Anderson Ranch Guest Faculty: Laura Berman
Workshop: Shapeshifting: Plates in Motion
Q: What is your hometown?
A: I was born in Barcelona and am a dual citizen of Spain and the USA. I grew up mostly in the USA and have lived in 10 states. Since 2002 I have lived in Kansas City, where I teach printmaking at Kansas City Art Institute.
Q: What is your history with Anderson Ranch?
A: In 2002 I was an Artist-in-Residence in Printmaking at Anderson Ranch. This was a pivotal time for me, because it was within the same year that I also achieved my MFA in Printmaking degree from Tulane University. I had three solo exhibitions in 2002 (I considered these my first real exhibitions), which were mostly based on work I had created during my time at Anderson Ranch. During my residency I met many wonderful artists, many of whom I still keep in touch with, and most are also now teaching in their field. Beth Reitmeyer, an artist-in-residence in painting, was my best artist friend at the Ranch, and we created a collaborative project which was exhibited multiple times between 2004-2006. Beth also hand-made all of the paper flowers at my wedding!
I returned to Anderson Ranch in the summer of 2009 to teach a silkscreen class in the summer workshop program. Since then, I have helped facilitate scholarships for my printmaking students to regularly attend summer workshops at Anderson Ranch. I love sharing the inspiring experience of working at the Ranch with my students in this way. I am excited to return to the Ranch this summer to teach an experimental printmaking workshop titled, “Shapeshifting: Plates in Motion”.
Q: What are you looking forward to when you’re here at Anderson Ranch this summer?
A: Anderson Ranch is majestic in the winter, but the beautiful summertime at the Ranch has my heart. Creativity sparks the air like electricity at Anderson Ranch, and I love being immersed in this. I am looking forward to enjoying the beautiful campus, stellar printmaking studio, and working with talented and inspiring artists. I am also looking forward to sharing this experience with my family– my 5-year old son is taking a children’s workshop for the first time at the Ranch this summer.
Q: What drives your practice?
A: Play and improvisation. I always have a new iteration, a new combination and a new design to try in my work. My prints are all one-of-a-kind works on paper, which gives me freedom to happily and endlessly explore all of my ideas.
Q: What three things inspire you lately?
A: Handmade quilts. I just learned the basics of quilting last summer and have so many ideas about patterns and combinations to try.
The Flint Hills of Kansas. The immensely spacious and timeless landscape there is so unique– it’s like being on the moon. My husband and I run a small program in the Flint Hills for artists and visitors; matfieldoutpost.com)
Outer space. You can often find me gazing at images of exploding stars and keeping up with the Hubble Space Telescope images and discoveries.
Q: Next year, Anderson Ranch will celebrate its 50-year anniversary. How should we celebrate?
A: Impressive! Honestly, you should pat yourselves on the back for a job well done. And throw a party like never before!