Belinda McGrath Witzenhausen | IgniteYourCreativity.net
Interview with Artist, Writer, Editor & Curator Lora R Fisher
Lora shares with us her thoughts on art, her online Gallery — GalriMontaj Contemporary Art — as well as what motivates and inspires her.
Tell us a little about yourself and your work.
I may be an anomaly in that I am a visual artist who is also a curator, arts advocate, and a promoter. Hats get switched throughout the day, depending on what’s hot and calling my attention the loudest. When I recall my earliest memories, the most frequent activities always included gazing, looking, and viewing the world around me. Later, directing my friends in one scenario or another (Luckily, they seemed to enjoy it!).
Having creative ADD is a juggling lesson without an instructor. Many creative people are similarly ‘afflicted’!
You are an artist, photographer, writer, editor and curator — where do you find inspiration and do you have a favorite creative outlet?
My inspiration most often comes from nature, which is also where I rest and recharge. A second source of inspiration is people. I find the human face and the way an individual expresses her/himself through posture and personal history endlessly fascinating. My favorite creative outlet is to take my camera into my garden or the forest or the ocean and capture images until the light is gone.
What does a typical day look like?
I am a night-owl and often getting my inspiration in the wee hours. My first activity — with coffee, of course — is to check email and delete 75% of what I find there. (The disheartening truth is that almost everyone does this. That means that my announcements are also likely to get lost in the onslaught.)
Then I review my list from the day before to see what needs to be added to today’s list, and I dig in. A big part of my day is engaging on various social media platforms: checking in with friends, writing announcements, updating sites, and encouraging people to visit those sites and support specific artists.
Getting up and walking away from my computer to check the weather and work in my garden, or just gaze out the window allows my brain to refresh. I do my best problem solving outdoors when I’m not thinking about it.
I often have to force myself to stop working at night. There’s always ‘just one more thing’ to accomplish.
You launched GalriMontaj last year. Can you tell my readers what inspired you to open your own online gallery?
My last curatorial experience ended abruptly in 2010 with the owner losing the business to the economic crisis. I turned my focus to promotions and creative services, but missed the excitement and satisfaction of curating exhibits.
The desire to build a virtual gallery was there for months, as one of those internal dialogues that simply wouldn’t go away. I finally decided to dive in last year.
It is now at the stage where the kinks have been worked out, the presentation refined, and with a solid exhibition with extraordinary artists who have placed their trust in me.
On my list for 2013: to partner with a person or persons who are passionate about the arts and crazy-in-love with marketing; to continue to develop our platform of exhibitors; to reach world-wide collectors and world-class status; and to develop corporate sponsorship opportunities. That’s all … .
What kind of Artists do you look for when choosing exhibitors? Describe your perfect artist.
I look for a high degree of artistic mastery, regardless of genre. The name ‘GalriMontaj’ is defined as a fluid and mixed visual presentation (in Haitian Creole), and that’s my goal: to offer a variety of styles and artistic temperaments for collectors to choose from.
My perfect artist is someone who is dedicated to their craft and to advancing their careers. They can identify themselves as emerging or as mid-career artists, but they must be professional and understand the importance of a professional presentation. In this respect, I also function as a consultant and can guide an artist in developing a professional presentation.
What is integral to your work as an artist and curator? (What inspires you?)
I’m inspired daily by the urge to create that I see all around me — in every aspect of life. This seems to be one of the cardinal features of being human and I’m in awe of it.
I’m inspired by the power of art to change lives for the better and believe wholeheartedly in its ability to bridge cultures, to help young people find their voices, to support and encourage stressed communities, and to create vibrant living and working environments.
Artists, by and large, are generous, compassionate, and accomplished. They tend to be progressive leaders in their communities and on the world stage. The efforts that I see around the world by artists to unite and uplift through the arts, to protect the environment, and to lead, are my inspiration.
Artists. Artists inspire me.
As an artist, the beauty of nature inspires me, from the smallest scale to the grandest.
What is the most memorable response you have had about your work?
To have one of my landscape photos compared to Ansel Adams was quite a surprise — and memorable. Also, to hear that people are moved by my work in some way; that they appreciate my vision.
A dilemma that I confront on a regular basis is that I’m too busy working with the art of others to have time to focus on my own. Working on a solution to that!
Can you tell us what is coming up for both GalriMontaj and yourself?
Growth, expansion, partnerships. I see all of those in the immediate future. Currently holding a Call For Artists, with some very promising responses.
I’ve also recently developed the GalriMontaj Affordable Art program, featuring works selling for under $500. This seems to be a prominent feature in today’s commercial art world with so many being severely impacted by the recession, and just now beginning to consider collecting again.
This is the perfect opportunity for collectors to build their collections with works that are bound to increase in value in the coming months and years.
I believe that GalriMontaj may be ahead of the curve on that front.
Where can we find you online?
I would like to take the time to thank Lora for sharing with us a little about her life, GalriMontaj, and her own brilliant work. Please stop by her links to be thoroughly inspired!
–Belinda McGrath Witzenhausen, IgniteYourCreativity
HUGE THANKS to Belinda for her insightful questions and unyielding support!