Author: ZAPP Team
Date: June 25, 2014
This is part of a series of posts highlighting the art fair and festival industry.
Creative Conversations: An interview with emerging artist Zachary Yuskanich
With Cherry Creek Arts Festival just around the corner, we’re highlighting one of this year’s Emerging Artists, Zachary Yuskanich. ZAPP® Program Associate Ruby Montana spoke with Yuskanich about his artistic background and process, as well as his thoughts on being a Cherry Creek Arts Festival 2014 Emerging Artist. Tara Brickell, associate director for the Cherry Creek Arts Festival, also gives us some insight on the Emerging Artist program.
What is your artistic background? How did you get into your field?
I graduated from Southern Illinois University with a BFA with a concentration in glass. I was fortunate to have had great instructors during that time. We got to spend a summer in Murano, Italy and see the masters at work. After school, I had the chance to work for a few glass artists and then ended up in Denver working for Kit Karbler [at the BLAKE STREET GLASS STUDIO].
What is the process of making each glass work and what inspires you to make each piece?
All my pieces are hand blown and then cut and carved. The inspiration comes from [various] forms such as the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright, to designs by Herman Miller and artists such as (Constantin) Brancusi.
What is your experience with art festivals?
Working for glass artists such as Kit Kabler, I have helped out with several shows over the past eight years.
How does the art festival experience compare to and differ from exhibiting at a museum or gallery?
I feel [the art festival] is a better opportunity to talk to your buyer and inform them on the artistic process and inspiration.
What are your expectations for the upcoming Cherry Creek Arts Festival, especially being featured as an Emerging Artist?
I guess my expectations are high, having lived in Denver for the past eight years. I love this city and the people. The Cherry Creek Arts Festival brings the great city and people together for a great show.
If you could have given advice to yourself five years back, what would it be? Do you have advice that you would like to share with artists that are just joining the industry?
Attitude is everything. Stay positive and keep a level head.
And now, let’s hear from Tara Brickell, Associate Director, Cherry Creek Arts Festival…
Can you describe the Cherry Creek Emerging Artists category? What do you look for in potential candidates for this category?
The Cherry Creek Arts Festival Emerging Artist Program was created for artists that are just starting out in the art world. These artists might be recent art school graduates or they could be someone who decides to pursue their passion and make a midlife career change. CCAF’s Emerging Program does not have an age limit/requirement. We are looking for up-and-coming artists that we can support and introduce to the art show industry. We strive to help ease the transition of going into business for yourself, while educating the artist on a viable way to exhibit and sell their work.
Tell us about the mentoring partnership for Emerging Artists. How are the partnerships established?
We usually hold an Emerging Artist Mentoring session where experienced exhibitors are available to give the emerging folks tips of the trade and how to have a successful event. What we have found to be a great addition to this, is to find experienced artists that are of a similar discipline to each Emerging Artist and put them in touch. This really provides key information to the Emerging Artists that relates directly to the artwork they are creating and selling. Artists have let us know that they have found this to be a rewarding experience to give back to someone just starting out and some Emerging Artists have let us know that this is one of the most beneficial parts of the mentoring program.
How long has the Emerging Artists category been a part of the Cherry Creek Arts Festival? What has been the overall response to it from Emerging Artists, mentors and Arts Festival attendees?
We started the Emerging Artist Program in 2004. It’s our tenth anniversary! It has been a great way for the Arts Festival to support and nurture artists as they are just starting out. Over the years, several Emerging Artist participants have taken their experience and then applied and exhibited at CCAF in the regular show. There are also several Emerging Artists who have really used this experience to launch their careers exhibiting and selling their work on the national show circuit. The interaction with so many patrons in one weekend and actually getting out there and selling their artwork is invaluable to many of them.
If you’re in Denver, CO July 4-6, be sure to find Zachary’s booth and say hello! Hope to see you there at the 2014 Cherry Creek Arts Festival!
–By Ruby Montana, ZAPP Program Associate
Know someone we should talk to for our Creative Conversations series? Email your suggestions!