Meet the artist: Abriah Wofford
Abriah Wofford is the 2014 recipient of the Jack Roberts Memorial Scholarship Fund, supported by the annual Redstone Labor Day Weekend Art Show. Her award-winning art will be featured today through Monday on the grounds of the Redstone Inn. Arts and entertainment contributor April Clark caught up with the young Redstone artist as she prepared for the weekend’s show.
AC: Tell me about yourself and when you began pursuing art seriously?
AW: I am 18, and I was born in Idaho but have been in the valley for almost nine years. I just graduated from Roaring Fork High School and am trying to decide between two colleges at the moment. The first art classes I took were Art I and Ceramics during my sophomore year in high school, but I would say I really started taking art more seriously my senior year when I took AP Art Studio. This was a much more intense class, and I spent many hours out of class working on projects. To be in that class you had to be very self-motivated and willing to put in lots of extra studio time.
AC: How did you hear about the scholarship, and how are you utilizing it in your studies?
AW: Living in Redstone, I know many of the artists around town, so I’ve always kind of known about the scholarship. It was only this spring, though, that I realized the scholarship could be relevant to me. I’m planning on using this scholarship to further improve my artistic abilities. I plan to major in fine arts when I go to college.
AC: Who has been the biggest influence(s) in your art career?
AW: Both of my high school art teachers, Leslie Keery and Cathleen McCourt, have been really supportive and influential in my art. Mrs. Keery was my Art I teacher and the one who sparked my interest. Mrs. McCourt helped me refine and rework many of my later pieces as well. My dad has also been very important, as he is the one who exposed me throughout my life to art and helped me to appreciate many different forms it can come in. He has also taught me that anything I do should be done with patience and thoroughness, which is a lesson that can carry through to any aspect of life, but for me it most often benefits my art.
AC: What inspires you as an artist?
AW: For inspiration, I often look to my family. Many of my subjects are of, or inspired by, one family member or another. I also like to draw subjects that show strong emotion. I feel that art is meant to spark some sort of emotion in you, whether it be good or bad.
AC: What do you enjoy most about the artistic process?
AW: My very favorite part of a project is always right before I finish. I love it because there’s enough done for the drawing to look good, but with every line, it improves. Also, by that point, I have gotten into a rhythm with the medium and the subject and it’s easier to know exactly what I need to do to make it better.
AC: What are some of your goals as an artist?
AW: Long term, I hope to be able to grow as an artist. I really just want to be able to take the time to practice and improve. I would like to show my work at different venues, but honestly I’m not very concerned about selling my work. I just want it to be out there for people to enjoy.
AC: How do you feel about participating in the Redstone Labor Day Art Show?
AW: I feel extremely lucky to be able to participate in this year’s show. For the nine Labor Day Art Shows that I’ve been here for, I remember always wandering around the huge tent, in awe of all the amazing paintings, drawings and sculptures. Now, to be able to be a part of all that is something I never would have imagined. This will be the first time I have ever shown my work outside of a school art show, so I’m a little nervous, but I’m mostly just excited.
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The first in-person local festival of the year has arrived with Dandelion Day making its return to Sopris Park in Carbondale from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. this Saturday.