Tag Archives: Shaun Cassidy

Artist Spotlight – Bridget Kirkland, MFA Candidate

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Time to present a Winthrop MFA Candidate…..Bridget Kirkland.  Continue on for an insightful interview with this artist…

Bridget Kirkland, untitled

Bridget Kirkland, untitled

Where are you from?

King of Prussia, PA and Erie, PA.  I ended up in the South because of my ex-husband’s career options and we decided on the South.

Why did you choose to pursue an MFA?

After being a graphic designer for 10 years (and I loved it), I got tired of people thinking they knew more than me.  I felt like an MFA would give me the backbone I needed to create the right of “arguing” to my opinion.  I feel like I trust myself more.

Bridget Kirkland, Artwork

Bridget Kirkland, Artwork

Explain what you do in your Fine Art studies in 100 words:

I question memory and interpret time with design.

What do you want to do with your degree?

Teach Graphic Design in College/University setting, Freelance Graphic Design.

What is your favorite spot on campus?

Basement level of McLaurin…breezeway is all windows.  I would love to do a show in there with transparencies on all of the windows.

Where would you take students for a Campus Tour?

I would take students to the area with the windows or to the Sculpture departmentShaun Cassidy’s area.

Who is your favorite Professor and why?

So many different ones for so many different reasons.  I have to say Tom (Stanley) – reason:  because he showed me how I could fit into this program.  He gave me faith in my artwork and helped me understand my work.  He helped me feel that what I do is a form of art.

Where is your favorite place to eat in Rock Hill?

Bridget Kirkland, Untitled Artwork

Bridget Kirkland, Untitled Artwork

Earth Fare because they have Hubert’s Lemonade.

What books should we read?

http://www.danpink.com/books/whole-new-mind

http://www.stevenpressfield.com/the-warrior-ethos/

http://www.amazon.com/Poetics-Space-Gaston-Bachelard/dp/0807064734

Tell us something about yourself that we wouldn’t know or guess about you…

I am not very secretive and I do not hide information, so this question is hard to answer, but I will try…

…I have three cars.  I love the beach – I could stay on the beach from 9am until 6pm.  I love the wide space of the beach.  I like wide spaces…not as crazy about SC’s landscapes because you cannot see very far.  I like being out west because you can see forever…it is no end.  I love motorcycles – I had a Ducati motorcycle then had to sell it before I went to school.  I love motorcycle racing.  My dream job is to be a meteorologist/anchor woman on The Weather Channel.

Who are your role models?

Stefan Sagemeister – designer.  His philosophy is happy design.  He does not take clients for money, but rather clients who allow him to create the perfect design for them…clients who honor artistic freedom.

Favorite album, lyrics, band?

My favorite song is Soul Cages by Sting.  Favorite band is Nine Inch Nails.

Favorite website?

Processing.org

Tell us about a great experience:

On a Friday morning, there was the inaugural Red Bull MotoGP race at Indianapolis.  I wanted to go so badly.  I sat at my desk at work…pissy that I couldn’t go.  On impulse, I called the rental car company to rent a car, asked my boss if I could leave at noon, and took off for solo trip to Indy.  Luckily, a Scottish Blogger/Columnist writer for Motorcycles magazine asked me to document and write a piece for the blog.   The event turned into a solo road trip by myself, as a female traveling solo.  I was able to get Ducati Credential Passes…great time!  It was the weekend that some hurricane was coming and the rainy weather was so bad.  On the way back, a storm was clipping ahead of me.  Because of the storm, there was no power, no gas.  No one knew where I was.  I met a guy who helped me get gas…got home at 7am, showered, and went right to work with an experience I will not ever do again…

Bridget at the Indy Moto Race

Bridget at the Indy Moto Race

This adventure was great because I met so many people…I was so free.  It was such an exciting weekend to take off and do something I really wanted to do!

What has surprised you about Winthrop?

That it is a family.  I feel like the whole time I have been here….there are big arms wrapped around me to give me the courage to create whatever I want.  At the same time, there is the push and the nudge to create good art.  Such a tricky thing to do…I don’t think you see this combination often in places.  Winthrop keeps their arms around you…you don’t ever feel bad, even with critiques all the time, you still feel like you are being hugged in a positive way.

Greatest challenge at Winthrop University?

Not understanding “painter talk.”

What will you miss about Winthrop after you graduate?

My artist friends, the professors, the camaraderie of everyone who knows you and your art…you don’t have to explain anything.

Bridget Kirkland, Untitled

Bridget Kirkland, Untitled

Advice for anyone entering the MFA program…

Go into it with no expectations, leave who you think you are as an artist at the door, do different things…art, books, places you travel, different people you talk to…just be completely different.  Always listen to Shaun Cassidy.  Be aware that you could be a completely different person / artist leaving as you were coming in.

If you could give advice to your younger self, what would you say?

Learn from your mistakes.  I like the good and the bad, even when making mistakes…it makes me stronger and I think you have to have the bad to appreciate the good.  Be living in the now rather than the past or the future.

Who are your artistic influences?

  • Vic Muniz, love.
  • David Hockney – paintings and photographs.
  • Inspired by so many artists who have a piece of work I like… from digital artists to sculptors to painters.  I try to look at art as much as I can.

If you could invite 5 people to a Dinner Party, who would you choose?

  1. Sting
  2. Leonard Bernstein
  3. Alf Ward
  4. My deceased Grandfather
  5. Jim Cantore
Bridget Kirkland, artwork

Bridget Kirkland, Untitled Artwork

Predict your future…

I predict I will be living in a smaller, rural area.  I would love to live by the beach…any beach.  I want an exciting future.  Maybe something like….Trent Ressner of Nine Inch Nails calls me up to collaborate with him on the art for his many mounds of projects – videos, cd covers, films, short movies, composing.

Thank you, Bridget!  Best wishes in all of your artistic endeavors.  We hope that Trent texts you soon for his next design project.  We will put in a good word (and a good search engine entry!!!).  With your talent and skill, we know you will go far!
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Student Spotlight….Julie Thompson

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Julie Thompson working on her artwork

Julie Thompson, artist

To begin our Student Spotlight, we present a Winthrop University BFA student from our Department of Fine Arts…Julie Thompson.

1. Where is your hometown?

Myrtle Beach

 2. Why did you choose to be an art major?

Growing up, I loved to draw and paint horses and then as a sophomore in high school, I took my first art class and everything just clicked…and here I am today.

3. What do you want to do with your degree?

I want to work in a gallery or museum with an exhibit design department.

4. What are a few books that you’d recommend reading?

I need to read more.

5. Tell us something about yourself that we wouldn’t know or guess about you.

I’m classically trained in Russian and Italian Ballet.

6. What is your favorite spot on campus?

My studio space, it’s my own little bubble.

7. Who’s your favorite professor and why?

Shaun Cassidy – because he has a great approach towards makings art and always finds positivity in a situation.

 8. Who are your role models?

My Dad, he is a great example of strength and hard work.

 9. What is your favorite album/ lyrics/ band?

Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin

10. Predict your future.

If I were to predict my future 30 years from now ( age 53 ), I will be living in Europe, married, no children, making art and working for a big contemporary gallery.

11. If you were giving a campus tour, where would you take them?

Inside student studios to show them what we are really up to.

Julie Thompson's Installation

Julie Thompson, Winthrop University student

12. What are your favorite websites?

I’m not internet savvy, sorry.

13. Tell us about a great experience.

When studying abroad in Florence, Italy, my Fresco and Restoration professor showed our class never before seen drawing by Michelangelo that he and his colleagues discovered in the basement of the San Lorenzo Church.

 14. What surprised you about Winthrop?

I didn’t expect the art department to turn me into the artist I am now.

15. What has been your greatest challenge?

Learning how to accept failure as a positive learning experience.

16. What will you miss about Winthrop after graduation?

I will miss the creative environment from my professors and peers.

17. What advice do you have for incoming freshman?

Never leave Rutledge! It’s your home!

18. If you could write a letter to your younger self what would it say?

Take art more seriously, faster in life.

19. Tell us about your experience in an internship, volunteer, a research project or co-op.

Working with the Curator of Contemporary Art, Brad Thomas, from The Mint Museum, I had the opportunity to meet and work with artist, Thornton Dial, for the opening of his exhibition ‘Hard Truths.’

20. Best place in Rock Hill to grab a bite to eat.

McHales.

21. Who are your artistic influences?

Jessica Stockholder,

Georg Baselitz,

John Chamberlain,

Arnulf Rainer.

22. If you were at a dinner party and could invite five people from all time, dead or alive, who would you invite?

Tom Stanley,

Michelangelo,

Mikhail Baryshnikov,

Jerry Garcia,

and Javier Bardem.

Julie working on her artwork

Julie Thompson – Creating art

Thank you for granting us this interview, Julie!  Best wishes in your endeavors and your art career!

Let’s end on a note about Julie from one of her professors and a Fine Artist, Stacey Davidson:

“It’s her drive, and the way she does her thinking through the materials she works with.  She is incredibly driven; she HAS to work.  It’s inspiring.”