Victoria Connors is an artist in residence at Main Street Arts! She’s working in one of our two studio spaces July through August 2016 (you can stop by the gallery to see her studio and work in progress). We asked Victoria a few questions about her artwork, life, and more:
Q: To start this off, would you tell us about your background?
A: I am originally from Rochester, NY, but have lived all over the Finger lakes from Canandaigua to the Ithaca area. I’ve always enjoyed the creative process starting with my first painting at the age of two. I have been an oil painter most of my life, painting local landscapes as well as making some surreal art. I was first introduced to fiber arts while making felted hats in the Rochester area, and I learned about needle felting while volunteering in Rochester in 2014. I went to a needle felting demo and the rest is history. By the winter of 2015 my main focus became needle felt paintings, as I feel this is my calling.
Q: How would you describe your work?
A: I like to see my work as a reflection of the connection I have with nature. I find inspiration in chasing sunsets and exploring the Finger Lakes region. I started doing more plein air felting to capturing the beauty in nature that I experience. You can’t get any more of a natural medium than wool and alpaca.
Felting gives a sense of texture and depth that couldn’t be captured in oil paint. My felt paintings are a combination of 2D and 3D art elements, giving my artwork its own unique look and texture. I enjoy felting as it’s more forgiving than oil painting, but more tedious when it comes to details and color palette.
Q: What is your process for creating a work of art?
A: One of the most important parts of my process is experiencing a beautiful moment to capture. I often drive around the Finger Lakes for hours looking for a lovely place to plein air felt. If it’s somewhere I’m unable to felt (such as an abandoned building) then it’s safer to take a picture. I go into much more detail of my felt painting in my Inside the Artist’s Studio blog post!
Q: What are your goals for this residency? Tell us about your current projects.
A: My biggest goal to is help bring fiber arts into the spot light. I feel like fiber art is just starting to enter the mainstream art world. I plan to host another felt painting landscape class. I also plan to take full advantage of this space and work on large scale felt paintings and more 3D sculptures.
I have a few surreal felt paintings I am working on as well. With these I plan to push my limits with relief needle felting.
Q: What’s next for you?
A: I have several art festivals lined up for this year and plan to eventually expand out of state. I will be at Sonnenberg Arts in the Garden and Clothesline Arts Festival. Next year I’m planning on showing at more art festivals and galleries around the Philadelphia area. I have recently worked on some art installations that will be on display at the Finger Lakes Grassroots Music Fest.
Q: Where can we find you?
You can view my work online at www.victoriaconnors.com, on Facebook as Victoria Connors Felt Art, and on Instagram @victoria_connors_feltart. You can see my upcoming show announcements on my website and Facebook.
Are you an artist looking for new opportunities? Apply for a residency at Main Street Arts! Artists in residence will have 24-hour access to a large studio on our second floor (with great natural light), the option to show work in the gallery, and the opportunity to teach paid workshops. Submissions are reviewed and awarded on an ongoing basis.