Local Art

Published on November 5th, 2015 | by TLV News


Local Artist Lowdown: Claire Whitehurst

Instagram: @claire_downes IMG_0009

Astrological sign: Pisces

How long have you lived in Oxford? Since 2011

Artistic Style: Cut Paper/Abstracted Expressionism?  I make it up every time I am asked this question.

Favorite project you’ve completed? My BFA thesis, “An Act of Balance,” was a lot of fun for me. I listened to a lot of fun music and kind of disappeared into that space all artists like to be in.ClaireArt1

Where can we see your art on display? My house. Email me at
clairewhitehurst@gmail.com if you want to come by!

Early art experience? Being naked in mud pits and mixing in sidewalk chalk to make body paint. Also, Bob Ross frequently painted me into my naps when I wouldn’t cooperate with my parents.

Favorite medium? I really like these water soluble water color crayons I found on the internet, but gouache is a really nice feeling paint as well.  Basically paint.

 Favorite artistic tool or implement? I have this little palette knife that has grooved edges and makes really cool marks. I also like this pen brush I found. I also love my Olfa brand Xacto cutting blade.ClaireArt4

 Favorite artists? I really like Andrew Bucci, Walter Anderson, Marie Hull, Francis Bacon, Glenn Dean, and this guy from Australia named Henry Curchod. I am lucky to live in a time where I can just stalk all of these people on my phone. Maude White is an incredibly nimble and earnest cut paper artist, and I follow her pretty closely. Crystal Wagner is a total powerhouse of form, color, and paper.

Three ideas you’d like to explore in your art? I would like to learn how to blow glass, create and write some type of graphic book, and try to design hats or shoes or clothes. I think all of these things would be great.

Where do you get the inspiration for your art? I look at a lot of pictures in books and magazines and on the internet. I like to walk around and look at stuff on the ground. Life is pretty inspiring. I have always loved the ocean. Some of my earliest drawings were of underwater stuff.

Most productive hours/environment? Mid morning and late at night. I like listening to music, podcasts, and books on tape. I also like it if an animal is near. They’re really good at sitting with me.ClaireArt2

Do you have a studio? If so, where is it located? I have a studio in an extra bedroom in my house. I like it.

Do you have a “day job”? If so, where? I work at Bottletree Bakery on da square. Slangin’ pastries.

Favorite bands? Sam Cooke, Dire Straits, Air, Chris Thile, Dolly Parton, Fetty Wap, Miley, John Prine, Sia, War on Drugs, Rilo Kiley, Rachel Sermanni, I like to listen to most things.

Favorite books/authors? I am currently reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Coates’ Between the World and Me.

What are some of your other hobbies? I like to cook and read. I also like to look at art supplies in this huge thick magazine I got a couple months ago. I also like to take glamour shots of my boyfriend’s dog.ClaireArt3

How has being from the South influenced your work? Well, the colors here are different. I think the greens in the summer have this crazy mixture of blues and purples. Then it gets so hot you aren’t sure what color came from where. The contrast is so vivid. The seasons here are colorful and the people are interesting. The south is a strange, dark, and beautifully light place all at the same time. There is always a lot to think about.

What do you love about Oxford, and what do you wish would change? I like how the small town and university cultures feed off of one another. It makes for an interesting mix of people and ideas. For my change, I wish that Oxford had a Target, and that they would recycle glass.The Local Voice Ligature

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Brown Bag Panel Discussion at UM Museum- Kate Freeman Clark

About the Author

The Local Voice is a bimonthly entertainment guide and newspaper based in Oxford, Mississippi, covering and distributed in North Central Mississippi, including Oxford, Ole Miss, Taylor, Abbeville, Water Valley, Lafayette County, Yalobusha County, and parts of Panola County, Marshall County, and Tupelo . The Local Voice is distributed free to over 255 locations in North Mississippi and also available as a full color PDF download worldwide on the internet.

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