Senior Thesis Spotlight: Altaire Anderson

Readers might remember the name Altaire Anderson from Hand/Eye’s first ever post, which centered on her winning piece that stands outside of the Hege-Cox building. Still,  the sculptor is also a senior thesis candidate on the Bachelor of Fine Arts track deserving of her own feature.


A native of Pasorobles, California, Altaire transferred to Guilford from the City College of San Fransisco as a CCE student her junior year. Earlier in her college career, she was considering a major in history or anthropology. “I always wanted to do art, but my parents weren’t too into the idea,” she says. However, with plenty of skill and experience in pottery and other visual mediums, Altaire had decided on a ceramics major by the time she arrived atGuilford.  Her first semester here, though, she took a sculpture class and exhibited so much talent that she changed her concentration.


For her curent thesis project, she is exploring the translation of unique experiences into tangible works of art. “I’m doing a lot of stuff where I go out and create a certain experience and make something based off that.”


An example of such  a created experience evident in her recent ‘Bus Project.’ This past Summer, she embarked on a venture in which she rode the GTA buses for 10 hours, talked to 10 people every hour, wrote down one phrase from each person, selected five out of the 100 phrases, and abstracted five inspired pieces from those phrases. Here are some pictures of the results from that endeavor:






        Some of Altaire’s major influences include Linda Montano, Roman Ondak, and Jimmy Durham.

Like many other thesis students, Altaire is finding the self-directed nature of the process both challenging and rewarding. “It’s been kinda hard to get the hang of managing your own time and coming up with assignments for yourself, but it’s been really awesome seeing my own ideas come into fruition.” Nonetheless, she advises juniors and sophomores considering applying for thesis to be willing to give up the other things that they’re doing.


Speaking of giving things up, one piece of Altaire’s that was accepted in the upcoming student show is her ‘Item Exchange,’ a creatively rendered, wooden, grid-like shelf that holds paper weight-sized ‘items’ meant for exchanging. This project has been hanging in the main hallway of Hege-Cox for most of the semester, and participants have been trading small sculptures, intriguing found objects, sunglasses, folded drawings, etc. via the wall sculpture. Altaire encourages people to bring such items to the student show on Thursday to see this interactive piece in action.


We look forward to seeing all of Altaire’s work, both on Thursday evening and in the Spring Thesis Exhibit.

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  1. […] people joking with Mark about how cute the little pink hat belonging to his daughter looked on him. Altaire Anderson, out of breath from running over to founders after class set up the new set of sculptures for her […]

  2. […] Erick Armbrust was sitting carving some bone as his friend played music on an electrical piano. Altaire Anderson attracted a lot of attention and tears as she chopped onions as part of a performance piece with […]