We're kicking off the new year with our 10th artist interview! Carin Mincemoyer is a sculptor and installation artist with a studio space in The MINE Factory building. Her recent work is an investigation of our relationship with nature and the contrasting and contradictory desires that we often expect the natural, or non-human, world to fulfill. Most recently, she has focused on the issue of how we relate to what is commonly considered “nature." We are so thankful that Carin invited us into her space so we could get to know her a little better and get to see some of the materials she's working with and pieces she's working on.
Where are you from?I grew up in central Pennsylvania, in a town called Milton.
What neighborhood do you live in now?
Wilkinsburg. My husband and I have been there for about 7 years.
Why do you choose to make art in Pittsburgh?
Well I originally moved to Pittsburgh to go to undergrad at Carnegie Mellon and I stayed in Pittsburgh because its really the perfect size town for me to be an artist in. It’s big enough that you have a range of cultural amenities. You have major institutions like the museums but you also have a host of artist run spaces where you can actually show your work as an emerging artist. It’s a small enough city that it’s easy to get around and there was cheap rent. And also, it’s the size city where if you have a show, you have a decent chance of getting it written up in the paper or getting some attention for it. So you felt like you could really do something and get noticed. So that’s why I stayed.
What is your favorite part of being an artist in Pittsburgh?
I think that it’s small enough that it’s still a community. You can go out to an opening reception and know that you are going to see a bunch of people that you know, so I think that’s nice.
What would you love to see more of in the Pittsburgh arts scene?
I would love to see more cheap studio space and opportunities for DIY live/work space. I say that as somebody who lived at the Brewhouse artist collective in the South Side for ten years. I know how important that was for me in my artistic development to have this dirt cheap, DIY space. And that’s not around now for Pittsburgh artists. So, if you are asking me what I wish for, I wish that that was available at least for younger artists.
What’s your favorite music to jam to in the studio?
That really depends on what I’m doing. Sometimes I listen to podcasts, like if I have some long repetitive task that I’m doing. If I need to focus on something, like generating ideas, I’ll listen to something instrumental.
What other things do you do when you are not making art…that is, IF you have any free time?
Well, I have a 100 year old house. So there’s always a renovation project there to take up any excess time. There are always opportunities to fix something. I also have a garden.
What would you tell other artists who are just starting out?
Everybody asks that question, and the obvious answer is ‘just keep making work!’ But, I kind of feel like if you really have a passion to do it, no matter what advice anybody gives you’re going to keep doing it. Artists are going to keep doing it in spite of any circumstances.
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