Quirk is thrilled to be exhibiting the vibrant work of Richmond artist, Sara Gossett in her Shop Show “Dream Threads: Imagined Textiles in Watercolor.” Ms. Gossett’s hand-drawn geometric designs and patterns filled with bright, bold colors are perfect for a fresh summer exhibit. So enamored with her work, we asked Sara a few questions to find out more about the genesis of the pieces she’s created for her show, what inspires her unique aesthetic, and how living in Richmond contributes to her work as an artist.
Q: Tell us a little bit about your background.
SG: I was born and raised in Texas and made my way up to Virginia to attend college at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, studying art history. When graduation came I just wasn’t ready yet to leave Virginia, so without having any other plans, [I] moved down to Richmond with one of my best friends in the fall of 2006… and here I am! Art is one of those things that I’ve been doing as far back as I can remember, in one way or another. And though I don’t have an academic background in studio art, it’s impossible to imagine my life without it being involved somehow. It definitely took me a long time to gain the confidence to start putting things out there in a more serious way and believe I could include myself under the category of “artist” (still working on that), but with time it’s become easier to remember that everyone’s personal vision is unique and valid, and that it’s important to trust your own.
Q: What is it that inspires your paintings?
SG: Though it sounds a bit cliché to say that inspiration is everywhere, it really is! I love vintage clothing, textiles, design, color, illustration – the list goes on and on. So, dreaming and daydreaming about projecting the visual inspiration from all these beautiful things into a new creation is really at the heart.
Q: Is there something distinctive about your work that you hope viewers will recognize?
SG: While style evolves over time and can sometimes change quite dramatically, I hope that the quality of line in most of my work would be at least somewhat recognizable. Regardless of whether pieces are filled with color or not, I imagine some attention to the line won’t be going away anytime soon because I’ve just always loved drawing so much. These paintings were so much fun to do because they fulfilled a compulsion to make a lot of those controlled lines right alongside bright color. My intention was mainly that I wanted to create a collection of pieces that would be beautiful to look at and make viewers feel good; a whole wall filled with color as the summer sun shines in!
Q: What’s up next for you and your future work? Are you working on any other projects?
SG: I love patterns and vibrant color, and I’d like to keep going with them in future work. But as for specific projects (though this happens not to involve either), right now I’m working on a small series of hand-painted bookplates and am in the process of printing and packaging them in sets.
Q: Are there things about Richmond, specifically, that you find artistically inspiring?
SG: One of the best things about Richmond is the amount of talented people that live and work here. People are constantly making and doing, and to call that inspirational is an understatement. The size of this city makes it possible to both feel part of overlapping small circles of community and yet still feel as though there is plenty left to be discovered, like something new could be just around the corner. The rich history of the city, while filled with a lot of darkness, is very palpable. For someone who finds that old things, stories, past eras, etc. really capture the imagination – what a place to be!
Q: When you aren’t painting, what are your favorite things to do?
SG: In addition to artwork, I DJ about once a month at Balliceaux (Bump In The Night with Mary Silcox and Eliza Childress) and just started playing flute with the band Palindrone! Richmond is great when it comes to record stores, with Steady Sounds and Deep Groove as the newest additions – you can always find something cool. Halcyon and Cold Harbor Antiques for great vintage finds, and the best vegetarian food at Ipanema Cafe.
Sara Gossett’s watercolors are being exhibited along with the screen prints of Robey Clark (Main Gallery) and ceramics by Molly Anne Bishop (The Vault). These three exhibits continue through August 31. An artist’s reception will be held on Thursday, August 1 preceding the RVA First Fridays event on August 2.