In this episode, I chat with Becky Bailey, a self-described textile and print designer by day and visual artist by night. She's based in Morristown, NJ and works with mixed media collage paintings which are shaped and have sculptural elements as framing devices. We spoke in October of 2018, right after she returned from a four week residency at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA.
"Come One Come All", mixed media shaped painting, 2018, 39" x 32" (top)
"Work From Home", mixed media shaped painting, 2018, 13" x 15" (bottom)
Having unrestricted time dedicated to making art is important to Becky. Her cohort at the residency was very productive, and she says she's motivated by those around her. The group also arranged informal critique and feedback sessions which Becky said was not just motivating but validating because she hadn't had them in a while. We talk about the benefits and challenges of living in different cities such as New York, Denver, and Philadelphia.
"Greener Grass", mixed media shaped painting, 2018, 18” x 27.5” (top)
"Invalids", mixed media shaped painting, 2018, 23.5" x 46" (bottom)
I ask Becky about how she defines contemporary art, and she says that she thinks the individual making work decides if they're creating "art" or not. I press her on what she meant when she said doing residencies makes her feel like a "real artist." She talks about realizing she's doing what she's supposed to be doing artistically and how good that feels. We also talk about seeking validation with our creative work.
Becky's mother is a master crafter, so I ask her what it was like growing up with the influence and presence of making.
"Pillow Talk", mixed media shaped painting, 2018, 18"x10.5" (top)
"Ain't No Rest", mixed media shaped painting, 2018, 22.5"x9.25" (bottom)
Big thanks to Becky for chatting with me for this episode! To find out more about Becky Bailey, visit her website and Instagram.