Note: In January, Stephanie Berrie was awarded Tiger Lily Press’s Working Artist residency for 2020. She is Senior Lab Associate for the Printmaking Lab and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Cincinnati. We checked in with her to see how and what she is doing during the pandemic shut down. (For more information about the residency program, go here.)
During this time of uncertainty and isolation, I’ve found that I’ve been turning more towards my art as a way to cope with and metabolize the anxiety that I’ve been feeling (and I’m sure many of us have been feeling) about the pandemic. It has given me the time to slow down and focus on my craft and concepts, as well as, forced me to be creative about printing and making installations from home. When all of this began, I was in Laredo, TX, for my show The Revival of the Bodily Dysfunctions at Laredo College, and was wrapped up in the anxiety and stress of traveling that it didn’t occur to me once I came back home I was going to be alone for, well, a long time. I ordered a new sketchbook, and I began a new drawing in it weekly (I’m a terribly slow drawer) accompanied with a little blurb about what I was thinking or feeling in that current moment. From there, I finished neglected paintings, created an installation from leftover materials and prints, and started screenprinting some new patterns I have for my plushies.
Printing in a little apartment with two cats can be challenging, but it’s allowed me to grow as an artist and to defy limitations I thought I had before. I’ve been having fun coming up with new ways to make stuff from scrap materials and combining mediums. I’ve been focusing more on my drawings and paintings, giving them the time and attention they deserve. And although things may seem bleak right now, I’m grateful for this time to become connected with my art again. There are so much beauty and vitality in the smallest things, and even in the time of a crisis, I’ve found it therapeutic to focus on the positive and the innovative opportunities that can come from this.
— Stephanie Berrie, April 2020
An installation created in my apartment from tulle, ribbon, screenprinted felt, and some leftover plushies (picture above and next three photos)
Rib Cage Outrage, Watercolor and Pen on Paper, 69”x 45”, 2020
The following are colored pencil drawings I did in my “quarantine sketchbook.” Each are 8.5”x 6”: