A few weeks ago Molly Rose Freeman graced Spartanburg with her presence and with an amazing piece of art on the side of the Cribb’s/RJ Rockers building! We wanted to get to know Molly a little more and we think you might enjoy what she has to say about art, inspiration, and Spartanburg! Here is an short interview with Molly!
(Mesha) When did you become an artist/when did you become interested in art?
(Molly) I’ve always been interested in art, but I started getting serious about it when I was fifteen, and at sixteen I enrolled at the North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem. Professionally, I started to really focus on art my junior year of college, which was about four years ago. I was a Writing major, but I got a studio and started working full-time in there. I’ve been doing murals for a year and a half.
I make drawings, paintings, and murals that are abstract, organic, geometric, and linear. They are pattern-based, which is the best way for me to explore interconnectivity and links between things that often don’t seem related, but are. I am particularly interested in public art because of how it interacts with an environment that has so many variables: people, time, light, etc. It becomes inseparable from the space that it inhabits and so it changes all the time. It evolves the way living things and cultures do.
Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
Who: Michelangelo! In terms of artists devoted to their work, he is top tier. A couple years ago I visited the Sistine Chapel, and the sheer size and complexity of it just hit me like a ton of bricks. The fact that a human being could create something so intricate and emotional and dimensional–astonishing. In honor of him, it’s go big or go home!
What: My raw material comes from looking around, constantly gathering visual information. I construct patterns based on the idea that everything is connected, so for me there is no distinction between things that are inspirational and things that are mundane–anything can be an inspiration in the right context.
What do you believe about the interaction between a community and art? Or what is the relationship between an audience and the art?
I’m going to speak personally as both a viewer and an artist. As a viewer, I want to have a visceral reaction to what I’m seeing. I want to have more questions than answers, I want magic and mystery. As an artist, I want this same experience when I’m creating work. I am surprised by almost every piece I make and I hope that sense of wonder comes through. I don’t have something specific in mind that I want the viewer to experience, I just want them to experiencesomething. And if a community can have a collective experience, then the work becomes all the more powerful.
What was the inspiration for your piece on the side of the Cribbs/RJ rockers building?
Stephen (Long) sent me a few things to get the wheels turning: the logo for the grain district; links to the non-profits RJ Rockers supports, two of which involve bicycles (the inspiration for the wheel-shapes that are scattered down the wall); basic information on the brewery itself. I think these elements were churning around when I was working on my sketch for the wall, and what came out was a perfect melding of all these things. It’s not a literal representation, but this piece is definitely inspired by the space that it’s in–it wouldn’t feel at home anywhere else.
What did you think about the Spartanburg art scene? What did you think about Hub-bub?
I think Spartanburg is incredibly lucky to have HUB-BUB and all the people involved devoting themselves to bringing more art to the community. They are doing a real public service. It only takes a few committed, passionate people to put great projects into action, and I felt that fire in Spartanburg.
I want to thank the following people also: RJ rockers, Stephen long, sawyer balance, Erin Haire, Parker Reid, Cheryl Mirer, Betsy Teter, Peter Caster, Kari Jackson, Christine Klinker Cox, Caddox, the entire staff of Cribb’s Kitchen, a generous anonymous donor, and the Spartanburg community.
Thanks for reading and we hope that you enjoyed Molly’s art as much as we did! Let us know how you felt in the comments, facebook, or twitter!