Interview: Lannie Hart
Luca Curci talks with Lannie Hart, one of the winners of ARTIST OF THE MONTH – FEBRUARY 2021.
Lannie Hart is a sculptor, painter and installation artist in Sleepy Hollow, New York. Hart had her rst solo show in 1982 at Julie Artisan’s Gallery, NYC and was published in Art to Wear . She is also in Julie Schaer Dale’s permanent collection. Other solo shows were in SOHO 20 NYC, Azarian McCullough Sparkill, NY Gallery Broadfoot & Broadfoot Booton, NJ. She has also shown at the Virginia Museum of Fine Art, Richmond VA, Katonah Museum Katonah, NY, AIR Gallery Brooklyn, NY, Jim Kempner Gallery NYC, Westbeth Gallery NYC and many others. In 2012 she won rst purchase prise at the Williamsburg Art and Historical Center in Brooklyn, NY. The piece called What was She Thinking when She Walked Down the Isle, was acquired by the Yuko Nii Foundation’s Permanent Collection. Later in 2018 the foundation also acquired the sculpture Medusa. She won a $10,000 grant in 2015 from Historic Hudson Valley for a sculpture in Van Courtlandt Manor, Croton-On-Hudson,NY. Hart was a member of SOHO20 for 7 years and is a current member of Sculptors Guild since 2012 where she was VP of publications. In 2009 she taught sculpture at Brookeld Center for the Arts.
Luca Curci – What is your story and your background?
Lannie Hart – I was raised in Virginia, USA with an aunt who taught me that you can make art from anything you find around you, so at an early age I was creating small sculptures. I moved to New York, USA after college and worked as a graphic artist while still making my own art. I worked as art director of packaging at Estee Lauder and Elizabeth Arden in NYC. I traveled extensively for Arden designing porcelain collections for their Christmas packaging. I oversaw the production of those collections in Japan for 8 years. I then opened my own studio in NYC with clients of Revlon, Avon, Elizabeth Arden, Estee Lauder. All this while I was taking classes in jewelry design, ceramics and later learned to weld and was having shows of my sculpture and paintings. I used my art to voice my political views and emotions. It became important to me to express the empowering of women due to my own experiences. My studio closed after 14 years and I have now devoted all my time to my sculpture and painting. My love of combining mixed media all stems to the early influence of my aunt and the area where I was raised. Through the years I have learned many techniques and mediums and I pride myself in the craft of my work and use that craft to express myself. Life is a circle and I am back to my beginning using the crafts I learned as a child.
LC – What kind of artistic education did you have?
LH – I graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA, USA with a BFA. I later took classes in ceramics, fiber arts: quilting, crochet, and embroidery, jewelry and welding.
LC – Did you study abroad or did you have foreign experiences that influenced your art?
LH – Traveling for my job as art director of packaging at Elizabeth Arden took me to France, Italy, Egypt, Russia and Japan. During the trips I visited many galleries and museums as research for the designs I was creating. This research and the experience of meeting the people and seeing all the beautiful art deeply influenced my own work. I feel this is when I started developing the “decorative” and ornate look of my sculptures and paintings. I grew to love the craft and skill of beautifully made objects.
LC – Did you have any masters in your artistic research? What do they teach to you?
LH – I traveled for Elizabeth Arden with the Vice President of packaging, Marc Rosen. He was a important influence as he taught me a great deal about antiques and the love of beautifully crafted objects of art. I also had a very wonderful teacher of welding, Bob Perucci at a craft and art school Silvermine Arts Center in Connecticut, USA. He is still an influence as I create my work in his fabrication studio in New Rochelle, NY, USA.
LC – Which are the models you are inspired by?
LH – The first artists that influenced me were Salvador Dali with his wonderful witty sculpture with a surreal message and his beautifully painted representational paintings. Marisol was another big influence with her collaged wooden portraits and her Last Supper. Later it was Judy Chicago and her Dinner Party. Now I like very much Matthew Monahan who uses collaged media for his sculptures and his slightly representational drawings and paintings. I also like paper sculptor Leslie Dill and Kathy Ventner who creates ceramic women.
LC – Do you follow a specific artistic trend/school or style in your work?
LH – What I follow mostly is representational surreal art. I am interested in political art that employs the issues of the time I live in : individual freedom, empowerment of all women, saving the environment, gun control and other issues. I also admire craft and skill in any medium and am always researching new medium and techniques.