• Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Andrew Davis and I am a Graduate Assistant majoring in Sculpture at Winthrop University.
• What’s integral to the work of an artist?
A strong work ethic, an open mind, and the ability to distance yourself from your work in terms of critique.
• What role does the artist have in society?
Artists are able to play whatever role they feel they need to assume; whether it is a vehicle for social change or a creator of aesthetics.
• What has been a seminal experience?
Attending 4 hour life drawing classes as an undergraduate really served to underscore the amount of work and dedication needed to come away with a successful portfolio.
• Explain what you do.
I explore material. Much of my recent work has striven to combine the aesthetic with the utilitarian.
• How has your practice changed over time?
As an undergrad my work consisted of formal and spatial interactions. My current work takes the aesthetic discipline I developed during my work at Brevard College and injects the associations with context and function of material.
• What work do you enjoy doing the most?
I love the feeling of isolation that comes along with welding.
• What is your favorite artwork?
When I saw Robert Morris’ Untitled felt work at the High Museum I had to stop and catch my breath for a while.
• Why art?
I never made the decision to be an artist. I still have trouble associating myself with that terminology. To me artists are the people that we had slide presentations about in high school. When I received my diploma and was accepted to Brevard I had no aspirations of becoming an “artist”. I declared Art as a major because I couldn’t think of anything else. It seemed to make sense at the time. Honestly, after my first semester of undergrad I was having second thoughts about my choices. That changed when I took 3-dimensional design. I felt much more engaged with the work that I was making and it was so easy to get lost in the process.
• Is the life of an artist lonely?
Only if you spend all day cramped up in a studio by yourself. One of the things that drew me to sculpture was the inherent communal quality of it. People interact. Often times you are struck with the inability to accomplish something on your own, like moving a heavy piece of metal. I don’t think one can underestimate the benefits of the shared studio dynamic.
• What advice would you give to your younger self?
Going to school for art isn’t about making successful work, it is about learning how to make work successful.
• Should art be funded and if so what role does it play?
Public funding for the arts serves artists’ communities in a very real and literal way. My hometown of Greenville saw a revitalization of the downtown area that accompanied a large amount of arts development. However, it is the symbolic statement that arts’ funding gives that is so much more important. I think people both in and out of government realize that the arts give back to their community in tangible and intangible ways. Arts funding is very much a statement that communities value those results.
• Artists that you would like to be compared to?
Isamu Noguchi, Martin Puryear, and David Nash among many others.
• What is your professional goal?
I (eventually) want to teach in higher education.
• One thing you couldn’t live without?