We’re going to time warp just a tad on this episode of the podcast. We’re going back to a coat closet inside the Grand Rapids Public Art Museum (GRAM) where I interviewed artist Betsy Timmer this past fall about “Rag Rug,” the piece that she entered in ArtPrize, the international art competition held annually here in West Michigan.
The coat closet wasn’t our first choice of recording locations but we decided it was our best option after we were interrupted by a band that started jamming outside moments after I hit record. We even postponed the interview a day in the hope that we could record in peace, but heavy ArtPrize attendance resulted in lots of chatter and shuffling feet, so into the quiet coat closet we went.
Despite the repeated interruptions and ridiculous interview location, my conversation with Betsy was most enjoyable. Tune in to hear how she created her “Rag Rug” piece that placed in the top 75 of more than 1,700 entries during the 2010 ArtPrize competition, her thoughts about the difference between art and craft, and the challenge of balancing life as a fine artist with the realities of holding a day job.
Betsy is a Michigan native who now lives in Lawrence, Kansas where she works as an adjunct art professor and does freelance graphic design work to support her “art dreams.” (Check out the mop dress she talked about during the podcast here.)
Kansas City listeners can check out Betsy’s latest creative project. She was selected as one of 12 artists selected for the Kansas City Power & Light District “Holiday Windows” competition. Betsy’s display is in the window of Envolve Boutique, 1380 Main Street in Kansas City, Missouri. The winner is determined by public vote which is ongoing through Dec. 16. The winner will receive $5000. (Good luck, Betsy!)
If you’re an artist of dream of someday becoming one, you’re going to really enjoy Betsy’s story. So pour yourself a cup of tea and settle in for a nice long chat.
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