Revisiting the most striking statements from the year’s Niche profiles


Last year around this time, Features Editor Aarik Danielsen compiled a list of “hmm-worthy” quotes from local Niche profile artists — that is, thoughts that struck him as intriguing or as saying something illuminating or essential about their crafts. I’ve continued the tradition here, compiling a retrospective of quotes from local artists, thoughts that made me smile or made me think during my attempts to get inside the heads of a vibrant bunch of creative individuals over the past year.


Photo by Parker Eshelman

Larry Bauer was the subject of an exhibit at the George Caleb
Bingham Gallery on the University of Missouri campus.

March 6: “Paint poorly in a way where nobody else can do it, and then it becomes amazing.” — University of Missouri Professor and painter Claire Stigliani

March 20: “When you draw, you have a window, and you’re making an illusion of space. You are kind of this omniscient narrator.” — MU graduate Derek Frankhouser

March 27: “I don’t know if I have enough fingers.” — multimedia artist Casey Voight, counting her artistic goals

April 10: “I do care about what happens, but I don’t care about exactly what happens between here and there. That’s the fun stuff.” — sculptor and found-object artist Joseph Skeene

“You remind me of a college road trip. The destination remains the same, but the path wanders.” — sculptor and found-object artist Anne Russell-Skeene

April 24: “I’ve seen comics where the artist has been able to pull off a very complex piece of art. So you get that intellectual connection through the writing, but then you have a very visceral reaction to the art.” — web comic artist Mick Beyers

May 8: “If you worry too much about things, it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. It’s very liberating, too, when you’re thinking only about the music. If you start worrying, then your performance suffers. All of a sudden, the music goes away.” — violist Michael Wilson

May 22: “I really think that what I learned in cooking school translates into my painting — I think the most important fundamental is to start with quality, fresh ingredients. And with just a few good ingredients, you can make something fantastic.” — painter Audrey McFadden

July 3: “Trust that you’ve worked hard enough to present the character onstage.” — actress and writer Sharrell Luckett

Aug. 21: “You can’t just be a teacher. You have to be an artist, too. You have to be practicing. You need to be making. Otherwise, you just get dull.” — artist and art educator Angie Schlotzhauer

Aug. 28: “I think about myself sort of as a curmudgeon, but other people … perceive me as more lovable than I think of myself. What is really interesting is to see that everyone sees you differently. That’s really fascinating. It says something about human relations and helps you have a better perspective on yourself.” — artist model Larry Bauer

Sept. 11: “That’s the great thing about art: It starts to talk to you in other ways besides words.” — MU Professor, sculptor and printmaker Kristen Martincic

Sept. 18: “I think, in a lot of ways, that’s what pottery is all about. It’s not really finished until it’s put to use, and it’s not really alive until it’s in somebody’s life.” — MU Professor and ceramicist Joseph Pintz

Sept. 25: “I certainly think I’ve never gotten over the folk and fairy tales. I’m very aware that they are vessels of great wisdom. And I like to think of them as the poetic retelling of someone’s very good or very bad day. As long as those stories have resonance for people today, then they’ll stay alive.” — storyteller Milbre Burch

Oct. 9: “You have to understand the language in order to use it in creative ways. … You always have to take the scenic route — to try and find a new way.” — saxophonist Justin Downs, on jazz improvisation

Nov. 6: “I love the functional aspect of it. I think that’s kind of the accountant in me. … There’s the part that is really practical and pragmatic. There’s the fact that this is a scarf, and maybe it’s very pretty — but it will also keep you warm.” — fiber artist Wendy Yelton, on knitting

Dec. 25: “Before, I was more likely to sort of go with where my writing went, where it took me. And at this point, I feel like I know exactly where I want it to go.” — MU Professor, writer and folklorist Anand Prahlad

Reach Jill Renae Hicks at 573-815-1714 or e-mail [email protected]

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