Hello! We are excited to share our third interview from our artist interview series. We have been admiring the work of artist Mayuko Fujino for a while. Mayuko is a self-taught papercut and stencil artist from Tokyo currently based in the Hudson Valley in New York. Inspired by Japanese traditional stencil textile designs, she has been practicing her art since 1999. Mayuko shares her insight and inspiration with us below.
Uncommon Canvas: What inspires you when making art?
Mayuko: Sometimes an image I see in my everyday environment starts to linger in my mind, and that’s what inspired me to make art. For example, when I lived in Brooklyn, it was a littered plastic bag on the street; now I live in upstate New York surrounded by nature and it is mirroring trees on the water surface that inspire me. I create a series to decode the lingering image so that I understand what it is trying to tell me. I believe successful art is autonomous and I try to let my intuition speak as much as possible, since it often has more depth than what I can conceptualize.
We discovered The Taconic Sculpture Park during a trip to the Hudson River Valley in New York. Driving along the Taconic State Parkway, we suddenly saw a gigantic sculpture head. It was completely unexpected after taking in the quaint green hills, trees, and idyllic barns along our route.
Located in Spencertown, New York, the park was created by Roy Kanwit, a self-taught sculptor and artist. Kanwit has been working on his park for approximately 40 years. The park consists of about 30 sculptures including the aforementioned giant head sculpture (which is 19 feet), statues of gods and goddesses, and other icons.
The artist lives on the premises and does not mind people coming by to enjoy his artwork, as long as they are respectful. We recommend that you call ahead to check the park’s hours. For the contact information and more details, please visit the park’s website.
Continuing with the theme from the previous post, Barry Rosenthal is a Brooklyn based photographer also working with beach plastic. His photo series “Found in Nature” is a collection of discarded objects found on the beaches of New York. The colorful and well-designed artworks make us forget for a moment that the truth behind his work is quite disturbing. Our overuse of plastic has lead to an abundance of waste that keeps going long after its original use. To learn more about Rosenthal’s work, visit his website at http://www.barryrosenthal.com.
“I am a collector. The beach is my flea market and found objects my inspiration.”
For the past several years, I have been a fan and advocate of studio programs for artists with disabilities. I have had the honor of visiting and volunteering with several studio programs in the U.S. The work being done by many of these organizations helps de-stigmatize developmental disabilities and mental illness. The participants are given the encouragement and resources they need to develop their own artistic visions and build confidence while gaining a supportive community.
I recently came across the work of Jonathan Campos. I love the repetition and color in his work. Campos is a participant at Pure Vision Arts (PVA) in New York City. Pure Vision Arts was started in 2002 by a non-profit called The Shield Institute and is dedicated to helping individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities find opportunities for artistic expression. Their website includes a gallery of other talented artists worth checking out.
The Uncommon Canvas is an arts blog that focuses on increasing visibility for artists. We also hope to bring awareness to mental health in the arts. This blog includes interviews, artist spotlights, and art history beyond mainstream narrative.