Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Thayer Fellowship Finalist, Leah Tacha, Purchase College, Art+Design MFA Candidate Interviewed by Picture Purchase's Ebony Brown

(Photo by Ebony Brown - cropped/detail shot, Artwork Video coming soon)

I interviewed Leah Tacha, Sculptor, Purchase College SUNY, School of Art+Design MFA Candidate and Thayer Fellowship finalist (in the running for a $7,000 award) on Monday, March 16, 2009 in the Richard & Dolly Maass Gallery. Below are snippits of her responses from our interview.

"There weren't a lot of notable female Sculptors when I was an undergraduate student so it was easy for sculptors such as Yayoi Kusama and Eva Hesse to make an impression on me. Both Yayoi Kusama and Eva Hesse's work embodied a lack of 'following the rules' and I liked that."

"I'll use anything, mostly everything, especially
easily accessible materials because I'm in a constant quest not to spend too much money. These cardboard cylinders over here (currently in the MAASS Gallery) are donations from a carpet company out in Jersey. I made the call and now they know me by name and donate their cardboard-carpet holders to me whenever they're looking to get rid of them."

At this point during the interview, University Police (who are in fact, State Troopers) entered the Richard and Dolly Maass Gallery in the Visual Arts Building and asked "What is this I'm looking at" I kindly asked him, "Well, what does this work invoke or say to you?" and the Officer stepped back for a moment and said, "That over there looks like a present exploding through a Chimney. All of this reminds me of being in a constant state of animated suspension when everything (encountered) is new like when you're kid." An explanation wasn't necessary, he was right.

"I loved The Secret Garden growing up, both the book and movie continues to influence my artwork today as does the landscape of Kansas. I think discovery, beauty and the unexpected can be found in my work similar to how it is in the book" said Leah.

"In terms of people who come to see my work, I hope that they'll get the feeling of sincerity, honesty and humor - its not pretty but it is generous to look at especially when all else seems monotonous and bleak"

"I hope to continue making art, meet new people and I'd like to have more 'artists' friends, being in Grad School sort of allows for this to happen."

"I never felt confident in my first four years of my undergrad college career, in my fifth year (it was a five year program) I was finally able to make an impression on a professor that I thought hated me and I finally felt confident and realized that I wanted to continue making art so I applied to Grad School and went to New York!"

"I want people to remember that they smiled when they saw my work, its abstract but the kind that people can connect to."

Leah Tacha will be interviewed on Tuesday, March 17th by the Thayer Fellowship judges and we wish her luck as she is in the running for $7000! She will also be exhibiting work as apart of the Purchase College, School of Art+Design MFA Group Show, GIMME GIMME at Smith Stewart Gallery on April 17th. (See previous posts for info) Go Leah!

Thayer Fellowship Award


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