Monday, November 11, 2013

Artist INC: Erin Latham

Erin Latham, ":in carta silvum," Relief prints on recycled paper, 2012, 18' x 25' x 8'
 (Interview by romy owens.)

Artist INC Participating Artist: Erin Latham

Q: What five words would you use to describe your art? 
A: Immersive, Saturated, Conscious, Atmospheric, Curious. 

Q: What do you create as an artist?
A: I'm a printmaker and installation artist who makes large scale environments and small scale sculptures placed in environments, in order to immerse the viewer. 

Q: Why do you do what you do?
A: I'm sort of obsessed with nature and the environments around me. I feel compelled to explore the whole planet and translate it into my own ideas of it. 

Q: What has been a seminal experience that has affected your art?
A: Having a not so great experience with a person of influence in graduate school. It made me realize that I have to stay true to what I am making, and I can't ignore my voice. 

Q: How has your practice changed over time?
A:  I found printmaking and it was something I wanted to do more than anything else, like eat or sleep etc. So I've kept doing that. I also started making larger works in Grad. school and over the past few years I have become interested in making my processes more sustainable, and eco-friendly. 

Q: Is there a style/movement/period of art with which you most identify? 
A: I'd like to identify with Activist Art and EcoArt but I don't know if I'm there yet for either of those things. 

Q: Will you describe a real life situation that inspired you?
A: It's cheesy but I'm inspired by leaves on trees, or water moving. Any sort of natural environment that gets my curiosity going. Also engaging in the art community makes me want to create more, especially researching artists who make work in a similar style. 

Q: Do you have any other jobs in addition to being an artist? 
A: Yep. I'm a teaching artist. It's great, I love it, but it can take up a lot of your time. I just have to manage the time spent in planning and teaching with my studio practice and business practice. Being with the kids fuels my creativity though, their brains are so open and excited about making, it's pretty cool.  

Q: What is the biggest challenge you have had to overcome as an artist?
A: Listening to my voice and staying true to the things I want to create in the midst of stronger opinions. 

Q: What is the best piece of advice you've been given to date?
A: Find your tribe, and just keep making stuff no matter what. 

Q: What is your dream project right now?
A: A project that involves a residency period abroad which would obtain information from the people living in that culture about their interactions with their environment. That would then fuel a body of work that explores the countries landscapes through the eyes of its people and mine as an outsider. And full funding for it! 

Q: Can you name three artists in your field that you'd be proud to be compared to?
A: Sarah Sze, Nicola Lopez, Paula Hayes (Really just artists whose work I love.) 

Q: What role do you think an artist has in society?
A: I think artists are facilitators of culture and representatives of creative thought, that through their work and ideas can create major change in society. I think we have a responsibility to explore the world and translate it to others through our works in order to cultivate a better life, planet, existence in the future.  

Q: How can you be contacted?

Twenty-five Oklahoma artists are meeting once a week for 8 weeks as part of the Artist INC Live OKC program. Artist INC is a cutting edge training program that addresses the specific business needs and challenges of artists. The course culminates with each artist presenting for 5 minutes about their work, incorporating the skills learned during the program. The public is welcome to attend this final program evening on November 19, 2013, 6-9 pm at Oklahoma Contemporary, 3000 General Pershing Blvd in Oklahoma City. More info at

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