Stephanie Metz lives and works in San Jose, California and was a featured artist in Bay Area Currents 2009 at ProArts Gallery, Oakland, CA. She has exhibited at Hosfelt Gallery, San Francisco and New York, and the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art. Her numerous group exhibitions include Black Sheep: The Darker Side of Felt at the National Centre for Craft and Design in the U.K., Creatures: From Bigfoot to the Yeti Crab at the Sun Valley Center for the Arts in Idaho, Formex Stockholm 2008
What did the Fellowship or Laureate mean to you at the time you received it?
It means a years' worth of studio rent, which allows me to focus on my overarching body of work rather than stressing about selling enough small pieces and teaching enough workshops to pay the rent. It is literally the gift of time.
What do you do now? Has your art evolved or changed?
Felted wool is often viewed through the lens of its traditional and historical uses in the realms of domesticity, craft, and industry; my sculptural use of felted wool is an ongoing investigation into its potential for physical manipulation and conceptual redefinition. I have been working with wool for thirteen years now, and my work continues to evolve. My early work in felt was an exercise in mimicking the physical qualities of more traditional materials. As I continued to experiment with my medium I found that the material itself began to inform my work, and I gradually began to embrace wool in its own right. Today my work is still based in biological reality, yet it is increasingly abstract and much larger than before.
What is one piece of advice you would give to an emerging artist?
Besides putting the time into your own unique vision, be easy to work with, which means: be professional, be courteous, be prompt, and be prepared.
Briefly, how would you describe the state of the arts locally, as well as national and beyond?
Struggling for respect.
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