100 Colorado Creatives 3.0: Tya Anthony

Tya Anthony explores culture and identity through photography.
Tya Anthony explores culture and identity through photography.
Tya Anthony

#87: Tya Anthony
A photographer first, Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design grad Tya Anthony widens the boundaries of her craft through adventures in mixed-media collage, installation and performance with cultural roots, while also focusing on faces and social movements through portraiture and documentation. What’s on
Tya Anthony’s horizon? Get a picture of the future from her answers to the 100CC questionnaire.

A portrait of Tya Anthony.EXPAND
A portrait of Tya Anthony.
Frank Varney

Westword: If you could collaborate with anyone in history, who would it be, and why?

Tya Anthony: Given the opportunity to collaborate with anyone in history, I would choose the photographer Irving Penn. Penn’s depictions of waste, sorrow, loss and love through photography inspire me to research the human condition beyond the ideal of beauty. His photographs possess the essence of time and grace.

Who in the world is interesting to you right now, and why?

Photographer and body sculpture artist Kimiko Yoshida. Yoshida’s body of work is elegant, androgynous and timeless. Each photograph is a painterly masterpiece full of color — or completely void of it at other times. When an artist chooses to turn the camera onto themselves, I believe it creates an introspective dialogue, revealing details of the artist’s nature.

What's one art trend you want to see die this year?

Good grief — over-processed photographs.

Tya Anthony, "Sunra."EXPAND
Tya Anthony, "Sunra."
Tya Anthony

What’s your day job?

My day job is complicated as a fine artist. I am the Creative Director of Photography and Director of Art Therapy & Curatorial Affairs for Baltimore-based global health initiative Brownandhealthy.com. I am currently applying to several fine-art residency programs in the Denver metro area, as I am interested in giving back to a community that is obviously ever-expanding.

A mystery patron offers you unlimited funds for life. What will you do with it?

I would build a community artist studio and research center equipped with necessary tools, and exhibition and residency space. 

Denver, love it or leave it? What keeps you here?

Love it, of course! Denver has been the best place to explore fine art and personal growth, both of which feed my soul and improve my quality of life. In the realm of art, Denver provides many opportunities to collaborate with diverse artists, galleries and cultures. Personally, there are so many ways in which [people] can involve themselves in the community, depending on their interests. Then there are the rooftop Sunday brunches…that definitely keeps me here.

Tya, Anthony, "Bena Biambo | Congo."
Tya, Anthony, "Bena Biambo | Congo."
Tya Anthony

What's the one thing Denver (or Colorado) could do to help the arts?

Denver could help the arts by continuing to build better relationships between local artists and public schools. Art in all public schools should remain a priority for children of all ages. This act would not only provide beneficial arts education for future artists, but it would also provide income for artists in the ever- expanding economy of this budding city. 

Who is your favorite Colorado Creative?

That’s such a hard question, as I’ve only recently graduated from an art school, don’t you think? I had the honor and privilege of experiencing so many fantastic creatives at RMCAD that to choose just one would be hard, but I would say Laura Shill is my favorite. Her current solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art is provocative and completely immersive. As an artist who explores tactile objects personally, I enjoy every stitch of her work.

100 Colorado Creatives 3.0: Tya Anthony
Tya Anthony

What's on your agenda in the coming year?

2016 for me is a year of giving back to the community through art, by focusing on the well-being of girls and families wanting to live healthier lifestyles. 

Who do you think will get noticed in the local arts community in the coming year?

There are so many fantastic artists coming out of RMCAD. Recent graduates Jake Holschuh, Andrew Almanza, Dalton Frizzell, Dayana Ruiz, Jacquelyn Moore and Cassandra Zook are some of my favorites.  

See the The Art of Being Natural, a portrait documentary series by Tya Anthony, at the Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library through Friday, April 8. Learn more about Tya Anthony and her work online. 

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