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Artista presentado

Mon, Nov 23, 2020

Ashley Holmes

Ashley Holmes - Catalizadora de Marca y Marketing

Empty Museum turned Artist's Studio

What do you do when a building once bustling, filled to the brim with creativity, joy, and local history is left closed and eerily quiet? Maybe you... paint a new graphic wall, refresh your donor plaques, organize every cupboard, and build a new front desk?

Well, if you did that then you might have been working at the MAH this summer because that's exactly where we started.

But we all knew refreshing the space just isn't enough.

Back in March, when the pandemic brought our lives to stand still, the MAH to pause and reflect on the ways we use our spaces. by offering up our spaces to the community. Embracing the latency of this unique time. To explore the unstructured capacity of this transitional momentFrom offering space to Renegade Apothecary and Campasinx Womb Care project to assemble and distribute care kits and Luma Yoga classes in Abbott Square, we said YES to finding ways to reimagine what our building

One way this showed up for the MAH, was by offering an artist residency in the Solari, our largest gallery to local artist, activist, and community-leader Abi Mustapha.

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What motivates you as an artist?

  • Keeping my freedom. This is the only career I can imagine I wouldn’t go crazy in.

Who or what do you draw inspiration from?

  • I draw inspiration from everything around me. The experiences I have, conversations, pictures, and mental states. I work from photos a lot as well.

What is your favorite part of the artistic process?

  • Watching something new emerge. Time-lapses are fun for this reason. It’s like magic.

How would you describe your art practice in 7 words or less?

  • Show up, make something, let it go.
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How has this artist residency experience impacted your studio practice?

It’s helped me to create an actual practice. Doing it every day makes me want to do it every day. Without taking too many brakes it creates a flow that builds on itself. Even when I leave the studio I’m often thinking about the next steps or pieces I have going on at home.

What were you able to work on that you may not have had space for prior to this?

Pretty much all the work I’ve made in the last two months is a result of this residency. I’ve never had the wall or table space to make such large pieces and certainly not 4 at a time which really helps me when creating a series.

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How have you developed your career as an artist in Santa Cruz? What's next for you?

My career as an artist has developed slowly. It ebbs and flows and right now it’s really flowing. Having a residency with a schedule has made me much more professional in how I approach producing work. Even when I’m not completely inspired I still have to show up and put marks on paper. There’s something satisfying in overcoming that need for constant “inspiration” that makes me feel like I can now say I”m a working artist. After this residency, I’ll be moving into an art studio at that Tannery Arts Center and working from there. I plan on expanding the number of shows I apply for and doing more collaborations with other local artists.

You can follow Abi's journey on Instagram then be sure to check back as the work she has created during this residency will be featured in our upcoming exhibition In These Uncertain Times. Opening in the Winter/Spring of 2021, In These Uncertain Times will showcase the creativity and resiliency of Santa Cruz County through the Covid-19 pandemic.

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