Recent alumna Brittany May (’11) has already solidified her position as a successful working artist in Greensboro. I visited her studio at Lyndon Street Artworks Sunday afternoon for the opportunity to chat with her and see some incredible work.
Brittany is originally from the Greensboro area. She graduated from Guilford last spring as a CCE student with a major in sculpture and minor in anthropology. She hadn’t decided on an art major until working with Mark Dixon in Sculpture I class, explaining that “Mark was really instrumental in helping me pinpoint things.” Brittany completed a senior thesis, and after graduation, she found and advertisement for open studio space at Lyndon Street. She applied and was selected to create there.
In her studio work, she currently uses a lot of organic and frequently discarded found objects, listing leftover vegetables, bones, and trash as some of her usual materials. “I like to use stuff that is easily discarded, just because you can throw it away doesn’t mask the fact that it’s still happening. Ugly stuff can still be interesting to look at”
Friends and colleagues help her collect these materials. Another artist working at Lyndon Street uses similar materials, so they often share, and Brittany was excited to tell me that Justin Poe recently procured a large, dead praying mantis for her. Even last Spring the chair of the Biology Department at Guilford gave her a deer skull, so it’s interesting to see how her work is actualized depending on who gives her what.
Right now she is beginning a series of found object sculptures centered on discarded dolls. This one, name Blu, is almost finished. When wound up, this piece moves itts head in slow, unsettling pattern and plays a subversively lighthearted music box tune.
She is also collaborating with Guilford senior Altaire Anderson on a series of performance pieces. Last First Friday at Lyndon Street, the two cut 25 pounds of onions together in an attempt to make themselves cry in front of an audience. Brittany says it didn’t work as well as they thought it would, mainly because there was too much open space, but that they would try it again with some sort of enclosure and maybe more onions. They named this project “Collaboration 1,” so there will probably be more projects to come.
Overall, Brittany is happy to be working in Greensboro. She feels like the art scene is budding, and she plans to help make it blossom. “I’m not trying to leave, I’m trying to bring stuff here,” she explained. Brittany is prime example for students of someone making a living doing what they love and doing it well.