We want to try to get to know some artist and musicians who live in and around Spartanburg! There are so many artist and musicians who contribute significantly to the Spartanburg art scene and who go virtually unnoticed! Not only do we want to highlight well known artists but we want you to get to know some incognito artists who have amazing talents.
Our first artist is Amy Powers. Amy was born in Taipei, Taiwan, and moved to Spartanburg with her father and brother when she was nine years old. Amy’s mother is also an artist and because of this Amy cannot really remember when she “became” an artist. Art has always been a part of who she is. Amy began art as a child and continued her art through high school. She explains that during high school she became frustrated with the idea that in order to be a great artist she would need to go to an art school, major in studio art (or some other type of art major), and become a “starving artist.” Instead, Amy began attending Wofford where she now majors in French and Chinese. Amy has continued her art while at Wofford. During the summer of 2009 Amy was selected for the Whetsell Fellowship, which enables a student to put on an art show and work with an artistic mentor during his or her summer off. Amy created beautiful art and held an art show where she raised $2000 for a Nicaraguan re-nutrition center for malnourished children. In 2011 Amy was chosen as Wofford College’s Presidential Scholar, a 1 year scholarship which allows one student to travel the world and work on a project of their choosing. Amy chose to volunteer with children’s rights organizations such as The Butterflys program with street children in New Delhi, India. Amy used her art to connect to children in various countries, to create beautiful murals, and she used art as a lens to view each location’s challenges and accomplishments. You can read more about her time abroad here. Here are some of Amy’s art pieces as well as a short interview! I hope you enjoy!
(Mesha) What is art? Why is it important?
(Amy) I think visual art is an expression of the “eye” of the artist, it is a physical representation of how we see and interpret the world. Viewing art helps us to internalize and process the world around us through another person’s perspective, and creating art helps us to externalize an important image or idea or viewpoint. More than that though art forces us to see the world around us, to stop and appreciate beauty. That is probably the most important thing about art for me.
Who or what is your inspiration?
My inspiration largely comes from nature and whatever stories and interests life brings my way. I think nature is a big one of course. I once was inspired to do a piece from a certain form of peeling paint I saw in a bathroom stall. Other times I think God orchestrates beautiful scenes of nature that inspires me. Really inspiration should come from ideas that you want to communicate, but creativity can’t always be used by the creator for what we want. Sometimes the relationship of creator and creation is more complicated than that.
I have been developing a taste for collage the past couple of years, it lends itself to expressing depth and complexity. But I love painting as well with acrylic and watercolor, and I also enjoy ink sketches.
What is the relationship between the viewer/audience/community and the art piece/artist?
I think it depends on the art, some art involves the viewer more than others, but I think all art forces people to feel something, whether consciously or not. I think the majority of the impact that art has on people is not describable. But what is describable is that it enriches one’s vision physically and often emotionally as well. It can also be more of a storytelling/ listener relationship, or of a philosopher/student relationship. The roles are unending and all very engaging.
What do you think of the Spartanburg art scene?
I have known Spartanburg to have a small but vibrant art scene, I remember growing up going to things like art walks and small shows around Spartanburg. There is definitely a lot of talent and interest. I think in the past few years there have been more and more opportunities for Spartanburg based artists and audiences alike.
What do you think of Hub-Bub and their contribution to the Spartanburg Art scene?
I think the growing opportunities that I was mentioning just now really have a lot to do with Hub-Bub. Hub-Bub has provided a real gathering center where the community knows it can come to interact with local artists and local art. I think things like open mic nights, the poetry readings and art shows and resident artists have really nurtured the culture of Spartanburg and the expression and creation of a voice for the city. I think having the physical building of Bub-Bub there makes a huge difference.
I hope that you will enjoy each artist that we introduce! Please comment to tell us how you like this blog post! And, maybe even suggest some future artists and musicians to be featured on the blog!