January 27, 2021
By Michael C. Butz
Sculpture + Expanded Media major Violet Maimbourg will be one of five emerging artists to present February 5 during Mini SX, a virtual symposium affiliated with the SculptureX symposium.
In advance of the event, we caught up with Maimbourg to discuss her involvement in Mini SX, her artistic practice and her time as a CIA student.
Tell us about your artistic practice.
For my BFA thesis, I am using traditional sculptural processes used in the film industry to create silicone creatures with mixed up, abnormal body parts. I am using these creatures to examine my own humanity in the style of ’80s horror B-movies. Films such as Evil Dead 2 (1982), Frankenhooker (1990) and The Thing (1982) have been very inspirational to my work. These silicone creatures are more self-portraits than figments of my imagination. I consider myself a multidisciplinary artist. Over the years, I have used video, photography, self-portraiture and sculpture throughout my larger body of work.
In what ways will you be involved in Mini SX?
I will be giving a presentation as part of the Emerging Artist Talk at Mini SX along with four other talented artists from around the country. Mini SX will be in PechaKucha format, which is 20 slides and 20 seconds for each slide. There will also be a few minutes for a Q&A at the end of each presentation.
How did you become involved?
I’ve been following events at SculptureX for a few years. I saw they had an open call. Sarah Paul, chair of CIA’s Sculpture + Expanded Media Department, encouraged me to apply. I feel lucky to participate and share my art with a wider audience. I think the best part about CIA is the encouragement and conversations with professors and faculty.
What do you hope to gain from your Mini SX experience?
I’ve already made some connections to fellow artists through the program. I hope to gain some exposure to other artists at different schools and open the doors for collaboration or networking opportunities. The more I talk about my work with other people, the greater insight I get into the perceptions and conversations around it.
What other professional experiences do you have under your belt?
I’ve been a professional videographer since 2013, creating promotional videos for nonprofit organizations and music videos for music artists in New York City and Cleveland. I was a wedding videographer from 2016 to 2018 before attending CIA.
In December 2020, I reconnected with a music artist Riz Leigh, whom I worked with a lot back in 2016 to create a new music video. It was featured in Cleveland Scene and shot in [Cleveland’s] Historic Asiatown.
How has CIA helped you develop your artistic practice?
The professors and faculty at CIA have been instrumental in the development of my artistic practice and skills. Before I came to CIA, I had never even used an electric saw. Today, I feel comfortable in a wood shop as well as the metal shop. I’ve learned how to weld and work with metal, 3D print, and use other various materials I could not have worked with outside of CIA.
The Intro to SEM class with Zak Smoker was by far the most valuable class I’ve taken at CIA. The class invigorated my curiosity and thirst for knowledge. I was able to achieve a lifelong goal of building and programming an automated robot in Bob Drake’s Electronic Arts class. I feel that these experiences will be forever valuable to me and my artistic practice.
Why did you choose to study at CIA?
I attended Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, N.Y. from 2013 to 2016, majoring in Film/Video. I decided I wanted to be more hands-on and pursue a career in special effects and props for the film industry. I moved back home to Cleveland and decided a good place to start for learning the basics of building things would come from an education in sculpture.
The emerging artist talk will take place from 11am to 12:15pm Friday, February 5. A link to attend the free event will be posted February 3 on the Mini SX website.
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