Visual Artist Sherrye Lantz Interview
Artist and Art Historian living in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, Sherrye Lantz is an internationally known artist with works in private and public collections in the contiguous 48 states as well as Europe, Australia, and Turkey. She has won numerous awards throughout her career for intaglio printmaking, drawing and painting. She was included in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Biennial of Prints and Drawing, exhibited in Virginia Celebrates Women in the Arts: Minds Wide Open, she received the 2010 YWCA Women of Achievement Award for Arts.
Janice: Sherrye you've been creating artworks for a variety of mediums over a number of years.
Sherrye: Yes Janice, I have worked in different mediums beginning as a printmaker and moving to painting luckily finding joy in all.
Janice: Recently I viewed a couple of very playful photographs you'd taken in Paris, perhaps in the1980's? Can you share with us the context of the images.
Sherrye: The images from Paris come from a month long stay years ago. Having time to wander around the city my eyes were drawn to daily places of color. This image was quite simply a fun spot which touched memories of childhood play. By the time these where taken I was teaching studio art and art history which gave me a wonderful reinforcing background in composition.
Janice: I also viewed a number of photographs of flowers. There's a particular vivid image which reminds me of the work of Georgia O'Keefe...the reduction of an image to its parts.... could you share with us your influences regarding photography Sherrye...
Sherrye: The strongest influence upon my photo imagery would be my father who gave me my first camera as a child. I went around for years taking pictures of horses and the Blue Ridge Mountains.
As far as education is concerned, study of the history of photography created a desire to see things closely and a liking for softy focused images.
The flower images are close in and out of focus in areas intentionally.
I love flowers so they became a natural subject as my own garden has grown throughout the years.
Comparisons with Georgia O'Keeffe are a great honor! In fact it is the Steiglitz and Steichen approach to photography that most influences my ideas on photography. The idea to capture an image with the camera and waiting until the light is just right has stayed with me. Ironically Alfred Steiglitz was Georgia O'Keeffe's husband and that brings me back to the flowers. When you see an O'Keeffe, the edges of her flowers are so defined, so lush in color that so many are drawn to them. Like O'Keeffe, I am also drawn to the shapes found within the flower and it is those shapes that find their way into my paintings and drawings.
Janice, it has been lovely speaking with you.
Janice: Likewise Sherrye, I'm looking forward to following more of your work.