3 Questions with Alyssa Taylor Wendt
Artist Alyssa Taylor Wendt on building a creative community, loving your failures, and thinking outside your comfort zone.
3 QUESTIONS is a series of brief, three-question interviews with PNCA’s visiting artists and lecturers. Each year, PNCA attracts innovative, thoughtful, and creative makers and thinkers who share our belief in the transformative power of creativity. In three short answers to three short questions, these artists offer perspectives on career, motivation, and transformation. When available, we include links to audio recordings, transcripts, slideshows, or video.
“MAKE WORK as often as you can.”
What advice would you offer current students about to embark on a career in the arts?
MAKE WORK as often as you can, even if you have to make sacrifices.
Network and build a community but don’t let the market aspect distract you from what you want to realize. Do not be afraid to delegate elements of projects to others. You are always “working,” not just when you are in your studio. I would only recommend this path to those that truly can’t help it. Keep in touch with your mentors and teachers. Get people to come to your studio. An artist engages with the world around them. Give others opportunities in the form of curating shows, inciting dialogue, teaching or mentoring, visiting studios, and encouraging risk and singularity.
How do you maintain your creative practice? What keeps you motivated and engaged?
Darkness, dissatisfaction, discipline, depression, and dynamics. I try to love my failures, they have given birth to some of the best work in the end. I am constantly trying to ask questions with the work instead of providing answers. I love when people see my work and fight over its meaning, then they are truly engaged. Also, I go to see as much art as I possibly can even if I have to travel to do so. Galleries, museums, magazines, cinema, performance, music, anything. I strive to remember that these elements are part of a grander conversation between creative people and not a competition.
Could you describe a moment or experience that profoundly changed the nature of your work?
In graduate school, I was encouraged to think outside of my usual practice, to transgress the medium I was working in. Suddenly, all my life experiences became a convergent center of energy that grew into my practice and my films. The years I thought I had wasted on other endeavors became the foundation of my own special skill set and inner arsenal to make multimedia pieces with this singular cosmology.
Alyssa Taylor Wendt works as a multimedia artist in Austin, Texas. After earning a BA degree with an emphasis in photography from NYU, she moved to the West coast and performed on records, in many awarded independent films, on stage and with collaborative art projects. Wendt received an MFA degree from the International Center of Photography and Bard College. From 2008 to the present, Wendt has performed at the Numu Art Space, Location One, St. Cecilia’s, envoy gallery, Colab Projects, the Fusebox Festival in Austin and The Museum of Art and Design in New York City. Wendt’s current projects involve developing the ability to translate the visceral sense of her inner self into objects, photographic evidence and the moving image. The installation work revolves around this animism: non-linear videos with layered sound shown with assemblage sculpture, large format production stills and participatory performances that have a transformative social aspect.