Sculpture resident Brenda Mallory gets hands-on at Anderson Ranch
Special to the Sun
Brenda Mallory, a sculptor from Portland, Ore., is spending the next nine weeks at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center escaping reality to explore her own creative expression tucked away in the Rocky Mountains.
Anderson Ranch’s mission is to offer artists of all levels and ages a retreat where they can have a transformative experience that celebrates artists, art-making, creativity and community, according to its website. The center has many programs, including summer workshops, the featured artist lecture series and the 10-week artist residency program, which Mallory and 13 other artists are currently participating in.
This is Mallory’s third visit to Anderson Ranch. In the summer of 2012 she was a student in the welding workshop, and then she returned in August to teach a class about how to make 3-D collages called “Repeats, Rhythms and Rifts.” After having a great first visit, she decided in February to apply for the residency, and she was selected by a jury to spend the fall here. She and the other residents arrived Oct. 9.
She is now taking risks, exploring other fields such as printmaking, getting to know other artists and making the most of her time here.
Snowmass Sun: What has been one unique experience you have had during your time here?
Brenda Mallory: When I was here last summer, I saw a moose at Maroon Bells run across my path and then jump in the lake and swim across during a thunderstorm. That was exciting. And now I feel fortunate that the residency started this fall just as the aspens are doing their glowing magic. I hope to do a lot of hiking while I’m here.
SS: How did you become a sculptor?
BM: I’m a very physical person, and I love working with my hands. I’m more comfortable with a drill than a pencil.
SS: What inspires you at Anderson Ranch?
BM: The people here and the whole community that is associated with the ranch is supportive and receptive. It’s great to be around so many talented, hardworking artists, and that includes my fellow residents and the staff here. It is both inspiring and intimidating.
SS: What materials do you like best to work with?
BM: I work in mixed media — primarily multiple cloth forms that I sew, then stiffen with wax and combine with hardware and steel. I have worked with these materials for years, but I didn’t bring any of these familiar materials to the ranch, so while I am here, I’m going to be experimenting with other things that come my way.
SS: What are you working on right now?
BM: Right now, I’m working with industrial spools of thread — cutting the thread off the spools to use and then also using the spool cones that are left behind. I don’t know where this is going, so I’m a little uncomfortable in the process now. But sometimes being uncomfortable is a good thing — keeps you on your toes.
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At least 10 shrines have been removed at Snowmass this month, including those to Hunter S. Thompson, Bob Beattie, Spider Sabich, Stein Eriksen, Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan, the state of Minnesota and the Chicago Blackhawks.