had paper, colored pencils, markers, and cardboard well stocked. They had no judgments, just encouragement. They both were creative people with no formal training in any art or music. I had a lot of free, unsupervised time as a child and would spend hours just drawing or building cardboard houses for the feral cats living in my backyard! I also spent a lot of time writing stories and attempting to write music for flute. For so long, writing and drawing were my main passions. This eventually evolved when I was exposed to more opportunities in 2D and 3D art classes in college.
TELL US ABOUT A GREAT ART TEACHER YOU HAD.
I have been fortunate to have many different teachers who influenced my trajectory as an artist. The most influential teachers have been the ones who believed in me and encouraged me even though I may not have been their top performing student. These teachers were committed passionately to their work and encouraged and developed the same in their students.
My first pivotal teacher was my after school dance teacher in 3rd grade. He showed me the passion of percussion, dancing and singing. My next pivotal teacher was my English teacher in high school; she introduced me to textual analysis and poetry and encouraged me to continue to write poetry and prose. And then in college, the chair of the art department, although I hadn’t taken any upper division courses in art, allowed me to take her course on mixed media installation. It opened up a whole realm of creative possibilities for me.
HOW DO YOU BALANCE a full-time job and BEING AN ARTIST? Does being an artist affect your work in any way?
I manage the Art4Schools Program, so my job is heavy in administrative work. I need art to help balance and keep me connected to the actual work we are doing in the schools. Being an artist influences my approach to problem solving; the creative process is an unfolding and evolving one with many challenges both internal and external that you learn how to navigate. The “artist” mindset enables one to have the perspective that every step is part of a larger process and that there are many unexpected turns and developments that emerge from engaging in that process. When I work with students, I try to be as present as possible. With students who are struggling, I try to guide them to a place where they can see that art making is active problem solving - it involves persistence, and “mistakes” are really just feedback.
WHAT ARE YOUR INFLUENCES IN YOUR ART? Where do you find inspiration?
I am influenced by my daily navigation through life, and currently that is Mountain View. My primary concerns right now involve corporate development and affordable housing, as well as the economic displacement of many people who are being squeezed out of the abundance of Silicon Valley. This preoccupation leads me to study trends and housing listings, as well as all of the environmental signs here in Mountain View. I see it all merging in a slew of traffic cones, construction fencing, razed mom and pop shops all set among an incredibly beautiful back drop of mountains. From these contexts, I extract lines and colors and recreate another narrative that helps me process all of this disparate parts and the underlying anxiety I feel about the direction of all of this development.
WHO ARE YOUR FAVORITE ARTISTS?
Some of my favorite artists are Nick Cave, Theaster Gates, and Doris Salcedo. Favorite writers are Octavia Butler, Sandra Cisneros, Langston Hughes, Rebecca Solnit. The list can go on and on! It depends on the day, the week, the month, the year!
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR YOUNG, ASPIRING ARTISTS?
Never give up! And pursue your most extreme and eccentric ideas. Start with those first!