#55: Sandra Fettingis
Sandra Fettingis, one of RedLine's newest artist/residents, works in geometric patterns that powerfully repeat in sculptural installations, murals and even jewelry, with a result that's both decorative and smartly modern. Chicago-born, but now a Denverite whose latest forays include "I Know You Know That I Know," a site-specific public installation at the Colorado Convention Center and a local product partnership with the West Elm home-furnishing store in Cherry Creek, Fettingis also helped spearhead Project Hello, a networking incubator for local artists in all disciplines, in 2010. We asked Fettingis, whose work is equally at home in large-scale iterations and small-scale exhibitions, to share her take on being an artist in the 21st century by answering the 100CC questionnaire; read on to learn more.
Westword: If you could collaborate with anyone in history, who would it be, and why?
Sandra Fettingis: Olafur Eliasson. I first saw his work in person in a retrospective exhibit at the MCA Chicago, and I couldn't get enough. I talked about the work for days, and continue to reference it often. I enjoy and respect that his work engulfs users in unexpected, sensory driven environments, while being aesthetically beautiful. I like the clear focus behind his smart concepts and execution, and often minimalist approach to the final outcome of the work. These are all things I hope to attain in my work over time as I transition to larger-scale work. Who in the world is interesting to you right now, and why?
David Lynch. I am very interested and inspired by people who are dedicated to living a creative life and making it work. Lynch is obviously one of those people. Beyond his many artistic hats and impressive list of successful projects, I really love hearing him speak about his work and process, point of view, and meditation practice. His perspective is almost always amusing, unapologetic-ally unique and genuine, and his life long artistic commitment is an inspiration, and a reminder of our personal ability to design the paths we really want in this life.
What's one art trend you want to see die this year? I've never liked any kind of weaponry used in art or design. While it may not currently be a hot trend, I've noticed waves of it in art and design over time, and am always surprised how often they are represented, specifically in graphic and industrial design. Personally, it's a big turn off, as I think statements can be made without its presence, and feel they shouldn't be glorified in any way.
What's your day job?
I currently work a couple of days at the MCA Denver, and am fortunate enough to work on commissions the remainder of the time.
A mystery patron offers you unlimited funds for life. What will you do with it?
First and foremost I would set my family up financially, and create two fully functional studios; one in a city as my home base studio, and the other in a tropical, beach environment that I would "vacation" in while working. Each studio would be outfitted with my dream machines and tools like lasers, water jet cutters, torches, powder coaters, etc. I would then help set up small-medium sized, manageable studio residencies all over the world to help early career artists gain work spaces with professional and peer support in areas where such a thing doesn't exist.
What's the one thing Denver (or Colorado) could do to help the arts?
Continue to offer, fund and support more affordable studio spaces for artists. I have found that having a studio outside of my home has brought a new level of focus and growth in my practice, which in turn has lead to more projects, exhibits and commissions, as well as community expansion. Having a separate work space becomes a way of treating your work like a day job, ultimately advancing your career. For me, its been an essential stepping stone on my path towards working full time as an artist.
Who is your favorite Colorado Creative? Evan Hecox. He has great graphic style that combines many of my favorites; architecture, line work, bold graphics, layers and minimal use of color. I admire his work because while I find it current, it also carries moments and elements of "the classic" throughout, which is not always an easy feat.
What's on your agenda in the coming year?
Aside from the RedLine residency that is keeping me busy, I am have several projects lined up. I am currently working on an exterior mural for Elevated Design on South Broadway, a public, mixed media installation for The Douglas, an apartment complex in RINO, and an exhibit based on science and math at the Sharjah Contemporary Art Museum in the Unite Arab Emirates which opens in mid December. I then hope to squeeze in a travel adventure out of the country.
Who do you think will get noticed in the local arts community in 2014 and beyond?
My RedLine studio neighbor, Dimitri Obergfell, and artist duo and couple, Hari and Deepti. All three are all ready gaining visibility in Denver, but I think this is just the beginning for each of them. They are all hard-working artists with distinct voices and have the dedication to continue working and growing in ways that will keep us on our toes.
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Learn more about Sandra Fettingis and her work online.
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