Linc Hancock (’98), who studied philosophy and studio art at Guilford College, has recently achieved a multitude of successes in the art world. A native of Raleigh, NC, Linc just completed a six-month residency at ArtSpace, worked with the collaborative Yuxtapongo on a Community mural the was on display at The Hopscotch Festival, and currently has work in at the exhibition Word Up at the North Carolina Museum of Art.
The work he produced at ArtSpace, a series of paintings entitled Everything That Wants to Say Yes, was inspired by an essay written by William Carlos Williams, “Against the Weather,” in which Williams describes how the supremacy of dead and copied forms encumbers evocations of new truths. Linc’s artist reception for this series took place on September seventh, in the midst of the Hopscotch festival, both in the artist’s home town. Word Up will be on display at NCMA through January 2013.
Linc was kind enough to answer some of Hand/Eye’s questions about the specifics of his recent endeavors:
H/E: How did you hear about the residency at ArtSpace?
LH: I was aware of the Regional Emerging Artist Residency because it’s been a strong program from its inception. A bunch of great Raleigh artists and friends (like André Leon Gray, Shaun Richards, Stacey Kirby, David Eichenberger, Luke Buchanan and Megan Sullivan — just to name a few) have gone through the program — it almost seemed like a rite of passage, so I pursued it.
H/E: What was your experience like there?
LH: Really positive. I’ve worked in some dramatically different, sometimes extremely rustic studio situations, so I relished the climate-controlled luxury of Artspace, which happens to be a five minute walk from my apartment. Logistically, it was a good situation, and that helped make it a productive time for me. I really liked that there were other artists in the building working. And I liked the open studio structure and the monthly First Friday openings — it was an ongoing incentive to keep things moving. I challenged myself to have new work to show each First Friday. The staff at Artspace is really great, too.
H/E: Would you recommend the program to current Guilford students? If so, what type of personality traits would you say a potential artist-in-residence at ArtSpace needs to possess?
LH: I would absolutely recommend Guilford students to apply — I believe you cannot be enrolled at the time of application, but it could be a great next step out of school. The arts scene in the Triangle is getting stronger every day. It’s a good place to be; full of possibility.
“EVERYTHING THAT WANTS TO SAY YES”:
H/E: This series of paintings was inspired by an essay by William Carlos Williams, Against the Weather, in which he describes how “the tyranny of dead and copied forms admonishes attempts to evoke new truths.” In what specific ways is this idea translated in your work?
LH: “Everything that wants to say yes” is kind of a mantra that reminds me to focus and keep doubt at bay. “Saying yes,” is as simple as letting it be; following your intuition; trusting that everything you know and feel and are qualifies you to make your work. Fear and doubt constantly threaten to creep in around the edges of artmaking. The farther along the path one proceeds, the more perilous the terrain. The pressure to respond to voices and perceived imperatives from history and from your peers and from the art-critical apparatus can feel immense. This idea from Williams (who was actually talking about Whitman in the essay) helps me remember to keep my eye on the ball. The ball, in this case, is my work, and what I think about it. Not what I think someone else might.
H/E: Where and when did you find this source of inspiration?
LH: Actually, my senior year at Guilford, I took a class on Pound and Williams with Dick Morton. I was the only non-English major in the class, but I did my best to hold my own as we worked through some notions of what these poets were about. It was a revelatory learning experience where a bunch of loose pieces started to click and accrue into some kind of understanding.
H/E: How was the turnout for the reception on September seventh?
LH: Artspace always has good traffic on First Fridays, but Hopscotch was happening that weekend, so it was hectic. I play bass in a band called Heads on Sticks and we performed that night — I made as much of an appearance at the opening as I could!
H/E: When and where did you make the work you have in Word Up?
LH: The paintings that are in Word Up are from the past few years. The museum contacted me in the summer of 2011 about participating — they had particular pieces in mind and though they’re not my newest paintings, I like them and I’m glad they can be part of the show.
H/E: Working with the North Carolina Museum of Art is a huge honor. Is there anything you can say about the experience?
LH: The NC Museum of Art is such a great institution, and they’re making a renewed effort to engage with NC artists. They now have a dedicated North Carolina Gallery, and there’s a new museum initiative (@NCMAartlink on twitter) dedicated to fostering conversation, connection and relationships with NC arts communities. I’m flattered to have work in a show there.
Mural at Hopscotch:
H/E: How did you get involved with the Yuxtapongo collaborative? What was the focus of the mural, and how did it turn out?
LH: Artist Neill Prewitt (one of my oldest friends) founded Yuxtapongo as a Triangle-wide public access TV show in December 2010. Over the course of 40 episodes it provided an avenue for local, national and international video artists to reach the Triangle public directly, outside the gallery system. I was an early collaborator and contributor to the TV show. Pretty quickly Neill and I began to work together on video-based installations and we used the Yuxtapongo moniker for some of these. It’s graduated into a full-fledged thing now, a name for a rotating cast of artists working collaboratively on various projects. The team that worked on the Hopscotch mural was me and Neill, Robin Vuchnich, Mollie Earls, and Ellie Blake.
The mural project was called “Exploded Hipster,” and it was comprised entirely of clothing donated to the project by members of the Hopscotch community, broadly speaking. The collaborative collage presented the community’s constructed image back to itself, revealing an often-overlooked historical depth and asking questions about the relationship of appearance to identity, especially in commodified spaces. I think we were all really thrilled with the engagement and response we got from the project, both in terms of the meaningful contributions we received and in terms of the experience people had with the piece as displayed in the Contemporary Art Museum downtown.
H/E: Anything else you’d like to share?
LH: “Exploded Hipster” represents a model for arts-based engagement with local communities that has been emerging and evolving through a series of interactive projects I’ve done in the past few years with members of the Yuxtapongo crew. This work has been really gratifying, and I am eager to see where it goes next. I feel like these loosely-structured experiences that encourage play and improvisation connect to what I want to achieve with my paintings. This is a proposition I intend to explore.
It’s encouraging to hear of a Guilford alum attaining so much recognition and acclaim for his work; thanks for sharing, Linc. If you’re in the triangle any time soon, be sure to check out the show at NCMA. Also, take a look at Linc’s website for more information.