Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Q&A with Frank Holder: Feature Artist

If you noticed on our webpage, we are celebrating a new feature artist whose innovative work is for sale in our Picasso's gift shop. Read on to learn more about his expertise and inspirations and view some samples of his work!

About Frank Holder

Frank Holder’s sculptures convey a unique sense of movement and activity. They are beautiful pieces, and each invokes an intense visceral reaction from the viewer. As a self-taught artist, Holder’s creations are experimental, fresh, and unlike anyone else’s work. Holder’s career as both a visual and theatre artist began by happenstance. Holder attended the University of Arkansas with a scholarship and planned to study botany until one day he accidentally walked into a dancing class rather than his usual botany lab, and he says that his life changed forever. Today he creates art out of Greensboro.

I know that you have backgrounds in several academic areas, but how did you begin working as a sculptor?
"I was a professional dancer for twelve years and owned a dance company. I was focused on theatre arts for years, such as lighting, choreography, and costuming, until the dance company closed. I was always inspired by the work of Alexander Calder, especially the fluidity and movement of his pieces, and began considering working with water as a medium. I bought lava stones to sculpt from a friend with the intention of utilizing water with the stone. I soon went back and purchased scrap materials and began making other work."

What do you consider the most challenging aspect of your career as an artist?
"I was never educated in visual artistry and consider myself a self-made artist. It is a challenge to explore and teach myself new techniques and methods of expression since I was never given much of a formal background in the technicalities of sculpture and visual art. But the frustration isn’t in vain. I never had someone tell me to facilitate my art in one way, and I have the freedom to explore what works and doesn’t on my own. I think it is an important part of my process".

What is the most rewarding aspect of your work as an artist?
"The process of taking a concept, to beginning to tangibly build it, and finishing it or letting it fall apart if it needs to is incredibly stimulating. I enjoy the work itself. I don’t know what I’m doing, but I always like it."

What is your creative process like? What inspires your art?
"My process mainly involves observing nature. I find inspiration in organic matter like trees, moss, rocks, and everything around me. My current work is inspired by fossils and seashells from my childhood in Arkansas. I also listen to classical music all day."

How has your work changed or evolved over the course of your career?
"I try to give my art diversity. I am constantly looking for inexpensive and readily available materials to make art from. Every year for Christmas I give myself the gift of new material to work with. I play with the materials all year and familiarize myself with them. My work as a whole has become more varied from this process of reaching out of my comfort zone."

Who are your favorite artists? Are there any particular art pieces that you consider your favorite?
"I love Matisse’s cutout work. I’m not as crazy about the paintings. His later cutout work is abstract but still relatable, which I try to emulate in my art as well. It seems as though he is channeling the essence of his subject. I also love Pollock’s work, because he had no idea what he was doing."

Below are some photos of Frank's work. More can be seen displayed at the Arts Council and available for purchase at the Picasso's Gift Shop! 


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