Chris Scamehorn, from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois, an Honorable Mention winning the $50 Scholarship Award in the 2008 Fine Art Finals Midwest Regional Scholarship Competition with his 138"x148"x150" ceramic, local clay, shale, and grouts sculpture The Breakdown and the Transition pictured above. Chris was kind to take part in a brief interview. Here is what he said:
Fine Art Finals: Why do you create art?
Chris Scamehorn: I have to create art in order to understand myself within the multiple facets of life. Through the process of focusing on a thought and seeing it materialize, these manifestations realized have opened my eyes inside.
Fine Art Finals: What are you trying to say with your art?
Chris Scamehorn: My work is a reflection of my environment and is influenced by natural curiosities. Through researching the local geology and locating kaolin , I have utilized the clay to be a foundation of my work. Some of my investigations have been about the characteristics of the clay itself, other times its about creating works that reflect on the oddities of the environment by simulating the environment or by stimulating the environment with installations.
Fine Art Finals: How long have you been creating art?
Chris Scamehorn: Ever since I was born.
Fine Art Finals: Are your family and friends supportive in your decision to pursue art?
Chris Scamehorn: Yes.
Fine Art Finals: What is your area of concentration in art (commercial art, fine art, art history, etc) and why?
Chris Scamehorn: Fine Art- because of the overall process.
Fine Art Finals: What is your major?
Chris Scamehorn: Ceramics.
Fine Art Finals: What was the deciding factor in choosing the school you are attending?
Chris Scamehorn: Assistantships, professors, other students work.
Fine Art Finals: Why did you choose the specific art program you chose at your school?
Chris Scamehorn: Because of ceramics.
Fine Art Finals: What is your favorite medium(s) to work in and why?
Chris Scamehorn: Ceramics- because it is the earth.
Fine Art Finals: What is your philosophy and work ethic in creating your art?
Chris Scamehorn: I am interested in being curious and engaged by what im doing. If it becomes mundane, then I move on.
Fine Art Finals: Who is your favorite artist(s) and why?
Chris Scamehorn: Consciousness, because without it, I wouldn't be able to answer these questions.
Fine Art Finals: What artist most influences your work and why?
Chris Scamehorn: The wind, because of its ability to change without judgment or fear.
Fine Art Finals: Do you have any other interests beyond art; what are they and do these interests influence your art?
Chris Scamehorn: Music and cooking food.
Fine Art Finals: Is there a specific career path you wish to follow utilizing your artistic talents, and if so, what is your plan for utilizing your artistic skills in the future?
Chris Scamehorn: Teaching college level ceramics,, workshops, and /or artist residencies.
Fine Art Finals: How do (did) you support yourself financially while attending college?
Chris Scamehorn: Assistantships- full tuition waiver plus a monthly living wage stipend.
Fine Art Finals: Have you received any other financial assistance (Scholarships, Fellowships, Grants, etc) to pursue your education?
Chris Scamehorn: Yep- I received a 2 week full scholarship to Ox Bow in Saugatuck, MI to do ceramics.
Fine Art Finals: How did you hear about Fine Art Finals Scholarship Competitions?
Chris Scamehorn: One of my professors e-mailed it to me.
Fine Art Finals: How has winning or placing in Fine Art Finals Scholarship Competitions helped you?
Chris Scamehorn: It feels good.
Fine Art Finals: What advice would you give other student artists?
Chris Scamehorn: Just do it.
Fine Art Finals: Thank you Chris. Congratulations again, and we wish you continued success!