It's #MississippiMonday and today we are excited to introduce one very talented artist, Claire Whitehurst! When we saw all the color, movement and good vibes flowing through Claire's art, we had to find out more! Read on for more info and photos from our recent Q&A with painter and paper artist, Claire!
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What/who exactly is Claire Whitehurst ?I’m not 100% on who I am yet, but I am a practicing artist living in Oxford, MS. I work primarily in paint and cut paper. I work through commissions, and try to be a part of the local art scene and contribute to showings around town. I received a BFA from the University of Mississippi, and am now applying to graduate school programs.
How did you all get started and what was the inspiration to take the small business leap? I always wanted to be an artist, and I decided I would go for it when I got my BFA in college. I think for an artist to become a professional, they have to see themselves as a small business. I guess my inspiration to be more business like was the dream of becoming a professional artist. How does Mississippi play a role in your business? Mississippi plays an active role by inspiring and supporting me as an artist. Most of the people I know and love are here, and they are the ones who propel my work. I think having Mississippi as a base for any type of business is an incredible advantage and asset. Behind all of the business talk, people still know how to be polite and connect with people from all parts of their lives, and that is a really great environment to work in.
What are your goals for your brand?I think my goal at this point is to create a brand. I am still in the beginning phases of this “business” and still trying to make as much as I can. I sometimes wonder if I’ll ever come up with “that one thing” that everyone loves and wants from a branded maker. Hope so!
What is your background?My background is primarily in painting and printmaking, but I work in other mediums too. I like to incorporate textiles, collage, wood burning, illustration, sculpture, and some photography. I have recently have been working in metal and vinyl for a public art installation in Jackson Academy’s Performing Art Center. Where do you find inspiration? I find inspiration in most things, but really feel inspired when I am in the middle of making something. Being in that mindset of active creating usually sparks something else, and then you kind of fall into a cycle. I have also had a long fascination with nature and how it is constantly being destroyed and recreated. Basically, being alive on this planet is pretty inspiring.
What do you like to do when you aren't creating/building? I like to read books, hang out with friends and family, experiment with cooking, and watch television with my boyfriend and dog. I also like traveling, and try to do that as much as I can. What are your favorite local places to shop and dine? I like eating at Snackbar, and BBB (Big Bad Breakfast) for breakfast. Bottletree Bakery has a great atmosphere and delicious pastries, and The Oxford Canteen has a great lunch menu with sandwiches and soups. I like to shop in Amelia, which is a really cute shop in the town square, and just down the street is Square Books. Oxford has a lot of great places to shop around. What are some of the reasons you call Mississippi home? Mississippi shaped me into who I am. I don’t know how to verbalize exactly how, but I just love this weird, and wonderful state. To be an artist from Mississippi is a wonderful privilege because of all the artists that have come before. You have so many others to look up to. It feels like you are continuing a legacy. How do you think what you are doing is helping to shape your local community as well as the image of Mississippi? I think that the main goal of any type art is to bring people together. So, I hope that in my efforts I do that for the communities I live in. I love sharing time and experiences with people, and I hope that I can give as much as I get from making my work and pursuing this path.
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We are swooning over Claire's installations! Want to see more? If you're local, you can view one of Claire's beautiful installations at the Jackson Academy Performing Arts Center:
4908 Ridgewood Road Jackson, MS 39211
or find updates and more here: