This is Stephanie Booth’s 4th ArtOMatic and she also participated in the “pop-up” ArtOMatic show at the airport. “Artomatic creates a sense of community in the DC area. DC is a very competitive city and it’s easy to lose yourself in that competition, so it’s great that ArtOMatic puts everyone on the same level. I have the same requirements to be in it as the 14-year-old on the wall next me!
“ArtOMatic has also been a great learning experience. I want to have a nice presentation, and I learn a little about it every time I enter. In 2007 I learned the importance of a guest book and a sign and business cards (especially when I luckily ran into a gallery owner interested in my work when my cards were out!). The second was chooing the right space (mine had a great view but terrible foot traffic). Last time I chose to use the space to experiment with new work that was totally unlike what I’ve done before. I then entered that work in the Real Art DC contest through the Washington Post and not only got in but then was in second place overall. That work would never have left the studio if it weren’t for ArtOMatic giving it a venue to take life!
“This year I’m showing a series called She Always Wanted To Be a Blonde. In this work I connect with the narratives of my Grandmothers through the shared experiences of hair. The work is mixed media, including photography and embroidery done with my hair.”
You can find Stephanie on the 9th floor, space 176, in the room next to the Peeps this year.
Why should a visitor make a special trip to visit your space?
How often do you get to see artwork made out of human hair? There’s also a lot of great art on the 9th floor. My good friends Rahshia Lindendoll-Sawyer and Marielle Mariano are on the other side of my wall, and they’re both worth a visit too.
How long have you been making art?
I started with my SLR camera in high school, but I would say my sophomore year of college, when I became an art major, is when I really became an artist.
What do you do when you hit a slump?
I’ve had a couple of rough patches where I found it hard to get to the next project. I keep a sketchbook and will keep obsessive lists, ideas, and thoughts. I’ll return to those during the “droughts” to get refreshed.
I’ve also been taking classes the majority of the time I’v been in the art world. As a Fairfax County public school teacher, I got my Masters of Interdisciplinary Studies through Virginia Commonwealth University, and then a couple years after I finished that, I started applying to MFA programs and wound up going to George Mason University. I find that if nothing else, even just a weekend photo workshop or fiber class is enough to get me started toward the next idea.
Who are your favorite artists and what inspiration do you draw from them?
I have a lot of favorites to look at. Eva Hesse’s work has topped my list for about a decade and I’ve always adored Andy Warhol. But
it’s narratives from my family history and genealogy that have been the inspiration for my current work.
You can find more of Stephanie’s work at her website: http://www.perstef.com, her blog, http://perstef.blogspot.com/ (where she’s been writing about artists at ArtOMatic that have caught her attention. Look for “ArtOMatic Artist Showcase”), and her facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Perstef/132971743467600.
Stephanie is also having a solo show at George Mason University March 24 – 29, 2013.
To read more interviews and see more photographs from ArtOMatic 2012 and earlier ArtOMatics, go here.