Buggin’ Out: sculpture student challenges art norms

Buggin’ Out: sculpture student challenges art norms

June 14
09:24 2013

JP Lugo/Staff Writer                 

Felicia Fisher sees beyond the brush and pencil to bring some diversity to the art scene through a medium that some would find just creepy.

“Art can’t just be pop art,” she said. “You have to have something else that’s more on the eclectic side, and I think I bring that to the table.”

The use of insects in her work sets it apart from other artists in the sense that other art doesn’t often use creatures at all. A sculpting junior who struck the idea of adding this twist about a year ago, Fisher simply put the thought into action after finding herself with too many creatures in her collection of paintings and sculptures.

“I ended up having too many bugs laying around,” Fisher said. “I thought, if I’m going to keep all these pretty bugs then I need to display them somehow.”

Her debut with this new spin had mixed reviews, but mostly positive. Some just didn’t understand it, but her professors saw a light in her work they interpreted as a look into her brain.

“A lot of people said it was really whimsical and eclectic,” Fisher said. “Others just didn’t get it, but it doesn’t really matter since art is art. It’s whatever you want it to be.”

She decided as a freshman in high school to create art and make it part of her life after putting a pencil to paper and learning how to draw a sphere for the first time.

With the combination of that, and her friends and teachers catching her mind’s eye, she decided early on that being an artist was her path.

“I never want to grow up, and being an artist instead of pursuing an accounting job, for example, is the best choice for me,” Fisher said. “Artists still think with vivaciousness and joy.”

The creativity and expressions of her mind are captured in her everyday life as well, outside of creating her own art. Photographer Wesley Kirk has had photo sessions with Felicia as the subject, and noted her overall liveliness and way of embracing life is easily seen in something so simple as getting her picture taken.

“She’s got all the enthusiasm of a four-year-old, extremely hyper and loud but a lot of fun to be around,” Kirk said. “There’s never a dull moment around her. I can’t imagine her doing anything else – she’s a little too crazy. It’s really hard for her art to show how she really is, something you need to experience in person.”

Whether it’s working for 20 minutes or staying in the sculptures lab for days, Fisher stays committed to her work. Many variables are taken into account in making and presenting a new piece, including setting aside extra time to assess how the insects will be put as small details that add meaning to any piece of art.

Photographer Erika Edwards, familiar with Felicia’s work, said Fisher works with what’s in her environment to express what she is feeling in the moment.

“Her art to me is very one with Earth, very in tune with the environment. Not necessarily environmentalism, but with whatever environment she decides is the right place for her art,” Edwards said. “It seems like it’s about the spaces around her to be used to kind of interpret and create what she feels about her spaces, without changing the space.”

Fisher, as she puts it, showcases a glimpse of her own mind through her art and shows people how she thinks. She said though it’s mostly chaotic, her mind is able to organize and express itself through what she creates.

“I see the kind of grandiose nature of Felicia and the total immersion into her surroundings,” Edwards said. “When I see her stuff, I think that this is Felicia expressing her own personality and the part of her soul that needs to be in the art work.”

Fisher feels there’s a need for something new on the art scene that can thrive in today’s local environment, experimenting with insects being one of them.

She believes there are artists much better than her with more potential, but that more work needs to be made that show a new type of creativity and shows the artist thinks outside the box.

“There needs to be more things out of the ordinary,” Fisher said. “You don’t want everything looking like it was on the back of a milk carton.”

The insects, the paintings, the sculptures and everything in between all boil down to the main message in Felicia’s artwork: to inspire the mind to work differently.

“Art just gets the viewer’s creativity flowing and inspires people,” Fisher said. “This is what I want my art to do, make people look at the world in a different light.”

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