Artist Crush: Rachelle ReichertAuthor:Michelle Konstantinovsky
Through her drawings and sculptures, San Francisco Bay Area-based artist Rachelle Reichert connects earthy materials with social dynamics and ecological issues. By implementing tools like salt from the Bay, Reichert explores themes like the impact of technology on modern human life. Learn more in our Q+A below.
How did you get your start in design?
I have been interested in visual art since I was a child. Color, form, and light have always intrigued me and I have always noticed how these elements intersected with design.
You’ve been awarded several residencies – what is it like being an artist in residence and what kinds of unique opportunities does it afford?
An artist residency is truly a gift. It allows the artist to strip away other aspects of her life and absorb herself in her artwork- a dream come true for an artist! I have been fortunate to have participated in many different types of residences in various locations. Each residency is unique in location, community, and facilities but all offer the time, space, and often times financial support to create a focused body of artwork.
You work with elemental materials – what are some examples of how you integrate natural pieces into your work and the messages they convey?
I create artwork starting with a material (graphite, salt, rust, steel, lithium, etc) and research that material’s social, economic, and environmental impacts. From there I begin creating artworks, often using that material itself. An example of this is salt that I source from the San Francisco Bay in proximity to where I live. The salt serves as a portrait of the unique ecosystem that exists in the Bay and a memory of the climate that existed within the time it was harvested. With this salt I have created a series of salt “paintings” and sculptures, all taking on various forms.
Who are your biggest professional role models and why?
My mentor, visual artist Hung Liu, has had a profound impact on me as an artist. Not only is she an incredible artist, she is one of the most generous women I have ever met. And she has a great sense of humor.
Which musical album or artist has inspired you most in your life and why?
There are too many to list. Certain artists appear like beacons, illuminating the path and possibilities along my career.
Describe your dream vacation.
There is a beach and perfect waves in the ocean for body surfing, mountains, a great library with lots of art books, good coffee, warm weather and lots of hiking with my husband.
Go-to karaoke song?
David Bowie – “Under Pressure.”
An outdoor concert by the Boston Symphony performing at Tanglewood, in the Berkshires. I cannot recall who they were performing, I was very very small!
Favorite ice cream flavor?
Dark chocolate with sea salt.
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