Class 5: Artist Talk by Stephen Sollins

Stephen Sollins, one of the artists in AFAM’s current exhibition, alt_quilts, visited class today for an artist talk!

Photo by Christine Wise, New York (fotobetty.com)

Photo by Christine Wise, New York.                       (www.fotobetty.com)

He began by showing students examples of three of his past projects, all of which dealt, in some way, with questions like:

  • How much should an artist tell versus hold back?
  • Can things be alive?
Photo by Christine Wise, New York (photobetty.com)

Photo by Christine Wise, New York.
(www.fotobetty.com)

He spoke about his interest in the presence of people where there are no people and how things don’t mean anything to him unless they come from life. All of the materials he uses for his artwork–newspaper obituaries, cross-stitched table cloth, mailing envelopes–already exist in the world and have a meaning.

Photo by Christine Wise, New York. (www.fotobetty.com)

Photo by Christine Wise, New York.
(www.fotobetty.com)

In response to the students’ questions regarding some of his monochromatic quilts, Stephen described his interest in 20th century artists like Robert Ryman, who made a career of making paintings in all one color.

The students asked lots of wonderful questions, ranging from specific and technical–Walid wanted to know if the pieces of a certain work of art were all mathematically equal (they weren’t)–to more personal–Scarlett wanted to know how Stephen feels when people interpret his art in ways he didn’t intend.

Photo by Christine Wise, New York. (www.fotobetty.com)

Photo by Christine Wise, New York.
(www.fotobetty.com)

He left everybody with a lot to think about!

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2 thoughts on “Class 5: Artist Talk by Stephen Sollins

  1. It was really fun to see the face behind the art. It was a great experience to see him talk about his own art piece. I thought that it was interesting that he only used material around his house, like newspaper.
    – Ana Lynch, tee docent blog

  2. I remember how engaged the class was with Stephen discussion. I was particularly interested in the background story he gave about how he started making art. Overall I really enjoyed this class.

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