Stephen Sollins, one of the artists in AFAM’s current exhibition, alt_quilts, visited class today for an artist talk!
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?
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.
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.
He left everybody with a lot to think about!