Thursday, August 16, 2012

Artist Spotlight - Alicia Hunsicker

As I contemplated writing this piece, I asked myself how in the world I could ever do this brilliant, gifted and profound artist justice, when the words so often fail me in expression through writing.  Having said that, there is no escaping the strong feelings I have about sharing Alicia Hunsicker's work with as many people as I can.




Alicia lives in Leyden, Massachusetts, a small hill town that has largely escaped commercialization. The centers of activity are the elementary school, a church and a town hall. There is not even a corner store to buy milk! What it does have are beautiful views, grassy fields and several small farms. Western Massachusetts rural beauty at its finest.

When I visited her home for the open studio event and fundraiser sale, I was, as always, received with a warm calmness by Alicia. When she begins to discuss her work, she is transformed and one sees clearly that she is passionate about life, senses her place in the universe but also asks a lot of questions about it, constantly searching for ways to express her questions and evaluate her understanding.




It's no wonder that the rural beauty of Alicia's surroundings have impacted so greatly on her work. The paintings reveal a deep reverence for nature and how it intersects with art, science, the spirit and the human body. One gets the feeling upon exploring many of Alicias' works, that they are somehow familiar; that there are threads there that one could explore over and over again and experience a feeling of connection to forces that are beyond one's intellectual understanding perhaps, but that one can experience on a spiritual and unconscious level. I feel about Alicia's work as I sometimes do about a certain type of poem; one that has many complex layers of meaning and yet touches a core feeling that we humans are a part of something really huge and magnificent. It's a comforting feeling, to realize that each of us is just a tiny dot on a massively huge universal canvas. We are so preoccupied with ourselves and our problems, that to feel that connection, however fleeting, and to see it expressed through art, reminds us that we are not so important in and of ourselves, but a part of a vast wholeness. It is humbling to view human life through this perspective.



From Mind to Matter


Recently, Alicia was interviewed by Superconsciousness Magazine and described her work and her process, as well as what inspires her. Her own words express much better than I what she has in mind when she creates. Here is an excerpt from the article:


SuperConsciousness: What inspired you to merge art with science and what are the benefits that you perceive from it?
Mana Force, 28” x 51”, oil on board, Alicia Hunsicker, 2011
Alicia Hunsicker: I received a wonderful amount of feedback when I unveiled my latest series of work, entitled “Moments of Creation”. This series evolved from the idea of expressing the moment in time where thought or energy transforms into form or matter. Many people resonated with this work and pointed out a strongly perceived scientific connection. Some even called the compositions biological landscapes.
I have always thought of myself as a spiritual artist, but as I started to view my work through a more scientific lens, I began to experience more expansion in what was possible through my art. I was amazed at the similarities between the questions I was asking through my art in the studio and the questions scientists were researching in their facilities.
This new alignment allowed me to see doors that I could not see before, and now, excitedly, I am starting to open them and explore what is inside.



Spring Birches



Alicia has had an impressive resume. Her work has been exhibited internationally and she has won a number of awards, grants and residencies.  Her work appears in a number of private collections as well.

In 2008, she traveled to China to work with the Zendai Museum of Modern Art. Alicia contributed to collaborative projects in the museum program "Interlude: Art and Life 366". Another project of the museum called "We Are Having Weather" included Alicia's photography work. Both projects have been added to the museum's permanent collection. Other notable artists in this program included Yoko Ono and Ai Weisel.

A recent solo exhibition (which I attended) at Gallery in the Woods, a prestigious New England gallery, featured several canvases of recent works called "Moments of Creation".

Alicia received a lot of feedback when these works were unveiled. The ideas for the paintings evolved from the idea expressing "the moment in time where thought or energy transforms into form or matter". Many people who resonated with this work referred to it as a series of "biological landscapes".


To see more of Alicia's projects and exhibitions visit her blog .



"It was a poignant realization that the concepts I explore in my work are closely related to ones that many scientists are exploring in their research."  




Kaboom

Most recently, Alicia was invited by the D. Feiss East West Foundation to participate in a residency and Symposia of Contemporary Art in Mallnitz, Austria. In order to participate, she created an online Kickstart fundraising campaign called Boundless:  An Artist Residency and Journey to Cern. In addition to the residency she will be fulfilling a career dream by traveling to Cern - The European Organization for Nuclear Research in Geneva, Switzerland. Specifically in regards to Cern, her current interests are in the Large Hadron Collider and the Higgs Boson particles and images of particle collisions.


Alicia is currently fundraising to help pay for her journey to Austria. For the love of art, humanity and science, please consider making a contribution. However modest, every bit helps. You will be rewarded with a gift of Alicia Hunsicker art as well as the feeling that you're involved in something really big and exciting.
Boundless Artist Residency and Visit to Cern.




8 comments:

  1. Being rather ignorant when it comes to the visual arts, I haven't heard of her but I like the images here. 'Spring Birches' floats my boat. Very interesting and gives you a nice feeling.

    ReplyDelete
  2. These works are beautiful. Artists just amaze me how they transform their vision into something we can see.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Her work is indeed fascinating and very beautiful. Among the ones you've chosen to post I particularly like 'Mana Force' and 'Spring Birches'. Both of them are wonderful examples of Goethe's color theory that color doesn't exist because of light, but that color is the boundary between light and dark.

    It's great you found a local artist who is working to interpret the outer reaches of scientific and philosophical thought from the serene domain of Western Mass. Her paintings are reminiscent of Blake's spiritual masterpieces.

    Excellent find, my friend.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I also particularly like Mana Force. These remind me of a series I saw in Chicago this week, beautiful photographs from a nano research lab, which included views into the microscopic universe of minerals and molecules. Like those photos, the intersection of science and art in Alicia's work seems to illustrate the way the finite and the infinite are intertwined, and mirror each other - how ever larger structures, including our beings, are assembled or grown from smaller things arranged like crystals, like helix, like fractals, like galaxies.

    ReplyDelete
  5. this is deep. Kaboom blows me away. (do'h!) seriously. so too Spring Birches and Woman/Tree. I love how she puts it - "This new alignment allowed me to see doors that I could not see before, and now, excitedly, I am starting to open them and explore what is inside".
    Thanks for sharing this Gina. I have been spending little time on the computer these last months, and so don't get round to visiting blogs as much as I did. I'm finding it difficult to post something once a week...
    I'm happy you stopped by to say hello, I always, always get inspiration from you. happy week to you.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Becky! It's great to hear from you. I appreciate your comment, especially given that you've been busy and away from blogging life. I'm trying to post more often than I have been but I'm not always inspired these days. I hope you are well and happy. xxoo

    Yes, Alicia's work is quite deep. In person, her paintings are really knock-outs.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wow, Alicia's work is indeed captivating and fantastic, to echo all the above comments. The post itself was very well done and a pleasure to read; you succeeded both at highlighting her work and at capturing the essence of the artist herself. She seems like a cool chick. Muchas gracias for sharing with the rest of us...Leave it to you to discover such a true gem in the valley. Perhaps someday when I'm in the area you can take me to see the real deal. : )

    -Uschi

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why thank you for stopping by, my dearest. Alicia is a very cool lady. A very genuine and intelligent person and a warm, kind friend.

      Delete

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