Red Wolf Gallery is excited to display the amazing work of Denver artist, April Tsosie throughout the month of May. In anticipation for our First Friday art opening on May 6, we sat down with Tsosie to get to know her more and to allow her the opportunity to discuss herself and her work.
Red Wolf Gallery: You recently held some painting demos at the Denver Art Museum. How did that experience go and why is it important for you, as an artist, to share your knowledge with others?
April Tsosie: It was an honor to be asked to be a performing artist at the Denver Art Museum. It was a great experience and one of the many awesome aspects of it was sharing what I do with the youth. I think it was important to share my process and perhaps inspire young people to pursue their artistic side.
RW: You've talked about your Native American upbringing and spending time at your Grandfather's ranch in New Mexico. What's more important to you when creating your art, incorporating realistic landscape colors within your abstract, surrealistic work or recalling images from your imagination, or both?
AT: My abstract work begins with choosing 2-3 colors and I loosely create a background from which I pull images from. I don't really map out what I am going to paint unless I am working from a photograph or pursuing a set idea I have. But I do rely on my cultural background and experiences that guide the end product, the finished painting.
RW: What advice would you give to an art student today, who is just beginning the difficult career of being a professional artist?
AT: I would go over the highs and lows of being an artist and surviving as a professional artist. It takes time, perseverance and most of all passion and trust in your work. There are going to be critics and people who say no. There are going to be shows when you don't sell anything. But if it's what you love doing, you have to make it happen for yourself.
RW: Tell us more about the Biennial of the America Community Project at the Denver Art Museum and how you got involved?
AT: The Biennial of the Americas was an awesome experience. I was one of five artists asked to lead a collaboration involving the community, under the direction of world renowned artist Fransisco Alvarado-Juarez. I submitted my resume to the DAM several months earlier as a work experience letter and I was asked to interview for the project. I was working at a community center at the time as a Youth Program Director, and I wanted to involve the youth in the collaboration. We worked on the collaboration with the theme 'recycling' and 'ecology'. Each site received a 'puzzle' piece that we worked on with our communities and attended frequent meetings to ensure a cohesive assemblage.
RW: When creating a new work of art, do you search for reference imagery or turn strictly to your imagination?
AT: I usually rely on my imagination unless it a a piece from a photograph.
RW: Where can the public see more of your artwork, besides at Red Wolf Gallery?
AT: I have a website and I try to keep it updated. I do shows throughout the year, so hopefully the public can make it to one of my shows.