Allison sat down with us in January 2020; below are edited excerpts from our conversation.
ON HER WORK AT VCFA
I’m a mixed-media sculpture artist, performance artist, and video artist. There are a lot of hats that I wear with my work, but the medium changes depending what the concept is in the work.
In my last two semesters here, I really started exploring how masculinity is passed down within a family and the negative impacts of that. I grew up in a very religious environment where women were expected to behave in a certain way, and I have learned to subvert that here at VCFA. I’ve actually even been encouraged to do that, and that was very freeing to me. Gender is a big issue that we’re addressing today, and I like to distill big issues down to their most minute parts, and for me that is the family. I take a big issue like gender equality or gun violence in America, and for me the family is where we can look at the roots of that, because it is within the family that oppression operates and structures of oppression are made clear. By addressing that in my work, I hope that other people see it and are able to subvert that in their own lives or become aware of it so that they can help fight it.
ON TAILORING HER MFA TO HER INTERESTS
I really love how VCFA allows you to direct your research, and I think that’s something that other programs don’t offer. I tend to be very much a self-starter. The faculty just let me work in whatever medium or concepts that I wanted to work in, and they directed it so precisely. I loved how they were able to pull out threads within my work and point out the threads that maybe I didn’t see, and then they point me in directions of certain artists that would work well with me and would help me along my journey.
ON CONNECTING WITH THE VCFA COMMUNITY
VCFA is an incredibly open community, and I always felt that I could reach out to anyone at any time and be given the resources necessary to move forward in my practice. The openness here is really powerful, and I’ve been blessed to be a part of it. I look forward to continuing working with everyone here. I’ve started actually curating a show with a couple of the faculty members here. I’m hoping to bring a little bit of VCFA to my home in San Diego.
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