Amy Kollar Anderson lives with her husband and their four cats in the birthplace of aviation (Dayton, Ohio), where she also works for the Rosewood Gallery. When she is not painting, she volunteers time with the kitties at the SICSA Animal Shelter and makes art with the kids at the Daybreak Youth Shelter. Her narrative based work is a circus of brilliant colors, swirling patterns with illustrative pop characters and wildlife. Amy also incorporates science and microbes into many of her works. Each is a visual aquarium of glistening, crazy-daisy goodness – a kaleidoscope of graphic textures – packing a powerful punch.
My favorite art memory from childhood is …
Making paper dolls with my Grandmother Kollar. (below)
My interest in art/painting started ….
I have always been the “artist” in my family. My parents were very encouraging and let me take classes outside of school. I started working in pastels and moved on to oils when I was about 14 years old, but I am still figuring things out!
I am often inspired and motivated by….
Science and nature. I am motivated by new discoveries and learning how things work. If I weren’t so easily distracted, I could see myself working in the sciences. There are a lot of similarities in how I research and experiment with ideas and materials, but my end results doesn’t save lives or forward us as a society. I also find so much awe and inspiration in the simple things, like discovering a Mantis in my yard.
If I could spend the day with any artist (dead or alive) it would be… And we would….
I really want to meet Judith Schaechter in person, and would be giddy with joy to spend an entire day with her. I discovered her work on a memorable visit to Philly/New York when I was 16. I had never seen art like hers before, but I instantly felt connected to it. Recently, I helped sponsor her Eastern State Penitentiary project, and plan to get out there to see the work once it is installed. Perhaps my wish will come true, at least the meeting her part, but I would love to hang out, talk and make art for a day. From chatting with her via FB and reading her blog, we have a lot in common.
The tip or art technique (a specific tidbit of craft, advice or mechanical expertise) that has helped me the most is ….
“Make what you know, and be true to yourself.”
Simple, but true. I had a professor at SAIC give me that advice. It didn’t really click at the time, because I was struggling to make work that was more conceptual, but once I was out of school and left to my own devices, it made perfect sense. Advice I ignored… “Don’t use glitter.”
If I could own one piece of art, out of the world’s collections, it would be …
There are so many that I love, but I truly covet the dolls made by Marina Bychkova.
My favorite piece of my own art is ….
I guess it would be the piece called “Tree” (below) that I made back in 1994.
Because …. It is very different from my current work, being that it is large, abstract and painted in oils. I was really influenced by Roberto Matta at the time and his ability to layer color to create dense space with transparent glazes. That piece represents a time in my life that I look back at with fondness. I was living in Chicago and going to art school, and I think it was the first time I really felt like my preconceived idea of what a “real” artist should be. Now I know that it isn’t where you live or a lifestyle, it is your dedication to your craft.
My ultimate project or fantasy is …
Pretty simple. Hang out with the cats in the studio and be able to paint all day everyday without any pain in my hands, arms or shoulders.
The last song I choose to listen to was …
“Dark Eyes.” Devotchka has a lovely version, but any will do. I put it on when I need a recharge.
The last book I couldn’t put down was ….
The “Alice” books by Lewis Carroll. There is so much to read and reread! In general, I don’t allow myself a lot of time for reading (hard to paint and read at the same time). Mostly I listen to podcasts while I paint: This American Life, RadioLab, Skeptics Guide to the Universe, among many others.
My favorite word is …
Can you pick just one? Tush, ginormic, regusting, bits, tootsies, most of the swear words… I could go on.
I can’t live without …
My husband, my cats and my hands.
It’s not hip, but I really love ….
Rocks. I could sit and look at rocks for hours and be perfectly content. Sorting rocks is even more fun!
My favorite motto (or quote) is….
“You have no choice you have to pay time’s price, But you can use the price to buy you something nice, Something you can only buy with lots of time, So when you’re old you blow some whippersnapper’s mind.”
~ Jeffrey Lewis from “Time Trades”
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would that be?
I have often fantasized about packing up a mobile home/caravan and traveling around the US, though the cats would probably be pissed off. I really loved York, England and we seriously considered living there, but again the cats. I am really a homebody, but I love to travel and experience other places and ways of life.
Your works often incorporate dynamic patterns & designs, with a brilliant almost psychedelic feel. Any reflections on this?…
The curator of the Columbus Museum of Art once described my work as“Nouveaudelia”, which I thought really captured it nicely. I am drawn to many of the same things as the Art Nouveau artists, such as the shapes and fluid lines found in nature and the layering of patterns found in Japanese prints and kimonos. I am also a thrift store junkie, and I love the chaos of patterns found amongst the shelves. As far as the intensity of color, I am not really sure where that came from, because my palette used to be really dark. I think it may have changed around the time I switched from oils to acrylics. I went gaga for all the crazy colors, especially the metallic, interference and neon ones. Back in high school, when describing really garish clothes, my friends and I used to say things were so ugly they were beautiful, so maybe that has something to do with it.
Upcoming Exhibition News:
FITTON CENTER FOR THE CREATIVE ARTS - Hamilton, OH
June 15th – August 17th
Opening Reception June 15, 6-8pm
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