Sunday, June 23, 2013

Jackalope Collective Interviews: Katie Poterala

I'm running a series of brief interview with artists in our group so that you can get to know us and our work a little better, and hopefully donate to our campaign. For your Sunday reading pleasure: Katie Poterala.

Education: BFA Winthrop University (Rock Hill, SC)
                  MFA Arizona State Univeristy (Tempe, AZ)
Lives and Works in: A private studio in Greenville, SC, where she also teaches adjunct for Winthrop University, as workshops and classes in upstate SC, and western NC.

What is your work about?

 I am intrigued by the irony of and differences between perceived and intrinsic value.

My work is an attempt to exploit the boundary between valuable and invaluable, provide the viewer with a universally accessible place of departure, and to provoke a dialogue about values and perception.

Recognizable forms reference objects of understood or accepted value. Jewelry objects, although familiar, are altered to become introspective and uncommon. Modifications, mutations, and unexpected surfaces and appendages call into question our concept of the precious, the significance and value of bodily adornment, and the social values that drive both. Both the body and familial objects and environments act as hosts, providing a context that addresses the importance of place and image: specific concerns that motivate the values we possess.

What are you looking forward to most about Amsterdam?

 I (like I suspect many in our group) am in a very precarious, juvenile point in my artistic career, having just left my MFA, and just beginning to feel my way through the often difficult-to-navigate reality of surviving and making a living as a visual artist. As an emerging artist, I am sensitive to the need to produce work for galleries and for the public, and am therefore becoming increasingly aware of the necessity for marketing and visibility. I see SIERAAD as an incredible opportunity for visibility for all of us as young artists, as well as introduction to a new market. I am so excited about seeing how our work is accepted and what future opportunities will come from this experience. I am also super stoked to see how our work fits into the overall context of jewelry internationally -- we're all very used to exhibiting amongst ourselves as US makers, but for me, this will be a first chance to see my work alongside makers from across the globe.

What's the best advice you were ever given about being an artist?

1. Take risks. I learned this as an undergraduate, from (professor) Courtney Starrett. It is probably one of the hardest, most valuable steps I learned to take, and I realize the validity and importance of this more and more as my work develops and career unfolds.
2. Get a website. No, seriously, do it. You'll never regret it.
3. Be Professional.

Any final thoughts on Sieraad?

 Yes, we want funding. Yes, we need financial help. However, YES, we'll find a way to go irregardless. We're a super motivated, super committed group of young artists, all taking a valuable, necessary, calculated risk. We know it will pay off, and we're willing to take this jump because we know our careers depend on it, that they'll somehow benefit from it. What's great about this campaign is that we're a group that is determined to make the most of the opportunity before us, and I am confident that I speak for all of us when I promise that we won't take the support from our donors lightly. Our varied backgrounds illustrate our commitment to our work, and to our field. We're makers, educators, and volunteers. We not only wish to succeed in our own practice, but also care about the future of our craft and the people and organizations it includes. We, as young artists, understand the value of what we do and the need to share it. We know every ounce of support we get comes with the shared commitment to a common goal, and we're so appreciative of that.

I feel so fortunate to be included among such an exciting group of makers, and am so thrilled to get to experience SIERAAD and hang out with these folks for a week in November.
To help Katie (and the rest of us fledgling artists) make the most of this opportunity, please check out our campaign. We're at $4000 with 28 days left to go!

Thanks so much Katie! Can't wait to hang out with you too and see this awesome work in person!

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