Becca Barolli, artist in residence at Main Street Arts during the month of April 2019, is working in one of our two studio spaces on our second floor. We asked Becca some questions about her work and studio practice:
Q: To start off, please tell us about your background?
I’m originally from North Granby, Connecticut and currently live and work in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 2010 I earned my BFA in photography from the University of Connecticut. After graduating, I spent four years teaching experimental art and digital photography classes at the Mansfield Community Center. In 2016 I received my MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute working in sculpture.
Q: How would you describe your work?
I make abstract sculptures using craft techniques like weaving and braiding with raw industrial materials like rebar tie wire and recycled tire soaker tubing. My work is very labor-intensive, fueled by a compulsive need for repetition and reverence.
Through endurance based processes I repeat stereotypical feminine gestures that defy the initial industrial function of these materials. My work involves variations in tension and density to consider vulnerability and explore the differences of being open or closed off, relaxed or uptight without passing judgement on either condition.
Q: What is your process for creating a work of art?
I spend a lot of time in the studio. I usually focus on one piece while taking breaks to try out other ideas that are still being formed. Some sculptures are comprised of one object that builds up over time while others consist of pieces that were compiled and connected over time.
Q: What are your goals for this residency?
For my time at Main Street Arts, I would like to further develop new construction strategies I have been working on to create a range of small objects and at least one finished, labor-intensive piece. While working recently, I have been considering the intricate connections and relationships found in tight-knit communities and what it means to be existing within such contexts.
Right before coming to Clifton Springs I was working on a piece that is basically a free-standing, corrugated wire tube I’m weaving where each tier is a similar but slightly different iteration of the previous sections in the stack.
Q: Who is your favorite artist and why? Who are your favorite local artists?
My favorite artist is Ruth Asawa and I learn something new from her wire sculptures every time I see them in person. Not only is her work amazing but she contributed a lot to art education and public access to art in San Francisco all while raising six kids. I have too many favorite artists frequently showing in the Bay Area to name them all, but I would recommend Sahar Khoury, Alicia McCarthy, Ben Venom, Lucien Shapiro and Windy Chien.
Q: What’s next for you?
I am excited to continue where I left off in my studio back home but with the experience I’ve gained during my time here. I am also looking forward to being in a group show at SHOH Gallery in Berkeley that opens on April 27th.