Winning tickets November 04, 2008 20:58

Rebecca Siemering is a multi-tasking artist from Providence who happens to work for this year's beneficiary, Arts & Business Council of RI, as well as recently taking over the amazing Art Windows Project. She was kind enough to take some time out to tell us more about her intriguing work! What do you make? In the last three years I have been collecting losing scratch tickets that are thrown away on the streets of Providence and Pawtucket, RI, or wherever I am, and transform the into sculptures and textile art that comments on the hopes and dreams of the buyer, mainly clothing -related imagery. For Craftland this year, I was inspired to make some picture frames out of the cards, similar to some frames I admired years ago in a museum that were in a "Hobo-Art" tradition. During the Depression, people who were out of work, no place to live, made household items out of anything discarded. These hand-cut frames were made from cigar boxes; very colorful and wonderful. So, I took out my pinking scissors and have made something similar out of discarded material - for myself and hopefully the enjoyment of others. My other staple for Craftland in the last few years has been my "Bed of Roses" which is a pocket-sized sculptural garden you can play with and plant any way you like. I have had customers tell me it helps with their children learn dexterity because it is small and delicate. You can view the lottery work here. What is your work space like? Chaotic and put together at the same time. It depends if I am knee deep into a project. Since I have an obsession with materials, I often have piles and piles of whatever I am working on, then it gets put together and shipped out to a show or a buyer, and then another project comes in. Or I am working on two projects at once, so I have several coordinated piles. A 12'x12' idea board gets tacked with anything I don't want to lose or need to refer to, like concept drawings, or something that is inspiring me. A pair of Mexican hand-embroidered sandals is giving me ideas lately. How many hours per week do you get to devote to your art? I try to go in the morning for 3hrs for at least three days a week,and then I go in the evenings or weekends if it is a larger project. sometimes it's every day. For a recent project for Cryptic Providence at the North Burial Ground(Providence, RI) I was cutting a lot of aluminum cans into bell-like flower shapes. You can see pictures of my piles in the studio at the project site. What do you like about Craftland? I think it is Fabulous with a capital F, or makes that all caps. FABULOUS, for several reasons. It inspires artists like me to think out of the box about a product which I could enjoy making, and make a little extra money on. Like Amy Sedaris does with Dusty's Cheeseballs. Rabbits and sculptures need to earn their keep. When I made "Bed of Roses" the first time, it bought me materials for my studio for half the year. I think it also offers buyers something totally unique. I go back every year and buy anything from Headless Press, as I collect miniature books. Where else do you sell your work? Etsy, Ebay and through my studio in Pawtucket. Ebay was a surprise for me a few years ago as I seem to sell to people in Sweden, Finland and Spain. What makes you stay in Providence? I drove out to Providence 11 years ago in my little red truck,knowing only one person, because I had never lived on the East Coast, heard wonderful things about the scene,and wanted to be in close proximity to New York and Boston. I thought I would only be here a few years, but I fell in love and got married(to artist Erik Gould) and Providence had all I needed. Now, with the gas and economic crisis in the last few years, I feel lucky that I live within such a short distance from work ( the Arts & Business Council of RI, Providence Art Windows) and on a bus-line. How else do you spend your time? I have a garden in my backyard in Pawtucket, RI, which I obsess over. This summer, I grew a lot of vegetables and barely had to go to the market, except for staples. I am also a foodie because I grew up with a father who wrote about food and wine for a living; most of the time not in a snobbish way, but more for historical and consumer information. We were constantly trying out products in our house before they went to market, and they were not always that great! So I guess you can say I can be curious in the kitchen, which makes me open in life and personality. At the very least, I hope my husband and friends find my adventures in the kitchen to be tasty.