The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

2024 Commencement Student Speaker: Lea Tarzy
Alexandra Slofkiss: 2024 Commencement Soloist
Outstanding Senior Award: Bernadette Maramis
Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion: Gloria Sporea

Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion: Gloria Sporea

May 10, 2024

Excellence in Athletics Award: Meghan Quinn

Excellence in Athletics Award: Meghan Quinn

May 10, 2024

Excellence in the Arts Award: Joselyn Busato

Excellence in the Arts Award: Joselyn Busato

May 10, 2024

View All

Q&A with artist Tracey Snelling

Interview by Jen Lassen
Arts & Life Editor

Q: Can you describe your exhibit that is currently being featured in our Downtown Gallery? What was your inspiration behind creating this exhibit?

A: “The exhibit there is called ‘Another Day in Paradise’ and it’s a collection of some older work I have and some newer pieces. A lot of my work revolves around Americana in everyday life. This group of work looks at any place in the United States–the edge of town, strip malls, a supposedly quiet neighborhood–that ends up being houses from horror films. It’s a combination of those put together that gives an overview of American life. All of my work is inspired by landscape, by culture, sometimes by films and also by my travels.”

Q: How long have you been a professional artist? What motivated you to pursue becoming an artist?

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A: “I graduated from the University of New Mexico in 1996. I had wanted to be an artist for a long time; at first I had thought it would be photography, but then I started doing sculpture and video. It’s just something that I love, and so I kept after it. You know, You do it because you love it; otherwise, it’s so much time and effort. It just is something that I would do regardless. My father painted when he was younger. He’d either done woodworking or something with his hands his whole life. So I think that influenced me, and when I was young my parents saw that I really enjoyed art. I liked drawing and painting, so they encouraged me.”

Q: Your other exhibits and works have been/are currently being featured all across the nation and globe. Has showcasing your exhibits in various places, and traveling in general, had any influence on your work?

A: “I’ve done quite a bit of traveling, and whenever I travel, while I’m there I’ll take photographs and video and just explore the area. Then, that will probably end up in a future piece. I did two residencies in China and made work while there; I traveled around and made work of what I saw, and that was pretty amazing.”

Q: What other projects are you currently working on?

A: “My film, ‘Nothing,’ premieres at the San Francisco International Film Festival in about a week, so I’m really excited about that. My instillation ‘Women on the Run’ is travelling right now, and that’s an instillation that I keep adding onto and innovating so it’s fresh and interesting. That will eventually travel to the West Coast. Another project that I’m working on is a group of sculptures for show at a museum in Oslo, Norway. They are based around Latin authors. Each sculpture is based on a story or novel.”

Q: What called you to Lewisburg to showcase your exhibit in our Downtown Gallery?

A: “I was picked for it. I was contacted by Richard Rinehart and he saw my work years ago at San Francisco Cameraworks. I guess he liked my worked and thought of me to come here! It’s great to come here. The thing about my art career is that I end up going to places that I probably wouldn’t ever even know about.”

Q: What advice can you give to artists striving to make their work original?

A: “When I was going to the university for my undergrad, I was getting in these classes with critiques. I eventually realized that another student telling me what I should put in my work … they didn’t know any better than I did. Art is so subjective. I think it’s really important to be open to criticism from people that you respect, but if it doesn’t make sense to you, let it go; don’t hold onto it. Try to have your own vision and follow it, and don’t let other people sway you.”

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