Homegrown will be a weekly post highlighting our Holiday Arts Tour artists. NCLAC would like to celebrate the artists living in our own backyard whether they were raised here, relocated, or just like to visit enough to call Ruston home. This years Holiday Arts Tour will be November 18, 19, & 20th. Watch here for more information and tour locations.
Bess was born and raised in the Conneticut suburbs. She received her MFA in Photography from the Savannah College of Art and Design and her BA from Sarah Lawrence College. She is an active, exhibiting photographer and an arts adminstrator at Louisiana Tech University. She’s recently had a series of solo shows in Monroe at the Bry, Arender, and Livaudais Galleries. In addition she has particpated in a variety of group exhibitions in Indiana, Michigan, Texas, and Georgia. Her recent work culminated in the series Subtle Hysteria. The focus of her work is women and domestic life.
I have created a character and environment based on stories and my own imaginings of the life of an unhappy housewife. I investigate her psychological terrain through domestic still lifes with a taste of hostility. Her quiet desperation and frustrations manifest themselves in strange displays within the confines of her home. I find the evidence of her outlets in her minute obsessions, her petty violence and the aftermath of her little explosions. The home and objects that surround her are beautiful but used. worn and past their prime. I focus on a woman’s solitary rebellion against the restrictions of her domestic life.
NCLAC: What’s your first memory of the arts, and/or how did you become interested in art?
BESS: I remember being put in a remedial ‘cutting and coloring’ class in kindergarten. I think I wound up there because I wasn’t very good at following directions. I got in trouble for coloring a tulip in blue when we were supposed to be using “realistic” colors. I thought the remedial class was fun because it was just a couple of other kids and me and we got to draw all the time.
NCLAC: What, if anything, do you hope others get from your art?
BESS: I hope it brings up an emotional reaction, I hope that they can relate to it on some level. I hope it makes them think. In my photographs, I try to give the viewer pieces or hints of a story, I want the viewer to make up the rest of the story on their own.
NCLAC: Who were your childhood heroes?
BESS: Wonder Woman and Cyndi Lauper; basically outrageously cool women who wore crazy outfits.
For more information about Bess visit her website at www.bessart.com
NCLAC is supported in part by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation & Tourism, in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council, Funding has also been provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, a Federal agency. In addition funding for the Holiday Arts Tour is supported by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council and administered by the Shreveport Regional Arts Council