Edna Dapo is an international artist who resides in Scottsdale, AZ. She has been painting for 20 years and has won numerous awards. Her work has been selected for NEW AMERICAN PAINTINGS, Volume 70, and is on the cover of American Art Collector (CA, V4 B2).
Dapo holds an MFA in Painting from Savannah College of Art and Design, BFA in Painting from ASU, and a diploma from Art School Luka Sorkocevic in Dubrovnik, Croatia.She is a Department Head of Painting & Drawing at the Phoenix Center for the Arts, and also teaches drawing and life drawing at Mesa Community College.
You can view her artwork in issue 5 of Superstition Review.
SR conducted this interview with Issue 9 contributor Monica Aissa Martinez.
Superstition Review: If you could give your past self any advice what would it be?
Monica Martinez: I would tell my past self to get out of her comfort zone more readily and as often as possible where art is concerned.
SR: How did you first get involved in your field?
MM: I made the decision to attend college and headed right to art school. It was the only thing I thought I could really do. One thing led to another and here I am. Continuing to make art is probably my greatest achievement continuing to exhibit follows. But I am also pleased that private and public collectors have purchased my work, as it continues to be seen and experienced. That means a lot to me. I want my work out in the world. And it is.
élan vital, my first solo was a hugely important experience for me. It was a beautiful space, with a professional organization. The brochure was well written. The show ran six months; many, including foreign visitors, saw it. I sold numerous works. It stands out as a turning point because I solicited them and they accepted my proposal. I had that wonderful experience as an initiation exhibit, which lead to many more opportunities, and solidified the idea that I could work as an artist.
SR: Have you ever tried to work in other creative areas?
MM: I have a knack for illustration but I’ve not thought of going into that area. I enjoy photography, and photograph people now and again. Not for exhibition, but yes, professionally. I did do stage design. I have been a teaching artist for a number of years now. I used to go into the schools around the valley and teach mask making, story telling through art making. Currently I am an adjunct at Phoenix College. I teach Drawing. I enjoy the work very much. And with all my years of experience it allows me to pass on what I have learned, and what I know.
SR: Please give us some background biographical information.
I am originally from El Paso, Texas. I come from a large family. Education, arts and culture are a priority in my family. I am currently living in Phoenix with my husband and cat.
I received a BFA in Ceramics and Metals, at the University of Texas at El Paso.
I received my Masters of Fine Arts at New Mexico State University. Area of emphasis was Drawing and Printmaking. I covered 2D AND 3D both before I settled into my current areas of work: drawing, painting and printmaking. I also make masks. Though I don’t exhibit my masks.
I have been awarded solo exhibitions. That’s pretty valuable for development and growth as an artist.
My work has exhibited in the Phoenix Art Museum (Local’s Only), the Tucson Museum of Art (AZ biennial ’09), the ASU Art Museum (Here and Now), and Tempe Center for the Arts, Mesa Arts Center, and the Scottsdale Center for the Arts (solo). My work has been seen internationally, and is part of numerous private and public collections including: New Mexico State University, Mesa Arts Center, Phoenix Municipal Court House, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary of Art, Arizona State University, and Brigham Young University.
My drawing, paintings and prints are featured in three publications through the Hispanic Research Center and Bilingual Press/Editorial Bilingue of Arizona State University. Both ASU and the University of Norte Dame have commissioned me to create limited edition prints. My alma mater, New Mexico State University has purchased four of my works, three of those purchases were more recent. They invited me to come back as a visiting artist and lecture. It was a bit out of body. I also exhibited and lectured at the University of Texas (my other alma mater).
My work has been published in a number of books put out by the Hispanic Research Center on the ASU campus a number of years ago. Since then I have received emails from students across the country, and including an MFA student in Monterrey Mexico connecting with me only to discuss my artwork. The latter included my work and commentary in her thesis. All of that means a lot to me.
SR: Do you have any projects or pieces you’re currently working on?
MM: Right now I am preparing for a 3-person exhibit scheduled to open January 25 and run thru May 5, 2013, at the Mesa Center for the Arts. The artwork in Superstition Review will be featured.
SR: What inspired you to create your piece for Issue 9 of Superstition Review?
MM: That particular drawing is influenced by a book I am reading titled New Self – New World by Philip Shepherd. It deals with planet earth, man and animal, the connection between them. It also deals with the need for balance of the masculine and the feminine / matriarchy / patriarchy, in current times.
It’s my very current direction, all new artwork. A new direction. I am working out new ideas. The one main piece is the largest I’ve ever worked on, and it took such a long time to complete. I am glad to have a photo for you. This image I am including with this text, is the second large work of the series.
SR: Do you have a website or is your work linked to any other websites, blog posts, or news stories?
Jocelyn Cullity has published short fiction, creative nonfiction, documentary film and scholarship; she’s currently completing her first novel, set in 1857 India. Cullity teaches creative writing at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, and also in the low-residency BFA program at Goddard College in Vermont.
Superstition Review: Your piece “Mutiny” takes place in India, and you’ve also co-written an analytical essay on female representation in Indian popular culture, specifically as perpetuated in media such as MTV India. What about India would you say inspires your writing?
Jocelyn Cullity: My British family on my mother’s side lived in India for five generations. The stories told to me by my mother and my great-aunts were more about India than anywhere else.
One of the most violent events in Indian history began in 1857 when Indian citizens revolted against the variety of injustices occurring during British rule. My ancestor, Ellen Huxham, was one of the women held hostage during a five-month siege in Lucknow during the “mutiny,” and she kept a diary during that time. When I was about 12, I transcribed her diary, and this event in particular stayed with me.
SR: Have you travelled to India and if so, were you inspired to write about it afterwards, or did you travel there because it inspired you?
JC: I have had the opportunity to visit India several times. I love India and I have gone when I can. I’ve gone to write, for research, but also just to visit family and friends. It was sometime after my last trip that I wrote the short story “Mutiny” as a part of my dissertation collection at Florida State University, and after that I began working on the novel.
SR: “Mutiny” begins, “India. May 24th, 1857.” What do you think it does for a story to have a concrete setting?
JC: Janet Burroway (the writer, teacher, and one of my mentors) has written that setting means more to writers than anything else. I do think that setting is everything, and that to establish an immediate concrete image of location in the reader’s mind is useful and most often necessary. When one is writing about a different country and a different century it’s crucial to establish time and place in the reader’s mind as soon as one can.
SR: There is an element of the supernatural in “Mutiny” that contrasts with the almost sparse narration. How did you envision your narrator when you began writing “Mutiny” and was this contrast your intention from the beginning, or did it develop after the fact?
JC: I don’t think I thought about this sort of contrast. The dead husband suddenly appeared in the doorway, and I wrote him down. To his wife, he is as real as the siege around her. However, I’m fascinated by the existence of supernatural elements in the short story, over the form’s history, so, as I think about it now, it doesn’t surprise me that the ghost character showed up.
SR: “Mutiny” is an excerpt from your forthcoming novel of the same name. How does it feel to see your work and your efforts coming together into a tangible form?
JC: I started the story “Mutiny” very tentatively. I had the feeling I should explore the character of Eva before embarking on a larger project; she is one of several important characters I’d been thinking of for the novel. Now it feels utterly inevitable to be writing the book. I’m almost finished and it is gratifying to see what I hope is coming together.
I should say that the title that I used for the short story — “Mutiny” – is used with a good dose of irony. The “mutiny of 1857” is still a phrase used by some; some others call it “India’s First War of Independence.” I have used the word “Mutiny” as a working title for the novel but I’m not completely sure yet if that’s what it will be called. I hope to decide that in the next months.
Superstition Review Issue 7 has launched and to celebrate we will be featuring blog posts about our artists and authors. To kick off launch week we will be highlighting a few of the talented artists who are featured in Issue 7.
Eleanor Leonne Bennett is a 15-year-old artist and photographer who won the National Geographic Kids Photography Contest and the World Photography Organization’s Photomonth Youth award in 2010. She was the only person from the UK to be placed in National Geographic’s See The Bigger Picture Photography Competition and the youngest person to be exhibited with Charnwood Art’s Vision 09 exhibition. She has had her photography exhibited around the world in galleries in Europe, Asia and America and has been showcased in many magazines including the most popular children’s magazine in the world, NG Kids. View her photography featured in issue 7. Eleanor Bennett’s Website
Christy Puetz uses beadwork as her main medium. Her 3-dimensional beaded forms have surfaces covered with colorful, organic patterns. Her current work focuses on shape-shifting. The work subtly addresses the issues of the different faces we each put forth given our current surroundings and the eventual effect it has on who we become as a whole – a conglomeration of parts of different creatures. She uses taxidermy animal forms and transforms them into creatures, not yet in existence, but in the process of changing form, color, and purpose. View her creations in issue 7. Christy Puetz’s Website
Cyndy Carstens’ paintings of expansive skies & infinite distances represent an ultimate freedom of the soul grounded by images beckoning sensations of breath & struggles, rest & trials. Subject matter fluctuates between the recognizable & the abstract using color & texture to move the eye across a horizon of musical notes singing of peace and harmony. Carstens’ paintings can be found in private & corporate collections across the U.S. & Canada. Her work has been featured in many exhibitions including Manhattan Arts International’s “The Healing Power of Art” (New York, NY) and most recently has been honored with an Artist of Distinction Award & representation from Stillpoint Gallery of Brunswick, ME. View her painting, “Solitude” in issue 7. Cyndy Carstens’s Website
Sabrina Peros is an emerging artist in Phoenix, AZ. Ms. Peros began drawing and painting at a young age, eventually studying and graduating from The School of Visual Arts (New York) with a BFA in 2002. Some of her highlights include Featured Artist of the Month at The Paper Heart Gallery, Phoenix, Mills Pond House Gallery, St. James, NY, and resident artist at Space 55, Phoenix. View her four paintings featured in issue 7. Sabrina Peros’s Website
William D. Hicks is a writer who lives in Chicago, Illinois. His poetry appears in LITSNACK, Amaranthine Muses, Highland Park Poetry, Cannoli Pie Magazine, Outburst Magazine, The Legendary, Horizon Magazine, Breadcrumb Sins, Inwood Indiana Literary Magazine, The Short Humour Site (UK), The Four Cornered Universe, Save the Last Stall for Me and Mosaic. Cover art is on The Blank Page Handbook and Anti-Poetry. View his photographs in issue 7.
The full magazine with featured art and artists can be found here. Check back tomorrow to read about the fiction authors featured in Issue 7.