I love this lady. Dannielle Tegeder is a good friend, and an artist at the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, where we both have a studio space. A day in the studio is always made better with a quick break to see what she's up to, sharing a joke or conversing about art over coffee. She is super smart and super fun and her interview is just delightful- just like her. Enjoy.
Who makes up your day to day world?
Other artists, my students, my husband Pablo Helguera, and our kid.
What’s an average studio day like?
My day begins early at 6:30 getting my daughter ready for Kindergarten. I am usually emailing by 7:30 responding to things, and am in the studio by 8:30 or 9:00. I usually work with my studio assistant, and we begin with a list for her to work off of doing administrative tasks, including grants, emails, mailing our catalogs, sizing images, setting meeting, etc.
Depending on the day, I am either drawing or also working on other things. I finish around 6. I am usually listening to silence or NPR, and look at art books or readings for inspiration. Right now I have the Whitechapel: Documents for Contemporary Art on Networks, and Abstraction.
What are you working on now? what are you most excited/ confounded/ obsessed with?
At the moment I am working on a new series of large drawings on paper in the studio. These pieces become the framework or legend for all the installations, and on site pieces. I am also very excited to be doing my first public art piece with Percent for Art in NYC in 2015.
I am also quite excited about starting a new gallery in my faculty office at CUNY where I teach. It is called “Faculty Office.” The current show is entitled Soccer Mom” and has over 30 artists including: Jackie Saccoccio, Angelina Gualdoni, Elana Herzog, and Alison Elizabeth Taylor among many great others. The show
was in response to Ken Johnson’s recent review of Michelle Grabner’s show where he called her a soccer mom. The show has over thirty successful women artists that are also mothers. The last show was called “Higher Learning” and had over 30 artists who also teach, it traveled to another faculty office at Hamilton College. The space is a boring no window office, but is located inside a historic Marcel Breuer building in the Bronx. The space is experimental, and is also used as a pedagogical tool where I bring students in to see the work. I also wanted to
see more contemporary art shown in the Bronx, and have it more accessible. It has been an exciting project.
What do you do when things aren’t going “right”? or if you’re having a fallow period in making/ thinking?
I usually sense things aren’t right if the work is becoming to much of a struggle to make, or I am distracted. I usually just stop for a while, go see shows at galleries or museums, or work on my side practice of writing conceptual poetry.
How have you gotten where you are? How do you sustain your creative life? How do you pay the bills or what kinds of jobs have you had in the past?
I have gotten to where I am by being persistent and patient. I sustain my creative life, by keeping an organized schedule and organizing a lot of support, studio assistant, baby sitter, back up babysitter, my mother, my husband etc. I am also a professor at CUNY, and teach throughout the year. I have also taught in a number of schools, and regularly do visiting artist visits. I live through a combination of my teaching salary, grants, and art sales. I have had every job under the sun, waitress, cocktail waitress, studio assistant, gallerina, Macy’s fragrance model (those are the people who spritz you)!
What advice would you give a young artist just starting out?
There are a number of things...remember you are in a community and to be generous and give out, artists that are alone stop making work 2. Get used to rejection for grants, residencies, etc. not once but most artists apply 10 times. 3. Apply for lots of things on a regular basis, this is how you will meet people, and sustain your practice. 4. Think of a side skill, and get your job down to three days or less. 5. Learn to write well, and do good public speaking 6. Learn to manage your money, and budget 7. Keep up with your references 8. Curate a show or start a blog. 9. Get organized with your time, and work when you can 10. Get a studio with a group of serious artists.
Dannielle has upcoming museum shows in Germany at the Kunstalle Osnabruck, the large Percent for Art installation in NYC, Seed Space in Nashville, and Real Art Ways in Hartford.
Her drawing videos are up now at the Frist Museum for Visual Arts in Nashville at the end of the Kandinsky exhibition.