Beyond the Bio is a series that takes you past the canvas, and into the minds of the artists and curators who build the contemporary arts community.
Names: Katy Horan & Teruko Nimura
Primary Medium: Painting/2D & Multimedia Installation, respectively
First off, tell us about your upcoming exhibition.
Teruko: The over-arching concept of Residual is an exploration of ghosts in different forms. For me, ghosts are manifestations of unresolved issues or events from the past that affect our present day. The installations I have created for the show all confront personal or societal trauma that I feel threaten us now including Japanese American internment camps and the over consumption of natural resources.
Katy: In Residual, Teruko and I individually explore what it means to be “haunted”. In my case, I am making work based on my research on the ghost, folk and witch lore of the Appalachian and Ozark regions as well as a bit of the American South. I have made paintings, sculptures and mixed media pieces to interpret fragments of stories and recurring tropes that I find particular interesting.
What motivates your work?
Teruko: I am interested in issues of cultural identity, collective memory, and interconnectedness. With the political climate as it is I have become more motivated to use my artistic voice to express my deep concern for the future of our planet and our children, and to comment on our current situation.
Katy: Stories, female archetypes found in mythology, pop culture and history as well as an interest in pattern and a love for painting with tiny brushes
What draws you to your medium?
Teruko: I love art that is a kind of experience, so I am drawn to the immersive qualities of installation.
Katy: My most used material is gouache, which is a waterbed paint similar to watercolor, but with the potential to be completely flat and opaque.
How long have you been an artist and how has your practice changed over time?
Teruko: I’ve been a practicing professional artist since 2001, but my work has changed immensely in that time. I started with small figurative ceramics and have evolved to participatory work, and large scale installation composed of hundreds of multiples. I think the thing that has remained consistent however is my love of the handmade and tactile materials.
Katy: I have maintained an independent practice since leaving school in 2003. My habits have stayed mostly the same, but in the beginning, I was a bit more nocturnal. Now, (and for most of the past decade) I have been a morning and daytime worker.
What are you working on right now?
Teruko: Right now I am really into working with basswood and paper to create a wall mounted sculptural lantern. I discovered the process while working on the internment piece for Residual, but fell in love with its lightness and delicacy. I’ll debut the work at the Courtyard Gallery on the UT campus in May.
Katy: Right now I am working on the final pieces for Residual, namely some mixed media vignettes that will be displayed standing up on shelves, and some papermache sculptures.
What does the Austin arts community need most as the city continues to grow?
Teruko: The Austin arts community is undergoing a crisis for space and financial support. Artists are driven out in droves by development and soaring property rates. Artists also struggle with a lack of serious Austin collectors, and the prevailing practice by promoters and various event organizers that hire artists that do not pay artists for their time. Art making is hard work, and people don’t value all of the labor and time that we put in the same way as other professions. Exposure is not the only thing we care about!
Katy: Space. Space. Space. Austin doesn’t seem to have to have the kind of architecture that easily lends itself to studio space or galleries, so we need people willing to invest in either remodeling existing space or building new spaces…and not just for visual artists, but for theater and dance as well. I suppose more people investing in the artists and buying work wouldn’t hurt either.
Katy Horan is an artist and illustrator, whose folk art influenced work focus on representations of women across history and folklore. She received a BFA in Illustration from The Rhode Island School of Design in 2003, and has since exhibited throughout the US and in Canada. Her work was twice published in New American Paintings as well as several art anthologies, including Beasts! (Fantagraphics) and Dark Inspiration (Victionary). She was selected for the 2011 Texas Biennial and was a finalist for the 2015 Hunting Art Prize. Most recently, she illustrated the book Literary Witches: A Celebration of Magical Women Writer, written by Taisia Kitaiskaia and publised by Seal Press. She lives and works in Austin, Tx where she is a proud member of the art collective, ICOSA.
Teruko Nimura is a visual artist based in Austin with a diverse multi-media practice. She received her BFA from San Francisco Art Institute and her MFA from UT Austin. Teruko has exhibited in the U.S. and Mexico, and has completed three temporary public art installations in the last year. She is currently a member of the ICOSA art collective, a participant in the City of Austin’s Launchpad program for public art, and one of three Austin artists featured in the 2017 TX Biennial.
Beyond the Bio is curated by Art Alliance Austin. If you’re interested in being featured email Ashlee at firstname.lastname@example.org.