Published on March 10th, 2016 | by Brittain Thompson1
Local Artist Lowdown: Stacey Rathert
Name: Stacey Rathert
Artistic Style: Usually a humorous embellishment on the truth, often exploring contradictions of feminine and masculine themes. Very homey and country. Always a product of my upbringing.
Hometown: Lancaster, Kansas
How long have you lived in Oxford? Almost four years now..
Early art experience: I’ve always known I wanted to be an artist… Coloring into the late hours of the night, waking up with marker on my face…Outside of school art classes I made a lot of “arts and crafts” for the county 4-H fair growing up and I learned to weld at about the age of nine, which I think greatly influenced my artistic path later in life. I’ve always really enjoyed making things whether it was furniture and accessories for my Barbies or actual art objects.
Favorite visual artists: Oldenburg. His giant sculptures of everyday objects always amaze me! On the complete opposite side of the coin.. Lori Nix who is a photographer working in miniature landscapes and dioramas. Norman Rockwell, John Steuart Curry, and Richard Serra are also on the list.
Art school? I got my BFA from Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas in 2011 and my MFA from the University of Mississippi in 2015.
Favorite book or author: Denis Lehane. His novels are the suspense and mystery type… the type you can’t put down. And his writing style is witty and crude.
Favorite quotation: “You’ve always had the power my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself.” – Glenda, The Wizard of Oz.
Do you work out of a studio? My office doubles as my studio. Extremely full of stuff but highly organized! I also spend a lot of time in the metal shop and foundry. Just depends on what I’m working on.
How many hours to you spend in your studio each day? Not nearly enough. But I’m also a stellar multitasker. Its usually hard to differentiate between studio time and all the other things I am working on. I do try to make time for at least 5 hours a week strictly dedicated to my own art making. Sometimes I get more in… all too often its less.
Most productive hours? If I had my way I would work from about 7 pm to 7 am. I’m much better as a nocturnal. My mind works better. More productive… And I like going to bed at the sunrise. The air just feels fresher at night and there is a really nice quiet about the world.
Favorite project you’ve completed: It’s hard to choose. Kind of like trying to pick a favorite child! But in 2010 I finished a cast iron BBQ grill that looks like a bull. He rides on a fenced in trailer, complete with cast iron cow poop and steel grass and cooks up a good steak!! He holds an interesting conversation between where food comes from and what it’s cooked on… touching on that humor thing.
Three ideas you want to explore in art: I’ve recently gotten back into some printmaking processes that I want to pull into my sculpture practice. I’m also super interested experimenting with some metal smithing and jewelry processes. Taking my love for forging and casting to an even smaller level.
Where can we see some of your art on display? I currently have a few pieces at Southside Gallery. I also have a website: StaceyRathert.Wordpress.com.
Do you have a “day job”?If so, where? I am an adjunct instructor at the University of Mississippi Department of Art. I teach 2D and 3D foundations courses as well as workshops in some of the upper division sculpture classes. I really enjoy my job and interacting with the students.
Favorite music/bands: This list is huge and super diverse. It changes constantly depending on my mood or what kind of work I need to get done. Most recently I’ve been alternating between a Waylon Jennings radio station and Dave Matthews Band. Also a student just recently introduced Father John Misty to me, which I’m kind of digging. Its playing in my class today! Primus and Ween have also been top on the rotation list.
What are some of your other hobbies? I collect antique and unique sad irons… I have somewhere around 60 made of all kinds of materials and coming in all sizes. So I guess rummaging in thrift and antiquestores is a hobby. I also like to go kayaking when the weather is nice or read a good book in a hammock on a sunny day.
Where do you hang out in Oxford? I have a 10-month-old cattle dog mix with tons of energy so I spend a good bit of time walking in my neighborhood and at the dog park. Other favorite places are the Lamar Lounge when I want a good burger and the Blind Pig for drinks with friends. Most of my free time is spent in theart department though… working on my own art!
Aspirations: Like my bucket list? 🙂 Pour iron in all 50 states and a few more countries. Give a hitchhiker a ride. Hike up Pikes Peak. Be an outstanding educator that leaves a legacy. Buy the family farm. Do a frame up restoration of my 1971 International Scout. Visit Australia. Hand-sew a full size quilt. Go skydiving. Never retire. Live to be 100.