Meet a NYFA Artist: Virginia Creighton
NYFA speaks with Fiscally Sponsored Painter and Curator, Virginia Creighton.
NYFA: Hi Virgina, what’s on your horizon right now?
VC: I’m organizing a project that combines two disciplines – literature and art. “From the Page’s Edge: Water in Literature and Art” will tour the Northeast in 2011-2012 and will display eighteen drawings or paintings which are inspired by writings on the theme of water. We have three committed venues for this exhibit, one each in Pennsylvania, Vermont, and New Jersey. We hope to secure three more venues.
NYFA: Do you have a dedicated studio or workspace? If so, can you describe it for us?
VC: My dedicated workspace is the east wall of my living room. A nice southern light falls into the room. I place a stretched canvas on nails in the wall and proceed to paint from a completed sketch.
I work on the traveling art show (curatorial organizing) on the computer in a different room with north light.
NYFA: If you had to make an Immediate Needs wish list, what would be on it?
VC: The items I will need first for the traveling show are eighteen printed panels with the literature, audio tours to travel with the show, funds to transport the exhibit to the first venue, and seed money for start-up and operating costs.
NYFA: What influenced you as an artist growing up?
VC: Frederick Church and Washington Irving responded differently to local scenes near Albany. Church painted an idealized landscape. His house was a Persian palace on a hill with a fantastic view of the Hudson. Irving created “Rip Van Winkle,” who slept in the hills for twenty years and awoke to find a different generation and way of living. His vision was both funny and surreal.
My painting style combines aspects of the two artists’ work. It anthropomorphizes and idealizes nature. As a teen, I studied with Betty Warren and Marian Sharpe in Albany and with Henri Goetz at Fontainbleau.
NYFA: What is your relationship with nature?
VC: Growing up in the capital of New York, I was surrounded by mountain ranges. In a sense, Albany was an island in a valley. The Adirondacks were to the north, the Berkshires to the east, and the Helderbergs and Catskills to the south. To the northeast were the Green Mountains of Vermont. Important lakes for swimming included Lake George, Lake Dunmore, Lake Mackinac, and Lake Myosotis. An excellent tree for climbing was the maple in front of the house. My sister and I frequently went with neighborhood pals to the “State Lands” and walked through idyllic flowered meadows.
My feelings for nature continued through my college days. Moving to New York City did not change these feelings.
NYFA: How has NYFA been a part of your work?
VC: NYFA has instilled in me a sense of hope and confidence. Mary Six Rupert and Rachel Sandweiss were very supportive of a traveling art show I curated last year. For this year’s traveling show, Rachel Gorvitz (same Rachel!) and Rory Golden are suggesting new and different possibilities. I appreciate all the help they give.