2017 ArtWalk Artist - Denise LeClaire
Denise R LeClaire Denise is our 2017 ArtWalk artist. She is a West Michigan artist and high school counselor. Denise creates collages using found paper objects such as antique sheet music, atlases, and books. Often, she applies a photo transparency over the collage and then, paints over those layers allowing you to see or hide different components of the canvas. This artist focuses on an idea such as belonging, forgiveness, mortality, or love. Her goal is to create a connection between people and her art with shared experiences. All of Denise's work is personal, a combination of the ordinary and the profound. Like a soft kiss on the forehead for no reason. In Honour of the Fact that Life is Short ArtWalk Voting Code: Artist number - MM14. Category - Mixed Media Denise answers our "Ten Questions to the Artist" so that we can get to know her, just a little. 1. What turns you on creatively, spiritually, or emotionally? I heard a quote once, I think it was Marianne Williamson who said that the spiritual path is just the journey of living our lives and we are all on a spiritual path, sometimes we just don’t know it. I love this philosophy and feel like it falls together with my own belief in the importance of small moments, the little things that end up being the most memorable. So, it’s just everyday life that does it for me. We get to decide in the first world, what to do with our days, how we respond to life, and how we are creative; it’s a huge gift that not everyone has, that’s a pretty big turn on. 2. Do you have an influence or theme that guides your work? I think the theme is connection through common ground. I think there is a spiritual and emotional element to my work with the combination of ideas, words and photographs and I see and feel this when I talk to people about what’s drawn them to a particular piece. 3. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Travel photographer/writer 4. What profession would you not like to do? Police officer 5. Who are your favorite artists? VanGogh, O’Keefe, Gustav Klimt, Mark Rothko, Jim Dine 6. What is your favorite tool used to create your work? A “mop” brush. 7. What is your favorite word? Serendipitous 8. What is your least favorite word? Can’t think of one. 9. Who is your favorite musician? Impossible to choose. I love all kinds of music. 10. How much formal education have you received? My B.A. is in Sociology and Fine Art. I’ve taken art classes on and off my entire life including in photography, pottery, painting, drawing & collage. What I’m currently doing with regard to the combination of collage, photography, photo transfer and painting is self taught, trial and error. Thank you, Denise, for answering our questions. Stop in to the gallery to see her exhibit. She and I will be hosting an Artist Talk beginning at 7:30 pm. Denise will be in the gallery, Friday night, October 6, 6-9pm.
Our August exhibit is a show different from anything in the past at C2C Gallery. This art show by Camille Johnson will be Time Based Visual Art. To be honest, I am not sure what we will be seeing until the show is hung and ready for viewing. It will be both a large drawing and a video created by Camille. The backdrop for a play written and produced by Camille Johnson Camille spent her time in both Vermont and Michigan growing up. Currently, she is in New York City attending Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts. Throughout her life, she has always had many projects going at the same time. At a young age, she wrote several articles that were published in the Burlington Free Press, wrote music for the school choir, staged an entire play more than once, and created artwork in many mediums. One of the things that I love about Camille is that she is never bored. There were very few times she said "I'm bored. What can I do?" She always had an idea and ran with it. Here are Camille's answers to our Ten Questions to the Artist: 1. What turns you on creatively, spiritually, or emotionally? The Subway. 2. Do you have an influence or theme that guides your work? At the moment my work is heavily influenced by my circumstances. I find that I am in a really unique context—with regard to place in the world and place in a longitudinal consideration of my life/age. I am eighteen and I live on East 93rd St. in Manhattan and it’s incredible how much those two contexts penetrate each other. I am honored by the opportunity around me to be taken by this city’s highest highs and lowest lows and every middle of the night subway ride in between. My work is a process of childhood recovery. Picasso had it right when he said, “Every child is an artist. The hard part is how to remain that artist when you grow up.” I am working on nurturing my childhood artist and finding its place in this big grown up city world. 3. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? I would like to be an aerial silk performer in a traveling burlesque carnival troupe that is accompanied by a Balkan brass band. 4. What profession would you not like to do? I would not like to do wealth management for Monsanto. 5. Who are your favorite artists? Egon Schiele, Robert Mapplethorpe and Patti Smith, Eiko Otaike, Susan Rethorst, Bread and Puppet Theater, Marlene Dumas, Susan Sontag, Basil Twist, Diane Arbus, Swoon, Colson Whitehead. 6. What is your favorite tool used to create your work? I work in almost every medium. I like to work in all of them at once. For this reason, time has become an element of my pieces. This month you will see one example of my time based visual art—merging puppetry, film, charcoal, and movement. 7. What is your favorite word? I do not have a favorite word. 8. What is your least favorite word? realistic 9. Who is your favorite musician? Well, today, it was Lou Reed on the album, "Songs for Drella". 10. How much formal education have you received? I have spent one year of college at the New School (Eugene Lang) in New York City. I am currently on a year’s leave of absence. A collage by Camille Johnson Camille's exhibit will be on display through August. It will be a large drawing with a video displayed onto the drawing. Stop in.