Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Interview with Lindsay McCulloch

Lindsay is currently one of our keyholder resident artists at Pyramid Atlantic. Her work has been exhibited nationally at such venues as the Bowery Gallery in New York City, MPG Contemporary in Boston, Carillon Gallery in Fort Worth, and Marist College Art Gallery in Poughkeepsie. McCulloch holds various awards, including a Joan Mitchell Foundation Fellowship, a Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fellowship for Painting, an Arches Paper Company Printmaking Award, a Purchase Award from the Special Collections at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, and the Art New England Award at the Boston Printmakers North American Print Biennial. McCulloch has taught at Boston University, the University of Virginia, and Northern Essex Community College.

GS: Could you tell us a bit about your work, process, ideas, etc.?

LM: My work uses the suburban landscape to explore feelings of isolation and disquiet. The images that I depict are based on real places – these are streets that I pass down every day. But there is something slightly ominous in this familiarity. There is a sense of claustrophobia – of feeling trapped. I think everyone feels like this sometimes – like they are trapped in a routine and have a desire for escape.

The ideas for my work usually stem from walks or drives. I take lots of photographs of my surroundings, always looking for themes relevant to my art. I use these pictures as a starting point for my prints and paintings - though usually the final image comes out quite different from the photo that inspired it.

GS: What are you working on currently? What are you most interested in exploring in your upcoming projects?

LM: The world is so big. I am really interested in conveying this vastness in relation to the smallness of a person’s individual existence. There are so many interesting and devastating things happening in the world right now that I would like to explore, but I need to focus on finishing my current projects before tackling something new.

One of the projects that I am working on right now is a series of night-time images of neighborhoods. They are mostly aquatint, drypoint, and chine colle’. The second project is a series of large-scale etching diptychs that I hope to also make into a book. My third project is based on numerous photographs I took out train windows on various trips between Boston and Washington, D.C. These pictures were taken during a very significant time period for me, and I’m hoping to turn them into a large silk screen installation.

GS: Who are your artistic influences and why?

LM: My favorite artist is Goya. His etchings and the dark paintings from later in his life really capture an understanding of the human condition. They are so powerful. You really get the feeling that they were deeply personally satisfying for him – that he had something to say and he said it better than anyone else could have.

GS: How have you handled the business side of being an artist?

LM: The business side is not always easy. I would love to just focus on making the work, because that’s the best part. But I want people to see the work, so I have to think about the business end, as well. I have a calendar. I try to plan a couple of promotional things that I’m doing for my art each month. Sometimes I am very motivated and I get a lot more done. I think staying organized helps – it keeps me on top of deadlines and goals.

GS: What advice would you give to an artist just entering the field?

LM: That’s tough. I suppose I would say that generosity is important. Many people in this field act very cut-throat. It doesn’t have to be like that. I think it’s better to help other artists out when you can. You never know when they might be able to repay you the favor in the future.

The Keyholder residency program provides concentrated work time for artists to explore new ideas in one of Pyramid Atlantic's studio disciplines.

Our next deadline for summer residencies is March 5th. Interested in applying? Visit for more information and application

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