Posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2012 by Jim Norrena
CCA's Painting/Drawing Program recently caught up with Alison Blickle, a member of the 2005 graduating class, and asked her a few questions about life after CCA. The following interview captures her responses:
How has your CCA education influenced your career accomplishments?
My experiences at CCA had a huge influence on me as an artist, both creatively and careerwise. CCA is where I first dedicated myself to a real studio practice and began to consider myself an artist. The Painting/Drawing faculty always took us seriously as artists and talked to us like we were their peers, which made me start to see myself that way.
I learned how to look at my own work and other persons' work critically, and how to talk about art, which is so important for evaluating what I’m doing in the studio.
CCA is really hooked into the art world in the Bay Area and beyond. It’s a community that I continue to contribute to and benefit from years after I graduated. The relationships I developed [at CCA] are what helped me start showing my work and to get accepted to graduate school in New York. Some of the artists and instructors I worked with at CCA are still my mentors to this day.
How have you developed your studio practice and creative environment as an independent artist?
My paintings explore my desire to feel a connection to something larger than myself -- be it nature, family, or history. The women I paint are often stand-ins for myself; I put them in surreal situations and live vicariously through them.
I also have an ongoing series of small paintings called the Annual Portraits at the Lake, which is about an alternative version of my family in which we have a portrait painted of one of our female relatives every year. We’ve been doing it for centuries, so I can look back at the faces of my ancestors and feel connected to them.
After attending graduate school at Hunter College in New York, I moved to Los Angeles, where I now have a studio downtown. I make work most every day and have a great group of artist friends. We visit each others' studios to trade ideas, give feedback, and talk shop.
Are there any noteworthy companies, organizations, academic institutions, or galleries with which you've become affiliated?
I’m currently represented by Thierry Goldberg Gallery in New York and Eleanor Harwood Gallery in San Francisco. I’ve also had a solo show with Richard Heller Gallery in Los Angeles and exhibited in numerous group shows across the country and in Europe.
Can you tell us about any awards or accolades -- or even any affiliations with remarkable projects?
My favorite exhibitions that I’ve been part of were two shows at Deitch Projects in New York, before Jeffrey Deitch closed up shop to run MOCA in Los Angeles. One of the shows, Conceptual Figures, was an amazing group of artists making conceptually based figurative painting. I was honored to show with these artists as well as with Kurt Kauper and Ridley Howard.
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