Posted // 2013-04-22 -
Gallery Stroll may have had a bit of a chill to it, but it was still a far better way to spend Friday night than bundling up for whatever rain or snow was set to roll in. Particularly interesting for this month were the new galleries and pop-up locations that happened along Broadway, as I saw at least three new locations who look to be adding to the Stroll in new ways. I'll discuss one of those at a later date, but for now, we'll visit a familiar spot along 300 South.
played host this month to a smaller exhibition from paperworks artist Cindy Bean in its back gallery, which also housed many familiar faces from past shows. Today, I chat with Bean about her career and art, along with a few other topics, all with artwork you can check out from that night in this gallery here
Gavin: Hey, Cindy. First off, tell us a little bit about yourself.
Cindy: I grew up in Nevada in the typical Las Vegas home; my dad was a blackjack dealer and my mom was a cocktail waitress. After graduating from high school, I moved up to Provo and got a degree in design from BYU. After that, I moved around a little, back to Vegas, up to Seattle and then finally settling here in Salt Lake, where I currently live in Rose Park -- represent -- with my husband, Tom, our boy, Luke, and our dog, Starla.
Gavin: What first got you interested in art, and what were some early influences on you?
Cindy: I've always loved to draw. When I was a kid, I would draw from those Lee Ames books as much as I could. Every Friday night, my parents would go bowling at the Showboat with the German-American league. One of the bowlers there was a drunken Indian named Bill. Bill would have me draw a squiggle on a sheet of paper, and from that squiggle he would draw a cartoon. Bill was a magical person to me.
Gavin: You received your degree from Brigham Young University. What made you choose its program, and what has your time there been like?
Cindy: My BYU days were awhile ago. I graduated in 1999 with a BA in design. A lot of people tend to knock BYU, but I loved it. I made the best friends there who, almost a decade and a half later, I still consider my best friends. Also, I walked everywhere and that kept the pounds off.
Gavin: What initially attracted you toward design work, and how has it been for you doing that as a career?
Cindy: Initially, I went into the design program seeking a degree in illustration. I didn't get into the program and was going to try again the next year. A friend of mine worked for the BYU theater box office and got me a job making posters. Luckily for me, they hired me on his recommendation because I didn't even know how to save a file when I got started. From there, I switched gears from illustration to graphic design and have gotten jobs based on my ability to do both ever since.
Gavin: When did you first discover paper cutting, and what drew you to work with the art form?
Cindy: In 2006, a friend and I went on a whirlwind trip of Europe. Stopping in Salzburg, we went to the museum at Mozart's birthplace. In the gift shop, they had these small paper cuts for sale. I bought a couple and thought, "I can do this." Then, we went to my grandparent's home in Germany. In their sitting room, they had a few paper cuts hanging on the wall. These were, by far, much more intricate than the ones I had bought in Salzburg and it shifted my line of thinking from, "I can do this" to "I'm going to need to practice this for a while before I can get this good."
Gavin: What's the process like for you when creating a new piece, from start to finish.
Cindy: My process for each piece is different every time. Sometimes, I'll see a paper cutting style I'd like to try and base it off of that. Sometimes, I'll be taking a shower and an idea will come into my brain that I want to do. Always there's research after the initial concept is thought of. I might need to find out what a flying fish really looks like or a certain type of flower. Then, I sketch a few rough drafts, finalize the piece and cut it out. The cutting part is the easiest, but that's mostly because I've had a bit of practice.
Gavin: Considering the intricate designs and time put into each design, what kind of a challenge is it for you creating each one without messing up or having to start over?
Cindy: I always mess up; I try not to. On two of the pieces in the show, there are mistakes in the cuts that only I know about. No one else has spotted them. Paper is really forgiving in some parts because when you're working at such a small scale, the amount of glue needed to mend a tear is minuscule and after a little while, even I don't remember where the errors were.
Gavin: Currently on your website, you offer templates and custom designs for people. What are your plans for expanding the templates, and if someone wanted a custom design, what would they need to do?
Cindy: The templates I do online are for beginning to intermediate cutters. Mostly, they are there to help someone figure out the art of paper cutting. If I do anything a bit more intricate or specialized, it's my art and I won't do a template for it. So, as far as "expanding" goes, I'll just continue to make more different themes. If someone wanted a cut, what they would do is e-mail me and tell me what they want and I'd tell them if I were available or interested in that theme and give them a quote as to how much it would cost. Then we would go from there.
Gavin: Tell us about the artwork on display for this Stroll.
Cindy: There are a few pieces from the story of The Marsh King's Daughter, an Andersen fairy tale, and there are also some from different tales. They all have a water theme to them. These are definitely larger pieces with much more detail to them. My husband helped me out a lot by creating custom board for the frames, so that was fun to collaborate with him on that.
Gavin: How has it been for you working with Blonde Grizzly for this showing and having your work in their shop?
Cindy: Blonde Grizzly is excellent to work with. I like their new location a lot. I also like that there are other things for people to buy there in the shop. Caleb is very accommodating. My first show I ever did with Blonde Grizzly, we were still hanging pieces at 6 p.m. I'm sure he wanted to strangle me.
Gavin: Going local, what are your thoughts on our art scene, both good and bad?
Cindy: I enjoy what they are doing. I think having an art stroll brings the community together. I love wandering the streets every third Friday and finding art and music and food in abundance. I think it's still a bit of an exclusive club. I've talked to neighbors who aren't really into the art scene as much and they have no clue that anything is going on.
Gavin: Who are some local artists you like checking out or recommend people should look for?
Cindy: I love the show that's happening at Kayo Gallery right now with Dan Christofferson and David Habben. Both of those guys have some amazing artwork. I also love Dave Borba's art; the time he puts into each piece is astounding. My favorite local artist is Jared Clark, though. That guy is amazing.
Gavin: What's your take on Gallery Stroll and the work they're doing to promote local art?
Cindy: I think it's great that you can see a really established artist's show within minutes of seeing a first-time show from someone else.
Gavin: What can we expect from you over the rest of the year?
Cindy: Hmm ... well, I'll have a piece at the Rio Grande in May at a show put together by Jared Clark. It's called Tin and there will be about 50 different artists exhibiting in this show; it should be amazing. I will also be in another group show in September at the Blonde Grizzly with some very talented artists, such as Emily Wood and Candace Jean. I love those ladies!
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