Poet, Painter, Professor
"This is a time where we are all forced to live outside of our comfort zone, so what better time to create art that is also outside of that zone."
Describe yourself as a maker/artist/creative
I am a Queer Artist living in rural West Virginia. My main medium is poetry and I have published three collections at this point, but I am reaching back into my fine arts work from undergrad and re-teaching myself to paint. I am also a College English Professor.
What are you currently working on?
Mostly studies of the body. I stopped painting in acrylic and oil for a long time and now am having to retrain myself to paint. I am also currently working on a (hopefully) forthcoming manuscript of poems about Queerness in Appalachia and finding the right publisher for that work.
Has your work shifted in response to the pandemic? How?
For painting, I feel more productive. I am able to get in the zone that it takes to create a painting. It is quiet work and helps me shut off some of the worries of the outside world. As for poetry, I have been at a bit of a standstill during this time.
In your opinion, what is the role that the creative process can play in helping us confront our “new” reality?
For one, tackling the human body in paint has been a way for me to deal with my isolation from actual human bodies. The simple answer is, that it is an activity that can be done safely in your own home. But as all good art should do, it challenges us to face the reality of what is currently lost to us, and help us access those things in new ways.
Any advice or insight you'd like to share?
Mostly just to keep creating. If one outlet or medium feels lost at this time, try a new one. This is a time where we are all forced to live outside of our comfort zone, so what better time to create art that is also outside of that zone. Be creative and daring!
See more of Vince's work here.