Award winning artist, arts educator, and arts advocate Caryl M. Christian Levy speaks with The Hollywood Sentinel in this exclusive interview about her work.
Artist Biography and Statement
Caryl M. Christian Levy; Monotypes: The Vestment Series
As Ruth Weisberg was quoted stating previously;
A Family History of Artists
Ruth adds, “This is art that references the female and women’s work in a similar vein to the work of New York artists, Miriam Schapiro and Joyce Kozloff. Women’s work becomes a fertile source of imagery that is not at all timid but rather assertive in its connection to our foremothers. Here, Caryl has been able to mine a truly remarkable connection to the women in her family. She inherited aesthetic gifts that have passed through several generations. Great grandmother Glea, Scotch-German, on Caryl’s father’s side, did tatting, a lace making technique which uses a shuttle rather than a bobbin. Also on her father’s side was her Grandmother Tilly, who crocheted and knitted. Her mother’s mother, Helen taught her to sew starting with doll clothes.”
Ruth continues, “Many of the tissue patterns which Caryl uses are from her personal sewing projects. Her mother Marie’s handkerchief collection has also found its way into the work. Caryl was always drawn to such women’s occupations. She recalls that on a Fulbright to the Netherlands in 1976, she was inexplicably drawn to lace-makers in their Dutch doorways with a broad cushion in their laps, bobbins spilling forth.”
“My practice as a professional artist, educator and public art professional brings together many related disciplines providing a framework for collaborations with artists, cultural institutions, communities and city programs, and the public and private development in the realization of public art projects, programs and site specific commissioned public artworks. I currently lecture, instruct, and conduct workshops and presentations addressing the public realm with the goal of generating new arts policies and guidelines through inclusive community dialogues.
-Caryl M Christian Levy
Hollywood Sentinel: How did you get started in creating art?
Caryl M. Christian Levy: My mother, Marie Christian, was a studio fine artist. She created visual work in her home studio since I was a child. So, I have always understood “how” to be an artist from that lived experience and have made visual art all my life.
Hollywood Sentinel: What training in art did you have?
Caryl M. Christian Levy: Formally, I have my Bachelors in Fine Art after studying at the University of Iowa and the University of Nebraska. I have my terminal Masters Degree in Public Art Studies from the University of Southern California.
Hollywood Sentinel: What made you want to pursue a career in art?
Caryl M. Christian Levy: I began my art career as an educator in Nebraska, studies art and architecture on a Fulbright Scholarship then began perusing a career in antiquities conservation with an internship at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Malibu.
Hollywood Sentinel: Have you ever been a starving or struggling artist? If so, what was it like and how did you overcome it?
Caryl M. Christian Levy: When I moved to Los Angeles in the mid-seventies, I had no money or connections so I worked in the floral industry as a designer to support myself. My internship at the Getty was no paid at that time, so making studio art was out of reach. After several “part-time” jobs to support myself, I landed a commercial art position as a catalog graphic designer and worked my way up the corporate ladder in the private sector. I was able to build a skill set and overcome my starving artist financial needs while developing a visual arts career that disciplined me to draw – everyday.
To be continued in a future edition of News Blaze.
For more information on artist Caryl M. Christian Levy, and to see her work, visit her official website at: