BWW Interview: Artist EMILY CHURCO Talks Art and Life
Meet Buffalo Artist Emily Churco.
MCL: Where did you grow up at?
EC: I grew up in a small town in the Adirondacks called Tupper Lake. It's very pretty.
MCL: When did art enter your life? How?
EC: Art has seemingly always been a part of my life, I cannot really remember an 'aha!' moment with art. I think my mom may have recognized at an early, early, age that drawing was something that I was overly drawn to. So she fostered that quite a bit and always made sure I had crayons and markers.
MCL: How would you describe your art?
EC: I suppose I would try to describe my art as somewhat light-hearted, or even comical, but usually with an angle that hints at something more personal, or even darker than what might appear on the surface. There are themes of loneliness and anxiety, but I always feel more comfortable confronting those topics with humor. Because of that, my actual 'style' tends to lean more cartoonish in recent work. clean lines, distinct color palettes, and stylized depictions of people.
MCL: What are you working on presently?
EC: I'm currently not working on much, small pieces here and there. I have a few larger things that I might dive into at some point this year, but I'm really pretty slow at getting work done. I've recently done a few ads for local café Tipico. I got to design the imagery for my band's first release recently, which was something of a teenage dream. I've also been in talks with a good friend for years on illustrating a story that she wrote. I'd love to dedicate a few months to something like that.
MCL: Who are some of your influences?
EC: Oh man, it's tough to track all of the material that has been influential over the years. I really enjoy the work of Chris Ware, Charles Burns, and Jillian Tamaki. Chris Ware is so clever and dark and really seems to let silence and pensive moments breath. I try not to get 'too influenced' by stuff because I don't want to accidentally copy or mimic other work that I respect without realizing it.
MCL: What is there new in the art world you would like to try?
EC: So, I'm not really sure what might considered 'new' in the art world. I'm really bad at keeping up with the art world. But, what I am increasingly interested in is more wearable pieces. I have been very much enjoying the trend toward enamel pins lately. Almost any cultural reference you could think of has a small, wearable counterpart. I would really like to get a collection of imagery that would translate to that world. I also really like the idea of using sweatshirts, a classic low-brow item of clothing, as a utility to get statements out there. I've done a few of those. They seem like the ideal medium to make a lazy statement.
MCL: Have you done may shows with your work? Where?
EC: I haven't done too many shows since graduating from college in 07. Again, because I'm pretty slow and tend to not keep a steady pace of work. I have been lucky enough to be asked to participate in shows, which then gives me a goal and deadline to get work done. My first post-college show was at Hardware on Allen St. My friend Heather (Brezo) had asked if I wanted to split the space up with her, and I of course said yes because her work is fantastic. At the time I had an active challenge going for myself where I would make or do one creative thing a day. Because of that I was able to pull a lot of these ideas and make more finished pieces. I priced them very, very low. Despite that I believe at least 2 were stolen off of the wall. A few years ago I was honored to have a few of the largest works I've ever done in a group show at Hallwalls. That felt like a big step up for me, somewhat legitimizing the work that I can do. Then recently I had a solo show at Pine Apple Company, also on Allen St. The super talented folks who operate the space had asked if I would be interested. I took the opportunity to create a brand new body of work, in a style that I had yet to really explore. It was a wonderful experience. Other than that I've been lucky to be surrounded by creatives who will ask if I want to include work here and there. This city's art scene has been really supportive.
MCL: Who do you like locally as an artist?
EC: There are so many local artists that I admire and respect, it's almost impossible to list all of them. I was exposed to Tom Holt's work early on, while was still in college, and then recently had the pleasure of getting to work with him as he's part of the Pine Apple Co. The Everyone at Pine Apple Co makes amazing things; Mikey Harmon, Mike West, Sarah Liddell, Yames Moffitt, and Esther Neison. They all do different, yet amazing stuff. I enjoy work by Alana Kelley, Nick Torsell, Sarah Jane Barry, Joel Brenden, Julie Molloy, Julia Conte, BrIan Dickinson, LeeAnn Coleman, Bobby Grifiths, and so many other people that I'm forgetting.
MCL: What's coming up for you in 2017 that you want people to know about?
EC: For 2017 I just really hope to focus on bodies, or groups of work that relate to each-other, instead of one-off pieces that I tend to do. There is something really pleasing and meditative to be able to created a corresponding group of images. As I think I mentioned prior, I'd love to focus on illustrating my friends short story, or doing one for myself. My only web-presence is poorly updated, but can be found at emilychurco.com
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