Category: Featured Artist

Wearing Lots of Hats

pictures handmade quilts

What hats are you wearing today?  I recently talked to Candy Glendening, of Candied Fabrics.  Candy had some excellent insight as to the multiple roles the modern day creative entrepreneur must assume.  Sometimes we find ourselves playing the part of a designer, other times authors, and still yet, artists, bloggers, crafters, teachers, seamstresses, etc. etc. etc. and often along with all this we are mothers and wives.

Why do we do this, Candy and I joked?

It seems that maybe we have to.  It’s something that is within us.  It’s in our blood –we must create.  Candy and I both feel strongly about this.  She would even go so far as to say we should “make things just for the sake of making –that’s how our work grows and evolves”.

Candy Glendening Mod House OrnamentsAfter I got off the phone with Candy, I remembered feeling assured that what I was doing with The Artists’ House was the right thing to do.  You see, I feel people should keep their dreams as the solid foundation of their lives, but often you do need to learn to wear each of those hats to be able to build upon those dreams Candy reminded me.  Candy says, “Although I have many goals in my life, one of my main goals is to continue to grow, develop and evolve as an artist.”  I find that with the busyness of life, we often start to loose our dreams, and I believe that if you are not focused, the chaos of life can obscure what it is you were looking for.

Candy Glendening Messenger BagSo, in conclusion, have your goals in mind, and always be working towards them, but do realize that there are often other roles that you will have to take on to be able to reach those goals.  Don’t let those other hats you must wear sidetrack you, but rather use them to your advantage.  Let those parts of your life connect you to your work and help make it better.  Find how to connect all parts of your everyday life into your goals.  It’s not easy, but if you can do this, I believe you can find success in what you do.

Thanks Candy, for helping me come to this conclusion.

Do you know Candy?  If you don’t, you should.  Candy as a person is amazing, as is her art and her blog.  You can find Candy online through her website Candied Fabrics, facebook page, and on twitter.  Along with that, Candy does a great “Ask Candy” column on A La Mode Stuff.  Also, recently Candy did a great guest post on Scoutie Girl titled “One little house at a time: finding your art, getting published, and going live!” Check it out!

One Last Look at Cristin Zimmer

I’ve been trying to get this post published for about a week now.  Josh and I have been having some significant computer problems and I’m sad to say that the website we were working on, where we were going to display galleries for our featured artists, well it’s no longer, we lost it all.  You might have also seen this blog in disarray on Monday.  And sure enough, even our baby blog was affected; we lost about a month worth of posts.  Unfortunately, I don’t have a fancy website to link you to today, and while that’s sad I’m happy to report that regardless of all these misfortunes, what I’m going to show you today will most certainly change the mood I have so sadly set. 

We attended the opening gallery of our featured artist Cristin Zimmer this past Wednesday.  
Her work spoke to me on a deep level.  The facial expressions that I saw in her work, at times seemed like a mirror, reflecting back to me my own emotions and struggles.  
And while I have photots to share with you today, if you live in the Salt Lake City area, you should really go see her show.  It speaks louder and clearer when heard in person.  
Her show will be running for one more week.  You can find directions here.
Baggage Claim 
Such a Good Girl
Roll Over
Get Yer Tail
Raama in the Indian Summer

Artist’ Statement: Women possess raw, creative energy as well as destructive power. This split nature speaks to archetypal dualities that exist universally in the myths, stories, and legends that have reflected diverse societies’ views on women, and in turn, influenced women’s views of themselves.

My work explores the female psyche. Dualities that exist in mythical women manifest themselves everyday in the minds of the modern woman: balancing the psychological need to find the wild, assertive and instinctual self with the constraints and expectations of domesticity; the harm of certain coping mechanisms, versus the terrifying risk of letting them go; and internalized physical strength, versus the awareness of one’s mental deterioration. I address specific psychological struggles that unfold in my own mind as well as in those of close friends and family.

My figures should look as though they have just emerged from the earth, recalling many cultures’ creation myths. Raw, unglazed surfaces crate a tenuous balance, on of strength but also tension, that depict both the fragile balance of consciousness over the millennia and hint at our constant search to know ourselves.

Mosaic chips reference a rich ceramic history an tradition, but ultimately become abstract representation of the self; fragmented bits and pieces of memory, experience, people, and inherited biology that combine to form our being. Using these chips, I explore how these pieces add up and then end up surfacing in our everyday lives; sometimes exploding from the inside, and at other times slowly leaking out, revealed only by injury or painful introspection. At times they only surface in dreams, acting as a lens through which we see our world.

Symbolic settings become the backdrops for complex inner dramas to play out. These figures and landscapes take the form of busts, historically used to commemorate the public accomplishments of male patrons. I want to pay homage to women for something much more personal and private: the complexity of her inner thoughts, feelings, emotions and ambitions. A woman’s inner life is not always accessible or easily articulated to others, but it is in that place that we discover our true selves.   By:  Cristin Zimmer

If you are interested in contacting Cristin for more information, or to purchase her work, you can find her on the web at czimmer(dot)com.  

And if you are interested in being our next featured artist, then send us an email to theartistshouse(at)gmail(dot)com, along with five images of your work plus an artist’s statement.

Surface…ing Cristin Zimmer

We at The Artists’ House are pleased to bring you a glimpse of artist Cristin Zimmer as our first featured artist.   Check out Cristin’s work in person at her Senior Thesis Show, May 12-27 at Gittins Gallery, located on the Campus of the University of Utah.

The Artists House: Please give us a brief bio, where you are from and how you started in this field?

Cristin Zimmer:  I am originally from Denver, CO, and got my BA at Pitzer College in Claremont, CA in 2001.  I studied Studio Art and Environmental Studies.  I went to Pitzer to study ceramics, a medium that has interested me since I was a small child.  As a child, I think I was interested because I had supportive and inspiring teachers who encouraged me in art classes and parents who did the same.  In high school, I had a neighbor who was an elderly potter, who had a studio in her garage.  She taught me to throw and I spent most days in the ceramics studio at school even staying after school ended to work on projects.  With the exception of about five years that I took off after I graduated from college, when I worked primarily as a river guide, involvement with clay has been a lifelong pursuit.

AH:  When did you first discover your creative talents? 

CZ:  My mom tells a story that when I was around three years old, I got into the cupboard and became fascinated with the papers that you line muffin tins with to make cupcakes or muffins.  I took the muffin papers that were multicolored and began to stack them into an abstract form.  My mom gave me glue and I glued them into a crazy stack that was taller than I was.  This was my first sculpture project and I have been trying to build and make things ever since.

AH:  What inspires you to keep going when you are in an artistic slump, and how do you keep yourself motivated?  

CZ:  I have a strong work ethic and I am stubborn so I just keep forging ahead even if I know I am not making my best work.  I make it through slumps by working and somehow my hands intuitively work things out eventually.  I have to trust myself.  In the end I only pick my best pieces.

AH:  How would you describe your style? 

CZ:  This is really hard.  I hope my style has not been defined yet, and I work in different media and genre depending on what my ideas demand.  I am interested in natural materials, the passage of time, trying to visually link human self-consciousness through time and place, gender roles and identity, and the interface of humans and the environment.
AH:  What is your approach to design? 

CZ:  I get ideas and let them swirl around in my head for a few days.  Then I sketch them very crudely just to get a general sense of form.  Next I may make a small maquette to make sure proportions are what I envisioned.  Some of my pieces are larger and must be built in pieces.  These require more planning.  On some pieces I have made several of, I have an idea in my head and I just trust the intuitive process.
AH:  Any influences or anyone you look up to when it comes to designing/creating art? 

CZ:  I love the ceramic artists Adrienne Arleo and Tip Toland, the earth artists Robert Smithson, and Andy Goldsworthy, and Spanish modernist architect Antoni Gaudi. 
AH:  What other interests do you have outside of creating art?

CZ:  I love being outdoors and am inspired by spending time in the natural environment.  I enjoy skiing, biking and kayaking.  I also like to read fiction and get many ideas for pieces for listening or reading peoples’ stories.  
AH:  How long does it take to create one sculpture? 

CZ:  Around two weeks to build, and I usually have a couple going at once.  Most of my pieces are fired several times so actually finishing a piece takes about two months when you factor in drying and firing.
AH:  Could you talk about your latest series of sculptures and what you are trying to achieve with them.  

CZ:  My latest body of work explores and attempts to commemorate the female psyche.  The work is essentially a series of busts that have psychological dramas playing out on symbolic settings that are materializing out of the figures’ heads and hair.  These dramas are metaphors for conflicting thoughts, feelings and emotions that I and other women experience everyday.  Colorful mosaic chips which represent the fragments that make up the self also reference ceramic tradition and history, become features such as eyes, and clothing. 
AH:  Where do you find your subject matter?  

CZ:  My latest body of work is extremely introspective.  Most of the pieces are exploring psychological issues that I have personally faced or that close family or friends have experience.  I think it is extremely hard to make engaging art about subject matter that you are not intimately aquatinted with.  I think that is why it seems like many artists make work about themselves or are self-absorbed.  I don’t really think this is the case, I just think that it is hard to capture the essence of something and then make it compelling visually when you are just trying to understand it yourself.  I just have to look within to find subject matter, but oftentimes I see these same issues and tendencies reflected in others.
AH:  Lastly, any words of advice for aspiring designers/artists? 

CZ:  You have to put in the work.  Even if it comes naturally, creative critical thinking is a serious pursuit and you should take yourself and your work seriously.  It is more important than ever in our society that we foster and value creativity.  Make with your head, your heart and your hands.

Visit Cristin’s website at

Our First Featured Artist Preview

Josh and I are currently working on a website where we will feature a variety of artists from our blog and then display their work in an online gallery.  Each month, our blog will feature another artist and over time, the online art gallery will grow.  While we are still in the building stages of this venture, we wanted to share our idea with you and give you a sneak peak of our first featured artist…  

Let me introduce to you a very talented and amazing lady; this is Cristin Zimmer.  She is currently pursuing her MFA in sculptural ceramics at the University of Utah.  Cristin has bravely agreed to be the first artist featured on our blog.  This is just a sneak peak of her work.  Next month we will do a detailed Q&A with Cristin, exploring the inspiration behind her work, her favorite artists, and what inspired her to return to school.  And of course, we would love to show you some of her body of work.  For now, mark your calendars for the evening of May 12th. Cristin will be having her master thesis show in Salt Lake at the gallery located inside the University of Utah’s Art and Art History building.  You don’t want to miss this event.  Cristin’s art is unique, expressive and truly one-of-a-kind; it explores the feelings and emotions associated with being a female artist.  For those of you who don’t reside in the Salt Lake City area, no worries, we will be displaying her work online so that you too can be a part of this great event.