GET TO KNOW CARRIE ANN PLANK
Where were you born?
I was born in the Hudson River Valley area in New York.
What did you study in school?
I originally started University focusing on premed and illustration as initially I had wanted to pursue medical illustration. I soon found that my main interest was in art and swapped my degree track towards fine art printmaking. I received a BFA in Printmaking from East Carolina University and went on to get my MFA in Printmaking at the Pennsylvania State University.
Did you always want to be an artist?
I’m not sure I knew I always wanted to be an artist but I did know that I am a visually oriented person. Back in the day, the school systems used to give children these aptitude tests and mine always came back with something spatially oriented like aerospace engineer- I think even early on I was a visual processor. I’m the type of person who likes to explore how things fit together and visual complexities. It wasn’t until University that I realized I wanted to seriously pursue artmaking.
Are you a full time artist?
I am currently a full-time artist! I spent over twenty years in academia, from teaching to department director-always trying to create artwork in the free time I had left. I finally dedicated myself to a full-time studio practice last year and I couldn’t be more thrilled. It’s really given me the space to develop my work and pursue larger projects and ideas.
How has your style changed over time?
My work has definitely become more abstract as I’ve focused down on the conceptual directions most interesting to me. I was always a drawer and the mark of the hand is thrilling to me but I’m also a process junky. I love experimenting and often combine new technology with age old traditions in printmaking. I actively try to travel and do residencies where I can connect with print shops and other artists from all over the world. This often brings me to new processes and new equipment and new approaches. I’ve been able to blend those experiences and experiments into a working process that is ever evolving. This has brought new materials and formats to work that is printmaking matrix based but experimental and unique in execution.
How have the city or cities you’ve lived in affected your art?
I currently live in San Francisco and moved here twenty years ago from New Orleans. I’ve always been drawn to interesting cities. I think you find a wealth of interesting ideas and people doing exciting work in those “interesting” places. I find those special places like the Bay Area to be inspiring.
Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration everywhere. I’m really interested in information and how it can be visually translated. I’m constantly plotting and graphing and researching. I look especially at data related to mathematical equation and scientific observation. I love mapping, charts, graphs, wave patterns, field variations, sound sources, fractals, etc.
How will art save the world?
I do think art can save the world…well, at least keep the world engaged. We live in a time where we are more isolated than ever- tied to our phones and subject to barrage through never ending news cycles and social media. The act of artmaking seems ever more vital. It’s an opportunity to make something unique and physical and mental that can touch a viewer in a very personal way. Art brings thinking and feeling back into the conversation.