“I came up from a hard-knock north Denver life, but I’ve never had a shortage on dreams or haikus!” That’s the long and the short of how artist Corrina Espinosa, an expansive lover of life, introduces herself. Now working toward fulfilling those dreams as an MFA candidate at the University of Colorado Boulder, Espinosa has created a trail of faces carved in Sloan’s Lake Park tree stumps, Crazy Little People scenarios, unicorn memes, robots, collages and new-media installations to get where she’s going — always with a smile on her face and a haiku for everything. Like this one:
Lotus (my haiku bio)
Roots in Northside muck,
floating in gratitude, my
mailbox blooming full.
Keep reading for her answers to the 100CC questionnaire.
Westword: If you could collaborate with anyone in history, who would it be, and why?
Corrina Espinosa: I read somewhere that you should keep a group of masterminds as imaginary friends. They can be anyone from history, and you get to know them, look at their work and form internal friendships with them. Some of my best friends are Mark Twain, Marcel Duchamp, Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, Frida Kahlo and the still-living kinetic sculptor Theo Jansen. But my heart’s true desire has always been to make things glow or blow them up with my hero, Nikola Tesla.
Who in the world is interesting to you right now, and why?
I am interested in DIY/hacker/maker spaces and all the people who come together there to share ideas about new creative technologies. I get so excited about new media and all the possibilities that are opening up to artists through these open-source, collaborative-based communities. It’s imperative to the future of art. Grab hold or get left behind!
What's one art trend you want to see die this year?
The one thing I want to see happen is a shift in artist perspectives from that of competing against one another to collaborating in order to build a thriving art scene robust enough to fight the real enemy: the dreaded television culture. A booming creative community that is inclusive rather than exclusive is the most powerful weapon to fight against the very sad and disturbing Kardashian/Trump mentality.
What's your day job?
I am currently rounding out my second year of grad school at CU Boulder, where I also get to teach Intro to Studio Arts 1 & 2 and work as a Digital Lab assistant. When I’m not at school, I help run a small yet determined artist co-op in Denver called Good Thieves Press.
A mystery patron offers you unlimited funds for life. What will you do with it?
I would fulfill my lifelong dream of opening a super-urban and awesome art center for Denver’s inner-city youth. Our kids deserve a place with state-of-the-art equipment and well-funded mentors, where they can go to express their creative passions. Of course, I will have my own studio, nothing too grand…just enough so I can make art every day for the rest of my days on earth.
Denver, love it or leave it? What keeps you here — or makes you want to leave?
To be honest, I don’t know anything about a life outside of Denver. I’ve lived here my whole life, and I’m well connected with family, friends and the art community. I worked with the students and teachers of Denver Public Schools on various levels for more than ten fantastic years! I love these people and this place from the core of my being. However, I’m at a tipping point in my life and my career, and I know that great adventures await me. I am ready to travel and to experience the world! And yet…Denver is and always will be my home.
What's the one thing Denver (or Colorado) could do to help the arts?
Stop letting developers push artists out of affordable spaces! Don’t forget that artists bring life, beauty, culture and education to neighborhoods. This is not luxury; it is necessity.
Who is your favorite Colorado Creative?
I love my high-school English teacher, Bea Shepard — a lifelong friend and writing coach. I love Susan Froyd, Denver’s beloved arts cheerleader who encourages and nurtures all of us artists! And I can’t forget my business partner, art collaborator and true friend, Tyler Christopherson — he always rocks out our many shared art endeavors, through all sorts of crazy ups and downs, and is one of the most giving, determined and hardest-working artists I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.
What's on your agenda in the coming year?
My studio practice for the next year will be focused on bringing objects to life with new media technology! This means kinetics! In June I will be demonstrating motion the Movement Studio at the Denver Art Museum. I will also be curating/showing in a variety of exhibitions, including our big fourth annual Robot Art show at GTP in May, a Chicano/identity exhibition at the University of Barcelona in August, and by this time next year, I will be exhibiting my MFA thesis!
Who do you think will get noticed in the local arts community in the coming year?
I like to see the underdogs come up on top. I hope to see some new, unique faces making their way into the Denver art scene!
The Malfunction: Robot/Glitch Art Show, juried by Chicago glitch artist Jon Satrom, opens May 7 at Good Thieves Press, 2045 Downing Street, and runs through May 21. Learn more about Corrina Espinosa and her Autonomous Soup New Media Fine Art Studio online.