Every week we pick one noteworthy artist to spotlight on our blog and other social media outlets. Mia Henry is the artist we picked this week not only because she has been uploading new work every week (and therefore prolific), but also because she is working with her friends to establish a collective in Pittsburgh. Her Kickstarter project is one of the many things we asked her about in this interview! Check out what see has to say below.
What is your earliest art memory?
In pre-school I drew this image over and over of a cat with a bird on it’s head. I have no idea why but I really enjoyed the imagery. Maybe someone can analyze that for me.
Who and what inspires you?
Fear inspires me. Fear can stifle innovation and progress but fear also leads to great achievement in those who flourish in the exhilaration of challenging it. People who succeed in the face of fear inspire me. Chuck Close inspires me. Suffering from a disability that makes face recognition difficult, Close directly confronted his “weakness” and became an amazing photorealistic portrait artist. After surviving a spinal artery collapse that left him severely paralyzed, he advanced portrait art in new ways, again transcending his disability.
What is your favorite piece on your UGallery portfolio?
Edward Lorenz coined the term “Butterfly Effect” to describe how a minuscule change in one place can alter an event significantly in another. If something so small can result in such huge change, how much more significant are our own actions? How do our behaviors and decisions alter those around us and ultimately the larger community? What’s our ripple effect? I invite viewers to stand in front my piece, “The Butterfly Effect,” and become the butterfly.
What is one word to describe your art? Big
Can you tell me a little bit more about your kickstarter project? How will this influence your art?
The Mine Factory Collective represents a new type of community-based venture. Incubating in the skeleton of the industrial Rust Belt, a vigorous and eclectic urban population strives to express itself. The Collective gives voice to our creativity. Local artists and designers will exhibit their work in a beautiful space inside a defunct mining equipment factory. The artists and designers, many of whom already have studios in the same building, will run the entire space and use it to produce collaborative art and open-to-the-public shows that will draw in the surrounding community. Unlike in the traditional gallery setting, individuals will have a significant roll in their own representation and we believe this will allow for more artistic growth and innovation.
This collaboration will undoubtedly influence my art personally, provide me the opportunity to learn from artist collaborators and produce projects addressing themes that are current and impactful on a scale that would otherwise be unfeasible. Kickstarter funds will be used specifically for lighting, paint, a video screen and hanging system. The space needs it all and this additional funding would move it along - give it a “kick start”. We are so appreciative of any support.
For fun, if you would buy any piece of art on UGallery from another artist what would it be?
UGallery offers such a diverse and lively selection of art that the choice is difficult. One piece that stands out for me is Jee Young Choi’s Three Women. I like how she uses color and geometry. It’s balanced and beautiful and that’s a hard thing to achieve.
Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us, Mia! We wish you the best on your Kickstarter project. Let us know how it goes once it is up and running.