It's really intriguing to see the variations of color and light that occur when Penn State University MFA student Lindsey Landfried draws onto large pieces of paper and then carefully folds them to change their dynamic. Here we chat about the benefit of artist residencies, how dance inspired her interest in art, and a bit about her process. More info at the links below!
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First, I'd love if you'd tell me just a bit about yourself! Where are you from originally and where are you based now?
I am from Greenville Pennsylvania and am now based in State College Pennsylvania while I complete my MFA. In the years between undergrad and grad I lived in New York, San Diego, Berlin, Starkville, and Blacksburg traveling around for opportunities and residencies.
What has your art education experience been like, informally or formally?
My formal education has been in a tight-knit and supportive art school inside a large research university. Its been a stellar combination of world class resources, people making waves, and committed teachers who deeply invest in communicating with their students. Informally, much of my art education has been learned from assisting artists and galleries, and with friends sharing things we're learning.
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? When were you first introduced to art?
As a child I had a lot of flighty interests and aspirations, but one thing that is consistent is that I love to dance. The rigor, intricacy, and labor of the training as well as the bombastic, expressive experience of performing. I have a strong memory of seeing Charles Ray's Nuclear Family at my first visit to MoMA when I was probably 12, otherwise most of my early experiences with artists were dancers and choreographers. I really didn't try to make visual art until college.
Can you describe your practice?
Repetitious, reductive. Like looking again and again parsing out something new and remembering something differently each time.
What is your favorite thing about your medium?
Drawing forges new connections between my hands, brain, and eyes that continually fascinate me. Noticing what one intelligence notices and communicating it to another one.
What is your process like?
There are three formal steps in my process: application of color paint scrims, building the drawn loop screens, and then folding in light and space. That's what happens to the paper - but the process is really happening everywhere, from what I'm seeing, reading, eating, hearing, to who I am with.
What is your studio space like?
The universe has been kind to me and I have a remarkably beautiful light at Penn State University.
Is there anything that you find particularly challenging or daunting about pursuing art seriously? Or is there an obstacle you've overcome creatively or professionally that you learned from?
All kinds of things are challenging and daunting, but mostly I'm incredibly grateful and humbled that I can do this for work. One obstacle that is really quite useful is the incessant feeling that there is a better way to communicate or make any given work. That feeling keeps me deliciously unsatisfied and keeps me working.
You've participated in or undertaken a number of residency programs; what do you think the value of residencies are for artists? Was there one that stood out to you?
Residencies I've done have taken so many shapes and forms - each valuable for different things. One value that ties them together is the gift of time and space. When I went to the MacDowell Colony I was 22 and really struggling in New York to live and make work. The gift of that month spent with some incredibly accomplished and remarkable artists coming from across generations nourished me to keep pushing.
What is your go-to when you find yourself at a creative standstill?
Go see art.
How do you define "success?"
Sustaining a Creative Life! (shout out to Sharon Louden)
Do you have any upcoming exhibitions or other projects?
I just had an opening on January 7th at Galleri Urbane in Dallas, TX, for my solo show Skyline Drive with a large group of new works on paper made for their space.
Anything else you would like to add?
Thanks Kate for your work and for Young Space!
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