Our October art show will feature Liv Moe and Elisabeth Higgins O’Connor. Be sure to check out the reception for Get Well Soon on October 5!
Liv Moe is an artist and writer in Sacramento. Her recent artistic efforts include three dimensional work in a variety of media.
How long have you been creating art?
I’ve been making art since I was little. My mother was in art school when I was a kid and would teach me what she was learning in art school when she got home from class everyday. As far as deciding to make it a real focus and pursuing art in earnest on a career level, I’ve been at it for a little over 10 years.
What role did your education play in transforming your aesthetic or theory?
My undergrad at Davis was hugely transformative. At Davis I learned that my aesthetic was valid and worth pursuing. Perhaps as or maybe even more important, I learned that there is a difference between art and craft, as well as personal expression versus dialogue. Davis provided an indispensable foundation .
Probably the best thing I took away from Sac State was a better understanding of art theory and realizing that the questions I’m struggling with have been debated for centuries.
How long have you been executive director at Verge Center for the Arts? Does art-making ever have to come second to your duties at the Verge?
I’ve been directing Verge since 2008. Sadly, art-making comes second constantly. Verge is without a doubt the hardest thing I’ve ever done and gets in the way of a lot things…. exercise, a clean house, personal time, sanity. Recently, I’ve realized I’m a better administrator and I am more capable of keeping things in perspective when I maintain my studio practice so I’ve really been making an effort to stay on top of my own work.
What is the best part about living in Sacramento?
Elisabeth Higgins O’Connor is a Sacramento artist and art professor at Sierra College.
How long have you been creating art?
I have been making art for as long as I can remember….very early childhood, 3 or 4?
I specifically remember being commissioned to draw ducklings for fellow kindergartners. My mother would save the white cards from pantyhose packets, plus stock the coffee table drawers with reams of typing paper and packs of felt tips from the supermarket for us to use as drawing material. As kids, my brothers and I drew all the time.
As an adult, I wandered around somewhat directionless in terms of artmaking until the early 1990′s.That is, before the early 90′s I was always making work, but pieces were one-offs, or about fulfilling class projects, not from any specific, sustained line of inquiry.
What currently inspires your work?
The rampant growth of invasive species like kudzu and weeds, saccharine-ly sweet animal toys with rubber faces from the 1950′s and 60′s, the aesthetic condition of structures built by destitute yet resourceful populations, and images from old wrestling magazines, among much more.
What is your favorite subject to teach?
I love to teach sculpture and drawing, but the speed of transformation combined with a newly discovered confidence in a drawing student is more satisfying (for me) sometimes. That is, we move through so many approaches so quickly in a drawing class, that progress in their technical skills comes early on in the class, that frees us up to move on to exploring content with less hindrances.
Is it difficult to grade art?
In beginning level drawing class, students usually have a list of criteria that needs to be addressed, so it’s a matter of “box-ticking”. However the sheer volume of drawings each student produces can be overwhelming. Grading sculpture projects is a whole ‘nother kettle of fish. Students usually have preparatory work (sketchbook, group discussions, maquettes) for a sculpture project that takes a week or 3 to complete, so this grade is based on observing a student’s actual engagement with their work and active working presence in the studio, plus preparatory stuff. As long as they work hard in class, and make an honest effort in the homework, students generally will get a good grade.
What is your favorite time of day for creating?
I’m a daytime worker. On a perfect studio day I would wake up around 8am, have a few cups of coffee, quickly scan the NYTimes and LATimes online and then work from about 9am/10am to 3pm/4pm. A perfect studio day would entail no other “office-y” parts of an art career, but that is usually a fantasy. When I am able to have a busywork component to my practice, like cutting flowers from stiffened bedsheets, I like to do this at night in my softies (jammies) in front of the TV watching “Hoarders” or some other rubber-necking type of show.
For more on Liv Moe, check out her site
For more on Elisabeth Higgins O’Connor, go here.