The Artist Life
by: Vanessa Traub, Volunteer Coordinator.
Photo: Kasie Campbell at the Kennedale Facility Artist Residency
Being a Works to Work intern involves, well, work, but in that are invaluable experiences that teach, challenge and encourage the growth of emerging artists. Me and three other interns were given the opportunity to join in the creation of a sculpture for the festival behind the lead of local artist Kasie Campbell. Not only did Kasie invite us into her studio but she shared many stories of her transition from university to a professional practice, from the initial struggles of not having access to resources to managing a family and work. We all sat outside, asking questions while sewing away to create a collectively dynamic piece. However, this collaboration was more than just creating art. Through genuine curiosity and meaningful conversation I got a real look into ‘the artist life’.
Just a few weeks later, all the Works to Work interns went on a field trip to visit Kasie at her artist residency. In her eleventh and final month at The City of Edmonton Kennedale Facility, Kasie guided us in her exploration of using concrete in sculpture. She gave us a tour of her studio space and spoke to the challenge of juxtaposing visually organic objects with an industrial medium. After seeing her studio space we all sat outside in a quiet space to ask questions about Kasie’s residency and artwork, and even hear about her time as a Works to Work intern.
Getting the chance to work with an artist for the festival and seeing first hand what an artist residency looks does not happen everyday. These surprising interactions with Kasie are an example of the opportunities the Works to Work summer internship offers. The internship program strives to get interns involved in the Edmonton arts community and I’ve found it does exactly that.
Vanessa Traub is an artist based in Edmonton pursuing her BFA in painting at the University of Alberta. Her work has been featured in various fundraisers including the Edmonton Public School Foundation’s annual Ready to Frame auction. Vanessa’s past works speak to the impact of mental health on identity, and currently embraces childlike imagination. Recently, she has initiated an art program at the Edmonton Young Offender Centre teaching beginner and advanced classes. Vanessa strives to teach the youth invaluable skills that they can take as tools to explore their interests and the vast definition of art.