Today we catch up with Artist, Badger fan and friend of Newsnibbles, Kat Monaghan to talk about her art and forthcoming exhibition at the HarborArts Festival on Saturday September 22nd, in Boston.
• Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do.
I’m a sculptor, recently graduated from University of Massachusetts Boston (UMassBoston), though I support myself financially with an office
day-job. My artwork varies, and I like using found-objects, mixed-media, as well as traditional stone carving. I really enjoy the process of playing with different materials and learning new skills. Most recently I started using a Dremel to engrave limestone tiles, and I hope to do more soon with welding and metal.
• What is HarborArts?
HarborArts is an organization in Boston, Massachusetts, USA that is dedicated to protecting our oceans and waterways. Using art and events like the Harbor Arts Festival, they attract people to visit our waterfront parks, enjoy artwork, and raise awareness of our ocean ecology. Our planet is mostly water, so whatever affects our oceans affects all of us.
• How did you become involved the Harbour Arts Festival?
The first Harbor Arts Festival was held in 2011, and my friend Nicole Farland displayed some of her artwork there. She was part of a group that had converted a UHaul moving truck into a temporary gallery at the site. I attended the event and had a great time! This year, Nicole contacted several friends including me and asked if we wanted to join the group. Of course I jumped at the offer. We will convert two moving trucks into gallery spaces with courtyard space between. Our group includes painters, sculptors, collage artists, and more. Plus there are many other groups and individual artists participating, and there will be an after-party with live music.
• Why should people go along and support the project?
People should come to the HarborArts Festival because it’s a great way to spend an afternoon! The park in East Boston has amazing views of the city; there are a lot of fun artists, crafts-people, and musicians who will be there; and there will be good food and beverages. The ice cream last year was fantastic!
• Who inspires you?
I’m mostly inspired by people I know ~ friends, family, lovers, ex’s. Life is about connections, and art is about life. Usually when I work on a piece, I’m thinking about a certain person I know, not just about the image or material. Sometimes I think someone specific would like the work, or the work was inspired by a conversation or interaction, or sometimes I’m sorting out my own feelings about a connection or conflict. It’s not always shiny happy, but it always means something to me. When other people see artwork, they bring their own associations to it and they might think of someone or something entirely different. I think that’s neat – the variety of perspectives and perceptions.
• What advice would you give to new artists trying to get work?
I’m still starting out myself, so my advice would be more about doing work than getting work. I would say, make work that means something to you. Think about something more than just a visual idea, and that will make it yours more than just a representation. For example, drawing a bird while contemplating freedom, lightness, flying will be a very different picture than if you focus your thoughts on of claws, beaks, hunting or being hunted. Assembling a collage while thinking of someone who broke your heart will be different than if thinking of a person who makes your heart race with joy. Emotions and personal connection are what makes art worthwhile. Know yourself, own your feelings, and use them your work.
• If you had to choose a Newsnibbles story to turn into art, what would it be and why?
I made this story into art because I was so excited that Ms. Badger offered to interview me! I’ve been carving limestone tiles with critter images or other icons, so I carved a badger in one. The Wimbledon coverage is appealing and could become art also. Or I might do something related to Bee’s advice column because I like to see different points of view and critters / people helping each other to solve problems.
• Anything you’d like to add.
Thank you, Ms. Badger, for this opportunity! I’ve enjoyed Newsnibbles and your posts on Twitter for a while, and am honoured to contribute again. (Back in January you used a doodle of mine http://www.newsnibbles.co.uk/2012/02/17/dont-badger-me/ ) Also – I’d like to say thanks to all at Newsnibbles, and social media critters everywhere, for speaking out on behalf of critters worldwide. Global diversity is important for all of us – in life and on the interwebs. 🙂 ♥
For more information about the Festival you can visit: http://www.harborarts.org/festival